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Our culture has been badly damaged by political patronage,

political protectionism, bribery and sometimes downright thievery. Moral
corruption has seeped into behavior and values our elders once treasured.
The development of the person was the vision of Pope Leo X111.
The development of people is a possibility and an obligation. Pope John
Paul 11 taught that those who heed the cry of the poor, and who help the
poor to meet their needs are the apostles of genuine development, which is
found in an economy, adjusted to the welfare of the human person.
Everyone is called to the fullness of life. Life does not have to be
miserable. Man was never intended to live in endless misery. Progress
starts with the development of the human person. It is not primarily
economic. Authentic development begins with the liberation of the human
person from whatever enslaves and imprisons him or her.
When one addresses the needs of the whole human person
spiritual, moral, physical, mental, economic, cultural this is total human
development. It is integral evangelization. Development of the poorest
and the most neglected in the community is at the very heart of
evangelization. This is our task. This is our mission.
Ignorance enslaves; education liberates. Poverty enslaves; noble
livelihood liberates.
Sickness enslaves; healthful living liberates.
Selfishness enslaves; generosity liberates. Sin enslaves; Christ our Lord
Indeed, philosophy of man is an inquiry into man as person and as
existent being in the world concerned about authentic integral human
development, relations with God and others and philosophical evaluation
of man.


The Meaning of Philosophy

Philosophy is deduced from the Greek words philein meaning
love and sophia meaning wisdom. Etymologically, philosophy
means, love of wisdom. It was coined by Pythagoras around 584 B.C.
in Ancient Greece. The Greeks considered philosophy as a universal
science and the sum-total of human knowledge.
Philosophy is the science of things by their ultimate principles and
causes, as known by natural reason alone. As science, it is certain
knowledge of things with firm foundation. It is concerned with the things
found in the existential world. It is an arduous integrative activity of
inquiry about different branches, material beings, non-material beings and
principles of life. It is an engagement in the search for the meaning of life,
its value and relevance through the principles of natural cognition by
exploring nature. It is an exploration of the permutation of the ultimate
causes of things to find an explanation or cause of the actual existence of
contingent reality. It is analytical (rational) and experiential.
Branches of Philosophy
1. Logic is the science and art of correct thinking and reasoning.
2. Ethics is the study of the nature and morality of human acts.
3. Epistemology is the study of human knowledge.
4. Metaphysics is the science of the ultimate principles and properties of
real beings. It is the study of being as being.
A. General Metaphysics
a. Ontology is the science of being in its most general aspects.
B. Special Metaphysics

a. Cosmology The study of inanimate physical beings.

b. Rational / Philosophical Psychology The study of the life
principle, particularly that of man.

c. Theodicy The study of the essence and existence of God based

mainly on reason.
5. Aesthetics The study of beauty, its nature and appreciation.

6. Social / Political Philosophy The study of man and his place in

Formal Elements of Ethics

a. An understanding of the good as the goal of the moral life and the basic
reason for being moral of the human person. The basic conviction is that
God is good. God is the only center of value, the fixed point of
b. An understanding of the human person as an agent. Moral character can
be distinguished by the perspectives, dispositions, affections, and
intentions, which a human persons beliefs engender.
c. The points of reference, which serve as the criteria for a moral judgment.

Types of Ethical Judgment and Ethical Reasoning

1. Descriptive Ethics It simply describes the particular values and

principles that someone holds. It involves describing, classifying, listing,

and summarizing ethical beliefs. It is capable of noticing an ethical issue
but sometimes we need to work intellectually. At times we can be
limited by our own perspectives on the world. A primary goal of
descriptive ethics is to constantly stretch our understandings, shift our
perspectives and consciousness, and help us escape the limitations
implicit in common ways of thinking.
2. Normative Ethics This level of ethical reasoning involves making
ethical judgments, suggesting advice, and offering ethical evaluations.
This is also called Prescriptive Ethics. Most ethical judgments that
include an ought or should are normative claims. Normative
judgments prescribe behavior, for instance, Carbon dioxide emissions
should be diminished. Normative judgments implicitly or explicitly
appeal to some norm or ethical behavior.
3. Philosophical Ethics is also called moral philosophy. It is a higher
level of generality and abstraction in which normative judgments and
their supporting reasons are analyzed and evaluated. This is the sphere
of the general concepts, principles and theories to which one appeals in
defending and explaining normative claims. It evaluates reasons that
support or criticize a normative judgment, or seek to clarify the concepts
involved in the essence of philosophical ethics. Moral philosophy
reflects on the nature of the moral life and what constitutes right and
wrong behavior without any reference whatsoever to Gods revelation
and to Christian beliefs.
a. Ethics of being is also called character ethics. It focuses on
the interiority of the person, or the persons character. It focuses
on what is happening to the person performing actions rather
than on the actions the person performs. It stresses the patterns
of actions, or the habits we acquire, the vision we have of life,

the values and convictions or beliefs we live by, the intentions
we have, the dispositions which ready us to act as well as the
affections which move us to do what we believe is right.
b. Ethics of doing - If the ethics of being focuses on the person, the
ethics of doing focuses on the right action. It makes a decision
to resolve conflicts of moral values so that we might do the right
action. This has affinity with the interests of canon law and
jurisprudence in general, as well as moral theology.

The Human Person

The person is a rational being. His / Her nature emerges and is fulfilled in
ones various relationships.
A. In Relation to the Self
1. He has intellect and free will Everyone is endowed and blessed
with natural capacities and abilities. Primary here is the ability to
reason and decide freely. The person has the ability to grasp,
recognize, and appreciate truth and goodness, and the ability to
choose among options to promote or disregard truth and goodness.
a. The person has the right to seek the truth and act in freedom. He
has the right to free expression, to information, to education, to
assembly, to worship and to collective action to freedom.
b. With freedom comes responsibility. While a person has rights, he
also has the duty to respect the rights of fellow humans, to
promote the welfare of everyone, and to be accountable and
responsible for his acts.
2. He has dignity Everyone is bestowed an inherent dignity which
demands unconditional respect. The person, by virtue of his dignity,
is an end, and not a means or tool. The demand for absolute dignity
invalidates all manipulation of persons as justified even if the end is
ultimately the person.
3. He is created in the image and likeness of God He is both mind
and spirit. The person is a co-creator, co-worker, and co-savior of
God. Creation and salvation is an ongoing process, and we are all a
part of it.
4. He is ambivalent Man has the capacity for both good and evil. He
has the ability to go beyond self-interest and work for justice and
goodness. On the other hand, he is also capable of selfishness and
oppression. This implies the danger of empowering a person with
absolute authority and influence. There is a need for checks and
balances if we are to help deter a person from succumbing to his
natural weakness. Another implication is that there must be a
constant choosing / opting to do good. Because of our ambivalence,
it takes practice to be / do good.

5. He is limited Mans life is limited. But we see the significance of
death is on how life was lived whether we opt to do good or not.
The person is also limited in his capacity to know and do good. The
truth unfolds, and we can only know at a given time. This implies
the need for an ongoing questioning of personal values, openness to
criticism, the need for sharing and communication because there is
no monopoly of truth.
6. He is unique Each person is different and has his own contribution
to society. Because of this uniqueness, we cannot label or put a
stereotype on anybody. The uniqueness of a person has to be
respected. Overemphasis on collectivity should not be at the expense
of the uniqueness and dignity of each person.
7. He is an embodied subject The person is in charge of his or her
own life. The person is a moral agent with a certain degree of
autonomy, and self-determination empowered to act according to his
or her conscience, in freedom and with knowledge. It uses a more
unitive expression than the familiar one of body and soul.
Embodied subject implies that our bodies are not accessories. It is
essential to our being integrated persons. Our bodies are symbols of
interiority and are subject to the laws of the material world. Bodily
existence also means that we must accept our genetic endowment,
which sets the baseline for certain possibilities and limitations to our
physical, intellectual, and psychological capacities.
8. An historical subject An embodied subject is necessarily an
historical subject. To be an historical subject is to be relentlessly
temporal and is part of a progressive movement toward our full
human development. The moral significance of the personal
historical process is that ones moral responsibility is proportionate
to his or her capacities at each stage of development. As historical
subjects, our moral reflection must be as dynamic as the human life,
which it intends to guide.
B. In Relation to Others
1. Each person is a social being Every individual is oriented towards
other people and needs their company. He fulfills himself with and
through others. Through and with the help of others, a persons
limitations are filled and potentials furthered. He is a relational
being. To be a human person is to be essentially directed toward
others. Human persons need to live in social groups with appropriate
structures, which sustain human dignity and the common good.
2. Each Person is of equal value with other persons Although
natural inequalities may exist, God has gifted all with equal dignity.
We are equal in basic rights and needs.

C. In Relation to society The persons relationship to society is not
only to other people but to structure as well.
Structure mirrors the dominant values of the people and economic
relationships. It is an organized pattern of interrelated rights and
obligations of persons and groups within society analyzed in terms of
status, roles, norms and institutions.
1. Man is intervenor Man creates the structures of society by actively
or passively sanctioning /strengthening them. Although he is shaped
partly by his past, the person also shapes the future. He can help
change and direct society and the history of the nation and not the
history determining the person.
2. Man as Patriot The country is considered a persons bigger family,
since he / she is inextricably linked with others and society. We are
responsible and accountable to the future generation.
D. In Relation to the World
1. Work The person interacts with the world through his / her work.
Work is a means to fulfill ones personhood and to glorify God. In
doing so, the Lords mandate to have dominion over the earth is
2. Caretaker The things of the world are for all people to use not
adored or amassed. We are responsible for the preservation and
development of the earth.
3. Voluntary Simplicity The things of the world were given to us to
help us know, love and serve God. Anything that is a hindrance
should be rejected.
E. In Relation to God
1. Person as Transcendent The person needs to relate to a Greater
Being. The temporality is transcended because of the touch of divine
in each person. The person has but one final goal God. We are all
given missions to fulfill.
2. Person as having a Conscience.
3. Person as a Child of God By virtue of the Incarnation and
Redemption, people have earned the right to the kingdom of God.
Karl Rahner 1 believes on the unity of spirit and matter on three grounds:
their origin, their history, and their final end. Through a unity, matter and spirit
remain different from each other. Though different, they are found in mutual
correlation in one and the same experience. Matter is the openness and the
bringing-itself-to-appear of the personal spirit in the finite world. Both are
created being in becoming. They develop. As Karl Rahner would put it: they
self transcend.
The origin of spirit and matter is one and the same, namely, God. God is
the ground and all-embracing pre-given unity of the experience of the spirit and

the material world in their unity. The Christian conception of the non-divine
reality rejects radical dualism of spirit and matter. Hebrew Scriptures speak of
the unity of the human being. Humanity comes from earth even as it is also a
spiritual and responsible partner of God. Original sin takes place within the
material of the world and the autonomous mastery over worldly goods. The
commandments are not merely concerned with intentions but also with concrete
material demands. The climax of redemption is the Incarnation, the taking of the
material so that it itself becomes a permanent reality of God. Matter for the
Christian is also a factor in perfection itself. The world as we experience it will
find its fulfillment as the kingdom of heaven, the eternal covenant, the
triumphing of the church, the new heaven and the new earth.
The body is created by God. The body has not come by chance. The
body is not merely by-product of human history. Space and time, history, the
human body, human sexuality has been desired by God. The body is made out of
the dust of the earth. Human beings thus live in the tension of being earthly and
called to be in relationship with God pure spirit, ineffable mystery,
incomprehensible, nameless. There is the resurrection of the flesh, of the whole
person, body and soul. Flesh is that person who is on the one hand the frailty, the
threatened ness, the inexplicableness, the weakness, the obscurity of the
individual, concrete, specific entity, and who at the same time knows this and is
Both original sin and saving grace are based on the human bodily
community of shared descent. Everyone shares in original sin, as everyone is
equally open to saving grace. The divine word becomes just what we call sarx.
God is human to all eternity. By consequence, humanity is Gods self-utterance,
out of divine silence into the nothingness of a creature. By consequence,
humanity is also thrust into the absolute mystery of God. As human beings we
are all redeemed through Christs death. The place of Christs redemptive
obedience and love has been his bodily existence.
We are a unity of body and soul. Body and soul is equally real, true,
radical, substantial, and original. They are neither uniform nor deducible from
each other. There is no existential cleavage between them. Yet they can be
distinguished from each other. Soul is the form of the body. We can never
encounter mere body and never encounter pure soul. Inwardness is inwardness
of a bodily spirit. The externals are on the external form of this same bodily
spirit. Bodily existence is the concrete existence of the spirit in space and time.
Outgoing into its bodily form, the spiritual and personal self-discovery is made
possible. Christianity is a bodily, concrete, shaping, speaking, acting, organized,
and substantial. Sacramental religion, a religion which concerns itself in its
dogmas with concrete things, and expresses something through these dogmas.
There are four interwoven themes on the significance of the body: feeling,
desire, communion, and incarnation. Feeling includes the emotions but it has a
spiritual and rational core. It is neither antirational nor irrational. It is the

wholeness of human response to the realities we experience. It is the willingness
to respond with as much of the totality of the self as one is able. It is inseparable
from the body-self. Desire as an expression of the body-self is an intrinsic
element in our openness to God. Not to desire is not to receive and not to receive
is not to know. Communion overcomes dichotomy while keeping polarity. The
body-self is united with the beloved partner. Each self respects the others
identity not confusing it with its own. Communion is participation not
possession. The body is instrument of communion. It is language. The
incarnation of God in Jesus Christ is the norm of Gods presence and the measure
of our humanity. Christian faith is an incarnational faith.
Our bodies are constantly changing. 3 They exhibit defect, vulnerability,
change, decay. They bear the intimations of our mortality. The way we perceive
and feel about our own bodies contributes significantly to the way we perceive
and feel about the world. In Exodus 33:23b, we can argue on Gods
transcendence in an immanental way. Here, an ecological model proposes to take
the universe or the world as Gods body. In the passage, we can see the union of
guts and glory, flesh and spirit, human and divine. The word made flesh could be
expanded and therefore, it is not only limited to Jesus but as the body of the
universe, all bodies. Creation4 is bodies alive with the breath of God. Gods
transcendence is embodied. God is present in all bodies, the bodies of the sun
and moon, trees and rivers, animals and people but not enclosed nor exhausted by
the body shown to us. The universe as Gods body moves us into awesome
galactic wonders and at the same time to compassionate identification with and
service to the fragile, suffering, oppressed bodies that surround us. 5
The twentieth century6 is suffering from a loss of soul (emptiness,
meaninglessness, vague, depression, disillusionment, loss of values, yearning for
personal fulfillment, and hunger for spirituality). Soul has something to do with
genuineness and depth, revealing itself in attachment, love, community,
intercommoning and intimacy. It lies midway between understanding and
unconsciousness, and its instrument is neither the mind nor the body, but
imagination. It is the font of who we are and yet it is far beyond our capacity to
devise and to control. We cannot outwit it or manage it or shape it to the designs
of the willful ego. We need care of soul. Soul holds mind and body, ideas and
life, spirituality and the world together. Care of the soul is cultivation, tending,
enjoying, and participating in the things of the soul. It is an appreciation of the
paradoxical mysteries that blend light and darkness into the grandeur of what
human life and culture can be. There are 7 steps7 on our journey toward union
with God: conversion, desire for union with God, progress in virtues, dealing
with temptations, preparation for the passage to God, union with God and
enjoyment. Prayer is integrated into the whole process. Prayer is developed
through time are well equipped to launch us into the realm of the transcendent.
Striving for a way of life, which integrates body and soul, has something to do
with final wholeness, of salvation. Today, it is the soul, sickened by fear, despair

or addiction, which drags the body of mother earth. The church, which has often
fostered a one-sided preoccupation with the soul, faces a great challenge to
respond to the equally exaggerated cult of the body.
Fulfilling work, rewarding relationships, personal power, and relief from
symptoms are all gifts of the soul. There have been quite elusive because
sometimes we do not believe in soul. We have come to know the soul only in its
complaints when it stirs, disturbed (neglect and abuse) and causes us to feel pain.
Mind is separated from the body, spiritually from materialism. We cannot think
ourselves through the dualism. Care of soul is not curing, not solving the puzzle
of life nor changing nor adjusting nor making health nor perfecting nor
improvement. It remains close to everyday life yet mindful of religion and
Long before the contemporary and secular interest in the realm of the
spirit, of the non-bodily aspect of human life began in near death experiences or
in angels or in the creation of cyberspace or the exploration of virtual reality,
church tradition already had the language and the road map to access it. The
church has as much to say to the one-sided cult of the body as to the very secular,
almost irreverent incursions to the realm of the spirit.
Our understanding of ourselves, our society and our world inevitably
change as we proceed through life. So too our understanding of Gods presence
and activity in human life can be expected to change. Faith grows from the
seedbed of our life experience. There are 6 stages of faith development that
shapes the personal experience of the human person: imaginative faith, literal
faith, group faith, personal faith, mystical faith and sacrificial faith.



Philosophy of Man: Western Tradition

The study of man is known as philosophical anthropology. It is an
endless inquiry in his attempt to understand himself and the world he lives in, his
dignity, truth, freedom, justice, love, death, and his relations with others and with
God. On the shores and islands of the Aegean Sea in Asia Minor, the Ionians (of
Greek descent) settled. In the Ionian city of Miletus, the Milesians attempted to
expound the question of arche principle in concurrence to the rational, analytic
and abstract spirit of the Greeks. The ancient philosophers such as Thales,
Anaximander and Anaximenes etc., explored the permutation of inquiry into man
and his dimensions as person and as existent being in the world. They searched
for the meaning and relevance of life and concerned with a total world picture.

A. Pre-Socratic
The Milesians:
Thales (624-546 B.C.)



Thales of Miletus flourished around 580 B.C., since early antiquity is

considered as the founder of the Ionian School of Philosophy. He was associated
with specific discoveries in physics, metaphysics, astronomy, geometry, and
engineering. Thales asserted that the world originated in water and was
sustained by water and that the earth floated on water. Water is an essential
element to life, versatile, common and powerful enough to account for every
physical phenomenon. There is a natural change everywhere. The world is
animated. Inanimate objects possess psyche, the principle of self-motion.
Concerning the nature of the universe, Thales also asserted that all things are
full of gods. Some kind of vital force permeates the world. All things are in
some aspect besouled or partake of a common and unifying vitality. The
following are the contributions of Thales:
1. He made the Halys river passable for King Croesus by diverting its
2. He discovered the solstices and measured their cycles.

3. He discovered the five celestial zones (arctic, antartic, equator and the
tropics), the inclination of the zodiac, and the sources of the moons
4. He explicated the rise of Nile as due to etesian winds.
5. In geometry, he discovered proofs for the propositions that the circle is
bisected by its diameter, that the angles at the base of an isosceles
triangle are equal, that two triangles are identical when they have one
side and the angles formed by it with the other sides equal, and that in
two intersecting straight lines the opposite angles at the intersection are
6. He also measured the height of the pyramids and the distance of ships at

Anaximander (610-546 B.C.)

Anaximander belongs to the Milesian (Ionian) School of Greek
philosophy with Thales and Anaximenes.
The primary element was
indeterminate. He called the arche as apeiron (Greek: a not; peirar or peiras
limit, boundary hence, it means unlimited, boundless). The indefinite or
indeterminate (apeiron) is all-enfolding, all controlling (steers all), divine and
immortal. This material cause was not water but infinite, eternal and ageless. He
believed that air, water and fire constituted the 3 substances, which made up the
world. Anaximanders contributions are the following:
1. Cosmology the production of the opposites and their separating off are
important in his cosmogony penalty and retribution of the opposites in
accord to the assessment of time. The earth is cylindrical in shape and
its depth is 1/3 its breath. It is immobile (the earth does not rest on
water) in the center of the universe by way of its equilibrium. The earth
may some day become dry. Concerning the formation of the heavenly
bodies: the sun is equal to the earth. The circles and spheres carry the
heavenly bodies. An eclipse occur when the aperture of the sun or moon
are blocked. Concerning meteorological phenomena: the winds, thunder
and lightning all these have to do with winds.
2. Zoogony the 1st living creatures were born in moisture and enclosed in
thorny barks. As their age grow, they came forth into the drier part and
the bark was broken off.
3. Anthropogony - Anaximander held the theory of evolution of animals.
Man was born from animals of another species (man came into being
inside fishes).

Anaximenes (585-528 B.C.)

Anaximenes was a pupil of Anaximander. He thought that the earth is
shaped like a round table. The primary element was determinate. Air is the
primary substance. All things ultimately come from air. The gods and the divine
things are subordinate from it. Hot and cold are the common attributes of matter

that come from the result of its changes. Matter comes first. Matter is air. It is
definite because it has its forms and properties such as fire, water, dirt, earth,
stone etc. It differs in rarity (becoming finer and it becomes fire) and density.
These phases occur in condensation or rarefraction. From condensation comes
cold. It implies continuous change. Motion is eternal. Every change comes
from air. From rarefraction comes hot. The earth resulted from felting, the
thickening of air into earth. Matter comes first. Matter is air. Sun and moon are
fiery celestial bodies carried by air in their flatness. The origin of stars is called
moisture exhalation. Air is god. Air has the same function to man and the
universe. It is the vital principle or the soul. Without it, man does not only die
but decomposed. It controls man, holds the universe together, surrounds it and
pervades it. It keeps the universe in the right place. Like man, it makes the
universe alive; imbue all things with life force.

Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans (Samos: 570500)

Pythagoras was an ancient thinker who was more concerned with the
mystical problems of purification and immortality. Pythagoras and his followers
turned to science and mathematics. His philosophy stressed form rather than
matter. They viewed the earth as spherical. They maintained that order, form
and shape are qualities of the good whilst disorder, darkness and indefiniteness
are bad.
1. Mathematics is the best purifier of the soul. Mathematical thought could
liberate men from thinking about particular things and lead their
thoughts, instead, to the permanent and ordered world of universe. There
is an intelligence behind the universe. Mathematics is also a source of
therapeutic result for certain nervous disorders as well as elements
affecting mans inner life. They intertwined this mathematical theory in
music. Music with its notes expresses something that is numerical in
terms. They see the length of the strings of a musical instrument in
proportionate to the actual interval of the sounds they produce. If
everything is in balance and it accords to its proportion, then, it produces
harmony. The central fact of limit is harmony. Good health is the
outcome of harmony or balance or proper ratio of certain opposites. The
true number or figure refers to the proper balance of all the elements and
functions of the body. Number represents the application of limit (form)
to the unlimited (matter). Pythagoreanism was influenced by the myth of
Orpheus, the priest of the god Dionysus. Dionysus was killed and eaten
by the Titans and destroyed by Zeus. From the ashes of the Titans, man
was made. They believed on the transmigration of souls: the human soul,
preexisting with the gods, became incarnate in a body. They practice
abstinence and the performance of some sacred rite of purification.

2. All things are numbers. Number as the arche. The purpose of
philosophy is to restore the world to perfect unity. The relevance of this
mathematical work to philosophy is the idea that all general propositions
of truth can be deduced from self-evident truths, i.e., mathematical ones.
3. He discovered the square of the hypotenuse as equal to the squares of the
other two sides of a right-angled triangle. The correlation between
numbers and magnitude provided immense consolation to those who
were seeking evidence of a principle of structure and order in the

Philolaus and Eurytus of Croton

Philolaus of Croton was a Pythagorean who believed that bodies are
composed of the hot for they have no share in the cold. He defended this stating
that the sperm is warm. It produces the living things and the womb is warm.
The productive factor has no share in the cold. Immediately after its birth the
living thing draws in the breath outside, which is cold; and then, as if of
necessity, it expels it again. This desires for the breath outside arises as a result
of the inhalation of the breath, our bodies, which are by nature, is warm.
Philolaus suggest an analogy between macrocosm and the microcosm. The
unlimited (womb= implanted) represents darkness, while limit stand for light
(Kirk and Raven, 312-313).
Eurytus believed that numbers are the causes of substances and of being
whether as limits (as points are of spatial magnitudes). For Eurytus, the numbers
of what (e.g., of man or horse) viz. by maintaining the figures of living thing is
with pebbles as some people being numbers into the forms of triangle and square
or is it because harmony is a ratio of numbers (Kirk and Raven, 313-314).

Forerunners of Metaphysics
Zenophanes of Colophon (570 B.C. - )

Xenophanes was a disciple of Anaximander. He settled at Elea in

southern Italy. He bypassed the gods of popular polytheistic belief. He declined
the immorality of the gods and believed on a single non-anthropomorphic Deity.
He taught on the unity of all things, eternity of the totality of being, and the
nature as imbued with the divine. He started with the principle that nothing
comes from nothing: all is one and one is all. He advocated empirical
knowledge. The truth has to be discovered by degrees. The primitive substance
was earth; others would say water and earth. Xenophanes believed that the one
total is eternal; the world in its present form is not eternal.

Heraclitus of Ephesus (504-501 B.C.)

Metaphysics, the study of being as being, could not unfold until man has
attained a culminating point of abstract thinking. Heraclitus became popular
during the 69th Olympiad during the Ionian anti-Persian activity. Hecraclitus, a
native of Ephesus conceived being as becoming and flux. His idea of God is
cosmic. God was nature or logos the law of nature. The entire universe was

informed by a soul, which was fire, for fire burns incessantly and without
interruption. It depicts the constant motion that pervades the cosmos. It is always
consuming fuel and liberating smoke. Man is a small world a microcosm and
had a soul, a spark of the fire of the world. Heraclitus held that the world was not
created but had always existed. Change is incessant and universal. Flux, fire and
cosmic unity are the vortex of his argumentation. Coherence and stability persist
due to the process of unceasing transitions. This structural coherence is called
the logos. Transitions are generated by the logos. All things are divine. To
god all things are beautiful. Fire is the archetypal form of matter. The universe
is an ever-living fire. Fire is the logos incarnate, the material enactment of the
principle of transition and flux. Heraclitus believed also that the dry soul is the
wisest and the best in comparison to wet soul. Soul is light, ethereal, and
incorporeal. Virtuous souls become a part of the cosmic fire when they die.
Sleeping, waking and dying are anchored with the aspect of fieriness in the soul.
The soul of the sleeping person is anchored only by breathing. The mind
becomes forgetful. In the waking state, the soul is anchored with the world fire
and the logos. In this state, reason is restored. Human disposition is not capable
of authentic judgment, but divine disposition does. War is the father of all and
the king of all, and some he presents as gods, others as man, some as slaves
others as free (Collinson, 10-12).

Parmenides (501-492 B.C.)

Parmenides of Elia in southern Italy is the Father of Idealism. Actually,
he is a monistic materialist rather than an idealist. He begins with what he takes
to a self-evident truth: It is. It is a truth of reason. It cannot be denied if you
say, it is not (i.e., nothing exists), then you have proved that it is; for if
nothing exists, its not nothing, rather it is something. The way of truth deals
with matters that are apprehended by reason. The way of seeing deals with the
senses: being is it is or non-being is it is not. The 1st principles of being are: first,
principle of identity: being is being (A thing is identical with itself); second,
principle of contradiction: Nonbeing is not (Being is not identical with nonbeing); third, principle of excluded middle: Between being and nonbeing there
is also a middle term. Reality is not depicted by sense perception but by reason.
He uttered, what is. The universe is a plenum. The assertion on empty space,
either inside or outside must be repudiated. On that ground, there can be no
motion, thus, there is no change. Everything is permanent and change is just an
illusion. Reality is uncreated and timeless plenum. It is immobile and
For Parmenides being must be: first, one, plurality of beings is impossible;
second, eternal; third, immutable or unchangeable (change or becoming is
impossible; fourth, infinite (otherwise nonbeing would be beyond the parameters
of being; fifth, immobile (local motion is impossible. If being moved, nonbeing
would begin to be where being was before, and nonbeing also had been where
beings comes to be; sixth, rational; that only what can be thought can exist.

Since nothing cannot be thought, there is no nothing, there is only being.
Finally, Being/ reality is uncreated and imperishable, indivisible and
homogeneous, motionless, finite (like a sphere) and equally real in all directions.
It is a timeless plenum. Parmenides negated the notion of time, the void and
plurality. The past and future are alike: meaningless. The only time is a
perpetual present time. Parmenides visualized the world as seamless, unbroken
and with no degrees of existence. There exist no permanent structure in the
world. The world had to be absolutely one thing rather than separate
interconnected objects. He also believed that the air is separated off from the
earth, vaporized due to earths stronger compression. The sun is an exhalation of
fire and so is the circle of the Milky Way. The moon is compounded of both air
and fire. Aither is outermost, surrounding all, next is the fiery sky, and lastly, the
earth (Kirk and Raven, 283-285).

Melissus of Samos (500 B.C.)

Melissus was a great statesman and later an admiral who defeated the
Athenians in 442 B.C. He was a disciple of Parmenides whose notion of being
was in contrast with him. Being/Reality is one, eternal, infinite and
unchangeable. Being is infinite for it is eternal. If being is finite, then beyond
being there must be nothing. Being must be bounded or limited by nothing, but
if it is limited by nothing it must be infinite and not finite. The One is
incorporeal. If this incorporeal being were to exist, it must be one, but if it were
one it cannot have body, for if it had body, it would have parts, and no longer be
one. (Monists and Pantheists Perspective).

Zeno of Elea (490 430 B.C.)

Zenos master was Parmenides. Zeno did not develop his own philosophy
but to defend his master that there is only one reality. Zeno proved the
impossibility of motion using a method known as reductio ad absurdum. In this
form of argument, you begin by accepting your opponents premises, and you
demonstrate that they lead logically to an absurdity or a contradiction. Zenos
argumentation is composed of 4 arguments known as against plurality, against
motion, against space, and the reliability of sense experience (in the paradox of
the millet seed). These paradoxes represents that Parmenides is correct: Being is
one, seamless and unchanging whole. For Zeno, his logic is right and
Parmenides was right: Motion and Change is impossible.
Arguments against plurality if things are many, they must be both like and
unlike. It is impossible for what is like to be unlike and for what is unlike to be
like. Therefore, there cannot be many things. B is unlike A; But A is like A. B is
like B. Therefore, A and B are both like and unlike.
Arguments against motion First, the race course: motion would be impossible
even if it were possible. Second, the Achilles: the race between Achilles and the
tortoise, the slowest as it runs will never be caught by the quickest. For the
pursuer must first reach the point from which the pursued departed, so that the
slower must always by some distance in front. If Achilles gave the tortoise a head

start, the swift runner could never overtake the reptiles because before Achilles
can pass the tortoise, he must arrive at the point where the tortoise used to be,
given the hypotheses of motion, the tortoise will never still be there. He will
have moved on. Third, the flying arrow: everything is always at rest when it
occupies a space equal to itself, and what is moving is always in the now, the
moving arrow is motionless. Finally, the stadium: It supposes a number of
objects all equal with each other in dimensions, forming 2 equal trains and
arranged so that one train stretches from one end of a racecourse to the middle of
it, and the other from the middle of the other end. If you let the two trains moving
in opposite directions but at the same rate, pass each other, Zeno presents that
half of the time they occupy in passing each other is equal to the whole of it.
Argument from Space if everything that exists has a place, that place will have
a place, and so on without limit.
The paradox of the millet seed this argument is a dialogue between Zeno and
the Sophist Protagoras. It simply proves that one of the senses is unreliable.
Aristotle treats it in connection with the query how much force it takes to shift a
heavy weight.

The Eclectics
Empedocles of Acragas (494-434)

Empedocles was a man of Agrigentium, Sicily. He flourished in the 84 th

He was an admirer and associate of Parmenides and the
Pythagoreans. He was a powerful person with magnetic personality. He desired
to be remembered as godlike, so, he ended his life by jumping to the mountain of
Aetna so people would think that hed been to the heaven. His philosophy is
eclectic, all knowing. His predecessors have come up to elements. The task of
Empedocles is to synthesize /group all those elements. He was influenced by
Parmenides (2 senses lie side by side: materialistic and idealistic sense).
Empedocles took Parmenides materialistic side. For Parmenides, a being cannot
pass into not being, not being into being. Whatever is remains forever what it is.
Empedocles followed the following material context: matter has no absolute
beginning or end. Matter is eternal. Matter is uncreated and indestructible (1 st
principle of Empedocles). For Heraclitus, becoming and change cannot be
negated. It gave rise to the 2nd basic principle of Empedocles: there is no
absolute beginning, becoming. An object as a whole begins and ceases to be.
These matters are capable of change. It remains as it is. The universe is a
composite of one ultimate matter. These elements are capable of transformation
such as water. Becoming is changing into other kinds of matter. Water cannot
change into an air. Fire cannot change into earth. If matter cannot change, into
another matter, Empedocles mixed all these elements (roots of all): Zeus (fire),
Hera (air), Aidoneus (earth), Nestis (water).
Empedocles was the originator of the familiar classification of the four
elements. Empedocles was responsible in summarizing them together. The

origination, deceased, the differential qualities of matter are expounded by the
mixing or unmixing of the four elements. The four elements have come together;
there is the movement of elements. For the Ionic philosophers, such force is
within matter itself. Their capacity to change from one matter to another matter
is a change within. Matter, for Empedocles, is simply dead, lifeless; it cannot
supply the principle of motion itself. This moving force come from outside
(assumption). The essential process is mixing or not mixing offers two opposite
character [love and hate, harmony and discord]. Like Parmenides, for
Empedocles, matter cannot come into existence out of nothing and cannot pass
away into nothing. Empedocles diverged from Parmenides in upholding the
reality of the ever changing world of sensory experience while Parmenides holds
on that the universe was an unchanging system.
The periodic world cycles connotes that the world process is circular. It
has no beginning or end. In the primeval sphere, the four elements are
chaotically mixed. Earth is not separated from air. It involves unequal property
(if such union comes together that is union or love full of harmony, the Blessed
God. Hate exist all round outside the sphere. It slowly penetrates from the
circumference to the center. Disunion of elements occurs when love is thrown
out. The moving forces are love and hate (so that the four elements can move
into union) [4 (four elements) + 2 (love and hate)]. Thus, love and hate are
responsible both for change and continuity in the world. Concerning evolution,
the strong survives. Cosmic evolution are driven by the forces of love and hate.
Aither was the 1 st to be separated off, next fire, and after that earth. From
the earth, sprang water. From water air came by evaporation. The heavens arose
from the Aither, the sun from the fire, while terrestrial things were compressed
from the other elements. The sun is not in its nature fire, but rather a reflection
of fire like that which comes from water. The moon was composed of air that
had been shut in by fire. The air was solidified, like hail. The moon gets its light
from the sun. The stars are made of fire composed of the fiery element which the
air originally contained by squeezed out at the first separation. Fixed stars were
attached to the ice (i.e., the frozen periphery) while the planets were unattached.
The earth received 2 parts of Nestis out of night and four of Hephaestus, and
there arose white bones fitted together by the bonds of harmony. Earth came
together with equal proportions, with Hephaestus, with moisture and with
brilliant Aither. It anchored in the perfect harbors of Supris. From there did
blood arise, and the forms of flesh besides. The 1 st generations of animals and
plants consisted of separate limbs not joined together, the 2 nd arising from the
joining of that limbs, were like creatures in dreams, the 3 rd was the generation of
whole-natured forms, and the 4th generation resulting from condensation of their
nourishment (Kirk and Raven, 332ff., Mckirahan, 232-291).
The purifications are concerned with the fall of man and with the
practices essential for his restoration. Metempsychosis (transmigration of soul),
for Empedocles, is a result of reincarnation. The soul proceeded to a higher

structure. When the structure is high then the reincarnations stops. Power is
immanent in water to change. It is capable of changing within. Love for union,
hate for separation: air, water, fire, earth by themselves it cannot change within.
For Parmenides, nothing comes from nothing.

Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (500-428 B.C.)

Anaxagoras taught Archelaus and Euripides. He differentiated two kinds
of beings: matter and mind or nous. His theory of matter tells us concerning
rests on two propositions, which seem flatly to contradict one another. One is the
1st principle of things, the things with like parts or Homoeomereity: a natural
substance, such as a piece of gold, consists solely of parts which are like the
whole and like one another everyone of them gold and nothing else. The other
is: there is a portion of everything in everything meaning that a piece of gold
(or any other substance) contains nothing but gold, contains portions of every
other substance in the world. Nourishment contains parts that are like things,
which it produces (Kirk and Raven, 367).
Anaxagoras reacted to Parmenides: the earlier pluralists. For Anaxagoras,
all things were together, infinite in respect of both number and smallness, for the
small too was infinite. While all things were together, none of them were plain
because of their smallness, for air and Aither covered all things, both of them
being infinite, for these are the greatest ingredients in the mixture of all things,
both in number and in size. Before these things were separated off, while all
things were together, there was not even any color plain; for the mixture of all
things prevented it, of the moist and the dry, the hot and the cold, the bright and
the dark, and of much earth in the mixture and of seeds countless in numbers and
in no respect like one another. For none of the other things either is like one to
the other. Hence, all things are in the whole. In Anaxagoras, as in Empedocles,
air being corporeal, is distinguished from the non-existent void. He negated the
existence of the void and gave no explication of differences of weight (Kirk and
Raven, 368 ff.).
Anaxagoras also reacted to Zeno: Neither is there a smallest part of what
is small, but there is always a smaller. There is always something larger than
what is large. It is equal in numbers to what is small, everything, is relation to
itself, being both large and small. All things are always equal. If there is a
plurality, things must be both small and great, so small as to have no magnitude
at all, so great as to be infinite. If there is plurality, things must be just as many
as they are, neither more nor less. All things have a portion of everything but
mind is infinite and self-ruled, and is mixed with nothing but is alone by itself.
Mind is the finest of all things and the purest. It has knowledge about everything
and the greatest power. Mind controls all things both the greater and the smaller
that have life. Mind controlled also the whole rotation and arranged such
rotation, which are now rotating the stars, the sun and the moon, the air and the
Aither that are being separated off. Mind is all-alike. It initiated motion, from
all that was moved. Mind was separated. Mind moved was all divided off and as

things moved and were divided off, the rotation greatly increased the process of
dividing. As these things rotated and separated off by the force and speed of
their rotation. The speed creates the force. Their speed is like the speed of
nothing that now exists among men (Kirk and Raven, 368ff.).
Concerning his cosmogony, first air (the opposite of Aither) is solidified
into clouds. From clouds comes water, from water come earth, and finally from
earth are solidified stones. Concerning his astronomy and meteorology, the sun
indues the moon with brightness. Rainbow is the reflection of the sun in the
clouds. It is a sign of storm, for the moisture that suffuses the clouds either
creates a wind or spills forth rain. The earth is flat in shape and stays suspended
because of its size because there is no void and because the air which is very
strong keep the earth afloat on it. Of the moisture on the earth, the sea came
from the waters in the earth. Evaporation gave rise to all that has emerged, and
from the river that flow into it. Rivers owe their origins partly to rain, partly to
the waters in the earth, for the earth is hollow, and in its hollows contains water.
The sun, the moon, and all the stars are red-hot stones, which the rotation of the
Aither carries round with it. Beneath the stars are certain bodies; invisible to us
that is carried round with the sun and moon. We do not feel the heat of the stars
because of their far distance from the earth. They are not hot as the sun because
they occupy a colder region. The moon is beneath the sun and is nearer to us.
The sun exceeds the Peloponnese in size. The moon derives its light from the
sun. The stars in their revolution pass beneath the earth or by the bodies beneath
the moon. The moon was made of earth, and had plains and ravines on it (Kirk
and Raven, 388 ff.).

Archelaus of Athens
Archelaus was a pupil of Anaxagoras and a teacher of Socrates. He was a
physicist who transferred physical philosophy from Ionia to Athens. His 1 st
principle is the same as of Anaxagoras: the 1 st principle is infinite in number and
differs in kind, and posits the homoeomeries as principle. He believed in a
material mixture (same with Anaxagoras) but held that from the outset there was
a certain mixture immanent in mind. The origin of motion was the separation of
one from the other of the hot and the cold, of which the former moves, the latter
stays still. When water is liquefied it flows to the center and there it is burnt up
to become air and earth. Thus, the earth came into being and rest in the center.
The air produced by conflagration (controls the universe), and from its original
combustion comes the substance of the heavenly bodies. The sun is the biggest,
next is the moon, and has the rest of some smaller, some larger. The heavens are
inclined made the air transparent and the earth dry. It was originally a marsh.
When the earth was originally getting warm in the lower region, where the hot
and cold were mingled, many animals began to appear, including man, all with
the same manner of life and deriving their nourishment from the slime. These
were short lived, but later they began to be born from one another. Men were
distinguished from animals and established rulers, laws, crafts, cities and so on.

Mind is inborn in all animals alike, for each of the animals, as well as man,
makes use of mind, though some more rapidly than others (Kirk and Raven, 395
In brief, for Archelaus, the 1 st principle was infinite air, with its
condensation and rarefraction, the former of which was water, the latter fire. He
maintained that right and wrong exist only by convention and not by nature.

The Atomists : Leucippus of Miletus and Democritus of Abdera

(460-371 B.C.)

Leucippus of Elea or Miletus associated with Parmenides in philosophy

but in his view of reality he diverged with Parmenides and Xenophanes. The
atomists adhered to the view of Anaximenes that the earth is shaped like a disc.
They regarded that the whole as one, motionless, uncreated, indestructible and
limited, not being was impossible and forbade even the search for what is not, he
posited innumerable elements in perpetual motion, namely, the atoms and void
and held that atoms are indivisible (a-tomos means unsplittable because they
cannot be affected, they are so small and they have no parts), the number of their
shapes was infinite, on the ground that there was no reason why any atom should
be of one shape rather than another, for coming into being and change are
incessant in the world. Non-being exists as well as being. Non-being or the void
was as real as being. It is a non-corporeal reality while being was corporeal
reality. Being and non-being were the source of everything. Non-being must exist
for it is essential for motion. The atoms that moved in the void were infinite in
number and varied in size and shape. The two are equally the causes of things
coming-into-being. The nature of atoms is compact and full, that, he said, was
being, and it moved in the void, which he called not-being and held to exist no
less than being. Such was their causal interpretation of change. They declined
Parmenides thought by originating the so called atomic physics, thus, the
universe is not a continuum. It comprises separate entities. (Kirk and Raven,
400ff., Mckirahan, 303 ff.).
Democritus is the student of Leucippus. He refined the system of the
atomic theory. He founded school in Abdera. He was the most traveled man of
his time. He went to many countries to study. As a particle theorist, for
Democritus, atoms and void are the material causes of reality. The characteristics
of atoms are: eternal, passive, solid, and immutable. It is the uncuttable and the
void. The void is as real as the atom. Atoms neither come into being nor pass
away. Hence, they exist in the basic aspect, they cannot cease to be. It entails
that, atoms are everlasting. The cosmos consists only of lifeless and mindless
atoms and the void. This is known as reductive materialism. He explicated
different senses by reference to the different shapes, interactions and amassing of
atoms. The soul and fire atoms were spherical and that the sphere was the most
mobile and penetrative of the shapes. For Democritus, the visual image does not
arise directly in the pupil, but the air between the eye and the object of sight is

contracted and stamped by the object seen. For Democritus, what we actually
see depends on the particular concatenation of atoms in the object and in the
seen. Thus, they exist in the basic sense. It is everlasting. The atomists upholds
the theory of physical atomism wherein the physical world is composed of an
infinite number indivisible corpuscles moving in an infinite void.

Monism: Diogenes of Apollonia

Diogenes was a pupil of Anaximenes and contemporary with Melissus

and Leucippus. He was a physician who gave a detailed account of the anatomy
of human veins. His philosophy was monism (all things are modifications of a
single basic substance: air). Air is intelligent (it rules/governs all, arranges
everything including natural events) and divine (air as the breath of life; soul:
life principle, eternal and immortal body and by means of it, some things come to
be and others pass away.
All sensation is caused by air, air from the outside meeting and mixing
with, or simply agitating air in the sense organ or in the brain. Thinking is
caused by pure and dry air, mixed with blood pervading the body through the
blood channels. He believed on accurate anatomy of human veins and that
semen aerated, since semen produces new life.



(takes other forms
when condensed
and rarified)

(unmixed with but
it rules all things)
= material
=only exist in
animate things
(other [noesis]
hot and cold
(mixed with and
dry and wet
ruling all things)
and = spiritual
= exists in animate
flavor and color
= noetic substance
Cosmogony and
starting a vortex

steers all things
event was due
directly to this

= Infinite void and
infinite cosmos
= all things are in


B. The Socratic Period

The Sophists
Protagoras of Abdera (490 420 B.C.)
He was the 1 st sophist and to charge fees for the education he offered. He
grew wealthy from his profession. He visited Athens at least twice. He was a
friend of Pericles, an influential man. He was asked to draft a constitution for
Thurii, the Panhellenic city in South Italy founded in 444 under the leadership of
the Athens. There were reports that he was tried at Athens was condemned to
death or banished for his agnosticism regarding the gods.
Protagoras was the 1 st intellectual leader of the Sophist. He practiced his
profession for over 40 years. He taught rhetoric and teaches arete, the key to
success in life. He was tried at Athens and condemned to death or banished for
his agnosticism concerning the gods. He held this Protagorean relativism: a
human being is the measure of all things. This is known as the emblem of the
entire sophistic movement. The sophists are persons skilled in a particular craft,
or the knowledgeable and the wise or a specialist in wisdom. Protagoras talks
about the myth of human progress. In the beginnings, humans received as gifts
from Prometheus technical ingenuity and fire, through which they supplied
themselves with shelter, clothing and food, and developed speech. They lived a
scattered life, without cities due to absence of political art, the skills necessary
for a civilized life. As a consequence, many were killed by beasts and the danger
of the human race annihilation because they were not capable of defense. Zeus
came to their aid by giving them two gifts to generate political order and form
bonds of friendship and union: aidos (a sense of shame and respect for others)
and dike (a sense of right and justice. Unfolding moral character was essential
for a continual process of moral and social education. Each community and city
establishes nomos or laws, customs, and conventions to direct the lives of its
citizens through the ways of arete. The threat of punishment compels its citizens
to rule and be ruled. The moral qualities aidos and dike make civilized life
possible for humans and nomos establish patterns of civilized life, there being
many possible patterns and many different sets of nomos. Aidos is innate and
part of human nature, i.e., we have it by virtue of our physis (nature), whereas
aidos and dike are not innate Life, but supplement physis. Protagoras depicted
that aidos and dike as part of human nature, and uses the device of the myth to
depict that if human nature locked these moral qualities, life would not be
possible. Whereas the nomos of a community have some basis in human nature,
i.e., in (distinctively human) physis [Mckirahan, 363-413].

Gorgias (483-375)
Gorgias of Leontini maintained that nothing exists. Even if something
existed it would not be apprehended by man. Even if something would be
conceivable, it would be inexpressible and incommunicable to another person
[De La Torre, 16].


The Philosophy of Socrates 1 (469 399 B.C.)

He abandoned art and advocated education, conceiving that he had a
divine commission, witnessed by oracles, dreams and signs, not to teach doctrine,
but, to convict men of ignorance mistaking itself for knowledge, and by so doing
to promote their intellectual and moral improvement. Historically, ethics grew
out of religion. But in the Golden Age of Athens, people began to search for a
natural and rational explanation of things and it was inevitable that the religious
sanction for moral conduct would be in question.
Euthypro was written by Plato. The dialogue is generally considered by
scholars to represent the thought of his master Socrates who himself wrote
nothing but devoted his energies to questioning his fellow Athenians about the
deepest problems of human existence in his perennial examination of life,
without which he thought life not worth living. Unfortunately, the questions
Socrates asked his fellow citizens embarrassed and enraged many of them,
mainly because they could not offer satisfactory answers. His method was
dialectic, meaning, the method of seeking truth through question and answer.
Some examples of his questions:What is just? What is good? What is right? What
is friendship? What is courage? What is religious piety? He said: the only thing I
know is that I know nothing and that ignorance is the only evil. Socrates became
increasingly unpopular (particularly with influential Athenians) and was finally
indicted on a capital charge. The main charge lodged against Socrates was that
of impiety towards the gods. The second one was corruption of the minds of
the young people. Piety, justice, courage and temperance are the names which
wisdom bars in different spheres of action: to be pious is to know what is due to
the gods; to be just is to know what is due to men; to be courageous is to know
what is to be feared and what is not; to be temperate is to know how to use what
is good and avoid evil. For Socrates, mans life depends on his own acts. Know
thyself was his aphorisms. Human acts are good when they serve to attain the
end or purpose of man. Man sought to discover the truth and the good life. He
visualizes the value of the soul, the importance of knowledge and wisdom if the
soul is properly tended. Thus knowledge leads to ethical action. Knowledge
and virtue are one. Thus a wise man knows what is right and will also do what
is right, i.e., to live virtuously. Virtue is a skill. The preaching of virtue
necessitates studying virtuous values. Personal integrity is the highest priority.
Socrates theory of the Good led to a number of interpretations: first, hedonism
the ultimate end of man is his final happiness; second, utilitarianism the good
is the basis of its instrumentality in attaining an end or its usefulness; third,
eudaemonism the good has in itself an absolute value. Pleasure is not a
composite of an element of mans gaining his last end.

Post Socratic Schools [De La Torre, 19-20]

The Cynics: Antisthenes (445-365) and Diogenes of Sinope (412-323)

In ancient Greece, the questioning of the philosophies of the great
Athenian thinkers began. A school of philosophical pessimism emerged known as
cynicism. The Cynics considered moral life as a renunciation and self-adequacy.
Believing in virtue is the only good for it leads us to self-control. Surrender is
beneath human dignity. Antisthenes, a disciple of Gorgias, founded the cynic
school. He became a follower of Socrates. He maintained that man must strive
to incur liberation for earthly possessions and pleasures. Diogenes of Sinope
depicted contempt for the law and the state. He sought to lead a life of absolute
virtue, free from worldly goods. He declined all conventions of dress, food, and
housing. Thus, he lived like a dog. Cynic was a Greek word for canine and
was used to describe Diogenes. Diogenes was concerned about human happiness.
Diogenes claimed that humans did not need all the civilizing effects that the great
philosophical doctrines thought were necessary for humans to be happy. For
Diogenes, we spend most of our lives chasing objects that are impossible to
attain. Hey are unnecessary or already ours. This kind of self-torture restricts
our freedom of movement and thought. It is easier to enjoy the pleasure of life
without the effects of civilization that are considered as necessities.

The Cyrenaics: Aristippus of Cyrene (fl. 395)

Aristippus was a disciple of Protagoras. His perspective converged with
Antisthenes concerning knowledge. Theyre both sensist. Sensation is in itself
the outcome of the impression engendered in the senses by the presence of the
object. Moral life can be grasped by the senses only. I does not configure
sensation generating pain. It prefers gentle sensation or pleasure. The Cyrenaics
preferred unrestricted sensual pleasure. Some of them preferred suicide to evade

Post-Socratic Sophists: Thrasymachus, Callicles and Critias

Plato named after Thrasymachus the 1 st book of the Republic. Callicles
was a moralist employing Democritus differentiation between (nomo) and
nature (physei): by convention the law exist for he common people. The
influential individuals act as they please, and impose the laws upon the common
people. Critias, a former disciple of Socrates became the most savaged among
the thirty tyrants imposed on Athens by Lacedaemonians. He differentiated the
convention and nature to religion: the gods were fabricated by clever men to
inculcate fear and deter them from secret crimes.

C. The Philosophy of Plato (427-347 B.C.) 2

Plato, the most famous of the disciples of Socrates, was born into an
aristocratic family. He was planning a career in politics when the execution of
his teacher Socrates convinced him that society could not be saved by political
means alone but rather by the kind of wisdom displayed by Socrates. So, he
abandoned his political career in order to devote his life to philosophy. Because
he believed that philosophers have a duty to society, to help their fellow citizens
in their search for wisdom, he established a school in Athens, the Academy.

Platos Academy continued in existence for over 900 years until closed by the
Christian Emperor Justinian in 529 because it was a pagan institution. It ranks as
one of the great centers for learning in western history.
The Sources of Platos Doctrine are the following: first, Socrates
interest in the theory of knowledge and dialogue; second, Heraclitus mistrust
for sensible appearances and the idea of the logos; third, Parmenides
identification of being and knowledge and the claim of one being that is infinite,
unique, eternal and unchangeable; fourth, Pythagoreanism the idea on
transmigration of souls, were used to expound knowledge as reminiscence, and
the idea on the original fall of man, used in purification from the sensible world
and a return to ideas, the theory of participation, the unity of being multiplicity
are mere quantitative reproduction of the number one; finally, Anaxagoras the
idea of the mind (nous) as superior to matter.
On the Sphere of Learning, Plato differentiated sensible knowledge that
can engender opinion (doxa), and intellectual knowledge (episteme). The
sensible sphere is subdivided to subjective impressions (are not criterion of truth.
They are mirages, dreams and hallucinations. They are objects that do not exist)
and objective sense data (sensible qualities such as color, shape, size, etc
depicting existing beings. The intellect is capable of perceiving forms of
knowledge: equality, distinctions and other relations wherein factual
understanding of experiences are necessary truths). The intellectual sphere is a
composite of the apprehension of mathematical forms and the science of
subsistent ideas (have content or existence in reality). Subsistent ideas are not of
the same degree. For Plato, the first ideas as the One, the Good, the True, the
Beautiful, the Absolute, God, a Being of Infinite Perfection, Unique,
Unchangeable and eternal. All other ideas subsist through participation.
The Theory of Forms Plato believed that the world was made up of
objects, of changeless perfection, which he called forms and ideas (virtue and
equality). Forms are eternal, changeless and predetermined. The real nature of
any individual thing depends on the form in which it participates. The forms
differ from the ordinary things we see. Ordinary things change, but their forms
do not. These unchanging and perfect forms cannot be part of everyday world,
which is changing and imperfect. Forms exist neither in space nor time. They
can be known only by the intellect, not by the senses. Because of their stability
and perfection, the forms have greater reality than ordinary objects observed by
the senses. Thus, true knowledge is the knowledge of forms. Forms are standards
against which things or acts can be assessed for their value. For Plato, most
rulers misunderstood the forms of our existence, and thus lacked virtue, a quality
essential for rulers.Thus, for Plato , reality comprises both the visible world
accessed by our senses which is brief and gives us unsatisfactory glimpses; and
the invisible world which is timeless and an unchanging reality, stable and
unshakeable. The visible part of man is his body which is imperfect and highly

perishable. The invisible part of man is his soul, non material, timeless and
The Theory of Knowledge Knowledge is attainable. It must be certain
and infallible. Knowledge must have as its object that which genuinely real as
contrasted with that which is an appearance only. Knowledge is not derived from
sense experience. The objects of sense experience are changeable phenomena of
the physical world and thus have some degree of probability. Knowledge could
be differentiated from mere opinion. For Plato, opinion concerned beautiful
things whereas knowledge was about beauty itself. Opinion was given by the
senses (i.e., reason, desire, self-interest) whilst knowledge comes from a much
higher authority, i.e., some kind of external world. Justice, for Plato was about
controlling the senses because ultimately mentality concerned the satisfaction of
either reason, desire or self-interest and justice was the attempt to ensure that
none controls the other.
In Platos notion of love known as Platonic love, Plato does not insist that
relationships be without physical attraction. Sexual desire must be controlled by
the greater good of the whole. In the ideal community peoples desire and talents
must be harnessed for the good of the entire community. For Plato, democracy
places the good of the individual above the good of society. The variety and
freedom brought to many in a democracy is wonderful in the short run, but in the
long run, is wasteful of the talents available to society. Rulers therefore must be
philosophers, or vice versa, so that there is the greatest possible distribution of
the skill for the good of the whole society. The philosopher king must
manipulate the human resources at his disposal to create the perfect society.
Plato upholds innatism. There are two sources to our ideas: first, our
souls enjoyed the contemplation of the ideas from all eternity in a celestial place
until mixed with matter; second, the acquisition of knowledge in previous
existences. It disappeared from consciousness when we were born to our present
existence. It will remain dormant until awakened by sensible experience.
There are twofold Function of the Soul: nous mind (The soul is unmixed
and imperishable. The grasping of intention is its sole role. It is the perfect
receptacle of the ideas) or a principle of automation (the soul mixes with matter.
Communicability of its intention to matter, the mater of the world and the body
of man, is its sole role. Compulsion occurs between nous and matter: when the
soul-nous becomes incarnate in a body, it intends to be liberated of this material
prison and its outcome, viz. sickness, unruly desires, anger, fear etc. for the
sphere of sensations are not considered intelligible). There are three principles
of activity in man: first, the rational soul (imperishable nous found in the
head); second, the irascible soul (source of impulses found in the heart); and the
concupiscible soul (found in the bowels, the core of sensible appetites and in
contradictory to the rule of conduct). Plato equated man into a chariot: the
rational soul is the charioteer, the other two souls are equated to the horses of the
chariot: one horse, the irascible soul (obeys the driver) and the other, the

concupiscible soul (heedless of the pricks and the blows of the whip, plunges and
runs and forces to approach the object of his desires.
Man is a knower and a possessor of an immortality of the soul. Plato
believed that the body dies and disintegrates. The soul continuous to live forever
after the death of the body. The soul migrates to the realm of the pure forms.
Plato believed on the immortality of the soul but failed to differentiate
immortality as the endurance after death of a soul from its preexistence and its
eternity: first, the argument from simplicity in perceiving ideas, the human
soul must be simple and immaterial; second, argument from innatism of ideas
the retention of ideas in his soul from previous existence; third, argument from
automation identification of two motion in matter: purposeless motion (the
essence of matter) and purposeful motion or automation (an orderly inclination
toward the ideas. Nothing exists without allusion to ideas).
Plato wrote The Republic. It is one of the most influential books in the
history of Western Civilization. It talks about the ring of gyges, in which the
issues whether humans are naturally just or unjust is raised. Man is present
earthly existence. He is an imperfect copy of his real original self. Mans
perfection consists in constant recollection and imitation of his former perfect
self. Man knew all things by direct intuition. Man was omniscient, all knowing
before he came to be born into this world. Knowledge and ideas are inborn
already present in the mind of man from birth. From the paradise of truth and
knowledge and his long exile on earth, he forgot most, of the knowledge he
had. Man who is an exile on earth has a guiding star, a modela divine exemplar
which he must follow to reach and attain his destiny. Happiness is attained by
constant imitation of the divine exemplar of virtue, embodied by his former
perfect self. Contemplation is a way available to mortal man while serving life
sentence on earth. It consists in the communication of the mind with universal
and eternal ideas. It is simply a recollection or remembering of past, perfect
knowledge of all things.
This in turn leads to a more basic question: What is Justice? The
Republic proceeds to a consideration of most of the areas of deepest human
concern marriage and family life, education, economics, politics, ethics,
religion, the natural knowledge and reality, and human destiny. Plato believes
that virtue is knowledge, and the source of knowledge is virtue. It is not
abstract but concrete knowledge, not theoretical but practical knowledge. Man
must know what is good so that he may do so. Such knowledge is not sense
perception. Plato elaborated this by illustrating the four cardinal virtues such as
wisdom, courage or fortitude, temperance and justice.
The selection ends with Platos conception of the form of God as the
Supreme Reality, concluding with his famous Allegory of the Cave. The myth
of the cave describes individuals chained deep within the recesses of a cave.
Bound so that vision is restricted, they cannot see one another. The only thing
visible is the wall of the cave upon which appear shadows cast by models or

statues of animals and objects that are passed before a brightly burning fire.
Breaking free, one of the individuals escapes from the cave into the light of day.
With the aid of the sun, that person sees for the first time the real world and
returns to the cave with the message that the only things they have seen are
shadows and appearances and that the real world awaits them if they are willing
to struggle free of their bonds. The shadowy environment of the cave symbolizes
Platos physical world of appearances. Escape into the sun-filled setting outside
the cave symbolizes the transition to the real world, the world of full and perfect
being, the world of forms, which is the proper object of knowledge.

D. The Philosophy of Aristotle (384 322 B.C.)3

Aristotle was born in 384 B.C., in the town of Stagira in Macedonia,

where his father was physician to the royal court of Philip of Macedonia. He
enrolled in Platos Academy. He also taught there until the death of Plato. He
went to Asia Minor and married the niece of a local king. He returned to
Macedonia to become tutor to the heir to the throne (who later became Alexander
the Great). He founded a school in Athens called the Lyceum. Aristotle was also
interested in the field of biology, botany, zoology and science in general.
Aristotle was scientist and philosopher, as well as researcher, writer and teacher.
Alexander had ascended to the throne of Macedonia and conquered most of the
civilized world. With the death of Alexander, Aristotle feared persecution from
Athenians who rose in revolt.
God for Aristotle is the unmoved mover. For Aristotle, all things did
have a natural and distinctive activity. This activity is the purpose, function, or
end. The Greeks understood this activity as the objects telos. So, Aristotles
science is called teleological. Aristotles Nichomachean Ethics is an attempt to
discover our final end or highest good. It is an analysis of character and
intelligence as they relate to happiness. Many ends of life are only means to
further ends such as our aspirations and desires. Such chief end is universally
known as happiness. He exemplified his notion of happiness through an analysis
of the human soul, which structures and animates a living human organism.
The concept of end coincides with that of good. For Aristotle, the good
of the human person fits a function. The soul is a composite of mans rational
nature. The good of man is an activity of soul in conformity with excellence.
Human persons have their needs. Individual human persons have their wants.
Needs are goods which are essential to man as man. All other needs such as
biological and social are subordinate to the rational needs. Wants are goods that
an individual person demands due to his specific circumstance in life [Agapay,
The greatest good, for Aristotle, is the Summum Bonum (Happiness).
Happiness is the goal of man it seeks to attain. It is the ultimate purpose of life.
Psychologically, happiness is the feeling of contentment springing from the
possession of a good. As a state of being, it is the perfection emerging from the

possession of the good. Natural happiness is attainable through the usage of
natural powers (intellect, will, internal and external sensory powers, the sense of
appetites, locomotion, nutrition, and growth). Supernatural happiness is
attainable through the usage of natural powers and Gods infusion of grace
For Aristotle, the human good consists in eudaimonia (flourishing or
doing well). It must be attained by a persons own efforts. Everyone is
accountable for his own character and its manifestations. A person must apply
his mind to working out and securing his own well-being. It demands actual
activity for its completion. Hence, it belongs to the intellect: the contemplation of
truth. His fullness of knowledge is attained through virtue. To attain happiness,
it must be learned and exercised.
The parts of the soul are divided as:
Calculative Intellectual Virtue
Appetitive Moral Virtue
Vegetative Nutritional Virtue
Aristotle differentiated two kinds of virtue or human excellence: moral
and intellectual. Intellectual virtues are not subject to the doctrine of the mean.
The vegetative faculty is responsible for nutrition and growth. The second tier of
the soul is the appetitive faculty, which is responsible for the emotive spheres
and desires such as joy, grief, hope, and fear. This faculty is both rational and
irrational. There is a purely rational part of the soul, the calculative, which is
accountable for the human ability to contemplate, reason logically, and formulate
scientific principles. Mastery of these competences is known as intellectual
virtue. A moral virtue is an expression of character, formed by habits reflecting
reiterated choices. It is always a mean between two less desirable extremes.
Aristotles metaphysics (i.e., the philosophical understanding of reality) is
essentially a modification of Platos theory of Ideas. The two most significant
aspects of Aristotles metaphysics are the distinction he makes between the
universal and that which s merely a particular form or substance and the
distinction he makes between the three different substances which make up
reality. Each substance has a fundamental essence. The three substances are:
first, the sensible and the perishable (i.e., animals and plant); second, the sensible
but not perishable (i.e., man because he has a rational soul); third, the neither
sensible nor perishable (i.e., God). Presented in another way, Aristotle
differentiated the types of natural objects: those that are alive and those that are
not. The principle of life, known as the psyche which was later translated as
the soul, is the characteristic activity of living things. The body is alive if it has a
soul. Aristotle described three fundamental activities of life: nutrition,
sensation and thinking. Some living things possess only one (the nutritive
soul). Others possess two (the nutritive and appetitive or sensitive), and others

possess all three types (the nutritive, appetitive and thinking). Plants possess
only the nutritive soul. Their characteristic activities are only the powers of
nutrition, growth and reproduction. Animals possess appetitive powers and
nutrition. Their natural activities are the powers of sensation, desire and motion.
Humans possess the three life activities of nutrition, appetite and thought.
Man comprises greater independence from matter. He is influenced by
nous, a spiritual principle. He cannot only perceive material things but can
grasp immaterial or abstract concepts. Man has the power of abstraction. Man
has a body like the animal. He is endowed with life like vegetables. He is
capable of sensible perception and is subject to sensual drives like the animal, but
unlike lower beings he has a nous or spiritual intelligence and is capable of free
acts. Man is a unitary being, a substance. It is one and the same subject who
digests his food, who feels cold, who thinks and loves. Man is a single unique
substance. He is a composite of matter: the body and the soul. This form is
known as the rational soul. It functions as a bodily form, vegetative soul,
sensible soul and intellectual soul. Man is a consubstantial union of body and
soul. He is not a spirit or an intellect with a body attached.
The Nichomachean ethics is one of two major Aristotelian treatises on
ethical theory. Man for Aristotle is a rational animal. He is not the center of the
universe. The focal point is the cosmos. Man is only a part of the universe.
Aristotle believed that mans actions and endeavors are motivated by the
possession of the good. There are many goods. For Aristotle, the very goal of
human life is happiness. To attain this is moderation or the avoidance of
extremes. As he would put it: Virtue is a habit (moral virtue) or trained
faculty of choice (intellectual virtue), the characteristic of which lies in
moderation or observance of the mean relative to the persons concerned, as
determined by reason; i.e., as the prudent man would determine it. Aristotle
stressed that virtue is a state of character concerned with choice, lying in a
mean; i.e., an intermediary between two extremes. He illustrates that
moderation comes in the middle or mean between two vices, one on the side
of excess, the other on the side of defect. These vices fall short or exceed the
due measure in feeling and in action; it finds and chooses the mean, middling, or
moderate amount. There are two types of virtues:
a. Intellectual virtues such as philosophical wisdom, understanding and
prudence (practical wisdom). This is acquired by teaching and requires
foresight and sophisticated intelligence.
b. Moral virtues are liberality, temperance, courage, justice, friendship
and truthfulness. Goodness of character is formed by habit. One
becomes good by doing good. Repeated acts of justice and self-control
result in a just, self-controlled person who not only performs just and
self-controlled actions, but does so from a fixed character.
The fulcrum of argumentation in Aristotle moral virtue is the doctrine of
the Mean. Moral virtues are desire regulating character traits, which are at a

mean between two extremes. The virtue of courage, for example, lies at the
mean between the excessive extreme of rashness, which is a vice, and the
deficient character trait of cowardice, which is also a vice. Most moral virtues
are falling at the mean between two accompanying vices:
Vice of Deficiency
Virtuous Mean
Vice of Excess
Want of Ambition
Right ambition
Good Temper
Friendly Civility
Ironical Depreciation
Just Resentment
For Aristotle, knowledge comes from the senses. Reality consists of
matter and form. Matter is a continuing process of developing or becoming.
Aristotle placed the biological sciences at the forefront of knowledge. He
explained why something exists. He agreed with Plato about the universe as an
ideal world, differing with him on the relation of form and matter. These were
inseparable. He proposed that the union of matter and form became the principle
by which growth could be explained in terms of motion. Motion and change are
the realization of form in matter. He describes the four causes: 4
1. Material Cause what an object is made from, its matter.
2. Formal Cause how matter is organized or structured.
3. Efficient Cause how something came to be what it is.
4. Final Cause the purpose or characteristic activity of the object.
This teleological framework was further developed by Thomas Aquinas
on the 13th cent. Aquinas synthesized Aristotles science by interpreting it as an
evidence of a divine plan operating in nature. Nature itself has a purpose, and the
harmonious functioning of nature reveals the goodness of Gods plan. Nature
obliges all to perfect their nature by means of actions that promote selfdevelopment and fulfillment. All find their happiness and fulfillment by acting in
accord with not just nature but also reason, grace, and virtues.
The foundation of natural law is the eternally established order of God. It
is in the context of the exitus et reditus principle: All things come from God
and return to God. The natural law is situated in the treatise on law as a means
of returning to God. It is anchored with the notion of law in general as an
ordinance of practical reason and with eternal law, which is a way of saying that
God is the ultimate source of moral value and moral obligation. The proximate

norm of morality is authentic human existence. The natural law is the human
way of knowing the ultimate norm of morality eternal law, or what God
requires and enables. It knows this by reflecting critically on the proximate norm
of morality what it means to live a fully human life in community with others
striving for human wholeness. Natural law is universal, obligatory, recognizable,
and immutable or unchangeable. The eternal law enables us to develop our
unique qualities. It is known by reason and our natural inclinations, and its moral
requirement stems not only from reason and the human will, but also from the
reality of our human nature itself. Our abiding and stable nature is rational, free,
spiritual, and intelligent. Actions are good or bad to the extent they promote
these natural qualities.
Concerning Aristotles politics, man by nature, for Aristotle, is a
political animal.
Man naturally seeks self-preservation by establishing
communities and that the highest form of a community can take is a state: the
state being the natural outcome of mans political experience. Aristotle identified
three types of state: monarchy, aristocracy and democracy. In Aristotles
democracy, politicians or citizens enjoyed a life of leisure. To fulfill his function,
freedom is indispensable from everyday concerns that impede his competence to
reflect and act in the most rational way. Citizens must not lead the life of
mechanics or tradesman for such a life is ignoble and inimical to virtue. Aristotle
commended a diverse economic state of the citizen. Aristotle held that an
exclusively rich citizen would lead to oligarchy. Liberty, for Aristotle, must be
countered by equality before the law and by an intensified intervention by the
state in maters of moral indispensability.

E. Hellenism 5 [De la Torre, 61- 77]

Hellenism is the cultural fusion of Greece and the Orient. It is

contradictory to the Hellenic (pure Greek) culture of the city-states. It is
divided into three periods: the first period lasted from the date of Aristotles death
(322 B.C.) to the conquest of Greece by the Romans (middle of the 1 st century).
The 2nd period expanded from the middle of the 1 st century to 225 B.C.,
considered as the date of the establishment of Neo-Platonism. The third period
lasted from 225 to 529 A.D., the closure of the Athenian academy.

The Early Stoa: Zeno of Citium (336-264), Cleanthes (331-233) and
Chryssippus (281-208)

Zeno of Citium was the founder of Stoicism and a former disciple of the
cynics. Cleanthes of Assos authored a hymn to Zeus as well as sublime beauty.
Chrysippus was known as the best expositors of Stoicism in its early phase. The
early stoics valued the following: first, Aristotelian logic. The characters of their
theory of knowledge are as follows: sensism (influence by cynics analogy with
visual perception), passivity, evidence (perceivable by sight), radical realism
(dogmatism), logos (influenced by Heraclitus), voluntarism and assent (man

commits himself to truth). They fostered two practical norms: first, Age of
reason mans reason operates in full harmony with universal reason or logos (to
elicit clear ideas and judgments); second, Consensus of Mankind manifestation
of truth or of the cosmic reason of all things. Second, Physics being is
identical with material being. They exemplified this to fire or breath (pneuma).
Matter constitutes extension and force (pneuma or breath). Matter configures an
inner force or life (hylozoism). The internal force of the world comprises fire,
pneuma, breath or logos. This force is known as law (nomos), nature,
providence, fate and Zeus. They uphold the immorality of the soul alluding to
the external existence of the universal soul, not he afterlife of the individual soul.
They also practice divination and oracles. They expound on the evolution of the
world in concurrence to: first, seed like principles (rationes seminales) the
original matter comprised in itself the essence of all things in a germinal state;
second, cosmic cycles the universe evolved in a reiterating order of cycles;
third, final conflagration of the world - at the end of each cosmic cycle, a
conflagration is supposed to reduce all things to fire before a new cycle begins.
Third, Ethics the Stoics differentiated mans body (a composite of earth and
water) from his soul (a composite of fire and air). They also differentiated
sensible impulses or passions from rational appetite or the will. All appetites are
from the soul. In the soul lie both the senses and reason (logos). The passions or
impulses correspond to fantasies of the sensible circumstances. The will
corresponds to the universal exigencies of reason. The Stoics first coined the
term natural law alluding to the adjustment of mans appetites to the supreme
law of the world or natural logos. They valued goodness and denounced freedom
and concurred on the law of nature. Virtue is beyond habitual fulfillment of the
law. It is obedience (duty). The virtuous man must calm his passions. If
overwhelmed by his passions known as apatheia, the stoics commended suicide.
Men and animals share in logos than other beings incapable of cognition. Man
participates and is higher than animals. Man is superior to the city of polis.
They valued universal brotherhood for sharing the same human nature. They
preferred a sage from an ordinary man. The sages abstain from the pleasures of
the sensible world and endure.

The Middle Stoa: Panaitius (185-112) and Poseidonius (135-51)

Panaetius of Rhodes influenced Roman thought. Cicero was one of the
disciples of Poseidonius. The stoics in this era were less rigorist and more
eclectic than the early stoics. They differentiated the human soul and body and
expound it in terms of spirit and matter. They held immortality of the personal
soul. They indicate a more definite hierarchy of beings: first, the inorganic world
extension and force; second, plants have a soul, the principle of life; third,
animals, adjunct sensibility and local mobility; fourth, man has logos or spirit;
finally, the supralunar world (imperishable). Man constitutes all the elements
from all the other levels of existence. Man is a small world (microcosm) in
himself and a link between the infralunar and supralunar worlds. The stoics

identified the impact of the emotive spheres on man and abandoned some of the
Puritanism of orthodox stoicism, which denounced all satisfaction.

The Late Stoa: Seneca (3B.C. 65 A.D.), Epictetus (50-130) and Marcus
Aurelius (121-180)
Seneca from Cordova, Spain became a tutor and minister of Nero. He
wrote on topics such as nature, benevolence, and rage describing the moral
depravity of his time. Epictetus6, the most influential of all the Stoic
philosophers was born in Heiropolis (Asia Minor) about the middle of the 1st
cent. A.D. He was sold into slavery as a child and became a member of the
household of one Epaphroditus, an officer in Neros imperial guard. He was
educated and then freed from slavery. He became a teacher of philosophy, first in
Rome and then in Epirus, on the Greek mainland. He died early in the 2 nd cent.
Epictetuss interests in philosophy were limited to the field of ethics. His basic
ethical teachings are summarized in the Encheiridion, or Manual edited from his
lecture notes taken by one of his students. Epictetus Stoic view of man Man
can be enslaved on the outside, externally (have ones body in chains) and be
free internally (be at peace with oneself in aloofness from all pleasure and
pain). He also believed on the following: first, dualism of mind (soul) and body
The inner realm is a realm of freedom. The outer realm is a realm of
determinism (things outside of our mind, including our own bodies, are
determined by factors beyond control). We have control over our thoughts and
our will, but we do not have control over external fortune; second, virtue does not
consist in external performance, but in inner attitude. Not what we do or happen
to us, but how we judge or think about those things are the essence of good or
evil. No external event is good or evil. Only the attitude or will of a man is good
or evil; third, the private is better than the public; the inner self is better than the
outer self; the hidden character (steadfast and detached) is superior to the
manifest deed (changing and subject to circumstances beyond our control);
fourth, the inner self can be free; the outer self (or body) is determined by events.
Enemies can harm the body, but not the soul; fifth, a man can be peaceful and
self-composed even while being tortured or in great illness; the mind can detach
itself or shut off external events; sixth, mans duty is to make the mind master
over desires and needs.
Epictetus advocated Stoicisms philosophy of rigid austerity and selfdenial, which is in contrast to Epicureanisms philosophy of pleasure. Epictetus
moral philosophy is remarkably similar with that of Epicureanism. The nature of
the treatise itself resembles the teachings of Jesus. Men must find happiness in
himself. He must fear the God within him. Historians believed that early
Christian writers were influenced in their beliefs by the Stoic philosophy.
Marcus Aurelius was an Emperor of Rome. He wrote Meditation, a
collection of aphorisms of noble inspiration. He depicted moderation in the
persecution of Christians and in contradictory to the belief of others. The stoics

valued freedom of the will and the immorality of the personal soul. They
considered religion as the kinship of man with the divinity.
Stoicism was more of a guide to right conduct. The Stoic emphasis on
duty and belief that all people are citizens of one vast city dovetailed nicely with
Roman imperialistic policy. Stoicism offered consolation to the less fortunate
since it claimed that: that which has ultimate value, viz., virtue, is equally open to
all; and that such things as wealth, health and honor are neither of no value
whatsoever or merely of instrumental value in the attainment of virtue.

