Philosophia Perennis Vol. I: An Introduction to Philosophy as Wisdom

Our third course is psychology. The first thing that we will explain is what the word itself means. To the modern mind, it means the study of human behavior. When most people hear the word, they think of Freud or Jung. For philosophers, the word means something completely different. Psychology is a composite of two Greek words: psyche and logos. Logos has occurred before in this text. Generally, any organized body of knowledge contains logos in its name. Psyche means soul. One of the things we will be learning in this course is what kind of reality, what kind of being, the soul is.

One thing that must be repeated again is that there are souls other than the human soul. Animals and plants have souls too. Their souls are mortal souls. The human soul is more than just a soul of this type. It is a spiritual soul. Now we are already using the terms that in this course we will make more clear. It is our technique to introduce them gradually at the start, to whet the intellectual appetite, then as the course progresses to make the terms more definite, more thoroughly established, and more apt to be used by the student in his own thinking.

One of the things we will learn in psychology is how to prove by reason the immortality of the human soul. Another is how to prove by reason the freedom of the will. These are not common, secondary truths. One can pick up any newspaper and find many truths written there. We can learn about all kinds of events that happen. There is a great deal of factual information in them. But the truths they contain are contingent truths. They came from a series of historical events that made them so, and there is something about them that is unimportant when compared to the truths we study in philosophy. The truths about man studied in psychology are not contingent on a chain of events that extend through history. Things like the immortality of the soul and the freedom of the will are perennial truths that are an immediate result of man’s being created with the nature he has. These two truths in particular — the immortality of the soul and the freedom of the will — are the foundation of all civilization. They are also the foundation of all morality and prerequisites for religion.

The scholastic theologians came up with many short maxims pregnant with meaning. One of them is “Grace builds on nature.” An aspect of this is that grace presupposes some natural goodness and some natural love of truth. When we use our minds correctly, we arrive at truths that are the foundation of good civilization and good culture. All of the basis for sound economic life, good government, good laws, etc., proceed from thought about fundamental things in the correct way. This natural love of wisdom is called in Latin a preparatio Fidei, a preparation for the Faith. (This is what the Roman world had in the days of the early Church, a foundation of good thought which was part of the Greco-Roman culture.) When man’s nature is filled with malice and hostile to the truth, then grace does not build on it. If universities teach people in such a way as to turn them into materialists or determinists,1 there is no way that they are going to stay (or become) Catholic. Every single thing in these false philosophies fights against the Faith.

We mentioned something in the last chapter about the dangers of scientism. One of the dangers of scientism is that people lose all sense of liberty. Many people think that they still have liberty because they can go after their pleasures, acting on the impulse of the moment. But this is not true liberty. It is animal determinism. True liberty is a spiritual thing. It presupposes knowledge of man’s true happiness and the wise inclination to seek it. When no true sense of liberty exists, moral responsibility is almost completely lost. A person who must do whatever an impulse of the moment dictates is neither truly free nor morally responsible. All one need do is to look around, see the corruption in the world, then ask the true philosophers and they will give the reason why. That people are in this condition is exactly and predictably the result of the way they were educated. We see, then, that these errors in the field of psychology are very costly to the human person in the natural as well as the supernatural order.

One of the things that is most basic to any course on psychology is the distinction between soul and spirit. The words are often used interchangeably, but they are different in meaning. A spirit is a completely immaterial substance. God is a spirit. Angels are spirits. A spirit never has any dependence on matter in any way. This is why we cannot, in strict philosophical language, call the human soul a spirit. It is called “spiritual” because it shares some things in common with spirits: immortality, intellectuality, and a certain independence of matter; but it is not called a “spirit.”

The soul is the principle of life in any living thing. Plants, trees, monkeys and men all have souls. The difference is that the human soul is a spiritual soul. Again: The existence of a vegetable or animal soul is dependent, by its very nature, on matter. The soul of a pine tree no longer exists when the tree dies. Neither does the soul of a dog. Once separated from the body, the soul of the plant or animal dies. But the human soul goes on living. Though it is meant to animate the body, and some of its faculties depend on the body, the human soul is not by its very nature dependent on matter. So we say in technical language that the animal soul is intrinsically dependent on matter, whereas the human soul is only extrinsically dependent on matter.

