Avicenna on non-contradiction
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
2d ago
We’ve been talking about the law of non-contradiction (LNC), which says that the statements p and not-p cannot both be true.  (In symbolic notation: ~ (p • ~p) )  We briefly noted Aristotle’s view that skepticism about LNC cannot be made a coherent position.  Let’s now consider a famous remark on the subject by the Islamic philosopher Avicenna or Ibn Sina (c. 970-1037).  In The Metaphysics of the Healing, he says of such a skeptic: As for the obstinate, he must be plunged into fire, since fire and non-fire are identical.  Let him be beaten, since suffering and not s ..read more
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Cartwright on theory and experiment in science
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
2w ago
Nancy Cartwright’s A Philosopher Looks at Science is a new treatment of some of the longstanding themes of her work.  It is written in her characteristically agreeable style and full of insights.  The book is devoted to criticizing three widespread but erroneous assumptions about science: that science is essentially just theory plus experiment; that in some sense everything science tells us is reducible to physics; and that science reveals that everything that happens, including human action, is determined by the laws of physics.  In this post I’ll discuss what she says about t ..read more
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More about All One in Christ
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1M ago
The latest on my book All One in Christ: A Catholic Critique of Racism and Critical Race Theory: I was interviewed about the book by Carl Olson on the Ignatius Press Podcast.  I was interviewed by Cy Kellett on Catholic Answers Focus.  I was interviewed by Ken Huck on the Meet the Author radio program.  Reviewing the book at Catholic World Report, Gregory Sullivan writes: “Among its many virtues, All One in Christ is a work of genuine argumentation.  Meticulous and temperate in stating the case he is critiquing, Feser dismantles CRT with his characteristic rigor.”  Th ..read more
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Koons on Aristotle and quantum mechanics
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1M ago
My review of Robert Koons’s excellent new book Is St. Thomas’s Aristotelian Philosophy of Nature Obsolete? appears at Public Discourse.  ..read more
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The wages of gin
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1M ago
My review of Jane Peyton’s The Philosophy of Gin appears in the Christmas 2022 issue of The Lamp magazine ..read more
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On the death of Pope Benedict XVI
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1M ago
I’m not sure when I first became aware of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was later to become Pope Benedict XVI.  During my high school years in the early 80s, I had only a vague awareness of the doctrinal controversies roiling the Church.  I then knew little more than that they had something to do with liberal theologians and their opposition to Pope John Paul II.  My first clear memory of Ratzinger himself is from the very end of that decade, when I had left the Church and was on my way to becoming an atheist.  I read a magazine article about him and his work as the pope ..read more
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Why did the Incarnation occur precisely when it did?
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1M ago
Why did the second Person of the Trinity become man two thousand years ago – rather than at the beginning of the human race, or near the end of the world, or at some other point in history?  The Christmas season is an especially appropriate time to consider this question.  And as is so often the case, St. Thomas Aquinas provides guidance for reflection.  He addresses the issue in the last two Articles of Question 1 of the Third Part of the Summa Theologiae. No sin, no Incarnation In order to understand his explanation, it is important to consider what he says earlier in the Que ..read more
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When do popes teach infallibly?
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1M ago
It is well-known that the Catholic Church teaches that popes are infallible when they speak ex cathedra or exercise their extraordinary magisterium.  What that means is that if a pope formally presents some teaching in a manner intended to be definitive and absolutely binding, he is prevented by divine assistance from falling into error.  The ordinary magisterium of the Church, and the pope when exercising it, are also infallible when they simply reiterate some doctrine that has been consistently taught for centuries.  (Elsewhere, I’ve discussed the criteria for determining whe ..read more
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Is God’s existence a “hypothesis”?
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
2M ago
Over at Twitter I’ve caused some annoyance by objecting to the phrase “the God hypothesis.”  The context was a discussion of Stephen Meyer’s book Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe.  My view is that to present theism as a “hypothesis” that might be confirmed by scientific findings is at best irrelevant to actually establishing God’s existence and at worst harmful insofar as it insinuates serious misunderstandings of the nature of God and his relationship to the world.  Since Twitter is not a medium conducive to de ..read more
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Davies on classical theism and divine freedom
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
2M ago
I’ve long regarded Brian Davies’ An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion as the best introduction to that field on the market.  A fourth edition appeared not too long ago, and I’ve been meaning to post something about it.  Like earlier editions, it is very clearly written and accessible, without in any way compromising philosophical depth.  Its greatest strength, though, is the attention it gives the classical theist tradition in general and Thomism in particular, while still covering all the ground the typical analytic philosophy of religion text would (and, indeed, brin ..read more
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