Category: Philosophy

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

Thomas Says: Why You Can (And Should) Kill in Self-Defense, Part 1

Fewer topics in Thomas’s moral philosophy have received more attention than his treatment of what has come to be known as double-effect. What is particularly interesting is that Thomas manages to inspire such interest in the space of one paragraph,...

/ January 12, 2010

Thomas Says: Why We Shouldn’t Kill Each Other (And Why Sometimes We Should)

This question really is a no-brainer. It’s wrong to kill innocent people, right? Right. On a question like this, the answer isn’t surprising, so we need to pay attention to the reason why Thomas thinks it’s wrong to kill an...

/ January 7, 2010

Robert George, Natural Law, and the New York Times

Robert George continues to make the news. The author of the contentious Manhattan Declaration was profiled recently by the NY Times Magazine, prompting a number of responses among evangelicals.  George is a leading American proponent of natural law theory, which...

/ January 1, 2010

Thomas Says: Thanksgiving Edition

It shouldn’t surprise us that Thomas has written about thankfulness. There are very few topics that he did not cover. He devotes an entire question of the Summa to thankfulness. (It is part of his section on justice.) I’ll just...

/ November 26, 2009

Thomas Says: It’s Wrong to Kill Yourself

After discussing questions about killing plants, animals, and sinners by private citizens, public officials, and clerics, Thomas picks up the weighty and delicate subject of suicide. His position is that “it is altogether unlawful to kill oneself.” Thomas isn’t messing...

/ November 6, 2009