Core belief

Philosophy is well-named and is therefore a sort of friendship. Any way of seeing the whole of things that makes friendship with it impossible, whether we see it as ugly or unintelligible or reducible to the dead, or whether we see our own goodness as persons as irrelevant to how we stand to the whole, is not philosophy.

3 Comments

  1. Josh said,

    September 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    You might say it’s bad philosophy but not not philosophy.

    This reminded me of an interesting and challenging book (Pieper – “In Defense of Philosophy”):
    “…to engage in philosophy means to reflect on the totality of things we encounter, in view of their ultimate reasons; and philosophy, thus understood, is a meaningful, even necessary endeavor, with which man, the spiritual being, cannot dispense.”

    • September 23, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      You might say it’s bad philosophy but not not philosophy.

      That’s exactly what I can’t say. Bad friendship is not a kind of friendship. I think what you’d call bad philosophy I want called putative philosophy.

      • Josh said,

        September 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm

        Maybe you could explain more (or point me to something) when you say philosophy is a sort of friendship?

        And I would also say, why isn’t bad friendship a kind of friendship? True friendship is one kind, but as Aristotle said, there are two lesser kinds of friendship, of utility and of pleasure. There is something lacking in the lesser kinds. Or, as Aquinas said, no being is pure evil, since evil is a privation of good and all things are good (even Satan is good in his being). A philosophy that is lacking is just bad philosophy. A spoiled fruit is still a fruit. A blind eye is still an eye. A bad argument is still a argument. A “way of seeing the whole of things” that is lacking much truth and goodness is just bad way of “reflect[ing] on the totality of things we encounter, in view of their ultimate reasons.”


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