But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Edward Feser - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 12:30

Five Proofs preview

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By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed will be out from Ignatius Press next month.  Later in the year, and also from Ignatius, comes my book Five Proofs of the Existence of God.  Having told you, dear reader, a bit about the former, let me say something about the latter....

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 10:14

Empirical science and the transcendentals

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As James Ladyman notes in Understanding Philosophy of Science, “many scientists intuitively regard simple and unifying theories as, all other things being equal, more likely to be true than messy and complex ones” (p. 83). In the minds of some prominent scientists, this simplicity criterion is tied to aesthetic value....

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Sunday, 09 April 2017 08:36

The problem of Hume’s problem of induction

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In the context of discussion of Hume’s famous “problem of induction,” induction is typically characterized as reasoning from what we have observed to what we have not observed. For example, we reason inductively in this sense when we infer from the fact that bread has nourished us in the past that it will also nourish us in the future....

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Sunday, 02 April 2017 12:35

Goldman on Dreher’s The Benedict Option

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People have been asking me to comment on David Goldman’s review of Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option. The reason is that among Goldman’s criticisms of Dreher (some of which I agree with) are a set of objections to metaphysical realism, which has its roots in Plato and Aristotle, was central to the thought of medieval philosophers like Aquinas, and was abandoned by nominalists like Ockham – an abandonment which prepared the ground for some of the aspects of modernity Dreher rightly deplores....

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Sunday, 26 March 2017 03:03

Shea apologizes

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In some recent posts, I have been objecting to some things Mark Shea has been saying when commenting on the forthcoming book on capital punishment I co-authored with Joe Bessette. In an email and in a post at his own blog, Shea has now graciously apologized. I am happy to accept his apology....

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Among the outrageous calumnies thatMark Shea has flung at my co-author Joe Bessette and I is the accusation that we are “dissenters” from binding Catholic doctrine, on all fours with Catholics who dissent from Church teaching on abortion and euthanasia.  He mocks Catholics who oppose the latter but not capital punishment, accusing them of inconsistency and bad faith. ...

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Friday, 24 March 2017 05:09

A low down dirty Shea

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Not too long ago, Catholic writer Mark Shea and I had an exchange on the subject of capital punishment. See this post, this one, and this one for my side of the exchange and for links to Shea’s side of it. A friend emails to alert me that Shea has now made some remarks at Facebook about the forthcoming book on the subject that I have co-authored with Joe Bessette. “Deranged” might seem an unkind description of Shea and his comments....

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Friday, 17 March 2017 04:24

Meta-bigotry

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Sophistry is the attempt to persuade someone of some proposition or policy by the use of fallacious arguments. What I have called meta-sophistry involves accusing others of fallacies or of sophistry in a matter that is itself fallacious or sophistical.  The meta-sophist cynically deploys...

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Friday, 10 March 2017 04:08

Get linked

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At The New York Review of Books, Thomas Nagel reviews Daniel Dennett’s new book From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds....

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Friday, 03 March 2017 12:18

Supervenience on the hands of an angry God

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In his bookPhysicalism, or Something Near Enough, Jaegwon Kim puts forward the following characterization of the materialist supervenience thesis:
I take supervenience as an ontological thesisinvolving the idea of dependence – a sense of dependence that justifies saying that a mental...

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Thursday, 23 February 2017 09:15

How to be a pervert

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We’ve been talking of late about “perverted faculty arguments,” which deploy the concept of perversion in a specific, technical sense. The perversion of a human faculty essentially involves both using the faculty but doing so in a way that is positively contrary to its natural end....

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017 21:57

Mired in the roiling tar pits of lust

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So what makes the perversion of a faculty seriously wrong? In particular, why have traditional natural law theorists and Catholic moral theologians regarded the perversion of our sexual faculties as seriously wrong?...

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Tuesday, 07 February 2017 22:25

Foundations of sexual morality

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The foundations of traditional sexual morality, like the foundations of all morality, are to be found in classical natural law theory. I set out the basic lines of argument in my essay “In Defense of the Perverted Faculty Argument,” which appears in my book Neo-Scholastic Essays....

