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KLAIPĖDA UNIVERSITY FAcULTY oF HUmANITIES Dialogue of Cultures: Platonic Tradition and Contemporary Thomism Kultūrų dialogas: platoniškoji tradicija ir šiuolaikinis tomizmas Selection of Scientific Articles compiled by Professor Dr. Dalia marija Stančienė Klaipėda, 2015

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Page 1: Dialogue of Cultures: Platonic Tradition and Contemporary ...€¦ · Platonic Tradition and Contemporary Thomism Kultūrų dialogas: platoniškoji tradicija ir šiuolaikinis tomizmas


Dialogue of Cultures: Platonic Tradition and Contemporary


Kultūrų dialogas: platoniškoji tradicija

ir šiuolaikinis tomizmas

Selection of Scientific Articles

compiled by Professor Dr. Dalia marija Stančienė

Klaipėda, 2015

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This edition is recommended for publishing by the Editorial Board of the Faculty of Humanities, Klaipėda University on December 9, 2014, Protocol No. 85

Approved by the Department of Philosophy and Culture Studies, Klaipeda University, on December 8, 2014, Protocol No. 46 H-F-6

Approved by:Professor Dr. Tomas Sodeika, Vilnius UniversityProfessor Dr. Algirdas Degutis, Lithuanian Culture Research Institute

Book design by Ingrida SirvydaitėCover design by Vilius GiedraitisCover photograph by Rita Gorodeckienė

© Klaipeda University, 2015© D. M. Stančienė, 2015

ISBN 978-9955-18-858-2

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Foreword ................................................................................................................ 5

Marija Oniščik ...................................................................................................... 9Some Reflections on the Platonic Principle of Participation in St. Thomas AquinasKeli svarstymai apie platonišką dalyvavimo principą Tomo Akviniečio filosofijoje

Vytis Valatka ........................................................................................................ 27The Very Essence of Universale according to Marcin Smiglecki: Between Aristotelianism and ConceptualismUniversalijos esmė pagal Martyną Smigleckį: tarp aristotelizmo ir konceptualizmo

Tomasz Duma ...................................................................................................... 34The Problem of Relations of Being in the Philosophy of Avicenna and St. Thomas AquinasBūties santykių problema Avicenos ir šv. Tomo Akviniečio filosofijoje

Rūta Marija Vabalaitė ........................................................................................ 43The Influence of Pseudo-Dionysius The Areopagite‘s Concept of Beauty over Aesthetical Thought of Albert the Great and Thomas AquinasPseudo Dionisijaus Areopagiečio grožio sampratos įtaka Alberto Didžiojo ir Tomo Akviniečio estetikos teorijoms

Marc-Antoine Bechetoille OP ............................................................................ 50Les sacrements: Gestes et paroles de la foi. L’hylémorphisme sacramentel dans la théologie du jeune E. SchillebeeckxSakramentai: gestai ir tikėjimo žodžiai. Sakramentinis hylomorfizmas ankstyvojoje E. Schillebeeckx’o teologijoje

Philippe Soual ...................................................................................................... 72L’amour de l’Amour chez AugustinŠv. Augustino Meilės meilė

Māra Kiope .......................................................................................................... 91Truth Experience in the Language of BeingTiesos patirtis būties kalboje

Dalia Marija Stančienė ..................................................................................... 108Thomas Aquinas end Martin Heidegger on the Concept of Esse (Ens), Essentia and ExistentiaTomas Akvinietis ir Martinas Heideggeris apie esatį (ens), esmę ir egzistenciją

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Lina Vidauskytė ................................................................................................ 116Struggle with Words. A Case of Czesław Miłosz and Thomas AquinasKova su žodžiais. Czeslawo Miloszo ir Tomo Akviniečio atvejis

Kevin W. Gray ................................................................................................... 125The Purpose of Law: Hart, Finnis and the Debate over Natural LawĮstatymo tikslas: Hart, Finnis ir debatai dėl prigimtinio įstatymo

Arkadiusz Gudaniec ......................................................................................... 135M. A. Krąpiec’s Philosophical Anthropology and the Turbulent Currents of Contemporary Culture. A Presentation of an Eminent Philosopher and His Original Philosophy of ManM. A. Krąpiec’o filosofinė antropologija ir sukūringos šiuolaikinės kultūros srovės. Žymaus filosofo ir jo originalios žmogaus teorijos pristatymas

John F. X. Knasas .............................................................................................. 144Is Aquinas an Ideologue?Ar Akvinietis yra ideologas?

Zbigniew Pańpuch ............................................................................................ 151Can Thomistic Ethics be the Foundation of a Secular Society? Ar tomistinė etika galėtų būti pasaulietinės visuomenės pamatas?

Ernesta Molotokienė ......................................................................................... 156The Application of Thomistic Ethics in Media: the Problem of Consumer’s/ Creator’s Moral ResponsibilityTomistinės etikos principų taikymas medijose: vartotojo/kūrėjo moralinės atsakomybės problema

Rudolf Larenz ...................................................................................................168Thomism and Physics – Match or Mismarriage?Tomizmas ir fizika – santuoka ar skyrybos?

Gintautas Vyšniauskas ...................................................................................... 183The Metaphysics of Light and DarknessŠviesos ir tamsos metafizika

Contributors ......................................................................................................189

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On June 28–29, in Klaipeda University (Lithuania), the international scientific conference Dialogue of Cultures: Platonic Tradition and Contemporary Thomism took place. It was organised by the Philosophy and Cultural Science Department of Klaipeda University together with Houston (the USA) University of St. Thomas, and International Thomas Aquinas Association (Italy, SITA). During the conference, speakers from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, France, the United Arab Emirates and US institutions of higher education delivered their reports, sixteen of which were selected as articles for the following collection. Their authors consider the current philosophical, moral and linguistic problems of intercultural dialogue looking at them through the prism of Platonic aspect of Thomistic philosophy.

Four articles in the collection focus on the topic of the conference which is Neo-Platonism and Thomism. The representative of Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania) Marija Oniščik demonstrates Aquinas’s “Platonism” analysing the concept of participation as “the main “Platonic” theme of his philosophy”. Vytis Valatka from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (Lithuania) is not so much interested in Thomas Aquinas as in a representative of scholastic logic in Lithuania Marcin Smiglecki, in the way of his treatment of universals. Valatka concludes that Smiglecki’s position is intermediate between moderate realism and conceptualism. Tomasz Duma, a representative of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland), focuses attention on the transcendental relations between essence and existence in Thomas Aquinas philosophy and comes to the conclusion that the mentioned relation “provides a resolution to the question of the entire structure of metaphysics because it determines that upon which the most fundamental apprehension of reality as such should concentrate”. A research fellow of the Lithuanian Culture Institute Rūta Marija Vabalaitė analyses the influence of Pseudo-Dionysian concept of beauty over aesthetic thinking of Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas as well as over contemporary aesthetics. In conclusion she claims: “the concept of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite of dissimilarity of the similar retains the actuality for the contemporary interpretations of the aesthetics of the ugliness, explaining how images of low, ugly, and mean things can suggest higher spirituality, which always used to be a part of reality referred by beauty”.

Two research articles are on Neo-Platonism and Patristics. Marc-Antone Bechetoille OP (Dominican Province of France) maintains that the spontaneous link of hylomorphism with a physical constitution of sacrament leads to misunderstanding which should be corrected by relating the form with the intention of celebrating community and matter – with the ritual gestures and words. Philippe

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Soual from the Catholic Institute of Toulouse (France) considers the Augustinian concept of love as one of the most important to philosophy.

Two of the authors have analyzed the issue of Transcendental philosophy and contemporary Thomism. The report of Mara Kiope from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of Latvia University deals with the problem of Truth in the context of mutual mirroring of Language of Being and of Being or ontology of language in hermeneutics of H. G. Gadamer. Also it investigates the understanding of the Truth by Latvian Brazilian jesuit Stanislavs Ladusans. Representative of Klaipėda University (Lithuania) Dalia Marija Stančienė analyses Thomas Aquinas’s concepts of ens, essence and existence and their interpretation by Martin Heidegger.

Much attention has been given to the influence of Thomas Aquinas on the contemporary thinkers. Lina Vidauskytė from Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania) comparing Czeslaw Milosz’s poetry with Thomas Aquinas’s philosophy comes to conclusion that they both “lost the struggle with words”. Representative of American University of Sharjah (the United Arab Emirates) Kevin W. Gray criticises the attempt of John M. Finnis to defend a methodological account of Thomistic interpretation of natural law against Herbert L. A. Hart and Brian Leiter. He argues that Finnis’s approach hides three fallacies, which he considers at length. Arkadiusz Gudaniec, a representative of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland), argues for the sake of philosophical anthropology as it is understood by originator of 20th century Lublin School of Philosophy Prof. Mieczyslaw Krąpiec OP. Gudaniec claims that the philosophical anthropology developed by Krąpiec can be the reference point for the humanities, for it provides a neutral vision of man and is autonomous in relation to theology.

Consideration has been given to ideological, ethical and scientific aspects in Thomism. John F. X. Knasas, a member of the Center for Thomistic Studies University of St. Thomas, Houston (USA), defends Thomas Aquinas as philosopher against the claim of contemporary Lithuanian philosopher Arvydas Šliogeris that Aquinas’s philosophy does not meet the standards of genuine philosophy as free search for truth. Representative of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland) Zbigniew Panpuch is concerned with the applicability of Thomistic ethics for a secular society. He maintains that such applicability exists; for “the Thomistic ethics in its natural part gives the realistic moral theory based on realistic metaphysics of being and man”. Ernesta Molotokienė, a representative of Klaipeda University (Lithuania), proposes Thomistic ethics as a basis for media ethics. She argues that Thomism could provide a clear and rational system of Christian values and prevent spreading of moral irresponsibility especially within the field of internet activities. Rudolf Larenz (Prelature of Opus Dei, Helsinki, Finland) pays attention to the division within contemporary physics into experimental and mathematical

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branch. According to him, “this represents a serious lack of internal unity”. And he argues that the updated Thomistic doctrine of hylomorphism could “build up the internal unity of physics“. Representative of Klaipėda University (Lithuania) Gintautas Vyšniauskas tries to “rehabilitate” darkness bringing into account the latest achievements of astrophysics. He challenges the old metaphysical tradition of identifying darkness with evil claiming that dark matter and energy is the media of the media without the message and hypothesizes that, might be, dark matter and energy is not a matter at all but something like spirit.

Prof. Dr. Gintautas Vyšniauskas


The Compiler of this publication is particularly grateful to Lithuanian Council of Science, Klaipeda University, International Thomas Aquinas Association (Italy, SITA), University of St.Thomas (Houston, USA) and authors of the articles for the assistance in organizing the conference and contribution to this publication.

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MARIJA ONIŠČIKVytautas Magnus University, Lithuania



SUMMARYThe article deals with the main “Platonic” theme in Aquinas – the notion of participation which plays the crucial role in establishing the ontological unity of his worldview, known as “participational metaphysics”. A brief historical survey of some 20th century Thomistic investigations of the field presents the classifications, made by C. Fabro and L-B. Geiger, and shows the importance of liberating the doctrine of the primacy of esse from essentialist suppositions. The article analyzes some texts by Thomas Aquinas from his Summa contra gentiles, Prima pars of Summa theologiae, The Commentary on Liber de causis, and The Exposition of De hebdomadibus dealing with the problem of causality, the conception of a thing as a composition, and the Platonic aspects of the Thomistic doctrine of creation.

KEY WORDS: participation, Platonism, esse, entity, causality, creation.

SANTRAUKAStraipsnyje nagrinėjama viena svarbiausių „platoniškųjų“ temų T. Akviniečio filosofijoje – dalyvavimo sąvoka, kuri atlieka lemiamą vaidmenį formuojant jo pasaulėvaizdžio ontologinę vienovę, žinomą kaip dalyvavimo metafizika. Trumpa kai kurių XX a. tomistinių šios srities tyrinėjimų istorinė apžvalga pristato C. Fabro ir L. B. Geigerio pateiktą dalyvavimo klasifikaciją ir parodo, kaip svarbu išlaisvinti doktriną apie esse primatą nuo esencialistinių prielaidų. Straipsnyje analizuojami kai kurie T. Akviniečio tekstai iš jo „Summa contra gentiles“, „Summa theologiae“ pirmosios dalies, komentarų „Liber de causis“ ir Boethijaus „De hebdomadibus“, kur nagrinėjama priežastingumo problema, daikto, kaip kompozito, samprata ir tomistinės sukūrimo doktrinos platoniškieji aspektai.

RAKTAŽODŽIAI: dalyvavimas, platonizmas, esse, būtybė, priežastingumas, sukūrimas.

A search for “Platonism” in Aquinas inevitably leads to the topic of participation which is not only the main “Platonic” theme of his philosophy but also the one that elucidates his entire onto-theological project of bringing together the natural and the supernatural “storeys” of the world and establishing the unity of the worldview. One can say with Fran O’Rourke, that in Plato, the principle of participation “is the foundation and coping-stone of his entire vision; it becomes the same for Aquinas”2. Since the issue of participation in Aquinas is incredible vast, I am going to present here only some relevant texts and problems.

1 Tyrimą finansuoja Lietuvos mokslo taryba (sutarties Nr. MIP-14440).2 Fran O’Rourke, Aquinas and Platonism. In: Contemplating Aquinas. On the Varieties of

Interpretation. Ed. by Fergus Kerr, London: SCM Press, 2003, p. 267-268.

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An interest in St. Thomas’s “Platonism” began about seventy years ago and resulted in the valuable studies by such outstanding Thomistic scholars as Cornelio Fabro, C.P.S., L.-B. Geiger, O.P, Joseph De Finance, Louis De Raeymaeker, Arthur Little, S.J., W. Norris Clarke, S.J., and Robert J. Henle, S.J. Although they came from the different schools and represent the different trends of the 20th century Thomism, all of them emphasized the special role of esse in Aquinas trying to explain it in terms of participation. And, in spite of their being deeply rooted in the tradition of treating Thomas as Aristotelian, all of them have been speaking of “the unmistakable indebtedness of the Angelis Doctor to the Neo-platonic tradition”3. This “debt” had become more and more recognizable, and finally it has been generally admitted that “Thomas was neither Platonist nor Aristotelian; he was both”4.

The fruitful insights and the important discoveries emerged in the time of these “classical” studies on Thomistic participation. First of all, the need to discriminate between different levels and types of participation found in Aquinas was met with the variety of classification by Fabro and Geiger.

Fabro proposed two divisions. First is the division into “predicamental” and “transcendental” participation that corresponds to the division of the “predicamental” causality in the composition of matter and form and of substance and accident, and of the “transcendental” causality, the correlate of which is seen in the composition of essence and esse. The “transcendental” type denotes the “participation of esse by that-which-is”5. The “predicamental” order includes, e.g., for man, animality and corporeity, and the “transcendental” one – life, intelligence and esse6. Fabro used the vocabulary of traditional Aristotelian ontology: the first type is applied to “predicaments” and the second to “transcendentals”.

The second division was found by Fabro in De ente et essentia, the text that does not speak directly about participation. In Fabro’s view, of three arguments for real distinction between esse and essentia two are arguments from participation: one from the “static” (or “structural”) and the other from the “dynamic” participation. By “static” he meant the participation of a thing in its act of being, building its inner “structure”. The question is whether the relation between a thing and its esse can be explained in terms of participation at all. According to Fabro, namely this type of participation marks out the specific Thomistic interpretation of Boethian 3 Norris W. Clarke, S.J., The Meaning of Participation in St. Thomas. In: Proceedings of the

American Catholic Philosophical Association 26, 1952, p. 147.4 Josef Pieper, Guide to Thomas Aquinas. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press,

1987, p. 22.5 Cornelio Fabro, C.P.S., Participation et causalité selon S. Thomas d’Aquinas. Louvain:

Publications universitaires de Louvain, 1961, p. 52.6 Helen James John, The Thomist Spectrum. New York: Fordham University Press, 1966,

p. 101-102.

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theme, establishing the real distinction between participans and participatum, in opposition to the commonly known “simple expression of the dependence of the creature upon Creator”. The latter is what was meant by the “dynamic” participation, the participation of potency in act as when essence receives its esse from God7.The distinction is not at all clear, because both “types” can be described as a relationship between potency and act: in the first case, as an inner in a thing which is a composite, in the second case, as an outer between a created thing and esse subsistens. The conclusion was meant in the first place for the real distinction between essence and its esse thought in terms of participation, and only “afterwards” for the “dynamic” account of thing’s dependence on the ultimate cause of its being, which in the last analysis coincides with the “transcendental” type of participation.

With Geiger we have the division of “participation by composition” and “participation by similitude or by formal hierarchy”. The first clearly corresponds to Fabro’s “static” (and “predicamental”) participation that constitutes the structure of a thing as a composite, as, e.g., the relation of matter and form. The second corresponds to Fabro’s “dynamic” or “transcendental” participation and involves the “participated status of an essence”8 Geiger’s important contribution consists of the preference he gave to participation “by formal hierarchy”.

It should be observed that all of the division are reducible to two different constitutive modes. Participation “inside” a thing as a composite is what makes a thing “what it is”, a substance; and participation “outside” a thing is what makes a thing to be. One can easily notice that the first mode is essentially Aristotelian and hardly deserves a name of “participation” at all. In order to dig up what is specifically Platonic in the thought of Aquinas we have to concentrate on the second and “proper” mode of participation. However, since the issue of participation emerges as an effective method of “reconciliation” of Aristotelian and Platonic worldview, both modes are important.

Hence, another rather important point, originated with the research in participation, is that of limitation of a “stronger” element of a composite by a “weaker” one. Already in 1935 De Raeymaeker stated “that the notion of participation, through the principle of the limitation of act by potency, constituted the foundation for the whole of metaphysics”9 Geiger’s “participation by composition” involves limitation: “Where the receiving subject is less perfect that the element received, this latter must be limited by the capacity of the subject”, as, for example, form is limited by matter10.

7 Ibid, p. 93-94.8 Ibid, p. 109. See L.-B. Geiger, O.P. La Participation dans la philosophie de S Thomas d’Aquin.

Paris: Vrin, 1942, p. 28-29.9 Cit. H.-J. John. Op. cit., p. 123.10 H.-J. John. Op. cit., p. 109. See L.-B. Geiger. Op. cit., p. 28.

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The resulted “equation of finite being with its essence”11 is implied not only in Geiger’s position but in the other’s as well. Fabro spoke about the limitation of being (esse) by the instances which determinate it. In a composite, it is an essence of a thing, which specifies and limits its being12. From the point of view of the “outer” participation, the limitation is imposed on infinite esse by a finite entity. However, a thing is expressed in terms of its essence. Hence, although the distinguished Thomistic scholars were in a search of the metaphysic of esse, all were looking with Aristotelian eyes in trying to reach and establish the primacy of esse from the essentialist position. Later explorations of the field, made by Fran O’Rourke, David Burrell, and others add some important insights conductive to seeing Aquinas as less “Aristotelian” and more original thinker however deeply rooted in the Platonic tradition.


While “there is no clear evidence that he made use of any of the three works of Plato available to the Latin West in the thirteenth century”13, namely, Timaeus (actually only part of it, up to 53c), Phedo and Meno, it is known that “Aquinas spent years studying Aristotelian and Neo-Platonic positions and put them both to use within a theological”14, or rather “onto-theological” project. Aquinas proved to be “a long-standing close reader of strikingly Neo-Platonic texts”15. It was Albert the Great, who introduced young Thomas to Neo-Platonism. While at Paris (1245-1248), he attended Albert‘s lectures on Celestial Hierarchy of Pseudo-Dionysius. Then, studying under Albert at Cologne (1248-1252), Thomas heard his lectures on the Divine names and, presumably, on Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. Along with Pseudo-Dionysius, the other sources of Neo-Platonic influence on Thomas were Boethius, Arabic authors, Moses Maimonides, St. Augustine, and the anonymous Book of Causes (Liber de causis, probably Arabic, written around 850 and translated into Latin in the 12th century by Gerard of Cremona). To this list one can add the theological sources which are reflected in the commentaries to Scripture.

Boethius was the first to comment on: The Exposition of De hebdomadibus of Boethius was written by Thomas in 1257. Then went the Summa, the very framework of which showing the emergence (by creation or emanation) of creatures from God and their return to him, is definitely Neo-Platonic in character. “Aquinas prepared for this project by writing a commentary on Dionysius’s Divine Names”16, 11 H.-J. John. Op. cit., p. 113.12 See Ibid, p. 91.13 Ibid, p. 249.14 John Inglis, On Aquinas. Belmont: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2002, p. 21.15 Ibid, p. 19.16 Ibid, p. 10.

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most probably, in 1265. Together with the Prima Pars of the Summa the Disputed Questions on the Power of God were written in Rome in 1266-1268. Thomas’ Commentary on the Book of Causes, together with the De substantiis separatis belongs to his last works (the Book was written in 1272 and the unfinished De substantiis – in 1270-1273) and sums up much of his “participational metaphysics”. What Thomas was looking for during all his career is “how creatures participate in the divine”17. The issue is crucial for all range of philosophical problems: for his theory of language and of analogy, for anthropology, including theory of knowledge and ethics, and, first and foremost, for his ontology or “worldview” on the “the whole of beings” (totius entis)18, that overcomes the “two-storey’s” picture of the world.


The general “rule” of participation runs as following: “Whatever is of a certain kind through its essence is the proper cause of what is of such a kind by participation. Thus, fire is the cause of all things that are afire. Now, God alone is actual being through divine essence itself, while other beings are actual beings through participation”19.

Now, “to be of a certain kind” refers to the essence or “whatness” of a thing. Here we have an answer to the question “what is?” To be a fire is the essence of a fire, and to participate in a fire is to become a fire to a certain degree (the gradation is very important here and it comes with limitation by participating of participated). However, a thing of its own proper essence (e.g., wood) does not become a fire strictly speaking; it does not receive an essence of a fire, but a quality of a fire by participating in it, so that we can say “The wood is afire”, a participated quality being a predicate in a proposition. So, there is no real “becoming” in this type of participation.

However, things really become something, come into being as something by participation in that which is something in such a way that “to be” and “to be something” are connected to make its identity. An actual account for the thing’s proper “whatness”, based on participation (and omitted in the given quotation), would be the Platonic one: participated ousia exists as the “other” outside of the thing itself.

Finally, the same principle accounts not only for things being “something”, but for the most fundamental, the most basic and simple, and the least accessible fact of their being at all, giving an answer to the question “Why is there something 17 Ibid, p. 19.18 STh I, q. 45, a. 1.19 SCG III, 66: Quod est per essentiam tale, est propria causa eius quod est per participationem

tale: sicut ignis est causa omnium ignitorum. Deus autem solus est ens per essentiam suam, omnia autem alia sunt entia per participationem. The English translation is taken from: Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles. Trans. by V. Bourke. Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1956.

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rather than nothing?”. No matter, whether we consider “existence itself” or “existence of an individual”20, that is, being “outside” or being “inside” of a thing, by participation these two are united. From the Aristotelian point of view, this is a difficult issue for Thomas as well as for his commentators.

Besides, we are tempted to take existence for a predicate like others. “Whatever is of a certain kind” could be taken as “whatever is of a kind of an entity”. There is nothing wrong with the expression; everybody does not agree that “entity” is not a “kind”. Thomas is aware of three different ways of using the word “to be”: as a copula, as a mark of identity, and as an existential quantifier.

The Platonic universe (“outside” of a particular thing) is commonly understood as constituted by twofold order of participation with vertical and horizontal relations at both levels: empirical and non-empirical. This however is oversimplified picture. As derived from Timaeus, the Neo-Platonic hierarchy consists of four levels: body, soul, intellect, and the divine unity in which goodness, life, and existence is unified. Thomas has an accurate knowledge of this hierarchy which, as he puts it in the Commentary on the Book of Causes, establishes “unity in God and distinction in the order of intellect, soul and body”21.

Thomas is interested in the Neo-Platonic hierarchy very much to make sense of it, for his rather “Aristotelian” knowledge of so-called “Platonism” makes him anxious about misunderstanding the point. First of all, “it should be remembered that Plato held that the universal forms of things are separate and subsist in themselves” 22. Secondly, these “suspicious” separate forms make a hierarchy and are endowed with the power of causality on each level. “In accordance with the order of forms, the Platonists posited the order of separate substances; for example, there is a single separate substance, which is horse and the cause of all horses, whilst above this is separate life, or life itself, as they term it, which is the cause of all life, and above this again is that which they call being itself, which is the cause of all being”23. In other words, the Platonic universal forms “have a kind of

20 Fran O’Rourke. Op. cit., p. 261.21 In Liber de causis 3: unitatem in Deo constituit, distinctionem autem in ordine intellectum

et animarum et corporum. The English translation is taken from: Thomas Aquinas. The Exposition of The Book of Causes, 1–5. Trans. by R. McInerny. In book: Thomas Aquinas, Selected Writings. London: Penguin Books, 1998, p. 787-810.

22 Ibid. 3: Ad cuius evidentiam sciendum est quod Plato posuit universals rerum formas separatas per se subsistentes.

23 STh I, q. 65, a. 4: Et secundum ordinem formarum ponebant platonici ordinem substantiarum separatum: puta quod una substantia separate est quae est equus, quae est causa omnium equorum; supra quam est quaedam vita separate, quam dicebant per se vitam et causam omnis vitae; et elterius quondam quam nominabant ipsum esse, et causa omnis esse. Unless otherwise is stated, the English translation (sometimes slightly changed) of the Summa is taken from: Thomas Aquinas, The Summa Theologica. Trans. by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. Chicago: Encyclopeaedia Britannica, 1952.

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universal causality over the particular beings which participate in them” 24. Hence two rather “Aristotelian” points arises here: one of causality (“outside”) and the other of “composition” (“inside”). An actual horse must at least be composed of “horseness”, life and being.


The problem of causality arises because of the temptation to think that by participation each upper level of the hierarchy “creates” the lower one. Thomas argues that this would be to “badly understand what is said here”. The “right” point is that “participation” means a causal relation to “that which is through its essence primary such”25. And although it seems that, accepting the Platonist view, we are to posit “three levels of superior beings [esse]”26, this is not correct. Thomas notes that, according to Dionysius, “good itself, being itself, life itself, wisdom itself are not different but one and the same being, who is God”27.

Here we are still speaking about the set of the “universal” (or “transcendental”) properties, among which existence is posited. The remaining questions are those of the origin of the essence (say, “horseness”) of a particular thing, of its essential and accidental properties, and, above all of placing “the existence commonly participated in by all existing things”28 in the privilege position in the set. Thomas draws on the Books of Causes in Summa saying that “neither intelligence nor the soul gives us being, except in so far as it works by divine operation”29.

Secondary causality is at work when “it happens <...> that something may participate the proper action of another not by its own power, but instrumentally, in so far as it acts by the power of another”30. However, the secondary cause cannot be a cause of being, “because the secondary instrumental cause does not participate in the action of the superior cause, except in so far as by something proper to itself it works to dispose the effect of the principal agent”. The example of a saw which in cutting wood “by the property of its own form” (for cutting) nevertheless

24 In Liber de causis 3: Et, quia huismodi formae universals universalem quamdam causalitatem, secundum ipsum, habent supra particularia entia quae ipsas participant.

25 Ibid. 3. Huiusmodi enim sausalitates simplicium entium ponebant secundum participationem; participatur autem non quidem id quod est participans, sed id quod est primum per essentiam suam tale.

26 Ibid. 4: triplicem gradum superioris esse.27 Ibid. 3: sententiae Dionysii supra positae, scilicet quod non aliud sit ipsum bonum, ipcum

esse et ipsa vita et ipsa sapientia, sed unim et idem quod est Deus.28 Ibid. 4: esse participato communiter in omnibus existentibus.29 STh I, q. 45, a. 5: neque intelligentia vel anima nobimis dat esse, nisi inquantum operator

operatione divina.30 Ibid: Contingit autem quod aliquid participet actionem propriam alicuius alterius, non virtute

propria, sed instrumentaliter, inquantum agit in virtute alterius.

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“produces the form of a bench” not by itself but by an action of a carpenter, whose it is an instrument31.

The resulting schema is summed up by David Burrell as following: “Whatever is is inanimate, animate, or intelligent, in the sense that something may simply exist, or exist as a living being, or as an understanding being”. In other words, an entity is “being in all that he is”32. In Aristotelian terms, this would be the “levels of formal cause” that let itself for two interpretations of participation, called by Burrell the “additive” and the “virtual”. Apparently, Aquinas votes for the latter. It is not by the “adding” of participating and participated levels of beings in a chain of secondary causes, but by the ascending virtuality (in the Thomistic sense of implicit actuality) of the “modes of existing”, more and more “fully realising the reaches of being”33. O’Rourke speaks about “the motif of the virtual presence” in Plato, adapted by Aquinas to the extent of “the dependence of every secondary mode of being upon the perfection of being,” and ultimately of “the participation of all creature in subsistent divine being (ipsum esse subsistens)”34.

The decisive argument for Burrell is one of unity of Aristotelian “substantial form”:

Indeed, contrary to the prima facie sense of the Liber de causis, levels of being are not separable or substract-able. Take away life from a living thing and it remains inanimate for a very short while; indeed, what is left begins to decompose into elements and is soon no longer identifiable as one thing. This fact supports the virtual picture: being expresses itself in different ways. Moreover, if “higher levels” were simply added, what would make the resultant being one sort of thing? This is what Aristotle meant by the “unity of substantial form”35.

So, the determinant point is that “the bestowal of being [esse] by the first cause is an orderly bestowal, yielding an inherent order structuring each existing thing so that higher levels are implicit in lower. Indeed, were this not the case, were being not an abundant source expressing itself in different ways, then existing would have to be pictured (as many do) as something added to a potential thing”36. Such a picture would be “doubly redundant”, for it presumes, first, “potential things” being “before something exists” (these would be some pre-existing “possible essences”); and second, makes existence an additional feature, an “accident” or a predicate. Burrell points out than the expressions used by Thomas himself, such 31 Ibid: Sic enim videmus quod sucuris, scindendo lignum, quod habet ex proprietate suae

formae, producit scamni formam, quae est effectus proprius principalis agentis.32 David B. Burrell, Aquinas’s Appropriation of ‘Liber de Causis’ to Articulate the Creator as

Cause-of-Being. In book: Contemplating Aquinas. On the Varieties of Interpretation. Ed. by Fergus Kerr. London: SCM Press, 2003, p. 78.

33 Ibid, p. 78-79.34 Fran O’Rourke. Op. cit., p. 262.35 David B. Burrell. Op. cit., p. 79-80.36 Ibid.

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as “receiving esse” (one may add “having esse”) are rather risky. Actually, “such an order is not imposed but inherent, as existing is not an added feature but an inherent gift”37. Such is a true sense of the Thomistic notion of “participation”.


In the treatise on creation in the Prima pars of his Summa Thomas relates participation to exemplary, efficient and final causality38. This, however, is not sufficient for the account of how being (esse) of each particular thing participates in ipsum esse subsistens. So, he speaks of the “universal” causality that is in work in creation. As Burrell puts it, Aquinas “realised full well that none of Aristotle’s four causes could describe the act of creating”. For Aristotelian causality “always presupposes a subject upon which to work. So Aquinas needed a conception of causality not available from Aristotle <....>; indeed, a cause-of being”39. Certainly, Thomas is very well aware of the point, when he says: “The ancient philosophers <...> considered only the emanation of particular effects from particular causes, which necessarily presuppose something in their action <...>. But this has no place in the first emanation from the universal principle of things”40 Thus, O’Rourke is not correct when he states that Aquinas “transforms participation by equating it with the efficient causality of creation”41. Rather one can speak about expansion of the Aristotelian efficient causality to the “universal” causality of participation.

The usage of the word “emanation” in the creationist context is rather persisting in the Summa and in the Commentary on the Book of Causes42. The question 45 of the Prima pars in Summa is dedicated to “the mode of the emanation of things from the First Principle, and this is called creation”43. The project of the Book of Causes is related by Thomas to that of Pseudo-Dionysius. Both had the aim to properly turn Neo-Platonic emanation into creation: Pseudo-Dionysius – in respect of the Creator, and the author of the Book – in respect of the creature. The hypothesis is that using the term Thomas wants to “reconcile” Platonic participation and Aristotelian causality.

37 Ibid, p. 80-81.38 See STh I, q. 44.39 David B. Burrell. Op. cit., p. 77.40 STh I, q. 45, a. 2, ad 1: antiqui philosophi <...> non consideraverunt nisi emanationem

effectuum particularium a causis particularibus, quas necesse est praesupponere aliquid in sua action. <...>. Sed tamen hoc locum non habet in prima emanation ab universali rerum principio.

41 Fran O’Rourke. Op. cit., p. 270.42 Burrell has a problem with Thomas using the Neo-Platonic term “emanation” for some

reasons. First, creation cannot be a process in time, and emanation can. Second, emanation should be necessary and creation is free. See David B. Burrell. Op. cit., p. 76.

43 STh I, q. 45, prol.: de modo emanationis rerum a primo principio, qui dicitur creation.

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Let us examine more closely the question 44 of the treatise on creation of the Summa. Thomas begins his response in the first article of the question by telling that esse of a thing is participated: “It should be said that we must affirm that whatever in any way exists is from God, for if something is found to be in a thing through participation, it must be caused in it by that which essentially is that something, as iron is heated by fire”44. “In any way exist”, (similarly to the already discussed locus from Summa contra gentiles), refers to a substance as a composite as well as to any elements of a composite, say the essence of a thing, or its accidental property.

Now God is a subsistent existence and as such is unique existence per se. What does it mean to be a “unique existence”? Thomas tries to explain his point by turning to distinctively Platonic terms: “just as if there were a subsistent whiteness [say, the “idea” or the Form of whiteness] there could only be one, since whiteness are multiplied by recipients”45. That is, multitude of white particulars receives their whiteness from one “idea”, and that is why we can predicate this attribute to them. Whiteness is a universal that can be predicated of particulars. Existence, however, is neither a predicate, nor a universal. The fact does not stop Thomas from saying that it follows “that nothing apart from God can be its own existence, but rather participates in existence”. Why? Because the very principle of participation involves the particular relation of one to many, which is constitutive for multitude and diversity, so that there simply could not be any diversity without participating in “oneness”, no matter how interpreted. And “all the things that are diversified” as “more or less perfect” are such “because of diverse participation in being”46. That the thought is purposely Platonic and aims at the “reconciliation” of Plato and Aristotle, is clear from the closing appeal both to Plato and Aristotle as the “authorities”: “Hence Plato said that it is necessary that all plurality be reduced to unity, and Aristotle says in Metaphysics 2 that that which is maximal being and truth is cause of every being and truth, just as that which is hottest is the cause of all heat”47. Thus, the issue of participation appears to be the same as that of causality. This becomes yet more explicit in the response to the first objection, which rests on the statement that “from the fact that something is being through participation

44 STh I, q. 44, a. 1: Respondeo dicendum quod necesse est dicere omne quod quocumque modo est, a Deo esse. Si enim aliquid invenitur in aliquot per participationem, necesse est quod causetur in ipso ab eo cui essentialiter convenit; sicut ferrum fir ignitum ab igne. The English translation of question 44 is taken from: Thomas Aquinas, Selected Writings. Trans. by Ralph McInerny. London: Penguin Books, 1998, p. 360-367.

45 Ibid: si albedo esset subsistens, non posset esse nisi una, cum albedines multiplicentur secundum recipientia.

46 Ibid: omnia quae diversificantur secundum diversam participationem essendi, ut sint perfectius vel minus perfecte, causari an uno primo ente, quod perfectissime est.

47 Ibid: Unde et Plato dixit quod necesse est ante omnem multitudinem ponere unitatem. Et Aristotelis dicit, in II Metaphys., quod id quod est maxime ens et maxime verum, est causa omnis entis et omnis veri, sicut id quod maxime calidus est, estr causa omnis caliditatis.

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it follows that is caused by another”. Here one can find and explanation of the baffling indifference as to whether existence is or is not a predicate: it does not matter because all genuine predicates depend on existence: “being of such a kind can only be if caused, just as a man incapable of laughter could not exist”48.

In article 3 the Neo-Platonic conception of God as the exemplar cause, which involves “copies” or imitations of the Idea and corresponds to the Aristotelian formal cause, is considered. The relation of creatures to God is explained, first, by considering the issue of the “divine ideas” which are one in God as its essence, but multiple in creatures “insofar as its likeness can be diversely participated by diverse things” each having a share in the essence of God. These the “divine ideas” are the formal cause of creation and “God himself is the first exemplar of all things”49.

As Platonic Demiurges has made a universe as a copy of the Ideas, so Thomas compares God to the “artisan” in whose mind there are the forms or rationes of his future work50. These, however is not “species existing of themselves, like man himself, horse himself, and the like”, as the second objection would suggest51. The Ideas are the intelligible “rationes of everything, <...> that is, the exemplar forms existing in the divine mind”52. These are needed as presupposed “staff” of causality. However, no pre-existing “ideas” are needed when “emanation of all beings [totius entis] from the universal cause” is considered in question 4553. So Aquinas explains that creation is one particular mode of emanation, hence not all emanation is creation.


The discussed texts allows us “to see creation as the orderly bestowal of things’ being, which adopts the metaphor of emanation and sees existing as a participation in being by virtue of the One whose very essence is to-be, and so alone can make things participate in being. And as a way of spelling out the 48 STh I, q. 44, a. 1, ad 1: ex hoc quod aliquid per participationem est ens, sequitur quod sit

causatum ab alio. Unde huiusmodi ens non potest esse, quin sit causatum, sicut nec homo, quin sit risibile.

49 STh I, q. 44, a. 3: Quae quidem licet multiplicentur secundum respectum ad res, tamen non sunt realiter aliud a divina essential, prout eius similitude a diversis participari potest diversimode. Sic igitur ipse Deus est primum exemplar omnium.In: STh I, q. 84, a. 5 and elsewhere Thomas reminds us that it was Augustine who “for Platonic forms <...> substituted the reasons (rationes) of all creatures existing in the divine mind”. (Augustinus <...> posuit loco harum idearum quas Plato ponebat, rationes omnium creaturarum in mente divina existere).

50 See STh I, q. 44, a. 3, ad 1.51 STh I, q. 44, a. 3, ob. 2: species per se existents, ut per se hominem, et per se equum, et

huismodi.52 STh I, q. 44, a. 3: rationes omnium rerum, <...> quas supra diximus ideas, id est formas

exemplars in mente divina existents.53 STh I, q. 45, a. 1: Sed etiam emanationem totius entis a causa universali.

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metaphor of participation, we are invited to see it as an order inherent in each thing”54. This Burrell’s proposal, (whatever “metaphorical”), takes us to the issue of a “composition”.

From the fact that creatures are beings by participation, their absolute dependence upon God easily follows. How can a creature than be a “substantial” being, existing through itself, that is, having esse if its own? The “tension” between participation and substantiality, often explained as the tensions between Platonism and Aristotelianism, is found in Boethius’s De hebdomadibus. Thomas treats the problem in his Commentary on De hebdomadibus, where he analyzes the notion of participation at length.

The most important theses of Boethius state the conception of a thing as composed of esse and “what is”, the conception, most commonly known as the “Thomistic” one. First, “to be [esse] and that which is [quod est] are different. For to be itself is not yet, but that which is, having received a form of being, is and subsits. That which is can participate in something, but to be [esse] itself in no wise participates in anything. Participation comes about when something already is, and something is when it receives existence”55. Second, “to be such and such and to be something as that which is, differ. The former signifies accident, the latter, substance. That which is participates in existence in order to be and participates in another to be such and such. That which is participates in that which is existence in order to be, and is in order to participate in something else”56. The third and the fourth theses claim very much the same: “In every composite, to be [esse] is one thing and the thing that is, another”, and “in every simple thing, its existence and that which is are the same”57.

