Thomas V. Morris

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Thomas V. Morris, also known as Tom Morris and, on social media, tomvmorris (born 1952), is an American philosopher. He is a former Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, founder of the Morris Institute for Human Values, and author of several books. He is also a business and motivational speaker, applying philosophical themes and concepts to business and professional life. This most recent work can be found on his new website and blog, www.TomVMorris.com.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Philosophy intellectual and/or logical study of general and fundamental problems

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?

University of Notre Dame Catholic university in South Bend, Indiana, United States

The University of Notre Dame du Lac is a private, non-profit Catholic research university in Notre Dame, Indiana. The main campus covers 1,261 acres (510 ha) in a suburban setting and it contains a number of recognizable landmarks, such as the Golden Dome, the Word of Life mural, the Notre Dame Stadium, and the Basilica. The school was founded on November 26, 1842, by Father Edward Sorin, CSC, who was also its first president.

Contents

Morris sees the past century's focus on technical efforts in analytic philosophy as having given philosophy the image of an arcane or irrelevant endeavor. He has attempted to make philosophy more widely accessible, rediscovering the practical side of philosophy, and introducing millions to the themes and thinkers of philosophy.

Analytic philosophy style of philosophy

Analytic philosophy is a style of philosophy that became dominant in the Western world at the beginning of the 20th century. The term can refer to one of several things:

Early life

Morris was born and grew up in North Carolina. One childhood friend was songwriter Don Schlitz, who, as a foundering youth musician, encouraged Tom to start a band with him: Morris is an avid rock guitarist. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar, and holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Yale University. UNC has honored him with the "Distinguished Young Alumnus Award", an award that he shares with, among others, the well-known former Chicago Bulls basketball player, Michael Jordan.

North Carolina State of the United States of America

North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. North Carolina is the 28th-most extensive and the 9th-most populous of the U.S. states. The state is divided into 100 counties. The capital is Raleigh, which along with Durham and Chapel Hill is home to the largest research park in the United States. The most populous municipality is Charlotte, which is the second-largest banking center in the United States after New York City.

Donald Alan Schlitz Jr. is a country music songwriter. For his songwriting efforts, Schlitz has earned two Grammys, as well as four ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year awards. In 1993, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), also known as UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, or simply Carolina is a public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is the flagship of the 17 campuses of the University of North Carolina system. After being chartered in 1789, the university first began enrolling students in 1795, which also allows it to be one of three schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States. Among the claimants, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the only one to have held classes and graduated students as a public university in the eighteenth century.

Academia

For fifteen years Morris served as a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, becoming one of their most popular teachers. He is noted for his ability to transform esoteric concepts and obscure academic texts into lively educational and fun learning experiences. As an example of his pedagogical skill, he arranged for the school marching band to play in class to motivate students who were about to take a test in one of his philosophy classes.

Morris has made significant academic contributions to the philosophy of religion and is considered an important contributor to analytic discussions of many critical areas in both philosophy and theology. One of his earliest publications remains a classic text in contemporary philosophical theology, The Logic of God Incarnate. [1] He has also written other important works in general philosophy, as well as in philosophical theology, such as Anselmian Explorations: Essays in Philosophical Theology (1987), Divine and Human Action: Essays in the Metaphysics of Theism (1988), Philosophy and the Christian Faith (1988), Our Idea of God (1991), and God and the Philosophers: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason. [2]

Philosophy of religion is "the philosophical examination of the central themes and concepts involved in religious traditions." These sorts of philosophical discussion are ancient, and can be found in the earliest known manuscripts concerning philosophy. The field is related to many other branches of philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.

Anselm of Canterbury 11th and 12th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, theologian, and saint

Anselm of Canterbury, also called Anselm of Aosta after his birthplace and Anselm of Bec after his monastery, was an Italian Benedictine monk, abbot, philosopher and theologian of the Catholic Church, who held the office of archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. After his death, he was canonized as a saint; his feast day is 21 April.

