Thought on the history of philosophy II

One of the clearest, most consistent, most uncompromising and emphatic beliefs of Martin Luther was his rejection of metaphysics. In defining the Reformation, Luther raised the rejection of metaphysics to a religious doctrine. Later rejections of metaphysics by philosophers writing centuries later are all derivative, and presupposed that religious sentiments had already done most of the destruction. Kant was right to point out that metaphysics was once the queen, but was cast down like Dido: but she wasn’t deposed by reasoning, but by religion.

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3 Comments

  1. Peter said,

    February 21, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Your thesis here reminds me of what Maritain said. He presented some juicy quotations about Luther and his anti-intellectualism in “Three Reformers,” which is online here:

    http://www.archive.org/download/threereformerslu001518mbp/threereformerslu001518mbp.pdf

  2. a thomist said,

    February 21, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I got a whole pile of those juicy quotations too- but I downloaded the book too because it looks marvelous. Is Veach in PDF somewhere too?

    Charles Morerod was the one who pointed out Luther’s vehement opposition to metaphysics to me. He has a book worth reading too.

    To Luther’s credit, he raised Humanism to a religious significance- and so much of the good results of humanism- classical studies, liberal democracy, modern literature, modern mathematical science, etc. also came out of the spirit of the Reformation. The devestating effects of the Reform came because they removed and denied the keystone of knowledge, while advancing all of the practical and artistic aspects of knowledge. The Ancients and Medievals had a very small body of knowledge about the world, but it had a solid foundation; humanism gives us a much broader understanding of the world, without a center or central focus.

  3. February 23, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    I don’t think you can find Veach pdf. I had to go to a university library and copy journal articles. His books are pricey too.


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