Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016)


Miguel Ángel Belmonte, “Auctoritas and Ratio in Saint Augustine and Newman,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 17–31:

SUMMARY: This article seeks to demonstrate the influence of Saint Augustine’s thought on the work of John Henry Newman, especially on the doctrine aimed at clarifying the relations between the act of faith and the other operations of the intellect. To this end, the concepts of auctoritas and ratio are presented as they appear in De vera religione. Subsequently, certain passages in Newman’s work are discussed in which the ascendancy of this doctrine is clear, particularly as regards the subject of doubt and that of the conscience. Finally, a comparison is established between the overall thought of both authors.

KEYWORDS: auctoritas, ratio, reason, truth, faith, religion, God, conscience, Augustine of Hippo, John Henry Newman.


Robert A. Delfino, “Redpath on the Nature of Philosophy,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 33–53:

SUMMARY: In this article the author discusses Peter A. Redpath’s understanding of the nature of philosophy and his account of how erroneous understandings of philosophy have led to the decline of the West and to the separation of philosophy from modern science and modern science from wisdom. Following Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, Redpath argues that philosophy is a sense realism because it begins in wonder about real things known through the senses. Philosophy presupposes pre-philosophical knowledge, common sense, which consists of principles rooted in sensation that make human experience, sense wonder, and philosophy possible. Philosophy is certain knowledge demonstrated through causes and thus philosophy is the same as science. Redpath understands science as a habit that we acquire through repeated practice. More precisely, a scientific habit is a simple quality of the intellect that enables us to demonstrate (prove) the necessary properties of a genus through their causes or principles. In this way, science is the study of the one and the many. Redpath argues that metaphysics is the final cause of the arts and sciences, providing the foundation for all of the arts and sciences and justifying their principles. Finally, he argues that with modernity’s loss of belief in God and its rejection of metaphysics as a science, utopian socialism has become an historical/political substitute for metaphysics.

KEYWORDS: Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Peter Redpath, Armand Maurer, philosophy, science, modern science, theoretical science, practical science, wisdom, wonder, fear, hope, first principle, sense realism, common sense, faculty psychology, problem of the one and the many, cause, universals, abstraction, formal object, method, demonstration, experimentation, aim, virtue, vice, happiness, habit, substance, genus, proximate subject, necessary properties, per se effects, incidental properties, accidents, existence, metaphysics, mathematics, natural philosophy, geometry, biology, medicine, logic, nominalism, William of Ockham, René Descartes, idealism, system, universal doubt, utopian socialism, decline of the West.


Curtis L. Hancock, “Peter Redpath’s Philosophy of History,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 55–93:

SUMMARY: Peter Redpath is a distinguished historian of philosophy. He believes that the best way to acquire a philosophical education is through the study of philosophy’s history. Because he is convinced that ideas have consequences, he holds that the history of philosophy illuminates important events in history. Philosophy is a necessary condition for sound education, which, in turn, is a necessary condition for cultural and political leadership. Hence, the way educators and leaders shape culture reflects the effects of philosophy on culture. In light of this background, it is possible to discern in Redpath’s account of the history of philosophy a corresponding philosophy of history. This emerges as he explains how philosophers have produced changes in thinking that have profound consequences for the culture at large. Some of these changes, many of them significant, have been positive, but others have been disastrous. Much of Redpath’s philosophy of history diagnoses what went wrong in the history of philosophy so as to indicate why modern culture suffers considerable disorder. The good news is that Redpath’s philosophy of history prescribes ways to correct Western Civilization’s current malaise.

KEYWORDS: Peter Redpath, history, philosophy, education, culture, politics, leadership, Western Civilization, Christendom, poetry, sophistry, science, wisdom, theology, liberal arts, Thomas Aquinas, metaphysics, Petrarch, humanism, nominalism, Descartes, Rousseau, Averroes, Christian philosophy.


Rafał A. Lizut, “On the Relation Between Human and Technology,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 95–108:

SUMMARY: According to the author, we live in the world which requires us to better understand the relationship between humans and technology, and especially technological artifacts. The author claims that this relationship, at least partially, can be explained in the framework of philosophy cultivated by the Lublin School of Philosophy represented by Mieczysław A. Krąpiec and his concepts of two intentionalites. However, in order to do justice to the human–artifact relationship two concepts of intentionality as elaborated by Krąpiec seem to be insufficient. The author then proposes to supplement Krąpiec’s concepts of the first intentionality present in the maker’s design and the second intentionality present in the artifact as an embodiment of that design with a concept of the third intentionality which is the inventive contribution of a user.

