Book Report 2013

Tim Kowal

Tim Kowal is a husband, father, and attorney in Orange County, California, Vice President of the Orange County Federalist Society, commissioner on the OC Human Relations Commission, and Treasurer of Huntington Beach Tomorrow. The views expressed on this blog are his own. You can follow this blog via RSS, Facebook, or Twitter. Email is welcome at timkowal at

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4 Responses

  1. Rufus F. says:

    Parsing out this paragraph: “Written for a wide audience, Feser makes a strong case that the Enlightenment got ahead of itself in rejecting Aristotle’s final and formal causes before actually devising a workable alternative metaphysic.” Okay, I follow so far. To be fair, a number of thinkers of that era tried to devise a workable alternative metaphysic and the results tended to go from a bit silly to very, very bad. “And as Huxley put it, “It is impossible to live without a metaphysic. The choice that is given us is not between some kind of metaphysic and no metaphysic; it is always between a good metaphysic and a bad metaphysic.” The Enlightenment gave us only bad metaphysics…” Up to here I follow what the three of you are saying, so probably the book would be interesting. I don’t really get this though, “and so frustrated contemporary thinkers would now have Huxley join Aristotle in history’s dustbin.” Who are we talking about? The New Atheists? Is there really anyone arguing that we just get rid of Huxley and Aristotle? Conversely, do the metaphysics people really want to embrace all of Huxley’s new agey mysticism and human potential stuff? Don’t get me wrong- I’m sure I’ll read the book, but I’m just surprised at the idea that there are many contemporary thinkers who want to throw out Aristotle for believing in final and formal causes or Huxley for being an quasi-mystical agnostic.Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Rufus F. says:

      My quibble is that it appears that since some folks think metaphysics since the enlightenment hasn’t been as satisfactory as they like, that we ought to go back to a supernatural based metaphysics. But bad naturalistic metaphysics cannot be a proof of the supernatural. If, in fact, all we have is the natural world, with no supernatural elements at all, then going back to pre-enlightenment metaphysics is a retrograde action.

      And since there’s no actual evidence for the supernatural…Report

    • Tim Kowal in reply to Rufus F. says:

      Feser doesn’t mention Huxley; I just appropriated the quote. but yes, the focus of Feser’s arguments are the New Atheists and their metaphysics of scienceism–a sort of metaphysic itself while denying and disparaging metaphysics.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Rufus F. says:

      Korzybski wanted to get rid of Aristotle, but he’s been out of followers since S I Hayakawa diedReport