Summaries & Keywords

STUDIA GILSONIANA » Issues » 2018 » 7:3 (July-September 2018) » Summaries & Keywords

Anthony T. Flood, “Love of Self as the Condition for a Gift of Self in Aquinas,” Studia Gilsoniana 7, no. 3 (July–September 2018): 419–435:

SUMMARY: The author attempts to contribute to the debate about the value of Aquinas’s account of love to philosophical personalism. He argues that to understand adequately Aquinas’s account of love in general and the aspect of the gift of self in particular, we must appreciate the importance of his account of appropriate self-love; moreover, self-love and love as a gift of self constitute two foundational poles on which we should base any development of a theory of love within Thomistic personalism. First, the author offers brief overviews of Wojtyla’s concept of love as a gift of self and Waldstein’s comparative study of Wojtyla and Aquinas on this issue. Second, he examines Aquinas’s notion of self-love, distinguishing between the good and bad kinds of self-love. Finally, he shows how self-love actualized in self-friendship creates the possibility for friendship with others.

KEYWORDS: Aquinas, Wojtyla, Waldstein, Thomistic personalism, philosophical personalism, love, self-gift, self-love, self-friendship, friendship.


John F. X. Knasas, “Kantianism and Thomistic Personalism on the Human Person: Self-Legislator or Self-Determiner?,” Studia Gilsoniana 7, no. 3 (July–September 2018): 437–451:

SUMMARY: Inspired by a discussion about whether John Paul II grounded human dignity in a Kantian way, viz., emphasizing the person as an end unto itself, the author considers: (1) the relations between Kant and Aquinas on the topic of the philosophical basis of human dignity, and (2) John Paul II’s remarks on Kant’s ethics. He concludes that: (1) both Kant and Aquinas ground human dignity upon human freedom, but both understand the human freedom differently; (2) for Kant, human freedom is self-legislating and so exercised without rational direction; (3) the Thomistic notion of freedom is compatible with rational direction which consists, e.g., in the human understood as an intellector of being or as a willer of the good, though neither seem to be exploited by Wojtyla.

KEYWORDS: person, dignity, self-legislator, self-determiner, intellector of being, willer of the good, ethics, freedom, rationality, reason, will, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Aquinas, John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla.


Catherine Peters, “Personal Participation in the Thomistic Account of Natural Law,” Studia Gilsoniana 7, no. 3 (July–September 2018): 453–468:

SUMMARY: The author seeks to show how participation serves as a focal point of a Thomistic personalist account of natural law. While Aquinas himself does not invoke the concept of person in his account of natural law, the author argues that participation can and should be understood as a personal act. According to her, justification for this interpretation is found in the commonality of rationality: that which both makes a substance to be a person and renders the participation of man in the eternal law to be a truly natural law.

KEYWORDS: Thomas Aquinas, Karol Wojtyła, John Paul II, human being, person, personalism, Thomistic personalism, participation, natural law, nature, metaphysics, modern philosophy, consciousness.


Susan C. Selner-Wright, “Thomistic Personalism and Creation Metaphysics: Personhood vs. Humanity and Ontological vs. Ethical Dignity,” Studia Gilsoniana 7, no. 3 (July–September 2018): 469–485:

SUMMARY: The author seeks to respond to the philosophical appeal of W. Norris Clarke, S.J., “to uncover the personalist dimension lying implicit within the fuller understanding of the very meaning and structure of the metaphysics of being itself, not hitherto explicit in either the metaphysical or personalist traditions themselves.” She does this by discussing the distinctions drawn by Karol Wojtyla: (1) between a human being’s personhood and his humanity, and (2) between the ontological dignity and the ethical dignity of the human person.

KEYWORDS: Thomistic personalism, personalism, person, personhood, human being, humanity, dignity, ontological dignity, ethical dignity, being, metaphysics, W. Norris Clarke, Karol Wojtyla.


Daniel C. Wagner, “Penitential Method as Phenomenological: The Penitential Epoche,” Studia Gilsoniana 7, no. 3 (July–September 2018): 487–518:

SUMMARY: Synthesizing Thomism and phenomenology, this paper compares the kind of reflective thinking and willing that goes on in penitential acts to Edmund Husserl’s method of the phenomenological ἐποχή (epoche). Analyzing penance up through the act of contrition, it first shows it to have three primary acts: (1) the examination of conscience, (2) the reordering of the will and (3) the resolve not to sin again in regret. After presenting this Thomistic conception of contrition in detail, it then focuses on the essence of Husserl’s ἐποχή as a method intended to “suspend” certain beliefs in order to discover the truth about knowledge. In conclusion, it shows that a particular form of the ἐποχή—a penitential ἐποχή—must be employed in these three penitential acts so that a disposition of grace may be made present in the penitent.

KEYWORDS: Thomism, phenomenology, Thomistic personalism, Edmund Husserl, realism, idealism, epoche, consciousness, conscience, penitence, penance, contrition, will, sin, belief, truth, knowledge, grace, noesis-noema, boulesis-boulema, virtue.