Commenting on the first thesis (“To be [esse] and that which is [quod est] are different”) Thomas says, that “we mean one thing when we say to be and another when we say that which is, just as we signify one thing by to run and another by runner. For to run and to be are signified in the abstract, like whiteness, but what is, that is being and runner, are signified in the concrete, like white”58. It can be noticed that “Boethius’s distinction is not identical with what Thomas made of it”59. The difference is based on the different treatment of esse.54 David B. Burrell. Op. cit., p. 80.55 Boethius, On the Hebdomads. Trans. by R. McInerny. In book: Thomas Aquinas, Selected

Writings. London: Penguin Books, 1998, p. 146.56 Ibid.57 Ibid.58 In De Hebdom. 2: Dicit ergo primo, quod diversum est esse, et id quod est. <...> Aliud

autem significamus per hoc quod dicimus esse, et aliud: per hoc quod dicimus id quod est; sicut et aliud significamus cum dicimus currere, et aliud per hoc quod dicitur currens. The English translation is taken from: Thomas Aquinas. How are Things Good? Exposition of On the Hebdomads of Boethius. Trans. by R. McInerny. In book: Thomas Aquinas, Selected Writings. London: Penguin Books, 1998, p. 143–162.

59 James A. Weisheipl, Friar Thomas D’Aquino: His Life, Thought, and Work. Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1974, p. 137.

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The commentary on the second Boethius’s thesis is based on the discussion of the “transcendental” and the “predicamental” senses of the word “to be”. At first Thomas reminds us of the “most common” or transcendental notions which are being, one, and good, then proceeds: “With respect to being, to be [esse] itself is considered something common and indeterminate, which is determinate in two ways, first, on the part of the subject, which has existence, and another way on the part of the predicate, as when we say of man, or of anything, not that it simply is, but that it is such and such, for example white or black”60.

Here different senses of “to be” are considered. At the first glance it seems that existence is a predicate: “Just as we can say of him who runs, or the runner, that he runs, insofar as he is the subject of running and participates in it, so we can say that being, or that which is, is”61. However, running and being are different.

The difference is based on the notion of participation. To participate is as it were to take a part, and therefore when something receives in a particular way what pertains to another, it is generally said to participate in it, as man is said to participate in animal, because he does not have the notion of animal according to its full extension; for the same reason, Socrates participates in Man. So too the subject participates in its accident, and matter in form, because the substantial or accidental form, which of its own notion is common, is determined to this or that subject, and similarly the effect is said to participate in its cause, <...> for example, when we say that air participates in the light of the sun because it does not receive it with the brightness the sun has62.

Thus we have three kinds of participation: 1) “the way that the particular participates in the universal” (notion); 2) “the way in which matter or a subject participates in form or accident”; 3) the third kind of participation is when the effect participates in its cause63. 60 In De Hebdom. 2: Circa ens autem consideratur ipsum esse quasi quiddam commune et

indeterminatum: quod quidem dupliciter determinatur; uno modo ex parte subiecti, quod esse habet; alio modo ex parte praedicati, utpote cum dicimus de homine, vel de quacumque alia re, non quidem quod sit simpliciter, sed quod sit aliquid, puta album vel nigrum.

61 Ibid: sed sicut id ipsum quod est, significatur sicut subiectum essendi, sic id quod currit significatur sicut subiectum currendi: et ideo sicut possumus dicere de eo quod currit, sive de currente, quod currat, inquantum subiicitur cursui et participat ipsum; ita possumus dicere quod ens, sive id quod est, sit, inquantum participat actum essendi.

62 Ibid: differentia sumitur secundum rationem participationis. Est autem participare quasi partem capere; et ideo quando aliquid particulariter recipit id quod ad alterum pertinet, universaliter dicitur participare illud; sicut homo dicitur participare animal, quia non habet rationem animalis secundum totam communitatem; et eadem ratione Socrates participat hominem; similiter etiam subiectum participat accidens, et materia formam, quia forma substantialis vel accidentalis, quae de sui ratione communis est, determinatur ad hoc vel ad illud subiectum; et similiter effectus dicitur participare suam causam, <...> puta, si dicamus quod aer participat lucem solis, quia non recipit eam in ea claritate qua est in sole.

63 Ibid: [modus] quo particulare participat universale; [modus] quo materia vel subiectum participat formam vel accidens.

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First, a particular thing participates in the “common” esse. “That which is, or being, although most common is said concretely, and therefore it participates in to be itself, not in the way that the more common is participated in by the less common, but it participates in to be itself in the way the concrete participates in the abstract”64.

The second kind of participation “belongs to that which already is. Something is because it receives to be itself”. Only then it can have some properties by participating in something else. “Something must first be understood as simply being [esse], and afterwards as being such and such; but once it is, that is, by participation in to be itself, there remains for it to participate in something else, that is, in order to be such and such”65. By this mode “the subject participates in an accident, or matter in form”66.

However, that which is by participation in “to be itself” is a whole composite substance: its properties, essential as well as accidental ones, should themselves be participating in esse in order to be and its form has its being as the element of a composite by participation. In case of there being the separate forms, that is “if there should be found forms apart from matter” each of them should be participating in common esse, in order to subsist67.

Having cleared the issue of existence and participation, we then proceed to the other “common” thing that is goodness. We are to inquire “whether beings are good in essence or by participation”68.

To understand the question, it should be noted that the question presupposes that to be in essence and to be by participation are opposed. And in one of the modes of participation distinguished earlier this is manifestly true, that is, according to the mode whereby the subject participates in an accident, or matter in form. For an accident is outside the nature of the subject and form outside the very substance of matter. But in another mode of participation, that whereby the species participates in the genus [notion], this is also true, according to the opinion of Plato who posited that the idea of animal is different from the idea of the biped man. But according to the view of Aristotle, who held that man truly is what animal is, the essence of animal not existing

64 Ibid: Sed id quo est, sive ens, quamvis sit communissimum, tamen concretive dicitur; et ideo participat ipsum esse, non per modum quo magis commune participatur a minus communi, sed participat ipsum esse per modum quo concretum participat abstractum.

65 Ibid: participation conveniat alicui cum iam est. Sed ex hoc aliquid est quod suscipit ipsum esse. <...> Primo oportet ut intelligatur aliquid esse simpliciter, et postea quod sit aliquid; et hoc patet ex praemissis. Nam aliquid est simpliciter per hoc quod participat ipsum esse; sed quando iam est, scilicet per participationem ipsius esse, restat ut participet quocumquae alio, ad hoc scilicet quod sit aliquid.

66 In De Hebdom. 3: illum modum quo subiectum dicitur participare accidens, vel material formam.

67 In De Hebdom. 2:Si ergo inveniantur aliquae formae non in materia <...>.68 In De Hebdom. 3: utrum entia sint bona per essentiam, vel per participationem.

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apart from the difference of man, nothing prevents what is said by participation from being predicated substantially69.

Hence the Aristotelian substance as a whole is a participating substance. The opposition between participation and substantiality could be accepted only if, as in Boethius’s case, what is meant is the second mode of participation, which operates “inside” of a substance. “Boethius here speaks in terms of the participation whereby subject participates in accident, and then what is predicated substantially can be the opposite of what is predicated participatively”70. The opposition is between Boethius saying “that if all things are good by participation, it follows that they are in no way good in themselves”, which is not true, in Thomas’s explanation, if goodness is “the proper accident” of a thing, which is “in its subjects per se, and yet is predicated of it participatively”71; and the notion of being “substantial goods”, which excludes participation.

Boethius supposes that goodness and existence of things “are two different things”. For things “to be, then differs from their being such-and-such”. Being simple, God, however, is only one “by nature good” “in virtue of his existence”. Not simply things “could not even exist at all” without participation in “the good whose very existence is good”. “They are called good simply because their existence derived” from the Good72.

Thomas makes this an issue on analogy. “The secondary or created good is good because it flows from the First Good. That is why the existence itself of things is good and any created thing, insofar as it exists, is good”. The “flowing” appears to be a proportional relation expressed by analogy as well as a relation of efficient and final causality. “Its existence is good because of its relation to the First Good, which is its cause, to which it is compared as to its first principle and ultimate end. It is in this way that something is called healthy because it is ordered to the end of health, as something is called medical with reference to the effective 69 Ibid: Ad intellectum huius quaestionis considerandum est, quod in ista quaestione

praesupponitur quod aliquid esse per essentiam et per participationem sint opposita. Et in uno quidem supradictorum participationis modorum manifeste verum est: scilicet secundum illum modum quo subiectum dicitur participare accidens, vel materia formam. Est enim accidens praeter naturam subiecti, et forma praeter ipsam substantiam materiae. Sed in alio participationis modo, quo scilicet species participat genus, hoc verum est quod species participat genus. Hoc etiam verum est secundum sententiam Platonis, qui posuit aliam esse ideam animalis, et bipedis hominis. Sed secundum sententiam Aristotelis, qui posuit quod homo vere est id quod est animal, quasi essentia animalis non existente praeter differentiam hominis; nihil prohibet, id quod per participationem dicitur, substantialiter praedicari.

70 Ibid: Boetius autem hic loquitur secundum illum participationis modum quo subiectum participat accidens; et ideo ex opposite dividitur id quod substantialiter et participative praedicatur.

71 Ibid: Nam proprium accidens secundum hinc modum per se inest subiecto, et tamen participative de eo praedicatur.

72 Boethius. Op. cit., p. 156.

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principle of the art of medicine”73. The third mode of participation, “when the effect participates in its cause”, supposedly is in work here. “However, existence flowing from the first good is not like the first insofar as he is substantially good, and they, though they are good, would not be good insofar as they exist if they had not flowed from it”74. There is a kind of hierarchy in participating: first, in existence, and only then, in goodness. The answer to the question how things are good – “be participation or by substance” –is: only God is good substantially, because his very substance is esse ipsum, but created things have all their “inside” structure by the “outside” mode of participation which is at work in creation.

Thomas’s position is that a created thing is a substance because of creation: by creation “a thing is made according to its whole substance”75. First, as a subsisting (“in the case of separate substances”) and second, as a substisting and composite thing (“in the case of material substances”). And creation is “directed to the being of a thing”, and “being belongs to that which has being – that is to what subsists in its own being”76. It is a mere act of existence or “having esse” that matters and not a thing’s “whatness”, since, in Thomas’s view, “a created thing is called created because it is a being, not because it is “this” being, since creation is the emanation of all being [esse] from the universal being”77. In the doctrine of creation the primacy of esse is clearly declared.

However, creation “means that the composite is created so that it is brought into being at same time with all its principles”78. Thus not only esse of a thing is participated but also its “whatness” or quiddity which designates “this” thing. “But as this man participates [in] human nature, so every created being participates, so to

73 In De Hebdom. 4: secundum bonum, quod est creatum, est bonum secundum, quod fluxit a primo bono, quod est per essentiam bonum. Cum igitur esse omnium rerum fluxerit a primo bono, consequens est quod ipsum esse rerum creatarum sit bonum, et quod unaquaeque res create, inquantum est, sit bona. <...> Esse autem secundi boni est quidem bonum, non secu ndum rationem proprie essentiae, quia essential eius non est ipsa bonitos, sed vel humanita, vela liquid alioud huismodi; sed esse eius habet quod sit bonum ex habitudine ad primum bonum, quod est eius causa: ad quod quidem comparator sicut ad primum principium et ad ultimum finem; per modum quo aliquid dicitur sanum, quo aliquid ordinatur ad finem sanitatis; ut dicitur medicinal secundum quod est a principio effective artis medicinae.

74 In De Hebdom. 5: Et tamen esse fluens a primo bono non est simile primo quod est substantialiter bonum, a quo nisi fluxissent, licet essent bona, non tamen essent bona in eo quod sunt, inquantum scilicet non essent ex primo bono.

75 STh I, a. 45, a. 3, sed contra: creation, qua fit aliquid secundum totam substantiam.76 STh I, a. 45, a. 4: Unde illis proprie convenit fiery et creari, quibus convenit esse. Quod

quidem convenit proprie subsistentibus, sive sint simplicia, sicut substantiae separate; sive sint composite, sicut substantiae materiales. Illi enim proprie convenit esse, quod habet esse; et hoc est subsistens in suo esse.

77 STh I, a. 45, a. 4, ad 1: Nam ex eo dicitur aliquid creatum, quod est ens, non ex eo quod est hoc ens, cum creation sit emanation totius esse ab ente universali.

78 STh I, a. 45, a. 4, ad 2: compositum sic dicitur creari, quod simul cum omnibus suis principiis in esse producitur.

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speak, [in] the nature of being, for God alone is his own being”79. This apparently corresponds to the full Aristotelian notion of a substance.

The other rather important question is about a proper relationship between finite and infinite being. It seems that the notion of participation somehow blurs the distinction between the finite and the infinite, the created and the divine, attributing to the finite creature literally “a part” of infinite God.

That the created thing actually is the “composition” of “finite” and “infinite” becomes clear from the Commentary on the Book of Causes. It is Proclus who speaks about the composition of finite and infinite. Thomas explains this saying: “what is participates in is not received in the one participating in its full infinity but particularly”. This is why “the existence received is finite”, but it “can be multiplied insofar as it is participated existence: this is what composition of finite and infinite means”80. This composition is possible due to the limitation of esse by the essence. The author of the Book “calls participated existence <...> “finite” because it does not participate in it [the subsistent esse] according to the full infinity of its universality but according to the mode of the nature of the participant”81.

The point is that Thomas accepts the Neo-Platonic hierarchy of beings. While the ascending gesture points toward “deification”, (each level “naturally” desires to return to its source), the descending gradually involves more and more restricted forms.


The brief analysis of some Aquinas’ texts on participation shows that the divisions, proposed for the notion of participation by Fabro and Geiger, do not properly work. The division that separates “predicamental” and “transcendental” participation was meant for the distinction between the “Aristotelian” conception of a composition of matter and form, and of substance and accidence, and the “Thomistic” one of essence and esse, providing the latter is conceived as a 79 STh I, q. 45, a. 5, ad 1: Sed sicut hic homo participat humanam naturam, ita quodcumque

ens creatum participat, ut ita dixerim, naturam essendi, quia solus Deus est suum esse. The theological part of the participational doctrine of creation is one of grace, by means of which we actually participate in the divine nature. Here we can rely on Scriptures when “we speak of a higher nature, of which man may become a partaker, according to II Peter 1, that we may be partakers of the Divine Nature” (STh I-II, q. 50, a. 2: Sed si loquamur de aliqua superiori natura, cuis homo potest esse particeps, secundum illud II Petr. I, ut simus consortes naturae divinae.)

80 In Liber de causis 4: quod esse participat est finitum, quia quod participatur non recipitur in participante secundum totam suam infinitatem sed particulariter. <...> Ipsum esse quod recipit, est finitum, Et ex hoc sequitur quod esse intelligentiae multiplicari posit in quantum est esse participatum: hoc enim significant composition ex finito et infinito.

81 In Liber de causis 5: ipsum autem esse participatum vocat finitum quia non participatur secundum totam infinitatem suae universalitatis sed secundum modum naturae participantis.

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“transcendental” element or esse commune, gained from “outside” However, from the “Platonic” point of view the two have to coincide, because the form in question, and even the properties which the accidentality of a thing consists of, likewise is of a transcendental origin. Thomas agrees with the view on the condition that the Platonic Forms would be placed in the mind of God. On the other hand, it is not only an essence of a thing that participates in the transcendental esse. First and foremost it is its particular finite esse which is constituted by participation in the esse substistent, and the particularity of which makes us think of it in a “predicamental” way, although the esse of a thing is not its predicate properly speaking.

The composite as a substantial whole participates not in its own particular esse, as one was meant by Fabro’s “static” or “structural” participation which remains “inside” a thing, but in “dynamic” way participates in esse ipsum, or “to be itself” in order to be “that which is”. The same should be said about Geiger’s “participation by composition”.

“Participation by formal hierarchy” also was based on the “participated status of an essence”, not of the whole substance. While it is true that a thing is the composition of essence and esse, it is not only essence what receives its esse from God, but the whole thing comes into being as what it is. Thomas would not accept any “possible” preexisting essence except the ideas in the mind of God, which are not at all “possible”, but virtual and coincide with esse ipsum subsistent.

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VYTIS VALATKAVilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania




SUMMARYThis article deals with an ontological level of theory of universalia presented by famous representative of scholastic logic in Lithuania Marcin Smiglecki. The author of the article analyses the way, in which Smiglecki interpreted the very nature of universals and their relation to particular things. The analysis comes to conclusion that the position of Smiglecki cannot be strictly ascribed neither to nominalism, nor to Platonic – Augustinian, Thomistic or Aristotelian realism. Similar to position of Francisco Suarez, Smiglecki’s variant of theory of universalia would rather be regarded as an intermediate model between Aristotelian moderate realism and conceptualism.

KEY WORDS: realism, conceptualism, universale, formal unity, specific unity, objective being in intellect.

SANTRAUKA Straipsnyje nagrinėjamas žymaus scholastinės logikos Lietuvoje atstovo Martyno Smigleckio pateiktos universalijų (daiktų bendrų prigimčių) teorijos ontologinis lygmuo. Analizuojama M. Smigleckio pateikta pačios universalijų prigimties ir jų santykio su individualiais daiktais interpretacija. Prieinama prie išvados, kad klasikinių universalijų teorijos variantų kontekste smigleckiškoji interpretacija artimiausia nuosaikiam realizmui. Turimas galvoje ne platoniškasis-augustiniškasis ar tomistinis, o būtent aristoteliškasis nuosaikusis realizmas. Kita vertus, M. Smigleckio negalima laikyti nuosekliu minėto realizmo atstovu. Jo interpretaciją, iš esmės labai panašią į antrosios scholastikos grando Fransisko Suareso poziciją, derėtų laikyti tam tikru tarpiniu variantu tarp nuosaikaus aristoteliškojo realizmo ir konceptualizmo. Mat kartu su nuosaikiaisiais realistais M. Smigleckis tvirtino, kad universalija egzistuoja daiktuose kaip jų esmė. Tačiau tai nėra reali būtis – ji daiktuose egzistuojanti tik tiek, kiek tie daiktai suvokiami intelekto. Kita vertus, M. Smigleckis drauge su konceptualistais teigė, kad universalija egzistuojanti intelekte. Tačiau ji nesanti intelekto sąvoka – tai intelekto objektas, pati daiktuose esanti prigimtis, kurią intelektas abstrahuoja nuo daiktų individualių rūšinių skirtumų ir šitaip abstrahuotą pažįsta.

RAKTAŽODŽIAI: realizmas, konceptualizmas, universalija, formalioji vienovė, rūšinė vienovė, objektyvi intelektinė būtis. INTRODUCTION: A HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Universals (universalia) in the context of particularities probably were the principal issue of scholastic logic. The crucial aspect of that problem was an ontological question about the very nature of universale and its relation to multitude

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of particular things. The answers to that question determined four principal trends in universals’ theory. These were extreme and moderate forms of realism, having honored universals with status of real entities (entia realia), opposed by extreme nominalism and conceptualism both regarding universal as mere construct of human intellect (ens rationis). Extreme realism, which also could be called Platonic – Augustinian realism, maintained universals to exist irrespectively from individual things (ante res). Meanwhile moderate realism of both Aristotelian and Thomistic trend asserted existence of universals also within these things (in rebus). Conceptualism in turn regarded universal as common concept while extreme nominalism identified it with common term having no correspondence in reality.

The so called second scholasticism (XVI – XVIII century) continued ardent disputes on universals. This scholasticism basically abandoned radical forms of nominalism and realism, dwelling on controversy of moderate realism and conceptualism. On the other hand, second scholasticism has popularized one more variant of universals’ theory. We could define it as intermediate version between moderate realism and conceptualism having connected particular elements of both above mentioned trends. As a moderate realism, such an eclectic position asserted existence of universals in multitude of individual things. On the other hand this existence was affirmed absolutely impossible without activity of human intellect. That is, universal natures exist in rebus just insofar as intellect abstracts them from individuating conditions of particular things and cognizes beyond the frame of individuality. The most prominent adherent of that position was Jesuit Francisco Suarez, one of the greatest philosophers of second scholasticism. According to him, “universal unity of nature insofar as it is universal neither possesses reality nor inheres in things inasmuch as they really exist and precede every operation of intellect”1.


Jesuit Marcin Smiglecki (Martinus Smiglecius), the most prominent representative of scholastic logic in Lithuania, also paid huge attention to the ontological level of universals’ theory. He is widely known for his treatise “Logica”2, the work of his life, which, issued in Ingolstadt in 1618 and reissued in Oxford in 1634, 1638 and 1658, spread in European catholic and protestant universities of that time. But it was his lectures on logic delivered in Vilnius

1 Francisco Suarez, Metaphysicarum disputationum tomi duo. Moguntiae, 1614, vol. 1, disputation 6, section 2, subsection 13, p. 133.

2 Martinus Smiglecius, Logica Martini Smiglecii Societatis Iesu, s. theologiae doctoris, selectis disputationibus et quaestionibus illustrata, et in duos tomos distributa. Ingolstadii, 1618.

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University in 1586/15873, where he presented the most elaborated and exhaustive conception of universalia.

Universals’ theory within logic in Lithuania in the 16th century has already attracted attention of certain researches. The great historian of Polish philosophy Roman Darowski briefly surveyed its ontological level4. The famous Lithuanian philosopher Romanas Plečkaitis in his first volume of history of Lithuanian philosophy presented ontological level of universals’ conceptions involved in above mentioned logic5. Plečkaitis analyses the whole heritage of scholastic logic in Lithuania without focusing on any particular period or subject. Also the present writer has published three separate articles investigating ontological6, epistemological7 and logical8 levels of universals’ theory included in the whole logic in Lithuania in the 16th century. This article concentrates on the ontological aspect of Smiglecki’s theory of universalia.

Smiglecki starts with the definition of universale. According to him, “it is common conception among all philosophers that universal is a thing common to multitude of things, or that, which being one nevertheless sustains relation to multitude”9. Thus universal is a nature inseparable from multitude of particular things and unifying this multitude.

Smiglecki distinguished two essential modes of universal. These are universal in being (universale in essendo) and predicative universal (universale in praedicando). The former was defined as unity common to the elements of certain multitude and existing within these elements. Meanwhile predicative universal was regarded as unity being attributed to multitude because of its existence in such a multitude. It is evident that these modes of universal do not essentially differ from one another – the same universal nature exists within particularities and bears status of their predicate10. Thus universale in essendo and universale in praedicando are just two separate sides of the same generality. Therefore hereafter in this paper we will not distinguish between these modes and talk straight about universal as general nature.3 Martinus Smiglecius, Commentaria in Organum Aristotelis (Vilnae, 1586–1587), ed.

L. Nowak. Warszawa: Akademia teologii jezuickiej, 1987, fascicles 1, 2.4 Roman Darowski, Filozofia w kolegiach jezuickich w Polsce w XVI wieku. Kraków: Wydział

filozoficzny towarzystwa jezusowego, 1994.5 Romanas Plečkaitis, Lietuvos filosofijos istorija. I tomas. Viduramžiai – renesansas – naujieji

amžiai. Vilnius: Kultūros, filosofijos ir meno institutas, 2004.6 Vytis Valatka, Pirmasis logikos amžius Lietuvoje: ontinis universalijų problemos lygmuo,

Logos 2005/42, p. 25–34.7 Vytis Valatka, Pirmasis logikos amžius Lietuvoje: gnoseologinis universalijų teorijos lygmuo,

Logos 2006/ 46, p.72–78.8 Vytis Valatka, Pirmasis logikos amžius Lietuvoje: loginis universalijų teorijos lygmuo, Logos

2007/52, p. 39–46.9 Martinus Smiglecius, Commentaria in Organum Aristotelis, fascicle [further – f.] 1, p. 24.10 Martinus Smiglecius, f. 1, p. 25.

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How did Smiglecki interpret the status of universal? It might seem from the first sight that Smiglecki followed tradition of realism. Namely, he rejected fundamental thesis of nominalists that individual things alone posses real existence. According to Smiglecki, “universale in essendo is given in the nature of things”11. It is absolutely certain and evident that particular things of the universe are not totally different – they differ in certain aspects but in the other aspects they correspond to one another. Such a correspondence is determined exactly by universals as the general natures and essences of things. For example, resemblance of human beings is determined by universal human nature, namely, being a rational animal.


So universal exists in individual things (in rebus) as the whole of their essential attributes. Consequently it might seem that Smiglecki belonged to the camp of moderate realists. Does that mean that he strictly followed position of Thomas Aquinas? The answer is negative. Smiglecki did not stick to Thomistic moderate realism, which asserted ternary existence of universal: a) in God’s Mind, b) in particular things, c) in human intellect. This Jesuit thinker was considerably closer to Aristotelian moderate realism negating existence of universals ante res. Smiglecki univocally rejected Platonic – Augustinian position, which ascribed status of universals to eternal ideas, or prototypes of things, consisting in divine intellect. According to Smiglecki “as universals are essences of things, they are not separated from these things”12. Whereas prototypes of Divine Mind are separate from things. Neither God himself nor content of his intellect possess immediate existence within things. In such a case the whole creation of God were divine, still God is one and only. Thus divine idea cannot be universal nature of things. On the other hand, “universal is predicated of its particular things as what they are”13. Yet such predicability is not characteristic of divine prototypes. For it is false to affirm that Peter is an idea of human being lying in God’s Mind. In the meantime proposition “Peter is a human being” raises no doubts – this proposition attributes to Peter general human nature residing in all human beings as their essence. Thus human nature in Peter and human idea within God’s Intellect are not identical objects – human prototype, not containing the whole of Peter’s essential attributes, cannot be predicated of Peter.

Thus Smiglecki rejected existence of universal before particular things in the shape of eternal idea. Therefore, his position was neither Platonic, nor purely Thomistic realism. Nevertheless, it would be also false to assert that Smiglecki 11 Ibid., p. 30.12 Ibid., p. 32.13 Ibid.

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adhered to Aristotelian moderate realism. For such realism announced existence of universals not only within but also after individual things. The status of universals existing post res was acknowledged to common concepts (notiones, conceptiones) of human intellect. Meanwhile Smiglecki refused to regard these concepts as universals. According to him, common concepts are mere creations of human intellect (entia rationis) possessing no existence beyond its frames. In the meantime universal is not pure construct of reason. It must be considered intellect’s object. Namely, a nature, which intellect abstracts from particular things, and on the basis of which creates their common concept; that is image of such a nature. So universal may be affirmed to exist after things merely as nature abstracted from them. Therefore common concept cannot be universale in essendo. Nor is it a predicative universal. For, as Smiglecki maintains, “through predication intellect attributes to [particular] things what it conceives to exist within them, but it is not its concept but the thing itself that intellect conceives as existing within things, therefore it is not a concept but the thing conceived by intellect that is predicated of particular things”14. Such a conceived object is the very nature of individual things having been separated by intellect from any individuating factors. The example of this nature may be human being, existing in Peter, Paul and Thaddeus as rational animal.


But how does this nature exist within particular things? Does it possess real or only mental existence? As it is already mentioned, universal was interpreted as one and the same nature, existing in multitude of things. According to Smiglecki , “there is no doubt that nature really exists in multitude, still it is questionable whether it really exists as one in multitude”15. Smiglecki presents two variants of unity of nature, which exists in multitude. The former is entitled as specific unity (unitas specifica). Nature, possessing this kind of unity, remains one and the same in every element of multitude. The second variant is formal unity (unitas formalis). Nature, possessing such a unity, varies in every element of multitude. Nevertheless, this nature sustains the same formal and essential predicates (praedicata formalia et quidditativa), that is, the same aggregate of essential properties.

Which of these unities is characteristic of nature existing in particular things? According to Smiglecki, this nature does not possess specific unity. For, nature is always individual within particular things – “it is deduced that nature, existing in things, is really inseparable from singularity because it is really connected with singularity”16. Nature within particular thing is inseparable from latter’s individual 14 Ibid.15 Ibid., p. 35.16 Ibid., p. 36.

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difference (differentia individualis), which makes such a nature an individual entity. Thus nature consisting in multitude cannot be one and the same.

Therefore nature, consisting in multitude, is individual and not universal. On the other hand, universal is prior to action of human intellect. Nevertheless, such priority does not make universal nature a real entity. For universal is prior to passive intellect (intellectus possibilis) alone. The same thing cannot be said about active intellect (intellectus agens). The latter abstracts universal nature from particular things by creating its intellective species (species intelligibilis), that is, a certain image of that nature. Such intellective species actuates passive intellect. The latter, resting on image of abstracted nature, cognizes this nature and produces its concept.

Thus universal cannot be regarded as entity independent from intellect, that is, entity possessing real existence in particular things. Universal nature is posterior to active intellect, which abstracts it from thing’s individual difference that provides nature with particularity. Thus universals really move passive intellect. Yet they do not exist in particular things before abstracting operation of active intellect17.

So universals lack real existence. No nature can consist as one and same in particular things before abstracting action of active intellect. No nature, existing in multitude, possesses specific unity. This nature disposes of formal unity alone – separate individuals of such a nature sustain the same essential features. In other words, nature, existing in multitude, is one just according to its essential predicates. Therefore “human nature that exists in Peter does not really differ in essential and formal attributes from human nature that exists in Paul since whatever is included in Peter’s nature is also included in Paul’s nature, and one nature does not possess any formal predicate, in which it would differ from another nature”18. Namely, human nature of both Peter and Paul is in all essentials animal rationale.

Thus universal possesses not a real, but only mental being. According to him, within intellect nature may exist in two ways: subjectively and objectively. Nature that possesses subjective existence in human intellect is not nature in full sense of this word. It is just an image, representation, common concept of nature, conceived by passive intellect. In the meantime nature, possessing objective existence in intellect, is exactly a universal. This nature cannot be regarded as any image or representation. It is nature of particular things itself, which active intellect abstracts from them, and which passive intellect afterwards cognizes, also creating its representation. It is nature that active intellect liberates from individual differences of particular things. Such a nature, devoid of any individuality, exactly exists within things as one and the same; moreover, it is predicated of them as their essence. Therefore this nature is precisely a universal. So, as Śmiglecki

17 Ibid., p. 39.18 Ibid., p. 40.

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asserts, “universal is not a thing existing beyond intellect, nor is it a thing existing subjectively within intellect; hence it will be a thing possessing objective existence in intellect”19.

It has to be stressed that nature, bearing objective existence in intellect, is by no means a thing excogitated by intellect (res conficta ab intellectu). Fictions of human reason, for example, centaurs, sphinxes, chimeras etc., have no equivalents in reality. Meanwhile universale existing objectively within intellect “is the nature itself without particularizing conditions”20.


Conception of universalia presented by Smiglecki was neither Augustinian, nor Thomistic nor Aristotelian realism. Smiglecki also evidently digressed from Aristotelian moderate realism – he did not ascribe status of universal to common concept, regarding the latter only as image of universal. True, this Jesuit father asserted universal to exist within particular things as their essence. Nevertheless he did not recognize real existence of universals in multitude. In his opinion, universal consists in things only because of intellect.

Therefore the position of Smiglecki concerning the very nature of universale cannot be strictly ascribed to any of classical variants of realism and nominalism. Such an interpretation, similar to that of Francisco Suarez, would rather be regarded as an intermediate model between Aristotelian moderate realism and conceptualism. Like moderate realists, Smiglecki maintained that universals are given in the very nature of individual things. Still, he refused to acknowledge real existence of universals. In his opinion, universal nature exists in rebus just as much as it is cognized by intellect. On the other hand, together with conceptualists, Smiglecki affirmed existence of universals in human intellect. But he did not attribute status of universal to a common concept. He regarded universale as the very nature of real things, which our intellect abstracts from particularizing conditions and cognizes beyond frame of individuality.

19 Ibid., p. 47.20 Ibid., p. 44.

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TOMASZ DUMAThe John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland



Būties santykių proBlema avicenos ir šv. tomo akviniečio filosofijoje

sUmmaryin the first point, author mentions the most important elements of the aristotelian conception of rela-tions, and certain difficulties in interpretation arising from that conception. in the second point, is presented avicenna’s position, especially with regard to the objective existence of relations. in the third point is discussed the problem of relations in the thought of st. thomas aquinas, where author shows the originality of that conception. in the final point are indicated the most important conse-quences of thomas’ position.

key WorDs: relation, reference, being, categories, accident, real, transcendental

santraUkastraipsnyje apibūdinami patys svarbiausi aristotelio santykių sampratos elementai ir su jais susiję interpretacijos keblumai. Be to, pateiktas avicenos požiūris į tų santykių objektyvumo problemą. ap-tarta santykių problema šv. t. akviniečio mąstyme, atskleistas to mąstymo originalumas. pabaigoje nurodytos pačios svarbiausios t. akviniečio požiūrio pasekmės.

raktažoDžiai: santykis, nuoroda, būtis, kategorijos, akcidencija, realus, transcendentinis.

1. introDUction

at the beginning, i would like to justify the problem taken up in the topic. it is generally known that avicenna and st. thomas aquinas were in large measure continuators of aristotle in the field of philosophy. it is also known that not did avicenna have a strong influence on how the arabs perceived aristotelian thought, but also on how christians perceived it, especially those of the thirteenth century, including thomas aquinas.1 one of the widely discussed problems then was the problem of the categories, which aristotle had formulated. this problem involved great difficulties, because even though it was one the important elements of the aristotelian theory of being, aristotle had not elaborated on it in detail. the most important point was that there was no clear distinction between the two aspects 1 mieczysław Gogacz, Wstęp, in awicenna (abu ali ibn sina), Metafizyka, ze zbioru pt. „księ-

ga Wiedzy”, przeł. zesp., oprac. m. Gogacz. Warszawa: atk 1973, p. 29-33.

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of the categories — the aspect of being (the entitative aspect), and the cognitive aspect.2 later commentators and continuators of aristotle’s thought generally con-sidered the problem of the categories from the purely cognitive side, and as a result there was a gradual transformation of the aristotelian theory of being into ontol-ogy.3 in my paper i intend to show that avicenna contributed to a certain break-through in the interpretation of aristotelian metaphysics. next, the purpose of my analyses will be to show that st. thomas aquinas was basically the only medieval thinker who did not merely faithful interpret aristotle’s thought, but who also cre-atively developed it and freed it from “aporiai”, and as a result a new conception of metaphysics arose. this innovation was perfectly evident in his conception of relations, which in thomas’ thought were not limited only to the sphere of the cat-egories of being, but reached far beyond that sphere and formed the ultimate foun-dations of being at the transcendental level. in the first point, i will briefly mention the most important elements of the aristotelian conception of relations, and certain difficulties in interpretation arising from that conception. in the second point, i will present avicenna’s position, especially with regard to the objective existence of relations. in the third point i will discuss relations in the thought of st. thomas aquinas, where i will try to show the originality of that conception. in the final point i will try to indicate the most important consequences of thomas’ position.

2. the aristotelian conception of relations

the first philosopher who worked somewhat more broadly on the problem of relations was aristotle. as we know, he included relations in his list of the ten categories of being, and he gave relations a special position in relation to the other accidents. aristotle called a relation ta pros ti (“that which refers to something”), which he referred not so much to the relation itself as to its foundation, in which the relation has its subject, that is, he referred to a thing (relativa).4 hence he speaks more often about what is relative (about things) than about the relation as such. in his writings we find two descriptions of relations that indicate, albeit vaguely, the two aspects of a relation: the logical, and the ontological.

according to the first description, „those things are called relative, which, be-ing either said to be of something else or related to something else, are explained by reference to that other thing”.5 this description primarily emphasizes the lin-

2 ludger jansen, Kategoria, in Aristoteles-Lexikon, hrsg. o. höffe. stuttgart: alfred kröner 2005, p. 300-302.

3 mieczysław a. krąpiec, Metaphysics. An Outline of the History of Being, trans. m. lescoe, a. Woznicki, th. sandok. new york: mariel publication 1991, p. 74-77.

4 michael erler, Relation. I. Antike, in Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, B. 8, hrsg. j. ritter und k. Gründer. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschafft 1992, c. 579-580.

5 aristotle, Categories, trans. e. m. edghill, in Complete Works of Aristotle, vol. 1: The Revised Oxford Translation, ed. j. Barnes. princeton: University press 1984, part 7, 6a 36-37.

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guist apprehension of relations, to which aristotle devoted much attention in the “categories”, the “topics”, and other works. it is a matter mainly of overcoming ambiguity in the use of predicates, for example, a father is a father only with refer-ence to his own child, while he is not a father in relation to other children.

next, aristotle articulates that “those things only are properly called relative in the case of which relation to an external object is a necessary condition of existence”.6 in this account he emphasizes that a relation is not only a linguistic phenomenon, but it is a real way of being, consisting in being referred to some-thing else. a relation, in this conception, possesses the lowest rank among what is, because no essential change occurs in a being when a relation comes to it or departs from it — “that which is relative is in the least degree in all things a kind of nature or substance”.7

in the light of the descriptions above, things between which there is a relation, which relation is then the foundation of certain utterance, are first of all relatives. it follows from this that ontological “relativa” are the foundation for logical “rela-tiva”. however, there are “relativa” that have only a logical character, such as knowledge or sensory perception. it is typical of this that the object of their refer-ence is completely independent of them. in ontological relatives, however, both terms of the relation are dependent on each other.8

aristotle lists three kinds of relations. the first kind is based on number (to pros ti kat’ arithmos) and is the relation of equality, similarity, and identity (a unity of number, quality, and substance). the second is the relation between what is “active” and “passive”, or between act and potency. the third is between a meas-ured thing and a measure, between a knower and the thing known.9

relations do not belong to things in the same way as do the other categories, e.g., qualities. We call a thing equal not because there is equality in it, but because the thing is in a definite relation to another thing to which it is equal. thus even categories such as quality and quantity, considered in terms of predication, belong to things on account of a relation to something else, e.g., we always predicate large and small on account of a reference to something else.10

although we can see in aristotle’s writings an awareness of the difference be-tween relations of being and logical relations, this is not always clear. When he makes distinctions between different kinds of relations, he does not always take 6 ibid., part 7, 8a 31.7 aristotle, Metaphysics, trans. W. D. ross, in Complete Works of Aristotle, Vol. 2: The Re-

vised Oxford Translation, ed. j. Barnes. princeton: University press 1984, 1088a 23 ff., b 2.

8 Ulrich nortmann, Pros ti, in Aristoteles-Lexikon, hrsg. o. höffe. stuttgart: alfred kröner verlag 2005, p. 501.

9 aristotle, Metaphysics, 1020b 25 – 1021b 10.10 aristotle, Categories, 5b 11 – 6a 11.

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note of the difference, but he also mixes logical relations with entitative relations.11 likewise, when he makes a distinction between relations and other categories, he has in view only logical relations, and he emphasizes that a predicate belongs to a thing not because it has a basis in the thing, but on account of a reference to another thing.12

to summarize aristotle’s position on the topic of relations, we should say that aristotle made a special categorial organization of the relations, and he assigned relations only to the domain of categories. although a relation fundamentally con-cerns a substance, it always has the status of an accident. it is the weakest acci-dent in terms of being — “the most distant from substance”.13 moreover, aristotle focused mainly on the logical order of the categories, although as mentioned he was aware that the ontological order is the foundation for the logical order. thus it should not be surprising that most aristotle’s later commentators and continuators reduced the problem of relations to the logical order.

3. avicenna’s position

the arab philosopher avicenna had an essential influence on medieval philoso-phy, and in particular how relations were understood.14 initially, avicenna’s writ-ings were the most important source of access to aristotle’s non-logical writings.15 however, avicenna’s thought was not merely a common continuation of aristotel-ism, but it was a certain synthesis of aristotelism, neo-platonism, and arab theol-ogy.16 for this reason, as j. r. Weinberg remarks, avicenna’s philosophy cannot be understood without reference to the arab theologians (mutakallimiin).17 this is true also of the problem of relations.

the medieval theologians of islam represented a radical view on the topic of relations. in order to defence muslim orthodoxy, they supported an atomistic con-ception of reality. God is the only true cause of the world, and so all creation must

11 constantine cavarnos, The Classical Theory of Relations. A study in the Metaphysics of Pla-to, Aristotle and Thomism. Belmont: the institute for Byzantine and modern Greek studies 1975, p. 63-65.

