In this talk, Fr. Roque J. Ferriols, S.J. shares some reflections from his experiences in teaching philosophy for almost fifty years in what he describes as a “small corner of Manila”. Teaching philosophy, for him, involves creating an atmosphere, an environment which allows students to see things they could not see before--things that the teacher may not even have seen before. That is why a teacher must have the courage to learn from the students and the patience to cultivate a kind of silence enabling them to move from the world of pure ideas to the world of what is really happening. In this world of the real, what is most important cannot be said but lived. Viewing philosophy as a search for the truth, Fr. Ferriols stresses that a person looking for the truth must admit there is a true answer. This answer might be difficult and may take long to find but there is a true answer. In looking for the truth, it is best to use the language of the place where you are philosophizing. For Fr. Ferriols, this would be the language of “the people outside cleaning the streets, driving the jeepneys, driving the buses, going to their work”.
(A Plenary Lecture presented during the International Conference on “Teaching Philosophy in Asian Contexts” sponsored by Missio Aachen, Germany on February 19, 2005 held at Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. This version was edited with the kind assistance of Dr. Leovino Ma. Garcia. The abstract was also prepared by Dr. Garcia.)
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