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Re: MI, RP's, and the Problem of Scholastic Scientia
by francesco ranci
24 June 2002 09:42 UTC
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You are not totally convincing in saying that
Scholasticism, by way of chosing Aristotle against
Plato opened the way to the European Renaissance.
Galileo was a Platonist, for example, and so were many
others in Tuscany during the Renaissance. They were
actually neo-platonists, opposing scholasticism. At
any rate the crucial factor of the Renaissance was the
re-discovery of Ellenistic authors and works through
the Arabs (by Leonardo da Vinci and of course others).

"Fauth" and "Reason/Science" have been matter of great
debates. They are opposite to each other in that if I
believe something I am not going to check on that,
while if I want to be reasonable or rational, I'll do
the check. If I say: "I believe Mary loves me", as
opposed to "I know she loves me", I refuse to
positively check on that (or at least try, for example
by asking or observing her more carefully). 

That's why I think tha any speculation about God is a
matter of faith, and not of science - or even reason.
Because in the end you can never be sure of anything
in that area.

Francesco Ranci

--- Luke Rondinaro <larondin@yahoo.com> wrote:
>  I’d agree with you up to a point … Problem is, it’s
> a little more complex than the difference between
> “oil” and “water” that doesn’t mix.  The operative
> distinction that must be drawn between “faith” and
> “reason” requires we answer the question, “what are
> ‘faith’ and ‘reason’ ?”
> One can’t just say “reason” is a matter of the
> “head” and “faith” is a matter of the heart. 
> Because, if we look closely at the writings of the
> Apostle Paul, the works of Tertulian and Origen, the
> scholarship of Augustine and Ambrose, and then
> onward right up until the Scholastics come on the
> European intellectual scene, we find that all this
> Christian tradition was as much about the “head” and
> intellectualized religious matters as it was about
> (if not more so) the “heart.”  In fact, the very
> distinction of the soul as being made up of
> Intellect and Will (a traditional, pre-Thomistic
> clarification in Christian thought) seems to leave
> small place for religious and spiritual “matters of
> the heart” that center mostly on emotionalism and
> affective concerns.  This is especially so regarding
> Patristic treatment of the “passions” and how these
> should be defused and/or re-routed before they led
> to the spiritual and physical downfall of people
> unusually stirred up by them.  
> Spiritual (and religious) matters themselves were
> interpreted in terms of the Intellect and Will, and
> non-physicalities also were discussed in the same
> metaphysical fashion.  Spirituality was the act of
> putting yourself in the proper receptive state to
> accept religious truths that were taught to you
> and/or that came to you – or were more deeply
> revealed – via your prayers and meditations. 
> Theology, was the scientia  or broad-based of God
> and the things of God; more of an scholarly and
> speculative field and then only secondarily a field
> concerned with priestly formation and pastoral; it
> was never the same as “Religion” or “Doctrine” – it
> consisted of a scholarly extension of them. (…)
> And, then, Scholasticism comes on the scene in the
> Latter Middle Ages and it unites “faith” and
> “reason” in a new form.  But, in light of what I
> just said, what is these “reason?”  It was
> Greco-Roman rationalism and more specifically,
> Aristotelian rationalism.  But here’s the catch! 
> The pre-Scholastic priest-intellectuals of the
> Christian tradition also believed in the harmony of
> the intellective function with Faith.  They however
> choose Plato as their patron, and not Aristotle (and
> in other cases many of the other Greco-Roman
> thinkers whose intellectual contributions were not
> lost to the Medieval/Western tradition).  The
> difference comes though to this.  Neoplatonism was
> made a function of their Christian-Catholic theology
> and not the other way around.  The truly
> revolutionary character of Scholasticism not only
> put faith and reason on an equal synthesized
> footing; it actually reinterpreted the entire
> Judeo-Christian tradition, Revelation, Scripture,
> and Doctrine in the light of the rationalist,
> Aristotelian universe.  The God of the Hebrews and
> the Apostles, the God who called himself “I AM WHO
> AM” was the Prime Mover of the Philosophers, was
> Pure Act, and so forth.  The universe (spiritual and
> physical) fell into place from there.  That was the
> revolutionary genius of the Scholastic movement in
> the Later Middle Ages; and in a very real way it
> opened the flood gates and gave birth to the
> European Renaissance.
> **********
> Now that I’ve said this, it’s time to move back to
> the heart of what I was talking about in my previous
> posting.  In terms of its logical, scientiaefic
> method and in terms of its philosophic base of
> ideas, how should Scholasticism be assessed in the
> light of modern Science and Social Science?  Based
> on its legalized structure as a framework of
> intellectual principles, how should it be assessed? 
> And, what sort of comparison/contrast should we draw
> between it and the modern study of Law.  And, here’s
> the clincher; is Scholasticism in its formulated
> ideas and presentation closer to the modern study of
> Law or the Sciences/Social Sciences?  (Note, I’m not
> talking necessarily about experimental/empirical
> methodology; what I’m talking about is how each of
> these field’s puts together its ideas) … From a
> world(-)systems perspective, how should we assess
> these larger issues?
> I look forward to your insights on this matter.
> All the best!
> Luke R.
>   francesco ranci <francescoranci@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Dear Luke Rondinaro, any "theological-scientifical"
> mix is like a glass of oil and water: they don't go
> together. 
> Best wishes,
> Francesco Ranci
> ---------------------------------
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