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Thursday, 02 February 2017 08:57

Science, computers, and Aristotle

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If you think that the brain, or the genome, or the universe as a whole is a kind of computer, then you are really an Aristotelian whether you realize it or not....

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Wednesday, 25 January 2017 17:20

Immaterial thought and embodied cognition

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In a combox remark on my recent post about James Ross’s argument for the immateriality of thought, reader Red raises an important set of issues:

Given embodied cognition, aren't these types of arguments from abstract concepts and Aristotelian metaphysics hugely undermined? In their book Philosophy in the Flesh Lakoff and Johnson argue that abstract concepts are largely metaphorical.

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Wednesday, 18 January 2017 10:15

Revisiting Ross on the immateriality of thought

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The late James Ross put forward a powerful argument for the immateriality of the intellect. I developed and defended this argument in my essay “Kripke, Ross, and the Immaterial Aspects of Thought,” which originally appeared in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly and is reprinted in Neo-Scholastic Essays. Peter Dillard raises three objections to my essay in his ACPQ article “Ross Revisited: Reply to Feser.” Let’s take a look....

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Tuesday, 17 January 2017 12:21

Forthcoming speaking engagements

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The Thomistic Institute and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish at the University of Virginia are co-sponsoring a day of lectures on natural theology on Saturday, January 28. The speakers are Edward Feser and Fr. James Brent.;...

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Monday, 16 January 2017 12:23

More on Amoris

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Invoking Amoris Laetitia, the bishops of Malta have decreed that adulterers who feel “at peace with God” and find it “humanly impossible” to refrain from sex may receive absolution and go to communion. Their declaration is published in the Vatican’s own newspaper....

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Thursday, 12 January 2017 18:51

Addison’s disease

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Addison Hodges Hart is a Christian author, former Catholic priest, and the brother of theologian David Bentley Hart. (From here on out I’ll refer to David and Addison by their first names, simply for ease of reference rather than by way of presuming any familiarity.);...

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Monday, 09 January 2017 17:15

A Hartless God?

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Lest the impatient reader start to think of this as the blog from hell, what follows will be – well, for a while, anyway – my last post on that subject. Recall that in earlier posts I set out a Thomistic defense of the doctrine of eternal damnation.;...

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Thursday, 05 January 2017 12:07

COMING SOON: By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed

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I am pleased to announce the forthcoming publication by Ignatius Press of By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of the Death Penalty, which I have co-authored with Prof. Joseph Bessette of Claremont McKenna College. You can order it from Amazon or directly from Ignatius....

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Friday, 30 December 2016 15:39

Auld links syne

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The 2017 Dominican Colloquium in Berkeley will take place July 12-15. The theme is Person, Soul and Consciousness. Speakers include Lawrence Feingold, Thomas Hünefeldt, Steven Long, Nancey Murphy, David Oderberg, Ted Peters, Anselm Ramelow, Markus Rothhaar, Richard Schenk, D. C. Schindler, Michael Sherwin, Eleonore Stump, and Thomas Weinandy.;...

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Tuesday, 27 December 2016 13:48

Besong on Scholastic Metaphysics

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In the December issue of New Oxford Review, philosopher Brian Besong kindly reviews my book Scholastic Metaphysics.  From the review:;...

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Thursday, 22 December 2016 15:07

How Pope Benedict XVI dealt with disagreement

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In 1988, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) consecrated four bishops against the express orders of Pope John Paul II.  The Vatican declared that the archbishop and the new bishops had, by virtue of this act, incurred a latae sententiae (or automatic) excommunication. ...

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Sunday, 18 December 2016 15:12

Denial flows into the Tiber

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Pope Honorius I occupied the chair of Peter from 625-638.  As the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia notes in its article on Honorius, his chief claim to fame is that “he was condemned as a heretic by the sixth general council” in the year 680....

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