KEYWORDS: man, technology, aim, function, morality, value, intentionality, artifact, Krąpiec, Lublin School of Philosophy.


Eric McLuhan, “St. Thomas Aquinas, Dramatist?,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 109–133:

SUMMARY: The article begins with the statement that there is one aspect of St Thomas’s work that has not received due scrutiny as a literary form, one with solid dramatic qualities and structure: the Article. The Article is as Thomistic as the syllogism is Aristotelian. This particular mode of argument was evidently original with St. Thomas: he did not derive it from the work of any other writer, yet its inner movement is of the essence of dialectic, from the opening proposition to opposing objections, then “to the contrary” position as found in orthodoxy, and then the writer’s resolution, and so on. It is a variation on the classic sic-et-non, a reasonable, balanced to and fro of the sort beloved by disputants. No parallel or even parody of this Article is to be found in any known literature before or since the thirteenth century. The author aims to show that part of the sheer power of the Article resides in the fact that it has two levels of operation. The surface is composed of the dialectical to-and-fro adumbrated above. But under that surface lies a rhetorical structure constructed along the lines of the five divisions of the rhetorical logos as laid out by Cicero and Horace.

KEYWORDS: St. Thomas Aquinas, article, rhetoric, invention, disposition, elocution, memory, delivery.


A. William McVey, “A Spiritual Philosophy of Recovery: Aquinas and Alcoholics Anonymous,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 135–162:

SUMMARY: The article is an attempt to formulate a Thomistic spiritual philosophy of recovery. The author faces two issues. One, what do recovering alcoholics mean when they say: “I am spiritual, but not religious?” He comes to the conclusion that it means recovering alcoholics are experiencing spiritual healing in their willingness to trust a loving God who has performed a miracle of recovery from alcoholism in their life. As a result of this experience, they are prepared to live a life of virtuous habit. Two, recovering alcoholics have discovered a spiritual second nature of moral character. The author explains why there are many in A.A. who discover that as God comes into their life and they turn to the path of virtue they rediscover religious worship and devotion is essential to the one day at a time journey.

KEYWORDS: alcoholism, anonymous alcoholic, A.A., spirituality, religion, morality, virtue, recovery, God, philosophy, Aquinas, nature, prudence, miracle.


Thomas A. Michaud, “The Missing Person in Catholic Spirituality,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 163–177:

SUMMARY: Peter Redpath and Gabriel Marcel warn that the West is engulfed in a crisis. From their various philosophical perspectives, they identify the source of the crisis as a distortion of traditional Christian metaphysics of the human person as a free individual capable of pursuing truth and entering into relations of community with others. The distortion is caused by an abstract humanism that rightly denounces individualism, but as an alternative promotes a socialistic collectivism. This essay argues that this distortion is further causing the emergence of a collectivist spirituality which loses the individual, free human person. This spirituality is shown to be particularly manifest in various Catholic approaches to socioeconomics and environmentalism.

KEYWORDS: Peter Redpath, Gabriel Marcel, West, crisis, Christianity, metaphysics, person, society, humanism, individualism, collectivism, spirituality, culture, socioeconomics, environmentalism.


Melina G. Mouzala, Διαλεκτική, Δραματουργία, και Αυτογνωσία στον Χαρμίδη του Πλάτωνος [Dialectic, Drama and Self-Knowledge in Plato’s Charmides],” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 179–194:

SUMMARY: Charmides is a dialogue highly indicative of the importance that the prologues to Plato’s works have for our understanding of the whole spirit and philosophical content of each dialogue as a whole. It is representative of the Platonic tendency to always combine philosophical content with dramatic form through narrative and drama, in order to enhance the reader’s and audience’s insight into the inquiries of his philosophical work. Following this line of presentation, the prologue of Charmides prefigures the understanding of the central themes of the dialogue; focusing on the depiction of Socrates as a therapist and of Dialectic as a therapy or a kind of remedy, which through the process of dialectical engagement and interaction reestablishes the relation of each interlocutor to his own self.

