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.
You’ve no doubt heard the expressing “lunatics running the asylum.” Well, The Telegraph reports that a new article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born. … More →
This paper was written for a Festschrift in honor of Dr. Robert Hickson. It was intended to be a loving tribute to my superior, teacher, mentor, and friend, Brother Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M. Savoring Reality: An Introduction to the Childlike Catholic Mind of Brother Francis
A Counterpoint to Bernard Mandeville’s Deceitful Doctrine of Man and to the Frankfurt School’s Irrational Dialectical Anthropology: The Frigid Equivocations, Psycho-Cultural Subversion, Seductive Despair. A Commentary on Two Revolutionary and Neo-Sophist Texts of the Frankfurt School and the British Tavistock Institute, Respectively: Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944, 1947); and The Dialectics of Liberation (1967, 1968, 1969) – Considered in the Longer Light of Bernard Mandeville’s “Fable … More →
If a man were to say to me, “I refuse to use my eyesight except through a microscope,” I might think that the man is queer or crazy, and I would certainly try to avoid his company. Imagine taking a walk with a man who keeps one eye closed, and the other, permanently fixed to a microscope! Such a man is worse than blind, for … More →
[Taken randomly from Brother Francis' lectures, with a minor amount of editing.] Some things have to become part of our knowledge through acquaintance, so to speak. Knowledge becomes impossible if everything needs a definition. If someone were to ask you a question and say, “What does this mean?” And you say, “It means this or that.” And he asks, “And what does this or that … More →
When you see an article with a title like, Do You Renounce Kennedy and All His Works?, you can have a moral certitude that it was written by John Zmirak, the eccentric, Croatian-Irish, working-class Yalie turned standup apologist. (I was an undergrad at LSU when John was getting his Ph.D. there, and I owe him a lot for exposing me to, among other things, the … More →
Q: Is it really possible to explain, using reason alone, the immortal nature of the human soul, versus the animal soul? I understand that the ability to reason is particular to humans, but I don’t see how this proves our immortality. I believe it because the Church teaches it, but I can’t get it across to people who reject the Church. I realize that the … More →
[Christopher A. Ferrara, The Church and the Libertarian (Minnesota: The Remnant Press, 2010), $25, 383 pp., soft cover.] Since hearing, a few years ago that Chris Ferrara was preparing this book, I have eagerly looked forward to reading it. I have not been disappointed. This is a tremendous and necessary defense against a dangerous ,widespread ideology that is all too often defended by Catholics — … More →
The following excellent explanation of liberalism is taken from: Parente, Pietro; Piolanti, Antonio; and Garofalo, Salvatore, Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, translated by Emmanuel Doronzo, O.M.I., S.T.D., Ph.D. (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1951) p. 163 and 164. I have provided only the linked references and one small note in brackets. Liberalism. A doctrinal current, quite complex and changeable, which has had various interpretations and practical … More →
Reminiscing over the days when I would spend hours at a time leisurely listening to Brother Francis teach and asking him questions, I thought of the countless times we played the numbers game. Brother loved to make all studies as light and enjoyable as possible. Someone would throw out a number and the players would have to give an example of that number’s use; but … More →
(This is the paper written in preparation for a talk given at the 2005 St. Benedict Center Conference.) (Saint Anthony Mary Zaccharia, July 5, 2005) The Contribution Of Catholic Letters To The Conversion Of Our Country A deepening, savored knowledge of the nature and scope of Catholic Letters will inspire and fortify those of the Catholic Faith to share its more abundant life and rootedly … More →
(28 January 2006, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Peter Nolasco) Forming a Catholic Resistance and Deeper Culture of the Faith in Times of Permeating Disorder: Evelyn Waugh’s Edmund Campion (1935) and Some Combatant Lessons from the Sixteenth Century The scope and depth of Evelyn Waugh’s grateful and manly book, Edmund Campion, will, when receptively savored, illuminate and fortify those of the Catholic Faith today amidst their … More →
If you have survived the magniloquent name of this little piece, you should easily get though the rest, for the grandiose title heads a subject matter well within reach. It occurred to me while I was deep in thought — philosophers do that, you know — that a firm grasp of the concepts “first” and “second” is highly useful in explaining certain key Catholic truths, … More →
(Dealing with two common objections against the Faith.) A Note of Introduction: In its first part, this article employs the use of some fundamental concepts of logic, the art and science of correct reasoning. As an aid to the reader, there is a miniscule glossary of philosophical terms at the end of the piece: “A Little Logic.”