A. Background of the Study:
An old quotation would say: “No man is an island.” The old quotation echoes up to the present time whenever being alone or being with someone is the center of discussion. In studying social philosophy man is considered and identified as a social being that relates to his fellow human beings that exist with him. “Each of us finds his or her existence not as a separate individual but as a part of the mainland.” Man’s mind set is about a communal aspect and not living by his own. This simply means that man is a social being that continuously relates with others even in the simplest ways that he can relate with them. Man can never be alone as he continue to journey in life. It may look like too dependent but reality would clearly project that man needs others to survive. It is evident in the earliest stage of life, a child in the womb needs the presence and effort of his mother to survive in the womb and be healthy and a new born baby needs a help to feed himself.
Life in this world has the same case in terms of relation. “It is not good for the man to be alone.” God in the story of creation took the initiative from the very start of life to give man a companion not different from his own character but similar to him. In the beginning man did not find any satisfaction with the plants, birds and other animals with him that is why he looked for someone similar to him. Someone that could grasp what he feels and what he wants to communicate, one that can empathize with him at least for some aspects of his personality and this person that is so dear to man not belonging to his blood relation is called a “friend”.
St. Augustine in his book Confessions has demonstrated how he was accompanied by other persons in his journey to the faith. He was highly influenced by many persons in his life that he considered as his friends or persons dear to him. These persons marked friendship in his earthy life and was used by God to bring him into conversion and His servant.
“Friends are indeed a help both to the young, in keeping them from mistakes; and to the old, in caring for them and doing for them what through frailty they cannot do for themselves.” The world today gives man the easiest way to find friends through the social media and other events in life that would give man an opportunity to find someone fitting for his preference of friends. Man chooses his friends sometimes in the qualities that would fit him very much such as: status, likes and dislikes and other qualities that would complement him. Man is a being with others that is why his continuous search for other beings that would complement him and fit him also continues. But it does not stop there. Man chooses his friends for him to be led to what is good and for him to have a companion.
Filipino Philosophy is a way of “philosophizing through life” . In this sense, the way of thinking Filipinos have is not of idealisms but of what is seen within their lives. “The companion phenomenon on a large scale is the Filipino’s communitarian spirit.” Filipino thinking is more of the communal aspect of living rather than personal way of life. Which separates Filipinos from other races. They value so much of interpersonal relationships other than anything else. That is why Filipinos are known for being hospitable.
The Filipino worldview is a holistic view of the world. Filipinos identify themselves through the group that they belong to. One characteristic Filipinos is known for is being friendly. It is embedded in the personality and the Filipino culture to make friends even if a person seems to be a stranger in his sight. It is through friendship that they connect and builds an intimate relationship with each other. The way Filipinos relate with other persons even outside of their race was not different on how they communicate with fellow Filipinos.
Sense of belongingness is one thing that is innate in Filipinos. They locate themselves in others for them to build up good relations. “The Filipino is person-oriented. He thinks of himself as belonging to, and identifies himself with a group (sakop), and considers the success and welfare of the group as his own fulfillment.” In the strong sense of the communitarian spirit of Filipinos a good relationship within is formed and developed as their culture in the society unfolds what they really are. “Happiness for the Filipino is being with his group.” They have a strong sense of the other in themselves as part of their personality and as a social being belonging to a race.
This led the proponent to willfully discuss the Filipino thought Pagkakaibigan in appropriation with St. Augustine’s notion of friendship and seeing how the Filipino people value their relationship with others be it of the same or different race.
B. Statement of the Problem:
St. Augustine in his book Confessions confessed his failures and sins as he continue to journey in his life in this contingent world. “For it is a good thing to confess unto Thee, and to say, Have mercy upon me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee.” He humbled himself as a man who is finite and in need of grace that came from Him. He acknowledged other human beings dear to him and recognized their contributions in his life particularly in his conversion in knowing the One true God.
Man himself is in need of others to live in the world. His relationship with fellow human beings may be considered and categorized into many other terms that would describe and identify the kind of relation he has. Thus, this opus will be answering the main problem:
How will the Filipino culture Pagkakaibigan be understood through St. Augustine’s concept of friendship?
And will be supported by sub-problems:
1. What is the Filipino concept of Pagkakaibigan?
2. What is St. Augustine’s concept of Friendship?
C. Significance of the Study:
Many discussions about St. Augustine’s philosophy has been made both in the field of philosophy and theology. This opus would be emphasizing Filipino culture particularly in the sense of Pagkakaibigan through St. Augustine’s notion of friendship. Upon the development of this opus the concept of St. Augustine’s friendship will unfold together with the Filipino culture that will be mostly emphasize in this opus.
