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This is the blog of the faculty of the Ave Maria University Philosophy Department. We post our philosophical reflections on perennial and contemporary questions as well as on Departmental and University news and other topics of interest.
  • April 11, 2014 11:54 am

    Why opposition to same-sex “marriage” is not like racism

    In his New York Times column last Saturday Frank Bruni noted how the analogy between opposition to same-sex marriage and racism has benefited the movement to legalize same-sex marriage. Bruni plainly thinks that the analogy is on target. And so do a lot of other folks.

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  • April 8, 2014 10:38 am

    Essays on Garrigou-Lagrange

    Michael Dougherty, chair of the philosophy department at Ohio Dominican University and a fellow contributor at Thomistica.net, has noted the appearance of a collection of essays on Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP at the online journal Educational Theoria. The essays — by Richard Peddicord, OP, Romanus Cessario, OP, Steven Long, and others — are in a single PDF and accessible gratis.

  • April 3, 2014 10:32 am

    Rist contra Kasper

    John Rist has a critique of Cardinal Kapser’s argument in favor of the reception of communion by divorced and remarried Catholics. Rist’s critique is aimed at Kasper’s use of Patristic sources and the Council of Nicaea to support his position.

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  • March 18, 2014 11:11 am

    Art, fine art, and censorship

    What follows are some thoughts on art, fine art, and censorship prompted by a reading of Jacques Maritain’s Art and Scholasticism

    In Art and Scholasticism Maritain defines art in the classical way: it is first of all a habitus of the intellect concerned with making. The aim of the artist, as artist, is not his own good as a human person but the good of the thing made. Prudence has to do with the former, art with the latter.

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  • March 12, 2014 9:17 pm

    Heidegger on philosophy’s cultural impact

    I don’t always (or often) agree with Heidegger. But these remarks from the Introduction to Metaphysics seem to be mostly right.

    Very roughly speaking, philosophy always aims at the first and last grounds of beings, and it does so in such a way that human beings themselves, with respect to their way of being, are emphatically interpreted and given an aim.

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  • March 6, 2014 9:03 pm

    The “new” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a new look. Check it out. I do not see any substantive changes though. If you do, I would be glad if you would drop me an email to point them out.

  • February 26, 2014 8:51 pm

    What is philosophy of religion?

    About a year ago, the website PhilosophyOfReligion.org started a series called “What is philosophy of religion?”. They have asked various philosophers of religion to contribute answers to this question and have posted these on the site.

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  • February 21, 2014 9:33 am
    Fr. Kurt Pritzl, O.P.
+ 2011
Vultum tuum, Domine, requiram.

    Fr. Kurt Pritzl, O.P.

    + 2011

    Vultum tuum, Domine, requiram.

  • February 19, 2014 10:09 pm

    Are Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris headed for a break-up?

    Just how tight-knit of a group are the “New Atheists”? Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens (RIP), Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris are the most well-known purveyors of the New Atheism. There are others, of course, who are also thought to belong to the club: Lawrence Krauss, Jerry Coyne, and Victor Stenger, for example. But Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, and Harris are usually understood to constitute a special club within the club, if you will. They alone, among other worthies, have been dubbed the “four horsemen of the non-apocalypse.” Yet, there may be signs that two of the remaining three horsemen may be heading for a break-up.

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  • February 15, 2014 10:38 am

    What is Philosophy?

    Philosophy, or “the love of wisdom,” is the systematic study of the most fundamental reasons for things by the light of human reason.   Because it studies the most fundamental reasons, philosophy is set apart from the particular natural sciences, each of which can only probe as deep as the basic reasons within that particular discipline.   Because philosophy studies these things by the light of human reason, it is set apart from theology, which relies essentially on truths revealed by God.  Finally, because philosophy investigates things in a systematic way, it differs from “bull sessions” or “shooting the breeze.”  True philosophy is rigorous and precise.

    Philosophical questions include: Why is there something rather than nothing?  What is the meaning of life?  What are the basic laws of thought?  Why should we do what is right?  What can we know with certainty to be true?   Does God exist, and what is His nature?  Do human beings have genuine freedom?   Is the human soul immortal?

    By “the light of human reason” we understand not the human reason of an individual but rather human reason as exemplified in an intellectual tradition.  No one thinks solely on his own; everyone is part of a school or movement, whether he knows it or not.  At Ave Maria University, we situate ourselves within the Catholic philosophical tradition, because of its harmony with the Catholic faith; because of its proven soundness and fruitfulness; and because of its aspirations to synthesis and its openness to truth in general.