Neo-scholasticism (also known as neo-scholastic Thomism or neo-Thomism because of the great influence of the writings of Thomas Aquinas on the movement), is a revival and development of medieval scholasticism in Roman Catholic theology and philosophy which began in the second half of the 19th century.
During the medieval period, scholasticism became the standard accepted method of philosophy and theology. The Scholastic method declined with the advent of humanism in the 15th and 16th centuries, after which time it came to be viewed by some as rigid and formalistic. "Scholastic philosophy did not, however, completely disappear. An important movement of Thomistic revival took place during the 16th century and enriched Scholastic literature with many eminent contributions. Thomas de Vio Cajetan (1469–1534), Gabriel Vásquez (1551–1604), Toletus (1532–1596), Fonseca (1528–1599), and especially Francisco Suárez (1548–1617) were profound thinkers, worthy of the great masters whose principles they had adopted." Moreover, as J. A. Weisheipl O.P. emphasizes, within the Dominican Order Thomistic scholasticism has been continuous since the time of Aquinas: "Thomism was always alive in the Dominican Order, small as it was after the ravages of the Reformation, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic occupation. Repeated legislation of the General Chapters, beginning after the death of St. Thomas, as well as the Constitutions of the Order, required all Dominicans to teach the doctrine of St. Thomas both in philosophy and in theology." A further idea of the longstanding historic continuity of Dominican scholasticism and neo-scholasticism may be derived from the list of people associated with the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
In the mid–19th century, interest in Roman Catholic circles in scholastic methodology and thought began once again to flourish, in large part in reaction against the "Modernism" inspired by thinkers such as Descartes, Kant, and Hegel, the use of which was perceived as inimical to Christian doctrine. The meaning and core beliefs of theological Modernism were never tightly defined; in large part, Modernism simply represented that which was attacked by Rome in 1907 as ‘the sum of all heresies’. Moreover, given that Modernism remained the perceived enemy of neo-Scholasticism throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were certainly changes over the decades in what was attacked. Certainly, however, common threads of thought can be detected. These include (1) the belief that revelation continued up to and including the present day and, therefore, did not stop with the death of the last apostle; (2) the belief that dogmas were not immutable and that ecclesial dogmatic formulas could change both in interpretation and in content; (3) the use of the historical-critical method in biblical exegesis.
For many thinkers, the dangers of Modernism could only be overcome by a complete return to scholastic theology. In particular, Catholic interest came to focus on the 13th-century theologian Thomas Aquinas, whose writings were increasingly viewed as the ultimate expression of philosophy and theology, to which all Catholic thought must remain faithful.
This was particularly vigorous at first in Italy. "The direct initiator of the neo-Scholastic movement in Italy was Gaetano Sanseverino, (1811–1865), a canon at Naples." The German Jesuit J Kleutgen (1811–83), who taught at Rome, was a particularly influential figure in his defences of pre-modern theology and philosophy, his argument that a theology based upon a post-Cartesian philosophy undermined Catholic doctrine, and his recommendation that the Aristotelian scientific method of Aquinas was the theology the Church now needed. The Accademia di San Tommaso, founded in 1874, published until 1891 a review entitled La Scienza Italiana. Numerous works were produced by Giovanni Maria Cornoldi (1822–92), Giuseppe Pecci, Tommaso Maria Zigliara (1833–93), Satolli (1839–1909), Liberatore (1810–92), Barberis (1847–96), Schiffini (1841–1906), de Maria, Talamo, Lorenzelli, Ballerini, Matussi and others. The Italian writers at first laid special emphasis on the metaphysical features of Scholasticism, and less to the empirical sciences or to the history of philosophy.
Papal support for such trends had begun under Pope Pius IX, who had recognized the importance of the movement in various letters. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception (1854), the Syllabus errorum (1864) and the proclamation of papal infallibility (1870) all heralded a move away from Modernist forms of theological thought.
The most important moment for the spread of the movement occurred with Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical "Aeterni Patris", issued on 4 August 1879. Aeterni Patris set out what would come to be seen as the principles of neo-scholasticism, and provided the stimulus for the donation of increased support to neo-scholastic thought. It called for ‘Christian philosophy to be restored according to the spirit of St Thomas’.
Neo-scholasticism sought to restore the fundamental doctrines embodied in the scholasticism of the 13th century. The essential conceptions may be summarized as follows:
1. God, pure actuality and absolute perfection, is substantially distinct from every finite thing: He alone can create and preserve all beings other than Himself. His infinite knowledge includes all that has been, is, or shall be, and likewise all that is possible.
