First Words

Why Only Us: Language and Evolutionby robert c. berwick and noam chomskymit press, 224 pages, $22.95Perhaps the most sensitive point of contact between religion and science is the issue of human distinctiveness. Christian teaching affirms that there is an “ontological discontinuity” between . . . . Continue Reading »

Embodying Mysticism

Jonathan Robinson has written a book that interlaces a biography of St. Philip Neri with classical teachings of Catholic spiritual life. What emerges is a well-informed history of sixteenth century Florence and Rome, a lucid theological biography of Neri, and a study of mysticism in its Catholic context. Continue Reading »

An Open Mind?

Examining the complex functioning of a human brain as it lay exposed on an operating table can be a heady experience. Wonder, however, can easily lead to a kind of philosophical vertigo. This was evident in a recent essay in the New York Times written by Karl Ove Knausgaard. The famous Norwegian . . . . Continue Reading »

Reason’s Faith

I learned in these pages not long ago that it is perilous to express doubts regarding the persuasive power of most natural-law theory in today’s world. Not that I would dream of rehearsing the controversy again; but I will note that, at the time, I took my general point to be not that . . . . Continue Reading »

The Animal with Logos

In Genesis the goodness of creation requires what I have called a logic of otherness , in which dualities that could become divisions or antagonisms are united for the good. The basic structure of this logic is: (1) first one, then the other, (2) the one for the good of the other, and (3) the one . . . . Continue Reading »

“The Unsustainable Autonomy of Reason”

When was the last time you heard a transhumanist say something like this? . . . the Enlightenment project of Reason to which many transhumanists are committed is self-erosive and requires nonrational validation. Transhumanist advocates for Bayesianism and transcending cognitive biases need to . . . . Continue Reading »

Which is more annoying?

Which is more annoying: Leftists who in the wake of Climategate have suddenly discovered a love for public choice theory or libertarians who in the wake of Climategate have studiously ignored public choice theory? Whatever your answer to that question, I hope it suggests that public choice theory . . . . Continue Reading »