Saturday, February 20, 2016

Around the web

Busy, busy couple of weeks.  So, I’ll let others do the writing.  Here’s a large load of links:

David Oderberg on the current state of bioethics: Interview at BioEdge (reprinted at MercatorNet).

Neo-Aristotelian meta-metaphysician Tuomas Tahko is interviewed at 3:AM Magazine.   He also has recently published An Introduction to Metametaphysics

Michael Novak revisits the topic of Catholicism and social justice in a new book co-written with Paul Adams.  Interview at National Review Online, commentary at First Things, the Law and Liberty blog, and The Catholic Thing.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Review of Alexander

My review of David Alexander’s Goodness, God, and Evil appears in the March 2016 issue of Ratio.  It looks like the review is currently available for free online, so take a look (click on the “Get PDF” link).

Friday, February 12, 2016

Aquinas, Vanilla Sky, and Nozick’s experience machine

I’ve been meaning for about fifteen years now to write up something on the movie Vanilla Sky (a remake of Open Your Eyes).  It’s a better movie than it seems -- which is fitting, since the flick is all about the unseen reality lurking beneath the sea of superficiality (moral and metaphysical) that is the life of the Tom Cruise character.  Alas, this isn’t quite the article I’ve been meaning to write, since it’s not primarily about the movie, though I’ll have reason to say something about it.  Rather, it’s about a famous philosophical thought experiment that might as well have inspired the movie even if (as far as I know) it didn’t -- Robert Nozick’s “experience machine” (from Anarchy, State, and Utopia).

Friday, February 5, 2016

Parfit on brute facts

Derek Parfit’s article “The Puzzle of Reality: Why Does the Universe Exist?” has been reprinted several times since it first appeared in the Times Literary Supplement in 1992, and for good reason.  It’s an admirably clear and comprehensive survey of the various answers that have been given to that question, and of the problems facing some of them.  (Unsurprisingly, I think Parfit’s treatment of theism, though not unfair, is nevertheless superficial.  But to be fair to Parfit, the article is only meant to be a survey.)