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
We study the world that we may understand Scripture, and Scripture teaches us to truly read the world. Is this a conflict of principle or a vicious circle? No, it is the ordinary course of human learning elevated to a glorious pitch. God is pleased to use the things of His creation as a tutor unto … Continue reading On Christian Doctrine: The Rule of Scripture and Knowledge of the Profane
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?)
A Reflection from a Class at Holy Apostles College and Seminary Why can’t there be a private language, according to Wittgenstein? What is the significance of the discussion? Language is a social phenomena which we learn and confirm socially. To show we understand a statement is to respond accordingly in a form of language or … Continue reading Wittgenstein on Private Language
Kierkegaard’s reaction seems to correspond not only to what is happening in the Danish church, but in the overall attitude symptomatic of Modern Philosophy and the Enlightenment. This period of history might be characterized as the era of the ‘fact’–the era where human reason stands over and at a distance from the objects it studies. … Continue reading Kierkegaard in the Age of Fact
In his Companion to a Higher English Grammar, a most delightful and erudite read by the way, Alexander Bain considers whether to define a noun by its meaning or its office, that is, by what objects a noun names or by what function a noun plays in a sentence. He first does admirable work unfolding the … Continue reading What is a Noun?
The power of Kant’s approach to metaphysics stood out to me in a recent reading of his Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics. As I have mentioned, I am studying at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut and I am currently enrolled in course on Modern and Contemporary Philosophy. In the context of Cartesian realism … Continue reading Saving the Noumena: Kant’s Approach to Metaphysics
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?
In the film Moonstruck, Loretta’s mother Rose questions her daughter about her fiance. Their attachment is lukewarm and has an air of convenience and inevitability: Rose: You’re not going to marry him…Do you love him, Loretta? Loretta: No. Rose: Good. When you love them they drive you crazy because they know they can. By the end … Continue reading The Problem and the Promise: Love Hurts
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