|Reissued by Ignatius Press: Maritain’s important book “Christianity and Democracy: The Rights of Man and Natural Law”|
Conference-Seminar onJacques Maritain’s The Degrees of Knowledge
Edited by R. J. Henle, S.J., Marion Cordes, and Jeanne Vatterott, 1981
Printed by the Christian Board of Publication, St. Louis, Missouri
(out of print).
Jacques Maritain: The Man and His Metaphysics
Freedom in the Modern World: Jacques Maritain,Yves R. Simon, Mortimer J. Adler
From Twilight to Dawn: The Cultural Vision ofJacques Maritain
The Future of Thomism
Jacques Maritain and the Jews
Freedom, Virtue, and the Common Good
Postmodernism and Christian Philosophy
The Common Things: Essays on Thomism andEducation
The Failure of Modernism: The Cartesian Legacyand Contemporary Pluralism
Beauty Art, and the Polis
Reassessing the Liberal State: Reading Maritain’sMan and State
Faith, Scholarship, and Culture in the 21stCentury
Jacques Maritain and the Many Ways of Knowing
Truth Matters: Essays in Honor of Jacques Maritain
The Vocation of the Catholic Philosopher: From Maritain to John Paul II
|The purpose of theConference-Seminar was not simply to present a symposium of independentpapers on Maritain. Rather, it was to develop an integratedpresentation of his major ideas with critical comment and projecteddevelopments through a serious discussion by Presenters, Discussants,and participants. Each Presenter undertook to provide an authenticpresentation of Maritain’s own thought. The Discussants tested theaccuracy of the presentation, raised problems and questions, anddirected the discussion toward evaluating Maritain’s present and futurecontributions to culture. Since the purpose was to hold a true”seminar,” a concentrated study, each participant was asked to rereadand restudy Maritain’s Degrees of Knowledge before coming to theSeminar.
The Seminar was held at Saint Louis University on May 9-10, 1980, withsome 125 registrants in attendance. It was cosponsored by theDepartment of Philosophy, the Metropolitan College and the McDonnellProfessorship of Saint Louis University and the University of NotreDame’s Jacques Maritain Center.
|The spirit and animationof the French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain is celebrated inthis collection of essays, the first in a series to be published by theAmerican Maritain Association as a continuing project. JacquesMaritain: The Man and His Metaphysicsrecognizes the legacy ofMaritain’s vision, i.e., the engagement of the ideas of St. ThomasAquinas with the 20th century. By publication of this volume, theAmerican Maritain Association continues to not only offer the insightsof the renowned thinker but to make the Association more widely knownas a fellowship that welcomes and engenders the Thomistic vocation.
Articles by noted biographers comprise the first section and offerreaders a glimpse of the forces that led Maritain with his wife Raissato devote their lives to Thomism. The second part features anassessment of Maritain’s study Existence and the Existent,which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary of publication in 1987. Theessays here are grouped thematically to correspond with the chapters ofthat famous work, and contemporary philosophers critically discusstheir main points or creatively utilize their doctrines to addressother issues. Finally, the appendix is a collection of inspiringaddresses given by the Presidents of the American and Canadian Maritainsocieties.
|Nineteen hundredeighty-eight marked three anniversaries: the 55th year since the Frenchpublication of Freedom in the Modern World; the 30th year sincethe appearance of the first volume of The Idea of Freedom; andthe 20th year since work was completed for the posthumous publicationof Freedom of Choice. The year also marked the 50th anniversaryof their authors’ first joint meeting, at a symposium held at theUniversity of Notre Dame. It is most fitting, then, that the AmericanMaritain Association should have returned to that university tocelebrate and assess their achievement, then and now. This book is theresult of that gathering.|
|Over fifty years ago,Jacques Maritain, one of the foremost intellectuals of the twentiethcentury, addressed the issue of the roots of the decline of Westernculture. Confronted by the moral monstrosity of Nazi Germany and theweakness of vision in Western democracies, Maritain assessed theproblem of the decline of Western Culture to be based upon a distortedand disintegrated understanding of human nature. In a now-famous work,The Twilight of civilization, Maritain argued for a reformation inWestern education which would incorporate principles necessary for thesurvival and flourishing of Western democracies.
