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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 17. August 3, 1950

About Duggan About Philosophy and About

About Duggan About Philosophy and About

If anyone wants to talk about philosophy (even if not philosophically). It seems to me that there are various requirements, such as, calmness, clarity and reasonableness which should be fulfilled. Further, the speaker should not purport to be able to sum up and discard any recognised philisopher in one sentence. Only too seldom did Father Duggan fulfil these requirements in his recent talk to the College.

On the other hand, his contention that the mind is impressed with the knowledge "that there is something" in existence as well as that mind would seem to have considerable value as a postulate.

It seems to me that many of the difficulties arise when one tries to proceed from these. For instance it is difficult to know how, if at all, one can pass from the concept of something to validly asserting its objective existence other than as a concept Father Duggan seemed occasionally to think that this transition is validly possible, but he could not, I thought, satisfactorily answer my second question, which was directed to this issue. (I am not saying that Father Duggan should have been able to prove such a valid transition, but rather I am saying that if he cannot then he should, at the least, be a little more circumspect in his talking).

I would like to Bay here that, to the best of my recollection, I put my first question by beginning: "If one takes the position that a thing is a summation of qualities" this is quite different from saying "Being is a summation of qualities."

A linguistic approach to philosophical problems also falls to show how we can validly proceed from concept to object, but it may help to clear the ground.

And lastly, the harangues into which the discussion degenerated were deplorable at such a time and place. Philosophy is not like that, and controversy about philosophy need not be so. A talk about the need for philosophy will never convince anyone of that need if it becomes an altercation. So the altercation distressed me, because I think, notwithstanding, that one of our great needs is for philosophy.

Erie Robinson.