Thursday, July 26, 2007

Links and Notes

* JT Paasch has an excellent pair of posts on Scotus's argument against treating the divine essence as a substratum for the divine persons: I, II. This is relevant to 'material constitution' accounts of the Trinity.

* An interesting post at "In Socrates Wake": John Alexander discusses the teaching of business ethics: Part I, Part II. From Part II:

Over the years I have become convinced that, as Michael suggested, business should be understood within a virtue ethics framework. Business is a formal structured way by which we can develop into the kind of persons we want to be and to find happiness in our lives. One of the key virtues is ‘respect for people’ (You can obviously get this from Kant and Buber also.) I explain to them that they really do have a virtue ethics framework already in place; we do differentiate in practice between people of good and bad character. I refer to this a ‘character in practice.’

* The Vatican is currently investigating an interesting candidate for a miracle:

In December 2001, an Indian Bridgettine, Sister Martine Kochuvelikakathe, was assaulted by three gang members outside Mexico City. When a gang member pulled out a gun to shoot Sister Martine, the Indian religious invoked the name of her order’s founder. The young thug pulled the trigger, but the pistol did not fire. Now the Vatican is addressing the question of whether the incident constitutes a miracle.

Assuming this is all there is to it, it would pretty clearly not count by the usual standards applied by the Vatican; it could legitimately be regarded as a genuine answer to a prayer, but that's well below even a preternatural miracle, which is the most this could be. And to be recognized as a preternatural miracle there would have to be an organized and significant interaction of circumstances (which is no doubt what is being investigated).

* Currently reading Two Conceptions of Natural Number (PDF), by Alexander George and Daniel Velleman

* Glenn Giokaris briefly tours The Philosophical Journey of C. S. Lewis. Lewis, of course, studied philosophy, and intended to teach it. He taught it for a while as a Junior Fellow, during which time he was a member of the Wee Tees, a philosophical discussion group that included, among others, Gilbert Ryle and H. H. Price. He then went into English Literature when in a tight job market he was narrowly beaten out for a philosophy position by Price. The time was a curious one in retrospect, since it was on the very edge of a major change: Absolute Idealism was still a major philosophical position, and the major issue in British philosophy of the day was its fight with the Realism of Cook Wilson and his successors. Giokaris only really considers this one strand of Lewis's philosophical background here, the conflict between Idealism and Realism. There are others, but it's an interesting strand.

* Donald Gunn's analysis of the twelve basic patterns of advertisement.

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