Thursday, July 28, 2016

Liberalism and the five natural inclinations

By “liberalism” I don’t mean merely what goes under that label in the context of contemporary U.S. politics.  I mean the long political tradition, tracing back to Hobbes and Locke, from which modern liberalism grew.  By natural inclinations, I don’t mean tendencies that that are merely deep-seated or habitual.  I mean tendencies that are “natural” in the specific sense operative in classical natural law theory.  And by natural inclinations, I don’t mean tendencies that human beings are always conscious of or wish to pursue.  I mean the way that a faculty can of its nature “aim at” or be “directed toward” some end or goal whether or not an individual realizes it or wants to pursue that end -- teleology or final causality in the Aristotelian-Thomistic (A-T) sense.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Last Superstition in Brazil

My book The Last Superstition, having appeared a few years back in a German translation, will soon be available in Brazilian Portuguese.  The publisher is Edições Cristo Rei, and the book is being kicked off by way of a crowdfunding campaign.  The book cover can be seen above.  (Yes, that’s me they’ve drawn in front of the blackboard.  You can guess who the other guys are.)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Capital punishment at Catholic World Report

UPDATE: The second installment of the article has now been posted at CWR

Over at Catholic World Report today you’ll find “Why the Church Cannot Reverse Past Teaching on Capital Punishment,” the first installment of a two-part article I have co-authored with Joseph M. Bessette, who teaches government and ethics at Claremont McKenna College.  Joe and I recently completed work on our book By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of the Death Penalty, which is forthcoming from Ignatius Press.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bad lovin’

To love, on the Aristotelian-Thomistic analysis, is essentially to will the good of another.  Of course, there’s more to be said.  Aquinas elaborates as follows:

As the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4), “to love is to wish good to someone.”  Hence the movement of love has a twofold tendency: towards the good which a man wishes to someone (to himself or to another) and towards that to which he wishes some good.  Accordingly, man has love of concupiscence towards the good that he wishes to another, and love of friendship towards him to whom he wishes good.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I am overworked, therefore I link

Physicist Lee Smolin and philosopher Roberto Unger think that physics has gotten something really important really wrong.  NPR reports.

The relationship between Aristotelian hylemorphism and quantum mechanics is the subject of two among a number of recent papers by philosopher Robert Koons.

Hey, he said he would return.  At Real Clear Defense, Francis Sempa detects a revival of interest in General Douglas MacArthurThe New Criterion reviews Arthur Herman’s new book on MacArthur, while the Wall Street Journal and Weekly Standard discuss Walter Borneman’s new book.