Contemporary developments in American epistemology, by R. M. Chisholm.--Contemporary metaphysics in the United States, by D. F. Gustafson.--Philosophy of physics, by H. Putnam--The influence of continental philosophy on the contemporary American scene: a summons to autonomy, by G. A. Scharader, Jr.--The influence of the later Wittgenstein on American philosophy, by J. O. Nelson.--Philosophy of mind, by F. H. Donnell, Jr.--Some remarks on the philosophy of language, by J. A. Fodor.--Ethics in the United States today, by D. Kading.--Social philosophy; philosophy of (...) social science, by P. Diesing. (shrink)
In this article, I explain Aquinas' approach to philosophy and theology. I then discuss how Aquinas thought the universe having a beginning is a matter of faith, not reason. I then argue that Aquinas' position is still correct despite the cosmological model of the big bang. Men of faith, I argue, ought to have a notion of God that is based on metaphysics, not a physical model, which at best brings us to a Deistic God.
J. J. OʼDonnell is one those scholars whose learning is assumed rather than displayed. As a result, his brief approach to the long-terms effects of the computer revolution onreading and higher education feels like a bracing, sophisticated exchange of ideas. Like conversation, O'Donnellʼs thesis is not terribly unified or orderly. He often makessidetracks from his focus on high technology and literacy into explaining such interestingthings as how we choose our cultural ancestry instead of merely evolving out of it, the errors (...) of current education, and perhaps more than you ever wanted to know aboutother avatars of the word such as St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and Cassiodorus. Greatcover too. (shrink)
Patrick O'Brian, the Aubrey-Maturin Series of twenty novels (Norton, 1970-1999). My appreciation written for WIRED magazine: "I re-read this extraordinary series of novels because of the depth of portrayal of the major and minor characters, but also because they teach me so much about what science and technology were like two centuries ago. O'Brian shows you the world-that-was through the eyes of a Tory naval captain (Jack Aubrey), at sea since the age of 12, working his way up (...) to admiral, dealing with the height of 18th-century technology (sailing ships and celestial navigation). I identify more strongly with his liberally-educated, physician-scientist friend (Stephen Maturin), who went to medical school in Paris during the French Revolution. You see natural history turning into a biological science, bleeding-and-purging medicine starting to learn some physiology -- and, because Maturin is also an intelligence agent for the Admiralty, you see statecraft at work during the Napoleonic Wars. These books strongly remind you about what scientific ignorance and social conventions can do to your mindset, and how the future will likely judge us as well." -- William H. Calvin You can get them all at once, so you can: The Complete Aubrey/Maturin Series (20 volumes). Depending on amazon.com's current discount, this works out to US$15-20 each (and in hardcover). (shrink)