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Philosophy and Culture Book Recommendations

There are a number of books on various topics that are quite good. These are the sort of books that it would be worth your money to actually buy. The first book is Real Essentialism. This is a book that explains the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas for the modern reader. It defends Aristotelian philosophy (basic to Aquinas’ beliefs) in the context of modern biology, chemistry and physics. Although I d...

Mary Sue Should Die

I mentioned that I would discuss poorly written stories in order to discover what makes stories good or bad. One of these is the Mary Sue. There are a number of definitions of Mary Sue (and Gary Stu). A Mary Sue may refer to a self-insert character, an overly idealistic character, an author avatar or many other options. For the purpose of this discussion, I stipulate that Mary Sue (or Gary Stu) ar...

Taxonomy (Or Why Modern Biological Categories are Wrong)

Aristotle was the first to systematically lay out various living things in the world. According to him, they could be divided into three categories: plants, animals and rational beings (humans). Insofar as biology is concerned, human beings are animals. Therefore, there were two biological categories: plants and animals. Carl Linnaeus extended this knowledge to cover many new kinds of plants and a...

Stories & Philosophy

Stories are fun to read, a part of everyone’ s life and something that is interesting to discuss. Any philosophical analysis begins with a definition and a discussion of the existence of the topic, so I will start there. Stories are a connected series of event(s) involving at least one character. Anything that fits this definition is a story. Some of these stories will be good and many will ...

The Contemporary Liberal Assumption

I recently listened to a series of lectures on the subject of political philosophy by a Yale professor. They are fairly well done and I recommend them. But what struck me while listening to them is a common assumption found within all of the perspectives he mentioned. This assumption remains without argument even though it requires one. He mentioned five theories. Marxism, social contract theory, ...

Which God Exists

Most Christians do not really think very deeply about this question. Neither do most atheists. But this question is central to any discussion of whether or not God exists. Most Christians think of God as a person, but who knows everything, can do almost anything and desires only what is good. Most atheists think that the world would not be the way it is now if such a person really does exist. But ...

Abortion is Murder, Abortion is Legal

I was reading an short post by Jessie Golem on the topic of abortion recently. Jessie argued that abortion should not be denied to those who were victims of rape. She had a number of other arguments as well, but I wish to focus on this one. If abortion really is murder, and murder is wrong without exception, then abortion cannot be permitted even in the case of rape. Before examining this, we must...

Knowledge

In a previous series, I have discussed the nature and purpose of education. When we are educated we learn what we did not know before. But what is knowledge? Can we have knowledge? Before we can answer whether or not we can have knowledge we must understand what knowledge is. The problem is that this is a difficult question. There are many ways to view knowledge. Some view knowledge as an awarenes...

Rationality and Inquiry

Rationality is something that we do not always understand. Inquiry is something that everyone uses at some point or other. But rationality is more than grammatically correct form and some combination of truthfulness or truth-aptness. Rationality is a presupposition of all inquiry. In other words, every question presupposes that there is a rational answer to that question. If I ask ” where ar...

Methodological Naturalism, Science and History

Methodological naturalism is usually understood to be the idea that a subject will be investigated as if supernatural causes do not exist. This is often considered to be a part of science, and therefore theories such as intelligent design cannot be scientific. While intelligent design theory is not a scientific theory, this issue should still be resolved in order to better understand the place and...

Intelligent Design Theory and Religion

A common set of arguments against intelligent design theory is that it, the Discovery Institute, or the motives behind the theory are religious in nature. It is supposed that for this reason, intelligent design theory is not scientific or is not a viable theory. I have previously shown that intelligent design theory is a historical rather than scientific theory. The study of history is distinct fr...

Feser and Intelligent Design

I think that Edward Feser is an excellent philosopher. I also think that his criticisms of intelligent design theory are criticisms of the philosophical mistakes of ID advocates rather than criticisms of any central features of intelligent design theory. Feser criticizes intelligent design theory on a number of grounds. First, that intelligent design theory assumes a philosophy of nature that is m...