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Laws are important in the sense that it prescribes the proper action or decision geared to what is acceptable and beneficial to the majority. It is likewise a means through which behavior is regulated through punishment and certain actions are rewarded. Natural law is a highest form of law because it is grounded on universality, its provisions seek to preserve life, protect human rights and uphold the truth. More importantly, as per the philosophies of St. Aquinas and King, natural law is just.
What makes natural law questionable is when some human laws claim that they are based on natural law. Inspired by natural law, human laws are quite interpretative and its interpretation is heavily depended on the cultural context and socio-economic dimension through which the human law was anchored on. Along these lines, the premises of natural law are reconfigured in a different way. This is the fallibility of…… [Read More]
" To that, Aquinas responded that the perfect beatitude, in Bradley's paraphrase, "...through grace, has a sort of beginning in this life," and while on earth humans need friends to achieve the material and spiritual input that keeps them seeking happiness, "In heaven," Bradley paraphrases, "the society of friends is not an essential or necessary condition for enjoying the vision of God, ho as the perfect good, in and of Himself, fulfills all desires."
Aquinas, Thomas. "How the Moral Virtues are Distinguished From One Another." In Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas, ed. Anton C. Pegis, 583-585. New York: The Modern
Bradley, Denis J.M. 2000. John Finnis on Aquinas 'The Philosopher.' The Haythrop Journal
41(1) (January) 1-24.
Curran, Charles E. 2003. A Vatican II view could allow for gay, lesbian, unions: but latest
Development hearkens back to Aquinas' view of relationship between law and morality.
National Catholic…… [Read More]
Therefore the Old Law should have been given to all nations, and not to one people only. (Aquinas: 811)
Aquinas responds in these words:
Although the salvation, which was to come through Christ, was prepared for all nations, yet it was necessary that Christ should be born of one people, which, for this reason, was privileged above other peoples, according to om. ix. 4: To whom, namely, the Jews, belongeth the adoption as of children of God... And the testament, and the giving of the Law;... whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ according to the flesh. (Aquinas: 813)
But while on the one hand, Aquinas tried to be sympathetic and tolerant, on the other, he created an undesirable duality when he refused to resist some stereotypical images of Jews as usurers and murderers of Christ. When he had the opportunity to dispel some old beliefs and add…… [Read More]
Aquinas and His "Five ays," an Expression of Assumed Faith
The Five ays of the existence of God, penned by the famed Thomas Aquinas are reported to be some of the most practical and real philosophical arguments of the existence of God. Though they are with much merit the reality of each both ends and begins with simple faith. Once again the reader or philosopher is left to interpret the logic of Aquinas statements all ending with an assumption of faith, faith therefore becoming the very structure and skeleton of his proofs.
Though the works are of coarse well thought they were created in a time when the propriety to question the ultimate truths was unheard of. The faith of Aquinas and of the whole era in which he wrote is assumed through the dialogue of his proofs, in many ways nullifying each individual proof as just another representation of…… [Read More]
Or Aquinas will rely on the evidence of Augustine, himself a convert to the Church, and who also had a keen interest in the teachings of Plato and Aristotle. Therefore, it is unfair to assert that Aquinas is only attempting to prove the existence of God after the fact of his conviction -- for Aquinas' conviction is based upon the proofs he gives -- that which is found in nature.
In fact, Aquinas' faith relies upon the use of reason. Such is the essence of Aquinas' doctrine. Reason is what leads him to believe in God, and reason is the tool by which he means to get those who study his doctrine to believe. How such a method could be applied in modern life is not difficult to see.
The modern world is compelled to view faith and reason as two separate entities -- not as things that go together.…… [Read More]
It is feasible, perhaps, that someone could hold the principle that he should always act rationally but also believe that this rationality should act towards maximizing their individual base pleasures. Clearly, this could be carried out at the expense of other rational beings. This would violate Kant's universal laws of morality because it would reject the elevated nature of humanity in general. At the same time, if this person were willing to accept the notion that everyone else should behave as he does, his actions would be difficult to categorize by Kant's methods.
Kant's morality is a bit more complex than Aquinas' and objections to the latter's conception of ethics are slightly more straightforward. Basically, Aquinas' position that "knowledge is virtue" is difficult to back in light of instances in which knowledge of the rightness of an action are known but still not followed. It is perceivable that an individual…… [Read More]
The nobility worked together with the urban citizens in order to limit the powers of the royalty. The Crown, on the other hand, joined the municipal/city governments to weaken the forces of the feudal (Minlan, 2007).
The principles of the feudal society also maintained that the King depends on himself for a living but if the King is in need of what can be called as some sort of non-feudal revenue, he makes an agreement with the taxpayers (ibid).
There were certain upheavals during Aquinas time. Peasant resistance was common in France. Unity was not achieved among the lordships which is why attempts towards the subordination of these peasants failed. This resulted to the non-existence of free labor. ent on customary tenancy was also paid in money terms which added to further decline of real feudal revenue (Das, 2005).