Now, the distinction that we have just mentioned between the animal soul and the human soul is important to the way psychology is studied. Psychology is divided into minor psychology, which studies life and living things that are either plants or animals; and major psychology, which studies life in man. Our book on psychology will roughly correspond to one of the important treatises in the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, De Homine (Of Man). In this treatise, one can find reference to plants and animals. It is important that we know why St. Thomas discusses plants and animals in a treatise on man. He studies them because man is not simply another layer of being. In man all of the perfections of the lower beings co-exist, and to them are added those perfections that are unique to man. That is why man is sometimes called “the microcosm” by the philosophers. He is a little miniature of the complete universe. There is something in man that is mineral, something vegetable, and something animal.

In logic we talk about ideas and abstract principles. Signs are a good example of this. But in cosmology and psychology we talk about the concrete much more. For a moment, let us imagine ourselves on a beach looking down at billions of grains of sand. If we reached down to pick up a single grain and held it in our hands, we could say, “Philosophy is about this little thing.” How is this so? As has been mentioned several times already, each discipline of philosophy builds on the one preceding it. In the case of the grain of sand, it is certainly in the realm of cosmology. Yet, it is relevant to the realm of psychology. The grain of sand is an ens mobile — a being subject to change. Since man is also an ens mobile, there is a lot that the two have in common. If one were to drop the grain of sand from the roof of a high building, it would fall down. The same would happen to a stalk of celery, or a turtle, or a man. All of these beings are subject to the laws of gravity. Since in psychology we are building on what we learned in cosmology, we can study man as an ens mobile.

We also learned in cosmology that reality ultimately must reside in individual substances. That is very important. Plato was fascinated by ideas. To him the idea of a bird was tremendous. Plato taught us that by philosophy one can know that birds live and die, while some universal bird continues to go on. He made this the prime interest in his philosophy. On this point Aristotle disagreed with him completely. The only reality is that little sparrow, and when it dies there could be another sparrow, but the reality of the universal sparrow exists only in individual substances. On that issue we Catholics thoroughly agree with Aristotle. We are not Platonists. There is a place and a tremendous importance for ideas, but we leave them where they belong. The kind of reality that belongs to ideas, their status as beings, is very important in scholastic philosophy, but must wait to be discussed in the course on epistemology.

In psychology, as in cosmology, we talk about what exists as individual substance. The scholastics talk about the individual substance as the prime substance, the unum per se. It is the thing that has natural unity. That immediately establishes the parameters of our discussion. When it thinks of natures, the mind looks for the unum per se. Since we know that in man we are going to find all these principles, we could be discussing them now and would seem to be reviewing previous things, but this is still psychology. We are still talking about man.

When we think about fire, we think about it as a physical reality. Water, too, is a physical reality. One of the first concepts we learned in philosophy was the concept of nature. And nature is the same as the essence of the thing looked at from one point of view. Essence is the answer to the question “What is this?” These questions seek the essence of a thing: What is water? What is electricity? What is time? What is life? So if essence is the “whatness” of the thing we are talking about, nature is the essence of the thing conceived as the principle of what the thing does, or what can be done to it. All of these principles apply to man just as they apply to the lower creatures.

With most physical realities, we cannot give an exhaustive definition of the essence, but by watching the performance of a thing we get partial knowledge of its nature and essence. One of the things philosophers talk about and seek to come to an intelligent understanding of is the nature of the kind of reality that time is. A large section of St. Augustine’s Confessions, for example, is a meditation on the nature of time. We come across a difficult problem in time: The past is no longer, so it is not; the future is not yet, so it is not; and the present — the now — is. But what is the now? By the time one says the word, it is no longer now. Many fallacies arose out of the theory of relativity due to a lack of philosophic analysis of the nature of time or the kind of reality that time has. When science has taken over completely and genuine philosophic thinking has disappeared, the strangest, wildest thoughts and theories abound. But the full discussion of this matter is for another time — for a later book in this series.

Let us look at something far simpler than time: water. Does it have a nature? Do we know anything about the whatness of water? Anything that we can say in general about a physical reality subject to change will be applicable to this question. Though our understanding of the essences of things like water or gold or iron or air is never exhaustive, there are things about the essence that we can certainly know. Now, since nature is the essence of the thing as the principle of what it does, we can know what the nature of water is more easily than we can know the essence. We know first that water does have a nature. We can just think of the tremendous wonder that water is, the marvelous cycle that it goes through. It falls from the clouds, waters our plants, the fish swim in it, the animals drink it, and somehow the process all starts all over again. But suppose water stopped falling. Suppose it went on a strike. “I refuse to evaporate. I just don’t want to be up in the sky — I get dizzy.” No more clouds, no more rain. Next, no more plants, then no more animals, and finally, no more men. We would all be dead. But we know that water cannot do this. The very fact that any reader of ordinary intelligence finds this set of circumstances an absurdity shows that we can know the nature of water. It is not part of the nature of water to decide not to evaporate.

