Summaries & Keywords

STUDIA GILSONIANA » Issues » 2019 » 8:2 (April-June 2019) » Summaries & Keywords

Richard J. Fafara, “Gilson on Philosophy and Civilization,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 2 (April–June 2019): 213–227, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080210

SUMMARY: In his essay “The Role of Philosophy in the History of Civilization” presented at the 6th International Philosophical Congress at Harvard in 1926, Gilson outlined three general trends among historians of philosophy. Some reduce the history of philosophy to study sources and find explanations of the philosophy beyond itself. Others try to go beyond the source of a given philosophy to find the original intuition that generates it. A third position, which Gilson espoused, is ahistorical. It depends neither on society nor on the creative genius of philosophers; it is simply truth. Systems of philosophy are uniquely conditioned by the necessary relations that link the ideas. If philosophies are expressions of an eternal truth, dominating men and societies, which discovers itself progressively by the mediation of philosophers, philosophy is transcendent with regard to every given state of civilization and the worth of a civilization depends upon the extent it participates in truth. Gilson’s conception of philosophy can go far in restoring Western civilization’s loss of confidence in human reason with its resulting pathologies and threats to human freedom today.

KEYWORDS: Gilson, civilization, philosophy, history of philosophy.


Michał Chaberek, “A Textual Analysis of John Paul II’s Teaching on Evolution,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 2 (April–June 2019): 231–247, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080211

SUMMARY: The author considers John Paul II’s treatment of the topic of evolution in order to retrieve its full content. He starts with an analysis of the Pope’s 1996 Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, especially addressing the problem of the meaning of the words that “the theory of evolution . . . [is] more than a hypothesis,” and the problem of hominization. Then, he explores papal statements from 1985 and 1986. Finally, he concludes that John Paul II’s teaching on evolution appears as fragmentary and ambiguous and, as such, requires greater precision and further development, especially for the sake of the Catholic theology of creation.

KEYWORDS: John Paul II, evolution, theory of evolution, evolutionism.


Anthony Daum, “St. Thomas Aquinas and Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange on Wonder and the Division of the Sciences,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 2 (April–June 2019): 249–276, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080212

SUMMARY: The author makes a comparison between St. Thomas Aquinas’s and Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s conceptions of philosophical wonder and the division of the sciences. He claims that, for Aquinas and Garrigou-Lagrange, (1) science is an intellectual habit whereby we can come to know the order of reality (necessary truths) and the One who orders it (God), (2) science should be so taught as to elicit wonder rather than cold facts and formulas, since it is wonder which urges us on to seek the primary causes of things, (3) the purpose of science is, ultimately, to contemplate the necessary truths about physical and metaphysical reality, (4) science is the means to attaining one of the highest forms of human happiness.

KEYWORDS: Thomas Aquinas, Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, wonder, science, philosophy, intellectual habit, reality, God, causes, contemplation, happiness.


William Haggerty, “On Not Taking the World for Granted: E. L. Mascall on The Five Ways,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 2 (April–June 2019): 277–303, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080213

SUMMARY: Considered one of the leading proponents of natural theology in the 20th century, E. L. Mascall (1905–1993) taught philosophy and theology at King’s College London for most of his career. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he insisted that classical theism, embodied in the writings of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, could be successfully revived for a modern audience. Known for his vigorous defense of neo-Thomism, Mascall offered an unusual interpretation of The Five Ways. While modern scholastics typically read the proofs as syllogistic exercises, Mascall maintained that God’s existence could not be deduced from premises, but must be grasped by means of a unique type of “metaphysical intuition” which he called “contuition.” In my paper, I will re-examine his position, explore his reasons for adopting it, and finally raise several questions concerning its significance for the history of neo-Thomism.

KEYWORDS: The Five Ways, Mascall, Aquinas, neo-Thomism, contuition, natural theology, Locke, British empiricism, scholasticism, theistic proofs, ontologism, ratio, intellectus.


Gabriel Ragan, “The Structure of a Person as the Basis for Determining the Common Good as Understood by Mieczysław A. Krąpiec,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 2 (April–June 2019): 305–317, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080214

SUMMARY: The author makes an attempt to analyze the anthropological views of Mieczysław A. Krąpiec in order to show the reasons why some elements of the structure of man as a person—resulting from the human mode of access to truth, goodness, beauty and religion—are essentially significant for determining the common good that lies at the foundation of all forms of human social life. He analyzes such parts of the human person’s structure as intellectual knowledge, will for the good, love, religion, personal dignity, ontic completeness and legal subjectivity.

