The “Perfect” System Would Eliminate Being Human

A recent case heard by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands found that "a doctor had not acted improperly when he euthanized a 74-year-old woman with advanced dementia, even though the woman had to be repeatedly sedated and physically restrained during the procedure." The woman had previously set out in her advanced directives a request … Continue reading The “Perfect” System Would Eliminate Being Human

The cosmos of Christian mystery

Mattias Joseph Scheeben's The Mysteries of Christianity begins with a reflection on the nature of Christian mystery. It can also be read as a commentary on the prooemium to the Summa contra Gentiles Book IV (which is itself an echo of the prooemium to the work as a whole, SCG I.1–8). At key points—either by … Continue reading The cosmos of Christian mystery

Something ever new under the sun

From Fr. Ronald Knox, a sermon entitled “The Risen Christ,” from Pastoral and Occasional Sermons. There is nothing new under the sun. — Ecclesiastes 1:9 Behold, I make all things new. — Apocalypse 31:5 When Easter comes, the Church delights to remind herself of that newness which is in the risen Christ. [...] We are beginning … Continue reading Something ever new under the sun

Review on Thomistica

Over at Thomistica is my review of Fr. David Alcalde’s Cosmology Without God? Here’s a brief excerpt: In his monograph, Cosmology Without God? The Problematic Theology Inherent in Modern Cosmology—a revised version of his doctoral dissertation written under Michael Hanby at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of … Continue reading Review on Thomistica

A Thomism for the New Evangelization

The short essay, “Thomism for the New Evangelization,” by Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., is an illuminating and moving proposal that outlines how Thomism is necessary for the new evangelization. He proposes six touchstones so that “we who are all committed in some way to the evangelization of our culture can think about the truth not as … Continue reading A Thomism for the New Evangelization

A Faith Fearless in the Face of Truth

Recently, I heard of a young Catholic’s crisis of faith. He attributed it to his collegiate studies and a disconnect in its instruction of philosophy and the sciences. Philosophy seemed positively closed off from communication with the natural sciences. It had no healthy skepticism and was rather dogmatic. Further, given the close connection between philosophical … Continue reading A Faith Fearless in the Face of Truth

Thinking Things Together in Science and Philosophy

Read my recent contribution to Arc’s Philosophy section here, in which I bring Socrates’s observations in the Phaedo together with a recently proven paradoxical theorem in quantum physics and a result in the mathematics of emergent properties. There is surely a strange confusion of causes and conditions in all this. It may be said, indeed, that without … Continue reading Thinking Things Together in Science and Philosophy

Sine Thoma, Aristoteles mutus esset

Recently, I came across this gem, written by Petrus Hoenen in his Cosmologia (5th ed., 1956, p. 305). Hoenen, who obtained a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Leiden in 1912 (writing a dissertation on thermodynamics and studying under, among others, H. A. Lorentz), writes in this context against making form out to be a being, … Continue reading Sine Thoma, Aristoteles mutus esset

Disgruntled scholastic readers

While looking for a book recently in the library stacks, I happened upon this Spanish tome (The Essence of Thomistic Philosophy), which bears the following inscription, yesteryear’s equivalent of today’s Amazon customer reviews: A translation of the concerned reviewer’s self-appointed epigraph: Warning: A very ‘light’ book. It tries to be very clear, but in the attempt … Continue reading Disgruntled scholastic readers

Towards Reforming High School Math and Science

Educators in the traditional liberal arts are rethinking how modern mathematics and sciences can be freeing to the mind. To restore perennial philosophy at a cultural level, initiatives such as these are much-needed.

When I Discovered Your Words

…If I had to design a mechanism for the express purpose of destroying a child’s natural curiosity and love of pattern-making, I couldn’t possibly do as good a job as is currently being done— I simply wouldn’t have the imagination to come up with the kind of senseless, soul-crushing ideas that constitute contemporary mathematics education. Paul Lockhart, “A Mathematician’s Lament

This weekend, I was privileged to gather at the Catholic University of America with fellow educators who feel the force of Lockhart’s now-famous Lament and who have taken steps over the years to do something about it. They are part of the classical liberal arts revival that is gaining momentum among Catholic schools, and recognize that many of these schools have found it difficult to integrate mathematics and the sciences into the liberal arts curriculum. These branches of knowledge, whose hold on the privileged place in education…

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