THE PHILOSOPHICAL SYSTEM OF THOMAS AQUINAS I. Introduction  A. The place of Thomism in Mediaeval Philosophy Some years ago I made a circuit of the French Cathedrals under the guidance of a friend who is an archaeologist. "We shall visit first," said he, "the cathedral of Amiens, for it is the prototype...
BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. Classical realists generally define the academic discipline of philosophy as the study of all reality in its ultimate causes and principles through the use of human reason alone. We also differentiate various branches of philosophy, such as metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics, and so forth. We...
BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, Ph.D. Our understanding of common sense can be approached in two ways. First, there is the wide, popular meaning of common sense. Here common sense is the conglomeration of generally helpful opinions and beliefs, more or less well founded, more or less mixed up with error and...
(Note: The following is a presentation of the classical Thomistic doctrine of philosophical theology for those who are unacquainted with it. Knowledge of the classical doctrine itself is valuable for any student of philosophy. This branch of philosophy is called Natural Theology or Theodicy and discovers the First Efficient...
By Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D. This essay is an excerpt from a much larger work I wrote in 1978 about the linguistic muddle which permeated educational theory and practice at the time. I suggested that some of the contributions made by the modern analytic movement in philosophy could help educators, and...
JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. The Comprehension of the Idea The comprehension of an idea is the sum total of all the attributes or thought-elements which constitute the idea in its representation of a thing. Sometimes this is also referred to as the connotation of an idea. The comprehension or connotation of an...
JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. It is an undisputed fact of history that the gems of the American Declaration of Independence are contained in the writings of British philosopher John Locke, specifically the second of his Two Treatises on Government. This tract was published in 1690 in order to justify the British...
JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. The Greek philosopher, Socrates, once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. With all due apologies to that great thinker, I would like to suggest that unexamined concepts or ideas are not worth having and, in fact, may cause great harm. What do I mean? The...
BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. I have often been asked to present a brief introduction to Classical Liberalism and how it fits into the philosophical tradition of which I consider myself to be a member, that of Classical Realism. Furthermore, some have questioned me about my use of the term "Moderate...
BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. Pyrrho was a citizen of Elis in ancient Greece, born around 360 B.C. or so and, to the best of our knowledge, lived to be ninety years old. Pyrrho is important to the history of philosophy because he is considered to be the first great skeptical...
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THOMAS AQUINAS General Discussion from Classic Philosophers by Jonathan Dolhenty Ph.D. In determining or defining the relationship of God with the world, Aquinas departs not only from the doctrine of the Averroist Aristotelians, but also from the teaching of Aristotle himself. For Aristotle matter was uncreated and co-eternal with...
An Example of Applied Philosophy BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. Applied philosophy involves the application of philosophical principles and concepts to the practical affairs of the human condition. Philosophers have written widely on such topics as science, law, politics, religion, history, and education. They have sought to have an influence on the...
BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. An analysis of nonsense in areas as broad as social behavior, political policy, and science can be complex and intimidating. Since this is so, it seems both necessary and relevant to have some sort of conceptual framework we can use to help us as we plow...
America's War with Reality, Truth, and Morality BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. Ideas have consequences. A philosophy is a set of ideas about basic things like reality, truth, and morality. Therefore, philosophies have consequences. Some of the consequences of some philosophies are not good for human beings. Insanity, in the sense of...
BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. The world is in a desperate state of affairs. Social institutions – the family, schools, and churches – are falling apart. Society is breaking up into warring factions. Truth has become irrelevant and unfounded rumors and opinions take precedence over facts and knowledge. There are no...
THE PROBLEM OF KNOWLEDGE A Brief Introduction to Epistemology By Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D. PART V: THE NATURE OF IDEAS: FORMATION OF IDEAS, IDEA AND SENSE IMAGE Ideas are the building blocks of knowledge. Judgments, which are expressed in sentences called propositions, are made up of ideas. A judgment is an act of the...
THE PROBLEM OF KNOWLEDGE: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO EPISTEMOLOGY BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. Part Four: The Sources of Knowledge All of us have stored away millions of bits of information, most of which, as we all know, we can't remember when we want to. What is the source of these bits...
BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. Philosophy is the attempt to understand the most basic facts about the world we inhabit and so far as possible to explain these facts. This enterprise is not the exclusive concern of certain specialists, but one in which every human being is deeply involved, whether or...
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THOMAS AQUINAS MADE SIMPLE, BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. Part V, General Metaphysics Aquinas accepts the general principles of the metaphysics of Aristotle, for whom there are two principles of being, potency and act. Act signifies being, reality, perfection; potency is non-being, non-reality, imperfection. Potency does not, however, mean absolute...
The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas Made Simple, by Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D. Part IV, Epistemology of Thomas Aquinas To explain the process of knowledge, Thomas Aquinas has recourse neither to the innate ideas of Platonism nor to the illumination of Augustine. Instead, he postulates a cognitive faculty naturally capable of acquiring...