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CULTURAL HERITAGE AND CONTEMPORARY CHANGESERIES III, ASIA, VOL. 8THE FILIPINO MINDPHILIPPINE PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES IIbyLEONARDO N. MERCADOTABLE OF CONTENTSFOREWORDby George F. McLeanPREFACEPART I: PHILOSOPHY OF MAN1. Soul and Spirit2. Loob, Body, Self, Bait3. ReasoningPART II: METAPHYSICS4. Kagandahan: Beauty vis-a-vis Truth and Good5. The Counterpart of Being6. Evil7. NumbersPART III: ETHICS8. Environmental Ethics9. LusotPART IV: SUMMING UP10. Microcosms11. SynthesisAPPENDIX: MELANESIAN PHILOSOPHY
 
AcknowledgementsFOREWORDIt would be difficult to overestimate the accomplishment of this volume and of thetwenty years of work by Leonardo Mercado which it reflects, and indeed celebrates.His work has pioneered a new approach to philosophy which enables particularpeoples to uncover their deepest human commitments and thereby to enrich thepatrimony of human wisdom for all peoples.To appreciate this one must revisit with Heidegger the fatal choice made bySocrates and Plato to search for clarity of vision regarding the virtues andprinciples which guide human life. This search evolved through the development ofabstraction by Aristotle and was intensified by Descartes' aim of rational clarityand distinctness which would enable one "to walk with confidence in this world."Over time, philosophy in Graeco-Latin tradition became increasingly effective forthe management of things, analyzing reality and setting criteria for clarity. Butthis was accomplished at the cost of abandoning the person to ever greatermanipulation and even suppression.The history of the last fifty years has been described as a process of liberation;in this the Filipino people played an early and heroic role. Philosophically thiswas reflected to the progressive discovery, especially through the development ofthe phenomenology, of the distinctive character, first of the person, then ofsociety, and eventually of culture as the concrete realization of the creativefreedom of a people.Leonardo Mercado was one of the first to appreciate the philosophical significanceof this evolution. When he wrote his first book on the subject the WorldCongresses of Philosophy were being devoted regularly to philosophy and science(Varna 1973, and Dusseldorf 1978); it was not until the Montreal Congress in 1983and after a long struggle that culture was recognized as a philosophical theme,and indeed became a locus for philosophical investigation.It was fitting that a decade earlier Leonardo Mercado should have made hispioneering breakthrough. For over a century the Divine Word missionary society ofwhich he is a member had realized that the evangelization of a people required nota substitution, but an understanding of its culture. Its eminent review,Anthropos, became a leader in the work of anthropology. What L. Mercado added wasa further step, namely, the recognition that the culture of each people reflectedits experience of life and its genius for living in their circumstances, thefoundational values of love and care for family, and of peace with neighbor andnature.Culture then is the real treasure house of a people and from this each people hasits contribution to make to the common heritage of human wisdom. How could accessto this source be gained; how could it be clarified and coordinated; how could itbe transformed so that in facing the pressures of changing times a people couldshape the process of change taking place within the pattern of their deepestcommitments and relationships?The development of a method for doing this, profusely illustrated in this volume,will remain one of L. Mercado's signal accomplishments. It draws richly uponstudies of linguistics, ethnology and history, but pushes beyond to begin toarticulate the deep vision of a people and of the principles and values by whichthey guide their life. His success in applying this method cross-culturally duringthree years of work in Papua New Guinea, suggests that it has broad application.With this method L. Mercado has proceeded to write a flood of works on Filipinophilosophy, theology, legal theory, etc., over the last twenty years. Itsoutstanding value soon became apparent. Before long it was reflected to varying
 
degrees in the work of most philosophers in the Philippines. As has come to beseen only in the last ten years in other parts of the world, culture is not acuriosity but the stuff of a people's freedom. It bears the truly humane andhumanizing achievements of their history and provides the context in which futuregenerations can truly be educated.The present work, with its sections on the philosophy of the human person, on themetaphysics of beauty and of evil, and on ethics is a rich illustration of whathas been discovered and a pointer to what can be found not only in the Filipinopeoples, but in the lives of other peoples as well.An incident in March, 1994, illustrates the broad importance of this work forphilosophy. After L. Mercado presented his study, Professor Kirti Bunchua, aleading philosopher for Thailand, observed that he had always thought that his ownpeople did not have a philosophy, that philosophy was a foreign subject comingfrom the West. Upon hearing the way in which L. Mercado unpacked the meaning ofFilipino terms, however, Professor Bunchua said that he could see that his ownpeople used analogous terms in their language. For the first time he came tounderstand that his people did indeed have a philosophy and the way in which itcould be accessed. At that moment the people of Thailand gained a new level ofself-understanding and new possibilities for directing their life. They had takena great step forward which promises to enrich them and indeed all humankind.George F. McLeanThe Catholic University of AmericaWashington, D.C.PREFACEIn 1974 our first book on Filipino thought, Elements of Filipino Philosophy, waspublished. Other books and articles of a similar nature have followed. The presentvolume on Filipino philosophy commemorates the twentieth anniversary of that firstwork.Many of the ideas in this book were clarified through constant dialogue in theclassroom, in public lectures, in small groups, in private conversations, orthrough correspondence. In the first place my heartfelt thanks to my peers andstudents for their questions, answers, and comments. My deepest thanks go to thecountless average Filipinos who have shared with me their world view.Because of its similarity to Filipino thought, we included "Melanesian Philosophy"in the appendix of this volume. For this work we employed our usual methodologiesduring a stay in Papua, New Guinea (1985-1988).Leonardo N. Mercado, SVD

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