This book is no ordinary work of apologetic exceptionalism, or fatalistic religious outrage. Dr. Feser attempts to go much, much further than to simply "debunk" the New Atheists. In fact, he only spends a minority of the pages of this book on the "New Atheists" themselves, because they turn out to be only the worst exemplars of a much bigger problem, according to Dr. Feser. In short, this book is a blanket indictment of the entirety of modern materialist naturalism and a significant portion of the science upon which it is based.
If you think that there is not merely an order to the universe to be discerned by man, but a correct order, that must be understood to be obeyed (in the sense of conformity to what is best, not in the sense of submission to a rule), then justice becomes a highly relevant topic. Indeed, it is elevated to the level of a cornerstone concept in the organization of any good society. Plato and Aristotle were systematic thinkers. This means, they tried to build a complete philosophy in which every part coherently fits into every other part. Thus, justice must make metaphysical sense, as much as it does moral and political sense. For both Plato and Aristotle, that means reconciling both their metaphysical, and their moral and political notions, with the challenge of Parmenides.
I am hesitant to do back-to-back critiques of Stefan Molyneux, because I don't want the blog to become the "Contra Molyneux" journal. However, in his Christmas podcast, Stefan made a number of titillating and curious assertions, that I just couldn't resist...
A Concise Guide To Stefan Molyneux's Atheism I am entering the final year of a BA Philosophy at the University of London, this year. To kick things off, I thought I'd do a book review for the blog. The focus this year is the philosophy of religion, and it's been a while since I've done … Continue reading Book Review: “Against The Gods?”, Stefan Molyneux
The division in the Enlightenment between Rousseau and Hobbes is so famous it's practically a cliché at this point. Is human nature fundamentally good, or fundamentally bad? Is society a super-organism with a sovereign head, or a collection of self-interested agents, who need to be threatened to stay in line? Those debates will continue ad nauseam, I am sure. That's not what I mean by the title of this post. Rather, I want to explore the distinction between Locke and Mill.
Ayn Rand's visceral hatred for religion is something she shares with modern "humanist" philosophers, and because of this, the only objection the Humanists can offer up against Ayn Rand, is the shameless appeal to collectivist utilitarian concerns, or our natural revulsion to "selfishness". Even Ayn Rand recognized this herself, which is why she titled her essay, "The Virtue of Selfishness". She was trolling the Humanists.
In Political Liberalism, Rawls argues against his critics, insisting that the original position was merely a thought experiment meant to aid in the intuitive realization of the principles of justice according to a uniform standard of fairness. This essay will briefly summarize the original position (and the veil of ignorance that completes it), explain the metaphysical view of the self the critics imply, and conclude by disagreeing with the critics, but wondering what Rawls is up to, if its not metaphysical.
Plato and Aristotle were very different thinkers. They came at the same fundamental philosophical problems from radically different directions. Rafael nicely characterized this in his famous "School of Athens" painting - Plato, ever the tutor, sternly pointing to the sky; Aristotle, the indignant pupil, gesturing reflexively toward the earth. But this image is somewhat deceiving. … Continue reading Plato Versus Aristotle – Two Routes To The Same Good
The new Libertarians are still trying to push the Enlightenment principle of self-governance (individual sovereignty) as far over as it will go, without collapsing into anarchism. But they've divorced themselves from the ground that made self-governance possible in the first place: a commitment to virtue. That commitment can come from religion, or a shared set of philosophically derived metaphysical commitments. But the end result is an individual that has a commitment to the good life, as a life lived in the pursuit of excellence (and, arguably, measured against the transcendent values of truth, goodness, and beauty). Single mothers, whoring themselves out in order to pay for their 15 year old daughters' birth control pills is about as far from that ideal, as you can get. And that is what the Libertarian needs to grapple with.
for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.