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‘Knowledge not parceled and segmented…’

‘So knowledge was not parceled out and segmented the way it is today.’

‘Now let us understand a bit more about the Scholastic mind as shaped in the tradition of St. Thomas. At the root of the Thomist worldview was a conviction that all truth was unified into a single body of thought, and that this truth ultimately pointed to the Author of all truth. Insofar as science was seeking truth, the truth that they found was necessarily reconcilable with other existing truth.

In this way, they saw the idea of truth as operating very much like mathematics. It was integrated from the lowest and most fundamental form to the highest and more elaborate form. If there was a contradiction or a failure to link a higher truth to a lower truth, one could know with certainty that there was something going wrong.

So knowledge was not parceled out and segmented the way it is today. Today, students go to classes on math, literature, economics, and building design, and don’t expect to find any links among the disciplines. I’m quite certain that it would never occur to them to try. It is just an accepted aspect of the positivist program that knowledge need not be integrated.

We must all exist in a state of suspended skepticism about everything, and be buffeted about randomly by the latest ideological fad that seems to have some scientific support. The conviction that small truth is related to large truth has been eviscerated.

It is sometimes said that the Scholastic’s attitude toward truth made them skeptical toward scientific inquiry. Indeed, the very opposite is true. Their convictions concerning integral truth made them utterly fearless. There was no aspect of life that should escape serious scholarship investigation and exploration.
- Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr., The World of Salamanca, October 27, 2009