Let us return to the little grain of sand that we discussed above. It is quite a dependable little thing. If it gets into a person’s eye, we know exactly what will happen. If someone steps on a big mound of it, it will react in a certain way. That little grain of sand could kill a tyrant if it gets into the right spot in his brain or his heart. We know what it does when it is put on the roads during snow season. In fact, not only do we know what it does, many of us depend on its tenacity for our well being. We take these things for granted. One of the great effects of the study of philosophy is an appreciation of the things that superficial people take for granted.

Most people take it for granted that the grain of sand is dependable. If sand suddenly ceased to be dependable, if its nature would randomly change into something else — or if it acted as if it did not really have a nature at all, but was some kind of a formless, uncertain blob that could be solid at one moment, liquid at another, and gaseous at still another — the word “sand” would cease to mean anything to us. Suppose this little grain of sand unpredictably were to turn into a drop of water. Now we just appreciated water and we are very grateful for its existence. Our very existence depends on water. But if every grain of sand could also become water, what would happen? For one thing, it would be difficult to read this book. The whole solid part of the earth would collapse; the ocean would overwhelm everything; and all human life would be immediately terminated. Our very ability to sit down and read a book about philosophy, to think and to pray, our attempt to educate ourselves about the higher things, all depend on those little grains of sand staying just the way they are — keeping their sand nature.

This is the kind of appreciation that philosophy gives us for even small things. We certainly cannot thank a grain of sand, but we can begin to appreciate the Power that put it in existence. It is that Power that gave it a nature that is so dependable and made it part of that thing called “nature,” which is no more nor less than the order of all the different natures that exist.

We shall return to water for a moment now. Water has been an interest of many philosophers. It poses many problems to the philosophical mind: Where does that nature of water reside? If one were to take a small body of water as in a glass, then divide it by pouring half in another glass, he would have two glasses with water nature in them. But if he were to keep doing this, would he ever reach a point when there is no more water nature? What is the smallest thing we can call water? Where is the littlest expression of water nature? Here, science has given us a name: the molecule. But this is only accidental to philosophy, because by philosophy, we can know that there is an unum per se. There must be some point at which the water breaks down into one unit which, if divided, will no longer be water. The process cannot go on ad infinitum. Science has confirmed this by telling us that when we take one molecule of water and split it, it becomes two gases, hydrogen and oxygen. These are not water because they have not the form of water, the essence of water, or the nature of water.

To put it simply, if we were to keep dividing the water in half, we would come to a point at which we have the smallest thing we call water. Once we divide that thing we get something else. That thing, in turn, has its own form, essence and nature. As for the unum per se, that small molecule of water, it will take billions of them together to form a lake, a stream, or even to make it possible for someone to wash his face or take a shower. But it is still water, just as the Atlantic is water.

When we come to the substantial form in that unum per se, cosmology teaches us something that will be helpful to psychology, because in some sense the study of living things is also part of the study of cosmology. In other words, psychology is a continuation of the study of nature. It is just another level of nature that should be studied, but because life is so much more important than non-life, it deserves to be studied all on its own.

The unit of every chemical substance is the molecule, and every molecule is a composite of two principles. In the study of cosmology, we will learn to call them matter and form — prime matter and substantial form. Now, about these terms, matter and form: Sometimes in philosophy we introduce terms that are so entirely technical that few people use them in everyday speech. These simply have to be learned. But some terms are tricky and even dangerous because we use them every day. The word “form” is a prime example of this. Most people hear the word and say, “Well, I know exactly what form means.” They think of the form of a book or the form of a tree. They think that it means “shape.” In philosophy, though, the word means something deeper. The student has to understand what it means technically.