Morris' books include Francis Schaeffer's Apologetics: A Critique, Understanding Identity Statements, The Logic of God Incarnate, Anselmian Explorations, The Concept of God, Our Idea of God, The Bluffer's Guide to Philosophy, Philosophy and the Christian Faith, Divine and Human Action, Our Idea of God, Making Sense of It All, God and the Philosophers, Philosophy for Dummies, True Success, The Art of Achievement, If Aristotle Ran General Motors, The Stoic Art of Living, Superheroes and Philosophy, and his latest text, If Harry Potter Ran General Electric.

Morris seeks to make philosophy interesting, intelligible, and practical to the ordinary person. Early in his academic career, he authored a privately circulated project, The Bluffer's Guide to Philosophy and the popular Making Sense of It All: Pascal and the Meaning of Life - two books that provide the amateur philosopher easy access to philosophical works and concepts.

In Making Sense of It All, Morris examined one of the great Christian thinkers of all time, Blaise Pascal. In this book, Morris highlighted Pascal's observation that diversion is one of the greatest spiritual dangers of our age. Morris argues that diversion can only keep the "big questions" about the meaning of life at bay for so long. He points out that people are hungry to engage in intelligent dialogue about the purpose and meaning of life. He draws from Pascal's view in the Pensées that people need to understand the larger context of their lives in order to determine how to live. As people confront ethical dilemmas in everyday life, they begin to ask more probing questions that eventually lead to ultimate questions about life, death, morality, value, meaning, and purpose.

Blaise Pascal French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and Christian philosopher

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalising the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defence of the scientific method.

<i>Pensées</i> book

The Pensées ("Thoughts") is a collection of fragments on theology and philosophy written by 17th-century philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal. Pascal's religious conversion led him into a life of asceticism, and the Pensées was in many ways his life's work. The Pensées represented Pascal's defense of the Christian religion. The concept of "Pascal's Wager" stems from a portion of this work.

Recently, Morris has continued to popularize philosophy and foster reflections on life and the meaning of it all in such works as Philosophy for Dummies, True Success, If Aristotle Ran General Motors, The Art of Achievement, and The Stoic Art of Living. In The Stoic Art of Living, he relates the ideas of Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, and transforms them into intelligible concepts and practical applications to contemporary life.

Epictetus Philosopher from Ancient Greece

Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia and lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece for the rest of his life. His teachings were written down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses and Enchiridion.

Seneca the Younger Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, and dramatist

Seneca the Younger(c. 4 BC – AD 65), fully Lucius Annaeus Seneca and also known simply as Seneca, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and—in one work—satirist of the Silver Age of Latin literature.

Marcus Aurelius Roman Emperor and philosopher

Marcus Aurelius, called the Philosopher, was a Roman emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled the Roman Empire with his adoptive brother Lucius Verus until Lucius' death in 169. He was the last of the rulers traditionally known as the Five Good Emperors. He is also seen as the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Empire. His personal philosophical writings, now commonly known as Meditations, are a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy. They have been praised by fellow writers, philosophers, and monarchs – as well as by poets and politicians – centuries after his death.

Morris' most recent application of philosophy to contemporary culture is If Harry Potter Ran General Electric. In this work, he explored the philosophical implications and themes from the popular children's classics by J.K. Rowling and applied them to lessons in leadership and ethics. Morris also edited a volume of new essays from world philosophers and some of the top pop culture superhero comic book writers, entitled Superheroes and Philosophy, with his son Matt Morris. In addition to his writing and lectures, Morris has appeared on television in a segment on ethics for The Learning Channel, and as the philosophic face of Winnie the Pooh for Disney Home Video. He has made guest appearances on such network shows as NBC's Today Show and Regis Philbin's morning show.

Morris ventured out to the business world as founder and chairman of the Morris Institute for Human Values. The Institute is based in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he now lives.

See also

Notes

  1. Thomas V. Morris (1986). The Logic of God Incarnate Description & contents. Wipf & Stock
  2. Thomas V. Morris, ed. (1994). God and the Philosophers: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason, Description & contents, incl. (as contributor) Introduction and chapter 1. Oxford

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