The Philosophy Thread

Where Fellowship and Camaraderie lives: that place where the CPS membership values fun and good fellowship as the cement of the community
User avatar
durangopipe
The Goat Fairy
The Goat Fairy
Posts: 9598
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:58 pm

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by durangopipe » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:33 pm

(I’m off the hook now, so ...)

Image
Nothing distinguishes more clearly conditions in a free country from those in a country under arbitrary government than the observance in the former of the great principles known as the Rule of Law.

Friedrich August von Hayek

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23637
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:22 pm

+JMJ+

The following news will probably interest very few on the board (Hov comes immediately to mind, along with a handful of others, undoubtedly) but, as I just learned yesterday to my shock and delight, CUA Press has announced the publication of "The English Critical Edition of the Works of Karol Wojtyła/John Paul II" which is projected to be, ultimately, a 20 volume set.

But focusing on what's truly sparked my delight, I must say it is the first volume to be released which really has me geeking out:


► Show Spoiler
Image

Yes, the first release is Person and Act. Though I've no immediate interest in reading the entire Collected Works, my freak-flag flyeth solely with the appearance of this single, inaugural volume. I've been awaiting this day in hope and patience for quite a few years now. Happy Happy, Joy Joy.

Though the import of this volume might not be obvious, retracing the sad trail of its publication history in English should make things clearer. To put it simply, the English translation of Person and Act (dubbed "The Acting Person") has — according to those in-the-know — long labored in a swamp of both translation wonkiness and legal hurdles. As I understand things, Vatican interests have long been pressuring the English copyright-holders to allow the publication of a new, scholarly translation sensitive to the subtleties of Wojtyla's thought, but these overtures have been continuously stymied. But in a turnaround, it seems that their plaint has risen to the heavens with said hurdles finally being cleared.

For those few souls itching for more of the backstory, this except from one of George Wiegel's books on JP2 should add further context:
► Show Spoiler
Judging by its canonical status within Wojtyla's ouvre, this seminal work of "Trinitarian Personalism expounded in a Husserlian key" should fit the bill as a spring/summer barnburner. Scheduled to be released in early May.

-->> Amazon link: "Person and Act" and Related Essays

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
Cleon
Walmart Cargo Short Model
Walmart Cargo Short Model
Posts: 16147
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:00 pm
Location: Indiana - South of 40
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by Cleon » Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:36 am

wosbald wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:22 pm
+JMJ+

The following news will probably interest very few on the board (Hov comes immediately to mind, along with a handful of others, undoubtedly) but, as I just learned yesterday to my shock and delight, CUA Press has announced the publication of "The English Critical Edition of the Works of Karol Wojtyła/John Paul II" which is projected to be, ultimately, a 20 volume set.

But focusing on what's truly sparked my delight, I must say it is the first volume to be released which really has me geeking out:


► Show Spoiler
Image

Yes, the first release is Person and Act. Though I've no immediate interest in reading the entire Collected Works, my freak-flag flyeth solely with the appearance of this single, inaugural volume. I've been awaiting this day in hope and patience for quite a few years now. Happy Happy, Joy Joy.

Though the import of this volume might not be obvious, retracing the sad trail of its publication history in English should make things clearer. To put it simply, the English translation of Person and Act (dubbed "The Acting Person") has — according to those in-the-know — long labored in a swamp of both translation wonkiness and legal hurdles. As I understand things, Vatican interests have long been pressuring the English copyright-holders to allow the publication of a new, scholarly translation sensitive to the subtleties of Wojtyla's thought, but these overtures have been continuously stymied. But in a turnaround, it seems that their plaint has risen to the heavens with said hurdles finally being cleared.

For those few souls itching for more of the backstory, this except from one of George Wiegel's books on JP2 should add further context:
► Show Spoiler
Judging by its canonical status within Wojtyla's ouvre, this seminal work of "Trinitarian Personalism expounded in a Husserlian key" should fit the bill as a spring/summer barnburner. Scheduled to be released in early May.

-->> Amazon link: "Person and Act" and Related Essays
Nice hat. Nice brim snap.

I think it's a Borsalino, therefore it is.
"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven" - Jesus

"More people need to put their big boy britches on." - JMG

"Dang, a pipe slap." - JimVH

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23637
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:36 pm

+JMJ+

IMO, the following set of outline/notes from Fr. Bergolio's (now, Pp. Francis) 1987-88 critical interrogation of Marxian/Socialistic concepts is important — not only for its timely subject-matter — but also because Bergolio's thought is commonly characterized as "non-theological". Though I'd agree that he's not liable to be labeled "an academic" (inasmuch as he evidently prefers the fleshy reality of praxis and the personal touch of pastoral-guidance to the etherial flight of theoretics), to conclude therefrom that he's a theological and philosophical halfwit would be an overhasty simplification.

Interpreting Reality [In-Depth]
Image

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

This previously unpublished text is a set of notes intended for further study. It can be dated between the end of 1987 and the middle of 1988, when Fr. Bergoglio was working on his thesis on Romano Guardini and was examining the use of Marxist analysis in the interpretation of reality, which he saw as an example of how obsolete categories are eventually superseded by reality.[1]

Bergoglio opens with a quote from an article by Alberto Methol Ferré on how the Church saw the issue of relations with the working class, which had come to the fore of its concerns with the coming of the industrial age and the French Revolution. At the beginning of the 19th century, with Philippe Buchez,
[2] a Catholic form of socialism appeared that was swiftly suffocated by a pincer movement of intra-ecclesiastical integrism and atheistic Marxism. Methol Ferré proposed a return to the ethical and Christian origins of socialism, moving beyond both dogmatically atheistic Marxism and, with the help of the Second Vatican Council, the Church’s negative critique of the contemporary world, a critique that had been unable to recognize progress.