Epicureanism 7
Epicurus (341-270 B.C.) and Lucretius (96-55)

Epicureanism was a reaction to the ethical Puritanism of the stoics. Titus

Lucretius Carus was a Roman author who wrote the poem On Nature (De Rerum
Natura), the available source of the Epicurean doctrine. Epicurus was born in
Samos (Asia Minor). In Athens, he founded a school of philosophy. His
philosophical theory is called atomistic materialism, deduced from
Democritus materialistic determinism. According to this theory, the universe is
composed of matter (in the form of atoms eternal, indivisible, infinite in
number, different in size, shape and weight) in motion in empty space. All
physical bodies, including human beings, are the result of combinations of these
atoms. Because the soul is composed of atoms, death means its dissolution, so
immortality is impossible. Thus, when the body disintegrates, so does the soul.
Epicurus regarded his atomic theory as the key to his moral theory. Death
is not to be feared because it is simply the dissolution of the atomic structure,
which makes up the soul. Thus, one ceases to exist and no pain will be
experienced after death.
Epicureanism advocates hedonism (from the Greek word pleasure),
deduced from the theories of the Cyrenaics. The Cyrenaics considered pleasure
as an affirmative enjoyment from bodily satisfactions (freedom of the body from
pain and of the soul from bewilderment). The Epicureans diverged from the
viewpoint of the Cyrenaics: pleasure was the absence of pain. Pleasure is the
only good in life. Pleasure, per se, is not the summum bonum or the supreme
good; it is pleasure as interpreted by prudence. Man should follow the dictates of
prudence so that his life will be well ordered, and, consequently, wholesome and
natural. Epicurus regarded pleasure as the beginning and end of the blessed life.
Epicurus, a psychological and an ethical hedonist, believed not only that we
ought to act in such a way as to produce the greatest amount of pleasure (ethical
hedonism), but also that we are so constituted psychologically that we inevitably
take pleasure in all our acts (psychological hedonism).
Epicurus conception of the good life, however, was mainly negative. He
stressed the avoidance of pain rather than the pursuit of pleasure and gave us an
analogy of health and disease. Pleasure is like health, which preserves, and
pain, like disease, which destroys.

The Epicureans were in contradictory to political activity for it destroys
the calmness of our lives. They valued human freedom in contradictory to the
stoics. No pleasant life is possible without the joy of freedom. They called logic
canonic as normative for it is an instrument of thought. Knowledge is
sensation, the penetration of the senses by small images known as effluvia
stemming from the objects (Democritus and Empedocles). The force of the
effluvia is compelling. In reconstructing past sensations in our memory, we
doubt. It is preferable to follow our emotive spheres that offer us more pleasure
and less pain. They have no objections to the existence of gods, if no interference
will occur in their lives. The gods can drink, eat and enjoy sensual pleasures. It
is right to worship them but not to ask their favor or fear their vengeance.

Pyrrhonism [De La Torre, 70ff.]

Pyrrhonic Skepticism: Pyrrho (360-270), Aenesidemus (80-43) and
Sextus Empiricus (fl. 170 A.D.)

Skepticism is merely a reaction in contradictory to other schools of

thought. The Father of Greek skepticism was Pyrrho. Pyrrho of Ellis established
a skeptic school at the incipience of the Hellenistic period and was revived by
Aenesidemus of Knossos in Alexandria and by Sextus Empiricus, a Roman
physician curing mental diseases. They uphold that the knowledge that was
acquired through Plato, Aristotle and others was produced in vain because
nobody can ever be certain about ones knowledge of the world. For the skeptics,
knowledge of the world constitutes statements, but those statements must not be
so embedded in the things they describe that it is impossible to be certain of their
truth. So, truth propositions can never be validated. Man must abstain from
judgments and obey the feelings and the laws and customs of their society. They
held contradictory positions towards the dogmatism of the stoics and all
assertions of a possible true knowledge of reality. They maintained that once
man accepts anything as certain, even his own doubt, he could use it as a basis
from which to argue to other truths.

Schools from the Past [De La Torre, 70ff.]

The Academy: Xenocrates (396-314), Carneades (214-129) and Cicero

The main exponent of the old academy established by Plato was

Xenocrates. The academy ceased at the threshold of the Hellenistic period (4 th
century). The school exaggerated Platos inclination in employing numbers to
expound philosophical perspectives. The school valued the natural sciences and
Eastern myth. The main figure of the middle academy (2nd 3rd centuries) was
Carneades. He elucidated on the uncertainty of things. Man can only incur
probable human knowledge. The only thing certain is that all is uncertain.
Cicero became the main proponent of the new academy (1st century B.C.). Their
thoughts converges with Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism and others. It
attempted to overcome skepticism through consensus gentium, the common

belief of the people. Majority rules and concurred as morally certain. Cicero
upholds the existence and providence of God, the freedom of the will and the
immorality of the soul. He fostered duty, friendship and fairness. Cicero
Latinized Greek philosophical terminologies. Emperor Justinian ordered the
closured of the school in 529 A.D.

The Peripatum of Lyceum

Theophrastus (372-287)
Theophrastus was Aristotles successor as director of he Lyceum. He
collected facts and texts of Greek philosophers. His inclination: botany, politics,
and history of religions.

Neo-Pythagoreanism [De La Torre, 71ff.]

Neo-Poythagoreanism, not a school, influenced the academy on NeoPlatonism and on Christian mystics: mythical, religious doctrines, and mysticism.
They also practiced magic, ascesis and flight from the world. They held that an
abyss between God (the Other), and the world, between spirit and flesh, between
purity and impurity. The soul of man yearns for God. An intermediary is
necessary to raise man to Gods level. God remains transcendent. God allows
man to participate in his life. Mans elevation is a gratuitous gift from God. Man
retains his identity: man is elevated to the level of God without ceasing to be

Neo-Platonism [De La Torre, 72ff.]

Philo (25 B.C. 40 A.D.)

Philo was a Jew born in Alexandria. He attempted to harmonize Jewish

religion and Greek philosophy. He upholds the following: first, syncretism
truth is located to the Sacred Scriptures and Greek philosophy. For the latter was
influenced by the holy writings of the Jews. He opposed modifying the theories
or employing allegorical interpretations of the sacred text; second, God, matter
and creation We can know what God is not better than what God is. God
created the world out of eternal matter, not out of nothing. Matter is the evil
principle or chaos; third, potencies: logos A series of intermediaries between
God and mater known as potencies. The supreme potency is logos
(concept/word/idea). As idea, it faces God; it is the intellection of God and of all
things in God. As word, it faces the sensible world; it is the medium in
communicating with God. Thus logos alludes to the archetypes of the ideal
world (immaterial) and to the visible things (images and imitations of the ideas);
fourth, man a compound of soul and body. The body is the tomb of the soul
demanding purification from bodily desires. Man has spirit (pneuma or breath).
The spirit is a power coming from God to free man from the slavery of the flesh.
Man gains this freedom through ecstasy, which cannot be incurred without he
spirit received from God.

The Neo-Platonic Movement: Saccas (170-241), Plotinus (205-270 A.D.)

[De La Torre, 73-77]

Ammonius Saccas established the 1 st Neo-Platonic school in Alexandria.
With the ending of the Hellenistic era, men shifted their attention to God and
religion. Plotinus was one of the leading neo-platonic philosophers of the Roman
Empire. He was born in Egypt and studied philosophy at Alexandria. He was
influenced by the works of Aristotle and Plato. He joined the emperor Gordians
campaign against the Parthians in 243 A.D. When the emperor was assassinated,
he escaped to Antioch. He went to Rome and opened an academy. He was
highly honored by emperor Gallienus (253-268 A.D.). He led a life of ascetism
and became spiritual adviser for a number of people. He died of leprosy in 270.
Plotinus was a pantheist. He held that the universe is split into two distinct
spheres: the suprasensible or God and the sensible matter. He envisaged the
following: first, God as an impersonal Unity infinite, eternal, with no spatial
location, and without thought, knowledge or movement. He believed in the
source of all creation called by Him, the One and the Good; second, Descent
from God: Emanation - Union with the One was the essential goal of all
persons, a unification that was attainable through meditation and contemplation
(the attainment of spiritual union). Plotinus was unaware of the necessity of
divine grace, relying instead upon the unaided labors of the human soul.
Neo-Platonist taught a triadic scheme of reality. At the summit is the
One, the absolutely simple goodness, ineffable, indescribable, the unknowable
God, yet apprehended by the soul as a presence transcending all knowing. In the
great chain or continuum of being identified as the structure of thing, the higher
level is cause of whatever is immediately lower. Plotinus spoke of evolution or
development of the hierarchy of being as emanation, a strongly physical
image. In the process of emanation, there is gradual loss, for every effect is
slightly inferior to its cause. Nevertheless the imperfection inherent in its
inferiority can be overcome as it returns towards its cause and the cause itself is
always undiminished by its timeless giving of existence to the inferior effect.
Third, intermediaries God cannot mix with matter. Plotinus multiplied
the intermediaries. They recede from God and mix with matter. Fourth, the One
In him, there is no difference between the knower and the known, the willing
subject and the object willed, the agent and the object acted upon. He is
incapable of distinguishing himself from himself.
He is beyond selfst
consciousness. Fifth, the Nous (the mind) the 1 intermediary. The knower
and the known are distinct. Nous conceives only one idea: all things are
represented individually. Man conceives / knows through different ideas. The
Nous, is a Demiurge and the receptacle and place where the Platonic ideas
subsist. Sixth, the Soul of the world links the suprasensible from the sensible
sphere. The soul of man is a species within the soul of the world. It constitutes
mind or as participation in the world soul. It existed before its union with the
body. It became mixed as the consequence of the fall (Neo-Pytagorean). The
human soul is not eternal, but immortal. Individuality remains after immersion in
the oneness of all things after death. Seventh, matter as informed by the soul,

matter is intelligible and good. As uninformed, matter is pure privation
(nonbeing). Finally, Ascent to God The soul of the world and the entire
sensible world ascend to God through an intermediary: the soul of man. The soul
of man returns to God through: first, purification (catharsis) through exercise of
cardinal virtues; second, intelligence; third, ecstasy (the soul becomes one with
God. There is no self-consciousness, no separation between the soul, which
knows, and God who is known. The ecstatic union will be complete in the next
life after the liberation of the soul from the body).
In short, at the summit is the One, the absolutely simple goodness. From
him proceeds the mind (nous), a unity which comprehends the system of forms.
And from the mind, the world soul which embodies these forms in matter.
Plotinus employs the term soul to allude both to the world soul and individual
souls. A soul is closely related to the body it inhabits but it is superior to the
body. It is responsible for sensation, perception and knowledge. The soul is the
pilot of the body the body that obeys the soul gains harmony with the higher
elements of reality and approaches a state of union with reality as a whole. A
soul dominated by the body loses its unity as it becomes dispersed among the
individual physical things, which command its attention. The power and nature
of soul encompasses heaven and guides it in accord to his will. Soul enlivens all
things. It is present everywhere. The sun is also a god, because ensouled, and the
other stars, and if we ourselves partake of the Divine, this is the cause. Every
participant partakes of the power of Being in its entirety, while Being is
unchanged and undivided. Soul in its unity is not extended but is entirely present
and omnipresent and undivided throughout the universe. Sense perception
belongs to the sleeping soul, the part of the soul immersed in body; and the true
awakening is a rising up, not with the body, but from the body. Corporeality is
contrary to soul. If life and soul survived death, then there will still be good. The
One is also the good. Human virtue and its pursuit consist in general in the
contemplation of and participation in the higher levels of reality (Collinson, 27).

Other Neo-Platonic Schools [De la Torre, 76-77]

Porphyry (233-304), Proclus (411-485) and Iamblicus (270-330)
Porphyry was born in Tyre and edited the works of Plotinus. Porphyry
popularized Porphyrys tree, a scheme of genuses, species and difference that
make up the concept of man, beginning by the individual subject to the supreme
notion of being at the top. He accentuated ethical and ascetical aspects of the
ascent to God more than the ecstatic or mystical elements, and highlighted a
number of virtues essential for the purification of the soul: abstinence from flesh
meat, evading theatrical performances, celibacy, etc. He interpreted the myths of
paganism as allegories of philosophical truths and alluded contradictions in the
Bible. Proclus was the main exponent of a Neo-Platonic School in Athens.
Proclus multiplied the intermediaries between God and the world, the One and
the Many. He employed dialectical process: first, the principle in itself; second,
the evolution toward plurality; finally, the return to the beginning. This process

overshadowed the thesis-antithesis-synthesis reasoning of German idealism (cf.
Hegel). Iamblicus, an anti-Christian disciple of Porphyry, was the main
proponent of the Neo-Platonic schools in Pergamon and Syria.

F. The Theo-centric Period 8

In this period, philosophy was made the handmaid of theology. It is

characterized by a transition in philosophizing to the contemplation of God. It
also focused on the natural law tradition.

Patristic Philosophy
Apologists: Justin (105-165) and Tertullian (160-230)
Justin Martyr [Grillmeier, 89-94, McBrien 284-285, 466, Nery,
Christology, ch. 1]
Justin Martyr was born in Samaria to a pagan family. He studied
paganism and was converted to Christianity at the age of thirty. He taught at
Ephesus in 135 and debated with Trypho the Jew. He moved to Rome. Tatian
was one of his students there. He defended the faith by utilizing pagan teachings
to offer reasoned arguments for the moral and intellectual superiority of
Christianity. He and a number of followers were arrested, ordered to make
sacrifices, and, upon their refusal, were scourged and beheaded. He was the
greatest of the early apologists.
Justin was influenced by Plato, Aristotle, Pytagoreanism and the Stoics
before his conversion. He concurred on the viewpoint of the Stoics on morality
and declined Epicureans hedonism. He diverged from the Stoic on his claim of
human freedom and responsibility. Despite Platonic philosophical background,
Justin upholds that we worship and adore the Father, the Son, and the prophetic
Spirit, and that our faith is fixed on Jesus Christ as the only proper Son who has
been begotten by God, being His Word and first begotten. The generation of the
Son is conditioned by, and is a product of, the Fathers will. Justin explicitly held
that there is no such split between the Father and the Son.
In the Dialogue with Trypho, he depicts that the worshipping of Christ is
not against monotheism (48-108). Justin explored in Genesis, which proclaimed
beforehand Christ and his suffering. His exegesis is centered on the belief in
Christ as a hermeneutical principle in his elucidation of the Old Testament.
Grillmeier cited Adolf von Harnacks synthesis of Justins Christology in the
classical formula: Christ is the Logos and the Nomos. Justin anchored these
concepts into a theology of history. Christ is called Logos and Nomos as
mediator of divine revelation. This is clear on his teachings on creation,
incarnation and eschatology.
Central to Justins argumentation is the context of the word or logos. He
depicts the linkage between the Greek Philosophers construal of truth and our
common human quest for the fullness of life and salvation. He maintained that
the Christ who has appeared for us depicts the logos principle in its entirety, i.e.,
both body and logos and soul (Second Apology, 10, 13). Only in him is the Word

fully present. Such specific articulation, however, or embodiment of the logos is
accessible in principle to all and for all, just as the logos comprising whatever
truth is to be located apart from the specificity of the Christ-event and of
Christian faith. The logos came down in lowliness and humiliation, as the
prophets had taught, but he will judge the world and establish the Fathers
kingdom. As the external dynamis of God, the logos can himself beget his earthly
existence from the virgin (Apol. 1,33ff.). Justin accentuated on the historical data
of the word made flesh (Apol.1, 13,3:35,9). This incarnation is the last link in a
chain of events wherein the logos had earlier appeared on earth to disclose he
will of the father. The logos held this function of being mediator of revelation
until the end of time in the second parousia.
Logos, for Justin, meant reason (note: Stoic teaching). The logos is the
indwelling, active, formative principle of the cosmos the divine power which
orders and maintains the world-system. This divine reason was not the first or
ultimate deity. It was derivative, begotten. Logos was the divine reason
uttered as the divine word for the sake of forming and governing the world. It
was perfectly expressive of Gods being and purposes. Since it is derivative,
inferior to the one God.
Logos was the mediator between God and his creatures. The
indescribable, incomprehensible Creator touches the world only through his
derivative self-expression. It is the logos who forms the universe, who appears
to Abraham and Moses, and who confers knowledge of God on all humanity by
giving people a share in Gods rational nature. It becomes understandable that
logos, in the person of Jesus, become incarnate to overcome the forces of the
demonic unreason and to open the way to a new life for humanity. This
viewpoint was declined by the Monarchians.
Christ becomes the Nomos of the human race (Isa 2.3f.). By him order is
brought into a world beset with compulsions. The advent of this logos-Nomos in
the flesh trampled downs the influences which the demons had exerted in history
through the Nomoi of the peoples. Believing in the word, the people have
withdrawn from the demons and now follow only the unbegotten God through
his Son (Apol I, 14,1). A new Nomos of the world has been created in
Christianity through the Logos as the power of God. The new ordering of the
word is centered on Christ. Justins conception of history negated the Stoic
teaching of world periods and the Platonic transmigration of souls (Apol II,7,3).
For the Stoics, the Logos, as immanent fire, is the principle of all reason (ratio).
Reason in the individual man is merely an aspect of it. By virtue of the activity
of the Logos, all men are capable of forming certain moral and religious

Tertullian [Grillmeier, 117-131, McBrien, 286, Kasper 234, Keretzsky,

194-196, Nery, Christology, ch. 1]
Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullian (c. 160-222) was born in Carthage,
North Africa, was raised as a pagan. He studied Law, Latin and Greek Literature.

He was an adherent to Stoicism. In 195-196, he was attracted by the
steadfastness of the Christian martyrs. He was ordained a presbyter around 200.
By 207, he had become disillusioned with the African Church. He turned to the
Montanists movement. For Tertullian, whatever was good in pagan philosophy
was borrowed from the Old Testament and often distorted: Socrates was guided
by the demon. Plato was incapable to discover the creator and father of the
universe. After discovering that the Montanists were not at all rigorist, he left the
heretical sect and founded his own group known as the Tertullianists. He
defended the Churchs tradition of the incarnation of Christ in contradictory to
pagan polytheism and Monarchianism. He also fought the forces of Marcion and
Valentinus. He became the Father of Latin Theology.
Tertullianss christological terminology is conceivable in contradiction to
the Monarchian heresy. Keretzsky noted that in Tertullians account the
Monarchians denounced the Trinity in God himself. God in himself is the Father,
whereas the son is only the human being united to God. The Monarchians
regarded Christ a composite being: insofar as he is God, he is identical with the
Father; insofar as he is flesh or man, he is Son. Thus, in Jesus Christ, Christ is
the name for God the Father, Jesus for the man, who is called Son. The paradox
on the notion of abasement became acute in Tertullians On the Flesh of Christ:
The Son of God was crucified: just because it is something shameful, I am not
ashamed. And the Son of God died: it is completely credible, because it is
absurd. He was also buried and rose again: it is certain because it is impossible.
Thus the sum total of both substances displayed man and God: the one born, the
other not born; the one corporeal, the other spiritual; the one weak, the other
powerful and strong; the one dying, the other living. It exhibited the formula: I
believe because it is absurd [Kasper, 179].
In the West, in his Against Praxeas (n. 27), Tertullian upholds that Jesus,
who is truly God and truly human, is simultaneously a single subject: Jesus is
one person, God and man. There is a real trinity of persons (personae) in God.
He focused on the context of the singleness of God (an idea of monarchia).
Tertullian evaded the opposite error of polytheism by expounding that there is
only one substance (substantia) in the Father, the Son and the Spirit. Keretzsky
further argued that the Father has the fullness of divine substance, the Son is an
effluence (derivatio) of this substance; both the Son and the Spirit have a share
(portio) in it. Keretzsky concluded that there is some gradation or subordination
between Father, Son and Spirit, yet the Son and the spirit are not disengaging
from the unity of one divine reality.
For Grillmeier, this historical disclosure of this God started in Judaism
and acknowledged by Christians. The advent of the Son of God was also
prophesied. Tertullian attempted to answer how this Son of God does not destroy
the singleness of God and how he could become man. Grillmeier exemplified
Tertullians vision as follows: Tertullian elucidated the most profound mystery of
Christianity articulated in the context of monarchia: that God has a Son. This

Son exercises the whole power of the one God in the world. Tertullian visualizes
the monarchia within the framework of the economic Trinity. God the Father
remains ruler and he retains the sovereignty. But the administration of the rule is
handed over to the Son. The monarchia constitute the inner unity in substance
of Father, Son (and Spirit). By the substance of God, Father, Son, and Spirit are
in the one total reality of God. The Son proceeds from this one substantia as it is
in the Father and receives his own reality, without being disengaged. Son and
Spirit are differentiated through the order of their origin. The son is not a part of
the divine substance, but has a share in it. The Father possesses the plenitude
substance, the Son is a part and as such a share in this fullness. The divine
substance is essentially one. Thus, for Tertullian the monarchia of God is
preserved because the son exercises only the one rule of the Father and gives it
back to the Father at he end of this world period. The will of God towards
salvation is an articulation of the unity of God, the guarantee of the monarchia.
It is not only the norm of the Sons work but also the ground of the existence of
the Son and the Spirit. Tertullians construal of the redemptive relevance of the
incarnation is not balanced. The fulcrum of his argumentation is the cross as the
price of our salvation. Jesus came into this world, taking on our humanity, for a
sole purpose: to suffer the death of the cross.
McBrien alluded to Tertullian attempting to offer a solution to the
problem by using analogies, n the one pole, biological, on the other pole,
anthropological. First, the Father and the Son are parts of the same organism, but
the organism itself is undivided and its power is one. Second, the Father and the
Son, although different from each other, are in complete harmony of mind and
will. It entails that the analogy cannot be a solution to the problem. Both are at
the sphere of imagination, while the problem is at the sphere of thought (Cf.
Apology and his Against Praxeas).
In his book Modalist Praxeas, for whom the Son is only a manifestation
of the Father (so, the Father suffered in the Son). Kasper alluded to Tertullian
elucidating not only the difference between Father and Son, but the difference
and unity of God and man in Christ. It follows that he supplemented the
traditional pair terms spiritus-caro (pneuma sarx) alluding to the two status and
the two substantiae, which are not combined but are conjoined in the one person
of the God-man Jesus Christ. Against Valentinus, Tertullian depicted the notion
person. A person is a being who speaks and acts. God the Father and the Son
speak one with the other. The logos is substance and person. Person is only
realized in a substance and is a special reality in the substance. The Godhead and
manhood may not be divided between Father and Son. The Son is not the flesh,
but unites both realities, Godhead and manhood, in himself without confusion.
The Logos (Sermo) already has a peculiar reality, a status, and a persona in God.
The notion of exchange is eclipse in Tertullian. Christology becomes a disengage
and a special problem: the drama of the personal engagement to salvation
threatens to harden into an abstract structure of natures. Tertullian reinforced the

formal constitution of the God-man. It does not mirror the saving event. Thus, it
is perilous in the how of the incarnation with the eclipse of its saving

Polemists: Pastor of Hermas

The Polemist service o philosophy was in the form of collections and
summaries of philosophical doctrine of the past [De La Torre, 80 ff.].

The Catechetical Schools: Clement of Alexandria (150-219) and Origen

Clement accentuated on the necessity of philosophy to explicate
Christian revelation. Blind faith is less valuable than faith enlightened by reason.
Philosophy was a providential gift of God to the Greek people that disposed them
favorably for the message of Christ.

Origen [Grillmeier, 138-149, McBrien, 286, Kasper, 235, Nery,

Christology, ch. 1]
Origenes Adamantius (185-254) studied under Clement of Alexandria.
He taught philosophy, Scripture and Theology. He also studied pagan philosophy
from Ammonius Saccas, founder of the School of Neoplatonsm. In 212, he was
invited by local bishops to preach in their churches. Origen accepted their
request. Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria became furious. Origen was ordained
a priest by the bishops of Jerusalem and Caesarea. Demetrius became more
furious and held two synods. Origen was exiled and commanded not to exercise
his priestly duties. In 231, he opened another school in Caesarea. In 250, he was
imprisoned, tortured, and shattered physically. He died after three years.
In the East, Origen (d. 254) attempted to resolve the problem at an
elevated plane. Origen upholds the doctrine of apokatastasis. It is a belief
wherein every human being will eventually be saved. He advanced his
Christology and succeeded in clarifying its terms. On one pole, it succeeded in
upholding the inherent dynamism of the Christ-event. His view diverged with
Tertullian. Origen integrates his Christology into an amplified pattern of descent
and ascent in which even Irenaeus notion of exchange finds its place. Using
contemporary Platonist philosophy, he maintained that there is only one God, but
there is also the logos which emanates from the One and participates in the One
as the image of divine Goodness. The Father is the God (only of the Father does
Origen employ the definite article). The logos is not the God; the logos is simply
God, and is so by emanation and participation in the platonic aspect. The Logos
is a God of the 2nd order. The Logos is a diminished deity, since in the
Platonist scheme emanation involves some measure of degradation of being. The
logos is the imago of the Father, Jesus human body is the imago of the logos.
Thus the God-man Jesus Christ (an articulation 1 st located in Origen) opens up to
us a mode of ascent to the vision of God, but in a mode wherein Jesus humanity
was ignored again. Mediation happened through Jesus human soul, which is
united with the logos in total obedience, commitment and love. Thus, he also

noted the unity of body and soul in man and simultaneously ascribing a
corporeality to the soul.
God begets his wisdom or logos eternally that never was a time when
the logos did not exist. This divine wisdom is the complete articulation of Gods
being. Wisdom is not God himself but his image, a second God, subordinate to
the ultimate Father. The logos is the mediator between God and the created order
and in the act of creation itself. Through his agency, God brings into being an
immaterial cosmos of rational spirits, intelligences whose whole being is focused
on the loving contemplation of God through his wisdom. Since these
intelligences are finite and changeable and possessed of freedom, they can do fall
away from God, away from unity into dispersion, away from eternity into time.
God creates for them an order physical universe, a kind of second best cosmos.
This visible world, set in harmonious order by Gods wisdom, then becomes the
scene of their redemption their slow education back to that knowledge of God in
which alone their being is fulfilled. In order that this may occur, wisdom the
mediator must be mediated to the fallen spirits and this is the point of
The Logos has a twofold role: it is the source of creaturely ratio, but also
of supernatural sapientia. The pneuma inserts itself between these two functions.
It offers a new substratum, which makes it possible to receive the wisdom of
Christ. The spirit appears as materia spiritualis, which is informed by the
Logos-wisdom. To these functions of the Logos and the Spirit in the economy
of salvation correspond their distinct constitutions within the Trinity. The Logos,
which proceeds from the will of the Father, needs the anointing of the Spirit to be
constituted. The word uttered by the Father still does not constitute a
numerically distinct existence from the Father by virtue of being uttered. But the
Spirit also needs the Logos. It pre-exists primarily as material spiritualis. To
gain full existence the pneuma necessitates to be informed by the logos. The
Holy Spirit is neither unbegotten like the Father, nor begotten as is the Son, nor is
it created like other creatures. It issues from the Father and becomes a subsisting
hypostasis by means of the Logos. Thus it belongs on the side of God, but is in
third place after the Father and the Son.
For Grillmeier, Origen is not interested in the ontological constitution of
Christ. He sees Christ above all as mediator of the mystical union of the soul
with the hidden God, as mediator between church and God, and all this from the
standpoint of the union in knowledge and in love. Logos, soul of Christ, the
humanity of the Lord, are visualized in the service of that movement in which
God goes out from himself and returns to himself. The process of mediation is
fulfilled through the unification of the logos with the one rational Spirit, which
did not fall away from God. This Contemplative love is the first stage. The soul
of Jesus is assimilated to the divine wisdom, the logos and thus reveals and
conveys wisdom. In the second stage, when this soul, which is united to the
logos, becomes embodied thru a human birth, e.g., it can b e transfigured and

transparent to the glory of God. Origen depicted the Father-Son contrast.
Origen regarded the Father by many names and considered the nature of the
Father inconceivable and transcendent. In him the transcendent properties of the
Father take form. The Father is described as the Father of truth, wisdom, and the
logos. It entails incomprehension on the real transcendent properties of the
Father. In the Son, there is an objective multiplicity. He bears several names in
the scriptures. The Son is the revelation of the Father and his mediator towards
the world. From his begetting onwards he exists for mankind. In him the
transcendent properties of the Father take form, as an articulation of an objective,
inexpressible reality. Through participation Christians can articulate the
perfections of Christ. By means of the knowledge of the perfections of Christ
they themselves ascend to the Father. The different titles such as the designations
of Christ do not dissolve the unity of Christ. Origen depicted the relationship
between the Godhead and the manhood of Christ and of the place of the soul of
Christ into his doctrine of the mystical ascent of the soul. The Logos is the
image of God (as discussed above), but the soul of Christ is the image of the
Logos. The Logos stands as a personal name for the bridegroom of the soul.
The way to the Logos-God is through the Logos-incarnatus. For Origen, the
incarnation means the real arrival of the Logos. Christ manhood is the starting
point of the ascent. For Origen even Christ in his ascension to heaven did not
leave behind his manhood. The manhood of Christ merely becomes more and
more transparent for the Godhead. In the Logos, all the secrets of God are
contained. He reveals the Father. Origen also alluded to the distinction between
the titles Christ and King. The title king is grounded in the status of the
firstborn of all creation, that is, in his divine nature (cf. Col 1.15). Origen
interpreted this as: to the manhood of Christ, or the assumed man, he assigns
the name Son of the King which is introduced in Ps 44.8. Origen warned that
the unity of Christ must not be surrendered in this differentiation. In Christ there
is a twofold rule, that of the Son of God and that of the man Christ. Unity in
Christ is gained through the mediacy of the soul of Christ between sarx and the
logos. This soul has been united from eternity with the divine logos in
apprehension and love of God. It has already existed from eternity, before the
body was created. The relationship between the logos and the soul are directly
conjoined through direct vision in love. The soul is related as spirit to spirit. By
complete union with the logos the soul of Christ becomes the living view of God
and the perfect love of God. The newly discovered Dialektos is of great
relevance for Origens christological anthropology. He distinguishes in Christ
body, soul, spirit and pneuma.
Origen believed in the preexistence of the human soul before its infusion
into the body. He negated the notion of eternal punishment. He declined the
eternity of hell as in opposition to the restoration of all things in God (NeoPythagorean and Neo-Platonic)


The Philosophy of St. Augustine of Hippo (354

St. Augustine is probably the greatest of all the Christian philosophers
and theologians. Born near Carthage in North Africa of a pagan father and a
Christian mother, he was attracted as a youth first to the Manichaean religion, a
variation of the Zoroastrianism that had spread through the Roman Empire, and
later to the mysticism of the neo-Platonists, whose influence is discernible
throughout his writings. After being educated both in Carthage and Rome he
took a position in Milan as a professor of rhetoric. There he came under the
influence of St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, who succeeded in leading him into
the Christian fold. After his conversion, Augustine devoted the remainder of his
life to the strengthening of the church, especially in North Africa. In 395 he was
appointed bishop of Hippo (near Carthage), a post he retained until his death. In
spite of his heavy clerical duties he wrote voluminously, authoring 113 books,
218 letters, and some 500 sermons, particularly in philosophy and theology. His
literary output covers the entire sphere of human thought and ranges from the
psychological complexity of the confessions, to the political insights of the City
of God, to the stridently polemical.
He was especially concerned with the combating of the three great
a) Pelagianism heresy originating in the 5th Cent. It derived its name
from the British Monk Pelagius (355-425). Pelagianism is a series of
heretical propositions concerning grace, ultimately negating both the
supernatural order and the necessity of grace for salvation. Among its
other tenets were: Adam still would have died even if he had not sinned;
the fall of Adam injured only Adam and not the entire human race; a
new-born child is in the same state as Adam prior to the fall; the human
race will not die as a result of Adams sin, but it will not rise on the last
day because of Christs redemption; the law of the Jews (or Israel) will
permit individuals to reach heaven in the same day as the Gospel. He
believed that Augustines positions of grace being dependent upon the
divine will was incorrect and gave humanity no personal reason to avoid
sin. Instead, he argued that humans were responsible for their own
actions. Augustine disagreed with Pelagiuss concept of an individuals
essentially good moral nature and his understanding of the person as a
free and autonomous individual who can achieve sanctity through
unaided human effort.
b) Donatism Schismatic sect that originated in North Africa during the
early 4th cent. The Donatists derived their name from Donatus, the 2 nd
schismatic bishop of Carthage. The members of the Donatist sect
originated out of the rigorists within the African Christian community,
who were opposed to the so-called traitors, those Christians who had

handed over the Scriptures to Roman officials during the terrible
persecutions under Emperor Diocletian. Their focus became centered on
Caecilian, bishop of Carthage, who was consecrated in 311 by Felix of
Aptunga. The rigorists refused to accept Caecilian on the grounds that
Felix had been a traitor, thereby making him no longer able to administer
the sacraments validly. For Augustine, the true minister of the
sacraments is Christ and thus the unworthiness of any other minister does
not in any way affect the efficacy of a sacrament.
c) Manichaeism religious sect founded by a Persian named Mani or
Manes in the 3rd cent. Augustine was a member for 9 years. The
followers of Mani believed that there was an eternal struggle between
good and evil, between darkness and light. When darkness intruded
upon the realm of the light, there occurred an intermingling of the mortal
with the divine, a mixture trapped in matter. The light was found in the
brain. Humanity was to practice strict asceticism in order to begin the
process of releasing the trapped light. Those who became hearers hoped
to achieve rebirth as the elect, those blessed few who had overcome the
need for the transmigration of the soul. Jesus, they felt, was the Son of
God, but he had come to earth to save his own soul because of Adam.
Jesus, Buddha, and other holy figures were sent to help humanity in
attaining spiritual freedom.
Augustines Contributions10
1. Augustine is considered as the greatest and foremost of the Fathers:
a. Augustines teaching marks a distinct epoch in the history of
Christian thought and opens a new phase in the unfolding of the
b. Down the centuries Popes praised his wisdom and depended on his
teachings. As a humble and unobtrusive teacher, he does not feel
superior to others. He considered truth as a good common to all. He
constraints himself to a simple statement of his own excruciating
2. Augustine is a world historical figure whose legacy is a fundamental
feature of both ancient and modern civilization.
a. He gathers and condenses on his writings the intellectual treasures of
the ancient world and transmits them to the new generations
anchoring between ancient heritage and modern civilization.
b. He analyzes, classifies, combines and synthesized the vast
contributions of the primitive world/primitive Christianity to nurture
the growth and structure of the movements of his own age
consciousness by leaving his own stamp upon them.
3. Inspirer of religious thought.
a. With Augustine the center of dogmatic and theological development
shifted, moving from the East to the West. The practical, realistic

spirit of the Latin race supplants the speculative idealistic spirits of
the East and Greece.
b. Augustine was the inspiration of Scholastics and Mysticism: From
Gregory the Great to the Fathers of Trent, his theological authority,
unquestionably the highest, dominates all thinkers.
representation of scholasticism Anselm, Peter Lombard, Thomas
Aquinas, and the representatives of mysticism Bernard, Hugh of St.
Victor, and Tauler both appealed to his authority, nourished
themselves upon his writings and were penetrated with his spirit.
c. Modern trends of thought depended on him for truth and profound
religious sentiment.
d. Councils have drawn extensively on the teaching of Augustine.
e. The history of Augustinianism is coextensive with the history of
Western thought in its philosophy, spirituality and its political
f. Great thinkers turned extensively to Augustine as the highest
possible authority in teaching. Even Thomas Aquinas is a disciple of
Augustine in the field of theology, philosophy, spirituality and
political thought.
g. The presence of Augustinian motifs and the influence of Augustinian
thought are remarkable in idealism, existentialism and spiritualism.
It is more evident in spirituality from the Devotio Moderna
movement to St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis de Sales, etc.
h. The emphatic and constant appeal to his authority by thinkers exhibit
the presence and perennial fruitfulness of his teaching.
i. Augustine was a philosopher, theologian, a master of spiritual life,
mystic, pastor, poet and a controversialist. He has the depth of
metaphysical intuition, rich abundance of theological proofs,
synthetic power and energy, psychological depth in spiritual ascents,
and a wealth of imagination, sensibility and mystical fervor.
j. As a great theologian of the Trinity, of redemption, of Christ, and of
history, he is the developer of scholarly theological method, who
continues an ardent desire for understanding with a firm adherence to
the authority of the faith, a keen sense of mastery which constant
subordination of knowledge to love. He has profound religious
experience that teaches us to pray, communicates a passionate love,
and speaks words of hope.
k. Augustines relevance is his ecumenical indispensability. His
synthesis acknowledges the doctrinal points that unite all Christians.
1) Link between ancient and modern civilization.
2) Augustine leads in the unfolding of dogmas
a) The entire Christian dogma is indebted to Augustine for new
paradigms, which better, justify and explicate revelation, for new

perspectives of the greater clarity and precision such as the fall, the
atonement, grace and predestination.
b) He was the first person in the consciousness of the Church to
advance anthropological and soteriological doctrines with clarity and
c) The Augustine of Christian philosophy: of the interior and eternal
summons us to the interior life and offers a ground for
transcendence; of the person as a deep abyss and image of God,
who receives from God gifts of being, knowledge, and love that can
be preserved only in God; of human beings as weak sinners who
long for freedom and salvation that Christ alone can give them; of
the relationship between time and eternity, reason and faith, nature
and grace, etc.
d) He is not only the Doctor of Grace; he is also the Doctor of the
Church. He is the Doctor of the Good and the Doctor of Charity.
e) Theology is indebted to him for a host of concise formula.
f) His extensive system on doctrines such as grace, original sin, and the
fall would serve as the impetus for a host of theologians and
g) He is considered a pivotal figure in the history of Christian thought
chiefly for his immense role in reconciling Platonism with
h) His philosophical outlook is thus essentially Platonic. He advances
the notion of eternal truths that correspond to Platos subsistent ideas,
but for Augustine, since truths subsist in the intellect; therefore,
eternal truths must subsist in the intellect of God. The pursuit of
these truths is the ultimate pursuit of the person. The central
motivation, though, is not reason, but love, which forms the central
basis of life. The object of desire is the blessed life of the Christian
in finding God.
Philosophy to Augustine is insufficient in itself in discovering this blessed
life. It does offer to the Christian a means to improve the understanding of the
faith and hence is a positive asset in the rational approach to the love of God. In
his book The Confession11 Augustine considers man as the great mystery. The
place of rationalism is clear in the famous maxim Credo ut intelligam (I believe
in order to understand), an expression of the preeminence given by Augustine to
faith over reason.
St. Augustine is directly concerned with ethical questions. It is apparent
that his religious beliefs shaped his thought. First, he inquired in the fashion of
Aristotle, concerning the chief or highest good of human life, which we
ordinarily call happiness. He rejects the body as the basis of this good, arguing
instead that it must be an attribute of the soul. Then, through a series of steps, he

reaches the conclusion that this good is virtue, which the soul attains through
seeking and following God.
St. Augustine also confronts a question with which Christian philosophers
have struggled ever since he raised it. If God created the universe and everything
in it and God is both omnipotent and perfect, why does evil exist? Many answers
have been given to this question that of St. Augustine is one of the most
3 Ideas Inculcated to Augustine (childhood)
1. Existence of a provident God as some Great being not evident to senses.
2. Christ the Savior
3. Idea of eternal life
Augustines early education
1. Traditional education: classical education: pagan and atheistic humanism
2. Paideia educational process of molding children to the humanistic ideal
and dynamism of the ancient paganism and the intellectual vehicle of the
persecuting Roman Empire.
3. Primary education in Tagaste, Secondary education in Madaura under a
Grammaticus, then under a Rhetor in Carthage. He studied Greek, Latin
prose, poetry, and oratory. He also studied Latin classics and philosophy.
Intellectual Influence upon Augustine
Elements contributed to Augustines intellectual, moral, spiritual, and
psychological growth: Manichaeism (373-383), Skepticism, Stoicism,
Neoplatonism, Ambrose and Simplicianus.
Manichaeism strange medley of dualism and materialism, ascetism and
licentiousness, theosophy and rationalism, free thought and superstition.
Factors: Attraction to Manichaeism
1. Promises of liberal philosophy
2. Scripture difficulties
3. High moral pretensions
4. Dualistic principles of good and evil
5. Rational application of scientific nature in a materialist paradigm
(contradiction of light and darkness)
Stages of Skepticism (Augustine experienced skepticism in 3 stages:)
1. Academic philosophy and skepticism
2. Neo-Platonic Influences
3. Stage of anguish and struggle
Distaste: Manichaeism
1. Petrifying emptiness of Manichean philosophy
2. Neo-Platonic influences
3. Inferiority in polemics by falsifying the Scriptures
4. No science at all
Neo-Platonic Influences12

Neoplatonic philosophers viewpoints were religious, sharply mystical,
with theurgic orientation, and other-worldly.
Exhortation to interiority: The soul must detach itself from all outward
things and turn completely inward.
The theme of principle of participation: All things come from God and
are at once a participation in him and an imitation of him. Man,
therefore, not only exist but is capable of understanding and loving. God
is present as creator, enlightener, and bestower of happiness.
a) Platonic Theories commended for use in dogma
1. Concept of Philosophy
a. The very notion of philosophy as a love of wisdom.
b. The object of philosophy, which is the greatest thing that there is in
the world: God and the soul, our origin and nature. The soul is not
made up of matter and form. Man is a rational substance made up of
soul and body. The body is good in itself and he takes pleasure in
describing its beauty. The soul, which is united to the body, is the
spiritual soul. The complete nature of man is made up of spirit, soul
and body. It is one single reality which thinks (the spirit) and which
animates the body and is the principle of all physiological
phenomena. The spiritual soul confers not only sensitive and
vegetative life on the body, but also its very corporeal subsistence
and being: the body subsists through the soul and exists by the very
fact that it is animated. The soul gives form to the body so that the
latter is body insofar as it exists. Despite the union of the body and
soul there is no commingling. The soul keeps its superiority and
constitutes the inner man as the body makes up the outer man. The
soul also keeps its proper entity; it never becomes the body, nor does
the body ever become spirit. The soul cannot emanate from the
divine substance for that would be blasphemy against the
immutability, simplicity and holiness of God since all the
deterioration of human souls along with the changes they undergo
would be imputed to Him. No soul, not even those of Adam and
Eve, could spring from the natural evolution of the universe or from
the bodily seed or soul of any animal even with divine intervention,
for its spirituality would thus be destroyed. Nor is the soul created in
such a way that a corporeal being or irrational animal was converted
into its nature.
c. The purpose of wisdom, which leads us to true happiness.
d. The esteem and enthusiastic love of this wisdom, which is a true
treasure of the soul.
e. The essential distinction between intellection, a knowledge of the
eternal truths, which alone merits the name of wisdom, and
discursive knowledge of temporal things, which constitutes science.


The necessity of curbing the imagination to arrive at true

understanding and perception of incorporeal objects (the insight on
the ability to conceive a being without a body.)
g. The degrees which one rises to the contemplation of the eternal truth.
h. The divine characteristics of the eternal and unchangeable truth.
2. Theodicy First, the notion of God considered by Himself in His infinite
attributes, i.e., incomprehensible, ineffable simplicity of one in whom
being, knowledge, love and life are all identified. Second, the synthesis
of the triple role of God: God is the principle of things through a
threefold influence. He is the source of the being of things, as their
creator; the source of the truth of things, as intellectual light; and the
source of the moral goodness of things through His grace. Augustines
argument about Gods existence merges into Platonic argument for the
reality of the universals as eternal and immutable truths, whether these be
of mathematics or of transcendent values of justice and truth. There is a
realm of reality, beyond and above the mind of man, which is itself
mutable. Plato attributed changelessness to the higher world of Beings.
3. Nature of the Created World Knowledge of the good and the evil in
beings. The goodness of all beings is good in themselves because of
their matter and their origin. They are good in their destiny, since every
being praises God. Evil is not a being, but a privation, a limitation. It
exists only in something good for which it represents a loss and
corruption. Good can exist without evil but evil cannot exist from
something good. Evil is useful for the general order of the world. Moral
evil has its source in human freedom. For Augustine, the root of evil is
in the souls instability rather than, with Plotinus, in the body and in
matter. The souls weakness was for him the immediate, if not
necessarily the all-sufficient, cause of sin. He saw the instability of the
soul as inherent in the very fact of being created out of nothing and is
contingent, liable to be driven off course. Even its immortality it
possesses not by its own inherent nature but by the gift and will of the
Creator. Creation out of nothing means there is an element of non-being
and a tendency to non-existence. He holds a biblical concept of the
createdness and dependence of the soul with a Platonic assertion on the
souls immortality. In The Immortality of the soul- a work containing
passages of Porphyry), Augustine wrote that if even the matter of the
body is not annihilated at death, so also the sinful soul retains some trace
of the divine image and form. Even the fallen soul remains Gods image
capable of knowing God.
4. Cosmology Augustine maintained the Christian concept of creation out
of nothing by a free act of Gods will. He also held the theory of
rationes seminales seed like principles: In the beginning God created a
few species only; all the others evolved from those few, because the




Creator endowed the original species with seed like principles. Platos
theory of forms (or Ideas), eternal absolutes: whatever in this world we
call just or good or beautiful or true, is so in so far as it derives from the
respective absolute. The forms are the objective, constant, and
universally valid reality. These universals are perceived not by the five
bodily senses, but by an austerely mathematical process of pure mental
abstraction. These universals are highly causative: individual existents
cannot be accounted for in isolation, but only as members of a prior
class. The universal is more real than any particular instance.
Rational Psychology the thought about incorporeal beings.
Foundation and formulation of moral philosophy The theory of
happiness in the contemplation of God and fundamental laws of
perfection: the truly wise man is he who imitates God, knows and loves
Him. To become like God one must detach himself from all temporal
and transient things. Neoplatonic exhortations to suppress the passions
and the physical senses took Augustine back to Ciceros warning that
sexual indulgence does not make for mental clarity. Porphyrys tract on
vegetarianism taught that, just as priests at temples must abstain from
sexual intercourse in order to be ritually pure at the time of offering
sacrifice, so also the individual soul needs to be equally pure to attain to
the vision of God.
Rejected Neoplatonic Theories
Ignorance of fundamental dogmas
a. The incarnation is missing in their philosophy.
b. They have no knowledge of grace as the source of all virtue.
History of creation
a. Augustine refuted six major errors in their cosmogony
a) Their lower gods were types of demiurges, which they ranked
between God and creatures, whose function was to produce the
souls of the animals.
b) The creative principle was only one of the three hypostases of
which they composed their triad. For Augustine, creation is the
work of three persons.
c) God produced the world by generation or emanation. For
Plotinus, at the summit of the hierarchy of being is the One, God,
the unknowable and Absolute, yet apprehended by the soul as a
presence transcending all knowing. In the great chain of
continuum of being which Plotinus identified as the structure of
things, the higher level is cause of whatever is immediately
lower. Plotinus alludes to an evolution or development of the
hierarchy of being as emanation, a strongly physical image. In
the process of emanation there is gradual loss, for every effect is
slightly inferior to its cause. The imperfection inherent in its

inferiority can be overcome as it returns towards its cause. And
the cause itself is always undiminished by its timeless giving of
existence to the inferior effect. For Plotinus, at the apex of the
hierarchy are three divine existences: the One, Mind, and Soul.
The One is supremely good, and all lower levels of the hierarchy
below the One must be also distinct from the Good or less than
perfectly good. Even mind has some inferiority about it, some
delusions about its own grandeur. Soul, still further down the
scale, has the power to produce matter. Matter, being at the
opposite extremity of the hierarchy from the good One, is in
cosmic terms utter evil, formless non-being. Porphyry taught
that God contains all things but is contained by nothing. The
One is present to all that participates in the existence flowing
from its source in God. Goodness must be self-diffusive. But all
plurality depends upon and seeks return to higher and prior unity.
In the hierarchy of being it is axiomatic that it is good to exist,
and those degrees of being are also degrees of goodness.
Everything, which has being, is good. Porphyry deduced from
Plotinus the notion that at the apex of the chain of being their
lies, beyond the reach of our senses, a divine Triad of being, life,
and intelligence, all reciprocal, defined as a unity within which
once can discern distinctions. The structure of things is that of a
rhythmic procession out from the ultimate principle of being,
from potentiality to actuality, from abstract to concrete, from
identity to that otherness which is also a diminution in the level
of being. The destiny of eternal souls is to return whence they
have come. Souls are inherently immortal. Augustine always
defended a true creation.
d) Creation is necessary. For Augustine, it is an act of the free will
of God. Quoting from Plotinus: the order, design, beauty, and
even the very mutability and flux of the world and the fact that
its existence is not necessary. For Augustine, god is not just
someone or something that happens to exist; he is Being itself,
and the source of all finite beings. As a good Platonist he finds
this assuredly by the reality of the moral principles, justice,
wisdom, truth. They stand supreme in the scale of value; yet
they are realities no one has seen, touched, tasted, smelt, or
e) Creation is eternal. They wished the soul to be co-eternal with
God. For Augustine, time begins with creation. It is limited and
is essentially finite. No creature is coeternal with the Creator.
Angels have a successive duration, because one act of theirs
follows another. All successive duration is finite: time, because







it passes by in changeableness, cannot be coeternal with the

eternal unchangeableness. Angels are intermediaries who make
the events of this world known to the souls of the dead in the
measure, which God permits. Angels can work miracles by their
natural powers and can furnish preliminary assistance.
f) Neoplatonic creation entails a dynamic pantheism. Augustine
rejects pantheism forcefully.
Psychology Augustine rejected first, metempsychosis (successive
migrations of the same soul into different human bodies or even
animals); second, the Platonists attributed all the vices of the soul to the
influence of the body. For Augustine, the soul had its own imperfections.
Personal lives idolatry and polytheism practiced by the Platonists.
Neoplatonic Theories First Adopted, then Rejected
Excessive admiration of philosophy and the philosophers. Augustine
defended Christian spirituality and not Hellenistic, i.e., the body is a
creature of God and sees body and soul as together making up human
nature and together providing the condition for full happiness.
Theory of happiness the knowledge of God gave true happiness, even in
this life. For Augustine, happiness is the knowledge and love of God, but
only in the future life, and the sole way leading there is Christ.
Platonic demonology the theory of the demiurges had been the cause of
confusions, uncertainties and errors on the role of the angels. Augustine
corrects the terminology, which confuses angels and souls. He asks: are
they good? Are they lower than man?
Platonic cosmology the existence of a universal soul, which made the
world an immense living being. For Augustine, it lacks proof. It is an
opinion rashly stated.
Platonic psychology first, the origin of ideas: all knowledge is
reminiscence. Augustine never admitted a previous life, whose were
being punished in the present one. He did recourse to memory but
rejected also that error. Second, Augustine rejected question such as Is
there only one soul for all men, or separate one for each?
Platonic eschatology first, exaggerated view on the resurrection: hatred
that we ought to have for the body to the point where the resurrection
became impossible. For Augustine, resurrected bodies would have
neither limbs nor flesh nor bones. Second, the evolution of things, which
led to a reestablishment of the primeval order. Augustine showed the
danger of Origenism in it. Origenism is a theory wherein souls are spirits
which have sinned in previous existences and are exiled in the body,
likewise overturned the economy of the world to come with its novel
ideas on a multiplicity of successive bodies, the nature of future
punishments and that eternal punishment is replaced by a final

restoration which would bring about the primordial equality in happiness
granted to all, angels and devils.
On Gods Existence
Augustine posited a psychological viewpoint on Gods existence. His
argument is focused from the context of mind and truth: our minds are in contact
with eternal, objective, and absolute truth superior to our minds (e.g. 2+2 = 4),
and the eternal is divine, not human [Kreefts, 63].
On Origin of the Soul
Augustine posited this vague theory known as traducianism: God created
all souls in the beginning, not in their formal being, but in a state of a seed, like
the rationes seminales of the world. Through the parents generation, the soul
develops into its actual form.
On Conversion
Conversion (Post conversion) means conforming his mind
through interiorization. What are left on his mind are the
memory impression, the internal memory image, and the
focusing and the strengthening of the will [Confessions,
book 10].
This gives his mind knowledge, understanding and a memory of love and the
mind as remembering, knowing and loving God.
Conversion means the restoration of the Image of God in the
person. It is interiorizing dogmatic formulas and revelations
and experience of the invisible reality of the self as the
image of God, i.e., interiority with the mystery of Christ
living in us [Confessions, book 10].
In Book 10, the final message of Augustines conversion is highlighted in
Augustines viewpoint on the Trinity of the Mind. When man is conformed to
the Image of God, the Trinity dwells in the mind of man not as a Creator to
creature but as a friend to a friend. The will of man is conformed to the will of
On the Trinity
Human beings were made in the image of the Trinity [14,19.25]. The
Trinity of the Human Mind is Gods image and likeness not because the mind
remembers, understands, and loves itself, but because it remembers, understands,
and loves its maker [14.12.15]. Adam was created in this image and likeness.
Every child of Adam is capax Dei. Faith, hope, and charity will restore the
likeness, gradually bringing purity of heart and peace. Only the pure heart will
see God and only the peacemakers will participate in his wisdom. One proceeds
from faith to love, from seeing the image of God the Trinity in the mind to seeing
God in his image, the human being. Likeness to God enables one to see him, but
in a glass darkly, not face to face.
This creation in the image of the Trinity is a call to divine intimacy and
community. Augustines usage of the term reditus indicates Godlikeness or

graced perfection, which the soul yearns to return. The Trinity reforms persons
not only to intimacy with the three divine persons but to Christian community as
well, a community only to be achieved by faith and charity. The movement of
return is initiated by God, who in receiving all in love from the Father returns all
in love. Love is the special name of the Spirit, but since God is love and God is
Trinity, the Father is love as is the Son. As love, the Father is the principle of
creation and providence; as love, the Word is the principle of conversion and
illumination; and the spirit as the principle of love is the principle of return to the
Father. Loving intimacy with the Trinity is true contemplative wisdom, and
wisdom is the true and only image of god, a dynamic process of involvement in
God, society and the world through love. In intimacy with the divine persons the
soul attains likeness to wisdom and shares in divine creative and providential
action, illuminating and loving action.
On Grace and Predestination [Portalie, A Guide to the Thought of St. Augustine]
There are three fundamental principles in the Augustinian system:
a. First Principle God, through his grace, is the absolute master of all the
determinations of the will. The absolute sovereignty of God over the
will is in contradiction to the Pelagian principle of the emancipation of
1. Affirmation of this sovereignty God, the first cause, is the author of
all-good, of all moral perfection, of all salvation. No man is good or
virtuous without the gift of God, which is called grace because it is
completely gratuitous. No one is saved without the special gift of
final perseverance, prepared by an especially gracious predestination
of God. God has the fullest power over the hearts of men to turn
them where He pleases. Freedom of choice will not impede the
divine decrees. He has the wills of men more under His control than
they themselves have.
2. Exercise of this sovereignty Augustine formulated three laws:
1) Every good and salutary act without exception is the fruit of a
grace, of a gift from God. Without this gift of God, there is no
merit for heaven.
2) The priority of grace over good wills this is the consequence of
the first. Good desires, faith, and prayer must come from it.
3) This gift itself is a privilege, according to the Pelagians. At the
council of Carthage (418), Augustine negated the proposition
that any just person, even with the help of grace, lives without
Extent of this dependence Even in the natural order the
dependence of every created will is so universal that no act
of virtue is performed without a gift from God. For Pelagius,
my liberty can do all things. Augustine responded: your
liberty, attains to nothing without God.

b. Second Principle man remains just as free under the influence of grace
as he is in its absence.
c. Third Principle the reconciliation of these two truths depends upon the
method of divine government.
1. Explanation on the way grace operates:
a) Theory of volitional psychology the will never determines
itself without a motive, without the attraction of good perceived
in the object. The will remains free in the presence of any
motive. It makes different resolutions according to the different
motives being presented.
b) Theory of intellectual psychology man is not the master of his
first thoughts. He can influence the course of his reflections, but
he himself cannot determine the objects, the images and the
motives, which are presented, into his mind. It is really God
who determines these first perceptions of man as He pleases,
either through providential action of external causes or interiorly
by the ministry of angels or even by a divine illumination sent to
the soul.
c) Theory of the divine knowledge God knows, even before
choosing among all the illuminations of the natural and
supernatural order, the answer which the will will freely make to
each one of them. In the divine knowledge there are for each
created will indefinite series of motives, which would be
rejected. Other series is a matter of acceptance of the good. God
could have, at His pleasure, wrought the salvation of Judas, if He
had willed it, or allowed Peter to perish. No freedom of choice
stands in opposition to His plans. It is God alone, in His utter
independence, determines, by the choice of this motive or this
inspiration whether the will is to determine itself for good or for
evil. [Note: the church did not adopt this theory yet].
Augustine offers his attestation to the divine initiative with his perspective
of prevenient grace (gratia praeveniens), a concept endorsed by the Church at
the 2nd Council of Orange in 529 in opposition to Semipelagians. Pessimistic
predestination is not indispensable to the concept of prevenient grace.
Obviously, Augustine negated the universal salvific will of God. For Augustine,
some are predestined to salvation, others to damnation.
Augustine also introduced the term operating grace (gratia operans
what God does in us without us) this accentuates the primacy of grace in our
salvation. He complemented this with cooperating grace (gratia cooperans
what God does in us with us). This grace alone justifies the sinner. It
empowers the justified person unto sanctification.
Augustines view of grace was also sacramental in character. He
envisioned vestiges of the Trinity throughout all of creation, an inner desire for

god in every human heart. Grace liberates us from the bondage of sin,
illuminates the mind with the true and opens the will to the good.
Concerning the primacy of praxis, this demands a construal of grace as
the ground of freedom, conceived as historical self-determination.
The following factors constitute Augustinian predestination: [Portalie]
1. The election to his purpose.
2. Gods immutable choice which obliges one to state: the number of the
elect is certain and will never be increased nor decreased. Only those
will be saved who God knows will wish to cooperate with the grace
decreed for them.
3. This election is the gratuitous gift above all others. Every mans merit is
a gratuitous gift. It is prior to any merit of Peter and any fault of Judas
that God decided to give them the graces, which saved Peter and not
Judas. God does not wish to give paradise to anyone gratuitously.
4. It is predestination, which forces one to say that neither God nor Jesus
Christ had the absolute will to save all men. God could, if He had willed,
have chosen a world where all souls would be saved. He could have
saved Judas but He did not will to. Why id He not will to? That is His
own mystery.
5. Predestination is the mystery of mysteries not because it interferes with
freedom of choice but because there is only one response. Why did God,
when He saw that Judas could have been saved with another grace, not
give it to him? Augustines answer is: O the depths Rom 11:33.
Augustines Doctrine on Original Sin [Cf. Nery, The Life of St. Augustine,
Portalie, A Guide to the Thought of Saint Augustine]
Original sin is a situation wherein the entire human race finds itself
(massa damnata), but from which only some individuals are rescued by an
utterly gratuitous act of Gods mercy. God desires the salvation of all in Christ;
only those who are justified by faith and baptism are actually saved. This
doctrine contradicted Pelagius. For Pelagius, infants could not be guilty.
Augustine linked original sin with concupiscence (i.e., the human
persons spontaneous desire for material or sensual satisfaction). It is an effect of
original sin and is transmitted through sexual intercourse, i.e., the libido in the
parents love by which a person first comes into existence. Concupiscence
infects every human act; all of our deeds are in some sinful. Augustine failed to
differentiate the intrinsic difference between original sin and personal sin. For
Augustine, both kinds of sin are the same in the next world.
The central theme of Augustines thought is that the whole creation
including the material world is good since the Creator of all nature is Supremely
good. But the nature is not supremely and immutably good as the Creator of it.
The created universe is an immensely adequately and variegated realm of forms
of existence. It comprises multitudinous host of greater and lesser, higher and
lower goods, each having its appropriate place in the hierarchy of being. By

Privatio, Augustine said: It is not an evil to have been created as a lesser rather
than a greater good. For good to be diminished is evil. However, something
must remain of its original nature as long as it exists at all. To be an inferior
creature is not to be evil but only to be a lesser good.
Evil comprises no
positive nature but amissio boni has taken the name evil. Evil is
deprivatio, corruptio, vitium, defectus, indigentia, and negatio.
For Augustine, evil is simply the corruption of modus, species, or ordo.
Corruption cannot consume the good without also consuming the thing itself.
Every natura is good; a greater good if it cannot be induced to decay, a lesser
good if it can be. When a thing is consumed by corruption, the thing and the
corruption totally dissipates, for it is nothing in itself. It comprises no subsistent
being to exist.
It follows that there is no evil if there is nothing good. Nothing evil exists
in itself, but only as an evil aspect of some actual entity. A good that is deficient
of evil aspect is entirely good.
Concerning the moral dimension, God cannot will the irrational because
His nature is Truth and Righteousness: it is the irrationality that causes moral
revulsion. God only allows people to prefer evil and evil to occur to them. God
may even permit people to prefer evil ultimately i.e., to damn themselves. It is in
moral evil that the problem of evil culminates man discarding God and the
Divine law in order to elevate himself in Gods place and create his own right
and wrong. Genesis succinctly delineates mans predicament as a fallen creature.
The problem of evil is ultimately the problem of mans existence. Since man is
an entity, is an evil man, natura mala? Bad man is not bad because he is a man,
nor is he good because he is wicked. It is not commendable to call evil good and
the good evil. Man is an entity of Gods creation. Thus, every entity, albeit a
defective one, insofar as it is an entity, is good. Insofar as it is defective one, it is
evil. This method involving deception, guile, chicanery, manipulation and
vehemence are totally incongruous to the good.
Evil Willing
Augustine ascribes all evil, both moral and natural, directly or indirectly to
the unfavorable choices of free rational beings. The cause of evil is the defection
of the will of a being that is mutably good from the good, which is immutable.
Free will is the cause of our doing evil and that thy just judgment is the cause of
our having to suffer from its consequences. (Conf. Vii 3,5). According to
Augustines doctrine of deficient causation, the evil will have no positive or
efficient cause but only a deficient cause. Evil willing is a self-originating act; it
lies concealed within the mystery of finite freedom. Avarice is not a defect
inherent in gold but in the man who ordinately loves gold, to the detriment of
justice, which ought to be maintain in incomparably greater consideration than
gold. Neither is luxury the fault of lovely and alluring objects, but of the heart
that excessively loves sensual pleasures, to the neglect of temperance, which
attaches us to objects lovelier in their spirituality, and more delectable by their

incorruptibility. Nor yet it is bragging the fault of human approbation, but of the
soul that immoderately prefers the applause of men, and that makes light of the
voice of conscience. Pride is not the fault of him who commissions power, nor of
power itself, but of the soul that is excessively enamoured of its own power, and
abhors the more just dominion of a higher authority. Consequently he who
excessively loves the good which any nature possesses, albeit he procure it,
himself becomes evil in the good, and wretched because deprived of a greater
In Augustines explorations of a paradigm of the human will in action, the
first feature that emerges is the power of the will to form consuetudines. Thus
did my two wills, the old one, the other new, the first carnal, and the second
spiritual, contend with one another, by their conflict they laid waste my soul.
Gal. 5:17
Thus Augustine posits a moral contradiction within the human soul, not
an encounter of opposing substances. In Rm 7:22-23 (Cf. Confessiones viii, v,
12), Augustine identifies the law of his members with violentia consuetudines,
and this force of habit drags the animus and holds it fast. This occurs
unwillingly (invitus) and, more strongly, by its eo merito, since by willing the
soul has fallen into this habit [Cf. Nery, The Life of St. Augustine].
Thus, in short, first, the will is efficacious in shaping habits at will, but
not to alter or exclude them so easily. Second, this elevates to the contradiction
of the will with itself that Augustine first describes in Pauline concepts / language
as the flesh at war contrary to the Spirit, from which Augustine infers that to
will and be able are not the same. Fourth, the contradiction of the will with
itself emerges because the will does not will completely or totally, thereby
allowing space for the emergence of the counter-will (the will by its own
power, subverts its power, that is, the impotence of the will arises from the
incomplete exercise of the will). Fifth, the resolution of this paradox comes
about through love. Love is considered by Augustine to be the binding power of
the will (Confession xiii, ix, 10).

The Post-Augustinian Period [De La Torre, 88-90]

The Pseudo-Dionysius

The Pseudo-Dionysius deduced from Proclus the viewpoint of knowledge

as a triple process of assertion, negation and supereminence. The accentuation is
on negation. We call this apophatic theology: we know better what God is not
than what he is. The Pseudo-Dionysius took the context of emanation from the
Neo-Platonic to expound on the origin of the world from God. Concerning God,
there are three ways: first, via affirmativa, is an affirmation of God calling God
as good and source of all goodness. Second, via negativa, a desire of God,
affirm God as He is in Himself and not as He is related to creatures; finally, via
eminentiae, God is super Good. He is not only more than Good but also more

than a being., which is unknowable.. He is not a sort of entity that comprises a
possible object of knowledge.
Boethius (c. 480-c.524)13
Anicius Manlius Torquatos Severinus Boethius (d. 525) was one of the
last great philosophers of the Roman tradition. He was a member of the ancient
Roman family of the Anicii. He studied at Athens and Alexandria. In 510, he
became consul under the Ostrogothic King Theodoric. In 520, he was magister
officiorum. When he defended the ex-consul Albinus in the charge of treason,
Theodoric had him imprisoned, condemned and executed. In The Consolation of
Philosophy, he held that knowledge of virtue and God were attainable by the
study of philosophy. He described God as the source of all good. Providence is
the divine reason, which disposes all things. While in prison, he also wrote
several treatises. In his On the Trinity, he refined the meaning of the terms
person and nature as they function in christological argumentation. For Boethius:
persona est naturae rationalis individual substantia (individual substance of a
rational nature). Personality is here still conceived as individuality, though
individuality conceived as an ultimate reality, unique, irreplaceable,
incommunicable [Kasper, 241-242]. The person is the individual substance of a
rational nature. This accentuated individuality and rationality. It obscured the
associated notions of freedom, history and inter-relatedness of persons
[OCollins, 180]. His definition of person was carried over into medieval
thought. It was modified by Thomas Aquinas (stressing incommunicable
substance), Richard of St. Victor (d. 1173) who considered person as an
incommunicable existence of an intellectual nature. Person is the reality of a
being, which belongs to itself and is its own end. Personhood, however, is never
grasp as it is directly. We are persons who act as persons and who come to the
knowledge of our personhood only by reflecting on the meaning of what we do.
Hence, rationality remained the prevailing characteristics and vortex of
argumentation of a person. Rene Descartes adjunct self-consciousness to the
definition of person. Immanuel Kant amplified it by adding the will and freedom
as standard framework for the definition of a person. Struggles for human rights
and existentialist movements amplified by anchoring the definition of person to
dignity stressing persons as relational beings growing and unfolding their selfidentity in an interpersonal environment. Later, Catherine LaCugna underscored
not the incommunicability of the personhood, but its relational character. To
be a person is to be in relation to others, to be oriented toward communion with
Man has a spiritual soul. He is free in his acts. He is not confined to the
necessity of nature. Man is capable of universal concepts and in opting for
alternatives. Man is responsible for his actions because he is free and he is an
individual. The human soul is proper to each individual man. Man is an
individual substance and rational.


G. Scholasticism 14 [De La Torre, 91-142]

Scholasticism deduced its name from method of teaching and writing to
the theological and philosophical schools of the Middle Ages.
Scholasticism stemmed in the 9th century. It attained its golden age in the 13 th
century, and expanded later until the Renaissance.

Carolingian Renaissance: Scotus Eriugena [815-ca. 877]

The founding of the Holy Roman Empire (A.D. 800) by Charlemagne

incurred unity and cultural revival in Europe. After the death of Charlemagne,
cultural chaos occurred and became acute during the 10 th century. This period is
called the Iron Century.
John Scotus Eriugena was a noted Carolingian philosopher. He concurred on
the possibility of knowing God by reason alone, but he highlighted Gods
transcendence. For Eriugena, there are 4 stages of evolution of nature: first,
Nature which creates and is not created, viz. God the Father; second, Nature
which is created and creates, viz. God the Son; third, Nature which is created and
does not create, viz. the world of concrete things; finally, Nature which is not
created and does not create, viz. God as the last end of all things. The explication
on the process of his perspective is vague especially when he alluded to creation
out of nothing. The Church denounced his works in 1225. His accentuation on
the final assimilation of God opposes Christian belief in an eternal punishment.

The Universals [De La Torre, 92-94]

Queries on universal ideas were debated during the Middle Ages.
1. The Realists the universals were real objects, existing in themselves,
not only in our minds. The substance was in the universals, and concrete
things were pure accidents, mere quantitative reproductions of the
substance. This perspective was maintained by Remigius of Auxere and
William of Champeaux. Later, the latter shifted to the perspective of
2. The Nominalists the sole existence of concrete individual things. The
universals were mere words by which we articulate general categories
fabricated by our thoughts, viz. purely accidental group of things. In
explicating the dogma of the Trinity, this Nominalists position fostered
by Roscelin was denounced at the council of Soissons Year 1092.
3. Conceptualism depicts an intermediate perspective. It varies: first,
Image-conceptualism fostered by Abelard; second, the essenceconceptualism held by Aquinas, and finally, the term-conceptualism of

Mystics and Dialecticians

Mystics subordinated all science to theology. Peter Damian coined the
expression: Philosophy the handmaid of theology. For Peter, God was not
subject to logic. The dialecticians fostered the study of philosophy. Some

philosophers negated faith, others rationalized the faith such as Abelard and

Anselm of Canterbury: The Ontological Argument for the Existence of

God [McBrien, 297-298, Kasper, 219-221, Keretzsky, 216-219]
Anselm (1033-1109) was the son of a Lombard family in Lombardy. In
1059, he entered the monastery in Normandy. Under Lanfrancs influence, he
took monastic vows. He became abbot and a formidable spokesman for the
scholastic movement. He coined the term Credo ut intelligam meaning, I
believe in order to understand. Pope Clement X1 declared him a Doctor of the
church in 1720. He contributed to the Christian construal of God: first, the
ontological argument for Gods existence. God means that which has all
conceivable perfections; and it is more perfect to exist really than only mentally;
therefore God exists really. The most perfect conceivable being cannot lack any
conceivable perfection [Peter Kreeft, A Summa of the Summa, 63]. McBrien held
that Anselm argued that God is a being than which nothing greater can be
conceived. But if such a being exists only in the mind or in the realm of
understanding, the very being, than which nothing greater can be conceived, is
one, than which a greater can be conceived. There is no doubt that there exists a
being, than which nothing greater can be conceived, and it exists both in the
understanding and in reality. Thus,
1. A person can have the idea of a being than which none greater can be
2. Suppose this being exists only as an idea in the mind.
3. Existence in reality is greater than existence only in the mind.
4. Therefore, we can conceive of a being that is greater than which none
greater can be conceived that is, a being that also exists in reality.
5. But there can be no being greater than that which none greater can be
6. Therefore, the being that which none greater can be conceived must also
exist in reality.
Other issues arising from Anselms Ontological argument:
1. If God can in any way be conceived by Anselm (or any person), Is God
really God, i.e., is it really God whom we are conceiving?
2. Are our human conceptions of God reflective of Gods totality, i.e., do
they reveal Gods essence or nature to us? Or can we only conceive
that God exists?
3. How do we define that someone or something actually exists, i.e., is
that person or thing less real because it/he/she exists in thought as
opposed to in substance? How about departed loved ones who are said
to exist for us in memory?
This presupposition was later denounced by Aquinas and Kant. What may be
true in the order of the mind is not necessarily real in the order of objective

Second, the debt satisfaction theory of atonement. McBrein expound
that Anselm demonstrated that the sin of Adam could be forgiven only if
adequate satisfaction for the sin were bestowed to the Father. But only a divine
person could sufficiently resolve the debt incurred by human sin. Wherefore, God
had to become human if we were to be restored to Gods friendship. Anselms
inquiry into why God has become man and why he died for us occurred within
the standpoint of faith. His purpose was to depict the existence of a just and a
merciful God and of mans sinfulness and the indispensability of the incarnation.
Anselm upholds that the death of Christ was indispensable, not for the just order
of the universe, but for preserving the just order of the universe wherein the will
of the rational creature ought to be wholly subject to God. Whenever one inflicts
misery and dishonor to the other, he owes restitution. He must make
compensation pleasing o the offended person and in proportion to the pain his
offense inflicted. This is known as satisfaction. Anselm articulated in Book 1 of
Cur Deus Homo? (Why Did God Become Man?) that sin disturbed the order of
the universe. By yielding to the temptation, the sinner dishonored God and
distorts the order and beauty of the universe. He must suffer punishment
involuntarily or offer a voluntary satisfaction. Some compensation had to be
offered to restore what had been disrupted. Despite God is compassionate and
merciful, for Anselm, God does not forgive man without satisfaction. Mercy
without justice is inadequate. It engenders disorder. If unjust actions of man
were forgiven by mercy alone, without due satisfaction, injustice would operate
more freely than justice. Injustice would become like God, the supreme power
of the universe, since it would not be subjected to any law whatsoever. God is
inseparably both supreme mercy and supreme justice. What would due
satisfaction for sin be? Sin is an offense in opposition to the infinite God. Every
sin is in some sphere infinite. As a consequence, the sinner owes God. The
satisfaction would have to surpass everything that is not God. Only God is
capable of satisfaction because only God can offer something greater than
everything, which is not God. Only man owes satisfaction, not God. So, the
offense was against an infinite God, and we are finite. Only infinite satisfaction
would do, and only God can provide it. But not just God. It had to be one who is
at once God and a human being, a God-man. So, Anselm proposed that
satisfaction demanded more than the incarnation. Since Jesus was sinless, he was
not bound to die. Jesus offered a satisfaction to the Father through obedience in
every act to God throughout his life. This cannot constitute a satisfaction.
Having committed no sin whatsoever, Jesus does not owe death. Nor may the
Father impose on Jesus the obligation to die since this would be most unjust.
Jesus freely chose to die to serve justice with courage. He gave his precious life.
But he endured death as a voluntary payment for the debt incurred by our sins,
and so he satisfies for those sins. The Father is in debt to the Son for what the
Son has done. The Son does not need any remuneration. This gift is more
precious than any gift with the right disposition. Whereas mans sins was the

easiest victory for the devil. In satisfying, man must conquer the devil, i.e., by
dying. By sinning, man has turned away from God. In satisfying, he gives
himself to God. The life of Christ freely given in death is more deserving of love
than all the sins committed are deserving of hate; it can offer infinitely more than
is adequate to satisfy for all sins. This infinitely precious gift is mediated to us
by the human discretion of the God-man who freely gives himself for us by his
human will. In brief, Anselm upholds that as human disobedience offends the
divine honor, either satisfaction or punishment must follow every sin. By
satisfaction Christ restored Gods honor and punishment was not imposed. 15
Kasper exemplified Anselms argument as follows: Anselms theory is to
be understood against the background of the Germanic and early medieval feudal
system. There is a bond of honor between feudal lord and vassal. The vassal
receives protection from the lord and a share in public power; the lord receives
from the vassal the pledge of allegiance and service. Acknowledgement of the
Lords honor is the basis of order, peace, freedom and law. That honor is not the
lords personal honor, but his social status by which he is the guarantor of the
public peace. Infringement of that honor means lawlessness, discord, unfreedom,
and chaos. The demand for the restoration does not mean personal satisfaction
for the lord, but the restoration of the order for the whole. Anselm distinguishes
between Gods honors as it affects himself and Gods honor as it concerns the
creature. If man no longer acknowledges God, the order of justice in the world is
destroyed. So, Infringement of the lords honor is tantamount to an assault upon
the whole feudal system. A demand for satisfaction is not for the sake of
appeasing the lords personal sense of honor but for the sake of restoring order to
the universe (feudal system) in which the sin was committed. The feudal lord
cannot simply overlook the offense, because the order of his whole economic and
social world is at stake. So, too, with God. The infringement of Gods honor is
not a question of God, but of man, of the order and beauty of the world. It is not
Goods personal honor, which has to be restored, but the disfigured and out-ofjoint world, which is in order as long as it upholds the honor of God. It is not a
question of restoring the honor of a jealous God; nor that of an abstract legal
system and of accounts that have to be balanced. In the acknowledgement and
restoration of Gods honor we are concerned with freedom, peace, order and the
fulfillment of the meaning of the world. But, since God freely created man and
since he wants to be freely acknowledged by his creature, he simply cannot
secure this restoration out of pure love without involving man. By binding
himself to the order of justice, God safeguards the honor due to man, respects
mans freedom, and keeps faith with his creation. Gods self-binding to the order
of justice is the expression of his fidelity as Creator. Later, Thomas Aquinas
modified Anselms theory saying it was fitting of God to act in that way, but it
was not necessary.
Third, the principle that in God everything is one except for the
contradiction of relationships among three persons. McBrien elucidates Anselms

argument as follows: God is absolutely one except for the pluralism of persons
created by the contradiction of relationships among them. The Father, Son and
Holy Spirit are one God, except insofar as the Father is unbegotten and the Son is
begotten, and insofar as the Spirit proceeds whereas the Father and Son spirate.
This principle is the theological basis for the doctrine of the mutual indwelling of
the three divine persons; the Father is always in the Son and the Holy Spirit; the
Son is always in the Father and the Spirit; the Spirit is always in the Father and
the Son. The mutual indwelling is known as circumincession, or perichoresis.
The council of Florence (1442) adopted the principle in its Decree for the
Jacobites: The Father alone begot the Son out of his substance; the Son alone
was begotten from the Father alone; the Holy Spirit alone proceeds from both
Father and Son. These three persons are one God and not three gods, for the
three are one substance, one essence, one nature, one God, one infinity, one
eternity, and everything [in them] is one where there is no opposition of

Abelard (1079-1142)
On the Universals: Abelard contradicted the ultrarealists such as William
of Champeaux. If the universal is the substance and the individual is an accident,
then the same substance can be accidentally and totally in two places
simultaneously, which is ridiculous. For Abelard, the universals were more than
words. The disadvantage of his perspective is his failure to depict the distinction
between image and concept. We cannot conceive without images. The intellect
can transcend the image, correct its parameters and form a concept, rationally
distinct from the image. On Faith and reason: in using words to explicate the
dogmas of faith, we may use philosophical terms. Abelard exaggerated his
explication on the dogma of the Trinity. Some doctrines are supernatural. Their
existence could not be proved by reason. Their essence cannot be totally
grasped. His improper usage of philosophical category, he was denounced by the
Church for teaching heresy on the Trinity. On Moral Personalism: Abelard
contradicted the legalists judging the responsibility of a moral act exclusively on
the basis of its object, viz. the precept of the law be either obeyed or transgressed.
For Abelard, the personal stance must be highlighted, i.e., the intention of the
subject. It is objectively wrong to kill but no immoral act, such as killing a man,
is wrong in the absence of the intention of committing a crime. For Abelard, it is
not merely our acts but our free acts that come under divine providence. God's
foreknowing them has no implication hat we are not free to evade performing

Avicenna (980-1037)
Avicenna was born in Persia. He became a physician. He studied,
traveled and wrote philosophy. He believed on the following: first, Emanation;
second, necessity and contingency God produced the world necessarily. Only
god is necessary. He is the cause of his own existence. All other beings are
contingent for they emanate necessarily from God. Third, essence and existence

essentially all things are eternal in the eternal ideas of God, but they begin to
exist in time following the divine will. Avicennas doctrine is inconsistent: if
created beings exist of necessity, they do not begin in time, but are eternal.
Fourth, principles of individuality first, the intelligences, individualized by
their essence or their potentiality; second, material beings individualized by their
matter. Fifth, illumination In the human mind the passive intellect receives the
species from the senses, but it cannot perform the final act of abstraction, that of
grasping the universal idea. This apprehension of the essence surpasses mans
power alluded to as the illumination of the active intellect. For Avicenna, this is
the 10th intelligence. It exercises the function of the intellect in man. Finally,
immortality of the soul the active intellect is the same in all men. The
immortal soul of man is immortal and destined to a life of rewards or

Averroes (1126-1198)
A physician by profession from Cordova, Spain. He upholds the
following: first, In Origin of the World he concurred on the eternity of the
matter from which God created all things. He negated emanation for it implies
an identity between God and creatures. He denounced creation from nothing.
Second, Unicity of the intellect and immortality he negated the immortality of
the individual human soul because of his paradigm of the unicity of the active
intellect. Finally, the two truths religion articulates symbolically what
philosophy expounds in its logical signification.