2. As to our knowledge of the material world: whatever exists is itself, an incommunicable, individual substance. To the core of self-sustaining reality, in the oak-tree for instance, other realities (accidents) are added—size, form, roughness, and so on. All oak-trees are alike, indeed are identical in respect of certain constituent elements. Considering this likeness and even identity, our human intelligence groups them into one species and again, in view of their common characteristics, it ranges various species under one genus. Such is the Aristotelean solution of the problem of universals. Each substance is in its nature fixed and determined; and nothing is farther from the spirit of Scholasticism than a theory of evolution which would regard even the essences of things as products of change.
But this statism requires as its complement a moderate dynamism, and this is supplied by the central concepts of act and potency. Whatsoever changes is, just for that reason, limited. The oak-tree passes through a process of growth, of becoming: whatever is actually in it now was potentially in it from the beginning. Its vital functions go on unceasingly (accidental change); but the tree itself will die, and out of its decayed trunk other substances will come forth (substantial change). The theory of matter and form is simply an interpretation of the substantial changes which bodies undergo. The union of matter and form constitutes the essence of concrete being, and this essence is endowed with existence. Throughout all change and becoming there runs a rhythm of finality; the activities of the countless substances of the universe converge towards an end which is known to God; finality involves optimism.
3. Man, a compound of body (matter) and of soul (form), puts forth activities of a higher order—knowledge and volition. Through his senses he perceives concrete objects, e.g. this oak; through his intellect he knows the abstract and universal (the oak). All our intellectual activity rests on sensory function; but through the active intellect (intellectus agens) an abstract representation of the sensible object is provided for the intellectual possibility. Hence the characteristic of the idea, its non-materiality, and on this is based the principal argument for the spirituality and immortality of the soul. Here, too, is the foundation of logic and of the theory of knowledge, the justification of our judgments and syllogisms.
Upon knowledge follows the appetitive process, sensory or intellectual according to the sort of knowledge. The will (appetitus intellectualis) in certain conditions is free, and thanks to this liberty man is the master of his destiny. Like all other beings, we have an end to attain and we are morally obliged, though not compelled, to attain it.
Natural happiness would result from the full development of our powers of knowing and loving. We should find and possess God in this world since the corporeal world is the proper object of our intelligence. But above nature is the order of grace and our supernatural happiness will consist in the direct intuition of God, the beatific vision. Here philosophy ends and theology begins.
On October 15, 1879, Leo XIII created the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, and ordered the publication of the critical edition, the so-called "Leonine Edition", of the complete works of Thomas Aquinas. Moreover, Leo XIII increased Thomist studies in his support for the Collegium Divi Thomae de Urbe (the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum), by founding its Faculty of Philosophy in 1882 and its Faculty of Canon Law in 1896.
Accordingly, the thought of Thomas Aquinas came to be assessed positively in relation to all other ‘modern’ systems of thought. In particular, the Aristotelianism of Thomas was seen in contrast to the thought of Kant (itself seen as representative of ‘modern’ thought). Other ‘modern’ forms of thought, including Ontologism, Traditionalism, the dualism of Anton Günther, and the thought of Descartes, were also seen as flawed in comparison to Thomism.
The movement also spread into other countries. It found supporters in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Switzerland, France, Hungary, the United States, Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil. In Belgium, a particularly important moment was the establishment by Leo XIII at Louvain (then still a francophone university) in 1891 of the "Institut de philosophie" for the special purpose of teaching the doctrine of St. Thomas together with history and the natural sciences. It was endorsed by four Catholic Congresses: Paris (1891); Brussels (1895); Freiburg (1897); Munich (1900).
In the early 20th century, neo-Thomism became official Catholic doctrine, and became increasingly defined in opposition to Modernism. In July 1907, Pope Pius X issued the decree Lamentabili sane exitu, which condemned 65 Modernist propositions. Two months later, he issued the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, in which he unequivocally condemned the agnosticism, immanentism, and relativism of Modernism as the 'synthesis of all heresies'. The anti-Modernist oath of 1910 was very important; this remained in force until 1966. In 1914, Pope Pius X acted against Modernism by ordering, though the Sacred Congregation of Studies, the publication of a list of 24 philosophical propositions, propositions summarising the central tenets of neo-scholasticism to be taught in all colleges as fundamental elements of philosophy, which was intended to promote a purer form of Thomism; in 1916, these 24 propositions were confirmed as normative. In 1917, the Church’s new Code of Canon Law (Codex Iuris Canonici) insisted that the doctrine, methods, and principles of Thomas should be used in teaching philosophy and theology. Thomist thought therefore became reflected in the manuals and textbooks widely in use in Roman Catholic colleges and seminaries before Vatican II.
