What counts as magisterial teaching?
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
4d ago
Popes speak infallibly when they either proclaim some doctrine ex cathedra, or reiterate some doctrine that has already been taught infallibly by virtue of being a consistent teaching of the ordinary magisterium of the Church for millennia.  Even when papal teaching is not infallible, it is normally owed “religious assent.”  However, the Church recognizes exceptions.  The instruction Donum Veritatis, issued during the pontificate of St. John Paul II, acknowledges that “it could happen that some Magisterial documents might not be free from all deficiencies” so that “a theologian ..read more
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A comment on comments
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1w ago
Dear reader, if it seems your comment has not been approved, sometimes it actually has been approved even if you don’t see it.  The reason is that once a combox reaches 200 comments, the Blogger software will not show any new comments made after that unless you click “Load more…” at the bottom of the comments page.  The trouble is that this is in small print and easily overlooked.  In the screen cap above, I’ve circled in red what you should look for. Occasionally, your comment does not appear because it has not been approved.  Sometimes this is because the comment is too ..read more
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Avicenna, Aquinas, and Leibniz on the argument from contingency
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1w ago
Avicenna, Aquinas, and Leibniz all present versions of what would today be called the argument from contingency for the existence of a divine necessary being.  Their versions are interestingly different, despite Aquinas’s having been deeply influenced by Avicenna and Leibniz’s having been familiar with Aquinas.  I think all three of them are good arguments, though I won’t defend them here.  I discussed Avicenna’s argument in an earlier post.  I defend Aquinas’s in my book Aquinas, at pp. 90-99.  I defend Leibniz’s in chapter 5 of my book Five Proofs of the Existence o ..read more
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The heresy with a thousand faces
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
3w ago
In a new article at Postliberal Order, I discuss the disturbing parallels between the woke phenomenon and the medieval Catharist or Albigensian heresy, a movement so fanatical and virulent that the preaching of the Dominicans could not entirely eliminate it and Church and state judged military action to be necessary ..read more
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Immortal souls at West Point
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1M ago
Had a great time visiting the United States Military Academy at West Point this week for a Thomistic Institute talk on the theme “Do You Have an Immortal Soul?” Thank you TI and cadets ..read more
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Voluntarism in The Vanishing
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1M ago
The reputation of 1993’s The Vanishing has suffered because critics judge it inferior to the 1988 Dutch movie of which it was a remake.  But considered on its own terms, it is a solid enough little thriller.  Jeff Bridges is effectively creepy as the oddball family-man-cum-kidnapper Barney Cousins.  I had reason to re-watch the flick the other day, and was struck by what I take to be an underlying theme of the contrast between voluntarist and intellectualist conceptions of human action. To oversimplify, intellectualism in the sense in question is the view that the intellect is ..read more
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Avicenna’s flying man
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1M ago
Peter Adamson’s new book Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna): A Very Short Introduction is an excellent primer on the great medieval Islamic philosopher.  After a biographical chapter, it treats Avicenna’s views on logic and epistemology, philosophical anthropology, science, and natural theology, and closes with a discussion of his influence on later philosophy and theology.  Among the things readers will find useful is the book’s discussion of Avicenna’s famous “flying man” argument.  Let’s take a look. The flying man thought experiment is one of the means (not the only one) by which Avicenna ..read more
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Progress report
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1M ago
My friends, it exists. More news later ..read more
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Jesuit Britain?
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
1M ago
My review of the anthology Projections of Spanish Jesuit Scholasticism on British Thought: New Horizons in Politics, Law, and Rights, edited by Leopoldo Prieto López and José Luis Cendejas Bueno, appears in the Winter 2023 issue of Religion and Liberty ..read more
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New Year’s open thread
Edward Feser - Philosophy Blog
by Edward Feser
2M ago
Let’s open the New Year with an open thread.  Now’s the time at last to bring up that otherwise off-topic comment that keeps getting deleted, or anything else you like.  From Art Nouveau to Art Blakey, from presidents to presentism, from sci-fi to Wi-Fi to hi-fis, everything is on topic.  Just keep it civil and classy.  Previous open threads collected here ..read more
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