Bergoglio concentrates on the “failure of categories to interpret reality” noted by Methol Ferré, sketching out in these notes a “hermeneutics of reality” in which criteria and categories are not mere “patches” or temporary fixes. This concept, together with that of “the overflow” (“rebasamiento”), has become important following the Synod for the Amazon.
[3]

Bergoglio’s text is of particular interest both for his method and the content. Perhaps some will be surprised by the complex style of argumentation, which is certainly not typical of Pope Francis. In terms of method, it allows us to catch a glimpse of Bergoglio’s personal style of thought, which is inspired by various authors but also reveals his own original thinking. As far as the content is concerned, we can see in his reasoning the application of his well-known “four principles.”
[4] The idea that the best method is the one most congruent (“consonant”) with reality is inspired by Guardini, while the deployment of antinomy as a means of poetically expressing a reality that surpasses our intuition and our concepts, and so calls for creative explanation, is very much part of Bergoglio’s own thinking. Methol Ferré’s theory is valid when it comes to interpreting the voice of the people and embracing modernity in a way that is both traditional and new.

Many things can be found in these notes, but what stands out is the vigor of a thinking that is original and mature, moving ahead with freedom of spirit and creativity, in search of criteria to interpret reality that allow us to think and discern without falling into either rigidity or relativism.

Diego Fares, SJ


=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

“With the exhaustion of interpretative categories that are no longer of any use for understanding the events of today, a perplexity has arisen. What is happening now surpasses existing ideas. They are therefore ideas that blind us, that do not let us see. For me, as far as we are concerned, the ‘Marxist Christians’ had jumped on a horse they supposed to be a winner, but which turned out to be drugged. As Claver[5] has pointed out: For fear of being the last Christians, Marxist Christians are actually the last Marxists.”[6]

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23637
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Sun May 02, 2021 1:54 pm

+JMJ+

No free will, no ideas: Physicist Brian Greene reduces everything to 'particles and fields' [Book Review]
Image
Planetary nebula Abell 78, about 5,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Cygnus (ESA/Hubble & NASA, M. Guerrero; acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt)

"There are two kinds of people: 'Nothing but' and 'Something more.' " So said an old Jesuit spiritual director. Brilliant science teacher and world-renowned theoretical physicist Brian Greene is a "but" guy; I'm more of a "more" man.

Greene is one of today's best popularizers of science's teachings. Too many live with a worldview developed in the Middle Ages, or at least Newton's universe. Yet, evolution now colors all we know (and those who think they are defending the faith by denying evolution are doing bad biology and terrible theology). The revolutions of Einstein's theories, and the mysteries of quantum mechanics, are slowly seeping into consciousness and culture.

How we make meaning of reality is reoriented when our notions of what is "really real" are in new, and sometimes troubling, relations. Is the table on which I rest this laptop a solid thing or a whirling mass of electrons? Both. Greene is a great guide into these radically realized realms of meaning.

The Elegant Universe may not prove string theory, but it reveals the startling truth that the beauty of the equations often indicates scientific discovery. The Fabric of the Cosmos takes you from the Big Bang to time travel into the past (but not the future). One of his New York Times op-eds presents this mind-blowing argument: As the galaxies accelerate their speed while moving farther and farther from each other, at some point, here on Earth, our most powerful instruments will not be able to register the light of distant stars. People in that far future will need to believe our testimony to know there is anything out there.

Greene argues, "physics in general, and quantum mechanics in particular, can only deal with the measurable properties of the universe. Anything else is simply not in the domain of physics."

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Image
Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe by Brian Greene
448 pages; Knopf
$30.00


=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

In his latest book, Until the End of Time, his argument goes too far or not far enough. His view presents the kind of paradox you expect in a quantum universe that exhibits spooky relationships between particles, where "what is" isn't "what it is" until someone observes or judges "that it is" (think Schrödinger's cat).

Greene argues that much of what is generally outside the domain of physics, aspects of reality like thought, language, art, ourselves and the holy grail, consciousness, are nothing but particles set in motion at the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago.

Greene insists all that is — all that exists — consists only of particles and fields. Nothing but "Particles and fields … . To the depths of reality that we have so far plumbed, there is no evidence for anything else."

Really? Nothing but particles? Plumb deeper, farther.

Greene's reduction of all reality to particles means there is no free will. Yet, Greene's ruminations uncover a chink in the reductionist armor. He asks why the particles that make up a big rock remain inert as a tree limb falls, threatening to land on someone, while the particles that are "you" or "me" will rush over and pull that someone out of danger. Note, we wouldn't worry about the rock getting smashed.

Greene argues that such salvific action is not free will or choice. The particles of the rock, "you" and "I" are all subject to the same inevitable and unchanging laws of physics. It is just that "you" or "I" have a more "sophisticated internal organization [that] allows for a rich spectrum of behavioral responses" not available to the rock. Curiously, Greene argues, "This notion of freedom does not require free will." He admits this use of the term "free" is a bit of a "linguistic bait and switch.

Image
Physicist Brian Greene explaining superstring theory and the multiverse in a TED talk in Long Beach, California, Feb. 28, 2012 (Flickr/Red Maxwell)

His admittance is more than that. It is more than particles of synapses firing in his fertile and impressive brain. It is an argument. And a person making an argument must be free, or it is no argument.

A belief in the mystery we call God, awareness and trust that there is a reality beyond physical reality, grounds assertions of free will and argues for purpose and ultimate meaning to our existence and the universe.

But we are more than the particles that physicists can measure. Reality is more than what our knowledge of physical reality reveals. Our knowledge itself, our consciousness, the laws of physics, math — all transcend physical particles and fields.

Ironically, Greene loses the argument that the act of argument is unfree, and in the long run, meaningless. He loses by making an argument.

[…]

An argument is indisputable, a reality that goes beyond the merely physical. It is not made up of particles but exists in the relationship between Greene's thought and my thought. It is beyond both of us. It connects both of us. It is spiritual.

