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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

Edmund Calamy’s Art of Divine Meditation

Since my time reading Dallas Willard in my early 20s, I’ve been interested in the practice of meditation. My diligence in the discipline has waxed and waned throughout my life, with periods where it had deep effect and others where I came up dry. Yet, my growing appreciation for Thomistic psychology has confirmed the potential […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Civic Polity Philosophy

Do Humans Have Dignity?

I recently wrote about Steven D. Smith’s arguments in The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse, and more specifically, about how he demonstrates the vacuity of many of the Western world’s central political buzzwords, such as equality and freedom. In the course of his critique of Martha Nussbaum, he mentions another one that I thought deserved its own […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Civic Polity Philosophy

The Failure of the Harm Principle

Steven D. Smith’s The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse is one of the most piercing works in political philosophy I’ve read in a long while. Though it’s brief, by the end of it Smith has turned inside out some of the modern Western world’s most repeated fundamental values, and shown that appeals to them are actually […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Civic Polity Natural Law Nota Bene

Feser on Punishment

Dr. Feser has been writing on the doctrine of hell and punishment these days. I wanted to highlight some very useful arguments he makes connecting punishment to natural law. He says in his recent post, “Does God damn you?“: Now, given what has been said, happiness – which is, again, the realization of the ends […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Civic Polity Economics Natural Law Sacred Doctrine

On Merit and (Social) Justice

Back when I reviewed Edward Feser’s Scholastic Metaphysics, I noted that most the disagreements between Catholics and Protestants during the Reformation and in the scholastic period afterward were focused on matters of “grace”, largely connected with what God has done in history. This would be distinct from how the post-Barthian/Van-Tillian Reformed world sees the matter. Yet, […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

Sola Scriptura and Natural Revelation

Some of my previous posts at TCI have contended that there is a rational method for verifying religious claims, and have outlined in more detail how this method works for Protestants. I want to build slightly upon these arguments to make another clarification about method. In my post about religious studies in general, I noted that “[i]nsofar […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Civic Polity Nota Bene

Conly’s Argument Against Autonomy

Yesterday I responded to one of Sarah Conly’s critiques of moral perfectionism, but I mentioned she provides useful objections to stringent libertarianism. Shortly after I posted this, Steven wrote a provocative analysis of some current libertarian politicking. In the spirit of continuing a criticism of anarcho-capitalism, here is Conly’s argument in a nutshell: I argue […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene Philosophy

Responding to Sarah Conly on Pleasure and Goodness

One of the most provocatively titled books I have ever come across from a contemporary ethical philosopher is Sarah Conly’s Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism. The book’s gist is just as punchy: Since Mill’s seminal work On Liberty, philosophers and political theorists have accepted that we should respect the decisions of individual agents when those […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Nota Bene Philosophy

Answering John Rawls’ Moral Argument Against Christianity

In his stimulating The Pretenses of Loyalty, John Perry conveys a seminal moment in John Rawls’ life from autobiographical comments: To the extent that Christianity is taken seriously, I came to think it could have deleterious effects on one’s character. Christianity is a solitary religion: each is saved or damned individually, and we naturally focus […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Civic Polity

Marsilius on When to Correct the Prince

Elsewhere I have written about Protestant resistance theory, and how the cases of justified opposition to magistrates are limited in scope: Calvin also wanted to preserve a relatively just and peaceful social order, believing that such was natural good of human beings. As an implication of this principle, he upheld the basic principles of just […]