Here is a recent paper on the source and character of mathematics. It is an exploration of Pythagorean-Platonic and Aristotelian-Thomistic accounts of mathematics and science. This paper argues that mathematics is a specific form of abstraction. It concludes that science remains authentic when it maintains an awareness that it is necessarily abstract or reductionist. It … Continue reading A Paper on the Mathematics
The liberal arts are often spoken of as a proper human end, that is, not just as a means (something we use instrumentally) but as something we may enjoy. Thinkers like Josef Pieper and Stratford Caldecott suggest that the liberal arts ought to be pursued for their own sake. But does that conflict with the claims of theology? Can such an education be good in and of itself? Continue reading Enjoying the Liberal Arts?
Whether all knowledge requires faith? Objection 1: It seems that all knowledge requires faith because faith is to be the rule and measure of our entire life and conduct. Knowledge falls under human life; therefore, it must come under its proper rule, faith. Objection 2: We know that our perceptions can be faulty; therefore, … Continue reading Whether all Knowledge Requires Faith?
A student of contemporary ethics may be astonished by the variety of theories available: Egoism, Emotivism, Utilitarianism, Deontology, Subjectivism, etc. How is one to make sense of their contrary claims? Is the right action: Seeking my own good (Egoism)? the greatest good for the greatest number (Utility)? Obeying rules (Deontology)? Determined by culture, communities, or … Continue reading Fragmented Anthropology: Contemporary Ethics, I
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ (Colossians 2:8). What business do we have studying the liberal arts? The quadrivium and trivium? Why should Christians take an interest in philosophy, in … Continue reading Vain Philosophy and Christian Learning
There is a lot of good literature on shame, but it can be confusing to assess from a Christian perspective. There are three major reasons for this First, many of those with good things to say about shame often dismiss the concept of sin, even treating it as the boogeyman of our psyches. This is … Continue reading On Whether We are to be Ashamed
After a delightful dinner with friends, somebody brings out a tray of cookies. I help myself to one, and then to another. I am now full, but I still want to eat another. Why? How can this be possible? All men by nature desire happiness. But the happiness which we desire is not a certain … Continue reading Thomas Aquinas Explains why I can Always Eat Another Cookie
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?
As certain Thomists understood it, there is at times demanded of us a hard going effort in the service of God. At such times, the wind of the Spirit appears to have been stilled, and we, so to speak must take up our oars and row. “We’d be alright if we make it around the horn!” In such times … Continue reading Roll the Old Chariot: The Wind of the Spirit in Our Sails