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Text Book Responds to Late Pope’s Call for Valid Philosophical Tradition

Text Book Responds to Late Pope’s Call for Valid Philosophical Tradition

Creighton University Professor John W. Carlson, Ph.D., has written a new philosophy textbook for undergraduates titled “Understanding Our Being: Introduction to Speculative Philosophy in the Perennial Tradition.”

The book, published by The Catholic University of America Press, was inspired by Carlson’s own experience in teaching, as well as Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Fides et ratio, in which the late pope called upon teachers of philosophy “to recover, in the flow of an enduringly valid philosophical tradition, the range of authentic wisdom and truth.” Carlson’s text responds with a much-needed introduction to the philosophy of being, our personal being, and God as Source and End of being.

According to one reviewer, “Understanding Our Being” offers “what is hard to find among contemporary writings in Catholic philosophy, namely, the attempt to reconcile faith and reason and show the importance of faith and theology for the completion of philosophy.”

In addition to presenting essential elements of philosophy in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas, the book discusses contemporary challenges to that tradition, such as, scientism, historicism and nihilism, as well as religious fideism.

Throughout the book, Carlson encourages students to think for themselves, and he offers them resources to do so, via questions for reflection at the end of each section a comprehensive bibliography, and a glossary of key philosophical terms.

A companion text is in preparation. It is titled “Achieving the Good: Introduction to Moral Philosophy and Ethics in the Perennial Tradition.”