Monday, July 30, 2012

Why we need Aristotle and Aquinas

In my last post I am rather critical of the so-called "free thinkers" who seem to pledge unswerving loyalty to the scientific method, so much so that to question the method is to question the concept of reality.  Unfortunately, it lacks context necessary to understand why this is a problem for modern thinking.  I touched upon what I feel is modern man's inability to engage in disciplined thought through my exasperation with one commenter's inability to follow his own train of logic.

All of these are symptoms of a larger issue however.  One that affects how moderns think in general.  Most moderns, particularly in secular Western civilization, are "shallow thinkers."

Before I say what I mean by that let's be clear what I don't mean.  This does not mean that moderns are stupid.  This does not mean that moderns are evil, unintelligent, or inferior.  Our culture seems to confuse errors in thinking with some sort of insult.  But this is yet another symptom.

What I do mean is that for any given conceptual level, be it thinking about universals (objective truth) or particular truths (natural sciences), people no longer see the connections between these different levels and thus fail to examine their own beliefs in light of these connections.

Now one who has followed my posting might consider this as based purely in modern society's rejection (actually just ignorance) of metaphysics and philosophy.  But I will argue that this inability affects a variety of disciplines, extending into the physical sciences themselves.

In this series I hope to accomplish three things:

  1. Demonstrations that this disconnect holds for a variety of modern issues, such as education.
  2. How our current assumptions of certain metaphysical principles (largely unexamined by moderns) leads to these problems
  3. How Aristotelian and Thomistic (AT) philosophy are answers to these problems
Obviously, such musings do not have a lot of bearing on the Catholic Faith in general.  While the Church uses a lot of AT principles in a lot of its teachings, strictly speaking the Catholic Faith does not require AT, nor is it the only philosophy that Catholics use to describe the faith.  So these postings must be taken as my own opinion regarding society and philosophy.  

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