Too Cute to Pass By

September 27, 2007

Found this here.

From Peter Van Inwagen’s God, Knowledge & Mystery: Essays in Philosophical Theology (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1995):

One advantage philosophers bring to theology is that they know too much about philosophy to be overly impressed by the fact that a particular philosopher has said this or that. Philosophers of the present day know what Thomas Aquinas and Professor Bultmann did not know: that no philosopher is an authority. Philosophers know that if you want to pronounce on, say, the project of natural theology, you cannot simply appeal to what Kant has established about natural theology. You cannot do this for the very good reason that Kant has established nothing about natural theology. Kant has only offered arguments, and the cogency of these arguments can be (and is daily) disputed.

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Bernard Williams on Humanism and Philosophy

September 17, 2007

I enjoy Bernard Williams’ work very much. Here is a piece of his I hadn’t seen before and would like to commend for your reading pleasure entitled, “Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline”.


Handmaiden or Dominatrix?

May 19, 2007

Because I’m going to be offline for the next two weeks or so desperately trying to finish a longish text before deadline, I thought I would point interested readers to a really great article by Fordham’s Gyula Klima called Ancilla Theologiae v. Domina Philosophorum: St. Thomas Aquinas, Latin Averroism and the Autonomy of Philosophy.

Roughly speaking, Latin Averroism championed by Siger of Brabant and other arts masters in Paris held (among other things) that the conclusions of philosophy and theology could be contradictory and yet simultaneously true. This is sometimes referred to as a “double truth” theory. I sometimes wonder if the modern dialectical theology isn’t a resurfacing of Latin Averroism.

At any rate, I commend Thomas’s response as expounded by Klima to those interested in the question of the role and nature of Christian philosophy.