Summaries & Keywords

STUDIA GILSONIANA » Issues » 2020 » 9:4 (October-December 2020) » Summaries & Keywords

Zbigniew Pańpuch, “Against Unconscious Motivations, Urges, and Instincts in Human Beings,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 4 (October–December 2020): 537–547, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090423:

SUMMARY: The aim of this paper is to discuss the problem of the human body as to whether it is wholly and directly influenced by the rational forces of the soul, or it contains something instinctive or unconscious that can exert a determinative influence on human actions and behavior. Drawing on Thomistic anthropology, the author gives his interpretation of organic factors in the human body and their place in the free and rational actions of the human being through the case study of sensual appetitive powers. The latter, he concludes, are what simplify the execution of desires of the soul.

KEYWORDS: Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Thomistic anthropology, human body, human being, human person, human action, reason, will, soul, instinct, urge, desire, organism, sense, appetite.


Dennis F. Polis, “The Compatibility of Evolution and Classical Metaphysics,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 4 (October–December 2020): 549–585, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090424:

SUMMARY: The compatibility of evolution with Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics is defended in response to Fr. Michal Chaberek’s thesis of incompatibility. The motivation and structure of Darwin’s theory are reviewed, including the roles of secondary causality, randomness and necessity. “Randomness” is an analogous term whose evolutionary use, while challenging, is fully compatible with theism. Evolution’s necessity derives from the laws of nature, which are intentional realities, the vehicle of divine providence. Methodological analysis shows that metaphysics lacks the evidentiary basis to judge biological theories. Species are entia rationis whose immutability does not conflict with the evolutionary succession of biological populations. While Darwin’s theory was unknown to Aquinas, he endorses the possibility of new species immanent in the initial state of the universe, nor does his understanding of exemplar ideas offer ground for objection. Finally, five arguments given by Fr. Chaberek are answered.

KEYWORDS: Aristotelianism, Thomism, evolution, randomness, teleology, necessity, laws of nature, philosophy of science, species problem, intelligent design, problem of universals, abstraction, exemplar ideas, theism.


Mark Herrbach, “Goethe and the Christian Religion,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 4 (October–December 2020): 589–624, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090425:

SUMMARY: Over the course of his life Goethe felt constantly challenged to determine the relation of his own religious and philosophical beliefs to those of the Christian revealed religion. The resulting reflections, expressed in many of his works, letters and conversations, fall into distinct periods or phases that this article will attempt to analyze. Towards the end of his life, however, Goethe came to the conclusion that the Christian religion, owing to numerous apparent anomalies and contradictions in its beliefs and doctrines, can never be rationally comprehended, though it can be known to reflect incommensurable eternal verities of the spiritual life of every individual and community of individuals. Upon this basis, Goethe will be shown to have developed a philosophy of an actually existing ideal Kingdom of God embracing all cultures and their associated revealed religions.

KEYWORDS: Christianity, Catholicism, Protestantism, revealed religion, invisible church, natural religion, primal religion, positivity of religion, true or divinely gifted chosen believers, pure understanding, three/four fold reverence, the highest being, God, belief vs. oneness with the divine being, perpetually repeating essence of the world, sin and the law.


Peter A. Redpath, “14 Evident Truths from the Organizational Genius of St. Thomas Aquinas: How ‘Born Again Thomism’ Can Help Save the West from Cultural Suicide,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 4 (October–December 2020): 625–650, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090426:

SUMMARY: This paper is written to articulate in a summary form 14 evidently-known essential and personalistic principles from the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas needed, especially by Pope Francis, to understand a third period of neo-Thomism we are now in: Born-again, or Ragamuffin, Thomism. It maintains that, without application of these principles to the Church’s “new evangelization,” this movement will fail. With that failure the Church will be unable to halt the cultural suicide in which the West is presently engaged.

KEYWORDS: Thomas Aquinas, Thomism, West, Enlightenment, neo-Thomism, Pope Francis, new evangelization, culture, end, communication, experience, genus, habit, induction, leader, leadership, nominalism, organization, part, philosophy, principle, proportionality, ragamuffin, science, sense, species, truth, unity, whole, wonder.


