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Waiting for St. Vladimir

From the February 2011 Print Edition

Alasdair MacIntyre, who is probably the greatest living philosopher, concludes his 1981 masterwork After Virtue by saying, “We are waiting not for a Godot, but for another—doubtless very different—St. Benedict.” In that book MacIntyre argues that a correct understanding of morality is based . . . . Continue Reading »

The Return to, and on, TARP

From First Thoughts

The Treasury Department announced yesterday that it was selling off its last stake in Citigroup and that it would make (note, make , not lose ) about $12.5 billion on the $45 billion investment it made in Citigroup at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. That’s about an 11% annual . . . . Continue Reading »

More on Authority

From First Thoughts

In his Thursday Column , Rusty Reno comments on a new book by Victor Lee Austin and makes some enlightening comments about authority (later amplified here ). With the exception I note below, I do not disagree with Rusty, but I think the discussion would profit by expressly distinguishing several . . . . Continue Reading »

Dignity and Virtue

From First Thoughts

I thank Joe Carter for noticing an essay of mine on Two Bases of Morality in Catholic Theology originally published in Dappled Things , and I thank both Joe and the various others for taking the time to comment on that essay. Before I respond to those comments, let me provide a little background. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Blessings of Betrayal

From Web Exclusives

Dante reserved for the traitors the lowest circle of hell, the frozen river of Cocytus, where the divine justice submerges forever those who betrayed the people who trusted and loved them. As Dante tells us in the Epistle to Cangrande, however, the subject of his poem is not just the fate of the soul after death but, when “taken allegorically, the poem’s subject is man, either gaining or losing merit through his freedom of will.” Dante also wants to tell us, therefore, about the effect of betrayal on the soul of the betrayer in this life. In approaching that question, Dante says something astounding… Continue Reading »

Sotomayor the Subjectivist

From Web Exclusives

In all human probability, by the end of the summer Judge Sonia Sotomayor of Second Circuit Court of Appeals will take the seat of Justice David Souter on the United States Supreme Court. On the grossest level, we have one liberal judge replacing another, and so the change is unlikely to affect the . . . . Continue Reading »

Patrico and Dawkins on Death

From First Thoughts

Ryan Sayre Patrico thinks that Richard Dawkins is silly for saying that, if death is complete annihilation, then it is illogical to fear death. Nevertheless, this was the view of some of our greatest philosophers. Here’s Socrates in the Apology (40c-e): There is good hope that death is a . . . . Continue Reading »

On Novak on Selling Organs

From First Thoughts

Michael Novak’s daily article today raises some fascinating moral and economic issues. In arguing that providing certain benefits (but not cash) to induce people to donate their organs, Novak is moving towards the view, commonly accepted by law-and-economics scholars (see the entries on . . . . Continue Reading »

Trevino on the Recife Case

From First Thoughts

In yesterday’s daily article , Joshua S. Trevino’s main point is that the mainstream media’s understanding of religion is deplorable, and about that he’s certainly right. In the course of discussing Catholic doctrine and canon law in connection with the Recife case, however, . . . . Continue Reading »

Summer Law Study Program in Rome

From First Thoughts

Villanova Law and University of St. Thomas School of Law are pleased to announce the third season of their summer law study program in Rome. Located at John Cabot University in the heart of Rome, the summer program offers comparative law courses and, when possible, courses related to the Catholic . . . . Continue Reading »