Philosophy begins with a fascination about things, it begins with wonder. This is not only an old claim – Aristotle made it – but it is one which is faithful to reality. Philosophy means love for wisdom, attraction toward the reality of things   given to us.  Philosophy springs from the awe toward the beauty and the goodness of things.  Philosophy, finally, pursues wisdom and the truth of that reality whose aim is the Infinite. Philosophy is thus, the Philosophy is thus the rational search for the ultimate causes and first principles of reality. In philosophy, reason enters into a relationship with the Infinite.  The mystery of the Infinite is reason’s greatest discovery, the revelation of the existence of something that is incommensurable to reason itself.

Yet, philosophy is not a pure thought. The task of philosophy is not one of pure argument, or merely a preoccupation with smothering of abstractions. The life of a philosopher is an experience of knowing and living the real, a life made of a person made of flesh and bones. A philosophical life is not one of retreat from the world that presumably allows one to ponder about things from a distance. It is, rather, life as an experience which incites or calls us to speak, propose and write about it.

Philosophical conversation and any dialogue are not separate from human experience. In this way, as taught by Monsignor Luigi Giussani, the freedom of the person confronts the real. Philosophy must have deep humility to be open to discussion, to correction, to rectification: it must embrace and be opened to the category of possibility. Philosophy is, above all, the search for the ultimate truth of reality.  If this category is overlooked, philosophy cannot mature because it will already determine by an ideological project of those in power. This category of possibility becomes thus the supreme dimension of reason. Philosophy in this view, is a task of reason but it is also, and principally, a task of freedom. The philosopher cannot swear fidelity to a person or to a school of thought. He or she cannot be a Thomist, to recall Jacques Maritain, by adhering to the letter of St. Thomas and to every article of his teaching. What we need is not a prescriptive way of thinking but a tradition that inspires us to think for ourselves.

Maritain’s rejection of ideological thinking became stronger after his bad experience with the case of the Action Française.  It was sometimes in the early thirties, in his Letter of Independence that he called himself “apolitical” and that he favored neither a party of the right nor a party of the left. Being from the “right” or from the “left,” he argued, was a mere “disposition of temperament, just as the human being is born bilious or sanguine.” Ideologies have no business or power to ultimate define human identity. So, he retorted with irony, “all one can do is to correct one’s temperament and bring it to an equilibrium which more or less approaches the point where the two tendencies converge.” Philosophy of the Human Heart is an educational project that is inspired by Maritain’s commitment to the centrality of the human person, Personalism, keeping  philosophy free from ideological incursions.