The narrative about the Thracian doctors of the king and god Zalmoxis and their special medical knowledge, foreshadows the major philosophical issues which are examined in the sequence of the dialogue. Socrates’ reference to the good doctors and his criticism of the Greek doctors who ignore the whole that needs to be cured, reveals the central demand for the psychosomatic unity of man and the priority of the healing of the soul over the healing of the body. The holistic Zalmoxian medicine and theory of health corresponds to the first step of the Socratic Dialectic. Through the narrative about the Thracian doctors of Zalmoxis, Socratic-Platonic Dialectic has already begun to evolve, following a movement with clearly defined direction, namely from the part to the whole, where the part denotes and signifies the body and the whole denotes the psychosomatic unity of the human being. Sōphrosunē is already involved in this narrative since the incantations invoked by Socrates, which are identified with the “beautiful speeches,” induce sōphrosunē on which the well being of the soul depends. This raises the question as to whether these doctors apply medical knowledge which has a specified epistemological content, or knowledge equipped with a universal character—in the sense of being also prior to all other kinds of knowledge—which transcends the usual confines of the medical art.

Charmides is invited by Socrates to look deep within himself in order to discover if he possesses sōphrosunē, and what sōphrosunē really is. That’s what Charmides is doing by formulating his first two definitions of sōphrosunē. Dialectic now follows a movement from without to within. Charmides’ first and second definitions reflect the social status to which he belongs, the corresponding behavior, and the inner psychic qualities (e.g., youthful shyness) of a person or persona who represents the system of values surrounding traditional virtue and the aristocratic conception of the ideal of “kalos kagathos.” It is probable that the dramatic time of the dialogue, which coincided with the outbreak of the Peloponnesian war, was associated with a criticism of the traditional view and model of virtue.

When sōphrosunē is defined as “doing one’s own things,” Dialectic still has the tendency to move from without inwards, but this movement now is implemented in the field of praxis (action). Platonic Dialectic uses the device of change of interlocutor in order to signify the transition to a more demanding level of inquiry and thought. This definition of sōphrosunē, “doing one’s own things,” on the basis of a proleptic reading, stimulates us to trace the relation between sōphrosunē in Charmides and dikaiosunē (justice) in the Republic. What is important in the Socratic elenchus of this definition is that it highlights the connection between prattein (doing) and prattein tagatha (doing the good), between prattein and works (erga), and between the beneficial and the good. It is clarified that only the makings of good things are praxeis (doings) and that what is of harm must be avoided as “alien.” The definition of sōphrosunē as “doing good things” re-orientates Dialectic, which now starts moving from praxis to theōria, because “doing good things” presupposes knowing what is good. But if agathon (good) is what is kindred to oneself and one’s own, doing good things, or doing simpliciter, i.e., praxis, presupposes self-knowledge. Any practitioner of good must be a self-knowing agent.

The Apollonian ideal of self-knowledge (know thyself) is construed as a “greeting” of the god to worshipers who enter the temple, not as a moral counsel or as a piece of advice. This distinction implies the difference between a knowledge conveyed from without and a knowledge discovered by insightful inner search of one’s self. Within the passages 165c to 175a, sōphrosunē is presented and examined as “the knowledge of what one knows and what one does not know.” It has been claimed that in this part of the dialogue, the Socratic model of self-knowledge is subjected by Plato to the Socratic elenchus, where he attempts to make a criticism of it.

I believe that this section of the dialogue is an extended excursus, aimed towards introducing and examining a model of self-knowledge different from that of Socrates, Critias’ model of self-knowledge. This model of self-knowledge poses a whole series of philosophical problems; the relation between the subject and the object of knowledge, the possibility of their identification or the distinction between them, the possibility of the existence of an internal and external object of knowledge, the relation of this model of self-knowledge with other kinds or domains of knowledge, and the question whether external knowledge or knowledge of other knowledges is a constituent of knowledge of knowledge. The question of the possibility of knowledge of knowledge is not definitely rejected, especially if we consider that in all of this discussion there is a hint towards the way in which philosophy works and relates to other kinds of knowledge.

I believe, however, that in the last part of the dialogue, where the knowledge of good and bad emerges, Plato again meets Socrates and becomes reconciled with him. The only knowledge that is useful and beneficial is knowledge of good and bad. In this way Plato chooses to put forward a self-conscious model of self-knowledge, which does not presuppose, as Critias’ model does, the critical examination of knowledge or the critical distance from knowledge. This self-conscious model of self-knowledge is connected with the knowledge of good and bad. On the one hand doing of good presupposes knowledge of good and bad and on the other, “doing one’s own things” presupposes self-knowledge. The possibility of knowing good and bad is ensured by each person, either through looking deep within himself or by orientating towards the Idea of the Good itself.

KEYWORDS: dialectic, drama, self-knowledge, Plato, Charmides, Socrates.


