The booklet De unione corporis et spiritus by Hugo de San Víctor is a short work but of a surprising philosophical and theological richness. This is one of the reasons that led us to translate the work we present, which was still unpublished in our language.
Throughout the history of philosophy a series of conceptual dichotomies are formulated around which different aspects of philosophical thought are structured. Let us remember some of them: the one and the multiple, act and power, substance and accidents, spirit and matter, the singular and the universal, nominal and real, and in the field of moral philosophy: individual and society, theory and praxis, praxis and poiesis and many others. It is clear that the relationship or opposition between the different terms of each of the pairs has a different meaning, however, we can say that they are not exclusive terms, but on the contrary, to understand the reality we have to resort to the use of both . On the other hand, certain philosophical positions can be defined by the dialectic opposing exclusion between the two terms or by the reversal of the ontological primacy that corresponds to one of them. To affirm the primacy of the multiple over the one, of the power over the act, or the negation of the substance, reducing reality to a set of accidents, constitute the starting point of certain philosophical currents, especially of modernity.
In Saint-Simon’s philosophy of history one can find some ideas that date back to two old heresies: gnosis and ebionism. Through a strange dialectical synthesis, these doctrines secularized Christian hope about the messianic kingdom, up to becoming immanent ideas of history where the promise is an earthly redemption without any relation with natural order through the idea of progress .In Saint Simon’s works, we appreciate in an eminent way the dissolving and secularizing process of the gnostic-ebionite dialectic in the perspective of an upcoming industrial society.
Avicenna and Thomas Aquinas understand animal intelligence in reference to the activity of vis aestimativa, through which they explain animal behaviour as being consequent to an apprehensive appraisal of its environment. This apraisal must be distinguished from the representative knowledge of the phantasma, because it is not of per se sensed qualities, but per accidens, that Avicenna calls intentiones. Explaining animal behaviour from the vis aestimativa allows to understand it without attributing it to intelligence, which has been classically considered to be exclusive of rational beings’ conceptual knowledge of reality.
Manuducere and Confortare: Teacher’s Actions that Cause Science in the Student’s Intellect Aaccording to Thomas Aquinas
In this paper we study the Thomas Aquinas’s doctrine about teacher, with special emphasis on the two ways in which he communicates science to his disciple. For which, we distinguish between the action by which the student’s intellect can be led step by step to the cognition of an unknown truth (manuducere), and the other action by which the teacher strengthens the learner’s intellect so that it can deduce by itself conclusions from its universal principles (confortare).
Recent scientific claims by evolutionists have led many people to deny that a literal Adam and Eve ever existed. This essay demonstrates: (1) that their real existence remains authentic Catholic doctrine, (2) that this doctrine is essential to the credibility of the Catholic Faith, (3) that the sudden appearance of Adam and Eve is philosophically necessary and scientifically credible, (4) that recent findings in molecular biology need not rule out their literal reality, and (5) that rare interbreeding events may explain present genetic diversity, but might not prove necessary.
There are two predominant traditions whitin the thomistic school that have been developed around the interpretation of Thomas Aquinas’s thesis of the intelectual knowledge of the material individuals: the one that has Cajetan as its prominent representative and the one whose leading exponent is John of Saint Thomas. Although both lines of interpretation assert that the intellection of the material singulars is indirect, the first one says that it is an inappropriate, confusing and discursive knowledge while the second holds that it is proper, distinct and immediate. In the first group we may place Thomas de Sutton, Capreolo and Cajetan while Ferrara, Báñez and John of Saint Thomas followed the second way. The continuation and modifications of these traditions in ongoing thomism, particularly in Jacques Maritain, Cornelio Fabro, Joseph Gredt, Joseph Maréchal and Francisco Canals Vidal are also expounded.
Although Rahner presents himself as a thomist, his metaphysics of knowledge, of a transcendental background, is inspired above all in Heidegger and Maréchal, rather than Thomas Aquinas. This infidelity to the Angelic Doctor is especially demonstrated in the question of being: in fact the being is understood as an indefinable, indefinite and empty concept. He conceives man as spirit, inasmuch as he is opened in advance to the being in general; he identifies being, knowing and the known; and finally he makes an unjustified saltus of the transcendental to the transcendent, falling into pantheism.
Every act of understanding is ordered in a stream of interpretation (a tradition) that makes us able to interpret leading us in a certain way. In the light of this attempt, which will lay the foundation of the Catholic interpretation of the Scripture, we will pause at Book XII of De Genesi ad Litteram, of which it is, in the same movement, a hermeneutical foundation and an exegesis of the Second Letter to the Corinthians, 12, 2-4. Indeed, the careful study of this passage of the Apostle, that St Augustine considers autobiographical, is a deepening of all that he wrote in the previous books about the existence of Paradise.