Review: Scholastic Metaphysics, by Ed Feser

Prof. Ed Feser's latest book is Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction. I think enough of Prof. Feser that I pre-ordered it a couple of months before publication; and when it arrived I began reading it on my lunch break and other odd moments. I find that that's the right approach for books of philosophy; I can't take it all in at once, I need time to ponder and let things settle.First, some background. Scholastic philosophy is the philosophy of the "schoolmen" of the Middle … [Read more...]

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CT 4.1: The Immobility of God

We're blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas' Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In Chapter 3, Thomas showed that there must be a “First Mover”, something that stands at the head of all per se causal chains, where the word “move” means any kind of change, not just motion from place to place.  Here he goes on to show that this First Mover is also an Unmoved Mover, that is, an unchanged changer.We clearly infer from this that God, who moves … [Read more...]

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The Mystery of Trust

And yet God continues to trust us. He trusts us with the Body and Blood of His Son at every mass, that we will receive the sacrament worthily. He trusts us to minister to the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, to be His hands and arms and legs and voice in the world. He, the Almighty God, relies on us in our weakness and sin to get His work done in the world.My latest for CatholicMom.com. … [Read more...]

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Lumen Fidei: Mirroring God

In paragraph 35 of Lumen Fidei I find this interesting comment. Pope Francis is saying that the light of faith in Christ illuminates the path of all men who seek Him with a sincere heart. He says, speaking of the star that appeared to the Magi,The star is a sign of God's patience with our eyes which need to grow accustomed to his brightness. Religous man is a wayfarer; he must be ready to let himself be led, to come out of himself, and to find the God of perpetual surprises. This respect … [Read more...]

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Tools for Learning Clojure, Part II: Leiningen

In part I, I talked about Clojure and the need for a convenient "REPL": a piece of software that lets you type input at the language engine and see its responses. And I found one in an usual place: a build tool for Clojure applications and libraries.Bear with me; this is all relevant.For a working software engineer, some kind of build tool is essential. There are lots of repetitive actions involved in making a piece of software ready to run, too many to do by hand every time. A build … [Read more...]

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Mark Knopfler, Southbound Again

I was a sophomore in high school when Dire Straits made it big with "Sultans of Swing". It was popular, it was part of the background, it was OK, I was only mildly impressed. Later, one of my brothers gave me a copy of their third album, Making Movies, and I liked it; and as I started trying to grow my collection I eventually picked up the rest of their albums as well. I got to know all of their early tracks pretty well.But although I'm familiar with it, I'd never given the track … [Read more...]

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Elizabeth House: How Charity is Done

In the last couple of days I've seen lots of stories about a "Home" for unwed mothers in Tuam, Ireland that operated from 1926 to 1961. I use scare quotes around the word "Home" on purpose, as you'll understand if you follow the various links above.What struck me was that the horrors of the "Home" in Tuam were ultimately due to charity gone horribly wrong. The goal, to support unmarried mothers and their babies, is a good one. Treating them like human refuse is not. As a bit of a palate … [Read more...]

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Tools for Learning Clojure

As I wrote on Saturday, I'm learning to program in Clojure; and being a tool user at heart I immediately went looking for the right tools for the job. Here's what I wanted:A REPL at which to experiment with Clojure code, with good command-line editing and command history. An editor in which to edit Clojure code, integrated with the REPL. An easy way to build a stand-alone application in Clojure. A solution that works on both Mac and Windows."REPL" stands for "read-eval-print … [Read more...]

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Review: Cyador’s Heirs, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Cyador's Heirs is the latest outing in L.E. Modesitt Jr.'s long-running cash cow, the Recluce series. If you've not read the Recluce series, and you like fantasy, you should probably go find The Magic of Recluce (the first book in the series) and see if it is to your taste. I found it strikingly original when I first read it (when it was new), and I've enjoyed it a number of times since.These days, the Recluce novels are among my comfort books. When I'm feeling too sick to do much, I'll … [Read more...]

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