John Henry Newman and the Problem of Inductive Knowledge

I think that the neglect of Newman as a philosopher is lamentable; Newman is an original thinker, one whose philosophical thought warrants attention for its own merits. An indirect goal of this paper is to establish this claim.

Download here. Good on you Joe! Newman’s Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent to my mind is a classic but of course is overlooked/sneered at in the world of humanist sophisticates.


Walker Percy Wednesday 71


They were a pair of rascals. What a surprise. No one ever expects the English to be rascals (compare Greeks, Turks, Lebanese, Chinese). No, the English, who have no use for God, are the most decent people on earth. Why? Because they got rid of God. They got rid of God two hundred years ago and became extraordinarily decent to prove they didn’t need him. Compare Merrie England of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A nation of rowdies.


“You could help our work on mind-force with your scientific expertise in psychiatry. We’re on the same side in the struggle against materialism. Together we could help break the laws of materialism that straitjacket modern science.”
“I believe in such laws.”
“We could oppose the cult of objectivity that science breeds.”
“I favor such objectivity.”


“It would render him totally abstracted from himself, totally alienated from the concrete world, and in such a state of angelism that he will fall prey to the first abstract notion proposed to him and will kill anybody who gets in his way, torture, execute, wipe out entire populations, all with the best possible motives and the best possible intentions, in fact in the name of peace and freedom, etcetera.”

Walker Percy at the Bogue Falaya River in Covington, LA


The Mangy Parrot 1

It is a scandal against nature for a rational mother to do what no ass, no cat, no dog, nor any female animal devoid of reason would do.

“Cruel women, how can you be so insolent and shameless as to call yourselves mothers? Do you have any inkling of a mother’s great dignity? Are you aware of the tokens by which she is known? Have you ever remarked the lengths to which a hen goes to preserve her chicks? Oh, no! You conceived us out of lust, you gave birth to us out of necessity, you call us your children out of habit, you comfort us now and then out of obligation, and you abandon us out of an excess of self-love or detestable lechery.

How wrong men are to let their wives overrule them, especially regarding the rearing and education of their children!


Mick Ronson

I’ve been meaning to pay homage to Mick Ronson long before Bowie’s death was announced. Bowie worked with some of the greatest guitarists but Ronson stands as his #1 axeman but also #1 arranger — that’s saying something. Of course the term “x is one of the best ys” is so easily bandied about. But MR really is quite astonishing in the sense that he was part and parcel to the success of some of the greatest music of the 20th Century. And much of it has to do not with “hack technicality” (Frank Zappa referring to the mid-70s prog rock type guitarist), nor with merely a highly talented and solid hired gun — but to do with the hyper-dramatic-modernism he injected into the music and without ever losing its profound soulfulness.

Now here’s a Ronson nerd — love it! And yes, there is a part two featuring Ian Hunter.

Of Love and Politics

Aurelian Craiutu reviews Oakeshott’s Notebooks, 1922-86. I don’t share the view that:

If Oakeshott were alive today, he would welcome the fact that “the politics of faith” against which he wrote memorable pages seem to have lost some of its appeal.

I think that the centre has not held at all and is at its narrowest band in at least a hundred years. The politics of faith still animates pretty much everything politically and much else besides, so easily promulgated in this hyper networked age.