Avicebron (1021-1070)
A Jew born in Malaga, Spain. He highlighted the following: first,
emanation; second, plurality of forms a substance can be informed by more
than one substantial form. In man there is a distinct form for each phase of
existence: the corporeal, the vegetative, the animal and the rational. There is also
the form individualizing the species within the genus assessing the grade in the
hierarchy of beings.

Maimonides (1135-1204)
This Jewish Philosopher upholds the following: first, On Aristotle and
Sacred Scripture as the greatest exemplar of natural intelligence, Aristotles
viewpoint must not contradict the Sacred Scripture. Maimonides declined
Aristotles claim on the eternity of mater. Interpreters of the Scriptures must incur
to philosophy in matters proven with absolute certainty by reason. Second,
natural theology the accentuation on philosophical queries on religion, viz. the
existence and the providence of God, and the immortality of the soul.

The Latin Averroists: Siger of Brabant (1235-1283)

A leader of the Latin followers of Averroes. They are also called the
radical Aristotelians. They uphold the following: first, on faith and reason - a
theological truth is not necessarily a philosophical one; second, on knowledge
did not negate the necessity for illumination, but accentuated more on the

functions of abstraction and of reasoning in the process of knowing; third, on
creatures identified a number of operation in compound beings; fourth,
immorality of the soul personal immortality was contradictory to reason and it
is only congruent on faith; finally, on voluntarism the essence of happiness in
the intellectual contemplation of God. Happiness is partial until it offered the
final rest of the will in God preceded by his understanding by the intellect.

Bonaventure (1221-1274)
John of Fidanza was born in Italy and studied in Paris. Later he was
known as Bonaventure. He fostered the following: first, On Augustine and
Aristotle he concurred on the traditional Augustinian doctrines, viz. God acted
through intermediate agents (seed like principles) or through a direct action is a
question of accentuation, the plurality of forms, the spiritual matter and the
primacy of the will over the intellect. He negated some Aristotelian theories, viz.
the creation of matter. Bonaventure elucidated that being created and eternal
existence were opposed in the light of reason alone. Second, on corporeal form
he alluded to light as the corporeal form. Light fused with matter, i.e.,
Aristotelian prime matter, to form a simple substance. Third, on knowledge an
innate knowledge of God precedes and influences any other knowledge of man.
The initially implicit knowledge becomes explicit by distinct means of cognition.
Concerning sensation the lowest sphere of mans perception, generates
knowledge bounded to concrete beings. Our knowledge begins by sensation.
Concerning reason as a higher sphere of cognition furnishes us the universal
ideas, which are faint images of Gods exemplary ideas and eternal truths. He
valued illumination by God as essential to establish the universal ideas. These
ideas participate in the necessary and eternal God. The rational being alone is
Gods image and not merely Gods traces. It is through man that the material
world ascends to God. He commended the Augustinian argument on the eternal
truths. God is the supreme truth, the supreme good. God attracts the soul by
love longing for infinite good. Man starts his quest for God the truth.
Concerning faith and mystical union engender a knowledge beyond reason but
not beyond human intellect. Through faith we are recipients of the accessibility
of divine disclosure. Concerning mystical light engenders the most perfect
knowledge man can incur in his earthly life. It establishes the possibility of the
direct intuition of divine things. Finally, the beatific vision.

Albert the Great (1205-1280)

Albertus Magnus was born in Germany and later became a Dominican and
a Doctor of the Church Doctor Universalis. He was the author of a large body
of works, on theology, logic, philosophy, ethics and metaphysics. He also wrote
commentaries on the scriptures, on Aristotle and the sentences of Peter Lombard.
He advanced the significant cause of uniting reason and faith. His favorite
disciple was Thomas Aquinas. He held the following: first, on faith and reason
he differentiated philosophy from theology. No supernatural light would be
essential to incur philosophical or even metaphysical knowledge. The function

of reason in theology is to confirm the arguments of authority and depict the
dogmas of revelation; second, eclecticism concurred on both Plato and
Aristotles perspectives. He noted Aristotles theory of knowledge, upholds
Aristotelian proof of Gods existence, expound Gods nature in harmony to the
apophatic theology of the Neo-Platonics, combined the Neo-Platonic idea of
emanation and christianized it using Augustinian ideas on the seed like principles
and of light as the form of the body but denounced the idea of spiritual matter.
Third, on immortality of the soul he argued and defended Aristotle and offered
a revitalized contradictory position to the Averroists. Finally, on the universals
offered a solution to the problem of the universals by being indebted to Avicenna:
The universal before things would be the viewpoint of the ultrarealists; the
universal after things would depict the viewpoint of the Nominalists; and the
universal in things would be the correct doctrine. It prefigured Thomistic
viewpoint: the universal is a rational being with a real foundation.

The Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 1274)

Thomas Aquinas was born in Italy of a noble family. He was the most
important intellectual figure of high medieval civilization. He studied at the
famous Abbey of Monte Cassino then at the University of Naples. In 1243 he
joined the Dominican Order, much to the displeasure of his parents. They
imprisoned him in the family castle, where he remained for two years until his
mother relented, passing him a rope by which he let himself out a window and
down the castle wall. Escaping, he rejoined the Dominicans and set out for
Cologne, to study under Albertus Magnus. Then he studied at the University of
Paris. He became a highly successful teacher. He wrote selections on ethics on
his two important books called The Summa Contra Gentiles and Summa
Thomas Aquinas stands out with the following character traits:
1. Wisdom The threefold wisdom in St. Thomas is the basis for quasiexperimental knowledge of God, the loving and blessed contemplation of
a. Thomistic metaphysics (Sophia in Aristotle) shapes and systematize
his scientific structure and influences his construal of nature and the
supernatural. It is not merely patterns of ideas but a conviction that
the human mind is able to discover being and the laws of relations of
being is experienced reality.
b. Supernatural theology.
c. The gift of wisdom the supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit.
2. Charity Thomistic charity shapes and directed his entire life and
endeavors toward a divine service of God. It is the supernatural virtue of
love of God and neighbor. The perfection of this life consists in the
perfection of charity in the love of God and neighbor. Spiritual joy is an
effect of charity.

3. Peace is a fruit of charity: love of God and neighbor. It is the souls inner
tranquility, balance and harmony, moderation and clarity of judgment
flowing from wisdom and charity. Such harmony, symmetry, order of
the interior and exterior life as in the multiplication of virtues within the
integration of wisdom, charity and of the gifts of the Holy Spirit shape
the soul of St. Thomas of Godlike beauty.
Significance of Thomas Aquinas16
He makes a clear distinction between philosophy and theology. In his
theory of knowledge, he held that there are no innate ideas, but all knowledge
must proceed first from the senses. He makes use of reason in the service of
faith. Reason and faith, mystery and problem, nature and super nature blend
them together into reality. There are 8 reasons:
a. He holds the truth, that simple and unfashionable purpose of philosophy.
The study of philosophy is not the study of what men have opined, but of
what is the truth.
b. He uses his common sense reason in sniffing out the right position amid
a hundred wrong ones. He is as reasonable in ethics as Aristotle and
c. He is a master of metaphysics and technical terminology technical
sophistication (practicality).
d. As a lover of truth, he loves simplicity and clarity of style for the benefit
of many people, no rhetoric, and no appeal to the irrational, nothing but
e. Depth (profundity) of theory and practice.
f. Clarity and profundity (orthodoxy), he clearly points out its solidity and
excellence above all other teachings. You must go to St. Thomas to
understand Theology and Philosophy.
g. He was crucial for the medieval era (medievalism). He fulfilled more
than anyone else the essential medieval program of a marriage of faith
and reason, revelation and philosophy, the biblical and the classical
inheritances. He represents the medieval par excellence. (Cosmic
h. Modernity lack of our timeless truth. We need Thomistic syntheses.
The Contribution of St. Thomas Aquinas17
1. Thomas Aquinas defines the moral categories that govern catholic
moral teachings.
2. He offers better articulation to he moderate catholic viewpoints on
political, economic and social ethics than did anyone before him. His
vision has become the moral foundation catholic teachings on these
contentions up to the 2nd Vatican Council.
3. Aquinas grounded a number of his ethical doctrines on the teachings of
Aristotle, which were more secular and affirmative than were the
prevailing Augustinian doctrines.

4. In the middle ages, in modern times and both before and after the reign
of Leo X111 (1878-1903) his moral vision on social contentions formed
the growth and advancement of catholic teaching.
5. Aquinas social teachings are a cohesive whole. He insisted that some
moral norms that govern individual human actions and choices must
regulate social, economic, and political activities.
6. Aquinas social ethical perspective was invoked by the modern popes to
resolve social problems, the set of ecnomic-social-plitical problems that
sprang from the demise of the medieval guild system and the weight of
nationalism, capitalism, and the industrial revolution in the 19 th century.
From the 18th century until the 2nd Vatican Council the church delved on
Aquinas social ethical teaching as a means to deal with these problems.
7. Aquinas social ethics bestowed the church intensified instruments after
the French Revolution to challenge socialism, liberalism,
totalitarianism, capitalism, and atheism.
8. Modern popes alluded to the root of social problem as fundamentally
spiritual, which depicts Aquinas perspective that the root of social,
economic and political problems is failures of faith, charity and ethics.
9. The church unified Aquinas vision of the common good with an
amplified version his paradigm of rights to engender an imposing moral
edifice that demanded that all political, social, and economic policies be
geared toward fostering justice, charity and virtuous life.
10. In the sphere of industrial advancement, Catholic social teachings
invoked Aquinas moral doctrines reiterating an advanced visualization
of social, political and economic circumstances, and in the 19 th and 20th
century, the church extended his doctrines to exert moral pressure on
the greed and oppression of the early capitalists and industrialists.
11. In the sphere of economics, against the laissez-faire social paradigms,
the church social teachings invoked Aquinas vision of justice (such as
commutative, distributive, and legal justice that fosters proportionality,
balance, equality, common good and fairness) and private property.
Aquinas considered justice as the highest moral virtue for it resides in
the highest part of the soul, our reason and orients us toward the
common good.
12. In social paradigm, in reaction to French revolution, fusing Aquinas of
common good, justice and charity and the vision of society marked by
collaboration, papal teachings condemned liberal social proposals,
especially those calling for universal suffrage, freedom of religion,
association and press. Aquinas version of society as an organic,
hierarchically ordered unity of social and vocational organizations
related to one another by the principle of subsidiarity. This vision
disintegrated the communist and capitalist paradigms of society.
Aquinas focuses his attention to the acts and attitudes that cause

conflict and strife in society and believes that charity protects social
peace and prosperity. Peace is tranquility resulting from order.
Authentic peace is the result of charity and the work of justice. Aquinas
also fostered the virtues of beneficence, magnanimity, liberality, and
almsgiving for they are acts of friendship that promote the common
good and societys unity. For Aquinas, the family and society are
necessary to attain their proper and legitimate ends, and they are to be
granted the necessary freedom to accomplish these ends. He also
believes that the proper grounding and end of law is reason, nature, and
the common good. Laws that are just and foster the common good and
are not promulgated beyond the lawgivers power are binding in
conscience and must be obeyed. He also holds that marriage is natural
for it offers protection for children.
13. In political sphere, Aquinas insisted on the harmony and stability as to
be the objective of the social order. No other thinker has contributed as
much to the doctrine of just-war paradigm as Aquinas. His basic
teachings on jus in bello and jus ad bellum were preserved and
developed by the great just war theorist in the modern era and
specifically in the era of nuclear deterrence his doctrines became the
foundation for Catholic attempts to guide society in the use of nuclear
The starting point of Aquinas philosophy or the worldview it espouses is
a Supernatural Being. His structural outline of reality begins in God, who is in
the beginning. Central to Aquinas is the one essence of God and His three
persons. He develops his philosophy on whether God exists, How God exists,
and How God operates. It then proceeds to the act of creation and a
consideration of creatures, centering on man, who alone is created in the image
of God. In Aquinas philosophy, nature and supernature constitute a whole. Man
must not only be explicitly open to nature but also to supernature, to the invisible.
Man must move on to return to God through his life of moral and religious
choice, and culminate in the way or means to that end: Christ and His Church.
Thus the overall scheme of Aquinas, like that of the universe, is an exitus
redditus, an exit from and a return to God, who is both Alpha and Omega. God
is the ontological heart that pumps the blood of being through the arteries of
creation into the body of the universe, which wears a human face, and receives it
back through the veins of mans life of love and will. His worldview is dynamic.
It is like blood in a body. {Peter Kreeft, A Summa of the Summa (San Francisco:
Ignatius Press, 1990), p.15.}.
On Gods Existence
Thomas Aquinas proposed five ways to prove the existence of God (ST 1,
a. The Argument from Motion (There must be a Prime Mover). This
unmoved mover (God) first put things in motion. It tells us that: first,

nothing can move itself; second, if every object in motion had a mover,
then the first object in motion needed a mover; finally, this first mover is
the Unmoved Mover, called God.
b. The Argument from Causality (Every effect must have a cause). There
must be an Uncaused First Cause (God) who began the chain of
existence for all things. This causation of existence tells us that: first,
there exists things that are caused (created) by other things; second,
nothing can b e the cause of itself (nothing can create itself, third, there
can not be an endless string of objects causing other objects to exist;
finally, thus, there must be an uncaused first cause called God.
c. The argument from Necessity, or Contingency (All beings are possible
but one must be necessary if there are to be any beings at all). There are
two types of objects in the universe: contingent beings and necessary
beings. A contingent being is an object that cannot exist without a
necessary being causing its existence. This being, called a necessary
being, is God. This argument tells us that: first, contingent beings are
caused; second, not every being can be contingent; third, there must exist
a being which is necessary to cause contingent beings; finally, this
necessary being is God.
d. The Argument from Gradation, or Exemplarity (Our ideas presuppose
some standard of perfection). Thomas alluded to the qualities of things.
He referred to the degrees or gradation of a quality. Any given quality
(e.g. goodness, beauty, knowledge) there must be a perfect standard by
which all such qualities are measured. These perfections are contained in
God. Perfections are partial or participated. Perfection is not limitation.
It is identical with being or existence. A non-participated perfection is
e. The Argument from Design (The consistent and coherent operation of the
whole universe demands some intelligent and purposeful designer). It has
something to do with the observable universe and the order of nature.
All physical laws and the order of nature and life were designed and
ordered by God, the intelligent designer.
On Gods Essence
For St. Thomas, essence ultimately is a manner (mode, way) of
existence. Essence is relative to existence. Existence esse is the ultimate
actuality and is also the nature essence of God. In him alone, essence and
existence are identical. Gods essence might be said to be the sufficient formal
cause of itself. Since this essence is identical with his being. If the existence of a
thing differs from its essence, this existence must be caused by some exterior
agent or by its essential principles. That thing, whose existence differs from its
essence, must have its existence caused by another. The essence or nature of a
horse does not determine whether either one exists. Therefore something else

must cause its existence. Since this something else is not its own essence or
existence, it must be another being which works as an efficient cause.
Everything except God needs a cause of its existence. God needs no cause of his
existence because his existence is his essence as a triangle needs no cause of its
3sidedness because that is its essence. (See Summa Theologica, question 3).
On Gods Perfection [De La Torre, 115]
Some of the divine perfections identified by St. Thomas: first, selfexistence God is the cause of his own existence, all other perfections are
attributed to God; second, infinity a self-existent perfection is not limited. God
is infinite in perfection; third, unicity there is only one God. Two infinites are
impossible; fourth, simplicity Composition entails limitation. There is no
composition in God; fifth, spirituality matter is a limitation. God is a spiritual
substance; sixth, eternity in God there is no limit in duration; seventh, life and
intelligence; finally, freedom.
Theory of Being
Being can mean two things. It may mean the act of essence, or it may
mean the composition of a proposition. The first meaning of being is actual,
ontological, objective reality, e.g., David exists. The second meaning is the
logical meaning of being of an affirmative copula in a proposition, e.g., Tom is
the hero of Tom Sawyer. Every being that is not God is Gods creature. Being is
not a genus because there is nothing outside it. A genus (e.g., animal) has
specific differences (e.g., rational) distinct from its generic sense. God is not in a
genus. The existence of man and of horse is not the same, as also of this man and
that man. Creatures have attributes (Josh is alive). God is His attributes (God is
life). Since God is in no genus, no general class at all but transcends all genera.
He therefore transcends all creatures more than any creature in one genus can
transcends any creature in another genus. He is also immanent because He is
transcendent. He is not in a genus, but is the principle source of all genera. (See
Summa Theologica, Question 3).
Existence is that which makes every form or nature actual. In God, there
is no potentiality. That, which has existence but is not existence, is a being by
participation. There can be no accident in God. A subject is compared to its
accidents as potentiality to actuality; for a subject is in some sense made actual
by its accidents. But there can be no potentiality in God. Essence is actual qua
form in relation to matter, but it is potential in relation to existence. The form
determines the matter in the order of formal causality (e.g., horseness makes
animal to be horse rather than lion), but the resulting essence may exist (a
horse does) or may not exist (a unicorn does not), therefore it is still potential to
existence. (Summa Theologica, Q. 3).
The following diagram is taken from Kreefts, 88.
Being Actuality

First Cause



coming into

( developing
of its being)

B1: individual
B2: species
B3: cosmos
B4: history of
Aquinas defined exemplary cause as a form or idea in imitation of which
something comes to be; because it was in the intention of the agent when he
assigned this goal to his action. The exemplary cause differs logically from the
final: the final moves the will, the exemplary guides the intellect. It also differs
from the formal cause: the formal alludes to reality, the exemplary to ideas.
Before something begins to be in reality, it is already in the mind of the agent,
and in the case of the entire creation, in the mind of God. The creatures essences
are eternal, even if their existence is temporal. Essence is actualized as being of
reason, even before it is actualized as a real being by receiving the act of
existence [De La Torre, 116-117].
On Sacra Doctrina
For Thomas Aquinas there is only one source of truth and that is God
(active, dynamic, willing). No science or set of sciences can prove everything.
For every proof presupposes some principles or starting point or assumptions as
its data. Theologys principles and data is divine revelation i.e., Scriptures
(articles of faith, the truths revealed to us by God in Scriptures and summarized
in the creeds of the church). Sacra doctrina is a science because it argues from
principles known in a
Higher science that, namely of God and the blessed. It is both theoretical and
practical. Even as God by the one knowledge knows himself and his works. It is
superior to all others because it has its degree of certitude from the light of Gods
knowledge. It is wisdom in the most exact sense. Sacra doctrina develops
conclusions about God as highest cause as to what is known to himself alone and
communicated to others through revelation. It has God as subject. It has a
defensive function. It engages in disputation with anyone denying its principles.
No other sciences are higher. Its proper authorities are those of the canonical
Scriptures. It employs metaphor rightly as God comes for all beings in a way
suited to their nature. It highly interprets its book in many senses. God is the
author of the Sacred Scripture in whose power it lies to adopt not only words but
also things to bear meaning.

The Knower and the Known For Thomas, the knower (whether by sense or by
intellect), before knowing, only potentially knows, or is indeterminate with
regard to the known. To be in potency to a determination means both to lack
the determination and to be capable of acquiring it. The knower does not have
form as matter has form.
The knower receives the form of the known not subjectively. The form
received in the knower is the form of another: of the known. Knower has nothing
save his or her own form only, but a knower is naturally apt to have the form also
of another thing. In those things, which participate knowledge, form is found in
a higher manner than in those, which lack it. In those things which lack
knowledge there is found only form determining each thing to one be of their
own which is the natural be of each thing. In things having knowledge each
thing is determined to its own natural being by natural form which is receptive of
the forms of other things: just as sense receives the forms of all-sensible, and
intellect of all understandable. Thus forms exist in a higher manner in things
having knowledge, above the manner of natural forms. (1, q. 14 and 80).
The knower receives the form of the known not physically. Through the
received form neither is the knower physically determined, so as to undergo
some physical change or acquire some physical constitution other than it
previously did not have, nor is any physical corruption in the knower entailed.
The form received in the knower is the form of another: of the known.
Intelligible form united to intellect does not constitute some nature, but perfects it
to understand.
The knower receives the form of the known not compositively. From the
union of the received form with the receiving knower there results no compound
from knower and form, which would be some third. Neither the recipient or
knower, nor the received form or the known. The form received in the knower
remains the form of another: of the known. The form of another thing cannot be
(in knower) according to its natural be, for it would follow that united together
with something it would constitute one nature which cannot be. Bit the
intelligible species (form) united to intellect does not constitute some nature, but
perfects it to understand. Matter receives form that it be constituted in the being
of some species. But not thus does intellect receive form.
The knower, in knowing, has form. But it is, and remains, the form of the
known, not of the knower. The knower in knowing is self-perfective. Human
know is an activity of the knower, which presupposes undergo. The knower,
in knowing, can perfect itself only from another (the known). In every
knowledge, what the knower knows is known as object. Knowledge requires an
object with which the knower determines itself. (The knower does not produce
the object: it supposes it. The knower knows the object as it is in itself, not
merely as it is in the knower.)
Man is by nature a social or political animal. What is given about human
life is that we are born into the community of the family and are dependent on it

for years in order to survive. The moral consists in behaving well in this given
setting. Man is a rational animal, rationality being a kind of conditioned
intellectuality. Man does not know through direct intellectual intuitions, but
through a complex process which goes from the sensible to the intellectual, from
the external appearance to the essence of things, from the particular to the
universal, from contingent facts of experience to the necessary principles of
being. By this process the concept is formed, but the process goes on: Man
proceeds from the concept to judgments, from judgments to reasoning, from the
better known to the unknown. Human knowledge implies a constant process of
abstraction, composition and division, inference and reflection in different
degrees [De La Torre, 120].
Man is not a compound of body and soul, but a body that is what it is
(namely, a human body) by reason of its union with the soul. The soul is
envisaged as the substantial form of the matter, which is a human body. The
union between the two is a substantial one. If the form is not a human soul,
then the body is not a human body. The soul could act independently of the
human body: first, the activity of knowing is independent of matter; second, the
activity of reflection. Man, through his soul is aware that he is aware or knows
that he knows.
Man is said to be the image of God by reason of his intellectual nature.
Man possesses a natural aptitude for understanding and loving God. This
aptitude contains the very nature of the mind, which is common to all men.
Creation -This is found in all men. Man is the most perfectly like God
according to that in which he can best imitate God in his intellectual nature. Man
actually and habitually knows and loves God. This image consists in the
conformity of grace. Re-creation This is found only in the just. Man knows
and loves God perfectly.
This image consists in the likeness of glory.
Likeness This is found only in the blessed.
Hierarchy of Beings [Kreefts]
& Potency & Kind
Pure form
Pure act
Knowledge =
1 with being
w/ being

Pure form

(potency &
Rational soul
Essence &
Form of body existence
& matter &

Sensitive soul






No soul; pure


On Principles of Individuation
Essence is the 1 st principle of individuation in all created beings. God
alone is individualized by his own existence; in him there is no distinction
between essence and existence. The angels are individualized only by their
essence, they do not have matter; each angel is a different species or essence.
Material beings are individualized twice: as species by their essence, and by
matter within the same species. Bodies can be multiplied within the same species
because they have matter [De La Torre 117-118]. St. Thomas negated
Augustinian seedlike principles for they simply a certain actuality dormant in the
prime matter, whole prime matter is pure potentiality or privation. Any actuality
adjunct to a subsistent being must come from an agent or being in act inasmuch
as it is in act. He also objected to the concept of spiritual matter in the angels,
who, he believed, are composed of act and potency, essence and existence, but
not matter and form [Ibid.].
On Happiness
Thomas Aquinas believed in the following: Every agent acts for an end.
Every agent acts for a good. All things are directed to one end, which is God.
This end is happiness (beatitude) or the complete satisfaction of all-rational
human desires. Happiness is the supreme norm of morality: whatever leads to
happiness is morally good; whatever diverts man from the attainment of
happiness is evil. Mans happiness does not consist in wealth, worldly power, and
goods of the body. Human happiness is not seated in the senses. Mans ultimate
happiness is not in this life.

If mans ultimate happiness consists not in external things, which are
called goods of chance; nor in goods of the body; nor in goods of the soul, as
regards the sensitive faculty; nor as regards the intellectual faculty, in the practice
of moral virtue; nor as regards the intellectual virtue in those which are
concerned about action, namely art and prudence; Thomas Aquinas concluded
that mans ultimate happiness consists solely in the contemplation of God who is
the truth.
On Potencies
sensation the act of a sense; passion the act of a sensitive appetite;
appetition the act of an appetite


~~~~~~~~~ sentient appetite


~~~~~~~~~ rational appetite

In man:
1. vegetative



2. sensitive

external senses (5)

a) cognitive
b) appetitive
cognitive ~~~~intellect
3. rational
appetitive ~~~~will

An Appetite, for St. Thomas is a tendency towards a known good or away
from a known object (evil). 2 kinds of appetite (based on the 2 kinds of
Passion is the state of affection or state of being affected by things we perceived
through sensation.
Concupiscible appetites involve ease and facility in acquiring or avoiding its
desired object.
Irascible appetites involve great difficulty and exertion in acquiring or
avoiding its known object.
St. Thomas differentiated the principle of life the soul from the
immediate principles of vital acts the potencies. There are cognitive potencies
(the perceiving senses and the intellect) and appetitive potencies (the sensible
appetite and the will).
11 Passions in man:

1. concupiscible

2. irascible

a. love if the person is impelled to

seek that which is suitable to his
b. desire If he is impelled to possess
that which he loves.
c. joy when he rests in and possesses
the object desired (beloved).
d. sorrow when he does not, he
experiences sorrow.
e. hatred - If he is expelled by the
object known.
f. aversion If he shrinks back to
the hated object.
a. hope If he is impelled to seek a
greater good (with difficulties), he
experiences hope.
b. despair when he cannot, he
experiences despair.
c. courage If in the face of
overwhelming evil that cannot be
avoided except with difficulty and
exertion like danger of life, he feels
d. fear when he may shrink from the
unconquerable evil which makes him
feel fear.

e. anger when he accepts an evil he
cannot conquer.
On Natural Law
The natural law is a special kind of knowledge, not about bad, but about
human beings and human nature. Through human reason reflecting on human
nature, human beings can determine what is for their own good and at the same
time what God requires. Aquinas then moves on to the specific norms of
natural law based on the natural inclinations:
a. The first inclination to the good is common to all created reality. It is
the tendency to persevere in this being. Preserving and protecting life as
a basic value belongs to the natural law on the basis of this inclination.
b. The second inclination to the good is generic to animals. Insofar as
humans are animals, what nature has taught all animals belongs to the
natural law. Included here is the tendency toward the procreation and
education of offspring.
c. The third inclination to the good is specific to humans. Whatever
pertains to reason belongs to the natural law
Thomas Aquinas held that the ultimate end of the human person is the
first ethical consideration. The fundamental drives or tendencies of the person
are oriented toward the fulfillment of human potential; the morally good is
whatever leads to that ultimate fulfillment union with God. Law serves as the
final end of being human.

H. The Renaissance 18 [De La Torre, 143-163]

Late Scholasticism (The Modern Way): William of Ockham (1300-1349)

Ockham was an English Franciscan philosopher. He believed in the

following: first, theory of knowledge all knowledge begins with intuition. All
intuitions are originally sensible perceptions.
They become intellectual
cognitions when the intellect acknowledges the object of sensible perception.
Concepts are reproductions of existent objects previously intuited then bound
together by purely intellectual relations. The universals are more than words,
they are concept-terms with a general supposition; second, empiricism
substances, essences, causes are not directly experienced; third metaphysics
the essence of a being is the same as its existence. It is only conceived abstractly
or as separated from its existence; fourth, predestination (absolute contingency
of creatures) Gods omnipotence and absolute freedom (Everything depends on
Gods will, and Gods will does not depend on anything. Creatures depend on
God on their existence and essence); fifth, soul there is plurality of substantial
forms in man (not with certainty but with probability). Man performs some
spiritual operations, such as intellection and volition, but to prove that these acts
proceed from a substance known, as soul is impossible; sixth, Gods existence
and essence Gods existence cannot be proved by reason with certainty but
only with probability. Once Gods existence has been known through revelation,

we can prove that he has those perfections, which he shares with man, such as
goodness and intelligence. There are other perfections in God, which are proper
to him alone, such as omnipotence and infinity; seventh, moral doctrine there
are no necessary essences, thus, nothing is necessarily good or evil, except by a
positive decree of God. God forbids fornication, murder, etc., he could have
decided to allow them, and such acts would not be sinful. This is known as
theological positivism and contradicts the traditional doctrine of natural law [De
la Torre, 136ff.].

Transition to the Renaissance: Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464)

A secular priest, born in Cusa, Germany, of austere habits. He became a
Cardinal and acted as Papal Legate in Germany. He upholds the following: first,
knowledge he never contradicted physical and mathematical sciences. He
cultivated empirical observations on the motion of the earth, the sizes of the sun,
earth and the moon. He held that there were higher levels of knowledge: sense
perception the lowest stage of human knowledge (affirmation). Through it
beings are grasped in their plurality. Reason is ruled by the principle of
contradiction (affirmation and negation). Intellect the highest kind of
knowledge, it transcends logic and human language and surpasses science and
mathematics. Complete knowledge is not incurred through science but through
mystical union, i.e., reaching by the intellect the coincidence of opposites known
as God. Man must empty himself of the infatuations of reason and of dialectical
intricacies to attain mystical union; second, God and the world creatures are
finite, they possess different qualities and quantities. God is infinite. He is the
coincidence of opposites. God has no size. God is the essence of the world. The
world is the development of God as numbers are the unfolding of the one, motion
of rest, time of the instant eternity, and difference of equality; third, nature of
man nature is the soul of the world. He accentuated the internal dynamism of
the world. Man is a microcosmos, a small world which reflects the great world.
Man is superior to the world. He has intellect in search of God. He has freedom
[De La Torre, 140ff.].

Independent and Eclectic Humanists: Pico della Mirandolla (14631494)

John Pico della Mirandola fostered eclectic humanism. Humanism
became a cult of literary style and of classical Latin. He defended in Rome his
900 theses exposing the renaissance concept of man. He envisaged that man
might make of himself what he wishes to be. Man is a configuration of the
created universe: the immaterial angels, the material but incorruptible
heavenly bodies, and corruptible earthly bodies.

New Trends in Political Philosophy: Nicholas Machiavelli (1469-1527)

Machiavelli was pessimistic on human conduct stressing the governance
of public affairs. If not restrained, men would follow their egoistic impulses.
Force must be met by force. Only a prince, a good man of decision, could

overcome the power of local tyrants and lead all citizens to the realization of a
powerful fatherland. He claimed a double standard of morality in private and
public lives. He justified the use of evil means to attain a good end. Political
authority is based on force not on reason. The state is not a means of fulfilling
human potentialities but a restraining or enforcing agency, a police institution.
Liberty is not the prerogative of human dignity, but a privilege bestowed or
tolerated by the state. This is the mechanistic-quantitative foundation of the
modern state, corresponding to the mechanic-quantitative foundation of modern
physical sciences [De la Torre, 152ff.].

Natural Philosophy and Scientific Methodology: Francis Bacon (15611626)19

Francis Bacon was the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon (Lord Keeper of the
Seal). Queen Elizabeth and Lord Burghley declined Bacons perspective on
reform of the sciences. Bacon became a parliamentarian. In 1603, the Scottish
King James V1 succeeded Queen Elizabeth as James 1 of England, Bacon was
knighted at 1603. He became a member of the Privy Council in 1616 and was
appointed Lord Keeper of the Great Seal (gaining the same position as his
father). He was granted a title of Lord Chancellor and created Baron of Verulam
in 1618. In 1621, he was created viscount of St. Albans. He was impeached by
parliament for corruption as a judge. He devoted the last five years of his life to
his philosophical work.
Bacon wanted to restore to mankind the dominion over the universe that
was lost with the fall of man. He differentiated pure and uncorrupted natural
knowledge and the proud desire of moral knowledge to judge good and evil. In
Novum Organon, he argued on idols and false notion that impedes learning such
as idols of the tribe their perceptions), idols of the cave (idols of individual man,
heir idiosyncrasies and prejudices), idols of the market place (intercourse and
association of people on daily activities) and idols of the theatre (dogmas,
systems and theories after an unreal and scenic fashion). His method of
overcoming what impedes knowledge, he proposed induction. Induction is the
procedure by which general laws or principles are deduced from a number of
instances. It is organized to his standpoint of forms. An underlying structure of
nature is simple comprising a basic set of forms that geared us to understand the
complexity of the surface of the world as apprehended by the senses [Collinson
Bacon criticized Plato, Aristotle, the Aristotelians, Humanists and
Renaissance scholars. For Bacon, Aristotles cosmology and theory of science
became obsolete. Bacon upholds philosophia naturalis, the basis for his concept
of the sciences and thus of materialism. He splits natural science into physics
(investigates variable and particular causes) and metaphysics (general and
constant ones, for which the term form is used). Metaphysics is distinct from
philosophia prima (marks the position in the system where general categories of
a general theory of science are treated as universal categories of thought and

indispensable for all disciplines. Final causes are discredited for it leads to
difficulties in science as it temps to amalgamate theological and teleological
points of doctrine. At the summit of Bacons pyramid of knowledge are the laws
of nature (the most general principles). At its base the pyramid starts with
observations, moves on to variant relations and then to more inclusive
correlations until it reaches the stage of forms. The process of generalization
ascends from natural history via physics toward metaphysics, whereas accidental
correlations and relations are eliminated by the method of exclusion.
Metaphysics, for Bacon excludes the infinity of individual experience by
generalization with a teleological focus and opens our mind to engender more
possibilities for the efficient application of general laws.
Concerning matter theory and cosmology, Bacon held that man is capable
of explicating the process of nature if he could incur full insight into the hidden
structure and the secret endeavors of matter. He focuses on the queries on how
natural order is engendered, viz. by the interplay of matter and motion. His
materialistic standpoint on natural law is evident. The Law of Nature is a virtus
(mater-cum-motion) or power in concurrence with material paradigm or the force
implanted by God in these first particles, forms the multiplication of all the
variety of things. Force is an appetite or instinct of primal matter. It is the
natural motion of the atom, the original and unique force that fashions all things
out of matter. Bacons theory of matter and his atomism are connected to his
cosmology, magic and alchemy. Bacons concept of form is possible by
integration into his mater paradigm, which diminishes the world of appearances
to some minimal configurations accessible and open to manipulation by the
knower/maker. Bacon purified and modified versions of chemistry, alchemy and
physiology in his explication of the world. Bacon conjoins his specific version
of Paraclesian cosmic chemistry to Islamic celestial kinematics. The chemical
world system supports his explication of celestial motion in the face of
contemporary astronomical problems. Bacons cosmological system proposes a
finite universe, a geocentric plenum (the earth is passive and constitutes tangible
matter). The remaining universe contains active or pneumatic matter. The
interior and tangible mater of the earth is covered by a crust, which splits it from
the pneumatic heaven, the zone between the earth and the middle region of the
air allows a mixture of pneumatic and tangible matter, which is the origin of
organic and non-organic phenomena. Bacon alluded to attached spirit. He
assumes four kinds of free spirit: air and terrestrial fire (the weak variant of
sidereal fire. It joins with oily substances and sulfur known as sulphur
quarternion containing antithetical qualities: air and ether versus fire and sidereal
fire), which alludes to the sublunary realm, ether (the medium in which planets
moved around the central earth) and sidereal fire, which are important to the
celestial realm. Air and ether, as well as watery non-inflammable bodies is the
first group of substance or to the Mercury Quarternion.

Pascals Wager: Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)20

Blaise Pascal was the son of a local judge, demonstrated exceptional
ability as a child. He became a mathematician and laid down the principles of
the theory of probabilities. He completed the full account of the geometry of the
cycloid. The cycloid is the curved traced out by a point on the circumference of a
circular hoop, which rolls along a straight line. He also published the geometry of
conics known as Pascals theorem: if a hexagon be inscribed in a conic, the
points of intersection of the opposite sides will lie in a straight line. If a
quadrilateral be inscribed in a conic, and a straight line be drawn cutting the sides
taken in order in the points A,B,C, and D, and the conic in P and Q, then
PA.PC:PB,PD=QA.QC:QB.QD. In 1650, he studied religion. Pascals Wager is
an argument whether God is or isnt. Pascals wager claims that an infinite prize
really warrants a finite wager. Blaise Pascal, the Father of the probability theory
says, consequences outweigh probability. This is about the confluence of
several strands in intellectual thought: the justification of theism, probability
theory and decision theory. It also involves pragmatism, voluntarism (the thesis
that belief is a matter of the will), and the use of the concept of infinity. Pascals
wager constitutes three premises: the first is the decision matrix of rewards; the
second is the probability that you should give to Gods existence, and the third is
a maxim about rational discretion making.
1. Either God exists or god does not exist, and you can either wager for god
or wager against God. The utilities of the relevant possible outcomes are
as follows, where f1, f 2, f3 are numbers whose values are not specified

beyond the requirement that hey be finite:

God exists
Wager for God
Wager against God



God does not exist


2. Rationality requires the probability that you assign to god existing to be

positive, and not infinitesimal.
3. Rationality requires you to perform the act of maximum expected utility
(when there is one).
4. Conclusion 1. Rationality requires you to wager for God.
5. Conclusion 2. You should wager for God.
Objections to Pascals Wager
Premise 1: The Decision Matrix
1. Different matrices for different people The argument assumes that the
same decision matrix applies to everybody. Relevant awards, however,
are different for different people. There is a predestined infinite reward
for the chosen, whatever they do, and finite utility for the rest.
2. The utility of salvation could not be infinite Whatever the utility of
salvation might be, it must be finite. Perhaps, infinite utility makes

sense, but an infinite reward could only be finitely appreciated by a
human person.
3. There should be more than one infinity in the matrix It might be
thought that a forgiving God would bestow infinite utility upon
wagerers-for and wagerers-against alike or it might be thought that, on
the contrary, wagering against an existent God results in negative infinite
utility. Suppose God does not exist, but that we are reincarnated ad
infinitum, and that the total utility we receive is an infinite sum that does
not converge.
4. The matrix should have more rows God might not reward infinitely
those who strive to believe in Him only for the very mercenary reasons
that Pascal gives. Imagine differentiating belief based on faith from
belief based on evidential reasons, and posit different rewards in each
5. The matrix should have more columns: the many Gods objections If
Pascal is right that reason can decide nothing here, then other theistic
hypotheses are also live options. Suppose God either exists or does not
exist, by excluded middle this is a partition. The objection is that the
partition is not adequately fine-grained and that God odes not exist
column subdivides into various other theistic hypotheses. Pascals
argument proves too much. Rationality demands believing in a number
of incompatible theistic hypotheses.

I. Modern Philosophy (Anthropocentric Period)

1. Modern Rationalism: Rene Descartes21 (1596-1650)

Descartes was born on March 31, 1596 in La Haye, Touraine, and France.
He was known as a jack of all trades contributing to the areas of anatomy,
cognitive science, optics, mathematics, and philosophy. He is the father of
modern rationalism. He is called also a soldier of fortune, a scientist, scholar,
pilgrim, traveler, and a firm adherent of the Roman Catholic faith. He studied at
the Jesuit college of La Fleche. He moved to Holland and conducted most of his
researches on a doubt-proof system of science based on mathematical principles.
Descartes philosophy is an exploration on the notion of self, God and mind. He
apprehended the significance of happiness in determining mans moral life.
Happiness is to be incurred by striving for the knowledge of God as the author of
things, knowledge of the universe, knowledge of the soul as distinct form the
body, and knowledge of self as part of the domestic and civil society. Descartes
upholds the subjection of emotions to the dictates of reason. The fact of freedom
is presupposed by the fact that we doubt. In doubting, we are not obliged to give
our assent. He taught cartesianism (from his Latin name Renatus Cartesius). His
aim in philosophy is simply to furnish a conceptual foundation for the new
mechanical physics based on the Copernican system. He questioned traditional
ideas and devised a method for reaching the truth known as the method of

systematic doubt. Thus, the modern period start with Descartes. The perspectives
of Descartes are as follows:
1. Beliefs based on sensory data are not certain. He applied methodic doubt
in ascertaining whether his existence is real. It is avoiding falling into
deception of believing of something as real. Senses might be an illusion
created by malicious deceiver. Thus, senses cannot be trusted.
2. He established the superiority of understanding in acquiring knowledge.
Mathematics contributed to an overall mathematical order to the universe
that was independent of senses.
3. Through reasoning there is a claim that cannot be doubted: when one
contemplates ones existence, it is not possible to have the slightest doubt
that one does in fact exist (Cogito, ergo sum I think, therefore, I am).
The I in this claim is not a physical person, but an immaterial mind.
With the self as the starting point, he then explored the more complicated
truths on the existence of God and the existence of the external world.
4. Cartesian dualism is the view that the world consists of two
fundamental types of entities: physical bodies and immaterial minds.
Only minds can think. The cogito can only be used to show that a mind
5. He sees God as the link between the rational world of the mind and the
mechanical world of the intellect. The existence of God is possible by the
presence in our minds of the idea of an all-perfect being (God). This
cannot be the product or the creation of our minds since we are an
imperfect being or source (cause), for the effect cannot be greater than
the cause. Thus, God put this idea of an all-perfect being into our minds.
This is something innate in our minds. It does not have mental existence
only but it tells us that God really exists.
6. Human beings were composites of two kinds of substances, mind and
body. A mind is a conscious or thinking being. It understands, wills,
senses and imagines. A body is a being extended in length, width, and
breath. Minds are invisible, where bodies are infinitely divisible. It is
entirely immaterial and non-spatial.
7. The I of the I think, therefore I am is the mind and can exist without
being extended. Mind and body are of different natures, but they
causally interact. The human mind causes motions in the bodies by
moving a small part of the brain. Motions in the same part of the brain
produce sensations and emotions.
8. Bodies differ from how they appear through senses. Colors, sounds,
tastes, smells, heat and cold are merely sensations existing in thought.
There is nothing in bodies that resembles them.
9. The properties of bodies are those, which are capable of being quantified,
i.e., extension and its modes, shape, size and motion.

10. Denial of the existence of a vacuum (definition of body in virtue of being
extended in three dimensions). All the phenomena in the world external
to human beings, such as gravity, magnetism and the cohesion of bodies
could be explained by mechanistic physics.

Nicholas Malebranche (1638-1715)

Nicholas Malebranche, a priest influenced by St. Augustine and Descartes.
His philosophical viewpoint are as follows: first, Malebranche maintained that all
knowledge must be subjected to methodic doubt; second, doubt is a manifestation
of mans contingency and freedom; third, the spiritual and the material
substances are incommunicable. Beyond Descartes viewpoint, he held that man
is incapable of knowing anything with the absence of supernatural revelation (the
message of personal God in historical moment). He also alluded to natural
revelation wherein God manifests something to us through our natural
experience. Concerning Dscartes steps in upholding certainty, Malebranche held:
first, the self as thinking only not substance. The source of knowledge is natural
evidence for it is the subject of immediate perception. The degree of certainty is
not infallible but conjectural. The thinking self can be doubted. Assenting to it is
not a logical indispensable but a free act; second, the knowledge of eternal truth
is occasioned by the perception of the thinking self, but it is caused by our innate
capacity of reflecting. Reflection and innate concepts are the sources of eternal
truths, it opens the possibility of supernatural revelation; third, the source of
knowledge of the thinking self with certainty is the natural revelation for it
discloses the truth of its existence. It is not rooted on the natural evidence but on
natural revelation; fourth, the knowledge of all other existing things. Man as a
substance, our bodies, and all other things, are known with certainty only through
supernatural revelation and are known conjecturally through natural revelation
[De La Torre, 178-180].

2. Continental Rationalism : Baruch Spinoza22 (16321677)

Baruch Benedict de Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher. He was

intended to become a rabbi studying the Talmud and the Hebrew. He studied the
thoughts of Thomas Hobbes, Rene Descartes, and Giordano Bruno. He was
excommunicated from the Jews of Amsterdam. His solitary labors produced a
complex and profound philosophical system.
1. Fundamental to this system is the belief that God or nature is the eternal
or infinite substance from which all things come. God or nature is the
cause, the natura naturans (nature that natures or naturing nature) that
leads by causes to natura naturata (nature that has been natured).
2. He viewed the world as possessing an intelligible structure according to
which every event was in principle comprehensible as a necessary part of
the whole. The logical order of that whole was to be understood only
through itself and was termed substance, nature, or God.

3. He offered a solution to the traditional philosophical problem of the
relation between mind and body.
Descartes held two separate
substances. Spinoza affirmed two aspects of the one substance. The
infinite substance possesses an infinite number of attributes. Humanity
is able to grasps two aspects: thought (cogito) and extension (extensio);
one is the essence of the mind and the essence of the body. Substance is
independent. Anything that has an external cause cannot be dependent.
Thus, substance does not have an external cause. But everything must
have a cause. Thus, substance is its own cause. But no finite thing is its
own cause. Thus, substance is not finite. Spinoza proposed the
following: first, there cannot be two substances of the same nature or
attribute; second, every substance is necessarily infinite; third, it is the
nature of the substance to exist; fourth, God necessarily exists; finally,
Except God, no substance can be conceived.
4. God is not a personal God who influences events and lives. Spinoza
believed on a broad pantheism in which God or nature is intimately
connected with all things, existing in all things as all things exist in God
and flow directly from God. His pantheistic monism alludes to the
reality and God as one. Thus, reality is identified with God.
5. Spinoza differentiated perception: first, hearsay (the lowest plane);
second, obscure and confusing experience. Knowledge is grounded on
analogy; third, imperfect inference (the perception of the essence of
something: a remote cause); fourth, perfect inference.
6. The different configuration of knowledge constituted the sphere of
opinion or imagination (knowledge of universal ideas, confused images
engendered by the reiteration of sensations), reason -scientific. Common
notions and conclusions inferred are abstract. Finally, intuition.
7. As a determinist, his moral theory and view of the ideal life is freedom.
It is conceiving the order of nature and submission to it. Conatus or
endeavor is the basic drive of all beings. It becomes desire in man, a
conscious being. The perfection of beings stems from activity or power.
The outcome is pleasure. The opposite is becoming passive. Pain springs
from this nature known as passions. The emotive sphere of pleasure and
pain can be active (virtues) or passive (passions).
8. The highest plane of apprehension and the path to freedom and happiness
is knowing God and all things in God (the fullness of human reason). His
relativist position, to achieve salvation, the intellectual love of God
which is blessedness, knowledge of and identification with the order of
the universe, man must be freed from the bondage of emotions and strive
through reason. Reason enables man to control his emotive spheres.
9. Man is a social being. He is related with others. His nature necessitates
society. Against Hobbes, Spinoza upholds a democratic form of

governance establishing the state on the sphere of reason, peaceful and

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz23 (1646-1716)

Leibniz was born in Leipzig, Germany. He received his Doctorate of
Laws at Aldorf. He became a legal counselor in the court of Mainz. In 1672, he
was sent to Paris on a diplomatic mission. In 1676, He was at the service of
various nobles such as in the court of the Duke of Brunswick. Leibnizs
philosophical system is as follows:
1. His conceptions of the nature of propositions and of substances. All
propositions assert the inclusion of one concept in another. Thus, anyone
who fully understands the concept of man must know everything else
that is to know about him his current situation, history and future.
Such full understanding is beyond the grasp of our finite minds, but is
not beyond the grasp of God.
2. Any object in the universe is connected in some way or another.
3. Every substance is like an entire world and like a mirror of God, or
indeed of the whole world which it portrays, each one in its own fashion.
Each substance reflects all the others. No substance can really cause any
change in any other. What happens to be causal interaction among
substances is really a pre-established harmony among them, reflecting
the fact that God created each one with an eye to all the rest. This is
known as the philosophy of universal harmony.
4. Leibniz alluded to substance as being capable of action. God is pure
activity and absolute perfection. Finite beings are imperfect. This
finitude is known as prime matter, potency or potentiality. Finite
substances are simple known as monads Greek unit or compound,
which stems from the aggregation of monads: first, inorganic
aggregates purely mechanical (coexistence of a number of monads in
space and time); second, organic aggregates a leading monad the soul
bestowing unity to the compound [De La Torre, 203]. Every monad is a
perceiving entity, endowed with perception. The universe is mirrored by
these monads. These monads are windowless. They are not open to the
influence of other monads. They are open to God who brings order and
unity ion the universe. Monads form a hierarchy, in which some are
superior to others in the clearness and distinctness with which they
mirror the universe. In all these is some degree of confusion in
perception, but the amount of confusion varies according to the dignity
of the monad concerned. A human body is entirely composed of monads,
each of which s a soul, and each of which is immortal.
5. Monads are: first, real (things); second, simple (no extension, springs
merely by creation, ceases merely by annihilation.
substances are engendered by aggregation and disengagement of monads
(generation and corruption); third, dynamic (force or energy. The

potentiality or passivity linked to finite monads is not part of their
essence); fourth, unique; finally, incommunicable (one monad cannot
act directly on others. Monads are windowless) [De La Torre, 204].
6. The identity of indiscernible of all the harmoniously evolving
substances in the universe, no two are alike in every respect. If any two
were completely alike, they would be one substance rather than two.
7. Leibniz ontological argument on Gods existence is depicted as: God is
possible. It entails that he exists. Leibniz considered his argument on
possibility. The possible is more than the noncontradictory. All possible
things are affirmatively ready to become existent, if there would be a
necessary reason for them to do so. God is not only noncontradictory.
He also has in himself the adequate reason for his existence, as
evidenced by the assessment of the concepts involved [De La Torre,
8. Leibniz alluded to theodicy as the study of divine providence .God chose
the actual world from among many other possibilities. Our world is
somehow better than any of the others, for God always chooses what is
best. The presence of evil in the world is referred to as: first, moral evil
(God allowed voluntary sin of man to occur); second, physical evil (not
an absolute evil for it contributes to the good of the universe and
perfection of mans virtue); third, metaphysical evil (the natural
imperfection of finite beings).
9. The degree of competence of substances or hierarchy of beings are as
follows: first, inorganic substances (with perception and appetition, no
apperception); second, living substances below human plane have souls
(with degree of consciousness or apperception. Animals (with memory
and feelings are higher. Brutes have apperception of truths); third, Man
is capable of apperception of fact and truths of reason; finally, God
comprising apperception of truths of reason only. God simply wants to
share his perfections with his creatures [De La Torre, 266-267].
The mere possibility of these other worlds defeats the implication that whatever
happens in our world is necessary. Leibnizs view rule out human freedom.
God has decreed, The will shall always seek the apparent good in certain
particular respects. He, without at all necessitating our choice, determines it by
that which appears most desirable. Whatever we do stems from our own will,
and is done in pursuit of our vision of the good. Hence, anything we do is our
own responsibility. God inclines our souls without necessitating them.

3. Empiricism
British Empiricism: Thomas Hobbes Egoism(1588 1679)

It is said that his birth occurred prematurely, as a result of his mothers

fright at the approach of the Spanish Armada to the English coastline. During his
long life he met many of the leading intellectuals of the age, including Francis

Bacon, Gassendi, and Galileo. At one time during the Puritan Revolution, he
acted as tutor to Prince Charles (later Charles 11), who had fled from England to
Paris after the execution of his father. Hobbes was 91 when he died.
As a political philosopher, Thomas Hobbes 24 wrote Leviathan. Leviathan
is a classic in the history of political theory. Leviathan is an artificial man, with
sovereignty as an artificial soul. It also contains metaphysics, theology,
psychology, and ethics. Hobbes attempted to derive his metaphysics from the
atomistic materialism of the classical Greeks. The foundation of Hobbes method
was the Galilean principle that everything is fundamentally matter in motion. He
believed that he could explain everything, including our moral life, in terms of
matter in motion. Human beings are sensory creatures. Man has passions (e.g.,
self preservation) and reasons (an exploration to the way of peace, the
commonwealth of men). Sensory experience is caused by so many several
motions of matter known as the conceptions of the mind. The picture he paints
of human nature is far from flattering man is a creature whose whole life is a
continual struggle for power to satisfy his never-fulfilled desires, a struggle that
he wages incessantly and ferociously against all other members of his kind.
Hobbes speculates how selfish people would behave in a state of nature prior to
the formation of any government. Humans are essentially equal, both mentally
and physically. The weakest person has the capacity to kill the strongest. Our
conditions to nature make up prone to quarrel such as competition for limited
supplies of material possessions, distrust of one another, and glory for people
who would like to remain hostile to preserve their powerful reputation. As
Hobbes himself puts it, the human condition is a war of every man against
every man. In this situation, humans are in a state of constant fear wherein
morality does not exist. There are three motivations to end this war: the fear of
death, the desire to have adequate living and the hope to attain this through ones
labor. The state of nature is analogous to a large person. The state parallels the
function of the parts of the human body. Human nature as humans are the
creators of the state. For Hobbes any account of human action, including morality
must be self-serving. This is known as psychological egoism. It is egoistic or
self-interested. Our own benefit, welfare or interest is the only thing that
provides an ultimate motive or reason for acting. It is ultimate because egoists
are acting for the benefit of other people when benefiting others is a means to
benefiting oneself. Such instrumentally other benefiting actions are possible and
can be rational. We can act for the benefit of others only instrumentally to our
own good. He also describes human nature as an account of voluntary motions
known as the passions. Appetites are ultimately nothing but motions in the
body. Vital motions determine all appetitive motions. Every appetite must be
conducive to ones own preservation. Man has passions and reasons. The most
fundamental one is self-preservation. It is the fear of violent death that moves
man to self-preservation. It is the right of nature. This compels him to advocate
peace. Reason is an instrument for helping others gets what he wants. It dictates

the most effective means for his preservation. Mans reason discovers the way to
peace. Peace is the commonwealth of man. It is an antidote to war. Preservation
of lives through peace is collectively done through mutual agreement known as
contract. Personhood is inalienable.
insisted on the apprehension of the self as the beginning of all
knowledge. The apprehension can be either sensible or
highlighted sensible intuition
Maintained intellectual perception and reasoning
On Materialism
Only bodies allude to the study of philosophy. Only bodies come to be
through generation; generation is the most typical case of causation. Philosophy
deals only with causal relations. The essence of the body constitutes quantity and
motion. Bodes as they moved around influence each other. Some are destroyed,
some are generated. Organisms result from quantity and motion as much as
inanimate bodies. Life consists in the motion of the blood, perpetually circulating
in the veins and arteries. There is not immaterial soul that could survive the
disintegration of the body. Thinking is not a spiritual act, but only computation
or addition and subtraction. There is no contradiction that matter thinks. The
existence of God is outside the field of philosophy. Theology is not a science but
only a matter of faith. The study of the state is philosophical because the state is
a body, which springs through generation [De La Torre, 182].
On Sensism and Naturalism
Only sensible experience enriches our mind with new ideas. Concrete
things alone exist. Universal concepts are mere names, which are useful only
insofar as they depict meaningful relations among things. Substances, essences
and causality are conventional names. We do not perceive any objective
connection between a set of phenomena known as effects and another set known
as causes. This motion of the brain continues to the heart, there to be called
passion. The fundamental passion of both animal and man is self-preservation.
Man is only refined than brute for he apprehends that he must strive for power.
Everything else knowledge, honor, etc. is merely a different kind of power. It is
the quest for power that unfolds mans mental competence. Freedom is the
power to choose the sensible motion offering the greatest pleasure and the least
pain. Nothing is absolutely good or evil apart from the assessment of civil law
[De La Torre, 182-183].
Thomas Hobbes Laws of Nature: Natural law tradition of morality
For Hobbes, from human self-interest and social agreement alone, one
can deduce the laws, which are immutably fixed in nature. He redefines
traditional moral terms such as right, liberty, contract and justice. The laws of
nature are a precept, or general rule, the foundation of which, is reason wherein a
person is forbidden to do what is destructive of his life.
1. Seek peace and follow the law of self preservation

2. The golden rule: mutual divesting of certain rights. Mutual transferring
of these rights is a contract and is the ground of the notion of moral
obligation and duty.
3. Man must perform their covenants made (keeping the contracts made)
4. Man pursues their own self-interest: gratitude to those who comply
(contract). Ingratitude is the outcome /breach of this law.
5. Accommodating to the interest of society. (Quarrel interrupts peace).
6. Cautious pardoning of those who commit past offenses
7. The purpose of punishment is to correct the offender; not an eye for an
eye retribution
8. Avoid direct or indirect signs of hatred or contempt of another
9. Avoid pride. Abuse of law is pride.
10. Retain only those rights which you would acknowledge in others
11. Be equitable unfair distribution and discriminatory practice causes
12. Share in common that which cannot be divided such as rivers, etc.
13. Items which cannot be divided or enjoyed in common should be assigned
by lot
14. Mediators of peace should have safe conduct
15. Resolve disputes through an arbitrator
In a state of nature, mans life is In nature, man has a natural tendency
solitary and competitive and thus in to form contracts with his fellows for
need of strong leadership.
The Social Contract and the Sovereign is a democratic organization wherein
participants are considered equal, expecting the sovereign, who enjoyed a
privileged status, unbound by the social contract and entirely above the law, free
to do what he will provided he guarantees that his subject live up to the terms of
the compact that no power superior to his own displace his sovereign position.
Hobbes depends an absolute sovereignty as the only way to ensure social
security and prevent life from being solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. The
sovereign had duties only to God. He based the duty of political obedience on
self-interest. There are two ways of attaining sovereign power: first,
commonwealth by institution, second, commonwealth by acquisition.
The Rights of Sovereign
1. Subjects owe him sole loyalty
2. Subjects cannot be freed from their obligation
3. Dissenters must consent with the majority in declaring a sovereign
4. The sovereign cannot be unjust or injure any subject
5. The sovereign cannot be put to death
6. Judge of all opinions, documents and doctrines
7. Legislative power of initiating and prescribing laws
8. Judicial power of deciding all controversies


Make war and peace with other nations

Choose counselors
Power of reward and punishment
Power of civil appointments including the militia
Historians generally agree that Hobbes cynicism about human nature, as
well as his advocacy of absolutism as a solution to human political problems, was
in large part a result of his experiences during the period of the Puritan
Revolution in England, in which he witnessed the corrosive effects on both
individual character and national institutions of protracted civil war. On every
hand he was denounced as immoral, irreligious, and inhuman. For the next
hundred years almost every English moral philosopher felt he had to preface his
own views with a refutation of the errors of Hobbes. Most of these writers have
long since retired into oblivion, but the Leviathan remains a part of the library of
every educated person.
Egoism (Hobbes) and Altruism (Butler)
1. Psychological egoists claim that motivation for human actions is
exclusively egoistic or self-interested. Our own benefit, welfare or
interest is the only thing that provides an ultimate motive or reason for
acting. It is ultimate because egoists agree that acting for the benefit of
other people is possible when benefiting others is a means to benefiting
oneself. Hobbes and contractarians admit that such instrumentally
other-benefiting actions are possible and can be rational.
2. Altruists do not make the strong and implausible claim that humans can
be motivated to do things in which they anticipate no benefit whatsoever
to themselves. Motives and reasons for action move a person to act.
People act only when there is some benefit that somehow connects with
their desires or interests. It seems we cannot act disinterestedly if that
means without any prospect of benefit to ourselves.
3. If altruists dont make this strong claim (Butler doesnt), then what do
they claim? Our interest in benefiting others is not limited to benefiting
them as a means to benefiting ourselves but can be a constituent part of
some of the benefits we seek for ourselves. In short, egoists say we can
act for the benefit of others only instrumentally tour own good. Altruists
say this is false. Acting for the benefit of others can be an ultimate, noninstrumental motive. This is possible only if benefiting others is itself
among the things which directly benefit each of us.
4. This is not as far fetched a possibility as it might seem. One way to
understand at least part of the slogan humans are social animals is as
asserting that part of the interest or welfare of each of us is intrinsically
social. Friendship seems an ultimate human motivation. Most people
seek friends not simply as a means of survival, or pleasure or anything
else, but as part of what makes life worthwhile. Friendship is the benefit
sought, but its not a purely individualistic benefit to which ones friend,

which includes him or her, is the benefit. If one treats ones friend as a
mere means to ones own psychological satisfaction or other purely
personal advantage, then one compromises the friendship. So, ones
friend becomes in effect another self; theres an identity, which
overcomes the I versus you of much motivation. Friends are not
disinterested in the actions they do for their relationships, but the
interests they thus seek cannot be defined in a narrowly egoistic way.

Joseph Butler (1692 1752) Altruism = Conscience25

Joseph Butler was an Anglican clergyman. He was born into a
Presbyterian family in Berkshire in southern England. He was trained to enter
the ministry of Calvinism but became critical of the Calvinistic theology and later
on embraced the Anglican Communion. In 1750, he became bishop of Durham.
As a moral philosopher, he wrote The Analogy of Religion. This book is written
as a defense of Orthodox Christianity against the deists.
Butlers moral theory is not primarily theological but critical observation
of the actual beliefs and practices of humankind. His perceptive insight into
human psychology and analytic intellect are revealed in his critique of
psychological egoism that the people by nature always act selfishly. According
to Butler, believers in the universal egoism of humankind have been led into
error by their failure to analyze human motivation with sufficient thoroughness to
realize the difference between self-love as a motive for action and other motives.
Butler believed that if we are to arrive at the truth in any matter we may be
investigating, particularly in ethics, it is essential that we do not identify with
each other things that are really different from one another. As he put it:
Everything is what it is and not another thing.
In his own analysis of human nature, on which he based his moral theory,
Butler finds people to be complex psychological beings motivated to action by a
variety of different principles. Highest in authority is conscience. As he put it:
Had it strength, as it has right; had it power, as he has manifest authority,
(conscience) would absolutely govern the world. He speaks of conscience as
a principle of reflection, thus indicating it to be a rational faculty, but he does not
explain in detail how is it related to the rest of our rational abilities. Nor does he
show why the dictates of conscience should govern our moral conduct.
Key Concepts in Butlers Analysis
1. An interested action is one motivated by self-love. (Butler seems to
have egoistic actions as defined by Hobbes).
2. An action motivated by a particular appetite is an action in which some
external object is sought.
3. A disinterested or benevolent action is a specific instance of an action
motivated by a particular appetite. It is an action motivated by the harm
or good of another.
4. Any action motivated by a particular appetite can be an interested action.

5. Not all actions need be interested actions, except in the very tenuous
sense in which no one can act but from a desire, or choice, or preference
of ones own.
6. All interested actions must also be actions motivated by a particular
appetite. This kind of motivation appears to be second order, parasitic
upon actions motivated by a particular desire.
7. Benevolent actions can be interested actions and vice versa.
8. Interested actions are often better than actions based on the lower
9. The interested/disinterested distinction does not mark the difference
between morally good and morally bad action.

John Locke26(1632-1704)
Locke was an English philosopher (born at Wrington in Somerset) who
studied and taught at Oxford. His father was a lawyer and a parliamentarian who
fought against Charles 1. In 1665 he went with sir Walter Vane on a diplomatic
mission to the Elector of Brandenburg. He became the center of influential and
volatile public affairs when he became a personal physician of the Earl of
Shaftesbury. In 1863, Shaftesbury was in danger of being impeached for treason.
Locked fled to Holland. After the revolution of 1688 Locke returned to Holland
escorting the Princess of Orange who was to become Queen Mary. His
masterpiece is called The Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Locke
affirms that mans capability of grasping the comprehensive knowledge of the
universe is limited. The mind is at birth a tabula rasa. Its basic building blocks
being the simple ideas or wholly discreet perceptions of sensible qualities
conveyed into the mind by the senses. Human knowledge is derived from sense
experience. The mind is as white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas.
Experience in the form of sensations and reflections (perception of internal acts
or states of the knower) provides raw materials which the mind then works with,
analyzing and organizing them in complex ways. Locke allows that there are
objective correlatives (substances or real essences) to the contents of
consciousness, and he explains the constant and regular connection in which
discreet ideas appear to us by reference to the will of God.
For Locke, primary qualities are those, which are utterly inseparable from
the body, for instance, when breaking the parts of grain of wheat, each part has
still solidity, extension, figure and mobility. These are its primary qualities.
They are real qualities because they are present in objects whether anyone s
senses perceive them or not. Secondary qualities are nothing in the objects
themselves but powers to produce various sensations in us by their primary
qualities, i.e., by the bulk, figure, texture and motion of their insensible parts, as
colors, sounds, taste, etc. the third quality is the power bodies have to make such
a change in the bulk, figure, texture and motion of another body as to make it
operate on our senses differently from what it did before, i.e., the power of fire to
make lead soft and fluid. For Locke, knowledge is a perception of the connection

and agreement or disagreement and repugnancy of any of our ideas. Ideas, for
Locke, are all contents of the mind. There are four sorts of agreement or
1. Actual knowledge when one has proved something to be the case and
has the proofs in mind, or in actual view.
2. Habitual knowledge if the proofs are not in actual view.
3. Intuitive knowledge is acquired when the mind perceives the
agreement or disagreement of two ideas, i.e., white is not black, a circle
is not a triangle.
4. Demonstrative knowledge relies on a sequence of intuitions but less
certain than intuitive knowledge because it involves memory.
5. Sensitive knowledge is considered as the 3rd level of certainty. This is
knowledge of particular external objects. It is only of what I perceive.
Knowledge, as opposed to mere opinion, stemmed from a
set of clear and distinct ideas contained innately in the
Knowledge was not developed prior to experience. The
mind is like a blank sheet of paper, upon which our
experience is imprinted. Understanding is based not on
something innate in our perception, which causes us to
know a fact when it confronts us; rather, our experience of
the material world is filtered through ideas, which we create
to cope with it. Ideas are not absolute representations of our
knowledge because our knowledge is colored by particular
senses, such as sound, color, etc.
The following diagram on division of ideas is taken from de la Torre, 185:
Simple Ideas
Through one sense only, e.g., colors, odors.
Through more than one sense, e.g., extension motion.
Through reflection only, e.g., acts of thinking and willing
Through a combination of sensation and reflection, e.g.,
pleasure pain, power, and existence unity.
Complex Ideas Modes: modifications of a simple idea (an accident in
(Memory and scholastic language)
Substances: the support or subject of the modes (or accidents).
Relations: modifications of simple ideas, not in themselves, but
with reference to other ideas, e.g., paternity and filiation.
De La Torre cited Locke as alluding to fountains of Ideas: first, intuition direct
perception without the intervention of the name reflection in allusion to the
intuition of the internal acts of the mind; second, demonstration the process
through which the mind perceives the agreement or disagreement of two ideas;
third, sensation the perception of objects belonging to the material world.

Sensation is the experience of things outside ourselves, as intuition is the
experience of the self.
On Private Property
Locke also informs us on understanding of property rights ( John Lockes
political philosophy). Locke speculated a state of nature, a condition wherein
humans exist without government. All land is unowned. It is owned by God.
This unowned land becomes owned or becomes private property when an
individual mixes his labor with the unowned land. In essence, Lokean
philosophy is as follows:
a. A person has exclusive rights over, owns, his own body and its labor.
b. Land, in its natural state is unowned; that is, no one individual can
rightfully claim exclusive control of it.
c. Therefore, when someones labor, which is owned, comes to be mixed
with land that is unowned, the exclusive rights over his or her labor are
transferred to the land. That person comes to own the land.
Locke classified that private ownership can be justified only when
enough and as good land remains for others. Lockean property rights are
deduced from a more fundamental right of personal liberty (the exclusive rights
over ones own body). Thus, ownership can be justified only when it does not
violate the liberty of other people. Private property involves a bundle of
associated rights. These include the right to possess, control, use, benefit from,
dispose of, and exclude others from the property. It also includes the right to life
and other human rights.

George Berkeley27 (1685-1753)

Berkeley was born in Ireland. In 1707, he received a masters degree
from Trinity College, Dublin. He became an Anglican bishop in Ireland in 1734.
Berkeleys philosophical views are both an extension of, and a reaction against
those of Locke.
1. Berkeley shared Lockes empiricist premise that the objects of human
knowledge are all ideas, either actually imprinted on the senses; or
else such as are perceived by attending to the passions and operations of
the mind; or lastly, ideas formed by the help of memory and
2. Berkeleys idealism proposes a number of arguments showing that his
collection of ideas have all the features we attribute to ordinary objects.
This account distinguishes real from imaginary objects. A real object is
just a collection of ideas which are more affecting, orderly, and
distinct and which are produced by some other spirit, viz., God, rather
than by the mind perceiving them.
3. His concepts of material substance and abstract ideas are
incompatible with Lockes view. He called this immaterialism. There
are no material existents. Nothing exists except minds (finite spirits),

the universal mind (God) and the mental content or ideas by means of
which God communicates with the finite spirits he created. God is
known as certainty.
4. The philosophy of Berkeley is known as esse est percipi, to be is to be
perceived. Sensible objects constitute mental existence only. The
existence of sensible things is located in the mind. There is a correlation
between the existence of the sensed things and the perception of them.
On Theory of Knowledge and Existence
Berkeley noted that experience is not the sole source of knowledge. The
only reliable experience is internal experience. In quest of the existing things:
first, my own spirit is the 1st thinking that I know. I know my own existence. I
am a spirit. Thinking is a spiritual act. I am a substance for thinking presupposes
a substance to support this act. My self-awareness conveys the intuition of my
mind as a spiritual substance; second, sensible world - Berkeley noted primary
(extension and motion) and secondary qualities (colors and odors and similar
sensibilia with no objective basis); third, God is the 3rd object of mans
perception. His existence is not self evident but can be proved with certainty.
Man can perceive sensible qualities or ideas. There is a structure of ideas. This
world of sensible qualities exists. Mind supports them. Ideas are not selfsupporting. They need a substance that is a spirit or mind, for ideas are spiritual.
It is essential and eternal. This spiritual substance that is necessary and eternal is
God; fourth, other finite spirits if I am a spiritual perceiving mind, other beings
must also be spiritual perceiving minds.

David Hume28 (1711-1776)

Hume was born in Edinburgh. He studied at Edinburgh University. He
was employed as a private tutor, a librarian and a diplomat. He became famous
after his death. Critics praise his A Treatise of Human Nature.
a. There are no rational justifications to be given for our ordinary nondeductive inferences. We make these inferences through the operation of
a habit custom.
b. Humes analysis of causation one event causing another has a complex
logical structure. The earlier event the cause is of a type we find to be
regularly followed by events of the type of the effect, and that custom
determines us to respect this regular succession.
c. Clearer understanding of causal judgment and human freedom leads man
to recognize that all human actions are caused and that humans
sometimes act freely. Man possesses benevolence. It is the basis of each
moral judgment.
d. Moral rules, especially those on justice, have utility for their basis.
Morality, for Hume, is our obligations, standards of right and wrong
conduct, and the meaning of ethical concepts. It includes all those,
which have a relation to human nature politics, history and ethics.

Hume employs moral to mean based on experience or matters of
e. All knowledge comes from experience. If we have no direct experience
of God, custom is unable to operate. We have no basis for our
inferences. Thus, religious debates are futile. There are types of
knowledge that are not products of experience such as the formulation of
causality (the cause and effect). They are not located among our
impressions. It is only a supposed necessity that whatever springs into
existence must have a cause.
f. Hume alluded to perceptions as all the contents of the mind. He
differentiated two kinds of perceptions: first, impressions (subjective
motions in the subject); second, ideas (vivid reproductions of the
g. Hume alluded to association as the process of developing original
impressions. Hume indicated as: first, association of impressions with
impressions generates Humes concept of universal ideas; second,
association of ideas with ideas this conjoining function of the mind
occurs in concurrence to three laws: the principle of resemblance,
principle of contiguity in time and in space, and principle of causality.
h. Hume envisaged logical processes as relating to intuition, deduction (the
acquisition of new ideas by assessing others, associating ideas by
assessing factual experience, employing resemblance of ideas and
memory), fancy (a conjoining of simple ideas employing imagination)
and causal inference (depicting physical facts. It is not conceivable by
employing intuition or deduction. It necessitates employing the law of
resemblance in mathematical truths and the laws of contiguity in time
and space of causality. The projection stems from memory. Habit or
custom is an indispensable element of causality.
i. Hume elucidated on belief as mans willingness to value the truth of
everyday life. It establishes idea, which is imaginary, as vivid as
j. Substance, in the aspect of mind or soul, amplifies the meaning of the
self beyond subjective motions. It alludes to custom, habit or belief . It
does not allude to logical concept or reason.
Gods existence and religion is not rooted on logical concept. It concerns belief
and submission to the will of God. The spheres of moral life configure the plane
of impressions (human acts are motions or passions wherein some are congruous
and some are not) and the plane of custom and belief (good is what is useful and
commended by society, evil is socially injurious).

