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CHAPTER TWO:

WHAT ARE YOU?

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS

Thomas was most probably born in the castle


of Roccasecca, located in Aquino, old county
of the Kingdom of Sicily.
His name was Tommaso d'Aquino or Thomas
from Aquino, where was born.
At the age of 19, he receive Dominican Habit
at Naples, after all his family doesnt want it.
He died at the age of 44, with a very known
argument about Existence of God and that
Man has 2 substantial form the Body and
the Soul.

He was describe as big man, corpulent (fat, chubby), with


dark complexion, large headed (making him smart), receding
hairline, refined, affable and loveable. In an argument, he
maintained self-control and won over opponents by his
personality and great learning. He wrote sixty books by
dictating it to his secretaries (sometimes for at once),
because he thinks faster than they think.

Two known arguments:

Man is a substantially united body


and soul.

Existence of GOD

Man is a substantially united body and soul.

He, like Aristotle, believe that humans are


combination soul and body. To allow the
possibility of personal or individual
immortality, he diverge from Aristotle,
declared that the soul was a substantial form
that was capable of existing separately from
the matter.

Existence of GOD

Is this proposition evident or not?- Evident


means to show itself directly, so that it does not
need any demonstration. For a proposition to be
evident both subject and predicate must be
present/known. If they are not the proposition is
not evident.
Does this mean that it is not true?- No, this may
not evident but may be true, although the truth of
this proposition may not have to be demonstrated.
Is this proposition God exists evident?- with
this St. Thomas proceeds to put forward five
demonstration of Gods existence.

The argument from Motion (ex motu)

If motion exist in the world, then there must be


a mover, origin of motion. But motion does not
exist in the world. Therefore, there exist a
mover (and that is God).

Everything that is moved is moved by a mover,


therefore there is an unmoved mover from
whom all motion proceeds, which is God.

The argument from Efficient Cause (ex


causa).

If there exist a series of efficient causes in the


world, then there exists a first efficient cause,
which is itself uncaused. But there exists in reality
a series of efficient cause in which each is
subordinated to its superior. Therefore, a first
efficient cause exist which is itself uncaused (and
that is God).

Everything that is caused is caused by something


else, therefore there must be an uncaused cause
of all caused things, which is God.

The argument from Contingency(ex


contingentia)

If contingent being exists, then there must be a


necessary being. But contingent beings exist in the
world. Therefore, there exists a necessary being
(and that is God).

There are contingent beings in the universe which


may either exist or not exist and, as it is impossible
for everything in the universe to be contingent (as
something cannot come of nothing), so there must
be a necessary being whose existence is not
contingent on any other being, which is God.

The argument from the Degree of


Perfection (ex gradu)

If various degree of perfection exist among beings


in the universe, then there must be some being that
possesses the highest degree of perfection. But
different levels of perfection or development exist
among things in the universe. Therefore, there
exists a monst= perfect being (and that is God).

There are various degrees of perfection which may


be found throughout the universe, so there must be
a pinnacle of perfection from which lesser degrees
of perfection derive, which is God.

The argument from Design (ex fine)

If there is design, then there must be a designer,


the more huge the design, the more intelligent
must be the designer. But there exists a huge
and amazing design in universe. Therefore,
there exists a great designer (and that is God).

All natural bodies in the world (which are in


themselves unintelligent) act towards ends
(which is characteristic of intelligence), therefore
there must be an intelligent being that guides all
natural bodies towards their ends, which is God.

3. The Anthropocentric Approach

The Search for Truth. Modo in Latin means


now: hence modernus or modern. There is
nothing special about being modern: we are
all in fact modern, since we are alive now.
But the way they began to use this term in the
14th century had a very special connotation: it
implied a rejection of what had been received
from the immediate past.

Rene Descartes

Rene Descartes is generally considered to


mark the beginning of modern philosophy.
He was born on March 31, 1596 in La Haye,
France.
His chief work is the Discourse on Method,
whose starting point is the rejection of all
received knowledge, whether from faith, from
the past, or from the senses: This leaves me
alone with my thought: I am thinking, (cogito,
in Latin). So, cogito becomes the starting
point of philosophy.

Man is an accidental and mechanical


union of body and soul

Descartes conception of human nature was


dualistic. Living human beings, for Descartes,
were composed of two entirely different kinds of
entitles: body and soul. Descartes splits man into
two: instead of distinguishing in order to unite, he
separates and dichotomizes. He proposes that the
soul of man makes man a thinking thing; while
mans body is a materially extended thing. This is
also a consequence of his subjectivism, which
makes him accepts ideas only if they are clear
and distinct, because only they beget certainty
in the mind: truth is not what matters, but certainty.

Descartes Quest.

Descartes project was to find a secure and solid


foundation of human knowledge. This secure
and solid foundation must be something
indubitable,
undeniable,
irrefutable,
and
unshakeable. It must be clear and distinct in
every individuals own mind insofar as it is selfevident for everyone else. Clear he defined as
that which is present and apparent to an
attentive mind. distinct he defined as that
which is so precise and different from all other
objects that it contains within itself nothing but
what is clear.

Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant was born in Konigsberg in what was then


known as East Prussia. His parents were poor but devout
members of fundamentalist Protestant sect known as
Pietism. For most part, Kants life is noteworthy for not
being noteworthy. He probably never travelled more than
sixty miles from his birthplace during his entire life. One
biographer said, Kants life was like the most regular of
regular verbs, to which another added, But it was not a
conjugated verb. For Kant never married. Kant lived most
of his life on a rigid schedule. According to Kant, our
knowledge is formed by two thing: (1) actual experiences;
and, (2) the minds faculties of judgements. Kant made a
distinction between two kinds of judgements, the analytic
and the synthetic.