While writers such as Edouard Hugon, Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, and Henri Grenier were maintaining the tradition of the manuals this did not mean that there was no variation or disagreement among thinkers about how best to formulate Thomism, especially in response to contemporary trends. Variation within the tradition of neo-scholastic Thomism is represented by Martin Grabmann (1875–1949), Amato Masnovo (1880–1955), Francesco Olgiati (1886–1962), and Antonin-Dalmace Sertillanges (1863–1948). Authors such as Étienne Gilson, Jacques Maritain, and Joseph Maréchal investigated alternative interpretations of Aquinas from the 1920s until the 1950s. Gilson and Maritain in particular taught and lectured throughout Europe and North America, influencing a generation of English-speaking Catholic philosophers.
The growth in historical investigation into Thomas’s thought led some to believe that neo-Thomism did not always reflect the thought of Thomas Aquinas himself. This historically oriented theology was particularly carried out by writers such as Étienne Gilson, Marie-Dominique Chenu, and Henri de Lubac. At Vatican II, traditional neo-Thomist thought was opposed by such exponents of the nouvelle théologie.
Many Thomists however continue in the neo-scholastic tradition. Some relatively recent proponents are treated in Battista Mondin's Metafisica di san Tommaso d'Aquino e i suoi interpreti (2002), which treats Carlo Giacon (1900–1984), Sofia Vanni Rovighi (1908–1990), Cornelio Fabro (1911–1995), Carlo Giacon (1900–1984), Tomas Tyn (1950–1990), Abelardo Lobato (1925–2012), Leo Elders (1926–), and Enrico Berti (1935–), among others. Due to its suspicion of attempts to harmonize Aquinas with non-Thomistic categories and assumptions, neo-scholastic Thomism has sometimes been called "strict observance Thomism."
Also Edward Feser in discussing anglophone authors has indicated that proponents of the more traditional Thomist perspective such as Ralph McInerny foster the possibility of a contemporary revival of neo-scholastic Thomism. Feser could be included along with these thinkers and other such as Brian Davies as engaging in a contemporary polemic in defense of the traditional system of Thomistic metaphysics in response to modern philosophy.
Australian philosophy refers to the philosophical tradition of the people of Australia and of its citizens abroad.Cosmology (philosophy)
Philosophical cosmology, philosophy of cosmology or philosophy of cosmos is a discipline directed to the philosophical contemplation of the universe as a totality, and to its conceptual foundations. It draws on several branches of philosophy—metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of physics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, and on the fundamental theories of physics. The term cosmology was used at least as early as 1730, by German philosopher Christian Wolff, in Cosmologia Generalis.Danish philosophy
Danish philosophy has a long tradition as part of Western philosophy.
Perhaps the most influential Danish philosopher was Søren Kierkegaard, the creator of Christian existentialism, which inspired the philosophical movement of Existentialism. Kierkegaard had a few Danish followers, including Harald Høffding, who later in his life moved on to join the movement of positivism. Among Kierkegaard's other followers include Jean-Paul Sartre who was impressed with Kierkegaard's views on the individual, and Rollo May, who helped create humanistic psychology.Early modern philosophy
Early modern philosophy (also classical modern philosophy) is a period in the history of philosophy at the beginning or overlapping with the period known as modern philosophy.Edward Feser
Edward C. Feser (; born April 16, 1968) is an American philosopher. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California. He has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Called by National Review "one of the best contemporary writers on philosophy," Feser is the author of On Nozick, Philosophy of Mind, Locke, The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism, Aquinas, Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction, Neo-Scholastic Essay, and Five Proofs of the Existence of God, the co-author of By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment, and the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Hayek and Aristotle on Method and Metaphysics. He is also the author of many academic articles. His primary academic research interests are in metaphysics, natural theology, the philosophy of mind, and moral and political philosophy.Feser also writes on politics and culture, from a conservative point of view; and on religion, from a traditional Roman Catholic perspective. In this connection, his work has appeared in such publications as The American, The American Conservative, Catholic World Report, City Journal, The Claremont Review of Books, Crisis, First Things, Liberty, National Review, New Oxford Review, Public Discourse, Reason, and TCS Daily. He is best known for his writings on philosophy, especially his works on neo-scholasticism, and The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism.Ethnophilosophy
Ethnophilosophy is the study of indigenous philosophical systems. The implicit concept is that a specific culture can have a philosophy that is not applicable and accessible to all peoples and cultures in the world; however, this concept is disputed by traditional philosophers. An example of ethnophilosophy is African philosophy.Gustavo Bontadini
Gustavo Bontadini (27 March 1903 – 12 April 1990) was an Italian philosopher, writer, and a teacher. He was born in Milan and died in 1990, aged 87. Bontadini was also an influential representative known for Neo-Scholasticism in the 20th century. From 1951 to 1973, he became a professor of Theoretical philosophy in the Catholic university in Milan. He was also a teacher of Emanuele Severino, Angelo Scola and other Italian people.Johann Nepomuk Oischinger
Johann Nepomuk Paul Oischinger (13 May 1817 – 11 December 1876) was a German Roman Catholic theologian and philosopher who was a native of Wittmannsberg, Bavaria.
