By Alasdair MacIntyre
Alasdair MacIntyre has written a selective heritage of the Catholic philosophical culture, designed to teach how trust in God expert and informs philosophical enquiry in numerous historic and social settings.
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What then might the thoughts be of an Islamic reader of Aristotle? The translation of works of Greek science and philosophy into Arabic began within about 120 years after the death of Muhammad in 632. Arab armies had conquered a vast empire for Islam, stretching westward to the Pyrenees, eastward to the borders of India, and northward to the Black and Caspian Seas. Islam was sovereign over large areas whose culture had been first Hellenistic and then Roman. Translators, the majority of them Christians, made available in Arabic a wide range of scientific, medieval, and philosophical works, some translated directly from the Greek, some from Syrian translations of Greek works.
In time authority comes first; in matter, reason. So it follows that authority opens the door to those who desire to learn the great and hidden good. And whoever enters by it . . 26). There is no chain of philosophical reasoning or method of philosophical enquiry through which we can arrive at the truths of faith as conclusions. But once by faith we have acknowledged those truths we are able to understand why there is good reason to acknowledge them. This, as he was to argue a little later, is because of the effects of sin on the human mind.
For he who is not, cannot be deceived. . ” But Augustine goes on very differently from Descartes, arguing that I am deceived neither in believing that I know nor in believing that I love. What I love may not be what I take it to be, but that I love it, whatever it is, is certain. Yet here again philosophical argument has primarily a negative function, that of providing us with grounds for rejecting conclusions that would otherwise bar the way to further enquiry. What it cannot do by itself is to initiate that enquiry or carry it further.