Corina Yoris-Villasana, “A Need for Dialogue to Develop Tolerance,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 195–204:

SUMMARY: The authoress claims that civic education must be grounded in a deep sense of belonging, which, in turn, involves values such as freedom, equality, civility, justice, pluralism and, above all, ensures the development of dialogue and tolerance in the individual, dialogue and tolerance which are essential attributes of a democratic attitude. Tolerance and dialogue are the pivots of citizenship in a society which is to function peacefully. She concludes that by developing these values individuals can better participate in the pursuit of social ideals.

KEYWORDS: tolerance, dialogue, values, society, education, citizenship.


Piotr Jaroszyński, “What Is Europe? The Greek Beginnings,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 205–215:

SUMMARY: The article begins with the statement that there are three concepts of Europe historically significant. The first concept of Europe looms out in the context of the clash between the ancient Greeks and the Persians, the second one is induced by Christianity and Islam meeting head-on whereas the third concept results from the European civilization confronting the cultures of the newly discovered peoples inhabiting other continents. It is just in the context of the indicated clashes that the concept of Europe is shaped as a phenomenon diversified not only geographically but also in terms of civilization as regards other cultures or civilizations. The article then concerns with the concept of Europeanism which in the cultural sense was crystallized in Greece at the turn of the fifth and fourth centuries before Christ. It emerged on the background of the opposition between the Greeks and Asians as well as other peoples, which were referred to as barbarians by the Greeks. The article concludes that it was culture and freedom which constituted two arms of Europeanness shaped by the ancient Greeks.

KEYWORDS: Europe, Greece, Persia, culture, civilization, freedom, barbarian.


Andrzej Maryniarczyk, S.D.B., “Philosophical Creationism: Thomas Aquinas’ Metaphysics of Creatio ex Nihilo,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 217–268:

SUMMARY: All philosophers, beginning with the pre-Socratics, through Plato and Aristotle, and up to Thomas Aquinas, accepted as a certain that the world as a whole existed eternally. The foundation for the eternity of the world was the indestructible and eternal primal building material of the world, a material that existed in the form of primordial material elements (the Ionians), in the form of ideas (Plato), or in the form of matter, eternal motion, and the first heavens (Aristotle).

The article outlines the main structure of the philosophical theory of creation ex nihilo developed by St. Thomas Aquinas and indebted to his metaphysical thought. It shows the wisdom-based and ratiocinative foundation of the rational cognition of reality—reality that comes from the personal creative act of God. It concludes that the perception that the beings called to existence by the personal act of God the Creator are intelligible is the ultimate rational justification for the fact that our human cognition, love, and spiritual creativity are rational.

KEYWORDS: creatio ex nihilo, Thomas Aquinas, philosophical creationism, creationism, creation, God, production, universe, world.


Fr. Paweł Tarasiewicz, “Recovering Philosophy as the Love of Wisdom: A Contribution of St. John Paul II,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 269–281:

SUMMARY: The article aims at demonstrating that, by his teaching on human person and his action, St. John Paul II (also known as Karol Wojtyła) implicitly contributed to a resolution of the most serious problem of contemporary philosophy, which consists in separating wisdom from love and substituting wisdom with understanding or knowledge. The author concludes that John Paul II makes a persuasive contribution to recover philosophy as the love of wisdom by (1) identifying truth in the area of freedom, self-fulfillment and conscience, and (2) appealing to man’s honesty and happiness.

KEYWORDS: person, action, John Paul II, Karol Wojtyła, philosophy, wisdom, love, freedom, self-fulfillment, conscience, honesty, happiness.


Zofia J. Zdybicka, U.S.J.K., “Human Experience: A Ground for the Affirmation of God,” trans. Fr. Artur Wojtowicz, Studia Gilsoniana 5:1 (January–March 2016): 283–296:

SUMMARY: The authoress claims that the experience of the man’s own existence is genetically earlier than all other types of cognition. It can be called the man’s primordial, basic, radical, fundamental experience: the experience of human existence immersed in the world. It constitutes a foundation and place wherein the problem of God arises in the most natural and spontaneous way, and where the very roots of the problem are to be sought. She emphasizes that it is extremely important that the affirmation of the man’s existence is achieved along with cognitional contact with extra-subjective reality whose affirmation allows for man to more deeply penetrate the affirmation of his own existence, to know his existence as connected with other personal and non-personal beings—and ultimately connected with the existence of a higher and stronger reality, the reality of God. These are not man’s impressions or desires, but facts stated by man. The authoress concludes that it is human experience which reveals man as a correlate of a higher, stronger and transcendent reality. Man thus turns out to be a religious being—homo religiosus.

