Thursday, January 19, 2017
In various articles I have discussed the historic reasons for the inclusion of the Electoral College process in presidential elections, citing specific reasons the Founding Fathers, soon after gaining American independence from the British Empire and experiencing the deficiencies of the Articles of Confederation, finally framed a Constitutional Republic at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. The founders chose this form of government for the United States rather than a simple majoritarian democracy. As opposed to a mass democracy where a simple popular majority decides the law, the rights of citizens, and the election of all officials — in a Constitutional Republic, the deliberate rule of law is supreme, and the government is limited in scope and is subject to the doctrines of Limited Government, Separation of Powers, and Checks and Balances. In a Republic, the property of all, the human rights of unpopular minorities, and the natural rights of individual citizens are all protected, despite unjust, capricious, and sometimes the covetous vote of the majority of less-well-to-do citizens.
The Electoral College is one of those institutions of a republican...
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
This is a review of the book Aristotle by John Herman Randall, Jr., Easton Press leather bound edition (1990).
The author John Herman Randall (1899-1980) was an educator, Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, and a humanist, signer of the Humanist manifesto (1933). A favorable Foreword for the book was written by the Reverend Joseph Owens, C. Ss. R. (1908-2005), a Canadian Roman Catholic priest and philosopher, a Christian scholar of St. Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, metaphysics, and medieval philosophy. This Foreword adds to the value of this tome.
However, the Foreword is somewhat misleading, as the good priest set out apparently to find what was good in the work, and he found enough of it to be able to write a praiseworthy introduction. True, as intimated by Father Owens, the author Randall admires and places Aristotle on the intellectual pedestal “The Philosopher” deserves. Father Owens points out and praises Randall and “his penetrating insight to insist that Aristotelianism ‘can be applied to any social and cultural materials…to Soviet Russia, to medieval Christendom, to India, to New York City.’ ” This was apparently the type of statement...