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One example of this is the basic form of philosophical knowledge which is evident to this day in the postulates which inspire national and international legal systems in regulating the life of society. Nonetheless, it is true that a single term conceals a variety of meanings. Driven by the desire to discover the ultimate truth of existence, human beings seek to acquire those universal elements of knowledge which enable them to understand themselves better and to advance in their own self-realization.These fundamental elements of knowledge spring from the wonder awakened in them by the contemplation of creation: human beings are astonished to discover themselves as part of the world, in a relationship with others like them, all sharing a common destiny.
Precisely because it is shared in some measure by all, this knowledge should serve as a kind of reference-point for the different philosophical schools.
Once reason successfully intuits and formulates the first universal principles of being and correctly draws from them conclusions which are coherent both logically and ethically, then it may be called right reason or, as the ancients called it, orthós logos, recta ratio. On her part, the Church cannot but set great value upon reason's drive to attain goals which render people's lives ever more worthy.
Moreover, a cursory glance at ancient history shows clearly how in different parts of the world, with their different cultures, there arise at the same time the fundamental questions which pervade human life: Who am I? In fact, the answer given to these questions decides the direction which people seek to give to their lives. The Church is no stranger to this journey of discovery, nor could she ever be.
From the moment when, through the Paschal Mystery, she received the gift of the ultimate truth about human life, the Church has made her pilgrim way along the paths of the world to proclaim that Jesus Christ is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6).
These are among the indications that, beyond different schools of thought, there exists a body of knowledge which may be judged a kind of spiritual heritage of humanity.
It is as if we had come upon an implicit philosophy, as a result of which all feel that they possess these principles, albeit in a general and unreflective way.
Modern philosophy clearly has the great merit of focusing attention upon man.
From this starting-point, human reason with its many questions has developed further its yearning to know more and to know it ever more deeply.
Consider, for example, the principles of non-contradiction, finality and causality, as well as the concept of the person as a free and intelligent subject, with the capacity to know God, truth and goodness.
Consider as well certain fundamental moral norms which are shared by all.