In October, 1989, members of the American Maritain Association met inSan Francisco to discuss the cultural vision of Jacques Maritain asdisplayed in The Twilight of Civilization. The contents of FromTwilight to Dawn: The Cultural Vision of Jacques Maritain edited byPeter A. Redpath express the important ideas that developed at thismeeting.
|The essays in thiscollection voice the contemporary concerns of those who respect theperennial philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. As with the admirers of St.Thomas through the centuries since his death, the contributors exhibitvaried and even opposing interpretations of his philosophical thought.
The discussions range from various considerations of Thomism in regardto philosophical realism, as well as aspects of Thomistic metaphysicsand ethics, to an exploration of what the future may hold for thephilosophy designated as Thomism.
All contributors agree that the philosophy of St. Thomas offers thebasis for a unique philosophical outlook that is a needed influence onthe turmoil of modern and postmodern philosophical thinking.
Jacques Maritain, one of the most prominent twentieth-century Catholicphilosophers and social theorists, played a crucial role in thedevelopment of modern Catholic teaching about the people of Israel.Today relations between Christians and Jews have reached anhistorically unprecedented cordiality and the seventeen essays in thisvolume reveal the process by which Maritain’s thought and workcontributed to this development. Jacques Maritain and the Jews is athorough survey of the influence Maritain exerted on various personsinside and outside the Catholic Church, as well as the influences ofthe Jewish question on Maritain himself.
Here Maritain’s thought on Jews and Judaism are examined fromhistorical, philosophical, and theological perspectives. Part Iprovides an historical analysis of the development and consequences ofMaritain’s thought regarding the Jews. Spurred by the rise of Nazism inthe 1930s and its virulent anti-Semitism, he became an eloquentspokesman for the rights of Jews, the mystery of Israel, and thespiritual kinship between Jews and Christians. The essays in Part IIfocus on Maritain’s personal relationships with such figures as LeonBloy, Charles Peguy, and Henri Bergson, among others. Here hisreflections on the Dreyfus Affair, Action Francaise, and the FrenchResistance are highlighted, with particular attention given to his workon behalf of Jews during World War II and the Second Vatican Council.The selections included in Part III show how Maritain’s thoughtdeveloped and how it may be extended and applied to the Christian-Jewish dialogue of today.
|This book is “consciousof working toward greater things to come . . . .”
Inspired by the recovery of natural law and virtue ethics in recentethical discourse, certain members of the American Maritain Associationhave written essays to stimulate this recovery further. Their effortsare assembled in this volume, Freedom, Virtue, and the Common Good.Writing under the influence of Jacques Maritain and Yves R. Simon, theyherein examine the requirements of a satisfactory natural law andvirtue ethics, broadly understood as a moral philosophy giving primacyto character-formation and to the development of individual and socialhabits necessary to perfect human life. The ethics herein envisioned isone that must first be grounded in a sound philosophy of the humanperson.
Understanding how a human life should be lived first requires knowingwhat a human life is. This appreciation for experience over theory andinduction over deduction equips a genuine natural law philosophy notonly to examine individual moral life but also the relationship of thatindividual life to social and political authority. This latterrelationship requires an investigation of the nature of the commongood, an important subject for ethical inquiry since it is in the nameof the common good that many injustices have been perpetrated, a factthat many natural lawyers in the past have not always foreseen. Awareof the limitations in many traditional attempts to develop a naturallaw morality, the contributors to Freedom, Virtue, and the Common Goodseek remedies and prescriptions that will commission a natural lawethics for a new age.
