ABOUT THE RADICAL ACADEMY
To Inform – To Educate – To Challenge – To Debate
In Memory Of
Priscilla F. Harris
The Radical Academy
Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D. (passed away apx. 2009)
Co-Founder, President & Webmaster at The Radical Academy &
Senior Fellow at The Center for the Study of The Great Ideas
CENTER FOR APPLIED PHILOSOPHY
(A Think-Tank in Cyberspace)
Steven M. Farrell
President and Editor In Chief at The Radical Academy
Founder, Editor In Chief, The Moral Liberal and the Center for Moral Liberalism.
Former NewsMax.com pundit (1999-2007)
Managing Editor, Right Magazine (1998-1999)
Author, inspirational novel, Dark Rose (2003)
Former contributor at The Radical Academy and cyberspace friend of Dr. Dolhenty (from 1999 forward).
Besides Priscilla Harris and Jonathan Dolhenty, the following were involved in founding, or influencing, or aiding in the operation of the original Radical Academy before it shut down:
Consulting Fellow in Philosophy at The Radical Academy & Director of The Center for the Study of The Great Ideas. According to Professor Weismann, he encouraged Dr. Dolhenty to create the Radical Academy; he also gave me encouragement to restore the project after it had disappeared from the web following Dr. Dolhenty’s death.
Michael Bakaoukas, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Consulting Fellow in Greek Philosophy at The Radical Academy & Professor of Philosophy at The University of Piraeus, Greece
Gordon Francis Corbett
Consulting Fellow in American Politics at The Radical Academy
Consulting Fellow in Canadian Politics at The Radical Academy
Macksood A. Aftab
Consulting Fellow in Islamic Philosophy at The Radical Academy
Associate Director & Assistant Webmaster
The Radical Academy
is an analysis of the human condition as seen through the eyes of classical and contemporary thinkers in the areas of philosophy, politics, religion, science, and education. We define philosophy as the science of all things knowable to man’s unaided powers, in so far as these things are studied in their deepest causes and reasons. We define politics in its widest sense to include the study of government, economics, and social theory and policy.
We discuss traditional and contemporary philosophical, moral, and religious questions; contemporary political, social, and cultural problems and policies; current scientific and technological issues and speculations; challenges to the “conventional” wisdom, “popular” ideologies, and “accepted” paradigms of our culture.
We also provide access to a wide variety of resources about philosophy, politics, and the human condition, some of which may not be in conformity with our own views. We think, however, that knowledge about competing philosophies and interpretations of the human condition is necessary in order that an individual is able to make judgments about and evaluations of other ideas which may, in fact, be in conflict with ours. This is not, to us, simply a matter of “fairness,” but of intellectual integrity and scholarly diversity.
Since one of our major goals is to get at the “root” (radix) of problems, questions, policies, and issues, we interpret the term “radical” in its original sense, as defined below:
RADICAL:(rad’i k’l) adj. [ < L. “radix,” of, or from, the root]; going to the foundation or root of something; fundamental; basic; getting to the basic facts, causes, principles, problems, solutions; also describes a person advocating such. The “radical” pictured in our logo on the entry page is Aristotle, the first great synoptic philosopher, the father of systematic logic, and an advocate of commonsense philosophical realism.
In the interest of fairness and full disclosure, the following information is provided to our visitors:
(A Think-Tank in Cyberspace)
The Center for Applied Philosophy itself promotes an authentic philosophical realism fundamentally grounded on the judgments of common sense, “critically examined.” We encourage the application of common sense realistic principles to all human affairs.
Our philosophy is synoptic (from the Greek sunoptikos – “seeing the whole together” or “taking a comprehensive view”). We desire to see life as a whole and to understand every facet of the human condition in the largest possible way. We have a wide range of interests and concerns and attempt to explore all areas of human knowledge and bring their findings to bear on our analyses of current affairs and contemporary problems.
Our philosophy is a philosophical realism grounded on those realistic principles first promulgated by Aristotle. Using these principles, we then try to integrate the findings and speculations of modern empirical science and contemporary philosophical investigation into a synoptic philosophy of the widest application.
Our political and social philosophy is generally in agreement with classical liberalism and an authentic libertarianism. We support a free-market economy without unnecessary government interference and regulation which, however, requires a basis in rational ethics and a concern for the common good. We believe a limited government under a constitutional covenant best provides for a society of free minds in a free marketplace.
We are commonsense philosophical realists in the tradition of Aristotle, Aquinas, Mortimer Adler, Jacques Maritain, and John Wild and we are classical liberals in the tradition of John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, and Friedrich Hayek.
We are always receptive to the speculations and findings of contemporary philosophical thought and modern empirical science provided the conclusions are consonant with fundamental realistic principles and objective evidence.
Although we are classical realists and defend here that philosophical position, we also think it is important for everyone to have knowledge of other philosophies, especially those that have influenced Western thought and history. Therefore we provide presentations of those philosophies, even though we may have disagreements with them.
The Mission of the Center is to
- provide a forum for the discussion of traditional and contemporary philosophical questions;
- furnish a rational framework for the analysis of contemporary affairs and the human condition;
- recommend guidelines for the application of realistic principles to contemporary social, cultural and political policies;
- serve as an information resource for those concerned with the current state of society and culture;
- encourage investigation into all areas of human knowledge and curiosity, including those which are deemed unusual, unpopular, or controversial;
- suggest activities, goods, and other materials which contribute to living well and support a contented life.
The Center’s Objectives are:
- To promote the positive values of the Western Intellectual Tradition, including the Judeo-Christian, Greco-Roman, Islamic and Oriental contributions;
- To study and promote the doctrines of an authentic Philosophical Realism;
- To employ the principles of Philosophical Realism in supporting the concepts of individual freedom, natural rights, free-market economics, limited government, and citizen participation in public life.
