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This is a comment I was going to leave on your Amazon review of 'The Last Superstition,' but apparently you have to have purchased something from Amazon before they let you comment. Oh well, I'll post it here: I was going to comment on this review, but unfortunately there's literally *nothing* of substance to comment upon. I wonder if the reviewer has actually read the book. For example, we get: "as best I can extract it from the incredibly thick polemic in which it is buried, he argues that without final causation, there's no non-Humean causation, and all final causation must terminate in God. But neither of these steps could be convincing without considerably further explanation and support than he offers." But notice that Boyden fails to recapitulate Feser's argument, even in a bare bones form, and fails to show precisely where he thinks "further explanation and support" is needed. Or, take this: "I expected him to misunderstand and misrepresent the naturalist position" But notice that Boyden fails to provide a single example of Feser's "misunderstandings" and "misrepresentations." (One wonders how Boyden distinguishes what he takes to be Feser's 'misunderstandings,' which are not intentional, from his 'misrepresentations,' which must be intentional. One wonders if Boyden cares about the difference between the two.) Another example: "Sadly, his presentation of his Thomistic view was far too sketchy to give one the slightest inkling of how he might respond to countless obvious (and frequently raised) difficulties." Well, exactly where was it sketchy? What did it lack? Care to offer an example -- at least one? What difficulties did Feser fail to respond to? If they're so obvious, what prevented you from providing at least one example? (Could it be the fear that someone who has actually read the book might read your "review"?) Let's go on: "Further, of course, he did misunderstand and misrepresent the naturalist position very badly." How? Where? If it was so bad, wouldn't it be easy to provide an example? I could go on with this sort of thing, but what's the point? But let me address one final comment: "I would be remiss if I didn't point out that all this mass of stilted rhetoric and terrible argument is advanced in the cause of bigotry; the first paragraph of his preface establishes the importance he attaches to his anti-gay agenda." This takes the cake. Feser defends a version of natural law morality, provides metaphysical arguments (whether you think they're good arguments is another issue altogether) to support his position, only mentions homosexuality in a handful of paragraphs throughout the entire three hundred plus page book, and you see this as "a mass of rhetoric" in support of an "anti-gay agenda"? (Does merely defending Feser from this idiotic charge, in Boyden's mind, make me anti-gay too? I suspect it does.) I have to wonder again if Boyden actually read the book. Or maybe he understands "reading a book" to mean reading the introduction, the book jacket, and some negative reviews of the book. Unfortunately, the utter lack of substance in this "review" supports this notion.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2010 on The Last Supertition at Neurath's Boat
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Feb 3, 2010