Summaries & Keywords

STUDIA GILSONIANA » Issues » 2020 » 9:3 (July–September 2020) » Summaries & Keywords

Anthony A. Akinwale, “Political Philosophy and Human Nature in Thomas Aquinas,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 3 (July–September 2020): 343–374, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090315:

SUMMARY: Taking into account and responding to two sets of objections to Thomas Aquinas’ credentials as political philosopher, the essay examines his political philosophy, its presupposed understanding of human nature, and its portrayal in his philosophy of law. Analysing the defining features of law in Aquinas places before the reader features of human nature, namely, rationality, relationality and religiosity. These traits enable one to find responses to what Charles Taylor has identified as “three malaises” of contemporary society and culture, namely, individualism, instrumental reason, and the political consequences of both.

KEYWORDS: Aristotle, Augustine of Hippo, Charles Taylor, common good, democracy, grace, happiness, individualism, law, legal positivism, military rule, morality, Jean-Pierre Torrell, Marie-Dominique Chenu, Niccolo Machiavelli, Nigeria, Plato, political community, politics, rationality, reason, relationality, religiosity, Thomas Aquinas, virtue.


Mario Di Giacomo, “Alteridad, indigencia y esperanza. Una lectura de la fenomenología de la plegaria según Jean-Louis Chrétien [Alterity, Indigence and Hope. A Reading of the Phenomenology of Prayer According to Jean-Louis Chrétien],” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 3 (July–September 2020): 375–422, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090316:

SUMMARY: This article examines Jean-Louis Chrétien’s conception of prayer within the framework of what has been called “the theological turn of French phenomenology”—Dominique Janicaud’s critical expression against phenomenologies that explicitly or implicitly question what is the foundation of phenomenology: the present. While Chrétien seeks to carry out a phenomenology of prayer, of the religious man, without entering beliefs of a positive religion, Janicaud claims that it is not possible, because behind such an intention there is always God who merely does not want to be called by His name.

KEYWORDS: Jean-Louis Chrétien,Dominique Janicaud, phenomenology, prayer, God, the invisible, theological turn, homo religiosus, Christianity, logos.


Andrzej Maryniarczyk, “The Dispute over Delayed Animation: When Does a Human Being Begin?,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 3 (July–September 2020): 423–465, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090317:

SUMMARY: The dispute over delayed animation, although it has its beginnings already in ancient philosophy and culture, started for good only in contemporary times when the right to kill unborn children (so-called abortion) entered the canon of constitutional law and, what is even stranger, started to be proposed for inclusion into basic human rights. Despite being discussed nowadays mainly in medical and legal sciences, the problem involves disputes of an ethical, religious and ideological nature. In these discussions one can notice a clear lack of anthropological and metaphysical argumentation that would address the question about the beginning of the human being (which entails the question about the beginning of being per se) in the light of common properties that belong to really existing beings, and the metaphysical laws that govern the manner in which things (including human embryos) exist. This article discusses understandings of the human being as they are found in Plato’s, Aristotle’s and Thomas Aquinas’s philosophical anthropology. It is this triad of approaches: Platonic, Aristotelian and Thomistic, that allows one both to notice the specificity of Aquinas’s approach and to resolve the dispute concerning delayed animation.

KEYWORDS: Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, delayed animation, soul, ensoulment, abortion, anthropology, metaphysics, human being, human embryo.


Jason Nehez, “AI Can Never Think: The Uniqueness of Human Thought,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 3 (July–September 2020): 467–492, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090318:

SUMMARY: As the saying goes, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, yet very few assume imitation to be equivalence. An original masterpiece may be worth millions while a copy, no matter how exact the resemblance, would yield just a fraction of the price. I propose that there is more to thought than a machine will ever be capable of. The imitation game, while reproducing an imitation that is something like human thinking and interaction, will never achieve that same unique mode of thinking we experience as human species. This presentation aims to outline some of the hidden assumptions in the Turing Test for the computational theory of mind, explain some of the most popular arguments against the computational model of thought today, provide some original thought experiments, and finally discuss briefly the unique aspects of human thought that may never be able to be replicated in a machine.

