Saturday, March 28, 2009

Non-sense

. . . Balthasar's understanding of how truth is aesthetically established in the desire for goodness--the desire to give--blends very well with the Thomistic telescope that newly stresses how truth as realized eidos is also truth as anticipation, truth as made, truth as continued event, truth as interpreting signs, truth as receptivity of new aspects. Together these perspectives suggest that truth is that which opens us to contemplation of the infinite just insofar as it is also that which prepares us for a more harmonious human and cosmic future. Beyond contradiction and non-contradiction, truth begins to disclose to us an infinite integral identity only insofar as it also begins to realize in our finitude the measured exchanges of hope and love which ceaselessly and incomprehensibly blend the same with the different. Truth as disclosure is also troth, the bond of being.


--John Milbank, "The Thomistic Telescope: Truth and Identity," American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 80 (2006), 226.

11 comments:

Michael said...

In the same article: "for Scotus . . . being was no longer regarded as intrinsically and ineluctably a gift, and being as finite no longer reflected the divine infinite harmony so as to ensure that it was always really an exchange of reciprocities . . . The debate about truth, then, is simultaneously the debate about the nature of goodness and of charity . . . So which side is right? Perhaps this is the most fundamental debate within western culture. We can call the Scotist and nominalist way "modern Christianity" an suggest that it is in large part responsible for modernity as such (its legacy eventually merging, in Hobbes and Spinoza, with the neo-pagan legacy of Machiavelli)."

Michael said...

In the same year American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly published Wayne Hankey's "Radical Orthodoxy's Poiesis: Ideological Historiography and Anti-Modern Polemic". From the abstract:

"This article endeavors to display how the polemical anti-modernism of the movement results in a disregard for the disciplines of scholarship, so that ideological fables about our cultural history pass for theology. Because of the Radical Orthodox antipathy to philosophy, its assertions cannot be proven rationally either in principle or in fact, and its followers are reduced to accepting its stories on the authority of their tellers."

Lee Faber said...

Which side is right? One could also ask which side has actually read Aquinas.

Brandon said...

I am a little confused about what a telescope is doing in all this, or, for that matter, how understandings blend with a telescope. But the mind boggles at the idea of Hobbes or Spinoza being a kind of neo-pagan Scotist.

Lee Faber said...

"Thomistic telescope that newly stresses how truth as realized eidos is also truth as anticipation, truth as made, truth as continued event, truth as interpreting signs, truth as receptivity of new aspects."

You, know, I've read large swaths of de veritate, the summa, the metaphysics commentary, the de anima commentary, the Boethian commentaries, and I've never seen Aquinas talk about truth in these words.

Michael said...

Hey, me neither!

thomism said...

Is this a mad lib? Can I write one too?

...Truth is (adverb) found in the (adjective) harmony that doubles back in a (author's name turned into adjective) synthesis...

Wow this is fun.

James Chastek

Matt said...

Sorry for trolling...if that's the word. :-)

Anyway, although it's just as nuts then as it is today, linking Scotus to Spinoza was a trope (it seems) in the early days of nineteenth-century neo-Thomism:

http://books.google.com/books?id=V8Qz45xo7U0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Spheres+of+Philosophical+Inquiry&as_brr=0&as_pt=ALLTYPES&ei=O0fNSdTINZbyygTzgskR#PPA98,M1

Thanks for your blog!

Lee Faber said...

The funny thing is that Catherine Pickstock cites that book as support for her historiography in response to Richard cross's criticisms (in that article she published three times under slightly different names..."scholasticim and postmodernity" and "postmodern scholasticism"), even though it directly opposes thomist historiography.

Lee Faber said...

This is from Copleston's History of Philosophy, vol. 2 p. 505: "But what was his attitude towards St. Thomas's doctrine of analogy? In the first place Scotus asserts firmly that God and the creature are completely differant in the real order, sunt primo diversa in realitate, quia in nulla realitate conveniunt. Hence to accuse Scotus of Spinozaism is clearly absurd."

Michael said...

Copleston's good. People should read him.