The ancient philosopher Plato spoke of truth as something no one person can own or possess, as one would possess a pot of gold, hoarding it from others. Truth is something we can only participate in with others. Hence the pursuit of it is a kind of love, a love of wisdom (philosophia).
The topics of this website are ones I have been thinking and writing about for many years. I invite you to add your own thoughts in this Platonic spirit.
People have wondered since ancient times whether their actions might be determined by Fate or God, by the laws of nature or logic, by heredity or environment, or other factors beyond their control. In our time, new research in the sciences challenges traditional ideas of free will and responsibility. But I believe a traditional view of free will can be defended, reconciling it with modern science.
We live in a pluralist world of conflicting religions, ways of life, and points of view. The familiar image of a “global village” may be the wrong one for this new order of things. Villages of the past shared a common heritage of traditions and beliefs. This modern condition is a Tower of Babel of conflicting views, leading persons to wonder which is objectively true—if any is. Is it possible to climb out of our historically and culturally limited points of view? I believe there is a way to find common ethical ground, a way suitable to the modern age.
For ancient and medieval thinkers, scientific explanation, fact and value merged in an overall quest for wisdom. Knowledge of the world and humans would tell us what was good and worth striving for in the nature of things. The modern age has tended to pry apart fact from value, scientific explanation from purpose, so that values may seem to be merely matters of subjective feeling, or merely relative to a point of view. Can the ancient quest for wisdom be retrieved in a way that allows us to respond to subjectivism and relativism about values?
What is said about these three topics has implications for other subjects discussed on this site, including DEMOCRACY and POLITICS, RELIGION AND PLURALISM and VALUES EDUCATION