Philosophy Overview

Philosophy, as "love of wisdom," explores the most fundamental questions of human experience, questions concerning the nature of the human person, the existence of God, immortality, freedom, the nature of moral and political values, the question of being, appearance and reality, knowledge and truth. A variety of richly developed and intellectually exciting answers to these questions, and many others, are explored in a systematic and rigorous way by means of a study of the work of outstanding classical and contemporary philosophers.

The Catholic philosophical tradition is committed to exploring the ultimate questions of life with the aim of contributing to the intellectual, moral and spiritual development of human beings.  This tradition places a strong emphasis on the discipline of philosophy, understood as the search for truth, and also has great respect for the history of philosophy.  The Catholic tradition of philosophy is inspired by the view that the truth will not lead away from God, but will help further illuminate our understanding of God and creation.  The tradition, therefore, critically welcomes many voices and approaches in the discussion, thereby embodying the principle that "all truth is one" — that every true discovery and contribution, no matter where it comes from, will further our understanding of the world and our place in it.  While those working in this tradition recognize that human understanding often has weaknesses and limits, nevertheless we are inspired by the views that the truth can be known, that reason has the power to know reality, that the universe is intelligible,  and that there is overall meaning and purpose in human life.  The Catholic tradition also holds that faith and reason complement each other; reason challenges faith to understand itself philosophically, while faith is an important feature of the human condition that pushes reason outwards toward the transcendent.  Our tradition values scholarly debate and exchange as we strive to help our students—and the wider culture—think through the central questions of philosophy in an attempt to navigate our way through the modern world, with all its ambiguities, challenges and problems.