The lords, as I have mentioned earlier, were also not united…… [Read More]
If we were to consider it a philosophical argument, then we would understand that Anselm is trying to convince us of the validity of his thesis. If we were to look at it as a personal declaration of faith, then we are likely to detect no persuasion effort whatsoever. In fact, Anselm is far from convincing non-believers of the necessity to believe. His argumentation is not directed at having people believe in god. The manner in which he establishes the relation between faith and understanding is a clear sign in this direction. One can understand what Anselm is saying and be convinced of it only if he is a believer. At this point, it is safe to say that the importance of faith is fundamental. Under these circumstances, it becomes difficult to accept the view according to which the Proslogion is a philosophical argument. Were it such, its goal would…… [Read More]
Plato, Thomas Aquinas and Jeremy Bentham have exerted great influence over our ideas of justice and have spawned various schools of thought. This paper compares views on justice by looking at their writings on the ideal state and what constitutes moral behavior.
Plato (427-327 BC) is one of the most famous philosophers of antiquity. In The epublic, Plato wrote of his concept of individual justice as an offshoot of what he sees as a tripartite soul. Plato believed that the human soul is divided into three elements. First, there are the bodily appetites, expressed through bodily needs such as hunger and thirst. Second are the spiritual elements, expressed through emotions like love, anger and compassion. Above all, the third element that separates people from animals and makes them unique is the human ability to use language and reason (Annas 1981).
An imbalance among these elements leads to conflict, sickness and…… [Read More]
Saint Thomas Aquinas was a thirteenth century Dominican monk: Soccio notes that "Dominicans were dedicated to education and to preaching to common people" (Soccio 219). It is this learned quality which permeates Aquinas' approach to building a Christian system of philosophy: Aquinas is usually considered part of a larger medieval intellectual movement known as Scholasticism. Scholasticism represented an attempt on the part of Christian thinkers of the middle ages to justify Christian doctrine so that it was in line with Aristotelian natural philosophy (the medieval equivalent of what we know as "science"). But in the greater sense, Scholasticism was a philosophy that hinged upon the "logical and linguistic analysis of texts and on arguments producing a systematic statement and defense of Christian beliefs," as Soccio puts it (Soccio 222). In other words, there was a strong interest in not only the legalistic codification of Christian doctrine, but also the philosophical…… [Read More]
Thomas Aquinas is the most important figure of his age. Many people have heard of Thomas Aquinas, but fewer know why he is the most important figure of the 1200s and beyond.
Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican monk, a writer, and a philosopher. He created much of the modern Catholic Church doctrine and regulations, and was made a saint in 1323. Thomas combined the best of theologian and philosopher, and his life indicates that religion can be successfully based on both. He learned much from an extensive study of Aristotle and his writings, and he went on to write about Aristotle frequently and in great detail. He used Aristotle's order of determination to demonstrate Christian thinking and philosophy, and interpreted Aristotle's writings to fit his own individual theologies. He understood how to blend theology with philosophy, and come up with another from of theology that helped explain God and his…… [Read More]
Thomas Aquinas Argument on the Existence of God
Thomas Aquinas had an argument of the existence of God. Providing this argument in a logical way to parishioners in a homily or during an RCIA would be challenging but possible. Thomas has based his argument on five major elements that form the premises of the argument conclusion. The audience needs to be alerted on each of the premises leading to the decision made. There is motion in the world. This motion exists in terms of potential motion, which made to be a real motion by action. Action leads to the motion. There is no stagnation in the universe, which is a sign of things moving. God must be the mover, as no one understands it. The existence of God can be perceived from the efficiency perspective (Thomas & Regan, 2012).
Nothing can exist before the creator. God must be an initial…… [Read More]
Saint Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas lived and died between 1225-74. He was an Italian philosopher and theologian. He was the Doctor of the Church, also acknowledged as the Angelic Doctor. He is the supreme stature of scholasticism, one of the most important saints of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as, originator of the system acknowledged by Pope Leo XIII to be the legitimate Catholic philosophy (1).
This article argues that Thomas Aquinas's political philosophy is un-egalitarian. Not only does Aquinas disappoints to give his support to an egalitarian outlook of political impartiality, but so as to explain his political philosophy properly one has got to ascribe to him an idea intensely undemocratic in its repercussions. This paper proposes, consequently, that by means of Aquinas's thought, as a rational foundation for democracy would need a considerable reconsideration of his own point-of-view.
The purpose of this paper is neither to call…… [Read More]
The way in which this argument is employed differently in classical Islamic philosophy is actually quite interesting. e might compare Aquinas' argument here with Avicenna's use of Al-Farabi's concept of the "active intellect." Aquinas' prime mover argument is fundamentally Aristotelian, and thus Avicenna and al-Farabi were both familiar with the Aristotelean notion that God as Prime Mover could be logically deduced from the motion of planets and stars. For Avicenna, however, the notion of "active intellect" (borrowed from al-Farabi but here repurposed) is understood as the necessary manifestation of God in the world: the movements of things from potentiality to actuality is an intellectual movement (as well as a physical) and the form and shape that appears in matter is actually -- in Avicenna's philosophy -- an emanation from God's active intellect. As Leaman puts it, "this is not a matter of choice or God's grace but rather a necessary…… [Read More]
Even if they may not have the same force as divine law, the laws should not contradict the laws of heaven. This binding injunction to the people to obey also applies to rulers -- monarchs should not contradict the will of the divine, and endeavor to create a state that mirrors that of God. For example, Aquinas prohibited usury, or charging money at interest given Christ's condemnation of money changing, and stated that the governments should not allow such transactions to take place.
