What Makes Philosophy Medieval?

From the introduction to my medieval philosophy class: There are two methods to study a chronological period of philosophy: one is primarily historical, and engages the thought of the time insofar as it is effected by political or social changes, such as the fall of the Roman Empire (beginning around 376ad with the Gothic invasions) … Continue reading What Makes Philosophy Medieval?

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The Allure and the Danger of Interdisciplinary Study

A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. -Alexander Pope A word that has been thrown about in academia for as long as I've been involved is "interdisciplinary".  On the Thomist side of my experience, the … Continue reading The Allure and the Danger of Interdisciplinary Study

Evolved Inanity

Ronnie de Sousa, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Toronto, penned quite a piece of sophistry for Aeon Magazine.  The title: "Natural-born existentialists"; the by-line, "Ethics cannot be based on human nature because, as evolutionary biology tells us, there is no such thing."  It's unfortunate that de Sousa is a professor, and from … Continue reading Evolved Inanity

Why Study Metaphysics?

The following is from the introduction I give in my metaphysics course, last taught at the University of St. Thomas (TX) in Spring of 2016.  It explains the germ of my Thomism as well as my rejection of modernism... in terms of metaphysics, at least. -- There are few topics which seem more unsuited to … Continue reading Why Study Metaphysics?

Together but Disunited: On Intellectual Culture

Over at Quillette.com yesterday, the site's founder and editor-in-chief, Claire Lehmann, posted an article asking readers to "help build a third culture"--that is, a culture which does not hold humanities and science education in opposition, but which bridges the gap between the two, or somehow otherwise allows them to coexist in harmony.  Her inspiration was … Continue reading Together but Disunited: On Intellectual Culture

God and God’s Ways

Last week, I received an email out of the blue from a complete stranger, asking me questions about God.  It was sent with an earnest curiosity, and so I took the time to answer.  Below is an edited version of the conversation, given some literary license and with his identity changed.   -- Dear Professor … Continue reading God and God’s Ways

Pride and the Ability to Change

...quia quod quis vehementer desiderat, facile credit. The other day, I saw retweeted into my Twitter timeline an old post on NYMag.com, claiming that with the help of a therapist, anyone can change his or her personality.  Ignoring from the eyeroll-inducing shilling for the psychiatric profession, the article made me think: how popular is the belief … Continue reading Pride and the Ability to Change

Sex, Power, and Instinct

Sexual harassment has been a regular in the news cycle for the past twenty-plus years--often but not always as a tool of political exposure.  Powerful men with covered-up but uncurbed desires have been a mainstay of U.S. politics and political news coverage since Anita Hill leveled unproven, but not disproven, accusations against Clarence Thomas in … Continue reading Sex, Power, and Instinct

A Short: What is Philosophy?

In yesterday morning's reads, I came across this piece by Charlie Huenemann, "Why philosophers should hang out at the humanists' parties" at Aeon Magazine, but delayed it until today.  It is quite bad, altogether misconstrues the nature of philosophical reasoning, and demonstrates that having a PhD in philosophy does not mean you know what "philosophy" … Continue reading A Short: What is Philosophy?

On the Art of Annotation, etc.

I often wonder, when reading, how much work the author put into writing the work.  I know that, in my own book-and-article-writing endeavors, what ends up on the page amounts to less than 1/10th of what I do elsewhere in the process (including all of the editing and revising, which is never less than 2/3rds … Continue reading On the Art of Annotation, etc.