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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...

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, ...

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...

Intelligent Design Theory

Intelligent design theory began with the publication of Behe’s book Darwin’s Black Box in 1996. Since then a number of other books have been published both for and against intelligent design. Wikipedia is especially unreliable  on this issue because accuracy requires reading the primary sources rather than secondary source commentaries. In fact, much of the secondary sources are polemical against ...

Limiting Political Power

Political power can be distributed either top-down or bottom-up, but it can also be limited in various ways. There are a number of ways to limit political power. It may be limited by a higher authority, by a lack of need, by a shared moral system or by a shared agreement. These ways of limiting political power describe all of the possible ways to limit such power. The first way to limit political ...

Distributing Political Power

Political power – the power to tax, enforce and write law – must be distributed across individuals. Each area of power may be distributed differently. There are two main actors: the government itself and the people who are governed. Within the government the same division exists as well. In Canada, the provinces are governed by the federal government and federal courts. There are two main ways of ...

Government and Power

I have discussed the two previous arguments for anarchism already and have explained by they both fail. This third argument does not fail in the usual sense. We know from experience that power corrupts, and the greater the power the greater the corruption. Government is a particular example of this. The problem with power is a problem that arises from the current condition of humanity. There is no...