Category Archives: Philosophy


Philosophy is the love of wisdom. In application, it is the study of the first principles and the ultimate causes of all knowable reality. In the classical world, it was the highest science. Later, the scholastics made this natural wisdom subservient to the supernatural wisdom of revelation, calling itt “the handmaid of theology” (ancilla theologiae). So many of the dogmas of our Faith are defined more clearly with the help of philosophical terms that have been perennially upheld by the greatest thinkers of the West: substance, accident, nature, essence, existence, hypostasis, matter, form, genus, species, cause, principle, and relation, to name the more commonly used.

Traditionally, philosophy is divided into seven disciplines: logic, cosmology, history of philosophy, psychology, ethics, epistemology, and ontology.

Logic is the science and art of correct reasoning. Cosmology is the study of matter in motion and material change. Psychology is the study of life and the principle of life, the soul. (Today it is relegated to the study of abnormal mental behavior, a far cry from its traditional subject of inquiry.) Ethics is the study of human acts as to their moral rectitude or lack thereof. Epistemology is the study of knowledge. How is it that something outside the mind is abstracted into the mind?  Ontology, the highest of the philosophic sciences, is the study of being as being. What is the difference between essence and existence? Ontology is also called metaphysics.

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Truth and Its Enemies

Preparing myself for the regular Tuesday night meeting of Mike Church’s philosophy discussion group, I attentively read (and then twice reread) a passage in Brother Francis’ Logic Notes that he called “Truth and its enemies.” It is a wonderful elucidation of the importance of the study of logic and of the fatuous nature of modernist objections to the authentic “art and science of correct reasoning” (the … More →

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An Itty Bitty Presentation of the Syllogism

The following is in no way intended to be an exhaustive treatment of the subject of the syllogism. (Get Brother Francis’ Logic Course for that.) It is a lopsided little introduction, being comprised of two excerpts from “It’s All or Nothing,” an apologetics article I penned a while back. The subheadings are as they appear in that article. The Logic St. Paul wrote, in Romans 3:23, “For all … More →

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‘Latin Mass Magazine’ Book Review Mentions Brothers Francis and André

The Summer, 2015 issue of the traditional Catholic quarterly, The Latin Mass, features a four-page book review authored by Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula. The book reviewed is A Catholic Witness in Our Time: A Festschrift for Dr. Robert Hickson: Essays and Remembrances in His Honor. The volume is a compilation of papers presented at a surprise party held for our friend and collaborator, Robert Hickson. (His lovely wife, Maike, organized all this secretly.) Of … More →

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Notes on Minor Logic

These notes go with Brother Francis Maluf’s course in Minor Logic, the first of eight courses in Philosophia Perennis. The lectures can be procured here, where more can be learned about them. Logic is the art and science of correct reasoning. The student of this science will learn, not how to think (anyone can do that), but how to think correctly. Click here to VIEW … More →

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Chris Ferrara’s Interview with Mike Church, a Philosophy Student of Brother Francis

We’ve told our readers about Mike Church before. Now, Chris Ferrara has interviewed Mike for The Remnant. The interview features questions and answers about Mike’s reversion to Catholicism, his conversion to tradition, and his love of the traditional Mass. The major thrust, though, is on how this radio personality has transformed his secular radio program into an instrument for evangelism, getting converts to the faith in the process. … More →

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Why Saint Benedict Center Insists on a Philosophical ‘Platform’

(The following two articles, written by Larry Koralewski, a long-time student of Brother Francis, will be the first of a number of installments to come, most of which will deal with the Saint Benedict Center courses on Philosophy.) Why Saint Benedict Center Insists on a Philosophical “Platform” Anyone who has read the news knows about political platforms. It is a statement which gives the aims … More →

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The Pagan Temptation

A few weeks ago, I did something I have not done since I was nine years old. I went to a performance at the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre near downtown Los Angeles. It was a delightful rendition of The Nutcracker — and I was as delighted by the puppets performing the old classic as were the oohing and ahhing children around me; for a short … More →

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Christian Certitude

All our knowledge of God is analogical. In brief, this means that every concept that we rightly apply to God is partly the same as, but also partly different from, that same concept as applied to creatures. (Click here for a fuller explanation.) We know God by means of the world around us — the Book of Nature. All creation was made for God’s glory … More →

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Analogical Knowledge of God

What does it mean when we say that “all our knowledge of God is analogical”? In brief, it means that every concept that we rightly apply to God is partly the same as, but also partly different from, that same concept as applied to creatures. In Logic, we study the three modes of predication: univocity, equivocity, and analogy. As will soon become obvious, predication is … More →

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Saint Augustine Institute Syllabus

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The Troubles in the Church Began with _____.

Robert Hickson told me about a friend of his, a Greek, who appeared to be gloomy one day. Robert noted this in an effort to show sympathy, and his friend replied that yes, this is true; he had been demoralized “ever since the Battle of Manzikert.” The Battle of Manzikert, when the Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines, occurred in 1071. It marked the beginning of … More →

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The Illiberality of Religious Liberalism

When speaking of liberalism, it is important to define our terms, for if we do not, certain assumptions will be made, with reference to the popular lexicon of American partisan politics. This would be a grave mistake, for much of what I shall say is liberal passes for conservative in that lexicon. And contrariwise, some ideas considered “liberal” in the popular lexicon are indeed traditional … More →

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Simian Antinomianism

The heresy of antinomianism received its name from Martin Luther, who, wrote against the more “extreme” doctrines of Johannes Agricola, the enfant terrible of Luther’s own novel doctrine of Justification by faith only. In brief, antinomianism — coming from anti + nomos (Gk: “law”) — is the contention that Christians are absolved from adherence to the moral law. That Luther would object to Agricola was … More →

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Bishop Conley’s Reflections on the Educator John Senior

“Wonder is the beginning of knowledge,” said Professor John Senior, “the reverent fear that beauty strikes within us.” Professor Senior built his life around wonder – he reveled in the mysteries of this universe, and in the Mystery – that of God himself – to which our world points. Professor Senior believed that if each of us took the opportunity to really look at the … More →

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Modern Noise and Man’s Ingrained Inattentiveness

This brief essay proposes to consider how two eloquent Catholic authors, Hilaire Belloc and Evelyn Waugh, describe and deal with the phenomenon of noise, an unmistakable mark of the intrusive modern world even in times of putative peace. The first account is from 1925 and deals with a famous city upon the water in northeastern Italy, Venice; and the second account is from 1938, some … More →

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