Monday, April 11, 2011


* A post at "Webpagina Joost Hengstmengel" on the relationship between economics and ethics in light of Dooyeweerd.

* Philosophy Carnival #123 at "Faith in Philosophy"

* The Catholic Moral Theology Blog has recently started up. So far the posts manage to avoid much Glubglubglub, which is usually, as you know, the official language of contemporary theology; and some of the contributors, like Beth Haile, can definitely be trusted to make reasonable and careful arguments; and they at least recognize that good Catholic moral theology has to put down properly Catholic roots; so it looks very promising.

And since I tend to be very critical of theologians, who I think have, for a very long time now, used the eminence of their discipline as an excuse for not holding themselves to anything other than completely laughable standards of intellectual accountability, I think it's important to encourage those that seem to be doing things the right way (as I've noted before, I think they are much easier to find than they once were). I almost went into theology rather than philosophy; in undergrad I double majored in the two. I went into philosophy for three reasons: I was sick of the awful reasoning (and complete manglings of philosophical ideas and arguments) that I was constantly coming across; and I had discovered that philosophy, despite inconsistencies, was much more congenial to the study of the actual reasoning of the great theologians of history (I got more actual theology in classes and books devoted to the history of philosophy than in even my best theology classes, with fewer arbitrary assumptions, better arguments, and less tendentiousness of rhetoric); and I fell in love with history of philosophy, as a field, in its own right. Over the past decade, though, I've noticed increasing numbers of theologians who are doing the sort of work that would have genuinely kept my interest then, so that's a good sign.

* Ed Feser on Descartes's trademark argument for God's existence.

* Arsen Darnay talks about calculating logarithms by hand. You can read John Napier's own original account at Google Books.

* Despite slowly sinking U.S. numbers, the Narnia movie franchise has been doing well enough that Walden Media will be filming another one. However, they are skipping The Silver Chair for the moment and going to The Magician's Nephew. I suspect that this is a mistake -- The Silver Chair is much more cinematic in character, in the sense that it would be far easier to make a good movie of without botching anything, than The Magician's Nephew. However, The Magician's Nephew is the second most popular Narnia book, and The Silver Chair is the least, and since the proportions of the movie sales have been roughly following the proportions of the book sales, they're trying to play it safe. And (1) there's nothing sacrosanct about any particular ordering of the books and (2) a reasonably successful movie at this point will prevent the series from running out of steam in the middle.

* It's refreshing to find a friar doing what a friar is supposed to do. And in very secular Portland, Oregon, no less.

* Calah of "Barefoot and Pregnant" discusses the phrase "woman in crisis". (ht)

* Jonathan Schaffer, Causes Need Not Be Physically Connected to Their Effects: The Case for Negative Causation (PDF)
Michael Hartsock, Absences as Causes: A Defence of Negative Causation (PDF)

* One thing that struck me about this report on the connections (PDF) between Planned Parenthood and Catholic colleges is that it muddles together two different things: college actions, which genuinely raise issues of consistency, and independent actions of professors, about which colleges often have only very limited say if it's not something actually done in the classroom. This is very uninformative, and the suggestion that a no-tolerance policy on relationships with Planned Parenthood include external affiliations of professors would, if followed, quickly mire many colleges in serious contract violations and wrongful termination lawsuits. (In full disclosure, one of my undergraduate philosophy professors, indeed, one of my favorite undergrad philosophy professors, is on the list because of affiliations listed on his CV.)

* What Is It Like to Be a Woman in Philosophy? is up and running again, and now has a sister site, What We're Doing about What It's Like.

* I hope to say something about "structures of sin" or structural sin (as it is somewhat more loosely called) at some point, so I found this post at "WIT" interesting.

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