Philosophy, or “the love of wisdom,” is the systematic study of the most fundamental reasons for things by the light of human reason.   Because it studies the most fundamental reasons, philosophy is set apart from the particular natural sciences, each of which can only probe as deep as the basic reasons within that particular discipline.   Because philosophy studies these things by the light of human reason, it is set apart from theology, which relies essentially on truths revealed by God.  Finally, because philosophy investigates things in a systematic way, it differs from “bull sessions” or “shooting the breeze.”  True philosophy is rigorous and precise.

Philosophical questions include: Why is there something rather than nothing?  What is the meaning of life?  What are the basic laws of thought?  Why should we do what is right?  What can we know with certainty to be true?   Does God exist, and what is His nature?  Do human beings have genuine freedom?   Is the human soul immortal?

By “the light of human reason” we understand not the human reason of an individual but rather human reason as exemplified in an intellectual tradition.  No one thinks solely on his own; everyone is part of a school or movement, whether he knows it or not.  At Ave Maria University, we situate ourselves within the Catholic philosophical tradition, because of its harmony with the Catholic faith; because of its proven soundness and fruitfulness; and because of its aspirations to synthesis and its openness to truth in general.

Contact the Department Chair:
Dr. Michael Pakaluk


Call for papers: divine attributes

Mon, 27 Jul 2015 17:23:26 +0000.
Topoi has announced a call for papers on divine attributes. The guest editors of the issue are Ciro De Florio (Università Cattolica, Milan), Aldo Frigerio (Università Cattolica, Milan), and Georg Gass ...Read More.

The revival of the Thomistic revival?

Sat, 18 Jul 2015 19:33:22 +0000.
D.Q. McInerny has an interesting two-part essay on the rise, fall, and possible revival of the Thomistic revival. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here. I have some comments to make on his speculations vi ...Read More.

Spring-summer slowdown

Sat, 18 Jul 2015 15:44:51 +0000.
We haven’t posted since May 3. As usual, the end of the semester was a very busy time and blogging was at the bottom of the priority list. Then summer came with new priorities and again blogging came ...Read More.

Please do not write “based off of”

Sun, 03 May 2015 18:29:33 +0000.
I see that it has been a few weeks since I’ve posted. In general this has been a busier semester than usual and in general I have posted infrequently. So, if I haven’t posted in a while, I’m just tryi ...Read More.

Therapy for Thomophobes

Thu, 09 Apr 2015 15:18:31 +0000.
Do you often find yourself having negative thoughts about Thomists? Are you, nevertheless, incapable of accurately portraying their views or producing cogent arguments against them? Do you lie awake a ...Read More.