Why do you think philosophy is so unpopular here?
(05-12-2010, 08:23 AM)devotedknuckles Wrote: Ahhhhhh phiosophy. Thank I God I cut that nonsense out after me cpontinental phelosophy courses and once I got to know witgenstien.
I dunno when your young sippin and first at university it does have its allure. Once u wake up to the scam thpugh I'd rather just play pool and sip and pinch a nice lassies bum

Ah, DK...  :laughing:

I suppose if I had the choice between reading the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus again or drinking beer and pinching a nice lassie's bum, I'd choose the latter, too.

Thanks for the good giggle.

What I really mean is the bits of philosophy that Catholics would do well to understand something about - just the gists of things at least. I wouldn't know how to get into serious detailed discussions either, but I think that simply because it has affected theology and the secular world so much there are some things that should naturally be topics of interest and discussion for Catholics. Like just the basics of different Greek philosophers, empiricism, existentialism, utilitarianism, phenomenology... surely those kinds of things must be encountered by a lot of Catholics, even if they don't put those names to them. Threads written by people who just want to discuss that kind of thing casually should be plenty. I mean for example, words like "relativism" are thrown around in other discussions, but where are threads in the philosophy area about relativism and the affect it's had on the world and the Church? Or isn't it hard to understand what "modernism" means if the philosophies behind it aren't discussed much in the proper place of the philosophy part of the forum? It just seems like a neglected area.
(05-08-2010, 05:27 PM)JamieF Wrote: There are so many errors in platonism and neo-platonism that I can't understand what a traditional Catholic would embrace that over the sound doctrines of St Thomas.

You're not a big fan of Saint Augustine I take it?

I agree with QuisUtDeus.
Aquinas was heavily influenced by Platonism. Dionysius is cited over 1700 times!
Dionysius wasn't his only Platonic source. Aquinas was quite familiar with the Liber de Causis for example. The 'liber' was an influential work ascribed to Aristotle. It was in fact a Muslim paraphrasing of Plotinus. Interestingly enough, Aquinas was the first to recognize its Platonic provenance. It just goes to show you how familiar he was with the Platonic tradition.
Let's not forget that most of the ancient commentaries on Aristotle that Aquinas had access to were written by Platonists. As for the Arabic commentaries, they were all heavily influenced by Platonism as well.

(05-08-2010, 05:27 PM)JamieF Wrote:  Anything which has merit in the work of Plato was absorbed by the Schoolmen into the Aristotelean system anyway - what is left is chaff.  

It is hard to absorbe what you don't have access to.
The only Platonic dialogue available to the Scholastics was a poor translation of the first half of the Timaeus.
That's not to say that Platonic thought wasn't absorbed though. Platonism was alive and well in interpretations of Aristotle among other places.

The Neoplatonists considered Aristotle to be one of their own. In Late Antiquity, Plato and Aristotle were extremely interconnected. This legacy was passed on to the middle ages. Medieval Aristoteleanism was informed by Platonism and vice versa, as had been the case for centuries.

I really don't understand your aversion to Plato and his followers. The whole medieval world was steeped in Plato through secondary sources(The Dream of Scipio!). I just don't get your attitude. Plato made the middle ages what it was.
The popes have stressed the importance of studying philosophy as a foundation for theology, up to and including John Paul II.  If one doesn't have an understanding of philosophy, one will be at a grave disadvantage in understanding theology, which might explain a lot of the stupid theological opinions proffered here at FE.
(05-22-2010, 09:32 PM)verenaerin Wrote:Where do you start? Catholic philosophers? Pagan?

I'd start from the start.  :)
That is to say Plato/Aristotle.
(05-22-2010, 10:29 PM)verenaerin Wrote:Is there a Plato/Aristotle for Dummies?

No offense, but what is the purpose of starting with pagans? If I studied Catholics then at least I would be learning more about my faith.

Philosophy started with pagans. Who do you think the Christians learned it from?
Sure, start with the pagans. Study Augustine and Aquinas too.  And study the modern philosophers, Descartes, Nietzsche, Hegel, Marx, Heidegger (if you can understand him), et al. and make sure you read our popes responses to them over the decades, especially Pius IX, Leo XIII and Pius X.  Don't limit yourself to just Catholics.  We need to know our enemies.
(05-22-2010, 09:32 PM)verenaerin Wrote:Where do you start? Catholic philosophers? Pagan?

BTW- your avatar is really creepy, I hate looking at that cat.

Here's a better look.  :tiphat:

[Image: ysoserious.jpg]
(05-09-2010, 05:49 PM)Jesse Wrote:
(05-09-2010, 05:46 PM)JamieF Wrote:
(05-08-2010, 06:03 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(05-08-2010, 05:12 PM)JamieF Wrote: If you were to take a course in Formal Logic you would build up from there.  Until you have done that, you should not bother at all with theology, metaphysics, etc.  Logic is the essential foundation of knowledge - without it you can't deduce whether what you are reading is true or not.  

OK. I have done a course in Formal Logic.  What is the next step?  I just randomly took 3 philosophy courses that I needed as degree requirements and they don't fit together. (As well as the logic course, I did an survey of existentialism and an intro to Aquinas.)  I really want a good foundation in philosophy because I want to be able to do theology properly.   

You would want to do formal logic, followed by material logic.  That leads to physics, psychology, mathematics, theology and metaphysics.  All of those subjects use the foundations learnt in formal and material logic which is why they are so essential.

Yes, logic is important to understand (since philosophy is all about argumentation), but formal logic can spend so much damn time on symbolic logic, which isn't really necessary as a pre-req to reading and understanding philosophy.  Informal logic is a much better "lay person" intro, especially since it has obvious and immediate application into someone's daily life.


I missed your comment - sorry for my delay in replying.  Formal Logic does not use symbolic logic - symbolic logic is a false modern system of logic.  True formal logic follows the methods of Aristotle and Aquinas.  It is essential to begin the study of logic with formal logic and follow it by material logic.  There is no such thing as this "informal logic" you are talking about.  Formal logic when studied in the scholastic method is very applicable to every day life as it teaches us how to structure an argument in order to come to the truth.

I suspect you have probably studied logic at a modern school if you think it is about symbolism.  In the class I have just taken in formal logic (taught in the traditional Catholic way) the only mention of symbolic logic was a 2 hour class which taught us the errors of the symbolic method and why it is a failure to be avoided.
(05-22-2010, 10:47 PM)verenaerin Wrote:I tried the von Hildebrands and could hardly understand any of it. Knowing your enimies is important. But with the small amt of time I have, the first thing I would want to fill my head with is Catholic basics.

Not a bad plan, but mixing it up a little can stretch you. For instance, read the Catholic thinkers of a particular time-period, or school of thought, or those writing about a particular subject, and then compare them to the non-Catholic philosophers writing at the same time or about the same ideas. Philosophers are in dialogue with each other, and one of the fundamental aspects of that dialogue is that the parties do not agree. Seriously entertaining ideas with which you disagree is not only a mark of intelligence, but will also make you stronger and better able to defend the truth.

For what it's worth, two of the things that drew me to the Catholic Church were my collegiate studies of Greek philosophy and of contemporary continental Jewish philosophy, especially the latter. I do think it's funny that studying 20th Century Jewish postmodern thought (read: Levinas, Derrida, et al.) made orthodox Catholicism look really good to me.

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