Intellectual Arrest In Relation To Philosophy -- By: William M. Lisle

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 062:248 (Oct 1905)
Article: Intellectual Arrest In Relation To Philosophy
Author: William M. Lisle

Intellectual Arrest In Relation To Philosophy

Rev. William M. Lisle

Philosophy is the love of wisdom. What we love we search after. The human mind is created with an irrepressible impulsion to explain phenomena by causes and reasons, powers and laws. It applies to particular departments of knowledge; when the mind thinks of God and government, we call it theology. The material world is explained by physics: and when the study is man, it is anthropology and psychology, with which are connected logic and ethics. Metaphysics treat of the necessary conception and relation by which philosophy is possible.

Philosophy has been defined, in more general terms, as the science of things divine and human, and causes in which they are contained; also, the science of sufficient reason, the science of truth sensible and abstract, the science of the relation of all knowledge to the necessary ends of human reason, the science of the Absolute.

A more correct definition is the one word “methodology.” Methodology implies a plan in creation and government. Nature confirms this. Everywhere there is structural order, and cleavage. Philosophy is the pursuit of knowledge along these lines. It is the power of classification. To the philosophic mind all the facts of nature as well as the events of history fall into their proper order and interdependence. It is the scientific approach. to, and opening of, every department of

knowledge. Methodology is to investigation what logic is to reasoning in general. It has been called the Philosophy of Philosophy, and was the unrealized aim of Plato and Aristotle. It is the organon—organ—or instrument by which we may discover the truth of any subject. This implement may be known by the thoroughness of its action. Its absence is known by arbitrariness and capriciousness of method, which starts with error, and multiplies it at every step.

This definition of philosophy is sadly confirmed in intellectual history. The lack of it is the explanation of the mental pandemonium of the world.

Such philosophy is theistic. Its fundamental postulate is a divine order, of causes and events. Plato and Aristotle were deists. Without the aid of Revelation this was all they could be. Hence their failure in searching for the Organon, the Key to all Knowledge. All they had were reason, nature, and conscience. These implements of man are insufficient.

Philosophy must be more than deistic: it must be theistic. The central key of universal knowledge had not yet been placed in human hands. It was not in the world until He brought it “who openeth, and no man shutteth, and shutteth, and no man o...

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