KEYWORDS: experience, existence, cognition, world, God, affirmation, reality, person, transcendence, man, religious being, homo religiosus.


Studia Gilsoniana 5:2 (April–June 2016)


Fr. Michael Nnamdi Konye, “Gilson on Dogmatism,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:2 (April–June 2016): 307–326:

SUMMARY: The article aims at uncovering reasons why philosophy may become conducive to dogmatism which inevitably leads to the failure of philosophy. In the light of Gilson’s considerations contained in his The Unity of Philosophical Experience, the author concludes that philosophy is always exposed to the influence of dogmatism when it is done from a non-philosophical standpoint. For each time when the engagement in the philosophical enterprise is driven by non-philosophical needs, it is usually the case that the goal of philosophy is misconstrued as merely that of providing an instrumental ontology to non-philosophical areas of knowledge. To avoid such mistakes as logicism, theologism or psychologism, philosophy must recover its proper object that is the real world of persons and things, and its proper method that is metaphysics.

KEYWORDS: philosophy, dogmatism, skepticism, scholasticism, Étienne Gilson, Peter Abelard, Al-Ghazali, William of Ockham.


Sister Lucia Marie Siemering, O.P., Capital Grace of the Word Incarnate According to Saint Thomas Aquinas,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:2 (April–June 2016): 327–343:

SUMMARY: The doctrine of capital grace was developed during the Scholastic period and bears on many areas of theology including ecclesiology, Christology, sacraments, and Trinitarian theology with regard to the missions of the Word and the Holy Spirit. Viewed from a Christological standpoint, capital grace sheds light on how Christ in his human nature can be said to be a source of grace to the members of the Church. Following his contemporaries, the young Thomas Aquinas espoused a view in which Christ is a meritorious, ministerial, and dispositive cause of grace according to his human nature, and an efficient cause according to his divinity. After a deeper reading of John Damascene’s treatment of Christ’s humanity being an instrument of his divinity, Thomas was able to articulate a view in which Christ’s human nature is an instrumental efficient cause of grace. This view undergirds Aquinas’s strong conception of Christ as one acting person in two natures.

KEYWORDS: Jesus Christ, capital grace, habitual grace, instrumental efficient causality, human nature, divine nature.


Wojciech Ziółkowski, “Józef Tischner’s Conception of Aesthetic Tragedy: Enchantment and Seduction,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:2 (April–June 2016): 345–363:

SUMMARY: The article analyzes essential factors for Józef Tischner’s conception of aesthetic tragedy, namely enchantment and sedution. For Tischner, the aesthetic tragedy takes place in the realm of interpersonal relations. The article describes the discoverer of the beauty as the one who becomes aware of that he cannot appropriate the beauty discovered; nevertheless, he still hopes that there must be a form of persuasion able to convince the beauty to be his possession voluntarily. According to Tischner, the way in which the enchanted and the beauty discovered by him seek to possess each other is the relation of seduction. Seduction, however, by its nature is a paradoxical phenomenon; for it is always associated with the consciousness of a renouncement which is to come. The fact that the artist and his work are doomed to part shows that the aesthetic tragedy is a drama not only of the work, but also of the artist; it is their mutual tragedy which stems from an illusory hope for the overcoming of the irremovable necessity of parting. The act of seduction undertaken in hope for having each other as a property becomes the reason of a parting for participating subjects, a parting which—according to Tischner—is announced in drama as the bane of man.

KEYWORDS: Józef Tischner, aesthetics, tragedy, enchantment, sedution, art, man, woman.


Fr. Tomasz Duma, “Personalism in the Lublin School of Philosophy (Card. Karol Wojtyła, Fr. Mieczysław A. Krąpiec),” Studia Gilsoniana 5:2 (April–June 2016): 365–390:

