Artificial Intelligence & Concept Formation

The text of this talk (given 19 March 2019 at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI) is now available here.  I'll be recording a video of myself presenting it (audio recording did not work out during the initial presentation) sometime in the near future as well.

Introduction to Philosophical Principles – Preview

After drafting, revising, editing, revising again, taking some space, and revising one last time, I have completed the text of the Introduction to Philosophical Principles.  I am still fine-tuning a few last things--the proverbial dotting of i's and crossing of t's--before I release the final, complete PDF, including figuring out what precisely I need to do …

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 …