In my endless ruminations over the Reformation and amidst the constant disquiet of my heart and mind, I've been thinking about an important issue.
Catholicism affirms philosophical realism, where free agents who participate in Being are able to access the objective truth through their senses. It argues against any Cartesian or Berkeleyan attempt at undermining the reliability of the senses, or (at least after Thomas) a prioritizing of Platonic spirit over matter (see Transubstantiation).
One famous Lutheran rationalist Immanuel Kant, argued for subjectivism, that is, each person is only able to see from their own perspective. A person cannot be objective because they are a subject, and they can only know what they empirically see or can rationally prove. Catholicism reacts against this because it holds the priority of the objective metaphysical reality of Being, over and above the individual subjective and existential experience.
However, there is one area they seem to despise objective reality. Scripture. As a Roman Catholic I remember arguing with someone over exegesis, and exasperated they simply said: no matter what this verse says, there is no way that you can or would ever interpret it differently than the Church teaches you must. The Protestant was arguing that Scripture had an objective meaning and that we as subjects could understand it. By contrast I had to argue that Scripture is by nature murky, unclear, and has a hidden meaning that only the Magesterium can truly discover and declare.
The perfect example is my oft-repeated complaint about concupiscence, and where St. Paul calls it "sin" and Trent says that even though the apostle says sin, it is not formally "sin". Or perhaps the admonision of St. Paul that a bishop should be the husband of one wife, where the Magesterium declares that a bishop should not be the husband of one wife.
So as I ponder this, I'm starting to wonder who the real Realists are? It seems like we are just so many Cartesian exegetes, while claiming to be the children of St. Thomas in all other areas.