William Desmond
Villanova University
There is a sense of doing justice prior to the juxtaposition of theory and practice, accounting for an ontological vulnerability prior to both social power andsocial vulnerability. Justice in the sense of “being true” involves fidelity to truth that we neither possess nor construct, preceding all efforts to enact justice. The charge to be just precedes any just act. There is a “patience of being,” or a receiving of being before acting, which we must then actively take up. All this has implications for the practices of philosophy, including transcending the will to power by not clinging to one’s own place in History. The philosopher stands back and enters the void space of the human soul which is vulnerable, both terrorized and capable of terrorizing. This void is a “porosity of the soul” rather than pure nothingness. Though it is no particular project or activity, it allows all openness, receiving, and self-transcendence, and out of it comes the practical energy that feeds activity. The poverty of philosophy means relinquishing meaningless activity of construction in a purposeless universe by a willingness to be nothing, understanding the patience of being before servility and sovereignty, and the justice beyond them
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Conference Proceedings  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0065-7638
DOI 10.5840/acpaproc20057910
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