Summaries & Keywords

STUDIA GILSONIANA » Issues » 2019 » 8:3 (July-September 2019) » Summaries & Keywords

Matthew D’Antuono, “The Meaning of Genus in Ancient Greek Philosophy up to Aristotle and in Thomas Aquinas,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 3 (July–September 2019): 515–545, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080215

SUMMARY: The term “genus” has evolved over time. This paper traces development of the word from the common usage of Ancient Greece, through the pre-Socratic philosophers and Plato, and up to the more technical use in Aristotle. It began in common use to mean a class or race of people, most specifically referring to people with a common parentage. The pre-Socratics applied the term to refer to things that were generated. Plato used the term to refer to groups of people generated by a common interest or aim. Aristotle employed it in different ways based on his predecessors. This paper makes comparisons between these usages and the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. It argues that understanding the development of “genus” facilitates understanding how Thomas Aquinas used it.

KEYWORDS: Homer, Isaeus, Xenophon, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, genus, philosophy, science, metaphysics.


Innocent C. Ezewoko, “Thomistic Personalism as the Key to Understanding Human Altruism,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 3 (July–September 2019): 547–567, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080321

SUMMARY: In this paper, the author attempts to explain human altruism within the framework of Thomistic personalism. He claims that (1) Thomistic personalism provides the necessary tools for understanding the human being as person in relation to other persons, and (2) it makes it possible to see the differences between personal and non-personal forms of human dynamism, which, when disregarded, easily lead to confusion. He concludes that, as an extention of love, altruism belongs to the personal, and, consequently, there is an intrinsic connection between personalism and altruism.

KEYWORDS: Thomas Aquinas, Wojtyła, Krąpiec, altruism, personalism, evolution, person, freedom, action, motivation, self-determination, love, relation, egoism.


Pedro García Casas, “Wojtyła’s Normative Ethic vs. Scheler’s Emotionalization of the A Priori,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 3 (July–September 2019): 569–592, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080322

SUMMARY: The article discusses Wojtyła’s position regarding the Schelerian a priori. Both Woj-tyla and Scheler recognize the notion of a priori. But Wojtyła seeks an equilibrium between the a priori of duty (i.e., regardless of experience), on the one hand, and the exclusivity of the a priori values (aside from all normativity), on the other hand. The author concludes that Wojtyła points to the truth of man, which includes a concrete duty to realize the good by the acts of voluntary choice.

KEYWORDS: Wojtyła, Scheler, personalism, person, value, experience, duty, ethics, morality, moral norm, emotion.


Grażyna Grochowska, “Świętego Jana od Krzyża wizja zjednoczenia człowieka z Bogiem. Analiza filozoficzna,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 3 (July–September 2019): 593–620, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080323 [St. John of the Cross’s Vision of Man’s Union with God. A Philosophical Analysis]

SUMMARY: The article considers the grounds for man’s fulfillment through his union with God. It analyzes the problem through the writings of St. John of the Cross. The analysis is focused on: (1) the need for accommodation of bodily elements to the soul in man, (2) the ways of knowing God as the highest degree of qualities present imperfectly in man, and experiencing God as the One who supports man’s life, grants him His graces, and loves him, (3) the adaptational relationship between man and God. The author concludes that man’s union with God transforms him into God through his personal (i.e., conscious and voluntary) participation.

KEYWORDS: St. John of the Cross, God, man, person, fulfillment, union, religion, body, soul, love, adaptational relationship, participation.


Thomas Lahay, “Avoiding Slipko’s Slips: Karol Wojtyla’s Two Levels of Value,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 3 (July–September 2019): 621–643, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080324

SUMMARY: In his paper, “The Concept of Value in the Ethical Thought of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła,” Tadeusz Ślipko argues that the thought of Karol Wojtyła was not faithful to the truth. This paper attempts (1) to bring into question the validity of Tadeusz Ślipko’s claim and (2) to show that Wojtyła can be embraced not only as an ambassador of the truth, but that such an acceptance allows us to embrace the truth itself. The paper consists of three parts. After (1) framing the stage with a more developed showcase of Wojtyła’s view of value within the bounds of morality as seen from antiquity, it (2) summarizes Ślipko’s objections and reservations and, then, (3) expands on Wojtyła’s stance in relation to the objections and offers relevant solutions.

KEYWORDS: Tadeusz Ślipko, Karol Wojtyła, person, lived experience, duty, truth, virtue, moral value, good, evil, phenomenological method, abstraction.


Jason Morgan, “The State, Law, Religion, and Justice in Cicero’s The Republic and The Laws: An Aristotelian-Thomistic Interpretation,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 3 (July–September 2019): 645–680, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080325

SUMMARY: The writings of Marcus Tullius Cicero are often referred to by natural law theorists. But how do various points of Cicero’s philosophy of law—and of religion, justice, and the state—compare with similar themes from Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas? In this paper, I suggest a Thomistic-Aristotelian reading of Cicero as a way to contextualize and supplement the Roman philosopher’s work with more robust insights from Aristotle and St. Thomas, and especially from Aristotle as interpreted by St. Thomas in the later light of the Incarnation. I also show that Cicero’s natural law philosophy is inconsistent when taken on its own terms. Therefore, Cicero’s natural law philosophy—as well as his philosophy of religion, justice, and the state—should be subjected to a more critical examination by natural law scholars today.

KEYWORDS: Cicero, natural law, St. Thomas Aquinas, Roman philosophy, statecraft, polis, Aristotle, religion, justice.


