Those rules of argument became increasingly complex. Many, after several centuries, now seem almost banal: it is perhaps a testimony to the effectiveness and importance of the foundations laid down in the twelfth century that stages in argumentative processes which then had to be carefully thought through and elucidated are now taken for granted, with… Continue reading The Middle Ages … and Your Latest Laptop
In the doctrine of the soul [Origen] was faced by a choice between three possible doctrines: (a) the Creationist view that God creates each soul for each individual as conceived and born; (b) the Traducianist view that the soul is derived, like the body, from the parents; (c) the Platonic Pre-existence theory, according to which… Continue reading The Return of Traducianism?
I have amused myself while writing this book by trying to identify which, if any, late antique or early medieval writers (that is, those whose personality we can recapture, at any rate in part, with least mediation) I could imagine meeting with any real pleasure. It comes down to remarkably few: Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Gregory… Continue reading Medieval Dinner Conversation
My post at Forbes, on the recent University of Iowa panel on Islam and Science. I’ll be posting video from the event soon.
Via David Hirst, erstwhile Facebook friend and no slouch in the philosophy dept: I’m tempted to say that if one holds that there actually is a “problem of evil”, one’s already made a big step towards religious belief… and if one isn’t, then one’s faced with the Herculean task of passing from case-by-case ‘intuitions’ to… Continue reading Thoughts for the Week