SUMMARY: The article presents the conception of personalism and the understanding of human person developed by two Polish philosophers: Karol Wojtyła and Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, the framers and the main representatives of the Lublin School of Philosophy. The author comes to the following conclusions: (1) Wojtyła’s and Krąpiec’s conception of personalism comes from experience and seeks verification in experience; it does not accept any a priori explanations or theses, though it does not shy away from drawing upon different branches of knowledge in its attempts to broaden experience, being aware that not everything is given to immediate experiential perception; (2) Wojtyła’s and Krąpiec’s personalism wants to draw on the whole philosophical tradition, taking into account, at the same time, the findings of different sciences of man or humanities which broaden the experience of man or contribute something to the interpretation of experience; (3) bringing together genetic empiricism and methodical rationalism, Wojtyła and Krąpiec are able to avoid radicalism in the explanation of man, making a successful attempt to join in a complementary way these aspects of personal human being which carry some opposition; (4) Wojtyła’s and Krąpiec’s conception of person does not bear any traces of antagonism since it is not directed against anyone; in the light of this conception every human person has a character of the honest good which is the unconditional good, that is the highest and the ultimate good not competing with the value of anything else; (5) Wojtyła and Krąpiec prove that the conception of human person lies at the basis of understanding society, culture, ethics, law, politics, economy, art, and even religion.

KEYWORDS: Lublin School of Philosophy, Karol Wojtyła, Mieczysław Krąpiec, personalism, philosophy, metaphysics, person, man, experience, nature, culture.


Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, O.P., Andrzej Maryniarczyk, S.D.B., “Metaphysics in the Lublin Philosophical School,” trans. Hugh McDonald, Studia Gilsoniana 5:2 (April–June 2016): 391–427:

SUMMARY: The article is aimed at presenting the way in which metaphysics is understood and cultivated in the Lublin Philosophical School, Poland. It includes such topics as: the definition of metaphysics, metaphysical cognition (its object and the method for singling it out), ways of metaphysical demonstration and rational justification, and the relation of metaphysics to other domains of philosophy. In the light of the information delivered, it can be concluded that metaphysics in the Lublin Philosophical School is understood as a way of knowing in which the reason employs the universal laws of being and thought and strives to discover the first and singular factors or causes that render free of contradiction that which exists and which is given to us in a germinal way in the empirical intuition of the material world.

KEYWORDS: Lublin Philosophical School, metaphysics, philosophy, cognition, object, being, method, demonstration, justification, reason, cause, separation, reality, world.


Andrzej Maryniarczyk, S.D.B., “On the Transcendental Properties of Real Beings,” trans. Hugh McDonald, Studia Gilsoniana 5:2 (April–June 2016): 429–444:

SUMMARY: The article analyzes the metaphysical approach to the rational cognition of the world of persons and things. It shows the way in which metaphysicians reveal the essential and universal properties of the world and the laws that govern their being. Among these properties, the most important are as follows: to be a thing (that is, to have a concretely determined essence), to be one (that is, to be non-contradictory in itself), to be separate or distinct (that is, to be sovereign in being), and also to be a vehicle of truth, good, and beauty. Among the laws of being, in turn, the article indicates the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction, the law of the excluded middle, the law of the reason of being, the law of finality, and the law of perfection. These laws primarily show the source and foundation of the rational order.

KEYWORDS: Lublin Philosophical School, transcendental, metaphysics, being, reality, world.


Studia Gilsoniana 5:3 (July–September 2016)


Natalia Kunat, Egzystencjalna interpretacja Tomasza z Akwinu koncepcji bytu w ujęciu Étienne Gilsona [Étienne Gilson’s Existential Interpretation of Thomas Aquinas’ Concept of Being],” Studia Gilsoniana 5:3 (July–September 2016): 451–464:

SUMMARY: The article attempts to present Étienne Gilson’s approach to Thomas Aquinas’ existential interpretation of being. The French thinker’s apprehension of Aquinas’ system is characterized by accentuating existential perspective within the framework of the analysis of the structure of being. Gilson supported existential Thomism and, consequently, strongly emphasized the role of existence (esse) for being real. The French philosopher was of opinion that the existence of being should be depicted by means of existential judgments that affirm real and specific existence of beings. According to Gilson, the existential judgment of the affirmation-oriented being is the starting point for metaphysics.

KEYWORDS: existential Thomism, being, existence, existential judgment, Étienne Gilson.


Michael Ewbank, “Counterpoint in Explanation of Originative Apprehension,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:3 (July–September 2016): 465–489:

SUMMARY: Originative apprehension often has been examined in recent decades in light of Aquinas’ reflections. Yet there has not always been agreement in regard to what constitutes such, often due to different emphases given by interpreters to aspects of St. Thomas’ analyses articulated in different contexts. Arguably, it is possible to reconcile certain seemingly divergent important interpretations by reflecting on an important, yet somewhat recessive, theme that Thomas adverted to sparingly throughout his career in utilizing analyses of predecessors to forge his own synthesis to explain cognition in terms of being that is centered on the reciprocal priorities of judging and concomitant incomplex abstracting.

