This overview proceeds by outlining, albeit very briefly, something of the historical growth of Thomism, turning then to a brief account of how analytic philosophy in the twentieth century can be viewed in relation to that history, before finally turning to a further consideration of what the phrase “Analytical Thomism,” can be taken to mean in light of this brief historical account.
This article tests whether it is possible to be a ‘phenomenological-Thomist’ through the provision of the first stages of a loosely speaking Heideggerian phenomenological interpretation of the meaning of being an entity as it is disclosed in experience. In the process, the article will unpack and reinterpret the concepts of esse and esse commune in the thought of Thomas Aquinas.
This paper presents a version of analytical Thomism that brings the principles of Aquinas into systematic and sustained contact with the sciences as opposed to contemporary philosophy. The leading idea of this version of analytical Thomism is to test the viability of scholastic principles by seeing if they provide the resources to cope with problems emerging from the natural and social sciences. If they do, then Thomism vindicates itself in the marketplace of ideas. If not, then the (...) analytical Thomist knows where the perennial philosophy needs further development and perhaps revision. The first part of the paper sets out the rationale for this project. The remainder of the paper illustrates this approach by examining a problem emerging from evolutionary biology, namely, the provision of a theory of individuation for living entities. (shrink)
This paper applies a very traditional position within Natural Law Theory to Cyberspace. I shall first justify a Natural Law approach to Cyberspace by exploring the difficulties raised by the Internet to traditional principles of jurisprudence and the difficulties this presents for a Positive Law Theory account of legislation of Cyberspace. This will focus on issues relating to geography. I shall then explicate the paradigm of Natural Law accounts, the Treatise on Law, by Thomas Aquinas. From this account will emerge (...) the structure of law and the metaphysics of justice. I shall explore those aspects of Cyberspace which cause geography to be problematic for Positive Law Theory and show how these are essential, unavoidable and beneficial. I will then apply Aquinas’s structure of law and metaphysics of justice to these characteristics. From this will emerge an alternative approach to cyberlaw which has no problem with the nature of Cyberspace as it is but treats it as a positive foundation for new legal developments. (shrink)
The traditional picture of the development of analytical philosophy, represented especially by such thinkers as G. Frege, G. E. Moore, B. Russell or R. Carnap, whose attitude was generally anti-metaphysical, can, on closer study, be shown to be incomplete. This article treats of the Cracow circle – a group of Polish philosophers among whom are, above all, to be counted J. Salamucha, J. M. Bocheński, J. F. Drewnowski, and B. Sobociński, who were, at the beginning of the twentieth century, fascinated (...) by the development of modern formal logic and its application to philosophical thinking. They also attempted to apply it to Catholic philosophy. The result of their endeavours were many remarkable works introducing not only a defence of the use of modern philosophical approaches in Christian thought, but also the reconstruction, by means of formal logic, of significant proofs given by Scholastic authors. (shrink)
This paper reports some attempts undertaken in Poland in the 1930s to modernize Thomism by means of modern logic. In particular, it concerns J.M. Bocheski and J. Salamucha, the leading members of the CracowCircle. They attempted to give precise logical form to the Five Ways of Thomas Aquinas. Other works concerned the concept of transcendentals, the levels of abstraction, and the concept of essence.
In this incisive study, John F. X. Knasas grounds the ideal of tolerance in Aquinas’s natural law ethics and connects the virtue of civic tolerance to the concept of being. If God is the source of being, argues Knasas, then we are the articulation of being, and it is in this capacity that we recognize our bond with other people and thus acknowledge our duty to be tolerant of one another. An important contribution to practical metaphysics and the philosophical foundations (...) of political theory, _Thomism and Tolerance_ will appeal to philosophy scholars and students at the undergraduate and graduate level. (shrink)
In this paper I seek to consider the project of analytical Thomism with particular regard to Aquinas’s metaphysics of esse. My overall conclusion is that Thomas’s thought on esse is part and parcel of a way of philosophizing that is alien to analytical philosophy and is such that analytical philosophy is constitutionally unable to come to terms with it. In order to argue for such a conclusion, I begin with a presentation of Aquinas’s metaphysics of esse. I then respond (...) to the objection that arguably some analytical philosophers have already arrived at the same thought at which Aquinas arrived, thereby blocking the way to my denial of the possibility of an encounter between analytical philosophy and Thomist esse. Having removed that obstacle, I argue that analytical philosophy is constitutionally unable to come to terms with Thomist esse. (shrink)
