Monthly Archives: July 2013

Is any mind stronger than yours?

In his book On Free Choice of the Will, St. Augustine considers the question of whether something outside of man could cause him to mentally give in to evil, to make his mind a “companion of cupidity.” He quickly rules … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Divergent and the virtues: a review of sorts

I recently finished reading Divergent by Veronica Roth, the first installment in what I am told is going to be the next big franchise in juvenile fiction (and, of course, juvenile movies). The novel is set in a somewhat post-apocalyptic, … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why the Gifts? A thought from Caryll Houselander

If grace presupposes nature (as St. Thomas Aquinas liked to remark), then the things of grace can give hints as to what is naturally the case, what is naturally true. I recently ran across a nice illustration of this approach … Continue reading

Posted in Catholicism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The excellence of blackberries, the mediocrity of tomatoes

In my little corner of Northern Virginia, blackberries are beginning to come into season. This is not a useful post where I tell you where the good spots to pick them are located. I don’t write those kind of posts; … Continue reading

Posted in humor, Plato | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Necessity of Pascal’s Wager

For part of my Philosophy of God class on Monday, we discussed the “Wager” of the 17th century French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal. It occurs in Part III, §233 of his work Pensées (“Thoughts”). Although it generally gets lumped … Continue reading

Posted in Existence of God, Robert Spaemann | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Lumen Fidei: a reason to read it

Add this to the “Spooky” file: I begin teaching a class on the Philosophy of God, and before the week is out Pope Francis publishes his first encyclical letter Lumen Fidei (“The Light of Faith”). Even spookier is that this … Continue reading

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How to annoy Sophists: two simple ways

“You have no rational evidence for your beliefs.” Such an assertion is not likely to be the beginning of a fruitful discussion. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind disagreement. In fact, I would submit that it is hard … Continue reading

Posted in Plato | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments