Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

Benjamin Baxter

Benjamin Baxter

MA Philosophy, May 2020

Benjamin, in the coming months (and years), people will ask you why you spent a few years of your life getting an MA in Philosophy.  They will ask you if it was worth it.  They will likely be thinking in quantitative terms: does your degree enhance your income?  Only you can say if it was worth it, but as I review the courses you selected courses over the past years, I think I know what your answer will be.  Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living.  And so the beginning philosopher examines his own life.  Yet Socrates' words are intentionally open-ended.  Socrates does not say whose life is to be examined.  The Christian knows that his own life finds full meaning when he examines the life of Jesus Christ.  You combined your philosophical studies with an investigation into the Fathers, Medieval Mystics, and Eschatology and so showed that you understand, at least in a beginning way, the Christian appropriation of the Socratic saying.  In the years to come, may what you gained from your times at DSPT continue to inform your philosophical reflections and your hours of contemplation – Fr. John Thomas  

Exam Option - Capstone Paper Title: “A God Who Paints with the Minds of Men: A Thomistic Appreciation of Natural Inspiration” 

It is possible to speak of artistic inspiration, but inspiration must first be predicated of scripture, not art. Taking for granted Aquinas’ account of prophets and scriptural inspiration, to what extent can we draw an analogy between artistic inspiration with scriptural and prophetic inspirations? 

Advisor: John Thomas Mellein, OP, Professor of Theology

What are your plans after DSPT?

I will be teaching history at Marin Catholic High School. 

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