In the further discussion of this opus the proponent wills to enliven more the sense of value for the Filipino culture and a deeper appreciation of its sense of community and of the self through others. This opus would be a great help and a contribution to the said philosopher’s notion of friendship as well as a contribution to the Filipino philosophy or way of life through experience.
Also this research would be with a great help for the youth in examining the kind of friendships they develop with one another particularly in the kind of culture rising in the world today and in the rising demand for social media in making friends. Moreover, this opus will help philosophy students to identify the kind of community the philosopher has built in his earthly life and how he has established friendship and to use the philosopher’s notion to point out what is the true sense of Pagkakaibigan in value of the race’s culture.
D. Review of Related Literature:
In order for this opus to locate its foundations and relatedness with other works related to the topic and to the philosopher being used in the opus the proponent hereby presents the related literatures to this opus.
Warner, John M. Rousseau and the Problem of Human Relations. Penn State University Press, 2015.
Exclusive romantic connection gives human beings their greatest experience
of intimacy and helps sharpen the aesthetic and ethical criteria relevant to moral decision- making. In this book the conception of Jean Jacques Rousseau of friendship was introduced and theorized through the novels he made and mentioned friendship. His concept of friendship was traced back to Aristotle, Cicero and Montaigne who have given prominent notions about friendship. The philosopher in this book characterizes himself as someone “born for friendship.” He accepts that according to Aristotle man is social and saw himself writing about friendships and saying that it is important not only emotionally but also politically.
Rousseau in his Emile and the First Discourse had mentioned two things about friendship. The first one, friendship is “the most sacred of social exchanges.” Second, friendship is “the loss of sincere friendships is a cause of political instability.” Although Rousseau did not formulate a systematic writing about friendship it has been traced from his writings what he has mentioned. It is mentioned in this book that in the investigation of Rousseau’s writing on friendship rises a curiosity on one of his claims. He claimed that “friendship is a modified
expression of pity and seek to understand the degree to which friendship,
thus understood, might inculcate virtue.” To have pity connotes a different notion especially in the field of friendship. Critics would have said that Rousseau’s use of the word pity seems to be negative. But Rousseau does not mean a negative approach on the word pity. It primarily pertains to the sameness and difference of persons. (Add more summary)
The book contains certain realities about friendship on the point of the philosopher being used by the name Jean Jacques Rousseau and it made a great help in this opus. The difference between the book and this opus lies on the virtuous life friends can contribute to the lives of their friends. In the book critics would say that Rousseauan friendship does not focus much on contributing to the virtuous life of a person. In the book the prominent term associated with friendship “pity” is often reiterated. The book pertaining to Rousseauan notion of friendship originates from the sadness and silence one can feel interiorly. Man’s tendency to seek for friendship is because his sadness and being silent. In this opus friendship is not tantamount to pity.
“Once we are able to identify the needfulness of others, we are prepared to meet them as fellow sufferers and, hence, as friends.” The similarity of this book to this opus lies on the common friendship shared to every person, it is in the sense of belongingness one can find himself with others in the realm of friendship. It is the “unity” as St. Augustine in his definition of friendship said. Man desires for friendship in the sense of being identified.
This book is helpful for the composition of this opus because it gave the proponent another point of view on the friendship according to the world view of a philosopher outside the period the philosopher of this opus existed. This opened the mind of the proponent regarding the other source and purpose of friendship in a different view and in this book it shows the view coming from the sadness and silence a person is disposed of.
Rist, John M. Augustine Deformed: Love, Sin and Freedom in the Western Moral Tradition. United States of America: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Suzzane, Stern Gillet and Gurtler, Gary M., SJ. Ancient and Mediaeval Concepts of Friendship. United States of America: State University of New York Press, 2014.
Rudd, Anthony and Davenport, John, ed. Love, Reason and Will: Kierkegaard After Frankfurt. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.
Espartero, Ian Anthony R. Fr. OAR and Reyes, FC Jade C. “Augustine’s Concept of Friendship Applied in Building Community” Proteus: Journal of Philosophy and Education, 1 (2015-2016).
Augustine cannot spend a moment of his life without the presence of a friend. In this article the application of St. Augustine’s concept of friendship is applied to the building of a community. It is evident that during the time of the philosopher’s existence he has made and been involved in communities particularly where he was born and the ones he composed on his different journeys. The article centers on the Augustinian Rule of Life made by the philosopher himself for the communities he constructed.
