This post is the second in my series Reading The Popes: A Beginner Philosopher’s Thoughts on Fides et Ratio. You can view the first post in the series here.
Pope John Paul II believes that different schools of philosophy possess principles in accordance with a common “spiritual heritage of humanity”.
“Once reason successfully intuits and formulates the first universal principles of being and correctly draws from them conclusions which are coherent both logically and ethically, then it may be called right reason or, as the ancients called it, orthós logos, recta ratio.” PJII Fides et Ratio
I had an idea of what a foundational principle is but wasn’t quite sure what the difference between that and a premise is so he explained to me the difference between the two. JPII stated that the different philosophical schools of thought have an implicit understanding of basic foundational principles. I would add that, if you start out working from the wrong premise then it is almost impossible to end up with the correct answer or conclusion.
Blessed John Paul II emphasizes the need for philosophy to focus on absolute truths, to know the truth. Unfortunately modern philosophy has abandoned absolute truths for human knowing, which has given rise to agnosticism and relativism.