Upcoming Projects

My lack of blog entries lately is not due to lack of desire or effort; only a lack of time.  Projects and request always seem to stack up all at once.  That said, I do have some exciting things coming up soon and others on the horizon. First, I am nearing completion on a short …

Quo Vadis, Academe? Wisdom & the Ivory Tower

In an article published some years ago, Fr. Joseph Koterski, SJ, made several salient points about the need for, despite the confusion about, authority in any society (2002: "Defending Authority" in Grasso and Hunt, eds., A Moral Enterprise: Essays in Honor of Francis Canavan, 107-25).  Most especially, as he noted, are the need and the confusion experienced in academia …

Some notes on animal cognition

Aquinas—unlike some others of his time, before his time, and even after his time—did not always underestimate the potency of non-human animals’ estimative capacity by reducing it to “instinct”: that is, to an inborn, unchanging, “pre-programmed” routine of how to deal with environmental factors.  As we know now, in an endeavor accelerated by the investigative …

Scholastic Retrieve [2] – Philosophical Science: Necessity of Logic

Mention “logic” around the typical university today and you are likely to educe a variety of thoughts in your audience: perhaps something having to do with computer programming: loops, if, else, then statements, and so on; perhaps something to do with “postgenderist” ideology railing against the “illogic” of the political “right-wing”; maybe a very dry …

Scholastic Retrieve [1] – Philosophical Science: Congruence

In the first part of a new on-going series—a project of retrieval which brings Scholasticism to a living import for today—I am going to ask about the relationship between distinction and understanding.   This falls into a broader consideration of philosophical method.  Because philosophy is a science of “common reason”—i.e., it needs no other instrument than …

Thoughts on Being Human [4] – Cognitive Faculties

When Wilhelm Wundt distinguished the study of psychology from philosophy and biology in the late 19th century, he was filling a void: both philosophical and biological treatments had failed in their treatment of the human psyche and a new approach seemed not only warranted, but necessary.  Philosophy had, for the most part, remained in an …

Thoughts on Being Human [3] – Signs of Our Times

What are the signs of our times?  That is: what signifies our here-and-now moment?  Screaming politicians?  Angry mobs?  Memes?  The ubiquity of networked technologies?  It is always hard to tell, from within a moment, what signifies the intelligibility of that moment; understanding precisely where we are requires spending time to find points of reference.  Every …