Thursday, August 11, 2022

Tocqueville in Green Bay

At C-SPAN "

Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont visited Green Bay on their way through the Great Lakes region in August 1831. Wisconsin Deputy Attorney General Berneatta Bridge and Wisconsin State Public Defender Henry Schultz discussed Tocqueville’s impressions of the legal profession and how U.S. impressions of attorneys [has changed]."

See Tocqueville, "Observations on American Life and Government" from Democracy in America, in Gateway to the Great Books (10 Vol., 1963) volume 6, and Democracy in America, in Great Books of the Western World (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 44.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Reading Rat - July 2022

Aquinas Leadership International

Announcements

Events

Selections at the blog Conference Calendar page

Calendar for selected Book discussions groups

Articles, Essays, Reviews

How Alito Blew It: ... after coming so close to solving his biggest problem. Kausfiles, by Mickey Kaus

Inventory of the Ken Knabb Papers at Yale, by Ken Knabb, July 2022

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

False Moses for the masses

On Marx, from the Pillars of Unbelief series, by Peter Kreeft, Boston College.

"The 'Manifesto' was one of the key moments in history. Published in 1848, 'the year of revolutions' throughout Europe, it is, like the Bible, essentially a philosophy of history, past and future. All past history is reduced to class struggle between oppressor and oppressed, master and slave, whether king vs. people, priest vs. parishioner, guild-master vs. apprentice, or even husband vs. wife and parent vs. child."

See Marx, Capital, and Marx and Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party, Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volume 50, (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 50.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Reading Rat - June 2022

Aquinas Leadership International

Announcements

Events

Selections at the blog Conference Calendar page

Calendar for selected Book discussions groups

Articles, Essays, Reviews

Beauty, by Roger Scruton (2009), reviewed by Donald W. Crawford, University of California, Santa Barbara, at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

What Are Bookstores For? by John-Paul Heil, review of In Praise of Good Bookstores, by Jeff Deutsch, at First Things

Off the shelf: Selling books is unlike selling anything else. The Seminary Co-op director counts the ways. By Jeff Deutsch, University of Chicago Magazine

Friday, June 24, 2022

Fourier and the theory of heat

Diane Greco, M. A., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at The Victorian Web.

"Between 1807 and 1811, Joseph Fourier (1768-1830) developed a mathematical theory of heat conduction that was entirely independent of the caloric hypothesis, but the theory was not published until 1822, when it appeared as Théorie analytique de la chaleur (The Analytical Theory of Heat)."
Full text: The Analytical Theory of Heat (1822) by Joseph Fourier, translated by Alexander Freeman (1878), at J. M. Powers, AME 20231–Thermodynamics, Spring 2013, University of Notre Dame.

See Fourier, The Analytical Theory of Heat, translated by Alexander Freeman, Preliminary Discourse and Ch. I and II, Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 54 volumes, 1952) volume 45.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Columbus of the psyche

From the Pillars of Unbelief series, by Peter Kreeft, Boston College.

"Freud was a scientist, and in some ways a great one. But he succumbed to an occupational hazard: the desire to reduce the complex to the controllable. He wanted to make psychology into a science, even an exact science. But this it can never be because its object, man, is not only an object but also a subject, an 'I.'"

See Freud, selected works, Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volume 54, (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 54.

Friday, June 17, 2022

In Defense of Polonius

'Shakespeare’s tedious old fool was also a dad just doing his best.' By Jeffrey R. Wilson at JSTOR Daily.

See Shakespeare, Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volumes 26-27, (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volumes 24-25.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Reading Rat - May 2022

Aquinas Leadership International

Announcements

Events

Selections at the blog Conference Calendar page

Calendar for selected Book discussions groups

Articles, Essays, Reviews

Your Guide to Milwaukee’s Independent Bookstores, by Kimberly Cook, Milwaukee Magazine

Here are All the Nutcases who Believe in 'Replacement', column by Ann Couulter

To Restore American Liberty, We Need Colleges that Actually Teach the Liberal Arts, by Marsha Familaro Enright, The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal

Henry IV - Part Two: Synopsis, Teach Shakespeare

Monday, May 30, 2022

Doubting Thomas

Edward Feser reviews The Failure of Natural Theology: A Critical Appraisal of the Philosophical Theology of Thomas Aquinas, by Jeffrey D. Johnson, at First Things.

"The source of these errors is Johnson’s misunderstanding of Aquinas’s view that language about God ought to be interpreted in an analogical way. Johnson confuses analogy with metaphor. True, all metaphorical language is analogical, but for ­Aquinas, the converse is not true—that is to say, not all analogical language is metaphorical."

See Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, in Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volumes 19-20, and Great Books of the Western World (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volumes 17-18.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Self-proclaimed 'Anti-Christ'

On Nietzsche, from the Pillars of Unbelief series, by Peter Kreeft, Boston College.

"He scorned reason as well as faith, often deliberately contradicted himself, said that "a sneer is infinitely more noble that a syllogism" and appealed to passion, rhetoric and even deliberate hatred rather than reason.

"He saw love as 'the greatest danger' and morality as mankind's worst weakness."

See Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, in Great Books of the Western World (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 43

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Reading Rat - April 2022

Aquinas Leadership International

Announcements

Events

Selections at the blog Conference Calendar page

Calendar for selected Book discussions groups

Articles, Essays, Reviews

The Other Milwaukee Brewers: Before the Brewers take the field, check out the long-forgotten 1905 team that shared the same name. By John Gurda, Milwaukee Magazine.

Marriage and maximization

Review by Robert M. Whaples, Wake Forest University, of Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy, by Mary L. Hirschfeld, at The Independent Review.

"Hirschfeld has a unique perspective. She earned a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, achieved tenure at an excellent liberal arts college, and then earned a Ph.D. in moral theology before restarting her academic career. Observing economics from the inside, she appreciates both its strengths and its shortcomings. It is a powerful tool for understanding the world, for inquiring into—as Adam Smith put it—'the nature and causes of the wealth of nations.' But, as Hirschfeld convincingly argues, it cannot stand on its own. In particular, one of its core assumptions—'more is better'—needs to be reexamined. Can we meaningfully explain why more consumption and wealth is a good thing?"

See Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, in Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volumes 19-20, and Great Books of the Western World (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volumes 17-18.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Liberal Islam

Gabriel Said Reynolds reviews Reopening Muslim Minds: A Return to Reason, Freedom, and Tolerance, by Mustafa Akyol, at First Things.

"...Akyol argues in Reopening Muslim Minds, Islam is in a crisis, a crisis that cannot simply be blamed on Western colonialism or imperialism. Islam’s crisis is due to the rise of movements skeptical of human reason and secular sciences and eager to use coercive political power to suppress dissent."

"One other omission [from Great Books of the Western World (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990)] that was probably a mistake on our part was not including references to the Koran (qur’an) along with the Old and New Testament in the Reference Section of the 102 Chapters of the Syntopicon." Mortimer J. Adler, A Second Look in the Rearview Mirror: Further Autobiographical Reflections of a Philosopher at Large, 1991, p.141, n. 4.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Subjectivizer of Truth

From the Pillars of Unbelief series, by Peter Kreeft, Boston College.

"Kant, more than any other thinker, gave impetus to the typically modern turn from the objective to the subjective. This may sound fine until we realize that it meant for him the redefinition of truth itself as subjective"

See Kant, Perpetual Peace, in Gateway to the Great Books (10 Vol., 1963) volume 7; The Critique of Pure Reason, The Critique of Practical Reason, and The Critique of Judgement, in Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volume 42, and (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 39.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

In defense of Jane Austen's Unlikable Heroine

Brenda M. Hafera, Simon Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation, at Modern Age.

"Fanny, the heroine of Mansfield Park, is not the kind of woman many of us aspire to become or immediately admire. She is serious and seemingly deferential. A more compelling feminine archetype is the witty and spunky Elizabeth Bennet. Preferring a Lizzy over a Fanny could merely be a personal preference. But if that were the case, we would expect Austen readers also to dislike Pride and Prejudice’s Jane Bennet, who, like Fanny, is patient, meek, mild-mannered, and humble.

"But Austen predisposes readers toward Jane and biases them against Fanny. ..."

See Austen, Emma, in Great Books of the Western World (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 46.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

The Life and Times of Dostoevsky

Amy Kovac at Stanford Magazine on Joseph Frank and his five volume work Dostoevsky: The Mantle of the Prophet, 1871–1881, published 1976-2002.

"Part biography, part literary criticism, it follows Dostoevsky from his return to Russia after a stay in Western Europe through the writing and completion of The Brothers Karamazov to his death."

See Dostoevsky, "White Nights" in Gateway to the Great Books (10 Vol., 1963) volume 3, and The Brothers Karamazov in Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volume 52, (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 52.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

O Light Exalted

Robert Royal at First Things.

"The Commedia is a journey from confusion to order, and it draws deeply from the philosophy and theology that give an account of this order. Along with the traditions of courtly and mystical love, Dante’s ­poem shows the influence of the High Medieval flowering of scholastic thought. I had a friend, long dead now, a Shakespeare scholar who thought that ­Dante was merely rhymed Aquinas. Certainly, no other poet could have introduced the Aristotelian vocabulary of ­Thomism—substance, accidents, and so on—into his verse without awkwardness, even at the heights of mystical ex­perience."