Analytic Judgement

Is that judgement wherein the predicate is


already contained in the understanding of the
subject. It is a judgement which only elucidates
words. Thus, A bachelor is an unmarried male.
The term bachelor entails maleness and
unmarriedness. If you told me John is a
bachelor I would not have to meet John to
know that he was unmarried and that he was a
man. That is because the term bachelor itself
tells me these things analytically.

Synthetic Judgement

Is that judgement wherein the


predicate is not contained in the
understanding of the subject and
the subject is not also contained
in the understanding of the
predicate.

4. The Existential
approach

With existential approach, the search for


truth has become the search for meaning
and conditions of human existence.
Contemporary philosophers assert that
people actually make decisions based on
what has meaning to them rather than
what is rational. Rejection of reason as the
source of meaning is common theme of
this approach.

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.
His rise to fame as a writer began in 1938 when he
published Nausea, his first novel and a best-seller.
Four years later Sartre resigned his professorship
and for the rest of his life was able to live on his
literary income alone.

Sartrean Existentialism

Man, Sartre said, is abandoned, by which we


mean that God does not exist, According to
him, the abandonment of man that is, the
non-existence of God has drastic
philosophical implications. Basically, there are
four (and these embody the main tenets of
Sartres existentialism) to wit:

First, because there is no God, there is no maker of


man and no such thing as a divine conception of man
in accordance with which man was created. This
means Sartres thought, that there is no such thing as
a human nature that is common to all humans; no
such thing as a specific essence that defines what it
is to be human.
Second, because there is no God, there is no
ultimate reason why anything has happened or why
things are the way they are and not some other way.
This means that the individual in effect has been
thrown into existence without any real reason for
being. But this does not mean that an individual is
like a rock or a flea, which also (because there is no
God) have no ultimate reason or explanation.

Third, because there is no God, there is no divine plan that


determines what must happen, there is no determinism.
Thus, man is free, Sartre wrote, man is freedom; in fact,
he is condemned to be free. Nothing forces us to do what
we do. Thus, he said, we are alone, without excuses, by
he meant simply that we cannot excuse our actions by
saying that we were forced by circumstances or moved by
passion or otherwise determined to do what we did.
Fourth, because there is no God, there is no objective
standard of values. It is very troubling that God does not
exist, Sartre wrote, for with him disappears every
possibility of finding values there can no longer be any
good a priori. Consequently, because a Godless world has
no objective values, we must establish or invent our own
values. Summarily, according to Sartre, it is only through
acceptance of our responsibility that we may live in
authencity.

Soren Kierkegaard

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark,


Soren Kierkegaard was the youngest
of seven children. The first great
influence in his life was that of his
father, who was not a highly
successful merchant, but also a
devout and pious Lutheran.

Kierkegaardian Existentialism

The theme of kierkegaardian Existentialism


can be explained by making a distinction
between the spectator (knowing the truth) and
the actor (being in the truth). He illustrated this
distinction with several analogies. Kierkegaard
speaks of three stages or levels of existence,
viz.: aesthetic, ethical, and religious.

The Aesthetic Stage (Man is ruled by


passion)

Is characterized by the pursuit of pleasure, not


just in art and music, but especially in the
pursuit of sensual pleasure. This a way of life
that cultivates easy, uncommitted enjoyment, a
life whim and caprice, focus on the here and
now. This takes place when the love of joy
guides the persons life. Life is defined as a
search for beauty and joy and the person who
lives in this stage lives as animals do.
Individuals in this stage opt to live an aimless,
superficial, or floating existence.

The Moral Stage (Man is ruled by


societal norms)

Involves in making a commitment to the norms, principles, and


customs of society. This ethical life is devoted and obedient to
general principles. An ethical person, therefore, lives in accordance
to the standards and structures imposed to the members of society.
This is where an individual begins to take on a true direction in life,
becoming aware of and personally responsible for good and evil and
forming a commitment to oneself and others. Thus, a faithful and
happy marriage is more satisfying than the pursuit of ceaseless,
increasingly meaningless seduction after seduction. Here women
are not mans properties and are not just there to tempt and be
seduced; they have personalities of different types and try to find
their spiritual road to perfection. In this stage, the individual is
determined to discharge his responsibilities and, by using his free
will, makes moral choices. Accordingly, his behavior has general
regular patterns and he leads a life of positive being alongside other
people.

The Religious Stage (Man is ruled by


total faith in God)

Is the stage where God becomes the basis of


ones act. In this stage, the distinction
between good and bad is ultimately
dependent not on social norms but on God
who is the foundation of ones sacred life.
Kierkegaard states that an action done on
Gods account is an action done out of duty
and it is more difficult compared to actions
done out of obedience to social norms.

5. The Phenomenological Approach


(The Philosophy of Essence

Many people feel that the approaches to the study of


man that we have examined, from cosmological to
anthropological, are too distant from human reality. In
trying to understand man, their philosophies have
reduced it to abstractions, giving little concern with our
concrete existence. But there is nothing abstract about
existence. Existence is what is real as it involves the
human individual who exists. We find this emphasis on
human existence in existentialism and its predecessor,
phenomenology. Phenomenology and existentialism
share a number of outlook on reality and thus general
similarities.