Benedict XVI

Random Readings—Maritain, Benedict, etc.

Of late, I have been doing much random readings while work on my translation of a book by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange and also address some final dissertation issues.  The recent Last Testament of Benedict XVI has given me pause to think on some matters.  Reading about his early assignments teaching, he clearly was a good-ol'-fashioned German academic.  Though generally I despise that ideal of "scholarship" (i.e. soulless pedantry that is disconnected from life), dear Ratzinger had enough soul to avoid that pitfall.  (I will note, however, that the German / continental approach also does produce mastery that we rarely find in the US—mastery that I know I sorely lack too.)  Interestingly, he says he would have spent his time discussing the nature of theology and proximate matters.  We do have his essays to this end in Principles of Catholic Theology.  Given his lack of formal and rigorous philosophical training (and, yes, I mean good ol' scholastic philosophy), I'm glad he didn't write in detail on these matters.  Essays help to sound out the matters.  However, the last thing that we needed in the post-conciliar period was yet another account of the nature of theology that doesn't ground itself in the sane discussions of earlier scholastic thinkers.

Also, revisited Simon's Critique of Moral Knowledge to put together some initial notes for a some-day prolegomena to moral philosophy.  However, as I re-read certain sections of my dissertation, I think it will be important for me to pen some brief prolegomena to the study of logic from a Thomistic perspective.  Not that I find everything in my dissertation to my liking any more.... Still, this general topic needs to be laid out clearly.  I find it vexing how most Thomists completely miss the nature of second intentions.  But, Deely himself noted this well many times in his career.

Finally, have been going through some unpublished and untranslated works of Maritain.  Excellent stuff.  Wonderful little accessible essay on the degrees of knowledge.  I will almost certainly use it as something in an introduction course / lecture some day.