4. The Enlightenment
In her book History of Philosophy, Merriam Defensor Santiago listed the
leading doctrines of the Enlightenment such as: first, reason is man's

central capacity; second, man is by nature rational and good; third,
Humanity can progress to perfection; forth, both men and women are
equal by rationality; fifth, tolerance must be extended to others; sixth,
beliefs should be accepted on the basis of reason. For Santiago,
enlightenment devalues local prejudices. It declined non rational aspects
of human nature. It also rejected traditional beliefs and authority. It also
depreciates non rational aspect of man and distinction between cultures.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau29 (1712-1778)
Rousseau was born at Geneva. His upbringing and education were
unconventional. His mother died when he was a few days old and his father care
for him was erratic. In 1728, he left Geneva, traveled and studied. He became a
secretary to the French Ambassador at Venice. In 1750, he was awarded a prize
by the Academy of Dijon for an essay. For Rousseau, man is born free and
everywhere he is in chains. The chains are not those of a specific despotic rule
but of legitimate government and his concern is to discover a justification for
submitting to this sort of bondage. For Rousseau, it is law rather than anarchy
that sets people free. Morality is the consequence of mans fundamental impulse.
It is known as self-love. Compassion or pity is the basic motivations of the moral
act, another form of self-love.
Discourse on the Sciences and Arts Rousseau declined that sciences and arts
tended to purify morals. Arts and sciences flourished more often and it causes a
decline of morality and virtue. It became a society based on luxury and leisure.
Arts and sciences are born from our vices. Astronomy was born from
superstition, eloquence from ambition, hate, flattery, falsehood, geometry from
avarice, physics from vain curiosity, moral philosophy from human pride.
Sciences and arts failed to supply guidance to make people virtuous. They create
a false sense of necessity for luxury. Science makes our lives easier and more
pleasurable but not morally better.
Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
Rousseaus perspective is not significantly different from Hobbes.
Rousseau understands society to be an invention. The nature of human beings is
stripped of all the accidental qualities caused by socialization. Human nature
amounts to understanding what humans are like in a pure state of nature. He
described human beings in the pure state of nature as uncorrupted by civilization
and the socialization process. Man in his natural state is a being in constant
state of war against all others. Human beings are motivated by self-interest. The
state of nature, which is the state of human beings without a civil society, is the
war of every person against every other. Hence life in a state of nature is
solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. For Rousseau, Hobbes failed to depict
humans in the true state of nature. They have taken civilized human beings and
removed laws, government, and technology. For humans to be in a constant
state of war with one another would need to have complex thought processes

especially on matters concerning property, calculations about the future,
immediate recognition of all other humans as potential threats and even minimal
language skills. These faculties are not natural. They unfolded historically.
Rousseau describes man as isolated, timid, peaceful, mute, and without the
foresight to worry about what the future will bring. Human beings differ from
the egoistic Hobbesian view. For Rousseau, self-preservation is one principle of
motivation for human actions, but unlike Hobbes, it is not only a principle. For
Rousseau, humans would be nothing more than monsters. Self-preservation or
self-interest is only one of the two principles of the human soul. Pity is the 2 nd
principle. Humans are not different from other animals. Humans, however, are
free agents. They have reason, albeit, not yet developed. It is this faculty that
makes the long transition from the state of nature to the state of civilized society.
Man is naturally good and the noble savage is free from the vices that plague
humans in civil society. Human beings in the state of nature are amoral
creatures, neither virtuous nor vicious. After humans leave the state of nature,
they can enjoy an elevated form of goodness such as moral goodness.
For Rousseau, historical events and development occurred in a series of
1. Human beings begin to organize into temporary groups for the purpose
of specific tasks such as hunting.
2. Permanent social relationships include the traditional family from which
emerges conjugal and paternal love. Notions of property and feelings of
pride and competition flourish in this stage. Then, it causes pain and
3. The discovery of the arts of agriculture. The tasks demand division of
labor (some to physical labor, others to tools making and governing
workers). Soon distinct social classes and strict notions of property
engender conflict and a state of war.
Work/man, for Rousseau, are essentially peaceful, content and equal. It is the
socialization process that has produced inequality, competition and egoistic
Discourse on Political Economy General will is a major aspect of his
political thoughts. A political society is like a human body. A body is a unified
entity though it is composed of several parts that have specific functions. Just as
the body has a will that looks after the well being of the whole, a political state
also has a will, which looks to its general well-being. Major conflict in political
philosophy occurs when the general will is at odds with one or more of the
individual wills of its citizens.
3 Maxims for a politically virtuous state:
1. Follow the general will in every action
2. Ensure that every specific will is in accord with the general will.
3. Public needs must be satisfied.
The Social Contract

For Rousseau, the structure of society in general is that of the family writ
large. The ruler of a society is like the father of a family and people yield up
their freedom to the ruler as children yield it to a father, in order to preserve their
safety. Might do not create right. Obey only legitimate might. The contract that
is made between ruler and people is a just one in that it entails reciprocal rights
and obligations. Its citizen in association who constitute the sovereign ruler and
who determine legislation. His social contract works only if every individual
gives up all rights. The people contribute to the group his person and the powers,
which he wields as a person, and receive into the body politic each individual
part of the whole. Individuals together become a collective moral body, a kind of
dispersed self, which, in its wholeness, is the sovereign power. The sovereign is
a moral concept, a rational abstraction that is the basis of the equality and
freedom of the people it comprises. It transforms natural liberty into civil liberty
and is thus through which a moral will can be expressed. The social contract is
an abstraction: it is a concept that describes the kind of association that obtains in
a state or civil society rather than any specific agreement drawn up at some
particular time and place (Collinson, 86-88).

John Rawls (1921 present)

John Rawls 30 was born in Baltimore. He became a professor of
philosophy for many years at Harvard University.
He studied as an
undergraduate at Princeton University and as a graduate at Cornell and Princeton
University, receiving his Ph.D. degree from the latter in 1950. Besides teaching
at Harvard, he has served on the faculties of Princeton and Cornell Universities
and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
John Rawls ethics represents a revival of a venerable tradition in moral
philosophy the social contract theory. With its roots in classical Greek
thought, the social contract conception of society became prominent during the
early modern period, listing among its philosophical supporters such diverse
thinkers as Hobbes, John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Kant. However, in
the 19th cent, it fell into disfavor and was superseded by utilitarianism, which,
although it has been challenged from time to time, for example, by the
deontologists, has nevertheless dominated modern ethical theorizing in the
English-speaking world at least since the time of Bentham.
Justice as Fairness was originally read by Rawls as the leading paper in
a symposium sponsored by the American Philosophical Association in 1957.
Following its publication, Rawls continued to develop in detail the central ideas
he had outlined in it with the result that in 1971 he was able to publish a
monumental book, entitled A Theory of Justice, which contains a full statement
defense of his views on the moral life of individuals in society. He believed that
fundamental to justice is the concept of fairness which relates to right dealing
between persons who are cooperating with or competing against one another.
In its basic concepts and theses, the social contract theory that Rawls espouses is
quite similar to those of the early modern contract theorists; its main distinction

lies in the highly sophisticated arguments that Rawls develops both in support of
his own ideas and in criticism of other ethical theories, in particular,
utilitarianism. Rawls work has led to a renewed interest in contract theory and
has proved germinal to a large body of literature in ethics and political theory
during the past thirty years.

5. Idealism 31
Descartes begins with Locke denies that
the idea of God as an there are any such
of innate ideas
consciousness; God, claims that the mind
being no deceiver, is at birth a tabula
would not mislead us rasa, its basic
as to the existence of building blocks being
as the simple ideas or
and wholly
unified entities or as perceptions
to the existence of the sensible
external world.
conveyed into the
mind by the senses.

that on Lockes own
existence of a realm of
real essence is otiose
and argues that simple
wholly attributable to
the activity of the
divine will. There are
no material existents.
Nothing exists except
minds (finite spirits),
the universal mind
(God) & the mental
content or ideas by
means of which God
the finite spirits He
viewpoint is called
Subjective Idealism: Johann G. Fichte (1762-1814)
Fichte holds that the world is a product of the knowing subject. Johann
Fichtes philosophical threshold is the notion of the free ego. He described the
ego as: first, the empirical ego this ego implicitly perceived in any other
perception; second, the conscious ego reflection of consciousness to turn
towards the self, the subject of perception from the object perceived; third, pure
ego a subject which escapes objectification. Subject and object are correlative
terms; fourth, the absolute ego is not a substance or a thing but pure action, not
something which acts but it is simply doing or activity. Ethics for Fichte is the
ordering of mans free acts towards a universal goal, i.e., the incurring of

freedom. Moral conscience is immediate awareness of duty the atunement of
our actions with the goals of the Absolute. Fichte also held that man couldnt
unfold the consciousness of his own freedom unless he considers the freedom of
the other members of his community. The logical process of the unfolding of the
ego are: first, thesis position the ego posits itself; second, antithesis it
divides through reflection the ego from the non ego, mutually restricting
themselves; third, synthesis no contradiction of the ego and the nonego, of
subject and object, but an absolute ego in which all things are one [De La Torre,

Objective Idealism: Friedrich W.J. Schelling (1775-1854)

Schelling maintains (against Fichte) that the externally real natural world
is identical with the thought or activity of the world Mind or Absolute. The
phases of his philosophical assertion are as follows: first, the subjectivist period
under the influence of Fichte. He declined Fichtes radical subjectivism; second,
the objectivist period he formulated his philosophy of nature and transcendental
philosophy. He declined Fichtes theory of nature as the projection of the self.
Subject and object are correlatives terms. The evolution of knowledge and
reality is a process from the object to the subject (philosophy of nature), or from
the subject to the object (engendering transcendental philosophy); third, the
period of the philosophy of identity identified the subject and the object in the
absolute: first, nature spirit progressively awakening from a state of slumber.
The subject (spirit) and the object (nature) are perceived in a confused form;
second, spirit reflective consciousness; third, identity the reunion of nature
and spirit through rational intuition of the perfect identity of both in the absolute.
Fourth, Positive philosophy overcoming of differences in the density of the
absolute (the rational and the unconscious, the subject and the object, nature and
spirit, good and evil, religious feelings and historical religions). Schellings
crucial themes are history (records the will of the Absolute by remembering its
expression through the free acts of the human spirits. The Absolute directs mans
actions through ideals which man strives), the field of aesthetics or art (man
intuits the teleological purpose of nature), myth (manifestation of mans natural
religious consciousness against historical religions grounded on presumed
disclosure of a personal God), religion (he differentiated the implicit God in
himself from the explicit God in nature, and also natura naturans God and
nature from natura naturata nature alone), and freedom (through
consciousness) {De La Torre, 249-252].

Contrasting Viewpoints:
Absolute Idealism: Josiah Royce (1855-1916)
For Royce the world of knowledge, whatever it contains is through and
through such stuff as ideas are made of. Objects differ, but basically are
compared of the same substance. It is an analysis of the knowing process. Our
own ideas are all that we know. We know nothing about objects length or

weight, temperature or color, except our idea of it, nor do we know of its motion
or beauty apart from our understanding. Hence, so far as we know, everything is
composed of ideas. Yet there does seem to be a continuity and persistence of
objects independent of my ideas. How can this be explained? Simple. All things
exist as ideas, and to have an idea requires the presence of the mind. For ideas to
exist continuously there must be a mind existing continuously. Either accept this
or embraced skepticism, believing things come into and go out of existence as
you have or do not have an idea of them.
1. There seems to be a jump in the deductive part of the analysis.
Inductively all that we know we know as ideas, but he then conclude
that all that exists are ideas. Do things exist without our knowledge?
The difficulty here is in passing from an account of what we know
about reality to a description of what reality is, technically speaking
from an epistemology to metaphysics and making this step always has
presented a difficulty for the idealists.
2. Deductively, the need for an absolute mind has been shown, but
inductively, among the ideas we have, do we have an idea of an
absolute mind?

Absolute Idealism: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel32 (1770-1831)

Hegel was born in Stuttgart, into a family of modes means. At university,
in Tubingen, his closest associates were the philosophers to be, Schelling, and the
poet to be, Holderlin. These two thinkers profoundly influenced Hegel.
Hegels most important works are The Phenomenology of the Mind
(1807), The Science of Logic (1812-16), The Encyclopedia of Philosophical
Science (1817), and The Philosophy of Right (1821).
Hegelian Themes
1. Hegel and Idealism Hegels work is a radicalization of Kants
transcendental idealism. The vortex argument to that vision is the
viewpoint that it is man who gives structure to the objects of awareness.
Hegel declined the distinction between the subject and the object of
experience. The knowing experience is a unity of subject and object.
Hegel also declined Kants notion that there is, but a single set of
categories by which human experience is fix. Hegel was influenced by
Fichte that there are various forms of consciousness. Each of these
forms of consciousness sets its own agenda and structures experience
and truth. Hence, there are distinctive philosophical viewpoints, each of
which has a partial grasp on the truth. Hegel also declined relativism.
These various forms of consciousness and contrasting philosophical
viewpoints, in offering partial grasp of the truth, are themselves an
essential part of the absolute, which configures and completes these
other perspectives.

2. Spirit Hegels notion of spirit is subjectivity or consciousness rather
than, as with Spinoza, substance. Like Spinozas notion of nature,
Hegels notion of spirit has religious connotations. Hegel did posit the
reality of the Trinity in a purely philosophical ground. Central to this
entire system is the insight that all reality unfolds dialectically, moving
through contradictions to a resolution thereof: affirmation thesis
(initial knowledge), Negation antithesis (contradiction), and
conciliation synthesis (unification). The reality of God proceeds in
the same way. The absolute Spirit, which is God, posits its own
opposite other, mater, and resolves the difference in an eternal return to
itself. The Father is Being-in and for-itself; the Son is the other, the
finite particularization of the universal; the spirit is the singleness, the
unity of the universal and the particular. The Trinity provides the
paradigm for what occurs in all reality, which moves inexorably through
dialectical processes of universality and particularity, and of identity and
distinction. Everything is moving finally to the kingdom of the Spirit,
where alone God becomes personal. The Spirit, for Hegel, is the divine,
the rational soul of the universe. The Spirit is wholly distinct from the
world, but this is not so for Hegel. Hegel insists that Spirit puts forward
the world of material things and finite spirits (i.e., us) as part of its own
unfolding. Indeed, history is the unfolding of spirit in time. Spirit
cannot exist apart from the cosmos. In this way, Hegels absolute
idealism is not like earlier forms of idealism, which are, ultimately,
aspects of declining reality of the material world. Rather, the world,
through its essential connection to consciousness, is itself, at bottom,
Spirit. The purpose of the universe, made manifest in the dialectic, is
the self-consciousness of spirit. What is ultimately real or Hegel is
Spirit or Mind. This necessary process of unfolding and Hegels own
work is not just a description of this process; rather, Hegel conceives of
his philosophical work as the absolute itself made real.
3. Dialectic is Hegels method of conceiving the way things themselves
are (develop). The dialectic is the way of reason, in the sense that is
rationality at work in the world. The language of Hegels dialectic is
thesis and antithesis. The synthesis does not discard thesis and
antithesis. For Hegel, the process of reason, indeed the structure and
being of what exists, is one of negation and mediation. The new form of
consciousness, the new concept, must be understood to include and to
make use of the previous forms of consciousness. Yet this process is not
interminable; it necessarily comes to some conclusion. This is the
absolute. This whole process of negation and mediation is conceived by
Hegel as the unfolding of Spirit.
On The Supreme Triad [De La Torre, 255ff.]

The supreme Triad of Hegels dialect comprises idea (idea-in-itself),
nature (idea-for-itself or outside-itself) and spirit mind (idea-in-and-foritself or inside-itself. Idea, in concrete aspect, is the absolute and the final
point of philosophy. As an abstract category, it is the beginning of philosophy,
the 1st awakening of reflective consciousness. Nature is the manifestation of the
idea. We enter into the philosophy of nature when reflection reaches the point of
dividing the subject (man) from the object (nature).
The development of idea is being thesis, essence (antithesis), and
concept (synthesis). The concept being is the threshold of the dialectical process,
in contradictory to Being (B) which is the Absolute fullness of being or end of
the process. In its initial moment, being is an abstract notion; it is total
indifference, applies to all things and is not proper to anything. Here, being and
nothing are the same. Essence springs when reflection brings the contradiction
implicit in being, which initially was both being and nothing. Essence, by
choosing the extreme of the contradiction and negating the other, contains the
distinctive element. It is articulated by categories in contradictory pairs: causeeffect, substance-accident, etc. Essence depicts not simply being, but the kind of
being something is. Concept, the last step of logic alludes to consciousness. We
become conscious through concepts. The concept is still abstract because it is
one of the first steps of reasoning; but it is the synthesis of the final triad and
alludes already to the Spirit, the perfect self-thinking being, and the final
terminus of concretion.
Nature could be differentiated from spirit from the viewpoint in degree of
perfection. In the process of nature, there are three moments: first, mechanics
alludes to motion, the 1st step of apprehending nature; second, physics alludes
to the distinctions among natural beings. It is the antithesis of undifferentiated
motion; third, organics synthesis of philosophy of nature alludes to life, the
organization of all acts of being toward an end. It alludes to the supreme goal of
Spirit configures the subjective, objective and absolute spirit. Subjective
spirit is the individual mind in itself. It is endowed with consciousness and
abstract thinking: first, anthropology the spirit as soul or motor of he body. It
deals with sensations and awareness, dispositions emerging from sexes, ages,
races, climates, etc.; second, phenomenology consciousness at the higher
aspects of construal and reason; third, psychology the intellect and other nonreflective conscious acts, such as volition and free choice.
Objective spirit is mans spirit objectified in his institutions. These
institutions are rights (such as private property, contracts, law and its
enforcements), morality (human freedom in itself), and social ethics (human
freedom in the society) the elements involved are: civil society and the state
(embodiment of civil society).
Absolute Spirit is Being in all its fullness.
The Phenomenology of Mind

The phenomenology of the mind is the history of the unfolding of Spirit
the story of its unfolding through the process of negation and mediation.
Hegel attacks Kants notion that there must be a thing-in-itself, which is
as it is, independently of consciousness. Hegel argues, in an aspect, which
startlingly recalls Berkeleys arguments, that such a notion involves
contradiction. Any such distinction, according to Hegel, must be a form of what
he calls being for consciousness. Thus, the distinction between what is given
to consciousness and what is independent of consciousness must be drawn within
consciousness. It cannot serve to characterize, to pick out, what is independent
of consciousness.
Hegel is profoundly suspicious of a western philosophical project. This
project involves its subject matter the configurations and limitations of the
human mind. For Hegel, this is a self-defeating circular project. The human
mind must be the instrument by which such a project is carried out. Thus, the
threshold assumes the adequacy of the mind.
In Hegels account, the entire setting of the Cartesian skeptical
problematic, can be visualized to be groundless. For Hegel, the standards
wherein we evaluate human cognitive endeavors are not static and unchanging.
They too emerge and unfold with the subject of consciousness. This is the
natural outcome if, like Hegel, we think that world and subject concept and
object configures a seamless whole. For if this is so, one can raise no worry
about how and whether the mind is an adequate knower of some independent
Phenomenology is the explication of the dialectical process. It is the
unfolding and the history of several forms of consciousness. It is beyond Hegels
philosophical viewpoint of essential unity of mind and object. It is the history of
the unfolding of Mind or Spirit. It is also the history of what is. Since there is no
contrast between concept and object, it must be the story of the dialectical
unfolding of Idea-Nature-Spirit. Science, for Hegel, is an awareness of this
entire process of unfolding which ends in the absolute. Truth, Hegel writes, is
the entirety. The entirety or the whole is the essential nature generating
completeness through the process of its own unfolding of the absolute.
Hegel notes that Spirit is alone reality. It is the inner being of the
world. When Hegel writes that substance is essentially subject, he is
overturning a philosophical tradition that affirms that substance is the
fundamental ontological category and declining a contrast, fundamental to
philosophical reasoning, since Descartes, between the subject and object of
For Hegel, there is no subject of consciousness without an object (content)
of consciousness, and there is no object (no content) without subject. The two
unfolds simultaneously. What is finally overcome in the absolute is the very
contrast between the subject and object of knowledge. Absolute knowledge is
consciousness knowing itself, hence,

1. If there is no contrast between subject and object of awareness, then all
knowledge is a self-knowledge.
2. The clear-sighted awareness that thought thinks itself is science and the
philosophy of Hegel.
3. The story of the cosmos is the story of increasing self-consciousness.
Understanding the finite spirits is also the story of freedom.
4. All knowledge is self-knowledge; the cosmos is a manifestation of the
dialectic of mind or spirit; the universe and its finite subjects must be
construed as an entirety of what they are, as fully self-realized, and
hence free.
Forms of Consciousness
1. Sense Certainty is Hegels criticism of certain forms of empiricism.
Sense certainty establishes to be the most direct and immediate form of
knowledge. The relevance for Hegel is that sense certainty by virtue of
its immediacy represents itself as unmediated by concepts.
a. The immediacy of sense certainty is illusory. The absolute unity of
subject and object is to be gained by sensory experience.
b. Sense experience is fundamentally characterized by the non-identity
of subject and object. Whatever immediacy located in sense
certainty must also be located in either the subject or object.
c. There is no knowledge and no sense of consciousness without
mediation because there is no particular thing from which
consciousness is able to differentiate itself. Only at the end of the
dialectic, when consciousness is its own object, can such immediacy
be generated.
2. Other Forms of Consciousness the sort of thinking we situate in the
physical sciences is necessary.
Consciousness demands selfconsciousness or self-knowledge. Beyond sensory experience and in
establishing to resolve the contradictions of that stance, selfconsciousness is generated. For Hegel, apparently, the object of such
thinking is itself consciousness.
Hegels vocabulary
1. Self-Consciousness is the true nature of self-certainty. Selfconsciousness demands self-consciousness. The self-conscious self is a
fundamental way, a socially constituted being. Theoretical and practical
reasoning are united in the notion of desire. Grasping and consciousness
seek to control, to dominate nature. Hence consciousness urges control
and domination of its object.
2. Lordship and bondage two consciousnesses encountering and
engaging in a struggle for power and recognition. One will be master
and one will be slave. The consciousness of the slave is essential to the
self-consciousness of the master. There is a symbiotic relationship. My
own self-consciousness demands recognition by some other. Hegels






social philosophy echoes Rousseaus philosophy: living outside of

oneself. It is that I am who I am only insofar as I am understood to be
so by some other. The self that I am is nothing, which exists in isolation
of other self-conscious selves. The self is essentially social in its very
Stoicism thought it realizes that it is free in the practice of thought
itself. This is an abstract freedom wherein one seeks to isolate itself
from the concreteness or particularity of the world.
Skepticism is the negation of the above. The freedom of thought of the
Stoic can be pushed further to an examination of thought and so of
freedom itself.
The Unhappy Consciousness is the uneasy endeavor to unify these
two forms self-consciousness. It is a treatment of the endeavor of the
consciousness to recognize the situated ness and particularity of the
subject and to make a place for freedom and universality of the
individual. The basic contrast is that individual is both an individual and
a part of or connected to the universal. Christianity exemplifies unhappy
consciousness with its doctrine that a human being is somehow dualnatured.
Reason the recognition of the unity of the particular and the universal
can only be attained by reason. Reason makes its world and is the world
of its understanding. This kind of thinking is essentially self-conscious.
It strives to understand what is by looking for reason, order, laws,
categories etc. within itself. This demands awareness of self. Reason is
a relevant aspect in the gradual overcoming of the duality of subject and
object, and particular and universal. These contrasts cannot be mediated
at this sphere of consciousness.
From Reason to Spirit Reason failed to resolve the dualities. The
individual consciousness is not the appropriate tool whereby Spirit is
realized. Hegels discussion on ethics, of political and social history
focuses on the ways wherein individual consciousness points to a larger
spirit, to infinite consciousness. Spirit posits finite awareness to realize,
to complete, itself. These larger political, social and ethical orders are
the manifestations of the Spirit. This is equated to Rousseaus
philosophy: general will. The individual will is submerged into, and
constituted by the will of the larger order.
Religious consciousness the movement from natural religion (God
manifest in the natural world), through religion as a kind of art (the
religion of the Greeks), to revealed religion (Christianity). In religious
consciousness there is a self-conscious awareness of the absolute. But
religious consciousness cannot resolve the contradictions. So, Hegel
insisted on the need of speculative philosophy, Absolute knowledge.

9. Absolute Knowledge self-consciousness is aware of itself as its own
object. This is accomplished only if individual consciousness comes to
self-consciousness in the sense that they recognize that they are the
means by which Spirit comes to self-consciousness. Absolute knowledge
is spirits self-consciousness. The entire phenomenology and an
appreciation of it as the necessary expression of spirit, is absolute
knowledge. It is spirit appreciating itself, fully realizing itself. This is a
sphere wherein the struggle between subject and object, particular and
universal, is overcome with the self-realization and freedom of spirit.
Spirit is free in that it is now fully what it is. Individuals recognizing
themselves in the infinite spirit are free. In broad terms, this
philosophical viewpoint is nearer to Spinozas intellectual love of God.
What started as our endeavor to grasp the world can finally be viewed to
have been all along Spirits endeavor to know itself.

Personal Idealism: J.M.E. McTaggart (18661925)

6. The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724
Immanuel Kant was born in 1724 in Konisberg (East Prussia a major
figure in the history of philosophy). His greatest work is a classic in the field of
epistemology and metaphysics. It is called The Critique of the Pure Reason. It
alludes to a priori knowledge, i.e., independent from experience. He became a
professor at the University of Konisberg. He sought to find alternatives to the
continental rationalism of Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza and the empiricist
philosophy of David Hume, John Locke, and George Berkeley. Hegel and Fichte
created Kantianism or Kantism. Kant died in 1804.
The acceleration of the physico-mathematical sciences influenced Kant.
So, he delved on establishing the appropriate method of scientific inquiry to
advance philosophy. Kant adhered to science as an interpretation of experience.
It conjoins two elements: first, the matter of science as experience. It corresponds
to an element of newness as science is progressive; second, the form of science
the fusion and organization of the data of experience. It is subjective and is
potentially innate. It corresponds to an element of necessity for science to be
normative or valid. Kant considered sciences as: metaphysics (the knowledge of
all possible experience), physics (the knowledge of all real experience), and
metaphysics (the attempt to conceive reality beyond the parameters of
experience). Kant equated three fundamental sciences with the three levels of
scientific experience: first, sensibility (the lowest level of scientific experience.
Its matter is original experience. Its form is the intuition of space and time.
Sensible knowledge is limited to the appearances of things; second,
understanding functions assist sensibility organize the chaos of experience and
critical thinking over the data of experience organizing them into higher units of
thought; third, reason - a mixture of experience and the forms of space and time.

Reason exists in man as a consequence of the so-called ideas or noumena (things
in themselves) [De La Torre, 224-225].
On Transcendental Analytic
Kant alludes to transcendental as something between immanent (remains
in the subject) and transient or transcendent). Man who is partially conscious in
sensible cognition becomes aware of his logical knowledge. Sensible cognition is
direct knowledge. Understanding is reflective. The matter of understanding is
the phenomenon, which receives from experience its newness. The form of
understanding is the categories, which are classifications by the understanding of
he phenomena of sensibility to offer perfect meaning. For Kant there are twelve
categories because of the twelve kinds of judgments: first, quantity: universal,
particular, and singular. The categories are unity for universal, plurality for
particular, and totality for singular; second, quality: affirmative, negative, and
infinite. The categories are reality (essence) for affirmative, negation for
negative, and limitation for infinite; third, relation: categorical, hypothetical, and
disjunctive. The categories are substance (accident) for categorical, causality for
hypothetical, and community (reciprocal action) for disjunctive; fourth, modality:
problematic, assertoric, and apodictic or necessary. The categories are possibility
(impossibility) for problematic, existence (nonexistence) for assertoric, and
necessity (contingency) for apodictic or necessary [De La Torre, 227-230].
Kants response to Humes skepticism:
a. Space and time are a priori intuitions of the human mind and provide the
medium for our experience of objects.
b. The human mind has categories, which organize our sensations into a
unified interconnected whole.
c. There is a distinction between the world of phenomena and the world of
For Kant, the objects we see have to conform to a purely human faculty
of perception. If a person is to know an object, the object has to appear in space
and time. These are the conditions only of human knowledge, not necessarily of
the knowledge of other rational beings. In addition to space and time as the
medium of experience, there must be active powers of the understanding, or
categories, which give a unity, organization, and permanence to what we
perceive. Without the categories, all that we perceive would be a chaotic,
confused blob of sensation. The categories are ways. Understanding gives form
to the matter taken in by the senses. Both the categories and space and time are a
priori, by which Kant means that they are not derived from experience, but are
what we need in order to experience.
Kant agrees with Hume that we cannot have knowledge of ultimate
reality. All the objects that we experience are phenomena or appearances of
things, which underlie them. These things, which are not in space and time, and
consequently can never be known by us, Kant calls things-in-themselves. These
have concepts or noumena, which refer to them, like God, the substantial self

and other concepts whose objects human beings can never experience. Yet, for
the purpose of morality and for increasing our knowledge and creating a unity of
knowledge, we can think these concepts as long as we do not think that we have
knowledge of their objects.
In short, Kant distinguished those things of our experience (phenomena)
that can be placed into the realm of our understanding (such as causality) and
things in themselves (called noumena) that are beyond the grasp of the intellect.
To explain this inability of the intellect, Kant established the antinomies. These
are contradictions of various principles that are beyond resolution (e.g., that God
exists and does not exist). While human beings cannot know noumenal things
(things-in-themselves), we can know that they exist.
On Gods Existence
Kant posited a psychological viewpoint on Gods existence. He depicted
his viewpoint from will and good. He argued that morality demands a perfect
ideal, and demands that this ideal be actual and real, somewhere [Kreefts, 64].
Since God is by definition in a totally different order, Gods objective reality
cannot indeed be proved, but also cannot be disproved by merely speculative
reasoning. Since God operates in the moral order, it is there that God be
apprehended, if at all. Insofar as we all seek the highest good, we must be able to
presuppose that the quest is possible in the first place.
Granted that the pure moral law inexorably blinds every man as a
command (not as a rule of prudence), the righteous man may say: I will that
there be a God, that my existence in this world be also an existence in a pure
world of understanding outside the system of natural connection, and finally
that my duration be endless (Critique of Pure Reason, sec. 8). Since our idea of
the highest good in the world leads to the postulation of a higher, moral, most
holy and omnipotent Being which alone can unite our quest for happiness with
our obedience to duty, morality thus leads ineluctably to religion. God becomes
the powerful moral lawgiver whose will is the final end of creation and all of
human activity.
1st Postulate Freedom of the Will (intuited as an element of the moral fact). It is
postulated by practical reason.
2nd Postulate Immortality of the Soul Moral life is a quest for perfection (in
the present life, we can incur partial satisfaction only. Thus, man can gain it in
the next life.
3rd Postulate even in the next life, man, a finite being, cannot satisfy his
boundless quest for perfection, except in God, the infinite being.
On Law, Principles, Imperatives and Maxims
The Kernel of Kants ethical view is the concept of the good or moral
will, which is morally right not because of its beneficial actions or the kind and
generous motives which produce those actions, but because its maxims (rules
governing actions) are adopted not only in accord with duty or morality but for

the sake of morality. Moral action may result in advantageous results or produce
pleasure. But these have nothing to do with the moral worth of the action.
Kantian ethics claim that we can be held responsible only for those things
we can control. The focus of ethics should be on those principles called maxims
on which we choose to act. As rational beings we do not merely act an outcome
of instinct or conditioning, we are held responsible for we freely formed
intentions and deliberatively choose to act on them. Our standing as moral
beings is deduced from our nature as free and rational beings. We are acting
ethically whenever the principle or maxim on which we act is rational. A rational
principle is one that is categorical or universal.
The fundamental ethical duty is to act only in those ways that could be
acceptable by all relational beings known as the categorical imperative. This
categorical imperative demands that we treat persons as ends and never as
means, or as subjects and never as objects. The moral imperative is our
unconditional obligation to act out of respect for the moral law; that is, the moral
law commands and because it so commands.
Hence, we are ethically obligated to treat people as rational and
autonomous beings. We cant use a person for our own purposes. People are
subjects who have their own purposes and intentions. This ethical condition
places primary value on the duty to treat other persons with respect and on the
rights of equality and freedom. These basic rights and duties all follow from our
nature as beings capable of free and rational action.
The essence for reason is consistency and the test of consistency is
universal validity. For an action to be rational it must be motivated by a principle
of conduct that is universally valid, one that embodies a law capable of being
applied as a standard to govern the actions of all rational beings. So, the supreme
principle of morality must be such a law. The principle of justice, for instance,
demands us to fulfill our duties to other persons. Justice demands that we respect
the rights of other people.
Hypothetical Imperative is Kants term for an imperative that is binding
only in relation to the achievement of some particular end or purpose; the
proposition expressing what ought to be done if a particular result is desired.
Hypothetical imperatives form the majority of practical judgments but are
inherently moral only insofar as they do not trespass on the absolute limit on
action represented by the categorical imperative.
Imperative is Kants term for a prescriptive proposition, ethical principle,
law, or rule governing action, one that specifies what it is a persons duty to do in
a given situation. Besides recognizing that such propositions exist in our
language, Kant believed that some imperatives have the force of being
necessarily binding on all rational agents because they are necessarily implied by
the idea of human freedom, which makes the experience of a sense of moral
responsibility possible.
I Critique of Pure Reason

1. Sensation the data of sensation is only a representation of the
appearances of things, hence, all sensation is confined to knowledge of
appearances. Sense knowledge is not capable of penetrating the
noumenon, the reality of the thing.
a. The derivability of the material of our sense knowledge from
b. The form is imposed on the material or content, by the mind so
as to render the material or content universal relevant, and hence
not deduced through the senses.
c. The form is independent of experience, hence, a priori.
d. The most relevant forms of sense knowledge are space and time.
2. Judgment
a. The threshold of thought is judgment.
b. The configuration of judgment can be nothing, but the senseintuitions, which take place by the imposition of the forms of space
and time on the data of sensation.
c. Sometimes these sense-intuitions are engaged and linked together in
a mode that evidently implies contingency and particularity.
d. The forms of judgment are the categories that serve to confer the
universality and necessity on our judgments and bring diverse senseintuitions under some degree of unity. It does not extend, however,
our knowledge.
e. Synthetic a priori judgments are analytic judgments that do not
advance knowledge for they always remain within the concepts and
make no advance beyond the data or the concepts.
f. Judgment is synthetic for the content of them is furnished by a
synthesis of the facts of experience.
g. Judgment is a priori because the form of universality and necessity
is imposed on them by the grasping independently of experience.
h. Mans concepts of effect and cause are furnished by experience, but
the universality and necessity of principle are deduced from the a
priori endowment of the mind.
3. Reasoning
a. The similarity of ideas to sensation and judgment by space and time
and the categories.
b. There are three contrasting operations such as categorical,
hypothetical, and disjunctive reasoning.
c. The configurations of ideas are the idea of the soul as the thinking
subject (psychological idea), the idea of matter as the totality of
phenomena (cosmological idea), and the idea of God as the supreme
condition of all reality (theological idea). These ideas regulate mans

a) In Critique of Pure Reason, man is capable of knowing
nothing except the appearances of things.
b) The senses connect only phenomena.
c) Judgment is not as profound as the senses as far as the
external world is being alluded to.
d) The incapability of science and philosophy to have
knowledge of substance (noumenon), or essence.
e) The metaphysical attempt to describe what soul and matter
II Critique of Practical Reason
1. The supremacy of the moral law. The universality and necessity of the
moral law. It opposes relativism.
2. The moral law is not grounded on eudaimonism or eudemonism (it is
the theory of ethics which teaches that happiness or contentment is mans
highest good; for Aristotle it is the criterion and end of right conduct.
For St. Thomas, it is blessedness. For the Greeks, the well-being of the
spirit soul.), perfectionism and moral sense.
3. Its voice reaches conscience Gewissen. The categorical imperative is a
hollow voice of the moral law.
4. The moral law is not amenable to reason, judgment or any other faculty.
The moral law is implicit in the existence of God.
5. The authoritative voice of the moral law implies a lawgiver.
6. The nature of the moral law implies that there be somewhere a good
which is supreme (God), complete and embodies in its perfect holiness
all the conditions which the moral law applies.
III Critique of the Faculty of Judgment
1. Faculty of aesthetic appreciation.
2. To realize the beautiful and the purposive as symbols of the moral good
is the relevance of aesthetic faculty.
3. The faculty of knowledge and practical reason, which is the faculty of
voluntary action, is intermediate between the speculative reasons.
4. The object of judgment is the beautiful and the purposive. The beautiful
(universally and necessarily) proffers disinterested pleasure without the
context of definite design.
5. External adaptation exists between the organism and the environment.
6. Internal adaptation exists among the structural parts of the organism or
between the organism and its functions.
1. Sensation is a simple perception of external objects. For Locke, the
simple of the two basic forms of experience from which ideas can be
deduced from the mind, especially the ideas he called simple, which
are taken to allude to the sensible qualities of material objects they are
used to represent.

2. Common Sense that which is taken to be most natural or reasonable to
believe, as used by the empiricists, the term conveys a sense of the
potential simplicity and transparency to knowledge of the world as we
experience it, underlying their efforts to build theories about the nature of
knowledge and reality without relying on speculations about the
existence of entities outside the real world of simple experience to
explain the possibility and specific conditions of knowledge and truth.
3. Deism a view of God, which looks upon God as a divine
watchmaker. Once the world has been created, God no longer takes an
active part in its course. This viewpoint was rejected by Vatican 1.
4. A priori term for the type of proposition that can be verified
independently of, and prior to, experience, which cannot be disconfirmed
by any particular experience because its content is relation of ideas
rather than matters of fact.
5. Causality the concept of a specific type of relation between two events,
a relation of necessary connection. Hume thought this concept resulted
from bringing together the observed condition of the proximity of the
two events in space and time with a subjective idea of necessary
connection imposed by the mind in the act of understanding. Kant
echoed this account of the origin of causality when he explained it as the
application of the logical category having the form if then... to the
intuition of the two phenomena occurring together.
6. Impressions Humes term for what Locke called simple ideas,
though Hume suggests a basic distinction in kind between the
impressions of perception and the more abstract ideas used to compare
and categorize impressions and to manage the relations among other
ideas. Hume also distinguishes between simple and complex types
of both impressions and ideas.
7. Necessary connection the idea Hume believed we infer rather
arbitrarily, without sound reasons based on experience itself from the
experience of two events that are constantly conjoined in space and
8. Reflection introspection, self-observation is Lockes scheme, the form
of experience from which complex ideas are deprived and in which
primary qualities are grasped as the result of a persons being
simultaneously aware of the immediate content of his senses and the
disposition of his own mind to interpret that content in a way consistent
with past experience.
9. Subjective idealism Berkeleys doctrine that the proper objects of
knowledge are the ideas or impressions that enter the mind through
perception. He denied that there are real objects existing independently
of their being perceived by same mind.

10. Substance the unchanging unity underlying the apparent qualities; both
primary and secondary, of things in the world, posited by Locke. Locke
believed that there were two main categories of substance: material and
mental. Berkeley believed that only mental substance is real.
11. Categories the table of twelve fundamental concepts Kant believed
must be grafted on to the data of raw experience, or intuition, to render
these data intelligible for the purposes of a human understanding of the
12. Expansive Kants term for judgments or propositions that enlarge the
scope of knowledge by containing in the predicate information that goes
beyond merely defining the subject. Kant thought the property of
expansiveness defined synthetic propositions.
13. Explicative Kants term for propositions that add nothing to the sum of
knowledge; that is, the analytic propositions in which certain basic terms
are defined, or as he put it, in which the predicate is contained in, or
defines the meaning of, the subject of the proposition.
14. Noumenal beyond the scope of perception and knowledge; the initself or essential; alluding to the world as it would appear without the
ordering imposed on it by the mind in the act of perception.
15. Phenomenalism Humes doctrine that the only classes of objects with
which we are actually in contact for the sake of knowledge are things we
are able to sense and whose conception must be limited to the specific
ways in which it is possible for us to sense them, that is, phenomena.
16. Phenomenal available to intuition or the sense; apparent; perceptible;
tangible; alluding to the world as experienced prior to any attempt to
analyze experience in terms of what is dependent on and independent of
the mind of the person to whom the experience belongs.
17. Categorical Imperative Kants term for the type of imperative that
applies universally regardless of the particular facts of a given case, and
without reference to the particular interests of the participants in a given
situation. Kant believes that the authority of such a principle derives
from the essential nature of human beings as rational creatures, and his
specific idea of the kind of proposition possessing such an unconditional
authority echoes the Christian doctrine of doing unto others as you
would have them do unto you. In Kants terms, it is always our absolute
duty to respect certain absolute rights of others; these absolute rights he
expresses in terms of the right of a person has not to be used as a means
to an end.
18. Hypothetical Imperative Kants term for an imperative that is binding
only in relation to the achievement of some particular end or purpose, a
proposition expressing what ought to be done if a particular result is
desired. Hypothetical imperatives form the majority of practical

judgments, but are inherently moral only insofar as they do not trespass
on the absolute limit on action represented by the categorical imperative.
19. Imperative Kants term for a prescriptive proposition, ethical principle,
law, or rule governing action, one that specifies what it is a persons duty
to do in a given situation. Besides recognizing that such propositions
exist in our language, Kant believed that some imperatives have the force
of being necessarily binding on all rational agents because they are
necessarily implied by the idea of human freedom; which makes the
experience of a sense of moral responsibility possible.

W. D. Ross (1877 1971) = Deontology

The Deontological position in ethics was revived in 1912 by Prichard in
his book entitled Does Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake? It received little
attention. One of his students, Ross34, became an eminent moral philosopher and
editor of the Oxford translation of the works of Aristotle. Ross served in
important administrative posts, being Provost of Oriel College, Oxford and also
ViceChancellor (the equivalent of a university president in the United States) of
Oxford University. He was awarded a knighthood by the British government.
Ross wrote two important books (popularizing the deontological position
of Prichard): The Right and the Good (1930) and Foundation of Ethics (1939).
Ross believed on a pluralist form of utilitarianism. There are four things that are
intrinsically good: virtuous disposition, knowledge, pleasure, and the just
proportion of pleasure to the virtuous. Ross visualized that utilitarianism in all
its forms is an adequate ethical theory. He affirms that we accept as one of our
duties the obligations to promote the best possible consequences, but negates that
all of our duties can be subsumed under this one. We often find ourselves in
situations in which we believed it to be our duty to do a certain action albeit we
are convinced that we could promote better consequences by replacing it with
other actions. In such a case, it is our duty to act, as we believe we ought to do,
in spite of the consequences. We must do this act because we can identify,
recognize, by direct intuition, that it is our duty.

J. The Nineteenth Century Philosophy

1. The
Irrational :
Schopenhauer (1788 1860)


Arthur Schopenhauers own career seems to have belied his deep

pessimism about life. The son of a successful businessman, he inherited
substantial wealth and, therefore, did not have to earn his livelihood but could
devote all his time to study and writing. His works gained wide recognition
before his death, at the age of seventy-two.
Schopenhauer 35 reacted against G.W. Leibniz who proclaimed in his
book, This is the best of all possible worlds. Schopenhauer approached the
question philosophically, the result being a metaphysical theory that led to a
pessimistic view of reality. Schopenhauer concluded, This is the worst of all

possible worlds. Schopenhauer believed that the life of every individual is
really always a tragedy, but gone through in detail, it has the character of a
Schopenhauer derived the central conception of his metaphysics Will
from Immanuel Kant. But in doing so he vastly enlarged the concept. He
affirmed the ultimate reality of the universe. Departing further from Kant, he
concluded that the will to live is evil. He became perhaps the greatest pessimist
in the history of western philosophy. Much of the content of his ethical writing is
devoted to an elaboration of the evils of existence and the misery of human life.
Questions can sometimes be raised about the consistency of Schopenhauers
arguments, but anyone who reads him sympathetically will almost surely be
impressed with the vivid and compelling pictures he draws of the darkest aspects
of the human condition. For most people, who are optimists about life,
Schopenhauers pessimism should be both illuminating and sobering.
Schopenhauer posited three aspects of knowledge: first, sensibility (the
matter is experience, the form is space and time, the product is a phenomenon);
second, understanding (the mater is phenomenon, the form is the category of
causality, and the product is a knowledge more expressed than sensible
perception); third, reason (the mater is phenomenon, the form is the principle of
sufficient reason, the product is generation of abstract concepts) [De La Torre,
For Schopenhauer, the will is the only reality in the world. It is an
absolute force manifesting itself in inorganic nature. To evade the tyranny and
subjugation of the will, Schopenhauer depicted three ways: first, ideas (the
archetypes of all individual natural things. They are reality, not presentations nor
appearances); second, art (curtails the wills inclination to possess, a tentative
relief); third, nirvana (a disposition of negation or nothingness) [De La Torre,
Schopenhauer Power to Live Nietzsches Will to Power
A will to power is a will to over

Life was based on a primitive force,
Nature of their force.
which determined all human action.
Primitive force was will or the will to
The primitive force is the
will to power.
Will was a transcendent unity
Will to power does not
stemming to objective reality (i.e.,
transcend reality. It is the
Hegels spirit)
life force of the universe. It
does not spring to objective

Spake Zarathustra
Qualities and virtues
courage, the power to
conquer, the power to
rule such as Caesar,
Napoleon or Goethe



Benevolence, sympathy A new and higher race

and helpfulness rule of man.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 1900)

Nietzsche 36 is one of the most controversial figures in the history of
modern thought. He was born on October 15, 1844. He was named after the
Prussian King, Friedrich Wilhelm 1V. He studied at the University of Bonn. His
critics accuse him of being the intellectual source for some of the most degrading
practices of the Hitler regime in Germany. Without doubt statements abound in
Nietzsches writings to justify such accusations for example, his projected
division of humanity into superman, as a race of ruling masters, and the rest of
humankind their slaves.
Although Nietzsche was born in Germany, he was contemptuous of
German culture. Most of his adult life was spent outside his native land, first in
Switzerland, where he was professor of classical philology at the University of
Basel, and, after his health broke down, in retirement in Italy, where he did most
of his writings. Although Nietzsche was not widely read in his own lifetime, he
has received increasing attention in recent years. His influence has been felt
primarily in literature, but also in philosophy, particularly among existentialists.
Nietzsche upholds the will to power: first, by nature or the world (does not
exist as substance but as flux or constant activity, the sustaining force is the will
to power); second, life, one rules and offers directions for others. Assimilation
and other functions of life are manifestations of the will to power; third,
knowledge; fourth, volition and other human drives (to incur power man
sacrifices pleasure); fifth, man (not a substantial unit) [De La Torre, 286-287].
As far as ethics is concerned, Nietzsche appears at first glance to be a
moralist. He entitled a book Beyond Good and Evil and consequently advocated
the trans-valuation of values. Yet in a letter to a friend he spoke of himself as
having a more severe morality than anybody. The explanation of such an
apparent inconsistency is simply that, although he rejected the accepted morality
of the modern world, Nietzsche was not devoid of moral standards of his own.
He believed that western society was dominated by two institutions, democracy
and Christianity, both of which were expressions of a morality fit for slaves
democracy advocating the equality of all people and Christianity preaching pity
for sufferers. In place of this slave morality (a morality created by weak and
resentful individuals who encouraged such behavior as gentleness and kindness
because the behavior served their interests), Nietzsche expounded his theory of
a mastermorality which would replace it (the traditional ones) and called for

the emergence of a race of men who would become the masters. Slave morality
is common to those who are weak willed, uncertain of themselves, oppressed and
abused. Its essence is utility. The good such as patience, humility, pity,
submissiveness to authority etc. is useful for the community. The weak are
valued as evil. The threshold of slave morality is negation: a resentment of
excellence, achievement, individuality and power. All these power virtues are
considered as evil. Virtues, as contradictory, are valued as good. The slave
morality is a reactionary morality. The categories of good and evil are not
generated from within the individual, but are engendered as reaction to and later
assess as bad. The slave first understands evil the fearful one and by
makeover conceives morality. Master Morality is the morality of the powerful
and the strong willed. The threshold is an affirmation with what is good and
what is worthwhile
In Nietzsches Hermeneutics of Suspicion, the very core is the death of
God. He admitted he killed God and loathed the commercial world of the 19 th
cent. He argues that their society were incapable of facing the reality of being a
parasite to others. To ease their burden of guilt, they tried to preserve the JudaeoChristian ethics. Nietzsche viewed this practice as a contemptible evasion of the
horrifying consequences of killing God. He added that this Christian ethics is
simply a prejudice and a form of intellectual laziness, which is an intensely
threatening fact of living in an amoral universe. He insists that this radical death
of God is simply affirming that the Transcendent God is dead, that
Transcendence itself has collapsed into total Immanence. Christianity had
enslaved man. The concept of God is merely a fabrication invented by clever
men to revitalize their dominion over others and that God had to die for man to
live. The immediate consequence of this event could be described as deliverance
or liberation, happiness, exhilaration, dawn, encouragement, a new sense of hope
etc. But Nietzsche interpreted this as a long plenitude and sequence of
breakdown, destruction, chaos and so on. For Nietzsche, the death of God
liberates and frees us to make our own decisions and choices. Before we were
slaves to God: we obeyed God, God ruled us, and we acted in concurrence with
his commands. But now we can become legislators of our own values, we can
become little gods, we can become masters of ourselves. We no longer
necessitate to be ruled by objective values, but can be ruled by ourselves. Thus
confronting the amorality of the universe is beyond human endurance. The death
of God for Nietzsche is that the slave morality of European culture would die
away and that the understanding of good and evil would crumble into
uncertainty. Nietzsche is merely making a radical claim that we must negate the
very idea of a world in itself that could serve as the ultimate standard or
foundation for the truth of any value judgment. There simply are no universal
moral principles, no single moral code, and no non-natural (or natural) guarantee
that a given action is right or wrong. All judgments of value are objectively
false. We cannot with absolute certainty claim that in all contexts, once course of

action rather than another is morally preferable. If values are objective, then they
have a kind of power over us. Values instilled in us causes enormous
psychological pressure to conform.
The death of God tradition informs us the following:
a. The problematic character of God and of mans relation to him today.
b. The acceptance of the secular world as normative intellectually and
ethically good.
c. The restriction of theological/philosophical statements to what one can
actually affirm oneself, and with this the rejection of certain traditional
ideas of tradition and authority.
d. The centrality of Jesus as one who calls us into the world to serve him
e. Uneasiness with mythological, super-historical, eschatological,
supernatural entities or categories.
In Nietzsches book Thus Spake Zarathustra (1891), Nietzsche presents
Superman as the only man who can live in the world without the illusion of God
since there is no limit to what humankind might set itself to attain. He suggests
following ones highest ideals and practicing them unceasingly since what one
does now will recur repeatedly through all eternity.
For Nietzsche, the masses conform to tradition, whereas his ideal
superman is secure, independent and highly individualistic. The superman feels
deeply, but his passions are rationally restrained. Focusing on the real world,
rather than on the rewards of the next world promised by religion, superman
affirms life, including the suffering and pain that accompany human existence.
Nietzsches superman is a creator of values, a creator of a master morality that
reflects the strength and independence of one who is liberated from all values,
except those that he deems valid. For Nietzsche, superman is the meaning of the
earth and the meaning of man. For man is something that must be overcome.
Superman depicts the highest level of development and expression of physical,
intellectual and emotional vigor. Man is a bridge and not an end. Superman is
the only man who has the energy to overcome all alienations. Nietzsche dreamt
of a man in his imagination who is not an other-worldly man. He depicts in his
imagination that superman must be a man who remains faithful to the earth and
does not believe in other-worldly hopes. Albeit, he is not one of the despisers of
the body, he shattered values into pieces and discarded old virtues and lives
beyond good and evil. Superman is the only free man for whom nothing is
forbidden excepts what impedes the will to power. He will be the very
embodiment of the spontaneous affirmation of life. He can overpower all
tensions and divisions between being and meaning. He is the man who has
himself becomes god and replaced the vanished and slain God. By becoming
god, he killed God. Here, Nietzsche expressed his yearning to be a god.
Nietzsche focused his attention more on the subjective and
anthropocentric dimension of art and equates it to the act of creating as the

damming up and expression of instinctual feelings. Nietzsches desire to be a
god made him conclude that he could replace the role of the deceased creator
God. He perceived this as a great artistic style, as overpowering, preserving and
limiting. This act of limiting could bind the overwhelming chaos. This is the
stylistic specialty of the Apollonian and Dionysian.
Nietzsche presents superman by means of another image: the biological
metaphors that were easily misappropriated by Nazi Racists (the metaphor of the
three metamorphoses, or how the spirit becomes a camel; and the camel, a lion:
and the lion, finally, a child. The camel humbles itself, it submits to higher
values. The lion seeks freedom; he is an image of the man who would like to
gain happiness and fulfillment for himself in and by his own freedom. The child
is innocent and forgetting, a new beginning, a sacred yes. This leads
redemption from transitory time.
Instead of accepting the negation of life, Nietzsche wants a breakthrough
to a Dionysian affirmation of the world as it is, without subtraction, exception or
selection. Nietzsche wants a revival of a preciously denied aspect of existence
and adheres to the eternal recurrence of all things. This is the reason why
Nietzsche extended the idea of superman to an abysmal thought: the idea of
eternal recurrence.
This doctrine of eternal recurrence is simply the revival of mythical
religiosity. It contradicts the historical and eschatological worldview of
Christianity, and this dissolution of all contrarieties and oppositions, represents a
rejection of the very foundations of western metaphysics.
Dialectically, radical negation has become radical affirmation; but if the
negative movement is a denial of God, then the positive movement must finally
be an affirmation of God, of the God beyond the Christ as God, beyond the God
of the historic Church, beyond all which Christendom has known as God. A truly
dialectical image of God (or of the Kingdom of God) will appear only after the
most radical negation, just as a genuinely eschatological form of faith can now be
reborn only upon the grave of the God who is the symbol of the Transcendence
of being.
Nietzsche interprets faith in God as the cause of nihilism. There is no
truth at all-even in any metaphysical world. For Nietzsche, God is our most
enduring lie. It is only a fabrication and a poetic pretension. Thus, the question
of Gods existence was more psychological than metaphysical. It attacks life by
deceiving everybody to become submissive to values, truths, and ideals in the
context of their historical and psychological approximations, presuppositions,
prejudices and an expression of the will to power. Highest achievements in
human life and mans desire for happiness can be fulfilled by eliminating our
faith in God. Nietzsche was definitely an uncanny thinker who exposed the lack
of deeper meaning and direction as well as the boredom of modern civilization.
He anticipated the consequences of de-divinization that could probably end up in
modern science and technology. Nietzsches outraged on religion is one of the

catastrophes in the Church and in Christianity. Nietzsche considered religion as
the primal danger of man and great enemy that distracts people from their
fundamental task of risking and constructing their human identity in the
transformation of natural, social, scientific and cultural relationships. His
polemic against religion is a polemic against the erection of religious systems
(structures of belief, precepts etc. whether linguistic, ritual or organizational)
which render impossible the necessary directness of the basic qualitative and
creative capabilities of each individual). Thus, a God sought in religion is a
figment of mans imagination, destructive of mans common humanity.
Nietzsche suggests a psychotherapeutic freedom of encouraging every individual
person to attain and maintain a position of dominance and reject the malignity
and venom of the doctrine of equal rights for all.
For Nietzsche, Christianity spread the poison of doctrine of equal rights
for all. The concept of equality and the common good is repudiated Nietzsche
sees the church as the highest of all conceivable corruption. It has turned every
value into an un-value, every truth into a lie, every integrity into a vileness of the
soul. The church exercises parasitism with its ideal of anemia of holiness
draining all blood, all love, all hope for life.
Nietzsche interpreted dependence upon God in terms of an extreme
submission to God in matters large and small. Here, the creatures selfhood is
constantly overwhelmed by a Creator who has perhaps already predetermined the
creatures ultimate fate. This relationship is rendered even more dependent by a
sense of the impotence caused by human sin and by the need for total reliance
upon divine redemption. Here, human effort and achievement seems irrelevant or
spiritually suspect because it is incompatible with the idea of an independence
given to humans by God. This is the God Nietzsche said had to be killed because
nobody can tolerate being made into a mere object of absolute knowledge and
Concerning morality, Nietzsche pointed out the reductionist view of some
people using God as the ultimate source of explanation. For Nietzsche, it is a
self-deception not to admit that life is simply will to power. He exhausted his
antinomic thought by formulating the principle of contradiction; i.e., something
cannot simultaneously be and not be in the same respect, thus the principle of
contradiction is the basis of all thinking, even the attempt to deny the principle
presupposes it. Thus, if man is to remain human, can he do away with the
distinction between good and evil? Can he say, yes to evil, to lying, murder,
and violence? Nietzsche expanded this thought by distinguishing bad
conscience from good conscience. In Nietzsches logical line of reasoning,
bad conscience is the serious illness that man was bound to contract under the
stress of the most fundamental revision he ever experienced. A kind of
transformation can possibly occur when he discovers himself finally enclosed
within the values of a peaceful society. In what does the illness consist? For
Nietzsche, all instincts that do not discharge themselves outwardly turn inward

such as hostility, cruelty, and joy in persecution, in attacking, in change, in
destruction. All of this can simply turn out to be against the possessors of such
instincts; i.e., the origin of the bad conscience
In his book On the Genealogy of Morals (1887), Nietzsche anticipated the
derivation of the idea of God from fear of the ancestor and his power and from
the consciousness of indebtedness to him. Nietzsche conceived belief in God
as originating in the aggression against the self that is manifested in the feeling of
guilt. Thus, he understood slave morality and the existence of God in
Christianity as inextricably linked to each other. It is a way of extolling qualities
of weakness. Gods will bind people on debilitating guilt. It leads them to an
escapist tendency to seek for fulfillment beyond this world. Assuming that belief
in God intensifies the feeling of guilt, the maximum God attained is accompanied
by the maximum of guilty indebtedness on earth. The phenomena of the judging
conscience, the idea of guilt incurred in relation to God and the Christian belief
of God must be the product of aggression that had turned inward. Thus,
Christianity for Nietzsche is a kind of atheism promising liberation from the
burden of guilty feelings.
Nietzsches hypothesis that bad conscience, the idea of God, and
the idea of indebtedness to God all originate in an illness in the original
animal soul of human beings does have one perspective. In human history
the original yet undetermined animal is spatially located in a state of health and
integrity. Man is reduced to externally observable behavior. This might include
mental processes such as the consciousness of the persons non-states and
As stated earlier, Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God. But he did
more than that. He declared the death of reason, science and morality, too.
Nietzsche looked at the grand rational and scientific activities of the 19 th century
and concluded that it repressed and shaped the vigor of contemporary man.
Morality, Nietzsche believed, served to make people anemic. He particularly
hated Christianity for that reason. Nietzsche hated priests, but he loved the noble
barbarian who could rape and pillage without a guilty conscience.
In view of the above, Nietzsche viewed a theological shorthand
expressing the spiritual malaise people were beginning to experience over the
loss of traditional kinship ties; that is, over the disappearance of deeply
stabilizing feelings of connectedness to one another and from one generation to
the next. Surely this gradual erosion of the emotional structure of a society a
factual fracturing of human community can be legitimately accounted as one of
the preconditions of the escalating random violence of this century. The
individual, increasingly severed from secure moorings, having only ones own
wits left on which to rely, has often come to feel powerless and helpless. No
wonder determinism was to become a common attitude of the age, plunging the
validity of the enlightenment concept of the free, self-governing, and autonomous
individual into serious doubt.

What is interesting in Nietzsches philosophy is the fact that he was
trying to overcome the appreciation of civilization, culture, and history, which
Christianity introduced along with its secularized consequences in the modern
faith in progress and to foster a revitalization of the cyclical thinking of antiquity
such as the Heraclitean philosophy of opposites. The magic word for Nietzsche
is life and not cosmos. It is this presupposition that made him condemn
Christianity, which he interprets as a resentiment against life.
It is inconceivable for Nietzsche to affirm God as radically God. He
rejects the Transcendence of God and the possibility of experiencing the
Immanence of the world. It is not Nietzsches specialty to talk more about
scientific study and technical transformation. Thus, he diverted his assertion to
the idea of Gods omnipotence and freedom to an extreme, turning God into an
absolutist deity who acts in arbitrary manner. The rebellion is against this God
who does not liberate human freedom but opposes it; this God who can command
even what is untrue and unjust and this in order that it might ascribe the divine
attributes to humanity. Thus he sees the defect of scientific atheism and the
ecclesiastical apologetics seeking to harmonize faith and science.
consequence of this complicated thought in Nietzsches universe is that when the
world and its laws are made absolutes, the outcome is a deterministic system in
which not only God, but man as well, is dead, thus, in Nietzsches vocabulary,
there is no sense in human freedom.
Nietzsche advocated that all human behavior is motivated by the will to
power. In its affirmative aspect, the will to power is not simply power over
others, but he power over oneself that is necessary for creativity. Such power is
manifested in the supermans independence, creativity, and originality. After all
Nietzsches criticisms of Christianity and the Church, he leaves room of respect
for Jesus, whose good news the Church turned into bad news. Nietzsche sees
Jesus as an idiot who lived a life of love as the essence of a gift- giving virtue,
which Nietzsche praises. This could be a good example of Nietzsches atheistic
following of Jesus.

2. Positivism

Comte coined the term positivism. Other systems within the parameters
of this viewpoint are utilitarianism, phenomenalism (sensationalism), mechanical
materialism and pragmatism.

French Positivism : Augusto Comte (d. 1857)

Positivism is the attempt to elucidate philosophical problems within the

parameters of observable facts and their connections without or with the fewest a
priori assumptions.
The philosophy of Augusto Comte was the sociological counterpart of
philosophical positivism. He preferred an intellectual, moral, and political
reorganization of the social order. Adoption of the scientific attitude was the key
to such a reconstruction. He affirmed that science could be concerned only with

facts, not values. He upholds three theoretical states: the theological or fictitious
phase, the metaphysical or abstract phase and the scientific or positive state
(involves relinquishing any quest for absolute explication of causes).

Utilitarianism: Jeremy Bentham (1748 1832)

Utilitarianism is a moral system, which judges the morality of human

acts in terms of the happiness or good that they bring about
Jeremy Bentham was a distinguished philosopher who was more
interested in practical than in purely theoretical issues. He was a leader in a
group known as the philosophical radicals. He modernized successfully Britains
political and social institutions and came up with the passage of the Reform Bill
of 1832, which transformed British politics by wrestling control of parliament
from the landed aristocracy, putting it in the hands of the urban bourgeoisie.
Benthams hedonism 37 known as utilitarianism furnished a basis for
social reform. He held that nature has placed mankind under the governance of
two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. Any act or institution of government
must justify itself through its utility that is, its contribution to the greatest
happiness of the greatest number (Hence the name utilitarianism, given to
the theory). Utility is Benthams norm of morality. It is that property of an
object, which produces benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness. This
philosophy is a form of egoistic hedonism the belief that one ought to be
primarily or solely concerned about his own pleasures to the deprivation of
others. As a psychological hedonist, Bentham seemed to find no problem in
asserting both that people are so constituted that they must always seek pleasure
and that they have a duty to do so as well.
As a quantitative hedonist, he believed that pleasures are qualitatively
on a par, the only difference between them being those of quantity. He
concluded that, if two experiences contained equal amounts of pleasure, then, no
matter what other differences there might be between the experiences, neither in
itself is better or worse than the other. In his hedonistic calculus, Bentham
believed that there is only one kind of pleasure, that pleasures differ only
quantitatively e.g., in intensity, duration, certainty or uncertainty,
propinquity or remoteness, fecundity, purity and extent. Bentham considers
four sanctions sources from which pain and pleasure are in use to flow.
Bentham called these: physical sanction, political sanction, moral sanction
and religious sanction. Bentham believed that pleasures and pains belonging to
each of them are capable of giving a binding force to a law or rule of conduct.

John Stuart Mill (1806 1873)38

Mill was born in London. His father, James Mill, was a well-known
philosopher. John Stuart Mill studied Greek, Latin, the Classics, history,
philosophy, logic and mathematics. He was an art advocate taking special solace
in the poetry of Wadsworth. His contributions to philosophy and social thought

are varied. He wrote: A System of Logic (1843), An Examination of Sir William
Hamiltons Philosophy (1865), On Liberty; In Utilitarianism (1861); Principles
of Political Economy; Considerations on Representative Government (1861);
Augusto-Comte and Positivism (1865); The subjection of women (1869); and his
Autobiography (1873).
Mills moral philosophy is called utilitarianism. Its fundamental
principle is that we should always perform those acts, which will bring the most
happiness or, failing that, the least unhappiness to the most people.
influence of Bentham is apparent in Mills philosophy. Throughout his life, Mill
devoted himself to programs for social reform and founded a theoretical
justification for his political views and practices in the ethics of hedonism.
Bentham had held that the intensity of pleasure is the only criterion of its worth.
For him, sublime moments of intellect or sentiment were worth no more than
equally intense moments of animal gratification. For Mill, pleasures and of equal
intensity could differ in worth. Anyone who has experienced both the pleasures
of the brute and the pleasures of the civilized person will prefer the latter; and so
the civilized pleasures must be preferable. In short, Mill argues on the
qualitative distinction between higher and lower pleasures. Mill
attempted to harmonize hedonism and eudaemonism in ethics, of empiricism and
apriorism in logic, and of individualism and socialism in political economy.
Instead of advocating Benthams egoistic utilitarianism, Mills ethical trend
shifted to a universalistic or altruistic hedonism. This transition from egoistic
hedonism to altruistic hedonism stressed on the end of the human conduct as the
greatest happiness for the greatest number in terms of pleasure. As a
psychological hedonist, Mill both agrees and disagrees with Epicurus and
Bentham. Albeit he affirms that we are able to desire things other than pleasure
virtue, for example he maintains that in doing so we must consider these things
to be a part of pleasure; hence, in desiring them we really still desire only
pleasure. Here, Mill attempted to reconcile his utilitarianism with the plurality of
values, which we possess.
Mill depicted Gods existence employing Newtons argument of design in
the universe. The proof of the existence of an author of nature, however, is only
with a high degree of probability. The Creator was illustrated as limited in power
for allowing evil in the world; the only alternative would be that he is not
infinitely good. Mill envisioned mind as the source of sensations as mater is
passive. The mind is the active permanent possibility of sensation. It is
perceptible through analogy. Matter is the awareness and cause of sensations [De
La Torre, 271].
Mill attempted to establish a new logic known as reductive logic. He
posited syllogism as an instance of deductive logic. It is merely employed to
clarify new concepts and depict new facts. Mill declined the process of
induction. He held that perfect inference must start first with observations and
experience. Mill upholds reductive logic wherein we can draw certainty from

observation: first, method of agreement (if in 2 or more instances of the same
phenomenon there is only one circumstance in which they concurred, this
circumstance is the cause (effect) of the phenomenon under consideration;
second, method of disagreement (if in both instances all the circumstances
concurred except one, this circumstances is the cause (or effect) or a necessary
part of the cause of the phenomenon on which alone the circumstance occurs);
third, joint method of agreement and disagreement (two or more circumstances in
common and two or more instances in which it does not occur and which have
nothing in common save the absence of that circumstance; the circumstance
which is present in the 1 st set of instances and absent in the 2 nd is the effect, or
cause, or a necessary part of the cause, of the phenomenon); fourth, method of
residues (remove from a phenomenon that part which by previous inductions, has
been proved to be the effect of certain antecedents); finally, method of
concomitant variations (if a given phenomenon varies whenever another
phenomenon varies, in such a way that any increase or decrease in the former is
accompanied by an increase or decrease in the latter, the one is the cause or the
effect of the other, or is connected with it through some sort of causation [De La
Torre, 270-271].

George Edward Moore (1873 1958)

G. E. Moore studied at Trinity College and spent most of his life as a
philosophy professor at Cambridge University. During World War 11, He went
to the United States to lecture at various colleges and universities. He was
awarded the Order of Merit, the highest honor the British government can
bestow on an individual.
The Principia Ethica39 of G. E. Moore is probably the most influential
book on moral philosophy published in the 20th cent. Moore was interested in
meta-ethics rather than with ethics proper. Meta-ethics is the systematic inquiry
into normative ethics. It stands apart from the realm of normative ethics,
examines it analytically and critically.
Moore did not neglect traditional ethics. He was much concerned about
the good life and made a major contribution to the utilitarian theory. His
contribution was named by ethicists as an ideal utilitarianism.

Liberal Individualism: Alisdaire MacIntyre40

Alisdaire MacIntyre was born in 1929 in Glasgow, Scotland and received
his advanced education in England.
He taught at various universities in
England, then in the United States. Since 1988 he has been a professor of
philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. MacIntyre reacted
against duty-ethics. The notion of duty-ethics became popular because of the
influence of the deontologists who reacted against utilitarianism and the ethical
writings of Immanuel Kant. MacIntyre maintained that the emphasis on our
duties overlooks a more important feature of the moral life the nature of our
own character. MacIntyre visualizes that our main concern should be to develop
our virtues such qualities as justice, courage, honesty, generosity, friendliness and

so on. Apparently, MacIntyres moral theory is a return to the ethical thought of
Ancient Greece (Aristotle, in particular). Thus, MacIntyre became one of the
most prominent exponents of virtue ethics. In his book After Virtue, MacIntyre
argues that the concern with duty-ethics is the reflection, in moral philosophy, of
a broad conception of human nature and society that, in both theory and practice,
has had disastrous consequences, not only in the lives of individual human beings
but for the entire social structure of the modern world. This conception, which
expresses itself in every facet of life and thought, including economic and
political organization, MacIntyre calls liberal individualism. Because one of
its basic assumptions is the egoism of the individual, it generates the ethical
problem of duty, a problem that, within its own assumptions about human nature,
it cannot resolve. The only solution, in MacIntyres view, is to abandon the entire
mode of thought and return to what he believes to be a correct conception of
human nature, one in which the central feature is that of virtue a conception
that was crucial to classical Greek thought but has been lost to the modern world.
A person must fulfill his conception of the food for himself. The primary goods
are basic rights and liberties, freedom of movement and free choice of
occupation, responsibility in the political and economic institutions, income and
wealth and the social basis of self-respect.

3. Marxism: Karl Marx (1818 1883)

Karl Marx was born in Trier, in the German Moselle Valley. He studied
philosophy at the University of Berlin. He was greatly influenced by the works
of the great German idealist, G.W.F. Hegel. He soon abandoned Hegelian
idealism, however, to become a political agitator and revolutionary. Expelled
from several European countries for his subversive activities, he finally settled,
in London in 1849, where he lived the rest of his life. He wrote his monumental
work Capital.
Karl Marx41 wrote very little directly on the subject of ethics. His
writings on history, economics, and politics offer a perspective on the nature of
society that embodies a conception of justice highly critical of the practices as
well as most of the theories of modern civilization. His writings have provided
the intellectual foundations for social experiments on a vast scale in the 20 th cent.
which have had profound effects on the quality of life experienced by billions of
people since his day.
The manuscripts contain no mention of his solution to the economic,
political and ethical problems of his society; namely, the realization, following a
revolution by the proletariat (workers), of an ideal classless society. Rather,
Marxs main concern in the selection is to describe the kind of life lived by
workers in the industrial world of his time under the capitalistic system. The key
concept in his analysis is the notion of alienation or estrangement. Marx sees the
modern industrial worker as being almost totally alienated and, as a result, as

living a life that can only be charitably described as human. This deplorable
condition, furthermore, is no fault of the worker but the inevitable result of the
entire social structure generated and maintained by bourgeois capitalism.
Karl Marx adopted the atheism of the left Hegelian and made Feurbachs
criticism of religion his own. Best known for composing the communist
Manifesto and Capital which became the basis of the communist movement.
Marxs criticism of religion took as its incontrovertible basis the humanistic
atheism of Feuerbach. The very ground of irreligious criticism is this: Man
makes religion; religion does not make man. Unlike Feuerbach, Marx is bent
on grasping man in and through his economic and social conditioning. But the
essence of man is not abstracted intrinsic in each single individual. In its
actuality it is the ensemble of social relationships. Man is the human world, the
state and society. This state and society produce religion. Human beings are part
of the larger social order.
This concrete economic and political presupposition of man has
consequences for the new humanism, which Marx is trying to locate. Marx
prefers, the worlds becoming philosophical in Hegel to be replaced by
philosophys worldly. Hegel adjusted philosophy harmoniously and the world
only in thought, not in reality; philosophy made perfect now intractable to a
world that is obstinate. Marx prefers to fulfill and thus cancel out philosophy; he
prefers to turn theory into practice. The philosophers have interpreted the world
only in various ways. The point is, to transform it. According to Marx, the chief
imperfection of materialism up to now is that it has understood reality only as an
object of perception and not subjectivity as human activity and practice. Marx
thus moves beyond the previous mechanistic materialism and provides an
equivalent for it with a historical materialism.
Marxs materialism is
simultaneously humanism. Thus, man is the Supreme Being for man. There is
also the query of the concrete person. Thus humanism is also a naturalism; i.e.,
the realization of a human world. This realization assumes the products of work;
various activities, changing of the environment and producing of our means of
subsistence belong to all in common. For this reason, the elimination of private
property or communism is true humanism. In the 1st analysis, Marxs purpose is
a radical and universal emancipation; i.e., the complete restoration of man, a
restoration of the human world and of human relationships to man himself. The
need is to overthrow all those conditions in which man is an abased, debased,
degraded, abandoned and contemptible being.
This practico-political grasp of man is indispensable to modify the
criticism of religion that had been taken over from Feuerbach, by distending in
terms of politics, economics and practice. Religion is not inverted selfconsciousness but inverted world consciousness. Religion is even the general
theory of this world, its moral sanction, its very ground of consolation and
justification. Religion is the sign of the unjustly severe creatures, the mawkishly
emotional utterance of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is

the opium of the people. Opium in a sense that it eases suffering; a spiritual
intoxicant that prevents us from seeing the reality. Religion intoxicates the
mind of man and prevents man from viewing life as it is.
Several interesting points are raised: First, religion is conceived as a
projection. But the starting point for the projection is not humanity as such.
Religion is rather perceived as a superstructure built upon relations. Here, Marx
talks about a commodity. A commodity is a very queer thing, abounding in
metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties. The mystical character it
exhibits and the concealed milieu enveloping it are due to the fact that it comes
before man as an object and thus reflects back to him his own nature as this
produces itself in work. Each person is essentially social. Each person should
enjoy and share in all of the fruits of social collaboration. We are divided
because of the structure of capitalist societies. The great mass of humankind is
alienated or disintegrated from the products of its labors. Instead of expressing
themselves through their labor (as in art), most human beings are forced to sell
their commodities to some entrepreneur in order to survive. Instead of
articulating themselves fully through a variety of activities, they are forced to
perform only one monotonous function all day long while someone else performs
another (a process Marx called the division of labor). The solution to this
miserable state of affairs lies in changing the economic base on which society is
built. It is inadequate to interpret the world but we must struggle to change it.
The way to liberate human beings from alienation is to destroy its causes:
private property and the division of labor. We shall once again enjoy the fruits
of our own labors and the labors of our fellow human beings in a society he
called communist. In such a society, each contributes according to ability and
receives according to need. When we have all we need there will be no enemy,
theft or other crimes against our fellow human beings. It is thus analogous to
the mist-enveloped regions of the religious world. This is why the dismissal of
religious alienation is only a presupposition of true humanism. The philosophy,
which is fostered by atheism, is only philosophical and abstract. It becomes real
only in communism, which eliminates real alienations.
Secondly, the religious illusion is not simply the work of a ruling caste
of priests who keep the people in a state of stultification. Marx is far removed
from any such primitive argumentation. He does not say that religion is an opium
of the people because of the wretched conditions in which they live. The
religious ideology is not viewed by Marx as something arbitrary but as a kind of
essential natural process. Consciousness can never be anything but conscious
existence. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal articulation of the
dominant material relationships. If these relationships are transformed, religion
will by itself die out and cease to exist. The religious reflex of the real world can
only finally dissipate when the practical relations of everyday life offer to man
none but perfectly intelligible and reasonable relations with regard to his
fellowman and to nature. Then there will no longer be any need of religion.