Now, in a very brief manner, we will illustrate some of the concepts that are most basic to philosophy: form, matter, substance, nature, and substantial change. We will illustrate them in terms of the water that we have been talking about: The explosion of that natural unit which we call the molecule of water involves substantial change, since the very substance of the thing (and therefore, its nature)2 have been destroyed. In other words, the substantial form of water — the thing that makes the matter water — continues to exist only while the water molecule is still water. But the matter itself has to continue and become something else, because matter cannot be destroyed. This is a truth that both science and theology affirm. After the creation of the world from nothing, no new matter is created. From there on, all those things we perceive as destruction and creation are merely substantial change. Something changes but something else has to come out of it.

What does all this have to do with psychology? As we said before and will keep on saying, psychology builds on cosmology. Humans have form and matter too. We are substances. We have substantial form. It is this substantial form in living things that we call the soul, and in humans it is a rational soul. The form that humans have determines human nature. It is what makes us people and not baseball bats or fish. Most people today do not even have the ability to grasp these concepts. They do not understand substantial form, therefore they talk and act as if there were no such thing as a soul.

When one studies philosophy, he joins the company of the best minds that ever existed. It is only by restoring that excellence of mind that we can begin to effect an improvement in our civilization today. Everything must begin with thought. All the wickedness and evil in the world today is due to bad thought. If we were to ask a person, “Is there anything bothering you or troubling you or afflicting you?” very few people would say, “Oh, no. Nothing at all. Absolutely nothing.” A person who would answer like this is almost a candidate for the insane asylum. Most people will say, “Yes. I have lots of problems. Lots of worries. Lots of things bothering me.” Now, we say, “You sit down and write me a list.” And he might begin by saying, “Oh, I wish I had more money. . . I wish I had a better job. . . I wish I had more friends. . . I wish I were living in a better society. . . I wish I were a little slimmer.” How many people would say, “I wish I had a little more logic in my head”? Few; but that should have been the very first concern. If we ask, “Why don’t you learn how to think?” most people would find it ridiculous. It would be just like saying, “Why don’t you go to school to learn how to walk?”

Is not thinking something that we do spontaneously? To some extent, it is. There is no man living that is not doing some thinking. But few they are who can do excellent thinking. The whole course of psychology is also going to be a preparation for the course in ethics. ethics is, in turn, the foundation of all sound politics, all sound economics, and all sound education. Why is this so? Because it is only when we know what man is that we know what man should be. Like logic, ethics is a normative science, while psychology is a factual or practical science.3

But in the case of man, ethics is closely related to psychology. In other words, good behavior (the subject of ethics) comes from man’s nature (the subject of psychology). Here is what we mean: If we see a cat torturing a mouse, we do not say to it, “Why don’t you be a cat?” If we see a tiger prowling after a little deer, we do not say, “Why don’t you be a tiger?” But if we see a man making a fool of himself, we say, “Why don’t you be a man!” Once the nature of man is understood, then a norm of behavior is almost immediately established. The whole natural law has its meaning in the fact that man is rational. Every time man does something wrong, especially when it is morally sinful, he is acting against his own reason. So the subject of psychology is not only the foundation but is also the beginning of sound morality.

By now, the reader should have some idea of the kind of reality that the soul is. We should now be able to use some of the vocabulary of philosophy, that is, at least enough to comprehend that every physical substance has a nature, and that nature is determined by the substantial form.

Let us go further. Some natures are endowed with a wonderful attribute we call life, and some natures lack that attribute. How is it that we can distinguish between living and non-living things? Or in simpler terms, what is life? How is it defined? The answer is so simple that upon first hearing it, some may be disappointed. Some may even despise it. Yet it is one of the greatest things that the human intelligence has ever achieved: Life is the natural capacity for immanent activity. A living thing has a nature that is capable of immanent action, while every non-living thing is capable only of transient action. Immanent means “remaining in” or “operating within.” The nature of a living thing is to operate itself. The vital actions remain within the living thing and have a purpose in and for it. Transient means “imparted to another” or “going from one being to another.” The transient actions of a non-living thing pass over to other things and must find their purpose in other things. The principle of operation in transient things is something outside that thing. As a consequence, in reality there is an order of importance between living and non-living things. Non-life is at the service of life. This may at first seem too abstract, but by the end of this chapter, and certainly by the end of the book on psychology, we will make this very important philosophic truth more easily understood.

Let us suppose we had a universe of non-living things with only one living thing in it, a blade of grass. Except for the blade of grass, all that exists are the dead galaxies, the sun, the moon and the stars; and on this earth all that lacks life — the mountains, the seas, the wind blowing, the water flowing, the soil, and so on. Everything is acting according to its nature. That one blade of grass — the one living thing in this universe — is the only being with a purpose of its own. It has vital activity (growth, assimilation, reproduction); it is capable of immanent actions. If that blade of grass dies, then nothing in the universe has a purpose of its own.

