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.

Liberalism: An Evil Defined

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 … Continue reading

Philosophy in Our School of Thought

Speaking of the work of Saint Benedict Center and the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Brother Francis often said, “We are three things at once: a crusade, a religious order, and a school of thought.” Usually, he would embellish this utterance with little summaries of each of the three. By crusade, he meant our two-fold apostolate for the conversion of America and the restoration of doctrinal sanity, beginning with that very fundamental dogma, extra ecclesiam nulla salus. (We put the definite article and a capital C here: The Crusade.) By religious order, he meant our Congregation’s First and Second Orders… Continue reading

No Escaping the Threes

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 … Continue reading

Evelyn Waugh’s Edmund Campion

(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 … Continue reading

The Great Stereopticon

Reproduced below are about two pages of the thinking of Richard Weaver, the philosopher whose work we recommended in our third installment of the recent series on American culture. The subject of Weaver’s text: “the great stereopticon.” Borrowing the name … Continue reading

What is the Natural Law?

It is not uncommon to run across the term “natural law” in Catholic journals and newspapers. Frequently, the context is a discussion of hot-button moral issues in the culture war, such as abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, birth control, and so-called “end-of-life … Continue reading

On Grace and Nature

The central mystery of our faith is the mystery of the Incarnation. The norm of Catholic orthodoxy has always been and will always be the doctrine that Our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true Man.