Real Philosophy for Real People

Tools for Truthful Living

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The philosopher Paul Weiss once observed, "Philosophers let theories get in the way of what they and everyone else know." For many, the very word "philosophical" has become all but synonymous with "impractical".

Yet whether we like it or not, almost every corner of our lives—from dissertation writing to channel surfing—brings us face to face with competing philosophies and world views, each claiming to tell us definitively what it means to be human. How can we know which one is right? And what difference does it make?

To Robert McTeigue, S.J., it makes every difference in the world. Consciously or not, we all have a world view, and it decides how we live. In this book, McTeigue gives a funny and invigorating crash course in practical logic, metaphysics, anthropology, and ethics, equipping readers with a tool kit for breaking down and evaluating the thought systems—some good, some toxic—that swirl around us, and even within us.

In McTeigue, classical philosophy finds a contemporary voice, accessible to the layman and engaging to the scholar. Real Philosophy for Real People is an answer to those philosophies that prize theory over truth, to any metaphysics that cannot account for itself, to anthropologies that are unworthy of the human person, and to ethical systems that reduce the great dignity and destiny of the human person. As the author insists, "A key test of any philosophy is: Can it be lived?" With Thomas Aquinas, this book teaches not only how to know the truth, but how to love it and to do it.

Fr. Robert McTeigue, .S.J.

Fr. Robert McTeigue, S.J., is a member of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. He has lectured worldwide on philosophy and theology. A member of the National Ethics Committee of the Catholic Medical Association, he is host and producer of the radio show The Catholic Current on the Station of the Cross.


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"A delightful romp through modern idiocies disguised as philosophies versus time-tested principles for building a wise one. It is full of the most revolutionary, rare, and uncommon thing in the world: common sense."
— Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Boston College

"A must for anyone seeking a comprehensible and comprehensive presentation and defense of theistic philosophy in contrast to its contemporary opponents."
— Robert Spitzer, S.J., President, Magis Center

"A book that honors the importance of philosophy by going directly to the heart of its fundamental perplexities, with thoughtfulness, conciseness, and energy. The voice of Robert McTeigue's realism restores to philosophy a salutary sanity."
— William Desmond, Ph.D., David R. Cook Chair in Philosophy, Villanova University

"A defense not merely of philosophy and metaphysics, but of the mind and of man himself."
— Fr. Robert A. Sirico, President, Acton Institute

"Fr. McTeigue shows us in an interesting and entertaining way that our lives—the lives of real flesh and blood people, from truck drivers to C.E.O.s—are imbued with philosophical assumptions about man, reality, truth, and goodness."
— Francis J. Beckwith, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University 

"Fr. McTeigue is an eloquent and witty disciple of his mentor Paul Weiss in the way he explains how common sense makes sense."
— Fr. George Rutler, Author, Calm in Chaos and He Spoke to Us

"An astringent philosophical corrective to these strange times. Fr. McTeigue demonstrates how metaphysics impacts on practical affairs, indeed on our whole lives."
— Theodore Dalrymple, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; Author, Our Culture, What's Left of It

"Fr. McTeigue shows you how to take the principles of Catholic philosophy and make it your spiritual operating system."
— John Harper, Managing Editor and Host, Morning Air, Relevant Radio

"As a student of Fr. McTeigue, I witnessed the development of the concepts in this book. What I learned changed my life then and continues to guide my life now, both in my medical practice and personal life."
— Brian Wojciechowski, M.D., Attending Physician, Alliance Cancer Specialists

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