ABSTRACT: This paper explores the perceptual implications of video games, and gamification in general, by drawing on a number of concepts from the media theory of Marshall McLuhan: primarily his discussion of games as anti-environments and of technologies as extensions of human senses and faculties. Understanding video games in terms of the cultural and psychological significance of play, I argue that video games as a product of the gamification of culture substantially alter the traditional function of play through their diminished capacity to serve as anti-environments. Finally, I offer a brief reflection on the opportunities for awareness and understanding in relation to contemporary gamification.… Read More [article] Life in the Anti-Environment
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.… Read More [article] No Cause, No Credo
In this paper we shall explore Jacques Maritain’s definition of “Christian philosophy” with regard to how it is practiced, how it is to be distinguished from non-Christian philosophy, how it differs from theology, and what in particular Christian philosophy offers to the search for truth. … Read More [article] Christian Philosophy as an Existential Habitus
The provocative nature of both the form and content, “medium” and “message,” of Marshall McLuhan’s scholarship on technological culture has attracted a wide array of McLuhan interpreters of diverse intentions. It is well known, however, that McLuhan considered himself a follower of the thirteenth century scholastic Thomas Aquinas; as he wrote…… Read More [article] How To Be a Contemporary Thomist: The Case of Marshall McLuhan
To speak of the Christian roots of Europe, or the Puritan founding of America, should be approached with great prudence and a deep caution. The temptation that needs to be explicitly alluded to is that pertaining to a sort of “re-enchanted” nationalism. The City of God is not an attempt to undermine the need for the embodied realities of home and political life. Rather, the nuance or caveat is to say that the City of God offered by Christ as witnessed in…… Read More [essay] Civic Life and Home
Where, and how, do we bring meaning into the living of our lives? A movement from our assumed passive nihilism to a conscious active nihilism, Nolen Gertz argues. Despite this self-actualizing attempt at nihilism, it remains now as always a deleterious belief for any human being to adopt—the active no less, and perhaps quite a great deal more, than the passive.… Read More [review] Nihilism & Technology | Nihilism
A Rapprochement Between the Individual-Person Distinction and the Primacy of the Common Good Contra Maritain’s Personalism Taylor Patrick O’NeillAssistant Professor of TheologyMount Mercy UniversityCedar Rapids, IA ABSTRACT: This paper uses Garrigou-Lagrange in order to explore the wider question of a Thomistic response to personalism and the thought of Jacques Maritain. How ought Thomistic thinkers to… Read More [article] Was Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange a Personalist?
Daniel C. Wagner, PhD Professor and Chair of Philosophy Aquinas College, Grand Rapids MI Editor, Reality Brian Kemple, PhD Continuum Philosophical Insight Executive Editor, Reality This first issue of Reality—The Philosophy of Realism—like most publications and especially those of a collaborative effort, signifies innumerable hours of effort. The goal of our journal is simple:… Read More Editorial Introduction – Reality as Katharsis
ABSTRACT: This article contrasts the pursuit of political science from a classically realist perspective versus a modernist one. We suggest that with the developments in modern philosophy and science, political science has stopped examining the common good itself, instead pursuing what is called a “value-free” analysis based on materialism, or a utopian ideal based on subjectivism. Neither path, however, arrives at the true good itself, as both approaches begin from a flawed set of metaphysical principles divorced from reality. Our proposal is that for political science to properly seek what is the actual common good, it must begin with a solid metaphysical foundation of true realism. To accomplish this, we shall look first to the foundation of political science with Aristotle, then, we shall examine what changed with the arrival of modernity. Finally, we will rely upon contemporary critics of political philosophy (Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin, and Jacques Maritain specifically) to account for the problems with political science in its current form, and consider how these problems may be addressed through a return to classical realism within political philosophy.… Read More [article] Political Science and Realism
How does truth admit of more or less? The same applies to nobility and being. One might also ask, just what does Thomas means by nobility? How is it distinct from goodness? How is the maximum in any genus supposed to cause everything else in that genus? Is this formal or efficient causality? Is this a Neo-Platonic argument from participation? Is the argument undermined by the Angelic Doctor’s outdated and erroneous example of fire as cause of all heat? Each issue is likely deserving of its own paper. Yet behind all these questions (except, perhaps, the meaning of nobility), lies a more primary difficulty: the meanings of “more or less” and the “maximum” by which they are denominated. How we answer the above questions depends on our understanding of these two key features of the argument.… Read More [essay] Participation and the Divine
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