If the argument were just a mass of particles, there would be no way to connect Greene's consciousness with mine or yours. That's the difference between a rock and me and Greene and you. Jesuit Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin proclaimed we are radically spiritual beings having a human experience. We cannot reduce our embodied self-consciousness to particles. We are more than that, much more.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
coco
Uniquely Duggish
Uniquely Duggish
Posts: 32545
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:00 pm
Location: Sweet Home Alabama
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by coco » Mon May 03, 2021 10:16 am

wosbald wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 1:54 pm
+JMJ+

No free will, no ideas: Physicist Brian Greene reduces everything to 'particles and fields' [Book Review]
Image
Planetary nebula Abell 78, about 5,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Cygnus (ESA/Hubble & NASA, M. Guerrero; acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt)

"There are two kinds of people: 'Nothing but' and 'Something more.' " So said an old Jesuit spiritual director. Brilliant science teacher and world-renowned theoretical physicist Brian Greene is a "but" guy; I'm more of a "more" man.

Greene is one of today's best popularizers of science's teachings. Too many live with a worldview developed in the Middle Ages, or at least Newton's universe. Yet, evolution now colors all we know (and those who think they are defending the faith by denying evolution are doing bad biology and terrible theology). The revolutions of Einstein's theories, and the mysteries of quantum mechanics, are slowly seeping into consciousness and culture.

How we make meaning of reality is reoriented when our notions of what is "really real" are in new, and sometimes troubling, relations. Is the table on which I rest this laptop a solid thing or a whirling mass of electrons? Both. Greene is a great guide into these radically realized realms of meaning.

The Elegant Universe may not prove string theory, but it reveals the startling truth that the beauty of the equations often indicates scientific discovery. The Fabric of the Cosmos takes you from the Big Bang to time travel into the past (but not the future). One of his New York Times op-eds presents this mind-blowing argument: As the galaxies accelerate their speed while moving farther and farther from each other, at some point, here on Earth, our most powerful instruments will not be able to register the light of distant stars. People in that far future will need to believe our testimony to know there is anything out there.

Greene argues, "physics in general, and quantum mechanics in particular, can only deal with the measurable properties of the universe. Anything else is simply not in the domain of physics."

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Image
Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe by Brian Greene
448 pages; Knopf
$30.00


=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

In his latest book, Until the End of Time, his argument goes too far or not far enough. His view presents the kind of paradox you expect in a quantum universe that exhibits spooky relationships between particles, where "what is" isn't "what it is" until someone observes or judges "that it is" (think Schrödinger's cat).

Greene argues that much of what is generally outside the domain of physics, aspects of reality like thought, language, art, ourselves and the holy grail, consciousness, are nothing but particles set in motion at the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago.

Greene insists all that is — all that exists — consists only of particles and fields. Nothing but "Particles and fields … . To the depths of reality that we have so far plumbed, there is no evidence for anything else."

Really? Nothing but particles? Plumb deeper, farther.

Greene's reduction of all reality to particles means there is no free will. Yet, Greene's ruminations uncover a chink in the reductionist armor. He asks why the particles that make up a big rock remain inert as a tree limb falls, threatening to land on someone, while the particles that are "you" or "me" will rush over and pull that someone out of danger. Note, we wouldn't worry about the rock getting smashed.

Greene argues that such salvific action is not free will or choice. The particles of the rock, "you" and "I" are all subject to the same inevitable and unchanging laws of physics. It is just that "you" or "I" have a more "sophisticated internal organization [that] allows for a rich spectrum of behavioral responses" not available to the rock. Curiously, Greene argues, "This notion of freedom does not require free will." He admits this use of the term "free" is a bit of a "linguistic bait and switch.

Image
Physicist Brian Greene explaining superstring theory and the multiverse in a TED talk in Long Beach, California, Feb. 28, 2012 (Flickr/Red Maxwell)

His admittance is more than that. It is more than particles of synapses firing in his fertile and impressive brain. It is an argument. And a person making an argument must be free, or it is no argument.

A belief in the mystery we call God, awareness and trust that there is a reality beyond physical reality, grounds assertions of free will and argues for purpose and ultimate meaning to our existence and the universe.

But we are more than the particles that physicists can measure. Reality is more than what our knowledge of physical reality reveals. Our knowledge itself, our consciousness, the laws of physics, math — all transcend physical particles and fields.

Ironically, Greene loses the argument that the act of argument is unfree, and in the long run, meaningless. He loses by making an argument.

[…]

An argument is indisputable, a reality that goes beyond the merely physical. It is not made up of particles but exists in the relationship between Greene's thought and my thought. It is beyond both of us. It connects both of us. It is spiritual.

If the argument were just a mass of particles, there would be no way to connect Greene's consciousness with mine or yours. That's the difference between a rock and me and Greene and you. Jesuit Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin proclaimed we are radically spiritual beings having a human experience. We cannot reduce our embodied self-consciousness to particles. We are more than that, much more.
"Yes, we are determined, but determined toward what? That is the question." - Stephen Hawking

The materialistic worldview can never provide meaning, purpose, or ethics, and can produce little more than the vapid anti-philosophy of nihilism. There has to be more than matter, energy, and the laws that govern them. The question of consciousness exposes part of the problem, as consciousness requires spirit. Meaning, purpose, and ethics require a loving, personal God.
There are many terrible attributes of the lowly cob. Not the least of them is that it makes you look like a doof.

User avatar
TheShepherd
Usher
Usher
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:09 am

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by TheShepherd » Tue May 04, 2021 1:43 am

"Reducing" is simply an act and a fallacy- one could just as easily reduce a particle to smaller particles (such as molecules to atoms, atoms to subatomic particles) - just as they could reduce every organ in a human body to "cells" and then assert that "the heart and the brain don't exist", or that postulations of the uglier variety, such as biological evolution (and the silly ideas and nonsenses that the under-literate derive from it), don't exist, since everything biological is reducible to particles and fields, and so on.

---

Sex, for example, exists on a hierarchy:

-At the bottom, is the physical and instinctual aspect (which is viewed as ugly, reductive, bestial, and aesthetically deprived).

-On top of the physical and instinctual aspect, lie the mental and creative aspects, which distinguish man from beast - such as love, romance, seduction, mystery, passion - the physical and instinctual merely being a mortar upon which the cathedral of the higher aspects is laid.

