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  #1  
Old Jan 7, '05, 12:58 pm
KCT KCT is offline
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Default Philosophers

My daughter will be taking intro to Philosophy at the community college in a few weeks. She has to read Plato, Socrates, Descartes, Nietchze (spelled wrong, I'm sure) and another who escapes me at the moment. If anyone out there is up on Philosophy, can you tell me if the latter two are anti Catholic? In general, I mean, as I don't know specifically what she'll be reading by each author. Thanks.

---KCT
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  #2  
Old Jan 7, '05, 1:16 pm
sweetchuck sweetchuck is offline
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Default Re: Philosophers

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCT
My daughter will be taking intro to Philosophy at the community college in a few weeks. She has to read Plato, Socrates, Descartes, Nietchze (spelled wrong, I'm sure) and another who escapes me at the moment. If anyone out there is up on Philosophy, can you tell me if the latter two are anti Catholic? In general, I mean, as I don't know specifically what she'll be reading by each author. Thanks.

---KCT
I don't know about the latter two, but you might want to introduce her to Augustinian philosophy along with those, so she can get a good dose of Catholic philosophy.
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  #3  
Old Jan 7, '05, 1:29 pm
JimO JimO is offline
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Default Re: Philosophers

Nietchze (sp?) is bad news. He is famous for the quote "God is dead". I agree with sweetchuck, I'd have her read Augustine and Aquinas at the same time. There also might be something from Catholic philosophers who have responded to existentialists like Nietchze. Check the CA website. Also look out for B.F. Skinner and J.P. Sartre, both of whom, though famous atheists during their careers, reconciled with God before they died, but she won't hear that part in class.
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  #4  
Old Jan 7, '05, 1:45 pm
Matt25 Matt25 is offline
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Default Re: Philosophers

Well Plato inspired a large part of Augustine's thinking and Aristotle performed the same function for Aquinas. Actually the world is divided into Platonists and Aristoteleans its just that most people don't realise it.
Anyway returning to your question Nietzsche is not good as he was something of an inspiration to the Nazi's. However just because a student studies something doesn't mean they automatically convert to it. If someone is disgusted by Nietzsche, as good people often are, then I recommend that they turn to Simone Weil. Simone was not only the antithesis to Neitzschian brutalism she was also an inspiring thinker who has influenced the Holy Father and many other leading Catholic thinkers in the second half of the Twentieth Century.
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  #5  
Old Jan 7, '05, 1:51 pm
Bobby Jim Bobby Jim is offline
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Default Re: Philosophers

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimO
Nietchze (sp?) is bad news. He is famous for the quote "God is dead". I agree with sweetchuck, I'd have her read Augustine and Aquinas at the same time.
whew, her head is going to be spinning if she's reading all of that at the same time!

note that the old Catholic Encyclopedia at www.newadvent.org has articles on many of the older philosophers. Nietzsche doesn't have his own article in there, because I think he died only a few years before that was published. And he is mentioned in some articles. But Descartes, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Spinoza - most of the major philosophers up through the late 19th century will appear in there.
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  #6  
Old Jan 7, '05, 2:01 pm
caroljm36 caroljm36 is offline
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Default Re: Philosophers

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimO
Nietchze (sp?) is bad news. He is famous for the quote "God is dead". I agree with sweetchuck, I'd have her read Augustine and Aquinas at the same time. There also might be something from Catholic philosophers who have responded to existentialists like Nietchze. Check the CA website. Also look out for B.F. Skinner and J.P. Sartre, both of whom, though famous atheists during their careers, reconciled with God before they died, but she won't hear that part in class.
Yes Nietzche despised Christianity and thought it made people weak and sentimental. He ended up a raving lunatic too. Descartes was a believer but unfortunately the line of inquiry he accelerated the slide toward skepticism, by fostering the notion that we don't really "know" anything but our impressions and sensations. So the world was just material and we couldn't say anything definitive about it at that.

