Image Courtesy of David Joyce at Clarke University There are several ways that one might produce a line equal to a given line. A carpenter might use a tape measure or a story-stick. A story-stick is an unmarked object of equivalent length to another. Its advantage lies in that it eliminates measurement. There are no … Continue reading Mechanical Art vs. Science: Euclid, Book I, Proposition 2
Is man fundamentally a contemplative being or one whose fulfillment is found in work? Perhaps the answer lies in how we understand the term ‘work’. A long standing argument in Christian and philosophic circles grapples with anthropology, the goodness of work, and the nature of happiness in general. In some sense, this issue touches even … Continue reading Work or Rest?
A Reflection from a Class taken at Holy Apostles College and Seminary How does Wittgenstein’s account of rule-following connect to his criticism of Cartesianism? For Descartes, we begin with clear first principles which are known without reference to experience. Wittgenstein recognizes that we do not arrive at clarity about rules or first principles without a … Continue reading Rule Following, Games, and Logic in Wittgenstein (and Thomas Kuhn?)
It never fails, if a boy should love a girl that he loses some sleep in the bargain. It never fails, when a young women first be a mother, that she be stricken now and again with fear and doubt, and sometime wonder many nights whether the child still breathes and should check on her. … Continue reading It Never Fails
Near the bulk of St. Augustine’s On Christine Doctrine discusses the role of secular learning. This is surprising because the text promises to reveal how to understand and teach Scripture. Augustine’s approach only makes sense if reading Scripture requires us to become proficient in reading the world. At the outset, Augustine challenges objections to sacred teaching. There have always been … Continue reading Did Augustine take notes from Aristotle?
Words are not first to little children, but sound. They are thrust, in media res, into a world of sounds. But those sounds they hear spoken by men and women are actually words, though the child does not experience them as such. Yet the cause and reason a child is hearing sound is that adults are … Continue reading Words vs. Sounds: Elements or Wholes?
—πολλαὶ μορφαὶ τῶν δαιμονίων, πολλὰ δ᾽ ἀέλπτως κραίνουσι θεοί: καὶ τὰ δοκηθέντ᾽ οὐκ ἐτελέσθη, τῶν δ᾽ ἀδοκήτων πόρον ηὗρε θεός. τοιόνδ᾽ ἀπέβη τόδε πρᾶγμα.— Euripides, Alcestis, 1160 Many shapes belong to the divine, and many things beyond hope do the gods accomplish: The very things we have expected are not accomplished, but for the unexpected God finds a way. … Continue reading The Concluding Chorus of Alcestis
Image of Highgate Cemetery from Twins that Travel And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many (Matthew 27:52-53). When the Son of God died and entered death, it was as if … Continue reading And the Graves were Opened
We feel a pressure at first only unconsciously. There is something wrong with the world or with us. And so we push back. We plan our victory, the great comeuppance. We take refuge in an idea. Or we simply rebel. We begin to structure are lives and our hopes for the day when we shall definitively … Continue reading It’s not Going to Stop
In the Phaedo, Socrates’ friends gather round him on his last day. He is about to drink hemlock, but they wish to be reassured once again that the soul does indeed live on. They are full of fear that in death the soul meets its end. What would such a proof look like? How can one demonstrate the immortality … Continue reading Experimental Hope