Interpretation and Traditions: Some Audio

My colloquium given 27 April 2018 at the University of St. Thomas has been uploaded as an audio file in a variety of formats, available here. Or you can just listen to the soundcloud version:

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Being-in, In-Human

I wrote a piece on the phenomenology of place--colored by lenses of sin and redemption--and what it means to be in one.  The full thing is here, but first, a snippet: Who is not, from one hour to the next, one day to another, beset by worry about being in the right place at the … Continue reading Being-in, In-Human

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?

Socialism and the Robots

The uncritical use of language frequently effects our thinking in unforeseen ways.  With little exception, our uncritical use stems from appropriating the environmentally-ordinary; in other words, we talk the way others do.  As a consequence, we tend to think the way others do, too.  Unfortunately, the uncritical use of language flows effortlessly, while stopping to … Continue reading Socialism and the Robots

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

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?

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

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