See Dante, "On World Government" from De Monarchia in Gateway to the Great Books (10 Vol., 1963) volume 7, and The Divine Comedy in Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volume 21, (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 19.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

A Burkean Reading of Late Jefferson’s Legal Theory

Haimo Li, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, at Studies in Burke and His Time.

"Conor Cruise O’Brien realized that the divergence between Burke and Jefferson mainly happened after the outbreak of French Revolution, but he thought that that divergence, once happened, was permanent and never reconciled. [footnote omitted] For a sharper understanding of the thought and legacy of these two great contemporaries, however, it is necessary to realize that some important overlap in their thinking can be found. In this article I propose to show, for example, that there may exist a fully viable Burkean reading of Jefferson’s legal theory between 1809 and 1826, a period referred to below as 'late-Jefferson.'"

See the Declaration of Independence in Gateway to the Great Books (10 Vol., 1963) volume 6, and in American State Papers, Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volume 43, (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 40.

Friday, April 1, 2022

"Do you know the poster that diagrams Proust's longest sentence?"

Proposed sentences in English, French, and a diagram, at Quora

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Reading Rat - March 2022

Aquinas Leadership International

Announcements

Events

Selections at the blog Conference Calendar page

Calendar for selected Book discussions groups

Articles, Essays, Reviews

Perturbation of the deep-Earth carbon cycle in response to the Cambrian Explosion, by Andrea Giuliani, et al., Science

On the Apparatus & Procedures of the Wisconsin Elections System; Second Interim Investigative Report, Delivered to the Wisconsin State Assembly on March 1, 2022, Office of the Special Counsel

When Classical Liberals Went to the Mountaintop, by Samuel Greagg, review of Mont Pèlerin 1947, edited by Bruce Caldwell, Law & Liberty

No Cause, No Credo:

'Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Nature as Preambula Fidei'

Article by Daniel C. Wagner, Aquinas College, with responses by Michael Tkacz and Steven Baldner, at Reality: A journal for philosophical discourse.

"ABSTRACT: This study presents St. Thomas Aquinas’ groundbreaking treatment of the relation between God as Creator and nature through the Aristotelian model of natural causation and the distinction between essentia and esse contra occasionalist conceptions of creation. By clearly distinguishing primary (divine) and secondary (natural) orders of causation, the Angelic Doctor champions Divine omnipotence while preserving the causal integrity of nature at one and the same time. His position on the relation of divine and natural causation in nature is formulated, in part, as a response to the occasionalist doctrine, denying natural causation. While Thomas shows that denying natural causation would actually vitiate divine omnipotence, this study extends his argument showing Aristotelian causation (secondary cause) is a necessary condition—i.e., one of the preambula fidei—for the Christian belief that God is the all-powerful creator of the natural world. This presentation and extension of St. Thomas Aquinas’ critique of occasionalism is needed given a continuing trend among Anglo-American Analytic and Humean Christian philosophers to deny natural causation and hold that God is the only cause."

See Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, in Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volumes 19-20, and Great Books of the Western World (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volumes 17-18.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

What Can a Conversation between Ayn Rand, Socrates, and the Apostle Paul Teach Us about Our Highest Good?

Owen Anderson, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Ariz., USA, at Studia Gilsoniana.
"There will even be a surprise guest who will direct our focus to where it needs to be in order to make sense of economics and the value of money."

See Plato, in Dialogues, and The Seventh Letter, in Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volume 7, (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 6. See Apology, Crito, and Phaedo regarding the trial and imprisonment and death of Socrates.

See:
Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 54 Vol., 1952)

"Readers who are startled to find the Bible omitted from the set will be reassured to learn that this was done only because Bibles are already widely distributed, and it was felt unnecessary to bring another, by way of this set, into homes that had several already. References to the Bible are, however, included in both the King James and the Douai versions under the appropriate topics in the Syntopicon." (The Great Conversation, by Robert M. Hutchinsmm, volume 1, p. xvii). [Syntopicon is the title of the extensive topical index to the entire set.]
Great Books of the Western World (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990)
"References to Bible, when present, are always placed first. The Bible is not included as part of the set, since there is no definitive version acceptable to everyone." Introduction to The Syntopicon (vol. 1, p. xiv),

Monday, March 28, 2022

Book Review: 'A Guidebook To Learning: For The Lifelong Pursuit Of Wisdom', By Mortimer J. Adler

'For people who are serious about taxonomy (the science of classification), A Guidebook to Learning [(1998)] is must reading.'

Eric J. Heels at GiantPeople.

"Ever wonder why a Ph.D. is a doctorate of philosophy? This book is for you."

See Center for the Study of The Great Ideas.