Oischinger studied theology and philosophy at the University of Munich, where he had as instructors Franz Xaver von Baader (1765-1841), Joseph Görres (1776-1848), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775-1854), Ignaz von Döllinger (1799-1890), Heinrich Klee (1800-1840), Johann Adam Möhler (1796-1838) and Franz Xaver Reithmayr (1809-1872). In 1841 he received his ordination in Regensburg, and shortly afterwards returned to Munich, where he worked as a private scholar and journalist for the remainder of his career.
His aim in theology was to create a new philosophical system and a scientific offering of Catholic doctrinal concepts, and with the new system he proposed the elimination of what he considered erroneous medieval scholastic features. A number of his writings were harsh criticisms of medieval scholastic theology, in particular the belief system of Thomas Aquinas. He was also the author of polemical writings aimed at contemporary movements that included Neo-Scholasticism and Güntherianism. A few of his numerous publications are as follows:
Grundriss zu einem neuen Systeme der Philosophie (Framework of a New System of Philosophy), 1843
Philosophie und Religion (1849)
Grundriss zum systeme der christlichen Philosophie (Framework for a System of Christian Philosophy), 1852
Die Einheitslehre der göttlichen Trinität (Doctrine of the Anthropomorphic Trinity), 1869José Gaos
José Gaos (26 December 1900 in Gijón, Spain – 10 June 1969 in Mexico City) was a Spanish philosopher who obtained political asylum in Mexico during the Spanish Civil War and became one of the most important Mexican philosophers of the 20th century.
Gaos grew up in Valencia and Oviedo in Spain. His dissertation dealt with the problem of psychologism. He then became philosophy professor in León, at the University of Zaragoza and, since 1933, at the University of Madrid. In 1938, during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), he relocated to Mexico and taught as professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico/UNAM. He was influenced by neo-scholasticism, neo-Kantianism and Husserl's phenomenology, in addition to German philosophers like Martin Heidegger and Nicolai Hartmann and, first and foremost, by his teacher, the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. Other teachers were philosophers Manuel García Morente and Xavier Zubiri.
Gaos also was a prolific translator of German philosophy, contributing to the translation projects of the School of Madrid that had been set up by Ortega. Gaos translated to Spanish the books of philosophers such as: Martin Heidegger (the first Spanish translation of Being and Time), John Dewey, Søren Kierkegaard, G. W. F. Hegel, Max Scheler, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Edmund Husserl.
