Trabbic on TLS

Philosopher Joseph Trabbic kindly reviews The Last Superstition in the latest issue of the Saint Austin Review.  From the review:

[This] is no ordinary book of apologetics.  Edward Feser is a professional philosopher of an analytic bent whose main body of work is in the fields of philosophy of mind, moral and political philosophy, philosophy of religion, and economic theory.  Thus, alongside a number of scholarly articles, Feser has published introductory volumes to contemporary philosophy of mind, John Locke, Robert Nozick, and, most recently, Thomas Aquinas.  He has edited the Cambridge Companion to Hayek (the Austro-British economist and philosopher) as well.  Feser’s qualifications allow him to prosecute his case with a philosophical sophistication that is not found in many apologetic treatises.  One might say that as a Christian apologist Feser is overqualified
Feser does not just offer arguments for God’s existence and for what has come to be called “traditional morality” (although he does offer these arguments, as I have mentioned), he also argues for a Platonic-Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophical approach and against modern philosophical approaches.  And Feser does not do this in any gentle, deflationary way.  He insists, and attempts to show, that the classical philosophical tradition is demonstrably superior to the modern.  Feser’s way of doing philosophy is refreshingly red-blooded and virile, not for the philosophically faint of heart

Feser capably shows [that] Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens, for all their bluster, are, ultimately, intellectual lightweights, and Dennett, who is certainly the most philosophically astute of the group, nevertheless, fails to come even remotely close to a compelling argument for the New Atheism.

A word might be said about the tone of these pages.  Feser’s writing is often quite casual and, shall we say, undiplomatic

Of course, unlike most of the New Atheists, Feser can indulge in these sorts of ad hominem attacks because of the other truly sound arguments he makes that justify them.  Some readers might find such harsh commentary uncharitable. This reviewer finds it entertaining.  And let us not forget that the writings of Dawkins and Co. are loaded with barbs going the other way. Is it beneath a Catholic author to reply in kind?  Incivility is often uncalled for and unhelpful but this is not always so. This was certainly not the way that St. Thomas More thought about the matter in his infamously (or famously) “colorful” exchange with Luther.  It is a prudential question.
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