I am not really Socrates returned from the dead, but I am a lifelong lover and seeker of wisdom. Since the word “philosophy” simply means “lover of wisdom,” Then, I guess, that anyone who loves and pursues wisdom can be considered a philosopher in that sense. Yet there is a more technical definition of philosophy which is “the study of first principles and ultimate causes of all knowable reality.” If this is the case, the philosophy has something to tell us about literally everything, having a scope that is entirely universal. This should make the study of philosophy and exciting and dynamic endeavor rather than a dry academic discipline. Unfortunately, much of contemporary academic philosophy has become just that. Consider the following quote:
“The only critique of philosophy that is possible and that proves anything, namely trying to see whether one can live in accordance with it, has never been taught at universities; all that has ever been taught is a critique of words by means of other words.”– Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, “Schopenhauer as Educator,” #8
The contemporary study of philosophy, more often than not, has become an end in itself rather than a means to an end. For the Greeks such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, the end of philosophy was development of virtue that worked itself out through good government, producing a happy and prosperous citizenry. Much of today’s philosophy has become an esoteric echo chamber that has no bearing or practical application to real life. Because of all of this, many modern philosophers have walled themselves off from the people that they should be serving. I hope to make the philosophical ideas that I discuss both interesting and relatable to life.
I was born and raised in in Steubenville, Ohio, a community that, at the time, revolved around steel mills. It was a very ethnic community. As the child of Italian immigrants, I was baptized and raised in the Catholic Church, but left when I was eighteen. For me growing up, Catholicism was mainly a cultural experience and so, when I went off to college, I abandoned that Catholic faith. I journeyed through broader Evangelicalism and eventually settled in the Reformed faith. Even though I learned much and met many wonderful people in those settings, eventually I returned to the Catholic Church after extensively reading the Church Fathers. I am grateful for how God has used my past experiences in other churches to help mature me as a Christian and to bring me to the point that I am today.
I am fascinated by the relationship between faith and reason and have developed this blog to learn about the interaction between them as particularly expressed through the Catholic faith and Greek philosophy.
Eye Friendly Visuals
You will notice that some of my fonts are a little larger than normal. That is because I am an optometrist and I don’t want some of my patients who read my blog to complain that the font is too small or think that I am trying to sell them glasses! So I have tried to make my blog user friendly both intellectually and visually. As an eye doctor, I see a lot of people with digital eye strain. I have tried to alleviate that by having a cleaner, less cluttered, look to my blog. Quite frankly, cluttered blogs with small fonts are difficult to read for any length of time, especially ones that have black letters on a dark brown background – really? Maybe this blog will start a new trend visually. Who knows? I have also included beautiful artwork as a representation Western Civilization as well as other cultures. Western Civilization is built upon the transcendentals of truth, beauty, and goodness which is why this blog will focus on not just philosophy, buy art and virtue as well.
A Bit More About Me
In addition to my optometry practice, my wife and I have three grown children (and no grandchildren yet). We are avid dog lovers and currently have two golden retrievers, Sadie and Maxwell. I am an admirer of beauty whether it is found in art or nature, and enjoy traveling to Italy to partake of the art and the cuisine. I spent a year in Zimbabwe, several decades ago, teaching and working at the University of Zimbabwe.
Because of my Italian heritage, I am eligible to become an Italian citizen and plan to do that soon. Currently I am enrolled in Pontifex University and am working on a Master of Sacred Arts degree. I have a Doctor of Optometry degree from the Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) and currently practice optometry in a small town, where I enjoy being part of a vibrant community. I like hiking, especially in the mountains, and often take trips to the beautiful states of Montana and West Virginia.
I hope you enjoy my content. Please contact me for points of clarification or even disagreements on things that you may read so we can learn together. Please enjoy, and thank you for taking the time to check this blog out!
BTW: In case you are wondering, the cover photo of my blog is a photo that I took in 2020. The image is of my son, Daniel, perched atop of Sacagawea Peak near Wilsall, Montana.
And finally, this blog is dedicated to my dog Maxwell, without whose emotional support, constant companionship during my writing sessions, and occasional feedback concerning animal ethics, this blog would not be possible.