The great danger that bedevils any powerful heuristic or interpretive discipline is the tendency to mistake method for ontology

Quote of the Day for Friday, September 30th, 2011: David Bentley Hart, from an On The Square article today over at First Things, on the inherently epistemologically-limiting nature of intellectual methodology, and the dangers of ignoring that fact: The great danger that bedevils any powerful heuristic or interpretive discipline is the tendency to mistake method for ontology, and so to mistake a partial perspective on particular truths for a comprehensive vision of truth as such. In the modern world, this is an especially pronounced danger in the sciences...

Interiorizing Pop Brands

Over the past few weeks, I’ve written several posts related to the challenge of introducing growing children to the ubiquitous pop culture while minimizing the negative effects of the encounter on their moral and spiritual well-being. Given that ubiquitousness of pop culture, and that my primary responsibility toward my children is for their moral and spiritual formation, this is a big deal to me. I suspect this is also a big deal to many others, even to many who think that the moral and spiritual formation of their children is a secondary respons...

The Heart of the Matter (part 2)

My last post ended up focusing on the need to understand the nature of the problem of pornography, but what I’m really trying to get at is seeing how people are shaped by the ideas they encounter and absorb, how this is particularly true of children, and how this generality might be applied to the concrete situations parents find themselves in when confronted with the need to make decisions regarding their children’s involvement in pop culture, with its attendant mores. I take it for granted that everything we encounter in life, including eve...

The Heart of the Matter

Expanding only slightly on the maxim that you are what you eat, I would propose that you are what you consume. People argue over whether or not violent movies or video games promote violence in society, whether pornography has similar effects, etc. I think it is a silly argument, and see no need for anyone to have to empirically prove what is readily discernible by common sense. You are what you consume, and if this were not true in some meaningful way, there would be no propaganda, no advertising, no equal air time demands, and certainly nobody concern...

Modern Scholar series (part I)

In the spirit of always trying to look on the bright side of things… One of the advantages to spending two hours or so each weekday commuting to and from work is the opportunity it affords me to listen to audio books. I was in the local public library over the weekend, and noticed that they had a new title from Thomas F. Madden in Recorded Books’ Modern Scholar series. Unsurprisingly, the series overall is a bit of a mixed bag, but, having listened to all of Madden’s volumes so far, I can vouch for the quality of all of them. These are ...