- To apply the principles of Philosophical Realism to the problems facing our world today, seeking to solve these problems at a fundamental, basic, “radical” level.
- To encourage the study of and research into new, controversial, and unconventional areas of investigation, utilizing the tools of Philosophical Realism and empirical science.
- To encourage the free and open discussion of any topic in a civil intellectual arena.
- To suggest appropriate resources for study and to make study materials available to all those interested in the Academy’s objectives.
The Current State of Affairs:
Our world is in a desperate state of affairs. Social and cultural institutions – the family, schools, civic institutions, and churches – are falling apart. The entire world, including our society, is breaking up into warring factions.
Intellectual and ethical standards are no longer considered to have any objectivity. Truth has become irrelevant and unfounded rumors and opinions take precedence over facts and knowledge. There are no genuine standards of behavior anymore because morals are considered to be merely relative. People are becoming increasingly uncivil toward one another and the public forums are becoming increasingly hostile.
Research into unconventional, unpopular, and controversial areas of investigation is ridiculed and subjected to unreasonable attacks from those with a vested interest in the academic or cultural status quo. Irrational, emotionally based assaults are made against those who dare challenge the conventional wisdom or the prevailing ideology of the political, social, and academic elitists.
Money and political power appear to rule the day. There is a concerted effort to bury the individual within a prescribed group, thereby opting for so-called “group rights” to the detriment of individual rights, the only rights that can rationally be justified. Philosophical nonsense of all types has become endemic, resulting in the intellectual insanity which surround us all. We seem to have lost our common sense. Can we do something about this worsening situation? Yes, we can!
We desperately need a practical synoptic philosophy of the highest order, a philosophy that defends objective truth and a rational moral order, a philosophy which provides a practical ethics and a true understanding of the concept of “happiness,” a philosophy that supports individual rights and responsibilities, and a philosophy which provides a rational framework for a well-lived life, including moral goods, intellectual goods, and the goods of fortune. In other words, we need to adopt and apply an authentic philosophical realism, a philosophy of common sense (critically examined and expanded).
Those who are new to the Center for Applied Philosophy and/or those who are unfamiliar with philosophical realism and classical liberalism may want to read the introductory essays listed below.
What Do We Mean By “Applied Philosophy”?
Philosophy and Common Sense
Tenets of the Perennial Philosophy
A Brief on the Perennial Philosophy
Truth and Certainty
What is Intellectual Insanity?
Six pillars of intellectual insanity
Objective & Subjective Experiences
Have We Lost Our Common Sense?
The Myth of Moral Relativism
The Principle of the Practical Effect
An Overview of Natural Law Theory
Classical Liberalism, Libertarianism, & Individualism
Equality & Liberty
In confronting and discussing philosophical problems and questions, we need to
- Apply the rules of formal logic where appropriate; avoiding logical fallacies.
- Use our power of reasoning (intellect) to its fullest extent.
- Collect evidence, not mere opinions or allegations.
- Use the techniques of proper philosophical analysis.
- Employ accepted scientific methods where applicable.
- Make certain that appropriate techniques are applied to any investigation undertaken.
- Draw conclusions based on facts and properly supported premises.
- Apply our common sense, “critically examined,” when appropriate.
- Conduct our public discourses in a respectful and civil manner within a rational framework.
Although the above are vitally important, it is necessary to point out that none of them should restrict investigation into topics which are, at this time, merely speculative or tentative or experimental (i.e., paranormal phenomena, extra-terrestrial entities, intuitive knowledge, faith and healing, and so forth), or into areas which go beyond our ordinary common objective experiences (i.e., studies of introspection and mental states), or into studies which may challenge the “conventional” wisdom (i.e., new theories regarding the origin of mankind and human civilization).
The Center for Applied Philosophy, while it is an open forum for discussion and welcomes all to debate the issues, is, however, intellectually opposed to the following philosophical doctrines as they are normally applied within the context of our common objective experiences. In the opinion of the Center, each of these doctrines is false.
- Universal Skepticism: The doctrine that nothing exists at all or that knowledge is impossible. There is, therefore, nothing true or false, or right or wrong.
- Metaphysical Idealism: The doctrine that nothing exists except ideas or minds; material reality is an illusion. The mind is the sole existing thing.
- Metaphysical Materialism: The doctrine that nothing exists except matter in motion (material reality). The mind is just a material entity.
- Scientism: The doctrine that nothing exists except that which can be measured by the instruments of science. Reality = the material universe.
- Politicism: The doctrine that all human problems are political in nature and the solution must be a political one. Public polls determine truth and morality.
- Determinism: The doctrine that human beings do not possess free will; all behavior is determined. There is no “personal” responsibility for behavior.
- Epistemological Subjectivism: The doctrine that objective truth is impossible; truth is completely relative.
- Moral Relativism: The doctrine that objective moral principles don’t exist; moral principles are always relative. There is nothing basically moral or immoral.
- Social Collectivism: The doctrine that human individuals live only for the benefit of the state or society, from which all rights are derived.
- Legal Positivism: The doctrine that all human rights are granted by and can be taken away by the state or society; there are no natural rights.
The Radical Academy does support genuine investigations into a wide range of unusual and strange phenomena. As long as these are initially considered speculative, tentative, or experimental, there can be no rational objection to probing the mysterious realms of the natural universe or challenging what is considered to be the “conventional” wisdom.
Agreeing with Aristotle, The Radical Academy, while recognizing the primary importance of moral and intellectual goods to living a good life, also recognizes that human beings, in order to live well, must have the opportunity to acquire and possess material goods and those goods of fortune which they may desire.