Monday, September 24, 2012

some philosophical questions

Summa Philosophica
There's a good series of posts just started on William M Briggs' Blog. He's working his way through Peter Kreeft's book Summa Philosophica . As his title implies, Kreeft is adopting the style of St Thomas Aquinas to deal with some philosophical question. I suppose it is surprising that no one ever thought of doing this before - after all, if it's good enough for the Angelic Doctor & theology, it's bound to be a wise choice for any number of other topics ... especially philosophy. 

To give you a flavour of Briggs' series (Briggs is in bold, Kreeft in italics:


Which brings us to scientism, which is dealt the first of many blows. The assumption that “the scientific method is the only valid or legitimate method” for uncovering truth
is self-contradictory and self-eliminating because it cannot be proved by the scientific method. If the objection [we are past philosophy and onto science] assumes that only verifiable or falsifiable ideas are legitimate, and that only empirically or mathematically verifiable or falsifiable ideas are verifiable or falsifiable, that very assumption is self-contradictory and self-eliminating because it is not empirically or mathematically verifiable or falsifiable.
No matter how many times this (simple, really) argument is presented, it never seems to sink in; the dedicated empiricist just can’t admit to having an ultimately unverifiable philosophy. 
I'd heard of Kreeft's book before, but hadn't looked into it. After Briggs' 'taster' I felt impelled to go and order the book. And I can't wait for it to arrive!




No comments:

Post a Comment