Immanent action and transient action are concepts we will have to grasp thoroughly if we are to understand life. They can be seen in everyday things, like a watch. A watch goes on ticking twenty-four hours a day. Is there life there? Not a hint of it. There is talk now in the computer world of “artificial intelligence,” of a thinking machine. Is there any immanent action in any computer? Not even a glimmer. Every single activity they are capable of is transient activity. Transient activity is some substance nudging another substance. The whole world is made up of balls hitting other balls, like a billiard table. One thing moves another by some mechanical, magnetic or electric process, and that object in turn moves others. Is it all arbitrary, or does it have a purpose? It has a purpose. Some may say, “Why does every motion have to have a purpose?” That is one of the truths that our book in cosmology will explain.

We will isolate one transient action: the blowing of the wind. As far as physics is concerned, (and here we are talking about physics in the modern sense), purpose is not a matter of consideration. But it does have a purpose. Everything has a purpose. But for whose benefit does the wind blow? Is it for the substance — i.e. the air — itself? No, that substance has absolutely no purpose of itself. A transient action by a substance is certainly not for its benefit. What does it benefit? Something outside itself. One cannot find the purpose of that inanimate activity in the substance that is doing it. It is for living things that air has such a dynamic mobility. Without it neither man nor animal, nor even fish nor plant could survive. The little grain that produced that little blade of grass does not even look like a living thing. But with the help of water, soil, sunshine, etc., that apparently dead thing begins to sprout. This sprouting is an immanent action (which was assisted by many transient actions).

One philosopher called vegetative life the last echo of life in all existence, the last and lowest; while on the other end of the scale is life eternal, life as it is in God. In this life, immanence — the essence of life, and its very definition — is realized to the maximum. Our Lord, talking as God, identifies Himself with life saying, “Ego sum via, veritas et vita”: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6).” The angels are living spirits. They are more alive than any kind of life found in matter. Below them there is human life, then animal life, and finally vegetative life. When we write our whole volume on psychology, we shall find that the different levels of life involve different grades of immanence in their proper activities. Obviously the lowest grade is what we find in plant life.

Let us return to the grain that sprouted to produce a blade of grass, taking it as representing all plant life. We will examine all the manifestations of life found on that plane of existence. The blade of grass can grow. It can assimilate (that is, take substances different from itself and turn them into the substance of grass). All the physical laws serve its purpose. The natures of inanimate things are ordered to help it achieve its end. The properties of soil, water, air, even the properties of light, seem to conspire to accommodate it in achieving its purpose. All are at the service of the principle of life in that little seed. We watch it develop from a tiny little object to one several times the size. A seed no bigger than the grass seed can produce a bush or plant thousands of times its size. How did it increase? Did it create matter? No. No matter was created. Whether it was the air, the water, the soil, or the sunlight that it took, it overcame their substantial forms and imposed its own. It has built itself into a developed body. The principle for that achievement, that perfection, was right there in the seed. The seed is doing something in itself, for itself. Or, as the philosophers say, it is “self-perfecting.” In other words, in that whole universe we invented above, with all the constellations — with the sun, the moon and the stars, all the sky, the wide fields and the lakes, the only entity which is putting the natures of the inanimate things to use for a purpose that is in itself and for its own is that little seed.

What are the three vital activities that are found in every living thing (including plants)? Growth, assimilation, and reproduction. It comes to a point where it produces another little seed with the same nature, the same purpose, and the same design. When it is put into the field it will start another life. We cannot deny this fact of nature, namely, that there are beings which possess these three wonderful activities of assimilation, growth, and reproduction. It provides a decisive criterion to distinguish every living from every non-living entity. Every materially living being possesses those powers; every non-living being lacks them. The evolutionists and materialists in general tend to blur over this neat distinction — they talk of thinking machines. They speak of computers as having “memory.” But there is not, nor can there be a glimmer of thought or real memory in a mechanical device. Thought and memory can only be in a living being. A man could be stupidly watching a computer perform brilliantly, but the man’s stupidity is immanent, while the machine’s brilliance is not.

