Category Archives: Philosophy


by on November 19th, 2014

The disappearance of forty-three Mexican students serves as a cautionary tale—and a reminder of the crucial importance of what civic trust we Americans still have.

by on November 18th, 2014

Parenthood powerfully combats the two greatest dangers to a democracy: selfishness and isolation.

by on November 17th, 2014

In spite of its many problematic aspects, the political thought of J.S. Mill provides a low but solid foundation for the essential convictions of the pro-life movement: that the unborn, in virtue of their common humanity, deserve the full protection of the law.

by on November 3rd, 2014

Government funding of education should not be tied to the beliefs of unaccountable academics. Public support for education should empower students and parents, and the choices they make.

by on October 30th, 2014

The traditional pillars of religion that support a view of God as transcendent Creator remain unshaken by the discoveries of modern science.

by on October 6th, 2014

Parents have a fundamental right to raise and educate their children as they see fit. Their authority precedes that of the state.

by on September 30th, 2014

The anti-slavery arguments of American abolitionists demonstrate the way in which Lockean natural rights and Thomistic natural law can be reconciled.

by on September 26th, 2014

It is impossible to make a political argument without also making a moral claim. Demanding tolerance often functions as a way to evade robust discourse about the merits of one’s principles.

by on September 16th, 2014

College students, like everyone else, want to be happy. Educators should help them ground this desire for happiness in acts of virtue.

by on September 15th, 2014

Although we uphold the cultural taboo on incest, we accept something with precisely the same negative effect on integrity, marriage, and family: pornography.

by on September 4th, 2014

Refusing to make exceptions to absolute moral norms is not unrealistic, imprudent, or inhumane. The purpose of norms is to promote human flourishing and protect what is good

by on September 3rd, 2014

The totalitarian temptation can never be entirely overcome, and there is always a possibility that barbarism will return. Thus, we must ceaselessly strive to pursue love, dignity, and freedom.

by on August 21st, 2014

Legislators and judges not only can but must gauge the moral justification of every law.

by on August 20th, 2014

At times, cinema succeeds where philosophy fails. Films like Nebraska show us the importance of honoring our elderly parents and remind us of the unique dignity of every human person.

by on August 15th, 2014

Edward Feser’s latest book gives readers who are familiar with analytic philosophy an excellent overview of scholastic metaphysics in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas.

by on August 14th, 2014

Traditional religion, with its reliance on an authoritarian God, its understanding of humans as sinners, and its grounding in particular times and places, provides the only stable foundation for affirming the sanctity of human life and enabling human flourishing in new cosmic situations.

by on August 13th, 2014

Workers must have the freedom to develop real expertise and to exercise this rational mastery in pursuit of good ends. Only in the pleasures of prudence can we truly realize those excellences of which human beings are capable.

by on August 7th, 2014

It’s in seeking Jesus Christ with all our hearts that culture is built and society is renewed. It’s in prayer, the sacraments, changing diapers, balancing budgets, preaching homilies, loving a spouse, forgiving and seeking forgiveness—all in the spirit of charity—that, brick by brick, we bring about the kingdom of God. Adapted from an address delivered August 6th at the Archdiocese of Toronto’s “Faith in the Public Square” symposium.

by on August 5th, 2014

While Adam Seagrave offers a provocative and original reading of Locke, his assumptions about the self and ownership are deeply problematic.

by on August 4th, 2014

Civility is due not to a person’s opinions, but to the person himself.

by on July 31st, 2014

To achieve a moral ecology under which the dignity and solidarity of all peoples can thrive, we must take small steps, little by little—yet not lose sight of the goal.

by on July 18th, 2014

The “why?” we ask of God receives its most persuasive answer in the beauty, the love, and the heroic devotion of human life.

by on June 16th, 2014

The normalization of polygamy would undermine our commitment to human dignity—our sense that each human being is to be valued as an end in him- or herself, and not merely as a means to others’ ends.

by on June 13th, 2014

Taking philosophy and theology as the foundation of our knowledge elevates and unifies scientific and humanistic inquiry.

by on June 12th, 2014

Senator Rubio was on solid ground in saying science has settled the question of when a human being's life begins. Science does not need to wait on philosophy’s pronouncements to investigate what the human embryo is and when its life begins.

by on June 2nd, 2014

“Science” can tell us when life begins, provided that we already know what to look for. Empirical biology alone cannot tell us what that is. Once we establish a metaphysical account of life, then empirical embryology can tell us whether the relevant conditions are met.

by on May 15th, 2014

Paradoxically, to speak intelligibly about the matters that concern them, contemporary intellectuals must appreciate the unintelligibility of the world in which those matters take place.

by on May 14th, 2014

A low but predictable inflation rate is sound, just policy.

by on May 9th, 2014

To view practical agreements between Aristotelian-Thomist foundationalists and contemporary anti-foundationalist liberals as “progress” is to fiddle while Rome burns.

by on May 5th, 2014

When we make moral judgments, we implicitly and unavoidably acknowledge that there are objective standards of right and wrong to which we ought to conform our feelings and actions.