-The physical and instinctual aspects could exist without the higher (much as it is in the instinct of beasts to mate and sire offspring), but the higher mental and creative aspects, exclusive to human intelligence, could not exist without the primitive foundation upon which they are built.

---

Much as how one could "reduce" a computer to a collection of mechanical parts, but this would be silly - since a collection of identical, disparate parts wouldn't be able to function as a computer, only when the parts are arranged a certain way would it be able to. Similarly, the parts could individual exist without being a computer, but the computer and its functions couldn't exist without the parts.


For that matter, atomism has just been an ancient vein of scientific and philosophical thought since Epicurus and before, modern "physics", as outdated and archaic as it is in the 21st century and Information Age to begin with, is just a more nuanced reincarnation of atomism and not even original thought (hopefully soon to be relegated to the status a relic of the 17th century in light of the new Computational and Informational Sciences). The only "pure" science is mathematics, everything else, such as outdated constructs of physics, is just built upon mathematics.

So I'm not sure why this crankery even taken seriously, when even a child could easily debunk it? I suppose it sells to people of under-developed literacy or those who haven't been able to gradate past what paltry,19th century rote-learning and indoctrination they try to pass off as education, if nothing else - not that most of these idiots would pursue any beyond that pitiable and childishly mandated level to begin with, were they even capable of it.

User avatar
sweetandsour
Notable Minister of Live Bait
Notable Minister of Live Bait
Posts: 13645
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Bayou Self
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by sweetandsour » Tue May 04, 2021 6:35 am

TheShepherd wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:43 am
"Reducing" is simply an act and a fallacy- one could just as easily reduce a particle to smaller particles (such as molecules to atoms, atoms to subatomic particles) - just as they could reduce every organ in a human body to "cells" and then assert that "the heart and the brain don't exist", or that postulations of the uglier variety, such as biological evolution (and the silly ideas and nonsenses that the under-literate derive from it), don't exist, since everything biological is reducible to particles and fields, and so on.

---

Sex, for example, exists on a hierarchy:

-At the bottom, is the physical and instinctual aspect (which is viewed as ugly, reductive, bestial, and aesthetically deprived).

-On top of the physical and instinctual aspect, lie the mental and creative aspects, which distinguish man from beast - such as love, romance, seduction, mystery, passion - the physical and instinctual merely being a mortar upon which the cathedral of the higher aspects is laid.

-The physical and instinctual aspects could exist without the higher (much as it is in the instinct of beasts to mate and sire offspring), but the higher mental and creative aspects, exclusive to human intelligence, could not exist without the primitive foundation upon which they are built.

---

Much as how one could "reduce" a computer to a collection of mechanical parts, but this would be silly - since a collection of identical, disparate parts wouldn't be able to function as a computer, only when the parts are arranged a certain way would it be able to. Similarly, the parts could individual exist without being a computer, but the computer and its functions couldn't exist without the parts.


For that matter, atomism has just been an ancient vein of scientific and philosophical thought since Epicurus and before, modern "physics", as outdated and archaic as it is in the 21st century and Information Age to begin with, is just a more nuanced reincarnation of atomism and not even original thought (hopefully soon to be relegated to the status a relic of the 17th century in light of the new Computational and Informational Sciences). The only "pure" science is mathematics, everything else, such as outdated constructs of physics, is just built upon mathematics.

So I'm not sure why this crankery even taken seriously, when even a child could easily debunk it? I suppose it sells to people of under-developed literacy or those who haven't been able to gradate past what paltry,19th century rote-learning and indoctrination they try to pass off as education, if nothing else - not that most of these idiots would pursue any beyond that pitiable and childishly mandated level to begin with, were they even capable of it.
So what you're saying is that Greene's theory pretty much sucks.
The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year, but rather that we should have a new soul.

G. K. Chesterton

User avatar
Cleon
Walmart Cargo Short Model
Walmart Cargo Short Model
Posts: 16147
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:00 pm
Location: Indiana - South of 40
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by Cleon » Tue May 04, 2021 10:42 am

TheShepherd wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:43 am
"Reducing" is simply an act and a fallacy- one could just as easily reduce a particle to smaller particles (such as molecules to atoms, atoms to subatomic particles) - just as they could reduce every organ in a human body to "cells" and then assert that "the heart and the brain don't exist", or that postulations of the uglier variety, such as biological evolution (and the silly ideas and nonsenses that the under-literate derive from it), don't exist, since everything biological is reducible to particles and fields, and so on. [Yes, this is the limit of materialism. "There is nothing more".]

---

Sex, for example, exists on a hierarchy: [How did we get to sex? Anyway, tell me more.]

-At the bottom [insert 14-year-old boy snigger here], is the physical and instinctual aspect (which is viewed as ugly, reductive, bestial, and aesthetically deprived).

-On top [now yer killin' me] of the physical and instinctual aspect, lie the mental and creative aspects, which distinguish man from beast - such as love, romance, seduction, mystery, passion - the physical and instinctual merely being a mortar upon which the cathedral of the higher aspects is laid [now I've lost it :rotfl: ] .

-The physical and instinctual aspects could exist without the higher (much as it is in the instinct of beasts to mate and sire offspring), but the higher mental and creative aspects, exclusive to human intelligence, could not exist without the primitive foundation upon which they are built. [I think I'm pickin' up what yer layin' down. Are you related to wos?
Sex, being both unitive and creative for humans, is a beautiful thing. I've got six kids. It certainly makes it easier to be fruitful and multiply when you think your wife is a red hot lover. I can tell you that if sex didn't feel good, in our experience, we would not have had as many kids. A lot of them were made "in the moment". Tom Baker (in Cheaper By the Dozen): "I couldn't keep her off of me.” :lol: It also keeps you from tearing each other apart. You want a peaceful marriage? Have a lot of sex.]


---

Much as how one could "reduce" a computer to a collection of mechanical parts, but this would be silly - since a collection of identical, disparate parts wouldn't be able to function as a computer, only when the parts are arranged a certain way would it be able to. Similarly, the parts could individual exist without being a computer, but the computer and its functions couldn't exist without the parts.