12 klaus oehler, „Die anfänge der relationenlogik und der Zeichenschluß bei aristoteles“, Se-miotik 4, 1982, p. 260.

13 aristotle, Metaphysics, 1088 a 23 ff., 26 ff., b 2.14 jos Decorte, Avicenna’s Ontology of Relation. A source of inspiration to Henry of Ghent. in

Avicenna and His Haritage: Acts of the International Colloquium Leuven, ed. j.l. janssens, D. De smet. leuven: University press 2002.

15 mieczysław Gogacz, Wstęp, p. 26-28.16 amos Bertolacci, The Reception of Aristotle’s Metaphysics in Avicenna’s Kitab al-Sifa’. A

Milestone of Western Metaphysical Thought. leiden: Brill 2006, p. 455-468.17 julius r. Weinberg, Abstraction, Relation, and Induction. Three Essays in the History of

Thought. madison & milwaukee: University of Wisconsin press 1965, p. 89.

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be absolutely subordinated to God’s omnipotence.18 as maimonides reported, those theologians thought that whatever fits within the limits of the imagination can be regarded as possible. this means that everything that does not contain logical contradiction in it can be real insofar as God will want this.19 therefore there are no ground to recognize the existence of causal connections in the world because that would limit God’s omnipotence. the only material from which the world is composed are the atoms, which can be incessantly transformed. if the atoms have any features (resp. accidents), including features such as relations, they are only purely virtual features. the reality of relations in addition undermines the lack of the possibly of a logical explanation of how relations have subjects. a real relation must be contained in a subject, and thereby the containment as such would also be a relation. in this way the grounding-in-a-subject of one relation would require another relation, and this ultimately would lead to a series to infinity.20 in addition, the recognition of cause-effect relations in the world would entail that God could change, which is also in contradiction to itself.

avicenna considers the problem of relations primarily in his “metaphysics”, where he looks both to the views of arab theologians and to simplicius’ com-mentary on aristotle’s “categories”.21 there avicenna, among other things, argues against the positions that call into question the reality of relations. those positions were represented by the theologians and the stoics. against them, avicenna says that if someone is a father, he is one independently of whether anyone knows about this or not. avicenna also rejected the argument from the series to infinity and said that a relational accident does not need any other relation to have a subject in a sub-strate, and even if someone we were to indicate such a relation, it would certainly be only a purely conceptual relation.22

avicenna thinks that a relation is something real, but only accidental, since it does not exist in itself. some relations have the feature that they are different in their terms, for example double and half, while other relations are the same, for example, an equal size to an equal size. the first are asymmetrical relations where the relational accident exists really only in one term, but always with reference to something else, as in the case of “fatherhood” or “sonhood”. according to avi-

18 moses maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed, trans. m. friedlander. london: routledge 1928, part 1, ch. 73, 6th proposition, p. 125.

19 ibid., ch. 73, 10th proposition, pp. 128: „they describe as possible that which can be imag-ined, whether the reality correspond to it or not, and as impossible that which cannot be imagined”.

20 ibid., ch. 73, 10th proposition, pp. 129: „according to their opinion, an accident cannot be the substratum of another accident”.

21 julius r. Weinberg, Abstraction, Relation, and Induction. Three Essays in the History of Thought, pp. 91-92.

22 avicenna, Liber de philosophia prima sive scientia divina I-IV, edition critique de la traductio latine médiévale par s. van riet, introduction doctrinale par G. verbeke. Avicenna Latinus. louven-leiden: Brill 1977, tract iii, c. 10, pp. 178-179.

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cenna we do not have at our disposal the knowledge or the proper definition of the subject (substrate) of this kind of relation. in the case of symmetrical relations, for example, brotherhood or sibling relations, the relational accident is real in both terms, which means that numerically the same accident exists in two subjects. Beside this, there are also unilateral relations, with the feature that the relational accident belongs only to one term, for example, knowledge belongs only to the knower, not to what is known.23

to summarize, according to avicenna, a relation possesses objective reality, but only accidental reality, not substantial reality. a relation comes to a substance “from the outside”, and belongs to the subject alone, not at the same time also to the term. Besides this, there are also purely logical relations that occur only in the intellect and consist in the reference of one concept (the foundation) to another (the term).24 avicenna fortified aristotle’s position and connected relations with the categorial order, regarded relations as one of the accidents. his most important contribution was his defence of the objective existence of relations, but he was un-able effectively to defend that because at purely categorial level it is ultimately im-possible to do so. a clear example of how avicenna found himself in difficulties is his conception of existence: on the one hand, existence is the foundation for being-ness, while on the other hand existence is treated in the categories of accidents.25

4. the conception of relations in the thoUGht of st. thomas aqUinas

according to thomas, a relation consists in the reference of one thing to some-thing else, as a result of which a relation is composed of three elements: the subject (that which is referred), the term (that to which it is referred), and the foundation of reference.26 the specific character of the relation is determined by the foundation of reference, which demarcates different kinds of relations. the most important of these are the logical relation, the categorial relation, and the transcendental rela-tion.27 how do they differ from each other?

the logical relation concerns only the sphere of human thoughts, hence both terms of this relation and its foundaiton do not have their own real existence in-

23 ibid., pp. 176-177.24 julius r. Weinberg, Abstraction, Relation, and Induction. Three Essays in the History of

Thought, 1965, p. 93.25 etienne Gilson, Byt i istot, polish trans. D. eska, j. nowak. Warszawa: instytut Wydawniczy

paX, 1994, pp. 95 ff. 26 thoma aquinati, Summa theologiae, in Opera Omnia cum hypertextibus in cD-rom, red. r.

Bussa. thomistica 19972, p. i, q. 13, a. 7.27 ibid., p. i, q. 28, a. 2 ad 2. in aquinas’ writings there is no used the term „relatio transcenden-

talis”, but it does not mean that he not distinguishes–apart from categorial relations– relations which have universal character.

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dependent of the intellect. the cause of this type of relation is the action of the intellect. this action consists in the conceptual division of what really is the same. in this way, a “mental being” (ens rationis) arises that does not really exist in the form of things but exists only in the intellect. Beings of this type include the prae-dicabilia, the subject and predicate in a sentence, the terms of logical relations and of logical demonstrations, or indeed the entire object of logic.28 the conceptual character does not apply to the content of relations, but to their mode of existence. this is because insofar as the object of relations exists in the intellect, it is a con-ceptual relation.

the situation is different in the case of categorial relations. a categorial relation is already a real being, although it is real in weakest sense.29 We can discern two essential moments: being in something else as in a subject (in alio), and reference to something else (ad aliud). in the first case the relation is an accident and as such it possesses real being, and in this respect it differs from a purely conceptual rela-tion. in the second case, it differs from the other accidents because of reference to something else, which at the same time expresses the ratio formalis and gives to it the status of a relation.30 in this type of relation, the foundation and the subject must really exist and must be really different, because the first is the cause of the second. a categorial relation differs from a conceptual relation not only by the real existence of the terms, but also by the only bilateral character of reference resulting from it. there are infinitely many relations of this kind because they reflect all real relations between categories of being, on the basis of which they find application in the order of predication.31

the transcendental relation concerns what has a transcendental character in being, and so the transcendental character of being as such, of its structure and principles. this means that this relation is typical of every instance of being, and not only of certain being or certain categories of being. the transcendental rela-tion in a strict sense, as st. thomas emphasizes, involves not only a regard to another, but also something absolute.32 a relation of this kind does not consist in a reference to something else that is external, and it is not merely something that

28 Gallus manser, Das Wesen des Thomismus. freiburg in der schweiz: paulusverlag 1949, p. 282-283.

29 s. thomae aquinatis, Questiones disputatae De Potentia, in in Opera Omnia cum hypertexti-bus in cD-rom, red. r. Bussa. thomistica 19972, q. 7, a. 9: „relatio est debilioris esse inter omnia praedicamenta”.

30 Gallus manser, Das Wesen des Thomismus, p. 284.31 michael-thomas liske, „Die sprachliche richtigkeit bei thomas von aquin“, Divus Tho-

mas, 1985/32, p. 379 ff.32 thoma aquinati, Summa theologiae, p. i, q. 28, a. 2 ad 2: “sicut in rebus creatis, in illo quod

dicitur relative, non solum est invenire respectum ad alterum, sed etiam aliquid absolutum, ita et in deo, sed tamen aliter et aliter”.

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“comes” upon being, but constitutes the “internal contained of something absolute in something”.33

therefore the principles of being such as act and potency, or essence and ex-istence, which constitute every being, primarily form the transcendental relation. Because they do not have their subject in anything else, they should not be called accidents, although they also are not substances, but only correlates, referring to one another, that constitute the substantial being, and their reality is realized through being ordered to each other.34

in the light of this it is clear that the transcendental relation goes beyond the substantial-accidental order, and that it expresses the fundamental relations within being. thereby, this strictly metaphysical relation constitutes the foundation for a comprehensive interpretation of being, and so subsequently it forms the founda-tion for all particularizations of being.35 We could say that the entire being is condi-tioned or affected by relations of this type, because everything that exists is consti-tuted in its structure from transcendental correlates that are ordered to each other.

the most important of these is the necessary ordering of the content of a being to the act of existence, which determines the entire fact of being, and determines the fact that being exists and is such a being and not some other.36 the transcen-dental properties of being, the first principles, and as a result, the entire imago mundi, are based in turn on this elementary structure. in the transcendental rela-tion, all unity and at the same time all the plurality and heterogeneity of beings find their ultimate legitimization.37

thomas draws a conclusion from the transcendental relation between essence and existence in the contingent being. his conclusion concerns another transcen-dental relation that is between beings, and that is the relation of the creature to the creator. however, on account of the special character of one of the terms of the re-lation – the absolute being, this relation is realized in completely different way on the side of the creature and on the side of the absolute. on the side of the creature it is a real relation, while on the side of the absolute it is only a mental relation.38

33 Gallus manser, Das Wesen des Thomismus, p. 285: „besitzt die transcendentale relatio Ei-gensein, ist, wie thomas sagt, etwas Absolutes, das außerdem noch auf ein anderes bezogen wird“.

34 ibid.35 mieczysław krąpiec, Metaphysics. An Outline of the History of Being, p. 307 ff.36 mieczysław krąpiec, Teoria analogii bytu. lublin: rW kUl 1993, p. 204 ff.37 Gallus manser, Das Wesen des Thomismus, p. 286.38 thoma aquinati, Summa theologiae, p. i, q. 45, a. 3: „ad primum ergo dicendum quod cre-

atio active significata significat actionem divinam, quae est eius essentia cum relatione ad creaturam. sed relatio in Deo ad creaturam non est realis, sed secundum rationem tantum. relatio vero creaturae ad Deum est relatio realis, ut supra dictum est, cum de divinis nomini-bus ageretur.”

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5. conclUsions

to summarize, it should be said that in thomas’ conception, relations cannot be reduced either to the realm of the intellectual actions (to logical relations), nor to the categorial level of being. the transcendental relation, which constitutes be-ing in the most fundamental aspects of being, as a result of which it also provides an answer for the entire metaphysical order, is the most important type of rela-tion. the relation between essence and existence is the fundamental relation of this type. this relation allows us to reconcile the “one” and the “many” in being, whereby it resolves the problem of the universals and allows us to avoid nominal-istic, idealistic, and formalistic errors.39 in cosmology it makes possible to preserve the substantial unity of material beings by a clear distinction between the potential and the actualizing element. in turn, in the anthropological aspect, the substantial union of soul and body is based on this type of relation, whereby it becomes pos-sible to explain the sources of man’s personal individuality and it becomes possible to indicate the foundations of common human nature and to justify the essential manifestations of social life. in philosophy of God, this relation serves to explain the ordering of all created being to the absolute being, and in this way to formulate knowledge of the existence and nature of God.40 in conclusion, it still worth noting that the transcendental relation between essence and existence provides a resolu-tion to the question of the entire structure of metaphysics because it determines that upon which the most fundamental apprehension of reality as such should con-centrate.

39 manser, Das Wesen des Thomismus, p. 287.40 ibid., p. 288-290.

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Rūta MaRija Vabalaitė Lithuanian Culture Research Institute

The Influence of Pseudo-dIonysIus The AreoPAgITe‘s concePT of BeAuTy over AesTheTIcAl ThoughT of AlBerT The greAT

And ThomAs AquInAs

Pseudo dionisijaus aReoPagiečio gRožio saMPRatos įtaka albeRto didžiojo iR toMo akViniečio

estetikos teoRijoMs

suMMaRythe article deals with Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite‘s concept of beauty and its influence on the subsequent theories of beauty. the connection of Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite with scholasticism is called dialectical, since from one side, mystic theology is an antithesis of scholastical thinking grounds, while from the other, albert the great’s, thomas aquinas’ interpretations of Pseudo-dionysian theory form an essential part of scholasticism itself. as well as Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite, albert the great and thomas aquinas recognize that all things participate in beauty, while the true beauty is the beauty of god. albert the great explains the beauty as the translucency of the idea; thomas aquinas points up the shining unity of parts of the beautiful thing. aquinian form overflowing a thing and producing its luminosity as if repeats the idea of Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite about the returning movement of light to its first source of emanation. the concept of shining is important in Hegelian and Heideggerian and even in contemporary aesthetics.

key WoRds: beauty, shining, idea, form, light.

santRaukastraipsnyje nagrinėjama Pseudo dionisijaus areopagiečio grožio samprata ir jos įtaka vėlesnėms grožio teorijoms. Pseudo dionisijaus ryšys su scholastika yra dialektiškas, nes, viena vertus, mistinė teologija yra scholastinio mąstymo pagrindų priešybė, kita vertus, jos interpretacijos, kurias atliko jonas Škotas eriugena, albertas didysis ir tomas akvinietis, yra esminė scholastinės filosofijos dalis. kaip ir Pseudo dionisijas areopagietis, albertas didysis ir t. akvinietis pripažįsta, kad grožyje dalyvauja visi daiktai, nors tikrasis grožis yra tik dievo grožis. albertas didysis grožį aiškina kaip idėjos peršviečiamumą; t. akvinietis pabrėžia gražaus daikto dalių vienovės spindėjimą. akvinietiškoji forma, persmelkianti daiktą ir suteikianti jam švytėjimo, lyg atkartoja Pseudo dionisijaus areopagiečio mintis apie sugrįžtantį šviesos judėjimą į jos pradinį emanacijos šaltinį. Spindėjimo sąvoka išlieka svarbi hėgeliškojoje, haidegeriškojoje ir net šiuolaikinėje estetikoje.

Raktažodžiai: grožis, spindėjimas, idėja, forma, šviesa.

Many aestheticians hold an opinion that concept of beauty of Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite is too speculative, abstract, aprioristic, has no grip on the specific character of beauty, thus they kind of ignore it, not are keen to analyze it much.

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Frederic Copleston and Étienne gilson deliver to the philosophy of Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite only small chapters1; however, none of them gives an analysis his concept of beauty. this article analyses this concept, particularly because, notwithstanding its abstract character, it had tremendous influence on the scholastic theories of beauty, provided a ground for an emergence of one of the european trends of art, had in a sense reborn in the Platonism of Renaissance and, maybe, even determined the tradition of Platonic interpretation of beauty up till nowadays.

summarizing Pseudo-dionysian view on the universe in one sentence georges duby writes, that: “according to dionysius, the divine was the incandescent hearth from which all fervour emanated and towards which all desire returned to be consumed”2. Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite states that all comes from god or primordial, not created and creating supra-terrestrial light. emanation creates separate entities and determines their hierarchical order, which depends on the amount of entity being enlightened and amount of its reflecting this light itself. according to him, “the more delicate and luminous substances, being first filled with the brilliancy flowing into them, brightly impart their overflowing light to things after them”3. the light reaches the very depths of the matter and lighting turns back to its original source. thus in Pseudo-dionysian concept of emanation we have both an idea of absolute transcendence and its transgression: the self-transgression of the absolute in the hierarchical development of all variety of worlds is demonstrated here. at the beginning of his “Mystic theology” our author writes that the absolute mysteries “lie hidden within the super-luminous gloom of the silence, revealing hidden things, which in its deepest darkness shines above the most super-brilliant, and in the altogether impalpable and invisible, fills to overflowing the eyeless minds with glories of surpassing beauty”4. therefore in this theory everything: celestial and terrestrial, the highest and the lowest things, that what is sensual and that, what is only intelligible, absolute form and absolute lack of form exist through reciprocal opposition and tension. only through opposites exists a perfect wholeness of the universe.

beauty is one of the names of absolute wholeness – of god. the beauty of god is the only true beauty, the created being doesn’t have its own beauty, it just reflects super-sensual beauty. in his consideration of divine beauty Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite echoes the words of Plato about the idea of beauty from “symposium”: 1 Frederick Copleston, s.j. A History of Philosophy. Volume 2. Medieval Philosophy. london,

new york: Continuum, 2003, p. 91-100; gilson Étienne, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages. new york: Random House 1955, p. 81-85.

2 georges duby, Art and Society in the Middle Ages. translated by jean birrell. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000, p. 54.

3 dionysius the areopagite, ecclesiastical Hierarchy. in: dionysius the areopagite. Works (1897). translated by john Parker. grand Rapids, Mi: Christian Classics ethereal library. <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/dionysius/works.html>, p. 209.

4 dionysius the areopagite. Mystic theology. ibid, p. 84.

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“not growing and decaying, or waxing and waning; secondly, not fair in one point of view and foul in another, or at one time or in one relation or at one place fair, at another time or in another relation or at another place foul, as if fair to some and foul to others […], which without diminution and without increase, or any change, is imparted to the ever-growing and perishing beauties of all other things”5 and also adds to it that beauty is “at once beautiful and super-beautiful [...] as itself, in itself, with itself”6, thus expressing the inseparable relation of the beauty and god. beauty is the source of everything – being, change, and source of knowledge of all that, of all thoughts. all comes from it, all is in it, all turns towards it, and all desires it. beauty is a cause of being, a cause of relations, adaptations and unity of all existing things; it is creating, exemplary and final cause at the same time. discovering the ray of the one and the principles of the order of all parts of being and stating that beauty is “good harmony and brightness of all things”7 philosopher connects the traditional greek concept of beauty as a particular composition of parts and Plotinian idea of beauty as of light, of brilliance. according to Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite the divine beauty affects everything, even the lowest things: “portions of matter which are the least honourable [...] having had its beginning from the essentially beautiful, has throughout the whole range of matter some echoes of the intellectual comeliness“, „not even one of the things existing is altogether deprived of participation in the beautiful”8. Moreover a representation of beauty through the most dishonorable things is justified by Pseudo-dionysian conception of symbols. it also demonstrates some dialectical features. the symbol both reveals and conceals what it symbolizes. there exist not only similar but also different symbolic images with the thing they represent; thus even ugly things and phenomena may be the symbols of celestial matters. they shock and turn the attention of the perceiver towards something what is totally different from what he directly perceives. according to Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite the most exciting may be example where holiness manifests itself “under the form of worm”9. exactly these dissimilar similarities take us closer to the Highest beauty.

Pseudo- dionysian theory inspired posterior artists and philosophers. the scholars unanimously acknowledge that his ideas affected the symbolism of the dome and emphasized the role of icons, exalting them into the objects of liturgy in the tradition of byzantine Church. another major impact of his ideas was an

5 Plato, Symposium. translated by benjamin jowett. <http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/symposium.html>.

6 dionysius the areopagite, On Divine Names. in: dionysius the areopagite. Works, 1897. translated by john Parker. grand Rapids, Mi: Christian Classics ethereal library. <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/dionysius/works.html>, p. 33.

7 ibid.8 dionysius the areopagite, on the Heavenly Hierarchy, p. 1519 ibid, p. 152.

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emergence of the whole art style in the Western europe. erwin Panofsky discovered that it were works of Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite that incited abbot suger of saint denis to project and rebuild an abbey church which became the first gothic Cathedral. in the writings of suger Panofsky finds direct parallels with the ideas of Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite and states, that in his theory suger “found the most authoritative confirmation of his own innate beliefs and propensities […] that ‘the admirable power of one unique and supreme reason equalizes the disparity between things human and divine’; and that ‘what seems mutually to conflict by inferiority of origin and contrariety of nature is conjoined by the single, delightful concordance of one unique superior, well-tempered harmony’”10. an impact of the concept of being of Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite investigators find also in the images of the paradise in the poem of dante alighieri “divine Comedy”.

the connection of Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite with scholasticism we may call dialectical, since from one side, mystic theology is an antithesis of scholastical thinking grounds, while from the other, the interpretations of Pseudo-dionysian theory, effected by john scotus eriugena, albert the great, thomas aquinas form an essential part of scholasticism itself. john scotus eriugena’s concept of the whole creation as a revelation of divine beauty echoes the theory of Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite and later it influences two great philosophers: albert the great and thomas aquinas. both explicate their aesthetical position in the commentaries on Pseudo-dionysian treatise “on divine names”.

as well as Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite, albert the great and thomas aquinas recognize that all things participate in beauty and good, while the true beauty is the beauty of god. beside this transcendental beauty they also mention other kinds of beauty – corporeal beauty (in corporibus) and spiritual beauty (in spiritualibus), albert the great also adds essential beauty (essentialibus) which lies in the very essence of thing. though both theologians do not mention the beauty among transcendentals, nevertheless, following their consideration of beauty, of its relations to the good and the truth, majority of researchers claim that the beauty holds the status of transcendental in their systems.

both albert the great and thomas aquinas discern three features of the beautiful thing; however, these triads are different. For albert the great it consists of „firstly, elegant and convenient magnitude of a body, secondly, proportioned formation of parts, thirdly, good and lucid color perfusion“11. the color in this triad testifies an influence of neo-Platonists and Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite while the magnitude and the proportioned arrangement echoes the conception of aristotle given in “Poetics”: “to be beautiful, a living creature, and every whole 10 Panofsky erwin, Meaning in the Visual Arts. new york: a doubleday anchor book, 1955, p.

132.11 albertus Magnus, Mariale, Qu. 15-16. in: Władysław tatarkiewicz. Historia estetyki

II. Estetyka średniowieczna. Wrocław, Warszawa, kraków: Zakład narodowy imienia ossolińskich, 1962, p. 281.

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made up of parts, must not only present a certain order in its arrangement of parts, but also be of a certain definite magnitude. beauty is a matter of size and order”12. the statement that beauty depends on magnitude present day aestheticians might find to be quite odd. aristotle, however, had in mind the magnitude which allows the thing to be easily conceived. an influence of aristotle we might also find in the explanation of albert the great of beauty of corporeal body. it depends on “proper amount (debita quantitate), proper position (debito situ), proper figure and proper proportion between the parts and also between the parts and a whole”13. this idea combines the ideas of aristotle and augustine. explaining relation of proportion and radiance albert the great appeals to the ideas of aristotle and Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite. the radiance of matter and form he identifies with the substantial form of aristotle as its metaphysical essence, its idea. there are not single formulations of this idea, we shall give some: “beauty demands for the reciprocal proportion of some elements, whether they are parts of the body or other elements, so that they shine through clear form (supersplendeat claritas formae)”14, “beauty is the splendor of the substantial or actual form over the parts of matter united in proportion”15. We should note that this form is not the essence of the beauty but only its condition: the matter should have proportional composition so it was able to reveal in itself this essence of beauty – the splendor of the substantial form. Following Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite albert the great explains the beauty also as the translucency of the idea, the highest expression of the highest perfection.

as we have already noted, thomas aquinas gives another three features of the beautiful thing. We can recall his famous description: “beauty includes three conditions, “integrity” or “perfection,” since those things which are impaired are by the very fact ugly; due “proportion” or “harmony”; and lastly, “brightness” or “clarity,” whence things are called beautiful which have a bright color“16. Hence, thomas aquinas, differently with albert the great, names integrity, perfection (also imperfection, ugliness as proper lack of the beauty that is integrity). of course this difference is not substantial, since in the whole conception of albert the great we also find the perfection and integrity. yet what the special emphasis on these features wants us to tell? according to thomas aquinas, the beauty of the thing requires for the variety of its parts. the parts should be connected; the 12 aristotle, On the Art of Poetry. translated by ingram bywater. <http://www.gutenberg.org/

files/6763/6763-h/6763-h.htm>. 13 albertus Magnus, summa theologiae, Q. 26, membr. 1 a. 2. in: Władysław tatarkiewicz.

Historia estetyki II. Estetyka średniowieczna. Wrocław, Warszawa, kraków: Zakład narodowy imienia ossolińskich, 1962, p. 283.

14 albertus Magnus, opusculum de pulchro et bono. Mandonnet, V, 426, p. 281.15 ibid, V, 420, p. 282.16 thomas aquinas, Summa Theologica. benziger bros. edition, 1947. translated by Fathers

of the english dominican Province. <http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa.html>, p. 450 (i. q. 39, a. 8.)

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thing wouldn’t even exist without them being connected. yet the beauty stems not so much from the composite material parts, but rather from their shining unity, their wholeness. thus, same as albert the great, thomas aquinas emphasizes the shining of the whole but not the simple order of the parts as more important aspect of beauty.

We might also notice another similarity between thomas aquinas’ and Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite’s concepts of shining. umberto eco says that “aquinas held that clarity rises from below, from the heart of things”17. thus aquinian form overflowing a thing and producing its luminosity as if repeats the idea of Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite about the returning movement of light to its first source of emanation.

it is well known that Pseudo-dionysian aesthetics of light reborns in the theories of Platonists of Renaissance Marsilio Ficino and giovanni Pico della Mirandola. some parallels with it we may find also in later times. georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in his “aesthetics: lectures on Fine art” uses the term Scheinen (in initial sense: to schine, to gleam) in his definition of beauty: „das schöne bestimmt sich dadurch als das sinnliche scheinen der idee“18 („the beautiful is characterized as the pure appearance of the idea to sense“19). in his describtion of preconditions of beauty he mentions the features of form and „purity of the stuff, in shape, colour, note“20, purity here is a term for Reinheit, which means clarity, clearness as well. Martin Heidegger doesn‘t provide us with a consistent concept of beauty, but in similar manner as Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite writes about the being of beauty in itself and for itself, about the shining as the basis of beauty. in the work “the origin of the Work of art” he states that: „light […] sets its shining into the work. the shining that is set into the work is the beautiful”21. Material, color, sound, word of the work of art come forth into the clearing and light up the world around the work.


From Plato through neo-Platonism partaken and explicated notions of aesthetics of light appeared to be productive. the concept of shining has very 17 eco umberto, Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages. translated by Hugh bredin. new Haven

and london: yale university Press, 1986, p. 81.18 Hegel georg Wilhelm Friedrich, Vorlesungen über die Ästhetik. <http://www.textlog.de/

hegel_aesthetik.html>.19 Hegel georg Wilhelm Friedrich, Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art. translated: by

t. M. knox, 1973. <http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/ae/part1.htm#c2-b-2>.

20 ibid.21 Martin Heidegger, The Origin of the Work of Art. in: Martin Heidegger. Off the Beaten Track.

translated by julian young and kenneth Haynes. Cambridge: Cambridge university Press, 2002, p. 32.

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high importance even in contemporary aesthetics. First, it helps us to consider the inspiration the artist acquires from the absolute whatever name it holds. second, it helps us to discern the structure of the aesthetical perception; when the spectator remains somewhat passive as the very aesthetical thing becomes active, conquers the attention, and appears itself as well as its entire environment in a different, not everyday light. the concept of Pseudo-dionysius the areopagite of dissimilarity of the similar retains the actuality for the contemporary interpretations of the aesthetics of the ugliness, explaining how images of low, ugly, and mean things can suggest higher spirituality, which always used to be a part of reality referred by beauty.

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Marc-antoine Bechetoille oPDominican Province of France

Les sacrements: Gestes et paroLes de La foi l’hylémorphisme sacramentel dans la théologie du jeune

e. Schillebeeckx

Sakramentai: GeStai ir tikėjimo žodžiaiSakramentinis hylomorfizmas ankstyvojoje e. Schillebeeckx’o teologijoje

SuMMaryin sacramental theology, we spontaneously link the notion of hylomorphism with a physical constitution of the sacrament in matter and form, which excludes contemporary reflections dealing with its symbolic dimension. edward Schillebeeckx proposition in The sacramental economy of salvation, reading aquinas’ Suma Theogiae, is likely to change this situation. he shows that, in this partition, the form is fundamentaly constituted by the intention of the celebrating community, while the matter is the whole ritual, gestures and words. the sacramental word does play a form role, but only as an expression of the community faith. it lifts up the actual human meaning of the sacrament to a theoligical level. this understanding of hylomorphism calls to renew the look on liturgy, so as to take in account how sacraments lead each believer on a path that objectifies the grace received, while coming to meet him, on its singular route.key wordS: sacramental theology, hylomorphism, liturgy, thomas aquinas, edward Schille-beeckx.

SantraukaSakramentų teologijoje hilomorfizmo samprata spontaniškai siejama su fizine sakramento sandara, su jo materija ir forma, o tai paneigia šiuolaikinius jo simbolinės dimensijos apmąstymus. tai, ką edwardas Schillebeeckxas siūlo savo „Sakramentinėje išganymo ekonomijoje“, kurioje nagrinėja t. akviniečio „teologijos sumą“, atrodo, keičia minėtą padėtį. jis parodo, kad šiame padalijime formą sudaro apeigose dalyvaujančios bendruomenės intencijos, o materija yra visas ritualas su atitinkamais gestais ir žodžiais. Sakramento žodis atlieka formos vaidmenį, bet tik kaip bendruomenės tikėjimo išraiška. tikrąją žmogišką sakramento prasmę jis kilsteli į teologijos lygmenį. Ši hilomorfizmo samprata kviečia atnaujinti požiūrį į liturgiją, atsižvelgiant į tai, kaip kiekvieną individualų tikintįjį, vienatvėje einantį jo sutikti, sakramentas veda priimamos malonės objektyvacijos keliu.raktažodžiai: sakramentų teologija, hilomorfizmas, liturgija, tomas akvinietis, edwardas Schillebeeckxas.


« Les sacrements ont pour fin de sanctifier les hommes, d’édifier le corps du christ, enfin de rendre le culte à dieu ; mais, à titre de signes, ils ont aussi un rôle d’enseignement. non seulement ils supposent la foi, mais encore, par les paroles

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et par les choses, ils la nourrissent, ils la fortifient, ils l’expriment ; c’est pourquoi ils sont dits sacrements de la foi. » (Sc 571)

le concile Vatican ii, dans la constitution sur la sainte liturgie Sacrosanctum concilium, a souligné le rôle didactique des sacrements. ils sont en effet le lieu d’un enseignement adressé aux fidèles de la part de l’eglise, qui, a travers eux, exprime et transmet le contenu de sa foi, disposant par là même le fidèle à la réception de la grâce de dieu. cet enseignement n’est pas délivré sous la forme d’un discours, mais dans la complémentarité des « paroles et des choses » mises en jeu dans la célébration des sacrements, qui proposent au croyant une expérience symbolique l’impliquant corps et esprit. Pour tirer pleinement profit de cette dimension pédagogique, il importe donc de considérer les sacrements au sein de la liturgie qui les célèbre.

au-delà de la foi de l’eglise, c’est aussi la sanctification de l’homme, effectivement réalisée par dieu, qui est exprimée par signes sensibles dans les sacrements. rendre compte de leur effet intégral au sein de l’itinéraire d’un croyant nécessite donc de parvenir à penser leur efficacité salvifique, et la manière donc cette efficacité s’articule avec une action humaine porteuse de sens, une articulation qui ne peut se limiter à une simple concomitance.

dès avant le concile, dans sa thèse de doctorat L’économie sacramentelle du salut2, edward Schillebeeckx s’est attelé à cette double tâche. dans cet article, nous souhaitons tout d’abord présenter l’option décisive de cet auteur pour une théologie des sacrements à l’intersection de la dogmatique et de la liturgie. Bénéficiant des travaux d’odon casel, il pense ainsi l‘efficacité des sacrements comme procédant du mystère pascal, par l‘action de la grâce acquise par le christ sur la croix.

il s‘agira ensuite d‘étudier la façon dont e. Schillebeeckx veut concilier le sens anthropologique de l‘action rituelle avec son efficacité salvifique, au moyen de la notion d‘hylémorphisme sacramentel. Grâce aux ressources de la tradition, et en particulier à travers une lecture suivie de la question 60 de la tertia Pars de la Somme Théologique de Saint thomas d’aquin, il montre que la distinction, au sein du sacrement, d’une matière et d’une forme, n’implique pas forcément le recours à une métaphysique donnée. au contraire, il s’agit de reconnaître dans toute la célébration, composée de gestes et de paroles, la matière du sacrement. cette matière possède déjà un sens en tant qu’activité de culte, mais un sens que la forme, c’est-à-dire l’intention de foi qui guide la communauté, surélève jusqu’au niveau proprement sacramentel.

en mettant en évidence cette composition, e. Schillebeeckx veut montrer que le sacrement ne se limite pas à être l’application ponctuelle d’un remède indifférencié. il est au contraire à proprement parler une rencontre entre dieu et le

1 Le Concile Vatican II (1962-1965). Préface par Giuseppe alberigo, traduction par raymond Winling. Paris: cerf, 2003, p. 33.

2 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut. Fribourg: academic Press Fribourg (Studia Friburgensia 95), 2004 (1ère édition en néerlandais: 1952).

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chrétien. cette rencontre s’inscrit dans l’économie symbolique du sacrement, et se tisse, s’approfondit au cours de la vie sacramentaire du fidèle. en se familiarisant progressivement avec le sens des célébrations auxquelles il participe, il entre aussi dans leur signification sacramentelle, pour bénéficier de toute la richesse de la grâce que dieu lui adresse personnellement.

PenSer LeS SacrementS à L’interSection de La doGmatique et de La LiturGie

Une théologie « en quête du Dieu vivant »3

edward Schillebeeckx est un théologien belge, frère dominicain, né le 12 novembre 1914 à anvers, mort le 23 décembre 2009 à nimègue, dont la pensée a joué un rôle certain dans la vie de l’Église catholique au XXe siècle, que ce soit comme conseiller des évêques néerlandais au concile Vatican ii, comme membre fondateur de la revue Concilium en 1965, où comme professeur de théologie à l’université de nimègue de 1958 à 1983. Sa pensée se caractérise notamment par la volonté de renouveler la théologie scolastique par les apports de la liturgie et de la philosophie, en vue d’éviter qu’elle ne devienne un discours clos sur lui-même, inaudible au-delà des limites de l’Église.

cette conviction s’est forgée dès son cursus philosophique, au cours duquel il fut marqué par le professeur dominicus de Petter (1905-1971). a sa suite, il étudia G. W. F. hegel, M. heidegger et M. Merleau-Ponty4, en s’intéressant particulièrement à leurs théories de la connaissance5. a travers d. de Petter, e. Schillebeeckx fut influencé par la phénoménologie et l‘existentialisme, dont il tira les conséquences en théologie : l‘existence humaine constitue le lieu privilégié et authentique où dieu se donne à voir d‘une façon indirecte, implicite, mais néanmoins réelle. Faire de la théologie ne consiste pas d’abord à développer une argumentation rationnelle à partir d‘un donné assuré, mais plutôt à explorer et à déchiffrer l‘expérience humaine de la rencontre de dieu. cette analyse ne nie pas l‘apport de la tradition, mais cette dernière doit être lue de manière à faire apparaître l‘expérience existentielle de dieu qu‘elle traduit. c‘est ce qui en justifie une approche scientifique, experte, telle qu‘a pu l‘exercer e. Schillebeeckx. il s‘agit 3 en référence à l’article: edward Schillebeeckx, « en quête du dieu vivant », dans Approches

théologiques 2 – Dieu et l’homme. Bruxelles: ceP, 1965, pp. 21-41.4 eric Borgman, Edward Schillebeeckx – A Theologian in His History. london: continuum,

2005, vol. 1., p. 48: « all three had influenced de Petter, and like him called attention to being, totality, meaning as these were also experienced with the experience of concrete things and in human existence. »

5 dans ce domaine, il appliqua notamment la notion d’ « intuition implicite » à la connaissance de dieu, que de Petter avait développé; voir notamment: dominique m. de Petter, « impliciete intuitie », Tijdschrift voor Philosophie 1, 1939, p. 84-105.

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d‘apprendre la « langue maternelle » des auteurs traditionnels, et spécialement celle de thomas d‘aquin, non pour oublier la nôtre, mais pour saisir la globalité de son rapport au monde. la théologie sacramentelle, faisant de ce rapport au monde le lieu même de la rencontre de dieu, fut pour lui l‘occasion de mettre à profit l‘enseignement des phénoménologues.

Faire de la théologie à partir du matériau liturgique : la redécouverte du mystère

La liturgie fut une autre source d’inspiration de la réflexion d’e. Schillebeeckx. de fait, il a bénéficié, dès sa jeunesse, des premières influences du renouveau liturgique, dues au mouvement lancé par dom Lambert Beauduin, insistant notamment sur le fait que « la source de l’esprit chrétien est à trouver dans la participation active des fidèles »6. e. Schillebeeckx a également été influencé par la réflexion développée par dom o. casel, moine bénédictin allemand de l’abbaye de maria Laach. on ressent par exemple fortement son influence dans le résumé en français de la thèse de e. Schillebeeckx, proposée dès l’édition néerlandaise7: « La révélation chrétienne n’est pas seulement la communication d’une somme de vérités, prêchées par les prophètes et le christ, elle est, plus fondamentalement, un Mysterion »8. Son point de vue est néanmoins assez différent de celui d’o. casel, et l’on peut même considérer L’économie sacramentelle du salut comme un développement critique de la théologie des mystères d’o. casel9. cette différence de points de vue tient d’abord à deux appréhensions distinctes de la modernité. 6 Pie X, « motu proprio sur la musique sacrée du 22 novembre 1903 », dans Actes de S.S. Pie X,

Paris, maison de la Bonne Presse, 1905, p. 49, cité par Lambert Beauduin, « La vraie prière de l’eglise », Questions Liturgiques 91, 2010, p. 38: « notre plus vif désir étant, en effet, que le véritable esprit chrétien refleurisse de toute façon et se maintienne chez tous les fidèles, il est nécessaire de pourvoir avant tout à la sainteté et à la dignité du temple où les fidèles se réunis-sent précisément pour puiser cet esprit à sa source première et indispensable: la participation active aux mystères sacro-saints et à la prière publique et solennelle de l’Église»; on considère habituellement que la conférence donnée par dom Lambert Beauduin, le 23 septembre 1909, au congrès des Œuvres catholiques à malines, consitue le point de départ du mouvement liturgique.

7 edward Schillebeeckx, De sacramentele heilseconomie. Theologische bezinning op S. Thomas’ sacramentenleer in het licht van de traditie en van de hedendaagse sacramentsproblematiek, antwerpen – Bilthoven, ‘t Groeit – nelissen, 1952, p. 665-672.

8 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 537, qui laisse transparaître l’influence d’odon casel, Le Mystère du culte dans le christianisme, Paris, cerf, 1946, pp. 20-21: « Le christianisme n’est pas [...] un système de vérités spéculatives et dogmatiques que l’on admet et confesse. [...] Saint Paul résume et condense tout le christianisme, tout l’’’evangile’’ dans le mot ‘’mysterium’’ [qui] signifie d’abord une action divine, l’accomplissement d’un dessein éternel de dieu, qui se réalise dans le temps et dans le monde et qui a son achèvement final, sa fin, dans l’Éternel lui-même ».

