Alexander Ross: In defence of philosophy

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... In his twelfth chapter he saith, [That many revolted from the Church of Rome, because the Schoolmen brought in Philosophy, and Aristotle’s doctrine into Religion; whence arose contradictions and absurdities, as brought the Clergy into a reputation of ignorance.] It is strange that Philosophy should make the Clergy reputed ignorant, whereas it contains the knowledge both of divine and human things: and it is one of the chief blessings of Almighty God, bestowed upon mankind, by which his image lost in Adam is repaired; for the understanding is enlightened by the speculative, and the will is regulated by the practical parts thereof: and Philosophy is so far from causing peoples revolt from that Church; that on the contrary, it is one of the main supporters and pillars thereof: I am afraid that it was not Philosophy which brought a reputation of ignorance upon that Church, but rather their want of it, which also will occasion much ignorance, stupidity, and darkness in our Church: And I pray you good Mr. Hobbs, what hurt hath Divinity received from Philosophy, or Aristotle’s doctrine.

Hath it caused contradictions, and absurdities; (as you say) sure, you are widely mistaken: for by Philosophy contradictions and absurdities are avoided, into which those ignorant souls do fall, who want it, as we find at this time by woeful experience, there being more absurd and contradictory opinions among the people of this Nation, now, in a few years since Aristotle’s doctrine hath been discouraged, then were all the time hitherto since Christianity was embraced. ...

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Quote from another thread here. Turretin:

"We distinguish on reason: Reason is ministerial and organic, not despotic (I.VIII.VI). It is an instrument of faith, not its foundation (VII)."
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