Links roundup, 9.14

Getting into the swing of things with a big semester forced me to take a week or so off of the blog. Some catching up today.

Hadley Arkes weighs in on the Pastor Jones Koran burning affair. He bemoans the “tendency of jurisprudence in our own time to detach the law so sharply from the moral ground that justifies—and limits—the making of laws. Or to put it another way, to detach what is “morally right” from what is “legally right.” That detachment increasingly raises a problem of coherence for the law—as it did for the clergymen, who insisted on denouncing as deeply “wrongful” what they took as eminently “rightful” in the eyes of the law.”

Fr. Robert Barron has a new television show coming to a commercial network in October (Sunday mornings on WGN America). I hold Fr. Barron in very high regard, he is an extremely articulate and philosophically astute commentator. This will, to the best of my knowledge, be the first such program on a commercial network since ArchBishop Fulton Sheen’s program called “Life is worth living” in the 1950s. That show was incredibly popular (I understand it had some 30 million viewers each week). I sometimes still watch Sheen. He was just magnificent at what he did. And I love his dramatic style, he had a real sense of stage. As someone who sometimes teaches huge lecture classes, I have come to appreciate the place for “theater” in teaching. If you have not ever seen Archbishop Sheen, youtube him. Seriously, wouldn’t America be a more serious nation if this was regular television viewing fare for a great number of people?

Philosopher Roger Scruton talks about his mounting skepticism about what neuroscience can tell us and his dismay at all the new “neuro-envy” we are seeing in so many disciplines (neurophilosophy, neuroethics, etc etc etc).

Finally, I have not watched this yet, but I am told that Stephen Hawking debated Father Robert Spitzer on Larry King Live last Friday. (someone post the link if it is available online). I presume everyone knows Hawking. Fr. Spitzer is a Jesuit priest, philosophy, and physcist, and former President of Gonzaga University. I have heard him speak once before and he is very sharp.

About Kleiner

Associate Vice Provost and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University. I teach across the curriculum, but am most interested in continental philosophy, ancient and medieval philosophy as well as Catholic thought, all of which might be summed up as an interest in the ressourcement tradition (returning in order to make progress). I also enjoy spending time thinking about liberal education and its ends.
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