WE DON’T DO TRUTH
Catholic University of America
University of Toronto, Emeritus
In the spirit of Augustinian Platonism, this lecture treats -by “indirection”- aspects of secular culture. In contrast to post-modern and skeptical perspectives, it argues: first, Nietzsche was right to fear that we have not gotten rid of God because we still believe in grammar; second, unless we are out to mislead, we cannot speak without assuming that belief in grammar entails acceptance of the reality of truths and falsehoods; third, our belief in grammar (and consequently in truth) entails, as for Augustine, belief in God; and fourth, those who try to “create” truth are in trouble self-referentially.
Sponsored by the
Lumen Christi Institute
John M. Rist is the Father Kurt Pritzl, O.P., Chair in Philosophy at Catholic University of America. He is also Emeritus Professor of Classics and Philosophy at the University of Toronto and Visiting Professor at the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum in Rome. In 1976 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 1991 he was elected a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. He is the author of over one hundred scholarly articles and numerous books including Augustine: Ancient Thought Baptized, Real Ethics, and most recently Plato’s Moral Realism: The Discovery of the Presuppositions of Ethics.