Boethius’s tangent

The tomb of Boethius in Pavia, Italy (photo credit, D. Gallorto; WikiMedia) At a key juncture in his Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius ask Lady Philosophy a certain pressing question that has arisen to the forefront of his mind. Lady Philosophy responds that Boethius is asking about a tangential matter, something of a side issue. Here … Continue reading Boethius’s tangent

A complete act of the mind

To the minds of some, the articles of the Angelic Doctor’s Summa Theologiae are captive in a historical or tradition-bound cell from which they cannot emerge. What a pity—for the articles of St. Thomas’s great Summa are complete or perfect acts of the mind. “Perfect” signifies that which lacks none of the parts due its … Continue reading A complete act of the mind

Cajetan on contingency in the stars

In preparation for an upcoming symposium talk on the Aristotelian-Thomistic understanding of chance and indeterminism in nature, I had the opportunity to read Cardinal Cajetan’s commentary on ST, Ia, q. 115, a. 6, where St. Thomas wonders “whether heavenly bodies impose necessity on things subject to their action?” This article and Cajetan’s commentary is used … Continue reading Cajetan on contingency in the stars

On health as a common good

It seems that health is not a common good, because health characterizes an individual. In scholastic terms, it is a qualitative accident of a living substance, an organism. Thus: An individual’s life and health are particular goods, not common goods. It is an obvious metaphysical truth that my health and my life can only be … Continue reading On health as a common good

Silencing the bells of Nagasaki

Funeral Mass near the ruins of the Urakami Cathedral, held on November 23, 1945, for the victims of the atomic bomb. (WikiMedia) Seventy-five years ago today, the USAAF B-29 Bockscar dropped one of the last bombs of the Second World War in the Urakami valley, on the industrial port city of Nagasaki, Japan. Tens of … Continue reading Silencing the bells of Nagasaki

The Question of Catholic Integralism: An Internet Genealogy

[N.b.: Updated, 2020 May 31: Future posts about integralism are in the works, so I hope this will be my last update to this one. I’ve added a Public Discourse essay that was overlooked by the first version.] The purpose of this post is to recall the contours of the debate about Catholic integralism that … Continue reading The Question of Catholic Integralism: An Internet Genealogy

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

“Those Two Roads” at Thomistica

At Thomistica.net an essay of mine is now available: “Those Two Roads: How a Natural Philosophical Solution to a Difficulty about Motion Serves Thomistic Theology.” It was given at one of the Sacra Doctrina Project’s satellite sessions at the most recent conference of the American Catholic Philosophical Association. The essay discusses the Aristotelian idea that motion, … Continue reading “Those Two Roads” at Thomistica