Category: 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.

Enough With the Monkey Business

Concerning human evolution, the Church has a more definite teaching. It allows for the possibility that man’s body developed from previous biological forms, under God’s guidance, but it insists on the special creation of his soul. Pope Pius XII declared … Continue reading

The Inanity of Scientism

Catholic Stand, Bob Drury: Moses set before the people Life and Death; from another aspect, Intelligibility and Inanity. He urged them to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). The Transcendentals Life and Intelligibility in this context refer to a single identity. They differ … Continue reading

How Do You KNOW That?

The philosophical subject of epistemology is the study of knowledge. Father A. C. Cotter, S.J., who was Father Leonard Feeney’s philosophy teacher, and whose book on the subject was heavily utilized by Brother Francis in his philosophy course, defines epistemology … Continue reading

Knowledge and Mystery

When I was first studying philosophy, I overheard a conversation between an eccentric old philosophy professor and one of the other seminarians. It fascinated me. This old gent said that Our Lord defended the study of philosophy in the Gospels … Continue reading