Peter A. Redpath, “Aquinas’s Fourth Way of Demonstrating God’s Existence: From Virtual Quantum Gradations of Perfection (Inequality in Beauty) of Forms Existing within a Real Genus,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 3 (July–September 2019): 681–716, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080326

SUMMARY: The chief aim of this article is to show that St. Thomas Aquinas’s Fourth Way of demonstrating God’s existence can only be made precisely intelligible by comprehending it as a real, generic whole in light of its specific organizational principles. Considered as a real, generic whole, this argument is one from effect to cause (from a real order of more or less perfectly existing generic, specific, and individual beings [habens esse] more or less perfectly possessing generic, specific, and individual ways of being within qualitatively different, hierarchical, orders of existence to a first cause of this order of perfections). In addition, this article maintains that, to comprehend this complicated argument, readers mush be familiar with philosophical principles that St. Thomas repeatedly uses throughout his major works, but with which most of his contemporary students tend to be unfamiliar. Consequently, a secondary aim of this paper is to introduce readers unfamiliar with them to some of these principle so that they may be able better to comprehend what St. Thomas is saying in this demonstration and in other teachings of his as well.

KEYWORDS: St. Thomas Aquinas, fourth way, God, existence, genus, species, individual, principle, analogous predication, unity, number, virtual quantity, privation, perfection, resistance, receptivity, opposition, contrariety.


Marcin Sieńkowski, “Podmiotowy aspekt wiary według Immanuela Kanta,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 3 (July–September 2019): 717–732, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080327 [The Subjective Aspect of Faith According to Immanuel Kant]

SUMMARY: The subjective faith, in Kant’s approach, is a way of recognizing truth. This method is justified by subjective reasons, with the simultaneous lack of objective ones. What is recognized in the way of faith as truths are the postulates of practical reason regarding the existence of God and the immortality of man. The subjectivity of faith is expressed in the fact that it is a disposition, state, principle of mind (habitus) in recognizing truth in what is to be assumed as a necessary condition of the highest good which is the object of the will. Since faith belongs to the moral order, it is sometimes called a moral faith. Its task is to determine the will on the basis of moral law. As a way of recognizing the postulates of practical reason as true, faith takes a form of judgments stating the existence of these postulates. For this reason, the subjective faith is an act of the intellect, because it is the intellect that is entitled to state truths. Kant calls the subjective faith a pure practical rational faith. This faith is the principle of the intellect whereby it states that one should accept the conditions of the highest good in view of the practical imperative to realize this good. The structure of the subjective faith, according to Kant, corresponds to its object. However, in order to recognize its object, the faith does not require any additional conditions in the form of, for example, grace, but it is entirely actualized by virtue of human natural abilities. Therefore, Kant’s rational faith is totally a natural faith.

KEYWORDS: Immanuel Kant, religion, faith, truth, practical reason, God, immortality, will, morality, intellect.


Francisco Manuel Villalba Lucas, “¿Resulta interesante ser persona? Las posibilidades del personalismo como currículum oculto,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 3 (July–September 2019): 733–748, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080328 [Is It Interesting to Be a Person? The Possibilities of Personalism as a Hidden Curriculum]

SUMMARY: The author addresses the problem of education which, as never before, is nowadays so widespread and valued but, at the same time, so ideological and instrumental. In order to resolve this problem, he makes an attempt to build a synthesis of the following: (1) Leonardo Polo’s conception of education and his conception of the person as having capacity for unrestricted growth, which seem to open up a new way of studying. (2) The educational interest of teachers and students which, though fundamental in the educational process, is easily exposed to be lost or diverted toward becoming “something,” rather than “someone.” (3) Ivan Illich’s concept of “hidden curriculum.” The author concludes that the “hidden curriculum,” when purified of its ideological content, can effectively contribute in students’ development as persons.

KEYWORDS: Leonardo Polo, education, person, student, teacher, educational interest, educational process, hidden curriculum, personalism.


Jude P. Dougherty, “Western Culture: A Collective Achievement,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 3 (July–September 2019): 751–758, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080329

SUMMARY: By examining selected works by Stephen Gaukroger, Alfred North Whitehead, Lynn White, Jr., Benjamin Farrington, and Paul Gans, the author discusses the formation of Western culture and the intellectual tools and the social conditions that contributed (and still contribute) to its being. He concludes that a metaphysics and a realistic epistemology—based on an ancient Greek confidence in the human intellect, in its ability to reason to truths that acknowledge the immaterial character of human intellection—is required for the West to retain its identity and develop its own culture.

KEYWORDS: Western culture, metaphysics, realistic epistemology, human intellect, scholasticism, modernity, science, religion, Christianity.


Brian Welter, “Psychic Wholeness and Healing by Anna A. Terruwe and Conrad W. Baars,” Studia Gilsoniana 8, no. 3 (July–September 2019): 761–766, DOI: 10.26385/SG.080330

SUMMARY: This paper is a review of the book: Anna A. Terruwe and Conrad W. Baars, Psychic Wholeness and Healing (Eugene, Oreg.: Wipf and Stock, 2016, 2nd edition). According to the author, the book shows (1) how Thomistic thought can be applied to both psychoanalytic theories and practical psychological and spiritual issues, and (2) what role is possible for religion to play in reinvigorating psychoanalysis.

KEYWORDS: Anna A. Terruwe, Conrad W. Baars, Catholicism, Thomism, psychology, Freud, psychoanalysis.