Third, Marxs judgment on religion is not purely negative. He sees it
not only as a function that sanctions and legitimizes existing relations but also a
protest and a sign of the unjustly severe creature. But religion deals in promises
of an illusory happiness, in imaginary flowers from the chain. This illusion must
be eliminated, so that man may take control of his own history, so that he will
think, act and fashion his reality.
Criticism of religion, therefore, a
presupposition of an earthly, political criticism. It is the task of history, therefore,
once the other world of truth has dissipated the truth of this world.
Some theologians such as Karl Barth and Paul Tillich maintained that the
impulses of Marxism in the direction of justice and peace were congruous with
the Christian gospel and were even in conformity with it. The new political
liberation theology likewise took important stimuli from Marxism and
Neomarxist thinkers. At least as far as the analysis of social relations is
concerned, official Catholic Teaching is likewise not as monolithic as it may
seem if one takes into account only the decrees of Pius X11 and John XX111 that
forbid Catholics to belong to the communist party under pain of
excommunication. The Social Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno of Pius X1
already has important points in common with the Marxist analysis and criticism
of capitalism. The criticism of capitalism has persisted down to the very recent
social Encyclical Laborem Exercens of John Paul 11. The Encyclical Pacem in
Terris of John XX111, Gaudium et Spes and the Encyclical Populorum
Progressio of Paul V1 began to make distinctions. This process shows most
clearly in the apostolic letter Octogesima Adveniens of Paul V1 where various
levels of Marxism are distinguished: Marxism as the active practice of the class
struggle; as the exercise of all forms of political and economic power; as an
ideology based on historical materialism and the denial of anything beyond the
present life; as a scientific method and tool for the investigation of social and
political relations.
Marx himself always considered the atheistic criticism of religion as not
only a historical but also an indispensable perspective of communism. The
humanistic impulses present in atheism locate their true fulfillment only in
communion. For this reason Marx did not censure only an un-social and socially
backward Christianity. He also conducted an ardent and vehement onslaught
upon a socially committed Christianity that was getting entangled in the problem
of the workers. Marxs disciples such as Kautzky and Bloch discovered the
social emancipatory and even revolutionary conceivable and latent to
Christianity. But Bloch remains this possibility and potential for socialism and
atheism, since without atheism there is no room for messianism. Only an atheist
can be a good Christian. Albeit hope in an absolute future does not exclude a
rightly grasped commitment to an intra-historical future but unshackles, gives
incentive and inspires such a commitment, it remains a fact that this worldly
messianism of Marxism and the eschatological hope of the Christian are
evidently incongruous.

The reason for this is to be located in the Marxist picture of man,
according to which man or humanity is its own Creator and owes its existence
only to itself. According to Marx, man is his own redeemer. Every notion of a
mediator is excluded from the outset. For man, the root is man himself. Such a
radical autonomy debars every form of theonomy. The criticism of religion ends
with the doctrine that man is the Supreme Being for man. Marxism is
essentially atheistic. It is atheism, which furnishes the radical perspective of the
Marxist philosophy of life. Without it, both Marxs plan for a total man and his
concept of communism are equally inconceivable. The question of whether it is
conceivable to disconnect this atheism from the socio-political and economic
thrust of Marxism is one that can be put-at-best to a radically revised Marxism
that yields and submits its totalitarian messianism. But would this then be the
original Marxism?
Even if we state definitely the fundamental objections to the ideological
interpretations proposed by Marxism, we need not deny that Marxism has
developed significant and, by now, indispensable tools for analyzing social,
economic, and political problems. These methods become ideological only if
they are focused into universal absolutes; that is, if religious phenomena are a
priori argued only in socio economic viewpoints and no longer in themselves.
Marxism makes a contribution of a substantive kind: its demonstration
of the fundamental significance of work. The Encyclical Laborem Exercens has
adopted this viewpoint but in a Christian perspective. It seems work is an
ultimate form of human self-fulfillment and thereby exhibits the primacy of
man, the worker over things, even over capital. The imperfections of Marxist
interpretation of religion are due to the fact that Marx nowhere articulately
analyses the phenomenon of religion in itself. But a priori shrinks it to economic
and political functions. Marx does not himself justify his criticism of religion,
but more or less takes this from Feuerbach, the objections against Feuerbachs
theory of projection hold against Marx as well. This means that from the fact that
ideas of God are influenced by the socio- economic relations of a given time, it
does not follow that God is simply a reflection of these relations. If Marx had
really explored the role played by religion in the social process, he would have
had to ask himself whether in addition to the influence of socio-economic
relations on religious ideas, there is also an influence of religion on social ideas
and social practice. By allusions he makes, Marx shows his realization that not
only does relations give impetus to ideas, but ideas, in the form of utopias, give
impetus and can revolutionize relations. This means, in turn, that the spirit
enjoys at least a relative independence in regard to matter. The end consequence
is that religion is not a function of bad economic and social conditions and that it
does not simply die out when these conditions are transformed in a revolutionary
degree. This is why religion has still not died out in the communist countries,
despite harsh, discordant and austere persecution and suspension. It not only
survives but also is even revitalized.

The situation is associated with a second point: communism is still
unable to offer an answer to the individual persons queries concerning meaning.
These queries are asked also, especially in socialist societies because the latter
bring new types of alienation of the individual from society. The question of
personal happiness, of a personal destiny, of individual guilt, suffering and
death does not acquiesce as adequate the explanation that these are part of the
progress toward a classless society. Here is the decisive point. Christianity
views man not simply as an ensemble of social relations but as persons who, no
matter how thoroughly integrated he is into society, possesses an intrinsic value
and dignity and is, in turn, the source, subject and object of all social institutions.
Christianity, therefore, views this as taking the form primarily not of structures
and institutions but of sin, which has its genesis and derivability in the heart of
man. The dignity of the person is fundamentally based on the transcendence of
the person. Human autonomy and theonomy are, therefore, not connected to
each other as competitors. The increase is in direct and not in inverse proportion.
From this Christian view of man and his constitutive connectedness, it
follows that every form of intra-historical messianism is debarred from
Christians. Because of his constitutive relatedness to God, man can never be
completely his own master. Neither therefore, can he completely liberate himself
from his history and begin fully anew. Even the revolutionary is caught in the
entanglement of history; even he needs forgiveness, redemption and the grace of
a new beginning. Finally, revolution can at best furnish a hope to coming
generations. But what about the suffering and the oppressed? Are they simply
the means to the happiness of others? If hope and justice are to be possible for
all, even the dead, this can only be if God is Lord of life and death for
consolation in the next world, but when every consolation in the next world is
rejected as an empty promise, and then this world, too, is stripped of all
It is in contrary to this milieu that Marx throws down the challenge to
Christianity. For the Marxist atheist, Christianity is not so much a body of
doctrines, which are false as a social practice, which is ideologically committed
to an anti-revolutionary strategy. Theism, for Marx, is both system and
reinforcement of that strategy. For so long as human being prolongs its strategy.
Theism, for Marx, is both symptom and reinforcement of that strategy. For as
long as human beings prolong their concatenations with alien powers, they will
be alienated from their own. For as long as men and women project the
eschatological resolution of human clash and struggles on to a final kingdom
beyond human history; for so long they will fall short to take up the burdens of
revolutionary action within history and for so long as Christian ideology of the
individual resumes reconciling man and women in the market principle of an
atomic individualism, they must essentially be in collusion with the principles of
a capitalist society.

In the end Marx followed Feuerbach in viewing Christianity as having
placed before human beings the need to choose, between the claims of God and
the claims of the human; between an indifference to history and its functions in
the name of an individualistic transcendence and an immanentist, God denying,
historical humanism; between an other worldly solution and this worldly
It is certain that, for Marx, Christianity imposes these choices. Such
challenge has been met in one or other ways: one response insists that God can
be affirmed only through the denial of the human, that the transcendence of God
can be affirmed only through the negation of history; that religion itself can be
defined only by contrast with the political, the social and the material. The
alternative response is, in the name of post atheistic incarnation Christianity, to
discard the need to make these choices at all. Would it be possible to have an
alliance with Marxism is a question on which the Christian world remains, for the
time, being divided.
Marx delved on different forms of alienation: first, religious alienation
(religion, for Marx, is an opium of the people. It will dissipate when the world
will be liberated from economic circumstance which causes men to believe in
God and in heaven); second, philosophical alienation (it constructs an unreal
world of metaphysical ideas and indulges in a useless contemplation of the
world. Another danger, for Marx, is the interiorization of the problems of man);
third, political alienation (politicians posited that the ills of society is curable by
new laws); fourth, social alienation (society will not be transformed by the
voluntary action of the individuals. Without a revolution socialism collapses for
social structures are assessed by economic circumstances); fifth, economic
alienation (the consequence from the appropriation by some men of the means of
production which leads only to the exploitation of man by man in our classiest
society but also the degradation of the human sciences. Marx alluded to the
appropriation of the means of production and the exploitation of man (use value
the capacity to satisfy human needs; exchange value the price men are ready
to pay for them. For Marx, if the value of goods increases in the exchange,
independently of their capacity to satisfy human needs, the surplus value stems
from the transforming of man or his productive work. The property owner uses
somebody elses work and keeps for himself part of the profit. He is defrauding
the worker) and the appropriation of the means of production and the degradation
of mans essence [De La Torre, 336-337].
2 components : Marxs theoretical work
1. Historical Materialism is a combination of history, economics,
politics and many other subjects. This approach is known as the
materialist conception of history. The key to understand human culture
and history was productive activity. It is gaining the means of subsistence
by interaction with nature: Labor. Labor is the instrument of human selfcreation. Labor is a process wherein man and nature participate, and in

which man of his own accord starts, regulates, and controls the material
reactions between himself and nature. History is the unconscious
creation of human work and is subject to observable laws. In the social
production of their life, men enter into definite relations that are
indispensable and independent of their will, relations of production, i.e.,
property relation that correspond to a state of unfolding of their materials
productive force.
Marx employed the baser-superstructure metaphor. Society may
be likened to a building. All buildings have a base- the foundations
and the superstructure the walls, roof, etc. Societys base is the
economy upon which the structure of society is built culture, politics
and military. The base/superstructure paradigm informs us that the
cultural, political and social aspects of a society rest upon the economic
base. If the economy is capitalist so too are the state, culture and social
institutions. Those who own and control the economy will control the
other aspects of society: the state, culture and institutions. The modern
society is a capitalist society. For this reason, Marx perceives the history
of humankind as the history of different modes of production. It is the
mode of production, which is the infrastructure of society, is large.
These mode of production are successive stages in that the history of
humankind with capitalism being the ultimate and because it is so
exploitative and alienating it will lead to final mode of socialism.
2. Economic and Dialectical Materialism For Marx, economics was not
important. The relations of production were at the heart of any society.
It refers to the relationships that human beings enter into in order to
produce the economic needs of society. It was not industrialization per
se that had brought about modern society. Industrialization is a result of
a particular type of relationships of production known as capitalist,
meaning these new relation of production were dominated by a specific
relationship to the production process. He called this capitalism because
of the dominant use of capital in this type of society. It is a type of social
relationship involving investment such as investment in goods, services
and people. This investment has social and political implications far
beyond economic life.
Prior to capitalism, the notation CMC prevails. A good or
commodity [C] is sold for Money [M] in order to purchase another
commodity. In capitalism, the notation: MCM+. The capitalist
begins with Money [M], and then purchases a commodity [C] for some
more money [M+]. The money [M] is the capital for it is invested to
gain more money (profit}. There is a dual aspect of any commodity.
Every commodity is said to have [1] use value and [2] exchange value.
The use value of a commodity indicates the value of commodity in use.

The exchange of value is a commodity in its value on the market. The
exchange value of commodities predominates in a capitalist society.
Dialectical Materialism the general philosophical foundation of the system is
the work of Engels. It constitutes a link between the Hegelian dialectic and the
19th century materialism. Materialism meant the material world, perceptible to
senses. It has objective reality independent of mind or spirit. All knowledge is
derived from the senses. Individuals can gain knowledge only through their
practical interaction with those things, framing their ideas corresponding to their
practice and social practice alone provides the test of the correspondence of idea
with reality such as of truth. Dialectical materialism is essentially metaphysics.
Its tenet is focused on the belief that reality is a continual transformation in an
evolutionary pattern from a physico-chemical phase of the universe to a
biological stage terminating in the present sociological era. This evolutionary
development is a dynamic, dialectical transformation. The dialectic is a rational
principle inherent in nature, responsible for the course or turn of events which
history takes. The history of man, particularly social and philosophical history,
follows the principle of a predestined plan culminating in world socialism.
Communism will be the inevitable outcome of the history of nations or societies.
People may accelerate its rate of progress, or they may retard the normal
development but never prevents its inevitable outcome. Each stage or period of
history, owing to its dialectical character carries within it the germs of its own
The following text are taken from the [Most Rev. Emile Guerry, 174ff.]
Principle of subordination of the economy to the moral law
1. Economic liberalism
2. Marxist communism
Economic liberalism ignores and breaks the moral law in many ways:
1. In its aim: the most important aim of the economy is to produce more
and more to have the greatest possible wealth and material prosperity.
The Church does not underestimate the necessity for increased
productivity as a condition for the temporal common good. The Church
teaches that there is a hierarchy of values: man. Everything else is
subordinate to the human person including economic life. Liberalisms
concept of man and the social economy is I with Christianity.
2. In the motivation of economic activity for liberalism, personal interest
is the rule. The Church allows personal interest, profit and the honest
growth of the individual and family prosperity. It is a stimulus to man to
fulfill his duty as necessary for economic progress and as a return for
services rendered. The Church knows man and his deeply rooted
selfishness. The Church teaches that the common good will not be
assured by giving full rein to individual freedom but that the moral law,
which calls for justice and charity must be obeyed.

3. In the composition of economic life liberalism demands the complete
liberty of the producer and free competition for maximum profit. There
is no room for economic and social groups such as vocational
organizations or unions, which would limit the liberty of individuals. As
an outcome, the door is open to all kinds of abuses in the exploitation of
the worker. Individualism is unleashed in business relations and bitter
trade war, totally disregarding justice and charity, ensues between
Mammon is worshipped, the common good is
systematically ignored and human values and Gods plan are
contradicted. Such habitual conduct dulls the conscience. The producers
become slaves of liberalism. They become hard and insensitive to the
sufferings and misery of men. It also makes the economy materialistic
and pagan. This contradicts the Christian notion of the social economy.
The Churchs social teachings condemns communism for several reasons:
1. It is essentially materialistic, atheistic, and anti-Christian
a. The notion of man, life and society is contrary to Christian truth.
b. The true destiny of man is ignored.
c. It visualizes everything as depending on matter: neither the soul, nor
God exist.
d. Society is viewed as being created only for material prosperity.
e. Communism is a negation that mans life has any sacred or spiritual
f. It sees religion as impediment to the liberation of men.
1) Marx prefers a liberation, which would not only free man
socially from capitalism, but also spiritually, from God and
2) Marx views religion as the cause of fundamental alienations of
3) Marx views religion as directing man from his vital role in the
dialectic and thus distorted his true mission.
4) Communism has always and everywhere fought against religion
and organized violent persecutions against the church in the
countries where it is master.
2. Communism ignores the rights of the human person and dignity as
a. It delivers him defenseless to the communist state in absolute
submission in the name of inhuman totalitarianism, which makes
man a slave to production.
b. Pious X11 condemned communism as a social system because of
Christian teaching.
3. It refuses to submit to higher authority than that of the individual to the
authority of the moral law, natural right and God, the sovereign Creator,
Lawgiver and Judge.

4. It preaches class-welfare as an inescapable law of history and duty,
which binds the workers, in violation of the law of universal charity.
5. Communism in Russia:
a. Massive repressions were carried out by government machinery.
1) Numerous arrests of officials of the party, of the soviets, of the
army often on warrants of arrest issued by Stalin equipped with
all the trappings of law and falsified documents.
2) Physical pressure and torture were applied to deprive the accused
of his faculties and judgment and take away his human dignity.
3) Mass deportations of millions of people, entire population and
executions without trial.
b. Stalin committed not only errors but also veritable crimes. It
violated all the rules of a universal moral law greater than the
economy. He did not recognize any authority other than himself no
moral law, no natural right, nor God. He was the absolute master
and made himself a superman endowed with supernatural powers
equal to God.
c. For Stalin, he acted in the interests of the working class, in the
interest of the people, for the victory of socialism and of
communism. An act is not judged because it conforms to an
objective moral law. It is judged good because it is in the interests of
the party and for the victory of socialism.
d. In collective or personal dictatorship the danger is the same once the
party interest is placed above all moral rules.
According to communism man is not the source of evil this comes only from
the strictures of capitalism. As soon as these have been destroyed the communist
will make a new man and a true humanism will be possible.

Ludwig Feuerbach42
Feuerbach does not totally reject the idea of religion but how does he
account for mans idea of God? In his book The Essence of Christianity
Ludwig Feuerbach discarded the naturalists approximation to religion by making
subjectivity visible and typifies his starting point on the absolute reliance on the
infinite in human experience. Religion is the consciousness of the Infinite. He
reverses Hegel' dialectical presupposition in identifying God and man.
Consciousness is depicted as indispensable substance in the
consciousness that discloses distinctions of man from the beasts. Thus, in the
consciousness of the Infinite, the conscious subject has for his object the infinity
of his own nature. He account for mans idea of God presupposes that what is
absolute to man (i.e., a mans God) is his own nature. For Feuerbach, religion is
worshipped, as God is nothing more than the objectification of human nature,
purified and freed from the limits of the individual self. For Feuerbach, God is
the manifested inward nature, the indicative self of a man. Religion is viewed as
the solemn unveiling of a mans concealed accumulated treasures, the disclosure

of his thoughts, and the open enunciation of his secluded love. This mystery
could be equated to anthropology.
Feuerbachs Theory of Projection (i.e., in religion, man projects and
objectifies his own being) explores the permutation that is extrapolated from the
genesis of religion. Religion is perceived as a projection of the human spirit.
God is the highest projection of ourselves in the objective order. Man is deprived
of experiencing fulfillment in himself, so, he turns and project his desire for
infinity on to God. Man makes a god of what he is not but would like to be. But
in so doing man alienates himself by making God as a figment of his
imagination. To enrich God, man must be destitute. He must acknowledge that
without God he is nothing; that God may be all. Man declines to himself only
what he attributes to God. Thus, for Feuerbach, religion is the disengaging of
man from himself. God is not what man is. Man is not what God is. This
disengagement is nothing else than a distancing and disintegrating of man with
his own nature.
The religious projection is a transposition to alienation, distanciation and
estrangement, to the negation of man. This presupposition exhibits theism in a
new-elevated position as the negation of negation. A yes to man is an explicit
affirmation to the mystery of anthropology. Faith instead becomes the faith in
man in himself. Thus, the starting point up to the point of departure of religion is
man. Explicitly, anthropology becomes conscious of itself.
Feuerbachs atheism fundamentally directs man to shift to an apotheosis
of the world. Here, the profoundest reticence is located in common every day
things. Thus, water, bread, wine are by their very nature sacraments. In
Feuerbachs inference, he accentuates: Therefore, let bread be sacred for us, let
wine be sacred and also let water be sacred. Amen. The movement from one
state of being to another or a new kind of religion is introduced here clearly.
Thus, do things change. What yesterday was still religion are no longer such
today, and what to-day is atheism, tomorrow will be religion. Feuerbach distends
the parameters of this philosophy and forestalls on the integration of politics and
the I-Thou philosophy. Feuerbach affirms a dialogic presupposition between I
and You. Man with man the unity of I and You that is God.
Politics replaced religion and the Church. Prayer is replaced by work but
a cult of the individual could not replace religion. This perspective represents a
question. Then, the theory of projection must be considered first for it is part of
all human experience and ken and eventually no question could be raised for it is
a part of religious experience and knowledge. As far as the Theory of Projection
is concerned, there is an inevitable subjective element in our knowledge. It does
not warrant any reality of the object we experience and grasp.
The Theory of Projection argues to some extent subjective conceptions of
God albeit the theory does not explicitly tell us about the reality of God himself.
It informs us on the significance of human consciousness. Human consciousness
is indeed infinite in its purpose. It is precisely within the horizon of this

purposive infinity that its own finitude becomes shining, transparent and lucid.
The material finitude of man impedes him to materially fulfill his formal infinity.
In the final analysis man is experiencing a kind of bent tibia and later on
escapable of enduring the pain of his own insufficient resources. Man is not to
be made unconditionally jolly by becoming closed in within himself. Man can
never be mans God. Feuerbachs anthropological reductions of religion do not
seem to solve the problem. Intentional and purposive infinity of man does not
prove that some real transcendence exists to answer the self-transcending of man.
God is self alienated humanity. Properties traditionally predicated of him belong
properly to humankind. Man can become fully human only by reclaiming those
attributes for himself, by translating the divine mystery without remainder into

4. Relativism

Relativism is a way pf philosophizing which denies or more or less puts in

danger the absolute or the theoretical value of knowledge.

Cultural Relativism: William Graham Sumner (1840 1910)

William Graham Sumner 43 was a world pioneer in the study of sociology

and anthropology. He taught for many years at Yale University, where he was an
extremely popular and provocative lecturer. His best-known work is Folkways.
Sumner was among the most influential of those who derived ethical conclusions
from his anthropological discoveries. Struck by the apparent diversities he found
in the moral beliefs and practices of the various primitive people he studied,
Sumner became convinced that there is no single and absolute standard of
conduct, but that all patterns of approved behavior are relative to the particular
culture in which they are practiced. They represent devices adopted, often
unconsciously, by the society to aid it in adjusting to its environment and thus
ensuring its survival. Those patterns of conduct that are sanctioned by the
community, because they have been found by experience to promote group
survival, Sumner called Folkways. When formalized, given moral and religious
sanctions, and embodied in institutions the folkways became what Sumner calls
Mores. Sumner believed that everything in the mores of a time and place must be
regarded as justified with regard to that time and place.
The kind of theory developed by Sumner is called cultural relativism,
because it makes all moral standards relative to the society in which they are
held. Cultural relativism is a theory that there are no universal or absolute
moral standards, but that all such standards are relative to the particular
culture that accepts them and so have no validity outside that culture. It is a
form of ethical skepticism. The idea behind cultural relativism is very old,
going back at least to the Sophists of ancient Greece, who argued that each
different polis had its own peculiar code of conduct and that none was superior to
any other. The theory of Cultural Relativism has been attacked on both logical
and scientific grounds. Some philosophers argued that the conclusions drawn do

not follow logically from the evidence presented. The evidence itself is suspect
and a careful study in depth of various cultures reveals not diversity but a general
unanimity regarding basic moral standards.

Rationalistic Relativism : F. H. Bradley (1846 1924)

Bradley was born in London in 1846. He studied at the Oxford

University. He was awarded a fellowship by Merton College, Oxford.
According to the terms of his fellowship, he had no teaching obligations to the
college and could devote his entire time to research and writing. The only
stipulation made was that he could not marry. Bradley remained a bachelor all
his life and thus retained his fellowship. He never recovered from a kidney
disease. He died in 1924.
Bradley,44 was one among the prominent British converts to Hegelianism.
Bradley is a Hegelian. This approach has several sides to it. One is a form of
anti-individualism, which emphasizes the importance of the community in
shaping peoples inner selves. The other important aspect is Bradleys rejection
universal moral norms. Absolute idealism was essentially metaphysics, but it had
implications for all areas of philosophy, including ethics. Basic to the view was a
belief in the essential unity of reality. The absolute, or the totality of all
sometimes referred to as God by thinkers of a theological turn is the only thing
that is real; hence, any part that falls short of the whole must be relegated to the
status of a mere appearance. This metaphysical dichotomy between part and
whole is well illustrated in the title of Bradleys most famous book, Appearance
and Reality. For ethics, the implication is clear: Individualistic theories, like
those of Bentham, must be rejected because they rest on a mistaken metaphysics.
To get a true appreciation of the worth of human life and the obligations one is
called upon to fulfill, we must view individuals not abstractly, as isolated
beings, but concretely, as part of a larger whole which alone can make their
existence meaningful. This view of individual people and their place in the
structure of things receives perhaps its best, and most persuasive, formulation in
Bradleys essay My station and its duties. However, it has its dangers, which
became evident when members of a later generation extracted it from its
philosophical setting to exploit it for political ends. In their hands it degenerated
into a denial of any rights for individual human beings, whose value was held to
lie solely in the contribution they could make to the glory and power of the state.

5. Determinism
1. Theological Determinism is implicit in many parts of the bible, and

has often been held to be a relevant consequence on the sovereignty of

2. Physical or Scientific Determinism has antecedents in the philosophy
of Democritus. It emerges again with the rise of modern science.

a. Hard Determinism is employed to establish the philosophical
viewpoint that all events are rigorously determined and those moral
categories such as ought and guilt is really meaningless.
b. Soft Determinism claims that all events are determined, but
establishes that moral categories still have relevance e.g., they are
significant aspects of social engineering.
Indeterminism and libertarianism is sometimes used interchangeably. It is a term
for belief in free will. Ontological indeterminism and classical determinism can
be a threat to free will.

J.M.E. McTaggart (1866 1925) = Freewill and Determinism

J.M.E. McTaggart45 was an English philosopher who spent his entire
career at Cambridge University. His main interest was metaphysics, in which he
was a follower of the 19 th cent. Philosopher G.W.F. Hegel. McTaggart wrote the
book Some Dogmas of Religion.
Most people would rather believe in free will than accept determinism.
Determinism, for McTaggart, is a theory that all events including human actions,
are the effects of causes, and hence must be as they are. McTaggart denies the
possibility of our having genuine choices between alternative acts. This is
incompatible with free will. Why then are so many philosophers determinists?
By far their most important reason lies in a metaphysical assumption that they
consider being necessary to science as well as to the existence of a rational world
ordering in general. They accept the view that the universe is governed by
natural laws which humans, through the use of the scientific method, can
discover. Such a belief leads them to accept the postulate of universal causation,
hence to reject the possibility that anything happens by chance; that is, without
any determining causes. But this is just what a free choice by a human being is.
As a result, it is inexplicable, absurd in an otherwise intelligible world. So many
philosophers, most of whom the world deems to be completely intelligible, tend
to be drawn toward determinism.
The most difficult problem for determinists, as believers in free will
invariably point out, is to give a satisfactory explanation of moral responsibility.
If we always will to do what prior causes determine us to will, how can we be
held responsible for our choices and actions? Some determinists admit that we
cannot so give up the idea of human responsibility. Others, who call themselves
self-determinists, argue that, although we are determined to do whatever we in
fact do, nevertheless we can still be held responsible because our self makes the
decision and performs the action. But McTaggart adopts a different tactic. He
attempts to show that moral responsibility is compatible with ordinary
determinism. Then, he moves on the offensive, arguing the case that the
determinist theory can account for our responsibility for what we do more
satisfactorily than the free will theory can.


6. The Philosophy of Max Scheler (1874-1928) 46

The Emotive Spheres
Scheler holds that the whole of spiritual life, not only cognition and
thinking, possesses pure acts, independent of the psychophysical organization of
man i.e., also the whole of the emotional quality of spirit (feeling, preferring,
loving, hating etc.). In this sphere, there is a priori content which is not based on
thinking, and which ethics has to reveal independently form logic.
Since Ancient Greek Philosophy, reason has always been alluded only to
its logical quality. Kant, for instance, reduced pure will to practical reason, and
does not see the autonomy of acts of will to practical reason and their own
independent lawfulness. Albeit it is true that the logical principle of
contradiction applies to this sphere (e.g. it is impossible to will and not to will the
same object). The logical principles as such are not underlying emotional acts.
Axioms of ethics and values are independent of logical axioms and if they
happen to coincide it is only because of their phenomenologically common basis.
Pure logic is at the side of pure values. Since Kant was hesitant in acquiescing
an independent realm of values, and since he failed to attribute the emotional to
reason, he conceived the entire world of feelings in terms of sensibility, and
excluded it from ethical investigation.
The traditional division of spirit in reason and sensibility (From Greek to
contemporary thought) is for Scheler inadequate because the whole of emotional
life must on this premise be assigned to sensibility, including love and hatred.
Wherever this had been done the emotional had been construed either as
dependent on the psychophysical organization of man or as a function of the
psycho-physical variations through the evolution and history of life. At present
time the issue whether there is at the center of the alogical emotional elements of
spirit an original difference of act quality or if there are alogical autonomous acts
of the kind as we perceived them in pure logic and through which we construed
its object is not yet conceivable. Scheler is concern simply on pure autonomous
acts of the emotional such as pure intuition, feeling, pure loving, hating, pure
striving and willing. They are independent of mans bodily organization. In his
demand for the apriority, Scheler follows Blaise Pascal. Pascal described this
autonomous lawfulness in feeling, loving, hating etc. which is comparable to that
of formal logic such as ordre du coeur, logique du coeur, or as Le coeur a
ses raisons. This ordre du coeur is irreducible to rational lawfulness.
Emotional experience, whose foundation is this ordere du coeur, is not
epistemologically construed as laws of logic are. The intellect is as blind to it as
in the ear to colors. This mode of experience makes to us accessible an
immutable order of its authentic respect objects: Value and their interconnections
and the priority of the emotional are constitutive in such intentional objects.
Scheler defends that it is only through affective intentional acts that we have
access to objective values and their hierarchy. He proceeds to argue that feelings

bestow in us the basis for moral decision. As a human person I declined the
above claim of Scheler. Albeit the intentional role of feelings is concurred and
feelings have a seminal function concerning our accessibility to values, it is still
disputable that feeling alone bestows in us access to values or that feeling can
bestow an adequate ground for moral decision. Emotional dynamism informs us
a spontaneous turn toward a particular value. Apparently this is grounded in
nature. There is no good foundation if we adopt the above presupposition for
emotions simply follow the orientation of nature and hence it is expressed by
As Wojtyla would put it: The intellect has precedence over emotion, over
the emotive spontaneity of the human being, and denotes the power and the
ability to be guided in choice and decision by truth itself about good. If we
simply obey the orbit of our emotive spheres then we are incapable of selfdetermination. Thus Scheler has a plausible basis for his claim that values are
given only in feeling and that reason plays no role in the seeing of the objective
values and their hierarchy. Schelers concerned is apparently to exhibit that
feeling alone gives us access to values that he does not give sufficient
accentuations to the role that reason validly plays in moral decisions.
The Sphere of the Emotional from Different Aspects
Schelers concept of feeling seems to exhibit the language difficulty
between English and German. In English feeling is employed in two distinct
ways for which the German has two distinct terminologies. Feeling alludes to a
state of feeling such as that of illness, health, and weaknesses. It also alludes to
the feeling of the state, i.e., to feel a feeling, so that to feel is intentional to such
a feeling state. For instance, pain. Pain as a state of feeling can be endured,
suffered, physically suppressed or even enjoyed. Pain as a state can be felt.
Scheler employs feeling as a feeling-state. He employs for the modes of
feeling states the English word feeling (as a gerund). In German to feel a
feeling is translated in English as the feeling (gerund) of a feeling (noun). To
avoid misconstrual we must imply feeling state and feeling in the above
Feeling states alludes to content whereas feelings allude simply to the
function of the reception of this content. Feelings can be construed whereas
feeling states can only be stated. The emotive sphere in its integral sense
unconceals itself in Schelers phenomenological analysis in diverse strata of
depths. Viewed for the first time, it appears to be distinct intensities of one or
another feeling state. A number of these feeling states seems to be individually
distinct e.g. happiness, blissfulness, cheerfulness, comfort or pleasure and their
contrarieties such as misery, despair, sadness and pain. Still, there is a possibility
for the human person to be helping even in a moment of suffering pain, as in
joyful suffering such as the case of St. Rita de Cascia (redemptive suffering) and
the early Christians triumphally praising God while lions and tigers were about to
devour them. Feeling states and feeling merges and participates in an essential

stratification of emotive profundity. A grief stricken face retains grief even in a
Feeling states and the lower strata of the ego is inextricably linked that
maintains concatenations of closer relationship that surrounds throughout the
ego, permeates and colors different parts of what comprises the consciousness.
Feelings break out from a lower source of the ego. The fulfillment of their
intentional direction bestows or guarantees satisfaction. For Scheler, there is the
possibility for this intentional direction to be particularly individualized e.g., it
can be a family typical representations particularly breeds and races that
represents certain types of feelings characteristic of an historical era, culture or
religion. In this consideration, Scheler typifies types of techniques, interpretation
and ethics which humanity has evolved with relation to ways of suffering. These
are diverse steps overcoming suffering such as through resignation, dissolution of
self (Buddha), heroic resistance (Gandhi) etc.
Diverse types of suffering could be subdivided into two parts:
First, to feel suffering so that it will subside and eventually dissipate. This
technique appears to be an exterior square ness against suffering. For Scheler it
is an external heroic activity and an intentional attempt to dissipate the good
cause of suffering by actively resisting against evil in the world.
Second, Suspending suffering from within through non-resistance or passive
heroism and patience. Scheler views this as an inner psychic dissolution. Here,
Scheler reiterates that in Indian (Hindu) culture; there is an eclipse of western
thought especially Greek category of spirit. Thus the western civilizations
accentuates on forms of biologism especially India. These two essential traits
i.e., external epistemological attitude and the internal passive essential traits in
both cultures typifies medical treatment of the body. This expanded discussion
on organism to both outer influences (physical and chemical) and inner
influences such as pleas and suggestions, hypnosis, psychotherapy. psychic
consequences of altered social milieu etc. Debilitating sickness is a mixture of
both organic and psychic. Western science and medicine highlights simply the
external means to dissipate suffering in the object body itself whereas the eastern
tried to advanced psychic techniques.
The vortex of Schelers arguments involves different strata of feeling
1. Physical Feeling States (e.g., pain, sensation of tickling, itching etc.)
2. Body or vital Feeling States (e.g., weakness, anxiety, illness, health etc.)
3. Psychic Feeling States (e.g., sorrow, joy-sadness)
4. Spiritual Feeling States of person (e.g. blissfulness, despair, conscience)
1. Physical Feeling states There is a distinction between physical feeling
states from the other three states. These states are local and extended from
the other three states. These states are local and extended on or in a body.
These are not constitutive as an act or function. Their extension progresses
with tremendous intensity but not vice versa. They are not subject to fellow-

feeling or a reproduced feeling. Their form of being is exclusively in time
and place in a body. They are subject to willful dissipation, guidance and
arbitrary alterations. Physical Feeling states are subject to possible narcosis
whereas a feeling state of weakness, strength, illness or declining life (feeling
states of youth or age) cannot be willfully mastered or willfully produced on
the same manner as physical feeling states. The latter states are already
much dependent on individual and social positions and constitutions.
2. Vital-Feeling states can also be extended in senses that are not limited to
particular area in an organism. Albeit health, debilitating illness, vigor
strength etc. are not limited to a particular organ, such feeling states are still
organic in nature. Physical and vital feeling states belong to all animals.
Through the body, vital feeling states spread deeper in depth than feeling
All feeling states are tokens for values and disvalues. Whereas physical
feeling states are tokens for values insofar as the respective organ in its
relation to the whole of the body is concerned. The other three feeling states
could also be warnings or summons for the execution of reactions to avert
forthcoming dangers. There is something given in a vital feeling-state, in
growth, decline health, illness, pertaining to lifes future and dangers. This
value content alludes to our life, to anothers and to our concrete milieu
(fresh air of a forest; power of growth in living creatures). On this domain of
vital-feeling states there is a presence of fellow-feeling and reproduced
feeling i.e., active participation for and in the others feeling state. This
weakness of a bird can be participated by us, whereas we can never place
ourselves into his physical feeling state, since its local manifestation in the
birds organ cannot be known. The value component of a vital feeling state
is present before any damages or advantages in a living being occurred. It
possesses values, which are not yet bestowed to us, and only those values
alluding to what is forthcoming and not the present are given.
3. Psychic feeling states are much lower in depth and totally different from
other feeling states because they are direct qualities of the ego. They are
related to objects of cultural milieu. It includes other persons and can be
shared. Thus they differ from the physical states, which are only within the
subject itself. The feeling state is here intentional and can be refelt and
participated in form of sympathy. Psychic feeling states are authentically
accessible and communicable. This state can be altered through changing
body conditions because they are inextricably linked to imagine objects,
which are mostly independent of the body and its conditions.
4. Spiritual or metaphysical feeling states pour forth directly from the care of
the person (conscience) and shine through the person and his life. They are
in a sense absolute because we cannot be despaired or blissful about
something as we can be happy about something. Ultimately, one can only be
despaired or blissful so that our whole world and person is filled with this

state. Blissfulness cannot be attained by technical production of good works
nor can despair be eliminated through them. As Augustine would put it:
Not through my good works O Lord but through your grace and mercy.
To have or not to have spiritual feeling states is not dependent on willful
intentions at all. They apply only on the back of comportment and never as a
given content for purposeful willing.
Thus the relations existing between mans feeling states and inter
human emotional relations are synthesized by Scheler as that physical feeling
states (pain, tickling, itching etc,) are dead in the sense that they cannot be
felt in or shared by someone else. They do not constitute an emotional
participation though they can be known by others. Hence, physical feeling
states do not enter into the inter-human emotional communication. All four
feeling states possess correlates of the state for the respective hierarchy and
order of values. For Scheler, there are four types of inter emotional
1. Community of feeling (e.g., parents standing side by side in front of their
dead beloved child). Their sorrow in this sense is the same and one in that
both possess feeling-in-common in their sorrow.
2. Fellow Feeling (e.g., a friend entering the room in which the sorrow stricken
parents are standing. This feeling is strictly intentional towards the sorrow
of the parents as object of feeling).
3. Psychic contagion is related to all feeling states and is therefore the strongest
inter-human emotional phenomenon.
4. Emotional Identification has a relation to psychic and spiritual feeling states
and it relates to vital feeling states (e.g., weakness, anxiety, illness and
Types of Inter-Emotive Experience
To be a human person implies the fundamental relation to the other for
Scheler. To live with others is not a sheer fact alone, but this relation to the other
is essentially ontic. The being of man is both a being-self and being-with (other
persons). Man is both individual and social being. The relation between the
thou and the I in the emotive sphere is of ontically indispensable.
The Thou are always indispensable and given-priori to the I. There is no
ego without the we and experiencing the thou is an experience of a reality.
Reality as a whole is experienced and lived in four essential fashions of which
the Thou-I phenomenon, and therewith emotional communication (sympathy), is
second in order.
1. The Sphere of the absolute and holy. Its given ness is prior to direct
immediate reality in the sense that all that which is known or expected in
immediate reality is being judged evaluated and construed on the
2. The reality of with-world i.e., togetherness of others. The we experience.
This sphere is given prior to all reality of given and inanimate nature. The

we experience is prior to the ego, which knows itself only within the we.
Self-observation is only an observation as if one were another.
3. The experience of the external and internal reality as well as of a body
environment. The experience of the external precedes that of the intentional
reality of man. This third experience manifests itself as resistance and
suffering of external reality.
4. The sphere of external inanimate bodies is experienced after that of all living
Max Schelers (1874-1928)47 Censure on Kantian Ethics
Schelers censure on Kants presupposition on striving and willing as not
guided by the moral law.
Scheler refute the law of nature even man strives for pleasure and
nothing else.
a. The objective law wherein the course of conation always has a
tendency to go for a state of less pleasure to one of greater pleasure.
b. The law of the intention of conation wherein pleasure is intended in
conation. It is an absolute and a relative law, an objective natural law
and a law of the intention of all striving for.
The inadequacy of reason and sensibility for the whole of
emotional life, being irrational, must on this premise be assigned to
The emotional had consequently been construed either as
dependent on the psycho-physical organization of man or a function
of the psycho physical variations through the evolution and history
of life.
1 - Values and Pleasure
For Scheler, Kant reduces the being of values to ought ness, norms,
imperatives, and types of assessment.
a. A value experience is not an experience of relation. Values for Scheler are
distinct realities in themselves and need to be distinguished from the bearers
of values. Value-qualities do not change with the changes in things (or their
b. Values in general when subsumed under a category must be characterized as
qualities, not as relations. As value-phenomena, values are true object and
are distinct from all states of feeling.
c. Man strives first for goods, not for the pleasure in goods. It is only in
goods that values become real. In a good, a value is objective and real
consequently. Stated differently, goods and things have the same originality
of given ness. Real objects are at first neither pure things nor pure goods
but complexes i.e., things insofar as they are of value. Goods are
thoroughly permeated by values. The unity of a value guides the synthesis of



all other qualities of a good. Any formation of a world of goods is guided by

an order of ranks of values.
This order of rank is a priori with regard to a world of goods and is a nonformal order, an order of value-qualities.
Insofar as such an order of values is not absolute but predominant. It is
represented in the rules of preferring among value-qualities, which inspirit a
given epoch.
In the sphere of aesthetic values, this system of rules of preferring is called
In the field of practical ethics, this system is called morality.
Good and evil are values of the person. That which can be called
originally good and evil, i.e., that which bears the non formal values of
good and evil prior to and independent of all individual acts, is the
person, the being of the person himself.
Scheler declined that every non-formal ethics is a eudaemonism.
Scheler holds that only a formal ethics is in a position to come up with
the decisive argument against every form of eudaemonism. For feelingstates of all kinds neither are our condition values, they can at least be
bearers of values.
Schelers concern is in the order of Ranks of Values
Values are either higher or lower. This hierarchy is apprehended in a
special act of value cognition: the act of preferring. The height of a value
is given, by virtue of its essence only in the act of preferring. This
preferring occurs in the absence of all conation, choosing and willing.
A priori indispensable linkage between higher and lower realms of values
a. Values are higher or lower the more they endure and the less they
partake in extension and divisibility.
b. Values are higher the less they are divisible i.e., the less they must be
divided in participation by several.
c. The profundity of contentment as criteria of the height of values.
Contentment as an experience of fulfillment and implies the acceptance
of objective values.
d. Higher values are nearer to absolute values
The survey of values with respect to their indispensable bearers
a. Values of the Reason and Values of Things
b. Values of oneself and values of the other
c. Values of Acts, Values of functions, and Values of Reactions
d. Values of the Basic Moral Tenor, Values of Deeds, and Values of Success
e. Values of Intention and Values of Feeling-states
f. Values of Terms and Relations, Values of Forms of Relations and Values
of Relation
g. Individual Values and Collective Values

The A Priori Relations of Ranks among Value-Modalities
Values ranging from agreeable to Disagreeable
Values Related to Vital Feelings
Spiritual Values
The Holy and the Unholy
For Scheler, the above modalities have their own a priori order of ranks
that precedes their series of elements. This order of value ranks is valid
for the goods of correlative values because it is valid for the value of
goods. The order is this: the modality of vital values is higher than that
of the agreeable and disagreeable; the modality of spiritual values is
higher than that of vital values; the modality of the holy is higher than
that of spiritual values.
2. Feeling and Feeling States
Scheler: Our whole emotional life, our conative life as well, must be assigned
to sensibility.
a. Everything in the mind, which is alogical, e.g., intuition, feeling, striving,
loving, hating etc. is dependent on mans psychophysical organization.
b. Scheler adapted the views of Cornelius on the emotional theory of
Values are neither feelings nor dispositions in things which enable things to
awaken feelings. They possess constancy that experience of pleasure does not
a. Experience of pleasure is, by their nature, actual and consequently
individual. Values as the constant order of these experiences are
permanently enduring and inter individual in the flux of actual
experiences of pleasure.
b. Scheler reiterates emotional aspect of man and elucidated its function in
the process of moral knowledge and moral action. We are primarily
related to the world not by way of intellectual perception but through
value feeling. Our emotional relationship precedes our intellectual
operations. The correlation of emotional feeling and values constitute
mans original participation on being.
The Notion of Ordo Amoris
a. For Scheler, the objective order of values is reflected in every mans
heart. The human heart is the seat of ordo amoris and as a consequence,
a kind of microcosm of the whole objective world of values.
b. Mans love is an ordered counterpart of the hierarchy of values.
c. Love is not a static state of feeling but a dynamic transition toward
higher values.
d. Love is creative discoverer of new values and the principal driving
power in mans unceasing feast for self-transcendence.
e. Scheler maintains the primacy of love over knowledge.



Man is first and foremost a loving being (ens amans) before he is ever a
knowing (ens cogitans) or willing being (ens volens). The prototype
and apex of all personal love are located in mans participation in the
divine love.
g. The emotive sphere of man possesses a fundamental order for Scheler, an
order that resounds emotionally the order of objective values present to
consciousness i.e., that which includes the emotional.
h. For Scheler, it is only through affective intentional acts that we have
access to objective values and their hierarchy.
i. Such access is not simply a vague, nascent forerunner, which must be
subsequently clarified with reason. What feeling gives us is in itself
the basis for moral decision.
The Emotional Powers in Man and Values
If man is to achieve the total realization of his ideal qualities and of his full
humanity, all his various emotional powers must be cultivated and not just one
or another of them.
Five Basic Functions
1. Identification (Einsfuhlung) is the experience in which a person identifies his
own self with nature, with another person or with a group, and feels an
emotional unity. It is confined to the level of vital consciousness
(vitalbewusstein). It is an automatic, i.e., involuntary operation.
2. Vicarious feeling (Nachfuhlung) is a more highly developed emotional
power. It takes place on a higher level of consciousness and is a free act. In
it we feel the other persons feeling.
3. Fellow-feeling (Mitgefuhl) fulfills the important metaphysical function of
helping man to transcend his natural illusion of egocentricity, i.e., the illusion
of taking his own world to be the world itself.
4. Benevolence (Menschenliebe), or a general love of humanity, regards
individuals lovable qua specimens of the human race. It does not direct its
attention to the person as an individual, unique human being.
5. Non-cosmic personal love (akmistische Personliebe) is the very essence of
the Christian love of neighbor. This type of love is general in the sense
that it is extended to all men, not to mans general essence but to the
individual center of being in every spiritual person.
Intentional Feeling
Feeling is used in two ways:
1. Feeling state, i.e., a physiological condition on an individuals mood as
conveyed by such terms as illness, health or weakness.
Feeling alludes to the mode of feeling this state, i.e., to feel a feeling, so
that to feel is intentional to such a feeling-state.

Schelers Four Emotive Levels of Feelings
a. First, Feeling states such as pain are non-intentional states and need to be
distinguished from acts of feelings since acts of feelings of are the
first level which is truly intentional and given values.
b. Second and Third level of acts and of preference which intend not values
but rather the ranks of values, their hierarchy.
c. Finally, level of acts of love and hate, not cognitive acts of all but rather
spontaneous acts. The acts of love and hate are creative acts in that
they extend or contract the value-real accessible to being.
3 The Relativity of Values
Scheler: Subjectivity of values belongs to all values by essential necessity to
be given through a special kind of consciousness of something, viz: feeling.
a. Schelers point of departure is the ultimate principle of phenomenology:
viz, there is an interconnection between the essence of an object and the
essence of intentional experiencing.
b. This essential interconnection can be grasped in any random case of such
c. Scheler denies that the laws of objects must conform to the laws of
acts which comprehend objects, and that these laws of the
comprehension of object are also laws of objects which are
comprehended. Hence, the interconnection would be unilateral.
d. Scheler denies an absolute ontologism i.e., the theory that there can be
object which are, according to their nature, beyond construal by any
consciousness. The existence of a class of objects demands a description
of the kind of experience involved. Hence, as to their essences, values
must appear in a feeling of consciousness.
e. Scheler does not imply that values are appearances in consciousness.
It does not imply that values belong to intuition of the self.
f. Scheler also reject the claim that the being of values presupposes a
subject or an ego, (transcendental ego or in a consciousness in
g. For Scheler, the ego is in every possible sense always an object of
intentional experiencing and hence of a consciousness of in the first
h. The ego is given only in inner intuition (Anschauung) and is only a
certain form of the multiplicity of phenomena that appear in the direction
of inner intuition.
i. The ego is an object of value consciousness but not necessary the point
of origin of value consciousness.
Scheler declined all theories which hold that values are reducible to a
transcendental ought, or an inwardly felt necessity, that moral values are
reducible to what conscience tells us. In this sense, Scheler denied the theory of
the subjectivity of values.

a. The rejection applies to any theory that restricts values, according to their
essence, to man, his psychic or psychophysical organization i.e., the
being of values as relation to these. Why? Animals too feel values
(agreeable and the disagreeable, the useful and the harmful). Values exist
on all nature apart from the comprehension of values.
b. Essence has nothing to do with universality.
c. There are essences that are given only in one particular individual. Thus
we can speak of an individual essence and also of an individual valueessence of a person.
d. It is this value-essence of a personal and individual nature that Scheler
designates personal salvation.
e. For Scheler, the capacity for the development of value-feeling is
unlimited for both historical man and the individual. Man as a species,
too, is a transitional link in the development of universal life. In
developing his feeling, he advances into the full range of present values
e.g., the wretchedness of the world of values belonging to the great
masses of our culture and times does not rest on a general human
subjectivity of values.
f. It rests on other grounds, which determine in part mans natural view of
the world in general and in part, the common views of man of our
g. For Scheler value differences are first given, as values, that even more
symbolic differences for value differences are first given as values,
constitute the subjective factor of our value consciousness that
increasingly impoverishes the comprehension of factual values and
goods. Values in this context is subjective because this attitude
corresponds to an extraordinary degree to the predominant structure of
the value experience of man of the capitalistic system of completion that
those people in its bond, i.e., those not able to objectify it merely as one
historical experiential structure among others, made this competitive
system into a metaphysics of values and consequently declared values in
general to be subjective.
4 - The Relativity of Values to Man
The person is ultimately the center of Schelers ethics, and his practical ethics
turns to persons, not laws or norms for moral direction.
a. Scheler rejects a table of absolute values approach in order to be true
to the uniqueness of each person and each persons grasp of the hierarchy
of values.
b. Prescribing a table of values presupposes that all persons are
interchangeable- that any person, ought to act the same, ought, e.g., to
choose the same value to be realized. Thus, Scheler rejects such
universal interchangeability of persons.

c. Scheler speaks of an individual ought an experience of the ought-tobe of a content, an action, a deed, or a project through me, and, in certain
cases, only through me as this individual.
d. But this experience of my obligation no matter If I share this
obligation with others or not, no matter if it is recognized by others or
not, no matter if they can recognize it or not is based on the
experience of my individual value-essence.
e. Scheler asks: What is the relation of universally valid values and
universally valid norms to the personal essence and the ought to found
on it?
f. In the past, the person acquires a positive moral value only by realizing
universally valid ones or by obeying a universally valid moral law.
g. For Scheler, all universally valid values represent only a minimum of
values. If these values are not recognized and realized, the person
cannot attain his salvation. But these values do not in themselves
incorporate all possible moral values. True cognition and recognition of
them, as well as obedience to their norms, are not all the positive good
as such. The latter is fully evidentially given only insofar as it implies
individual-personal salvation.
h. Schelers objection is on the reduction of the totality of the value realm
to that minimum which is universally shareable at any given moment.
i. Scheler typifies the possibility for the individual to know unique values
and the indispensability of moral tasks and actions that can never be
reiterated. Such tasks and actions are predetermined in the objective
nexus of the factual moral order for this moment and for this individual.
If not utilized, they are lost forever.
j. Every moment calls us to perform certain tasks and to realize a value.
If we dont heed the call of the moment, we lose that opportunity forever
and can only regret not utilizing it. The uniqueness of the call makes it
hard for us to find consolation since we cannot get others to construe
why we believe we ought to have done just that just then.
5 The Relativity of Values to Life
Scheler: If values were relative to life, it would be impossible to attribute a
specific value to life itself. Life is an object of valuation not only as this or that
living being but also as an essence. Indeed, it is an evident proposition that the
being has ceteris paribus a higher value than the inanimate and therefore quite
independent of human cognition, demands different comportment than the
inanimate does.
Scheler declined Kants conception of life in the wake of cartesianism:
a. This conception of life and its corresponding psychology were based on
an application of basic concepts and principles of mechanics, especially
the principles of preservation, to the phenomena of life.

b. There were attempts to reduce all kinds of sympathy through any number
of mediations to egoism and all appearances of growth, unfolding and
development to mere epiphenomena of processes of preservation in the
smallest units of life, which, in turn, by their socializations in certain
organic units, were supposed to provide an image of growth,
unfolding and development.
c. Scheler stressed the errors of Nietzsche who considered life as primarily
and exclusively self-preservation and self-growth.
d. The total aspect of life is inner solidarity and unity.
e. Scheler refuted Spencers fundamental error of taking mans milieu and
its corresponding forms of thinking as the object of adaptation that is
basic to all species.
f. The Principle of Relativity of moral values to life: Man retains the
value that biological ethics also contributes to him. If by life one
construed only an earthly organic whole, natural laws put restrictions
upon life.
g. The degree to which living forms are independent in existence with
respect to others indubitably deserves a positive value-estimation.
h. The more dependent on others such forms are, the more they must be
exposed to perils and injuries and the earlier they will meet their destiny
in earthly life in the sequences of death, which, in the end, is the destiny
of earthly life itself.
i. Man is the most valuable being in nature insofar as this proposition has
an objective sense and is not the result of mere anthropomorphic selflove. These cannot be justified from the standpoint of biological values.
j. Scheler rejects the view generally connected with all forms of
ontologism viz: that we are also able to construe this existence in the
sense of a substantial reality of God.
k. Scheler rejects historical ontologism that considers the idea of an infinite
being to be the intuitively given ultimate element of all positive religious
l. Scheler objected that this ultimate intuitable element possesses the
character of a final, irreducible, and, in the order of ranks of values,
evidentially highest value quality, which is precisely the value of the
infinitely holy. This moment of value is therefore not a predicate of a
given idea of God but the nucleus around which all conceptualizations
and pictorial representatives of the real are secondarily formed.
m. The idea of God is not an empirical abstraction from diverse positive
representations of gods that in different positive religious are objects of
worship and cults.
n. The ultimate (i.e., the highest) value-quality in the order of ranks of
values originally guides the formation of all positive representations,
ideas and concepts of God.

o. A Theory of Religious Cognition: Schelers concern is to exhibit that
there is an a priori value-idea of the "divine" which does not presuppose
any historical or inductive experience and which is wholly independent
of the above sources of positive religious experience and even more
independent of those colorations appended to determinations of positive
religious representations by the special characteristics and historical lifecontents of different peoples.
p. A religious idea of an object cannot have its foundation in a feeling i.e.,
in a subjective feeling-state.
q. Rejecting relativism, Scheler develops the idea of historical value
perspectivism. The mountain range of eternal and immutable values
towers high above the valleys in which humans live. Every age and
every people are, according to their respective limited pointed of view,
different aspects of the abundant realm of values.
r. For Scheler, the objectivity of values is closely linked to the essential
constitutional relationship that exists between the subject that perceives
and realizes values, and the corresponding value themselves. Values are
manifestations of the Divine essence and they reflect in a fragmentary
way the supreme value of God.
Schelers major ethics:
a. Personalism His main work on ethics concerned primarily with the
A new attempt at establishing an ethical
Personalism. Scheler established a hierarchy of value-person type or
ideal model persons, which corresponds to hierarchy of higher and lower
values. People must see the eternal values embodied on model persons
whom they will inspire to imitate.
b. A Philosophy of Plenitude The idea of human fulfillment, plenitude
and inner harmony of the person are indispensable goals of mans ethical
c. History Oriented Moral Philosophy The accentuation on the dynamic,
historical dimensions of ethics. The very meaning of history lies in the
unceasing growth and development of concrete modes of humanity.
History is moving toward an era of harmonization. The energies of the
cosmos converge and then surge forward toward the most complete
development and growth of the human person.
Within this material, there are five strata which must be differentiated for
all historical considerations of moral affairs:
a. There are variations in feeling (i.e., cognizing) values themselves, as well
as in the structure of preferring values and loving and hating (variations
in the ethos).

b. These are variations which occur in the sphere of judgment and the
sphere of rules of the assessment of values and value ranks given in these
functions and acts (variations in ethics).
c. There are variations in types of unity of institutions, goods and actions
i.e., the quintessences of institutions, goods and actions, the unities of
which are founded in moral value complexes.
d. Practical morality pertains to value of the factual comportment of man,
i.e., comportment on the basis of norms which belong to the relations of
value-ranks recognized by these men, and which correspond to their own
structures of preferring.
e. It is necessary to distinguish variations in moralities from variations
belonging to the areas of norms and customs i.e., forms of action and
expression whose validity and practice are rooted solely in genuine
Variations in Ethos
a. Both the relativistic non-formal ethics of goods and purposes and formal
ethics have failed to see that there are variations in the ethos itself, which
have nothing to do with an adaptation of a given ethos to the changing
realm of goods that belong s to civilization and culture.
b. Ethical relativism believes that not only moral value-estimations but also
values themselves and their ranks are in development has its origins in
retrospectively applying moral values abstracted from present day factual
value-estimations to moral subjects of the past, and in mistaking what is
in fact a variation in the ethos for a better adaptation of willing and
acting to that which corresponds to present day value-estimations or their
suffered unity.
c. Scheler typifies that Relativism fails:
1) It fails to see the even more radical relativity of moral valueestimations, which consists in variations in the contents of an
immediate value-consciousness, and its governing rules of
2) It fails to see the changes in moral ideals themselves (and not merely
changes in the application of this value-consciousness to changing
groups, actions, and institutions).
d. According to the relativist all change is explained by the fact that at
different times different groups of a society or different human qualities
(courage, audacity, and energy, or industriousness, thriftiness, and
diligence) served to realize the value of general well being for e.g., and
that estimations of preferences occurred accordingly.
e. The relativist does not doubt that this value has always been the highest
value and that from it and in terms of it he can derive and explain valueestimations by taking into account the life-reality in question i.e.,
dispositions, stages of technology, intellectual insight nor does he doubt

that at the highest level the man of the fast only lacked a clear theoretical
awareness of the meaning of their value-estimations.
Scheler asserts that value relativism always rests on an absolutisizing of value
estimations which depend on the idiosyncrasies and culture of the observer
concerned i.e., it rests on the narrowness and blindness of the horizon of moral
values, an outlook that is conditioned by a deficient sense of awe and humility
vis--vis the realm of moral values and its expanse and fullness. It rests on the
arrogance of taking only its expanse and fullness. It rests on the arrogance of
taking only the moral value-estimations of ones own time as a matter of
course without authority, and assuming that these values underlie all times; or
of emphasizing ones own experience into men of the past instead of indirectly
overcoming the narrowness of this period by construing the types of ethoss of
other times, taking off the blinders that the value experiences of ones own time
impose. Scheler: Ethical relativism can easily justify its thesis if it does not
distinguish between unities of types of value-complexes and the states of affairs
that are unified by them on the one hand and the quintessences of things,
actions, and men, which by definition are to be considered bearers of such valuecomplexes, on the other.
Schelers type of Variations:
a. Wundts judgment, for Scheler, is correct. (A grave assault on the honor
of historical mankind): The essences of murder are, and what constitutes
the identical type of these value-state-of-affairs (the case of Germans
who defended their national border killed men with intent and
b. (The time when human beings were sacrificed to deities and in sacred
services): The value of human life was not given to completion as the
highest value. That human life is not the highest goods corresponds to
humanitys common ethos but the intention of annihilation, which is
essential for murder, is missing. The essence of sacrifice includes
devotion to a positive and valuable being.
c. For Scheler, there would be no murder in cases of a pathological defect
in this kind of construal. The killing of a man is not murder: it is only
its presupposition. In cases of murder the value of the person in a being
man must be given in intention, and a possible intention of action must
aim at its annihilation.
d. Capital punishment is murder when committed with the intention to
annihilate being. Only when there is the intention of not annihilating the
person and when his right is also realized in the realization of the order
of right, is there no factor of murder involved.
e. Killing people in wars: The Principle of chivalry demands not only that
the person expose himself to the same kind and degree of danger as he
affords but also that he affirm the favor of the person of the enemy, in its

value when its existence, the better and more courageously he fights and
defends himself.
f. Murder presupposes the given ness of a human being as a person and as a
bearer of possible values of the person. Whenever men are killed who
are not given as persons or acknowledged as such, there is no
g. The killing of the heretic not only served the salvation of the whole, but
also was intended to facilitate the purification of his own soul.
h. A wife was considered something that belonged to a male personality.
The ancient Roman paterfamilias could kill his children and the free
Roman could kill his slaves. There was no given ness of the personality
of the killed. The child was only a member of the paterfamilias. The
slave was given as a thing.
i. The absence of the given ness of the person also accompanies institutions
that maintained the single of a population or the distribution of male and
female individuals e.g., the newborn were not given as personalities.
Abortion was and is not considered murder because the embryo is not
given as personality.
j. Suicide is genuine murder, for the essence of murder lies in the actintention of annihilating the person and his value in killing him.
k. Martyrdom occurs when life, with all its goods, is given away for the
higher good, when the preservation of the spiritual person, with his selfvalues, is given away for values of faith and cognition.
Kants thesis: Every non formal ethics makes the person a servant to his own
states or to alien goods. Only formal ethics is in a position to demonstrate and
found the dignity of the person.
a. Scheler negates life as the highest value. There is no foundation to the
assumption by formal ethics that the proposition murder is evil, like all
non formal value judgments, has only a factual and relative meaning
insofar as it minimally presupposed or so it is believed a human
b. For Scheler, Formal ethics must consequently assume that murder can
also be good if the murder merely accept the soundness of the maxim of
his action as a principle of universal valid legislation. For if no specific
content of intention is evil, any intention can be good.
7 Conscience Subjectivity of Moral Values
Moral value-judgments are subjective because they are based on declarations
of conscience and because the recognized principle of freedom of conscience
precludes correction of a declaration of conscience by another instance of
a. Another shift in meaning of the concept of conscience:

Two forms of moral insight equal one pertaining to the moral value of
universal norms and the other only to what is good for an individual
or for a group:
1. Conscience represents the individual form of the economization
of moral insight.
2. It represents the insight only insofar as it is directed to the good
as such for one who knows me better than myself (irreplaceable
by any possible norm, moral life).
Freedom of conscience can never be played off against a strict, objective and
obliging cognition of universally valid and also non formal propositions. It is
not a principle of anarchy in moral questions.

K. The Twentieth Century

1. Phenomenology

The main thrust of Husserls viewpoint was that philosophy should be put
upon a descriptive and scientific basis through the actual contents of human
consciousness and interpretations of reality that affects our experience.
Husserl48 (1859-1938) follows the tradition of Descartes and claims the
relevance of the structure of consciousness in opposition to the objects of the
external world, which are the subject of scientific investigation by the natural
sciences. Husserl argued on eidetic reduction. It depicts the object-related
essences. Husserl attempted to prove that essence constitute universal and
atemporal value and intentionality or object-relatedness. Such process is eidetic
reduction. It is a composite of disengageable sense: first, epoche - the manner of
exploring consciousness is by holding back from the array of judgments that we
make about the external reality. This holding back is known as epoche or
bracketing, i.e., putting in brackets all those events in experience, which do not
belong to consciousness itself; second, filling the horizon of perception. It
occurs in virtue of two distinct causes: first, the object itself changes in time,
depicting distinctive viewpoints to the subject, who combines perception
(present), memory (past) and imagination (future) into one intuition; second, the
subjects attitude also changes, as distinct moods (love, hatred, certainty, doubt,
etc.) affect his knowing capacity [cf. De La Torre, 348].
Husserl also argued on transcendental reduction it is bracketing the
empirical ego and focuses on the act itself of being conscious (pure
consciousness). Consciousness, or the psychic activity engenders the essences
need not be objectified as an essence to be perceived. Pure consciousness is the
subject of knowledge, not its object. It is the transcendental ego that is not
objectified as the empirical ego is. It brings the self to the fore. Husserl alludes
to the other as: first, our own bodies (organic beings, not pure spirits: our bodies
are perceived directly as parts of ourselves); second, other souls monads (other
souls share with me in the awareness of the essences); third, other human bodies
(reacting as our bodies to our souls); fourth, the whole spatiotemporal system (in

it occurs the reactions of bodies to their souls, bodies to other bodies, and souls to
souls) [De La Torre, 349].
Husserl also delved on he psychic activity of consciousness neosis, and
the essence, object or content of consciousness, neoma. The neosis conditions
the noema, because objects exist for me as they are in my consciousness; the
noema conditions the neosis, because we become aware of our conscious activity
only as we become aware of something else [Ibid.].
Husserl declined the viewpoint of psychologism (form found in
behaviorism). He affirmed that consciousness is not fully explainable by analysis
of the brain, or by neurological searches for the law of mathematics or art. It has
a structure and rules proper to itself. It has an intentionality and is always
conscious of something, of phenomena.
Phenomenology studies such phenomena (appearance in Greek,
revelation, logos or concept employed as objective truth) as objects of
intentionality. It holds that there is a fundamental and irreducible duality
between consciousness and the world, hence cannot revert to psychologism. The
task of phenomenology is to describe various signs of reality in the way they
appear to consciousness and personality. Phenomenology contradicts both
phenomenalism (the reduction of all knowledge to sense experience) and nave
realism (the viewpoint that we can reach things as they are outside of the
knowing subject).
On Essences [De La Torre, 348]
1. The essence is the specific
1. It is any trait of a concrete
nature of a class of being (man
being (the redness of a rose).
equals rational animal.
2. The essence is directly intuited.
2. The essence is known through
3. It has reference to concrete
being, but is formally an ideal
3. It is really in things
being like mathematical forms,
universal ideas, values and
negative predicates. As an
ideal being, the essence has
Human temporality is not a passive reality. Through our consciousness
we look forward to the future and retain the past. We engage in a process of
inquiry to know who we are. In brief, the phenomenological method is as
follows (van der Leeuws):
1. Assigning names to what appears (e.g. sacrifice, prophecy).
2. The interpolation of the phenomenon into our lives.
3. The application of epoche.
4. The clarification of what is observed by structural comparison and
contrast with other phenomena.

5. The achievement through the foregoing of understanding.
6. The checking of the results by philology, history, archaeology, etc.
7. The realization of a kind of objectivity letting the facts speaks for
Phenomenologist entering the experience of others is different from Husserls
view. It is looking at the phenomena from the standpoint of the believer. For
Husserl, the methodology is unlocated and timeless. By introspection one can
see that consciousness is intentional (that it has an object e.g., awareness of a
book) but such intentionality is a feature of consciousness and does not need any
particular object. Seeing something colored is seeing something extended.
These structural features of consciousness are pure essences.
Max Scheler took Husserls program in various directions. He applied
this method to the realm of feelings and values. He saw values as belonging to a
hierarchy (a merely descriptive account), at the summit were the religious values:
the holy and the unholy. Scheler thought of the permanent possibility of religious
experience as being the eternal in man: through it the human being participates in
the divine love. Scheler moved to an exploration of the emotions and has
affinities with Kierkegaard and other existentialists. There are 2 uses of
phenomenology: first, create a typology of religious phenomena; second, the
need to bracket ones own beliefs in trying to enter imaginatively into the belief
of others.

The emphasis of the existentialists on experience

The emphasis of Husserl is on the structures of consciousness
Edward Schillebeeckx49
Schillebeeckx adopts a phenomenological approach to the meaning of
human existence. He declined positivism and classical definition of human
nature and proposes an anthropological constants in his viewpoint of human
existence. These constants points to human impulses, orientations, and values.
These constants are as follows:
1. The relation of the human person to his or her own bodiliness.
2. Co-existence with other persons (the human face is an image of oneself
for others).
3. Relationships to social and institutional structures are intrinsic to mans
4. Mans relation to space and time.
5. Mans capacity to imagine an ideal state (utopia), which becomes the
impulse or hope for the future.
Schillebeeckx declined to submit to the absolute reign of technocracy, which is
the cause of suffering. Hence, his phenomenological approach has been
complemented by liberation approach.
2. Existentialism is a description of a certain type of
philosophical thinking. It does not form a single school.

In general, it is a rebellion against many of the main trends of western philosophy
[traditional European philosophy] especially Rene Descartes and his followers.
1. Western philosophy considered the objective exploration of beings in
general and with the essential categories applicable to these. This is
gravely defective for the existentialists for two reasons:
1) In investigating beings in general it ignored the reality and
problematic nature of truly personal existence.
2) It has attempted to grasp human being by those categories applicable
to non-human being.
Existentialists considered the above approach as gravely erroneous
because it overlooks the differences between human and non-human
being. This is the error of Descartes and his school.
2. Existentialists are antipositivistic in standpoint. The positivists adhered
to the methods of the empirical sciences as the only means of acquiring
knowledge because these sciences are unable to grasp the reality of
human existence, which demands different techniques for its exploration.
3. Traditional philosophers considered philosophy as a science. They tried
to produce principles of knowledge that would be objective, universally
true, and certain. The existentialists reject the methods and ideals of
science as being improper for philosophy.
1) Objective, universal, and certain knowledge is an unattainable ideal.
2) This ideal blinded philosophers to the basic features of human
3) The existentialists do not make the traditional attempt to grasp the
ultimate nature of the world in an abstract system of thought.
Instead, they investigate what it is like to be an individual human
being living in the world.
4) The existentialists stress the fact that every individual, seeking
absolute knowledge, I sonly a limited human being. Every person
must face important and difficult decisions with only limited
knowledge and time in which to make these decisions.
5) For the existentialists, this predicament lies at the heart of the human
condition. They see human life as being basically a series of
decisions that must be made with no way of knowing conclusively
what the correct choices are. The individual must continually decide
what is true and what is false, what is right and what is wrong, which
beliefs to accept and which to reject, what to do and what not to do.
Yet there are no objective standards or rules to which a person can
turn for answers to problems of choice because different standards
supply conflicting advice. The individual, therefore, must decide
which standards to accept and which ones to reject.
6) The existentialists conclude that human choice is subjective, because
individuals finally must make their own choices without help from

such external standards as laws, ethical rules, or traditions. Because
individuals make their own choices, they are free; but because they
freely choose, they are completely responsible for their choices.
7) The existentialists emphasize that freedom is necessarily
accompanied by responsibility. Since individuals are forced to
choose for themselves, they have their freedom and their
responsibility thrust upon them. They are condemned to be free.
8) For existentialism, responsibility is the dark side of freedom.
a) When individuals realize that they are completely responsible for
their decisions, actions, and beliefs they are overcome by
b) They try to escape from this anxiety by ignoring or negating
their freedom and their responsibility. This amounts to denying
their actual situation.
They succeed only in deceiving
c) The existentialists criticize this flight from freedom and
responsibility into self-deception.
They insist that individuals must accept full responsibility to
their behavior.
If an individual is to like meaningfully and authentically, he
must be aware of the true character of the human situation
and accept it.
The existentialists believe that people learn about themselves
best by examining the most extreme forms of human
experience. They write about such topics as death and the
shadow it casts on life, if not the impossibility, of
maintaining satisfactory relationships with other people, the
ultimate futility and absurdity in life, the terrifying
possibility of suicide, the alienation of the individual from
society, nature and other individual, and the inescapable
presence of anxiety and dread.
4. Existentialism advocates a system of understanding reality by starting
with ones own reality. Man begins with his individual existence. The
essential features of existentialism are a summary of the perspectives of
different existentialist philosophers: Existentialists placed a heavy stress
on subjectivity (i.e., Kierkegaard: truth is subjectivity). This viewpoint
a) The only route to truth in the sphere of human existence is through
the human subjects own personal participation.
b) Mans knowledge of being must begin with his own personal being.
Man is the only element in being which possesses self-understanding
and hence understanding of being in general.

c) Existence precedes essence. This means that man, unlike natural
things, objects and organisms, does not have essential nature given to
him as an already realized possibility (or a possibility whose
realization is inevitable). Mans essential nature is one from which in
his actual existence is separated. The existentialists denied that
human essentiality could be grasped and communicated by the
natural sciences (e.g. anthropology, sociology). Such essentiality can
only be described as future existential possibility.
d) Human nature is made, not inborn.
e) Man is personally responsible for his actions and for what he makes
of himself.
f) Man, as an existent individual, is a reality.
g) Human existence reveals certain tensions such as the tension
between existence and facticity i.e., between freedom and finitude.
We exist in a world having limited situation such as intelligence,
race, temperament, heredity, etc. There is also the tension between
rationality and irrationality and the transition from knowing the truth
and simultaneously toward untruth, error, and deception. It is also
characterized by the tension between responsibility and impotence,
anxiety and hope (from the threat of absurdity and apopathy), the
individual and society.
h) Existentialists stress the possibility of the transition from false to
authentic modes of existence.
of Affirms the Believes
that Points to the
real personal man
is reality
to is
possible anchored to his personal
It- genuine,
to transcendent
self and to God. come
towards the
through mans
engagement of
communal life
and to God.
The existentialists philosophers use the phenomenological method. This is a
method pioneered by Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), adopted and developed by
Heidegger. Husserl work out a philosophical method which was purely
descriptive, in which an attempt was made to analyze the knowledge of pure
universal essences which are inalienably present to human consciousness.
Accurate description and analysis are possible if certain techniques are employed
to remove those particular elements, which obscure and distort these essences.

The phenomenological analysis of anxiety or dread in Heidegger is a result of his
application of the phenomenological method to human existence.

