The Charles De Koninck Project

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Yves Simon’s Correspondence with Charles De Koninck and Jacques Maritain on the Common Good

Yves Simon’s Correspondence with Charles De Koninck and Jacques Maritain on the Common Good translated by Michael Waldstein Introductory Note by Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist. Charles De Koninck’s book On the Primacy of the Common Good: Against the Personalists was highly controversial at the time of its publication in 1943. One controversy had to do with whom exactly was meant by “the personalists” of the subtitle. The French philosopher Yves Simon (1903-1961) wrote a review of the book, in which he praises De Koninck for vindicating the true nature of the common good, as a good which is not merely a collection of private […]

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On Tolerance: The Benignity of the Christian

On Tolerance: The Benignity of the Christian

On Tolerance: The Benignity of the Christian Introduction The Church of Rome cannot be tolerant in dogmatic matters without renouncing itself. Does it follow that religious and moral errors must be prevented, whenever it would be possible to prevent them? In effect, is it not in itself an immoral act to tolerate religious and moral error? Addressing himself to Italian Catholic lawyers in 1953, Pius XII answers that: Moreover, God has not given even to human authority such an absolute and universal command in matters of faith and morality. Such a command is unknown to the common convictions of mankind, […]

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Aristotelian Matter in an Evolutionary Cosmos

Aristotelian Matter in an Evolutionary Cosmos

Aristotelian Matter in an Evolutionary Cosmos A talk given by Senior Fellow Andrew Seeley to the Society for Aristotelian Studies in June 2011 at Thomas Aquinas College. In the Theaetetus we learn that an opinion is not something easily formed, that it takes time, conversation both interior and exterior, the proper balance of daring and caution, and I might add hope, fear, joy, depression, wonder and disgust, before one commits one’s soul with confidence to an idea.  Some of the ideas in this paper I have been thinking about six or seven years, and they have gone through a number of […]

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Do Material Things Have Forms?

Do Material Things Have Forms?

Do Material Things Have Forms? A talk given by Senior Fellow Sean Collins on October 2nd, 2013 at Thomas Aquinas College.    Introduction Dr. Seeley recently did a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I admired him for doing that, and wondered how he has such wonderful talents that he can do that on top of so many other excellent things. But then it crossed my mind that he may have produced the play Hamlet, but lately I’ve been the one who feels like Hamlet, because I’ve felt myself to be in a quandary about what to do for this lecture. I wanted […]

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Charles De Koninck on Beauty as a Transcendental

Charles De Koninck on Beauty as a Transcendental

A passage in The Writings of Charles De Koninck asserts that, as opposed to animals, “in man taken purely as such, there is coextension between the object of intelligence and the object of love, since intellect grasps the mark (ratio) of the good.  Indeed, the domain of intellect extends beyond the domain of love, for we can think of objects to which the will cannot tend as proper objects–mathematical entities, for example. . . In intellectual being, the inclination which follows on apprehension is under the command of intelligence.” The endnote (112) to this passage on page 352 of the […]

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Symbols, symbols, symbols…

Symbols, symbols, symbols… In my first post I mentioned Descartes’ Rules for the Direction of the Mind as an important text in the philosophical birth of modern science. I also noted that a new manuscript of this unpublished work had been found by Richard Searjantson of Cambridge University. In the meantime I took an all-too-brief trip to England for a conference, at which Searjantson and his colleague Michael Edwards gave a presentation on this manuscript. But already I can feel myself lapsing into academic-speak. To bend the stick the other way, I’ll introduce the manuscript in question-answer format: Q. What’s […]

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A Note on De Koninck’s “Concept, Process, and Reality”

A Note on De Koninck’s “Concept, Process, and Reality” Charles De Koninck writes about the natural aspiration of human reason to know all things in a single unitary vision. This desire of human reason is not different, ultimately, from the human desire to know God, and to know all things in Him.  In the philosophical mode of pursuing this desire it is necessary, as De Koninck notes, to avoid two contrary errors: on the one hand, to suppose, after the manner of the so-called “dialectical philosophy,” that the way to a unified vision is via the simple negation of the […]

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Determinism, Contingency, Chance and Finality in Nature

Determinism, Contingency, Chance and Finality in Nature

Determinism, Contingency, Chance and Finality in Nature Folder 18:  Part 4 – pages 19-47 1.  Determinism, Materialism and Evolution There is no doctrine less evolutionist than determinism.  We realize perfectly the paradoxical character of this assertion, since most evolutionist “systems” were entirely determinist.  And yet, if evolution happened in a rigorously determinist manner, it would be necessary to say that all the future in nature was already perfectly predetermined in the initial constellation of the world.  It would follow that a sufficiently powerful human intelligence, which knew this original arrangement would be able to see determinately all that will be […]

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Indeterminism and Indeterminacy

Indeterminism and Indeterminacy

Indeterminism and Indeterminacy   Q33-159—169            Indeterminism and Indeterminacy (Eleven pages typed, text probably by CDK with corrections by TDK.  Unpublished) UNEDITED   Bertrand Russell has pointed out that in modern usage the word ‘cause’ enjoys one single meaning, akin to what Aristotle called the agent cause. It is true that we do speak about “what a thing is made of” and that we do use the words ‘form’, structure, etc., but we are not wont in English to talk of them as ‘causes’.  There are probably some very good reasons why that should happen; certainly, to equate ‘causality’ with ‘agency’—as […]

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A Ploggy Theory in a Recent Coffee Comercial

A Ploggy Theory in a Recent Coffee Comercial

In a recent commercial for Keurig Coffee, we have a good example of a “Ploggy Theory.” In the commercial, a content father asks his family: “How does [a Keurig machine] brew such great coffee?” His daughter pipes up with a fantastical story about what happens inside the brewer, involving tiny coffee fields, a ski lift that dumps the beans in a grinder, and streams of water all going on inside the machine. The wife retorts, “Actually, I just press this button,” and the machine works. The girl’s story is an example of a “Ploggy Theory.” These theories are ex post facto explanations which could possibly […]

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