Et Verbum Caro Factum Est: an intro-duction to the philosophical life

Communio 47 (3):536-569 (2020)
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Being disposed to see the marvelous by moving into the familiar is one of the fundamental philosophical dispositions. The pre-Socratic philosophers—especially Heraclitus—emphasized the needfulness of listening. This is true in two senses: we need to learn to listen, and listening is itself a need for something. The logos in nature can be heard only by one who is “awake.” The problem is that most live as though they were asleep, immersed in their own world. Being in tune with nature opens one to hear something beyond nature—namely, the logos of nature. This implies a paradox: one can understand nature—i.e., be open to hear its logos—only if one is already open to hear it. The logos speaks to all, but it only successfully communicates with its lover. The philosophical life is intelligible only from within an openness to the logos. In this essay, I will argue that living a philosophical life (i.e., a philo-logical life: literally, a life in love with logos) is something that one has always already had. In short, a philosophical life is not something that one can decide to have or not; it is essentially something that one is thrown into, or perhaps more accurately, something that one finds oneself already a part of—like being in love—as the fruit of an unmerited gift. The philosophical life is a life of grace, since it is something that is given from another. This essay sets out to examine the philosophical facets of the claim that the philosophical life is a life of grace.
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Archival date: 2021-09-21
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