Human Nature and Human Technology

We, in the present, are in some sense both our past and our future.  What we have done and what has been done to us contributes to who we are; and what we intend to do, what we are ordered towards doing, instantiates within us anticipatory relations and dispositions.  We resolve--without reducing--past and future into … Continue reading Human Nature and Human Technology

Interpretation & Traditions: A Sample

The below are introductory remarks to a presentation given on Friday, 27 April 2018, for Center for Thomistic Studies Colloquium at the University of St. Thomas, Houston TX.  An audio recording will be posted in the near future.  I also intend revisions, at some point, for publication. --- Preface [For those of you who don’t … Continue reading Interpretation & Traditions: A Sample

What is Nominalism?

And why is it such a problem? One of the most serious and extensive controversies of the Latin Age of philosophy was that of universals.  The Greek philosophy of antiquity, and its transmission into the Latin Age by Boethius and through the Islamic tradition, had long discussed the question of whether the way in which … Continue reading What is Nominalism?

In Protest of Scientism

Late last night, I saw this article on Quillette.com (a locus for generally "centrist" thought--which tends to mean "Enlightenment-thinking Liberal"--in the current rhetorical revolutionary war), "In Defence of Scientism".   My initial reaction--the article being one that is haughty in the extreme, and full of polysyllabic words used incorrectly in painfully contorted syntax--was one of … Continue reading In Protest of Scientism

The Effort of Effortless Knowledge

Frequently, to illustrate how human beings are or how they act, Thomas Aquinas juxtaposes the human with the angelic.  Specifically, when talking about why human knowledge is seemingly so complex, he makes this keen point: the more perfect a being is in its nature, the fewer actions it needs to achieve its final perfection; and … Continue reading The Effort of Effortless Knowledge

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

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

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