In Pursuit of True Wisdom: How the Re-Emergence of Classical Wonder Should Replace Descartes’s Neo-Averrostic Sophistry
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Modern mathematical physics often claims to make philosophy obsolete. This presentation aims to show that the modern concept of wisdom fundamentally diverges with the thinking of Descartes, that, strictly speaking, at least in his metaphysical first principles, if not in his chief aim, he may be a sophist and no philosopher at all. Descartes denies the classical understanding of philosophy and thereby reduces the human person to an intellect separate from the body. Descartes initiated a popular understanding of sophistry that reverberates to today in our modern institutions of philosophy and science. But St. Thomas Aquinas anticipated this divergence and gave a defense of true wisdom in his writing against Averroes. This presentation concludes with what constitutes real philosophy and science as presented by St. Thomas Aquinas, namely sense wonder that creates a search for the true knowledge of the unity responsible for true causes of true effects. For a true restoration of philosophy and science we will need a reemergence and recovery of this understanding of wisdom.
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- Redpath, Peter A. A Not-So-Elementary Christian Metaphysics. St. Louis, MO: En Route Books and Media, 2015. Kindle edition.
- Redpath, Peter A. Cartesian Nightmare: An Introduction to Transcendental Sophistry. Amsterdam–Atlanta, GA: Rodopi B.V., 1997.
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