Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'philosophy'

Financial endeavors can serve the common good

“Gregg lays out a careful and detailed argument for the proposition that, done well, financial endeavors can serve the common good,” says Adam J. MacLeod in a review of Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg’s most recent book For God and Profit: How Banking and Finance Can Serve the Common Good. Continue Reading...

Brexit: national borders, democracy, jurisdiction

In a recent article for The Telegraph, Sir Roger Scruton discusses the importance of national borders in Europe and the threat that the EU poses to them.  He explains how religion once united Europe but since religion began to fade in the 17th century, territory took over as the principle that Europeans turn to in order to find unity.  Continue Reading...

Edmund Burke on economic freedom and the path to flourishing

Advocates of economic freedom have a peculiar habit of only promoting the merits of the free markets as they relate to innovation, poverty alleviation, and economic transformation. In response, critics are quick to lament a range of “disruptive” side effects, whether on local communities or human well-being. Continue Reading...

Virtuous envy?

Edward Feser, with a nod to Thomas Aquinas, discusses whether there might be such a thing as virtuous Schadenfreude. As Feser puts it, “On the one hand, the suffering of a person is not as such something to rejoice in, for suffering, considered just by itself, is an evil…. Continue Reading...

Human flourishing is a universal goal

Human knowledge and culture have exploded so thoroughly in diversity and specialization, especially in the Modern period, that few universals or unifying themes remain, says Jonathan T. Pennington. But one idea or theme that can still be identified as universal is human flourishing: Human flourishing alone is the idea that encompasses all human activity and goals because there is happiness. Continue Reading...

C. S. Lewis on selfishness vs. self-interest

C.S. Lewis wrote much about the tension between self-interest and selfishness, offering renewed clarity on these topics, says Art Lindsley. To Lewis, there is a huge difference between self-interest and selfishness, and there is a proper place for self-interest in our lives: When Lewis first came to faith, he did not think about eternal life, but focused on enjoying God in this life. Continue Reading...

Christianity and Liberalism

Over at the Gospel Coalition last week I reviewed Larry Siedentop’s Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism. As I conclude, “The story he tells is true, but at some points only half-true. Continue Reading...

The fruit of toil

In an Acton Commentary two years ago, I wrote about the significance of toil: In the midst of the now-common Christian affirmation of all forms of work as God-given vocations, the image of Sisyphus, vainly pushing his boulder up a hill in Hades, only to watch it roll back down again, might serve to remind us of the reality of toil, the other side of the coin. Continue Reading...

Man Is Not the Measure: Whittaker Chambers on Tyson’s ‘Rationalia’

“Men have never been so educated, but wisdom, even as an idea, has conspicuously vanished from the world.” –Whittaker Chambers The vain self-confidence of high-minded planners and politicians has caused great harm throughout human history, much of it done in the name of “reason” and “science” and “progress.” In an information age such as ours, the technocratic temptation is stronger than ever. Continue Reading...