KEYWORDS: originative apprehension, Thomas Aquinas, cognition, being, judgment, abstraction.


Fr. Michael Nnamdi Konye, Dignity, Equality, Freedom: The EU-Policy Values Viewed Personalistically,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:3 (July–September 2016): 491–526:

SUMMARY: The author points out that dignity, equality, and freedom are leading themes of the European Union policy and should be respected and upheld if understood personalistically. He agrues that the subjectivity of the individual person, rather than that of the public state, underlines the context of interpreting those themes which are the liberal values the Western society purports to cultivate. Therefore, he claims that dignity is grounded on the understanding of man as imago Dei, equality is doubly grounded in both the unique identity and incommunicability of each human person, and freedom is doubly grounded in the dual responsibility of each human person for his or her actions as well as the responsibility we share for each human life from conception to natural death.

KEYWORDS: dignity, equality, freedom, European Union, personalism, subjectivity, individual, person, imago Dei, identity, incommunicability, responsibility, human action, human rights.


Wojciech Ziółkowski, Józefa Tischnera koncepcja tragedii estetycznej: potępienie i usprawiedliwienie [Józef Tischner’s Conception of Aesthetic Tragedy: Condemnation and Justification],” Studia Gilsoniana 5:3 (July–September 2016): 527–543:

SUMMARY: The article undertakes an attempt to unveil the tragic nature of beauty as present in Józef Tischner’s conception of aesthetic tragedy by reflecting on the aesthetic condemnation of the artist and forms of justification sought by him in the realm of beauty. The performed analysis are focused on the course of aesthetic tragedy, beginning with conditions of its coming into being, through forms of its expression, concluding with its term achieved by the parting of its subjects (the artist and his work of art). According to Tischner, it is possible for the artist condemned by his own work of art to find the way out from the framework of aesthetic horizon and all it contains within itself. The artist can overcome his aesthetic condemnation in two ways: he can either disprove the condemnation and demonstrate its falsehood, or replace the beauty in the structure of “the aesthetic I” with some other high value.

KEYWORDS: Józef Tischner, aesthetics, tragedy, condemnation, justification, art, man, woman.


Hugo Costarelli Brandi, Lo Bello y la belleza en el comentario Tomasino al De Divinis Nominibus [The Beautiful and Beauty in St. Thomas’ Commentary to De Divinis Nominibus],” Studia Gilsoniana 5:3 (July–September 2016): 545–560:

SUMMARY: While St. Thomas Aquinas has not written any separate treaty on beauty, the theme of beauty regularly appears in his writing from its very beginning as that which corresponds with the Platonic doctrine presented by Dionysius the Areopagite in his De Divinis Nominibus. The article is focused on three essential elements in Aquinas’ doctrine on beauty: 1) its identity with the subject, 2) its difference from the reason, and 3) its difference from the good.

KEYWORDS: Thomas Aquinas, Dionysius the Areopagite, beauty, beautiful, De Divinis Nominibus, reason, good.


Studia Gilsoniana 5:4 (October–December 2016)


José Ángel García Cuadrado, “Gilson y Báñez: Luces y sombras de un encuentro tardío [Gilson and Báñez: Lights and Shadows of a Late Encounter],” Studia Gilsoniana 5:4 (October–December 2016): 579–618:

SUMMARY: Gilson came across Báñez’s commentary on the Summa Theologiae in 1952, and since then he saw in Báñez the confirmation of his own understanding of the act of being against the background of deviant interpretations made by other Thomists, especially Cajetan. In this paper, Gilson’s claims about the metaphysics of Báñez, including the actus essendi, the immortality of the soul, the relation between philosophy and theology, etc., are discussed. Although Gilson rectifies Báñez’s interpretations of Thomas’ ways and the act of being of the accidents, Gilson’s ultimate assessment of Báñez is positive to such an extent that for the French medievalist the Dominican of Salamanca will remain “the most Thomistic of all the Thomists that I have had the privilege of knowing.”

KEYWORDS: actus essendi, immortality of the soul, faith and reason, Thomistic five ways, accidents, Thomas Aquinas, Cajetan, Thomism, school of Salamanca.


