Natural Personhood

What makes a person, a person?  Of late, as it was in its inception, the term's legal significance has been brought into question.  As it stands in U.S. law, all reality is classified into either that of a person or that of a thing; the former cannot be stripped of its rights' protections without due … Continue reading Natural Personhood

Perceptual Interpretation

Some rambling thoughts, prompted by this passage: In short, sensations differ from perceptions in that sensations are co-determined by the subjectivity of environmental source of stimulation together with the subjectivity of animal body stimulated, while perceptions by contrast are actively interpretative rather than passively revelatory of the surroundings; rather than co-determined as sensations are, perceptions … Continue reading Perceptual Interpretation

Semiotics and Phenomenology: Preface

Below is the (current draft) preface I wrote for my soon-to-be (please, I hope) accepted Intersection of Semiotics and Phenomenology: Peirce and Heidegger in Dialogue (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter). --- This book presents a complex argument.  It will likely not convince all who read it.  It probably will not even convince many who read it.  But it … Continue reading Semiotics and Phenomenology: Preface

Causality: a Rough Draft

In an extended (and sometimes heated) discussion with colleagues at the Center for the Study of Digital Life, it was determined that one of the key things needed to advance in our work is a clear understanding of causality.  I have, consequently, been at work in attempting to provide a stripped-down, simplified explanation of what … Continue reading Causality: a Rough Draft

Modes: essendi, intelligendi, significandi

Modes: a mode is not a "what", but a "how".  Something could exist in different modes without changing its "whats"; for instance, what exists in itself can exist also in the mind while identical in its "what". Esse (existence/modus essendi): this is the mode in which some "what" exists in itself independently of any foreign … Continue reading Modes: essendi, intelligendi, significandi

Signs and Culture

Bear with me, audience... I'm working out some ideas. --- Humanity, among all animal species, possesses unique social relations.  That is, while seemingly all highly-developed animals interact socially, only humans interact socio-culturally.  What exactly does this mean, though?  We are all familiar, on some level or another, with the idea of culture, and even with many … Continue reading Signs and Culture

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?

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?