Sunday, May 13, 2012

Philosophie1 : Introduction à la philosophie réaliste

Philosophie1 : Introduction à la philosophie... by adumouch

Part 2: Philosophie2 : La philosophie de saint Thomas d'Aquin

Philosophie2 : La philosophie de saint Thomas... by adumouch


Alan Aversa said...

Have you read Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.'s Le sens commun: la philosophie de l'être et les formules dogmatiques? It's only in French (and also translated into Spanish).

papabear said...

I have not read it; I did read somewhere that with respect to philosophy G-L was an Aristotelian, but I do not know what sort of formation in philosophy he received.

Alan Aversa said...

Yes, he taught Aristotelian philosophy at the Angelicum for over 50 years. He studied under Fr. Ambroise Gardeil, O.P.

See A Saint in Heaven by Fr. Thomas Crean O.P..

Alan Aversa said...

Here's Ralph McInerny's Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Fr. G.-L.:

Garrigou-Lagrange, Réginald (1887–1964)

Garrigou-Lagrange was a French Dominican who for decades adorned the Angelicum in Rome, where in his courses he commented closely on the Summa theologiae. The spiritual life was a principal interest of Garrigou-Lagrange, and many of his books are devoted to the theology and practice of mystical union with God. Impatient with theological novelty, Garrigou-Lagrange came to be caricatured by the champions of innovators. His own work, solid, careful, illuminating, is a monument to a golden period of the Thomistic revival.

Garrigou-Lagrange was an influential figure in the second phase of the revival of Thomism initiated by Pope Leo XIII’s 1879 encyclical Aeterni Patris. He first studied medicine, then entered the Order of Preachers, where, after studying philosophy and theology, he began in 1905 a teaching career which was to last sixty years. He taught at Le Saulchoir, Belgium, until, in 1909, he was assigned to the Dominican university in Rome, the Angelicum.

Mentor of Jacques Maritain, bête noire of Étienne Gilson and Henri de Lubac, Garrigou-Lagrange was a Thomist of the strict observance. His writings, vast in number, fall into three main classes: philosophical, theological and spiritual. His theological work consists of commentaries on Aquinas, in which he follows the lead of the great commentators of the Dominican Order – Cajetan, John of St Thomas and Báñez – as well as original work in a Thomistic key. His spiritual writings deal with the progressive appropriation of the life of grace leading to mystical union with God. His philosophical works are of particular interest to the philosopher of religion.

In theory of knowledge, Garrigou-Lagrange was an ardent defender of the doctrine of Aquinas which, while taking due account of the contribution of our mind to the object of intellectual knowledge, sees that contribution as modal rather than substantive. The essences or quiddities that are the object of intellectual knowledge are those of really existing things. These essences are individuated in material substances and are universal and immaterial (modally) as known (see Aquinas, T. §11).

Garrigou-Lagrange’s Thomism can best be sampled in the lengthy article he contributed to the Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, which became the basis for his book La Synthèse thomiste (The Thomist Synthesis, 1946). After a bibliographical introduction to the philosophical and theological works of Aquinas, Garrigou-Lagrange significantly discusses the Thomistic commentators. He saw his own efforts as a continuation of a tradition that had been broken and was to be renewed. The ‘metaphysical synthesis of Thomism’ concentrates on act and potency. The bulk of the work deals with Aquinas’ explicitly theological doctrines, following the general plan of the Summa theologiae. It ends with a section devoted to the ‘Twenty-Four Theses’, a list of key tenets of Thomism which had been drawn up by several professors and approved by the Congregation of Sacred Studies as an adequate summary of Thomas’ teaching, and a discussion of epistemological realism.

Alan Aversa said...

Garrigou-Lagrange’s magisterial Dieu, son existence et sa nature (God: His Existence and His Nature, 1915) is a running debate with post-Kantian thought. Thus he defends the epistemological assumptions of proofs for the existence of God before giving a detailed analysis of Aquinas’ Five Ways and discussing the divine attributes. Throughout, Garrigou-Lagrange indicates how Aquinas’ views differ from those of major modern philosophers. The work ends with a discussion of the principle of inertia and conservation of energy, an indication of the author’s concern to deal with apparent difficulties for the assumptions of the traditional proofs of God’s existence. He also argues that agnosticism leads to atheistic evolutionism.

Other works of interest to philosophers of religion are De de uno (The One God, 1937), La prédestination des saints et la grâce (The Predestination of the Saints and Grace, 1936) and Providence et la confiance en Dieu (Providence and Confidence in God, 1935). Le Sens commun (Common Sense, 1921) is at once a defence of realism and an extended engagement with the thought of Bergson and with the Scottish Common-Sense school. Throughout, Garrigou-Lagrange recommends Thomistic positions as preferable to those of the rivals he examines. The work ends with criticism of the modernist interpretation of dogmatic formulas. Le Réalisme du principe de finalité (The Realism of the Principle of Finality, 1932) compares knowledge of natural and supernatural truths. The motto on the title page reads thus: ‘Every being acts for an end, from the grain of sand to God. Our intellect knows its own finality: to judge in conformity with the nature and existence of things and to raise itself to their first cause and ultimate end.’

The style and approach of Garrigou-Lagrange have been deplored by some post-conciliar Catholics. This is in many ways unjust. He is an engaging writer, a thinker of great power, a Thomist who takes the thought of his master to be the answer to some of the twentieth century’s more vexing philosophical divagations. But that, of course, was the message of Aeterni Patris.

McINERNY, RALPH (1998). Garrigou-Lagrange, Réginald. In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from