Must-read on teleology by Feser

Since Aquinas has been around in a couple of recent posts, may I draw your intention to an Idiot’s Guide to teleology that Ed Feser has written for Jerry Coyne (!) He makes many points well that I’ve often tried to make badly. And he only takes one side-swipe at Intelligent Design – but the recent discussion will maybe help you understand why he does so, even if you think he’s being unfair.

Jon Garvey

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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5 Responses to Must-read on teleology by Feser

  1. Lou Jost says:

    Nothing conveys seriousness like an essay that starts with two long paragraphs of personal insults and a juvenile photoshopped picture of the person being insulted.

  2. When I read Feser’s blog I reacted similarly to Lou (before seeing his comment).
    Never mind pots and kettles, such an ad hominem attack is unnecessary and tell us something about Feser too.

    • Jon Garvey Jon Garvey says:

      Feser and Coyne have a history, of course. But it’s true that even some of Feser’s own supporters criticise his polemic style (especially in his popular book The Last Superstition. Nevertheless, he does go on to argue his intellectual position exhaustively, which additional step some writers seem to omit.

      Personally I find arguing with mutual respect is important, which dictates editorial policy here. It might be more difficult, I guess, if I were more of a public figure and had to reply to the arguments of those who trade mainly in denegration – as it is, its often easier to withdraw from conversation or quietly lose people from the blog (only two in 3 years or so!).

      • Jon Garvey Jon Garvey says:

        It seems to be catching! Why are so many otherwise pleasant people so rude about Jerry Coyne?

        I find it interesting that few of Jerry’s own friends are as critical of his polemics as Feser’s are of his. But that may be because Jerry backs up his language with real action, both on his blog and in the public arena. He’s not a man to disagree with, whether you’re a believer or – in Massimo’s case – a fellow Gnu.

        But enough – what was interesting about Feser’s post, and the only reason I linkied to it, was the philosophy: as I implied in the post above, those who indulge in polemics are in danger of having their arguments lost in the scuffle. In some cases, that’s deliberate.

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