Thomist Schools FAQ

This FAQ is an attempt to facilitate communication amongst the subscribers of the aquinas@egroups.com list.

Thomistic philosophy is not as unified as it may seem to outsiders. Various schools of thought (or lines of thought, if you will) have developed since the 19th century amongst Thomistic philosophers. Many Thomistic philosophers don't fall neetly into any one school in all of their views, however most do take sides on any one view.

If you'd like to contribute something to this FAQ or make any editorial comments to help enhance this FAQ you are welcome to join us in our discussion of Aquinas and post your contributions or comments. (I especially would like some help with the areas listed as ????)


Roman/Thomism of the Strict Observance

Represented by

R. Garrigou-Lagrange, C. Boyer, J. Gredt, many others.

Characteristic positions

Makes use of act/potency distinction as foundation for metaphysics, acceptance of 24 Thomistic Theses. Aristotelian approach, gives priority to metaphysics over physics or indeed any other science. Emphasis on the Dominican tradition of Commentators, esp. Cajetan, John of St. Thomas. Emphasis on very tight logical presentation of philosophical/theological argument and refutation of modern errors rather than historical exegesis.

Principle Writings

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Active Philosophers

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Web Links

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Thomistic Existentialism

Represented by

Gilson, Pegis, Phelan, Owens, Knasas and to a lesser extent Maritain.

Characteristic positions

Focus of Thomistic metaphysics upon the individual act of existing, in response to earlier (esp. Suarezian) essentialism, treating being as though it were another essence. Emphasis on historical context, exegesis; because of this referred to as Paleo-thomism by some who hold
Roman/Thomism of the Strict Observance.

Principle Writings

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Active Philosophers

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Web Links

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Maritain

Representated by

Maritain, obviously, also, Phelan, Eschmann, Evans, McInerny (?)

Characteristic positions

Synthesis of
Roman/Thomism of the Strict Observance and Thomistic Existentialism. Emphasis upon being as the first thing known, intuition of being, etc. In politics developed personalism, v.s. false humanisms, i.e. whereas communism + capitalism both focus on one or another aspect of the human good, integral (i.e. christian) humanism focuses on the good of the person as such.

Principle Writings

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Active Philosophers

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Web Links

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Laval/River Forest

Represented by

C. De Konick, Weisheipl, Wallace, Ashley.

Characteristic positions

Emphasizes Aristotelian approach, notably through Thomas' commentaries, v.s.
Gilson. Physics precedes metaphysics. Must prove the existence of immaterial being in physics before metaphysics can begin.

Principle Writings

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Active Philosophers

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Web Links

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Participationist

Represented by

Geiger, Fabro, Clarke, Wippel (?).

Characteristic positions

Reaction against an overly Aristotelian reading of Thomas. Emphasis upon the neo-platonic elements in Aquinas' thought. Being of individuals as a participation in the first being, hence a relational notion of being develops.

Principle Writings

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Active Philosophers

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Web Links

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Lublin

Represented by

Pope John Paul II(Karol Wojtyla), Krapiec....

Characteristic positions

Synthesis of modern phenomenology, notably Husserl with thomistic teaching. Emphasis upon the notion of person, esp. a relational notion of person. (Personalism)

Principle Writings

Active Philosophers

Web Links

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I also need some help/info for the Louvain School, the Transcendental School and also where to list the following philosophers(or just put them in their own list): D. Mercier, P. Maréchal, Sertillanges, Y. Congar and M. D. Chenu, Balthasaar, DeLubac, M.Grabmann, J. Pieper, A. F. Utz, E. Welty, S. Ramírez, F. Canals,A. Millán, A. Lobato, O. N. Derisi, A. Caturelli, M. F. Sciacca

If you know of other important schools/philosophers that would be helpful also.



If you'd like some more in-depth background on the development of Thomistic thought since the 19th century, some excellent reading would be: