Iris Murdoch and the Death of Philosophy

See page for author [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I wrote in an earlier post that Modern and post-Modern philosophy is haunted by the impossibility of truth; this even means the impossibility of metaphysics.No better example of this is Iris Murdoch, the great writer and philosopher.As Alan Jacobs writes, introducing an excellent overview of her thought: Murdoch is a Platonist, to a degree and with a purity almost unknown in modern thought: it is the Good that she seeks, the Idea or Form of the Good. I love me a good Platonist. But was … [Read more...]

C.S. Lewis Ad Limina Apostolorum


The great writer once gave a stated reason for not embracing the Catholic Church (his good friend J.R.R. Tolkien thought the great man still had a bit of Ulster anti-Catholicism in him) in a quote that has become famous, at least in some circles: “The real reason why I cannot be in communion with you [Catholics] is not my disagreement with this or that Roman doctrine, but that to accept your Church means, not to accept a given body of doctrine, but to accept in advance any doctrine your Church h … [Read more...]

How To Historicize The Historicizers


A specter haunts philosophy."Historicism" arises from the very banal insight that a thinker's thought is embedded within a historical context--even when not explicitly, a writer is responding to ideas that are around him, and so understanding those ideas and that context is key to understanding the thinker's thought.But as an "-ism" historicism is a very soapy slippery slope to philosophical relativism: all philosophers were simply men of their times, prisoners of their times, and th … [Read more...]

Against Crusade Apologias


This is so tiresome.So, I guess the President said some historically-illiterate things seeming to draw moral equivalency between Islamic terrorism and atrocities committed in the name of Christ.And so now predictably (all too predictably) comes the predictable conservative riposte defending the Crusades and the Inquisition. This example, on the Crusades, by First Things, is their most liked/shared article on their Facebook page by far.I mean, look, I get it. That's the environment I g … [Read more...]

Help Diana von Glahn Film The California Missions

Screen shot 2015-02-06 at 10.22.06 AM

Diana von Glahn, fellow Patheosi, is "The Faithful Traveler": she makes beautiful travel reportage about places of great significance to the Catholic faith.With the canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra slated in September, Diana wants to produce a series about the California Missions, and for this she needs your help. Yep, it's a Kickstarter. And it's a worthy one. So go help her out.Here's the promo video:Now, ite! … [Read more...]