by on April 29th, 2014

“Intention” and “choice” are complex concepts, but we must achieve clarity about them in order to protect human life and upright willing, as we should never choose to damage or destroy human life by intentionally killing a person.

by on April 28th, 2014

It is ethically permissible to deliberately choose actions that lead to the death of an innocent person—but not to intend his or her death.

by on April 15th, 2014

Steven Pinker understands the limits of scientific knowledge no better than the fundamentalist understands the limits of biblical knowledge.

by on April 14th, 2014

If we want to move public discourse in the right direction, we should rely on the many assumptions we share with most of our contemporaries.

by on April 8th, 2014

Our culture has become soft. We suppose that sex is too trivial to require virtue, yet we also believe it is so significant that to suggest any restraint upon its consensual exercise is an affront to the most important fount of human dignity.

by on April 7th, 2014

Although Nigel Biggar’s new book on just war has many strengths, the author gets himself into a moral muddle over the question whether the deaths of innocent non-combatants can be deliberately chosen in war.

by on April 2nd, 2014

If a society regards governmental manipulation of money as the antidote to economic challenges, a type of poison will work its way through the body politic, undermining justice and the common good.

by on March 27th, 2014

As a philosopher, Locke was both historically great and uniquely ambivalent. This combination provides extraordinarily fertile ground for uniting modern and pre-modern insights that seem opposed.

by on March 26th, 2014

Our modern intellectual context is profoundly at odds with genuine Aristotelian-Thomism. If we want to infuse the public discourse with sound philosophy, we must soberly recognize the obstacles before us and confront them in the spirit of devotion to truth. The first of a two part series.

by on February 28th, 2014

Christians have nothing to fear and everything to gain from good social science. It provides a way to talk normatively about human flourishing in terms that are intelligible, legitimate, and persuasive to those outside the community of faith.

by on February 26th, 2014

Biology continues to offer us new and exciting insights into the world. These insights need to be integrated into a philosophical perspective that is richer than the reductive materialism that is often linked with the empirical sciences. In this endeavor, biology needs the philosophy of nature.

by on February 25th, 2014

Both natural law thought and the Catechism agree: animals are not part of the same justice community as human beings, because they do not possess the dignity that comes from existing as a rational being.

by on February 24th, 2014

Animals are not simply “a gift for human beings.” The needless cruelty inflicted on animals by factory farming not only violates a duty to provide them just treatment, but far outweighs the goods that humans gain by eating such meat.

by on February 20th, 2014

Every child has a right to be loved by his or her biological parents. Third-party reproduction violates this right by intentionally conceiving a child in a way that will alienate that child from at least one of her biological parents.

by on February 12th, 2014

Thomas Paine’s rationalistic emphasis on freedom, equality, and rights form the basis of our political discourse. Even so, Edmund Burke has something essential to teach us: the way we order our society will always be the consequence, first and foremost, of the way we love.

by on February 7th, 2014

If we looked at actual young men and women, and not abstractions, we might begin to think of other things besides the ratio of members of each sex participating in this or that activity. We might think about love.

by on February 6th, 2014

We are all called to defend marriage so that the truth can change hearts, minds, and lives. As the early pro-life activists did, we must invest the long-term political, legal, cultural, and spiritual capital to win down the line. The final installment in a three-part series.

by on February 5th, 2014

The next generation of true culture-makers will be shaped purely by bad philosophy if its arguments go unanswered. As individuals and communities, we will be swayed by moral thought no matter what: the only question is whether it will be well thought out. The second in a three-part series.

by on February 4th, 2014

Many Christians question the value of philosophical arguments for conjugal marriage, preferring to appeal to revelation. But our natural moral knowledge in some ways precedes revelation and helps us to understand it. The first of a three-part series.

by on January 27th, 2014

Contrary to the judgment of the Supreme Court, abortion is not a private issue. It snuffs out the existence of a member of the human community—a person like us with a radical capacity for reason and freedom.

Featured


by Mark Regnerus on August 11th, 2014
Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable. And it’s reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions.
by Anthony Esolen on April 23rd, 2013
The Boy Scouts are en route to holding that there is nothing to being a boy, and nothing to the boy’s becoming a man; they might as well be the Unisex Scouts, as they are in Canada, where the scouting movement has collapsed.
by Serena Sigillito on February 14th, 2014
Valentine’s Day is usually associated with romance, but love matters in politics, too. In working to change our culture, we must remember that our opponents, like our allies, are human beings whose individual conversions can only be wrought through a combination of love, truth, and free will.
by Alana S. Newman on December 3rd, 2013
“Eggsploitation” reveals the predatory practices of the fertility industry, which lures young women in need of money to undergo medical procedures that carry the risk of severe long-term health problems.
by Charles J. Chaput on August 7th, 2014
It’s in seeking Jesus Christ with all our hearts that culture is built and society is renewed. It’s in prayer, the sacraments, changing diapers, balancing budgets, preaching homilies, loving a spouse, forgiving and seeking forgiveness—all in the spirit of charity—that, brick by brick, we bring about the kingdom of God. Adapted from an address delivered August 6th at the Archdiocese of Toronto’s “Faith in the Public Square” symposium.

Web Briefings



Select Publications