Monday, March 11, 2013

Definitions: Scholasticism; Fideism; Metaphysics

1)      Definition of metaphysics
[usually treated as singular]
  • the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.
  • abstract theory or talk with no basis in reality:his concept of society as an organic entity is, for market liberals, simply metaphysics
Metaphysics has two main strands: that which holds that what exists lies beyond experience (as argued by Plato), and that which holds that objects of experience constitute the only reality (as argued by Kant, the logical positivists, and Hume).
2)      Definition of fideism
  • the doctrine that knowledge depends on faith or revelation.
3)      Definition of scholasticism
  • the system of theology and philosophy taught in medieval European universities, based on Aristotelian logic and the writings of the early Church Fathers and having a strong emphasis on tradition and dogma.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Why Study Philosophy?

Bernard Lonergan, S.J. Philosophy of God and Theology
“…’objectivity’ [is the]fruit of authentic subjectivity.” P.13
“…subjectivity is authentic in the measure that it is attentive, intelligent, reasonable, responsible.”(p.61)

“[The role of philosophy is to] bring to light man’s capacity for self-transcendence...” P.56

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tertullian and Manichaeism

Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225 AD),[1] was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa.[2] He is the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. Wikipedia . He came to be regarded as a heretic consequent to his adherence to the purist sect known as Montanists.  
Manichaeism- widespread dualistic religion, originating in Persia ca 200 BCE.  Taught that the world and the soul are products of a cosmic power struggle between a good god and an evil god. Evil, in this view, is the work of the power of darkness and is opposed by the power of light, which seeks to extricate souls from the material world into a realm of pure goodness and light.
Dualistic theology continued to have influence within Christianity until modern times. The Zoroastrian Religion was of this sort and dominated in Persia until the Muslim conquest. Contemporary expressions include the Parsees in India and the Jedi religion in Star Wars.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Summary differences Plato & Aristotle

PLATO.                                                  ARISTOTLE

Bodies=offshoot of mind.    Flesh shapes human nature along with mind
                                                          Seek a happy medium between mind body

An exalted view of what.               Humanity not that "transcendent"
Being "human" entails.             "roughly coherent"<<>>"lost causes"
                                                         NOT a rejection of the body
A kind of dramatic grandeur.  
To evil-rebellion against nature.         A "medicalization" of evil
And god                                                  With possibility of some improvement

                        bOTH PLATO &ARISTOTLE do not think
                         People change much after childhood...

1) evil =metaphysical revolt.                  1) evil=mundane mixture soul & body
2) high regard for human nature.              2) human nature sloppily put together
3) evil=potentially fixable.                       3) evil= somehow "natural" can be
                                                                     Improved but not fixed
                          HUMAN BEINGS ARE IN CONFLlCT with the
                          Ordering principles of the cosmos