9 Viktor Warnach, « Mysterientheologie », in Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche. Freiburg: Herder, 1961, vol. 7, col. 724-725.

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confronté à ses effets néfastes, et notamment la progression de l’individualisme en allemagne entre les deux guerres, o. casel se positionne en réaction face à elle, souhaitant faire revenir la culture vers sa source théologique. e. Schillebeeckx, au contraire, prétend quant à lui attirer la théologie au cœur de la culture.

au-delà du contexte de son emploi, le cœur même de la notion de mystère, c’est-à-dire son sens, en tant qu’il désigne le culte, distinguent ces deux auteurs. Pour o. casel le mystère est

une action sacrée et cultuelle, dans laquelle une œuvre rédemptrice du passé est rendue présente sous un rite déterminé ; la communauté cultuelle, en accomplissant ce rite sacré, entre en participation du fait rédempteur évoqué, et acquiert ainsi son propre salut.10 cette définition n’est pas propre aux mystères chrétiens. elle résulte de

l’analyse des mystères antiques, au sens que ce mot reçoit dans les religions à mystère. au regard de leur contenu salvifique, ces mystères païens sont certes incomparables à ceux de la liturgie chrétienne, mais ils semblent pourtant déjà viser « structurellement » dieu lui-même :

toute la nature recèle une analogie avec la surnature. cette analogie n’avait pas échappé aux mystères antiques, si bien qu’ils étaient à même de fournir aux mystères surnaturels du christ des termes et des formes appropriés. 11 a partir de l’analogie qu’il décèle entre nature et surnature, o. casel établit un

rapport typologique entre la liturgie chrétienne et les liturgies à mystères et semble supposer un processus identique, quant à la communication à ceux qui pratiquent le culte, de leur contenu salvifique. il y a une contemporanéité avec l’événement salvifique12. on peut relever deux caractéristiques de ce processus. d’une part, la source du salut semble réellement contenue dans le mystère :

la messe constitue toujours le centre de la liturgie parce que c’est elle qui contient le mystère rédempteur dans sa source même, la Passion et la résurrection du Seigneur. de cette source infinie jaillit et coule un fleuve puissant de mystères, de sacrements et de sacramentaux, qui féconde l’éden de l’Église.13 d’autre part, cette source est constituée par les événements salvifiques eux-

mêmes, les événements de la vie du christ, qui sont « re-présentés » dans les mystères du culte :

[Le mystère de Pâques] est le renouvellement mystique et l’application aux fidèles de la rédemption qui culmine dans le sacrifice de la croix, et de la transfiguration de l’Église qui résulte de la divine résurrection.14

10 odo casel, Le Mystère du culte dans le christianisme. Paris: cerf, 1946, p. 109-110.11 Ibid., p. 66, l’auteur souligne.12 on peut penser ici au processus à l’œuvre dans la théurgie, regroupant des pratiques magiques

visant à faire venir en présence un dieu ou un être surnaturel, dans un objet ou une personne. cf. r. a. norris, « theurgy », in Mircea eliade, (éd.), The Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 14. new-york: macmillan, 1987, p. 481-483.

13 odo casel, Le Mystère du culte dans le christianisme, p. 139, l’auteur souligne.14 Ibid., p. 137-138.

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Si cette thèse est si importante pour o. casel, c’est qu’il veut tenir l’unité de l’événement salvifique et de ses effets, c’est-à-dire du sacrifice du christ et des sacrements : bénéficier de l’efficacité des sacrements, c’est participer en quelque manière à l’événement de salut posé par le christ.

L’inflexion apportée par e. Schillebeeckx touche précisément à la communication du contenu salvifique du mystère : il refuse d’accepter une simple transposition des cultes à mystères dans la sphère chrétienne. quelle que soit la position réelle de o. casel à cet égard, et notamment quant à la présence de l’événement même dans le mystère, e. Schillebeeckx veut se distinguer de ce qu’il en a perçu, en montrant comment les mystères chrétiens ne sont mystères qu’en lien avec le mystère, c’est-à-dire la vie du christ. refusant une stricte contemporanéité, il cherche alors à penser une présence de mystère de l’événement salvifique dans la liturgie :

[la] Mysteriengegenwart nous a posé un problème réel : à savoir si dans la « virtus passionis christi » il n’y aurait pas seulement un moment divin qui déborde le temps et l’espace et, dans et par les sacrements, puisse influer réellement sur les hommes vivant maintenant, comme Saint thomas l’a déjà dit, ou si l’acte salvifique lui-même de la passio et de la resurrectio ne serait pas présent dans les sacrements sur un mode sacramentel.15dans la lignée de Saint thomas, e. Schillebeeckx résiste à considérer le mystère

comme véhicule du contenu salvifique ; il est bien davantage, pour lui, le mode de sa révélation. Soucieux de ne pas en rester à une approche globale, e. Schillebeeckx veut comprendre comment le mystère se déploie concrètement dans la vie de l’Église et dans les sacrements. en tentant ainsi de conjuguer l’importance retrouvée de la notion de mystère et la théologie de thomas, e. Schillebeeckx s’inscrit aussi de quelque façon dans le sillage d’anschaire Vonier, moine bénédictin anglais de l’abbaye de Buckfast. Bien qu’e. Schillebeeckx ne le cite qu’en passant16, e. Borgman estime qu’a. Vonnier a renouvelé la compréhension de la théologie de thomas à propos des sacrements17, en remettant en valeur l’importance de la foi et sa complémentarité avec les sacrements :

les sacrement sont essentiellement les sacrements de la foi, sacramenta fidei, comme les appelle invariablement saint thomas ; la foi et les sacrements ont pareillement ce divin pouvoir instrumental grâce auquel l’homme peut ouvrir la chambre aux trésors de la rédemption chrétienne.18 cet aspect sera effectivement très présent chez e. Schillebeeckx, qui souligne

que, dans la célébration des sacrements la « communauté ecclésiale confesse sa foi dans le mystère du christ, (mystère) qui y est représenté par signe »19.

cette façon de se réapproprier la notion de mystère est en lien étroit avec le contexte du recours à une notion, dont nous avons vu précédemment, qu’elle faisait

15 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 190.16 Ibid., p. 184, note 47.17 eric Borgman, Edward Schillebeeckx – A Theologian in His History, p. 206-207.18 anscar Vonier, La clef de la doctrine eucharistique. Lyon: editions de l’abeille, 1942, p. 16.19 edward Schillebeeckx, l’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 151.

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la différence entre e. Schillebeeckx et o. casel. en effet, pour e. Schillebeeckx, cela signifie aussi que la liturgie n’introduit pas dans un monde en soi, contenant tout ce dont ont besoin les croyants. Sa signification réside au contraire dans la façon dont elle pointe vers quelque chose au-delà du rituel, entendu ici comme le christ lui-même. néanmoins, le christ ne doit pas être pensé uniquement comme un vis-à-vis, envers lequel les mystères constitueraient une médiation. Les inflexions ultérieures de la pensée d’e. Schillebeeckx invitent à considérer que cet au-delà est aussi le monde lui-même, comme lieu de rencontre avec dieu.

cette notion de rencontre est une clé de la doctrine sacramentaire d’e. Schillebeeckx, et constitue le point de confluence des trois sources philosophique, théologique et liturgique que nous venons de décrire. e. Schillebeeckx en donne un aperçu dans la préface de son ouvrage Le Christ sacrement de la rencontre de Dieu :

dieu [...], qui est la source absolue de son secret intime, qui est une personne au sens parfait et absolu du mot, ne peut être approché dans son mystère de vie personnel que s’il se laisse rencontrer. c’est seulement dans ce cas que révélation et foi trouvent leur signification la plus pleine comme éléments constitutifs de la vraie rencontre. L’idée de « rencontre de dieu » contient donc une référence à notre expérience naturelle de l’existence. Sans cette signification profane, humaine, de la rencontre, la notion théologique de « rencontre de dieu » dans le domaine de la foi serait pour nous vide de sens. en raison de la nature particulière, charnelle, qui caractérise une rencontre humaine, la révélation et la foi religieuses ont également un aspect charnel de visibilité et de faculté d’appréhension historique. cet aspect culmine dans l’homme jésus et atteint son sommet dans la mort et la résurrection de jésus ainsi que dans l’effusion de son esprit. La manifestation perceptible et historique de ce mystère du christ est l’Église. en raison de l’incarnation de dieu et de sa continuation dans l’Église, cette manifestation visible fait partie de l’essence de la grâce chrétienne elle-même.20on retrouve dans cette longue citation le geste caractéristique de e. Schillebeeckx,

qui cherche à penser les sacrements dans la tension entre l’expérience quotidienne et l’événement irréductible du salut, à savoir la Pâque du christ, tout en pensant une harmonie plus primordiale encore, dans le mystère du christ.

L’HyLÉmorPHiSme: une PenSÉe de L’eFFicacitÉ SaLViFique et du SenS de L’action Humaine

en brossant les traits fondamentaux de la théologie de e. Schillebeeckx au cours de la première partie de sa carrière, nous avons montré l’importance qu’il accorde à la notion de mystère, à l’œuvre dans les sacrements. ce mystère est rendu accessible pour les croyants au travers de la célébration liturgique des sacrements. avant de chercher à entrer dans le sens de ces célébrations, à l’aide du concept d’hylémorphisme, il serait très profitable de pouvoir mener une réflexion 20 edward Schillebeeckx, Le Christ sacrement de la rencontre de Dieu – Étude théologique du

Salut par les sacrements. Paris: cerf (Foi Vivante 133), 1997, Préface, p. 8-9.

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plus générale sur les notions de signe et de symbole. dans les limites de cet article, à défaut de pouvoir les définir de façon exhaustive, il reste nécessaire de situer ces termes l’un par rapport à l’autre.

en reprenant la proposition augustinienne21, on peut tout d’abord définir le signe comme une chose qui tient lieu d’une autre chose. le fait de tenir lieu, pour le signe, n’est pas un simple renvoi, que l’on pourrait penser de façon univoque. au contraire, la relation qui s’établit entre le signe et son objet peut revêtir différentes fonctions, qui ont été notamment catégorisées par c. S. Peirce22. Souligner cette diversité, c’est aussi mettre en évidence le rôle de celui qui décode le signe et peut se référer, par lui, à son objet.

Le symbole possède un degré de complexité supérieur à celui du signe. on peut le définir comme : « un signe qui représente un objet mais en signifie un autre ».23 cette définition nécessite trois précisions. La première porte sur la nature de ce que cette définition désigne comme le « signe ». il faut remarquer que ce signe n’est jamais isolable en tant que chose, comme s’il contenait en lui même son sens. au contraire, ce n’est que saisi dans le contexte de sa mise en œuvre, que l’on peut en saisir le sens premier, qui ouvre alors sur un second. Les travaux de P. ricoeur24 dans le champ de l’herméneutique en témoignent notamment.

La deuxième remarque touche à la nature de l’objet « signifié ». Le fait de représenter un objet en en signifiant un autre pourrait n’être que le report de la faculté déjà évoquée du signe. La spécificité du symbole vient au contraire du fait que ce « troisième » objet (troisième terme de la relation signe / objet représenté / objet signifié), visé ultimement par le symbole, n’est pas du même ordre que le premier. il ne s’agit pas d’un objet mais d’un ensemble signifiant complexe. Factuellement, c’est bien à un troisième objet que renvoie le symbole, mais non tant pour lui-même que pour l’ensemble auquel il appartient et qu’il permet d’appréhender.

enfin, la troisième observation concerne la relation symbolique elle-même, unissant les termes de cette définition. au sein de la structure triadique proposée, le deuxième comme le troisième terme peuvent être eux-mêmes des signes, amorçant une nouvelle relation symbolique. Le troisième terme n’épuisant pas le sens du symbole, accepter cette définition revient à reconnaître qu’un aspect

21 augustin, De doctrina christiana, ii, i, 1, turnhout, Brepols (corpus christianorum, Ser. lat. XXXii), 1962, p. 32 : « Signum est enim res praeter speciem, quam ingerit sensibus, aliud aliquid ex se faciens in cogitationem uenire ».

22 charles Sanders Peirce, Collected Papers, vol. ii, Elements of Logic, cambridge: the Belknap press of Harvard university press, 1960, 2.247-2.249, p. 143-144.

23 claudine tiercelin, « Symbole », in Grand Dictionnaire de la Philosophie, p. 1000.24 Paul ricoeur, « Le conflit des herméneutiques : épistémologie des interprétations », Cahiers

internationaux de symbolisme 1 (1962), p. 159 : « il y a symbole lorsque nous sommes en face, non pas d’un signe simple, qui dit quelque chose comme c’est le propre de tous les signes, mais lorsque nous sommes en face de signes composés, de signes complexes, où au lieu qu’un sens renvoie à une autre chose nous avons un sens qui renvoie à un autre sens. »

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essentiel du symbole se joue dans le dynamisme de l’activité symbolique, qui relie les significations entre-elles, au-delà de ces significations mêmes.

ces notions rapidement esquissées, nous allons maintenant suivre plus étroitement la proposition d’e. Schillebeeckx, exprimée dans les deux premières sections de L’économie sacramentelle du salut. il est à noter que ce développement figure dans la première partie intitulée « La figure objective des sacrements en tant qu’activité symbolisante cultuelle du christ dans et à travers la communauté ecclésiale »25. notre auteur y démontre que l’utilisation de l’hylémorphisme permet de déployer les potentialités relatives au classement du sacrement dans le genre du signe26. Pour lui, c’est toute la célébration, avec sa richesse de sens anthropologique et spirituel, qui est à considérer comme le point d’accès vers le sens proprement sacramentel et théologique du sacrement.

La prise en compte des dimensions descendante et ascendante du sacrement

le parcours historique effectué par e. Schillebeeckx dans la Section i de la première partie de L’économie sacramentelle du salut27 lui permet en premier lieu, à la lumière de l’enseignement de Saint thomas dans la Somme de Théologie, de faire le point sur la dimension sanctifiante, « descendante », des sacrements.

Les sacrements sont dans le genre du signe, et si, de quelque manière, il faut tenir qu’ils « causent » la grâce, cette causalité est absente de la définition thomasienne des sacrements, qui sont considérés comme des « signes de la grâce sanctifiante »28, la causalité étant entièrement reportée sur la puissance divine à l’œuvre dans le sacrement. e. Schillebeeckx s’accorde ici avec thomas pour reconnaître la primauté logique de l’action de dieu dans les sacrements. mais il souligne aussi la médiation du christ à l’œuvre dans cette action, et non seulement du christ Glorieux, mais plus encore « des mystères de la chair du christ », c’est-

25 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 23-368.26 Si la distinction entre signe et symbole est effective aujourd’hui, on doit remarquer son absence

chez les scolastiques, et notamment chez thomas d’aquin. Pourtant, les virtualités que revêt pour nous le symbole n’étaient nullement un point aveugle de leurs conceptualités. au contraire, les travaux d’i. rosier-catach ont montré qu’ils assignaient toutes ces significations au signe, en insistant également sur la conception dynamique de l’activite de signification. on peut voir par exemple i. rosier-catach, La parole efficace – signe, rituel, sacré, Paris, Seuil, 2004, p. 490: « il nous semble que, au-delà d’un improbable partage entre ce qui est signe et ce qui est symbole, ce qui ressort des pratiques décrites et des théorisations des théologiens, et en constitue le dénominateur commun, c’est une conception dynamique du « signifier », pris dans des rapports multiples, qui s’expriment en latin de manière unifiée et privilégiée par le verbe significare, dont le sujet peut être le locuteur ou le signe, et dont l’objet peut être à l’accusatif (signifier quelque chose) ou au datif (signifier pour quelqu’un). »

27 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, Section i: historique de la définition des sacrements, p. 25-196.

28 thomas d’aquin, Somme de Théologie, iiia, q. 60, a. 1-3.

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à-dire des événements de la vie du christ, dont la croix est l’expression ultime, en tant qu’ils ont été vécus par jésus, dans l’union des deux natures humaine et divine. en vertu de sa volonté divine, ces événements contiennent ce qu’e. Schillebeeckx nomme « un moment de pérennité », qui donne à ces événements de pouvoir avoir un effet en tout point du temps et de l’espace, c’est-à-dire, plus rigoureusement, en chaque homme à qui le christ adresse personnellement la grâce acquise lors de sa Passion. cette offre personnelle de la grâce est justement le sacrement, qui opère un « contact de simultanéité » entre la grâce sanctifiante et le croyant : c’est l’action spéciale, nécessaire à l’application de la cause universelle, qu’est la Pâque du christ, à un effet particulier29.

les sacrements sont le moyen concret par lequel la grâce du salut peut rejoindre un croyant déterminé, mais cela n’enlève rien à leur caractère de célébration rituelle, c’est-à-dire à leur dimension « ascendante », de l’homme vers dieu. c’est ainsi aux sacrements comme rites humains que veut s’intéresser e. Schillebeeckx dans la suite de son développement30 . il veut notamment montrer comment thomas applique la notion d’hylémorphisme aux sacrements, et comment cette notion révèle particulièrement la profondeur de ce qui se joue dans les sacrements.

Le fondement anthropologique de la proposition d’E. Schillebeeckx

en vue d’expliciter sa compréhension propre de la composition hylémorphique des sacrements, e. Schillebeeckx effectue une d’abord analyse phénoménologique de l’activité de symbole. en complément de ce que nous avons déjà dit à propos du symbole, il serait d’un grand profit ici de s’intéresser aussi à la pensée de e. cassirer31, qui s’est particulièrement attachée à décrire la symbolisation, l’activité de symbole, comme une faculté de l’homme. Pour lui, cette faculté, bien que ne relevant pas de la raison scientifique, est néanmoins à bon droit un processus d’objectivation. il pense même repérer en elle l’expression du trait le plus fondamental du fonctionnement de l’esprit humain, l’utilisation de formes symboliques, sous lequel il serait possible de subsumer l’ensemble de ses facultés. en cela, il peut dire que l’homme est un animal symbolicum : sa capacité à symboliser est le caractère même de son humanisation.

e. Schillebeeckx reconnaît aussi dans l’activité symbolique un trait caractéristique de l’homme, fondé sur l’unité essentielle que constitue l’être humain. même si l’on peut distinguer en lui les dimensions corporelle et spirituelle, ce qu’est fondamentalement l’homme ne peut se réduire à l’une de ces composantes

29 Ibid., iiia, q. 52, a. 1, ad 2.30 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, Section ii: action liturgique et

parole liturgique comme essentielles de l’acte sacramentel symbolisant. p. 197-368.31 ernst cassirer, Philosophie des formes symboliques, Paris, Minuit, 1992, t. i: le langage

(1923) et t. iii : la phénoménologie de la connaissance (1929), ainsi que ernst cassirer, An essay on man. new Haven : yale university Press, 19722 (1944).

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seulement : « Anima [...] non est totus homo, et anima non est ego »32. Si l’âme n’est pas tout l’être humain, alors son interaction avec le corps est nécessaire pour le développement de la personne humaine. on peut même dire plus, c’est-à-dire que l’interaction entre l’âme et le corps ne se fait pas a posteriori de leur propre formation. on ne peut pas imaginer la personne comme l’assemblage, même bénéfique, d’une âme déjà pleinement âme et d’un corps pleinement corps, chacun palliant les manques de l’autre:

Le corps humain n’est [...] pas seulement l’apparition de l’âme humaine vers l’extérieur, son extériorisation et sa visibilité, mais aussi ce dans quoi et par quoi l’âme se développe pour devenir une personne, en même temps et par suite ce dans quoi l’âme exprime le fait qu’elle devient personne. Le matériel devient ainsi, à travers la corporéité propre à l’homme, l’instrument du processus spirituel d’actualisation et en même temps son champ d’expression.33Pour e. Schillebeeckx, la coopération vaut donc dès le processus d’advenue

de l’âme au monde. l’âme s’actualise par son expression dans la matérialité du corps, elle ne peut prétendre exister sans lui. le processus d’actualisation de l’âme est aussi celui de l’affirmation de l’homme comme unité, capable d’assumer la distinction esprit / matière: « il y a [...] en l’homme un principe transcendant, subsistant, qui le rend capable, dans le matériel, de dépasser ce matériel et de le remplir d’un sens spirituel. »34

cette unité de l’individu, au niveau de son apparition ontologique, caractérise aussi son rapport au monde, en termes de modes de connaissance et d’expression. ainsi, bien qu’elle soit spirituelle, l’âme a besoin de la médiation du corps, quand bien même elle veut appréhender ou exprimer des contenus spirituels:

la connaissance du spirituel n’a pas dans l’homme un mode d’extension propre ; mais elle l’emprunte à la connaissance spécifiquement humaine du corporel. Le monde phénoménal est donc ainsi élargi par nous jusqu’à devenir un système de signes, un réseau de relations pleines de sens où la personne, comme membre d’une communauté de personnes, incarne ses relations intentionnelles vis-à-vis d’elle-même, de dieu et du monde extérieur et rend ces relations pleines de sens, manifestes, compréhensibles pour les autres personnes.35l’unité existante en l’homme se projette en quelque sorte sur le monde, et ces

deux dimensions s’unissent : le spirituel s’incarne dans le matériel, et le matériel s’enrichit authentiquement de la signification du spirituel. c’est « l’élargissement du monde phénoménal » dont parle e. Schillebeeckx, qui correspond à la reconnaissance des choses comme signes, renvoyant à quelque chose d’autre qu’elles-mêmes.32 thomas d’aquin, in 1 ad cor., marietti, cap. XV, lect. 2, n. 924, p. 411, cité par edward Schil-

lebeeckx, l’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 321, Schillebeeckx souligne.33 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 322, l’auteur souligne.34 Ibid., p. 321.35 Ibid., p. 322, c’est l’auteur qui souligne l’adjectif propre.

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Les signes que l’homme reconnaît, il est aussi capables de les produire. il manifeste alors sa faculté symbolique, sa capacité à créer ces symboles. Si les termes de signes et de symboles cohabitent ici, e. Schillebeeckx les distingue et insiste fortement pour ne pas assimiler le symbole au signe lui-même. de fait, le symbole est porté par un signe, mais e. Schillebeeckx veut insister davantage sur la relation, c’est-à-dire l’action qui met en lien le signe et le signifié. c’est la dynamique propre à l’être humain, similaire à celle de son actualisation même :

ce que nous devons mettre ici nettement devant les yeux, est le fait que nous ne devons pas hypostasier le symbole : qu’il s’agit bien plus, non du « symbole » (la « res naturae ») ou de « l’exprimé », mais de l’activité de symbole, de la traduction en / par signe, ou de l’activité d’expression symbolique. en d’autres termes, le signe de symbole n’est vraiment signe que comme « moment d’expérience ». La création de symboles est le travail de l’esprit humain, de façon que nous ne devons pas considérer un signe comme une chose, une « res naturae », mais le considérer comme une « res naturae » qui a été assumée comme un « moment » de et dans l’activité spirituelle humaine.36

Si e. Schillebeeckx privilégie la dimension d’activité du symbole, il ne s’intéresse pas pour autant uniquement au moment de symbolisation. La fin de la citation montre comment il prend aussi en compte ses conséquences. ainsi le signe de symbole n’est pas uniquement le support d’une relation symbolique, qui s’établirait par-dessus lui, entre l’individu et le signifié. La chose qui assume le rôle de signe dans l’activité de symbole devient phénoménalement authentiquement autre chose qu’une chose. L’insistance d’e. Schillebeeckx sur l’activité de symbole ne le conduit pas non plus à postuler une association totalement subjective et arbitraire entre un objet du monde matériel et une signification spirituelle, comme si cette signification était créée de toute pièce par l’activité de symbole. au contraire, il veut penser un sens du matériel antérieur à l’activité humaine:

ceci ne veut pas dire que le monde matériel n’aurait de sens que par l’activité de l’homme. en effet, à l’origine du don de sens par l’homme, se trouve, en raison de la condition humaine d’être créé dans le monde, un phénomène originel qui ensemble avec l’homme est donné avec plénitude de sens et dans lequel l’homme élabore justement son propre monde de signification.37 ainsi, l’activité de symbole est aussi de l’ordre de la révélation. elle indique

un sens présent, mais non encore pleinement dévoilé dans le matériel. Bien que décisive pour l’acquisition de ce sens, elle ne le génère pas. elle détermine la façon dont l’homme entre en rapport avec le signifié, sa faculté à l’appréhender :

Le but de cette activité de symbole est précisément de « créer la possibilité de manipulation ou de rendre possible ou plus grande l’’’éprouvabilité’’ de l’expérience », en prenant un « moment transparent » déterminé comme index de la situation impossible à voir en entier. dans l’usage de symbole il ne s’agit pas, par conséquent, d’arriver à partir de quelque chose de connu pour arriver à une réalité vraiment inconnue, mais de

36 ibid., p. 323, c’est l’auteur qui souligne le mot activité.37 Ibid., p. 323, c’est l’auteur qui souligne.

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rendre une réalité de connaissance « déjà » présente mais plus vague et « échappante » plus transparente et par là de la connaître en toutes lettres exprimée en paroles.38 en cela, e. Schillebeeckx met en valeur l’expressivité du symbole. implicitement,

il affirme que celle-ci ne dépend pas uniquement de la précision explicite de son sens, mais de l’aptitude de ce sens à être éprouvé. Finalement, l’activité de symbole, qui affecte au matériel une signification spirituelle, est fondée sur une intention intérieure du sujet qui l’exerce. en ce sens, le symbole est comme l’incarnation de cette intention :

L’idée ou l’intention ne se trouvent pas tant derrière le signe, mais sont [prises] en compte dans le signe lui-même. Le « signum » n’est pas une enveloppe extérieure, mais le corps même de cette idée ou de cette intention. 39 cette extériorisation peut être pratiquée à la fois par l’action et la parole. dans

tous les cas, son but est de parvenir à communiquer à d’autres, l’intention du sujet qui l’exprime. ce dernier recherche donc, dans cette extériorisation, la précision et l’expressivité de l’expression. ces deux dimensions peuvent être respectivement attribuées à la parole et à l’action lorsqu’elles sont jointes, mais il faut se garder de vouloir compartimenter ou hiérarchiser de façon absolue leurs rôles :

même si le langage, en ce qui touche la précision de l’expression, a, du point de vue psychologique, la plupart du temps, une certaine valeur majeure, le suggestif de la force d’expression peut tout de même être variable, de telle façon qu’en cela l’action peut l’emporter sur la parole. une action symbolique peut être plus parlante que la parole mesurée communiquée.40 c’est donc dans la complémentarité de l’action et de la parole que se trouve la

plus grande fidélité à l’intention première, une complémentarité qu’il faut penser comme la diffraction, dans le geste et dans la parole, d’une unique intention spirituelle, reflet ou expression d’une unique expérience du sujet, reconnaissant la capacité du matériel à s’accomplir dans une signification spirituelle.

La genèse proprement théologique de l’hylémorphisme sacramentel

L’analyse de e. Schillebeeckx a montré que l’activité symbolique est susceptible de témoigner adéquatement d’une expérience authentiquement humaine. Par la complémentarité de l’action et de la parole, elle est à même de traduire de façon expressive l’intention du sujet. cette structure binaire de l’activité symbolique, et plus précisément ici des sacrements, rend possible une analyse par l’outil que constitue l’hylémorphisme sacramentaire. il demeure néanmoins nécessaire de montrer que cette utilisation est fondée dans la tradition théologique, et d’en décrire les contours exacts, pour voir notamment en quoi il se distingue de l’hylémorphisme strictement philosophique.

38 Ibid., p. 324-325, c’est l’auteur qui souligne.39 Ibid., p. 326, l’auteur souligne.40 Ibid., p. 327, c’est l’auteur qui souligne.

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e. Schillebeeckx repère les linéaments de la notion théologique d’hylémorphisme sacramentel dès l’époque patristique. Les Pères reconnaissaient en effet déjà dans les sacrements le binôme constitué par l’alliance d’un verbum et d’un elementum. augustin l’affirme ainsi de façon très pragmatique: « La parole se joint à l’élément et voilà le sacrement. »41 il ne s’agit pas en cela pour les Pères de vouloir décomposer le sacrement, pour chercher la source de son efficacité, mais au contraire de souligner sa composition mystique :

à savoir une « chose terrestre » symbolique, – eau, huile, pain et vin –, qui par le Logos céleste, devient « quelque chose de céleste », un sacrement : un sacrement est une composition de matière et d’ « esprit ».42 cet enracinement ancien est décisif, car il permet à e. Schillebeeckx d’affirmer

que « le noyau de la doctrine de l’hylémorphisme sacramentel s’est développé hors de l’hylémorphisme et touche une problématique spécifiquement théologique. »43

ce n’est donc que tardivement que la doctrine hylémorphique, au sens aristotélicien, s’est vue appliquée aux sacrements, même si les proximités de vocabulaire pourraient, de prime abord, nous faire croire le contraire. elle le fut d’abord par Saint thomas, « le premier à manier l’hylémorphisme réellement comme principe théologique d’intelligibilité »44. en lisant les articles 4 à 8 de la question 60 de la tertia Pars, e. Schillebeeckx montre effectivement que thomas n’utilise pas la notion a priori : il ne s’agit pas pour lui de déduire les propriétés des sacrements, à partir de ce qu’ils devraient être. Sa prudence à l’article 6 en témoigne, lorsqu’il invoque l’hylémorphisme, non pas tant pour rendre raison de la composition du sacrement que de son unité : « Paroles et choses jointes dans le sacrement, constituent donc quelque chose d’un, à la manière d’une forme et d’une matière, dans la mesure où les paroles achèvent la signification des choses »45.

Les deux échelles d’application de l’hylémorphisme

a la suite de thomas, e. Schillebeeckx considère les sacrements comme des actes du christ, puisque c’est la grâce acquise par toute sa vie, et spécialement dans le mystère Pascal, qui agit en eux. cette grâce du salut nous est communiquée au travers de rites, qu’il est légitime d’analyser sur le plan anthropologique. une telle analyse n’est pas à même d’épuiser le mystère transcendant contenu par ces rites, mais elle permet de progresser dans son intelligibilité. 41 augustin, in joannis evangelium, tract. LXXX, 3, PL 35, col. 1840.42 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 290, évoquant notamment

irénée de lyon, Contre les hérésies iV. Paris: cerf, coll. « Sources chrétiennes 100 bis, 1965, 18, 5, p. 613: « [Le] pain qui vient de la terre, après avoir reçu l’invocation de dieu, n’est plus du pain ordinaire, mais eucharistie, constitué de deux choses, l’une terrestre et l’autre céleste ».

43 Ibid., p. 300.44 Ibid., p. 305.45 thomas d’aquin, Somme de Théologie, iiia, q. 60, a. 6, ad 2, nous soulignons.

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ces rites, dont témoignent la tradition et notamment Saint thomas, sont composés d’actions et de paroles liturgiques, et relèvent de la catégorie de l’activité symbolique. Pour cette analyse, la terminologie hylémorphique, distinguant dans le sacrement une matière et une forme, a été employée par une partie de la tradition. or e. Schillebeeckx, relisant et commentant la question 60 de la tertia Pars met en évidence le fait que ce moyen explicatif peut être utilisé à deux échelles différentes :

nous parlons [...] de materia et de forma du sacrement selon une double signification, qui doit pourtant être ramenée fondamentalement à l’idée que la significatio sacramentelle est « forma sacramenti » 46.il importe de distinguer clairement ces deux significations. La première échelle,

et la plus fondamentale, est celle qui considère la significatio sacramentelle comme forme du sacrement. la significatio sacramentelle est, dans ce contexte, ce que veut faire l’assemblée chrétienne, lorsqu’elle célèbre un sacrement. il s’agit de l’intention de la communauté qui pose un acte de culte. le terme de cette action étant transcendant, il ne peut être visé que dans la foi ; la foi des croyants qui participent à l’action cultuelle, mais bien plus essentiellement aussi de la foi de l’Église. ainsi, pour e. Schillebeeckx,

la parole et l’action liturgique sont en tant qu’expression de la « fides ecclesiae » objectivement une confession de foi : extériorisation symbolique pleine de sens, en parole et acte, de la foi de la communauté ecclésiale dans le christ.47cette significatio sacramentelle est directement perceptible dans les

paroles comme dans les actes liturgiques, sous des aspects complémentaires. e. Schillebeeckx souligne précisément qu’à cette première échelle, les paroles liturgiques n’ont pas de valeur prédominante. au contraire,

l’action rituelle comporte déjà, comme acte de symbole de la communauté ecclésiale, la « significatio » sacramentelle, même détachée des paroles qui accompagnent : l’action liturgique est expression du « verbum fidei » intérieur de l’Église.48 le couple forma – materia doit donc avant tout, être pris dans son sens le plus

fondamental, dans lequel la forma est la foi de l’Église, qui s’exprime dans une materia qu’est l’action sacramentelle au sens le plus large, composée de gestes et de paroles.

avec cette dénomination [forma – materia] nous considérons […] l’acte de symbole complet selon son aspect intérieur et extérieur : l’ « extériorité » (paroles et action) est animée par une « intériorité », la significatio, qui donc « informe » l’ensemble d’actions extérieurement mis en paroles.49e. Schillebeeckx n’ignore pas que le couple forma – materia peut également

être utilisé pour penser les rapports entre les actes et les paroles utilisées au cours de la célébration d’un sacrement. c’est ce que fait Saint thomas par exemple, pour qui les paroles sont considérées comme forma d’une materia constituée par

46 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 331-332.47 Ibid., p. 330, c’est l’auteur qui souligne.48 Ibid., p. 330.49 Ibid., p. 331.

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l’action ou l’objet mis en œuvre par le sacrement. cette partition se fonde sur la valeur de précision reconnue à la parole, face à l’équivocité que peut revêtir un geste : « Pour la perfection de la signification sacramentelle, il était donc nécessaire que la signification des choses sensibles fût précisée par les paroles. »50

cependant il s’agit pour e. Schillebeeckx non pas d’un autre emploi de ce couple, mais de son application à ce que l’on pourrait appeler une autre échelle, lorsque l’on choisit de se concentrer sur l’action rituelle seule. en parlant d’échelle, on veut signifier que ces deux applications sont nécessairement à penser en lien l’une avec l’autre. notre auteur reconnaît la légitimité de cette application et la fait sienne, tout en soulignant l’articulation à tenir entre la forma que constitue la parole liturgique et la significatio sacramentelle :

on peut dire que le « verbum fidei » extérieur ou les « verba sacramenti » eux-mêmes, comme porteurs de la signification sacramentelle ultimement déterminée ou de la « forma sacramenti », sont forma vis-à-vis de l’information, en un certain sens encore indéterminée, de l’action liturgique, qui alors, dans cette manière de voir, devient « materia sacramenti ».51on comprend aussi que pour lui, cette articulation est de l’ordre d’une

subordination. La partition entre matière et forme, au niveau de l’extériorisation de l’intention, est relative à celle plus fondamentale, dans laquelle la forme se reconnaît dans la signification sacramentelle, et la matière dans l’ensemble de l’activité symbolique. toute cette matière, parole et geste, est fondamentalement informée par la signification sacramentelle, et ce n’est qu’au sein de cette signification que la parole peut être considérée comme plus déterminée que le geste, et en ce sens en être la forme.

absolutiser au contraire ce second niveau, et faire de la parole en elle-même la forme du sacrement, ce serait en faire le réceptacle unique de la signification sacrementelle, et finalement rendre inutile la matérialité du sacrement. e. Schil-lebeeckx réfute ici fermement une certaine compréhension du thomisme, pour laquelle « le sujet lui-même auquel est attachée la signification sacramentelle, comporte, comme condition préalable de cette signification, une composition réelle entre l’élément formel et l’élément matériel »52. en effet,

en soi même, c’est-à-dire sur le plan physique [les mots] sont l’un des multiples facteurs qui entrent en composition dans l’ensemble de l’action liturgique et en tant que tels ils n’ont pas de valeur majeure.53 en cela, e. Schillebeeckx invite à considérer l’action liturgique dans toute son

ampleur. L’aborder uniquement à partir d’une prétendue constitution physique du 50 thomas d’aquin, Somme de Théologie, iiia, q. 60, a. 6, corp.51 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 331, c’est l’auteur qui souligne.52 albert michel, « matière et forme dans les sacrements », dictionnaire de théologie

catholique, t. X-1, col. 340, cité par edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 332, note 21, c’est Schillebeeckx qui souligne.

53 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 332.

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sacrement, conduit au contraire à focaliser son regard sur les paroles prononcées, et sur le geste ou l’objet sur lequel sont prononcées ces paroles, en cherchant toujours la partie de ces paroles ou de ces gestes qui est la plus décisive, au détriment de leur insertion dans une action globale. c’est, pour e. Schillebeeckx, en quelque sorte un problème de méthode. d’abord on s’interdit de percevoir le sacrement dans toute l’étendue de son sens, puisque l’on restreint volontairement sa définition. ensuite, et de façon plus grave, on perd de vue la nature même du sacrement. en attribuant au niveau physique le rapport forme – matière, on prend en effet le risque d’assimiler l’extériorisation physique avec la totalité du sacrement, aux dépens de son fondement dans l’intention croyante. autrement dit, cela revient à limiter le sacrement à sa réalité physique, à sa nature de signe, isolé de tout émetteur et de tout signifié.

réduire le sacrement à son extériorité conduirait en outre à un autre écueil, celui d’une autonomisation du signifié, celui-ci venant se substituer à une expression sacramentelle plus complexe :

Sacramentum est essentiellement extériorisation de l’intentionnel, c’est-à-dire ni l’intentionnel lui-même, ni le physique, mais expression de l’intentionnel dans le corporel : ‘’sacramenta fidei ecclesiae’’.54 e. Schillebeeckx veut donner toute sa place à la définition du sacrement

comme activité symbolique, ne se laissant pas réduire au signe ou au signifié. Sa signification se trouve bien plus essentiellement dans la dynamique qui relie ces deux pôles, et affirme la compénétration possible du matériel et du spirituel.

L’élévation du rite vers une signification proprement sacramentelle

a la suite d’e. Schillebeeckx, nous avons vu qu’il est possible d’appliquer le binôme hylémorphique à l’action sacramentelle tout en préservant sa nature d’activité symbolique. cependant, cette conception reste insatisfaisante pour notre auteur. en effet, en pensant l’action sacramentelle comme toute entière informée par la visée surnaturelle du sacrement, elle rabat une signification anthropologique éventuelle du sacrement sur sa matérialité. en manquant l’articulation des significations naturelle et surnaturelle, elle risque de ne pas percevoir dans toute sa spécificité la signification proprement sacramentelle, et notamment ce qu’elle puise dans la signification structurale des actions liturgiques.

Pour faire justice à ce passage, e. Schillebeeckx propose donc ce qui s’apparente à une synthèse des deux échelles d’application du modèle forma – materia, distinguées précédemment. Pour cela, tout en se situant à l’échelle de l’action liturgique, il choisit de considérer les gestes posés, non pas simplement comme entrant en composition avec les paroles, en vue d’un sens déterminé, mais plutôt en eux-mêmes, en tant qu’ils constituent un « symbole de nature »55.

54 Ibid., p. 332, l’auteur souligne.55 Ibid., p. 333.

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Les auteurs médiévaux reconnaissaient déjà cette valeur symbolique humaine aux actes mis en œuvre dans les sacrements. a propos du baptême, thomas en tient compte, et indique comment cette symbolique de base est assumée dans le sacrement :

l’eau peut […] signifier l’ablution puisqu’elle est liquide, ou le rafraîchissement puisqu’elle est froide. mais lorsqu’on dit : « je te baptise » il devient évident que dans le baptême on se sert de l’eau pour signifier la purification spirituelle.56 ainsi considéré pour lui même, le rite seulement humain devient sacrement à

l’adjonction des paroles sacramentelles :Les paroles n’ont alors pas seulement la signification d’une détermination plus proche d’une symbolique surnaturelle déjà exprimée, mais bien d’une détermination plus proche d’une symbolique naturelle par une symbolique surnaturelle, et donc d’une fonction élevante qui constitue précisément le drômenon comme un acte de symbole ecclésial.57il s’agit bien d’une synthèse des deux échelles, car e. Schillebeeckx cherche

à redonner aux paroles liturgiques un authentique rôle de forme, sans pour autant limiter strictement la signification sacramentelle à ces paroles.