Although Aquinas at times cites Augustine in support of his ideas, Augustine's own ideas regarding the correct relationship between state and humankind seem to suggest that the laws of the state are less crucial and less significant in creating a moral framework for human beings. After all the state, human property, and the concerns of worldly affairs are transient. In his remarks upon the Gospel of John,…… [Read More]
Aristotle, of course, acknowledges no such presence. Aquinas's philosophy is largely based on the acknowledgement of this presence as much as, if not more so than, it is on any singular conception of Aristotle's. Aquinas believed that just as much as one should follow his or her function by thinking and living a life that resulted in happiness by utilizing this thought process, one should also seek to ultimately act based upon the divine nature within one due to the presence of God. It is for this reason that Aquinas chooses to emphasize a healthy, positive union with God -- one that coincides with the rational, thought-provoking side of mankind.
It is due to this relationship with the divinity that Aquinas believes that the actual betterment of man's progress in his various pursuits -- pursuits which bring him happiness -- lies in his cultivation and furthering of his relationship or…… [Read More]
Aquinas would likely not have understood how they could overlook all the "evidence" of God's handiwork all around them, and how they could discount the possibility that the knowledge they were acquiring came through their senses, but that the understanding of that knowledge came from the divine abilities given to them by God. Science and religion generally do not mix, although there are some who feel that both have a basis in truth and that both are correct - at least in part. While some scientists believe in God and some religious individuals believe in evolution, it is generally an either/or proposition, not one where both are possible or even acceptable. Aquinas would not have been interested in changing his philosophy and psychology about life and about God in order to meet the requirements of science. He was very devout, and remained that way throughout his life (Copleston, 1991). While…… [Read More]
160). Furthermore, Aquinas considers all people as being creations of God and parts of a whole that God represents. God's perfection has been passed on to its creations and thus all humans are perfect in their nature.
Aquinas is obsessed with demonstrating the existence of God and this can be seen in most of his writings. F.C. Copleston elucidates the reason for this through the fact that "in arguing for the truth of theism he places special emphasis on one argument, which I shall call 'The Existence Argument'." (Copleston, F.C. pp. 31)
Apparently, Aquinas considered that if he managed to demonstrate that God exists, everyone will have faith. In general, one has five methods through which he or she can prove the existence of God. All methods need to relate to something logical in order for people to comprehend. Aquinas' first way of proving the existence of a divine character…… [Read More]
Aquinas / Machiavelli Edit
Comparing Aquinas and Machiavelli
Aquinas and Machiavelli both had an important position in the study of historical development of Western political theory. They were Italian giants of medieval philosophy and politics. One of their common arguments is that nature is the basis of politics, including the nature of human beings and the nature of nations. Some may argue that in the totality of comparison that the work of Machiavelli was superior to that of Thomas Aquinas.
Aquinas's political thought started from the study of human nature. According to him, human beings are creations of the God. He agreed with Aristotle in that a human is a union of a body and a soul- a body is the matter, while a soul is the form. Also, bodies are under control of souls. He believed that humans have rational souls, which are abstract forms independent of…… [Read More]
Free Will: Comparing Aquinas & the Holy Scriptures
Thomas of Aquinas is recognized by the Orthodox as one of the foundational theologians, particularly in that he provided an important step in towards the Renaissance by helping to reacquaint Christianity with Aristotle, who he refers to throughout his as "the Philosopher." As one who draws inspiration from Aristotle, he is particularly interested in rational philosophy as applied to the realm of religion and theology. This makes his defense of free will particularly strong, though at points one feels he lacks the necessary sense of ambiguity to completely address the iblical texts. What is important to glean from his work, however, is a message that is also prominent in the Scriptures: that man is "made to God's image, in so far as the image implies an intelligent being endowed with free-will and self-movement..."
Summa Theologica, II:1:1)
Some thinkers believe that humans do…… [Read More]
1) What is the nature of the universe?
According to Thomas Aquinas, the great theologian and author of Summa Theologica, the nature of the universe may be explained using the following five aspects, namely, motion, an order of efficient cause, necessity and possibility, gradation among things, and governance by the intelligent Almighty. As stated in the text, "In the world some things are in motion." And "...whatever is in motion is put in motion by another." The author's claim here is that for things that are in motion to be transformed to a state of actuality from one of potentiality, movers are needed, with the First and Decisive Mover being God. Secondly, the author states that: "In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes." In other words, all things in the universe are caused by another, with the very first efficient cause being God.…… [Read More]
Aquinas and Descartes
The discourse on the relationship between mind and matter and between human being and nature has been a pervasive theme throughout the history of Western philosophy. The philosophical views of Thomas Aquinas and Rene Descartes represent diametrically opposed aspects of this problem.
From Aristotle, Aquinas derived the concept of matter, not as an inert subject but having the potential to attain form. Aquinas does recognize the distinction between form and matter and stated that all physical creations have these two aspects. However, matter is not something separate and distinct but has the potentiality for actualization. In his commentary on Aristotle's De Anima he stated that, "Matter is that which is not as such a 'particular thing,' but is in mere potency to become a 'particular thing. " (K. Foster et al. 215)
In order to understand the often complex issue of Aquinas and the relationship between humanity…… [Read More]
Thus, Sam argues that although the world often seems unjust (and is filled with innumerable instances of evil), yet P. is solved through the belief that every condition (good, in this case) necessitates an equal and opposite condition (evil, as it were.) However, Gretchen counters by asking whether those who behave in an evil way are ever punished for their transgressions, and whether there is any motivation for people to not simply act in their own best interests, whether or not this involves behaving in an immoral manner. Sam's rejoinder appeals to the afterlife as the site in which the importance of morality becomes manifest: "But the doctrine of an afterlife, in whatever form, says that this isn't the whole story" (47). However, Sam disregards the fact that God is purported to pardon many sinners, which would ostensibly mean that he regularly pardons instances of injustice.
