Can we have certainty? Is the universe due to chance, or is it designed? Does God exist? Has each of us a soul that survives after death? Are there unchanging moral laws by which we should live?
This book examines these and many other questions from the standpoint of reason. It draws on the wisdom of the past, and especially the perennial philosophy of which St Thomas Aquinas is the greatest representative, using these insights to discuss topics affecting us all.
A lucid picture is presented of the philosophies which have followed each other through the centuries, down to current postmodernism. Their main features are critically examined and their implications for life and thought are considered, giving the reader a means to critique modern civilization.
John Young maintains that clarity and certainty about fundamental realities may be achieved through the exercise of human reason. His exposition is clear, while never oversimplifying the issues, and can be followed by the average person with careful and thoughtful reading. It will be of special value to students engaged in tertiary studies.
True philosophy, Young argues, arises from an innate power of reasoning accessible to everyone, which it clarifies and deepens, bringing a formation of mind achievable in no other way and a unique insight into the greatest realities. A sound grounding in realist philosophy is urgently needed today, when confusion abounds. Here is an excellent guide to the essentials and unity of the subject, clearly and simply written.
About the author:
John Young, a graduate of the Aquinas Academy in Sydney, Australia, has taught philosophy in four seminaries and to adult education groups. He has published hundreds of articles on philosophy, theology and economics, and is the author of the books Reasoning Things Out, Catholic Thinking and The Natural Economy.
“It's hard to believe that one book addresses so well and thoroughly the broad expanse that is Western thought. John Young provides an introduction to philosophy that addresses all the major schools of thought and the issues they address in one volume that is well ordered pointing out errors and problems and their impact on how we understand ourselves, the world, God, the problem of evil, free will, moral behaviour, our ultimate purpose, beauty, goodness and truth.
Several chapters dedicated to how we know and what we can know (epistemology) and the study of being (metaphysics) were particularly demanding and perhaps requires another reading due to density of the reviewer rather than lack of clarity of the author.
A challenging read and well worth it.” - online review