Professor Emeritus Co: Seek true knowledge through philosophy


NAMED AS Professor Emeritus for his outstanding contributions to the University and the field of philosophy, “Venerable Master” Alfredo Co, Ph.D. urged Thomasians to continue the pursuit of true knowledge and beauty through philosophy amid today’s virtual age.

“I am disturbed that man is gradually abandoning the ideal search of the search for true knowledge, the good of human, and the beauty in human,” Co said in his acceptance speech during the ceremony held March 9 at the Medicine Auditorium.

“I still think, that even in the age of artificial intelligence, technology, and science, people will always find true solace in the learning provided by philosophy” he added.

The philosophy professor also noted that people have the responsibility to educate themselves.

“I refuse to accept that mankind is tragically bound to stay in the darkness of the mind’s reason, eclipsed hounds of the wrong values, and indifferent to the pursuit of things that are true, things that bring lasting good and lastingly beautiful in this world,” he said.

Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) Dean Michael Anthony Vasco, meanwhile, described Co as “the most prolific philosopher” the University has produced.

“There is no doubt, Prof. Dr. Alfredo Co is the most important sinologist philosopher in the country today. He is the Filipino equivalent to the world’s well known sinologist philosophers,” Vasco said.

Co has published more than 50 scholarly articles and some of his works have been translated in German and Russian. He has also written several books such as Across the Ancient Philosophical World: Essays in Comparative Philosophy and The Blooming of a Hundred Flowers: Philosophy of Ancient China.

Co, who has taught in UST for 42 years since 1975, recalled that he wanted to help the University of Santo Tomas (UST) progress the moment he entered the institution.

“When I entered the corridors of this University of Santo Tomas, I swore to myself that I should not just bask on its honors. I came with determined heart to be of contribution to making of its future history,” he said.

He was the founding chair of the UST Department of Philosophy from 2010 to 2011 and the chair for the Department of Social Sciences from 2000 to 2001.

In 2011, he organized the UST Quadricentennial International Philosophy Congress Conference, a gathering of more than 300 scholars around the world.

Co was also a recipient of The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni Award in 2012 and Gawad San Alberto for Outstanding Research for the years 1998, 2004, and 2011. He also has two fellowships with the Pacific Cultural Foundation of Taiwan and the International Society for Intercultural Studies and Research in Calcutta, India.

The title Professor Emeritus is given to a faculty member who reached retirement or resigned but is “deemed worthy to continue bearing the lifetime distinction” for their exemplary contribution in teaching, research, and extensive local services. F – VANN MARLO M. VILLEGAS

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