The dialogue between Sam…… [Read More]
Aquinas explains his statement, "the soul is man," in two senses or ways. One is that a man is composed of not just the body (or form) but also of the soul. Some suggest that "form alone belongs to the species, while matter is part of the individual, and not the species." Aquinas denies this. He maintains that the nature of a particular species is what its definition signifies, and natural things are defined according to both their form and matter. Matter, according to him, is part of a particular species and shared by others under the same species: a particular man is composed of a soul, flesh and bones like other men or individuals in common. What belongs to the substance of a particular man also belongs to the substance of other individuals belonging to the same given species (Aquinas 1947).
Another way the statement can be…… [Read More]
Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr., and St. Thomas Aquinas' views on law. Specifically it will discuss the structure of law according to Aquinas. Aquinas divided law into four specific types, but both men agree there are just and unjust laws. Both men talk about the types of laws and whether they are just or unjust, and both have distinct philosophies about when to follow laws and when to ignore them.
Aquinas believed there were four basic types of law (1) eternal law, (2) natural law, (3) human law, and (4) Divine law. Each type of law carried certain characteristics and responsibilities, and each could be interpreted differently. His concept of eternal law is caught up in Divine law and argues that because of Divine eason, a law can indeed be eternal. That natural law is a result of Divine law, and it is purely rational…… [Read More]
Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas
The school of thought of Neoplatonism has had much influence in the philosophies of three major characters, all of which have studied heftily under the same overall pretense of the existence of God and his relation to nature. Plotinus, St. Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas all have certain reasoning regarding the nature of human existence and the hierarchies of creation. In their writings, the three men have indicated the direct and indirect links of the abstract form of existence and the concrete human world. Their ethical worldviews function solely in the prospect of humanity's closeness to the divine through the use of wisdom and intellect.
Plotinus was the founder of Neoplatonism, though he himself called himself a Platonist. In his philosophical studies, Plotinus focused solely on the concept of the One and the Nous, with which the One ruled in classical hierarchy. According to him, the One is…… [Read More]
Law for Aquinas is God and a True Example of Aristotle's Prime Mover
Natural law requires minimal moral content as a prerequisite for viewing something as in contravention of the law, while the positivist school holds that the law is whatever the state (in whatever form that exists) says it is. The concept of the natural law has the advantage of being based on something immutable, though admittedly morality may differ somewhat from one society to another. The concept of natural law was first developed in the Greek world and has been carried through to the present day. There are a number of different approaches to this concept. The Graeco-Roman tradition held that there was a natural law that was accessible to mankind through reason. Christian theorists adopted aspects of Cicero's Stoic philosophy, an example of natural law, because of its emphasis on moral content. The Christian legal philosophy that…… [Read More]
Thomas Aquinas was summarily concerned with the compatibility of faith and reason. In The Summa Against the Gentiles (Summa Contra Gentiles) and the Summa of Theology in particular, Aquinas presents his arguments for the synthesis of faith and reason. Aquinas offers a rather ironic glimpse at the nature of reason, which is both capable of intellectual comprehension of God but simultaneously insufficient for understanding God. Thus, Aquinas argues that God can be ascertained and even logically proven via the use of reason, but that the experience of God is a transcendent, spiritual, and emotional one that requires faith. Faith also fulfills the goals of reason, which is truer and greater understanding of God. hereas faith fails to provide the means by which to perceive the mundane world, reason is unable to offer a genuine proof or understanding of God.
One of the ways Aquinas reconciles faith and reason is…… [Read More]
Thomas Aquinas created his worldview through a combination of theology and philosophy. He believed that an individual must be ordered toward the right attributes on a daily basis. Attributes such as charity, peace and holiness are all apart of philosophy he called, "Virtue Ethics." He believed that good scriptural theology presupposes good philosophical analysis and analysis. Thomas primarily used philosophy as a medium to discern what we can naturally know about human being and God. As an Aristotelian and an Empiricist, his works were heavily influenced by these streams of thought. Aquinas believed in both supernatural revelation and natural revelation. With natural revelation, Aquinas believed the truths are available to individuals based solely through their human nature and correct reasoning's. With supernatural revelation, he believed that humans could learn the truth only through reading the scripture. The theological virtues of faith, hope and charity and Aquinas believed, were supernatural and…… [Read More]
These could include the aim of her studies, the programs she joins at college, her friends, and her romantic pursuits. The point is that the philosophy of love is explained by Plato in such a way as to make it accessible to men and women, college students, and feminists alike.
The same principle holds true for the works of Thomas Aquinas, whose writings focused much on the nature of God and his interaction with human beings. Much of this of course is based within the principles of Christianity, and the anti-feminist notion of the submission of the woman to the man. Nonetheless, like Plato, there are many elements of this philosophy that concerns humanity in general rather than the genders in isolation.
In the first part of the Summa for example, Aquinas considers the nature of God, creation and the free will that humanity operates under. According to Aquinas, the…… [Read More]
Following Aquinas's argumentation, we will reasonably ask ourselves, at a certain point, what the cause of what was considered to be the First Cause is. However, with the temporal cause, we may not assume an extra cause, because there will have been no prior time at which this cause may have occurred. As such, this "definition implies that the universe cannot be caused to begin to exist since there is no earlier time at which the cause could occur."