KEYWORDS: Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, man, person, common good, intellectual knowledge, will, good, love, religion, personal dignity, ontic completeness, legal subjectivity.


Peter A. Redpath, “A Modest Proposal for Resolving the Apparently Never-Ending Evolution Debate: Reconsidering the Question,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 2 (April–June 2019): 351–399, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080216

SUMMARY: The author makes an attempt to show why (1) Darwin’s teaching in The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection and The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex cannot be “scientific” in a modern, classical, or any, sense and that, consequently, in them, (2) Darwin did not scientifically prove the reality of evolution of species. He claims that, while the question of the origin of genera and species is principally and primarily a metaphysical problem, Darwin’s ignorance of the nature of philosophy and metaphysics and the complexity of the problem of the nature of genera and species caused him mistakenly to frame this metaphysical problem as one of physics, more precisely as one of biology, which Darwin reduced to a natural history of living, physical beings.

KEYWORDS: Charles Darwin, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, genus, species, substance, evolution, universals, metaphysics, logic, science, nominalism, evolutionism.


Juan Carlos Riofrío Martínez-Villalba, “The Effects of Beauty and the Redemption of the Ugly,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 2 (April–June 2019): 401–430, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080217

SUMMARY: This paper ponders on the aftermath effects of beauty, the ugly, and the hypotheses on how to get rid of the ugly. Due to the impossibility of addressing the effects of something that is entirely unknown, the author first attempts, in lieu of a definition of beauty, to examine the three classical conditions for beauty, which will otherwise be respected as in some sense a mystery. Secondly, he turns to the effects of beauty by analogy to the six effects of love as elucidated by Thomas Aquinas; in addition, he adds three other effects of beauty found in classical Greek thought: catharsis, epiphany, and pleasure. Thirdly, he reviews, by way of contrast, the corresponding effects of the ugly; and then he proposes how the ugly can be “redeemed” by beauty.

KEYWORDS: Thomas Aquinas, transcendentals, beauty, ugly, love, catharsis, epiphany, pleasure.


Donna E. West, “Thirdness along the Intuitional Path: Reflections from Maritain and Peirce,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 2 (April–June 2019): 431–475, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080218

SUMMARY: This article exposits Maritain’s and Peirce’s account of the preconditions for emergence of event relations. It spotlights Maritain’s model of how to prepare for the receipt of objective intellection, as well as Peirce’s treatment of abductive inferencing. It further identifies the foundational representations (signs) which compel the intuitional/inferencing process. Both Peirce and Maritain advocate that inferring event relations depends upon two distinct kinds of knowledge: from empirical sources in Secondness/sensible experiences, as well as from an objective transcendental state in Firstness. In the latter, intuitions emerge from unbidden pictures vividly flashing across the mind’s eye, while in the former, embodied action templates trace lived experiential paths with objective import.

KEYWORDS: Peirce, Maritain, intuition, inferencing, eidetic visualization, index, event relations, virtual habit, thirdness.


Alexandra Cathey, “Edith Stein on the Highest Expression of the Feminine Genius,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 2 (April–June 2019): 479–494, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080219

SUMMARY: Edith Stein sees the highest expression of the feminine genius in the Blessed Virgin Mary. This article presents (1) Edith Stein’s insights into what it means to walk with Mary and how her imitation provides women a secure path to nurturing a healthy emotional life necessary for fruitful spiritual motherhood and spiritual companionship, and (2) Edith Stein’s life which offers a concrete and relatively recent example of how the imitation of Mary helps women unlock their feminine genius.

KEYWORDS: Edith Stein, feminine genius, the Blessed Virgin Mary, spiritual motherhood, spiritual companionship.


Jude P. Dougherty, “The Universe We Think In by James V. Schall,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 2 (April–June 2019): 497–501, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080220

SUMMARY: This paper is a review of the book: James V. Schall, The Universe We Think In (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2019). The author discusses the reasons and consequences of modern philosophy’s propensity to neglect the innate or purposeful direction of human life.

KEYWORDS: James V. Schall, modern philosophy, metaphysics, politics, human nature.