Category Archives: Philosophy

Aristotelian Matter in an Evolutionary Cosmos

Presented at the Society for Aristotelian Studies June 2011 In the Theaetetus we learn that an opinion is not something easily formed, that it takes time, conversation both interior and exterior, the proper balance of daring and caution, and I … Continue reading

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The Medieval Roots of American Rights

One unfortunate consequence of a typical Great Books sequence is a one-sided view of the importance of authors like Hobbes and Locke on the natural rights doctrine of the American founding. In this Crisis article, Andrew Latham helpfully summarizes key … Continue reading

Posted in In the Public Square, Philosophy, Political Thought, Reflections on the Books | 1 Comment

The Role of the Philosopher in Society a la Socrates

Below is a transcription of the Q&A session following my talk on the education of the philosopher in the Republic (Turning the Whole Soul). Most of the questions centered on the role the philosopher is supposed to play in society. … Continue reading

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Integrating the Arts and Sciences through Natural Philosophy

In A Natural Philosopher’s Lament, John Brungardt addresses the important role natural philosophy should play in properly integrating studies of science and the humanities: In the natural sciences, love and skill can be at odds. Curricula that overemphasize technical competence … Continue reading

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The Frenzy of Philosophy

For the second semester in a row, I handed out copies of “What I Learn From Exams”. Last year, it led to intense in-class discussions about what grades mean to students, and about aspects of our college’s culture that inadvertently … Continue reading

Posted in Living It, Philosophy, Reflections on the Books | 1 Comment

Five Definitions of Man

Five Definitions of Man Am I a monster more complicated and swollen with passion than the serpent Typho, or a creature of a gentler and simpler sort, to whom Nature has given a diviner and lowlier destiny? Socrates, Phaedo I … Continue reading

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Questions, Opinions, and the Philosophic Life I, with Quotations from Authorities

I gave a talk this week at our college (Thomas Aquinas College) which I entitled, “Questions, Opinions, and the Philosophic Life”. In it, after sharing something of my experience as a sometimes joyfully, sometimes painfully driven questioner, I tried to … Continue reading

Posted in Living It, Philosophy, Reflections on the Books | 3 Comments

Sacra Doctrina Project

John Brungardt informs us of a promising new initiative that ‘aims to contribute to the Church’s longstanding tradition of seeking a knowledge through causes that is certain and evident about the source of our salvation that is still, at its height, … Continue reading

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Turning the Whole Soul: The Moral Journey of the Philosophic Nature in Plato’s Republic

I forgot that we were playing and spoke rather intensely. For, as I was talking I looked at Philosophy and, seeing her undeservingly spattered with mud, I seem to have been vexed and said what I had to say too … Continue reading

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Basing Thought on Common Sense

A good, clear explanation of the meaning of common sense, one which stands up to scientific reductions and provides the foundation for bringing science into the service of wisdom. But perhaps someone playing devil’s advocate would preempt us and say: … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science, Uncategorized | 1 Comment