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Feser on Sex

Old Ed pulls no punches. In response to Peter Singer's claim that "sex raises no unique moral issues at all," Feser remarks, "I have long regarded this as one of the most imbecilic things any philosopher has ever said." I...

Conscious Entities down the Pub

An exciting new development, as Conscious Entities goes live!  Sergio and I are meeting up for a beer and some ontological elucidation on Monday 16 February at 18.00 in the Plough in Bloomsbury, near the British Museum.  This is more or less the site’s eleventh birthday; I forgot to mark the tenth last year. I know […]

The Wages of Political Correctness: A Climate of Fear

This from a graduate student whose paper I posted: Shortly after you posted my paper, I got an email from a friend who also reads your blog. My friend wondered if this was, all things considered, bad for my chances...

Victor Hugo on "Not by Bread Alone"

Elliot sends this for our delectation: Intellectual and moral growth is not less indispensable than material amelioration. Knowledge is a viaticum; thought is of primary necessity; truth is nourishment as well as wheat. A reason, by fasting from knowledge and...

C. S. Lewis on authority

“Don't be scared by the word authority. Believing things on authority only means believing them because you've been told them by someone you think trustworthy. Ninety-nine per cent of the things you believe are believed on authority....Show More Summary

Strauss, Slavery, and Darwinian Natural Right

Ant slave rebellion? Enslaved ants destroying a pupa of the slave-making colonyIn Natural Right and History, Strauss doesn't give many examples of natural right. But one example that appears repeatedly is slavery (23, 103-104, 118, 121, 159). Show More Summary

Philosophy Bakes No Bread, but Man does not Live by Bread Alone

This from a reader: I wanted to bring to your attention a passage I came across in Nicholas Rescher’s Philosophical Standardism (Pittsburgh, 1994): “The old saying is perfectly true: Philosophy bakes no bread. But it is also no less true...

Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and Hypocrisy

Apparently, Paul does not understand the concept of hypocrisy. After Jeb Bush admitted to smoking marijuana during his prep school days, Rand Paul called him a hypocrite on the ground that he now opposes what he once did. But this.....

Nothing is Written in Stone

The curiosity to the left, sent to me without commentary by the inscrutable and seldom seen Seldom Seen Slim, raises a number of deep and fascinating questions. The sentence to the left can be read either literally or metaphorically. My...

Is it a mistake for Nagel to concentrate on reductive materialism?

I think some confusion is generated by his use of the term “reductionism” to describe the naturalistic position of which he is critical. Materialism is typically divided into three types, eliminative, reductive, and non-reductive materialism. Show More Summary

Information and Parfit's Fact Stating Argument

In Chapter 26 of On What Matters (vol 2), Parfit sets out his (comparatively neglected) 'Fact-Stating Argument' against non-analytical moral naturalism. This begins by distinguishing the referential and informational senses of "same fact". Show More Summary

The Curiosity of the Heart

If base desire is the heart's curiosity, the need to know is the mind's noble aspiration.

Distasteful Slang

I have nothing against slang as such, but there are contexts in which it does not belong. Here is a book by one Fr. Andrew Younan entitled Metaphysics and Natural Theology. One chapter is entitled "Aristotle and the Other Guys."...

Are "Internal Reasons" Normative?

Bernard Williams, in his 'Internal and External Reasons', introduces the internal interpretation of 'A has a reason to ?' as "impl[ying], very roughly, that A has some motive which will be served or furthered by his ?-ing, and if this...Show More Summary

Nagel on Plantinga

I say this as someone who cannot imagine believing what he believes. But even those who cannot accept the theist alternative should admit that Plantinga’s criticisms of naturalism are directed at the deepest problem with that view—how...Show More Summary

Residual Politically Correctness Among Conservatives

Over at NRO, I found this in an otherwise very good column by Charles C. W. Cooke: I daresay that if I had been in any of the situations that DeBoer describes, I would have walked happily out of the...


Some serious moral dialogue about robots recently. Eric Schwitzgebel put forward the idea that we might have special duties in respect of robots, on the model of the duties a parent owes to children, an idea embodied in a story he wrote with Scott Bakker. He followed up with two arguments for robot rights; first, […]

The Left's Central Delusion

Thomas Sowell points to central planning. I would add that the 'progressive' conviction that people are basically good along with the concomitant conviction that there is no such thing as radical evil is also deeply delusional, and also dangerously delusional....

Stupor Bowl or Super Bore?

Here is my annual Stupor Bowl Sunday rant. Enjoy. It is from 2009. The year before, the event was held in Phoenix. The damned thing is back again.

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