The contributors to this volume bring a wealth ofphilosophical insights and methodological approaches to bear on acommon concern, namely, the possibility and extent of a fruitfuldialogue between Christian philosophy and postmodern thought. Theytackle the timely question of how realism ought to respond to thethreat to what Gilson called “the Western Creed” posed by modernity’sheir apparent.
Enriched and invigorated by the insights of St. Thomas Aquinas, JacquesMaritain, Yves Simon, and others, the articles offer a provocativevision of the way in which a world bearing the imprint of modernity cannevertheless avoid succumbing to the false alternative proposed bypostmodernism.
|Concerned with thetrendy, technocratic, and at times sophisticated character ofcontemporary education at all levels, both public and private, theauthors of this collection seek to reinvigorate a Thomistic approach toeducation appropriate to the problems of our day. With its maininspiration taken from the work of Jacques Maritian, especially his1943 Education at the Crossroads, the volume presents a trenchantcritique of the “privacies” of contemporary education, with itsemphasis upon the conventional and useful. At the same time, the essayspresent the outlines of the proper alternative, and education whichhelps students draw out from themselves the desire for truths whichtranscend the contingencies of culture and utility. Such an educationseeks to guide students to “the common things” available to all humanbeings. .
The essays uphold an account of man’s intellectual and affectivecapacities which understands these capacities as naturally ordered totruth. The essays approach the task in different but complementaryways: in critiques of contemporary theories of education, inspeculative accounts of knowledge and learning, in applications oftheory to specific institutional setting, and in discussions of thepolitical contexts governing modern education. In this rich variety ofways, the essays in The Common Things not only point the way back tothe crossroads Maritain spoke of fifty years ago; they go on toindicate something of the landscape along the road not taken bycontemporary education.
This book brings together a distinguished group of philosophers andtheologians to critique several aspects of modernism. The contributorsare influenced by the philosophical tradition inspired by, but notexclusively based upon, the thought of Aristotle and St. ThomasAquinas, and carried on by such contemporary thinkers as JacquesMaritain, Etienne Gilson, and Yves Simon.
The essays address such issues in the contemporary discussion ofmodernism as the foundation and assumptions of Cartesianism; thedefense of realism; the American political tradition, including keythemes of individual rights versus the common good; pluralism,liberalism, and secularism; the problems of skepticism; and socialconstruct theory.
|The essays in thisvolume, indebted in great part to Jacques Maritain and to otherNeo-Thomists, represent a contribution to an understanding of beautyand the arts within the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition. As such theyconstitute a different voice in present day discussions on beauty andaesthetics, a voice which nonetheless shares with many of itscontemporaries concern over questions such as the relationship betweenbeauty and morality, public funding of the arts and their educationalrole, objective and universal standards of what is beautiful.
In the tradition in which the contributors of this volume reflect,beauty manifests itself in the order of the universe, an order thatprovides human reason with a window onto the transcendent. ForAristotle and Aquinas the natural order grounds both art and morality,and yet it is this very order which has been called into question bymodern science and philosophy. Instead of pointing us to a suprahumanorder, the beautiful then points to the order of human freedom andcreativity. Reflection on the beautiful since the modern philosopherImmanuel Kant has thus often taken a subjectivistic turn.
Because of the importance of beauty and art in human existence, inman’s education and life as a moral and political being, an alternativeshould be sought to any reduction of the beautiful to a purelysubjective experience or cultural construct. The Aristotelian/Thomistictradition, in dialogue with modern and contemporary conceptions of thebeautiful, provides us with just that alternative, and thus the essaysherein represent a decisive step in the “journey for Thomisticaesthetics.”
Jacques Maritain (1882-1973), sought to provide a reassessment of theliberal state, uniting Thomistic and Aristotelian traditions with thehuman rights thrust of modern political philosophy. Maritain’spolitical philosophy shows a remarkable resilience and relevance to theissues of the day, offering a deeper philosophical foundation and moreflexible set of tools for analysis than currently provided.