The community life of Augustine bears a stamp of friendship. Espartero and Reyes emphasized that during Augustine’s conversion builds philosophical community whose aim is to search wisdom. It is mentioned that, “Augustine’s concept of community is always associated with religion.” The community that the philosopher has built is centered on a religious way of life, a practice of men and women trying live a holy life and as a servant of God. The article mentioned that the Augustinian community is based on unity in perfect love. It is the unity of love through God and the neighbor. Espartero and Reyes mentioned the Augustine’s idea of community coincides with the structure and concept of the Christian community. It can be true enough through: “seeking and experiencing the presence of the infinite and most loving God among the members of the community, through mutual concern and love.” Espartero and Reyes said that, “The nature of friendship requires two or more individuals who have one goal and interest.” Meeting of goal and interest gives so much importance in establishing amicitia. St. Augustine gave importance to love upon building his notion of friendship. An emphasis that God is the end of friendship is given in the article. For it is God who gave friendship and love as gift coming from the Spirit himself. Living in a community requires love as mentioned in the article. It is not an ordinary love but an authentic love. In the end of the article the contributors concluded that, “Augustine’s concept of friendship is experiential by nature.” It is also an applicable notion to build a community filled and bounded by authentic love and a love between God and neighbor.
The similarity of this article to the opus lies on the notion of friendship and authenticity of love. For it is an important variable in Augustine’s notion of friendship. “Through the great influences of the Christian community Augustine decides to seek the love which epitomizes community life.” This opus would be discussing friendship in the context of St. Augustine which was also used in the article mentioned above. The way how Augustinian friendship and community was taken up is also the way how the proponent will discuss this opus. Friendship that is formed in love is what summarizes the similarity of the opus and this article. The difference between the article and this opus lies on the way on how application was done. This opus appropriates the notion of friendship in the context of the Filipino community in their value of Pagkakaibigan. Wherein it discusses the vantage of the Filipino community on friendship and how it is built in the long term relationship with others.
The article would be of great use to the opus because of its discussion of love and community. The article gives a certain clarification of the philosopher’s idea of friendship anchored in love and community life that love and friendship precedes community building. It serves also as a model for this opus on the understanding of friendship and how the opus will proceed in seeing the similarities and application of friendship in the Filipino culture.
Agullana, Christopher. Evil and the Problem of Divine Benevolence: A propaedeutic reading of an Age-old puzzle. Lumina, 20, no. 2, (October 2009).
Gripaldo, Rolando M. Filipino Philosophy: Past and Present. Kaisipan (2013)
Hoffman, Lukas. Adorno and Augustine: Parallel Conceptions of Alienation and the Self. Undergraduate Honors thesis, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, 2016.
Evangelisrta, Alvin. A Re-reading of Ayn Rand’s Notion of Self-Esteem in the light of Thomistic concepts of Amicitia and Caritas. Bachelor Thesis, Immaculate Conception Major Seminary,2013.
The proponent in this research will expenditure St. Augustine’s practical philosophy in particular to his concept of friendship to explain all the more the Filipino’s own thought of friendship (Pagkakaibigan).
This work is comprised of five chapters. The first chapter of this opus centers on the introduction of the topic and the review of related literatures that will support and will serve as the foundation of this opus. On the second chapter of this opus, the proponent discusses the Augustinian notion of friendship that is inculcated in love. On the third chapter, the proponent will be exposing the Filipino notion of friendship in line with their own point of view and would be giving an emphasis on how Filipinos value their culture. On the fourth chapter, the proponent will discuss the similarities of the Filipino concept of friendship and St. Augustine’s notion of friendship to give highlight on the value of the Filipino way of life. The fifth chapter of this opus will contain the summary, conclusion and recommendations given by the proponent to help future researchers about the topic.
Upon conducting this research the proponent will be using primary sources written by the philosopher who inspired the proponent to conduct this research. Books, articles and theses would be used to help the proponent solidify the discussion of his chosen topic that would be found in the review of related literature. Other sources that would give importance to the construction this research.
The proponent acquired books, articles and theses through the generosity of different libraries that holds philosophical sections. The proponent has acquired sources from the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary Library but due to the limitations of sources in relation the philosopher’s work, the proponent consulted other libraries such as Miguel Benavides Library of the Royal and Pontifical University of Sto. Tomas, Loyala School of Theology Library, and the Recoletos School of Theology Library. Some articles and other sources used by the proponent came from the international electronic journals found on the internet.
F. Definition of Terms: