Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Education in America
Chapter Three: Scientism and the Collapse of Standards
Section: What Is The Truth?

This failure of standards within the modern academy can be easily demonstrated. One of the foremost students of St Thomas Aquinas, Professor Josef Pieper, gives graphic illustration:
The medieval philosophers, in studying Aristotle and Plato, wished to know all those things and only those things which were true. Where the truths of these philosophers were not complete, they asked themselves how to complete them.

There is an enormous difference between this attitude and that usually held nowadays and which we consider the sole possible and responsible attitude toward "sources." For the student especially, that difference is of vital importance. Anyone who asks Thomas his opinion receives a reply which makes perfectly clear what he, Thomas, considers to be the truth - even when his reply is couched in the form of a quotation from Aristotle. But if we are asked our opinion, we reply with historically documented quotations which may reveal a good many things - for example, how widely read we are - but fail to reveal one thing alone: what we ourselves hold to be the truth.

from Josef Pieper's Guide to Thomas Aquinas

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