Josef Pieper quotes

45   0

Josef Pieper

Birthdate: 4. May 1904
Date of death: 6. November 1997

Josef Pieper was a German Catholic philosopher, at the forefront of the Neo-Thomistic wave in twentieth century Catholic philosophy. Among his most notable works are The Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance; Leisure: the Basis of Culture; The Philosophical Act and Guide to Thomas Aquinas .

„And in this, that philosophy begins in wonder [Plato, Theaetetus 155d], lies the, so to speak, non-bourgeois character of philosophy; for to feel astonishment and wonder is something non-bourgeois (if we can be allowed, for a moment, to use this all-too-easy terminology). For what does it mean to become bourgeois in the intellectual sense? More than anything else, it means that someone takes one's immediate surroundings (the world determined by the immediate purposes of life) so "tightly" and "densely," as if bearing an ultimate value, that the things of experience no longer become transparent. The greater, deeper, more real, and (at first) invisible world of essences is no longer even suspected to exist; the "wonder" is no longer there, it has no place to come from; the human being can no longer feel wonder. The commonplace mind, rendered deaf-mute, finds everything self-explanatory. But what really is self-explanatory? Is it self-explanatory, then, that we exist? Is it self-explanatory that there is such a thing as "seeing"? These are questions that someone who is locked into the daily world cannot ask; and that is so because such a person has not succeeded, as anyone whose senses (like a deaf person) are simply not functioning — has not managed even for once to forget the immediate needs of life, whereas the one who experiences wonder is one who, astounded by the deeper aspect of the world, cannot hear the immediate demands of life — if even for a moment, that moment when he gazes on the astounding vision of the world.“

—  Josef Pieper

Source: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, pp. 101–102

„Now this structure of hope (among other things) is also what distinguishes philosophy from the special sciences. There is a relationship with the object that is different in principle in the two cases. The question of the special sciences is in principle ultimately answerable, or, at least, it is not un-answerable. It can be said, in a final way (or some day, one will be able to say in a final way) what is the cause, say, of this particular infectious disease. It is in principle possible that one day someone will say, "It is now scientifically proven that such and such is the case, and no otherwise." But […] a philosophical question can never be finally, conclusively answered. […] The object of philosophy is given to the philosopher on the basis of a hope. This is where Dilthey's words make sense: "The demands on the philosophizing person cannot be satisfied. A physicist is an agreeable entity, useful for himself and others; a philosopher, like the saint, only exists as an ideal." It is in the nature of the special sciences to emerge from a state of wonder to the extent that they reach "results." But the philosopher does not emerge from wonder.
Here is at once the limit and the measure of science, as well as the great value, and great doubtfulness, of philosophy. Certainly, in itself it is a "greater" thing to dwell "under the stars."“

—  Josef Pieper

But man is not made to live "out there" permanently! Certainly, it is a more valuable question, as such, to ask about the whole world and the ultimate nature of things. But the answer is not as easily forthcoming as for the special sciences!
The Dilthey quote is from Briefwechsel zwischen Wilhelm Dilthey und dem Grafen Paul Yorck v. Wartenberg, 1877–1897 (Hall/Salle, 1923), p. 39.
Source: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, pp. 109–111

Help us translate English quotes

Discover interesting quotes and translate them.

Start translating

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

Similar authors

Martin Heidegger photo
Martin Heidegger66
German philosopher
Walter Benjamin photo
Walter Benjamin69
German literary critic, philosopher and social critic (1892…
Martin Buber photo
Martin Buber57
German Jewish Existentialist philosopher and theologian
Erich Fromm photo
Erich Fromm116
German social psychologist and psychoanalyst
Theodor W. Adorno photo
Theodor W. Adorno90
German sociologist, philosopher and musicologist known for …
Albert Schweitzer photo
Albert Schweitzer121
French-German physician, theologian, musician and philosoph…
Erich Maria Remarque photo
Erich Maria Remarque63
German novelist
Ernst Ruska photo
Ernst Ruska2
German physicist
Christian Morgenstern photo
Christian Morgenstern21
German author
Werner Heisenberg photo
Werner Heisenberg41
German theoretical physicist
Today anniversaries
Vladimir Lenin photo
Vladimir Lenin335
Russian politician, led the October Revolution 1870 - 1924
Vladimir Nabokov photo
Vladimir Nabokov193
Russian-American novelist, lepidopterist, professor 1899 - 1977
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin photo
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin63
French philosopher and Jesuit priest 1881 - 1955
Khalil Gibran photo
Khalil Gibran93
Lebanese artist, poet, and writer 1883 - 1931
Another 63 today anniversaries
Similar authors
Martin Heidegger photo
Martin Heidegger66
German philosopher
Walter Benjamin photo
Walter Benjamin69
German literary critic, philosopher and social critic (1892…
Martin Buber photo
Martin Buber57
German Jewish Existentialist philosopher and theologian
Erich Fromm photo
Erich Fromm116
German social psychologist and psychoanalyst
Theodor W. Adorno photo
Theodor W. Adorno90
German sociologist, philosopher and musicologist known for …