HBU starting M.A. in philosophy program

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Houston Baptist University is starting an M.A. program in philosophy.  Given the quality of its faculty, and the recent hiring of philosopher John Mark Reynolds as the new HBU provost, this is an exciting development.  Here's what the HBU website says:Program Description The mission of the Master of Arts in Philosophy (MAPhil) is to develop students who are capable of serving their community and the Church successfully in a variety of vocations, including academic, parachurch, and e … [Read more...]

Transworld Irony (new term)

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Transworld Irony (or TWI): It is possible that in every possible world there exists at a college named after John Calvin a philosophy professor who offers a free will defense for the problem of evil.  … [Read more...]

2011 Synthese article may be downloaded for free through December 31, 2011

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I just found out this afternoon that my 2011 Synthese article, "Or We Can Be Philosophers: A Response to Barbara Forrest," may be downloaded for free until December 31, 2011. Many people, because they did not have a subscription or an academic appointment at an institution that does have a subscription, were not able to download the article without paying a hefty fee.  For those folks still interested in reading the piece, they can do so free of charge until the last day of the year.For … [Read more...]

Dignity Never Been Photographed: Scientific Materialism, Enlightenment Liberalism, and Steven Pinker

That is the title of an article I published in the Summer 2010 issue of Ethics & Medicine: An International Journal of Bioethics (vol. 26.2).  (The title, if you have not noticed yet, is from a line in the Bob Dylan song, "Dignity"). Here's how the article begins (endnotes omitted):In March 2008, the President’s Council on Bioethics published a volume entitled, Human Dignity and Bioethics.  It consists of essays penned by council members as well as other scholars and practitioners invited t … [Read more...]

The Argument From Creating Brainless Children

In a chapter I recently published-- "The Human Being, A Person of Substance: A Reply to Dean Stretton," in Persons, Moral Worth, and Embryos: A Critical Analysis of Pro-Choice Arguments, edited by Stephen Napier. (Dordrecht: Springer, 2011), 67-83--I respond to criticisms of an argument I have used in several venues, including my 2007 book, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press). My 2011 defense of that argument--"the argument from creating … [Read more...]

Government Forms (or Deforms) Your Soul

That is the title of an article I published last year (vol. 21, no. 5, September 2010) in This Rock (now Catholic Answers Magazine), the magazine of Catholic Answers. It is now available online. Portions of this article are adapted from portions of my most recent book, Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft (InterVarsity Press, 2010). Here's how the article begins: “Statecraft,” Aristotle instructed his pupils, “is soulcraft.” What he meant is that the state or government, by its polici … [Read more...]

The Human Being, a Person of Substance

That's the title of a chapter I recently published in the book, Persons, Moral Worth, and Embryos: A Critical Analysis of Pro-Choice Arguments, edited by Stephen Napier. (Dordrecht: Springer, 2011), 67-83. Other contributors in the book include my Baylor colleague Alexander Pruss as well as Jason T. Eberl, A. A. Howspeian, Christopher Tollefsen, Helen M. Alvaré, and David Hershenov. You can read my entire chapter via Google Books here. Here's how the chapter begins (citations omitted): Over the p … [Read more...]

C. Stephen Evans on Kierkegaard

My Baylor colleague, C. Stephen Evans, was interviewed earlier this week on KGO radio in San Francisco. The topic was the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, a thinker about which Steve knows quite a bit. You can listen to the interview here. … [Read more...]

Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion” at Forty

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. It is adapted from portions of my August 3, 2011 presentation at the University of Colorado symposium commemorating the 40th anniversary of Thomson’s article. Here's an excerpt: What Thomson is granting, then, is a view of personhood consistent with the pro-life position only insofar as it is aligned with a minimalist understanding of autonomy and choice. That view isolates the individual from other persons – generationally, contem … [Read more...]

August 3 Symposium on the 40th anniversary of Judith Jarvis Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion”

Tomorrow, August 3, I will be at the University of Colorado in Boulder participating in a symposium on the 40th anniversary of Judith Jarvis Thomson article, "A Defense of Abortion," published in 1971 in Philosophy and Public Affairs. (For more on the symposium, go here. It is open to the public.) What makes Thomson's argument so important is that she grants to the prolifer his most pivotal premise, that the pre-born human is a person from conception, but nevertheless concludes that abortion is … [Read more...]


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