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Stuart Taylor examines the claim that Judge Alito is outside the mainstream, concluding that he's well within both the general American mainstream and the legal/judicial mainstream. [Hat tip: SCOTUSBlog]

William Wainwright has updated his Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Jonathan Edwards, originally authored in 2002. Most Edwards fans don't look at his philosophy as much as other aspects of his work, so I very much appreciate when a philosopher takes an interest in the first great American philosopher. Wainwright has done a lot to motivate thinking of Edwards as up there with the great early moderns, and I have to agree. Edwards and G.W. Leibniz are by far my favorite early modern philosophers. Edwards anticipated both Berkeley and Hume in interesting ways.

Brooksilver at The Lord of the Blog Rings has a nice post about Christian parables within The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I'm beginning to realize how little I remember from those books. I must have been 10 or so when I read them. I highly recommend his blog as a whole, by the way. I discovered it during his recent hiatus when he wasn't posting anything, but he's been a good friend for years, and I intend to read everything he posts now that he's back to blogging.

Two more pictures of the kids: Isaiah prim and proper and Sophia's underwear hat


I actually got to meet William Wainwright when I was at Marquette and found out then that he pursued the more philosophical aspect of Edwards. I have several wonderful books regarding Edwards's philosophy - the books are:

1) "Edwards in Our Time" edited by Lee and Guelzo
2) The Philosophy of Jonathan Edwards" by Stephen Daniel
3) "The Philosophical Theology of Jonathan Edwards" by Sang Hyun Lee

Thanks for the Wainwright Link! I always enjoying reading anything I can get my hands on regarding Edwards.

I just read Robert Jenson's book on Edwards. Really knew very little about him before this. I was astonished at the depth of Edwards thought, and the amount to which he anticipated much of late 20th century theology.

One of my favorite Edwards quotes I saw in the book was, "All created identity is arbitrary." Edwards apparently felt that the problem of identity was not one which had some sort of natural solution. That point seemed quite postmodern to me.

You have to keep in mind that Edwards's identity issue is a response to John Locke, who was restricting his use of the term 'identity' to a very specific problem -- what connects me now to me later, making me the same me at both times. Postmodernism in its most raw form extends it to any sort of identity claim. Edwards isn't saying anything like that.

The view Edwards took was actually a natural progression from some of what Locke held, and the development through Berkeley to Hume shows this. Hume has a pretty similar view, according to which you don't have any good reason to connect each stage of your existence with the next one in a way that you can treat each stage as belonging to the same person. Edwards thinks the answer is that God simply declares the stages to be the same person, but Hume thought it was merely human convention and not one grounded in reason.

I've always wondered what would have happened if those two had had a chance to read each other's work and respond to it. That both of them independently arrived at the same sort of thing is a good sign that things were tending in that direction anyway.

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