The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living . . .
Socrates exhorts us in the Apology to spend our days striving to make sense of our lives, to live a life of self-examination.
What might that mean for us today, and within the context of the Catholic philosophical
tradition? "Such an account [of what it is to be a human being] will have to integrate
what we can learn about the nature and constitution of human beings from physicists,
chemists, and biologists, historians, economists, and sociologists, with the kind
of understanding of human beings that only theology can afford. What form would such
an account take? It would present human beings--and not just philosophers--as themselves
engaged in trying to give just such an account of themselves, as trying to understand
what it is that they are doing in trying to achieve understanding, a kind of understanding
that will enable us to distinguish what it is worth caring about a very great deal
from what it is worth caring about a good deal less, and both from what it is not
worth caring about at all. So there is a crucial relationship between metaphysics
and ethics. For it is only insofar as we understand the universe, including ourselves,
as dependent on God for our existence that we are also able to understand ourselves
as directed toward God and what our directedness toward God requires of us by way
of caring. The philosophical resources we have for constructing such an account are
the resources provided by the history of the Catholic philosophical tradition, which
is to say that such an account would have to emerge from the dialogues internal to
that tradition, from those debates and disagreements within that tradition that, as
we have learned from Fides et Ratio, are constitutive of it."(Alasdair MacIntyre, God, Philosophy, Universities: A Selective History of the Catholic Philosophical Tradition, Rowman & Littlefield, 2009, pp. 177-78).
"The University of Dallas is dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom, of truth, and of
virtue as the proper and primary ends of education. The University as a whole is shaped
by the long tradition of Catholic learning and acknowledges its commitment to the
Catholic Church and its teaching. The University is dedicated to the recovery of the
Christian intellectual tradition, and to the renewal of Catholic theology in fidelity
to the Church and in constructive dialogue with the modern world." (From UD's "Mission
"Love Ye Truth and Justice"
"Love Ye Truth and Justice" (Veritatem, Justitiam Diligite) is a conflation of Zachariah
8.8 and 8.19, and expresses the biblical message that truth and justice are the necessary
conditions for peace, prosperity, and happiness. This wise instruction has also been
discovered by reason and confirmed by history. It was the founding conviction of the
University of Dallas, and it continues to inform all that UD aspires to do.