The philosopher Paul Weiss once observed, "Philosophers let theories get in the way of what they and everyone else know." For many, the very word "philosophical" has become all but synonymous with "impractical".
Yet whether we like it or not, almost every corner of our lives—from dissertation writing to channel surfing—brings us face to face with competing philosophies and world views, each claiming to tell us definitively what it means to be human. How can we know which one is right? And what difference does it make?
To Robert McTeigue, S.J., it makes every difference in the world. Consciously or not, we all have a world view, and it decides how we live. In this book, McTeigue gives a funny and invigorating crash course in practical logic, metaphysics, anthropology, and ethics, equipping readers with a tool kit for breaking down and evaluating the thought systems—some good, some toxic—that swirl around us, and even within us.
In McTeigue, classical philosophy finds a contemporary voice, accessible to the layman and engaging to the scholar. Real Philosophy for Real People is an answer to those philosophies that prize theory over truth, to any metaphysics that cannot account for itself, to anthropologies that are unworthy of the human person, and to ethical systems that reduce the great dignity and destiny of the human person. As the author insists, "A key test of any philosophy is: Can it be lived?" With Thomas Aquinas, this book teaches not only how to know the truth, but how to love it and to do it.
Fr. Robert McTeigue, S.J., is a member of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. He has lectured worldwide on philosophy and theology. A member of the National Ethics Committee of the Catholic Medical Association, he is host and producer of the radio show The Catholic Current on the Station of the Cross.