For that matter, atomism has just been an ancient vein of scientific and philosophical thought since Epicurus and before, modern "physics", as outdated and archaic as it is in the 21st century and Information Age to begin with, is just a more nuanced reincarnation of atomism and not even original thought (hopefully soon to be relegated to the status a relic of the 17th century in light of the new Computational and Informational Sciences). The only "pure" science is mathematics, everything else, such as outdated constructs of physics, is just built upon mathematics. [What do you think of folks who say they "invented" something mathematical? I always like it better when they say they "discovered" something mathematical.]

So I'm not sure why this crankery even taken seriously, when even a child could easily debunk it? I suppose it sells to people of under-developed literacy or those who haven't been able to gradate past what paltry,19th century rote-learning and indoctrination they try to pass off as education, if nothing else - not that most of these idiots would pursue any beyond that pitiable and childishly mandated level to begin with, were they even capable of it. [I raise my pipe. :pipe: ]
Did I do it right, DL?
"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven" - Jesus

"More people need to put their big boy britches on." - JMG

"Dang, a pipe slap." - JimVH

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23637
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Tue May 04, 2021 10:53 am

+JMJ+
Cleon wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 10:42 am
TheShepherd wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:43 am
[…]

-The physical and instinctual aspects could … [I think I'm pickin' up what yer layin' down. Are you related to wos? …

[…]
Me no know NoaM.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
Cleon
Walmart Cargo Short Model
Walmart Cargo Short Model
Posts: 16147
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:00 pm
Location: Indiana - South of 40
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by Cleon » Tue May 04, 2021 12:30 pm

wosbald wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 10:53 am
+JMJ+
Cleon wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 10:42 am
TheShepherd wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:43 am
[…]

-The physical and instinctual aspects could … [I think I'm pickin' up what yer layin' down. Are you related to wos? …

[…]
Me no know NoaM.
:lol:
"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven" - Jesus

"More people need to put their big boy britches on." - JMG

"Dang, a pipe slap." - JimVH

User avatar
TheShepherd
Usher
Usher
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:09 am

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by TheShepherd » Tue May 04, 2021 8:14 pm

sweetandsour wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 6:35 am
So what you're saying is that Greene's theory pretty much sucks.
Basically yes, it think it's such nonsense that even a child could see through it.

If all that exists are "particles and fields", then this means that "truth" doesn't exist - therefore it doesn't matter, since there's no reason to "believe" it regardless of whether one posits it as "true" or not - one might just as well believe that "all that exists is Justin Bieber" or whatever the heck they want.

If they assert that that someone should believe it because it is "true", then they are admitting that some eternal or immaterial concept of "truth" exists - independent of any "particles and fields" mumbo jumbo, and therefore just debunking their own theory.
Cleon wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 10:42 am
TheShepherd wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:43 am
"Reducing" is simply an act and a fallacy- one could just as easily reduce a particle to smaller particles (such as molecules to atoms, atoms to subatomic particles) - just as they could reduce every organ in a human body to "cells" and then assert that "the heart and the brain don't exist", or that postulations of the uglier variety, such as biological evolution (and the silly ideas and nonsenses that the under-literate derive from it), don't exist, since everything biological is reducible to particles and fields, and so on. [Yes, this is the limit of materialism. "There is nothing more".]

---

Sex, for example, exists on a hierarchy: [How did we get to sex? Anyway, tell me more.]

-At the bottom [insert 14-year-old boy snigger here], is the physical and instinctual aspect (which is viewed as ugly, reductive, bestial, and aesthetically deprived).

-On top [now yer killin' me] of the physical and instinctual aspect, lie the mental and creative aspects, which distinguish man from beast - such as love, romance, seduction, mystery, passion - the physical and instinctual merely being a mortar upon which the cathedral of the higher aspects is laid [now I've lost it :rotfl: ] .

-The physical and instinctual aspects could exist without the higher (much as it is in the instinct of beasts to mate and sire offspring), but the higher mental and creative aspects, exclusive to human intelligence, could not exist without the primitive foundation upon which they are built. [I think I'm pickin' up what yer layin' down. Are you related to wos?
Sex, being both unitive and creative for humans, is a beautiful thing. I've got six kids. It certainly makes it easier to be fruitful and multiply when you think your wife is a red hot lover. I can tell you that if sex didn't feel good, in our experience, we would not have had as many kids. A lot of them were made "in the moment". Tom Baker (in Cheaper By the Dozen): "I couldn't keep her off of me.” :lol: It also keeps you from tearing each other apart. You want a peaceful marriage? Have a lot of sex.]


---

Much as how one could "reduce" a computer to a collection of mechanical parts, but this would be silly - since a collection of identical, disparate parts wouldn't be able to function as a computer, only when the parts are arranged a certain way would it be able to. Similarly, the parts could individual exist without being a computer, but the computer and its functions couldn't exist without the parts.


For that matter, atomism has just been an ancient vein of scientific and philosophical thought since Epicurus and before, modern "physics", as outdated and archaic as it is in the 21st century and Information Age to begin with, is just a more nuanced reincarnation of atomism and not even original thought (hopefully soon to be relegated to the status a relic of the 17th century in light of the new Computational and Informational Sciences). The only "pure" science is mathematics, everything else, such as outdated constructs of physics, is just built upon mathematics. [What do you think of folks who say they "invented" something mathematical? I always like it better when they say they "discovered" something mathematical.]

So I'm not sure why this crankery even taken seriously, when even a child could easily debunk it? I suppose it sells to people of under-developed literacy or those who haven't been able to gradate past what paltry,19th century rote-learning and indoctrination they try to pass off as education, if nothing else - not that most of these idiots would pursue any beyond that pitiable and childishly mandated level to begin with, were they even capable of it. [I raise my pipe. :pipe: ]
Did I do it right, DL?
That's probably the best philosophy on the subject of love and sex I've ever heard.

