Miscellany: Truth in art, beauty in science, and other topics

Time and mind: To the ordinary mind, time is a river that seems to rush past us from the future. And yet, a transcendent stillness of this current is also apprehensible—a simultaneity of its flow from source to delta. Time does not pass; it is the passage. The ordinary mind is the riverbank and time…

Miscellany: On teleology and evolutionary theory, the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, and other topics

On teleology and evolutionary theory: There is an extremely significant point to consider in respect to the premise that the genome is conserved through an individual organism’s interaction with its environment while the epigenome can undergo changes brought about directly by that organism’s action and interaction with(in). This is a straightforward and uncontroversial characterisation of…

Video Lecture: Justice and the Good in Plato’s Republic

Some readers may be interested in a lecture on the ideas of Justice and the Good in Plato’s Republic dialogue. As I indicated in the lecture, I found it exceedingly challenging to span these immense topics with my explanation but it is my hope that something I said may prove to be of value in…

Miscellany: on evolutionary theory, knowledge, and ethics

On evolutionary theory: Let’s take your example of the eye: you rightly pointed out that it is easily intelligible to conceive of the eye as an organ ordered to the purpose of sight. Imagine that you had to arrive at a seeing eye purely by way of chance mutations and without any “foresight,” which is…

Plato’s Republic: In Defense of The Poets

“Beauty is a manifestation of Nature’s secret laws, which would otherwise remain forever hidden.” —J. W. von Goethe [1] Plato notoriously argued for the expulsion of the poets from the Res publica on several occasions in his well-known work. His decision might seem to suggest that art is of little value in the quest for spiritual attainment….

Miscellany: questions concerning the philosophy of science

On gods as “explanations,” health, and science versus philosophy: I wonder about whether the gods and spirits that peopled the cosmology of ancient cultures were really understood to be “explanations” by them or whether this is rather merely an example of another “just-so” story offered by modern anthropologists. You wrote, “Human beings did not look…