S’il y a donc bien une signification proprement sacramentelle, différente de la signification naturelle, même religieuse, d’une chose ou d’une action, et si cette signification survient avec l’adjonction d’une parole, forme du sacrement, il ne faut pas penser cette signification comme enclose dans la parole. cette signification est bien plutôt visée, en tant que la parole prononcée est une parole de foi. de plus, cette parole extériorise la signification de la totalité du sacrement, matière et forme, que l’action ou la chose signifie aussi, complémentairement. ces dernières participent à la signification, en tant qu’elles se révèlent intermédiaires nécessaires de cette signification, puisque le sacrement s’adresse à un homme intégral, esprit et corps. en cela, le rite est élevé à une signification spécifiquement sacramentelle, non pas tant dans sa symbolique naturelle, dans la réalité qu’il évoque, qu’en lui-même, comme rite à proprement parler. La signification du sacrement, révélée par la parole, le sollicite dans sa matérialité même, et pas simplement dans sa capacité d’évocation. dans la mesure où la parole intègre le geste à la signification sacramentelle, elle rend le rite physique lui-même efficace.

en parlant de « fonction élevante »58, e. Schillebeeckx met au cœur du sacrement le passage de la symbolique naturelle à la symbolique sacramentelle, et donc l’action liturgique en ce qu’elle est déjà une activité symbolique. il approfondit en cela la façon dont il veut appliquer le binôme forma – materia au sacrement : « materia est l’action exactement selon sa symbolique de base, qui par la médiation des paroles sacramentelles est reconstruite pour être une symbolique surnaturelle, intérieurement surélevée »59. ainsi, il montre bien que sa synthèse 56 thomas d’aquin, Somme de Théologie, iiia, q. 60, a. 6, corp.57 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 334, l’auteur souligne.58 Voir note précédente.59 edward Schillebeeckx, L’économie sacramentelle du salut, p. 336, l’auteur souligne.

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des deux échelles possibles d’application n’est pas un retour au physicisme d’un certain thomisme. au contraire « la teneur physique de l’action n’appartient [...] pas formellement au contenu de materia, mais bien la symbolique naturelle comme intérieurement saisissable pour une signification surélevée, sacramentelle »60.

la notion de «symbolique naturelle» ne doit pas laisser penser qu’e. Schillebeeckx ne veut considérer qu’une symbolique élémentaire ou immédiate de l’action liturgique. au contraire, en définissant la matière du sacrement comme une symbolique naturelle saisissable par une symbolique plus haute, il inclut toutes les symboliques humaines possibles de l’action, c’est-à-dire aussi les symboliques spirituelles et religieuses. de fait, plus une symbolique naturelle est élevée, plus elle est à même d’être saisie pour être élevée à nouveau.

e. Schillebeeckx montre tout d’abord en cela qu’il conçoit une continuité dans le passage de la symbolique naturelle à la symbolique surnaturelle, de telle façon que la « signification naturelle [des actions de la communauté humaine assumées dans le sacrement] nous éclaire déjà touchant la réalité salvifique surnaturelle […] [qu’elles] traduisent en signe. »61 ensuite, il place l’élévation à la signification surnaturelle, qui est le propre de dieu, dans la continuité du processus même d’élévation, qui fait des choses naturelles le symbole de réalités de plus en plus hautes. dans le cas de l’eucharistie, l’offrande du pain peut, par exemple, être revêtue de plusieurs significations naturelles. elle peut représenter successivement l’action de nourrir, mais aussi la réunion fraternelle autour d’un repas ou la reconnaissance de la dépendance à dieu, maître de la création. L’ultime étape, à laquelle permet d’accéder la parole de dieu, est irréductible aux précédentes ; elle ne leur est pourtant pas étrangère. on comprend alors en quoi la capacité même de la symbolique à être surélevée constitue la matière du sacrement. L’homme, qui peut naturellement exprimer le spirituel par le matériel est invité à voir, dans cette faculté même, la trace de dieu en lui. La collaboration explicite avec dieu, dans les sacrements, constitue alors l’accomplissement de cette faculté.

La parole, quant à elle, puisqu’elle fait passer l’action d’une symbolique naturelle à une symbolique surnaturelle, c’est-à-dire à une symbolique proprement sacramentelle, qui rend compte de l’action de dieu lui-même, peut être considérée comme étant réellement forme de l’action, en tant qu’elle participe à la signification sacramentelle. compte tenu de la nature même du sacrement, e. Schillebeeckx estime qu’il peut aller plus loin, et ne pas se contenter de parler de participation. en effet, puisque le sacrement relève du sensible, de l’extériorisation de la foi de l’Église, c’est bien la confession de cette foi qui est formellement forme du sacrement. L’importance de la signification sacramentelle ayant été posée comme fondement du sacrement, sans quoi il ne serait qu’un rite dénué de sens, e. Schillebeeckx peut se permettre d’affiner son propos en précisant qu’elle n’est pas forme du sacrement, en tant qu’intention, mais bien plutôt lorsqu’elle

60 Ibid., p. 336.61 Ibid., p. 337.

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s’extériorise. La parole peut donc être dite, à bon droit, forme du sacrement : « La parole ou ‘’forma sacramenti’’ scolastique fait donc fonction [de forme] dans le sacrement exactement comme extériorisation de foi informante »62.

on peut remarquer l’aspect paradoxal de cette conclusion de e. Schillebeeckx. il inclinait en effet de prime abord à refuser le statut de forma à la parole sacramentaire, pour mettre en évidence le fait que cette forme se fonde sur la significatio sacramentelle : le sens du sacrement est à saisir dans le contexte de sa célébration et de la foi de la communauté. cependant, à l’intérieur de ce cadre, il peut à souligner à nouveau l’importance de l’expression de cette foi, qui fait advenir la signification proprement sacramentelle, et montrer en quoi l’usage de l’hylémorphisme peut être non seulement possible mais aussi fécond.

Le sacrement comme Parole et signe de Dieu

e. Schillebeeckx reconnaît une valeur déterminante aux paroles sacramentaires dans l’action liturgique. elles en constitue la forme, à condition d’entendre ce terme dans son sens réellement théologique, c’est-à-dire qu’elles élevent l’action liturgique à sa signification authentiquement sacramentelle.

cette puissance de la parole provient tout d’abord de la foi qu’elle présuppose. cette parole est en effet extériorisation de la foi de la communauté qui la prononce : elle rend visible dans le monde son orientation intérieure vers dieu. ultimement, cette puissance vient donc de dieu : en mettant ses mots dans ceux de dieu, c’est à la Parole de dieu elle-même que le sacrement donne d’agir. en cela encore, e. Schillebeeckx se fonde sur sa lecture de thomas :

Saint thomas suggère que la « forma » du sacrement, le « verbum fidei », vient en fin de compte « ex ore Dei », est un Logos créateur et apportant le salut, de telle façon que la puissance des sacrements remonte surtout au « verbum fidei ».63

cette interprétation est à rapprocher de l’idée biblique selon laquelle dieu agit dans le monde par sa Parole, et e. Schillebeeckx remarque d’ailleurs des analogies de structure, entre l’histoire du salut et la célébration d’un sacrement, au plan de l’action de la Parole :

comme la bonne nouvelle, cette Parole vient dans l’Église, qui y répond par sa foi. ainsi le Verbum devient un « verbum fidei » qui possède une puissance divine et qui agit en tant que tel dans les actes de symbole sacramentels.64 or la puissance divine, à l’œuvre dans les sacrements, évoquée ici par notre

auteur, n’est pas uniquement de l’ordre de l’efficacité, ou pour mieux dire, elle est toujours aussi de l’ordre du sens :62 Ibid., p. 335.63 ibid., p. 311, faisant référence à thomas d’aquin, Somme de théologie, iiia, q. 60, a. 6,

corp. : « on peut envisager dans les sacrements la cause qui sanctifie; c’est le Verbe incarné auquel le sacrement se conforme en ce qu’il joint le ‘’verbe’’ à la chose sensible : ainsi dans le mystère de l’incarnation, le Verbe de dieu est uni à une chair sensible. »

64 Ibid., p. 335-336.

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Les sacrements ne sont pas seulement des signes adressés par l’homme à dieu dans une communauté de culte, ils sont aussi des signes de dieu adressés à l’homme, à savoir par lesquels dieu donne aux hommes sa grâce avec plénitude de signification pour l’homme.65 en cela, e. Schillebeeckx révèle la dimension descendante qui peut traverser

même l’activité symbolique humaine. cette dernière est certes d’abord ascendante : elle utilise les choses comme signes en les mettant en relation avec des réalités spirituelles. Mais cette mise en relation se fait par le biais d’une parole de foi, qui est aussi Parole de dieu. du sein de l’efficacité propre de l’activité rituelle, symbolique, point donc aussi l’efficacité de la parole divine, qui se déploie lorsqu’elle est assumée dans des mots humains. ainsi la dimension symbolique n’est pas simplement en quête de la signification divine des sacrements, mais peut être le lieu même de sa révélation.


dans cet article, nous avons voulu montrer la façon dont e. Schillebeeckx, dans L’économie sacramentelle du salut, fournit les éléments qui rendent possible et fructueuse l’utilisation de la notion d’hylémorphisme pour la théologie sacramentelle contemporaine, en dehors d’un référentiel strictement aristotélicien ou médiéval. Pour notre auteur, son application ne doit pas conduire à penser une composition physique du sacrement entre matière et forme. Bien plus fondamentalement, e. Schillebeeckx invite à comprendre la forme comme la signification sacramentelle elle-même, c’est-à-dire l’intention de la communauté qui pose un acte de culte, qui s’appuie, en définitive, sur sa foi. La matière est alors à comprendre comme l’action sacramentelle au sens le plus large, composée de gestes et de paroles.

considérer que toute l’action rituelle constitue la matière du sacrement conduit e. Schillebeeckx à prendre en compte la symbolique naturelle, structurale, de cette action, dont la signification est élevée à un sens proprement théologique par la parole sacramentelle. en effet, la grâce sanctifiante à l’œuvre dans le sacrement n’est pas transmise de façon neutre ni par des objets arbitraires. Si le sacrement agit à la manière d’un instrument, c’est ici toute la célébration et sa capacité à porter une symbolique naturelle, comme à accueillir une symbolique sacramentelle, qui est saisie. en cela, ce n’est pas seulement la valeur de cause du sacrement qui se voit investie de la vertu divine, mais aussi sa valeur de signe : dieu signifie le salut qu’il effectue par les sacrements.

cet investissement de dieu dans la signification du sacrement a des conséquences sur la nature de la rencontre avec dieu qu’il rend possible. il ne s’agit pas d’un simple contact objectif, mais bien d’une rencontre dialogale, sur le mode de l’alliance, qui se noue peu à peu. il s’agit d’un échange entre dieu et le 65 Ibid., p. 307.

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croyant, d’un processus qui s’établit dans la fréquentation des sacrements par ce dernier. Le sacrement n’est pas seulement pour le fidèle le lieu d’un don, mais il l’appelle à l’interprétation du sens que prend ce don dans son histoire singulière. il n’est pas seulement réponse, il est aussi en quelque sorte question66.

cette interpellation personnelle de dieu adressée à chaque chrétien conduit à une inévitable polysémie du sacrement quant à sa saisie subjective. en effet, chaque individu, entrant par lui en relation avec dieu, le décode en fonction de sa propre culture, de son expérience humaine et liturgique, de ce qui l’affecte au moment précis où il rend grâce à dieu et célèbre sa grâce agissante. La polysémie peut donc provenir de la diversité des individus, mais aussi du simple fait que, du point de vue de celui qui reçoit le sacrement, chaque célébration est unique. au sein d’une existence unifiée, la réitération de ce sacrement constitue alors une approche sous divers angles de la même réalité, et permet au chrétien de se familiariser progressivement avec elle. en pénétrant peu à peu le sens du sacrement comme célébration du salut par la communauté chrétienne, il découvre aussi son sens proprement théologique, et se laisse rejoindre par la grâce à l’œuvre en lui.

cette multiplication des voies d’accès ne conduit pas à abandonner un sens objectif du sacrement. au contraire, puisqu’il est révélation de dieu, le sacrement est aussi un itinéraire vers l’unique vérité, mais un itinéraire que chacun trace à la mesure de son expérience personnelle et de sa capacité à entrer dans le mystère. d’une façon mystérieuse, luit dans le sacrement la lumière même de la vérité de dieu, qui guide les croyants. elle le fait par le biais de la signification normative de foi du sacrement, mais peut aussi les conduire bien au-delà ; non pas en terme de contenu de vérité qui resterait à découvrir – il est déjà adéquatement visé par la tradition – mais en termes d’appropriation de ce contenu, de découverte de la profondeur avec lequel il nous rejoint, dans le mystère de la rencontre de dieu.

en définitive, cet itinéraire n’est pas seulement de l’ordre de la connaissance, mais bien de la transformation du croyant, et le sacrement, comme union d’une matière et d’une forme, du rite et de la grâce, manifeste déjà l’aboutissement de cette transformation. il est en effet une anticipation de la révélation de l’ordre sacramentel du créé, dont l’homme est appelé à être à la fois la récapitulation et l’artisan. comme l’explicitait de façon lumineuse m.-d. chenu : « l’homme est le pivot par lequel toute la matière est récapitulée [...] ; il humanise la matière, et c’est par là qu’elle est divinisée. »67 au-delà de la théologie sacramentaire, c’est donc aussi l’anthropologie qui peut, à terme, bénéficier d’un approfondissement du sens de la liturgie, en devenant une anthropologie sacramentelle, en pleine cohérence avec l’économie sacramentelle du salut.

66 cf. ce que suggère Patrick Prétot, « théologie sacramentaire et célébration du mystère du christ dans l’année liturgique – une approche. », RSR 97/4, 2009, pp. 515-537.

67 m.-d. chenu, « Pour une anthropologie sacramentelle », LM D 119, 1974, p. 95.

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PhiliPPe SoualCatholic Institute of Toulouse, France

L’amour de L’amour chez augustin

Šv. Augustino Meilės Meilė

SuMMaRYSt. augustine’s meditation on love is original and decisive to the history of idea and ethics, for he comprehends love contemplating the mystery of holy Trinity’s life. although Plato’s daimon eros is totally directed towards the Beauty, towards metaxu and desires to contemplate it and become united with it, nevertheless the dilectio of St. augustine is the essence of God himself. love is not only the movement of the soul toward the eternal idea but also the excess of Divine life as community of the Three Persons and the life of the soul within God. here love becomes the love’s love: love means love’s love in all possible forms and ways.

KeY woRDS: St. augustine, Plato, love, holy Trinity, etika, beauty, meditation, essence of God.

SaNTRauKaŠv. Augustino meditacija apie meilę yra originali ir lemiama tiek idėjos istorijai, tiek etikai, nes meilę jis suvokia kontempliuodamas Švč. trejybės gyvenimo slėpinį. iš tiesų, nors Platono erosas, kaip daimon, yra visiškai nukreiptas grožio link metaxu, trokšdamas grožį kontempliuoti, norėdamas su juo susivienyti, bet šv. Augustino dilectio yra paties Dievo esmė. Meilė nebėra vien tik sielos judėjimas amžinosios idėjos link, bet paties Dievo perteklinis gyvenimas, kuris yra trijų Asmenų bendrystė, tad ir sielos gyvenimas Dieve. Meilė tampa Meilės meile: mylėti – tai mylėti pačią Meilę įvairiomis formomis – nuo vargingesnės iki turtingesnės.

RAktAžoDžiAi: šv. Augustinas, Platonas, meilė, Švč. trejybė, ethics, grožis, meditacija, Dievo esmė.

la question de l’amour est certainement une des plus grandes pour le philosophe, dont la vie est un amour de la sagesse. Chez Platon le philosophe est celui qui « aime à contempler la vérité », étant tout entier mû par un amour des idées, lequel culmine dans l’amour de la beauté et du Bien. or, tout en reprenant certains traits de cette conception, saint augustin offre une méditation sur l’amour qui est originale et décisive pour l’histoire de la pensée autant que pour l’éthique, du fait qu’il pense l’amour en contemplant le mystère de la vie divine trinitaire. en effet, si erôs chez Platon est, en tant que daimon, un metaxu qui est tout entier tendu vers le Beau qu’il désire contempler et auquel il aspire à s’unir, en revanche la dilectio augustinienne est l’essence même de Dieu. l’amour n’est plus alors le seul mouvement de l’âme vers l’idée éternelle, mais la vie surabondante de Dieu lui-même, en tant que communion des trois Personnes, et la vie de l’âme en Dieu. l’amour devient un amour de l’Amour : aimer, c’est aimer l’Amour lui-même – mais cela a plusieurs significations, qu’il faut examiner.

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on oppose souvent l’amour de soi à l’amour d’autrui, pour voir dans le premier l’égoïsme et dans le second l’altruisme, donc pour blâmer le premier et louer le second. Cependant, un examen de l’essence et de la destination de l’amour révèle des surprises. Non seulement l’amour de soi n’est pas par essence coupable ou mauvais, et l’amour d’autrui n’est pas par essence bon, mais encore l’un ne va pas sans l’autre. Pour augustin, l’amour de soi ne peut s’exercer que comme procédant de l’amour de l’autre. Non au sens où l’amour d’autrui serait premier, et non pas l’amour de soi, mais en ceci que c’est l’amour de Dieu qui est premier, principe et fin de tout autre amour. or, comme le remarque Augustin, l’amour engage trois termes : l’aimant, l’aimé et l’amour lui-même. aimer, c’est aimer quelque un, soi ou autrui, et c’est aimer l’amour lui-même, l’unité formée avec l’autre, c’est donc un amour de l’amour. l’amour est par essence en relation avec soi, réflexion et retour dans soi : aimer, c’est entrer dans la relation de l’amour, c’est, en aimant quelque un, aimer l’amour qui unit les âmes. ou plutôt, tout commence par l’amour lui-même, en tant qu’il unit les âmes et leur donne de participer à sa vie. aimer, c’est l’épreuve décisive de notre existence : « Chacun est tel qu’est sa dilection »1. l’amour peut alors recevoir plusieurs formes : la plus pauvre sera celle de l’amour de soi sans altérité ni donation, et la plus riche sera celle de l’amour extatique, comme donation réciproque dans la liberté.

Qu’est-ce que l’amour ? augustin le compare à ce qu’est la pesanteur pour le corps. Selon la physique atomiste, chez epicure et lucrèce, chaque corps a un poids en propre et tombe du haut vers le bas en vertu de son propre poids. et selon la cosmologie d’aristote, tout corps en mouvement local tend par nature à son lieu propre, le grave tend au bas tandis que le léger tend au haut, de sorte que chaque corps trouve son repos quand il a atteint son lieu propre. Pour augustin, un corps se meut soi-même selon son poids propre et tend de soi-même à son lieu propre, le bas ou le haut, selon sa nature. « un corps, en vertu de son poids, tend à son lieu propre. le poids ne va pas seulement en bas, mais au lieu propre. le feu tend vers le haut, la pierre vers le bas : ils sont menés par leur poids, ils s’en vont à leur lieu. (…) S’il n’est pas à sa place, un être est sans repos [inquieta] ; qu’on le mette à sa place et il est en repos. Mon poids, c’est mon amour [pondus meum amor meus], je suis emporté par lui partout où je suis emporté »2. Cela veut dire que l’amour est à l’âme ce que le poids est au corps : l’amour est l’élan propre de l’âme, sa force intérieure qui la fait tendre d’elle-même à quelque chose d’autre qu’elle-même. l’amour n’est pas un accident de l’âme mais son dynamisme propre, son mouvement spontané. De même que la pierre, d’elle-même, se meut vers le bas, l’âme, d’elle-même, se meut vers l’objet de son amour. et l’âme sera en repos quand elle aura trouvé son objet vrai, celui qui sera sa véritable fin. il en résulte 1 augustin, Commentaire de la 1° Epître de St Jean, ii, 14. Trad. agaësse. Paris: Cerf, 1994, p.

181 (cité: Com. 1° epître Jn). nous modifierons souvent les traductions des œuvres d’Augustin citées.

2 augustin, Les confessions, Xiii, iX, 10. Trad. Tréhorel et Bouissou. Paris: Bibliothèque au-gustinienne (13 et 14), 1992, p. 441 (cité: Confessions).

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que, comme dans le Banquet, l’amour est par essence amour de quelque chose, d’un autre que soi.

Cependant, un corps n’est capable de mouvement naturel, par soi, que dans une seule direction (la pierre tend seulement vers le bas), en fonction de son lieu naturel propre (le bas ou le haut), et sa pesanteur le fait se mouvoir nécessairement (la pierre ne peut pas ne pas tomber quand elle ne rencontre aucun obstacle). en revanche, l’amour est capable de monter et de descendre, ou de se tourner vers soi, et chacun de ses mouvements est libre en tant qu’il relève du libre arbitre de la volonté, c’est-à-dire de sa libre disposition de soi. l’amour est comme un feu qui pourrait monter ou tomber, selon la direction de son regard, c’est-à-dire selon le lieu qu’il cherche à atteindre. Mon amour est comme le poids de mon âme, cet élan qui lui est propre et la fait tendre à quelque bien, ou à ce qui lui apparaît comme un bien. Mais la ressemblance ne doit pas masquer la dissemblance. C’est par « son mouvement propre [proprius motus] » que l’âme se tourne vers quelque chose, d’un mouvement qui « n’est pas naturel, mais volontaire » : « il est semblable au mouvement par lequel la pierre se porte vers le bas, en tant que celui-ci est le mouvement propre de la pierre et celui-là le mouvement propre de l’âme ; mais il en est dissemblable, parce que la pierre n’a pas le pouvoir d’empêcher le mouvement qui la porte plus bas, tandis que l’âme, si elle ne le veut pas, n’est pas entrainée à abandonner les biens supérieurs et à aimer les inférieurs »3. Mon poids, c’est mon amour, mais c’est un élan libre, un mouvement volontaire, susceptible d’aller dans des directions contraires, opposées, et capable de se retenir ou d’agir par soi. l’amour est l’acte propre de la volonté libre, il n’est pas un mouvement naturel et nécessaire mais un élan volontaire, appelé à procéder d’un choix intelligent qui en fait une dilectio. l’amour est le libre mouvement de l’âme, l’activité unie de son intelligence et de son vouloir dans l’intériorité de son recueillement.

l’amour relève de la liberté de l’âme, laquelle peut refuser sa descente (qui pourra être sa chute), ou au contraire peut vouloir monter vers le Bien, vers l’unique. C’est par un acte libre de sa volonté que l’âme aime ce qui lui est inférieur, semblable, ou supérieur. De par sa libre disposition de soi et son pouvoir sur soi-même, l’âme aime librement, et non par nature. aucune nécessité extérieure ou intérieure ne la contraint d’aimer, c’est elle-même qui aime en tant qu’elle connaît et veut quelque bien. C’est une indétermination irrationnelle qui fait que les atomes de lucrèce dévient dans leur chute de leur trajectoire rectiligne et se rencontrent, par hasard. Mais chez augustin l’indétermination est intérieure à l’amour lui-même, ou à la volonté libre. l’amour est comme indéterminé en lui-même, et eu égard à sa fin et à son objet, mais capable de se déterminer par soi-même. il est capable de vouloir ou de ne pas vouloir, et de se vouloir ou de ne pas se vouloir. il ne subit pas un clinamen, mais il est de soi indéterminé, inquiet, appelé à se ressouvenir du Bien et capable de s’en détourner.3 augustin, Le libre arbitre, iii, 1, 2. Trad. Madec. Paris: Bibliothèque augustinienne (6), 1999,

p. 385.

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Dans l’univers plotinien, l’âme est cette chose étonnante, dynamique, qui est seule capable de monter et de descendre, c’est-à-dire de se tourner vers l’intellect pour s’unir avec lui, ou de s’en détourner, vers le corporel et la matière, qui est le mal, de sorte que l’âme devient ce qu’elle contemple. Chez augustin, l’âme, en tant qu’amour, est cette puissance : elle peut d’elle-même descendre ou monter, mais c’est en vertu de son amour qu’elle le fait. la volonté étant elle-même un bien médian, elle est capable de se tourner vers des biens inférieurs à l’âme, vers elle-même ou vers des biens supérieurs, et enfin vers le Bien lui-même. or, la hiérarchie des êtres est une hiérarchie des biens, de sorte qu’aimer des biens inférieurs n’est pas coupable ipso facto, n’est pas un mal, ou de sorte que l’âme peut aimer des biens inférieurs, voire des corps. le péché ne consiste pas à contempler des corps ou la matière, comme chez Plotin, mais à pervertir la hiérarchie, l’ordre, c’est-à-dire à aimer l’inférieur en lieu et place du supérieur, donc à sacrifier le supérieur par amour perverti pour l’inférieur. Si le lieu propre de l’âme est Dieu lui-même, elle sera sans repos, inquiète, jusqu’à ce qu’elle repose en lui, mais, à partir de son amour de Dieu, elle pourra aimer tout bien, aussi infime soit-il. Chez Plotin, l’âme devient ce qu’elle contemple, mais chez augustin elle devient comme ce qu’elle aime, par grâce, quand elle aime Dieu.

l’amour humain est pour l’âme une recherche de son centre. « il y a deux sortes de poids, on appelle poids cette rapidité avec laquelle tout objet tend à regagner sa place : tel est le poids. Vous prenez à la main une pierre, aussitôt vous en sentez le poids qui pèse sur cette main, parce qu’elle cherche son centre. Voulez-vous voir ce qu’elle cherche ? Retirez votre main, elle tombe à terre et y repose : elle est parvenue à la place qu’elle cherchait, elle a trouvé son centre. Ce poids est comme un mouvement spontané, sans âme ni sentiment »4 (). l’amour est alors ce mouvement libre et spontané, pensant, par lequel l’âme inquiète cherche son centre et sa place, donc son repos qui sera sa plénitude et sa jouissance. or, cela signifie que l’âme n’est pas à elle-même son centre et ne peut se reposer en elle-même. Par conséquent, comme le montrera Pascal, le moi qui voudrait se faire « le centre du tout » serait injuste et se rendrait le tyran d’autrui. Pour augustin, la racine de tout mal, en effet, c’est de « vouloir être son principe », de vouloir « être à soi-même son unité »5. a la différence de Plotin, ce n’est pas la matière qui est le mal. le mal est spirituel, il est un acte propre de la volonté libre, celui par lequel l’âme se veut elle-même, s’aime elle-même en voulant être le principe et le centre de soi-même et du tout. la racine du mal, c’est l’amour de soi en tant que Principe : c’est, dans un refus du Principe qui est l’un spirituel, vouloir être pour soi son propre principe et se donner à soi-même l’unité, comme unité close sur soi, sans autrui ni dilection véritable. « Ne pas garder la dilection, d’une part, c’est un péché grave, d’autre

4 augustin, Discours sur les Psaumes, i, 2° Discours sur le Psaume 29, 10. Paris: Cerf, 2008, p. 271 (cité: Discours sur les Psaumes, i ou ii).

5 augustin, Discours sur les Psaumes, ii, Discours sur le Psaume 121, 8 et 6, p. 936 et 934.

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part, c’est la racine de tous les péchés »6. le faux amour centre l’âme sur soi, mais l’amour véritable décentre l’âme de soi, et la réfère à son Principe.

l’amour humain est quelque chose de vivant et d’indéterminé, capable du meilleur comme du pire dans la recherche de son objet. « Tout amour monte ou descend. l’amour du bien nous élève à Dieu, comme l’amour du mal nous entraîne à l’abîme »7. il en résulte qu’il existe deux grandes formes d’amour. « l’amour s’appelle convoitise et envie déréglée quand il est dépravé ; dilection et charité quand il est droit [amor, qui cum pravus est vocatur cupiditas aut libido ; cum autem rectus, dilectio et caritas] »8. Si amor est indéterminé, le vrai amour est celui qui répond à l’appel du Bien en s’élevant vers lui, il est dilectio et caritas, tandis que l’amour qui s’est perverti, qui se veut son propre bien, est cupiditas (envie, désir violent) et libido (envie effrénée, désir déréglé, excessif). on connaît le texte célèbre de la Cité de Dieu : « Deux amours ont donc fait deux cités : l’amour de soi jusqu’au mépris de Dieu, la cité terrestre ; l’amour de Dieu jusqu’au mépris de soi, la Cité céleste. (…) l’une, dans ses princes ou dans les nations qu’elle subjugue, est dominée par l’envie de dominer ; dans l’autre ils se rendent service mutuellement dans la charité »9.

Pour comprendre ces paroles, il faut connaître « la nature de la vraie dilection »10 Chez Platon, Erôs, en tant que daimon, est un intermédiaire entre les dieux et les mortels, donnant au Tout sa liaison et son unité : « il est le lien qui unit le Tout à lui-même » (Banquet, 202 e). en sa visée véritable, erôs est l’amour du Beau lui-même, et l’âme, en commençant par l’amour d’un beau corps, doit remonter jusqu’à la contemplation et à l’union (sunousia) avec le Beau lui-même en sa Forme unique. Privé du Beau, fils de Penia et de Poros, Erôs désire le Beau et tend à sa possession. Cet amour est amour de l’idée éternelle et unique de la beauté, laquelle est la manifestation du Bien. Chez augustin, en revanche, l’amour devient une relation, plus précisément une relation entre des personnes, et finalement l’essence même de la personnalité, en Dieu et en l’homme. aimer, ce n’est plus regarder des images de la beauté en aspirant enfin au Beau lui-même, c’est un être en relation, c’est entrer dans une relation de dilection avec quelque un et former une nouvelle unité avec lui, i. e. une union dans laquelle les deux jouissent de leur union même. Descartes dira ainsi que c’est s’unir de volonté avec autrui, afin de former avec autrui un tout plus grand que chacun11. 6 augustin, Com. 1° Epître Jn, V, 2, p. 251.7 augustin, Discours sur les Psaumes, ii, Discours sur le Psaume 122, 1, p. 944.8 augustin, Discours sur les Psaumes, Discours sur le Psaume 9, 15, p. 108.9 augustin, La cité de Dieu, XiV, XXViii. Trad. Combès. Paris: Bibliothèque augustinienne

(35), p. 465.10 augustin, La Trinité, Viii, 7, 10. Trad. agaësse. Paris: Bibliothèque augustinienne (16),

1991, p. 59 (cité : Trinité).11 Lettre de Descartes à Chanut, 1° février 1647. in: René Descartes, Œuvres philosophiques,

éd. alquié, iii. Paris: Garnier, 1973, p. 709.

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Pour augustin, l’amour est une relation qui confère l’unité à ce qu’elle met en relation. « l’amour est amour de celui qui aime, et par l’amour quelque chose est aimé. Voici qu’ils sont trois : celui qui aime, et ce qui est aimé et l’amour. Qu’est-ce donc que l’amour, sinon une certaine vie unissant deux choses, ou aspirant à les unir [Quid est ergo amor, nisi quaedam vita duo aliqua copulans, vel copulare appetens], à savoir, celui qui aime et ce qui est aimé ? »12. l’amour s’organise selon une forme ternaire : l’aimant, l’aimé et leur amour lui-même. or, ces trois sont un : l’amour est une seule et même vie spirituelle qui se déploie librement en liant les amants, l’aimant et l’aimé. C’est une unique vie surabondante, infinie, qui commence par celui qui aime en premier, qui se communique à celui qu’il aime, et qui demeure une dans un seul et même amour réciproque. l’amour est la copule de l’un et de son autre, le lien actif, liant, l’union intime des deux. loin d’être une aspiration à une Forme dont il serait dépourvu, ou un désir d’union avec une Beauté transcendante et parfaite, comme erôs, l’amor augustinien est une union intérieure, une unité parfaite et surabondante entre des personnes parfaites, comme dans la Trinité, ou une certaine unité, ou encore une recherche de l’unité entre des personnes imparfaites, indéterminées, comme dans l’amour humain. l’amour est une vie surabondante qui s’éprouve elle-même, qui se sent elle-même en tant qu’elle est l’union de deux personnes. l’amour est cet un étonnant qui prévient et engendre ses membres, ce lien qui se donne à soi-même et à ceux qui s’entre-aiment l’unité la plus haute et la plus accomplie. l’amour est l’union elle-même, en tant qu’elle lie intimement les amants.

a la recherche des vestigia trinitatis dans l’âme humaine, augustin explore la nature de l’amour humain. « Voici que moi, qui cherche cela, quand j’aime quelque chose, il y a trois [termes] : moi, et ce que j’aime, et l’amour lui-même. C’est que je n’aime pas l’amour si je ne l’aime aimant : car il n’est pas d’amour là où rien n’est aimé »13. Tout amour est amour de quelque chose, mais il est ici une sortie de soi, une communication de soi et un accueil de la donation de l’autre dans l’intériorité. Celui qui n’aime rien n’aime pas. il n’est d’amour que là où un ego aime quelque chose, ou plutôt une personne. l’étonnant est ici qu’il y ait trois termes et non pas deux, moi et mon objet. le troisième terme est l’amour lui-même. Qu’est-ce à dire ? Je ne suis pas seul avec mon objet aimé, parce que, l’aimer, c’est à la fois me mouvoir vers lui et vouloir former une unité avec lui. l’amour consiste bien en une triade : moi qui aime, ce que j’aime, et l’unité que je constitue avec ce que j’aime, autrement dit la vérité et la beauté de cet amour que chacun des deux éprouve. Si cet amour commence par moi, c’est bien moi qui librement m’unis avec un autre de sorte que l’union que je constitue avec lui demeure. Je demeure dans mon amour pour autant que je l’aime.

l’amour est bien amour de l’amour : aimer, c’est, en aimant un autre, aimer son union avec cet autre, aimer cet amour réciproque en sa perfectibilité même. 12 augustin, Trinité, Viii, 10, 14, p. 71.13 augustin, idem, iX, 2, 2, p. 77.

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l’amour n’enferme pas l’âme en elle-même ni en son objet, mais l’élève à une unité avec un autre. l’amour est amour de l’amour, dilection de l’unité spirituelle de ceux qui s’entre-aiment. en s’aimant l’un l’autre, les amoureux aiment leur amour lui-même, la beauté et la bonté du lien qui les unit dans une profonde unité. l’amour croît de soi-même, dans un mouvement d’expansion et de retour dans soi : en aimant une personne, j’aime mon amour de cette personne, ou plutôt chacun se délecte de la dilection qui l’unit à l’autre. Cette dilection est quelque chose, elle est l’amour lui-même comme communion, le lien originaire des personnes qui les articule dans sa relation, ce mouvement de sortie de soi et de retour dans soi. Je ne pourrai aimer un amour qui ne soit pas en acte, aimant en vérité. Je n’aime cet amour que dans la mesure où il est amour en acte, vivant, en sa surabondance. l’amour est une vie qui est une activité et, comme la praxis chez aristote, c’est un agir qui a sa fin en lui-même, à savoir, la perfection de l’amour, qui fait la perfection de l’âme elle-même.

augustin examine une question embarrassante, celle de l’amour de soi. Qu’est-ce que s’aimer soi-même ? « Si je n’aime que moi-même », il n’y aura pas trois mais deux termes, « ce que j’aime et l’amour » : « c’est que celui qui aime et ce qui est aimé, c’est le même [idem est], quand il s’aime soi-même : tout comme aimer et être aimé sont de la même manière le même soi-même [idipsum] quand quelqu’un s’aime »14. il existe un bon amour de soi, mais un amour de soi immédiat et exclusif, sans autre, centré sur soi, replie l’âme sur soi jusqu’à la perte du Je. le Je n’est que s’il aime un autre. Si je n’aime que moi-même, il ne reste que moi et mon amour de mon moi. C’est un seul et même moi qui s’élance vers soi, qui veut trouver son repos au dedans de soi, dans sa solitude absolue. C’est le Même qui aime et qui est aimé, c’est le Même qui vient à soi sans être sorti de soi, qui voudrait pouvoir se communiquer de soi à soi. la perte de l’altérité signe celle de l’identité véritable, laquelle est ce retour à soi qui exige la médiation de l’autre.

Cependant, cet amour de soi maintient la dualité de soi et de l’amour. « Mais l’amour et ce qui est aimé sont ainsi toujours deux. Car quand chacun s’aime, il n’y a pas d’amour, si ce n’est quand l’amour lui-même est aimé. Cependant, s’aimer est une chose, aimer son amour en est une autre. Car l’amour n’est pas aimé, sinon aimant déjà quelque chose : parce que, là où rien n’est aimé, il n’y a nul amour »15. Dans l’amour de soi, l’aimant et l’aimé sont un et le même. or, pour que ce soit un amour, il faut que persiste la différence de l’aimant-s’aimant et de l’amour qu’il a pour soi, il faut qu’il aime l’amour qu’il a pour lui-même, i.e. l’unité qu’il est pour soi. Deux termes persistent : le moi centre de soi et l’amour qu’il a de soi, amour en acte, qui jouit de soi. il ne peut aimer son amour que dans la mesure où c’est bien un amour de soi en acte. Cet amour tourne donc sur soi-même. « l’âme, quand elle s’aime, montre deux choses : l’âme et l’amour. Qu’est-ce donc que s’aimer, sinon vouloir être présent à soi pour jouir de soi ? et quand le vouloir-être est à la mesure 14 augustin, Trinité, iX, 2, 2, p. 77.15 idem, 2, 2, p. 79.

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de l’être, alors la volonté est adéquate à l’âme, et l’amour égal à celui qui aime »16. l’amour requiert un véritable objet, pour être aimé lui-même. De même que le

mot ne se signifie comme mot qu’en signifiant quelque chose, de même la charité ne s’aime comme dilection que dans la mesure où « elle s’aime comme aimant quelque chose »17, à savoir, soi ou une autre personne. aimer l’amour sans aimer quelque un est impossible. Si aimer l’amour, c’est aimer l’union avec un autre, aimer l’amour n’est possible que quand cette union existe.

augustin examine la trinité de l’âme, de la connaissance et de l’amour [mens, notitia, amor] en remarquant que ces trois sont un, qu’ils sont distincts et pourtant qu’ils forment « une seule et même essence »18 qui est une unité indivisible, dans l’identité des trois qui fait la perfection de l’esprit. l’âme se connaît en tant qu’elle s’aime et s’aime en tant qu’elle se connaît. Âme, connaissance, dilection, « chacune est en soi-même, et elles sont mutuellement chacune tout entière dans les autres tout entières, chacune dans les deux autres, ou les deux autres en chacune. et ainsi, toutes en toutes »19. amour et connaissance s’enchaînent dans l’âme, « parce qu’elle s’aime connaissante et se connaît aimante »20.

la différence entre la pensée d’augustin et celle d’aristote est éclairante pour notre question. aristote distingue deux sortes d’égoïsme, le vrai et l’apparent, lequel est pervers et vil. l’amour de soi [philautia] est pour lui premier et bon, comme relation de soi avec soi la plus intime et la plus vraie : « un homme est à lui-même son meilleur ami, et par suite il doit s’aimer lui-même par-dessus tout »21. or, c’est cet amour de soi qui fonde la possibilité d’aimer autrui et toute relation à autrui : « C’est en partant de cette relation de soi-même à soi-même que tous les sentiments qui constituent l’amitié se sont par la suite étendus aux autres hommes »22. l’amour de soi est premier et fonde l’altruisme. un homme n’en aime un autre que dans la mesure où il s’aime soi-même et où il peut étendre à d’autres cet amour. Qu’est-ce à dire ?

en fait, celui que l’on nomme égoïste ne l’est pas, car ce qu’il aime, ce n’est pas soi-même mais ce sont des biens du corps (la santé, etc.) ou des biens extérieurs (honneurs, richesse, etc. – Harpagon dit de son or : « mon sang, mes entrailles ») auxquels il consacre tout son agir, en s’oubliant soi-même. l’homme vertueux est en revanche le véritable égoïste, « l’égoïste par excellence »23, dans la mesure où il parfait incessamment son âme en s’identifiant à son intellect et en menant en toute chose une vie selon l’intellect. Celui qui s’aime soi-même véritablement est celui qui aime son Soi-même, le bien de son âme, sa perfection intellectuelle et éthique, 16 augustin, Trinité, iX, 2, 2, p. 79.17 idem, Viii, 12, p. 65.18 idem, iX, 7, p. 89.19 idem, 8, p. 89.20 idem, p. 91.21 aristote, Ethique à Nicomaque, iX, 8, 1168 b 10. Trad. Tricot. Paris: Vrin, 1983, p. 456.22 idem, 1168 b 6-7, p. 456.23 idem, 1168 b 38, p. 458.

