Classical Theism, Philosophy, and Religion Forum

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

Practical Philosophy » Are There Gender Specific Virtues? » 9/04/2017 1:36 pm

Brian
Replies: 4

Go to post

I think to answer that question properly, you would need to answer the question, do the different genders have different ends or telos?   (I have no idea what the plural of telos is, sorry.)

If the genders have different goals, then they will have different virtues, as virtues are habits that help a given entity to reach their goal.

Chit-Chat » Best books on Saint Bonaventure? » 7/27/2017 2:53 pm

Brian
Replies: 3

Go to post

I recently downloaded a book called A Way Into Scholasticism by Peter S. Dillard.   He is basically doing what Feser does for Aquinas, except he does it for Bonaventure.  The book is primarily a companion to Journey from the Mind to God.  I only have the read the first bit but I enjoyed it.   I recommend checking it out.

Practical Philosophy » Resources on Political, Economical and Ethical philosophy » 7/08/2017 12:54 pm

Brian
Replies: 8

Go to post

That's a very broad question, but the classics that come to mind (which are still very relevant) are Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics as well as his Politics.  Were you looking for something more specific?  

Socrates seemed to imply at times that all of his philosophical questioning was aimed at being a good citizen.  Even Plato's dense metaphysical dialogues like the Parmenides or the Sophist ostensibly aimed at figuring out things that would help citizens in daily life, like distinguishing between charlatans (sophists) and knowledgeable leaders (philosophers).

Practical Philosophy » Systematic Ethics » 6/02/2017 8:55 am

Brian
Replies: 1

Go to post

The questions you are asking are usually classified as "meta-ethics".  Meta-ethics asks about things like the nature of moral propositions, the knowability of moral truths, and other various topics that are focused on the nature of moral truths and systems. 

For whatever reason it seems that most philosophers who ask questions like this get mired in questions about ethics without ever arriving at ethics, if that makes sense.  Since we all have a sort of morality and all live in a world steeped in moral language and judgments, I would recommend starting your moral inquiry from that point of view, as opposed to something like metaphysics or epistemology where it seems easier to start from a purely abstract and theoretical point of view.  This was Socrates' method.  For example it might be easier/more useful to start by reading a text on virtue ethics or utilitarianism than by looking for a systematic text on abstract questions about the foundations of norality.

As far as a text dealing with the questions you are asking about, which are indeed good questions, I will let others offer recommendations.  None of that is to discourage you from asking about meta-ethics.  Just offering my teo cents.

Practical Philosophy » Are Islam and Liberalism Compatible? » 5/24/2017 9:58 pm

Brian
Replies: 2

Go to post

I had a thought similar to Jeremy's when reading the question.  One of things that Rousseau and the American founding fathers worried about was the problem of factions in a democratic republic.  If people ever identify as something before they identify as a citizen, they would lose the incentive to compromise or put the political entity before the interest of the group they truly identify with.  Religion seems like the best example of a faction that is incompatible with liberalism, but not the only one.

The problem seems not to truly lie between Islam and liberalism, rather Islam is the only major religion in the modern West to maintain its ground in the face of liberalism.

Chit-Chat » What three philosophers have influenced you the most? » 5/22/2017 2:24 pm

Brian
Replies: 6

Go to post

Probably Plato, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche.  Although Sextus Empiricus and Zhuangzi, the ancient Daoist, both get an honorable mention.

Theoretical Philosophy » The Impossibility of God » 5/20/2017 10:34 pm

Brian
Replies: 31

Go to post

Marty wrote:

Perhaps an interesting question is where the demarcation point between reworking a definition completely, and having analogical differences?

I don't think that reasoning analogically requires us to change any definitions, rather we use a word knowing that we use in it in a way that really only grabs one aspect of the definition and applies it to a new situation.  For example when we mention the mind of God, we are not saying that God has a mind that is like ours, nor are we taking poetic license in describing something the we have no knowledge of.  We are saying that God exhibits powers or effects that are in some essential way similar to the power that humans display when using the mind.

Fate or Providence seem plan-like, meaning they seem like the result of some deliberation or planning, which are both activities done by human minds.  We can speak of Providence as being the plan of the mind of God analogically, but this neither requires us to change our definition of mind, nor does it require us to say God is a copy posited being who has a mind just like us.  I think it merely entails that we believe Providence is similar to human planning in some way and that the thing that "does" Providence is in some fundamental similar to the effect of a minc.  God's mind is unlike a human mind in that it does not ever fail to attain its goals, it is not insufficiently rational, it does not forget about some variable, etc,  but it is is still similar to a mind.

Theoretical Philosophy » The Impossibility of God » 5/20/2017 3:42 pm

Brian
Replies: 31

Go to post

Marty wrote:

Look, what stops me from saying that God is a spatial-temporal being, but just redefine spatial-temporal to mean spatial-temporal², where spatial now means a really all-powerful spatiality that cannot be divisible, or composite? Or saying a really all-powerful temporalness that exists always but temporally. I can evoke a every-present moment. But we'd say, "Well no, because that's just a contradiction given that spatial means something that's composite and divisible, and temporal meaning something that flows through time." Likewise, beliefs (any that we know of at least) can all fail due to their intentional and normative nature. 

If you were speaking analogically, nothing would stop you from saying those things.  It wouldn't  be clear or precise but it would be a good first attempt at defining what it means to be omnipresent and eternal.

If you were speaking literally, what would stop you from saying that God is spatio-temporal would be the meanings of those words (or perhaps you're a Mormon!)

It seems you just don't like/want to accept analogical reasoning, which, to be fair, is an interesting criticism.   I just don't see any particular problem with God's "beliefs".

Theoretical Philosophy » The Impossibility of God » 5/20/2017 12:13 pm

Brian
Replies: 31

Go to post

Marty,

It seems like your problem is just with analogical reasoning.  If we are being very strict, I think the Thomist would agree that "God does not have a mind", if by 'mind' you mean a human mind.   He does possess something like the power that the human mind displays though.

As someone said earlier, God is strange to us, because he is completely unique.

I guess I am failing to see the force of your argument.  Perhaps I am misunderstanding you.  Are you criticizing the idea that Yahweh is being being superimposed on the Aristotle's prime mover?

Practical Philosophy » What would be a Thomist understanding of free speech? » 5/19/2017 12:21 am

Brian
Replies: 2

Go to post

I can't speak for Aquinas specifically, but in general the Ancient and Medieval view concerning free-speech is that speech serves a purpose, namely expressing the truth.  If someone says something false, and offers no argumention for their statements, I can't imagine someone like Aquinas or Aristotle defending one's right to do so.  This seems to based on a fundamentally non-liberal conception of the state, which is so far removed from our contemporary idea of the state, that Aquinas and others probably wouldn't recognize free-speech as an issue.

An issue that does concern Ancient and Medical philosophers (and which is immensely overlooked in discussions of protests and political speech) is that of rational discussion vs. rhetoric.  Often times when people claim, "I have a right to free speech" what they mean is "I want to express an irrational opinion in a highly emotional manner and not be questioned in any way."  This is more properly a question of rhetoric and sophistry the it is of free speech.

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum