Dazz, Dazz, Discourse Jazz

From First Thoughts

Scott Payne has noticed something interesting : In listening to the audio of Freddie, John and I , . . . I was struck by a certain admiration for both of them in their ability to stand firm on certain precepts and yet still have a healthy respect and willingness to engage other perspectives. I . . . . Continue Reading »

Zizek and Meta-Jewry

From First Thoughts

I brought up Adam Kirsch vs. Slavoj Zizek once before , wisely dropping the matter after one post, but now they’re back, and anyone interested should check out their (surely final) exchange at The New Republic . I don’t know if it’s worth the time to make heads or tails of . . . . Continue Reading »

Are you experienced?

From First Thoughts

For much of the last century, "experience" has been a central category in the philosophy of religion. Rather than treating religious beliefs as attitudes toward propositions ("God created the world in seven days, yes of no"), experientialist approaches understand religion as an . . . . Continue Reading »

Positivism is Poison?

From First Thoughts

David Deutsch, controversial quantum physicist extraordinaire, lays into modern science in a big way (H/t: WGL3): I don’t know. I suspect it is related to a more general anti-rational phenomenon that was present in nearly all 20th-century philosophies, especially logical positivism, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Obama, Idealism, and Realpolitik

From First Thoughts

An international speaking tour aside, it’s hard to argue that the President Elect brings a wealth of real foreign policy experience with him to the Oval Office. Nevetheless, the activity of intimately directing a war can have a dramatic and transformative effect on one’s world . . . . Continue Reading »

The Enlightened One

From First Thoughts

A priest whose name shall not be mentioned emailed me this morning to remind me that in a week and two days "a new era in mankind will begin . . . " While millions of Americans cheerfully await the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama II there are a few of us who are not quite so . . . . Continue Reading »

Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009)

From First Thoughts

Especially in his classic 1984 work The Naked Public Square , Neuhaus tackled important and still timely issues regarding the religious underpinnings of American life, the proper division between church and state, and the real meaning of American secularism. Insofar as these studies forced him to . . . . Continue Reading »

Life Imitates Thought Experiments

From First Thoughts

I was casting about for a quick reference on Kant the other day, in the hopes of clarifying a question I had about how he viewed the relationship between autonomy and moral action, when I came across this fantastic resource . (H/t David Barnes) Given Tim Carney’s recent look at the bailout , . . . . Continue Reading »