Resuming, in order to reject the argument of efficient causation summarized by Aquinas, we would need to either assume that all objects are contingent (first of Russell's argumentations) or to assume that there was a temporal cause, in the sense that the First Cause simply could not have existed because there was no prior time.
1. Russell, ertrand. Why I am not a Theist. On the Internet at http://jumper52.cjb.cc/russell.htm
2.…… [Read More]
He who would attack that state from the outside must have the utmost caution; as long as the prince resides there it can only be wrested from him with the greatest difficulty. (Chapter III)
So, then one must be present and able to seek ambitious gains and if he is not both these things difficulty and likely failure will arise and greater losses that what is gained can be realized. In this goal the Prince appropriately governs the people and thus a civil society is created.
Within Thomas Hobbes, there is a sense of knowing that defines the nature of man, as one that is comprised of five senses and all beyond that must be learned and improved upon by appropriate seeking of knowledge. (Leviathan, Chapters I-XVI) His discussion of state is the determination of a civil society, designed and created to determine the end of warfare and therefore instability…… [Read More]
Religion of the Spirits
In responding to adherents of the Religion of the Spirits, one might expect very different statements by St. Thomas Aquinas and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Indeed, these two personalities are opposite ends of the religious scale, with the former believing without any doubt that God exists and Catholicism is the true religion, and the latter being a believer in nihilism, physical life as the only existence that can reasonably be expected, and the non-existence of God. One similarity between Aquinas and Nietzsche is that they both believe unshakably in their respective viewpoints. There is therefore not much likelihood that the Religion of the Spirits will be able to convince either of their "truth."
If believers in the Religion of the Spirits were therefore to try and convince Thomas Aquinas of the truth of their religion, I believe he would in turn explain to them that there…… [Read More]
unbelieving or skeptic world has held that one question before those who believe in the existence of a Perfect and Just God. It is a question which asks, if God is the Creator of everything and He is good, perfect and just, why did He create evil and allow it to exist?
One of the greatest doctors of the Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas answers it point-by-point. He says that evil is not an essence, form or substance, which goodness possesses. Rather it is the absence of that goodness, or the "privation of good (Aquinas). A created thing or creature is created for a purpose by God and that purpose is necessarily good, because God created it, and that creature's nature is directed at that purpose, which is good. When the creature, by his or her own free will, decides not to opt for that purpose - directly or indirectly…… [Read More]
Unlike natural theology and revealed theology, however, the philosophy of religion is not concerned only with the existence or non-existence of God, but with a wide range of other issues that religion raises and is connected to, such as life after death, ethics, and moral behavior. The application of rationality to these other areas of religion raises other philosophical questions as well.
One type of theory used by religious philosophers (or natural theologists) are cosmological arguments. These attempt to prove the existence of God by logically proving that the universe must have had a cause or "prime mover," and this cause, then, is God (or gods). Aristotle's three point sum up the groundwork for most cosmological arguments: 1) something cannot be the cause of itself; 2) something cannot come from nothing; and 3) there cannot be an infinite series of causes and effects. If these arguments are taken as true,…… [Read More]
The question arising from this claim is whether evidence exists to prove that there exists an infinitely good, powerful, and wise God where morality naturally emerges. Humes argues that is hard to imagine that an all-good, powerful God exists in this world full of pain and misery. From these claims, one can argue that this insight, or God, has both evil and good, as is present in man if man is in God's image and likeliness.
Immanuel Kant: from the Critique of Pure Reason, the Good Will and the Categorical Imperative, the Postulates of Practical Reason
Kant believes that the vigorous application of same methods of reasoning can yield to an equal development in dealing with the issues of moral philosophy. Kant proposes a list of categories of Freedom in Relation to the concept of good vs. evil. Kant uses logical distinction as the basis for the catalog. Even though…… [Read More]
Room of One's Own," the author discussed how men continuously perpetuated the idea that men are superior than women. Woolf asserted this position through the "looking-glass vision," in which she posits that, "[w]omen have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size." Thus, acting as looking-glasses of the society, women are then relegated to a lower status while men, having witnessed their superiority through their "perceived" 'frailty' of women, takes up a higher status superior than women. Audre Lorde in her work, "Age, Race, Class, and Sex," illustrates how different view their stratification in the society. Lorde shows how a difference of perspectives of people with different ages, classes, races, and sexes manifest the degree of his/her outlook about his/her standing or status in the society. Thus, just like what Lorde exemplifies in her essay,…… [Read More]
The Greeks believe that the soul is an essential part of the body since it gives it life. The soul thinks, feels, and chooses[footnoteRef:1]. The interaction between the body and soul influences one another giving rise to the concept of dualism. They also view the soul as a simple form without any parts. Plato postulated that the soul is separated from the body and while the body degenerates, the soul leaves to form another life at death[footnoteRef:2]. Contrastingly, Aristotle considered the soul as a ‘form’ that cannot exist without the body. The following study explicates Aquinas’s views of the soul whilst appreciating the contribution given by Plato and Aristotle on the topic. [1: Terrance, W. Klein, The Nature of the Soul: The Soul as Narrative, Routledge, 2016: 4.] [2: Lean, Spruit, \"The Controversy over the Immortality of the Soul,\" Routledge Companion to Sixteenth Century Philosophy (2017): 225.]
