The Year of the Philosopher? by Donald DeMarco

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By Donald DeMarco, Crisis Magazine, December 31, 2019

Donald DeMarco is professor emeritus at St. Jerome’s University and adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He’s a regular contributor to the St. Austin Review.

Donald DeMarco

Three notable Catholic thinkers drew considerable attention in the year of 2019: Saint John Henry Newman for his canonization, Bishop Fulton Sheen for the approval of his beatification, and G.K. Chesterton for his cause for sainthood being stalled. Although Newman is best identified as a theologian, Sheen as a preacher, and Chesterton as a journalist, they all had one important feature in common: they were all philosophers. And very good ones at that.

The concurrence of these three philosophers may be providential. Philosophy, in general, has fallen into desuetude. It is routinely dismissed as abstract, irrelevant, and medieval. Science has dominated the world stage and in so doing, has overshadowed the philosophical enterprise. Chesterton, himself, in his book Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox, remarked that since the modern scientific era began in the sixteenth century, “nobody’s system of philosophy has really corresponded to everybody’s sense of reality; to what, if left to themselves, common men would call common sense.” ….

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