As far as mathematics goes, I lean toward the "discovered" mathematics camp. People may have invented mathematical notations, but the concepts which the notations refer to (such as wholes and fractions) of course aren't invented.

User avatar
sweetandsour
Notable Minister of Live Bait
Notable Minister of Live Bait
Posts: 13645
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Bayou Self
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by sweetandsour » Wed May 05, 2021 7:22 am

TheShepherd wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 8:14 pm
sweetandsour wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 6:35 am
So what you're saying is that Greene's theory pretty much sucks.
Basically yes, it think it's such nonsense that even a child could see through it.

If all that exists are "particles and fields", then this means that "truth" doesn't exist - therefore it doesn't matter, since there's no reason to "believe" it regardless of whether one posits it as "true" or not - one might just as well believe that "all that exists is Justin Bieber" or whatever the heck they want.

If they assert that that someone should believe it because it is "true", then they are admitting that some eternal or immaterial concept of "truth" exists - independent of any "particles and fields" mumbo jumbo, and therefore just debunking their own theory.
Cleon wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 10:42 am
TheShepherd wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:43 am
"Reducing" is simply an act and a fallacy- one could just as easily reduce a particle to smaller particles (such as molecules to atoms, atoms to subatomic particles) - just as they could reduce every organ in a human body to "cells" and then assert that "the heart and the brain don't exist", or that postulations of the uglier variety, such as biological evolution (and the silly ideas and nonsenses that the under-literate derive from it), don't exist, since everything biological is reducible to particles and fields, and so on. [Yes, this is the limit of materialism. "There is nothing more".]

---

Sex, for example, exists on a hierarchy: [How did we get to sex? Anyway, tell me more.]

-At the bottom [insert 14-year-old boy snigger here], is the physical and instinctual aspect (which is viewed as ugly, reductive, bestial, and aesthetically deprived).

-On top [now yer killin' me] of the physical and instinctual aspect, lie the mental and creative aspects, which distinguish man from beast - such as love, romance, seduction, mystery, passion - the physical and instinctual merely being a mortar upon which the cathedral of the higher aspects is laid [now I've lost it :rotfl: ] .

-The physical and instinctual aspects could exist without the higher (much as it is in the instinct of beasts to mate and sire offspring), but the higher mental and creative aspects, exclusive to human intelligence, could not exist without the primitive foundation upon which they are built. [I think I'm pickin' up what yer layin' down. Are you related to wos?
Sex, being both unitive and creative for humans, is a beautiful thing. I've got six kids. It certainly makes it easier to be fruitful and multiply when you think your wife is a red hot lover. I can tell you that if sex didn't feel good, in our experience, we would not have had as many kids. A lot of them were made "in the moment". Tom Baker (in Cheaper By the Dozen): "I couldn't keep her off of me.” :lol: It also keeps you from tearing each other apart. You want a peaceful marriage? Have a lot of sex.]


---

Much as how one could "reduce" a computer to a collection of mechanical parts, but this would be silly - since a collection of identical, disparate parts wouldn't be able to function as a computer, only when the parts are arranged a certain way would it be able to. Similarly, the parts could individual exist without being a computer, but the computer and its functions couldn't exist without the parts.


For that matter, atomism has just been an ancient vein of scientific and philosophical thought since Epicurus and before, modern "physics", as outdated and archaic as it is in the 21st century and Information Age to begin with, is just a more nuanced reincarnation of atomism and not even original thought (hopefully soon to be relegated to the status a relic of the 17th century in light of the new Computational and Informational Sciences). The only "pure" science is mathematics, everything else, such as outdated constructs of physics, is just built upon mathematics. [What do you think of folks who say they "invented" something mathematical? I always like it better when they say they "discovered" something mathematical.]

So I'm not sure why this crankery even taken seriously, when even a child could easily debunk it? I suppose it sells to people of under-developed literacy or those who haven't been able to gradate past what paltry,19th century rote-learning and indoctrination they try to pass off as education, if nothing else - not that most of these idiots would pursue any beyond that pitiable and childishly mandated level to begin with, were they even capable of it. [I raise my pipe. :pipe: ]
Did I do it right, DL?
That's probably the best philosophy on the subject of love and sex I've ever heard.

As far as mathematics goes, I lean toward the "discovered" mathematics camp. People may have invented mathematical notations, but the concepts which the notations refer to (such as wholes and fractions) of course aren't invented.
Which part? On top? Or bottom.
The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year, but rather that we should have a new soul.

G. K. Chesterton

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23637
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Thu May 20, 2021 11:24 am

+JMJ+

The Crisis in Catholic Theology [In-Depth, Opinion]
Image

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Editor’s note: This article is part of The Conversation, a new initiative of America Media offering diverse perspectives on important and contested issues in the life of the church. Read more views on this issue linked at the bottom of this article.

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

[…]

The current crisis

The gravitational pull away from theology at the undergraduate level has had direct, negative consequences for renewing faculty positions reserved for theologians. Since I began working in the theology department at St. Louis University in 2007, it has witnessed a drop to 22 from 32 full-time faculty positions, with most of the reduction coming from the pool of tenured positions. These trends are widespread at all but the most prosperous Catholic universities. Despite these alarming trends, there seems to be little concerted effort in the network of Catholic schools, and more particularly among the 28 members of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, to collaborate and strategize about how to renew and invigorate theology on their campuses. At the very least, the roughly 215 non-doctorate-producing departments should engage in conversation with the dozen doctorate-granting Catholic universities about future hiring needs.

Within departments of theology and religious studies there looms a related crisis. What is theology for and how should a department be constructed? After the Second Vatican Council, many departments defaulted to instructional categories inherited from seminary faculties — Scripture, history, ethics or practical theology, and systematic theology. During the 1980s and 1990s, certain departments saw the need for religious diversity sooner than others, but now almost all departments offer the majority of their courses outside of the older categories and have hired faculty with proper expertise in these areas. Larger departments that provided advanced degrees felt compelled to maintain a faculty able to equip future catechists, teachers and professors with what were understood, in the broadest sense, as the necessary tools to perform the craft and to convey something of the mission of the Catholic tradition with integrity. These presuppositions are not a given today.