Christian theology subscribes to the concept…… [Read More]
The Case for God's Existence
The Case Against the Existence of God
Many people go to churches, mosques, and synagogs each week to worship God and to pray. ut does God hear those prayers? Does he exist? The debate over God's existence has gone on for centuries and is alive and well in our time. Philosophers, theologians, scientists, and ordinary people have weighed in on the argument. Theologians such as Aquinas and Anselm argued for the existence of God in the Middle Ages, but even in that time, others disputed their contentions. Even some who believe in God argue that proving God's existence through logic, science, or reasoning is impossible because even hard evidence has nothing more than faith behind it. Are the people who worship God wasting their time then? Does God impact their lives? That question can be difficult…… [Read More]
Medieval Political Thought
How did Augustine of Hippo's and Thomas Aquinas' views of the role of human free will in the process of salvation shape their different views of political theory?
For Augustine, there could be two cities -- the City of Man, which would essentially be a society without grace or goodness -- and the City of God, which would be a society that conformed to the will of God, participated with grace, and worked to perfect itself in accordance with the Commandments of God. One would be an imperfect society (the former) and the other would be a perfect society. Essentially, the City of Man is a system in which all endeavors are geared towards earthly happiness whereas in the City of God, endeavors are geared towards a spiritual happiness with God, enjoyed fully in the next life if one is good and dies in the state of…… [Read More]
Plato's Examined Life
According to Plato, while we ought to value living good lives, an examined life is the only life worth living. Plato expands upon Socrates' ideas of an examined life in many of his works. Such a life requires daily introspection and reflection on the life, especially on the nature of virtue. Socrates' goal is to install reason as the judge of one's drives. The lack of self-knowledge is, in the philosopher's opinion, a major killer of the examine life.
Plato's character, Euthyphro, is one who lacks self-knowledge. In Plato's story, Euthyphro files murder charges against his own father. When defending his actions, Euthyphro tells his side of the story to the philosopher Socrates.
He says that one of his dependent workers got drunk one night and killed a domestic servant of the family. When Euthyphro's father heard what had happened, he punished the worker severely by bounding…… [Read More]
An Analysis of the Priesthood "in persona Christi" and "in nominee ecclesiae"
The questions that surround the functions of the priesthood and the diaconate today appear to be part and parcel of the greater uncertainty that surrounds ancient Church customs. This paper will attempt to analyze the meanings of the phrases "in persona Christi" and "in nomine ecclesiae" as they have reflected the functions of the ministers of the Church both in the past and in today. The conclusion of this research is that while the traditional Church maintained a clear definition (and reverent propriety regarding the mystery of the priestly aspect), today's Church is less sure of the role and function of the minister in relation to Church hierarchy and Church laity.
In Persona Christi
Historical Background: the Vestments
Pius XII's (1947) encyclical Mediator Dei describes for us the aspect of the priest in relation to Jesus…… [Read More]
Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam
The Creation of Adam (1512) as conceived and depicted by Michelangelo represents a significant moment in art history because it brings a humanistic style of expression and sense of realism to the art world that had not existed prior. The work is focused almost exclusively on the Body as a subject. The two figures—God the Father and Adam—represent the majesty of the human anatomy in its ideal form: muscular, flexible, unique, authentic, poised, admirable, beautiful and proportional. In the painting, God is mostly draped with a thin cloth; Adam is completely nude and his position (reclined with one knee propped up while he stretches backwards and reaches forward languidly) suggests one of royalty being wakened after a long slumber. Indeed, the idea that Adam is like royalty is one that Michelangelo infuses into the scene giving the painting its high-minded rapturous quality, which is much in…… [Read More]
The philosopher differed radically from Descartes in the fact that he believed that every physical manifestation to be found (and evidenced of a body or a sensory perception of something) stemmed from an idea. Spinoza contended that thoughts begot the physical process of motion, creation, or any other physical application, and that the intellect which produced such thoughts and the physical manifestations of them should therefore not be considered distinct from one another. It is noteworthy to mention that Descartes also held a an alternate account of the mind-body dualism in which he conceded there could be some incomprehensible union, for which he offered no explanation for and therefore cannot defensibly be compared to Spinoza's conception of this union (oss, 1998).
Therefore, when considering Spinoza's regards for human emotions as to whether or not they are part of bodily or mental processes, the answer is he believes they are related…… [Read More]
The European Historical Perspective, Social Issues and Educational Issues
The European historical perspective has changed from era to era. Europe, which is often called The West, had its foundations laid by the classical philosophers—Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle—who defined the concept of the Transcendentals and gave future generations the ideas of what it meant to live a good and happy life. These philosophers were Greek, but many nations for centuries after their deaths pondered their thoughts on education, on social issues and on life itself. The Romans, the Jews, the Christians (who later led Europe for more than a millennium) all incorporated aspects of the classical philosophy into their own sense of education.
The West—or Europe as we know it today—was defined as a result of numerous factors coming together to form their social perspective. In the centuries before Constantine came to the throne in the Roman Empire, the realm was…… [Read More]
Positive Philosophy in Law
Thomas Aquinas and Hans Kelsen held that the law enforced by human courts is indeed a positive law. Legal philosophers have since come up with a flurry of arguments claiming that positive law must have its source and content. These philosophers were and are of contention that the court's core mandate should be that of harmonizing heterogeneous sources of law into a coherent body of law for ease of administration of justice. Sources of law can be drawn from the ancient oman law, legislation, custom, precedent and equity, raw materials processed by courts into genuine law, statutes, precedents, and opinions of experts. With regard to content, law should be enforced to administer justice (Murphy, 2005).
