Sunday, December 17, 2017

A stocking stuffer for your Romanian friends

Just in time for Christmas: A collection of several of my essays has been published in a Romanian translation, under the title De la Aristotel la John Searle și înapoi. Patru articole filosofice.  More information here.

Since we’re on the subject of translation (not to mention stocking stuffers), it is worth reminding interested readers that The Last Superstition is available in a German translation and a Portuguese translation.


  1. Will your essays be available in English any time soon?

    Obviously a (bad) joke.

  2. I think it's time for another one of these Open Threads Ed, don't you think?

    It's been half a year since the previous one, and by the frequency (March and June are 3 months apart) I thought it would be every 3 months or so...

    It would be quite the Christmas gift to the readers though.


    Anyway, since this post here doesn't have any overarching topic, I thought I could ask a question for the folks here:

    Can we argue for the PSR using a demonstrative argument to the effect that it is contradictory of the nature of being?

    Suppose a PSR rejecter answered the question of "What keeps the universe in being?" with "Nothing keeps it in being."

    Now suppose he were asked the question "Why don't unicorns exist?". The answer to that question would obviously be "Because nothing keeps them in being."

    Now obviously, this creates a contradiction, because unicorns don't exist and the universe does.

    This argument would be the closest thing to arguing for PSR directly, and the only way to counter it would be to somehow find a way to not make the above two propositions equivocal.

    The meaning of nothing keeping an existing thing in being and nothing keeping a non-existent thing in being would have to be different from each other, because otherwise we would have absurdity.

    Another way to put this in a more formal way would be:

    1: " If nothing keeps a thing in being, that thing does not exist."

    2: " Nothing keeps a unicorn in being."

    3: " Therefore, unicorns don't exist."

    Premise 1 is obvious, as is premise 2.

    And when that same syllogism is applied to the universe, a manifestly false conclusion arises.

    What do you think?

    1. I think the atheist would have to agree that something keeps the universe in being for these reasons, but couldn't he opt for saying that which keeps it in being is some law(s) of nature or some scientific force/law that we have yet to discover?

    2. That would not be feasible because and force or law would be a thing that has an essence and as such would be contingent. Laws generally describe what happens in contingent systems but the question of existence is beyond the sphere of mere force or law.

      Furthermore, what would that law actually be? Its not a thing, not a description, not some sort of existential inertia, and it seems we would have to end up ascribing to it theistic qualities.

  3. Ed,
    An open thread would be great. If you are ever short on knowing "what I should blog about" I'm sure the readers could let you know what they need or are interested in.

  4. My Romanian friends think that the instantaneous sidetracking of this thread constitutes a micro-aggression against Romanians everywhere. If my Romanian friends had any power at all or were important in any way--well, you all would be in trouble.

  5. Holy cr*p I live in Romania and speak the language - I could actually read this! Well done whoever had this idea. (It's not even a particularly Catholic country......)

  6. I am one of the translators of this volume. I am glad that A-T is being introduced into the Romanian philosophical-theological context! I think it promises fruitful developments in the future.

  7. I am a fan of Dr. Feser since at least five years ago, own The Last Superstition, I am Romanian (living in Romania) and Catholic. Will definitely purchase the volume. Congrats to the translators and the publishing house, thank you!