I’ve been nose-deep in the latest Dean Koontz novel, but I still managed to pull together these posts for you, dear readers. We have neuroscience and the notion of a boy/girl brain, works of dead apologists, Consent and Planned Parenthood, oral tradition in the Bible, and Wittgenstein and Scholastic Metaphysics. Let me know what you think, and be sure to let the authors know as well.
Girl Brain? Boy Brain?: A Neuroscientist Examines the Evidence– We often hear about how boy and girl brains are hardwired to behave in different ways. What should we think about this claim? What does it mean?
Planned Parenthood’s Absurd Position on HIV Disclosure– “Consent” in sex entails informed consent, something that Planned Parenthood concedes. Why, then, do they turn around and argue you don’t need to give information to get consent?
Goodill on Scholastic Metaphysics and Wittgenstein– A philosophy-heavy post from Edward Feser on a challenge raised against Scholastic Metaphysics based on Wittgenstein’s philosophy. I enjoyed this read quite a bit.
Book Review: Understanding the Oral Tradition by Eric Eve– A substantive book review that will get you thinking about oral history and the transmission of the Bible.
Works of Dead Apologists– If you aren’t reading the works of dead apologists, you ought to be. Here’s a good place to get started.
Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!
The Failure of Scientism
Edward Feser is a profoundly brilliant scholar. Every time I read something he writes–even if I disagree–I realize I must contend with his argument. In his latest book, Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction, he provides a robust look at the ways in which Scholastic philosophy and Thomism may be applied to the modern day. He touches on any number of important and interesting topics, including scientism–the notion that the physical sciences are the only way to know anything. But he doesn’t have much nice to say about scientism:
[T]he glib self-confidence of its advocates notwithstanding, there are in fact no good arguments whatsoever for scientism, and decisive arguments against it… First, scientism is self defeating… Second, the scientific method cannot even in principle provide us with a complete description of reality. Third, the ‘laws of nature’ in terms of which science explains phenomena cannot in principle provide us with a complete explanation of reality. Fourth, what is probably the main argument in favor of scientism–the argument from the predictive and technological successes of modern physics and the other sciences–has no force. (10)
Now of course this is quite a bit to swallow, and Feser expands on these points over the next several pages, arguing that each of these points demonstrates the failure of scientism.
I’m still going through the book, but it has been a fantastic read so far.
Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)
Edward Feser, Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction (Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Books; Editiones Scholasticae, 2014).