Summaries & Keywords

STUDIA GILSONIANA » Issues » 2020 » 9:2 (April-June 2020) » Summaries & Keywords

Steven Barmore, “The Silence of Socrates: The One and the Many in Plato’s Parmenides,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 2 (April–June 2020): 209–236, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090208:

SUMMARY: Parmenides was not a metaphysician (he was a materialist), so there is no such thing as Parmenidean metaphysics. Plato’s Parmenides, however, offers metaphysical insights otherwise overlooked by readers unfamiliar to what St. Thomas Aquinas offers concerning the One and the Many. This article highlights some of these insights and will interest students of St. Thomas. It might also acquaint students of Plato to a more perfect metaphysics, and it could even corrode the beliefs of others who maintain that there is no such thing as metaphysics. The fact that none of the sciences may dispense with the first science is brought heavily to bear upon the reader of the Parmenides, who finds it otherwise impossible to resolve any of the difficulties attendant upon reconciling the One and the Many. The many apparent contradictions between the One and the Many displayed in Plato’s Parmenides really cannot be solved without sound metaphysics, and sound metaphysics cannot proceed unaided by St. Thomas and his inheritors. Go to Thomas to understand Plato’s Parmenides.

KEYWORDS: Parmenides, Plato, Thomas Aquinas, Redpath, the One and the Many, unity, being, potency, act, universal, particular, genus, species, virtual quantity.


Thomas J. Gentry II, “Human Dignity, Self-determination, and the Gospel: An Enquiry into St. John Paul II’s Personalism and its Implications for Evangelization,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 2 (April–June 2020): 237–251, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090209:

SUMMARY: St. John Paul II’s (JP II) personalism is explored along the following lines of enquiry: What is personalism vis-à-vis JP II? What is the significance of human dignity and self-determination in JP II’s personalism? How might JP II’s personalism serve evangelization? Findings suggest that JP II’s philosophical personalism, especially at the nexus of its understanding of human dignity and self-determination, provides a robust and faithfully Christian anthropology that can effectively inform efforts in evangelizing all persons, as all persons are image bearers of God that are necessarily self-determining and possessed of profound dignity and worth.

KEYWORDS: John Paul II, personalism, human dignity, self-determination, evangelization, anthropology.


Mark Herrbach, “The Soul of Goethe’s Thought,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 2 (April–June 2020): 253–265, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090210:

SUMMARY: Goethe’s philosophical writings all ultimately stem from his efforts to understand the creative act, which he experienced as essentially the same in all the various forms of activity he engaged in, the writing of his poems, novels and plays, his scientific investigations, his service to the Weimar state and participation in the life of its court. In contemplating his creative experience, he developed a unique conception of the soul, which this article seeks to analyze.

KEYWORDS: Goethe, creative principle, soul, wholeness, legacy of culture (Überlieferung), inborn individuality, real world/ideal world, world soul/God.


Joanna Kiereś-Łach, “The Causes of the Crisis of Rhetoric and Its Role in Social Discourse. In Terms of Chaim Perelman,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 2 (April–June 2020): 267–285, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090211:

SUMMARY: This article is an attempt to answer the question about the causes of the rhetoric crisis and its role in social discourse. The theoretical basis of these considerations and their reference point is the concept of new rhetoric in terms of the contemporary rhetoric and argumentation theorist Chaim Perelman. The first part briefly describes contemporary cultural discourse that takes place in a democratized society in the era of so-called new media. It indicates that inquiry into rhetoric (which started in antiquity) is also inquiry into universal criteria for cultural discourse, as well as the timeless and supra-cultural norms and principles that regulate this discourse (taking into account ongoing social and cultural changes). The second part of the article refers directly to the position of Chaim Perelman on the crisis of rhetoric. Perelman saw the main reason for this crisis in the separation of rhetoric from philosophy. The third part characterizes the new rhetoric in terms of its novelty and timeliness, as well as its reference to classical (Aristotelian) rhetoric. The fourth part points to the application of the concept of new rhetoric in cultural discourse. It discusses Perelman’s concept of universal audience, as well as the problem of concrete and abstract values, the understanding of which by the members of a given audience does or does not enable the communication (consensus) between each other. The end of the article briefly assesses Perelman’s contribution to understanding rhetoric and his role in restoring rhetoric to its rightful place in social discourse.

KEYWORDS: Chaim Perelman, rhetoric, new rhetoric, philosophy, social discourse, communication, crisis of the rhetoric.


Jason Nehez, “In Pursuit of True Wisdom: How the Re-Emergence of Classical Wonder Should Replace Descartes’s Neo-Averrostic Sophistry,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 2 (April–June 2020): 287–315, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090212:

SUMMARY: Modern mathematical physics often claims to make philosophy obsolete. This presentation aims to show that the modern concept of wisdom fundamentally diverges with the thinking of Descartes, that, strictly speaking, at least in his metaphysical first principles, if not in his chief aim, he may be a sophist and no philosopher at all. Descartes denies the classical understanding of philosophy and thereby reduces the human person to an intellect separate from the body. Descartes initiated a popular understanding of sophistry that reverberates to today in our modern institutions of philosophy and science. But St. Thomas Aquinas anticipated this divergence and gave a defense of true wisdom in his writing against Averroes. This presentation concludes with what constitutes real philosophy and science as presented by St. Thomas Aquinas, namely sense wonder that creates a search for the true knowledge of the unity responsible for true causes of true effects. For a true restoration of philosophy and science we will need a reemergence and recovery of this understanding of wisdom.

KEYWORDS: Averroes, Aquinas, Descartes, wisdom, science, skepticism, wonder, metaphysics, one, many.


Brian Welter, “Des vérités devenues folles by Rémi Brague,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 2 (April–June 2020): 319–324, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090213:

SUMMARY: This paper is a review of the book: Rémi Brague, Des vérités devenues folles (Paris: Salvator, 2019). The book is a collection of Brague’s lectures that cover virtue and values, anthropology, nature and creation, and the family and culture. The author highlights that Brague (1) calls his readers back to the profound insights of the medieval mind, and (2) helps them see that their noble and urgent task consists in handing on a living tradition to the next generation and beyond.

KEYWORDS: Rémi Brague, virtue, value, anthropology, nature, creation, family, culture, modernity.


Brian Welter, “Sagesse: Savoir vivre au pied d’un volcan by Michel Onfray,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 2 (April–June 2020): 325–331, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090214:

SUMMARY: This paper is a review of the book: Michel Onfray, Sagesse: Savoir vivre au pied d’un volcan (Paris: Albin Michel, 2019). The author highlights that: (1) by arguing that Roman philosophy surpasses Greek thought on account of its practicality, Onfray sees Roman masculine virtue as part of a solution to the postmodern, post-Christian condition; (2) Onfray’s book provides Christians with understanding why many are tuning out to the Christian message even while feeling dissatisfied with the modern post-Christian world.

KEYWORDS: Michel Onfray, wisdom, Roman philosophy, Greek philosophy, Christianity.