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Feser's Aristotle's Revenge

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  • Feser's Aristotle's Revenge

    I just recieved my copy a couple weeks ago. I'm not very far in. Any comments, points, perhaps critiques of the book?

  • #2
    Originally posted by RomanJoe View Post
    I just recieved my copy a couple weeks ago. I'm not very far in. Any comments, points, perhaps critiques of the book?
    I pre-ordered mine but haven't gotten it yet. I'll let you know when I do.

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    • #3
      Does he address the truthmaker objection to presentism (that some facts about the past or future are true therefore what is it that makes them true)?

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      • #4
        I have heard him say that he thinks that is a bad objection, so I'd hope he says something about it in the "In defense of presentism" section.

        I haven't bought the book and probably won't, though.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DanielCC View Post
          Does he address the truthmaker objection to presentism (that some facts about the past or future are true therefore what is it that makes them true)?
          I haven't got that far into the book to tell you yet. I do like the layout of this books so far. He provides a quick overview of some of the concepts covered in Scholastic Metaphysics and then goes on to argue that the rational conscious subject presupposes an Aristotelian metaphysic to even operate as a rational conscious subject--e.g. teleological thought, persistence through change, conscious unity, etc. He then prepares to defend the thesis that this Aristotlelian image which has been relegated merely to the realm of the subjective conscious self by the dominance of a mechanical worldview, is presumed by modern science.

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          • #6
            What about the chapters on evolution? Honnestly, I'm dying to know what he say in the part on what he think is the teleological nature of natural selection, and how he articulates essentialism and evolution.

            Care to share, in a nutshell?

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            • #7
              Where's Norman Rockwell when I need him? Me: seated by the mailbox, slingshot hanging out of back pocket, sad old hound dog beside me, the postman's silhouette on the horizon ...

              I've been looking forward to this for months.

              Originally posted by Ouros View Post
              What about the chapters on evolution? Honnestly, I'm dying to know what he say in the part on what he think is the teleological nature of natural selection, and how he articulates essentialism and evolution.
              Testify.
              Last edited by Bamidbar 22; 03-31-2019, 04:47 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ouros View Post
                What about the chapters on evolution? Honnestly, I'm dying to know what he say in the part on what he think is the teleological nature of natural selection, and how he articulates essentialism and evolution.

                Care to share, in a nutshell?
                Haven't gotten that far. Maybe you should start a thread with your thoughts on the topic. I would be interested in a discussion.

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                • Ouros
                  Ouros commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Actually, I don't have a definite opinion on the matter, so I'm not sure what I could say.

              • #9
                Originally posted by DanielCC View Post
                Does he address the truthmaker objection to presentism (that some facts about the past or future are true therefore what is it that makes them true)?
                He has recently on his blog here: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2019...entailing.html

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                • #10
                  I am not convinced by Feser's defense. He doesn't seem to define what a fact is, or explain what they reduce to or are grounded in. This makes the facts defense pretty much useless, in my view. Unless I'm really missing something.

                  Are facts timeless entities? Apparently, he doesn't think so. But then they are temporal, and only exist in the present. How do they exist then? They can't be platonic-like abstract objects because that is anathema to Aristotelians. Are they grounded in temporal objects that exist right now, with their accidents and relations? That's what I used to think, but I became doubtful when I reflected on the possibility of the universe ceasing to exist or beint annihilated. And apparently, Pruss came up with the same objection. How would we have facts about the universe having existed if al of it is annihilated by God in the next second?

                  The only way would be to somehow ground facts in divine thoughts, I think.

                  But Feser apparently refuses to say what a "fact" is.

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                  • #11
                    I'm also not persuaded by that defense. I don't think Feser's notion of a fact is sufficiently dissimilar from the notion of the truth of a proposition to do any truthmaking work. The proposal seems empty to me.

                    I think we should just reject the truthmaker principle.

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                    • #12
                      With all due respect rejecting the truthmaker principle is close to madness - something like it at least is one of the most basic ontological principles and consequences of the correspondence theory of truth.

                      I would be far happier booting presentism than the truthmaker principle. Feser has a bit of a tendency to present the alternative always as some scientistic version of B-theorical eternalism but that doesn't have to be the case (for my part I have no issue with non-presentist theories providing they can accommodate libertarian free will). There is also the common fudging of A and B theories with Endurantism and Perdurantism (temporal parts) - the latter should be avoided for a whole number of reasons but B-theorists need not accept it, and those who do do so mostly because of the dread scientism.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Atno View Post
                        The only way would be to somehow ground facts in divine thoughts, I think..
                        God's thoughts have been proposed as truthmakers for past and future events (see here). The main problem is that it sits badly with Divine Simplicity. Then again contingent beliefs are a problem for DS anyway, so there's no reason why someone who isn't phased by that can't put the Divine Mind to work solving the truthmaker problem too.
                        Last edited by DanielCC; 04-28-2019, 10:58 PM.

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by DanielCC View Post

                          God's thoughts have been proposed as truthmakers for past and future events (see here). The main problem is that it sits badly with Divine Simplicity. Then again contingent beliefs are a problem for DS anyway, so there's no reason why someone who isn't phased by that can't put the Divine Mind to work solving the truthmaker problem too.
                          That depends on why they're not phased by the accidental property objection. On standard truthmaker theory, a truthmaker has to necessitate the truth of truths it makes true in every possible world it exists, and even a lot of people who aren't phased by the accidental property objection want to maintain that God is strictly identical in every possible world.

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by DanielCC View Post
                            With all due respect rejecting the truthmaker principle is close to madness - something like it at least is one of the most basic ontological principles and consequences of the correspondence theory of truth.

                            I would be far happier booting presentism than the truthmaker principle. Feser has a bit of a tendency to present the alternative always as some scientistic version of B-theorical eternalism but that doesn't have to be the case (for my part I have no issue with non-presentist theories providing they can accommodate libertarian free will). There is also the common fudging of A and B theories with Endurantism and Perdurantism (temporal parts) - the latter should be avoided for a whole number of reasons but B-theorists need not accept it, and those who do do so mostly because of the dread scientism.
                            I also would rather accept B theory than reject the truthmaker principle. Truthmaker principle is quite obviously true to me.

                            That being said, I may have warmed up a little to Feser's response, given his last exchange of comments with Pruss. Maybe the issue is that we are begging the question by not taking tensed facts like a presentist should. But I am still not fully convinced.

                            Currently, I lean towards A theory, but I am not that opposed to B theory.

                            But someone could also resist B theory and instead accept a diferent kind of A theory. Presentism isn't the only available theory that takes tense seriously, so to speak. Growing block and moving spotlight could be options to evade the truthmaker objection.

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