Summaries & Keywords

STUDIA GILSONIANA » Issues » 2021 » 10:2 (April-June 2021) » Summaries & Keywords

Matthew D’Antuono, “Is There Beauty in Physics?,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 2 (April–June 2021): 227–253, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100209:

SUMMARY: Given how often physicists talk about beauty, the author tries to understand what they are talking about, what they mean, and whether or not there is any truth to what they are saying. The main questions he addresses are: When discussing the nature and beauty of physics, are we doing physics, science, psychology, or philosophy? And, does the meaning of the physicists’ acclamations actually line up with the true nature of beauty? The author concludes that there can be truth in the statement that there is beauty in physics, and the physicists themselves would be able to say most authoritatively which theories are beautiful and which are not.

KEYWORDS: Thomism, physics, science, beauty, reality, beautiful, truth, nature, theory, metaphysics.


Urbano Ferrer, “Polaridad dialéctica libertad-necesidad en la actividad económica a partir de la obra de Millán-Puelles [Dialectical Polarity between Freedom and Necessity in Economic Activity in the Light of the Work of Antonio Millán-Puelles],” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 2 (April–June 2021): 255–275, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100210:

SUMMARY: In the light of the work of Antonio Millán-Puelles, the article seeks to discuss the correlations between human needs, welfare and freedom in their most basic forms of economic praxis. The reason for such correlations lies in the corporeal mediation of economic activity which is already present at the level of their subsistence; this mediation is that on which the very fact of economic experience depends. Following the phenomenology of economic activity, the article also discusses the consciousness of designing, previous to production, and the self-determination of a designer. It concludes that the correlations between human needs, welfare and freedom are all based on anthropology that does not reduce man to a mere body or a mere cogito.

KEYWORDS: Antonio Millán-Puelles, welfare, needs, freedom, money, work, economics, morality.


Arkadiusz Gudaniec, The Existential Metaphysics of the Person. Part 1: The Classical Concept of the Person and the Metaphysical Theory of Esse,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 2 (April–June 2021): 277–292, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100211:

SUMMARY: The article is the first part of a brief presentation of a research project aimed at introducing the concept of the existential metaphysics of the person—a contribution to classical anthropology based on so-called existential metaphysics. Firstly, it discusses the roots of this concept in the light of the classical concept of person and of the philosophical thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. In particular, it discusses Aquinas’s significant achievement in combining the philosophical-theological concept of the person with the metaphysical theory of existence as an act of being (esse ut actus essendi). Secondly, it presents the theoretical model of the metaphysics of the person, developed in the Lublin Philosophical School in Poland, as a modernized version of Aquinas’s concept. The particular core of this theory is the concept of personal existence (esse personale), opening the way for new ground-breaking interpretations.

KEYWORDS: Lublin Philosophical School, Thomas Aquinas, Karol Wojtyła, Mieczysław Albert Krąpiec, man, human being, person, philosophical anthropology, philosophy of man, metaphysics of the person, metaphysical personalism, existence, personal existence, esse personale, esse, esse ut actus essendi, realistic metaphysics, existential metaphysics, definition of the person.


Jason Nehez, “The Moral Philosophy of Lucretius and Aquinas: Competing Ends and Means,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 2 (April–June 2021): 293–319, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100212:

SUMMARY: The author first explains wisdom and its importance to moral philosophy. Secondly, he follows with a consideration of the nature of things and the soul as told by Lucretius. Then he presents a brief summary on St. Thomas understanding of soul and how his faculty psychology is a superior explanation of moral philosophy. The author concludes by showing how Lucretius’ ethical system fails and to attain true happiness we must take up a faculty psychology aimed at virtue and the perfection of the soul, the principle form of the human person.

KEYWORDS: Lucretius, Thomas Aquinas, end, means, atomism, Thomism, wisdom, moral philosophy, human nature, soul, faculty psychology, ethics, happiness, virtue, human person.


David Ross, “Measuring, Judging and the Good Life: Aquinas and Kant,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 2 (April–June 2021): 321–350, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100213:

SUMMARY: This paper examines St. Thomas Aquinas’s and Immanuel Kant’s notions of measurement and judgment, particularly measuring and judging beauty, to demonstrate their respective conclusions about the highest achievement of man. For St. Thomas’s view, I draw from a variety of St. Thomas’s writings as well as rely on Peter Redpath’s research into St. Thomas’s understanding of measuring and judging. For Kant’s view, I focus on Kant’s perspective as written in The Critique of Judgement. In this paper, I argue that by examining the way both St. Thomas and Kant measure and judge beauty, we can see that, for Kant, man’s highest achievement is to live the moral life, while for St. Thomas, man’s highest achievement is to know the good and God. Interestingly, for both philosophers, their conclusions about man’s highest achievements wind through their understanding of beauty and the way beauty is measured and judged.

KEYWORDS: Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant, measurement, judgment, beauty, aim, end, genus, morality, intellect.