This collection of essays revisits Jacques Maritain’s book, Man andthe State–the University of Chicago Walgreen lectures of 1949–andcritically engages its greatest themes and arguments: the character ofthe modern state and its relation to the body politic, the state’sfunctions and claims, the basis of authority, the foundation of humanrights and natural law, structural pluralism, Church and Staterelations, national sovereignty, and the prospects for worldgovernment.
The contributors address whether Maritain has successfully accomplishedhis project of engaging modernity from the perspective of a 20thcentury disciple of Thomas Aquinas; whether his reformulations andrevisions of the modern state are philosophically sound and prudent;and whether his developments of Aristotle and Aquinas are faithful tothe sources.
| At the end of thenineteenth century some intellectuals argued that scientific progresswould eventually cause the demise of religion. Is is evident that thishas not been the case and that contemporary science is in fact notnecessarily inimical to a religious worldview. So, a fruitful dialoguebetween science and religion has become a reality. But there is a morefundamental question that arises, which is not simply the relationshipof the sciences or of other disciplines to religion, but rather whetherfaith can and should have an impact on teaching and research.
In consonance with the thought of Pope John Paul II, it is thecontention of the scholars whose essays make up this volume that afaith which imbues research and teaching will effect a transformationin themselves, in their students, and eventually in society. Hence, afaith that is fully received, thought out and lived, will penetrateculture; and there is no doubt that present-day culture stands in needof transformation. In fact, the encyclical Fides et Ratio, fromwhich a number of the essays draw inspiration, attributes thesecularization of the West in great part to the separation of faithfrom culture. Now in the twenty-first century, as always, human beings,a have a profound need for meaning and transcendence, a need whichscholarly reflection such as that found in this volume can help tosatisfy.
|Drawing on the writingsof Jacques Maritain–and by extension those of Thomas Aquinas–theessays in this volume examine the effects of theories of knowledge onindividuals, culture, and entire schools of philosophical thought. Thecontributors challenge contemporary epistemologies, which are largelybased on writings of Descartes, Locke, and Kant. They critique thesetheories internally and demonstrate their incompatibility with othergoods, such as liberty, human dignity, and access to the transcendent.
In stark contrast to modernity’s dubious and fragmented opinions andbelief systems, Maritain–in works like The Degrees of Knowledgeand Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry–proposed a theory ofknowledge that permits real, if limited, knowledge of substances,wholes. Some contributors use these works as a springboard from whichto examine aspects or applications of knowledge that Maritain leftunexplored. Others challenge or question aspects of Maritain’s analysisseeking to improve upon his work. Still others compare Maritain withother contemporary philosophers, most notably Etienne Gilson, AlasdairMacIntyre, and Pope John Paul II.
Maritain’s work on human knowledge and the implicit critique ofmodernity contained within provide an alternative for those seeking toengage the various deficiencies of the “culture of death.” These essaysdemonstrate the continuing relevance–and timeliness–of Maritain’sthought.
|…also available …|
Man And The State
“Of time-transcending value, this book is probably the most succinctand clearest statement of Thomistic political theory available to theEnglish-language reader. Written during his exile from war-torn Europe,Man and the State is the fruit of Maritain’s considerable learning aswell as his reflections on his positive American experience and on thefailure of regimes he closely encountered on the Continent.”
“The lectures that were the basis for Man and the State were deliveredat the University of Chicago at a time when Maritain was still in thefirst enthusiasm of his participation in the 1948 Universal Declarationof Human Rights. He devotes particular attention to the concept ofrights, since, historically, rights theories were fashioned to supplantthe natural law theory to which Maritain as a Thomist gives hisallegiance. Maritain provides an ingenious and profound theory as tohow natural law and natural rights can be complementary. For thisreason alone it remains a fundamental contribution to politicalphilosophy, but it is filled with other gems as well. Was Maritain toooptimistic in his appraisal of modernity? Or have we unjustly lost theoptimism that was his? Man and the State is an invitation to rethinkthe way we pose the basic questions of political philosophy.”
—Ralph McInerny, Jacques Maritain Center,