Eleni Procopiou, “The Concept of Relation in the Thomistic Perception of a Person,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:4 (October–December 2016): 619–632:

SUMMARY: The article aims to show that the connection of the metaphysics of being with Aristotle’s philosophy of nature allows for the composition of anthropology per se which involves the concept of a person as it emerges from the two fundamental issues: the metaphysical approach to a person ontologically connected with nature, and the concept of a person as relation. The article concludes with the claim that, in Thomistic anthropology, the supernatural world of persons coexists with the natural world of persons who are subject to cosmic order and legal relations. Thus, a person’s inclusion in the framework of legal relations and its ontological liberation in the supernatural field open up the way for the social acknowledgement of the human person.

KEYWORDS: relation, person, Thomism, nature, anthropology, metaphysics, God, society.


Sr. Mary Angela Woelkers, SCTJM, “Freedom for Responsibility: Responsibility and Human Nature in the Philosophical Anthropology of Karol Wojtyla,” Studia Gilsoniana 5:4 (October–December 2016): 633–647:

SUMMARY: This article considers the essential connection between human nature and responsibility within the philosophical thought of Karol Wojtyla, focusing on his works The Acting Person and Love and Responsibility. The study begins by examining the freedom as characteristic of the human person according to the order of being, and then turns its attention to the authentic understanding of freedom precisely as freedom for the good. The freedom of the human person is finally considered as the foundation of responsibility.

KEYWORDS: Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II, personalism, philosophical anthropology, freedom, responsibility, ontology, Acting Person, Love and Responsibility, self-determination, human nature, human person, efficacy, intentionality.


Andrzej Maryniarczyk, S.D.B., “The Discovery of the Existence of the Absolute in Existential Metaphysics,” trans. Hugh McDonald, Studia Gilsoniana 5:4 (October–December 2016): 649–672:

SUMMARY: The article shows the way in which the discovery of the existence of the Absolute is made in existential metaphysics. This existential metaphysics provides us with knowledge about reality. It shows the content of the experience of being, the content given to us in the transcendentals. It also unveils the foundation of the rational order, which is given to us in the discovery of the first principles of the existence of being and of cognition. Metaphysics provides us also with knowledge concerning the structure of being. It shows us being as composite and plural; being which is “insufficient” in its structure and calls for an explanation. That being—that is problematized in existence, given to us in experience, and incompletely intelligible in itself—lifts us toward its ultimate “complement” and understanding, to the Absolute.

KEYWORDS: Absolute, existence, reality, being, metaphysics, cognition, why, curiosity, gods, mental state, intellect, reason.


Andrzej Maryniarczyk, S.D.B., “Participation: A Descending Road of the Metaphysical Cognition of Being,” trans. Hugh McDonald, Studia Gilsoniana 5:4 (October–December 2016): 673–688:

SUMMARY: When we see in the world the fact that there are many beings, and we indicate that the particular beings exist in a compositional way, we face the task of learning about a new problem: how can we define and determine the relations between beings and between the elements within a being? Although the theory of participation has roots that go back to Plato, and so to a philosophy in which the pluralism of being was rejected and which accepted an identity-based conception of being, participation finds its ontological rational justification only (and ultimately) in the pluralistic and compositional conception of being. With the description of participation as a “descending road” in the cognition of being, we are restricting ourselves to the presentation of how participation is understood in realistic metaphysics (while we shall leave aside the history of the question). We will show the aspects of participation that provide a foundation for wisdom-oriented cognition, and we will show the specific character of participation-oriented cognition as a “descending road.”

KEYWORDS: participation, Absolute, cognition, being, transcendentals, metaphysics.


Berthold Wald, Klugheit. Grundbegriff des Praktischen bei Aristoteles [Prudence. The Basic Concept of the Practical in Aristotle],” Studia Gilsoniana 5:4 (October–December 2016): 689–707:

SUMMARY: The article begins by recalling the most important understandings associated with the term prudence in the history of philosophy. Then it introduces the Aristotelian concept of prudence linked to practical truth—prudence seen in contrast to wisdom and knowledge of manufacturing. The article discusses various forms of rational knowledge associated with the right will, and proves the need of linking prudence to all the other ethical virtues based on moral principles. It emphasizes the problem of how to relate general principles to specific actions which involve particular goods. For resolving this problem, the article refers to Aristotle who sees the solution in political ethics which has a significant impact on individual behavior; consequently, good law and proper education are considered to be necessary conditions which allow to form the moral judgment skills for providing a morally good life. The article concludes with the claim that the proper field to capture the specificity of prudence includes the theory of human action and that of human morality.

KEYWORDS: prudence, Aristotle, truth, wisdom, knowledge, will, virtue, morality, action, ethics, judgment, skill.