Soren Kierkegaard50 (1813 1855)

Kierkegaard was born on May 15, 1813 in a rural area in the province of
Jutland but moved to Copenhagen spending much of his time in the cafes,
associating with the intellectual elite of the city. He was a close friend of
Denmarks greatest literary figure, Hans Christian Andersen. But behind his
social faade, Kierkegaard lived an inner life of almost indiscernible torment,
guilt, and despair, feelings that are revealed in their starkest forms in his
voluminous writings and regarded as the hallmarks of existentialism concepts
like anxiety, dread, guilt, absurdity, paradox, nothingness and so on.
Kierkegaard was a thinker who exerted an influence on the existentialist
mode of thought. He focused his attention on the basic assumptions taken for
granted by his contemporaries. As a rebel, he demolished the phases of modern
essentialism. He rebelled against the abstract intellectualism of his times,
exemplified by Hegels Idealism (1770 1831) for distorting the unmediated
opposition of being to nothing. Between being and non-being there is a deep
separation which no theoretical dialectic is capable of bridging. There is no
escape. So, it purported to reveal the course of world history as a necessary
development following strict logical law. Rather than being logical, the world
and its history are irrational and hence cannot be understood by reason. Truth is
not to be found in objectivity, but in subjectivity, or passionate commitment to an
idea. He relinquished the non-descriptive, speculative method of modern
philosophy, its essential Metaphysics, and its repudiation of personal ethics. He
corrected all these errors and made a powerful and significant original
contribution as a solution to the above conflict. Thus, he employed the
philosophical phenomenological method (descriptive method). Kierkegaards
work has been philosophically and theologically influential. Trained at the
University of Copenhagen, he was a deeply religious person but considered
Christianity as absurd. One cannot be converted to a belief in Christianity by
being convinced of its truth through reason; rather one must, like Abraham, make
a leap of faith. As he would put it: the only absolute either / or is the choice
between good and evil. Freedom is the way to heaven. The only valid act is
one of choice.
Subjectivity is decision, choice and a constant awareness that one is an
individual. Man is an individual who lives his own life, who dies his own death,
and who alone faces God on judgment day. Thus, the crowd or the mob cannot
dictate to the individual. The individual alone decides the truth. We do not live
in a system; we live in a world. The entities of this world are not abstract, but
concrete. They are not universal, but individual; not timeless, but temporal, not
fixed, but inclined to general trend, not indispensable but contingent. So, for
Kierkegaard, existence has only three meanings: the realm of the contingent,
the realm of human reality and the realm of ideal selfhood. The individual

person must be the center of existence. He must be the bearer of the supreme
values of rational cognition and freedom.
For Kierkegaard, vital factor has been disregarded by modern philosophy.
We do not live in a system. We live in a world. The entities of this world are not
abstract, but concrete. They are not universal, but individual; not timeless, but
temporal, not fixed, but inclined to general trend, not indispensable but
contingent. Contingency is characteristic not only of the world we live in but also
of man himself, the knower, the actor, who is generally assumed to be
recognizably and unambiguously what he is. Only man exists in the strict sense.
Mans existence occurs in varying degrees. If driven by senses, he is led by
existence; he does not lead his existence. One exists if he adjusts his life to
aesthetic values, demands of reason, and norms of morality. He is existence only
when he strives toward God as a person and not as abstract being. Existence
emphasizes the paradoxical nature of mans living experience - its freedom, grief,
fear, despair, anxiety over death etc. Existence has the proper linguistic usage of
that which emerges the singular human self. Not the abstract self, but the
existing self of an actual individual. Kierkegaard talks about the realm of ideal
selfhood. He affirms that at its ultimate level of authenticity, existence is the
realm of contingency on which every man must live and conduct his affairs. It is
also his own personal reality, the unrepeatable, solitary reality of an individual
man whose emergence is his own fearful responsibility and finally it is his
personal eschaton, the task that provides human being with enough to do to
suffice for his eternal life.
These world-factors cannot be perceived as essences. They are existential
categories subsequent to existence. In this context, he is an existentialist thinker
and the founder of existentialist philosophy. All philosophers subsequent to him
agreed to his diagnosis of modern thought as preponderantly existentialist, and
concurred to the priority of existence over essence. Essences are understood
with relative ease by intellectual abstraction. When disconnected from existence,
they are considered as a system of universal, timeless, in active objects
determined together by indispensable logical relationships. Rather than revealing
the world in which we live, it has constructed conceptual systems. Exceptional
argument is demanded since it has had difficulty in accounting for the evident
facts of individuation, time, contingency, and causal efficacy.
Kierkegaard was not interested in establishing an ontological general
theory of being. He is an ethical thinker. He restricts himself to the description
and analysis on human existence and the world of man. He acknowledges certain
data like possibility, contingency, and active inclination to general trend.
Essentialist trend of modern thought made the above perspective so vague.
Those who followed Kierkegaard realized that person couldnt be all things. He
must acknowledge restrictions and choose. The very core of their perspective is
the being of man.
Subjective Truth and Faith

Truth: whole
Truth: objective and absolute
Truth as synthesis
The real is the rational
Hegels reality: essence
Criteria of truth: reason and

The individual is truth
Subjectivity is truth
Truth as Either/Or = man,
paradoxical nature of truth;
Truth is a paradox
S.K.s: existence
Criteria: intensity of passion

Kierkegaard commented that the thing is to find a truth, which is true for
me, to find the idea for which I can live and die. Here, Kierkegaard is asking
how to gain authentic knowledge of existence. In trying to find the answer to his
question, he broke with the physicalist conceptions and instead explored the field
of epistemology. He discards the pan-objectivist view that the world comprises
physical objects exclusively. Here, he tackled to present the significance of
existence and subjectivity. Kierkegaards subjectivism is unique. It is not
basically an idealistic or noetic subjectivism. He is not assuming that the only
access to external reality is through the knowing mind. This mind put together
around itself a wall of impressions or sense data. Human beings are existing
beings in dynamic interaction with environment. The active self is a subject
distinct from every other entity possessing its own existence. This is an
existential, not a noetic subjectivism. My being is my own, and yours is yours.
Each person has his own practical outlook on things. In addition, practical
awareness is integrated to my activity as a human person and is a part of my
being. Thus, the self is a paradoxical unity of experience and practical activity.
He considers religion not as a matter of objective-cognitive assertion but of ones
fate and practical awareness. In reaction to bloodless intellectualism, he notably
stressed the subjectivity of faith as a decision. Faith is authentic precisely in its
understanding of what was absurd to reason. Faith for him as a person is an inner
reality. It is inner directed. He relates to others, to the total human community
and to the whole universe even up to the point of sacrificing his life for others.
His concern with subjectivity opened the way to a new kind of
philosophical perception and attention of the value of the human individual. He
attacked the essentialist view of the subject as a mental vessel of knowledge
detached from the surrounding world. The subject is an existing person
interacting with other persons and things. His knowledge is in a developing
stage of his existence. It is active. His own existence is what is really is. He
also rejects theoretical objectivism. He presented a permeating description of
that existential awareness wherein an individual knows his own activity as it
progresses. Theoretical knowledge may be precise. It can argue on what

something is. But here is no sense of assurance what exactly existence is. It is
detached and remote from its object. This existence cannot be understood as a
mere object of thought. Thus, truth is truth for a subject; otherwise it is empty.
Here, we grasped subjectively the mode of awareness. This mode of awareness
is practical. An individual must be aware of his existential being, committed and
engaged. To be committed is to be human. To regard human person as an object
is to abstract from all commitment. It is dehumanizing the human person,
reducing him to a level of thing. As Kierkegaard exposed the impersonality and
anonymity upon theoretical objectivity, there is a mixture of truth and fiction.
Practical awareness, for Kierkegaard, guides our way of life. So, he explored the
permutation of thinking, feeling, and emotion. Here, he presented the unique
character and peculiar significance of the strange emotion of the dread. This
brings us before nothing. Dread is an incipient experience arousing and
awakening. This experience shocks us in all our normal habits and relations. It
awakens from our thoughtlessness, and arouses as to what we might be. Dread is
the potentiality of freedom. It is the gateway to authentic choice and human
existence. It prepares us for authentic action. It searches the soul. What we call
boredom, melancholy and despair are all versions of dread. Dread is the narrow
and painful way that leads to human freedom. After exploring the permutation of
thinking, feeling and doing, he draws our attention to another way of knowing
which he connects with action. He describes this with penetrating accuracy that
sheds light on the discipline of ethics.
Going back to the mode of awareness, Kierkegaard provides the realistic
context for the choices life prod us to make. Kierkegaard claimed that the past is
not necessary to predict the future with assurance. It cannot be relied on and
determine decisions about our personal lives. We must accept the uncertainty,
possibility and uneasiness over the future and use it as a model to understand the
past. As a plan put into action, it undergoes change. Suffering is involved in the
effort to move from possibility to actuality. We live forward, but under pressure,
we experience more distractions. Our mood changes into something melancholy.
It breaks forth into despair. This is the work of dread that slumbers within our
very own selves. With naked freedom we choose that desperate intensity which
is demanded for genuine existence.
Existence is at stake. Am I to be or not to be? A human person cannot
avoid choosing if he really chooses, he is free. This freedom distinguishes
persons from things. Truth is accessible to the individual intellect alone.
Authentic human existence is the fruit of personal choice and zeal of following it
through. Kierkegaard discarded the frightful abuse of mass-communication with
its dreadful potentialities for obscuring or denying the reality of personal
existence. Kierkegaard noticed the strange toneless anonymity, which seems to
pervade the Public Press, where the authentic ring of personality has been
watered down the undiluted truth to the sort of thing that anyone can grasp, and
tone down the pattern of life to what anyone can approve. Kierkegaard warned

the society of the grave danger to what mass media was presenting. Theyre not
telling/writing what any definite person really thinks, sees, believes, or chooses,
but rather with what one sees, one thinks or one prefers. Thus, Kierkegaard
recommended strongly that an individual person must be the center of human
existence. He must be the bearer of the supreme values of rational cognition and
3 Stages
Kierkegaard protested vigorously the a priori procedure of Kant and
asserted, instead, penetrating descriptions of moral action integrated with praxis.
For Kierkegaard, good and evil is inconceivable as fixed properties or essences.
Rather, it is an authentic and inauthentic mode of existing, which can be
effectively analyzed through the use of ontological categories. He also focused
more on the significance of freedom and its implications to daily living. Here, a
free person is no longer considered as a fixed object. In addition, Kierkegaard
exposed the dangers of mass collectivism and the idealistic theories, which
dehumanize and depersonalize a human person. Kierkegaard tried to bridge the
passive aesthetic attitude with romanticism and intellectualism.
Aesthetic stage
Kierkegaard refuses to become a finished object. He thinks that he is
essentially unfinished and subjective. This is, according to him, his dynamic and
existential self. For Kierkegaard, he can grasp this self only as a subject. He
called this as a practical awareness. This perspective is not analogical. It is not
abstract detached from his inclinations and desires but intimately is integrated
with them. It has the power to understand these inclinations as they are
proceeding. Kierkegaard describes its divergent manifestations in antinomic
ways of life. Thus, the world is viewed as having an alien existence indifferent to
the subjects aspirations. Objects supplies the latter his economic needs and at
the same time gives him frustrations.
Living in many ways in this world is understood also as having an
awareness of self and the world in many ways. Life and awareness undergoes
changes together in mutual dependence. Kierkegaard maintains that moral
materialism or hedonism is more than an ethical theory. Moral materialism is a
way of life depending or integrated with the outlook of a particular person. In
Kierkegaards line of reasoning, it is the aesthetic way. Such a life is restraining
from entrusting itself in the long run. It acknowledges universal moral. It makes
no conclusive choices to which it entrusts the whole of itself and by which it
progresses and firmly held. It is an escape from the dread that slumbers within it.
It is only attracted to the pleasure of the moment. It dissipates itself in passing
This perspective is not focused on the existence of the person but on the
world presented as a vast array of passing objects. Temporary pleasures and
pains play the imagination of a person. Freedom and commitment cannot be
understood as things. It cannot be objectified. Therefore it is not acknowledge.

It is excluded. Thus, the organic is a limiting concept and therefore conflicts
with human reality, for the former has no room for freedom. Kierkegaard rejects
Hegels form of organic. The self is neither a developing organic system of
thought, nor a developing system of action. The basis of the organic is aesthetic
optimism. Human existence, which is the antithesis of all teleologys, organic,
quasi-mechanical or theological, by its very nature postulates an unknown future,
which cannot be organized in advance by the organic because the organic know
no real freedom; it cannot meet the troubles of self-alienation.
In the above discussion, it is inconceivable to know the difference
between actuality from possibility, between theoretical and praxis. The objects
mentioned in this theoretical frame are transitory and determined. Kierkegaard
tried to bridge the passive aesthetic attitude with romanticism and intellectualism.
Thus, in his assertion, the aesthetic life has accommodated itself to a naturalistic
world. The organic concept with its teleology is an aesthetic construction, a
cosmological romance which conflicts intolerably with the actual nature of
existence. Today, nature lovers are acknowledging the beauty of nature.
Hence, aesthetic individuals focus only with experiences or abstract data.
The aesthetics of experience include Hedonism, Materialism, and other life
approaches committed to pleasure or personal gratification. They think that life
is to be enjoyed and experience in the here and now, without concern to longterm outcome. The aesthetic who focuses on abstract data is a Rationalist or
Relativist, not wanting to make difficult choices. For them, everything is relative
without greater meaning. The abstract intellectual observes the world in a
detached and objective way considering the past as no longer effective in the
present. Aesthetic life becomes a source of boredom. For the Hedonist, there are
so many experiences and each must be better than the last. For the intellectual,
once all is abstracted into nothingness, life becomes meaningless. In this
situation, despair takes hold.
Ethical Stage
This mode of life demands a long run commitment by making a
conclusive choice. It acknowledges the essence of humanity as well as the
burden of meeting its obligations to a universal and moral imperative. The
ethical life is firmly affirming a decisive choice. It is preserving an existential
progression and uninterruption through the passing references. Natural law is
acknowledged in the world. It is not a self-imposed law. It strengthens the force
of responsibility. It is either justification or conscientization (making a person
realized? Or morally guilty?).
Religious stage
To understand Transcendence as law gives us an abstract imagination.
Here, personal existence is excluded. Man is confined to his narrow universe
unaided, facing the evil and injustices of concrete life. Here, Kierkegaard asks: If
the self is organically related to reality, and if it is true that God is appropriated in
the normal development of immediacy and experience. Why then is it so hard

for the individual to reach a positive certainty of God? And why in practice is the
latter not so much the product of natural growth but only of great struggle? For
Kierkegaard the answers lie in a situation whose real nature the organic concept
consistently obscures: the real of human reality was alienated from itself, and as
self was alienated from all reality.
In the religious stage, there is such a breakthrough of the internal to the
personal life of each individual. The eternal is viewed as someone who conquers
the poison of death by an outpouring of the spirit of generosity and caritas that
enable a human person to fulfill the law. The eternal is beyond the rules of
justice and the natural powers of man. However, an infinitely qualitative
difference separates an individual from God. So, Kierkegaard focused more on
the responsible bond with God not by categorical imperative, but by maintaining
inward dedication of self to God. Through infinitely qualitative distance, God
has managed to give his initiative to man through self-communication known
as revelation.
For Kierkegaard the law does not give antinomic references to freedom.
Freedom exists. The law restricts freedom. Without law there is no freedom. It
is the law that gives freedom. Here, law and freedom is inextricably linked and
coextensive to each other. Freedom demands independence: this can be attained
through the Spirit of unconditional generosity. Kierkegaard asserts it is love that
is everlastingly free in blessed independence. Here, the ethical gives no
antinomic biases to the religious. The moral values of independence and freedom
are fully attained with the aid of the eternal God. Kierkegaard later on talks
about ethico religious a way of life with a lower and a higher phase. Kierkegaard
also focused on faith and spirituality through authenticity and integrity.
Kierkegaard is considered as the Father of Existentialism.

Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo51 (1864-1936)

Unamuno was a Spanish philosopher and predecessor of Soren
Kierkegaard. He was reelected rector (University of Salamanca). He mastered
14 languages especially Danish to read Kierkegaards work. He published
poetry, plays, novels and essays. He became anti-Marxist and was often horrified
by the devastation imposed by the modern age on the genuine Spanish peasant.
Unamuno alludes to the ephemeral man versus immortal man, an abstract God
versus an anthropomorphic God, Spain versus the universe. For Unamuno, man,
as concrete, individuated protoplasm is the subject of the Tragic Sense of Life.
Man, as a neat, intellectual classification is a most heinous perversion. Unamuno
repudiates as abstract and meaningless the concepts human and humanity.
They are both suspects because they tend to divert our perspective from the
marrow of the matter, from the concrete substantive, man. He alludes to the
tangible creature who is born, suffers and diesthe one who eats, drinks, plays,
sleeps, thinks, and will. This man of flesh and bone is synonymous to you and
I. Unamuno elucidates that through human blunder man became victims of their
own miraculous achievements. We grappled and focused our attention to splendid

temples such as science, art, culture, religion. These institutions, created by man
for his benefit, established him their willing servant. His interests have been
sacrificed to the necessities of the temple, to its refinement, and to its
perpetuation to a void. Our apotheosis of institutions is accountable for their
impersonality and for the ironic reversal of values, which transposed servant to
master, master to slave. Science, Unamuno held has become a cemetery of dead
ideas. It has conspired with a known culture to engender an intolerable situation.
He asked: Was man made for science or was science mad for man? Since man is
not really a paschal lamb, there is no reason to continuously treating him so.
Science is wicked, for Unamuno.
For Unamuno, an abstract God corresponds to the no-man. He is the
God of modern Christianity, which like other sacred institutions declined the
context that man was conceived to enhance his existence. Like the doctors of
science, the doctors of theology depersonalized mans God. In his work The
Tragic Sense of Life Unamuno counterposes biotic God and the abstract God.
God is necessarily anthropomorphic, in fact human, because we mortals willed it
the way from the beginning. We have, in effect, created God in our image. The
vital force has become a God-Idea or an institutionalized God who is too remote
from our human needs. We must recreate our God of flesh and bone, God-Man
if he is to survive as a guarantor of our immortality. There is no real guarantee
that individuals are not consigned to oblivion. If we are to perish, let us perish
resisting. If we are consigned to nothingness, let us live to expose the injustice of
this fate. If man is a dynamic protoplasm, he is a rational creature and in the
tragic aspect of life is the thinking need. Man at war with himself, the
compulsion between the heart that wants, or needs to believe, and the obdurate
mind, which says no, shifted us to the disquieting awareness known as the tragic
sense of life.

Martin Buber52 (1878-1965)

Martin Mordechai Buber philosopher, storyteller, biblical translator and
interpreter, master of German prose style and pedagogue was born in Vienna on
February 8, 1878. Descending from a family line of brilliant scholars. He
studied at Universities in Vienna, Leipzig, Berlin and Zurich. He was married to
Paula Winkler. Martin Buber was a remarkable social activist. He assisted in the
establishment of Jewish National commission during World War 1 to help the
Eastern European Jews. In 1933 (Hitler rose to power), Buber became director
of the Central Office for Jewish Adult Education. He taught comparative religion
at Frankfurt in (1923-33), and directed a Jewish adult education programme until
1938. In 1938, he immigrated to Palestine. He taught social philosophy at the
Hebrew University.
Bubers life and work is a dialography. It is a change of emphasis from
philosophical anthropology as an abstract analysis of the human condition to the
concrete, historical, and unique. It presents Buber as having an image of
meaningful personal and social human existence with an amazing command of

languages and disciplines of knowledge whose inexhaustible creativity produced
a treasury of books, essays, poems, stories and so on, embodying the
contradictions and ambiguities of modern existence.
Buber was highly critical of much about modern society. He discarded
the dreadful potentialities of society for obscuring, obfuscating, or denying the
reality of personal existence. He criticized modern societys frightful abuse of
mass communication and in patronizing industrial techniques, which dehumanize
and depersonalize him. He exposed the impersonality and anonymity of much
modern life, and warned the people of the grave dangers to humanity implicit in
totalitarian and collectivist societies. He rejects the qualities of modern
scientism, the idolization of science as the main (or the only) source of
knowledge about the world, and the inattentive concern on the significance of
personal being within reality as a whole.
So, Buber adopted the
phenomenological method as a solution to the above conflict.
On Religion, Mysticism, and the Ego
For Buber, the primal danger of man is religion. Religion, the great
enemy of mankind, not only distracts people from their fundamental task of
risking and constructing their human identity in the transformation of natural,
social, and cultural relationships but, in so doing, it cuts them off from God. God
is to be found, not in religion, but in the world of these relationships.
Bubers polemic against religion is a polemic against the erection of
religious systems (structures of belief, precept, etc. whether linguistic, ritual or
organizational), which render impossible the necessary directness of relation
between human beings and God. Thus, a God sought in religion is a figment of
our imagination destructive of our common humanity and thereby destructive of
our relations with God. Thus, Buber would rather talk about an active mysticism
in the world, and about notions of spiritual development, of a personal existence
in a world made holy, of the paradox of grace and will, and of the relation to God
as being one of unconditional exclusiveness and unconditional inclusiveness.
Buber supports a strong belief in the need for structure, institutions, ideas,
solitude and the ability to relate to others as being the preconditions for a
relationship with God. He agrees that spiritual moments will appear strange to
those who value intellect and objectivity as signs of maturity. His thoughts are
Trinitarian in character.
To illustrate his stand, Buber attests that: The Baal0-Shem will probably
be extolled as the founder of a realistic and active mysticism, i.e. a Mysticism for
which the world is not an illusion, from which man must turn away in order to
reach true being, but rather, the reality between God and him in which reciprocity
manifests itself. This line of reasoning is in accord with Bubers understanding
of the absolute and demands the environment of the whole being.
Buber was turning the focus of religious empiricism away from
introspective psychology and to a social psychology of interpersonal experience.
He was consciously struggling with the Cartesian severed I. For Buber, those

who seek relief from Cartesian anxiety, (seeking certainty) practice a form of
Gnosticism. In Hasidic understanding, all Gnosticism is egocentric, and
egocentricity subverts relationship. Gnosis, Buber writes, not only offends the
transcendent but also human existence because it constructs a structure of
knowledge which posses from now on as complete. Those who seek God
elsewhere than in the everyday, find a god of their own imagination. There is no
severed I, an I without relation. The I of the two basic words I You and I It
are not the same I.
I and Thou
The Jewish Personalist Philosopher Martin Buber is writing about
personal relationship between human beings, and between human beings and
their world, about friendship and friendliness. Written in a poetic style and
drawing insights from Jewish Mysticism, Buber offer some kind of Jewish
correlative much of our Christian theology still require after the holocaust.
Thou can mean many things, but it has no place whatever in the
language of direct, non-literary, spontaneous human relationship. In modern
English, Thou brings God to mind and yet Buber speaks hardly at all of
address to God, of the You of unconditional relation. For the most part, he
speaks of man sinking himself in the world of it, the world of objects, ideas and
instruments, thus cutting himself off from the maturation of his personal being
which is possible only in I-Thou relationships (e.g., he speaks of the problems
possibility of direct personal relations with the worlds of nature, of other human
beings, of culture, artifacts, and ideas).
For Buber, the I-Thou relationship is exclusively or mainly between
man and God. It restores the primordially Jewish recognition (and that of Jesus)
that the love of God cannot be separated from the love of neighbor. He holds that
real personal being is possible through turning from over-indulgence in Itrelations to openness toward the Thou which alone constitutes mans true and
essential being.
In I and Thou, his philosophy of human experience is an immensely
complicated one, bristling with disagreements and difficulties. The book begins
with the pronouncement that the attitude of man is twofold in accordance with
the two basic words he can speak. Buber restricts the concept of relation or
standing in relation to one of the two fundamental attitudes or ways of being in
the world: to that which expresses the basic word I-You. From this
presupposition, how does Buber approach human experience? Buber states that
there are two attitudes toward the world: These attitudes are reflected in the
basic words I-You and I-It.
1. I Thou = (Thou World: The World of Realization) establishes the
world of relation, reciprocity, and mutuality. The I-Thou relationship
is exclusively between man and God.
a. A relation of person to person, of subject to subject, a relation of
reciprocity involving meeting or encounter.

b. A relation par excellence. Man can enter only with the whole of his
being, as a genuine person. It is a relation possible for man to have
not only with human beings but also with nature and intelligible
c. The relation itself is primary and underived.
d. Personalist Ontology: The Thou does not help to sustain you in life.
It only helps you to glimpse eternity. I-Thou gives access to the
world of reality.
2. I It = (It World: The World of Perception) establishes the world of
experience, use and objects.
a. A relation of person to thing, of subject to object, involving some
form of utilization, domination, or control, even if it is only so-called
objective knowing.
b. Man enters not with the wholeness of his being, but only with a part
of it. In this relation, he is not really a person but an individual (this
distinction is similar to Jacques Maritains). The I in the two
relations is thus not really the same. The I of Thou is a different I
from that of I-IT.
c. The components precede the relation. The relation is secondary.
d. I-It attitude gives access only to the world of appearance (Kantian).
For Buber, the basic word I-You (Thou World: The world of
realization) establishes the world of relation, reciprocity, and mutuality. The
basic word I-It (It World: The world of Perception) establishes /categorizes the
world of experience, use and objects. All religion and experience belong to the
it world. Relation is restricted to the You world. Thus, Buber would never
speak of the experience of love. Buber does not denigrate the it world even as
he shows a bias for the you world. While Buber implicitly asks us to make a
choice. Emil Fackenheim maintains that the most profound mistake in all
philosophy is the epistemological reduction of I-Thou to I-It, and the
metaphysical reduction of Thou to It.
If Bubers contention that
uncommitted objective knowledge arrived at from the standpoint of the basic
word I-It is indeed, true knowledge (even if a lesser kind of knowledge), then
the problem is not that of choosing between (a blessing and a curse, a way of life
and a way of death) two basic words but the problem lies in maintaining the
proper relation between them.
For Buber, the problem is mainly one of speech, of conversation, of
prayer, of presence. You must enter speech. Upon entering speech, the You
becomes part of the It world. How does one speak to the You? For Buber
this is an ethical question (e.g. of who, and what, and in what circumstances,
might be responsibly relied upon---than technical matters to be resolved by
ingenious epistemological techniques or cognitive experiments) requiring
existential trust (not blind trust. There are no leaps of faith in Bubers world,
but the discriminating clear sighted, informed courageousness, the absence of

torturing anxiety, which we associate with maturity or wisdom). Thus, for Buber,
In the beginning is the relation. It is relation or dialogue, which is primary,
foundational and original. The basic word I-It arises form, presupposes, the
primary and originating fact of relation. But all relationship is characterized by
exclusiveness, by immediacy, and by reciprocity. What can the requirement of
reciprocity mean for us who live in our world today? Buber directs us to the
spheres in which the world of relation arises. First, our life with nature; Second,
our life with men (the relation is open and in the form of speech, we can give and
accept the Thou); Third, is our life with spiritual beings. It seems that the
concept of ecology points in the right direction. We are beginning to appreciate
that the natural world is not merely a collection of things, of objects, to be used,
appropriated, exhausted by us for the satisfaction of what we take to be our needs
or preferences. Their maybe eccentricity in vegetarianism and in movements for
animal rights and of course, mutuality of order and dignity.
Interhuman and Genuine Dialogue
Genuine Dialogue
Buber contends that the world of man consists of language: conversation,
speech and response, listening and attentive silence. Where there is no dialogue
among people, there is nothing human. Dialogue, however, is not an opportunity
for intellectual indulgence; it is a matter of creation of the creature. Buber argues
in the hope on the renewal of the direct dialogue between the encounter between
man and man. This means re-founding the human community in dialogue. The
elements of the Interhuman and Genuine dialogue are as follows:
The social and the Interhuman for Buber, there is no disintegration of
the social and the Interhuman. Society is actually built upon relations.
The sphere of the Interhuman is one in which a person encounters the
other. The unfolding of relationship is called dialogical.
Being and Seeming the essential problem is the duality of being and
seeming. In the realm of genuine seeming the ontological legitimacy
cannot be doubted. For Buber, truth in the Interhuman realm means that
man can communicate themselves to one another as what they are. It
does not depend on one saying to the other but on his granting to the man
to whom he communicates himself a share in his being. It is the question
of the authenticity of the Interhuman.
Personal making Present In genuine dialogue, a man cannot really be
grasped except on the basis of the gift of discernment. The realm of
action is only secondary. What is primary is the real person encountering
me, whom I can attempt to make present to myself not in his wholeness
(without reduction or abstraction), unity and uniqueness.
Exposition and Unfolding what impedes the growth of life between
man; the invasion of seeming and the inadequacy of perception. Buber
suggests that helping someone unfold are anthropological facts, which

point to an ontology, the ontology of the Interhuman. Man exists
anthropologically not in his isolation, but in the completeness of the
relation. Humanity can be properly grasped only in vital reciprocity.
Mans dialogue leads him into the between man and man but also into
the between man and God. God is the eternal Thou in whom the extended
lines of relation meet. Every particular thou is a glimpse through the eternal
Thou. God is the center of the circle of existence, the apex of the triangle of
Buber argues in the hope on the renewal of the direct dialogue in the encounter
between man and man. This means re-founding the human community in
dialogue. The spheres in which the world of relation arises:
First, our life with nature
Second, our life with men
Third, our life with spiritual beings
There are 3 crucial themes in dialogue:
The creation itself means communication between the creator and the
created. It continues to the here and now. God the creator wills to
consummate nothing less than the whole of his creation.
Revelation is the supreme meeting of the people or the individual with
God. It is dialogical. It is neither experience nor knowledge, but, as self,
communication of presence as power which embraces the fullness of
real mutual action, the inexpressible confirmation of meaning and the
call to confirm (make true) this meaning in this life and in relation with
the world.
Redemption concerns man in his wholeness and in the entirety of his life.
The redemption must take into the whole corporeal life. God the
redeemer wills to draw into his arms nothing less than the all in need of
Bubers thought is religious:
He sees man as essentially oriented to God. Every man has his unique
being as a gift from God, and it is his responsibility to realize it in its
wholeness. Such authenticity of being is possible only in the dialogic
life in which man meets God and his fellow man in the fullness of the IThou.
Religious man is a dialogic man (man who commits his whole being in
Gods dialogue with the world and who stands firm throughout his
dialogue). In I-Thou, only he who knows relation and knows the
presence of the Thou is capable of decision and who decides is free. In
the I-Thou, there is direction and wholeness. This wholeness of
response in the dialogue is the good of man.
Dialogic man is the man who thinks existentially. He stakes his life on
his thinking.

Genuine responsibility exists only when there is real responding, real
answering. Responsibility is the readiness to respond in the dialogue
with God that takes place in the lived moment of existence.
The God of Buber is the Being that is directly and lastingly over against
us, nearer to me than my I. Our encounter with God is intensely personal, and
remains personal to the very end. He is the God of the Bible and of Jewish
Christian faith. God may be properly addressed not expressed. God may be met
but not sought. In dialogic philosophy, however, evil emerges in 2 stages:
Typified in the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain, evil or sin in man is
directionless. It falls under the shadow of the predominance of the I-it.
Typified in the story of the Tower of Babel (evil, sin is wrong decision).
It is the existential lie. Man sees himself as self-creator. It is the primal
guilt of remaining with oneself.
Buber extended the I-Thou relation to things too much in terms of
creative appreciation and insufficiently in terms of the practical exercise of
responsibility. Art remained for Buber one of the primary forms of the I-Thou
relationship. Thus, making the it world capable of speaking to relation is a
matter of beauty, conversion, and of cooperation in Gods redemptive action in
the world. Buber sees the work as a way through life, a type of reciprocal
education requiring Teshuvah, or a turning of the whole man towards God. Such
a turning results in the establishment of community and for Buber; there are
stages to consider:
The 1st stage is the world of the Infant. It is a world with all the
hallmarks of relationship. The longing for relation is primary.
In the 2nd stage, we differentiate our world and ourselves. In becoming
I, we begin to distance ourselves from our world, ordering, classifying,
and organizing it, in language and action. The infant does not recognize
himself/herself as I. The I that emerges is the I of the basic word
I-it (the ego, the I of the It-world: by the detachment of the I).
Thus, in ordering the process of construction is cumulative: we build on
previous experience, institution, structure, discovery, innovation
(invention). We become experienced. This signifies a progressive
increase of the it-world.
How, then, we may address the God whose speech and presence constitute the
creation and redemption of the world?
First, for Buber, the creation and redemption of true humanness requires
not that the it-world be destroyed but transcended.
Second, the development of the it-world presents a society or
individual with a crisis of maturity. Intellectualism represented not the
health or maturity of the human but retarded development. In order to
become/exist as persons, Buber requires the structure and content of
ideas and institutions, of our mental and physical ordering of the

world. It is not the It-world that threatens mans survival and obscures
his thoughts. Without order a human being cannot live. Whoever
survives only with that is not human. The ability to relate personally to
others is a precondition of personal relationship with God.
Third, you cannot find God in a district of experience or relationship
(i.e., institutions it-district and feelings I-district. In institutions, one
works, negotiates, administers etc. In feelings, one lives and recovers
from institutions. How might we be redeemed into relationship? by
letting go, by risking trust, reciprocity, relation, love etc. Since God
cannot be one of a number of possible objects of consideration and use
etc., all relationships must be all-absorbing. Everything else lives in his
In the relation to God, unconditional exclusiveness and
unconditional inclusiveness are one. The merging of the above
presupposition points to the truth that God and man are not rivals. We
need to have exclusive love to God because He is God and inclusive love
to God by accepting and including all love. To Buber, thinking in terms
of collectivism or individualism are abstractions of the It-world which
have become so bloated they have blocked our understanding of human
community and of God. Christians have so bound the Word Incarnate
into the It-world. He has become only an object of belief, not a real
person. Buber connects this rendering of God into an it with the quest
for certainty. In reality we have no choice but to objectify God. We
must speak in addressing Jesus. Objectification in itself does not alienate
us. The problem arises when we get stuck in objectifying (often
innocently) and cannot make our way back to the You. For Buber, the
scandal of Christianity lies not in the identity of Jesus, but in the work
that was accomplished in Him. Things exist for people, not people for
things. Without it, man cannot live; but he who lives with it alone is
not a man. All real living is meeting as against the thingnification of
man and the world involved in I-it; there is the self-giving love of
genuine relation, which does not imply the suppression of the self. It is
not the I that is given up, but, the false self-asserting instinct. There is
no self-love that is not self-deceit, but, without being and remaining
oneself, there is no love. Human beings are given charge of things in the
world in their sacramental possibility. Through mans cooperation with
Gods indwelling in the world, the world becomes sacrament. In the
sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, man must be thinking of such times as
the release of prisoners from jail, the sobriety of alcoholics, the finding
of a job for the unemployed, shelter for the homeless, the out-of-school
youth, the students in schools, the atheist, pagans and peace throughout
the globe, and the return of the sick to their life and loved ones.
Fourth, Buber speaks in an exceedingly condensed reconstrual of the
antinomy of freedom and necessity. In Bubers illustration, this free

human being encounters fate as the counter-image of his freedom.
Freedom and fate embrace each other to form meaning. His treatment of
the paradoxes of grace and freedom is similar. The movement of God
enfolds our movement of response. Our concern and care must be not
for the other side (we do not similarly know) but for our own (we know
this side of the relation with God), not for grace, but for will.
Fifth, the pattern of a doctrine of God must be Trinitarian in character.

Karl Jasper53 (1883-1969)

Jasper is a German professor closer to Kierkegaard in beliefs. Jasper
argued on the Transcendent. Beings are not disclosed to us except in intricacy of
their interactions with other beings. Jasper alluded to this as encompassing (not
perceived in itself but presupposed in the knowledge of all things [De La Torre,
359]. De La Torre depicted Jasper as constituting two encompassings: first, the
encompassing that-we-are and the encompassing of belief-itself. The modes
of encompassing that-we-are are: Dasein, Consciousness-as-such, Spirit, and
Existence [Ibid.]. He considers the individual as the unique existent, the being
who freely transcends what he already is and creates himself, as it were, through
the exercise of his freedom. Man is always in the making, his own making.
Though without an unstable essence, man can be visualize from the two
inseparable phases of his being: Dasein and Existenz. Dasein factual existence
alludes to myself as object and configures my reality. It can be analyzed, defined
and understood up to a certain point. It is determined. Jaspers expanded his
notion of dasein by going beyond the parameters of human existence. Existenz is
my very self, purely subjective. It cannot be analyzed nor defined. It is free. It is
mans authentic (freely chosen) being-in-himself actualized through his own
discretion But my existenz is in my dasein and all acts of the former are
manifested in the latter. Being-in-himself refers to mans actions that are not
objectified in concepts or in historical endeavors. Existence alludes to the
Transcendent directly, all other modes, indirectly. Jasper establishes mans
immersion of himself in the world of objectifiable things, an immersion that
disengages man from transcendent life. Man is anchored to his genuine,
transcendent self and to God.
Consciousness-as-such is the objectification of knowledge through
reflection. It is the process of awareness in its wholistic aspect and not to one
individual consciousness. It engenders universal concepts and universally valid
norms of ethics and aesthetics. Spirit is the objectification of mans ideas, not in
abstract concepts, but in historical concrete endeavors (e.g. monuments of art,
intellectual accomplishments, government laws and social institutions [De La
Torre, 359].
The encompassing of being-itself constitutes two modes: first, immanent
the world not the totality of all things, but the unknown from which springs
the phenomena, which establishes being-in-itself accessible to us. It is a
circumstance and life setting wherein being-in-itself occurs; second,

transcendence the inclination of being-in-itself towards the Other and toward
the Absolute. The transcendent when disclosed to us is known a person and we
call him God [Ibid.].
De La Torre elucidates Jaspers description on how existence and reason
intermingle in all aspects of encompassings: first, dasein existence throws man
into submission to nature, which subjects nature to mans needs and wishes;
second, consciousness-as-such reason liberates the concept from its empirical
sources; existence maintains the concept tied to abstract categories and
impersonal ethical imperatives; third, spirit reason breaks the abstractness of
consciousness through the spirits objectification in history; existence subject
man to the passing circumstances of time; fourth, existence (transcendent)
reason destroys the isolation of the self through a loving communication with
other human beings; existence (immanent) request the sacrifices of coexisting
with others; fifth, the world because this is a mode of being-itself, in it reason
projects man outside of himself; existence establishes a contradiction between the
self and the other; sixth, transcendence the peak, reason aims at an
interpersonal communication with the transcendent (the person of God);
existence hinders man from attaining the divine person, unless God himself
makes his presence accessible to us as a gift beyond our power [De La Torre,

Martin Heidegger54 (1889-1976)

Heidegger was born in Messkirch, Baden-Wurttemberg. His early
education was with a local school. In 1903, he attended a Jesuit School for his
secondary education. He studied classical Greek culture and language. He
became a Jesuit novice for a short time in the seminary at Freiburg. He left the
seminary then enrolled at the University of Freiburg to study philosophy. In
1906, he met his close associate and friend Edmund Husserl. In 1927, he taught
philosophy at Marburg. Then he taught philosophy at Freiburg as the successor
of Husserl. In 1933, he became rector of the University of Freiburg. He became
a member of the Nazi party but unsympathetic with Nazis posturing. He
resigned and traveled to France and Greece. He died in 1976.
Heidegger is radically skeptical of all attempts to fit the rich content of
concrete experience into the framework of some rigid explanatory theory.
Having Kant particularly in mind, he said: Let us examine the facts. What
confronts Heidegger is the supremacy of the practical over the theoretical.
Heidegger sees that the phenomenology of theoretical awareness has been
neglected. For Heidegger, the horizons of pure theory are broader and its
structural knowledge much clearer. If we wish to know what the thing is in itself,
for example practice, we must turn to theory. Practice itself requires theory.
Thus, we must bring back philosophy. We must restore life. In describing the
existence of Dasein, Heidegger alludes to his method as interpretative
phenomenology. It is a detached theoretical apprehension of this being.

The Problem of Being
The problem of the finitude of Dasein stands at the center of Heideggers
thought. According to Heidegger, Being as the basic frame of philosophy is the
kind of being and, nevertheless, it pervades each entity. Philosophy is a universal
phenomenological ontology commencing with the interpretation of human
Heideggers paradoxical concept of being is an indefinable concept. It
cannot be defined because it is not an entity rather than the prior ground of all
entities. It is the most self-evident of concepts, the most unintelligible, and an
enigma. Thus, there is the fundamental distinction between beings as individual
entities and beings as the prior ground of all entities, which is not in itself an
entity. Being lies in the fact that something is, and in its being, as it is in reality;
in presence at hand; in subsistence; in validity; in Dasein in the Here is. That
entity is no other than the human person. Being himself looking at something,
construing and conceiving it. All these ways are modes of being. The inquirer is
Dasein. It is only the Dasein or man who understands his own being.
For Heidegger, this sense of being lies at the basis of the modern
construing of not only the being of things but the being of man as well. The
being of man is called existence. This term is bestowed to the being which
comports itself in a way to its Being as that which is in every case mine, for
whom Being is at issue and who has undertaken it in order to be. In Being and
Time, Dasein signifies a being whose here (Da) is always already disclosed, a
being which is in the mode of being its here. The mode of being its here is
bestowed a decisive direction when they are characterized as modes of being-inthe-world. Being and time draw with the world only as an environment within
which man dwells with the things he uses in a circumspective manner. The
worldliness of this world is defined there as a meaningful totality of references.
This referential totality of the world confers indispensability upon the being of
things as well as upon the being of man, which the traditional ontologies and
anthropologies oriented to substance, and subject had completely passed over.
These inner-worldly things are ultimately geared in their significance to the being
whose being is defined as being-in-the-world. They are close to Dasein. They
are near at hand and have the ontological sense of being at hand. Thus,
Heidegger answers for us the question What is a thing? First, a thing in the
sense of being present at hand: (all animate and inanimate things) a chair; a
stone, a book, a cat. Second, a thing in the sense in which it means whatever is
named but which includes also perspectives, reactions, fundamental options,
managerial strategy, actions, etc. Third, All these and anything else are a
something (ein etwas) and not nothing. A thing is the existing bearer of many
existing yet changeable properties.
Other Philosophers such as:
Sartre criticizes Heidegger in considering being and nonbeing as
antagonistic purpose. Here, Sartre is speaking about an existentialist

point of view. Sartre negates any ontological foundations in man. Man
is structure less. There must be a source. Man creates his own
Carol Wojtyla emphasizes more on personal subjectivity (ontological
subjectivity is the foundation of man).
For Martin Buber, it must be intersubjectivity (a personal relationship
between two subjects: I and Thou.
For Kierkegaard, Dasein is not a self in its everydayness but, under the
dominion of the crowd (man). It has persistently lost itself in being with
others among the things within the world. This essentially immersed
state in no way signifies that man has somehow reified himself hence
becomes a substance in the sense of a thing on hand.
Dasein is to be there. What does it mean to be there? To be there is to be
in the world. To be is characterized by existentials. The being of dasein is not
is but to be.
Heideggers existence is the very being of dasein. It is Daseins own
being and no other. What does it mean to be a dasein? Dasein is existence.
What does it mean to exist? To exist is to stand out. What is the being of
entities? The being of dasein is not the actual being. It is the task. What is
important for Heidegger is the possibility, the future. The being of dasein is not
just is but to be. The dasein can decide its own existence. It can question and
can take possibilities. This makes dasein fallen but at the same time free in
making itself authentic or inauthentic. Dasein is fallen because it did not choose
to exist, but once it exists that existence becomes his very own responsibility.
Daseins being is grounded on being-in-the-world. Man lives in a purposeless
world / universe. He has made basic decisions. He is unique and has his own
individual character. Thus, in the world are world of entities, relationship of
entities and relationship of dasein to the world. Dasein is an entity. It has never
reached its wholeness but if it gains such wholeness, this gain becomes the
utter loss of being-in-the-world.
For Heidegger, the essence of man lies in his existence. Heidegger
employs the term dasein indicative not as a determinate whatness (essence) but
rather a mode of being (sein) always proceeding from a certain position (da) into
which he has been thrown.
This mode of existing is distinguished by its peculiar futurity from that of
objects. These objects have possibilities to which they are open. These
possibilities are extrinsic to what they are now and are largely determined by
external factors. Dasein is always ahead of himself. He is his possibilities, and,
in his being, somehow understands them. He chooses how he is going to be. His
existence is thus prior to what he is.

Man is a creature of care. Man is a wayfarer (homo viator) whose very
existence is temporal and historical. Heideggers analysis of human existence
(dasein) implies that it is situated at a particular here and now, but he has not
dedicated any careful attention to the human body and its status. Heidegger
maintains that mans whole existence is active or conative in character. There
are no non-conative events in human life as it is lived. He uses the term care
(sorge) to express this conative structure. There is a threefold order of human
existing (the structure of care): First, is ahead of itself, second, as already in the
world (I myself, and that which I care for, already exist in the world). As I exist
with this being and care for it, I am thus, both ahead of myself in some possibility
and already in the factual world; lastly, as being with, he understands itself
existentially. Its existential structure stands as existence (being-ahead-of-itself),
throwness (Being already in the world) and fallenness (being with others).
These are daseins structural mentality called care or concern or sorge.
Heidegger defines care as ahead-of-itself-being-already-in-the-world-as-being
alongside entities, which he encounters within the world.
This threefold structure of this pervasive datum suggests a possible
concatenation with the future, past, and present phases of time. Heideggers
anthropological studies have culminated in a moral conception of time, which has
already exerted a profound influence on existential thought.
Angst (Dread or Anxiety)
Heidegger follows Kierkegaard in regarding the mood of anxiety as key
and point of departure in the question of wholeness of human existence. Anxiety
is the most primordial way in which the spirit can relate itself to itself.
Heidegger relates anxiety only to finitude and not to the relation of finitude to
infinitude. freedom, which at the onset of anxiety restricts itself to the finite.
Heidegger interpreted this affirmatively as a decision in favor of authenticity.
The primacy of anxiety is especially adopted to exhibit the analysis of moods as
having a purely methodological basis. It reveals the relation of moods to the
whole of life. It is exposed to the void and is related to freedom. Heidegger
asserts that the mood of joy characterizes the possibility of authentic existence.
Joy is the mood in which the freedom of the dasein is expressed. As Kierkegaard
would put it: Joy has a liberating consequence. It is the product of the freedom
of decision when an option has been made. This mood affects the presence of
being which would lead to the working of the spirit, who elevates human beings
above themselves.
The They
Heidegger defines conscience as the call that the dasein issues to itself. It
calls itself in the mode of keeping silent from fallenness into the they to its
own most potentiality for being. Heidegger managed to disengage the ideas of
guilt from any being with others and even from relationships to any law or
ought. What is left is the being guilty which the call of conscience itself
furnishes dasein to construe; i.e., that dasein must bring itself back to itself from

its lost ness in the they. Being guilty is therefore not primarily a consciousness
of a moral fault but rather the expression of an ought, the intent of which is the
authenticity of the dasein itself. According to Heidegger, it is only in this light
that guilt as involving a transgression becomes intelligible. The dimension of
Heideggerian terminology of guilt has been preserved in colloquial speech such
as to owe someone. Guilt entangles not only an accusation of blame relative to
a transgression. Transgression as blameworthy is comprehensible only in the
light of obligation. Responsibility is founded in the consciousness of obligation.
It is the concurrence of responsibility that is the basis of the consciousness of
being cause. The concept of action in the sense of authorship presupposes the
concept of responsibility. The capacity for action is grounded in the call to
authentic selfhood.
Truth (Aletheia)
Truth is centered in man. Heidegger censures the relational concept of
truth as concurrence of thought or discretion as a thing related to other things.
Daseins being-in-the-world is the very ground for the primordial phenomenon of
truth. It also follows that Being (not entity) is something which there is only in
so far as truth is; and truth is only in so far and as long as dasein is. Being and
truth are equiprimordial; i.e., being is there only as long as we are here. The
relations between it and us are not efficacious relations. They are relations of
fragile and tentative dependence.
Truth is considered aletheia for Heidegger since truth in the Heideggerian
notion means unveiling or uncovering. Aletheia is existential in dasein.
Being true as being-uncovering is a way of being for dasein. Uncovering is a
way of being for Being-in-the-world. What is primarily true that is,
uncovering is dasein. Truth in the 2nd aspect does not mean Being-uncovering
(uncovering) but Being-uncovered (uncoveredness). Dasein, then, is in the truth
since it is its disclosed ness and because the disclosed ness of its own most Being
belongs to the existential constitution of dasein.
The most general structure that Dasein exists is on the level of average
This forms the beginning for interpreting Dasein. The
fundamental structure of this ontic aspect is Being-in-the-World. Being-in means
being familiar-with. It means that the Dasein is always outside, dwelling
alongside with other entities. This is the primary mode that the Dasein is in-theworld. For Heidegger, the world is neither a manner of describing entities nor
the interpretation of their being. The four senses of the world are: first, world as
an ontical concept the totality of entities; second, world as an ontical concept
alluding to the being of the totality of entities; third, world in a pre-ontological
existentiell sense the connectedness of world and Dasein; finally, the
ontological existential concept of worldhood. The world is closest to us. It is
around us, the environment. In our everydayness, it is in our environment that
we are caught up in our concerns and activities.

The three basic considerations in Heideggers analysis of interpretation:
1. The as-structure
2. The fore-structure (fore-having, fore-sight, fore-conception)
3. meaning
Etymologically, aletheia is deduced from the Greek word lethe. In
Roman mythology, it means river of oblivion in Hades, or purgatory; one of five
rivers including Styx that traverse the underworld. The water causes the drinkers
to forget their former existence.
For Heidegger, truth is a fitting to things, a correspondence with the
things. The truth, which we find, establish, disseminate and defend, we express
in words. A combination of words is called a simple assertion. Such an assertion
is either true or false. What is the structure of such an assertion?
Assertion of
Assertion about
Assertion to
Declare oneself
In the structure of the proposition, we distinguish Subject, Predicate and
Copula Object, Assertion and Connections. Truth is constitutive in the
predicates belonging to the subject and is posited and asserted in the proposition
as belonging. The structure and the structural parts of the truth; i.e., of the true
proposition (object and assertion), are exactly fitted to that by which truth as such
guides itself to the thing as bearer and to its properties.
We point to all things and so we say this one or that one: the things in
so far as they originate and come forth in themselves; the things in so far as they
are produced by the human hand and stand as such. The things in so far as are in
use and therefore stand at constant disposal (hey may be either books and so on,
something specially made); the things in so far as we have to do with them at all,
whether we work on them, use them, transfer them, or we only look at and
examine them.
To sum up Heideggers analysis of human existence, there are five
factors to consider.
First, there is the compulsion between existence and facticity; that is,
between freedom and finitude. We exist in a world. Our possibilities are
restricted by the concrete situation such as intelligence, race,
temperament, environment, and heredity.
Second, compulsion exists between rationality and irrationality. The
ambivalence of man blunder misrepresentation.
Third, compulsion exists between responsibility and impotence. We
acknowledge what we ought to be doing and yet cannot bring ourselves
to do what is demanded.
Fourth, compulsion exists between anxiety and hope. This compulsion
sums up all the rest. A life lived in the midst of compulsions generated

by such polarities as these can never be free from anxiety; i.e., from a
sense of the threat of absurdity and negativity. On the other hand, such a
life can be lived only on the basis of hope that life is somehow
Fifth, compulsion exists between the individual and society. Human
beings realize themselves and their varied possibilities only in and
through interaction with other human beings.
Being with Others
Being-in is that constitutive moment of Dasein, which exhibits the Being
of Dasein directly. Because Dasein existentially Being-in can there be something
like Being-in-the-world. The entity, which is essentially constituted by being-inthe-world, is itself in every case its there. The Da points to Daseins there.
Dasein is itself there.
There are 3 primary moments of Daseins disclosedness:
1. Existentiality-being ahead-of-itself (State of Mind)
2. Facticity-already-being-in (Understanding)
3. Being-forfeited-being-beside (Verfallen)
State of Mind is the mode of awareness of the actual. It discloses the actual
state of Dasein in the world. Our environment within this world form part of the
world of Dasein. Daseins awareness of actual existence is due to Daseins stateof-mind.
There is no such thing as isolated ego. The world of Dasein is a world with;
being-in is being-with-others. The world is also indicative of others; we
encounter other Daseins in the world. Characteristics of the existentials are:
1. The disclosure of Daseins thrownness.
2. The disclosure of being-in-the-world as a whole
3. The disclosure that what Dasein encounters in the world matters to
Being reveals itself through mood (a preconscious or unthematic way of
constructing communication with being- the attunement of dasein with being) as
permeated by mans being, through understanding and speech as man lives with
Understanding - it informs the Dasein of its possibilities, it provides the theory
of interpretation and becomes the basis for the theory of freedom.. It reveals the
manner in which Dasein exists. The state of mind is the mode of existence that
reveals to Dasein the facticity and the mode through which Dasein is aware of its
givenness of the world and the thrownness of Dasein. Understanding is the mode
of existence that reveals to Dasein its existence and through which Dasein is
aware of its possibilities. Here, man is immersed in the world.
Verfallen non-awareness of the significance of what it means to be. This
includes idle talk, curiosity, and ambiguity.
Projection the function of understanding is projection (throwing forward).
Understanding operates by projecting before Dasein its possibilities. It is the

existential function of understanding and it is a primary function. The cognitive
function is only secondary and based on this existential function.
The most permeating description that dominates our everyday life is
oneness (das man) in Sein and Zeit. We do not intend to discern the ways of
other human beings by an exploring and elaborating process of sensation and
inference. Our being is an essential phase of our existence. All manifestations of
existence are directed by a mode of construing.
In our everyday life, we grasp others according to the functions they
perform. I grasp myself primarily according to the things I deal with. I am the
very core of functions.
In this world, one does not simply dedicate himself beyond his
availability and capabilities. One is always master of the situation. This
impersonal mode of existing is unauthentic due to deprivation of personal
freedom. This is the world to which we are first introduced. Here, one
communicates with others through a mode of speech. Sometimes in talking,
there are accentuations on linguistic symbols rather than intentional meaning,
inquisitiveness, and existential ambiguity. These symbolic tools of cognition are
subject to technical manipulation. They have profited philosophical expression
in the analytic or linguistic philosophy of our day.
Heidegger alludes to the sharp contrast between everyday talk and the
voice of conscience, which conveys its message without disputation, idle
proliferation of words, and worthless inquisitiveness. He is not concerned with
being as it really is, but rather with ones average glimpses and reactions. For
Heidegger, words and language can be an unmistakable sign of the unauthentic
flight from being. He holds that decisive existence is capable of being open and
conveys authentic communication with others. Thus we can infer that such
communication must use symbols. First, with a stress on intentional meaning;
second, it must dwell on each item of subject matter until it is analyzed; and
lastly, it must disclose being as it is unambiguously.
At this point, Heidegger employs the word attestation. Attestation is
required in contested areas where evidence of eyewitnesses or experts is needed
to settle a probable state of affairs. At an epistemological level, attestation
operates at the level of belief or the probable.
For Heidegger, one cannot talk to ones conscience. Heidegger highlights
a vertical dimension of the self. The element of verticality in Heidegger is
represented by the Gewissen, the voice of conscience. It is inextricably linked to
a hermeneutics of the self-attestation of the self-assured and strengthened by the
cohesion of existentials. There is a transition from the question who? that
passes through the contrasting between self and the they, then through the
conjunction between the problematic of sorge and that of the self. Thus, there is
a movement from merely reflexive philosophy to the emphatic query of what
assures the ontological characterization of dasein as sorge. An authentic
potentiality for being is attested by the conscience. At this point, the dimension

of verticality intervenes. The voice of conscience hangs over me, calls me, and
calls me from on high. Conscience shatters any simple self-concurrence with
oneself. The strategy of Heidegger is to draw something valuable from the
superior force of attestation issuing from the voice of conscience without
alluding it the slightest states as transcendence. First, content emphasis; i.e., the
theme. What conscience attests to is the potentiality-for-being-oneself, both as
an existential and as existentielle, second, the connotation of call. Here,
conscience says nothing; there is no bustle and clamor, no message, just a silent
call. There is an enlargement and augmentation on the degree of difficulty, speed
and severity in the reduction of transcendence. The caller is again dasein. In
conscience, dasein calls itself. It is within the integral immanence of dasein to
itself that Heidegger acknowledges a certain dimension of height. For sure, the
call does not come from someone else who is with me in the world. The call
comes from me and yet from beyond me. The translation of height catches up
with that of exteriority. An exteriority without otherness corresponds to this
height without transcendence. It is not that any allusions to others are completely
deficient. The other is implied only in allusion to the they and on the plane of
inauthentic mode of preoccupation. The call reaches the they-self of concernful
being with others. The popular tone remains pulling the self out of the they.
Conscience summons daseins self from its lost ness in the they.
This persuades us to ask: If exteriority is not otherness in an authentic
relation to others, what is it? The uncanny takes the place that is not filled by
others. There is a subtle comparison drawn between the uncanniness of the voice
and the fallen condition of being thrown. Dasein has been thrown into existence.
What alone can obstruct the dominance of the they is uncanniness, strangeness
without a stranger. Here, what is summoned is the admission of passivity, of
non-mastery, and of the affection of being. In Being and Time, Heidegger
diminishes the stranger in parallel with his diminution of transcendence: What
could be more alien to the they, lost in the manifold world of its concern,
then the self which has been individualized down to itself in uncanniness and
been thrown into the nothing?
Uncanniness is alluded to a structure of being-in the-world and detached
from being-with. Heidegger has recourse to the neuter: it calls. The analysis of
sorge grounded the question who? ends up with the neuter and with nothing.
The caller in the end is no one, but rather the very uncanniness of the condition
of throwness and fallenness: a call which comes from uncanniness; that is, from
thrown individualization.
Here, the notion of guilt furnishes no reinvigoration to restore any ethical
or personal connation to this height or this uncanniness. Heidegger focuses on
the idea that being guilty or indebted appears as a predicate of the I am.
This demands ontology of guilt. Heidegger is dissociating himself from the
ordinary meaning attached to the idea of guilt. That we are guilty before or

indebted to someone, which we are responsible or guilty, and finally that being
with one another is public.
Heidegger intends to lessen its allowance. Ontology restrains the
threshold of ethics. Heidegger brought this home. We first became inquisitive in
principle into daseins being-guilty, and then our ascertained inquiry penetrates
on the mode of being. At this point, the ordinary phenomenon of guilt, of
indebtedness, those that are related to our concernful being with others, drop out.
Being guilty is not the consequence of indebtedness. If there is an imperfection,
it is not necessarily evil. Inquiry into guilt remains strictly oriented toward the
ontological conditions of not-ness. There is no better way to get rid of ethics.
According to Heidegger, being-guilty cannot be defined by morality, since
morality already presumes it for itself
In this way the impediment is the movement in the opposite direction,
from ontology towards ethics. It seems that this argumentation is about the way
conscience is ordinarily translated. In this sense, his attestation does lead to a
certain criteriology, as a critique of ordinary meaning. What is considered as
ordinary is the notion of the good and bad conscience. It is bad conscience
because it is reactive.
To be is to be in time. What does it mean to be in time? To be in time is
to be temporal. Temporality is the basis of time. He makes us realize that we are
finite. Being is understood and conceptually comprehended by means of time.
When temporality functions as such a condition we call it temporality. The
understanding of being, the development of this understanding in ontology and
scientific philosophy are to be exhibited in their temporal possibility.
Temporality is exposed as the necessary ontological condition for the way in
which Dasein exists. Temporality is ecstatical in character. It is interpreted in
terms of the ekstasis of time: Past, Present and Future. Ekstasis means
standing out. To focus on the past, present and future is to stand out from the
general flow of time and existence. The dasein is occupied with its own being.
To understand oneself in the being of ones own most peculiar ability-to-be is the
original existential concept of understanding. The essential understanding as
projection is the dasein understands itself existentially in it. Thus, the dasein as a
being is projected by its ability-to-be; being in the sense of existence is
understood in it.
Being manifested to the agent is an essential part of human projects. This
kind of self-awareness is objective or intentional in character. I am conscious of
my action as it proceeds towards its goal. I am conscious of my awareness, for in
knowing the object, the knowing is itself revealed. This awareness directs the
project. The action endures and realizes it. Its whole being is rather a being-to.
When actualized, it profits nothing but a relational union with existence as it is.
This relational being belongs to man. Being is time and being man is
temporalizing. The absolutes of human existence are always temporal

absolutes. To actualize the truth establishes a difference to him. The initiative
being of truth is human. As Heidegger would put it: Without dasein, no truth.
This revealing being is relational. It has a term. This intentional being of truth is
not relative whether it is known or not, it remains exactly as it is.
There is an inauthentic and an authentic way of existing through time.
Negatively, in the unauthentic existence, the past is no longer held. The future
becomes a non-existent. Only the objective present is real. The past and future
are real only by becoming present. Thus it deprives its distinctive character.
Inauthentic time is held to go on indefinitely with no determinate restriction. The
self is viewed as an object lying in this temporal dimension.
The inauthentic person is bound to concur on the everyday world as
basically sound. He visualizes himself as relatively stable within the world. He
accepts himself as he already is, and conceives his moral function as keeping it
going for a segment of time, which he contemplates, he can foresee. He
imagines very little about his death and declines to care about the indispensability
and value of his conscience. Their existence is dominated by drives or interest
directed largely by sense and imagination, and, therefore, having a restricted
range of objects and a truncated future. The interest is to get its object, focus it
and then be satiated and satisfied.
The very core, which constitutes the being of dasein, is temporality. Man
in his temporality stretches beyond himself towards the future, goes back to his
past and encounters the present. According to Heidegger, I am certain that I
shall die. When will these happen? Thus, man must bestow priority to the
future. Heidegger has philosophized that death is the horizon that closer off the
future. Death conveys into existence a sense of responsibility and seriousness.
Paradoxically, death does not only destroy but persuades some degree of unity
and coherence and purpose into ones life. We do not have unlimited time at our
disposal. Everything in our life has to be in sequence in relation to such a
limitation. Death exposes the superficiality and triviality of much of what we are
as indispensable and to which we commit so much of our resources and energies.
Thus, the authentic person feels that time is close to his inner being. He
reflects that to give time to something is to give himself. To lose time is to lose
himself. His case is dominated by futurity. His conclusive discretion urges him
to take over the past and repeat its last possibilities. This future is no longer a
non-existent present but the guiding phase of his being. The present is already
ahead-of- itself with a future that is holding and directing it. This future is not an
infinite succession of nows. It is strictly restricted by the ultimate bonding of
death. He realizes that his time is ending. He cannot postpone existing. He is
aware that this self is not merely an object in time but is its temporality. Thus, it
makes sure to live authentically.
Authentic care is concerned with present things but is aware of its own lost
possibilities, and is open to those of others. The authentic person accedes on the
everyday world, but not as basically sound. He disposes himself to his dread and

feels the strangeness of things as they are. He realizes that he himself might have
been very different. He thinks of his own death and the real possibilities still
before him. Such existence concurs guilt, and does not try to dilute it or expound
it away. The authentic person becomes responsible, ready to communicate, to
answer questions; he esteems the discretions of his associates, and is aware that
the greatest help is to aid them in understanding and realizing human freedom.
He is aware of himself as a whole and cares for integrity. His drives and interests
are subordinated to find ends but he cares for up to death.
The structure of care involved a projection of possibilities, being already
in the world alongside entities encountered in the world. There are 3
Characteristics of Care:
1. It is ahead of itself in terms of its awareness of possibilities
2. It is already in the world (facticity)
3. It is alongside entities (fallenness)
The structure of care is possible because of temporality. It is possible for Dasein
to be ahead of itself because of its ontological future. It is possible for Dasein
to be already in the world because of its ontological past. It is possible for
Dasein to be alongside entities because of its ontological present. Temporality
makes the structure of care possible / authentic caring (anticipatory resoluteness)
Anticipatory resoluteness is revealed as being-towards-ones
possibilities, and being towards is possible only because there is a future. The
future is not something that is simply a not-yet now waiting for our arrival in
the path of time, as if future occurrence is there waiting for us. To have a future
means to expect, to anticipate, looking forward to. The future is meaningful for
Dasein because it goes towards the future and it is one of the ways in which I
exist. To be in time is to come towards the future and coming towards the future
is the awareness of the self as anticipatory, expecting, looking forward toward.
The understanding that one is going to-be-no-longer (death) is the most
compelling of this awareness.
Authentic existence:
For Heidegger one has to project possibility (dasein).
For Kierkegaard to make a leap of faith (as in Abraham to Isaac).
For Sartre
one has to make a decision. Man is condemned to
be free.
For Marcel
participation; co-existence.
Inauthentic existence visualizes the past as already set, constant and
reliable. It furnishes a firm foundation in the present for creative contributions to
an ever-advancing future. To make such contributions, we must conform to the
past. Temporality and historicality made us aware of the great flux of events as
they unroll in the present that now exists no longer. People try to grasp the laws
of their unfolding to perhaps carry them further. Here, an authentic person

realizes that he is not merely a set of events in history, but that his own
experience is historical. He is skeptical of spatial metaphors and is uncertain on
the theory of automatic progress. The past may be factually determinate but its
meaning is still uncertain. It is not so much a firm foundation for new
achievement as a burden that passes upon us and restricts our field of action. The
future is obscure and mysterious. It is not a mere now that has not yet happened
but lies ahead of us as at great moments in the past. At these decisive moments,
different final futures become apparent in history. But the future itself is still
unfinished. Between these opposed possibilities, a final discretion must be
fashioned. Whether he perceives it or not, each human person is establishing his
disposition or discretion by directing his life in a certain way
In short, Heidegger postulates two categories of human existence. My
existential characteristics and possibilities are inalienably and uniquely mine.
And I am thrown into existence at a certain point in space and time and,
therefore, my existence has a unique given ness, a uniqueness that transcends
general analysis, description and prescription. Thus,
Daseins being as care Temporality
Being-already-in-the-world Past
(Acceptance of the existential guilt)
(They: character of dasein)
Modes of Temporalization: Authentic and Inauthentic

Gabriel Marcel55 (1889-1973)

Gabriel Marcel was born in Paris on December 7, 1889. His mother died
when he was four years old. His mother influenced him greatly. His father was a
state official, an unbelieving aesthete. His stepmother was his aunt, an
unbelieving moralist. He describes his childhood as a desolate universe due to
the irrevocable loss of his mother. His family focused more on academic studies
rather than in personal unfolding. His education was impersonal and objectivist.
He taught philosophy at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, 1951-2 and
Harvard University, 1961-2. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
On Contemplation/Broken World
Marcels philosophical development has been influenced by a radical
rebellion against the subjectivist and idealistic conceptions of modern
philosophy. He presented a descriptive insight and sharp analysis on the
inauthentic existence of modern mass society in a broken world. He is deeply

concerned with the disintegrated person falling into oversimplified modes of
reductive materialism. Thus, today we are witnessing materialism in action
rather than praxis. Men are not only branded, but also, actually treated as
physical complexes reducible to their objective functions, subject to external
manipulation and control. So, understanding the nature of human awareness and
freedom is terribly neglected.
In his book the Mystery of Being he presented a descriptive insight and
sharp analysis on the inauthentic existence of modern mass society in a broken
world. Marcel was so highly critical of much in our contemporary society. He
discarded vigorously the dreadful potentialities of our society for obscuring or
denying the reality of personal existence. He criticized societys frightful abuse
of mass communication and in patronizing industrial techniques, which
dehumanize and depersonalize a human person. He exposed the impersonality
and anonymity of much technological life and has warned the public of the grave
dangers to humanity implicit in totalitarian and collectivist societies. He is not
against technology but technocracy, not science but scientism. He rejects the
qualities of modern scientism, the idolization of science as the only source of
knowledge about the world, and the inattentive concern on the significance of the
personal being within reality as a whole. He is deeply concerned with the
disintegrated person falling into oversimplified modes of reductive materialism.
Thus, today we are witnessing materialism in action rather than praxis. Men are
not only branded but also actually treated as physical complexes reducible to
their objective functions, subject to external manipulation and control. Thus,
understanding the nature of human awareness and freedom is terribly neglected.
His perspective on contemplation is not so exhausted. Hes more
interested in gathering cogent empirical datas for interrogating all these
assertions. He said: contemplation is not oriented towards the future. Time for
contemplation is nothing if it is not present time. Certain theoretical attitudes are
lost in their objects, but certainly not at all. There is a philosophic contemplation
that is a turning inwards of our awareness. For Marcel, contemplation is not
precisely a purely theoretical data about inner states and activities requiring an
assiduous cultivation. It is neither a kind of perversion of practical awareness nor
a discipline demanding realization of practice. Marcel thinks whether the cause
of the decline of giving significance to contemplation is due to modern life and
the terrible evils from which mankind is suffering. Contemplation is a mode of
participation in which the duality of the inner and the external world are
transcended. Contemplation is an inward regrouping of ingathering of mental
resources. To contemplate is to gather ones mental resources in the presence of
whatever is being contemplated.
On Problem and Mystery
Marcel gave a sharp distinction between a problem and a mystery. For
Marcel, a problem is both objective and abstract. Problems must be dealt with
one at a time or else it might confront us with a different situation demanding a

different method of approach. The insoluble and the unintelligible belong to the
field of the problematic. The characteristics of a problem: first, the subject tin a
problem is an anonymous fellow, a self which can be divorced from the object;
second, manipulability of the object is possible; third, solubility, wherein a
solution to the problem is possible. A problem is a difficulty, which can be
resolved. It is a question, which proposes a solution. It can be measured,
tabulated, manipulated and applied to procedures, processes and experimentation
leading to a solution. Marcel is not against the world of problems per se but
accepts its importance and positive value. He is against the universalization of
problems, where there is a change from science to scientism reducing persons to
a mere object, the world to a collection of things.
For Marcel, philosophy is attributed only to the mysterious and never to
the problematic. The characteristics of mystery are: first, non-objectivity
wherein we cannot detach the data of mystery from non objectifiable, for I cannot
put the object of inquiry before me in its entirety because it involves the subject
(myself) in the inquiry; second, insolubility since mystery is non objective it is
also insoluble. A philosopher must exist with his mysteries. Marcel also talks
about communion. He said: One might say that what we have with this person
who is in the room but somehow not really present to us, in communication
without communion. He understands what I say to him, but he does not
understand me.
A mystery is something on which I myself am involved and am therefore
only be thought of as a sphere where the distinction between what is in me and
what is before me lose its meaning and its initial validity. For Marcel, we live in
a broken world with a lost sense of its real unity. We need to transcend its
The need for transcendence is the source of philosophy.
Transcendence is the state or quality of going beyond ordinary limits of
experience, thought or belief.
A problem is subject to an appropriate technique by the exercise of which
it is defined. Mystery transcends every conceivable technique. It is always
possible logically and psychologically to degrade a mystery so as to turn into a
problem. The problem of evil supplies us with a particularly instructive example
of this degradation. The unknowable is in fact the limiting case of the
problematic, which cannot be actualized without contradiction.
The recognition of mystery is an essentially positive act of the mind, the
supremely positive act in virtue of which all positivity may perhaps be strictly
defined. In this sphere everything seems to go on as if I found myself acting on
an institution which I posses without immediately knowing myself to possess it
an intuition which cannot be self conscious and which can grasp itself only
through the modes of experience in which its image is reflected, and which it
lights up by being thus reflected in them.
Thus, Marcel visualizes reality as existing on 2 levels: first, the world of
the problematical; second, the world of the ontological mystery. The world of

the problematical as discussed above is the domain of science, of rational inquiry,
of technical control. The real is defined by what the mind can formulate into a
problem, solve, and contain in a formula. Reality is merely the sum total of its
parts. In the world of the problematical, human beings are viewed as objects, as
statistics, as case. They are defined in terms of their vital functions (i.e.,
biological) and their social functions (the individual is considered merely a
biological machine performing various social functions). There is nothing
unique about a person. I am my function. Hence, the ontological need is
suppressed, ignored and negated.
In the world of the ontological, the ontological mystery is stressed.
Marcel does not distinguish between existence and being. Being is being-in-asituation, and thus, is always changing. Our mode of Being is Being-in-theworld. Being is Transcendent. It transcends objective inquiry. Our own
experience of Being is subjective. Thus, the ontological inquiry can be engaged
by taking intersubjectivity as a starting point. We cannot be objective about our
own existence. Existence transcends objective inquiry, and is thus a mystery.
The mysterious is not the same as the unknowable. The unknowable is
only the limiting case of the problematic. The unknowable cannot become
known. The mysterious is capable of being recognized. Mystery reveals to us a
depth of life, which leads to eternity. Eternity is an existence without beginning
or end. Eternity is a mystery. Every mystery flows into eternity. The mystery of
being is less concerned with Being than with mystery. Mystery is what opens for
us an expanded view of reality. Mystery is capable of being experienced.
Mystery comes before the problem. The mystery of mysteries is our own
incarnation of being and having. Having is quantitative, measurable outside of
me. Being is a quality, mystery, and intimacy. Authentic philosophizing will be
an ascent to Being through a reduction of having. Marcels thought is able to
restore the nuptial pact between man and life, between every man and his whole
life in an effective communion. Man is body and soul.
In the world of the ontological, we open ourselves to the mystery of
presence and emerge from the darkness of our selfishness. There is a transition
in our outlook in life. We gain the courage to smash idols. Ontology alludes to
the discussion of Being. The ontological mystery surpasses the world of the
problematical. It is a gradual transformation within the perceptions, relationships
and life experiences. As an individual my being transcends the self-analyzed
under a microscope. My person (I exist) transcends the historical, sociological
and natural forces. There is more to my reality than my life and the totality of
my experiences. I am not my life. I am more than my life. I encounter more
than myself.
Primary and Secondary Reflection
Man is a conscious being aware of having closer relationships. Before
reflection, man considers himself as an it, an object that is something
independent upon himself. This is the case of people who do not want to think

about their lives. Their life is what we call unexamined life. They make use of
universal as an excuse and as a philosophic thought. The specific goal is
empirical truth e.g., finding what he ought to be. Reflection is not a question of
thinking in the abstract. Reflection is simply thinking, discovering and
analyzing. It is self-teaching. It is the discovery of the truth by the wisdom from
the mirror of words of actions etc.
Reflection is one of the ways in which life manifests itself, or, more
profoundly that is in a sense one of lifes ways of rising from one level to
another. Thus, to exist is to emerge, to rise up out of. There is another vagueness
here. I can raise myself so that I may stand out among others, or I can turn
myself inwards. The act is bound up with a feeling for a reality on which I could
feel that I was firmly based and to which I could come closer by this movement
of conversion, without being able to meet it entirely. Presence and distanced
combine. It is this sort of affective contradiction, which enables man to define
his relation to being (soul). To have a good reflection, I must be open to an
authentic Transcendent reality. I must have faith, prayer and humility. It is a
mode of acknowledging nothingness and affirming the sacred. It is a way of
uniting oneself with the Transcendent. The true spirit of prayer acknowledges
Reflection can take many different shapes that will lead a person to
conversion in the last analysis. It is a sort of reflective process. The reflective
process could be integrated with experience. The more we understand the notion
of experience in its proper complexity, in its active and dialectical aspects, the
better we can interiorized how experience cannot fail to transform itself into
reflection. The more it is experienced the more it is reflection. Thus, reflection
involves the process of conscientization. It is making a person aware. It
increases the horizon of human knowing. Consciousness raising is not only
cognitive. Cognition is 1/3 of the entire structure that is singular and unified.
Cognition must move towards action (praxis), valuing or judgment. Here, the
inner life becomes the value of saying the truth.


Praxis (action)

Truth, for Marcel, is a singularity. Being true is only one aspect of Being. Truth
emerges from reality. The universe realizes itself in the fulfillment of truth.
Truth is both immanent and transcendent. Truth is also a quality that defines
judgment of values. A value judgment may be true or false. We cannot describe
the truth or falsehood of a sensation or a feeling. A sensation or a feeling is a

mode of being. Truth is an aspect of Being. Truth is not a thing or an object.
Feeling cannot be reduced to an instrumental function, or a function mode
possible by sensory capability. Feeling is not merely sensation, but is a mode of
participation in the world. This participation may be objective or non-objective.
Objective participation is related to what we can see objectively. Non-objective
participation is subjective participation. It is not, however, merely subjective, it
also includes intersubjectivity. Intersubjectivity (shared subjectivity) brings unity
to our being-in-the-world.
Feeling is not passive, feeling is participation. But participation is more
than feeling. Participation is active engagement in the world. Personal identity
includes both the objective identity in the external world and the felt quality of
identity in the inner world. A felt quality, or a quality of feeling, is not a mental
object, because a persons feeling cannot be detached from what the person feels.
A felt quality is a unity, which cannot be dissolved by primary reflection.
Reflection can manifests itself at various levels: Primary and Secondary
Reflection. The goal of primary reflection is to solve practical problems. It is
the solution to what is vital in life. It is the precondition of any sort of objectivity
whatsoever. It is the foundation of all scientific knowledge (in the case we are
thinking of an empirical datas i.e., anatomy, physiology, and all their connected
disciplines. Primary reflection tends to dissolve the unity of experience, which is
first put before it. In reflection the notion of truth is necessary preliminary to
everything else. The point about philosophic thought is that it is reflective.
Reflection is nothing other than attention towards the daily chain of habit. To
reflect is to recall past event and to anticipate all possible reasons why it did
happen. Reflection is inextricably linked to our living personal experiences. It is
our inner life and disposition of valuing the truth. To do this is to practice an
intimate/deeper communication with the self. To treat myself as somebody with
whom I am intimate is to be in touch with myself as a subject. These definite
characteristics of my particular individuality are felt to be, and acknowledge
being contingent.
Secondary reflection is essentially recuperative. It requires that unity of
what is vital to life and life experiences. The latter was dissolved in primary
reflection. Secondary reflection does not mean less important. They are about
values, human questions etc. e.g., how much does my friend worth? It is more
about non-quantifiable and non-practical ones. Secondary reflection can get to
work on the processes to which primary reflection has first severed. Even when
engaged in this attempt at unification, the reflective process would in reality still
remain at the primary stage. It would remain a prisoner in the hands of
opposition, which it, itself, had in the first instance postulated, instead of calling
the ultimate validity of these oppositions into question.
The key to Marcels philosophy lies in an understanding of what he
means by participation. To be is to participate in being, esse est co-esse (to
exist is to co-exist). There are different levels of participation:

1. Incarnation via my body and through sensation
2. Communion through love, hope, and fidelity
3. Transcendence through ontological exigence (my need for God)
Incarnate Subjectivity
To understand man and human action, Marcel explored the permutation of
human awareness and feeling through phenomenological method. For Marcel, as
long as man exists, he is open to further being. He must engage himself with his
existence. He is a homo viator whose life is temporal and historical. Marcel
conceived his body as irreducible to an object or an instrument. He said: My
body is a part of my being; I do not merely observe my body nor use it. I am my
body, and I exist. My body is something I possess, something that belongs to
me. There is a relationship between such a modes of ownership. The person is
bound to envisage the inescapable responsibility laid upon him to provide for its
Man is foremost a subjectivity, a unique core or center, source, depth,
well-spring of initiative and meaning. Subjectivity is not limited to rationality
but includes the affective, the emotional sphere. Man is not a pure subjectivity
but a subjectivity incarnating itself in flesh. Mans body is not an object.
Body is the lodging place of the Spirit. Embodiment is to make incarnate which
comes from the inner core of man. My existence must include my body.
To develop his thought on ontological inquiry, Marcel made
intersubjectivity as the starting point. The actual mode of presence of being is in
us and around us. Through the act of existing, things and persons become
present in many ways. Existence is not cut off from being, but it is not a medium
for being, and being is not given in existence. Essence and existence are
correlative and coextensive, perhaps, in thought. We need to acknowledge the
determining existence and active, flowing essence of experience. Marcel
employs the term active essence when he refers to the union of essence and
existence. The doctrine of real essence demands to be critically re-examined.
What is worth noting in Marcel is the significance he gives to contemplation as
having rights alongside human action. This momentous corollary is not
established in other existentialists.
Marcel believes that the basic human existentials are relational in
structure. Human existence is in the world with others, or intersubjectivity, and
constantly in a dynamic situation. He differentiated the analysis of a thing from
the analysis between people. He held that the physical world couldnt be
reductively analyzed by gathering empirical datas that are externally juxtaposed
in space and time. Real relations between things do not make any difference.
Relationship between people makes a difference. Relational structures permeate
into the intrinsic being of each individual. Psychologists considered the
intentional or relational structure of noetic activity only as a state of

Some people might refer to this as an outrageous
oversimplification of relationships.
What is interesting with Marcel is his significant distinction between our
own historic human world and the universe taken as a whole. This is,
however, not an advanced perspective. Here, he only tries to expose that he has
discarded the non-mental but pragmatic subjectivism that focuses on practical
reason. In his understanding, the world is in relation to our action. He affirms
the authentic existence of these relations. Thus, there is a striking difference
between the world and the universe. The latter is more comprehensive. It is
accessible not by action but in theoretical and purely contemplative viewpoint.
Faith, Hope, and Love
Faith enables us to say that we believe in a transcendent reality, even
though the existence of a transcendent reality is a mystery. Faith is belief that is
not based on proof. Faith is distinct from opinion. Faith is not to believe that, but
to believe in. If we believe in something, we place our faith in it, and thus we are
changed in our sense of being. The significance of faith is not an escape but as a
means of standing firm and of rallying those with philosophic vision. Marcel
suggests that a human being must be confident, develop an obedient trust in the
reality, power and love of God known through his acts, and a waiting of their
future consummation. Faith, for Marcel is a movement from the closed to the
open. To believe is to open a credit in the favor of, to place oneself at the
disposal of. It is taking a fundamental engagement, which turns upon what I
am, and I open myself to a personal or supra-personal reality. Faith opens the
human person to an authentic and a transcendent reality. It implies humility and
prayer. Humility is a mode of being which includes a recognition by the self of
its own finiteness, and an affirmation of the sacred. Prayer is a form of spiritual
communion with God. Authentic prayer is neither a selfish request, nor a
mechanical recitation, but is a way of uniting ourselves with God.
Freedom is the ability to act significantly because it contributes to making
us who we are as human beings. Freedom is not merely doing what we want.
Freedom is not merely the ability to make an arbitrary choice, because there is no
freedom if everything that can be chosen is insignificant. Freedom is the ability
to make significant choices. Freedom is given to us by God. Marcel believes that
a careful analysis of moral feeling and moral action as capable of having man
realized that their own best acts presuppose a faith in something transcendent.
His disposition causes him to do his own work well. Our knowledge of existence
is gained only with the cooperation of sense and feeling. In actual life, sense and
reason never work separately, but always in combination.
He does not restrict the action of hope. Hope is a prophetic assurance that
the intersubjective destiny is called upon to continue its progress. It is a response
against a state of captivity. Man must realize their potential and establish
amicable and supportive links in what must for survivals sake develop into a
community. It is in relation to this situation that the indissoluble unity of faith,

hope and charity must be noted. In addition, for Marcel, the purer faith is, the
closer it comes to the spirit of truth, as the light of salvation. Salvation is nothing
if it is not liberation from death. This liberation could take place only on a supraterrestrial plane and dimensions, which are not those of history.