His collected works (Obras completas) are edited by the UNAM in Mexico City, where also the Gaos-Archive is located.List of philosophies
Philosophical schools of thought and philosophical movements.List of years in philosophy
The following entries cover events related to the study of philosophy which occurred in the listed year or century.Louis-Adolphe Paquet
Louis-Adolphe Paquet (French pronunciation: [pɑkɛt]; also Pâquet; August 4, 1859 – February 4, 1942) was an influential French-Canadian theologian from the late 19th early 20th century, and a major North American proponent and actor in the rebirth of Neo-Scholasticism. Although nowhere as politically influential as his uncle Benjamin Pâquet had been, he was well respected and his opinion helped shape the doctrines and policies of the Canadian church in the early 20th century.Nouvelle théologie
Nouvelle théologie (French for "new theology") is the name commonly used to refer to a school of thought in Catholic theology that arose in the mid-20th century, most notably among certain circles of French and German theologians. The shared objective of these theologians was a fundamental reform of the dominance of Catholic theology by neo-scholasticism, which had resulted in the dominance of teaching by scholastically influenced manuals, criticism of modernism by the church and a defensive stance towards non-Catholic faiths. The influence of the movement was important as a counterpoint to the widespread neo-scholasticism of Catholic thought, especially through its influence on the reforms initiated at the Second Vatican Council.Scholastic
Scholastic may refer to:
a philosopher or theologian in tradition of scholasticism
Scholastic (Notre Dame publication)
Scholastic Corporation, an American publishing company of educational materials
Scholastic Building, in New York City
Jan I the Scholastic (14th c. AD), Duke of OświęcimScholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics ("scholastics", or "schoolmen") of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100 to 1700, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending dogma in an increasingly pluralistic context. It originated as an outgrowth of and a departure from Christian theology within the monastic schools at the earliest European universities. The rise of scholasticism was closely associated with the rise of the 12th and 13th century schools that developed into the earliest modern universities, including those in Italy, France, Spain and England.Scholasticism is not so much a philosophy or a theology as a method of learning, as it places a strong emphasis on dialectical reasoning to extend knowledge by inference and to resolve contradictions. Scholastic thought is also known for rigorous conceptual analysis and the careful drawing of distinctions. In the classroom and in writing, it often takes the form of explicit disputation; a topic drawn from the tradition is broached in the form of a question, opponents' responses are given, a counterproposal is argued and opponents' arguments rebutted. Because of its emphasis on rigorous dialectical method, scholasticism was eventually applied to many other fields of study.As a program, scholasticism began as an attempt at harmonization on the part of medieval Christian thinkers, to harmonize the various authorities of their own tradition, and to reconcile Christian theology with classical and late antiquity philosophy, especially that of Aristotle but also of Neoplatonism. (See also Christian apologetics.)
Some of the main figures of scholasticism include Anselm of Canterbury (the "father of scholasticism"), Peter Abelard, Alexander of Hales, Albertus Magnus, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Bonaventure, and Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas's masterwork Summa Theologica (1265–1274) is considered to be the pinnacle of scholastic, medieval, and Christian philosophy; it began while Aquinas was regent master at the studium provinciale of Santa Sabina in Rome, the forerunner of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum. Important work in the scholastic tradition has been carried on well past Aquinas's time, for instance by Francisco Suárez and Luis de Molina, and also among Lutheran and Reformed thinkers. The historical legacy of scholasticism lay not in specific scientific discoveries, for these were not made, but laying the foundations for the development of natural science.Theological differences between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church
The Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have been in a state of official schism from one another since the East–West Schism of 1054. This schism was caused by historical and linguistic developments, and the ensuing theological differences between the Western and Eastern churches.
Main points of discontent for the Catholic Church are the papal primacy and the filioque clause. For Eastern Orthodox the main point of discontent is voiced by neo-Palamism, which sees the essence-energy distinction, and the experiential vision of God as attained in theoria and theosis, as the main point of divergence between East and West.
Although the 20th century saw a growth of anti-western sentiments with the rise of neo-Palamism, "the future of East–West rapprochement appears to be overcoming the modern polemics of neo-scholasticism and neo-Palamism". Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has generally taken the approach that the schism is primarily ecclesiological in nature, that the doctrinal teachings of the Eastern Orthodox churches are generally sound, and that "the vision of the full communion to be sought is that of unity in legitimate diversity" as before the division.Turkish philosophy
Turkish philosophy has long been affected by Islam and the country's proximity to Greece and ancient Greek philosophy.Wilhelmus Luijpen
Wilhelmus Antonius Maria Luijpen, O.S.A. a.k.a. Nicodemus Wim (Nico) Luijpen (22 May 1922, Hilversum – 29 September 1980, Eindhoven) was a Dutch philosopher and Catholic priest of the Order of St. Augustine. An Existential phenomenologist, Luijpen's works greatly contributed to the spread of Existentialism and phenomenology in Catholic intellectual circles in Europe and in the United States, having influenced generations of Catholic philosophers and theologians.
Having studied at Rome, Paris, Leuven and Fribourg, his intellectual and philosophical formation moved away from Neo-Scholasticism to Existential phenomenology through his study of contemporary Continental thinkers like Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Gabriel Marcel and Jean-Paul Sartre as well as Leuven philosophers like Alphonse de Waelhens and Albert Dondeyne.