Aquinas and the Role of the Metaphysician

Part of modern philosophy's distrust of metaphysics arises from a not undue association of the term with the Rationalist and Idealist philosophers of previous centuries; for thinkers from Spinoza to Hegel the task of metaphysics involves the deduction of an all-encompassing system of reality based on self-evident, a priori propositions, an activity which easily slips into speculation. For … Continue reading Aquinas and the Role of the Metaphysician

Notes from the History of Laughter

I recently picked up Mikhail Bakhtin's classic Rabelais and His World, an excellent and vastly illuminating work of literary criticism. Bakhtin's primary thesis is that Rabelais is the culminating literary expression of the carnival or grotesque idiom of folk humor, an idiom which had developed for over a thousand years (starting with the Roman Saturnalia) as an "unofficial" or subversive … Continue reading Notes from the History of Laughter