Bertrand Russell famously disparaged Thomas Aquinas as having ‘little of the true philosophic spirit’, because ‘he does not, like the Platonic Socrates, set out to follow wherever the argument may lead.’ Like many of Russell's pronouncements, this is breathtakingly supercilious and unfair. Still, even an enthusiastic admirer of Aquinas may worry that there is something in it, that there is something wrong with religious ‘commitments’ in philosophy. I examine Russell's objection by comparing standards of permissibility in epistemology with standards of permissibility in ethics, where these issues are better understood. I conclude that the epistemic standard behind Russell's criticism is no less contentious in epistemology than, say, direct utilitarianism is in ethics.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th April 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.