This paper seeks to list some factors that a judge in a state's criminal court system would consider before sentencing burglary/theft offenders, people suspected to have committed aggravated battery, or those…… [Read More]
If he had love, he had no pot in which to plant it. And so it stayed trapped in his mind, separate from any object -- for Kant insisted on the gulf between faith and reason. If one had to accept certain truths on the authority of the one revealing them -- Kant wanted no part in it. According to Kant, one should accept only that which can be reasoned. According to Aquinas, it is not unreasonable to accept that which is revealed.
In a sense, many of us today are Kantian rather than Thomistic. We are Hamlet figures, forever trapped in doubt. What Aquinas allows us to do is put away doubt. He allows us -- in fact, implores us, to act. He is now to us like the ghost of Hamlet's father -- reappearing to urge his son to action. Still, Hamlet delays. What happens to Hamlet --…… [Read More]
life of Karlk ahner, German theologist and roman Catholic Philosopher. Looking and discussing on some of his views and philosophies and those that had an influence upon his life such as St. Thomas Aquinas and Kant.
Karl ahner, 1904-1984
Philosophical thinkers have theorised for many centuries on the role of happiness and the way in which good may be seen and the role of good will in the make up of humanity and society as well as the role of morals and intents. Immanuel Kant can be seen as a philosopher that built on the older philosophical ideas regarding the role of good actions and good will.
Kant created the ' categorical imperative' which was the determination of goodness by way of looking at the action, he stated "Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law"(Kant 88)…… [Read More]
Wulf, S.J. (2000). "The skeptical life in Hume's political thought. Polity, 33(1), 77.
Wulf uses David Hume's well-known skepticism to advance his concerning the extreme degrees to which philosophy had been taken before returning to less radical modes. He develops material about the antithetical ideas to those investigated here; that is, he puts into a context the ideas of those philosophers who, working at the edge of the intelligible, refused to "accede to the judgment of reason and even their own senses."
ukav, Gary. (1984) the dancing Wu Li masters: An overview of the new physics. New York: Bantam.
One of the first statements ukav makes in this book is that he found, visiting the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Berkeley, California, that physics "was not the sterile, boring discipline that I had assumed it to be. It was a rich, profound venture, which had become inseparable from philosophy. Incredibly, no…… [Read More]
However, the point of mergence between the two theories has been given a name for itself and it is known as the Overlap Thesis. Overall, the natural law theory of law is used to refer to the analysis of legal systems and philosophical issues of law.
Among those who sought that natural law has no valid grounds is Leo Strauss who was convinced that it has to be refused on the premises of history and of the differences between facts and values. To most of those who oppose natural law, human knowledge and thought is characterized by the historical interpretation and history is time-bound and thus unable to encompass something which is eternal. Another reason natural law has been criticized is because of its ontological and epistemological suggestions. In regards to the former, it has been noted that no matter the way reality is perceived, whether from a theological point-of-view,…… [Read More]
telepathy and how it does or does not really exist in the world we live. There are various schools of thought discussed in this paper to highlight the concept of this term that has een there for many centuries.
The term "telepathy" was coined in 1882 y W.H Myers, who was also one of the founding memers of the society for Psychical Research. Telepathy is a Greek term, tele means 'distant' and pathe means 'feeling'. Many different researchers egan to take interest in telepathy when many enthralled y the phenomenon of mesmerism.
This new scientific suject egan to pick up momentum when other psychologists and psychiatrists were oserving the same phenomena in their patients. Sigmund Fraud also oserved telepathy in his own son and felt that this issue needed to e delved into in greater depth. After studying telepathy he came to the conclusion that this is a phenomena that…… [Read More]
He understood exploration and discovery was creating a new world order, and that the old way of doing things would not work in this big new world. He understood the future implications of law and global relations, and helped create the theories that would lead to national law and international understanding. History books and many historians do not always recognize him, but the Catholic Church recognizes him as an influential and vital advocate of theology, education, and global change.