Peter A. Redpath, “Why, Through Application of Its Educational Principles, the New World Order Can Never Generate Higher Education,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 4 (October–December 2020): 651–661, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090427:

SUMMARY: This article defends the teaching of Mortimer J. Adler that human education must aim at the betterment of human beings by forming good habits in us; and that, if intellectual and moral virtues, or good habits, are the same for all human beings because our natural capacities are the same and tend naturally to the same developments, then what logically follows is that the intellectual and moral virtues, or good habits, as the ends of education, are the absolute and universal principles on which education should always and everywhere be founded. This being the case, it concludes that, because of its essential foundation in the essentially flawed Enlightenment understanding of human nature, the New World Order can never be a cause of higher education, can, at best, cause a caricature of it.

KEYWORDS: Adler, Aristotle, betterment, capacity, education, educator, good, happiness, harmonize, human nature, ignorance, justice, knowledge, liberal arts, organizational whole, perfection, potentiality, power, prudence, soul, teaching.


Richard J. Fafara, “A Portrait of Gilson,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 4 (October–December 2020): 665–669, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090428:

SUMMARY: In the early 1930s, when they were all in Jacques Maritain’s circle of friends, Étienne Gilson and his pupil and colleague Henri Gouhier came to know and admire the writer and literary critic Charles Du Bos known for his intellectual and spiritual sympathy for the authors he studied. In 1936, Gouhier took notes on a conversation with Du Bos in which he commented on Gilson’s extraordinary common sense, inner serenity, and healthy and balanced soul. The result is a brief, insightful, and original portrait of Gilson.

KEYWORDS: Charles Du Bos, Étienne Gilson, Henri Gouhier.


Étienne Gilson, “La teología mística de San Bernardo: paradisus claustralis,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 4 (October–December 2020): 671–708, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090429:

SUMMARY: The author discusses St. Bernard of Clairvaux’s understanding of paradisus claustralis—the monastic life of union with the Divine Will. Specifically, he tries to answer the question whether divine love can be taught according to the method proposed by St. Bernard. He makes his way through a whole thicket of artificial obstacles erected around it in order to show the whole positive contribution of history to the understanding of St. Bernard’s mystical theology.

KEYWORDS: Bernard of Clairvaux, God, mysticism, paradisus claustralis, monasticism, caritas, love, cupiditas, cupidity.


Brian Welter, “Anthropologie phénoménologique et théorie de l’éducation dans l’oeuvre d’Édith Stein by Éric de Rus,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 4 (October–December 2020): 711–716, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090430:

SUMMARY: This paper is a review of Éric de Rus’s book: Anthropologie phénoménologique et théorie de l’éducation dans l’oeuvre d’Édith Stein (Paris: Les éditions du Cerf, 2019). According to the author, de Rus succeeds in portraying the philosophical and theological roots to Stein’s outlook on education by discussing, among other topics, her metaphysical and theological positions (particularly in relation to the structure of the human soul), her reflections on the education of women, and her rejection of Heideggerian metaphysics.

KEYWORDS: Eric de Rus, Edith Stein, education, theology, philosophy, metaphysics, anthropology, phenomenology, human soul.


Brian Welter, “La philosophie antique by Pierre Vesperini,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 4 (October–December 2020): 717–723, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090431:

SUMMARY: This paper is a review of Pierre Vesperini’s book: La philosophie antique. Essai d’histoire (Paris: Fayard, 2019). According to the author, Vesperini attempts to make the reader more aware and critical of our current interpretation of the ancients. He does it by showing that modernity, influenced by ancient Christianity, misinterpreted ancient philosophy, and that the latter did not slough off the “irrational,” “mystique,” or “mythique” over the centuries in favor of rationalism, but retained these elements throughout its pre-Christian history.

KEYWORDS: Pierre Vesperini, ancient philosophy, religion, rationalism, modernity, Christianity.