Jean-Paul Sartre56 (1905 1980)

Jean-Paul Sartre was born on June 21,1905 in Paris. He lost his father at
an early age. His grandfather, Carl Schweitzer, raised him. Sartre was an
awkward child and cross-eyed. His mother would find a place that other kids
would accept him, but usually to no avail. So, Sartre immersed himself in
reading and writing. He was educated at Ecole Normale Superieure. Some of his
classmates became prominent writers. After graduation in 1929, he devoted
himself to writing and editing the Journal Les Temps (Modern times). He also
studied at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and the French Institute in
Berlin. Sartre taught in Le Havre, Laon, and Paris. After completing his
education in France and teaching for several years, he went to Berlin where he
studied German philosophy, laying the groundwork for the version of
existentialism that he would later develop. During World War 11, he was active
in the French resistance movement against the German leader of the French
intellectual avant-garde, whose unofficial headquarters were the sidewalk cafes
on the Parisian Left Bank. During the post world war 11, he showed concern for
the poor and the oppressed. In 1947, he became an independent Socialist; critical
of both the USSR and U.S.A. Sartre was a great thinker who was profoundly
sensitive to ontological problems, a master of dialectic and a really great
psychologist. In recognition of his many novels and plays, Sartre was awarded
the Nobel Prize for literature, in 1964, an honor he refused to accept. He tried
to apply communism and remained active in political movements until the
70s,when he became blind and his health deteriorated. He died in April of 1980
of a lung tumor.
Man exists for only man can stand Man exists, turns up, appears on the
out of his existence and evaluate his scene and only afterwards defines
own existence.
himself. Hence, man exists first and
gradually creates and defines by his
own essence.
Mans existence is different from
other objects in the world.
Sartrean Existentialism: Main Tenets
1. Existence precedes essence
Sartre advocated existentialism. Existentialists employed a heavy stress
on subjectivity. It emphasizes that the only route to truth in the sphere of human
existence is through the individual persons own personal participation; i.e., man
must start with his own existence. Mans knowledge of being must start with his
own personal being. Sartre believes that existence precedes essence meaning;

man exists, turns up, appears on the scene and only afterwards defines himself
[Sartre, The Humanism of Existentialism from Essays on Existentialism, 35-36].
Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. Rather than being an essence,
man is the structureless phenomenon of consciousness in the world. Man as
consciousness, as a for-itself, is purely transparent, volatile self-projection
continually negating the staticity, structure and heaviness of the in-itself [John
Kavanaugh]. Man at the start is a plan which is aware of itselfnothing exists
prior to this plan [Sartre, From Essays on Existentialism, 36]. Man is nothing at
birth and throughout his life he is more than the sum of his past commitments.
To believe in anything outside his own will is to be guilty of bad faith.
Existentialist despair and anguish is the acknowledgment that man is condemned
to freedom. There is no God, so man must rely upon his own fallible will and
moral insight. Man is born without essence or human nature since there is no
God to conceive of such a nature, which determines human conduct or behavior.
What he is and what he can possibly be is not the actualization of a divine plan,
which has existed long before creation in the mind of a divine artificer. Man is
only what he wills himself to be after the thrust towards existence. There is no
God who provides the guidelines and rules. How do value exist? It is man and
himself alone that determine what is right or wrong.
Sartre visualizes existence precedes essence. He was talking about
individual human beings. His contention was that we have no common human
nature or essence but that we were thrown in the world (existence) to make of
ourselves what we can. Man prefers to be what he is by the plan, which he
chooses. Responsibility is precisely the effect of what we do (freedom). We are
responsible for the movement of our lives. We are in a forward motion that is
always in a process and always moving away. Our being is on our hands. We
have the capacity to control. We are capable of handling and directing. The free
man lives out his existential nothingness and becomes what he really is. He is
dynamic, fluid and ever creative. Thus, in Sartres ethics of pure freedom, man
exercises his fundamental option to choose his motives and reasons, as the
situation requires. There is no sense of commitment in decision-making thus
retaining the negative mobility of what he essentially is. He forgets his past and
moves on to a creative future. Those who exercise maximum freedom are
capable of dispensing themselves to illusions.
2. Consciousness
Consciousness is a being such that in its being, its being is in question in
so far as this being implies a being other than itself; a being the nature of which
is to be conscious of its being. Consciousness alludes to an existence other than
its own and to its own existence as a question. It is this relation of the pour soi to
the en soi that is the foundation and only condition of knowledge and action.
Knowledge is necessarily intuition, the presence of consciousness to the object,
which it is not. This is the original situation of all experience. Before the object

is defined and interpreted, consciousness constitutes itself by separating itself
from it.
a. Consciousness is always a consciousness of something. This entails that
for consciousness there is no being outside of that precise obligation to
be a revealing intuition of something, of a transcendent being.
b. Subjectivity is consciousness of consciousness.
c. Consciousness is characterized by the distance it creates from being-initself by overcoming its passivity. Thus consciousness nihilates or
negates being-in-itself.
d. Consciousness is nothingness. There is no set of permanent entity, which
is the human self.
For Sartre, human life is unhappy consciousness. It is a useless passion. Sartre
declined Freuds notion that certain mental events have unconscious causes.
Emotions are not outside the control of our wills. If one is sad, he chooses to be
sad. We are responsible for our emotions and behavior. Man is free and being
conscious of this fact engenders pain or anguish. We try to evade the
consciousness of our own freedom.
3. The Two Modes of Being
a. Being-in-itself (en-soi) found in the transphenomenal realm,
being as neither active nor passive; it just is; It harbors no
potentiality. It is completely unrelated to anything else, and without
relation, it is without meaning. En soi is conceived as an absolute
plenum with no potency, no real relations to anything beyond. In
itself, the appearance is complete. Other appearances is usually
added, each of which is fixed and finished. It leads to a perspective
of being in itself (en soi) as a finished continuum fully in act, and
lacking all power and potency.
b. Being-for-Itself (pour-soi) the realm of the human being,
characterized by consciousness and freedom, which enable man to
decide meaning for himself by the choices he makes. By nurturing
his own meaning, man gives himself his own existence; hence, the
term existential pertains to the being of man and existentialism to the
philosophy of human existence.
Sartre made a distinction between a sub-human en soi as a finished
continuum fully in act, and a human pour soi that is purely potential nothingness,
is enlarged to an exaggerated opposition that twists his own ontology. If being is
something that cannot be distinguished, then, the determinate structure or finite
difference has no room in it. There is no distinction of one thing from another.
All such distinctions must be considered to be the designs of the pour soi, which
literally has its own world. If this expanse of being is fully in act, it cannot be
compel of anything it demands. Negation and privation is not grounded in
reality. They must be considered to the negativity of human existence. In this
case, Sartre is simply assuming without argument. Had he tried to use his

phenomenological method, then, he noticed right away their empirical
insufficiency since each finite structure is limited and could be the ontological
ground for negative judgments. In examining basic principles, he will not take
for granted that potencies are not nothing, but they are marked by an absence of
realization. Without acknowledging them, the fact of physical change becomes
Sartres denial of physical potency made him adopt an even more
subjective principle construed to be of adequate reason. The en soi has neither
internal structure nor causal powers. It cannot act nor be the ground of anything.
Actions seem to be confined to man. Beyond the progressive course of human
freedom, there is no real basis concerning the whole idea of foundation. Things
cannot be otherwise than they are. The pour soi is free. It always prefers to
make a choice otherwise. This is the meaning of the question why. The only
solution to the problem depends on the arbitrary choice of some kind, which has
no intelligible foundations. Thus, there is no foundation for both the en soi,
which is simply there, and the pour soi with its caprices.
Sartre anticipated all the corresponding consequences, and focuses more
on radical contingency of our world, which lacks any reason for being.
Everything is absurd. Sartre held this is as a truth of all being. Here, he
acknowledges the principle of adequacy as something more than a peculiar habit
of the pour soi. Things, for Sartre, have to have a foundation. It is a necessity,
but such foundations cannot be located. This is illogical with subjectivism. If
adequate reason is not really demanded, there is no significance to maintain that
the universe is absurd. Sartres perspective here is either self-contradictory or
4. Sartrean Atheism Sartre defines God as a being-in-itself. As such, it
involves a contradiction. God as a being-in-itself-for-itself. He is anitself insofar as the concept presupposes that He be an existing entity,
complete in Himself, massive and totally unrelated. It manifests
perfection and fullness of being, however it is unconscious. On the other
pole, he must be for-itself, insofar as he must be completely free and not
beholden to anything else. The for-itself is conscious and ontologically
emerges after the in-itself. It is fundamentally a lack of being and
insufficient. This very lack is articulated in desire. God to be a perfect
being must have the same qualities of the in-itself and the for-itself.
Since such a synthesis is impossible for the reason that it involves a
contradiction. He cannot be both conscious and unconscious. He cannot
be both fullness of being and lack of being. The logical conclusion must
be to deny the existence of such a being.
Idealistic Atheism absence of an idea of God
Materialist Atheism passing from the absence of an idea of God to the
conception of being that is left among things and is not set apart from them by a
divine consciousness that contemplates them and causes them to exist.

Sartres idea of God can be synthesized in these propositions: God as a
perfect being is a contradiction and the idea of God as a creator denies man of the
opportunity to create his own essence through his freedom. The affirmation of
Gods existence would deny the recognition of mans freedom. Hence Gods
existence must be negated.
Sartre also described God, the creator as superior artisan. When he
creates, he knows exactly what he is creating. When God created man he knows
exactly the nature of man, and man cannot be but what God created him to be. If
God does not exist there is nobody to define human nature.
Man is an alien in the universe, unjustified and unjustifiable, absurd in the
simple sense that there is no Leibzian reason to explicate why he or his universe
5. Freedom and Responsibility
Man is freedom. Man is condemned to be free: human beings are
essentially free and free to deny the given features of the world. The world does
not give meaning to individuals. One must take meaning for oneself. Man
condemned to be free carries the whole world. Responsibility is translated into
commitment. Man is nothing else than what he makes of himself. Man is the
summation of his free acts. Through freedom, meaning enters the world. Man is
an ongoing project. Existence is an ongoing creation of freedom. Man is a being
in situation. Freedom is limited by facticity (freedom, responsibility, necessity of
commitment, to live with other men, to labor, to die). Man (the essence of man)
experiences subjectivity, freedom, anguish, abandonment and despair. Anguish is
the feeling that man cannot escape from the sense of complete and profound
responsibility, upon the realization that he is not jus defining himself, but is at the
same time defining man, every time he acts. Hell is other people. No exit.
There is no positive human relationship can be established because in each
relationship, the individuals freedom is at stake and subjectivity because in every
human relationship, one struggles to master the will of the other to serve his
desires. Freedom is limited by facticity. Ones place, body, past position and
fundamental relationship to the other as among the facticities of freedom. The
other is a danger to ones freedom. The look of the other objectifies one and
engenders his subjectivity. A person has an option to absorb others freedom as
in love or try to objectify him, as in sadism. So, no exit. Being to another
belongs to the very being of man. When this relationship is analyzed, the other
pushes against ones freedom. The other helps establish ones freedom, also
destroys it. Being for itself and being for another shatter each other.
6. Sartres theory of the universe
An individual in his solitariness must confront a universe devoid of purpose:
There is no ultimate meaning or purpose inherent in human life. This sense of
life is absurd. We are abandoned in the world to look after ourselves completely.
Sartre insisted that the only foundation for values is human freedom, and that

there can be no external or objective justification for the values anyone chooses
to adopt.
7. Existence is nausea
The word nausea is employed for the individuals recognition of the pure
contingency of the universe, and the word anguish is employed for the
recognition of the total freedom of choice that confronts the individual at every
8. Sartrean Humanism
God limits mans freedom. Gods existence turns our freedom as an illusion.
The look of God objectifies man. This takes away his capacity to be selfcreative. Man invents God to account for meaning in the world. Man is haunted
by cosmic nothingness, which he alone cannot solve. Man necessitated inventing
a concept, which can explicate the unexplainable, including the origin of the
world. Man is a useless passion for he tends towards the impossible synthesis of
the in-itself and the for-itself
In Sartres analysis of individual human self-creativity, existentialism is a
configuration of two divergent paths, one Christian and the other atheistic. Much
existentialism writing has been in the form of literary pieces (plays, novels, short
stories) rather than philosophical treatises.
9. Being and Nothingness
Sartre conceived human beings who create their own world by rebelling against
authority and by accepting personal responsibility for their actions, unaided by
society, traditional morality, or religious faith. Differentiating between human
existence and the non-human world, he adhered that human existence is
characterized by nothingness, i.e., by the capacity to negate and rebel. His theory
of existential psychoanalysis affirmed the inevitable responsibility of all
individuals for their own discretions and establishes the recognition of ones
absolute freedom of choice the essential situation for authentic human existence.
10. Man as inventor of values
Freedom and acceptance and acceptance of personal responsibility are the main
values in life and that individuals must rely on their creative powers rather than
on social or religious authority.
11. Sartres viewpoint shifted from existentialist freedom and subjectivity
to Marxist social determinism
Sartre held that the influence of modern society over the individual is so great as
to generate serialization, by which he meant loss of self. Individual power and
freedom can only be regained through group revolutionary action.
12. Sartrean phenomenological ontology
This alludes to the study of being through its appearances. Phenomenon for
Sartre alludes tot eh totality of appearances of a thing. The objects of
consciousness, the phenomena, the appearances of things, disclose what is really
there as it really is.

For Sartre, God does not change. Men are verbs, events, projects, and
process. Freedom is precisely that unavoidable movement toward one state of
achievement. Freedom is the activity of passage. For Sartre, the challenge is no
stoppage. Responsibility is precisely the effect of what we do (freedom). Hence,
the existentialism of Sartre is frightening because of his atheism.

Engelbert Van Croonenberg [Cruz, 82-84]

The following viewpoints are taken from the elucidation of Cruz on the
philosophy of Croonenberg:
1. The experience of ones own existence only through his own being that
man experiences reality. The experience of self constitutes a number of
modalities. There is one basic experience which establishes the
possibility of others and without which there is no possibility. It is the
experience of ones own existence.
2. To exist is to stand out through his existence man is elevated above the
abyss of nothingness. Man is now and lives on the dividing line
between past and present. Man is an embodied being, fundamentally
related to a body. Man is above all subhuman beings. Man is elevated
from the lower plane of his existence and incur consciously beyond
himself into being of which he partakes.
3. Man and his body Cruz cited Croonenberg on the significance of
possession. I have a body means I cannot dispose my body the way I
can dispose a book. I is not equal to my body. I am more than my
4. Being-in-the world accessibility and communicability with things and
persons. I am part of the space structure and time constellation, which are
inherent in this world.
5. Being-in-situation alludes to the zone of reality which is influenced by
me and influences me. Many elements of my circumstances are not of
my own making. I did not choose my parents, my country, my birthday.
There are elements where my free action is decisive: choice of my
friends, my interest, my activities.
6. I and my life I am more than my life. I live my life ( I am the master of
my life) is distinct from my life is lived (I am a slave dictated by others,
e.g. advertisements).
7. A value to be realized within ourselves Authentic unfolding occurs in
he here and now of the concrete milieu. Cruz cited an example: Our
giving way to a driver during peak hours is such a value realized only
within ourselves.
8. Values we have and values we are values we have are on the object
sphere, while values we are are on the subject sphere, thus, enhance our
9. The vocation of man the perfecting of life and personality to the full
measure to which he has been destined.

10. Creative fidelity the actual continuation of the original dedication to
ones personal vocation. Cruz envisaged fidelity as loyalty to a given
word and commitment that is dynamic and creative. Cruz alluded to
creativity as mans being a homo viator necessitating transformation and
incessant progress to authenticity. Creative is synonymous to mans
competence to adapt to constantly diverging situations in life.
11. Pain and suffering the proper dispositions are: acceptance, for it
constitutes existential value, and attempt to discover their meaning in
your life.
12. Being-unto-death its full meaning is alluded only in connection to life
of which it is the end. Man envisions life as influential in his
apprehension of death.
13. Gain in loss the development of the human personality is a
combination of joy and pain. It is attaining higher ideals by giving up
lower ideals due to the peculiar structure of man, where the materiality
and spirituality are the two antipodes.
14. A super-temporal dimension the commitment of man to his personal
vocation influences his discretion. It is rooted on the permanency of his
being. He transcends the shifting elements of time and space. He
apprehends that with he emergence of his spirit his real self will discover
its peak of expression.

3. Process Philosophy

The description can be held to apply to any philosophical viewpoint that

emphasizes event, becoming and relatedness as basic categories for its
understanding rather than those of substance and being.

The Philosophy of Charles Hartshorne57

Charles Hartshorne is a philosopher-theologian (the foremost advocate of
process philosophy). He was born on June 5, 1897 in Pennsylvania. He edited
the Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce in 1931-35. He became an
assistant to Alfred North Whitehead. In 1928, he accepted a position in the
Philosophy Department of the University of Chicago. He developed a process
theology, which he calls a neoclassical theism maintaining Gods real relation to
the world. God is in the world, the world is in God.
I Introduction
1. Central to the message of the biblical testimony is the religious view
Deus est Caritas. God loves us and truly cares for us and even endured
suffering and death to save us from our sins. This attests that indeed God
is not only the Creator but also likewise, a personal Lord and Saviour
who is infinitely sensitive and responsive to our prayers and needs.
2. In itself, god as related to the world (whatness) is unproblematic. The
difficulty arises, however, on the elucidation of such notion (how ness).
Philosophically speaking, it is in the field of natural

theology/philosophical theology *(which rationally investigates gods
existence, nature and attributes) in which notion of divine revelation is
formally discussed. For its exegesis should not only pass logical validity
and consistency but more importantly, it should conform religiously
speaking to the tenets of Christian faith. Hence, reason is enlightened by
faith and faith enlightened by reason.
3. The problem of divine relation gives rise to both questioning as well as
thought. Is God really related to the world? The answer to this query
would determine particularly a concept of Divine Nature and attributes.
Hence, we ask, what kind of God is a God truly related with the world?
II Classical Doctrines and their Problems
A. Classical Doctrines
1. In their search for the arche/logos, the unifying principle of all things, the
ultimate reason for the existence and continuing existence of all, the PreSocratic considered everything in the cosmos as a manifestation of the
divine. Hence, their material fundamental stuff is likewise the divine
principle itself.
2. Greek Philosophy has defined perfection as unchanging and imperishable
reality, the eternal possession of so great a value that no increase or
decrease is possible. This perfection is attributed to the Supreme Being
or God. In this regard, Aristotle denied Gods knowledge of contingent
beings for contingents, being the object of divine knowledge would
qualify change and hence imperfection in Gods nature. Ergo, God is not
related to the world.
3. St. Thomas Aquinas continued Aristotles lead and maintained no mutual
relationship between God and the world: creatures alone are related to
God but God is not related to creatures (for relation connotes
dependence). Creatures alone are really related (dependent) on God as
the Creator and Sustainer of their existence and continuing existence.
The dictum God is not related to (dependent on) creatures is but a
logical conclusion derived from Gods nature: such a relation in God
could neither be identical with His substance for (a) this would mean
depending on creatures for His existence and (b) in sharing His substance
with the world, the world becomes God; nor can this be predicamental
relation for God as Plenitude cannot receive something from the
creatures. Through the statement God without relation affirms His
Transcendence, He is immanent and intimately present in the world for
existence is their most intimate aspect.
4. Spinoza tried to make sense of Gods relation to the world by making the
world necessary and infinite. In this way, God is preserved from
contingency brought about by relation since the object of his knowledge

and love is not a contingent and corruptible world, but infinite and
necessary (for God and the world now form one substance).
B. Problems
1. Pantheism identifies God and the world. This is the lot shared by the
Pre-Socratic and Spinoza. However, God is not the matter of the world
lest God becomes the world. In this regard, there is no more sense of
talking about God and the world and their relation for their distinction is
diminished by equating them.
2. Aristotle and St. Thomas denied Gods relation to the world to preserve
Divine Transcendence for contingent relations imply contingency and
hence imperfection. God becomes as wholly other than the world the
remote, unconcerned and indifferent God. what seems to be the lack of
responsiveness which is a defect has been made a perfection in God.
further, If God contains everything that is, He can only give but never
receive. Hence, how can human offerings of love and devotion to God
make a difference and have meaning on God? If God does not even
know the world (having contingency as object in the Divine Knowing)
how can he ever love the world?
C. Theistic Solution
1. To maintain a distinction between God and the world (and hence assert
Divine Transcendence) while at the same time affirm Gods relation to
the world (and hence uphold Divine Immanence) is to synthesize the
claims of classical theism and pantheism. This view is called
panentheism. This religious belief professes God as including the world
in His reality while at the same time transcending it. God is the soul of
the cosmos and the cosmos is the body of God. Since the cosmos is in
evolution and God includes it in His reality, God is likewise in the
process of evolution. Though God remains absolute, He is related,
supremely relative to all. Panentheism literally all in God is the
claim of Process Theology/Neoclassical Theism envisioned by Charles
Hartshorne inspired by the process metaphysics and theology of Alfred
North Whitehead.
III Worldview of Process Thought
a. Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) has been acknowledged as the
Father of Contemporary Process Philosophy. Process Philosophy or
Process Thought generally seeks to explain the nature of reality in
constant flux, development, interactive and a network of relation. It
is grounded on the findings of evolutionary science maintaining an
endless process of growth of the whole cosmos. From the initial
point of coming to be the hypothetical Big Bang the universe has
not ceased in its creative advance. Ergo, reality is veritably a world
in process it is hardly complete fixed, static totally ordered and
determined in its full complexity.

b. The actual occasions of experience are the building blocks of the
universe. The many past events are integrated in the events of the
present and in turn taken up by future events. Hence, the many
become one and are increased by one. The (unit) experience as the
building block of the universe contains in it various perception and
memories of preceding experiences. The many (experiences)
referred here are the perceived and remembered happenings. That
they become one explains that these past experiences are embraced
together in a new unit experience here and now. When the unified
present experience becomes past, it becomes an object for future
experiences to take. Hence, increased by one explains the past
unified experience abiding to other past experiences ready again to
be embraced in a new experience. Hence, the world is in the
making, synthesizing pluralistic reality, which, at least as it gets
unified, becomes pluralistic and so can never be finally unified.
c. Reality is but a creative synthesis. The synthesis here refers to the
holding of the past data of experiences. Hence, there is a great deal
of permanence for the past endures in the present making the present
partially determined. The creative feature of reality refers to the
unification of these past experiences, which affects a different entity.
Though the past experiences may restrict the possible outcome of an
event, they never specify it with absolute precision.
d. Reality is dipolar in nature it possesses an abstract and concrete
character. The former refers to the identity of such an actual
occasion, which endures through time. The latter specify the everchanging actual reality in an endless process of growth.
e. Creativity (Whitehead)/ Creative Synthesis (Hartshorne) is a
process metaphysical category explaining reality. It is universal
pervading all entities. God is the supreme exemplification, not an
exemption to this category.
IV Process Theology: The God who Truly Knows and Loves His Creatures
A. Process Theology
1. Process Theology is a philosophical theology explaining the relationship
God has to the world. Hartshorne termed this theistic position as
neoclassical theism, which in nature is a rival religious doctrine (vs.
classical theism) rather than an irreligious one. Neoclassical Theism is
panentheistic, God including the contingent world in his reality as object
of his knowledge and love. Hence, a truly relative God is a changing
2. Process Theology upholds a dipolar conception of God: the
primordial/abstract aspect and the consequent/concrete aspect. The
former refers to Gods eternal existence, which remains absolute,
immutable, necessary and infinite. The latter speaks of Gods actuality

as inclusive of the contingent world to which He is related. Ergo, in
some respects, God is said to be relative, mutable, contingent and finite.
Hence, with this dipolar view, God is both absolute and relative,
immutable and mutable, necessary and contingent, infinite and finite
both in an eminent and excellent unsurpassable by any creatures.
3. Affirming relativity and hence mutability in God is not an imperfection
but a perfection:
a. Change in God does not entail corruption or deterioration for
God can only increase in value.
b. Change in God is an eminent form of change in the context of
unsurpassiblity. He cannot be surpassed by others in love,
knowledge and power (for only God Himself can surpass
Himself for He himself is in process)
c. Change in God is compatible with the religious notion of the
God of love who does not only give love but is able to receive
mans offering of love and devotion. Hence, being affected and
thus changed by the world is a form of perfection for God is
responsive to and hence sharing in the joys and sorrows of all.
B. Divine Relation to the World
1. Essential to Hartshornes Neoclassical Doctrine of Divine Relation is his
notion of panpsychism. All occasions are psychic i.e., every actual
entity from God to the most insignificant physical occasion is a
responding, valuing and creative subject. Hence, every level of existence
is constituted by social relationship. God is then described as the
supremely social being that alone is related to all creatures, conscious
of all that happens, and is both an influence on them and influenced by
I Divine Knowledge
a. Knowing is a relationship which unites the knower and the
known. In knowing us, god includes us in himself. Hence, we
are in God by being objects of his love and knowledge.
b. God (in his primordial/abstract aspect) is infinite in knowing
future potentials the possible as possible. But He is finite (in
his consequent/concrete aspect) for He knows events as they
happen the actual as actual. Hence, Gods knowledge of the
world grows as the world grows.
c. For the past to be perfectly retained, a perfect memory is needed
and this is the divine memory. God takes into himself these
events and makes unsurpassable good use of these phases for his
own life and in furnishing the creatures with such guidance.
II Divine Power
a. Gods power is an unsurpassable power, but this does not amount
to a denial of real power among creatures. It is a Power

among real powers. God does provide a room for freedom in
delegating decision making to creatures.
III Divine governance of the World
a. Instead of God preordaining everything from the beginning to
end, He allows genuine freedom, guiding the creatures towards
attaining their goal. This guidance is the divine Lure
accompanying the creatures toward achieving their maximal
b. God experiences and remembers the whole of reality giving it
unity and cohesion.
c. Through this experiencing and remembering, god provides an
ever-enriched fund of material, offering these opportunities to
d. With the influence of ones past experiences guided by the
Divine Lure, God respects creaturely freedom.

Alfred North Whitehead58 (1861-1947)

Whitehead employs an empirical methodology. His metaphysical
understanding is gained through locating to identify by empirical analysis those
elements that are relevant to experience as human bodies, stable and universally
recurring. He insisted on the interrelatedness of all reality and human
knowledges exclusive concern with relatedness.
The perceiver is a natural organism reacting to the world around him.
Mans experience of that world is of durations (events). Change is unintelligible.
In change the past flows into the present, as durations can. The past remains
fixed and determined. The future is open and indeterminate. Mans freedom can
alter the course of events. Religion helps us maintain the significance of our
individual experience within the social relationships and flowing experience of

Henri Bergson59 (1859-1941)

Henri Bergson was a French philosopher and Nobel laureate who
advanced a theory of evolution grounded on the spiritual dimension of human
life. In his Creative Evolution, he depicted the entire problem of human
existence and defining the mind as pure energy, the lan vital or vital force,
responsible for all organic evolution. Bergsonism is categorized as an original
and an eclectic philosophy. Bergson did accentuated on the indispensability of
intuition over intellect, as he fostered the idea of two contradicting currents: inert
matter in compulsion with organic life as the vital urge strives toward free
creative action.
Bergson was concerned with time. Conceptualized time is a straight line
with moments as its points; experienced time is duration, not a succession of
moments, and it flows in an indivisible continuity. Its phases melt into one
another and form an organic whole.

He expounded a nonmechanistic portrait of biological evolution,
propelled toward higher levels of organization by an inner vital impulse. He
carried this processive approach on morality wherein he distinguished between
static and dynamic morality. Static is a morality of obligation. Behavior is
sanctioned by an ordered community. Dynamic is a morality of attraction issuing
from mystical experience. The vital impulse, which is communicated from God
to others through the mystic, generates a dynamic morality guided by a vision of
humanity as a whole.
In human knowledge, there is intellection (exclusive to man), and
intuition (commonality with animals). Intellection defines and fixes the data of
experience; scientific knowledge is merely an elevated aspect of intellection.
Intuition is a direct acquaintance of the object. It configures sensible intuition
(common to man and animals) and aesthetic intuition (a spiritual act which is
exclusive to man). Bergson adjunct another form intuition known as
philosophical intuition giving us preconceptual knowledge of things. It is a vital
intuition for it alludes to life in an aspect of a fluid of incessant whole immersing
all things together with ourselves. It attempts to understand the stream of life
itself [De La Torre, 288-299].
Bergson attempted to prove the independence of the psyche from its
physiological conditions. He differentiated memory, which s a faculty of the
spiritual soul, from habit, which is a bodily disposition. Habits fix certain acts
through mechanical reiteration. Persons affected by verbal surdity, which is the
inability to remember the meaning of words, are not incapable of hearing.
Persons affected by aphasia or the inability to coordinate meaningful words, can
hear and grasp words, but cannot utter them even if they have no physical
obstruction to do so. The soul is independent from the body. It is spiritual, not
material and it is free. The immediate data of consciousness are quality, duration
and liberty. It can be apprehended only through a spiritual intuition, which
surpasses material nature and its interpretation, by intelligence and science (De
La Torre, 299].
The vital intuition corresponds the vital impulse, which accounts for the
evolution of the world. Evolution must be creative not a fixed and predictable
process. Bergson regarded morality as historical facts, as the mores and beliefs
of peoples employing a simple description, not assessment. In vital and creative
experience, the first phase is the sphere of the common man. A number of people
are capable of appreciating what should be against what is. This is known as a
feeble intuition of morality. The next phase an intuition of the divine or the
religious. Only the mystics constitute abounding experience of God, but the rest
of men can profit from their experience. The existence of God is an intensifying
probability from the rational perspective, becomes a living experience by sharing
in the gifts of the mystics [De La Torre, 300].

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin60 (1881-1955)

Teilhard was born on May 1, 1881. Educated at Jesuit Schools in France
and England, he also studied his doctorate in Paleontology in Paris. He was a
French Roman Catholic Priest, geologist, paleontologist, and philosophertheologian, noted for his evolutionary interpretation of humanity and the universe
and his insistence that such a view is compatible with Christianity. His teaching
career was terminated because his views wee considered as unorthodox by his
religious superiors. He became a researcher in China and was associated with the
Werner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research in New York.
Scientific evolutionary theory is the key to Teilhards perspective.
Evolution is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems
must bow and which they must satisfy if they are to be conceivable and true.
Evolution is a light illuminating all facts. Matter, he argued, has always obeyed
those great laws of biology (the law of complexification). He interpreted
evolution as a purposive process in which the matter-energy of the universe has
incessantly changed in the direction of accelerating complexity. With the
emergence of humanity, evolutionary development entered a new dimension.
From the biosphere (the layer of living things covering the earth) has spring the
noosphere (a mind layer surrounding the earth). This mind layer, or human
consciousness, generates increasingly complex social arrangements that
engendered a higher consciousness. The evolutionary process culminates in the
convergence of the material and the spiritual into a super consciousness known as
the Omega Point. By his love, this God-Omega attracts and bestows direction to
the entire evolutionary process. Such love is evident in the universal Christ.
Man is the only indispensable connection between the physical order and
the spiritual one. Without man the universe is a howling wasteland contemplated
by an unseen Deity. Man is a very special phenomenon. He is a being who
knows, he is also a being who knows that he knows. Nothing exists in pure
isolation. His evolutionary thought configures: first, pre-life constitutes the
elements of the universe, existence, spiritual energy and the juvenile earth;
second, life a composite of the advent of life, its extension and intricacy; third,
thought depicts the distinctive spheres of man and modern earth as well as
viewpoints in life. Man is a thinking being; fourth, super life alludes to the
spirit of the earth, the convergence of the person and the omega point and man
and the ultimate earth [Cruz, 68].
Cruz cited Huxley to interpret de Chardins philosophy: first, Noogenesis
the gradual evolution of the mind; second, Cosmogenesis gradual evolution
of the cosmos; third, Hominization denotes the process by which the original
proto-human stock becomes (and is still becoming) more truly human; fourth,
Noosphere the sphere of the mind that is in contradictory to the biosphere
which is the sphere of life; fifth, convergence denotes the inclination of man,
during its evolution, to superpose centripetal on centrifugal trends so as to hinder
centrifugal distinction from leading to fragmentation. Cruz interpreted this as
alluding to man mating with human beings, unlike other creatures like insects or

birds mating with other species thus generating a number of varieties of their
kind; sixth, complexification includes the genesis of the rising organization
during the cosmogenesis: from subatomic units to atoms, from atoms to inorganic
and later to organic molecules; thence to first subcellular living units to cells, to
multicellular individuals, to cephalized metazoa with brains, to primitive men, to
civilized societies Cruz [69-70].

4. Neo-Realism [De La Torre, 303-312]

Ideal Realism: Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841)

What is actually real are the qualities which underlie the body. Such
underlying entities are unchangeable. Reals are disparate, even contradictory. In
communicating with others each attempts to preserve its identity and influence
others simultaneously. Such struggle is known as disturbances. The soul is a
real serving all the actions and reactions, which affect man [De La Torre, 304305].

Logical Realism: Bernhard Bolzano (1781-1848)

Knowledge is not a purely subjective or psychological affair. It alludes
to an objective truth, i.e., logical and mathematical principles, philosophical
concepts or presentations, and of judgments and propositions are true. Bolzano
concurred on the real metaphysics in his assertion on Gods existence, and the
spirituality and immortality of the human soul can be proved by reason [De La
Torre, 305].

Intentional Realism: Franz Brentano (1838-1917)

Brentano regarded sensible intuition as the threshold of all knowledge.
He alludes to another intuition, a spiritual one wherein the essence (individual
essence of a concrete being) itself is perceived. He differentiated psychical acts
into: first, representations - are intentional as they depict something; second,
judgments a greater degree of intentionality for they are assessments of truth or
falsity, i.e., affirmations or negations of something; third, emotions interest,
love or volition. Love is the inclination to possess with the object of our love.
The criterion of truth for Brentano is evidence, the objective allusion of my
physical act, as it manifests itself to me directly and beyond any possibility of
doubt or error. Good and evil are objective qualities, not purely subjective
appreciations. Brentanos Aristotelian formation inclined him to realism [De La
Torre, 306].

American Critical Realism: George Santayana (1863-1952)

The direct object of sensible experience is not the existing object itself,
but an intermediary between the subject and the object known as datum or
essence understood as a character complex or aggregate of all perceptible notes
of the object. Essences for Santayana are the immediate data of experience such
as awareness, which is synonymous in the case of normal perception and in
hallucination. The awareness itself does not convey the characteristics of essence.
Santayana alluded to animal faith, the instinctive and the irrational conviction of

the reality of the world and explicated such faith as practical attitude imposed on
us by our life in the world [De La Torre, 313].

5. Analytic Philosophy 61

Analytic philosophy is a term employed to designate a philosophical

movement, which started in the early years of the twentieth century in England.
Its geographical extension includes England and the commonwealth, America
and the Scandinavia. It has historical ties with British empiricism and the
epistemology of Kant. There are two taproots of analytic philosophy. The first is
indigenous to Britain composed of the logical atomism of Russell and that of
Moore. The second came to Britain through Ludwig Wittgenstein and A.J. Ayer.
There are two main schools of analysis: Logical Positivists and Linguistic
1. Reactions to British Neo-Hegelian Bradley and the basic idealist doctrine
of the internality of relations:

Bertrand Russells Logical Atomism

Russell focused on logic and the idealist principles consequences for
mathematics. He proposed a solution to the philosophical problem: the use of
natural sciences methodology. His tool is symbolic logic. Both Russell and
Moore were trained as Cambridge Platonists or British Idealists following
Bradleys adaptation of Hegels philosophy (Hegelianism). Both believed that
metaphysical truth is not only possible. Both doubted the meaningfulness of
metaphysical abstractions. Both thinkers analyzed the syntactic and semantic
meaning of all linguistic utterances. Russell concentrated on logic and the
idealist principles consequences for mathematics. He proposed a solution to the
philosophical problem by endorsing the use of natural sciences methodology
using symbolic logic. Russell presented through his theory of descriptions and
his theory of types that the logic of ordinary language is misleading with respect
to what there is in the world and what can be said to be meaningful. As a
solution Russell proposed Logical Atomism.
Russells Logical Atomism is an integrated metaphysical theory of his
earlier thesis of logic, semantics and epistemology. It was designed as an
account of the relation between language and reality that clarifies the one-to-one
correspondence between the basic atomic facts that comprises the world and the
simple propositions affirming them.
The basic idea is that the structure of the world is precisely isomorphic
with the structure of a logically perfect language. Obviously, on the structure of
language, we explore and discover the ultimate structure of the world. In such a
language, it corresponds to one and only one name. At the basic sentential sphere
there would be atomic propositions, corresponding to atomic facts.
The configurations of atomic propositions from objects of acquaintance
are of two forms.
1. A particular possessing a property

2. A relation between particulars.
All other propositions are truth functions of atomic propositions. Logical
atomism affirms a correspondence theory of truth: An atomic proposition is true
it corresponds to an actual situation in the world; a complex/molecular
propositions truth is a function of the truth values of the atomic propositions
from which it is a composite of. Thus, p or q is true if at least one of p or q is

Logical Positivism

Positivism is a philosophical viewpoint belonging to the empirical

tradition. It is a system of philosophy advocating theology and metaphysics
belong to earlier or imperfect modes of knowledge whereas positive knowledge
is based on natural phenomena and their spatio-temporal properties and invariant
relations or upon facts as elaborated and verified by methods of the empirical
sciences. It believes that man can have no knowledge of anything, but
phenomena, i.e., of whatever is directly apprehended by the senses. The term
was introduced by the French socialist thinker, Saint-Simon (1760-1825), but
was popularized by his pupil Augusto Comte (1798-1857). Comte argued on the
sociological counterpart of philosophical positivism affirming that science can be
concerned only with facts, not values. Saint-Simon and Comte rejected
Christianity and the existing social systems. Positivism in its various guises
deals with problems of induction, linguistic theory and word/sentence
formulation, analytic vs. synthetic propositions, etc., albeit language remains the
fulcrum of its discussion. In 1900, however, this viewpoint was dismissed and
was replaced by the dominant philosophical viewpoint of idealism.
From 1920, however, a new philosophical school known as Logical
Positivism, revived and extended the older empiricist hostility to metaphysics
and argued that metaphysical claims were literally meaningless because they
declined the verification or falsification by experience. This movement was
associated with the publication of the work of Ayer known as Language, truth
and logic.
Logical Positivism is regarded as the philosophical movement of the
twentieth century. It was an attempt to dispense with metaphysics, the heart and
soul of philosophy, and replaced it with a scientifically based philosophy of
language, to account for all human knowledge and orientation. Logical
Positivism is the earliest branches of Analytic philosophy also known as logical
empiricism, scientific empiricism, neopositivism, and unity of science
movement. The starting point of logical positivism is that the only possible
source of knowledge is our sense experience. All genuine propositions are
reducible to propositions that report direct perception or what is immediately
given in experience. If we have no tangible data, we can make no judgments and
reach no conclusion. We can deal only with what is there. The leading tenet of
logical positivism is the Principle of verifiability, viz., that the meaning of a

proposition lies in its method of verification. Thus, the theory of meaning held in
common by the Logical Positivists is the famous Verifiability Theory of
Meaning. They believed that sentences whose truth cannot be verified by sense
experience are cognitively meaningless. Exceptions to this are statements of
logic and mathematics, which they claim are true by virtue of the meanings of
their words. But these statements do not give us any information about the
world. Since the statements of religion and philosophy are neither verifiable, nor
true by virtue of the meanings of their words. These statements are not
cognitively meaningful. Ethical utterances according to the logical positivists are
emotive. Adherents of Logical Positivism are: Moritz Schlick (the founder and
leader of the Vienna Circle), A.J. Ayer, Rudolf Carnap, Carl Hempel, and Charles
Stevenson. Karl Popper was not a logical positivist but his ideas were similar to
the Logical Positivists.
The Positive Outlook
1. The rejection of absolute knowledge or knowledge of essences.
2. Language is an acquired convention that aids us move about, fixing
definitions in use helpful for the practical manipulation of our world.
3. The massive network of experiential associations, stimuli and symbolic
construction leads to an acquisition of meaningful language.
4. Language is equated and applied as well to natural languages such as
English as well as mathematical systems and computer language.
5. Meaningful knowledge systems evolve grounded upon their practical
utility: the efficiency of the predictive and manipulative power they
facilitate for human populations.
6. An anti-religious and anti-emotional configuration.
Religious or
mystical statements or knowledge about the real world have no empirical
foundation and are in fact cognitively meaningless. Emotion interferes
with the proper unfolding of philosophical contexts.

Linguistic Analysis: Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 1951)

Ludwig Wittgenstein62 is one of the most important philosophers of the 20th

cent. He was born in Vienna in 1889. He studied aeronautical engineering at the
University of Manchester, then, philosophy at Cambridge University. With the
outbreak of the war, he wrote Tractatus-Logico Philosophicus. After the war, he
abandoned philosophy to become a village school teacher in rural Austria for six
years. He then moved to Vienna and became acquainted with Moritz Schlick and
his associates in the Vienna Circle. In 1929 he returned to Cambridge,
received a Ph.D. degree, and once again embarked on a career in philosophy. He
lectured in philosophy At Cambridge from 1930 until 1947. During World War
11, he worked in various British hospitals. Then he returned to rural Ireland to
live in seclusion and write the Philosophical Investigations. He died in 1951.
There are two philosophical Wittgensteins. The early Wittgenstein
(Logical Language) developed a theory of the world called logical atomism.

This theory, influenced by his own work in mathematical logical as well as the
thoughts of Russell, has much in common with the philosophy of logical
positivism, later developed by the members of the Vienna circle. It received its
expression in the Tractatus, which was published in 1921.
Wittgensteins Logical Atomism
In Tractatus, he maintains that the structure of reality determines the
structure of language. It deals with the nature of presuppositions. He sees
meaning and lack of meaning; truth and falsity depend on the formal relationship
wherein propositions stand and correspond to reality. The main argument
focused on the metaphysical queries as from their very nature unanswerable
because they are not queries at all since they fail to fulfill the minimal conditions
of meaningfulness. Philosophy is primarily the activity of clarifying language. It
is not a source of truth about the universe the way science is. The philosophers
only task is to show the person who is puzzled by a metaphysical question that is
meaningless and unanswerable. His theses are as follows:
1. Propositions are pictures. They represent facts pictorially.
2. The elementary propositions into which all meaningful propositions are
ultimately analyzable are composed of names, which are logically proper
3. The world consists of simple objects, which are unanalyzable and which
are bearers of the logically proper names so arranged as to constitute
4. All propositions are truth functions of the elementary proposition that are
composed of logically proper names so configured as to picture a simple
configuration of simple objects.
5. The propositions of logic are tautologies.
6. Many of our utterances that we take to be significant are in fat not so but
are unsayable in that they are not analyzable as logical pictures of simple
7. What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence. Language is
a picture of reality.
Thus, In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein maintained a picture theory of language
wherein language and reality have the same logical structure and framework, i.e.,
correspondence. Language is employed to describe the factual framework of the
world. A proposition is the basic unit of language. All authentic propositions
have sense. The sense of a proposition is a composite of a picture of probable
state of affairs. When analyzed, ordinary languages disclose its underlying
logical form. Hence, the configurations of an elementary proposition are viewed
to be a composite of names.
The configurations of atomic propositions are: sense data, universals and
thoughts (the contents of acts of memory or introspection). Atomic propositions
are fundamental, both logically and justificatory. The mark of atomicity is
simplicity, i.e., unassignability.
Wittgenstein also demanded logical

independence of other atomic propositions. Each atomic proposition is a
composite of at least one name (i.e., singular alluding expression), and at least
one incomplete general expression, such as a property or relation term.
Wittgensteins Ordinary Language Philosophy
But when Wittgenstein returned to philosophy in 1929 after his
experience as a village school teacher, he developed an entirely new theory, now
identified as the late Wittgenstein. This view is known as the philosophy of
ordinary language. Wittgenstein believed that by shifting the expression of
the miraculous from an expression by means of language to the expression by the
existence of language, we cannot express what we want to express and that all we
say about the absolute miraculous remains nonsense. Nonsensical expressions
were not nonsensical because there is no correct expression found yet, but that
this nonsensicality was their very essence. It is better to go beyond the world that
is to say beyond significant language. Whoever tried to write or talk ethics of
Religion was to run against the boundaries of language. This reasoning against
the walls of our cage is perfectly, absolutely hopeless. Ethics so far as it springs
from the desire to say something about the ultimate meaning of life, the absolute
good, the absolute valuable, can be no science. What it says does not add to our
knowledge in any sense. Wittgenstein believed it is a tendency in the human
mind which he personally cannot help respecting deeply and would not, for his
life, ridicule it.
Wittgensteins later philosophy is published in his book Philosophical
Investigation. In his later philosophy, he declined the viewpoint of logical
atomism and explores instead the idea that it is our language that gives us our
conception of reality. There is no uniform structure to language. There are no
presuppositions about the language and the world. He rejected the construction
of artificial symbolic calculi as important for the resolution of philosophical
problems. He focused on the analysis of the forms of ordinary discourse. He did
not retract from his anti-metaphysical stance but his approach changed from mere
demonstration of meaningless of the metaphysical question to description of
languages features, which gave rise to temptations to pose the metaphysical
questions in the first place. The fulcrum of his discussion is on the description of
ordinary language in resolving philosophical problems. The radius of his
influence includes Ryle and Wisdom interest in the analysis of ordinary forms of
speech and Austin who concentrated on the complexity of grammatical
distinctions to be found in the English language.
Wittgenstein visualizes meaning as a function of how we use words:
human purposes and the forms of life in which human beings engage are what
gives language its meaning. There is no final analysis of propositions into
logically proper names that are the names of the simple objects of the world.
Instead, language is viewed as a natural human phenomenon and philosophys
task is of assembling reminders of our actual use of language to demolish the
puzzlement it sometimes generates.

For Wittgenstein, the meaning of words and sentences cannot be
construed through a higher logic. Rather, words verified by the nature of their
relationship to other words and sentences that take the shape and framework of
familiar language patterns. This means that language can be construed as a
complex network of overlapping games played by the interlocutors.
Wittgenstein establishes that claims to truth can only be assessed by the
relative degree of agreement that exists about the rules employed to verify them.

British Neo-Positivism: A.J. Ayer (1910 1989)

A.J. Ayer studied in Vienna and introduced positivism in England. He
encapsulated the main themes of empiricism. The fulcrum of his study is the
verifiability criterion of meaning. It adheres to meaningful utterances as those,
which are in principal testable by empirical observation. Ayer insists that
metaphysical, theological, ethical and aesthetic discourse must be demolished
from philosophy because they are by definition untreatable.
Years later he softened his dogmatic tone and reformulated the criterion of
meaningfulness in the form of a proposal than a dogma. The appeal of
positivism, as an appeal to science and commonsense has weakened, but
scientific advances seemed to threaten humanitys survival. The common sense
attack seems less persuasive, hence its stability and rationality slowly dissipated.
Ayer 63 taught philosophy for many years at Oxford University. Truth and
Logic is perhaps the best-known English composition of the views of the logical
positivists. Ayer was not himself a leader in the movement. Actually positivism
developed in the 1920s in Vienna with a group knows as The Vienna Circle,
whose leader was Moritz Schlick. With the rise of Hitler to power, many of the
members of the Vienna Circle, as well as other positivists from Germany,
emigrated to England and the United States, where they continued their teaching
In order to appreciate the ethical theory of Ayer, one must understand its
philosophical origins. These lie in the epistemological views on influential
movement in the 20th cent. Philosophy, known as logical positivism. Basic to the
positivistic theory is the thesis that empirical science is the sole source of
knowledge. The positivists formulated this thesis in the so-called verification
principle, which holds that if a synthetic (substantive or informative) proposition
is to be cognitively meaningful, it must be capable in principle of being verified
by an appeal to empirical evidence. Any statement that fails to satisfy the
requirements of the verification principle must be discarded as a mere pseudo
proposition, lacking cognitive significance. The positivists used the verification
principle as the chief weapon in a broadside attack against traditional philosophy.
The pervasive error committed by the great thinkers in Western tradition,
according to the positivists, is their attempt to construct metaphysical
explanations of reality. These theories, which purport to convey knowledge
about the world, are incapable of empirical verification. Hence, they are only

pseudo-theories, having no cognitive significance whatsoever. As the positivists
usually put it: traditional philosophy is nonsense.
One who applies the verification principle to the realm of ethics soon
realizes that normative moral philosophy like pain is intrinsically bad or
stealing money is wrong cannot be verified empirically, or scientifically. No
appeal to facts can ever provide evidence in their support. According to the
positivists, they must be cognitively meaningless. Since they are not real
propositions, capable of being true or false, they must be explained in some other
way. In Ayers view, such assertions, although they may look like real
propositions, are simply expressions of emotions. Hence, the name emotive
theory of ethics given to his theory.

6. Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology

Rudolf Carnap64 (1891- 1970)

Rudolf Carnap was a German-American philosopher. He was born in

Ronsorf, Germany. He studied at the Universities of Jena and Frieburg. He
taught at The University of Vienna, The German University in Prague, The
University of Chicago, and UCLA. His earliest philosophical influences were
Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell. He is considered as the founder of Logical
Positivism. In his philosophical viewpoint, philosophy is the logic of the
sciences and is rendered a general language whose legitimate regard is to
describe and criticize the language of the particular sciences. The failure to
analyze logically the concepts being used creates chaos and or philosophical
disputes. The necessity of philosophy to commit to a basic empiricism
supplemented by the methods of modern logic and mathematics is the vortex of
Carnaps philosophical argument. While formulating his theory in the language
of phenomenalism, he stressed his neutrality over the ontological dispute
between phenomenalists and realists. He considered the choice of language as a
purely methodological issue, determined by pragmatic factors alone. He did not
commit to phenomenalists metaphysics. This principle of tolerance remained
and resurfaces in Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology.
Any abstract entities such as properties, classes, relations, numbers,
propositions etc. are not credible in the line of thinking of the empiricists. They
are more sympathetic with nominalist, i.e., one not containing such references,
than with realists. It cannot be alluded, however, to treat mathematics and other
sciences as a formal system with no interpretation.
The problem of abstract entities emerges again concerning semantics, the
theory of meaning and truth. Some semanticists aver that certain expressions
designate certain entities. Among these designated entities is a composite of not
only concrete material things, but also abstract entities, e.g., properties as
designated by predicates and propositions as designated by sentences. Some
thinkers declined to this procedure as violating the basic principles of empiricism
and leading back to metaphysical ontology of the Platonic kind.

He upholds a possible unified science by applying a method of logical
analysis to the empirical data of all sciences. He claimed that statements are
meaningful only if they are empirically verifiable and that metaphysical
statements when subjected to that criterion are depicted not have factual
meaning. Concerning Verification Principle and the notion of Verifiability,
Carnap held that it is testability and Meaning. It is a distinction between
confirmability and testability: a proposition is confirmable if we know which
type of procedure would confirm it; it is testable if we can actually perform this
procedure. Carnaps aspect of confirmation was the threshold of his work on
probability. Confirmation relates degrees of confirmation and concerns the
logical relationship between a hypothesis and its supporting observation
statements. Probability concerns the statistical probability deduced from calculus
of relative frequency. Carnaps work on semantics was considered now of
utmost importance in all branches of logic.

7. The Vienna Circle (1923-1938)

The Vienna Circle is a group of philosophically inclined scientists who

were gathering around Moritz Schlick at the University of Vienna. In their
endeavors to render philosophy scientific, and thus respectable, these thinkers
made use of Wittgensteins Tractatus. The emergence of Nazism dispersed the
Vienna Circle. Majority of its members later on settled and worked in America.
The emphasis of the Vienna Circle is on the form of scientific theories:
logical structures (empirical research and useful application). Their central
theses: first, all metaphysical sentences without exception are meaningless;
second, identification of philosophy analysis with the analysis of the language of
science. The formulation of the verifiability principle or criterion of meaning is
on meaningfulness of a proposition grounded in experience and observation. The
doctrine of the unified science focuses on the search for a common language and
form for all branches of learning (sciences). Adherents of Vienna Circle are
Moritz Schlick, Gustav Bergmann, Rudolf Carnap, Herbert Feigl, Philip Frank,
Kurt Godel, Otto Neurath, Fredrich Waismann, the School of Berlin (H.
Reichenbach, C. Hempel, K. Grelling, and R. von Mices), and the Polish School
of Logicians. They wanted to get rid of a meaningless metaphysics for they
negated religious and other traditional normative standards. It is a reaction
against the authoritarianism, atavistic nationalism and anti-Semitic chauvinism of
established thinkers. They prefer to establish a set of criteria, which could be
used to ascertain the truthfulness of statements and propositions. The Vienna
Circle sought to establish unshakable foundations for scientific reason and ensure
he end of meaningless metaphysics.

Moritz Schlick65 (1882-1936)

In 1922, Schlick became professor of philosophy in Vienna University.
His appointment was initiated by Hans Hahn. Trained in physics, he established
his reputation as a philosopher of science. He had close personal ties with

Planck, Einstein, and Hilbert. A number of philosophers and outstanding
mathematicians flocked and listened to him. The philosophers were Herbert
Feigl, victor Kraft, Friedrich Waisman. The mathematicians were Kurt Godel,
Hahn, and Karl Menger. Otto Neurath became also a member. Their
commonality was simply disdain of scientifically untaught philosophers who
made pontifical pronouncements about knowledge and science. Schlick
discussed on the following:
First, protocol statements it expresses facts with absolute simplicity
without any alteration or addition in whose elaboration every science consists
and which precede all knowing, every judgment regarding the world. It makes
no sense to speak of uncertain facts. Only assertions and only our knowledge can
be uncertain. The protocol statement is the ultimate basis of knowledge of
reality. It is a concern with real occurrences, with events that take place in time,
in which the making of judgments consists, hence, with physical acts of
thought, or physical acts of speaking or writing. Since physical acts of
judgment seem suitable for establishing inter-subjectively valid knowledge only
when translated into verbal or written expression (a physical system of symbols).
Protocol statements is known as certain spoken, written or printed sentences, i.e.,
certain symbol-complexes of sounds or printers ink, which when translated from
the common abbreviations into full-fledged speech.
Second, coherence theory of truth the nature of truth is different in
character from scientific theories, which always consist of a system of
hypothesis. The truth of a statement consists in its agreement with the facts
while coherence theory consists in its agreement with the system of other
Third, material truth is the truth of scientific statements. It is not
compatibility with any statements whatever, but agreement is required with
certain exceptional statements, which are not chosen arbitrarily at all. The
criterion of absence of contradiction does not by itself suffice for material truth.
It is entirely a matter of compatibility with very special peculiar statements. And
for this compatibility there is no reason not to use. There is every justification
for using the agreement with reality.
Fourth, confirmations the corroboration of hypotheses, their
verification. Science makes prophecies that are tested by experience.
Fifth, cognition originally, a means of service of life. To adjust his
actions to his environment and events, man must foresee these events to a certain
extent. It is making use of universal statements, cognitions insofar as what has
been predicted actually occurs. With the confirmation of prediction the scientific
goal is attained. The joy in cognition is the joy of verification, the triumphant
feeling of having guessed correctly. It is this that the observation statements
bring about. In them science as it were achieves its goal: it is for this sake that it
exists. The question hidden behind the problem of the absolutely certain basis of

knowledge is that of the legitimacy of this satisfaction with which verification
fills us.

Willard von Orman Quine66 (1908 - )

Quine was born in Akron, Ohio. He was an analytic philosopher and a
logician. He studied mathematics at Oberlin College. He took a doctorate in
philosophy at Harvard. He received various visiting professorships, but spent his
academic career at Harvard until he retired in 1978. He wrote 19 books and
hundreds of articles in logic and philosophy. He was one of the critics of logical
positivism. He negates Cartesian dualism of mind and body and commended
materialism. He contradicted phenomenalism in epistemology for he is a
physicalist in the aspect of physicalism.
The keystone of Quines systematic philosophy is naturalism (the assertion
that there is no suprasceintific justification for science and science must assess
both what there is (ontology) and how we know what there is (epistemology).
He upholds what formalized theory says there is is assessed by the range of
values of the bound variables of that theory, and since the bound variables of the
best current scientific paradigm of the world (physics) range over both physical
objects and numbers. Quines physicalism constitutes both concrete objects and
abstract objects. He considered observable and unobservable physical objects
and a Platonic realist considering numbers or sets.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism
1. The analytic/synthetic distinction a clear and theoretically viable
distinction between sentences whose truth is purely a matter of the
meanings of their constituent words, and those whose truth is determined
by facts in the world.
2. Reductionism every cognitively relevant statement is deduced from a
set of experiential reports. Quines aim is not to refute empiricism (hes
an empiricist) but to ensue its principles though more thoroughly, to
generate empiricism without dogmas to prove that no noncircular
account of analyses can be located. Analysis and its cognate circle of
terms such as synonymy and even meaning itself are theoretically
Discussion of Meaning
Morning star and evening star - the same star but with different
Aristotelian sense all senses and being possessed certain qualities.
Rationality is the very essence of man. Language, word or a term bears
the essence of the object, e.g., ballpen is the term, language.
Relationship between terms and essence the essence is the ballpen. We
understand what ballpen is.
Logical statements which are logically true

no unmarried man is married. The synonym of
unmarried is bachelor.
Definition rests on synonymy rather than explaining it. The inclusive language
is economical of practical expression (ease and brevity in the statement). The
part knows, as primitive notation is economical in grammar and vocabulary. The
whole and the part are correlated by rules and translation known as definition.
The definiendum and its definiens must be expected to be related in one or
another. The definiens preserves a direct synonymy as of antecedent usage or
improves upon the antecedent usage of the definiendum. The definiendum may
be a newly created notation, newly endowed with meaning. Definition does not
hold the key to synonymy and analycity.
Interchangeability as synonymy drawing synonyms from certain terms. The
synonymy of two linguistic forms consists simply in their interchangeability in
all contexts without change of truth-value. Interchangeability is not sufficient
condition of cognitive synonymy in the sense needed for deriving analycity.
Analycity is explainable without appeal to cognitive synonymy. Statements may
be cognitively synonymous when their biconditional (the result of joining them
by if and only if) is analytic. If we lump all categories into a single formulation
we can describe any two linguistic forms as cognitively synonymous when the
two forms are interchangeable.
Semantic rules rules of translation in ordinary language. It goes together with
artificial language. Semantic rules are those which serve as rules and guides. A
statement is analytic if it is (not merely true but) true according to the semantic
Verification theory and Radical reductionism the verification theory of
meaning is that the meaning of a statement is a method of empirically confirming
or infirming it. Radical reductionism specifies a sense datum language and
showing how to translate the rest of significant discourse, statement by statement,
into it. The dogma of reductionism is intimately connected with the other dogma
that there is a cleavage between the analytic and the synthetic. The two
dogmas are at root identical. Radical reductionisms are ideas, which originate
from sense experience. Quine require evidence even for tautologies. Tautologies
are even based on experience. Our naming of things and words and adoption of
words are based on experience. There are no sentences that are immune of
Every sentences coheres other sentences. There are other sentences that have
difficulty to interact such as tautology etc.
Finally, empiricism without the dogmas.
Quines ontological relativity is a sophisticated distillation of ideas. There is no
fact of the matter as to what ones language ontologically commits one to.
Whether translating foreign language, trying to rasp the utterances of a member
of a speech community, or even when considering own words or thoughts, the
idea of factually grounded absolute reference is nonsensical. It would be just as

meaningless to ask for the absolute position of the object. It can only be stated
relative to a spatial coordinate system, so the ontological commitment of
sentence, or a theory, can be ascribed only relative to a far larger linguistic
framework, and relative to its interpretation within this framework.

Carl Hempel67
Hempel resurrected the clam that the most fruitful paradigm is to
construct an acceptable empiricistic language. The criterion of meaningfulness
must be assessed by whether or not a given sentence is translatable into such a
language. The basic concepts of empiricism: first, modern empiricism alludes to
non-analytic knowledge grounded on experience; second, for contemporary
logical empiricist, sentences establishes a cognitively meaningful affirmation and
can be claimed true or false, if and only if, if it is either analytic or contradictory
and capable of experiential test; third, the outcome to traditional metaphysics and
a larger configuration of epistemology regarded as devoid of cognitive
importance due to their emotive appeal or moral inspiration; fourth, the
transitions in the testability criterion of empirical meaning such as other
terminologies (that are cognitively meaningful and sentences with empirical
meaning or empirical importance), auxiliary ideas (such as observable
characteristics properties directly observable, observation predicate terms
designating the former, and observable sentence claim on one or more
specifically named objects), construal of testability by the Vienna Circle (a
sentence is empirical possessing empirical meaning if capable of complete
verification by observable evidence. Truth is competence clarified in an
observable mode), or a sentence constitute empirical meaning if and only if it is
possible to indicate a finite set of observation; fifth, Complete Verifiability in
principle demands that a sentence constitute empirical meaning (it is not analytic
and follows logically from some finite and logically consistent class of
observation sentence). The limitations are as follows: first, it becomes to
restrictive for it rules out all sentences of universal form and all sentences
purporting to articulate general laws for it cannot be conclusively verified by
finite facts; second, it is too inclusive for it contains disjuncts that are
experientially verifiable in nature and contains no empirical attributes, the
absolute is perfect. Thus, it is not intended to countenance sentences of this
sort; third, it becomes cognitively meaningless for if the observation predicate (p)
it confirms to the idea that it is in the particular affirmative mode in logic, which
entails that there exist at least one thing that has the property of p. There is no
problem but regarding the negations (universal negative) must fall within the
domain of the cognitive natured sentence thus the given logic mode is cognitive
meaningless. Complete Falsifiability Principle demands a sentence containing
empirical meaning. If its negation is not analytic and follows logically from
some finite and logically consistent class of observation sentences. It fall short
on the following: first, it rules out the existential hypotheses, such as there exist
one unicorn and all sentences whose formulation calls for conjoining universal

and existential quantification. None of these can be conclusively falsified by a
finite number of observation sentences. If a sentence p is completely falsifiable
whereas Q is a sentence, which is not, then their conjunction, Q.P is completely
falsifiable for if the negation of P is entailed by some class of observation
sentence, then the negation of the said conjunction is entailed by the same class.
If P is an observable predicate, then the claim that al things consists of the
property p is qualified as important, but its negation, being equivalent to a purely
existential hypotheses is disqualified; sixth, the cognitive meaning of a statement
in an empiricist language is reflected in totality of its logical relationships to all
other statements in that language and not to observable sentences alone. The
statement of empirical science contain a surplus meaning over and above what
can be articulated in terms of logical observation.

8. Determinism
C.A. Campbell (1897 1974) = Freewill and Determinism

C.A. Campbell68, who defends the free will theory, was a Scotsman but he
completed his education at Oxford University. Although he was for many years
professor of logic and rhetoric at Glasgow University, he had a strong interest in
ethics and the philosophy of religion.
The controversy over free will versus determinism is not a disagreement
directly within ethics but rather within metaphysics. The question at issue is
whether everything that happens is an effect that follows necessarily from a prior
cause that determines it or whether some occurrences; namely, the volitions or
acts of will of human moral agents, fall outside of the strict cause-effect
relationship. The relevance of this debate to ethics, which is great, results from
the consequences that seem to follow from the opposed positions. On the one
side, defenders of free will argue that determinism is incompatible with moral
responsibility. If every moral decision we make is an effect of prior causes, we
must decide to do what we, in fact, decide to do. We have no choice in the
matter; therefore, we cannot be held responsible for our actions. As a result,
human beings must be regarded as being little more than machines rather than
moral agents.
It is important, in thinking about this problem, to understand just what
free will means. It is the ability to decide which of two, or more, alternative
actions one will choose to do, rather than having that decision determined by
prior causes. This is the reason why the term will is of crucial importance in
the theory. In the free will theory, we are able to make real choices between
alternative courses of action. If my will is free, I make the final decision about
what I shall do, even if strong causes seem to be impelling one in one direction
rather than another and even if I am presented by external forces from carrying
out the act I decide to do. Hence, I am ultimately responsible, as a moral being,
for what I do when I exercise my free will.

9. Feminist Philosophy : Carol Gilligan (1936 - )

Carol Gilligan69 is professor of education in the Graduate School of
Education of Harvard University. Gilligan has made a great contribution to
ethics by addressing the voice of womans conception of self and of morality.
From a series of experiments she has conducted over a number of years, in which
the participants were women of all ages and backgrounds. Gilligan has recorded
the female voice about womens moral experience. She discovered that there are
significant differences in the moral perceptions of the two sexes. Gilligans work
needs to be understood in the context of psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg, who
was Gilligans teacher. Kohlberg, adopting a scale of moral development
composed of six progressively more advanced stages a scale based primarily on
his experiments with male Harvard undergraduates had concluded that women
typically never advance beyond the third stage, therefore remain morally less
mature than men. Gilligan did not confine her research in the same way but
conducted experiments involving not only female undergraduates but people of
both sexes from outside the university, with the result that she concluded that
Kohlbergs scale could not be accepted as the canon of human moral
development. Her own conclusion, based on her studies, is that the moral
experience of women is different from, but equally as authentic and mature,
as that of men.
Gilligans work is not a traditional-style essay in ethics. Much of it,
rather, is the record of an empirical study of psychological beliefs and attitudes.
Its importance for ethics, which is great, rests on two main facts: first, that the
beliefs and attitudes are concerned with the moral life and moral experience and,
second, that they represent a different voice that of women. If moral
philosophers are to reach conclusions that apply to all human beings, Gilligan is
telling us, they must take into consideration the moral experience of women as
well as men and, in particular, they must, without bias, recognize the ways in
which the female moral voice differs from that of the male.

10. Sigmund Freud 70 (d. 1939)

Sigmund Freud believed that the acquisition of morality in children is

strongly linked to sexual aggressiveness. These are the events of childhood from
which morality emerges. According to Freud: Young children are attracted
sexually to the parent of the opposite sex. These feelings result in conflict with
the parent of the same se. In order to avoid jealous retaliation by a stronger adult
and to avoid displeasing the same sex parent who is also loved, the child
suppresses his or her feelings. The child then internalizes the image of both
mother and father, accepting his or her parents as parents.
Freuds Position on Moral Development
These internalized images (mother and father) serve as guides to conduct.
Because the demands of both the instincts and society are relentless, the
individual is doomed to a life of internal confrontation. Too much animal makes
a sick society; too much society makes a sick animal.

For Freud, Human behavior is shaped by consciousness drives and
motivations and that those have some sexual correlation. Our psychic lives
consist in the inner struggle of conflicting values for power and sexual
gratification, on the one hand, and the Psychic and social inhibitions against the
fulfillment of those drives on the others. Influenced by the mechanical
materialism of his day, his basic theories were highly quantitative. Culture, he
regarded as a quantitative activity in which civilization is more or less
determined by the degree or intensity of the repression of instincts.
The entire process labeled the Oedipus complex. He believed that adult
morality forms out of a sense of guilt that is the product of the oedipal situation.
To present the process of moral development, Freud relied on the aforementioned
three compartments self: the id, ego and super ego. The ID consists of selfish,
primitive, biological impulses, which seek immediate gratification regardless of
the consequences. The ID is the unconscious reservoir of instinctual drives
largely dominated by the pleasure principle. Freud believed that the socialization
process is essentially one of taming. The seething instinctual urges of the ID are
blocked and re-channeled the parental dos and donts are ultimately internalized.
The child is socialized by a calculus of pain and pleasure. She will continue to
do whatever previously brought her gratification and she will refrain from
whatever led to punishment and anxiety. The Superego, according to Freud, is
the conscience of the person societys rules internalized. The super ego is the
ego of another super imposed on our own to serve as an internal censor to
regulate our conduct by using guilt as its powerful weapon. The super ego tells
us we are good when we do what we are told to do, and it tells us we are bad and
makes us feel guilty when we do not do what the authority over us tells us to do.
The super ego has a primitive and meaningful action in our personalities. In
children, the super ego is a primitive bit necessary stage on the cry to genuine
conscience. Freud conceived conscience as the inner aggression of the super ego
(the psychic mechanism of the regression of thought). In adults, the super ego
functions positively when integrated into a mature conscience to relieve us from
having to decide freely on every instance those matters which are already
legitimately determined by convention or custom. The Ego is the conscious,
defensive part of the self, mediating disputes between instincts on the one hand
and moral codes on the other. The ego is the conscious structure, which operates
on the reality principle to mediate the forces of the id, the demands of society,
and the reality of the physical world. According to Freud, morality develops as a
result of this internal struggle-taking place within the individual.
Freuds Theory of Psychosexual Development highlights different stages,
each of which is built upon the achievements of these before. For Freud, the
child commences life as a bundle of pleasure seeking tendencies. Pleasure is
attained by the stimulation of certain zones of the body that are particularly
sensitive to touch, the mouth, the anus and the genitals. Freud called these
regions erogenous zones, for each of them has a common element, which is

sexual. As child develops the relative significance of the zone shifts. Most of the
anus (the anal stage). Later, there is an increased interest in the pleasure that can
be taken from stimulating the genitals (the phallic stage). The culmination of
psychosexual development is obtained in adult sexuality in which pleasure
involves not just ones own gratification but also the social and bodily
satisfaction brought to another person (the genital stage).
Because of the Oedipus complex occurs early in life the super ego, or
conscience also begins to develop early. Therefore, Freud concluded, the person
of moral development as well occurs quite early. In sum, Freud viewed morality
as the result of the interplay between impulse and conscience. Individual
behavior is molded in such a way as to avoid a guilty conscience. Freud
continued to explore on the Defense Mechanisms. Defense Mechanisms are
ways in which people unconsciously combat anxiety by distorting reality. He
believed that everyone uses defense mechanism at times only when these
mechanisms interfere with healthy emotional development are they pathological:
(Regression, repression, sublimation, projection, and reaction formation)
Freud saw religion as a psycho pathological phenomenon in human
history analogous to neurosis in the individual. Freud saw religion perpetuates
infantile behavior patterns. Religion indulged and encouraged narcism, or selflove, by conferring upon its adherents the illusion that they are special or
privileged by virtue of their relation to an all powerful and all-loving God. Freud
concluded that religious belief in an all-powerful God with whom one is
intimately connected inhibits rather than encourages new knowledge about
What Freud was actually doing is constructing a mythical correlative for
his theoretical scheme. Freuds very use of myth (Oedipus myth) is mythical
setting present reality in the context of an archaic predetermined narrative
pattern, and so giving it the dignity of a classical tragedy. Freud believes that he
is giving explanations of a scientific and materialistic kind where in fact he is
constructing imaginative framework of interpretation.
Freuds distinctive emphasis upon the role of fantasy as a causal factor in
human behavior, psychoanalysis has made important changes in the
understanding of religious behavior and religious symbolism. The Freudian
tendency has been vastly anti-religious, reducing myths and symbols to illusory
representations of the past to clarify the present. If there could have been
indispensable attempts to draw on psychoanalytic theory within Christian
thinking, this could be viewed as a way of purifying religious belief of illusory or
distorted features such as neurotic guilt, God as a projected father figure, the
decline of deflection of the role of sexuality. The psycho-analytic account is
considered as prophylactic to appropriate religious conception and not as an
alternative to it.
Freuds psychoanalysis of the experience and consciousness of self has
opened up a new dimension and had far-reaching practical consequences,

especially for sexual behavior. Psycho analysis is for none than a medical and
therapeutic procedure. It represents a further stage of the enlightenment and
exercises an influence today in the sciences of literature, culture and art as well
as in pedagogical theory, ethics, the science of religion and philosophy. It is a
new key for the interpretation of reality including not least the reality of religion.
The outcome of Freuds psychoanalytic explanation of religion is very mush
similar to that of Feuerbachs theory of projection.
Freud defines man primarily as a creature of instinct that is nonetheless
called upon by external reality and by civilization to renounce his instincts;
erroneous or unsuccessful endeavor to overcome the clash and struggle that lead
to neuroses, to a flight from hard reality to surrogate solutions. Freuds decisive
step is to acknowledge an analogy between such neuroses and religious behavior.
According to Freud, the genesis of religion in the endeavor to locate consolation
in the face of lifes difficulties and the renunciations imposed by civilization, and
in this way to make human helplessness tolerable. Religious ideas spring from
the necessity of defending oneself against the crushingly superior power of
nature and the urge to rectify the shortcomings of civilization which makes
themselves painfully felt. Religious ideas are therefore not precipitates of
experience or end results of thinking: they are allusions, fulfillment of the oldest,
strongest and most urgent desires/wishes of mankind. They are infantile wishful
illusions, a universal obsessional neurosis, and a system of wishful illusions
together with a disavowal of reality. To this infantilism Freud opposes an
education to reality, which includes the concurrence of the necessities imposed
by fate, for in contrary to these no science is of any help. But this resignation
includes an element of much muted hope: By withdrawing their expectations
from the other world and focusing all their liberated energies into their life on
earth, they will probably succeed in achieving a state of things in which life will
become tolerable for everyone and civilization no longer vehement to anyone.
Freuds criticism of religion was meant not only to strengthen the unbelief
of unbelievers and pastorally on the other hand, its limitations must also be
highlighted. It is really possible to commence in such an unquestioning way with
an analogy between religious and psychopathic phenomena (obsessional
neurosis, infantile wishful illusions). The least that religious phenomenon must
first be analyzed on its terms; it may not be a priori diminished to other
phenomena. Otherwise the critic opens himself to the suspicion that atheism
rather than religion is a wishful illusion. On the basis of a more specific analysis
of the phenomenon of religion as such, other depth psychologists reaches a much
more positive view of religion than Freud did. In any case, psychology can argue
only on the psychological reality, the psychic content and the psychic
consequences of religion; its methods do not permit to say anything about the
objective reality and truth content on what is being conveyed by religious
representations. This fact brings us once again to restrictions of the projection
theory and its effectiveness.


