Philosophy for the total beginner: we take on the opening chapters of Real Philosophy for Real People by Robert McTeigue, S.J.
This discussion is part of the FORMED Book Club—an online community led by Fr. Joseph Fessio, Joseph Pearce, and Vivian Dudro that reads and discusses a different book each month.
You can find the book here
A great philosopher once observed, “Philosophers let theories get in the way of what they and everybody else know.” A lot of ink has been spilt in order to obscure what we really can’t not know about reality, humanity and morality.
In the midst of a culture permeated by philosophies that seek to redefine the universally available meaning of what it is to be human, Fr. Robert McTeigue says it is more important than ever to be equipped with reliable philosophical tools that help us to see clearly the implications of our stated moral claims; that enable us to detect moral and logical error; and that keep us grounded in the love of truth.
You will find such tools in these pages that explore what it means to be human with metaphysical, anthropological, and ethical dimensions.
But this book does more than offer tools for seeing and understanding. It is a refutation of philosophies which prize love of theory over love of truth; a rebuke of any metaphysics that cannot account for itself; a refutation of anthropologies which are unworthy of the human person; and a refutation of ethical systems which reduce the great dignity and destiny of the human person.
Most importantly, this book is a prescription for an alternative: it is a real philosophy for real people, wherein the best of classical philosophy finds its fulfillment, expressed in a contemporary idiom that is accessible to the layman and plausible to the scholar. It offers a catalog of errors with their refutations, and a map for living a truly human life. It is a portable error-detector, while providing a basis for knowing and presenting the truth.