Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stating what should be obvious …

… Intellectual Maintenance | Commonweal Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The required philosophy courses I took in my junior and senior years included logic, epistemology, metaphysics, rational psychology, and ethics. But I also took two years of the history of philosophy, a course in existentialism, and another in aesthetics. It all proved immensely helpful in life. As this piece points out:
The role of philosophy is to introduce students to the problems, concepts, and arguments that philosophers, from Plato to the present, have developed to think rigorously about the fundamental questions of human life. This thinking employs (as St. Thomas would put it) reason “unaided” by any “divine revelation.” This is in contrast to theology and other forms of “Catholic thinking,” which assume and elaborate revealed truths. Philosophy does not assume Catholic doctrines but rather provides the philosophical resources needed for informed and rigorous thinking about the universal human questions to which these doctrines respond.
Too bad about Notre Dame taking up with analytic philosophy, which seems to me to be grounded in nitpicking, the modern equivalent of counting the number of angels occupying a pinhead.

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