We have already dwelt somewhat at length on the order that exists between living and non-living things, an order of purpose and of dependence. Let us apply this principle of order to the other end of the scale, to the relation between man and all the lower levels of existence both living and non-living. The blade of grass seems to be on top of the world until a hungry cow appears on the scene. Then a farmer comes along and dethrones the cow. Man is the top of the material world, and everything in it, both living and non-living, can be shown to have its purpose to make the existence of man possible.

We return once again to water as an example. What if God had not created water? (One may object, “You are introducing God too early into the argument!” But we are going to take for granted in this introductory volume truths that will be demonstrated methodically in the future volumes.) Now, suppose God had decided not to create water, or anything like water, with a fluid nature. Had God made such a decision, it would be the end of every one of us. If the nature of water had not been in existence, God could not have made a human being. We depend on that water for our very existence. If God had decided not to make anything like that grain of sand, or the properties that belong to that kind of being (solidity, definite shape, etc.), then what would happen? Suppose He had made the whole world nothing but sheer water. Could He have made a man in that kind of universe? No. Without backbone or skin, it would be impossible. So it was not by accident that God was creating those natures.

We take these things too much for granted. We assume that the world should have had water and sand. Nothing is to be taken for granted. If we are to be philosophers, we cannot take anything for granted. If the natures in the material world exist as they do, it is because the Mind Who created the whole order of things has put them in existence. And God was putting those realities in existence not only to serve the purpose of human life — which is the highest reality He has placed in this material universe — but also because they are substantially necessary for making one human being. If air did not exist, there could not be man. Could there be a circulation of blood without fluidity? No. All these natures work together.

We began with that little blade of grass and we saw that if it were the only living thing in the universe, the whole universe would be at its service. Why? It had a purpose, an immanent purpose in its very substance. But as soon as a cow appears on the scene, a hungry cow, we see that there exists a higher order of reality. The blade of grass was an end, making use of non-living things as its means. With the arrival of the cow, the blade of grass is a means to a higher end. It is not the greatest order of nature in existence because it is obviously serving the purpose of something of a higher nature. Now, is it by accident that where there is hunger in a cow there is also grass in the fields? In the volume on psychology, we shall realize the tremendous implications of the observations we have been making, and which are really part of the experience of all men.

Fifteen conclusions from the study of psychology

1. Life is the power of immanent action. The very definition of life implies purpose and order. A being capable of immanent action is a being that works for itself. A being capable merely of transient action is as such servile, working for the good of another.

2. From the faintest echo of life in a blade of grass to the fullness of life in the Godhead, there is a graduated scale of perfection and a hierarchy of beings and of values.

3. One living thing, one blade of grass in a world of inanimate natures is a queen served by everything else.

4. The different grades of life — vegetative, animal, human, angelic, divine — represent different intensities of immanent activity.

5. The greatest nature in the visible universe is human nature. All other natures, and the universe as a whole, are for man.

6. The whole universe and all history revolve around one central event: the Incarnation.

7. In all the visible universe nothing is personal and immortal except man.

8. In man, the material and the spiritual meet in one nature.

9. Among material things, the only substantial form that can exist completely, while independent of matter, is the human soul.

10. “He that liveth forever created all things together (Ecclus. 18:1).”

God created the whole universe all at once as one project. But He continues to create human souls at their conception, cooperating with the natural process of generation.

11. Only by believing in the omnipotence of God can we believe truly in creation, in the singular providence of God, in the moral order, and in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.

12. Every object in the universe, by an implanted tendency, works towards an end of its own, and thus it plays its part in the large concert of the universe.

13. Man alone in the visible universe plays his part freely and with knowledge of the end. So while all material substances must obey the will of God by necessity, man alone can disobey.

14. The end for man who obeys and who cooperates with grace is the attainment of the highest perfection of life — life eternal.

I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

15. “If liberty consisted in the power of giving oneself to good or evil, man would be freer than God.” (Father Grou)

Life is God’s gift, and it must seek truth, beauty and goodness.

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. (Ego sum via et veritas et vita. John 14:6)

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

1 Determinism is the opinion that every effect occurs necessarily and nothing is the result of free causes. It is a denial of the free will.

2 The relation of substance to nature will be explained in more detail in the books to come.

3 The reader should recall from the introduction to logic that a normative science is one which studies how something is to be done, if it is to be done well. It is a science leading to the discovery of rules. Therefore, ethics is the study of human acts as they conform to the good. A factual, or practical science is one concerned with action or practice. Zoology is this type of science. A zoologist studies how animals do behave, not how they should behave.