KEYWORDS: AI, artificial intelligence, thought, mind, turing, materialism, functionalism, dualism, semiotics, computational theory.


Kaz Kukiela, “Did Aquinas Justify the Transition from ‘Is’ to ‘Ought’? by Piotr Lichacz,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 3 (July–September 2020): 495–498, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090319:

SUMMARY: This paper is a review of the book: Piotr Lichacz, O.P., Did Aquinas Justify the Transition from ‘Is’ to ‘Ought’?(Warszawa: Instytut Tomistyczny, 2010). According to the author, Lichacz’s book provides a comprehensive analysis of Thomas Aquinas’s anthropological and teleological methodology of philosophy. Consequently, it develops a supervenient and normative characteristic of natural finality onto the description of the human being as discovered in the natural sciences.

KEYWORDS: Aristotle, David Hume, G. E. Moore, Piotr Lichacz, Thomas Aquinas, naturalistic fallacy, normative, descriptive, is/ought, natural sciences, anthropology, ontology, teleology, ethics, human nature.


Antonius Alex Lesomar, “Discovery of the Internal Structure of Being by Andrzej Maryniarczyk,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 3 (July–September 2020): 499–506, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090320:

SUMMARY: This paper is a review of the book: Andrzej Maryniarczyk, S.D.B., Discovery of the Internal Structure of Being, trans. Hugh McDonald (Lublin-Roma: PTTA, 2018). According to the author, Fr. Maryniarczyk’s book is (1) a new interpretation of Aristotle’s and Aquinas’s understanding of the internal structure and compositional elements of being, and (2) a recommended reading for students and lecturers of philosophy.

KEYWORDS: Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Andrzej Maryniarczyk, metaphysics, being, matter, form, potency, act, substance, accident, existence, essence, contingency, Absolute.


Jason Morgan, “Meso-Metaphysics and Paradigmatic Environmental Anti-Modernism: Bruno Latour’s Down to Earth and the Rejection, and Embrace, of Metaphysical Necessity,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 3 (July–September 2020): 507–520, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090321:

SUMMARY: Bruno Latour’s latest book, Down to Earth, argues that the Earth itself must “ground” philosophical modernity and provide a “ground” for thinking about globalism and the problems of the globalist agenda. In this review I find the use of the Earth, and of various other stand-ins for metaphysical principles, to be a kind of “meso-metaphysics,” a metaphysics which denies transcendence but all the same makes use of transcendence and operational otherness when needful for a given ideology, such as the radical environmentalism espoused by Bruno Latour. I see this as ultimately a rejection of both metaphysics and of the possibility of science and philosophy, as the conflation of the physical ground with a philosophical ground dooms meso-metaphysics to incoherence.

KEYWORDS: Bruno Latour, Gaia, metaphysics, climate change, Marxo-Hegelian grand narratives, globalism, Vladimir Verensky, anthropocene, Georges Bataille, Gayatri Spivak, Donna Haraway, neo-paganism, anti-Copernican revolution.


Brian Welter, “Saint Thomas en plus simple by Jean-Pierre Torrell,” Studia Gilsoniana 9, no. 3 (July–September 2020): 521–525, DOI: 10.26385/SG.090322:

SUMMARY: This paper is a review of the book: Jean-Pierre Torrell, Saint Thomas en plus simple (Paris: Les éditions du Cerf, 2019). According to the author, (1) Torrell’s book is a straightforward and accessible introduction to Thomas Aquinas in the form of a literary biography, and (2) it acquaints the reader with Thomas’s teachings on God, the human being, the Logos, and on how these fit into the structure of the Summa theologica.

KEYWORDS: Jean-Pierre Torrell, Thomas Aquinas, Thomism, Bible, theology, God, Logos, anthropology, human being.