Philosophy

Philosophy

Philosophy, or “the love of wisdom,” is the systematic study of the most fundamental reasons for things by the light of human reason.   Because it studies the most fundamental reasons, philosophy is set apart from the particular natural sciences, each of which can only probe as deep as the basic reasons within that particular discipline.   Because philosophy studies these things by the light of human reason, it is set apart from theology, which relies essentially on truths revealed by God.  Finally, because philosophy investigates things in a systematic way, it differs from “bull sessions” or “shooting the breeze.”  True philosophy is rigorous and precise.

Philosophical questions include: Why is there something rather than nothing?  What is the meaning of life?  What are the basic laws of thought?  Why should we do what is right?  What can we know with certainty to be true?   Does God exist, and what is His nature?  Do human beings have genuine freedom?   Is the human soul immortal?

By “the light of human reason” we understand not the human reason of an individual but rather human reason as exemplified in an intellectual tradition.  No one thinks solely on his own; everyone is part of a school or movement, whether he knows it or not.  At Ave Maria University, we situate ourselves within the Catholic philosophical tradition, because of its harmony with the Catholic faith; because of its proven soundness and fruitfulness; and because of its aspirations to synthesis and its openness to truth in general.

Contact the Department Chair:
Dr. Michael Pakaluk

Blog

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Essays on Garrigou-Lagrange

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 14:38:00 +0000.
Michael Dougherty, chair of the philosophy department at Ohio Dominican University and a fellow contributor at Thomistica.net, has noted the appearance of a collection of essays on Réginald Garrigou-L ...Read More.
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Rist contra Kasper

Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:32:00 +0000.
John Rist has a critique of Cardinal Kapser’s argument in favor of the reception of communion by divorced and remarried Catholics. Rist’s critique is aimed at Kasper’s use of Patrist ...Read More.
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Art, fine art, and censorship

Tue, 18 Mar 2014 15:11:00 +0000.
What follows are some thoughts on art, fine art, and censorship prompted by a reading of Jacques Maritain’s Art and Scholasticism… In Art and Scholasticism Maritain defines art in the clas ...Read More.
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Heidegger on philosophy's cultural impact

Thu, 13 Mar 2014 01:17:00 +0000.
I don’t always (or often) agree with Heidegger. But these remarks from the Introduction to Metaphysics seem to be mostly right. Very roughly speaking, philosophy always aims at the first and la ...Read More.
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