‘Venerable Master’ named professor emeritus
"I came with a determined heart to be a contribution in the making of [UST's] future history.”
The University conferred the title of professor emeritus to philosophy professor Alfredo Co, affectionately referred to as the “Venerable Master,” in a ceremony at the Medicine Auditorium, March 9.
Co, from the Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets), served in the University for 40 years and has become a renowned and influential scholar and speaker on East-West dialogue in philosophy.
In his acceptance speech, Co said he previously made a promise to himself that he would contribute something to the University in the future.
“I was humbled by the sterling title of ‘Royal, Pontifical, and Catholic University of the Philippines’ when I entered the corridors of this University. But I swore to myself that I should not just bask on its honors, I came with a determined heart to be a contribution in the making of its future history.”
He added that he wholeheartedly and humbly accept the title “in good faith and great joy.” Co also highlighted the importance of philosophy in today’s generation.
“It disturbs me that this age has a little focus on the knowledge that edifies man. I am disturbed that man is gradually abandoning the idea of the search for true knowledge, the good and the beauty in human.”
Co added, “I still think that even of the age of artificial intelligence, technology, and science, people will always find true solace in the learning provided by philosophy.”
Moreover, Artlets Dean Michael Anthony Vasco praised Co for his influential works in the field of philosophy.
“His works are influential locally and internationally. His critiques and interpretations may open future philosophical inquiries, if not, a philosophical revolution. These are the trademarks of Doctor Co’s brand of scholarship,” Vasco said.
Co has authored several books and articles. He is the editor-in-chief of Kanlungan: A Journal of Philosophy, the official journal of the Philippine Academy of Philosophical Research (PAPR).
He is president of the PAPR and a member of Académie du Midi, Asian Association of Christian Philosophers, International Society for Chinese Philosophy, American Philosophical Association, International Academic Advisory Board of the Institute of Spirituality in Asia, Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie (institutional membership through PAPR), and Conférence Mondiale des Institutions Universitaires Catholiques de Philosophie.
Co served as chairperson of the UST Department of Philosophy from 2010 to 2011 and the Department of Social Sciences from 2000 to 2001.
He is a consultant of the Philippine government as co-chair of the Technical Panel for Humanities Education and chair of the Technical Committee for Philosophy of the Commission on Higher Education.
Co obtained his doctorate in philosophy from UST in 1976 at the age of 26. He finished his post-doctorate degrees on Classical Chinese Philosophy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and on Comparative Philosophy at the Sorbonne (Université de Paris III and Université de Paris IV), at the ages of 28 and 31, respectively.