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 »

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 »

Dr. Seuss, Big-Box Lockean

From First Thoughts

Apropos of the perennial Locke-run-amok conversation, consider Noah Berlatsky’s piece at the main site : the American spirit galumphs and galerks through every one of the Doctor’s works. Like his fellow citizens, Seuss is boisterous, hearty, optimistic, profligate in invention, and not . . . . Continue Reading »

Violence, Politics, Peace

From First Thoughts

Without kicking open too big a can of worms, consider this line from Andrew , brought to my attention by John : McCain is a warrior; Ron Paul is a conservative of non-violence. At some deep philosophical level, this is the dividing line between Oakeshott and Strauss, as well. I’m no follower . . . . Continue Reading »

Stuck-with-Virtue Conservatism

From First Thoughts

The debate below between Pat Deneen and Peter Berkowitz is interesting and perhaps exceedingly relevant, given the coming "regime change."  I’m going to open my course for seniors with it. I agree that Peter distorts virtue by understanding it primarily as useful for . . . . Continue Reading »