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 Post subject: Philosophical Quote
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:03 am 
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Hammer of Heretics
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Through philosophy's work, the ability to speculate which is proper to the human intellect produces a rigorous mode of thought; and then in turn, through the logical coherence of the affirmations made and the organic unity of their content, it produces a systematic body of knowledge. In different cultural contexts and at different times, this process has yielded results which have produced genuine systems of thought. Yet often enough in history this has brought with it the temptation to identify one single stream with the whole of philosophy. In such cases, we are clearly dealing with a “philosophical pride” which seeks to present its own partial and imperfect view as the complete reading of all reality. In effect, every philosophical system, while it should always be respected in its wholeness, without any instrumentalization, must still recognize the primacy of philosophical enquiry, from which it stems and which it ought loyally to serve. Emphasis original.


I would like to hear opinions about the truth or falsity of this assertion. Specifically, whether it espouses an acceptable plurality from the traditional catholic philosophical viewpoint and whether in fact philosophical enquiry holds primacy over the actual attainment of truth or the termination of the intellect in truth itself. Please no googling.

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 Post subject: Re: Philosophical Quote
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:45 am 
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Matthew wrote:
Quote:
Through philosophy's work, the ability to speculate which is proper to the human intellect produces a rigorous mode of thought; and then in turn, through the logical coherence of the affirmations made and the organic unity of their content, it produces a systematic body of knowledge. In different cultural contexts and at different times, this process has yielded results which have produced genuine systems of thought. Yet often enough in history this has brought with it the temptation to identify one single stream with the whole of philosophy. In such cases, we are clearly dealing with a “philosophical pride” which seeks to present its own partial and imperfect view as the complete reading of all reality. In effect, every philosophical system, while it should always be respected in its wholeness, without any instrumentalization, must still recognize the primacy of philosophical enquiry, from which it stems and which it ought loyally to serve. Emphasis original.


I would like to hear opinions about the truth or falsity of this assertion. Specifically, whether it espouses an acceptable plurality from the traditional catholic philosophical viewpoint and whether in fact philosophical enquiry holds primacy over the actual attainment of truth or the termination of the intellect in truth itself. Please no googling.


Well... Since I know where the quote comes from, I would say that your question sets up a dilemna not imagined by the work... I don't think the author intended to raise enquiry to a level above attainment. In fact, since I use this work to instill the opposite perspective for my students (and quite successfully) then I don't see how you would get that...

That said, I will praise the author for his raising of PHILOSOPHICAL enquiry above the usual popular monkey see monkey do type enquiry which I think was being criticized by the author... Most traditions that have a solid PHILOSOPHICAL approach to a search for truth are closer to a system of thought that is compatible with theology... Those that abandon philosophy typically reject theology because worship of self becomes the soup de jour...

So, philosophical enquiry DOES need to be restored to its seat of authority in nations that have dumbed down everything and have become communist wolves in theologian clothing....

But, attainment of the true end of philosophy is obviously the highest achievement... It is the whole point of the enquiry to begin with, and thus is the prize for those who are brave enough to enter the ring...

I will say one last point... I once had a conversation with my newly ordained brother... We were discussing something that led us to scholastisicm... He announced to me that the Church had given up on scholastisicm for something new and better... He called it 'existentialism'.... I nearly spit my chimay all over him (but at that price restrained), and proceded to ask how existentialism is anything new, and how the Church could possibly defrock herself of scholastisicm... He of course had no answers... But then I did some research and realized that the author of Matthew's quote indeed has injected some existentialist ideas into the scholastic approach of Catholic philosophy... This troubled me until I had the pleasure of working with someone who was a Balthazar groupee, and a student of Christian Mysticism... He showed me how the existentialist ideas that were being introduced were again of a pedogogical nature... They were for the purpose of taking what was once reverence by society (philosophical enquiry), and making it palitable for a hugely ignorant population.... In other words, the theory is that we have more stupid people now in our modern society than we had back in the darkest times of the 'dark ages'... So, we have to mix a little existentialism in order to inject a little scholastisic,,,,

Not sure if it works, but we'll see....

FJ

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:15 am 
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The thing is, philosophy properly so called is indeed a "system of knowledge" properly so-called. Insofar as a particular philosophical school has truly attained its end, then any school contradicting it is false insofar as it contradicts what is true.

To put it another way. If philosophy is truly a science (and I say it is), then the propositions of any philosphical school are either true or false. Cultural contexts and different times may help or hinder attaining truth, but they do not alter it...hence in the Physics Aristotle has a poor grasp of many natural concepts (though the good of motion, potency, act is still there). But that just meant he was wrong.

A true Catholic pluralism recognises that different schools of though cannot all be true, insofar as they contradict. However, these various schools are permitted and perhaps even praiseworthy insofar as they do not undermine doctrine and of a glimpse of truth.

An example for me would be (ignoring Thomism and Christian philosophies) when I studied Aristotleanism and Platonism (or rathere Aristotle and Plato themselves). I garnered much good in Aristotle but also some bad. Same in Plato. Now it is false to think that the two reconcile or ae equally complimentary. However, I have readily "baptised" Platonic forms to fill in some difficulties in the Aristotlean system...though Aristotle denies them outright, he does so only in teaching they are unnecessary for his system. But he also says we can only know things that do not perish and that if every first substance persished (every individual do-do bird) the second substance would too (do-do bird the species). So in his system we cannot know anything (properly called knowledge) about do-do birds. When we realise that nothing but God is eternal...wel this kind of kills philosophy. But a realisation, taken from Plato nd Christianisedd of Forms in the mold of the Divine Ideas, so that these things exist eternally in the mind of God, allows knowledge!

Okay, enough rambling. So yes, different philosophical schools might each contribute to the pursuit of truth, but it would be absurd for me then to think that all philosophies were just streams of though and narrow. A philosophy, properly so-called, attempt the knowledge of everything naturally knowable. The more it actually suceeds, the more truth there is in it, the more valued it should be. So then Thomism is certainly to be praised above other schools of thought. That doesn't mean there are no faulty conclusions in Thomism, but I think that one will find that when there are such conclusion there was a mistake in the application of its own principles

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:47 am 
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Boethius, in the beginning of the Consolation of Philosophy, has a vision of Philosophy personified as a woman. Her regal robes are torn.

Philosophers, she explains, trying to possess her have each torn small segments from her robe, and then paraded around with their swatch claiming to possess her fully.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:38 pm 
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Max Majestic wrote:
Boethius, in the beginning of the Consolation of Philosophy, has a vision of Philosophy personified as a woman. Her regal robes are torn.

Philosophers, she explains, trying to possess her have each torn small segments from her robe, and then paraded around with their swatch claiming to possess her fully.


Perhaps the emperor has no clothes.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 7:48 am 
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Yoga wrote:
Max Majestic wrote:
Boethius, in the beginning of the Consolation of Philosophy, has a vision of Philosophy personified as a woman. Her regal robes are torn.

Philosophers, she explains, trying to possess her have each torn small segments from her robe, and then paraded around with their swatch claiming to possess her fully.


Perhaps the emperor has no clothes.



What is that supposed to mean?

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