Observando la considerable presencia de la filosofía de Henri Bergson en algunos destacados intérpretes de la filosofía de Tomás de Aquino a lo largo del s. XX, cabe conjeturar una influencia indirecta del autor francés en la renovación de las investigaciones sobre el predicho autor medieval, particularmente en lo que se refiere a la cuestión de la libertad. A fin de determinar esta cuestión, se pasa revista a la relación establecida en el seno del neotomismo entre Bergson y el Aquinate. (...) Por último, se ensaya una relectura en la obra de Tomás de Aquino de la relación entre inteligencia y voluntad como configuradora del ser libre, teniendo en cuenta algunas inquietudes metafísicas planteadas al respecto por el moderno pensador francés. Checking the clear presence of Bergson in some important interpreten of Thomas Aquinas along the 20th century, certain influence from the French nmter can be suspected in the renewal of Thomism; particularly, regarding the question of freedom. In order to determine the issue, the present study examines the relationship between Bergson and Aquinas according established within the Neo-Thomism. Lasty, taking into account some metaphysical concerns raised by Bergson, it takes place a re-reading of the relationship between intelñgence and will in Aquinas’ works. For in this relationship appears the shape of freedom. (shrink)
William Norris Clarke, S.J., one of the leading Thomist scholars in the United States, came to the Philippines recently and delivered a series of lectures in the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of Santo Tomas on various philosophical topics inspired by the thought of St. Thomas. Fr. Clarke is now a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy in Fordham University. He was co-founder and editor (l961-85) of the International Philosophical Quarterly and is the author of some 60 articles, plus the (...) following books: The Philosophical Approach to God, The Universe as Journey, Person and Being, Explorations in Metaphysics: Being—God—Person, and The One and the Many: A Contemporary Thomistic Metaphysics (Fall, 2000).He continues to fulfill his mission of propagating the thoughts of St. Thomas—-the “creative retrieval of St. Thomas,” as he puts it—-in and out of the U.S.An brief excerpt from this interview was originally published in Budhi: A Journal of Ideas and Culture1/3, 1997. (shrink)
Jacques Maritain tells us that, apart from St. Thomas himself, his “principal teacher” in Thomism was John Poinsot. Poinsot, like Maritain and Thomas, expressly teaches that the basis of “Thomist realism” lies in the distinction between sentire, which makes no use of concepts, and phantasiari and intelligere, which together depend essentially on concepts. O’Callaghan makes no discussion of this point, resting his notion of realism rather on the widespread quo/quod fallacy, that is, the misinterpretation of concepts as the id (...) quo of knowing. Poinsot demonstrates that this view conflates the distinct notions of species expressae and species impressae, demonstrating further that concepts as such cannot provide the cognitive basis of realism. O’Callaghan in effect suppresses the distinction betweenobjects and things in his effort to achieve the impossible. In this review, I show that it is a question of semantics vs. semiotics over which O’Callaghan stumblesin misrepresenting “Thomist realism.”. (shrink)
This paper attempts to show that Charles Taylor’s persuasive and expansive phenomenology, developed primarily in his Sources of the Self, ultimately depends upon an ontology of the human person that remains undeveloped, as he often admits. His fundamentalphilosophical claims stand finally as postulates of practical reason, which nevertheless depend upon a dialogical practice that is grounded in the dialogical nature of the human person. This phenomenological and ethical approach raises persistent epistemological and metaphysical questions. What Taylor does not admit, and (...) what this paper will propose in his stead, is that a more systematic metaphysics in the existential Thomist tradition can help support philosophically both his explicit and implicit ontological claims regarding the nature of the human person. (shrink)
John F. X. Knasas has issued a series of philosophical and exegetical critiques of what he presents as the Cartesian subjectivism of “transcendental Thomism” in general and Bernard Lonergan in particular. But Professor Knasas’s spontaneous assumptions about knowing, objectivity, and reality are those of Descartes and Kant, not St. Thomas. He thus misinterprets St. Thomas and Fr. Lonergan and misconstrues the nature of knowing. The roots of the differences between Professor Knasas and Fr. Lonergan are exposed by contrasting two (...) radically opposed accounts of knowing, two correlative meanings of the term ‘real’, and two correspondingly divergent interpretations of St. Thomas. In the process, Professor Knasas’s repeated misrepresentation of Fr. Lonergan is corrected. (shrink)
Perhaps more than any other aspect of his thought, Alfred North Whitehead’s rejection of the notion of “independent existence” or substance has been taken to define his philosophy of organism. Moreover, it is this rejection of substances which has been the source of some of the most significant objections to Whitehead’s thought. Many commentators often indicate sympathy with Whitehead’s project but ask, if the world is composed exclusively of microscopic events which neither endure nor have histories, then how can Whitehead (...) account for enduring, macroscopic individuals such as ourselves? That is, having rejected the notion of unchanging subjects of change, how can Whitehead’s account adequately capture the unity and self-identity of macroscopic individuals? The contemporary Neo-Thomist W. Norris Clarke gives voice to this potentially damaging objection. A close analysis of aspects of Clarke’s work will prove rewarding in several respects. Not only does Clarke provide a clear challenge to a non-substantial model of individuality by explicitly formulating and defending the objection that Whitehead’s system only allows for an attenuated conception of macroscopic individuality, Clarke’s own dynamic interpretation of the classical notion of substance seriously calls into question the very need for Whitehead’s “process turn” toward what Clarke sees as a misguided metaphysical atomism. Thus, engaging Clarke’s objection provides a valuable opportunity not only to evaluate the adequacy of his dynamic notion of substance, but also to respond to the common criticism that Whitehead’s system does not do justice to the unity of macroscopic individuals. (shrink)