I didn't know Sartre recanted?? He was a big atheist. I'm sure their followers wanted to play that down. The trouble with modern philosophy is solipcism, the idea we can't really know anything. Even the best ones like Kant and Kierkegaard ended up reinforcing that idea in their ways. It's all a dead end with them. Best that she check out Thomism. It never really got better after him, yet more people would agree with his ideas than with any of the moderns who think we can't know anything. G.K. Chesterton discusses all of this very nicely too but he won't rate as a philosopher in a college class.

You know it's good that she is exposed to all this if she is to be a defender of the faith. Shallow people still spout watered-down versions of centuries-old skepticism as if it were new information, and it can be countered by a knowledgable person. If she at least understand that critical turn that Descartes took, how it affected later philosophy, and more importantly how that all affected world history (not good) then her faith will be much stronger.
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  #7  
Old Jan 7, '05, 2:10 pm
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Brendan Brendan is offline
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Default Re: Philosophers

Socrates is a great start to Plato and Aristotle.

As mentioned above, understanding Plato is key to understanding Augustine and the same is true for Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.

I would consider all of the above a requirement before attempting to deal with Christian Philosophy

Some great reading on Socrates is Peter Kreft's "Socrates meets Jesus"

Nietzche should be studied only as an example of what NOT to believe.
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  #8  
Old Jan 7, '05, 11:50 pm
Prometheum_x Prometheum_x is offline
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Default Re: Philosophers

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCT
My daughter will be taking intro to Philosophy at the community college in a few weeks. She has to read Plato, Socrates, Descartes, Nietchze (spelled wrong, I'm sure) and another who escapes me at the moment. If anyone out there is up on Philosophy, can you tell me if the latter two are anti Catholic? In general, I mean, as I don't know specifically what she'll be reading by each author. Thanks.

---KCT
As for Descartes, while he may have introduced some problematic ideas, I don't think he is anti-Catholic.

After all, you can be wrong without being anti-Catholic.
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  #9  
Old Jan 8, '05, 8:44 am
jman507 jman507 is offline
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Default Re: Philosophers

The early ones are important, because they helped shape the way theologians thought about faith, like said in above posts. Once she gets to the more modern philosophers, try to make sure she keeps reading up on some philosophers for each one like Nietzche with ones more on terms with the Catholic faith. It seems John Paul II seems to be into phenomenology. Maybe look into that. Of course, never forget pray, pray, pray.
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  #10  
Old Jan 8, '05, 9:45 am
dumspirospero dumspirospero is offline
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Default Re: Philosophers

All of them are wonderful Philosophers despite their personal life and beliefs and young adults should be well versed in Philosophy. Plato and Socrates are of the most widely known. THey both have a great variety of works that are very enjoyable. If she is in a good Philosophy class, she will probably touch on Aristotle and Confucius....both are an integral part to philosophy.

Descartes is another, more modern, philosopher...a very intelligent and articulate person....coined the phrase, "I think, therefore I am"

Nietzsche, although an atheist, is my personal favorite...look past the personal beliefs and listen to what he is saying. My favorites by him are "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", The Gay Science, Ecce Homo, etc...everything he wrote is incredible. Let your daughter know up front he is an atheist and in some of his writings, he attempts to Debunk Christianity....He makes some good arguments, but instead of losing my faith, it strengthened mine. He is famous for the phrase "God is Dead". People think that just because Nietzsche was an atheist, that he was a horrible person...that is just not true. He was probably one of the most moral people ever...except he didn't derive his morals from belief in God or fear of Hell...he believed that people should be good people because that is just how they should be and not because they fear reprimand in the next life...a lot of his writings are lamentations on the decline of morals and character of people in society...He has a lot of valuable insight on various aspects of life....he believed that eventually, that each generation could try harder than the previous to be moral and good and near-perfect...and eventually, a superior breed of man...the Ubermuensche (sp??) would arise..the "Overman"...basically humans, through hard work at striving to be perfect and evolution, would become superhumans...but not superhumans in the respect of special powers, but super to the effect of morality and goodness. Unfortuneatly, this idea was corrupted and twisted by Hitler in his proclamation that the Aryan was the "super race" and used his non-sense to persecute Jews, Catholics, etc.
\

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCT
My daughter will be taking intro to Philosophy at the community college in a few weeks. She has to read Plato, Socrates, Descartes, Nietchze (spelled wrong, I'm sure) and another who escapes me at the moment. If anyone out there is up on Philosophy, can you tell me if the latter two are anti Catholic? In general, I mean, as I don't know specifically what she'll be reading by each author. Thanks.