For all their differences, Father Lamb and Father O’Meara shared common characteristics. Both were clerics born in the 1930s who entered religious life before Vatican II and went on to study with leading theologians in northern Europe after the council. This may explain the significant agreement expressed in their pieces. Their point of departure was the sudden theological and institutional transformation instigated by the council. These changes can be best summarized by the term laicization. With fewer men and women religious and fewer clergy as faculty, Catholic universities lacked the financial and human resources necessary to provide competitive salaries for laypeople and to fund additional intellectual and spiritual formation hitherto provided by religious communities.

Challenges and opportunities

[…]

Safeguarding the tradition

Beyond money, however, theology departments require a corresponding commitment to Catholic identity. Father O’Meara was quick to explain that one cannot equate that identity “with orthodox catechisms and papal control,” but with “the general principles of Catholic interpretation of Christianity” and “the fields and traditions of a millennium of reflection upon faith.” Lamb, meanwhile, advocated the preservation of “Catholic memory” and found it imperative that “serious, long-term research projects into Catholic theological traditions, and their significance for our American culture, be more intensely fostered at Catholic universities.”

Father Lamb and Father O’Meara had been formed before the council and rejected a return to theology’s pre-Vatican II state. They had in mind a deep, wide retrieval that could be conversant with the pressing matters of the day. Something like this would require real and continuous cultivation.

The very mechanisms that led to the boom in lay theology also created unanticipated problems, including one that both mention in their discussion of graduate training. Father Lamb and Father O’Meara worried that the lack of first-rate programs at Catholic universities would lead the most promising theologians to Protestant or secular universities for study. “The trend,” Father Lamb wrote, “is for Catholic theology departments to hire more and more of their faculty from Protestant and state programs,” even when hiring in the opposite direction did not happen at the same rate.

Father Lamb aptly describes this situation as “one-way ecumenism.” Father O’Meara notes the same trend, writing that denominational, nominally Protestant and public universities “are more or less closed to Catholics in any numbers.” Father O’Meara asked, if the best Catholic students are trained in Ivy or para-Ivy schools, will they “be introduced adequately either to the central theological areas or to the important theologians of Catholicism”? And if the future generation of Catholic theologians does not gain a deep understanding and vision of the task of theology, will they care whether that tradition is transmitted?

The common labor of a world church

For Father Lamb, the crisis was already manifest in 1990. The wider Enlightenment milieu of American culture disparages theological discourse, and in the Enlightenment’s wake, public discussion of religion offers only a stultified contrast of “conservatives versus liberals, progressives versus reactionaries.” Without a deeper engagement with the tradition, and without formation in practices that join the spiritual and the intellectual, departments of theology risk “producing more theological journalists than theological scholars,” whose arguments are “as predictable as some Catholic papers, known for their routine conservative or liberal stances.”

The generation of Father O’Meara and Father Lamb both experienced and broke free from waves of narrowness. In the old system, Catholicism was Roman Catholicism, theology was Thomism, and patristics was Western. Creating a new framework meant discovering a tradition deeper than what had been on offer. The story of 20th-century Catholic theology can largely be told as the story of this discovery, whose fruits were manifested in the liturgical, ecclesiological and ecumenical triumphs of Vatican II. Despite occupying very different locations on the landscape of theological and ecclesial politics, Father O’Meara and Father Lamb shared this story and wanted to ensure its next chapter.

The project succeeded in part because it did not just make the project of Catholic theology, memory and engagement with the modern world compelling to a range of future theologians, clergy and laypeople. There were also those on the outside looking in — a multitude of formerly Protestant theologians and graduate students who sensed something living and real in the Catholic tradition. The number of North American theologians and aspirants being received into the Catholic Church is inconceivable in most of Europe, and gives evidence of the renewal aspired to by Fathers Lamb and O’Meara.

The narrative was also shared by my mentor in Tübingen, Germany: Peter Hünermann (b. 1929), who was trained in the old “Roman system” and was intent on finding a new path forward in modern theology. He took seriously the claim (both empirical and normative) made by Karl Rahner, S.J., that the church was no longer European, and he spent significant time teaching in South America. When I was allowed to participate in his doctoral colloquium roughly 20 years ago, I sat around a table with students not only from Europe, but also from Africa and South America. They presented their research in German and English, but also in Spanish and French. They were writing dissertations about whether Europeans had brought salvation or merely religion to Africa, in addition to working out the implications of liberation theology and feminist theology for different doctrines.

I understood my own project on retrieving the 19th-century Catholic Tübingen School to be part of a common labor of a world church, made possible by the very best theologians and a longstanding financial commitment that enabled this. In the university town of Tübingen in southwest Germany, I got a sense of a global Catholicism, an experience that James Keenan, S.J., has fostered among ethicists in recent years. Yet despite the increasingly international network of Catholic theology, there has been little effort to make departments of theology in the United States look more like the worldwide Catholic Church, sub-equatorial and in contact with the poor.

[…]

Taking Catholic diversity seriously

[…]

Theology’s raison d’etre

Father Lamb and Father O’Meara worried that the new generation of lay students would lack training in basic theology and the languages needed for serious theological work. Today, the crisis seems to pivot on whether one really needs to spend time with basic sources and questions. Bernard Lonergan, S.J., spent years “reaching up to the mind of Aquinas,” and one senses that Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac, S.J., Karl Rahner, S.J., and Edith Stein felt a comparable sense of having really discovered something when they read early Christian sources. Many students today, however, receive the impression, often conveyed intentionally, that one survey course on pre-modern theology suffices.

Students are encouraged, explicitly or by suggestion, to integrate theological questions with methods (critical theory, ethnography) or fields (trauma studies, disability studies, environmental studies) adjacent to theology. In practice this is nothing new, and integrating these methods can have real theological payoff, much as did the application of philology and history to theological disciplines for previous generations. But two problems arise. First, doing this well requires time that cannot come at the expense of theological coursework. Otherwise the impression is given that the tradition can be had cheaply, or, even worse, that it is not worth the effort. Second, one needs to reconceive theology for the 21st century, as Johann Sebastian Drey of Tübingen did for his time in his Brief Introduction to the Study of Theology (1819), when the understanding of theology in relation to other disciplines was going through an analogous transformation.

