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Understanding Our Being: Introduction to Speculative Philosophy in the Perennial Tradition Paperback – February 19, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0813215181 ISBN-10: 0813215188

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 319 pages
  • Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press (February 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813215188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813215181
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,193,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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"Carlson offers what is hard, if not impossible, to find among contemporary writings in Catholic philosophy: the attempt to reconcile faith and reason and show the importance of faith and theology for the completion of philosophy. This is an ideal book for colleges and universities wishing to promote a return to the Catholic intellectual tradition." - Raymond Dennehy, University of San Francisco "This book makes intelligible perennial Thomistic philosophy as it is understood today enriched by dialogue with modern insights. It is an accurate, cogent presentation of what is best in contemporary Thomism." - Steven C. Snyder, Christendom College"

From the Back Cover

"Carlson offers what is hard, if not impossible, to find among contemporary writings in Catholic philosophy: the attempt to reconcile faith and reason and show the importance of faith and theology for the completion of philosophy. This is an ideal book for colleges and universities wishing to promote a return to the Catholic intellectual tradition."--Raymond Dennehy, University of San Francisco

"This book makes intelligible perennial Thomistic philosophy as it is understood today enriched by dialogue with modern insights. It is an accurate, cogent presentation of what is best in contemporary Thomism."--Steven C. Snyder, Christendom College

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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter P. Fuchs on April 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you are trying to seriously describe intellectual history, there is a lot that is just plain wrong about the very idea of a "perennial philosophy" in the West. Because it squeezes a vast amount of messy deliberation, to say nothing of Auto da Fe's, into what sounds like a neat package. Let's leave that aside, for a larger cause here. I just want to celebrate that this Carlson fellow is willing to simply to lay bare what others will not. That is to say that this supposed great locus of philosophical wisdom in the Catholic world was, in the modern era, just a simple realm of "repetition" and "codification". I think a whole lot of other Catholic thinkers should read this book, for to hear them talk you would think Natural Law theorizing was on the cutting edge of development of the very ideas that founded modern democracies. Not!!! And they can read why in Carlson's book devoted to JP II no less!

While they are at it, they might listen to Carlson being interviewed on catholic cable on a show in front of (some) cute seminarians. He averred that "no serious philosopher" rejects the basic idea of evolution. Well said. The trouble is there have been denials of the warp and woof of that same evolutionary theory on the very show he was appearing on (!!), and there are many denials regularly from a whole plethora of personalities against evolution on the very network he was appearing on. In fact the motherly nun, whose endless rambling figure as the daily wisdom of this station, often denied every salient aspect of evolution.

Carlson was therefore saying, there is nothing "serious" about anything on the channel. Well said, again. And that's why I watch it, 'cause it is a riot. And I need entertainment whey I am scrubbing pans.
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More About the Author

John W. (Jack) Carlson is Professor of Philosophy at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 1970; since that time has served as a faculty member and administrator at a number of U.S. Catholic institutions.

His scholarly work and writing focus on the "perennial tradition" of philosophy, especially as articulated by St. Thomas Aquinas and his followers. Inspiration for these projects comes from John Paul II's "Fides et ratio," which called for a renewal of the perennial tradition and its fuller incorporation in Catholic theology.

In addition to the recently published philosophical dictionary, Words of Wisdom (Notre Dame, 2012), and the earlier textbook of speculative philosophy, Understanding Our Being (Catholic University, 2008), Carlson is completing a textbook of ethics titled Achieving the Good. This work re-articulates the perennial approach to ethical theory, then applies it to a range of concrete moral topics (regarding human sexuality, beginning- and end-of-life issues, social and economic justice, environmentalism, and war and peace).

Carlson and his wife, Chris, have two grown daughters and four grandchildren.

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