11. The Transition to Post-Modern World

The Distinction Between Modern World and Post-Modern World
Modern consciousness pins all its hopes on rational consciousness as
manifest in the early 18th century enlightenment period.
consciousness suspects the optimism concealed in Western idea of reason.
Elements of change
1. Science and Technology Mobility and communications. Science
understands the way things work. Technology applies science to practical
problems. In communications, immediate accessibility through satellite,
standard and cable television, radio, standard and cellular telephones, fax
machine, electronic mail, pager, modem, and mediated access through
films, newspapers, magazines, paperback books, audio and video tapes,
compact and laser discs, answering machines, and voice mail.
2. Material and Educational Growth (the generation of metacosmos
beyond the natural order of things bestowed initially by God food,
comfortable shelter, sufficient clothing, basic medicines, productive work
and opportunities for leisure.
Modern World
Post-Modern World
Individual subjectivity
The human being is a relational
Private interiority
Shared affectivity
Self-subsistent autonomy
Inter-dependent autonomy
Superiority of reason
Trust in feeling and reason
Neat and tidy systems of order
Order dependent on changing
History is always progressive
needs within traditions
Exaggerated hope in science

Awareness of the limits of

and technology
science and technology
Everything fits into an ordered

Life lived in openness to

God is a supreme being who
God accompanies us on our
rules the world
God intervenes on our behalf,
God shares in our inmost life,
but from a distance
love and works
The experience of Gods

Our experience of Gods

absence is terrifying
absence is a mode of Presence
inviting us to creative new

L. Postmodern Philosophy

1. Deconstructive Criticism is not synonymous with destruction. The

deconstruction of a text does not proceed by random doubt or arbitrary

subversion but by the careful teasing out of warring forces of
signification within the text itself. If anything is destroyed in a
deconstructive reading, it is not the text, but the claim to unequivocal
domination of one mode of signifying over another.
It is a mode of interpretation works by a careful and circumspect
entering of each textual labyrinth. The deconstructive critics seeks to
find, by this process of retracing, the element in the system studied which
is alogical, the thread in the text in question which will unravel it all or
the loose stone which will pull down the whole building. The
deconstruction annihilates the ground on which the building stands by
showing that the text has already annihilated the ground, knowingly or
unknowingly. Deconstruction is not a dismantling of the structure of a
text but a demonstration that it has already dismantled itself.
2. Dialogic Criticism - originated from Russian critic Mikhail Bakhtin
(1920-1930). Bakhtin was interested in the novel. Two types of novels:
the monologic novels Leo Tolstoy and dialogic or polyphonic novels
of Fyodor Dostoevsky. In monologic novels, the author takes command
and undertakes to subordinate the voices of all the characters to the
authoritative discourses and controlling purposes of the author. In
dialogic novels, characters are liberated to speak a plurality of
independent and unmerged voices and consciousness, a genuine
polyphony of fully valid voices. Baktin favored Dostoevsky.
The monologic character of certain novels does not make them
worthless for critical study. For Bakhtin, a novel can never be totally
monologic, since the narrators reports of the utterances of another
character are inescapably double-voiced (authors own ascent and
inflection), and also dialogic (authors discourse continually reinforces,
alters, or contests with the speech that it reports. Don Biatostosky,
dialogic criticisms spokesman, said: As a self conscious practice,
dialogic criticism turns its inescapable involvement with some other
voices into a program of articulating itself with all the other voices of the
discipline, the culture, or the world of cultures to which it makes itself
Neither a live and let live relativism nor a settle-at-once-and-forall authoritarianism but a strenuous and open-ended dialogism would
keep them talking to themselves and to one another discovering their
affinities without resting in them and clarifying their differences without
resolving them.
3. Hermeneutics the term is from the Greek hermeneia, which is derived
from the notion represented in Greek mythology by Hermes, messenger
of the gods. Its general meaning is interpretation.
4. Marxist Criticism this is grounded on the economic and cultural theory
of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

a. In the last analysis, the evolving history of humanity, of its social
relations, of its institutions, and of its ways of thinking is largely
determined by the changing mode of its material production, that
is, of its overall economic organization.
b. Historical changes in the fundamental mode of production effect
changes in social class structure, establishing in each era dominant
and subordinate classes that engage in a struggle for economic,
political, and social advantage.
c. Human consciousness is constituted by an ideology, that is, the
beliefs, values, and ways of thinking and feeling through which
human beings perceive, and recourse to which they explain, what
they take to be reality. An ideology is the product of the position and
interests of a particular class. In any historical era, the dominant
ideology embodies, and serves to legitimize and perpetuate, the
interests of the dominant economic and social class.
5. New Historicism an early 1980s reaction against the formalism of new
criticism and deconstructionist criticism. Underlying new historicism is
a cultural materialism inherited from Marxism. It is also a postmodern
trend. It denies the privileged position of literature and authors, that
literature is just one type of text among many others. It has also shown
much interest in cultural studies in whose context literature comes as one
of the readable texts. The interest in folk and popular culture is a mark
of new historicism, and it gives about the same space and attention to
popular cultural artifacts as to what used to be called high art. There
is, therefore, significant attention given to the literary, artistic, and
intellectual productions of women, the working class, ethnic groups, and
colonial, post-colonial, and third world cultures.
The critical strategy of new historicism is to conduct studies with
thoroughly rigorous and exhaustive reconstruction of the social, political,
and economic conditions of an era under study, and to identify the
correspondences in a great variety of texts and to come up with a vivid
view of the network of interacting and interplaying forces and factor
which help configure the ideological geography or topography of an era.
The authors are decentered; their historical world is fore grounded.
6. Phenomenology and Criticism there is no pure consciousness, but that
being conscious is always a being-conscious-of. Humans are not more
reactors to stimulus. Reaction necessarily involves an acting entity, but
whose action is codetermined by the presence of something to it. He
called that process of becoming aware as noesis, and the object known
(whether real or fictional) as noema. Consciousness is constituted by the
mutuality of presence to each other by the knower and the noema. The
relationship that exists between the act of consciousness and its object.
Husserl, called intentionality, that is, the act of knowing. The

consciousness is toward the object, and the object toward the knower.
They become present to each other immediately, that is, without anything
between them. For example, if you witness a fire right before you, your
knowledge is unmediated. But if you read about the fire from a report,
you know about it from an intermediary the written report let us say, or
a rumor. That is mediated. Phenomenology is interested in the kind of
consciousness of an unmediated reality. To make this possible, Husserl
proposed that ones approach to the noema must be free from the
interfering preconceptions or biases. The object of knowledge must be
allowed to reveal itself to consciousness in its originality. In this way,
knowledge becomes authentically scientific.
7. Post Structuralism phases with structuralism the rejection of the
paradigm of the human subject as self contained cogito or consciousness
found in phenomenology and existentialism. It also negates the static
internal relations of the structuralist paradigm opting instead for multiple
possibilities within the signifier-signified combinations.
Four Theories
a. The Primacy of Theory theory is a comprehensive account of the
conditions that determine all meaning and interpretation. It is not a
theory of what is or is not literary; rather it is a theory that seeks to
explain the genesis of any text. A text is any set of representational
or signifying social or cultural product, which embodies or
concretizes itself in text. Theory understood this way makes theory
responsible for making an account of how works or texts come into
being, and what such texts signify regarding the social and political
world in which the text emerged.
b. The Decentering of the Subject - in post structuralism, human
personality is rejected. It is absurd to attribute weighty significance
to authors, nor even to the characters written into their literary works.
He is merely a mere space assembling the material he did not
create. Its intelligibility and ideology are derived from the cultural
community to which the writer belongs. The author becomes
decentered, that is, removed from center as controlling factor and
creative genius.
c. Reading, Texts and Writing the author is absent from a text. The
text is merely a structure of signifiers, which are capable of being
read. The reader is also denied of a personal identity. Literature is
not merely a kind of text belonging to the general sub-classification
of writing or written text. It is not given a special distinction from
other writings such as philosophical, historical, legal, scientific or
journalistic writings. All these can be read and what emerges from
such a reading would reveal the relations of power, and other
ideologies. And what ideologies will tell you are why things are the

ways are in present-day society: manipulative, hegemonic,
exploitative, commodificatory, oppressive. Thus, the adversariality
of post-structuralist criticism.
d. Discourse is the real intent of a statement regardless of what form
the sentence may have.
8. Reader-Response Criticism cautions critics regarding any assumption
of objectivity and fixed interpretations of text. Two Types of Reader: 1]
The Implied Reader is established by the text itself. 2] The Actual
Reader for any reason reads the books for reasons entirely unforeseen
or intended by the writer. And being unintended and unforeseen (to an
extent), he had no control over such a readers reactions.
9. Semiotics a science of signs developed by Ferdinand de Saussure. He
studied the auditive relational nature of signs and their communicative
properties. The linguistic sign as a structural relationship by an acoustic
signifiers and to concept of signified. Semiology are alternative names
for a general science of signs as these function in all areas of human
experience. Pierce classified signs according to their relations to things
they signified:
a. Icon functions as a sign by means of inherent similarities, or
shared features with what it signifies. Example: portrait of a person
it depicts.
b. Index is a sign which bears a natural relation of cause and effect to
what it signifies, thus smoke is a sign signifying fire, and a pointing
weather vane indicates the direction of the wind.
c. Symbol sign proper the relation between the signifying item
and what it signifies is not a natural one but entirely a matter of
social convention. Example: the gesture of shaking hands.
10. Structuralism is grounded on a theory of language. It is a process
philosophy wherein the meaning of things is grounded on their
relationship to other factors in a process. What they did to literature?
a. Literary work became a mere text. It is the product of the interplay
of components elements behaving in accordance with specific
conventions and codes. Literature has no-truth value outside itself.
b. The author is a mere construct that is a product of the linguistic
system. (There are authors because there is a language). His mind is
an imputed space within which the impersonal, always already
existing system of literary language, conventions, codes, and rules of
combinations gets precipitated into a particular text.
c. Structuralism replaces the author by the reader as the central agency
in criticism. It is anti-humanism. The meaning of reader is not that
of a personal subjective identity called reading and what is read is
not a text imbued with meanings, but ecriture, writing.


a. Continental Philosophy
Neo-Marxism: Jurgen Habermas71 (1929 -)
Habermas was born on June 18, 1929 in Dusseldorf, Germany. He
studied at the University of Bonn in 1946. He studied Hegel, Marx, Lukacs and
Friedrich von Schelling. He taught philosophy at Heidelberg in 1962. He is a
professor of philosophy emeritus at The University of Frankfurt and became
Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Research in Starnberg, Munich.
He has written more than 200 articles and several books. He focused his
attention on epistemology, i.e., how knowledge is related to and affected by the
interests of the knower. Habermas became critical of empiricism and positivism
because of their assumptions and presuppositions deduced from practical
interests in historical and social conditions. Habermas was influenced by Freud
in trying to bring knowledge and interest into a harmony through self-reflection.
In his social theory, Habermas made a critique on Webers viewpoint on
scientism and decisionism:
Scientism is the doctrine that only the results and methods (control or
manipulation, prediction, technological rationality) of the physical and natural
sciences are valid and rational (objective).
Decisionism is a viewpoint concerning the irreducibility of categoral value
judgments to scientific knowledge, hence not by scientific method, but the
expressions of personal and arbitrary decisions. Thus, value judgments by
themselves are purely subjectivistic.
For Habermas, the above viewpoints of Weber are reductionist and
limiting. Science (physical science) is not the only agency to have accurate and
valid knowledge. There are limitations into it so as with human sciences.
Knowledge and Human Interest
Rationality, for Habermas, is the ability to think logically and analytically.
It is more than a strategic calculation to incur some chosen end. Rationality is a
form of communicative action geared toward gaining agreement with others. It
is imperative that in using language we participate in Habermas ideal speech
situation on the basis of rationality alone.
Habermas traced the forms of knowledge. Every kind of knowledge takes
its root from human interest.
1. Interest is the basic orientation rooted in specific fundamental
conditions of the possible reproduction and self-constitution of the
human species, viz., work and interaction.
2. Knowledge-Constitutive Interest a function of the objectively
constituted problems of the preservation of life that have been solved by
the cultural form of existence.
3. Cognitive Interest- the relationship or the conforming of motivation and
cognition. Knowledge and interest are essentially united.
technical interest
natural science

practical interest
human science
emancipatory interest <->
critical theory
1. The technical interest relates to the human need to control nature for
survival. Labor fulfills this need. Modern science and cost-benefit
rationality serve this interest.
2. The practical interest is the interest in human communication, interaction
and common life. The discipline of psychology and psychoanalysis is
3. Emancipatory interest is the idea that knowledge must enhance mans
freedom and improves human life by emancipating man from oppressive
forces, be it in the field of politics, psychology, ideology etc.
The unity of knowledge and self-interest
1. The achievements of the transcendental subject have their basis in the
natural history of the human species.
2. Knowledge equally serves as an instrument and transcends mere selfpreservation.
3. Knowledge constitutive interests take the form in the medium of work,
language and power.
4. In the power of self-reflection, knowledge and interest are one.
5. The unity of knowledge and interest proves itself in a dialectic that takes
the historical traces of suppressed dialogue and reconstructs what has
been suppressed.
Approaches in the philosophy of language
1. The traditional way it is characterized as interpreting language through
the use of etymology, and understanding the application of language in a
specific group.
2. The method of science (empiricism) reality can be construed through
the use of unbiased representations and symbols. Understanding must no
go beyond what is observable or measurable.
a. To dwell into factual realities (application of scientific research).
b. Universal understanding of things.
c. To come up with a monologic understanding (common
language), a common unbiased set of symbols.
For Habermas, methodological scientific approach in the social sciences
may end up into useful generalizations, but it fails to visualize the meaning of
mans unique experience. The scientific approach to the study of human
experience through the use of a meta-language or universal language of
symbols may be empted of biases, but it may treat human experience in a very
limited way. Habermas instead focuses on the main concern of hermeneutics.
1. Linguistic expressions (symbolic expressions) to generate categorical
generalizations, biases and subjective interpretations must be eluded and,
hence, coming up with neutral symbols of realities. Here, meaning is
constant or universal.

2. Action is considered to be the most direct form of communication.
Communication is through communicative action, which is intentional
and deliberate action.
3. Experiential expressions are unlike words or statements that are either
true or false. These are the non-deliberate expressions of the human
body e.g., non-verbal expressions such as actuations of joy, fear, hunger,
embarrassment etc.
Habermas Theory of Communicative Action
Communicative Action is the type of interaction wherein all participants
harmonize their individual plans of action with one another and thus pursue their
illocutionary aims without reservation. There are 3 Levels: Understanding,
Coordination and Association. Characteristics of Communicative Action:
1. It contains a theory of society as well as an interpretation of modernity
and a proposal for a discourse ethics.
2. It develops categories for the understanding of society and modernity.
3. It seeks to reconceptualize ethics as a discourse ethics.
4. It uses the distinction between life world and system to interpret modern
society against one-sided idealistic or materialistic interpretation.
5. It reformulates the relation between an internalist and externalist
perspective in a comprehensive theory of society.

Framework of the Theory of the communicative Action

Social Action

Communicative Action

Concealed Strategic

Strategic Action

Open Strategic

Unconscious Deception
(Systematically distorted

Conscious Deception

Marxism and Habermas
1. Marxism was purposive rational action on an external world. Habermas
involved communication between subjects. Each dimension configured
its own mode of knowledge and criteria of rationality. In the sphere of
instrumental action, it contains an expanding technical control. In
cultural development, it contains the extension of forms of
communication free from distortion and domination. The rationality of
technological society depends on the policies that are subject to public
2. The significance of ideology to trace the historical pattern of critical
3. The concept of labor as a condition of human existence is a process
wherein human beings through their action, mediate, regulate their
material exchange with nature. Alienation of labor renders the human
condition abstract.
4. Marxism must be remolding into a form of ideological and cultural
5. The threshold of Marxs teleological framework is an abstract notion of
man as a potentia containing the yet unrealized creative potential.
Cultural critique cannot be disengaged from political critique.
Habermas on History
1. The meaning of history is for practical projection. Objective knowledge
of men can establish communication structures free of domination. The
emergence of collective practical will is a practical hypothesis. It is an
anticipation of a future state of freedom.
2. Historical research is concerned with sociology as a generalizing science.
3. Society must be understood in developmental and evolutionary terms
4. Realization of global unity and rational social planning.
5. Critical theorist is a configuration of the social reality that analyzes
problems and his interest, concepts and judgments, traditional issues and
institutions under investigation. The aim is historical and further
development of society.
6. Participation in a world structured by beliefs and values. It is a
visualization and internalization of the development of mans
7. To generate intersubjective meanings, the nature of discourse must
transcend a particular interlocutor through sound argument to gain
emancipatory potential within such meanings and expand them beyond
the originating discourse (expanding the universal community grounded
on openness and free consensus communication).

b. Deconstruction

Jacques Derrida72 (1930 - )
Jacques Derrida was born in Algeria in 1930 and moved to Paris in the
1950s. He has taught at Yale and John Hopkins University in America. For
Derrida, language or texts are not a natural reflection of the world. Text
structures our interpretation of the world. Following Heidegger, Derrida thinks
that language shapes us: texts create a clearing that we understand as reality.
Derrida sees the history of western thought as based on opposition: good vs. evil,
mind vs. matter, man vs. woman, speech vs. writing. These oppositions are
defined hierarchically: the second term is seen as a corruption of the first, the
terms are not equal opposites.
Derrida traced the dominance of logos or speech (logo-centrism) within
the culture of the West. He finds logo-centrism within, what he believes to be,
the essential fabric of culture, language. The method, which Derrida uses to do
so, i.e., Deconstruction. Deconstruction entails highlighting how all the attempts
to make the concepts of logos distinctive of western culture are informed by its
opposite, mythos.
In Deconstruction, were looking at systems or structures, rather than at
individual concrete practices, and that all systems or structures have a center, the
point of origin, and the thing that created the system first. All systems or
structures are created of binary pairs or oppositions, of two terms placed in some
sort of relation to each. Such systems are always constructed of the basic units
structuralism analyzes the binary opposition or pair. Within these systems one
part of that binary pair is always more relevant than the other. It is marked as
affirmative and the other is negative. Western philosophy values what is
affirmative such as good and subordinated what is negative such as evil.
Deconstruction is an attempt to open a text (literary, philosophical, or otherwise)
to a range of multiple meanings and interpretations. It is highlighting binary
oppositions within a text rigidly defined pairs of opposites such as good/evil or
male/female. The two opposed concepts are fluid. The deconstructor must
present where this oppositional or dialectical stability was subverted by the texts
internal logic. This would result to new interpretations of text. Derrida thought
that all text contained a legacy of these assumptions, and as a result of this, these
texts could be re-interpreted with an awareness of the hierarchies implicit in
language. Derrida does not think that we can reach an end point of interpretation,
a truth. For Derrida all texts exhibit difference: they allow multiple
interpretations. Meaning is diffuse, not settled. Textuality always gives us a
surplus of possibilities, yet we cannot stand outside of textuality in an attempt to
find objectivity.
One consequence of deconstruction is that certainty in textual analyses
becomes impossible. There may be competing interpretations, but there is no
uninterrupted way one could assess the validity of these competing
Rather than basing our philosophical understanding on

undeniable truths, the deconstructionist turns the settled bedrock of rationalism
into the shifting sands of a multiplicity of interpretations.
Deconstruction attempts to challenge the priorities and gain a critical
perspective on canonical texts of tradition, interrogating them for what has been
left out as well as for what has been explicitly inscribed.
a. Deconstruction, as a method of reading a text, is simply interpretation.
It is interpreting it or misinterpreting it. In literary deconstruction
encourages texts to undermine themselves and subvert sensible
meaning. First, is all or nothing demand for clarity. Vagueness can be
teased out of a passage, and then the meaning is undermined. Second,
equivocation (the same word but differ in meaning). Third, isolating a
word, removing it entirely from the context, and present the word as
vague. Fourth, opacity (obscure meaning). Fifth, pretentious use of
words or phrase that ascribes the reader to profundity). Sixth, the use of
abstraction (replaces the who, how, when, with impersonal, and
intercultural forces).
Finally, extended reflexiveness (entangling
meaning in words necessitating further analysis).
b. Deconstruction establish a methodology focusing on apparently
contradictory imperatives (sameness and difference)
c. Deconstruction declined the logicentric bias of Western philosophy and
engenders strategies decentering what is construed to be centers.
d. Deconstruction gained popularity in areas such as literary theory,
sociology, feminist studies, psychoanalysis, and linguistics.
e. Derrida follows Heidegger in assaulting the metaphysics of presence
that dominates Western philosophy from the time of the Greeks. Derrida
borrowed Heideggers destructive retrieve and seeks to open texts up
to alternative and usually repressed meanings that reside at least partly
outside of the metaphysical tradition. Derrida installed invention as a
relevant aspect of any deconstructive reading. For Derrida, In any text,
there are inevitably points of equivocation and undecidability that betray
the meaning that an author impose upon his text Grounded on the logic
of identity and non-contradiction, this logocentric prejudice narrowly
confines meaning to an origin centered on presence, what is, rather than
what is not.
f. In advancing the concept of Saussures view of language, Derrida
privileges difference, coining a neologism, to suggest not only that
which is different, but also that which is deferred. Difference is a term
coined by Derrida in response to Saussures structuralist linguistics.
There is an unconceptualizable, unperceivable dimension in language in
the thinking of difference without positive terms making difference itself
the prototype of a remainder outside Western Metaphysical thought.
Difference is the deferral of difference. He introduced a graphic element
into his spelling of difference that cannot be detected by the voice. The

effect of punctuation and the spaces in the body of the text is another
example of the unrepresentable dimensions available to writing.
g. Meaning only emerges in a field that has already excluded what is
absent. For Derrida, the use of language (speech or writing) refers to
reality. Such reality is linguistically formulated and is indeterminate.
Meaning is not something preexisting in the mind that we struggle to
express. The words rest on nothing not on speech (Austin), intention
(Grice), naming (Frege), deep grammar (Chomsky), metalanguages
(Davidson), and social usage (Wittgenstein). We cannot define a word
except in relation to other words. Derrida presents the texts, institutions,
traditions, societies, beliefs, and practices as having no definable
h. For Derrida, this realization has radical consequences. No longer can
one rely on the essential stability of signs. A radical undecidability
surrounds all significations. There can be no absolute origin or site of
meaning. For Derrida, language is a closed system of signs, without a
center, that logic, perception or social behavior cannot be the basis for
language, which is the primary reality.
i. Derrida battles against phonocentric bias that privileges speech over
writing in Western philosophical tradition. Derrida referred at the
opposition of speech/writing, saying that speech is always viewed as
more relevant than writing. In linguistic theories, speech is primary form
of language, and writing is simply the transcription of speech. Writing
cannot be thought of as entirely phonetic, nor that speech is entirely
auditory. Spaces in writing are perceptible as the unpresentable silences
in speech. Beginning in Plato, writing is viewed as poor substitute for
the spoken word because the speaker is no longer present to correct
misunderstandings. Derrida challenges this trust in phonocentricity,
pointing that difference exists even when we speak to ourselves with the
ideal of self-presence as soliloquy.
j. In speech there is still an essential difference between distinct and absent
acoustic significance allowing for possible meaning. By contrast, a text
exhibits an autonomy that openly admits it requires neither the presence
of a speaking subject nor the referential presence of the matter of the
k. There is Derridean skepticism regarding almost all priorities which
dominate Western philosophical tradition, presence over absence, speech
over writing, sameness over difference, eternity over finite temporality.
l. Deconstruction resembles, yet not totally, the spirits of Kantian critique,
Nietzschean genealogy, and Heideggerian destruction.
Consequently, Deconstruction cannot become the dominant paradigm that
replaces all other paradigms; this will only succeed in exchanging one
logocentric model for another.


c. Language Game : Jean Francois Lyotard73 (1924- )

Jean Francois Lyotard was born in Versailles in 1924 and became one of
the foremost postmodern philosophers. Since 1952, Lyotard has taught
philosophy in Algeria, Paris and California. His book, The Postmodern
Condition was written as a report to the French government on the state of
knowledge. The foundations of knowledge have been transformed from a
modern to a postmodern condition. This transformation changed the game rules
of science, literature and the arts. The feature of knowledge was its search for
universal and fixed answers to the queries of human existence. Those queries
were answered through scientific rationality and political ideology. Modern
science held that nature had a language that would enable us to totally control our
fate. Nationalism convinces us that the interests of every individual were best
served by patriotism. The growing disrespect for these universal ideas caused
chaos. The mass society collapsed. The needs and desires were diversified.
Multiple media innovations, such as satellite communications, have contributed
to the development of a new order wherein national politics and economies are
dwarfed by new global structures. All the economic boundaries of nation states
were eclipsed by global ones. So, the grand universal schemes of national
political leaders and movements are redundant and powerless in the face of a
global economy whish is beyond their control.
Lyotard establishes a different mode of grasping knowledge. In his book
the Differand, Lyotard affirms the idea that every particular cultural identity can
be construed as a language game. Within any particular language game there are
rules and methods and common vocabularies which participants use to
differentiate their own language game from others. In this world of multiple
overlapping language games, no one particular language game has total control.
The differences between some language games can be so great that their rules
render communication between them futile.
Post modernity is incredulity toward metanarratives, the repudiation of
metaphysical philosophy, philosophies of history, and any form of totalizing
thought such as Hegelianism, liberalism, Marxism or positivism. He seemed to
concur with theorist of post-industrial society on the primacy of knowledge,
information and computerization.
Thus, the postmodern society is the
computerization of society.
The metanarratives of modernity tend toward exclusion and a desire for
universal metaprescriptions. Modern act of universalizing and homogenizing
metaprescriptives violates what he regarded the heterogeneity of language games.
The act of consensus also violates the heterogeneity and imposes homogeneous
criteria and a false universality. Lyotard upholds dissensus over consensus,
diversity and dissent over conformity and consensus, and heterogeneity and the
incommensurable over homogeneity and universality.

d. Hyperreality : Jean Baudrillard74 (1929 -)

Baudrillard was born in Reims, France in 1929. From 1966 to 1987, he
taught sociology at the University of Paris. He became famous because of his
philosophical outlook known as hyperreality. Hyperreality alludes to the virtual
or unreal nature of contemporary culture in an age of mass communication and
mass consumption. His philosophical concern with the media and mass
consumption led to the installment of 50 television sets in his home. For
Baudrillard, America is a desert. It is a vast cultural void where the real and the
unreal are merged so completely that distinctions between them disappear.
America is so engulfed in the imagery of mass media that the lines between
reality and fiction are blurred. Peoples lives are played out as if a film or soap
Baudrillard argues that contemporary society has entered into a phase of
implosion. The old structures of class have vanished. This is known as the void
of the masses. The masses no longer make themselves evident as a class. They
lost all meaning. They have been analyzed through statistics, polls and
marketing and no longer respond to enlightened political representation. They
have absorbed neutralized ideology, religion and the transcendental aspirations.
The law that is imposed is the law of confusion of categories. Everything is
sexual. Everything is political. Everything is aesthetic. Each category is
generalized that eventually loses all specificity and is reabsorbed by all other
Baudrillard posited a return to symbolic societies as his revolutionary
alternative. His symbolic exchange is not synonymous to the logic of production,
utility, the exchange of looks, prodigality, festival and instrumental rationality
governing capitalist and socialist societies. Baudrillard anchors his symbolic
exchange with the cultural revolutionary projects of the time in his contradictory
deal in the revolt of marginal groups such as the blacks, women and gays who
subverted the code of racial or sexual difference and are more radical and
subversive than socialists operating within the code of political economy.
Baudrillard was calling for a cultural and total revolution. Cultural revolution
engenders new practices, institutions, signs, codes, values etc. For Baudrillard,
all practices and signs are restrained by and absorbed into the almighty cod. He
is commending a total repudiation, to all negativity and utopia of radical
otherness [Baudrillard, The Mirror of Production, 130ff.].
Baudrillard insists that we are now in the age of simulation wherein
computerization, information processing media, cybernetic control systems and
the organization of society in accord to simulation codes and paradigms replacing
production as the organizing principle of society. Modernity is the time of
production restrained by industrialist. Post modernity is the time of simulation.
There is a passage from a metallurgic into a semiurgic society. Radical semiurgy
is the proliferation of signs to dominate social life. With the advent of
Hyperreality, simulations stems to configure reality itself. In the postmodern
mediascape, boundaries between information and entertainment, images and

politic implode. A similar implosion between politics and entertainment is
evident. Implosion is a key component in Baudrillards framework of
postmodern social paradigm. Implosion is a process of social entropy leading to
a collapse of boundaries such as the implosion of meaning in the media and the
implosion of media and the social in the masses.

e. Power and Knowledge : Michel Foucault75 (1926-

Focault was born in Poitiers, France. He studied at a prestigious graduate
school in Paris. Focault was influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche. Focault follows
Nietzsche in affirming that knowledge and power are inseparable. Power and
Knowledge imply one another. There is no power relation without the correlative
constitution of a field of knowledge, nor does any knowledge not presuppose and
constitute at the same time power relations. Power is not merely a matter of the
of A to convince B. Power is a positive as well as a negative force. The most
crucial site of power is where force is unnecessary. It is where people willingly
conform to social norms so that the use of physical force is made legitimate only
when it is necessary.

f. Structuralism : Reality is not composed of things, but of


Structuralism 76 is a non-descriptive mode of thinking and a method of

analysis practiced in 20th century social sciences and humanities. Structuralism is
an overall worldview that provides an organic as opposed to an atomistic
account of reality and knowledge. Methodologically, it analyzes large-scale
systems by examining the relations and functions of the smallest constituent
elements of such systems, which range from human languages and cultural
practices to folktales and literary texts.
In the field of linguistics, the structuralist work of a Swiss linguist,
Ferdinand de Saussure, undertaken just prior to World War 1, long served as
model of inspiration. Characteristic of structuralist thinking, Saussures
linguistic inquiry was centered not on speech itself but on the underlying rules
and conventions enabling language to operate. In analyzing the social or
collective dimension of language rather than individual speech, he pioneered and
promoted study of grammar rather than usage, rules rather than expressions,
models rather than data, language (langue) rather than speech (parole). Language
is a timeless system of signs (sounds or written signs), which is the possibility of
discourse. Discourse (parole) is a unique expression of meaning, created by a
specific interrelationship of signs. Language is both informational and symbolic.
Saussure was interested in the infrastructure of language that is common to all
speakers and functions on an unconscious level. His inquiry was concerned with
deep permanent structures beneath things rather than surface phenomena, and
made no reference to historical evolution. In structuralist terminology, it was

synchronic (ahistorical) rather than diachronic (existing and changing over time
or historical).
It is important to elucidate first a Saussurean distinction between
language and speech. Language is the whole linguistic system into which the
individual is born. Speech is composed of the actual speech acts that the speaker
enunciates. It is the individual aspect of language rather than the social. Speech
must be analyzed in terms of language. Saussure compares speech with an
individual move in a chess game. It can only be understood in terms of the
underlying system of rules, which is chess. Yet at the primary level the rule
governs only differences. The pawn is not the queen, the queen is not the bishop,
and the bishop is not, etc.
The thrust of Saussures analytical framework is to highlight from
reference, the world toward which the meaning of the texts points (i.e., what
the text means), to sense, to linguistic structures themselves as closed, selfsufficient systems (i.e., how the text means). The accentuation concerning
linguistic structures is relational: langue as relational network, relation between
langue and parole, syntagmatic and paradigmatic relationships.
Hence, Saussurean distinction appears between Associative Relations
(today called paradigms) and syntagms. Paradigmatic analysis is vertical. It
studies the rules of substitution within a particular grammatical category.
Syntagmatic analysis is horizontal. It studies temporal relations of contiguity.
The result of the Saussurean revolution in linguistics was to highlight
language as form, not as content.
In the domain of anthropology and myth studies, the work done in the
immediate post-World war 11 periods by a French anthropologist, Claude LeviStrauss introduced structuralist principles to a wide audience. Following the
ideas of Saussure and of the Slavic linguists Nikolay Sergeyevich Trubetzkoy
and Roman Jakobson, Levi-Strauss specified two procedures basic to
a. Structural analysis examines unconscious infrastructures of cultural
b. It regards the elements of infrastructures as relational, not as
independent entities.
In humanistic and literary studies, structuralism is applied most
effectively in the field of narratology. This nascent discipline studies all
narratives, whether or not they use language: myths and legends, novels and new
accounts, histories, relief sculptures and stained glass windows, pantomimes and
psychological case studies.
Using structuralist methods and principles
narratologists analyze the systematic features and functions of narratives,
attempting to isolate a finite set of rules to account for the infinite set of real and
possible narratives. Starting in the 1900s, the French critic Roland Barthes and
several other French narratologists popularized in the field, which has since
become an important method of analysis in the United States as well.

Because structuralism values deep structures over surface phenomena, it
parallels, in part, the views of Marx and Freud, both of whom were concerned
with underlying causes, unconscious motivations, and transpersonal forces,
shifting attention away from individual human consciousness and choice.
Nevertheless, despite being almost a form of structuralism, ultimately Marxism is
not, because of its obsession with history. Structuralism is a synchronic science.
Hence, it is ahistorical. Also, the psychoanalysis of Freud is incompatible with
structuralism (though the mind is structurally analyzed) because, like Marxism, it
is diachronic. It is oriented toward history. For Freud, these structures can only
be understood by tracing them back historically, to the infancy or childhood of
the individual (ontogeny), or to the infancy or childhood of the human race
(phylogeny), where, according to Freud, where the whole mess began with the
primordial patricide an act of father murder and father cannibalism.
Like Marxism and Freudianism, therefore, structuralism furthers the
ongoing modern diminishment of the individual, portraying the self largely as a
construct and consequence of impersonal systems. Individuals neither originate
nor control the codes and conventions of their social existence, mental life, or
linguistic experience. As a result of its demotion of the person, or subject,
structuralism is widely regarded as antihumanistic.
Saussure envisaged a new discipline, a science of signs and sign systems
that he named semiology, and for which he believed structural linguistics could
provide a principal methodology. The American philosopher Charles Sanders
Pierce, Saussures contemporary, sketched a similar science labeled semiotic. In
1961, Levi-Strauss situated structural anthropology within the domain of
semiology. Increasingly, the terms semiology and semiotics came to designate a
field of study that analyzes sign systems, codes, and conventions of all kinds,
from human to animal and sign languages, from the jargon of fashion to the
lexicon of food, from the rules of folk narrative to those of phonological systems,
from codes of architecture and medicine to the conventions of myth and
literature. The term semiotics has gradually replaced structuralism, and the
formation of the International Association for Semiotic Studies in the 1960s has
solidified the trend.
At the moment when structuralist methodology was expanding into the
discipline of semiotics, critical reaction occurred, particularly in France, where it
led to such antithetical and schismatic projects as Gilles Deleuzes
schizoanalysis, Jacques Derridas Deconstruction, Michel Foucaults
genealogy, and Julia Kristevas semanalysis. These critical schools were
lumped together and labeled post structuralism in the United States.
Despite the various critiques of structuralism, it has generated much
important work and holds promise of continuing to do so.
General Principles
a. Meaning occurs through difference. Meaning is not identification of
the sign with object in the real world or with some pre-existent concept






or essential reality; rather is generated by difference among signs in a

signifying system. For instance, the meaning of the words woman
and lady are established by their relations to one another in a
meaning-field. They both refer to a human female, but what
constitutes human and what constitutes female is themselves
established through difference, not identity with any essence, or ideal
truth, or the like.
Relations among signs are of two sorts, contiguity and substitutability,
the axes of combination and selection: hence the existence of all
grammars, hence all substitutions, hence the ability to know something
by something else or by a part of it in some way hence metonymy
and metaphor. The conception of combination and selections provides
the basis for an analysis of literariness or poetically in the use,
repletion and variation of sound patterns and combinations. It also
provides keys to the most fundamental elements of culture.
Structuralism notes that much of our imaginative world is structured
of, and structured by, binary oppositions (being/nothingness, hot/cold,
culture/nature); this opposition structure meaning, and one can describe
fields of cultural thought by describing the binary sets which compose
Structuralism forms the basis for semiotics, the study of signs: a sign is
a union of signifier and signified, and is anything that stands for
anything else.
Central too to semiotics is the idea of codes, which give signs context
cultural codes, literary codes etc. The study of semiotics and of codes
opens up literary study to cultural study, and expands the resources of
the critic in discussing the meaning of texts. Structuralism, says,
Genette is a study of the cultural construction or identification of
meaning according to the relations of signs that constitute the meaningspectrum of the culture.
Structuralism introduces the idea of the subject, as opposed to the idea
of the individual as a stable indivisible ego. Kaja Silverman in his
book The Subject of Semiotics held that the term subject foregrounds
the relationship between ethnology, psychoanalysis, and semiotics. It
helps us to conceive of human reality as a construction, as the product
of signifying activities, which are both culturally specific and generally
unconscious. The category of the subject thus calls into question of
notions both of the private, and of a self-synonymous with
consciousness. It suggests that even desire is culturally instigated, and
hence collective; and it de-centers consciousness, relegating it to a
purely receptive capacity. Finally, by drawing attention to the
divisions, which separate one area of psychic activity from another, the
term subject challenges the value of stability attributed to the

individual. The value of conception is that it allows us to open up,
conceptually, the inner world of humans, to see the relation of human
experience to cultural experience, to talk cogently of meaning as
something that is structured into our selves. There is no attempt her to
challenge the meaningfulness of persons; there is an attempt to
dethrone the ideology of the ego, the idea that the self is an eternal,
indivisible essence, and an attempt to redefine what is to be a person.
The self, like other things, signified and culturally constructed. PostStructuralism, in particular, will insist that the subject is de-centered.
g. The conception of the constructed subject opens up the borders
between the conscious and the unconscious. The unconscious itself is
not some strange, impenetrable realm of private meaning but is
constructed through the sign-systems and through the repressions of
the culture. Both the self and the unconscious are cultural constructs.
h. Consciously, we perceive things, but unconsciously we perceive
relationships. The mind not only perceives location, height and depth
but also relationships of contrast.
i. In view of structuralism our knowledge of reality is not only coded
but also conventional, that is, structured by and through conventions,
made up of signs and signifying practices. This is known as the
social construction of reality.
j. There is, then, in structuralism, a coherent connection among the
conceptions of reality, the social, the individual, the unconscious: they
are all composed of the same signs, codes and conventions, all working
according to similar laws.
Structuralism is appealing to some critics because it adds certain objectivity, a
scientific objectivity, to the realm of literary studies (which have often been
criticized as purely subjective/impressionistic). This scientific objectivity is
achieved by subordinating parole to langue; actual usage is abandoned in
favor of studying the structure of a system in the abstract. Thus structuralist
readings ignore the specificity of actual texts and treat them as if they were like
the patterns produced by iron filings moved by magnetic force the result of
some impersonal force or power, not the result of human effort.
In structuralism, the individuality of the text disappears in favor at
looking at patterns, systems, and structures. Some structuralists (and a related
school of critics, called the Russian Formalists) propose that all narratives can be
chartered as variations on certain basic universal narrative patterns.
In this way of looking at narratives, the author is canceled out, since the
text is a function of a system, not of an individual. The romantic humanist model
holds that the author is the origin of the text, its creator, and hence is the starting
point or progenitor of the text. Structuralism argues that any piece of writing, or
any signifying system, has no origin, and that authors merely inhabit pre-existing
structures (langue) that enable them to make any particular sentence (or story)

any parole. Hence the idea that language speaks us, rather than we speak
language. We dont originate language; we inhabit a structure that enables us to
speak; what we (mis)perceive as our originality is simply our recombination of
some of the elements in the pre-existing system. Hence every text, and every
sentence we speak or write, is made up of the already written.
By focusing on the system itself, in a synchronic analysis, structuralists
cancel out history. Levi-Strauss does insist that structures are universal,
therefore, timeless. Structuralists cant account for change or development; they
are uninterested, for example, in how literary forms may have changed over time.
They are not interested in a texts production or reception/consumption, but only
in the structures that shape it.
In erasing the author, the individual text, the reader, and history,
structuralism represented a major challenge to what we now call the liberal
humanist tradition in literary criticism.
The Humanist model presupposed:
a. That there is a real world out there that we can understand with our
rational minds.
b. That language is capable of (more or less) accurately depicting that real
c. That language is a product of the individual writers mind or free will,
meaning that we determine what we say, and what we mean when we
say it; that language thus expresses the essence of our individual beings
(and that there is such a thing as an essential unique individual self).
d. The self also known as the subject, since thats how we represent the
idea of a self in language, by saying I, which is the subject of a sentence
or the individual (or the mind or the free will) is the center of all
meaning and truth; words mean what I say they mean, and truth is what
I perceive as truth. I create my own sentences out of my own individual
experiences and need for individual expression.


Chapter 3
Philosophy of Man: Eastern Tradition

Buddhism (563 B.C.E.)
The Buddhist tradition can be traced back to the year 563 BCE, the birth
of Siddhartha Gautama (son of King Suddhodana and queen Maha-Maya of the
Sakya clan. Buddhism is a teaching of Buddha who was born a prince of
Kapilavathu (Himalaya Mountains near Nepal) in 623 B.C. He married
Yasodhara and had a son, Rahula. He gave up his life of courts glamour and
luxuries because of the sight of an old man, sick man, dead man and mendicant
monk. He entered the homeless life of a monk to seek the truth and find a way to
Buddhism is a practice of finding peace within oneself. It is formulated
to win happiness during the present life as well as in the next. The
influence of karma, the mechanism that determines how a persons act
will impact the next incarnation, impelled the Buddhists to practice
finding the good within everything.
Their ultimate goal is

enlightenment. Buddhism acts as a philosophy that regulates a persons
place in the world.
The Buddhist teaching on God is the sense of an ultimate Reality, a
noble silence. If there is a Causeless Cause of all Causes. An Ultimate
Reality, a Boundless Light, an Eternal Noumenon behind phenomena, it
must be infinite, unlimited, unconditioned, unknowable in our present
state and without attributes.
Buddhism denies the existence of an immortal soul in man. The
enlightenment dwells in life does not belong to one form of life. Man
can become Buddha, enlightened by the principle of enlightenment
within. The process is to become what you are, to develop to the full
innate Buddha mind by destroying the ignorance produced, desire
maintained illusion of self which binds us from life to life on the wheel
of becoming.
The Doctrine on Dependent Origination is the central teaching of the Buddha.
There is nothing in this world that does not come within the sphere of the causal
laws. Causality informs us concerning the arising and passing away of things in
this world. All his other tenets are taken from it as corollaries [Villaba, 88].
Ignorance is the root cause of all sufferings, of the cycle of birth and death.
Ignorance tells us that one is in bondage. Knowledge is only method that can
destroy ignorance. Knowledge corresponds to the knowledge of truth, and of the
impermanence of things in this world.
The Theory of Karma is based on Patticasamutpada for it is an implication of
the law of causation. Karma alludes to the fruits of ones action. Our present life
is due to the impressions of the karmas of the past life. The past shapes the
future. This is grounded on a cause-effect relation. Man has a role to play. If he
would like to develop his present situations, he must persevere to do so. He must
will it to be so. By good works they can have better life [Villaba, 89-90]
The Doctrine of Transmigration one experiences a cycle of birth and death.
Things of this world are impermanent and transitory. Anyone who is ignorant
about the things of this world clings to the things of this world believing
erroneously that the worldly things are permanent. The goal of men is geared
towards perfect happiness, lasting bliss. Whatever you turn in this world is
fleeting, even what you would think as that which could give you happiness, so
you get frustrated and as a consequence, you suffer. Every moment you suffer,
you are said to die. Death is not separation of soul from the body or physical
death. It emphasizes an end of a certain aspect. The end of one is the beginning
of another this beginning of a new aspect is known as birth in the birth-death
cycle called samsara. The very foundation is ignorance. Knowledge must
destroy ignorance. The possibility of attaining knowledge is through moral
purification using the middle path. In Buddhism, this is the only way to
nirvana. For Buddha, suffering is samsara. Cessation of suffering is
nirvana. Both are only aspects of the same reality. Dependent origination,

deduced from the standpoint of relativity is samsara, while deducing it from the
standpoint of reality; it is nirvana. Reality is the absolute. The absolute self
appears as relative and acts as the binding thread offering unity and meaning to
the relative. In an empirical world dominated by the intellect, anything is
relative, conditional, dependent, subject to birth and death and impermanent.
Since it is relative, it is only an appearance. It is neither absolutely real nor
absolutely unreal. It is phenomenal. All phenomenal things are in between two
extremes: reality and nothingness. In this viewpoint, the Buddha calls his
doctrine the Middle Path [Villaba, 90-91].
Dhamma, the doctrine of the turning of the wheel, alludes to the never ending
becoming, rather than fulfillment, to never ceasing change, which discloses how
impermanent is the seemingly permanent. It has been symbolized by a wheel
with twelve sections or a circular chain with twelve links. The 1 st link of this
wheel of dependent co-arising instructs that aging and dying depend on rebirth,
and the last link insists that ignorance is the basic cause of samsara (rebirth).
Each link leads those without enlightenment on to the next stage of an endless
spin. Dhamma brings the pain of knowing only incompletion, partial realization,
and inevitable failures to attain the whole or the perfect. Six realms within this
level of rebirth depicts destinies that engulf living beings trapped in the cycle of
craving and desire. The lowest realm shows extreme punishment in a hell of
terrors, from which one enters the human realm through rebirth after paying the
debt for wicked deeds. Above the first is a world of hungry ghosts wandering the
earth in search of subsistence. The realm of animals comes next, the least severe
of the hells that existed. The human part, where one could practice good karma,
was above he animal realm, and the areas of the demigods and gods composed
the 5th and 6th spheres respectively. Gautama Buddha felt that humans erred in
clinging to the pleasures of life in the face of such an endless, hopeless existence.
So painful is existence and so wearisome is this yearning to hold to the world we
know and experience consciously that it is best for one to allow it to perish, to
leave the cycle of samsara. The state of enlightenment is better than all these
planes and superior to all the gods, for even the gods have to experience rebirth
[Rausch and Voss, 72-73].
The Doctrine of Momentariness adheres to the fact that since all things are
relative, dependent, conditional and finite, they are momentary i.e., impermanent.
The emergence of a thing depends upon a cause. With the removal/absence of
the cause, the thing ceases to be. It is thus, momentary. It is subject to
destruction and, therefore, not permanent and is momentary. Everything in this
world is relative, impermanent and momentary [Villaba, 91].
The No-soul Theory or No-Ego Theory The individual ego is ultimately false.
To say that everything is momentary or impermanent is to believe that the ego
our soul is also momentary and is, therefore, relative and false [Villaba, 91].
Existence in Buddhism is described in the following ways: [Villaba, 91]
1. All things of this world are impermanent (Anicca).

2. All things of this world are non-substantial (Anatta)
3. All things of this world are unsatisfactory suffering (Dukkha)
Buddhas Epistemology: 3fold Knowledge [Villaba, 92]
1. Retro-cognition The capacity to perceive ones own past life/history. It
depends on memory. The memory of past existence is gained through
the acts of intensive concentration as in the unfolding /enhancing of other
2. Clairvoyance in Buddhism, this is the knowledge of the deceased and
the survival of other beings that wander in the cycle of existences in
accord with their behavior (karma). Clairvoyance and retro-cognition
intensifies one to verify the phenomenon of rebirth.
3. Knowledge of the destruction of the defiling impulses with retrocognition and clairvoyance and with the addition of telepathy furnishes
an insight into the four noble truths. In Buddhism, reason and perception
are acceptable sources of information. Buddha maintains that there are
other valid sources of knowledge. The fulcrum of argumentation is on
the limitation of knowledge as meant to impede people from believing on
speculative paradigms. Truth consists in the knowledge of things as they
Buddhism: ethics [Villaba, 92-95, Rausch and Voss, 74-75] there is an
integration of knowledge and conduct: theory and practice in Buddhism.
Understanding man and nature is not an end in itself but a means to an end.
Freedom is the ultimate purpose of knowledge such as freedom from the world
tormented by decay, birth and death. To attain freedom from suffering, a disciple
must do all that is to be done by gradual and ordered ways such as: first, by
gradual process of thinking; second, by gradual working out; finally, by gradual
practice. The usage of this gradualness process reinforces the person to realize
that even the immortal person is capable of attaining the state of moral perfection
culminating in gaining freedom. Virtuous or moral behavior is a composite of
two poles: first, the negative sphere is simply evading evil such as evading
killing or hurting living creatures; second, the positive sphere is simply
enhancing the good such as compassion for all beings. Buddhas affirmative
objective: spiritual happiness or blessedness. Not all existence leads to misery,
not all desire is wrong. The wise person, having overcome ignorance is able to
assess what is not miserable in existence and what is admirable in desire. To
evade suffering and cause no suffering, he said: Let therefore no man love
anything: loss of the beloved is evil. Those who love nothing and hate nothing
have no fetters. Buddha urged that a person break the bonds that tie one to the
wheel of existence. He sought to lift ten fetters: belief in the existence of the self,
doubt, trust in ceremonies of good works, lust, anger, desire for rebirth in worlds
of form, desire for rebirth in formless worlds, pride, self righteousness and
The moral virtuous, in Buddhism, consists several categories:

1. Panca sila 5 virtues
a. Abstain from taking life both of oneself and of other and of both
b. Abstain from stealing (asteya).
c. Abstain from adultery or indulgence in sensual pleasure
d. Abstain from lying or falsehood (satya).
e. Abstain from indolence consequent on the use of intoxicating drinks
2. Dasa sila ten virtues- this includes the 1st four of panca sila and:
a. Abstain from slander.
b. Abstain from harsh or rough speech.
c. Abstain from frivolous chatter.
d. Abstain from covetousness.
e. Abstain from malevolence.
f. Abstain from false or heretical views
The basis of ethical judgment in Buddhism: find out whether it leads to:
1. Detachment of this world the action is good (whatever action, bodily,
verbal, or mental does not lead to suffering for one self, for others, or for
both) for it leads to happiness and freedom.
2. Attachment of this world the action is bad (whatever action, verbal,
bodily, or mental that leads to suffering for one self, for others or for
both) for it clings to the things of this world and is conducive to suffering
and bondage.
The result of harming innocent beings:
1. Subject to severe injuries causing excruciating pain in this very life
2. Immediate death
3. Debilitating illness such as A.I.D.S., cancer, etc.
4. Insanity
5. Oppression by government
6. Heavy accusation by the court
7. Immediate destruction of relatives/loved ones
8. Bankruptcy or material loss
9. Ravaging fire
10. Causing birth in woeful states after death
The Four Noble Truths
1. The Noble Truth of Suffering Rebirth, old age, disease, death, sorrow,
lamentation, pain, grief and despair, association with objects we dislike,
separation from objects we love, not to obtain what one desires cause
suffering. Happy hours and pleasure in mans life-time are impermanent
and last for a short time and vanish for nothing. Only sorrow,
lamentation, pain, grief and despair are left.

2. The Noble Truth of the Arising of Suffering The threefold craving
leads every being from birth to birth and is accompanied by joy and lust,
seeking its gratification such as sensual craving, craving for existence
and craving for wealth and power. The six fold cravings are as follows:
the eye craves for forms, the ear craves for sounds, the nose craves for
odors, the tongue craves for taste, the body craves for objects, and the
mind craves for noun, dreams or illusions. These are the conditions of
origin of individual suffering.
3. The Noble Truth of the Cessation of suffering It is a condition of the
complete fading away and extinction of this threefold craving, forsaking
it and giving it up. The liberation and detachment from the threefold and
six fold cravings can realize nirvana or the extinction of the cravings.
4. The Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of suffering It
is the Noble eightfold Path or the middle path that avoids the two
extremes of sensual pleasure and self-mortification. It leads to the
cessation of suffering.
Cravings and ignorance are the two chief evil-doers of individual existence. To
overcome rebirth, old age, disease, death, sorrows, lamentation, pain, grief and
despair, man must attain nirvana, liberation and salvation. Man must advocate
moderation and practice the noble eightfold path or the middle path.
Buddhas Noble Eightfold Path1
a. Right Views means knowledge of the teachings of dharma, the four
noble truths and the law of karma.
b. Right Intention means dispassion, benevolence and refusal to
injure others. It involves the elimination of ambitions, revenge,
hatred, greed, lust and violence.
c. Right Speech means no lying, slander, abuse, or idle talk. Man
must be compassionate and full of sympathy, with a heart full of
loving-kindness and free from secret malice.
d. Right Action means not taking life, stealing, not indulging in
sensuality, slander and intoxicating liquor or drugs or being sexually
e. Right Livelihood is an occupation that does not harm living things,
thus butchers, hunters, fishers, and sellers of weapons or liquors are
not prescribed.
f. Right Effort avoids the rising of evil thoughts and developing such
good in ones mind and maintains a good and meritorious state of
g. Right Mindfulness and Awareness is disciplined so that it focuses
on a worthy object of meditation. It is right attentiveness, which
means continual recollection of all phenomena about bodily structure,

all parts of the human body, all states of health, purity of mind,
contemplation of various states of mind and all kinds of temperament.
h. Right Concentration is the threshold of nirvana, consists of the
four great efforts such as the effort to avoid and to overcome evil
states of mind, the effort to develop and maintain good states of mind.
The state of mind must be accompanied by right knowledge, right
intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort and
right attentiveness.
Man must do good, avoid evil and purify the heart. For Buddha, the hearts of
ordinary men are not pure. They are filled with greed, ill will and delusion. To
purify the heart man must:
practice self-control and self restraint
meditating upon ones ownself
following the eightfold path
Man and the entire universe belong to two categories: Name mind and Form
matter or body or corporeality. It also describes the physical aspects of being.
Name and form comprises the psycho-physical organism which constitutes a
person. There are five aggregates such as matter, sensation, perception, mental
constructs, and consciousness. Thus, the psychosomatic organism is composed
of form and name such as emotional, conative, volitional and cognitive faculties.
There is no permanent reality. The only reality is impermanence. Only the ego
belongs to the realm of naming. The true person cannot be reached by modes of
speech. There is no soul. This context is tied up with impermanence and has a
bearing on suffering. Man suffers because of his ignorance. The final goal of
man is to attain enlightenment. Man must realize the impermanence of things
and man is not the five sheaths. By yoga, he reaches nirvana.
Nirvana means blowing out. It is the summum bonum and goal of Buddhism.
The person who gained this status is known as arhat. It dissipates craving, a
state of detachment where there is no suffering. It is simply perfect happiness.
In its highest peak, nirvana is the purification of the mind, restoration to its
primitive simplicity or radiant transparency. A person who gained nirvana
becomes enlightened, a Buddha.
Characteristics of an arhat [Villaba, 96-97]
1. Experiences detachment from the world
2. Detachment generates freedom
3. Freedom generates stability of mind
4. Experiences security and peace amidst confusions in the world
5. He understands the nature of things such as impermanence,
unsatisfactoriness, and nonsubstantiality.
An arhat who is still alive experiences all impressions of the senses. It has the
capacity to impede the engendering of attachment. The arhat is unmoved and
stays calm amidst the sensations of the emotive spheres.

An arhat who is already dead is characterized by a complete liberation from all
fetters. After his death, the five aggregates, which comprise the human person
such as matter, feelings, perception, dispositions, and consciousness, disappear.
He will neither be reborn or will not be reborn. There is no rebirth for an arhat.
Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism
After the death of Gautama Buddha, Buddhism was split into two great
traditions: Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada means Doctrine of the elders,
the conservative branch of Buddhism. It seeks to be faithful to the original
teachings of Gautama Buddha as canonized in the Pali scriptures. It focuses on
the role of the monk and his quest for nirvana. The ideal of Theravada Buddhism
is to become an arhat. Theravada monks do not rely on symbols or rituals. Their
altars are simple and their possessions are few. They begged for food and
reaffirm their separation from gainful employment, the pursuit of the Middle
Path, and their dedication to the goal of arhat. They renounce the vanities of
human existence and the pride that accompanies individuality. Mahayana means
Great Vehicle. Their common quality is karuna or compassion. T considered
Theravada as a lesser vehicle or hinayana. Mahayana Buddhists affirms that
each person can gain nirvana through assistance. The dead Buddhist or
bodhisattva, a saint or enlightened one who compassionately holds back on the
very threshold of complete Buddhahood to assist others attain nirvana. The
Mahayanists considered Buddha not only as a model to follow, but also a savior
who would offer assistance. Prayer and petitions were advocated. The
Mahayanists added the sutras (from great teachers) to their scriptures. Zen
Buddhism is a descendant of Mahayana Buddhism. It resembles Theravada. It
was developed when Bodhidharma came to china in the 6 th century. Zen
distrusted reason, using riddles to go beyond reason to enlightenment. They
practiced plain living and rigorous self-discipline in preparation for meditation
and inward vision. Zen monks cultivated Japanese martial arts, archery and
swordsmanship. They highlighted the significance of intuition such as imagining,
designing houses and temples, planning household furnishings and civic
buildings, flower arrangement and maintaining a reserved, detached attitude
toward life. Books, views, discussions and sermons mean little to Zen monks
and their disciples for they are only theoretical. Buddha nature is the universal,
all-encompassing harmony. Buddha realization of the cosmic harmony leads to
Buddha action or inspiration, the knowledge that Buddha is in everything.
Riddles are much more effective in probing for truth. The essential principle of
Zen Buddhism is evident in the story of a disciple of Buddha who brought him a
golden flower as a gift and ask him to reveal the secret of his outlook. Taking the
flower, Buddha held it high and looked at it silently. In this way he indicated that
his secret could not be found in words but rather in contemplating the flower in
all its beauty and meaning (Rausch and Voss 80-81).

Confucianism (551-479 B.C.)

Confucianism, major system of thought in China, developed from the
teachings of Confucius and his disciples: Mencius and Hzun Tzu. Confucius is
the Latinized name for Kong-Tzu or Kung-Fu-Tzu. Confucius was a scholar and
well versed in charioting and archery, history and numbers, music and rituals.
Confucius preferred that his disciples will be useful to state and society. He
taught poetry, music, history, government, etiquette, and divination (foretelling
the future). He immersed his disciples with numerous branches of knowledge
such as interpretation of the ancient cultural history and his very own moral
concept. Confucianism is concerned with the principles of good conduct,
practical wisdom, and proper social relationships. Confucianism has influenced
the Chinese attitude toward life, set the patterns of living and standards of social
value, and provided the background for Chinese political theories and
For Confucius, philosophy is a kind of a system of ideas and thoughts that
talk about the human behavior, the rules to be followed to become successful in
life and about the government.
Maxims of Confucius
1. The Great Alternative To retire into solitude or to live in the world and
try to shape it. His decision is unequivocal. He who is concerned only
with the purity of his own life ruins the great human relations.
2. The Nature of Man The nature of man is called jen. Jen is humanity
and morality in one. To be human means to be in communication. The
nature of man is as follows: the elucidation of what he is and should be
and the account of the diversity of his existence.
3. The Source is Absolute, the Manifestation is Relative Truth and
realities are one. The mere idea is as nothing. The root of human
salvation lies in the knowledge that influences reality. That is, in the
truth of idea that are translated into an inner transforming action.
4. The Necessity of Order Order is necessary because it is only in human
association that the essence of man is real. Order is based on a first
principle, which throughout life can serve as a guide to action. Do to
no one what you would not wish others to do to you. In acting on this
rule, men are bound by a sense of equality.
Confucius philosophy is humanistic. It informs us concerning relations and
virtues. Confucius 2 virtues:
1. Righteousness doing an action without ulterior motive (not for profit)
2. Human heartedness Jen or humanity
Confucianist greatest virtues: benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom,
sincerity, harmony, filial piety, brotherly respect
The keynote of Confucian ethics is jen, translated as love, goodness,
humanity, and human-heartedness. It is also benevolence, true
manhood, human-heartedness, altruistic steadfastness, uprightness of
character and is rendered as humanity. Jen has to do with inner feelings,

not the norms of external behavior. A true man is a noble man, a superior
man and a man of jen. Jen is a supreme virtue representing human
qualities at their best. In human relations, construed as those between
one person and another. Jen is manifested in Chung, or faithfulness to
oneself and others, and shu, or altruism or reciprocity, best expressed in
the Confucian golden rule. To Confucius shu, reciprocity impelled men
to seek Li by he Ten proper attitudes resulting into five relationships:
first, kindness in the Father,and filial piety in the son; second, gentility in
the eldest brother and humility and respect in the younger; third,
righteousness behavior in the husband and obedience in the wife; fourth,
humane consideration in elders, and deference in juniors; fifth,
benevolence in rulers, and loyalty in ministers and subjects. Other
important virtues include righteousness, propriety, integrity, and filial
piety. A man of virtues becomes a chun-tzu (perfect gentleman)
attaining five constant virtues: self-respect, magnanimity, sincerity,
earnestness, and benevolence. The principle of Chung and Shu is a
standard of measurement to regulate ones conduct. It is also known as
the principle of applying a measuring square [Rausch and Voss, 83-92].
Ming Doctrine [Villaba, 135]
Ming is translated as fate, destiny. It is the Decree of Heaven or the Will
of Heaven. It connotes the idea of Thy will be done. To know the Ming is to
acknowledge the inevitability of the world as it exists. A man who understands
the Ming is free from doubts; the virtuous is free from anxiety; the brave is free
from fear. To know the Ming is to acknowledge the totality of existent conditions
and circumstances about which man can do nothing and with which he has to live
[Villaba, 130-138].
Confucius Ideas [Villaba, 136-138]
There is no integration of ethics and metaphysics in Confucius. The
foundation of ethics is grounded upon the nature of man and in society. The
existence of an individual is anchored in society. For Confucius, men are
essentially social beings. Society is more than the interaction of men. Society is
established by individuals comprising it. A moral must be a collaborating person
or member of society. Confucius used 2 terminologies such as Li and Tao.
1. Li is translated as reverence or propriety, the ideal forms of social
ceremonies for the proper forms of conduct, the courtesy of all social and
religious behavior or the moral and religious way of life. It represents
the entire conventional and social usage, which he employed with moral
connotation. The Li consists of courtesy and moral duty. Li establishes
total harmony and ensures Tao, the will of Heaven and its cosmic
harmony between heaven and earth.
2. Tao connotes the way with a capital W, i.e., the way above all other
ways that man should follow. The purpose is happiness in this life, here
and now for all mankind. It also involves the special code of the

individual and the pattern of government that could engender the fullest
possible measure of well-being and self-realization for every human
person. For Confucius, the measure of a mans life is not how long but
How Good, stressing quality and not the quantity.
Force is employed by moral men to hinder themselves and the world
from being enslaved. This is done as a last resort and is subordinated to
the power of justice.
Confucius anticipated his students to participate and serve the needs of
the people by revolutionizing the government.
The very purpose and end of life is to make man happy.
Confucius demanded first, wisdom (to know men), and second, virtue (to
love men).
Political Philosophy of Confucius [Villaba, 136-137]
Politically, Confucius advocated a paternalistic government in which the
sovereign is benevolent and honorable and the subject are respectful and
obedient. The ruler must cultivate moral perfection theory. This is
possible when the government is administered by the most capable
person in the country (not hereditary, wealth or position but character and
knowledge produced only by education). It is to reign but not to rule.
One weak point in Confucius political agenda: rulers have the power to
choose their ministers (voting was unheard in China. People were
uneducated and with no political experience)
The Mean or Central Harmony (Chung Yung of Confucius)
The mean2 consists of the elements centrality (Chung) and normality
(yung). Mean, suggests moderation, balance, equilibrium, and suitableness. It
establishes a fundamental norm or standard of human action, which, if
understood and practiced will bring man and his actions into harmony with the

Taoism (600 B.C.E.)

Lao Tzu3 wrote Tao Te Ching as the scripture of Taoism. The central
vehicle of achieving tranquility was the Tao, a term which has been translated as
the way or the path. Te in this context refers to virtue and Ching refers to
laws. Tao Te Ching could be translated as The Law (or Canon) of Virtue and its
Way. The Tao was the central mystical term of Lao Tzu and the Taoists, a
formless, unfathomable source of all things. The Tao is a universal principle
that permeates every action and every phenomenon. It is an abstract entity. To
understand it, man must exercise his own intuition and get in touch with the
metaphysical reality that connects all men.
His philosophy is to remain a natural way to live life with goodness,
serenity and respect. He laid down no rigid code of behavior. He believed a
persons conduct should be governed by instinct and conscience. For Lao Tzu
simplicity is the key to truth and freedom. He encouraged his followers to

observe and understand the laws of nature develop intuition, build up personal
power and to use that power to lead life with love and without force. Thus, a
man must strive to be a man of Tao a sage, a perfect man. A sage
understands the nature of things. To understand the invariable law of nature is to
be enlightened.
The Taoists rejected Confucian attempts to regulate life and society. They
advocated a solitary contemplation of nature. They believed that by doing so one
could ultimately harness the powers of the universe. By doing nothing one could
accomplish everything. Lao Tzu taught that all straining and all striving are not
only in vain but counterproductive. One should endeavor to do nothing (wuwei). It means not to literally do nothing, but to discern and follow the natural
forces, follow and shape the flow of events and not to pit oneself against the
natural order of things.
3 Phases of Taoism [Villaba, 182-202]
1. The threshold of Taoist philosophy is the preservation of life and
abstaining injury. Yang-Chus (the earliest exponent) method is to
evade/escape. This is the method of the ordinary reclues that flees from
society and hides in the mountain and the forests. Through escaping, he
can avoid the evils of the world. The fundamental viewpoint of Yang
Tzu: first, each for himself, second, the despising of things and valuing
of life. Hedonism is Yang Tzus tenet.
2. The 2nd phase in the unfolding of Taoism is a composite of an attempt to
discover laws underlying the changes of things in the universe.
Understanding such laws can transform everything to ones advantage.
These viewpoints are accentuated in Lao Tzu.
3. The last phase in the unfolding of Taoism is situated in Chuang Tzu.
Despite realization, a human person could still suffer injury. To evade
this, Chuang-Tzu adhered visualizing things from a higher viewpoint,
i.e., by transcending this universe.
The Tao [Villaba, 186-202]
Lao Tzu spoke about the unnameable, the Tao. The Tao that comprises words is
not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the abiding name. The
unnameable is the beginning of heaven and earth. The nameable is the mother of
all things. The Tao is eternal, nameless, the uncarved block. Once the block is
carved, there are names. In the Taoist system, the Tao was designated as wu (nobeing). Heaven and earth and all creation as yu (being). The Tao is not the same
as calling a man, for when we call a man; we give certain attributes by which it
can be named. The Tao has no nameable attributes. The Tao is unnameable as
non-being and by which all things came to be. Before the being of beings there
must be non-being from which being came into being. It is metaphysical, not
cosmological. It has nothing to do with time and actuality. For in time and
actuality, there is no Being. There can only be beings. There are many beings
but there is only One Being. Being is one and two and three are the beginning of

the many. Thus, the world is first, Tao; second, Being, non-Being; finally,
Unnameable (or unchangeable). The Taoist also believes on diminishing a thing
and it will increase. Increase a thing and it will diminish such as Eating is good,
too much eating is harmful.
The Human Conduct [Villaba, 186-202]
For Lao Tzu, one should know the invariables, the laws of nature to
conduct ones activities in accordance by them (the laws that govern the things of
things). To know the invariables is known as Enlightenment. Rules to be
observed in practicing enlightenment:
1. If he desires to attain anything, he must begin with the opposite
2. If he desires to be strong, he must start feeling that he is weak
3. If he desires to uphold capitalism, he must acknowledge some
elements of socialism
Opposite would mean contrary and not contradictory. If you desire to get the
highest post of a firm, begin at the lowest to familiarize yourself with the work.
For Lao Tzu, a prudent man can live safely by:
The man must be meek, humble and easily content
To be meek is the way to preserve your strength
Humility is the direct opposite of arrogance. Arrogance is a sign that
mans advancement has attained its extreme limit. Humility is a contrary sign
that he limit is far from attainment. To be content safeguards one from going too
far and hence, from reading the extreme.
The Wu-Wei Theory [Villaba, 186-202] literally, having no activity or non
1. This does not mean no activity at all. It means lesser activity by doing
2. It also means acting without artificiality and arbitrarism.
Activity is good up to a certain point. Too much activity is harmful. It is no
longer good. Over doing is worse than under-doing or not doing at all. The wuwei theory (having no-activity) states that a man must restrict his activities to two
planes: first, the necessary (the attainment of a certain purpose and never overdoing; second, the natural (following ones te with no arbitrary effort. To do this
a person must take simplicity as the guiding principle of life. For the Taoist, the
Tao is the uncarved block, which is simplicity itself.
Hierarchy in point of simplicity:
1. Tao simplicity itself nothing simpler
2. Te next simplest
3. Man who follows Te man should lead as simple a life as possible.
For Lao Tzu, Tao is that by which all things came to be. In this process of
coming to be, each individual thing obtains something from the universal Tao.
This something is TE. Te means power or virtue. It is both in the moral and nonmoral aspect. The Te of a thing is what is naturally is. For Lao Tzu: all things
respect Tao and value Te because the Tao is that by which things came to be. Te

is by which things are what they are. Hence, Tao causes utility and Te causes
power or potentiality. The Te of a thing is actuality. Existence is in accordance
with nature.
The life that follows Te lies beyond distinction between good and evil.
For Lao Tzu, if the human person appreciates beauty as beauty, then there is
already ugliness. If the human person appreciates good as good, there is then
already evil. When beauty and good exists, it follows that ugliness and evil also
In Taoism, a human person lost their original Te because of their
abounding desires and too much knowledge. Sensation comes before appetition
or appetition presupposes sensation. If a person knows many things, chances are,
they desire many things too. To satisfy their desire, a human person is seeking
for happiness. Satisfying abounding desires, they attain an opposite outcome.
Many desires bring discontentment. Instead of bringing about what is good, it
engenders evil. Lao Tzu suggests that a human person must have little
knowledge. Knowledge is itself an object of desire. This entails that knowledge
is the little master (knowledge makes one know more about the desired object),
and servant (to get the object desired) of desire. When a human person knows
much, they are no longer contented and do not where to stop. The more you
know, the more you want to know. More knowledge, more desires.
Lao Tzus concept of virtue - For Lao Tzu, the way of heaven and earth is based
on virtue. Hence, develop it, nurture it, foster it, and mature it. Universal benefit
without discrimination is one with heaven and earth. This is virtue.
Lao Tzus Political Theory [Villaba, 186-202]
The ideal state is one ruled by a sage. In Confucianism, when a sage
rules, he should do may things for the people. In Taoism, the duty of sage is not
to do things but rather to undo or not to do at all. For Lao Tzu, troubles in the
world exist because there are too many things done. The more restrictions and
prohibitions, the poorer the people will be. The more sharp weapons the people
have, the more troubled the country will be. The more cunning crafts men there
are the more pernicious contrivances will emerge. The more law promulgated,
the more thieves and bandits there will be.
For Lao Tzu, the 1 st act of the rule is to undo all these: Banish wisdom,
discard knowledge, and the people will be benefited a hundred fold. Banish
human-hatredness, discard righteousness and the people will be dutiful and
compassionate. Banish skill, discard profit, and thieves and robbers will
dissipate. The sage ruler is expected to undo wisdom, knowledge, virtues, and
desires. When this is done, troubles in the world will dissipate the cause was
uprooted. The next step for a sage ruler will be to govern with non-action. With
non-action, he does nothing, yet everything is accomplished. Nothing here
does not really mean nothing.
The Tao is the cause of all things. It is not itself a thing. Hence the Tao
cannot act, as do such things. Though the Tao does not act as a thing, yet there is

nothing that is not done, i.e., everything is done. The Tao allows each thing to do
what is itself can do. Applying this to the state, Taoists demand that the ruler of
the state should take Tao as a model. The ruler must also do nothing and should
let the people do what they can do themselves. The Taoists alludes to childlike
ways. Children have limited knowledge and few desires. Their simplicity and
innocence are characteristics that every man must try to retain. The sage ruler
would like his people to be like small children.
Chuang Tzu: the 3rd phase of Taoism [Villaba, 186-202]
The way of attaining relative happiness: varying kinds of happiness:
1. The development of our natures, which leads to a relative sort of
2. Higher understanding of the nature of things, which leads to absolute
The unfolding of our nature must have full and free exercise of our natural
ability. This natural competence is Te, which stems directly from the Tao.
Distinction between the natural and the artificial:
1. What is natural is internal what is of man is external.
2. Following what is of nature is the source of all happiness and goodness.
Following what is of men is the source of pain and evil. Among other
things, non-men even have different nature and different natural ability.
For Lao Tzu, the more one governs, the less one attains the desired outcome. For
Chuang Tzu, the more what is of nature is overcome by what is of men, the more
there will be misery and unhappiness. To attain relative happiness, a human
person must follow what is natural to oneself.
Relative happiness is relative for it depends upon something. A human
person is happy when he exercises his natural competence. This exercise may be
1. Death-end of all activities
2. Diseases
3. Old age
4. Miseries in life
Ways of Attaining Absolute Happiness By identification of man and universe: to
attain outcome from this identification is really absolute happening. The man
who attains absolute happiness is a perfect man. A perfect man is one with the
Tao. Like the Tao, he does nothing and yet there is nothing that is not done. The
man rules the world but his rule consists of just leaving mankind alone and
letting everyone exercises his own natural competence fully and freely.
How can a person become such a perfect man?
1. Finite (sees distinction)
2. Higher transcends distinction
To be one with the Great one, the sage has to transcend and forget the distinction
between things. The way to do this is to discard knowledge. The method is
sageliness within. The task of knowledge is to make distinctions. To know a

thing is to know the difference between it and other things. By discarding
knowledge, there remains only the indifferentiable One. The sage is said to have
knowledge of another and higher level known as knowledge, which is not
knowledge. The result of discarding knowledge is to have no knowledge. There
is a difference between having no knowledge and having no-knowledge. Having
no knowledge (state of original ignorance). Having no-knowledge comes only
after one has passed through a prior state of having knowledge. Having no
knowledge is the gift of nature. Having no-knowledge is an achievement of the
spirit. It is the acquired state of no-knowledge known as knowledge, which is
not knowledge.


Islam is deduced from the word salam, which means peace.

Muslim is an Arabic word that alludes to a person who submits himself or herself
to the will of God. He is a follower of Islam. Muhammad the Prophet (570632) started in Mecca when the Angel Gabriel read the first revelation. Islam is
the fruit of a personal, divine word, and thus, a revelation from God, and this
recognition permits Christians to consider the faith of Muslims, as subjectively
salvific. Muslims who sincerely repent and submit to God return to a state of
Beliefs and Practices
1. God - Strict monotheism - not unrelated to the Judaeo-Christian tradition
God is known as Allah, which means the one true God. God is the
Creator. He is just, omnipotent and merciful. Islam is the historical
mediation, granted in Gods mercy, of access to grace, through Abraham,
the forefather of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. Muslims repudiated
the idea of the Trinity, which is polytheistic in their thinking.
2. Muslims believe in angels. Allahs will is revealed through angel
Gabriel. Azrael is the angel of death, and Asrafel will blow the trumpet
on judgment day. All the angels, born of light, are capable of reason and
decision. In this world of spirits there are genii or jinn (jinnis). Often
they are of good intentions but are also troublemakers and evildoers.
Satan, the fallen angel, became the devil when evicted from the Garden
of Eden. He failed to obey Gods command. His task is to tempt the
people and obstruct the purposes of Allah. The devil is doomed to
failure. The victory belongs to Allah, not the devil. The Quran denounces
the doctrine of the original sin. The Quran teaches that our first parents
sinned, but it does not teach that their wrong choice resulted in the