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 …