An Introduction to Philosophy

By James H. Ryan | Go to book overview
If it is of value to know the habits of the amoeba, to be able to dissect a crayfish, or to trace the rise of industrialism in modern society, is it not of equal value to know what mankind has thought, and thinks, of the problems of matter and mind, of the origin and validity of knowledge, or of the meaning and purpose of human life? To know Newton, Pasteur, Helmholtz and to be ignorant of Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and Kant, is to be acquainted with but a part, and that a very insignificant one, of the great spiritual influences which have moulded our civilization and made it what it is to-day.Philosophy, too, exerts a very beneficial effect on the individual who seriously contemplates its problems. What man has not sought for the answers to the great questions which have troubled the human mind since its very origin? Who has not asked himself, Who am I? Why am I here? Whither am I going? Our minds seek certainty, freedom from doubts, a stable guide to action. It is true that every man has a "philosophy of life," although he may be quite unconscious of the possession. There is a difference, however, between the philosophy of the uneducated and that of him who has, under the guidance of the great thinkers of the past, thought out for himself a reasoned rule of action. The philosopher walks by the light of the best thoughts of the race. His mind has been clarified, his will strengthened, his motives purified, for he has sounded the reasons of things. To know the causes of things, is to go to the very source of all light.REFERENCES
AQUINAS THOMAS: Summa contra Gentiles, New Translation by English Dominicans.
Catholic Encyclopedia: Article "Philosophy", Vol. XII.
COFFEY: Ontology or the Theory of Being.

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An Introduction to Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xiii
  • Chapter I - Philosophy, Its Meaning, Scope, And Methods 1
  • References 23
  • Chapter II - The Problem of the One and the Many 25
  • References 53
  • Chapter III - The Problem of the Nature of Reality 54
  • References 72
  • Chapter IV - The Psycho-Physical Problem 74
  • References 108
  • Chapter V - The Problem of Life 109
  • References 143
  • Chapter VI - The Problem of Knowledge 144
  • References 201
  • Chapter VII - The Problem of the Nature and Criteria Of Truth 203
  • References 242
  • Chapter VIII - The Problem of Freedom 243
  • References 272
  • Chapter IX - The Problem of Morality 273
  • References 303
  • Chapter X - The Problem of the Self 304
  • References 340
  • Chapter XI - Philosophy, Science, and Religion 341
  • References 392
  • Index 395
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