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The Catholic Intellectual Tradition

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 Statement")

"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.

News

Scherer Lecturer Poses American Economy's 'Big Questions'

Father Joseph W. Koterski, associate professor of philosophy at Fordham University, will deliver the keynote for this week's University of Dallas Scherer Lecture, "A Practical Moral Vision for the American Economy," in which he addresses the state of current natural law reflected on economics.

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Rome Essay Winner Focuses on Greater Appreciation for Beauty

A new insight and awareness of beauty became the subject of the essay, titled "Learning to See," that won Aspen Daniels, BA '19, first place in the fall 2016 University of Dallas Rome Program Essay Contest, which engages students studying abroad through the university's Rome Program in describing a place they visited or an encounter they had during their study abroad semester, exploring how some part of the Rome Program curriculum better enabled them to comprehend that experience.

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Learning to See

I was shocked by the beauty I saw when I stepped inside the door, and I wondered how I could have missed this before. The church wasn't large, but it didn't need to be because a dome soared upwards above our heads, giving an impression of grandeur. Bea pointed out that the dome was topped by a "lantern," one of our key terms; as we looked around at the marble and gold, naming the different architectural decorations, we realized how much skill it had taken to craft every detail.

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