If good philosophy and good history made for better theology, the same can be true for the impact on theology from fields like ethnography and disability studies. For theology to maintain identity and coherence, the application of supplementary disciplines and methods needs to be paired with an appreciation for theology’s historical achievements, which the faculty should embody and articulate through a palpable love of theology. Otherwise, departments risk losing their raison d’etre.

It is hard to disentangle what departments should look like from how they should hire. In my experience, however, there is almost no coordination among Catholic universities on this matter. If an international collaboration can help realize greater catholicity, national collaboration would help answer the ethical question about whether Catholic theology departments should be granting doctorates at all. If the dozen U.S. Catholic universities that grant doctorates in theology knew that the remaining universities were committed to hiring practices that would reward departments who trained students to retrieve and reimagine Catholic theology in creative and dynamic ways, it would be easier to justify continuing these programs.

To be clear, what is needed is not a renewed call for “Catholic hiring,” but for deliberate strategies to seek theologians and scholars of religion interested in continuing to think, remember and imagine with a broadly Catholic pattern of doing theology. The cohesion of a department relies on a coalition of members engaging in a common activity that can be recognized and named. The vitality of the common endeavor requires new colleagues who stretch and expand a vision of theology that claims to be Catholic. The schools most concerned with Catholic identity too often settle for a parochial identity instead of a vitally Catholic one. Such negative examples, however, should not dissuade more mainstream departments from taking steps to imagine their Catholicity in thoughtful and serious ways.

The practice of Catholic theology done largely by lay theologians at institutions outside of ecclesiastical control is relatively new, yet too many upper administrators treat the discipline of academic theology as if it were safeguarded from harm in today’s environment. Too many faculty members and chairs are content to follow trends that currently prevail in the academy, as if Catholic institutions have the same needs and ends as their secular counterparts. If theology departments are winnowed down to a variant of cultural studies, in which the discipline of theology is replaced by a medley of methods and fields, there is a real question whether lay theology will continue. Catholic theology may retreat to its traditional place, in the seminary, to be done by (mostly) clergy for (mostly) clergy. Such a move would be a great loss for the study of theology, for the life of our Catholic universities and for the Catholic Church as a whole.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
wosbald
Lonergan Fan Club President
Lonergan Fan Club President
Posts: 23637
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:00 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by wosbald » Wed May 26, 2021 8:19 am

+JMJ+

The liberal/conservative divide is hurting theology departments. The way forward won’t be popular. [Opinion]
Image
Photo by Ken Theimer on Unsplash

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Editor’s note: This article, a response to “The crisis in Catholic theology” by Grant Kaplan, is part of The Conversation, a new initiative of America Media offering diverse perspectives on important and contested issues in the life of the church. Read more views on this issue here, here and here.

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Grant Kaplan suggests that his real question does not so much regard Catholic theology’s future in the United States per se, but the survival of its laicized forms. In a pessimistic scenario, he warns us that Catholic theology in the United States could retreat to seminaries, virtually overturning theology’s postconciliar declericalization and central place in Catholic university life. Universities may well continue offering programs in Catholic theology, but such programs will be Catholic in name only. Lacking appreciation for thinking, remembering and imagining in a Catholic way, they will fail to contribute meaningfully to the education of future Catholics and so will lose their raison d’être.

[…]

But the truly valuable aspect of Dr. Kaplan’s insight should not be overlooked. Transcending the parochial is vital for retaining Catholic identity, whether this is manifested in a theology department’s faculty-hiring strategies, national and international collaboration, exchange programs, investments in scholarship or curricula of studies.

Though largely concurring with Dr. Kaplan’s concerns, I wonder if what needs to be transcended is not just a parochial identity but also an ideological polarization. The latter is perhaps of even greater importance for the future vitality of Catholic theology in the United States. Though the liberal/conservative dialectic in Catholic theology is far from new, it seems that a growing polarization along the same lines is now only one step removed from what Walter Burghardt, S.J., called an “intramural internecine hostility.” The liberal tendency to reject the old in favor of the new and the conservative dismissal of new questions, ethical concerns and interdisciplinarity are equally disconcerting. What is needed, I think, is the cultivation of the capacity to be at home with both the old and the new. As Bernard Lonergan, S.J., once suggested, this entails claiming one’s place in the “not numerous center” that is ready to work patiently through the necessary transitions and refuses any half-measures. Entering this center space is not likely to make one popular. But acquiring a capacity for doing so seems necessary for remaining Catholic, at least if kata holon also means “both-and”: both old and new, grace and nature, faith and reason.

Theology departments could foster this capacity by strategically creating occasions for conversations across dividing lines and, even more important, by integrating rigorous intellectual training with new forms of spiritual formation. No doubt reclaiming scholarly excellence over against “theological journalism,” focusing on “a broadly Catholic pattern of doing theology” and addressing the methodological disarray in theology will play an important role. But the key to fostering a vibrant Catholic theology seems to lie in a creative reintegration of intellectual and spiritual formation. After all, the unity of minds and hearts is a matter of not only intellectual but also moral and religious conversion. Though challenged by the laicization of Catholic theology, this integration seems to be re-emerging in at least some of the theology departments in the United States, such as my own at Boston College.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

User avatar
Hovannes
Minister of Unanswered Threads
Minister of Unanswered Threads
Posts: 29356
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:00 pm
Location: In the fertile San Joaquin Valley

Re: The Philosophy Thread

Post by Hovannes » Thu May 27, 2021 8:19 am

What 'yall think of Psychological and Ethical Egoism (Pojman and Fieser's Egoism, Altruism, and Self-Interest) as being relevant (or not) to Christianity?
perpendicularly parked in a parallel universe

Post Reply