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et non quelque bien étranger ; c’est celui qui devient vertueux, de la plus haute vertu, et qui est alors capable d’accomplir l’action la plus noble et la plus belle, pour son ami, de manière désintéressée, comme achille laissant Patrocle agir à sa place, et enfin c’est lui qui pourra même se sacrifier pour ses amis en donnant sa vie pour eux. le faux égoïste ne s’aime pas soi-même et ne peut donc aimer autrui que pour ses fins viles ; il n’est capable de philia que selon ce qui lui est utile (c’est « l’âme mercantile »24) ou plaisant, et, pire, il est capable de falsifier l’amitié25. il n’aime donc pas autrui comme tel, pour lui-même. en revanche, le vrai égoïste, s’aimant soi-même par-dessus tout et se suffisant à soi-même, sera capable d’aimer un autre que soi, c’est-à-dire d’aimer un autre vertueux que soi, possédant la même vertu que soi, en lequel il reconnaîtra son alter ego26 [allos autos] et avec lequel aussi il partagera sa vie, en participant « à la conscience qu’a son ami de sa propre existence »27. Pour le vertueux, l’aimé est alors comme un miroir de sa propre vertu, i. e. de son excellence. l’amour de soi est premier, et aimer autrui, c’est s’aimer soi-même en tant que vertueux en autrui, se retrouver en lui, mais c’est aussi entrer dans une certaine unité avec lui, celle d’une vie commune.

en revanche, chez augustin, l’amour de soi n’est pas premier, et l’amour ne consiste pas à commencer de soi-même pour se retrouver dans l’autre, ou dans l’autarkeia de l’amour de soi. au contraire, l’amour est une union intime entre des âmes, le lien qui les lie activement, dans la mesure où chacune se donne et se communique. l’amour est par essence don de soi et communication de soi, en même temps qu’il est accueil de l’autre qui se donne également et se communique, pour former ensemble une unité spirituelle. l’amour est générosité et diffusion de soi en même temps qu’accueil de la réponse de la personne aimée dans l’unité de l’amour de l’amour.

Cependant, augustin distingue et explore plusieurs sortes d’amour de soi, en montrant que celui-ci peut se renverser en haine de soi ou cacher une secrète haine de soi. Méditant sur le sens du péché, il découvre que l’âme humaine est capable de devenir pour elle-même son propre abîme, en tant qu’elle est capable de se perdre elle-même en ne se sachant plus et ne se voulant plus libre selon la raison. C’est en considérant le vol de poires bien connu qu’il découvre le vertige intérieur inhérent à l’amour de soi. Ce qu’il a cherché dans ce vol, ce n’était pas des poires, mais une fruitio mali, une jouissance du mal. « Je voulais jouir, non pas de cette chose que je recherchais par le vol, mais du vol lui-même et du péché »28. la méchanceté étant à elle-même sa cause, dans cette forme d’acte mauvais et gratuit, l’âme jouit de se perdre elle-même, c’est-à-dire de faire un usage de la liberté de sa volonté, de son amour, qui l’infirme. « J’ai aimé périr, j’ai aimé ma déchéance [amavi perire, 24 aristote, Ethique à Nicomaque, Viii, 7, 1158 a 21, p. 399.25 idem, iX, 3, 1165 b 12, p. 439.26 idem, iX, 9, 1169 b 6, p. 461.27 idem, iX, 9, 1170 b 11, p. 468.28 augustin, Confessions, ii, 9, p. 345.

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amavi defectum meum] »29. l’âme, en sa liberté, est capable de renverser l’amour qu’elle a pour elle-même, en tant que bonne, en un amour de sa propre déchéance. elle est capable de vouloir jouir de sa propre déchéance morale, en tant qu’elle en est et s’en sait la cause. aimer se perdre est ainsi une forme subtile de haine de soi, de haine de la perfection morale à laquelle elle se sait pourtant appelée.

le mal ne réside pas dans le corporel, mais dans l’amour lui-même, dans son origine et son intention, dans son vouloir. augustin rappelle que l’or et l’argent, par exemple, sont des biens et qu’ils peuvent être aimés selon le Bien. l’amour humain, comme volonté plénière, achevée (valentior voluntas : volonté plus puissante30), est un bien médian, capable de monter et de descendre, capable de se tourner vers son Principe, ou vers soi, ou vers un bien inférieur de préférence à un bien supérieur. ou plutôt, on le voit, il va jusqu’à pouvoir aimer le mal lui-même, gratuitement. l’amour de soi se pervertit en amour de sa propre perte de soi. or, le péché ne consiste pas à descendre, à aimer un bien inférieur, mais à l’aimer en lieu et place du bien supérieur dont il a pris injustement la place. C’est par exemple sacrifier la vie d’un homme à l’amour de l’or ou du pouvoir. Mais ici, dans l’amour de sa déchéance, l’âme aime son propre abîme, aime tomber par elle-même ; elle n’aime pas quelque bien extérieur qui lui serait inférieur au lieu du vrai bien, mais un mal intérieur qui est son œuvre propre. le poids de cet amour pervers l’entraîne vers le bas, lequel est ici son propre abîme. Ce péché du vol de poires est grand, en tant qu’il est gratuit et que l’âme y aime sa propre déchéance. il ne consiste pas à avoir voulu quelque bien inférieur, comme de l’or, mais sa propre perte morale ; il est un refus de l’élan propre à la vie morale vers la plus haute perfection. il consiste à imiter de manière perverse la toute-puissance de l’amour divin, dans un amour qui se renverse en haine du Bien et tombe dans l’impuissance.

augustin découvre une autre forme d’amour de soi pervers, dans une certaine expérience de l’être amoureux. il se rappelle ses amours d’adolescent et y découvre un amour sans autrui. Ce qui le délectait dans ces amours, c’était, dit-il, « d’aimer et d’être aimé [amare et amari] »31, ce qui était plus doux pour lui s’il pouvait « jouir du corps de l’être aimé »32. or, augustin ne condamne pas par là la sexualité, mais sa perversion possible, du fait de la perte du discernement de la vérité de la relation. en effet, la sexualité peut être bonne, et l’impasse de ces amours tenait à leur caractère égocentré. Pris dans la violence de la concupiscence charnelle, augustin « ne distinguait plus la sérénité de la dilection d’avec les ténèbres [caligo : la détresse] du désir déréglé [ut non discerneretur serenitas dilectionis a caligine libidinis] »33. le premier défaut de ces amours est leur manque de discernement des esprits et de l’essence du vrai amour. Dans cette situation, loin de vouloir former une union de dilection, dont le principe est spirituel (jusque dans le charnel), les 29 augustin, Confessions, ii, 9, p. 345.30 augustin, Trinité, XV, XXi, 41, p. 533.31 augustin, Confessions, ii, 2, p. 335.32 idem, iii, 1, p. 365.33 idem, ii, 2, p. 335.

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amants confondent dilectio et libido. Pris par un désir passionnel, ils vivent une relation tumultueuse, travaillée par « la jalousie, les soupçons et les craintes, les colères et les querelles »34. Comme lucrèce l’a montré, dans le « délire d’amour » de la « Vénus vagabonde », « s’élève, du milieu de la source des grâces, quelque chose d’amer qui, dans les fleurs elles-mêmes, tourmente [medio de fonte leporum surgit amari aliquid, quod in ipsis floribus angat] »35, à savoir, la jalousie qui gâte tout plaisir et tue l’amour.

en fait, l’insuffisance de cet amour, c’est qu’il est par nature un amour de soi, ou plutôt un amour de soi amoureux. l’âme ici n’aime pas quelque bien étranger ou inférieur, mais un certain état d’elle-même. C’est pourquoi augustin peut dire : « Je n’aimai pas encore, et j’aimais à aimer [nondum amabam et amare amabam] ; et par une indigence plus profonde, je me haïssais d’être moins indigent. Je cherchais sur quoi porter mon amour, dans mon amour de l’amour [amans amare] ; et je haïssais la sécurité et le chemin sans souricière »36. il n’est aucun amour là où nul n’est aimé. il reste alors une sorte d’amour perverti, qui est une forme de haine de soi et de son bien. De quoi jouit l’âme en pareille situation ? D’elle-même, seule. Ce n’est plus là un bon amour de soi, mais un amour de soi amoureux. l’âme est certes en relation avec une autre, mais elle ne cherche pas à former une unité spirituelle et charnelle avec elle ; elle ne se communique ni ne se donne, elle n’aime pas son amour puisqu’il n’y a pas d’amour. une autre lui est nécessaire pour jouir, mais pour ne jouir que de soi-même, non de l’union, non de l’amour même. Dans sa relation à un autre quelconque, indéterminé (pourvu qu’il ait quelque qualité, notamment la beauté), cette âme n’aime pas cet autre, mais elle aime aimer. C’est là une forme perverse de l’amour de l’amour : un amour replié sur soi, revenant à soi sans sortir de soi ni se risquer à une vraie rencontre. aimer aimer, c’est s’aimer aimant sans aimer l’aimée ni l’amour.

on le voit chez Dom Juan qui, chasseur et militaire, se délecte de soi dans sa chasse de toute beauté féminine : « la beauté me ravit partout où je la trouve »37. « Tout le plaisir de l’amour est dans le changement », lequel n’est pas seulement le changement d’objet, mais d’abord le changement inhérent à la « conquête » : « on goûte une douceur extrême à réduire, par cent hommages, le cœur d’une jeune beauté, à voir de jour en jour les petits progrès qu’on y fait, à combattre par des transports, par des larmes et des soupirs, l’innocente pudeur d’une âme qui a peine à rendre les armes (…). Mais lorsqu’on en est maître une fois, il n’y a plus rien à dire ni rien à souhaiter ; tout le beau de la passion est fini »38. le plaisir réside ici dans l’empire progressif pris sur une autre âme, sur le mode de l’hypocrisie, de la

34 augustin, Confessions, iii, 1, p. 365.35 lucrèce, De la nature des choses, iv, 1133-1134. trad. Pautrat modifiée. Paris: Poche,

p. 447.36 augustin, Confessions, iii, 1, p. 363.37 Molière, Dom Juan, i, ii, éd. Couton. Paris: Pléiade, Gallimard, 1971, p. 35.38 idem, p. 35-36.

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falsification de l’amour, puisque Dom Juan y promet ce qu’il sait ne pas vouloir donner, à savoir soi comme un vrai amour.

Pour augustin, cet amour de l’être-amoureux est un amour d’indigence, né de l’ignorance de soi et du vrai amour. Dans cette indigence intérieure, un moi indéterminé cherche un objet indéterminé, ou plutôt, il se cherche soi-même pour jouir de soi dans la prise et l’abandon de tout objet. Cet amour mercantile qui cherche l’utile propre ou son plaisir propre n’aime pas l’autre personne pour elle-même et ne s’aime pas vraiment soi-même. C’est une forme d’auto-idolâtrie, mais d’un moi indéterminé. en revanche, le vrai amour procédera de la surabondance et liera deux surabondances, deux âmes déterminées, en leur mutuelle et libre donation qui les ouvre ensemble à la nouveauté de leur avenir commun. on connaît les vers de la Fontaine : « amants, heureux amants, voulez-vous voyager ? Que ce soit aux rives prochaines. Soyez-vous l’un à l’autre un monde toujours beau, toujours divers, toujours nouveau » (Les deux pigeons). la beauté est toujours essentielle à l’amour, avec la variété et la nouveauté, mais de telle sorte que tout cela lui soit maintenant immanent, et que ce soit sa manière d’être habituelle. Selon le mot d’augustin, « la charité est la beauté de l’âme »39. C’est l’union de dilection qui est belle, variée, toujours nouvelle, inépuisable, et c’est là sa joie. Comme le dit Juliette dans la pièce de Shakespeare : « Plus je donne, plus je possède, l’un et l’autre sont infinis »40.

la guérison de l’âme, qui la fera sortir de l’aporie du faux amour de l’amour, demandera d’abord d’apprendre à ne pas aimer, d’apprendre à se détacher de l’amour illusoire. « Apprenez à ne pas aimer, afin d’apprendre à aimer ; détourner-vous, afin de vous retourner »41. il faut ne plus aimer de ce faux amour, ce qui se fait en découvrant le vrai. Plus précisément, l’initiation au vrai amour est une expérience de la mort, comme arrachement au vieil homme et renouvellement de sa personne. « Comme la charité détruit ce que nous étions, afin que nous devenions ce que nous n’étions pas encore, voilà que l’amour nous fait subir une certaine mort »42. la venue à l’amour n’est pas un cheminement paisible dans une expérience qui irait de joie en joie. au contraire, elle requiert la douleur et le travail du négatif, l’arrachement aux idoles de l’amour, car il faut mourir à soi. l’âme y passe par l’abîme de son propre manque d’amour, de son manquement à l’appel de l’amour. Comme le montre aristote, devenir vertueux exige « tout un travail » sur soi: en connaissant nos penchants à certaines fautes, « nous devons nous en arracher nous-mêmes »43 et parvenir progressivement à la vertu qui est un sommet, l’excellence, comme on redresse un bois tordu. Chez augustin, la découverte de

39 augustin, Com. 1° Epître Jn, iX, 9, p. 399.40 Shakespeare, Roméo et Juliette, ii, 2, trad. Jouve et Pitoëff. Paris: Pléiade, Gallimard, 1959,

p. 478.41 augustin, Discours sur les Psaumes, i, 4° Discours sur le Psaume 30, 11, p. 323.42 augustin, Discours sur les Psaumes, ii, Discours sur le Psaume 121, 12, p. 941.43 aristote, Ethique à Nicomaque, op. cit., ii, 9, 1109 b 5, p. 115-116.

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l’amour est une conversion de l’âme, son détournement de l’amour idolâtre et son retournement vers le vrai amour de l’amour.

C’est pourquoi la guérison requiert de découvrir l’amour de Dieu. l’étonnant, pour augustin, c’est que Dieu se révèle comme amour, selon la parole de St Jean qu’il médite. le principe et la fin de l’amour humain sont alors l’amour de Dieu. l’amour de l’amour reçoit son sens le plus haut comme amour qui est Dieu lui-même, et comme amour dont l’homme est capable pour Dieu. C’est là un amour de surabondance, qui commence par la surabondance du Père et se communique à nous par la médiation des autres personnes divines. Cependant, l’amour envers Dieu a plusieurs significations, qu’il faut distinguer. il existe tout d’abord une forme encore perverse, ou insuffisante, de l’amour de Dieu, qui consiste à aimer Dieu pour les biens qu’il nous donne. Cet amour n’aime pas l’amour même, mais le bien qu’il en reçoit, c’est donc encore une forme cachée d’amour de soi : j’aime Dieu dans la mesure où il me donne quelque bien, voire, dans la mesure où il me comble de biens.

augustin en donne une belle image, inspirée du Cantique des cantiques : cette âme est comparable à une fiancée qui recevrait une bague de son fiancé et qui aimerait ce don plus que le fiancé lui-même, au point que cette bague lui suffise et qu’elle se détourne de lui. or, cet anneau, c’est le monde et c’est chaque âme, car il est possible d’aimer le monde et soi-même en oubliant le donateur. « Si tu aimes la bague à la place du fiancé et ne veux plus voir ton fiancé, alors les arrhes qu’il t’a données ne sont plus un lien d’amour, mais une cause d’aversion »44. il est possible de préférer l’anneau des noces aux noces elles-mêmes, le signe de l’alliance à l’alliance. Cette âme aime Dieu pour elle-même, pour refermer son amour sur soi et jouir en elle-même, seule, des arrhes de l’esprit. elle s’empare du don comme d’une proie et veut en jouir, mais, en ne le recevant pas et en ne l’honorant pas comme un don, comme des arrhes en promesse de la plénitude, elle le détruit comme don. le don n’est vivant qu’à être donné, accueilli, et donné en retour dans une unité de dilection. aimer toute chose, jusqu’au bien le plus infime, c’est la recevoir comme un don, comme une grâce. « Dieu ne t’interdit pas d’aimer ces choses, mais de les aimer jusqu’à y trouver ta béatitude ; donne-leur approbation et louange, mais afin d’aimer le créateur »45. Pour St augustin, reprenant une distinction de St hilaire, les choses nous sont données pour en faire usage (usus), mais c’est à Dieu que doit aller notre jouissance46 (fruitio).

Que signifie aimer Dieu ? Ce n’est pas être tendu vers une idée (le Beau), mais aimer celui qui est l’amour lui-même et entrer dans une nouvelle union avec lui. Cela demande de connaître Dieu comme amour trinitaire, c’est-à-dire comme don éternel, générosité et communication de soi. Dieu est en lui-même dilectio

44 augustin, Com. 1° Epître Jn, ii, 11, p. 175.45 idem, p. 173.46 idem, 12, p. 177.

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et caritas47, comme circumincession et communion des trois Personnes, et c’est l’esprit Saint qui est l’amour en Personne, le lien, l’union de dilection du Père et du Fils. or, ce qu’il est en lui-même, dans sa vie éternelle, Dieu le manifeste au dehors dans sa révélation. Par conséquent l’étonnant est ici que Dieu ne veuille pas, gratuitement, nous donner quelque bien particulier, quelque bague, mais qu’il aspire à se donner lui-même, en personne.

l’avarice est pour augustin la racine de tous les maux, en tant que l’avare, voulant tout posséder mais sans jamais donner ni se donner, ne jouit de rien et ignore l’amour. en fait, le désir de l’avare est borné et vise trop bas : pour être securus sui, il voudrait posséder tous les biens finis, toute bague, mais par là il oublie le donateur. le véritable amour, en revanche, remonte jusqu’à Dieu et l’aime gratuitement, pour lui-même. or, Dieu nous donne tout autre chose que ce que nous désirons naturellement, et infiniment plus : Dieu nous donne Dieu en personne. il nous donne alors d’entrer dans la vie même de son amour. « autre chose est de chercher quelque chose dans le Seigneur, et autre chose de chercher le Seigneur lui-même. (…) Ne va donc demander à Dieu rien qui ne soit Dieu, mais cherche Dieu lui-même, et il t’exaucera, et tu parleras encore, qu’il te dira : ‘Me voici’ [is 65, 24]. Qu’est-ce à dire : Me voici ? Voici que je suis présent, que veux-tu ? quelle est ta demande ? Toute autre chose que je puisse te donner est moins que moi ; mais possède-moi, jouis de moi, étreins-moi de ton amour, tu ne le peux encore dans tout ce que tu es ; touche-moi du moins par la foi, et tu t’attacheras à moi »48.

en outre, Dieu se donne à chacun singulièrement. « C’est de lui que tu tiens tout ; c’est lui qui t’a donné l’existence, qui te donne le soleil (…), qui donne la pluie, qui donne les fruits, qui ouvre les sources, qui donne la vie et le salut, et tant de consolations, lui qui te réserve ce qu’il ne donnera qu’à toi seul. et qu’est-ce qu’il te réserve, si ce n’est lui-même ? »49. l’unique ne se donne pas de manière impersonnelle, à la manière dont le soleil répand sa lumière sur tous, mais chaque fois de manière unique, personnelle, dans mon expérience. la relation d’amour interpersonnel est ce face-à-face de l’unique avec l’unique que je suis, le don réciproque de l’amour vivant. Dieu se donnera à moi seul, seul à seul avec lui, d’une manière incomparable et indicible. Méditant la parole de Ste Thérèse d’avila, qui vient d’augustin, leibniz invitera ainsi l’âme à vivre « comme s’il n’existait rien que Dieu et elle »50.

l’amour de Dieu s’accomplit dans la fruitio Dei, qui est la joie de la présence intérieure de l’Idipsum. Si l’âme méditant à la manière de Plotin s’élevait jusqu’à

47 augustin, Com. 1° Epître Jn, Vii, 4-6.48 augustin, Discours sur les Psaumes, i, 2° Discours sur le Psaume 33, 9, p. 415.49 idem, 3° Discours sur le Psaume 32, 16, p. 387.50 leibniz, Système nouveau de la nature. in: Œuvres, éd. Prenant. Paris: aubier Montaigne,

1972, p. 330-331.

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« ce qui est »51, maintenant qu’elle connaît Dieu comme amour, elle touche l’Ego sum divin trinitaire, communiqué par son Verbe, elle est entrée dans la vie de l’esprit. l’expérience mystique des sens spirituels montre que l’âme qui aime Dieu jouit intérieurement de sa donation spirituelle. « Qu’est-ce que j’aime quand je t’aime ? Ce n’est pas la beauté d’un corps, ni le charme d’un temps, ni l’éclat de la lumière, amical à mes yeux d’ici-bas, ni les douces mélodies des cantilènes de tout mode, ni la suave odeur des fleurs, des parfums, des aromates, ni la manne ou le miel, ni les membres accueillants aux étreintes de la chair : ce n’est pas cela que j’aime quand j’aime mon Dieu. et pourtant, j’aime certaine lumière et certaine voix, certain parfum et certain aliment et certaine étreinte quand j’aime mon Dieu : lumière, voix, parfum, aliment, étreinte de l’homme intérieur qui est en moi, où brille pour mon âme ce que l’espace ne saisit pas, où résonne ce que le temps rapace ne prend pas, où s’exhale un parfum que le vent ne disperse pas, où se savoure un mets que la voracité ne réduit pas, où se noue une étreinte que la satiété ne desserre pas. C’est cela que j’aime quand j’aime mon Dieu »52. l’ego spirituel revenu à soi y découvre son Principe, lequel est plus intérieur à soi-même que soi-même et plus haut que le plus haut de soi-même. aimer Dieu, c’est aimer l’amour lui-même, cette vie une qui se communique et qui unifie avec soi tous ceux qui lui répondent en entrant dans sa respiration. aimer Dieu, c’est s’éprouver aimé de lui, c’est s’offrir passivement à son amour et jouir de sa venue dans sa chair spirituelle.

est-ce là un pur amour ? C’est un pur amour, si c’est un amour de Dieu pour Dieu, sans mélange, pour rien d’étranger. Mais, en cet amour, le moi ne cherche-t-il pas son intérêt, ou son bien propre, le transformant secrètement en un amour de soi ? Cela serait possible si l’amour de Dieu trinitaire était l’amour d’un bien fini, à ma mesure, dont je serais l’auteur et la fin. Mais l’amour de Dieu pour nous est premier, c’est lui qui est pur, et le nôtre est une réponse à son appel. en outre, cet amour est infini, il déborde toute capacité de l’ego, lequel ne peut que l’éprouver en s’y abandonnant. aimer Dieu de dilectio, ce n’est pas aimer quelque bien particulier pour soi, mais c’est entrer dans une vie surabondante, une vie dans laquelle l’ego humain, angoissé de sa mortalité et de son péché, est transfiguré et respire enfin en Dieu même.

Mais l’idée d’un amour qui ne serait pur que si l’ego était aboli, ou que si toute jouissance lui était enlevée, serait absurde d’un point de vue augustinien. en effet, l’amour étant une union entre des personnes, et toute union de dilectio étant couronnée par une jouissance qui lui est propre, comme amour de l’amour, il est impossible d’aimer en vérité sans en jouir. Répondant à Madame Guyon, leibniz dira que « l’amour pur véritable », quoique « désintéressé », consiste « dans l’état qui fait goûter du plaisir dans les perfections et dans la félicité de ce qu’on aime »53. Pour augustin, cette jouissance n’est pas cherchée pour elle-même, et ne saurait

51 augustin, Confessions, Vii, XVii, 23, p. 629.52 idem, X, Vi, 8, p. 153-155.53 leibniz, Principes de la nature et de la grâce. in: Œuvres, op. cit., p. 396.

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l’être. en effet, l’amour véritable étant un amour de l’amour qu’est Dieu, une union avec lui, il ne peut pas ne pas être couronné par une jouissance sui generis, laquelle n’était pas cherchée mais vient comme une grâce qui parachève l’union. l’hypothèse d’aimer encore Dieu même en enfer, s’il me damnait, est absurde, parce que l’enfer consiste à s’être rendu étranger à l’amour de Dieu, et que celui qui y entre renonce à toute espérance (Dante) et à tout amour ; donc, c’est absurde parce que l’amour de Dieu est une relation avec lui, une donation réciproque, et que nul ne saurait aimer sans relation ni donation. l’amour étant par essence un amour de l’amour, nous n’aimons la charité que comme charité aimante, comme communion en acte.

le pur amour consiste alors à aimer Dieu pour lui-même, dans un excès de la donation eu égard à notre réceptivité. « la vie heureuse, la voilà, éprouver de la joie pour Toi, de Toi, par Toi [ipsa est beata vita, gaudere ad te, de te, propter te] »54. augustin rappelle le mot de saint Paul : la charité (agapè) est « secourable » et « ne cherche pas son intérêt [ou zèteî ta heautês : ce qui est sien] » (I Corinthiens, 13, 4-5). l’amour de surabondance à surabondance est donation, pure générosité, il cherche la perfection et le salut par l’amour de l’aimé, dans la plus grande unité possible, laquelle est, comme « unité de personnes », « l’unité par excellence »55. Cet amour ne veut pas quelque bien pour quelqu’un, mais qu’existe quelqu’un pour quelqu’un, un esprit pour un esprit, une union par donation réciproque de personnes. la donation de biens particuliers se fera au sein de cette union, mais elle ne sera que la confirmation de la donation de soi en personne, comme personne auprès d’une autre personne. en outre, de même qu’on peut aimer Dieu pour ses dons, et non pour lui-même, pour sa donation en personne, de même on peut craindre Dieu eu égard au châtiment qu’il peut infliger (i. e. le craindre par rapport à soi, à tel bien qu’il me retirerait) ; mais nous avons à parvenir à une « chaste crainte », qui est « la peur de le voir s’éloigner »56, et c’est là aspirer à sa présence aimante et plénière.

il reste quelque chose d’étonnant, c’est qu’augustin articule l’amour de Dieu et l’amour d’autrui, l’un étant impossible sans son incarnation et sa vérification dans l’autre. « la dilection ne peut pas être séparée »57. il s’agit d’aimer toute personne d’une dilection gratuite, pour elle-même, ce qui n’est possible qu’en l’aimant en Dieu. ainsi, l’amour de soi n’est juste et vrai que dans la mesure où l’ego, cessant de se faire centre, remonte à Dieu et s’aime en Dieu, comme étant celui qui répond à l’amour gratuit de Dieu. Cet amour n’est pas immédiat, relation de soi à soi, mais médiat, il est sauvé par l’accueil du don de l’amour divin. C’est s’aimer en tant qu’aimé par Dieu.

or, l’amour d’autrui comporte deux aspects, celui du frère, et celui de l’ennemi, qui sont des moments essentiels de la vie éthique. « Bienheureux celui qui t’aime

54 augustin, Confessions, X, XXii, 32, p. 201.55 augustin, Discours sur les Psaumes, i, 2° Discours sur le Psaume 30, p. 287.56 augustin, Com. 1° Epître Jn, iX, 5, p. 389.57 idem, X, 3, p. 415.

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toi, et son ami en toi, et son ennemi à cause de toi »58. la charité indivise est le principe de tout amour, et la racine de toute vertu, comme le montre st Paul : « si je n’ai pas la charité, je ne suis rien »59. la connaissance est nécessaire à la charité, mais l’ordre de la charité est le plus haut, comme chez Pascal, et commande tout : « la connaissance sans la charité, ne sauve pas »60. la caritas s’exerce comme benevolentia, comme bienveillance et dévouement pour autrui, dans un agir attentif à penser, vouloir et faire le bien.

il existe tout d’abord une charité inchoative, qui consiste à secourir son frère dans la détresse, à se faire proche de l’autre homme souffrant ou démuni. l’intention est ici décisive et finalise l’acte, car « la diversité de l’intention fait la diversité des actes »61 : en effet, le Christ se livre, donne sa vie librement par amour, tandis que Judas le livre pour de l’argent. C’est alors par une « surabondance de miséricorde » et une « compassion »62 secrètes, et non par jactance ou ostentation63 (agir pour être vu généreux, « cela, c’est néant »64), que chacun a à être attentif à la misère d’autrui, ce qui conduit à venir auprès de lui et à lui donner de l’abondance de ses biens. or, la dilection non feinte, sincère, ne cherche que le salut du frère65. un vase précieux ne s’acquiert que contre argent, tandis qu’il suffit de vouloir la charité pour la posséder, c’est-à-dire pour donner : elle est hors commerce, « elle ne coûte rien [gratis constat] »66. il n’est pas nécessaire d’être riche pour aimer de charité, car c’est une question d’attention et de bienveillance constantes : si un homme « n’a que la charité sans rien pouvoir distribuer aux pauvres, qu’il aime, qu’il donne, ne serait-ce qu’un verre d’eau froide. (…) les dons sont inégaux, la charité est égale »67.

Cependant, Augustin voit ici une difficulté. tout d’abord, cette dilection repose sur l’inégalité des états, de sorte que le donateur semble en quelque sorte « supérieur »68 au donataire, il semble jouir d’une position de hauteur à l’abri du souci vis-à-vis de celui qui est dans la détresse, et qui sera son débiteur. en outre, le don va d’abord aux plus proches, aux siens, de sorte que le donateur s’aime en quelque sorte soi-même en les aimant69. Pour parfaire sa charité, il doit alors transcender la sphère du Même et donner aux inconnus, à l’étranger. Mais

58 augustin, Confessions, iV, iX, 14, p. 433.59 St Paul, 1 Corinthiens, 13, 2, cité en Com. 1° epître Jn, V, 6, p. 259.60 augustin, Com. 1° Epître Jn, ii, 8, p. 167.61 idem, Vii, 7, p. 327.62 idem, V, 12, p. 269.63 idem, Vi, 2, p. 279.64 idem, Viii, 2, p. 341.65 idem, Vi, 4, p. 285.66 idem, Vii, 10, p. 333.67 augustin, Discours sur les Psaumes, ii, Discours sur le Psaume 121, 10, p. 940.68 augsutin, Com. 1° Epître Jn, Viii, 5, p. 349.69 idem, 4, p. 347.

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la charité sera plus haute et plus authentique quand elle s’exercera à l’égard d’un égal heureux, comme la philia entre vertueux chez aristote : là, en effet, chacun donnera gratuitement, de ses biens ou de soi, de sa présence. « et s’il n’y a rien à donner, la seule bienveillance suffit à celui qui aime »70.

enfin, « la perfection de la dilection est la dilection d’un ennemi »71. l’amour de l’autre doit s’étendre au-delà de la sphère du Même et de l’amitié. Face à la haine active de l’ennemi, la réponse éthique suprême est la dilection de l’ennemi. il ne s’agit pas là de lui souhaiter quelque bien (santé, richesse, etc.) dont l’usage serait incertain, mais, par amour de lui en Dieu, de l’aimer pour qu’il devienne un frère. « Si tu souhaites, en aimant ton ennemi, qu’il devienne ton frère : quand tu l’aimes, c’est un frère que tu aimes »72. De même que le sculpteur voit en une pièce de bois l’œuvre à venir, de même il s’agit d’aimer l’ennemi en espérant que la charité active le convertira en un ami, mieux, que l’on pourra entrer avec lui dans le même amour de Dieu. Répondre à la haine par la haine rendrait haineux et multiplierait le mal et les méchants. la charité me commande d’aimer mon ennemi pour son salut. Seul l’amour sauve, en pardonnant et en s’élevant, par une bonté gratuite, à l’amour de l’amour divin. l’amour parfait consiste alors à donner sa vie librement par pure dilection73, comme le Christ, pour le salut d’autrui.

l’amour parfait, c’est la « diletio caritatis »74, la dilection de la charité, parce que l’amour de l’amour, c’est l’amour de Dieu qui est amour en personne. C’est aimer toute chose en Dieu, de Dieu et pour Dieu, dans l’unité la plus haute et la plus accomplie. « Si Dieu est l’amour, quiconque aime l’amour aime Dieu [Si Deus dilectio, quisquis diligit dilectionem : Deum diligit] »75. Par conséquent, nous ne pouvons voir Dieu que dans l’expérience de la charité : il faut l’aimer pour le voir. Celui qui a « la dilection voit Dieu, parce que Dieu est dilection »76. là où est l’amour, là il y a un œil – ubi caritas, ibi oculi. augustin remarque à propos des biens spirituels : « quiconque les aime, les voit »77. C’est vrai pour Dieu lui-même : c’est l’amour qui nous donne des yeux pour voir l’invisible.

Ce qui distingue les deux amours est clair. il ne s’agit pas de se haïr soi-même, mais de s’aimer en Dieu et d’aimer tout bien en l’aimant premièrement. « Tout mon bien est d’être inséparable de Dieu gratuitement [Deo inhaerere gratis : inhérent à Dieu] »78. l’éthique de la charité s’exprime alors dans un seul précepte : « aime

70 augustin, Com. 1° Epître Jn, Viii, 5, p. 349.71 idem, 10, p. 363.72 idem, 10, p. 361.73 idem, V, 12, p. 269.74 idem, iX, 9, p. 401.75 idem.76 idem, 10, p. 403.77 augustin, Discours sur les Psaumes, i, 2° Discours sur le Psaume 33, i, 15, p. 420.78 idem.

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et fais ce que tu veux [Dilige, et quod vis fac] »79. Ce n’est pas là une invitation à l’arbitraire, mais à aimer l’amour en personne en faisant de la charité incessante le principe de tout son être et tout son agir. Nous n’avons pas à chercher Dieu par delà les étoiles, car il est « auprès de nous, si nous voulons être auprès de lui [est apud nos, si nos velimus esse apud eum] »80, c’est-à-dire, si nous voulons bien entrer dans la vie de l’amour, en son intériorité. augustin d’ajouter « Que nul ne dise : je ne sais quoi aimer. Qu’il aime son frère, et il aimera cette même dilection. il connaît mieux en effet la dilection dont il aime, que son frère qu’il aime. et voilà dès lors que Dieu lui est mieux connu que son frère : beaucoup mieux connu, parce que plus présent ; mieux connu, parce que plus intérieur ; mieux connu, parce que plus certain. embrasse le Dieu dilection et tu embrasseras Dieu par dilection »81. C’est en donnant que chacun découvre le donateur absolu et son don. C’est dans l’épreuve de l’amour que Dieu est chez nous en tant que nous sommes chez lui. la charité est donc la manifestation charnelle de Dieu en ce monde, le nœud trinitaire (Dante) qui noue et unifie tout dans soi-même.

79 augustin, Com. 1° Epître Jn, Vii, 8, p. 329.80 augsutin, Trinité, Viii, Vii, 11, p. 63.81 idem, 12, p. 63.

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Māra KiopeInstitute of Philosophy and Sociology of Latvia University

TruTh experience in The Language of Being

Tiesos paTirTis būTies Kalboje

suMMaryThe article deals with the problem of Truth in the context of mutual mirroring of language of being and of being or ontology of language in hermeneutics of H. G. Gadamer. Truth, which has to be the permanent component of human life depends not only on contingent moments of the light experience, but could be conscious striving for the Truth. it becomes an experience because of repeatedness of the meanings which have been opened in human traditions and transferred by language. Thomistic approach to also can be translated in the hermeneutical context, showing the repatedness of actualizing the natural light of intellect. The understanding of affective harmony with the Truth is revealed on the basis of investigations of latvian brazilian philosopher jesuit father stanislavs ladusans.

Key words: truth experience, linguisticiality, inner word, culture.

sanTrauKastraipsnyje nagrinėjama tiesos problema (kaip būties atvaizdavimas būties kalboje) H. G. Gadamerio hermeneutikoje. Tiesa, kuri turėtų būti nuolatinis žmogaus gyvenimo komponentas, priklauso ne tik nuo atsitiktinių šviesos patirčių, bet gali būti sąmoningas tiesos siekis. ji ateina per patirtį, kartojantis prasmėms, kurios tampa tradicijomis ir perduodamos kalba. Tomistinis požiūris į tiesą gali būti suvoktas ir hermeneutikos kontekste, atskleidžiant pasikartojimus, aktualizuojantis prigimtinei intelekto šviesai. emocinės santarvės su tiesa samprata straipsnyje atskleista, remiantis latvių kilmės brazilijos filosofu stanislavs ladusans sj.

raKTažodžiai: tiesos patirtis, lingvistiškumas, vidinis pasaulis, kultūra.

neothomist j. Maritain refers to the episode of the Gospel (jn 18:38), when pilates asks the question: “what is Truth?”. j. Maritain comments, that pilate did not wait for an answer at all, because he considered the question unsolvable. The Truth Himself, therefore, did not answer to pilates. but the philosopher must try to answer this question.1

wHaT ir TruTH experience?

The reasons once again to deal with the Truth problem in aquinas are as follows: in the first place, it is the process of development of contemporary

1 jackues Maritain, De la vérite, 1922 (Quot. page numbers from russian issue: Маритен Ж. “Об истине”. В кн.: Маритен Ж., Избранное: Величие и нищета метафизики. Москва: РОССПЭН, 2004, cс. 130-145, c. 130)

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philosophy and its subsection, history of philosophy. it refers to the expansion of the problem of truth as the fundamental problem in the philosophy of the xx century, mainly in connection with the investigations of philosophical problems of language; ever more persistent integration of discoveries of medieval philosophy into contemporary problem investigations.

secondly, the choice of the Truth theme is to be regarded as an answer to the situation of philosophy in latvia when it is possible to freely investigate the so-called western philosophy themes including those of the history of philosophy that were subjected to ideologically motivated censorship in not so very distant past. in this respect of importance is the philosophical analytics of st Thomas aquinas offering an original investigative view on the scholastic language of being: it is necessary for latvian philosophy to precisely master and have a good command of the heritage of medieval philosophy both on the level of scientific research and in the process of studying philosophy.

Thirdly, the investigation results can be used in perfecting the latvian value orientation system of education, truth being the most important value of human existence although its solution as a value problem is theoretically difficult, as is evidenced by the efforts of the xx century philosophy. Meanwhile the society feels a necessity for forming such a practice of discourse of truth as value in public space that is based on philosophically stable theoretical bases. Thus, for instance, the Pacific Lutheran University professor G. Ķēniņš-Kings points out that the value orientation of latvia’s new economic leaders is pragmatic, not truth-directed. what they value most are their personal achievements and those of their organization. However, “it should be taken into consideration that they are useful to the chief executives in different circumstances. such leaders in latvia can serve different bosses and many powers”.21 That is why the solution of the problem of truth is a contribution to practical solutions of value-oriented education and hence a better perspective of social life. practically the promotion of the understanding of the Truth itself is the engine for dialogical atmosphere in the culture. consequently, the eternal question of the Truth always becomes the urgent question in every-day life, when the society goes through serious historical turbulences. The Truth then serves as an anchor for orientation in the world, even if, or especially then if the Truth has been expelled into exile.

widely spread scepticism about the possibility to reach the Truth by human reason overlaps with weakness of the will to strive for true, good and beautiful. However, if someone would like, anyway he would lack support of theories, of culture. Here we are speaking about so called epistemological power of the culture or discursive practices truthfully dealing with the human situation and showing ways to maintain, if to say in the genuine sense of the greek word technologies of the human existence. even more important this question is in post-soviet societies, 2 Gundars Ķēniņš Kings, American Experience to Enterprise Leadership. selection for

business-like discussions. riga: apgāds biznesa partneri, 2001, p.234.

