Faithful Reason: Essays Catholic and Philosophical

Faithful Reason: Essays Catholic and Philosophical

Faithful Reason: Essays Catholic and Philosophical

Faithful Reason: Essays Catholic and Philosophical


In Faithful Reason , the noted Catholic philosopher John Haldane explores various aspects of intellectual and practical life from a perspective inspired by Catholic thought and informed by his distinctive philosophical approach: 'Analytical Thomism'. Haldane's discussions of ethics, politics, education, art, social philosophy and other themes explain why Catholic thought is still relevant in today's world, and show how the legacy of Thomas Aquinas can benefit modern philosophy in its efforts to answer fundamental questions about humanity and its place within nature. Drawing on a Catholic philosophical tradition that is committed to concepts of the world's intrinsic intelligibility and the objectivity of truth, Faithful Reason 's bold and insightful perspectives provide rich matter for debate, and food for further thought.


The idea for this collection goes back some while, and since first being conceived the scheme of contents has undergone some revision. Such is the dynamism of even the dullest mind that what was thought one day may come to be replaced by a different, if not better, thought the next. That said, as minds mature they take definite shape, and this impresses itself on every mental product, so that within the diversity of a writer's output one may discern recurrent features. So it is in my own case, and a reader may quickly become familiar with the particular style and substance of my thinking. I am inclined to regard this as no bad thing as it establishes something of the order of a deep acquaintance, and sometimes even an approximation to friendship.

Agreeable as it should be, that is, of course, quite different to agreement. If readers feel themselves to be at odds with what I write I hope that they will at least judge that the disagreement is one between minds united by their common interests. in addition, while the limitations of the essay as a mode of intellectual inquiry are evident, so too should be its virtues: brevity, concision, and encouragement to readers to think directly for themselves. I can only hope that the present collection has enough of these features.

I am very grateful to the staff at Routledge, who have shown great patience in awaiting delivery of this collection. It is an old saying that 'man proposes and God disposes'; in the period since this collection was first contracted I have come to see the wisdom in this and in the corresponding saying that 'if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans'. My plans have several times been disrupted, and were it not for the patience of Clare Johnson and her colleagues this book might well have fallen by the wayside. I am also indebted to my family: my wife Hilda, and my children Kirsty, James, Alice and John, who have shown great fortitude in enduring my frequent distraction. It is to Hilda, without whom the children would not be, and without whom I would not be a professional philosopher, that this book is dedicated in loving friendship.

John Haldane

St Andrews

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