Mark Jordan’s recent book, Rewritten Theology, challenges the way in which the achievement of Thomas Aquinas has been both received and reformulated,often in order to serve particular theological and philosophical ends. It helps to unmask the often hidden presuppositions behind efforts to “police” Thomism, efforts which frequently require a revision and a rewriting of the texts of Aquinas themselves. At a time when it appears that there is a repristinization of the Thomistic “synthesis” reminiscent of Garrigou-Lagrange, this book is (...) an auspicious reminder that such “synthesis” often comes at the cost of fidelity to theMaster in whose name it is fashioned. (shrink)
Evangelista Torricelli is perhaps best known for being the most gifted of Galileo’s pupils, and for his works based on indivisibles, especially his stunning cubature of an infinite hyperboloid. Scattered among Torricelli’s writings, we find numerous traces of the philosophy of mathematics underlying his mathematical practice. Though virtually neglected by historians and philosophers alike, these traces reveal that Torricelli’s mathematical practice was informed by an original philosophy of mathematics. The latter was dashed with strains of Thomistic metaphysics and theology. Torricelli’s (...) philosophy of mathematics emphasized mathematical constructs as human-made beings of reason, yet mathematical truths as divine decrees, which upon being discovered by the mathematician ‘appropriate eternity’. In this paper, I reconstruct Torricelli’s philosophy of mathematics—which I label radical mathematical Thomism—placing it in the context of Thomistic patterns of thought.Keywords: Evangelista Torricelli; Thomism; Eternity; Indivisibles; Proportions. (shrink)
The author considers Pope John Paul II's 1998 encyclical, Fides et ratio, as bringing into view new horizons for Catholic philosophical theology by virtue of its endorsement of a constrained philosophical pluralism. Through a retrospective examination of the history of magisterial interventions as depicted in the encyclical, the author notes how a progressive openness to philosophical pluralism relates to the changed status of Thomism within magisterial teaching on the practice of Catholic philosophical theology. Fides et ratio describes an evolution (...) in magisterial emphasis from proscription to prescription, which corresponds to change in the status of Thomism from an absolute to an exemplary norm. Attention to this decisive shift in the normative status of Thomism, as implied within the encyclical itself, provides both new illumination on the Pope's general intentions and new clarity with regard to some contested interpretive issues. Finally, the author highlights several new challenges that are implied by this development in magisterial teaching. (shrink)
Jacques Maritain's The Degrees of Knowledge has rightly been recognized as one of the milestones of the 20th century Thomistic renaissance, but what is virtually unknown is that after The Degrees of Knowledge his thought underwent a profound transformation which could have a significant impact on the future of Thomism.
Troubadour of truth, by R. E. Brennan.--Reflections on necessity and contingency, by Jacques Maritain.--Intellectual cognition, by Rudolf Allers.--The problem of truth, J. K. Ryan.--The ontolgical roots of Thomism, by Hilary Carpeuter.--The role of habitus in the Thomistic metaphysics of potency and act, by V. J. Bourke.--The nature of the angels, by J. O. Riedl.--The dilemma of being and unity, by A. C. Pegis.--Prudence, the incommunicable wisdom, by C. J. O'Neil.--A question about law, by M. J. Adler.--The economic philosophy of (...) Aquinas, by J. A. Ryan.--Beyond the crisis of liberalism, by Y. R. Simon.--The fate of representative government, by Walter Farrell.--The Thomistic concept of education, by R. J. Slavin.--The perennial theme of beauty, by Immanuel Chapman.--Epilogue, by H. T. Schwartz.--Bibliography (p.-419). (shrink)
This article analyzes the formative role of medieval theology and aesthetics in the development of postwar American architecture by focusing on the architectural theory and practice of Mies van der Rohe and Jean Labatut, both of whom became actively interested in Neo-Thomism from the late 1940s. More specifically, a closer look at their reliance on the work of Jacques Maritain, the preeminent promotor of Neo-Thomism, sheds light on the transmission and circulation of old and new concepts within twentieth-century (...) architectural theory. By revealing how Maritain’s ideas helped to codify the latter and thus exposed the premodern ideas at the heart of modern architecture, I argue that modernist aesthetics should be re-evaluated with regards to its definition of “the new” and its emphasis on the breakdown or mutation of premodern frames of reference. (shrink)
This paper reports some attempts undertaken in Poland in the 1930s to modernize Thomism by means of modern logic. In particular, it concerns J. M. Bocheński and J. Salamucha, the leading members of the Cracow Circle. They attempted to give precise logical form to the Five Ways of Thomas Aquinas. Other works concerned the concept of transcendentals, the levels of abstraction, and the concept of essence.