Peter A. Redpath, “How to Reverse the Widespread Global Disorder That Nonsensical Principles of Utopian Socialism/Marxism Are Currently Causing,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 2 (April–June 2021): 353–384, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100214:

SUMMARY: This article considers the nature of Marxism as a species of Enlightenment Utopian Socialism, the relation of both these to a denial of nature of common sense properly understood. It argues that underlying all species of Enlightenment Utopian Socialism are psychological principles that deny the reality of evidently known first principles of understanding that are measures of truth in all forms of psychologically healthy human knowing and reasoning. In addition, it maintains that, as a result of these essentially anarchic psychological first principles inherent in its nature, any attempt to apply any species of Utopian Socialism to develop healthy social organizations and cultural institutions—such as forms of human communication and educational and political instittions—is doomed to fail. Utopian Socialism will always destroy common sense in whatever it infects with its disordered habits of understanding and reasoning.

KEYWORDS: Socialism, Marxism, common sense, wisdom, prudence, human nature, human person, the West, moral psychology, education, Thomas Aquinas.


Katharina Westerhorstmann, “What It Means to Be Human: Anthropological and Ethical Reflections on Navigating the Vulnerability and Fragility of Human Existence During Times of Illness,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 2 (April–June 2021): 385–407, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100215:

SUMMARY: This paper is intended to consider whether human vulnerability as manifested in the situation of being ill can be accepted as a profound human limitation in life that contributes to a deeper understanding of what it ultimately means to be human—to learn not only to live with suffering but to live through it. Also a further horizon, which is looked at more closely from philosophical and theological points of view, is drawn by understanding one’s own being as gift.

KEYWORDS: human being, human person, vulnerability, illness, suffering, being a gift, solidarity.


Étienne Gilson, “San Bernardo y el amor cortés,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 2 (April–June 2021): 411–446, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100216:

SUMMARY: The author discusses the problem of whether there is any interrelation between Cistercian mysticism, in St. Bernard of Clairveaux’s time, and courtly love. He concludes that cortly love and the Cistercian conception of mystical love are two independent products of the civilization of the twelfth century. They express the different surroundings in which they were respectively born; the one codifying life as led in a princely court, and the other expressing what men make of it in a Cistercian monastery. Undoubtedly the vocabulary of the one might be helped out with terms borrowed from the other, but since it is necessary to renounce the one of these loves before embracing the other it is not to be wondered at that no definite concept exists that is common to both. When Cistercian love would enter into profane literature it could do so only by driving out courtly love and taking its place. St. Bernard, in turn, may have largely contributed to the decadence of the courtly ideal, but never in him could it have found its inspiration.

KEYWORDS: Bernard of Clairvaux, mysticism, monasticism, love, courtly love.


Samuel Bendeck Sotillos, “Siena, City of the Virgin: Illustrated by Titus Burckhardt,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 2 (April–June 2021): 449–454, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100217:

SUMMARY: Siena, Italy—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—was the home of St. Bernardino and St. Catherine and is known for its architectural beauty and its religious devotion, particularly to the Virgin Mary. Sienna was regarded in the medieval era as “The City of the Virgin.” The art historian and philosopher of religion Titus Burckhardt (1908–1984), who explores the city with the reader of this book, was one of the 20th century’s most renowned experts on sacred art. The interdependence of the human and the city is crucial, as it is akin to the correspondence between the human and the cosmos or the transcendence and immanence of the Divine. St. Catherine of Siena compares the city to the image of the human soul. Siena itself is like a “little universe” with many facets representing the tripartite structure of the human being, consisting of Spirit, soul, and body. This masterly book is stunningly illustrated and surveys the history, culture, and spirituality of the Italian city of Siena, which provides the metaphysical keys to comprehend at its deepest roots the architectural beauty and devotional splendor of this remarkable city.

KEYWORDS: St. Catherine of Siena, Siena, metaphysics, mysticism, religion, Christianity, Catholicism, sacred art, art history.


Brian M. McCall, “Developing Distinctions of Classical Principles for Modern Constitutions: Integralism: A Manual of Political Philosophy by Fr. Thomas Crean and Alan Fimister,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 2 (April–June 2021): 455–474, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100218:

SUMMARY: Father Thomas Crean and Alan Fimister have produced a comprehensive yet concise treatise on classical political and legal philosophy in Integralism: A Manual of Political Philosophy.As the title implies the hallmark of their approach is that jurisprudence, political philosophy, moral philosophy, and theology are not separate disciplines but integrally related. Their exposition and arguments move seamlessly among theology, philosophy, and jurisprudence. The second characteristic of Crean and Fimister’s work is how they interweave within a classical reading of Aristotle and St. Thomas several intriguing developments of the classical principles. They advance interesting distinctions and developments with respect to: whether civil nations can be perfect societies; the role of the Church in declaring a human law null and void under natural law; the removal of tyrants and usurpers; the classification of constitutional regimes, and separation of powers.

KEYWORDS: natural law, regime types, usurpers, tyrants, christendom, relation of Church and state, integralism.


Brian Welter, “The Heart of Culture by Habiger Institute for Catholic Leadership,” Studia Gilsoniana 10, no. 2 (April–June 2021): 475–480, DOI: 10.26385/SG.100219:

SUMMARY: This paper is a review of the book: Habiger Institute for Catholic Leadership, The Heart of Culture (Providence, R.I.: Cluny, 2020). The author highlights that the book (1) takes a chronological view of western education, beginning from its roots in ancient Greece, through its development by Christianity, up to its present crisis, and (2) stresses that what western education needs today to correct its errors is not a specific plan of action, but a set of principles, including the cultivation of wisdom and virtue.

KEYWORDS: Habiger Institute for Catholic Leadership, culture, western education, paideia, Christianity, person, wisdom, virtue.