Monthly Archives: March 2013

You aren’t smart enough to be happy: Kant, Judas, and Holy Thursday

As part of his argument that our primary purpose in this life is to be good rather than happy, Kant offers the following “one-two punch.” First, Kant rejects any weak, reductionist sense of happiness. Happiness is not eating a Boston … Continue reading

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Get ready for Nietzsche: the inescapable past, and the Catholic answer

In my class this morning, I gave my students a brief preview of Nietzsche’s writing, since he is the next philosopher we will be reading, and I thought I would share it here as well. I encourage you to read … Continue reading

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Sloth: nature and grace

One of the problems with teaching philosophy–that is to say, with teaching some of the best books ever written–is that one is always encountering previously unnoticed little insights, little “gems.” Why is that a problem? It is a problem because … Continue reading

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Robert Spaemann on Abortion: a full translation of one of his 1974 articles

“An End to the Debate on #218 of the German Criminal Code”(1974) A translation of Robert Spaemann, “Am Ende der Debatte um § 218 StGB,” in Grenzen: zur ethischen Dimension des Handelns, 352-60 (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 2001). The article originally appeared … Continue reading

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The Pressure of Law: or, the reason abortion and gay marriage make for nasty arguments

Jonah Goldberg, an editor of National Review Online, recently wrote a column arguing that abortion and gay marriage should not be lumped together as social issues. That is to say, according to Goldberg one can be, in some intellectually respectable … Continue reading

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The Purpose of Life

Immanuel Kant was by no means a Catholic philosopher, but he still wrote some things helpful for Catholics. Consider, for example, Kant’s discussion early in the Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals on the purpose of life. What is the … Continue reading

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Criminalizing Abortion

I have recently been translating an old article by the philosopher Robert Spaemann on the abortion debate that took place in Germany in 1974, “Am Ende der Debatte um #218 StGB.” The debate followed a decision by West Germany’s high … Continue reading

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