The Foundations of Wisdom Volume III: Philosophy of Man (Textbook)

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All of our Faith’s truths apply to the human soul. But do you know exactly what the soul is?

The timeless questions can only be answered properly if we have an understanding of another underlying question that they touch on: “What is the human soul?”

Following upon the previous volumes in the series, Philosophy of Man seeks to help the beginner in philosophy understand the maxim of the Greeks: “Know thyself.”

The study of the soul is of great use in our pursuit of wisdom because knowledge of the soul assists us in every other branch of knowledge—for it is by means of the soul that we know. Therefore, knowing more about the soul will help us better understand each of the things we know. Following the philosophical system of Saint Thomas, Philosophy of Man will guide the student in how to view his soul and to see the order that God has created. Every philosophical and theological error of modernity culminates in a misunderstanding of who the human person is, how he is made, and what he is made for. 

In this third volume of The Foundations of Wisdom, understand how the Church explains that the human person is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Deepen your understanding of our very selves, learning how God made us to come to know Him and see His mark in every aspect of creation.

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    The human soul gives eternal life to the body

    Posted by Charles Schmidt on Jun 2nd 2023

    Philosophy of Man by Father Sebastian Walshe is a first-rate primer on the philosophical question of “What is a man?” and in particular, “What is a human soul, and does it really exist?” The answer to “What is a man?” is that man is a rational animal with an immaterial, immortal soul linked to a physical body in a unified whole. Good, compelling arguments are given that demonstrate that the human soul is real. This book was written primarily as a textbook for Catholic high school students, and it succeeds in its goal to teach the important truths about man in a clear, cogent manner. In addition to covering the nature of man, Father Walshe provided these insights about knowledge: Knowledge about God is knowledge about the best thing there is. What makes knowledge better is partly due to the certainty of the knowledge, but primarily the best knowledge is due to the nobility of the thing known. And note that all knowledge, even sense knowledge, implies some kind of immateriality (either immaterial qualia in sense experience or immaterial universals used in reasoning). Having covered the essential aspects of what a man is, there is a brief chapter on ethics, where Father Walshe explains that the purpose of ethics is to perfect a man, and make a man good. That chapter on ethics provides this insight about morality: The truth is that if there is no objective standard of morality to which all are bound, then the powerful will always get their way. So Moral Relativism is a doctrine which justifies the continued oppression of the weak by the strong. In fact, most people who say they are moral relativists are simply asserting that in order to justify their objectively bad actions. But as soon as any kind of injustice threatens them, they immediately become card-carrying moral objectivists. So while there are many who talk like moral relativists, no one is really a moral relativist in his heart; more often than not, Moral Relativism is used as a smoke screen to justify following emotions rather than reason. All men by nature desire to know, and what men most need to know is what they are and why they are here. This book answers those questions.