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which are often designated as societies being in situation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). culture can soften the blow of consequences of pTsd of collective experience, if there are sufficiently human practices that provide the ability to produce the sense and meaning of the life and to explain of what happened. otherwise it is possible to refer on epistemological inadequacy or lack of necessary knowledge for the human being to manage his life. it is so called epistemic disempowerment of culture.3 indeed, pTsd as an existential condition is still in effect on human livelihoods.

some psychologists believe that a very high suicide rate in russia and in the baltic countries is a consequence of stalinism.4 For instance, the psychotherapist points out that people in latvia have no the culture of self-dignity and self-awareness, that is why many people, who have left latvia for searching the better life, reach great professional achievments abroad. but at home they are not able to take advantage of the freedom due to lack of ability to gain a foothold in that “who we are”, in a sense of life and the significance of his own being.5 consequently, the problem here is authenticity of human being, arising from the living in the Truth, which which has been suppressed by transformation of human being in anthropological experiment of soviet regime. so, the Truth is unavoidable factor of development of the society, as well as of the individual. as the pope benedict xVi points out: „without truth, it is easy to fall into an empiricist and sceptical view of life, incapable of rising to the level of praxis because of a lack of interest in grasping the values — sometimes even the meanings — with which to judge and direct it. Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom (cf. jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development.”6 in this context the heritage of saint Thomas aquinas provides a very rich source for solving the Truth problem in human life. as an supplementary clarification here could be quoted a conclusion, declared by american philosopher of lithuanian origin john Knasas. He reflects on the relationship between the Truth in aquinas and mentality manifesting itself in lithuania as the society under reconstruction like in latvia, where the new challenges are facing in the global context:

„and so i come to my second answer to the question “can lithuania resist the neutering effects of westernization without becoming intolerant?” This question expresses a problem of truth and tolerance that is by its nature philosophical. as essentially a philosophical problem, it requires a philosophical answer, which aquinas

3 Mary de young, Ph.D., b.c.e.T.s. Collective Trauma: insights From a research errand. in: American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, 1998: www.aaets.org/article55.htm

4 rokas M. Tracevskis, A Nation with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. in web: Transitions Online: Regional Intelligence, 07.02.2011.

5 An Interview with the psychoterapist Elita Kreislere (in Latvian): intervija ar psihoterapeiti elitu Kreisleri, 16-10-2009 <www.tvnet.lv/.../latvija/303237-latviesu_gens_muziga_pielagosanas>.

6 benedict xVi. Encyclical letter caritas in veritate on integral human development in charity and truth, 9.

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offers. aquinas grounds human dignity on the fact that each person is or can be “an ‘intellector’ of being.” This intelligible object is so rich that aquinas also refers to being as “the good.” Hence, each human stands forth as a particularly intense or heightened presentation of the good. From such a presentation there issues a command to my freedom to be respectful and solicitous in my dealing with others. obviously, aquinas’s ethical principles do not presuppose his specific religious beliefs. what believers speak of the intellectual intuition of being? rather, they engage with a western philosophical discussion about the nature of being that runs through aristotle, Hegel, Heidegger and sartre. Hence, to the extent that they are philosophical, aquinas’s principles are addressed to everyone of good will. people may stop being catholic and they may stop being reasonable. but they usually do the first before doing the second. aquinas’s philosophical thinking is there to catch them at that point.”7

unavoidably for the modern societies there is an alternative either to try to develop the Truth discourse in the society according to the ontological order reflected in the mind either to leave all the things in chaotic movement of nothingness. That’s why the solving of the Truth problem in aquinas has benn actualized in the modern thinking..

nevertheless the status of the problem of truth in contemporary philosophy is laid bare by content analysis of definitions of the concept of truth available in some philosophical encyclopedias. The definitions mainly accentuate the connection of the scientifically substantiated concept of truth with cognition and knowledge. on the other hand, attention is drawn to the historicity of truth and factors of cultural history influencing its understanding. in the classification of the truth paradigms predominates the explication of the theories of correspondence and coherence. However, the classical approach still relevant today is the the paradigmatic view of the ontology of truth or truth as the truth of being. only ontological truth can be existentially significant because it embraces man’s being-in-the-world in its relationship with Being. From this point of view the traditional concept of truth worked out by st Thomas aquinas in an original system synthesizing the definitions of plato, aristotle and medieval authors comes to the fore.

in respect to the Truth the dominating in the culture is the idea that Truth could be experienced mainly as the moment full of light. indeed, for instance Mircea eliade has demonstrated rich invesetigation of morphology of the Truth experience as a light experience in many different cultures. The point is, that much more stressed now must be the possibility of the human being to reach the Truth by means appropriate for the human nature. otherwise human person somehow looses the freedom to live in Truth. if Truth remains experiencable only in a special moment of light, than some may, but others do not. at the same time we all are called to live in the Truth. Then how? The solution is possible by using the concept of experience as it’s appears in hermeneutics, in accordance with specific of humanities.

7 john F. x. Knasas, “a Fulbrighter observes lithuania Going west”. in: lituanus. lithuanian Quar-terly journal of arts and sciences. Volume 53, no 1 - spring 2007 liTuanus Foundation, inc. <http://www.lituanus.org/2007/07_1_06%20Knasas.htm>.

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The incorporation of language problems into the xx century philosophy changed the context of the solution of the truth problem. now it is closely linked with the ontology of language or the being of language, the core of which is linguisticality. This is the concept which was lied down by H. G. Gadamer in the foundations of the modern hermeneutics, and could be described as the basic inner structure of human being which provides ontological character of language. in other words, human intellectus or understanding is always understanding in the language.

The concept of Truth experience references to the theleological, aimed efforts of the human being to achieve Truth consciousnesly just as the Truth. and to grow up in the understanding of the being as the Truth until the person in its human totality would reached the affective harmony with everything true.

in accordance with phenomenological setup, allowing wide spectrum of interpretations of experience, in our context it signifies the repeatedness of understanding of the Truth in language. language in principle is a sphere of possibilities that assembles all the tenses in the present and that is why there is always a possibility of other being, Anderssein. That is openess of the human being to otherness of the text, the culture, the other historical time, the tradition as well as of divine. edith stein regards God to be the most radical experience of the otherness, which is changing not merely the object of the intentionality but the very source of intentionality, the human being itself.

Meanwhile the concept of the experience as an intellectual activity which is capable to manage in striving for the Truth in the context of the language ontology in modern philosophy appears first in M. Heideggers’ fundamental ontology. in his Sein und Zeit, paragraphs 41-43 M. Heidegger criticizes the neo-kantian philosophers because they neglected, that immanuel Kant in his Critics of the Pure Reason accepted the traditional definition of the Truth. after the reference to st. Thomas aquinas in his turn M. Heidegger investigates the genesis of the truth as decisive coherence of intellect and the thing in the proposition. He underscores an alethic or open behaviour or attitude of being-in-the world8. He accentuates that the truth of proposition is made possible by the openness of behaviour as an intrinsic possibility of truth that is based on freedom – “the essence of truth is freedom”.9

in Heidegger’s philosophy the transsubjectivity of truth is revealed in connection with experience as an “exercise” in hearing Truth of being. The nearness of the unobtrusive strength of being-Truth exists as language, because an proposition contains openness of the existent that is retained in the proposition. Thus, the language allows repeating of the acquisition of understanding. language is ontological, it’s the Home of being and it is the only path for the human being to

8 in his Report on the Essence of the Truth.9 as in parralel reading of his tutor H. rickert we can remember, that next to Seinsprobleme

there is Wertprobleme and the essence of truth is value.

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summon together all the times (eonta) - past, present and future - in actual presence of thinking (einai).10

in respect to that H-G Gadamer develops hermeneutics as a philosophy of understanding and explicating, and practical usage, the way it used to be in the medieval tradition, disclosing the specifics of the truth problem in the humanities. strictly speaking, the truth of the humanities must be acquired in repeatable experience although the treatment of experience itself differs from the understanding of experimentally repeatable experience in natural sciences. in his analysis of platonic dialogues, Gadamer shows as due to language ontology words themselves demonstrate being-in-the-world thinking in which knowledge and good are indivisible. Gadamer reveals the truth as a constitutive element of good, because truth is openness and that is why the possibility of thinking that proceeds in words, through words coming to light and due to language ontology of themselves showing the direction from true to good. The truth experience appears as a recurring repeatability of true and at the same time good and beautiful being of life that is possible due to linguisticality. one can say that linguisticality is a way of revelation of man’s historical existence, as naive understanding of historicity that would imply man’s mental transition to some historical situation, let us say, in the form of empathy, is cancelled in principle. Gadamer points out that historical cognition is retained as the present-day adjustment to the thing, commensurating with the thing or reality, mensuratio ad rem. Thus, the thing remains as a measure of adequacy and at the same time a measure of interpretation of being that is revealed in dialogue at the moment of the merger of the sense horizons. . it can be said that the principle of adequacy is a hermeneutical principle, envisaging the possibility of intellect to increasingly open to Being. However, no matter how large the size of the hermeneutical circle of being in the grasp of intellect becomes, the demand for adequacy remains valid.

The discovery of language ontology in the hermeneutics of the xx century after seven centuries of history of philosophy allows reviving the hermeneutical tradition of western europe in an undivided unity. Thus, referring the understanding of linguisticality based in Gadamer’s hermeneutics to aquinas’s philosophy one can maintain that the traditional concept of truth defines the principle of adequacy of linguistic intellect and of the thing reflected in the word. consequently, the ontology of language or being of language and thomistic language of being are making up some asymmetric mirror for the better understanding of the Truth problem.

THe possibiliTy oF THe TruTH experience in lanGuaGe

Medieval culture can be characterized as a hermeneutically orientated culture, it’s source being the Word/word parallelism11 that grows out of the communication 10 Martin Heidegger, Holzwege (in Latvian): Heidegers M. “anaksimandra izteikums” in:

Heidegers M. Malkasceļi. riga: intelekts, 1998, 217-252 p., 236. p. 11 Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and method (Quot. pages from latvian edition: Gadamers H.-G.

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event between God and man initiating an active exegetic or hermeneutical practice. we can substantiate the hermeneutical character of medieval culture and philosophy by using the hermeneutical structure “communication-text-interpretation” given in H-G Gadamer’s work Text and Interpretation. it may be concluded that while looking for the solution of the problem of searching the conditions for a truthful interpretation of the biblical text in medieval philosophy there is formed a ramified system of hermeneutical rationality in whose framework new judgements are formed and their relationships elucidated.

such a ceaseless perfection of the conceptual network stimulates the development of medieval philosophical inquiry. development of biblical hermeneutics in connection with the university teaching tasks calls forth the cultural prosperity of the thirteenth century (regarded as mysterious) and the emergence of scholasticism as school science12 that consists in reading and interpretation of texts forming commentaries on authorized sources. However, it had to be asked if one could speak of language ontology in medieval philosophy.

The word of God problem in the philosophical works of dionysius areopagite marks the appearance of linguisticality in the medieval word/word culture13.

Thomas aquinas constitutes Truth as the concept of being. it is proved by the academic confidence permeating aquinas’s philosophical investigations in the possibility of cognition of reality by cognizing the words defining reality that comes to light with especial clarity in the problem of the cognition of the words of God borrowed from the philosophy of dionysius areopagite and developed further. For aquinas the participation means identic formal structure, ordo, in being as well as in mind striving for the truth, because the thing can reach the adequacy for the intellect to the degree in which the thing has the entity - et sic ratio veri sequitur rationem entis .14

Thus engaging in the heated discussions of the period on the problem of how man’s intellect can be the source of the one truth, aquinas conceptualizes being as unitary being; including human being as mind and body unity15, the whole of the universe as intelligible substance unity and unity of cognition problem. aquinas shows the way of the thing from material world to the impact of the soul and further to the true proposition of ratio or science, where the very fulfillment of human cognition and the very adequacy of the intellect to the thing, and just linguistic understanding is the inner word. it comes from the intellect side, when

Patiesība un metode. Filosofiskas hermeneitikas pamatiezīmes. (Turpmāk tekstā – PM) riga: juMaVa, 1999, p. 392

12 jan a. aertsen, Medieval Philosophy and the Transcendentals. The case of Thomas aquinas. leiden, new york, Köln: e. j. brill, 1996, p. 11

13 dyon, De Divinis Nominibus: pseudo-dionysius. “The divine names” in: pseudo-dionysius. The Complete Works. Translated by colm luibheid - paulist press, new york, Mahwah, 1987, p. 47-132, p. 53.

14 De ver 1.1. ad 5. 15 De unitate intellectus contra Averroistes, cap. i, x

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the soul uses itself in actual thought about something.16 Gadamer is referencing to aquinas, saying that he has found a brilliant comparision, that the word is like a mirror in which the thing is seen. but pecularity of this mirror is that it fully exausts the content of the thing17. The will gives intentionality to the inner word for to be communicated to another person. so, b. lonergan stresses that the inner word corresponds to the reality, being the cause of outside word, whoose sounding signifies the inner word, keeping it’s meaning only because of the participation in the inner word18.

Man’s concern for morality guarantees the certainty of truth and opens up the possibility of functioning for the natural light of mind – lumen animae nostrae. Thus, contrary to the habitual view of the sensual as the causality of cognition in Thomas’s philosophy, it must be admitted that in aquinas’s view cognition has two sources – external senses and the internal origin in the light of intellect. it could be regarded that actually aquinas solves the problem of truth experience by describing the cognition of truth as an permanent exercise of actualizing the light of intellect, consequently an activity of understanding, which can be repeated and so it acquires the status of experience.19

at first, st. Thomas describes cognition as the movement of intellectual (ephesians 5:13): “all that is made manifest is light.” now every use implies movement, taking movement broadly, so as to call thinking and willing movements, as is clear from the philosopher (de anima iii, 4).” at second, aquinas uses an argument which has been yet elaborated in the contraversary with averroists in paris university in respect to the source of movement of the cognition, an argument, which is based on the platonic theory of participation. aquinas underscores: „Hence we must say that for the knowledge of any truth whatsoever man needs divine help, that the intellect may be moved by God to its act. or, in another text: “but he does not need a new light added to his natural light, in order to know the truth in all things, but only in some that surpass his natural knowledge. and yet at times God miraculously instructs some by His grace in things that can be known by natural reason, even as He sometimes brings about miraculously what nature can do.”20 consequently, what could be repeated is this movement of participation of the human being in the divine reality, communication with the Truth Himself for to move the intellect in it’s growing of truthfulness.

so, it is the light by which God speaks to people, so the inner word, which is lighting overlaps with the light of intellect and the light of the thing, creating a light field. The Truth reveals itself . so, we can say that self-revelation of the Truth is the content and 16 sT, i.107.1.Resp.17 Gadamer, op. cit., p. 397. cf. de natura verbi intellectus, c.1, no275: “Est enim tamquam

speculum in quo res cernitur, sed non excedens id quod in eo cernitur”18 bernard lonergan, Verbum. word and idea in aquinas, p. 6. Quot. used by lonergan is from

st. Thomas commentary on Aristotle’s Peri hermeneias, lect. 2, 21.19 sT, i-ii, 109, art. 1, resp.20 cf. sT, i, 107. art. 2.

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purpose of the Truth experience. it allows the mind to transcend itself towards infinity, in fact, Truth experience more than any other experience increases a person’s intellectual capacity and expands human intelligence.21

The existential motivation of man’s growth in the truth of being and its understanding is disguised in communication where the special importance of the concept of communication arises from the medieval christ centred view of the world – God cherishes His mysterious desire to freely share (communicatio) feelings of love with other beings22 or Bonum est diffusivum sui et communicativum23. consequently theologian is involved into double-communication: at first, with the Holy spirit for to understand the Truth revealed; secondly, in the communication with the community for to explain this Truth for practical hermeneutical use in life.

That is why Thomas aquinas’s approach to the problem of the borders of intellect and abilities differs from the solutions offered by arab and jewish thinkers24. namely, saint Thomas speaks about possibilities of the reason to overcome itself by measures of undesrtanding the Truth25, especially the scrpiture rather than of differentiation the people in according with their mind abilities. even more, st. Thomas aquinas stands on that the crucial point for the enlarging the human understanding are the moral virtues.26 and the human being is able to capture the God, capax Dei, because of the participation in the supreme being27 and ad modum cognoscentis, that is, in the way, which is relevant to the human mind abilities.

28 This is the very neoplatonic point in aquinas, which mades an axis of unity between the creator and creature. From this also follows that the human language in which the God himself has spoken to the poeple is also the back way, reditus from the cogniton of causes in every-day experience to the primary cause.29 Here we can see concordance with all the mentality of the Middle age, expressed in a special way by john of damascus, who stressed that human being has access

21 st. Thomas aquinas, Summa Theologiae. a concise translation. ed. by Mcdermott. chriustian classiscs, allen, Texas/ chicago, illinois, 1991, p. 215.

22 Fritz-joachim von rintelen, Values in European Thought, i. ediciones universidad de navarra, s.a., pamplona-spain, 1972, p. 198.

23 Summa Contra Gentiles, 3. 1. 124 idit dobbs-weinstein, Maimonides and St. Thomas on the Limits of Reason. state university

of new york press, 1995, p. 15.25 Summa Contra Gentiles, 1. 5.26 eugene F. rogers jr., “How the Virtues of an interpreter presuppose and perfect Hermeneutics:

The case of Thomas aquinas”. The journal of religion, Vol. 76, nmb.1 – univ. of chicago, 1996, p. 79.

27 Summa Contra Gentiles, cap. xxxii.28 Fran o’rourke, Pseudo-Dionysius and the Metaphysics of Aquinas. leiden, new york, Köln:

e.j. brill, 1992, p. 31. cf.: In I Sent. 35, 1, 1; De Potentia, 9, 7; De Malo 16, 8 ad.3; Super ad Rom 1,6.

29 see romanus cessario, Christian Satisfaction in Aquinas. Towards a personalist under-standing. up of america, 1982.

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to the God by images and by words created by Him.30 However, although the problem of analogatus has been at the centre of a special subdivision of Thomism since the xiV century classical investigation period, analogy has not been viewed as a reality existing within the context of linguisticality and that was conducive to obscuration of the existence of the unity of language of being and the being language in aquinas’s philosophy. Thus the problem of analogy in aquinas has appeared to be the problem of understanding, which recognizes the different levels of the being and expresses them in language all the time remembering about the distance between the creator and creature31. actually, analogy allows to speak in the same language about all the being, but presupposes this differentiating action of understanding.32

Thomas aquinas in his philosophy transfers the search for the criteria of security of the truthfulness of revelation interpretation from investigating the hermeneutical facilities of text interpretation to the problem of the critique of the abilities of the mind of man as the user of the facilities or faculties.

The fullness of truth experience comes fore by “looking” into the truth like into the mirror of eternity or infinity. Speculum or mirror is a widely-spread image of Middle ages culture, dealing with the text, which can serve as a mirror for every individual to look in and to comparise himself with the moral ideal. There were mirrors like Speculum regis, De regimine, De Eruditione, De institutione adrresesd to young princes and teaching them in the art of governing the country, but also there were mirrors of saint lives, of virtues, of spiritual perfectness.33 commonly, the idea consists in that the intellect can correct itself, when it is looking in the mirror of itself, which is made by understanding of the Truth, Good and beautiful.34

Thus we speak on the Truth as transcendentaly35, that is of linguistic mode of thinking being. with the help of the linguistically acquired inner word of truth of individual cognition that is included into the proposition and thus into communication, it is possible for the mind to juxtapose the temporal, acquiered truth with infinite truth which is kept in tradition and to open up surpassing one’s self. Fulness of the Truth experience is achieved by mirroring the inner truth in the eternal Truth in the intellect or understanding.

linguisticality offers the intellect admittance to the highest reality against which the individually achieved truth is measured. Here truth as transcendentality that 30 antonio Quacquarelli, Retorica Patristica e sue istituzioni interdisciplinari. città nuova

editrice, 1995, p. 350.31 bernard Montagnes, The Doctrine of the Analogy of Being according to Thomas Aquinas.

Marquette university press, 2004, p. 91.32 ralph M. Mcinnerny, The Logic of Analogy. on interpretation of analogy. Hague: Martinus

nijhoff, 1961, p. 53.33 Speculum perfectionis: Mirror of Perfection. sources for the life of st. Francis. ed. by

M. a. Habig. chicago: Franciscan Herald press, 1973.34 Hildegard of bingen, Scivias. n.y., Mahwah: paulist press, 1990, p. 329.35 jan a. aertsen, Medieval Philosophy and the Transcendentals, p. 21.

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could be characterized as a specific thinking mode of existence must be juxtaposed to the truth gained in the cognition of individual intellect. due to the asymmetry of the finite truth and the transcendental truth the mind openness is constituted in the direction of infinity that the mind can tend to fill with constantly renewed attempts at the truth. The medieval scholastic philosophy is inclined to link the finite with the infinite – God as Truth and human’s truth and this kind of contiguity is possible in aquinas’s philosophy basing on the solution of the problem of analogy as the linguistic participation that is a specific discerning thinking about the divine and human reality respecting the distance separating the two.

so we could conclude, that every, even the highest Truth is coming alive in the communication among human beings, if it has been born as the inner word in the heart of one who proclaims the Truth. and that going in the otherness is possible as so far, as it’s based on participation of the human being in his own tradition, which by mediation of language bears certain meanings.

TruTH experience in THe dialoGe oF culTures

consequences of the Truth experience can be described as living in the truth. pope benedict xVi writes, that Truth, like love, “is neither planned nor willed, but somehow imposes itself upon human beings”.36

To discuss further the Truth experience in the dialogue of cultures, we may adress the feritage of latvian and brasilian philosopher jeusit father stanislavs ladusāns (1912-1993), who elaborated the concept of many-sided gnoseology. respectively it’s possible to speak on many-sided Truth in the dialogue of cultures. professor M. Kūle writes, that stanislavs ladusans «is the most prominent representative of latvian catholic academic philosophy of the twentieth century, who has developed cognitive phenomenology and many-sided gnoseology. His research has received international recognition as he has presided over four world christian congresses of catholic philosophy, has published numerous books in portuguese and in latvian and has been full member of roman pontifical academy of st. Thomas aquinas».37 briefly: s. ladusans studied at riga roman catholic seminary and in 1933 went to noviciate studies in starovese, poland, being one of four young originally latvians entering the society of jesus. so, their hope was to renovate the fruitful jesuit culture tradition having two hundred years history and deep impact to latvian culture and life practices, especially in the eastern part of latvia, called latgale. in ladusans’ intellectual biography we could see the way of person responding to the call of being of philosopher, if to use thomistic concept. ladusan’s personality also allows us to re-examine latvian identity in the sense of self-perception. not to deny the widely-spread self-perception of latvians as the 36 benedict xVi, op. cit. , 3437 Maija Kūle, Phenomenology and Culture. riga: Fsi, 2002, p. 155.

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peasents’ nation, at the same time due to s. ladusans’ achievments we could think about the intellectual dimension of latvian identity.

in riga seminary s. ladusans’ tutor in philosophy was the first latvian neothomist peteris strods, having a doctoral degree from insbrucke jesuit university. in starovese noviciate was led by famous polish philsopher augustin dyla. after some years studies in cracow jesuit phislophy faculty, now known as High school Ignatianum, s. ladusans continued studies at Gregoriana university in rome, where obtained a licenciate in philosophy and in theology, and finally defended doctoral dissertation in november, 1946. but, the way back to latvia was closed by the soviet occupation, and s. ladusans was send to brazil for the renovating of thomistic philosophy. brazil was very rapidly growing nation at that time, having a great lack of catholic priests, but at the same time in the ecclesiastical education institutes thomism was of very poor sort, some kind of boring, too sophisticated neoscholasticism, far from the life and social issues actual in the country. during this time the very great impact of psychoanalysis appeared in minds of students of clergy seminaries, as it seemed to be answer to many questions coming from life itself, however actually provoked distorted view on the consectrated life.

in this situation s. ladusans started his work as the renovator of genuine thomism in brazil theoretically, as well as by organizing the network of catholic philosophers. especially high results appeared at the beginning of 70-ies, when he was a president interamerican catholic philosophy society (acip), covering all the latin america, was Head of the research institute for philosophy (conpeFil) in sao paulo, later the institute was moved to the puc-rio de janeiro. one of the most famous brazilian philosophers’ osvaldo carvalho says in the interwiev, he was the student of padre ladusans, but after his death in 1993 in rio de janeiro, left the work on dissertation at all, as he wouldn’t be possible to find equally high level institution of philosophical research in all the brazil. until nowdays the one of the most recognized sources in the brazilian philosophical studies remains the anthology designed and realized by padre ladusans «Rumos da filosofia actual no Brasil» (Current Trends of Philosophy in Brazil). and sure, only the restoration of republic of latvia in 1991 made it possible for professor ladusans to return his native country and teach students at the roman catholic seminary in riga. actually his philosophy presents the synthesis of thomism and of phenomenology, especially having original theory of cognition (mainly in the work Gnosiologia Pluridimensional), we could call, following professor M. Kūle, the cognitive phenomenology. Meanwhile the many-sided gnoseology is worked out not for the sake of itself, but as the basis for the Mataphysics of the Human being, what ladusans was intended to write as the third and the final part of gnoseological trilogy.

characterising the main trend of his philosohical research s. ladusans in the article for the first world congress of latvian scientists in 1991 calls it the multidimensional humanism: ” what is the basis of this multidimensional

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humanism? The basis is critical realism. phenomenologically it analyses and clearly admits as irrefutable man’s natural cognition in all its authentic structure. .. philosophically it creates an organic critical teaching on man’s recognition abilities and limits – gnoseology”38 consequently the aim of this critical gnoseology is to overcome the relativity of cognition by conducting a critical dialogue with scientism, neo-positivism, structuralism, materialism and marxist pragmatism. and “the final result of critical reflection must be the formation of an integral science of the human being with a deeper dimension of humanism”.39 overcoming the relativism within theory of knowledge, leads to the overcoming of modern cultural relativism, having it’s turning point from the gnoseological relativism40. actually, the critical many-sided gnoseology is the basis for philosophical critics of culture.

but, now we could ask, what is culture? culture is the genuine human life as such, as the pope john paul ii stressed in his famous address to unesco in paris, 1980. He writes:

“Genus humanum arte et ratione vivit, (cf. st. Thomas, commenting on aristotle, in Post. Analyt. n. 1). These words of one of the greatest geniuses of christianity, who was at the same time a fruitful continuer of the thought of antiquity, take us beyond the circle and contemporary meaning of western culture, whether it is Mediterranean or atlantic. They have a meaning that applies to humanity as a whole, where the different traditions that constitute its spiritual heritage and the different periods of its culture, meet. The essential meaning of culture consists, according to the words of st. Thomas aquinas, in the fact that it is a characteristic of human life as such. Man lives a really human life thanks to culture. Human life is culture in this sense too that, through it, man is distinguished and differentiated from everything that exists elsewhere in the visible world: man cannot do without culture.

culture is specific way of man’s “existing’ and “being”. Man always lives according to a culture which is specifically his, and which, in its turn, creates among men a tie which is also specifically theirs, determining the inter-human and social character of human existence. In the unity of culture as the specific way of human existence, there is rooted at the same time the plurality of cultures in the midst of which man lives. in this plurality, man develops without losing, however, the essential contact with the unity of culture as the fundamental and essential dimension of his existence and his being”.41

38 Ibid., p. 15739 Ibid.40 Maija Kūle, “phenomenology in latvia: Teodors celms and stanislavs ladusāns”. Humanities

and Social Sciences . Latvia. The european conection: baltic intellectuals and the History of western philosophy and Theology. 2 (48) /2006, p.72-83, p. 80

41 pope john paul ii, Address to UNESCO, june 2, 1980. Man’s Entire Humanity is Expressed in Culture. <http://www.disf.org/en/documentation/12-800602_unesco.asp № 6>.

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consequently, the philosophical critics of culture i.e. the description of human life in the fullest sense in the works of s. ladusāns is based first of all on the many-sided gnoseology, regarding the human being capable of the Truth knowledge or in parallel reading with st. Thomas – capax Dei, capable of the God, because he is capable of the Truth.

in accordance with father ladusans, for to achieve the Truth as permanent status of the human being, to have an experience of the Truth, if to say, when in the person arises affective harmony with everything, what is true42, is possible with exercise and studying the Truth regardless of content of the subject matter. Meanwhile, Truth experience problem resambles with the need to conceptualize in philsophy unmaterial or spiritual reality, manifested in the inner experience of human being. This dimension of inner experience is demanding for the integral, many-sided humanism based on many-sided gnoseology, which would look at the human being not only in some of his parts like mind, or will, or soul, or body, but to a total living and acting human being.43

besides the problem of many-sided gnoseology marks the question about human being potentialities to grasp in a unified world picture the reality of many and various cultures, ways of life, value orientations, social strata, ideas and so on. From the point of view of hermeneutics the question is about the truth process in the polyphonic world of most variegated sense interpretations respecting at the same time the existential and pre-given origin of tradition of the sense interpreter. at least, in a greater perspective problem of the Truth experience must be included as the integral part of new united and polyphonic christian humanism, like at his time st. Thomas aquinas has originally synthesized in the universal unity all the dimensions of being.

Then by development of the possibility to know the Truth, human being reaches so called affective harmony with everything what is Truth, denying by all his wholiness that, what is not Truth. professor ladusans analyses those historical and cultural factors of the latvian society after totalitarian age creating obstacles for the Truth recognition. among them are spreading of marxist pragmatic gnoseology. another feature of the latvian life is eclecticism, when absolutely different, even contradictory ideas and fragmentary pieces of different world-outlook systems are taken into one person without logical examining of their cohesion. but even more superficially and naive is sincreticism, accepting ideas from others avoiding at all the question about the Truth. besides in latvian life and culture we could find, writes professor ladusans, other features disturbing the Truth cognition, like consumerism, exagerated rationalism, moral declination, confusion of ideals

42 stanislavs ladusāns, Christian Philosophy (in latvian: “Kristīgā filozofija”. Svētais Akvī-nas Toms. riga: lZa Fsi, 1993, 209-223 p.

43 prof. dr. p. stanislavs ladusāns, s.j. “atklātais humānisms”. GAISMA. latviešu Katoļu žurnāls reliģijai un kultūrai. atb. redaktors pēteris cirsis. nr. 3 (11), 1970, p. 9.

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among the youth and other things having negative impact to the development of the mind, will and character, obscuring the Truth horizon.44

but, we must notice the difference between the natural cognition ability to know the Truth and many-sided gnoseology as the science. The science is not dealing with the Truth possibility in the mind, which is evident, but it reveals us that science about human being is heterogenic, including six primary sciences: ethics, logics, physics, mathematics, metaphysics and history, to whom all the other sciences are subordinated.45 so, the many-sided gnoseology appears to be inner structure of all the human sciences, which argues for the human being possibility to know the Truth in an absolutely intelligible way, that is – equally – to know the God as intelligble being.

logiclly the next step in the gnoseological trilogy is the philosophy of religion as integral part of the many-sided humanism, as the human being is ontologically connected with the God the creator, while religare means new and consciousnesly made personal link with the God.46 professor ladusans writes: “we, latvians, should be precautious, because in our society the marxist humanism is not still collapsed fully; on it’s basis during the slavery time of many decades is built up new, atheistic and inhuman civilization, where the humans aren’t love each other, where is no respect to the life and property of the neighbourhood, where the young ones are cheated and temptated, and the family is annihilated”.47 so, the aim of professor ladusans is to realize the integral science about human being - many-sided humanism of metaphysical kind – as this science should be focused on the b e i n G. so, the philosophy of religion is intended to reveal us the human being as spiritual being, evidently having spiritual substantial reality, i.e. the soul.48

This factuality has also the social or intepersonal dimension, as “human person, having the spiritual soul, has likeness with the God, is the reflection of the God, and by respect to the human person we also are realizing honor and love to the alive God”.49 actually, that fact, the human being is the image of the God must be worked out philosophically for to built up a new culture, inspired by love, or, if 44 stanislavs ladusāns, Many-sided gnoseology (in latvian: Daudzpusīgā gnozeoloģija.

izziņas fenomenoloģija un vispārējā kritiskā gnozeoloģija. riga: rGs, 1994, p. 28). The book is known in portuguese as: prof. dr. pe. stanislavs ladusāns, s. j. Membro da pontificia academia romana de santo Tomás de aquino, presidente da associação católica interamericana da Filosofia – aciF. Gnosiologia Pluridimensional. Fenomenologia do conhecimento e Gnosiologia crítica Geral. 1.o volume da Trilogia Gnosiológica. 8.o volume da coleção do conjunto de pesquisa Filosófica (conpeFil) investigações Filosóficas da atualidade. edições loyola, [são paulo, brasil, 1992].

45 Ibid., p. 155-156.46 stanislavs ladusāns, Philosophy of Religion (in latvian: Reliģijas filozofija. otrais

gnozeoloģiskās triloģijas sējums. rīgas metropolijas romas katoļu Garīgais seminārs, 1996, p. 13).

47 Ibid., p. 15.48 Ibid., p. 23. 49 Ibid., p. 26.

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to follow the pope john paul ii, the civilization of love. The main engine for this is the humans’s will for the happiness, which appears to be the Highest Good, i.e. summum bonum, the God.

will for the infinite happiness is blind, therefore only metaphysical mind reveals us, that infinite Good is the actual aim of the human’s inclination for the infinite happiness.50 and here professor ladusans even goes beyond the classical thomism, arguing that historically existing is the supernatural happiness, as God calls all the people for the supernatural happiness surpassing limits of the natural happiness. it exists in suo genere as specific kind of reality, meanwhile it’s an imperfection of the happiness in comparision to supernatural happiness.51 in conclusion it’s possible to say, that philosophical critics of culture for s. ladusans is meaning the building up of rational system of integral human science of metaphysical kind or many-sided humanism, revealing the human being as specifically spiritual being, possible to accept rationally and to deepen consciousesly his rootedness in the God. This is exactly the main philosophical message for the xxist century and it’s culture, which must be the civilization of life and of love.


The discovery of language ontology in the hermeneutics of the xx century after seven centuries of history of philosophy allows reviving the hermeneutical tradition of western europe in an undivided unity. within the framework of this tradition it is possible to elucidate the philosophy of high scholasticism – the metaphysics of Thomas aquinas’s language of being as based on the being language. it is proved by the academic confidence permeating aquinas’s philosophical investigations in the possibility of cognition of reality by cognizing the words defining reality that comes to light with especial clarity in the problem of the cognition of the words of God borrowed from the philosophy of dionysius areopagite and developed further.

in this context of importance is the reference of the possibility of the truth experience in linguisticality to scholastic philosophy that substantiates the existence of hermeneutical tradition as the tradition of linguistic understanding in medieval, and in st Thomas’s philosophy in particular. Here truth as transcendentality that could be characterized as a specific thinking mode of existence must be juxtaposed to the truth gained in the cognition of intellect. in contrast to the habitual view of the sensual as the cause of cognition in Thomas’s philosophy, it must be admitted that cognition has two sources – external senses and the innate light of intellect.

due to the asymmetry of the finite truth and the transcendental truth the mind openness is constituted in the direction of infinity that the mind can tend to fill with constantly renewed attempts at the truth. The medieval scholastic philosophy is 50 Ibid., p. 61. 51 Ibid., p. 63.

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inclined to link the finite with the infinite – God as truth and man’s truth and this kind of contiguity is possible in aquinas’s philosophy basing on the solution of the problem of analogy that is a specific discerning thinking about the divine and human reality respecting the distance separating the two. However, although the problem of analogatus has been at the centre of a special subdivision of Thomism since the xiV century classical investigation period, analogy has not been viewed as a reality existing within the context of linguisticality and that was conducive to obscuration of the existence of the unity of language of being and the being language in aquinas’s philosophy.

The traditional concept of truth was formed within the hermeneutically orientated medieval culture at the basis of which is the event of communication of God with man that stimulates the development of hermeneutical or exegetical practice in the context of the word/word parallelism culture that gradually gives rise to a ramified system of philosophical rationality that with a view to hermeneutics is called upon to explicate concepts and links among them. The traditional concept of truth in aquinas’s philosophy is within the context of investigations of the activity of intellect at the time of transition from investigating techniques of hermeneutics to the problem of the possibilities of the text interpreter’s intellect.

The problem of many-sidedness of truth in the philosophy of the xxi century marks the question about its potentialities to grasp in a unified world picture the reality of many and various cultures, ways of life, value orientations, social strata, ideas and so on. From the point of view of hermeneutics, taking into account the polyphony of being the question about the truth experience can be asked anew as a question about the possibility of many-sided truth experience in linguisticality. However, even so the requirement of the traditional concept of truth remains valid: intellect and the thing should be coherent, forming the basis of truth in the utterance and the many-sided truth is hierarchically value orientated.

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Dalia Marija StančienėKlaipėda University, Lithuania

Thomas aquinas and marTin heidegger on The ConCepT of EssE (Ens), EssEntia and


toMaS akvinietiS ir MartinaS HeiDeggeriS apie esatį (ens), esmę ir egzistenciją

SummaryHeidegger divides the scholastic concept of esse, essentia and existentia into three different approaches: the thomistic, the Scotistic and theory of Suarez, the origins of which lie in greek philosophy. Heidegger points out that this continuity clearly reveals itself in metaphysics of thomas aquinas. Following aristotle’s teachings, aquinas analyses esse (ens ) as a metaphysical object making a distinction between essence and ens (a being). Heidegger indicates that “thomas deals with essentia in a small but important youth-full work which is entitled De ente et essentia or De entis quidditate”. the article analyses thomas aquinas’ concept of ens, essence and existence and Martin Heidegger’s approach to this problem as ontological difference.

key worDS: thomas aquinas, Martin Heidegger, being, a being, essence, existence.

SantraukaM. Heidegerris scholastinėje esse, essentia ir existentia koncepcijoje skiria tris skirtingus požiūrius: tomistinį, škotistinį ir Suarezo teoriją, kurių ištakos glūdi graikų filosofijoje. M. Heidegeris pastebi, kad šis perimamumas ryškiai atsiskleidžia t. akviniečio metafizikoje. pastarasis, sekdamas aristotelio mokymu, esse (esatį, būtį) analizuoja kaip metafizikos objektą, išskirdamas essence (esmę) ir ens (esinį). M. Heideggeris nurodo, kad „tomas nagrinėja essentia (esmę) nedideliame, bet svarbiame jaunystės darbe, kuris pavadintas De ente et essentia arba De entis quidditate“. Straipsnyje analizuojama t. akviniečio ens, essence ir existence skirties koncepcija bei M. Heideggerio požiūris į šią problemą, kaip ontologinę diferenciaciją.

raktažoDžiai: tomas akvinietis, Martinas Heideggeris, būtis, esinys, esmė, egzistencija.


as Heidegger claims, ontology “is the science of being. But being is always the being of a being.”1 But being is different from a being, therefore, in order to gain a better understanding of the meaning of being, we should, according to Heidegger, maintain the differentiation between being and beings. Heidegger calls this distinction the ontological difference; having identified this difference, “we

1 Martin Heidegger, the Basic Problems of Phenomenology. translation, introduction, and Lexicon by albert Hofstadter. Bloomington, in, USa: indiana University press, 1982, p. 17.