---KCT
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  #11  
Old Jan 14, '05, 10:01 pm
SFAgal03 SFAgal03 is offline
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Talking Re: Philosophers

My best friend attends a fairly prestigious Catholic University, as I understand it, and has even spent a semester in Europe on their campus in Rome where they were personally welcomed by the pope. She's been there 3 semesters and has to take many philosophy classes where she studied all that you mentioned.
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  #12  
Old Jan 15, '05, 6:27 am
Verbum Verbum is offline
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Default Re: Philosophers

Hi KCT,


Philosophy in most schools today is actually "HIstory of Philosophy".

The courses center on analyzing how various philosophers answered some fundamental questions. A good professor will encourage students to try and give their own answer to these problems. Of course, some professors may try to influence them and, unless your daughter is well-grounded in her faith, she may absorb some strange ideas.

You could, every once in a while, ask her to tell you about this "philosophy thing". She will be only too happy to illuminate your untutored mind, and you can take it from there.

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  #13  
Old Jan 15, '05, 6:37 am
frank212 frank212 is offline
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Exclamation Re: Philosophers

Hello im a theology and philosophy graduate . I will say to learn these men is not bad . At a community college level it is an over view . Now if she became a phiolosophy major after community college and took classes on just some of these fellows then yes dwell deep into perhaps Aquinas or Augustine , even Soren K. I will say to take away learning is not wwhat the church wants. I would not worry to much about philosophy on the community college level it will be an overview and if she does not like philosophy , she will be more than likely to forget.
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  #14  
Old Jan 15, '05, 9:12 am
adnauseum adnauseum is offline
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Default Re: Philosophers

Nietzsche should be read so that you understand what the world thinks of Christianity. His opus: The Will To Power, will sound very familiar because it is the same misguided idealism that post-modernists teach in universities today, and the same specious arguments about building a humanist utopia that we hear from the radical left wing today.

PLEASE let the kids understand the allure of Nietzsche!

I have come to the opinion that teaching our children only the fuzzy part of the faith leaves them utterly helpless as soon as they are out in the world and are confronted by radical humanists or protestants out to win converts at any cost.

Our kids need to know what's out there, why it is misguided, and how to converse with a humanist or protestant. And if we don't know why it's misguided, we owe it to our kids to learn it ourselves.

For example, I have taught my kids that there are some people out there who think there is no right and wrong, and that we call that relativism. They were shocked! We discussed the absurdity of the view: "My rule is that there are no rules." But you just made a rule? "I can make rules, you can't," Oh, you're just a bully. OK then have a nice day.

You see, when they're kids, they know naturally that there is a right and wrong, and that morality is not dependent on how you feel. But once they are exposed to radical materialism in the real world, they are vulnerable and can be caught off guard, and can be persuaded that these misguided doctrines are reasonable because the person trying to convert them seems so sincere and committed. It's all about feelings, you see.

Same thing with innoculating them about protestantism. At my dinner table, we make quite a fuss over passages in the bible, (such as in the daily readings in Hebrews in the Year I cycle of the daily mass), where we are taught that salvation is to be maintained by obedience and steadfastness; it is not assured forever just because you say a little prayer.

In sum: my friends, we are getting beaten out there in the world in debates with secular materialism and protestantism. The WORST thing we can do is shield our children. The BEST thing we can do is expose them to the opposition so they can spot the errors and hold fast.
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