Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Links and Notes

* An excellent discussion of Dugald Stewart by Murray Rothbard, at the Mises Institute Blog.

* An interesting attempt to lay out Aristotle's account of the four causes in a straightforward way.

* The Codex Calixtanus has been stolen from Santiago de Campostela.

* Janet Smith asks, "Are all falsehoods lies?" The answer to that, of course, is obviously not. It was also never the issue, which was about deliberately speaking falsehoods in order to deceive another person; there are many situations in which one might speak a falsehood without any hint of deception -- when examining why it is false, for instance. Her account of the history of the matter also seems to me rather dubious at several points: claims are torn from context. But I've discussed that matter at enough length elsewhere, and Smith's article raises no new issues.

* David T suggests a reason some people avoid classical philosophy.

* Ed Feser discusses the problems with some common poorly-thought-out objections to the cosmological argument.

* Maclin Horton on Coventry Patmore and C. S. Lewis.

* This article gives a fair amount of insight into how religions look from the outside, although it takes some work to distinguish that from something it also gives insight into, namely, how religions look to self-important jackasses -- sorry, I mean, 'game designers', synonyms always trip me up -- who don't know anything about religion. (ht)

* Michael Flynn looks at what makes a good story.

* It recently and suddenly occurred to me that in the recent discussions of usury I had regularly been conflating St. Bernardino of Siena and Bl. Bernardino of Feltre (also know as Blessed Bernardino of the Pawnshops). Both of them are relevant to the discussion, but they were rather different. Blessed Bernardino founded a number of lending institutions (some of which still exist today) to serve as alternatives to moneylenders; he was controversial at the time because he had them charge interest on loans. It was to recognize these institutions as legitimate and to reprimand Bl. Bernardino's critics that the famous Fifth Lateran bull on usury was issued. Bernardino of Siena was in the previous generation, and did discuss usury; he was also influential on the early history of the monti di pieta from which the modern banking system developed. But Bernardino of Siena takes a much more conservative line on the subject than Bernardino of Feltre.

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