#30 Topical Discussion
Leisure: The Basis of Culture
One of the most important philosophy titles published in the twentieth century, Josef Pieper's Leisure, the Basis of Culture is more significant, even more crucial, today than it was when it first appeared more than fifty years ago. This edition also includes his work The Philosophical Act. Leisure is an attitude of the mind and a condition of the soul that fosters a capacity to perceive the reality of the world. Pieper shows that the Greeks and medieval Europeans, understood the great value and importance of leisure. He also points out that religion can be born only in leisure -- a leisure that allows time for the contemplation of the nature of God. Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture. Pieper maintains that our bourgeois world of total labor has vanquished leisure, and issues a startling warning: Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for non-activity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our culture -- and ourselves.More info →
The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas
The Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas' brilliant synthesis of Christian thought, has had a decisive and permanent impact on philosophy and religion since the thirteenth century. As the title indicates, is a summing up of all that can be known about God and humanity's relations with God. Divided into three parts, the work consists of 38 tracts, 631 questions, about 3000 articles, 10,000 objections and their answers. This complete edition of the work, published in five volumes, was translated into English by the Fathers of the Dominican Province and first appeared in 1911. A revised edition was published in London in 1920, and in America in 1947. The Christian Classics edition is a reproduction of the 1947 Benziger Brothers edition.More info →
Happiness and Contemplation
"The ultimate of human happiness is to be found in contemplation".
In offering this proposition of Thomas Aquinas to our thought, Josef Pieper uses traditional wisdom in order to throw light on present-day reality and present-day psychological problems. What, in fact, does one pursue in pursuing happiness? What, in the consensus of the wisdom of the early Greeks, of Plato and Aristotle, of the New Testament, of Augustine and Aquinas, is that condition of perfect bliss toward which all life and effort tend by nature?
In this profound and illuminating inquiry, Pieper considers the nature of contemplation, and the meaning and goal of life.More info →
S. T. Coleridge’s Treatise on Method
Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote the Treatise on Method in 1817, voicing his projects to collect universal knowledge in a single work. Coleridge complained the lack of a proper method in modern science and proposed unconventional examples of 'scientists', such as Plato and William Shakespeare. Included in the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana, the Treatise was widely read and highly effective in popularizing German ideas in Britain.More info →