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The Parable of the Leaky Cup

There is no point in begging for water with a leaky cup. Water thereby gained is immediately lost again. First fix the cup, then beg for the water of life. So also with the glimpses and gleanings and intimations from...

Simone Weil in the Light of Plato: Notes on Phaedo 83

To understand Simone Weil, one must understand her beloved master, Plato. So let's interpret a passage from the Phaedo dialogue, and then compare it to some statements of Weil. At Stephanus 83a we read, "...the perceptions of the eye, and...

In Many Cases A Dubious Presupposition

Those who place a high value on self-expression presuppose that their selves are worth expressing.

Should it be illegal to quote this passage, on grounds that it's hate speech?

Roman s 1 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Are Psychopaths Still Moral Strangers?

Serial killer Brian Dugan in a June 3, 1985, DuPage County (Illinois) mug shot Jeanine Nicarico, 10, one of Dugan's victimsIn Darwinian Natural Right (first published in 1998), I have a chapter on psychopathy ("The Poverty of Psychopathic Desire"), in which I identify psychopaths as moral strangers. Show More Summary

Religious motives for being moral

Often people assume that the only religious motives for being moral are those of getting to heaven and avoiding hell. These are often thought to be mercenary motives. But this is not the only kind of religious motivation for being moral. You might want to be moral because it fulfills the purpose for which God created you.

Thomas Merton on Plato's Phaedo

Thomas Merton, Journals, vol. 4, p. 57 (10 October 1960): The superb moral and positive beauty of the Phaedo. One does not have to agree with Plato, but one must hear him. Not to listen to such a voice is...

Emerson on the Seduction of the Senses

The influence of the senses has in most men overpowered the mind to that degree that the walls of time and space have come to look real and insurmountable; and to speak with levity of these limits is, in the...

Philosophy and Livelihood

Recently over the transom: I'm wondering, as a 17 year old early entrant to university who's looking for a direction in his life: how do you manage to make a living from what you do? Also, keep up the great...


It seems to me that what is often the dividing point between physicalists and their opponents has to do whether they find functionalism acceptable. This is a basic description of functionalism.

Pre-Print: Peter van Inwagen, Existence: Essays in Ontology

The following review article is scheduled to appear later this year in Studia Neoscholastica. The editor grants me permission to reproduce it here should anyone have comments that might lead to its improvement. REVIEW ARTICLE William F. Vallicella Peter van...

Do you believe in karma?

Do you think we have good reason to believe in karma? In Hinduism, karma works because that is how people get reincarnated. But so far as this life is concerned, it seems as if people do, for example, get away with murder. They kill people, and it never gets detected, and they benefit from the crime they commit and die of old age in their beds. Show More Summary

Dogmatism in the philosophy of mind

In a good deal of philosophy of mind over the last 50 years or so, physicalism seems to have been taken as a kind of absolute presupposition. A good example would be Daniel Dennett, who says “before I could trust any of my intuitions...Show More Summary

The office of the "Devil's Advocate"

This is part of the process of canonizing a saint in the Catholic Church. Here.

Parsons on what would convince him

Bob: For the record Keith Parsons does NOT say that no evidence would convince him. Quite the contrary, he gives what he thinks would have been a convincing scenario. See his scenario at 1:39. It's based on this passage by N. R. Hanson:...Show More Summary

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