So at the last Philosophy Foosball Club meeting there was discussion about presenting papers next year. This idea soon evolved into an idea of starting a semi-serious journal/collection of the papers which would be created at the end of each semester. Of course foosballers would get free copies. So there is an invite for all of you to write papers. I'm not sure what the requirements should be yet. I guess as long as the paper deals with an issue slightly philosophical in nature. So think about that over the summer.

Also, during this discussion I took the initiative to make a coverpage for the journal/collection. I initially thought of Anselm's maxim "Faith Seeking Understanding" was suitable but Dr. V had his own suggestion. So taking into account his suggestion I have made a rival cover page. Each will compete for supremacy, until a third and more excellent coverpage arises.

But seriously, I would like it if you foosballers gave suggestions of how to make the coverpage better. Or just vote on one of the two. Hope to see a plethora of excellent and stimulating philosophy papers in the fall. Happy studying!

My Initial Cover

Dr. V's Suggestion (I just realized the Latin spelling of philosophy is "philosophie")


Just Joy said...

Second one

Jordan said...

Cool idea. Can I vote? I couldn't make it to the philosophy foosball meetings this semester because of classes but I am still a philosophy foosballer at heart. I vote for the first one, but the second one is good too.

Michael Luedemann said...

I would go with the second one. Kudos Dr. V.

Dr. V said...

Dear fellow philosophy foosballers,

I truly appreciate the fine work that Mark has done in setting out the rival covers. Well done, Mark.

However, I think that for the two covers to compete fairly for supremacy, we should, in fine philosophical form, argue over the merits of these covers.

So Mark, I hereby appoint you as defender of the red cover; I will defend the blue cover. (Of course, anyone else can jump into this discussion, too.)

I have two arguments for the blue cover.

Here is my first argument.

I realize that the phrase fides quaerens intellectum (“faith seeking understanding”) has a long and respectable history. Even Faith and Philosophy, which is the journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers, uses the phrase on its cover. However, it seems to me that the phrase, when set out without qualification, can misrepresent the Christian philosophical enterprise by making it seem that Christians squeeze the facts of the world into a Christian intellectual frame rather than letting the facts of the world have a say in their interpretation. Ultimately, I think that there’s a difficult-to-describe, two-directional intellectual movement (“dance”?) between faith and understanding, a movement whose primary direction probably varies from person to person. Some people tend to begin with the world and ground their intellectual ladder there; others tend to begin with theology and climb down. It seems to me that we should be open to both -- and glean insights from both.

(Of course, I could be completely mistaken in this, so I hope that this will spur on some philosophical thought.)

Here is my second argument, which is much, much more important than the previous argument. I think that the foosball table in Mark's favoured cover is simply too weird. (A wee bit of humour...)

Therefore, I submit that the blue cover should be deemed supreme.

Two points for the blue foosball team!

Of course, and as painful this is for me to admit, a tertium quid may still win the day.

Respectfully yours,
Dr. V

Mark said...

I think Dr. V’s first point is an excellent one. The phrase “Faith Seeking Understanding” has the potential to be misleading. Sometimes people will refuse to let the world be the world because of their presuppositions. As a result, they distort the world. Whether or not we can escape our presuppositions is another important philosophical issue, but I will not discuss it here. On the other hand, I think we as Christians must also recognize that we speak from revelation and I think that this is important as well. Because we are only able to speak of God (I’m following Barth on this one) from revelation we have to acknowledge that all truth is God’s truth. Like Dr. V, I think theology and philosophy are to be in dancing with one another, as long as they aren’t square dancing. More appropriately, they should playing foosball.

While I have noted some faults with the phrase “faith seeking understanding,” I still think it has some redeeming and notable features. “Faith seeking understanding” is dialectical, where it says faith can come to the (foosball) table and discuss relevant and important issues, and in affirming that faith wants to seek understanding it displays that it takes itself seriously. A fear of many is that their faith will become stagnant, uncritical, and taken for granted. I would like to think that at our meetings we are acknowledging that faith is central in our lives and that we seek to understand it more fruitfully.

I would like to present a synthesis of Anselm’s phrase for the Philosophy Foosball Club with what has been discussed. I propose that the official phrase of the Providence College Philosophy foosball club should be “faith seeking understanding and understanding seeking faith.” This seems to be more fair. If there is a better phrase or revision of this phrase, I would like to hear suggestions.

With regards to Dr.V’s second argument, I concede that the monk’s foosball table is pathetic. Second, I thought monks lived in community with other monks. The philosophy foosball club is a community (an excellent one if I may say so myself) so I propose an alternative cover where there are two or more monks playing foosball together. I know that Jeremy G. has monks robes. If we could find a second monk we should have someone photograph the two monks playing foosball.

Let’s keep the discussion going!



Jordan said...

I like Mark's dialectic phrase. Faith should continually seek further understanding. Also, when one seeks understanding, they also come closer and closer to knowledge of God, the source of all understanding. (On that note, I think it was Francis Bacon who said that a little philosophy makes one an atheist, while a lot of philosophy has the opposite effect.)

Also, a note about the monks: maybe the female philosophy foosballers would feel excluded, since a monk is a male-only symbol. Perhaps a nun and a monk playing foosball?

And perhaps the philosophy foosball journal should associate itself with a particular Scripture passage. I humbly suggest Jer. 33:3.

Any thoughts?