Category: Philosophy

A Letter to a Former Student, on the Occasion of a Difficult Day

Newer readers to Mere-O may not know that for two years I worked as an educator, and was blessed to have an incredible set of students.  This is a letter I wrote tonight to one of them.  I post it...

/ April 22, 2010

Which Dualism, Whose Description?

“Dualism” is a dirty word. Whether it refers to bodies and souls, men and women, reason and emotion, gender and sex, binary thinking is no longer in. The rejection of dualisms takes different forms, depending on which intellectual tradition you’re...

/ March 15, 2010

Fear and Greatness: Why American Citizens Should Worry That the Terror of Terrorism Has Such Little Effect on the Behaviors and Beliefs of Men

Every generation struggles towards a certain self-understanding as its members move from immaturity to adulthood and walk through the trials of growing, thinking, discovering, and confronting responsibility.  This path of maturation cannot be trod by a substitute, nor can it...

/ March 10, 2010

Old and Relevant: Leviathan

When Thomas Hobbes wrote his Leviathan, the English were in the midst of a series of civil wars, battling their brothers over religious and political issues.  Charles I struggled with a Puritan Parliament that, among other things, aimed to build...

/ March 3, 2010

Thomas Says: A Recap on Killing

This is the last post in the Thomas Says series on killing. I want to summarize some points Thomas makes in this question of the Summa. First, let’s note the obvious, which hasn’t been noted yet in this series: The...

/ March 2, 2010

Thomas Says: What Happens if, Whoops, I Killed You?

This is the second-to-last post summarizing the position on killing laid out by Thomas Aquinas in the Summa. In the concluding post I will pull together a number of points about his position on killing. In this post I will...

/ February 23, 2010

Old and Relevant: Plato's Anthropological Principle

Perhaps the most famous dialogue penned by Plato is his far-reaching Republic.  In this work he addresses the popular philosophy of his day—a philosophy that was promulgated by a group of teachers known to us as Sophists.  The Sophists were...

/ February 17, 2010

Darwinian Post-Modernism

One of the interesting features of the 20th century is the union of metaphysical naturalism and what we tend to term ‘post-modernism.’ Advocates of the latter tend to nuance it, so any attempted characterization will doubtlessly meet with resistance. But...

/ February 17, 2010

Old and Relevant: Augustine's City of God

No doubt many of our readers are very familiar with all the quotable (and some unquotable) C. S. Lewis, so they should not be surprised to be reminded that the eminently understandable academician said, “The only palliative is to keep...

/ February 3, 2010

Thomas Says: Why You Can (And Should) Kill in Self-Defense, Part 2

In this post, I want to conclude my summary and discussion of Thomas’s reasoning about killing in self-defense by examining the objections to his position that he considers and his replies to those objections. (The first post is here; the...

/ January 19, 2010