The primary reason why I have for some time not published any posts to this blog is that that my teaching responsibilities took over my professional life. There is also a secondary reason, that I have begun seeing a diminishing of the intellectual returns on my efforts at extracting the arguments at work in Aquinas’s “Prologue” to his Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. But the primary reason is the primary reason and the secondary the secondary.
I have thought, then, that I had to choose between writing for my blog and taking care of my courses and, so thinking, I had to choose the latter. Having, however, reflected over the past couple of weeks on what had happened in the course of the past semester and on what I would like to see happen over the course of the coming semester, I have come to see that my options are not quite so limited. That is, I have come to see that it is quite possible for me to combine my blogging and my teaching activities by writing about matters suggested by or explicitly coming up in my teaching.
It turns out, on the one hand, that I am not teaching a course tightly related to the review I have undertaken of Aquinas’s commentary. I therefore do not foresee my advancing that review any further during the course of the coming semester, though I do envision returning to it once the semester is over. It also turns out, on the other hand, that the coming semester will seem me teaching an “Introduction to Philosophy” course. It is upon matters suggested by or explicitly coming up in my teaching of this course that I have decided to focus the coming posts.
Thus the next post.
I am engaged in some thinking, surely elementary, about logical (or ontological) priority and posteriority and their analogy with temporal priority and posteriority. More specifically, I am thinking that, just as there is the one word, “simultaneous,” meaning “at the same time,” i.e., “neither temporally prior to nor temporally posterior to,” so there could or should be some one word, other than “simultaneous,” meaning “neither logically (or ontologically) prior to nor logically (or ontologically) posterior to.” The contrary thought is that I should just go ahead and use the one word, “simultaneous,” to express “neither logically (or ontologically) prior to nor logically (or ontologically) posterior to.” I will appreciate any suggestions or related thoughts.
The ruminations just noted came up as I thought about Aquinas’s understanding of superiority and inferiority, in the theory of which “equal” holds a place similar to that of “simultaneous” in the theory of time, and, more specifically, about his understanding of causal priority and posteriority.
Once again, I will appreciate any suggestions or related thoughts.
Until next time.
In his August 19, 2017, post, “Define or Drop,” the Maverick Philosopher’s”maverick philosopher,” Bill Vallicella, offers the following statement regarding and invitation and directive to “leftists.”
For leftists, words are weapons. If you are a lefty, and you disagree, then I invite you to define ‘fascist,’ ‘racist,’ ‘white supremacist,’ and the rest of the epithets in your arsenal. Define ’em or drop ’em.
He himself, however, does not define “leftist” or “leftism,” at least in this post. I don’t recall him having defined either term in other posts, and I have read many of them.
If, then, Bill, you have defined one or the other in some one of your many, many, posts bearing on leftists, I ask that you let us know in which one. If you haven’t, then, your directive to yourself has to be, “Define it or drop it.”
Until next time.