In conclusion, Francisco de Vitoria is legendary for his creation of international law, his development of the University of Salamanca, and his treatment of many other theological issues. In 1926, The Dutch Association of Grotius honored the University of Salamanca with a gold medal to commemorate Francisco de Vitoria as the founder of international law. There is also a Spanish Asociacion Francisco de Vitoria that studies Vitoria and his ideas at…… [Read More]
William of Occam formulated the principle of Occam's Razor, which held that the simplest theory that matched all the known facts was the correct one. At the University of Paris, Jean Buridan questioned the physics of Aristotle and presaged the modern scientific ideas of Isaac Newton and Galileo concerning gravity, inertia and momentum when he wrote:
...after leaving the arm of the thrower, the projectile would be moved by an impetus given to it by the thrower and would continue to be moved as long as the impetus remained stronger than the resistance, and would be of infinite duration were it not diminished and corrupted by a contrary force resisting it or by something inclining it to a contrary motion (Glick, Livesay and Wallis 107)
Thomas Bradwardine and his colleagues at Oxford University also anticipated Newton and Galileo when they found that a body moving with constant velocity travels distance…… [Read More]
A High Impact Negotiations Model: An Answer to the Limitations of the Fisher, Ury Model of Principled Negotiations
This study aims to discover the ways in which blocked negotiations can be overcome by testing the Fisher, Ury model of principled negotiation against one of the researcher's own devising, crafted after studying thousands of negotiation trainees from over 100 multinational corporations on 5 continents. It attempts to discern universal applications of tools, skills, and verbal and non-verbal communication techniques that may assist the negotiator in closing deals with what have been "traditionally" perceived as "difficult people." This study concludes that there are no such "difficult people," but rather only unprepared negotiators. The study takes a phenomenological approach to negotiations, with the researcher immersing himself in the world of negotiation training from 2012-14, for several major multinational corporations, intuiting the failings of the negotiators with whom he comes in contact,…… [Read More]
Francis Bacon's Advancement Of Learning
An Analysis of Bacon's Rationale for riting the Advancement of Learning
hen one analyzes Francis Bacon's Advancement of Learning, he does so by first entering into an era that was primarily dedicated to overthrowing the Learning of the past -- that is to say, it was breaking with the old world and advancing the new. That old world was one of scholasticism, with men like Thomas Aquinas incorporating Aristotelian philosophy into the medieval world and using the pagan to prove the Christian. It was a world where religious truths were accepted on the authority of the Church, and a world where that authority was still in place and still in power. In the 14th century that authority would begin to corrupt (with the papacy's abduction and removal to Avignon) and the natural catastrophe that was the Black Plague. These events (though soon over) left their…… [Read More]
Martin Luther's Life:
Martin Luther took his birth on November 10, 1483 in a peasant family in Eisleben in the Holy oman Empire, presently known as Eastern Germany. After the birth of Luther his family migrated from Eisleben to Mansfeld. His father was a comparatively effective miner and smelter and the Mansfeld was then a larger mining town. The Parents of Martin were Hans and Magarete Luther and he was their second child. Martin started his schooling in Mansfeld most probably around seven. The School emphasized Latin and a bit of logic and rhetoric. When Martin was 14 he was brought to Magdeburg for taking up his further studies. He resided there only of a year and then admitted into a Latin School in Eisenach till 1501. During 1501 he entered the University of Erfurt that was regarded as one of the oldest and best universities in Germany where he…… [Read More]
Teilhard De Chardin
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is one of the few people who can legitimately claim a place in the history of both Darwinian science and Christian theology. Born in 1881, Teilhard was both a Jesuit priest in the Roman Catholic church, and also a scientifically-trained paleontologist and geologist who participated in the discovery of the first fossil specimens of the hominid Homo erectus, then popularly dubbed "Peking Man" due to its discovery in China, whose precise relationship to present day homo sapiens, or indeed any other subsequent hominids, remains a matter of scientific debate). Yet Teilhard also maintained a constant interest in matters prompted by his scientific work, but more speculative and theological in character. These writings would bring Teilhard into some conflict with the official guardians of Roman Catholic orthodoxy, and the Vatican denied him the imprimatur or official permission required to publish his work. But on…… [Read More]
Faith and Reason Paper
Faith starts in the mind and moves to the will. Aquinas is one of the most well-known scholastics to make that argument.[footnoteRef:2] The mind must consent to the truths of the faith and the heart and mind must then act in unison to bear that faith out in one’s life. This is why the scholastics argued that faith rested on reason—for people are rational beings and need reasons to “buy into” an idea.[footnoteRef:3] Anselm’s ontological argument, for example, used reason to prove God’s existence.[footnoteRef:4] However, as others and Scripture show, faith can be obtained through deep intuition and feeling as well.[footnoteRef:5] This paper will explain how although faith typically depends on the use of reason, faith can be reached in a variety of ways; and in some cases, false reasoning can even be used to destroy faith. [2: Ralph McInerny, ed. Thomas Aquinas: Selected Writings…… [Read More]
Ethics with Character: Virtues and the Ethical Social orker -- Paul Adams
Professor Paul Adams of the University of Hawaii's Myron B. Thompson School of Social ork in this peer-reviewed article explores those aspects of social work that "…are not primarily about identifying and resolving dilemmas" (Adams, 2009, p. 83). Adams delves into the "ethical tradition" -- and the potential therein -- that had its roots in "the virtues and character" of social work practitioners from Aristotle and Hippocrates to today's social workers. In other words, how can today's social worker -- and the field of social work -- learn from the past to enhance the field ethically? This paper reviews and critiques Adams' research, which is very interesting and enlightening in the context of values, human interaction, and social work.
Review / Critique of Adams' Article
Ethics, in the view of Strom-Gottfried, refers to the "…embodiment of values into…… [Read More]
Philosophy and Psychology of the Mind and Body
Throughout human history, philosophers, doctors, and most recently, psychologists, have attempted to understand the relationship between the mind and body and how it results in human beings' awareness and perception of reality. At least since the golden age of Greek philosophy, thinkers have been aware of an ostensible distinction between the mind and body, a distinction that nonetheless allows for some intermingling such that physical issues affect the mental state just as mental issues may result in physical symptoms. Thus, if one desires to truly understand how contemporary estern psychologists and philosophers consider the nature of consciousness via the interaction between mind and body, one must trace the history of these concepts starting with the Greek philosophers, moving through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and on to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when psychology first began to develop as a formal…… [Read More]