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depart in principle from the domain of beings. we surmount it, transcend it.”2 the investigation of exceeding the limits of a being can be called transcendental science, however, this is different from kant’s understanding of the concept of the transcendental, as Heidegger maintains, “we are indeed adopting its original sense and its true tendency, perhaps still concealed from kant.”3 to exceed the limits of a being means to step into being, and their ontological difference can be explained only when “it has been shown how temporality makes possible the distinguish-ability between being and beings.”4 Besides, every being is something, therefore, it has its own essentia and existentia.

according to Heidegger, from antiquity through the new ages, the study of being was ontic, not ontological, i.e. the essence of a being (ens) and its nature was investigated. in ancient ontology and metaphysical philosophy the interpretation of a being was “naive” in a good sense: “ancient ontology performs in a virtually naive way its interpretation of beings and its elaboration of the concepts mentioned”5, but, nevertheless, the very description of the investigation results was thoroughly reflexive and pondered. Heidegger claims that although ancient ontology is “naive”, we still realize that ancient thinkers had ontology which was reflexive. emphasising a particular importance of this reflection to ontology, he writes: “be reflective – reflective in the genuine sense that it seeks to conceive beings with respect to their being by having regard to the Dasein.”6 Heidegger understands Dasein as a place where being uncloses. this interpretation of reflection through Dasein introduces ontic constant of a being. From this moment, a being is no longer only a sign of being; thanks to Dasein, it is discovered that a being “is constituted by means of a whatness.”7 ancient ontology made the first necessary step which, according to Heidegger, “any philosophy at all has to take, so that this step must always be repeated by every actual philosophy”8.

etienne gilson, a researcher of medieval philosophy, described the thirteenth century as “the classical period in the development of mediaeval scholasticism.”9 During that period, translations of greek and arabic philosophical texts into the latin language appeared; they influenced not only the development of philosophy, but also that of theology. according to gilson, the second half of the thirteenth century faced a revolution in philosophical thinking: “the notion of being was becoming a new one. [...] turned into the ‘proper receivers’ of the act of being,

2 ibid.3 ibid.4 ibid., p. 18.5 ibid., p. 110.6 ibid.7 ibid., p. 111.8 ibid.9 etienne gilson, History of christian Philosophy in the middle ages. london: Sheed and ward,

1989, p. 325.

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the aristotelian forms were becoming thomistic forms; the unity of compound substances was becoming a thomistic unity”10.

according to Heidegger, medieval thinkers adapted ancient ontology and claimed that “god as the ens increatum is the being which is absolutely without need of being produced and the causa prima of every other being”11. thomas aquinas analysed the being by articulating it into essentia and existentia. ontological difference formulated this way reveals an essential problem, i.e. the difference between a being and being. However, according to Heidegger, this problem becomes “More complicated because under the heading ‘being’ we now have not only essentia and existentia but also whoness and existence in our sense.”12

Before trying to discuss Heidegger’s approach to this issue, we will introduce thomas aquinas’ philosophy of being which “is based on three solid pillars: the real distinction between essence and act of being in beings; the subsistence of being in god; and the participation of beings in the act of being”13.

tHoMaS aqUinaS aBoUt ente and essentia

existence, as a metaphysical object, is one of the most important parts of the philosophical system of aquinas which reveals different modes of existence of universals. Since all beings exist, aquinas begins his treatise On Being and essence by consideration of a being (ens). Unlike aristotle, plato, augustine, avicenna, etc., aquinas defines a being as composition of essence and existence. the essence provides a being with universal qualities of truth, good, one, actual and perfect. according to aquinas, “the term being is taken from the act of existing”14, hence a being signifies a specific entity that has the existential act, which causes the action carried out by the entity.

in treatise On Being and essence, aquinas discusses two ways of being actus essendi: the existence of the real, or of substance and its properties known as predicaments (for example, location, relationship, etc.), and the existence of the truth, or of something that is expressed by the solution of mind15. the second actus essendi of being is wider than the first one. it covers a wider class of objects, because not only those propositions are right that mean objects in reality, but also those that signify the lack of something and deny a real existence. therefore, the

10 ibid., p. 382-383.11 Martin Heidegger, the Basic Problems of Phenomenology, p. 118-119.12 ibid., p. 120.13 Battista Mondin, a History of mediaeval Philosophy. translated by Myroslaw a. Cizdyn.

rome: Urbaniana University press, 1991, p. 312.14 thomas aquinas, On truth, [q 1, a. 1 ad s. c. 3]. translated by ralph Mcinerny. in book:

thomas aquinas, selected Writings. london: penguin group, 1998, p. 169.15 thomas aquinas, On Being and essence.[ Ch. 1] translated by ralph Mcinerny. in book:

thomas aquinas, selected Writings. london: penguin group, 1998, p. 31.

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existence of the truth is not identical to the existence of real things, although the truth is related to the latter in so far as solutions relate thinking with reality16.

in his other treatises aquinas indicates two more modes of existence: existence as substance and existence as potentiality. Hence he describes the existence by means of four aspects: as real one that is being thought of; as composed of essence and existence; as a substance with accidents; as actual one, i.e. the one that provides its entity – essence – with perfections.

aquinas uses the term existence with a sense of the analogical concept by predicating existence to all beings. according to Stanisław kowalczyk, in the metaphysics of aquinas, “as reality consists of many very different beings, it is possible to say something about it by analogy”17, therefore, the term existence is involved in all our concepts that can be reduced to being.

on the basis of avicenna’s claim that “being and essence are what intellect first conceives”18, aquinas argues that the first implied conception is the conception of existence in our first act of cognition. Mondin said that “such attention to existence in the theory of cognition is entirely consistent with his [aquinas’] philosophy that [...] first of all is a philosophy of existence”19.

in treatise On separate substances aquinas argues that “everything that is, has a to by”20; in commentary on metaphysics he defines being as something that has existence21, which in latin is expressed by the infinitive to be (ens in latin is a derivative from the infinitive esse). in addition, something that is, can be named as a thing, it being understood that “term thing which differs from being insofar as the term being is taken from the act of existing [essendi] whereas the term thing expresses the quiddity or essence of the being.”22. a thing in its nature has existence received through it’s a natural form, however, as aquinas stresses, “nothing can be the cause of its own act of being”23, because god is “the cause of the being of all things”24. god is own being, is pure act and “the divine being is god’s essence or nature”25; therefore, His existence does not need 16 in this respect, fantastic and self-denying objects such as Centaurs, milk rivers, married bachelors,

etc. do not belong to the truth, although they may be part of right solutions.17 Stanisław kowalczyk, Bendroji metafizika. translated from polish by gintautas vyšniauskas.

vilnius: logos, 2001, p. 53.18 thomas aquinas, On Being and essence, prologue, p. 30.19 Battista Mondin, il sistema filosofico di tommaso d’aquino. Per una lettura attuale della filosofia

tomista. Milano: Massimo, p. 47.20 Saint thomas aquinas, treatise on separate substances. translated from latin by Francis j.

lescoe. Hartford: Saint joseph College, 1959, Ch. 8, p. 42.21 nam ens dicitur quasi esse habens. thomas aquinas, sententia metaphysicae, lib. 12, l. 1, n. 4. See:

http://www.corpusthomisticum.org/cmp12.html.22 thomas aquinas, On truth, 1 a. [answer], p. 166.23 St. thomas aquinas, summa contra gentiles. Book ii, Ch. 47 [4]. translated from latin by james

F. anderson. See: http://dhspriory.org/thomas/Contragentiles2.htm#4724 ibid., Ch. 15 [8].25 St. thomas aquinas, summa contra gentiles. Book i. Ch. 22 [10]. translated from latin by anton

C. pegis. london: University of notre Dame press, 1975, p. 97.

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any cause at all. according to aquinas, something that is without any cause at all may well be the cause of “everything which is in any mode whatever“26. So god “is the cause of all things of which being is predicated. “27

existence, as an act of essence, actualises the essence of being, i.e. derives the essence from a potential existence to the actual existence. aquinas treats esse as the first act of essence; therefore, the existence is the most fundamental form of actuality which extracts a thing out of nothing, it is also the greatest completeness of the perfection of a thing. according to the kowalczyk, in the thomistic theory, “the existence is the act of all perfections, because no perfection would be realistic if it would not have existence”28. if a being would not have the existence, all perfections such as substance, form, life, cognition, will, good, beauty, etc. would turn into nothing. So the existence is the greatest perfection which determines actualisation of all other perfections.

the existence per se as perfection or actuality is not limited. the existence is limited by the essence; the existence actualises the essence, provides the essence of finality and constitutes proper genus. this act indicating what the thing is, “it can be seen why philosophers changed the name essence to the name whatness”29. However, since beings are simple and complex, the essence accordingly makes their existence differently.

aquinas uses the aristotle’s terminology and calls each thing that through which and in which has existence, as substance. the substance gives the basis for the existence of accidences. in addition, aquinas points out that “just as being is said absolutely of substances, but only in a secondary, qualified sense of accidental qualities, the same too is true of essence”30. in the fifth chapter of the treatise On Being and essence, he stresses that “essence relates to substance in three ways”31, i.e. one way in god whose essence is identical his existence, another way in created intelligences whose essence and existence differ. third way essence is found in complex substances, composed of form and the matter, in which “existence is received and limited because they receive existence from another and furthermore their nature or quiddity is received in designated matter.”32

as previously indicated, the existence of god is not limited, therefore, He “nothing can be added to it, hence it is distinct from every other existence by its own purity”33. the existence of intelligent substances, the form of which is pure, is not infinite, “but received, therefore finite and limited to the capacity of the receiving nature. their nature or quiddity is absolute, not being received in 26 St. thomas aquinas, summa contra gentiles. Book ii, Ch. 15 [2]. 27 ibid., Ch. 15 [3].28 Stanisław kowalczyk, Bendroji metafizika, p. 45. 29 thomas aquinas, On Being and essence, Ch. 1, p. 31.30 ibid., Ch. 1, p. 32.31 ibid., Ch. 5, p. 44.32 ibid., p. 46.33 ibid., p. 44.

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any matter.”34 Based on the Book of causes, which was erroneously attributed to aristotle and which features proklus’ ideas35, aquinas argued that intelligent substances are limited by the prime Cause, but “they are not limited downward, because their forms are not limited to the capacity of any matter receiving them“36. these substances do not have individuals of the same species, since they are not limited by the matter; they differ in grade of perfection “according to distance from potentiality and closeness to pure act”37. the form of intelligent substances is subsisting substance.

thus, the thomistic philosophy of existence reveals the causes for the appearance of beings, a universal becoming of things and makes it possible to describe universals.

Martin HeiDegger aBoUt esse (ens), essentia and existentia

the distinction between essentia and existentia in the created being (ens) is being addressed in the thomistic school, however, Heidegger himself does not recognise such a distinction. in his view, “the problem of the articulation of being into essentia and existentia, formulated in Scholastic terms, is only a more special question touching on the ontological difference generally, the difference between a being and being”38.

in scholastics Heidegger distinguishes three different problems of the distinction between the concepts of essence and existence: the thomistic, the Scotistic and the position of Francisco Suarez. Describing these three views, Heidegger shows that thomas aquinas and his school recognised this distinction as a distinctio realis. Duns Scotus and his followers defined the distinction as one of modality and called it a distinction formalis. “Suarez and his predecessors conceive of the difference between essence and existence as a distinctio rationis.”39

analysing the distinction between essence and existence, first of all, according to Heidegger, a question of the origin of reality arises, i.e. the origin of the ontological structure. the characteristics of realitas is “that they all develop with regard to what is configured in configuring, formed in forming, shaped in shaping, and made in making.”40 everything that appears we describe with the help of Dasein which Heidegger calls producing [Herstellen]. these characteristics of thingness were first described by greek ontology that “interprets a being in its being by way 34 ibid.35 See alain de libera, Penser au moyen age. paris: Seuil, 1991, p. 20.36 thomas aquinas, On Being and essence, Ch. 5, p. 44–45.37 ibid., p. 45.38 Martin Heidegger, the Basic Problems of Phenomenology, p. 120.39 ibid., p. 89.40 ibid., p. 108.

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either of production or perception and that, since kant also interprets actuality with reference to perception, there is manifest here an undeviating continuity of tradition.”41 Comparing thomas aquinas’ concept of essence and existence with the works of kant, Heidegger argues that in the works of both authors “existence, there-being, actuality, is not a real predicat; it does not belong to the res of a thing but is nevertheless a res that is added on to the essential”42. explaining these aspects kant seeks that actuality and existence would not be understood as res. He does this by explaining existence as a relationship with cognitive ability, thereby treating the perception as a starting position. therefore, according to Heidegger, perception or intuition is the ideal of knowledge: “truth in the proper sense is truth of beholding, intuitive apprehension.”43

in the Middle ages ancient ontology was acceptable, as Heidegger claims, since “for the Christian interpretation of the world, in conformity with the creation story of genesis, every being that is not god himself is created.”44 Creation was understood as production, and “god as the ens increatum is the being which is absolutely without need of being produced and the causa prima of every other being.”45 However, as Heidegger points out, in the Middle ages the reception of ancient ontology was distorted and lost some specifics. although modern philosophy tried to return to the ancient sources, its terms of greek philosophers were analyzed in accordance with the model drawn up by Scholastics. therefore only “radical interpretation of essentia and existentia can provide the basis on which the problem of their distinction can first of all be posed.”46 according to Heidegger, the Dasein contributes to such a study. “the Dasein is not constituted by whatness but – if we may coin the expression – by whoness.”47

Whoness, according to Heidegger, indicates not a thing but person: i, you, we. the Dasein is a special being present in every man capable of asking what is being. the Dasein is able to understand the meaning of being; for the world unfolds before him in the shape and mode of things. the essence of Dasein appears through existence: „Dasein is a being which is related understandingly in its being toward that being. in saying this we are calling attention to the formal concept of existence.“48 Formal understanding of existence indicates the reflection of being into itself. Heidegger calls this reflection transcendence, i. e. the transition of being of a being or the ontological difference, keeping in mind that „all ontological

41 ibid., p. 117.42 ibid., p. 92.43 ibid., p. 118.44 ibid.45 ibid., p. 118-119.46 ibid., p. 119.47 ibid., p. 120.48 Martin Heidegger, Being and time. translated by joan Stambaugh. new york: State University

of new york, 1996, p. 49.

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propositions are temporal propositions“49 . addressing the problem of the distinctio between essence and existence, Heidegger indicates that “the centre of development of ontological inquiry in general lies in the exposition of the Dasein’s temporality, specifically in regard to its temporal function.”50

PoSt ScriPtum

lithuanian philosopher juozas girnius disagrees with such attitude of Heidegger, he argues that dogmatically on the basis of kant’s transcendental idealism it is not possible to prove realistic, i.e. thomistic, existence of ontology. He emphasised that Heidegger’s understanding of being is not metaphysical, but psychological intuition: “if the object is being in general, its achievement must [be] abstract, or eidetic, intuition, whereas if the object is a specific creature, its achievement must [be] concrete, or experimental, intuition.”51

Criticising Heidegger, girnius proves that thomistic ontology as realistic is possible, and transcendental ontology of Heidegger is false.

the proof is based on the relationship between entity and being that thomas aquinas identified. transcendental being is understood as generality (universality) and this is the basis for each entity to be what it is. Heidegger treats being understood this way as the object of ontology, however, as transcendentality it does not mean logical or conceptual generality and it does not belong to the species, therefore, we refer to it by analogy. Being understood this way can exist in material and immaterial natures. and this understanding of being, in a thomistic position, is what allows highlighting individual characteristics of being and making it comprehensible by the human mind. Heidegger reduces transcendentality of being to Dasein, i.e. kant’s pure reason, which means, according to girnius, he reduces being as such to human existence and materialises being as such, or in other words, derealises. Heidegger considers the question of being as the question of meaning, therefore, according to him, the object of metaphysical is no longer being in general, but rather partial, transcendental being. therefore, in thomistic view, the concept of Heidegger is an anthropological concept of being.

49 Martin Heidegger, the Basic Problems of Phenomenology, p. 324.50 ibid., p. 327.51 juozas girnius, Heideggerio egzistencialinės filosofijos pagrindai. kaunas: vDU l-kla, 2002,

p. 89.

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Lina VidauskytėKaunas University of Technology, Lithuania

Struggle with wordS. A cASe of Czesław Miłosz and ThoMas aquinas

koVa su žodžiais. CzesLawo MiLoszo ir toMo akViniečio atVejis

suMMaryMiłosz declares himself as a roman Catholic and did not want to be called “a Catholics writer”. nevertheless he declares that the best in his poetry comes from tomas aquinas philosophy. at the same time poet emphasises opposite of Good and evil as the fundaments of reality. this means that Miłosz do not want to construct a harmony, or theodicy. that is why Miłosz expressed his view not directly but “polyphonically” – using such authors like emmanuel swedenborg, william Blake and simone weil. the recognition of two self-contained origins (Good and evil) puts Miłosz more close to Manichaean doctrine. nevertheless, Manichaean pessimism is alien to him. Miłosz finds a balance to that pessimistic position in religious thinking of 17th century english poet and mystical writer thomas traherne. the background of traherne’s reflection is a notion of “earth- Paradise”. these aspects even more expose conflicting nature of reality. Miłosz’s conception of reality can be defined as a contradict derivation such binary opposites as Good vs. evil, a part vs. the whole, a thing (an event) vs. the action, a word vs. a thing etc. Miłosz comprehends that these opposites of the nature of reality do not let to construct a harmonics system of principles about reality. How to conciliate such basic priciples of Miłosz’s poetry with thomas aquinas’realism and Christianity? why both, poet and philosopher-theologian, lost the struggle with words?

key words: reality, phenomenology, polyphony, philosophy, christian metaphysics.

santraukanobelio premijos laureatas (1980) Czesławas Miłoszas dažnai laikomas katalikiškuoju autoriumi, nors pats poetas tokią priklausomybę neigdavo. jo kūryboje gausu polifoniškai išreikštų religinių temų, kurios pristatomos kitų autorių „balsais“. Įdomu tai, kad Cz. Miłoszas pripažino giminystę su manichėjizmu, gnostikais (unde malum klausimas – vienas svarbiausių jo kūryboje). tačiau kartu pabrėždavo, kad visa, kas geriausia jo kūryboje, yra kilę iš t. akviniečio tekstų. scholastinė lotynų kalba, tomistinė tikrovės samprata Cz. Miłoszui taip pat artima. straipsnyje analizuojama ši keista poeto ir teologo giminystė. deklaruodamas artimumą katalikiškam tomizmui, poetas Marijos kultą įvardija kaip pagonybės liekaną. Cz. Miłoszas savo kūrybos pagrindiniu motyvu teigė esant „tikrovės ieškojimą“. tačiau kartu prisipažįsta, kad tas ieškojimas yra beviltiškas, nes kalba yra nepavaldi poetui. Labai panašiai nutinka ir t. akviniečiui: gyvenimo pabaigoje patyręs aukščiausios tikrovės artumą šv. tomas pripažįsta, kad visi jo žodžiai apie dievą tėra tik pelai (omnia foenum)

raktažodžiai: tikrovė, fenomenologija, filosofija, polifonija, krikščioniškoji metafizika.

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abudant literature on Cz.Miłosz’s works often seems to be controversial: poet often identified as a Catholic author, while poet himself denied such identity. even accepting Lublin’s Catholic university honorary doctorate regalia, he said that he cannot call himself a Catholic author because to call somebody as Catholic author is against the concept of “Catholic“ which means “universal” or “overall”. no doubt, religious issues in Miłosz’s works are very clear. and yet, in terms of Miłosz’s religious beliefs remain innumerable uncertainties. Poet offten is called as Gnostics. indeed Miłosz showed preference to gnosticism not only in his literal creativity but also in his teching courses at the university of California, Berkeley. Miłosz highlighted exceptional attention to Gnostic, Manichean (it is worth mentioning the course exclusively for simone weil). thus, it remains unclear whether poet was a Catholic, and still Manichean? it‘s not easy to find answers to the following questions because Miłosz ‚s life was shown a liking for the theosophy of emanuel swedenborg, for the prophet and seer, and poet william Blake, Manichean philosopher simone weil etc.

extensive pallet of his favorite theologians, philosophers, displays some sort of Miłosz’s eclectic views, which are very difficult to unravel. neverthlless situation becomes more complicated when Miłosz declares that all the best in his work came from the writings of thomas aquinas, and the cult of our Lady of Poland is slavic pagan relic (treatise on theology (Tractat teologiczny)).

First of all, let us discuss briefly the main Miłosz creative themes necessary for further analysis.

ManiCHean question: unde MaLuM

evil theme can be regarded as the central in Miłosz’s works. in this regard, is an interesting question-and-answer format of prose written a small song „Metaphysical Pause“ in which it is asked why God allows evil to be in the world? the answer sounds like it said simone weil: because the world is given to manage satan. and the only hope for man is jesus Christ (the new adam). and to the question „what happened to the same God,“ answers the other Miłosz’s work „oeconomia divina”. “the title also means “divine Pedagogy”, because the word “oeconomia” was used for many centuries of Christianity to mean “education” or “edification.” “oeconomia divina” was understood as the edification of the world by God and a form of education – the meaning out of punishments and rewards, God’s involvment with the world. <…> God decided to withdraw, to become Deus absconditus. God is not to be seen. there are no signs that God is intervening, punishing, rewarding.”1 the main Miłosz interest in theosophy is the issue of 1 ewa Czarnecka, aleksander Fiut, Conversations with Czeslaw Miłosz. transleted by r.

Lowie. san diego-new york-London: Harcourt Brace jovanovich Publishers, 1987, p. 233.

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unde malum. the taste of evil like bread’s taste everyone knows, the poet says. and here appears quite clearly Gnostic poet‘s views, which he discovers reading w.Blake, e.swedenborg, o.w.Miłosz. the poet himself has repeatedly admitted that if it were possible to choose the period of history in which to be born, he would choose the 2nd century a.d. it was an extremely exciting period characterized by religious dogmas, ideas, diversity. and he generally feels kinship to Gnostics: they looked much more interesting and serious in intellectual sense than the Christians of that time. the influence of French poet oscar Miłosz is visible in kabbalistic layer. However, in both cases we are dealing with the sixteenth century kabbalah of isaac Luria variant. it is noteworthy that in this way appears Miłosz’s creative polyphony. Various authors are „compatible“. How is this possible? Probably that such voice polyphony, in part, is because of a problem of evil. the poet is not going to construct a theodicy. what‘s more – in the choice of polyphony, the poet tries to support the reality of evil.

Poet, unlike the philosopher or theologian, does not pay heed to the requirements of logic and try to develop a system where contradictions have no place. in fact, the only poet given licentia poetica frees it from “homophonic“ discourse mandatory to the philosopher and allows speaking of evil strangers‘ voices as its own voice can not talk about evil, but only to protest against it. therefore Miłosz and says that he, as a poet, in particular, plays a mission - fighting with nothingness. First of all, notice how poet is doing that mission? striking fact that the evil comes to „positive“, i.e. poet doesn’t use invective because such position is perceived as an endorsement of evil spirit. this ministry of evil spirit, and the poet accuses the contemporary literature, in which a striking portrayal of evil.

SUmma TheoLogia as PoetiC insPiration

as one can see Miłosz’s religious polyphony is difficult to reconcile with the Christian metaphysics of thomas aquinas. neverthelles, the poet pointed out that what is the best of his works come from the writings of st.thomas aquinas. How should we understand this statement? in this claim is not difficult to see an important point. Miłosz was quite critical about the second Vatican Council resolutions. scholastic Latin for Miłosz was a kind of poetic inspiration, and refuge. the roman Catholic Church using the Latin language showed her uniqueness, a desire not to be like others.

Poet himself did not seek systematically to clarify what he took from st. thomas but in several interviews he stressed the theory of Being, some kind of aristotelian realism.

the reality problem can be regarded as a main theme of his creativity. thomas aquinas in his Summa Theologia also prefers realism. according to umberto eco, st. thomas rejects poetical rhetoric along rejects bestiary and Middle age encyclopedia world. it turns out the new hylemorfical naturalism. there is no more

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forest of symbols, the Cosmos of early Middle ages gives a way to the natural space of the universe. in the past things were not significant in that it is, but just the fact that they express or notes something. But at the same time it is clear that God did not create a character arrangement but forms2.

in particular, for Miłosz, the finding of “instrument” by which would be possible to grasp reality had the highest importance. Poet declared himself on the side of literature which describing reality3.

thomistic realistic aesthetics coresponds with its contemporary visual art. From now the seasons and their accompanying works allegorical images become understandable as a direct images depicting reality. in this sense, Miłosz’s poetry can be seen as a thomistic realism.

reaLity and ProBLeM oF Literary exPression

the lecture, which is read by Miłosz in 1980 the swedish academy of sciences on the occasion of the nobel Prize and which can be considered as a kind of Miłosz’s creative credo. Here poet names the most important aim of his creativity: “i think it is a quest for reality.”4

it can be said that the question of „reality“ has traditionally been one of the fundamental questions of philosophy. suffice it to recall Miletus school of philosophers „arche“, Parmenides’s „the eon,“ Plato‘s „idea“, aristotle‘s “ousia“, scholastics’ „ens“ and „substantia”. But what exactly Miłosz calls an „reality“? it seems that answer to this question, we find in the same „nobel Lecture“: “i give to this word its naive and solemn meaning, a meaning having nothing to do with philosophical debates of the last few centuries”5. However, from what is said here, it is clear only that Miłosz is concerned not abstract “philosophical” concept, but a living reality. Much more clearer the concept of „reality“ is getting out of this quotation :

“one of the nobel laureates whom i read in childhood influenced to a large extent, i believe, my notions of poetry. that was selma Lagerlöf. Her Wonderful adventures of Nils, a book i loved, places the hero in a double role. He is the one who flies above the earth and looks at it from above but at the same time sees it in every detail. this double vision may be a metaphor of the poet’s vocation. i found a similar metaphor in a Latin ode of a seventeenth-Century poet, Maciej sarbiewski, who was once known all over europe under the pen-name of Casimire. He taught poetics at my university. in that ode he describes his voyage - on the back of 2 umberto eco, art and Beauty in the middle ages. translated by Hugh Bredin. new Haven:

yale university Press, 1986, p. 109-111.3 ewa Czarnecka, aleksander Fiut, Conversations with Czeslaw Miłosz, p. 302.4 “Czeslaw Miłosz - nobel Lecture”. Nobelprize.org. nobel Media aB 2013. web. 17 jul 2013.

<http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1980/Miłosz-lecture.html>.5 ibid.

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Pegasus - from Vilno to antwerp, where he is going to visit his poet-friends. Like nils Holgersson he beholds under him rivers, lakes, forests, that is, a map, both distant and yet concrete.”6

in this quotation the reality seen as a paradoxical unity of the whole and the parts. Both nils and sarbievius flies above the ground and keeping her from above, and with seeing it in every detail. Miłosz highlights that „undoubtedly, that earth is and her riches cannot be exhausted by any description”7. „earth,“ about which here speaks Miłosz, and is this „reality.“

Miłosz most attracted to the particular details in which he finds the way to the lost past time, memory, reality. those details usually are completely casual, nothing seemingly unremarkable. But for Miłosz it is important that the details are „raised in the eternal movement of the moment”. and then suddenly “when it manages to grip, suddenly turning into reality the poem as the atmosphere.” 8

in this atmosphere, the most important purpose for Miłosz - contemplation of existence - becomes possible. in the poem „the Perfect republic“ Miłosz talking about the word „is“ contemplation. Commenting on the word, poet notes: „For me, „is“ is the most mysteriuos word. i once had the idea of forbidding myself to use it, because it‘s too holy a word. that would have writing very complicated. the word is used all the time, but in the sentence „the man is a redhead,“ the word „is“ plays a very minor role: it connects the man an the red hair. Can a word of so full of meaning be used for such things?“9 so instead of trying to talk „poetically“, using metaphors, high retoric style and so on, Miłosz choose direct identification of objects (similar to scientific treatise). such identification, unlike the metaphorical speaking, makes the reality (object) order, keeps poetic language (by the way, from the first sight, Miłosz poetic language resamble ordinary, every day language) close to reality.

and yet his speech is fundamentally different from everyday language in which things just „actual” topic. Poet speaking has other purpose: “it seems i was called for this:/ to glorify things just because they are”10. and it does not matter what these things. Moreover, as only mere, everyday objects worthy of the highest praising, because of their being the least loaded artificial meanings crusty.

in “treatise on Poetry” Miłosz tried to prove that philosophy, poetry and action unity is possible. this was a response to the excessive emotional poetry which dominated in 20th century. Miłosz even deliberately chose an austere dry track name11. 6 ibid.7 ibid. 8 ewa Czarnecka, aleksander Fiut, Conversations with Czeslaw Miłosz, p. 139.9 ibid., p. 266.10 Czeslaw Miłosz, Blacksmith Shop. in book: Czeslaw Miłosz, New and Collected Poems

1931-2001. London: Penguin Books, 2005, p. 503.11 ewa Czarnecka, aleksander Fiut, Conversations with Czeslaw Miłosz, p. 173-174.

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once again, we can see a parallel with the case of thomas aquinas‘s position in respect of poetry. thomas aquinas argued that the scriptures poetic metaphors have not a place. therefore, they are not strict, precise. However, it is by no means poetry humiliation. aquinas recognized the art status of poetry, and thus argued that a sense of familiarity poetry is below philosophy and theology. aquinas welcomed, however, the fact that the scriptures spiritual things are expressed through bodily things12. so, here is dealing with the search for meaning. Both authors go a similar way the search. now we turn to phenomenology, which is playing a role of method in quest of reality.

in „treatise on Poetry“ (1957) Miłosz in interpration of using native Polish language in poetry, approaches to Heidegger‘s language concept. as we know, Heidegger treats language as openness of being.

at the same time, this interpretation could be called a programic aspect of miłoszian creativity: emphasizing fundamental equivalent of word and thing.

„First, plain speech in ther mother tongue.Hearing it you should be able to see, as in a flash of summering lightening,apple tress, a river, the bend of a road.“13

tHe PHenoMenoLoGiCaL nature oF Miłosz’s Poetry

it is to be supposed that sense of reality phenomenon can be reveal only struggle through phenomenon themselves. this method lets to find in that depth meaningful relationship between phenomenon. Husserl turned his attention to sense which never can be as content of evident experience. it always remains abstract. Husserl understand the statement „come back to the things themselves“ as refusal to make a sense of reality in speculative way and turning to look at direct experience of reality. it is possible to say that Hussserl, as Miłosz, tried to find a method how to reach reality itself. this way should help to liberate from everything what „grows over“ reality. experience of evidence in phenomenology is important in two ways:

1) Phenomenological description is based on that experience: phenomenologist first must experience evidently that he is describing;

2) describing have to help to a reader of phenomenological desciption to experience an evidence.

in this way phenomenological description is different from speculative discourse which must convince a reader not of the evident experience but of its logical arguments. only such arguments can convince a reader that author of speculative discourse is right. 12 see: st. thomae aquinatis, Summa Theologiae i. Matritti: La editorial Catolica, s. a., 1955,

q. 1 a. 9.13 Czeslaw Miłosz, a Treatise on Poetry (Preface). in book: Czeslaw Miłosz, New and Collected

Poems 1931–2001, p. 109.

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Contrary to such discourse in phenomenology decisive moment is specific experience of evidence which phenomenologist tries to fix in discription.

Miłosz poses this gole for himself. this gole becomes very clear in his “treatise on Poetry”.

according to Paul ricoeur, phenomenology which is based on Husserl‘s philosophy can be treated as attempt to overcome the most important paradox of language. on the one hand, language is not primarly or autonomous; it is just second expression of preceding reality. on the other hand, language always depends on that what is previous, and this dependence always expressed through language14.

Perhaps here lies paradox of Miłosz poetry: poet suffers of contradiction between inadequate to reality word and reality itself. the result of that suffering is a week statement that “he thinks that they were born out of a painful contradiction and that he would prefer to have been able to resolve it while leaving them unwritten”15.

a book “a travel to twenties” can be considered as a searching for such literal form that could sufficiently express reality as historical action. Miłosz chooses a genre of an anthology of historical documents paying more attention to concrete details.

trying to solve a problem of literally work’s mimetically relation with pictured reality Miłosz takes priority not to a realistic novel genre but to lyrics. one of substantial principles of Miłosz poetics’ is a “distillation” of subjectivity. using this procedure of distillation Miłosz principally does an action similar to phenomenological reduction.

the main trope of Miłosz’s creativity is a synecdoche (pars pro toto). writer used it to approach to the maximal contact between poetical speech and reality. in Miłosz’s creativity a synecdoche becomes the way of resolving classical principium individuationis problem.

trying to avoid metaphors Miłosz strives to save not injured exceptionalness of concrete thing. such aspect is the being of thing, its reality. at the same time Miłosz succeeded to escape from “an artificial” metaphorical poetic speech and creation of simulacrum but rather to name reality itself. the naming of reality allows us to approach to direct unity of word and thing, at the same time knowing that nevertheless this unity still remains unreached.

Projecting Miłosz’s strategy of poetical creativity to an opposite of Heidegger’s and ricouer’s hermeneutic strategies reveal “musical” aspect of Miłosz’s poetical talking as interpretation of reality. rhythmical structure of his poetical works is close to “natural” rhythm and it allows us to say that the act of poetical talking is a

14 see: Paul ricoeur, Philosophies du langage. Paris: encyclopedia universalis, 1985.15 “Czeslaw Miłosz - nobel Lecture”. Nobelprize.org. nobel Media aB 2013. web. 17 jul 2013.


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flowing into the act of reality and a naming of that act at the same time. in that way reality in spite of her objections becomes the words.

tHoMas aquinas and tHe omNia foeNUm

as was mentioned before, thomas aquinas and his Summa Theologia became to Miłosz a kind of „summa Poetica”. at the end of his life thomas aquinas “lost the fight against the highest reality”: he pauses. similarly, Miłosz admits that the language tool is powerless to overcome, i.e. identify all of reality. it is helpless. st. thomas, along with all the scholastic discourse, experienced a crisis.

this kind of scholastic rationality crisis could be a symbol of a well-known episode of the saint thomas aquinas in the last years of life, when the late autumn of 1273 he suddenly gave up half way through writing Summa Theologia treatise on the sacrament of penance, and sank into complete silence.

when alarmed friend and secretary reginald da Pipperno after long hesitation took courage to ask about the cause of this silence, the answer was short and puzzling: „everything i have written seems to me like the chaff“. this experience of great teacher of the Church and the Holy is the perfect expression of scholastic spiritual crisis, when one day it turns out that the way in which the performance was expected to more strongly rooted in the sacred scriptures revealed in the divine reality is the way that leads to mere unreal area of „empty words analyze“.

st. thomas goes from discursive area to a silence. it is believed that he was still trying to comment on the song of songs but the comment did not survive. it is not surprising that there is a st. thomas’s appeal to the mystical poetic language rather than rational discourse. the poetic language is language of interpretation; it opens up a place where God‘s existence illuminates itself.

Beyond this place, it looks like the chaff. so st. thomas at the end of life realizes that he basically lost “the fight”, trying to identify the truest reality - God‘s existence.

Very similar sound and Miłosz regret:

“i asked help of rivers in which i used to swim, lakeswith a footbridge over the rushes, a valleywhere an echo of singing had twilight for its companion.and i conffes my ecstatic praise of beingMight just have been exercises in the high style.underneath was this, which i do not attempt to name”16

16 Czeslaw Miłosz, This. in book: Czeslaw Miłosz, New and Collected Poems 1931 – 2001, p. 663.

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the discovery of word-thing equivalent which lies in every particular thing and in every moment of existence can be treated as a poetic ideal of Miłosz:

„we are permitted to shriek in the tongue of dwarfs and demonsBut pure and generous words were forbiddenunder so stiff a penalty that whoever dared to pronuonce oneConcidered himself as a lost man“17

17 ibid., [task] p. 259.

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Kevin William GrayAmerican University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

The PurPose of Law: harT, finnis and The debaTe over naTuraL Law

Įstatymo tikslas: Hart, Finnis ir debatai dėl prigimtinio Įstatymo

summarya standard critique of legal positivism is that it misses the point of what law actually is: on the classical (naïve) natural law telling, positivism is blind to the essential normative nature of law. it is no exaggeration to say however that this view is no longer taken seriously. this substantive view of natural law (exemplified, for instance, in the work of aquinas) has since been replaced by the view of neo-thomist natural law theorists such as John Finnis, who argue that positivism leads to inevitable and irresoluble contradictions in the philosophy of the social sciences. modern natural law tradition changes the classical theory of naturalist law in another way. no longer does it making an exclusively normative claim, viz. that jurisprudence is essentially a normative endeavor. instead, Finnis and others argue that it is impossible to formulate a theory of law in the social sciences which starts from morally neutral premises. instead of advancing a descriptive account of law, they argue natural law is the only methodologically consistent position. my argument in this paper is that Finnis’ attempt to defend a methodological account of natural law, against Herbert l. a. Hart and later against brian leiter, commits a series of fallacies and ultimately collapses.

key Words: law, natural law, philosophy of law, moral, Finnis, Hart, dworkin.

santraukastandartinis kritikų priekaištas teisiniam pozityvizmui – nesuvokiama, kas iš tiesų yra teisė. kalbant klasikinės (naivios) prigimtinio įstatymo teorijos terminais, pozityvizmas neįžvelgia normatyvinės įstatymo prigimties esmės. tačiau nebus perdėta pasakius, kad dabar į šią kritiką rimtai nežiūrima. mat tas esminis požiūris į prigimtinį įstatymą (kurio pavyzdį galima matyti t. akviniečio veikaluose) kadaise pakeistas neotomistinėmis prigimtinio įstatymo teorijomis, tokiomis kaip J. Finnis’o, teigusio, kad pozityvizmas lemia neišvengiamus ir neišsprendžiamus filosofinius bei sociologinius prieštaravimus. Šiuolaikinė prigimtinio įstatymo tradicija klasikinę prigimtinio įstatymo teoriją keičia kitaip. Ji neapsiriboja vien normatyviniais teiginiais, pavyzdžiui, kad jurisprudencija iš esmės yra grynai normatyvinė veikla. J. Finnis ir kiti teigia, kad socialiniuose moksluose neįmanoma sukurti teisės teorijos, remiantis moraliai neutraliomis prielaidomis. Jie nesistengia plėtoti deskriptyvinės teisės teorijos ir teigia, kad prigimtinio įstatymo teorija yra vienintelė tinkama metodologinė pozicija. Šiame straipsnyje pabrėžiama, kad J. Finnis, mėgindamas apginti prigimtinio įstatymo metodologiją nuo H. l. a. Hart’o ir b. leiter’io kritikos, daro daugybę klaidų ir patiria visišką nesėkmę.

raktažodžiai: įstatymas, prigimtinis įstatymas, teisės filosofija, moralė, Finnis, Hart, dworkin.

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Hart and tHe internal account oF laW

in the philosophy of law, Hart enjoys a position not dissimilar to Jesus in the Western calendar. legal theorists speak of legal theory before and legal theory after Hart. nowhere is this truer than with respect to the debate between natural law and legal positivism. Hart’s reformulation of classical positivism forced a substantial change in the work of natural law theorists. after sweeping away, in the initial chapters of The Concept of Law, earlier positivist attempts to derive a philosophical account of the nature of law (viz. bentham, austin, kelsen), Hart proposes to begin again by considering the question what it means to follow a legal rule.

all positivist theories of law prior to Hart conceived of obedience to the law in terms of potential sanctions.1 rule following was conceived of as mere obedience to the law, which was understood to be, on the classical telling, a response to law’s potential sanctions. Hart’s argued that this account ignored a central feature of the law.

instead, Hart suggests that we might speak of two perspectives on rule-following: the external and the internal.2 the external observer may observe a candidate practice and ask what it means to follow a rule in a particular context. When looking at a practice, the external observer will undoubtedly speak of “observable regularities of conduct, predictions, probabilities, and signs.”3 For example, when looking at the pattern of traffic in a candidate society, our external observer might observe that when a light turns red, traffic in (at least) one direction stops. in so doing, she would be treating the red light as a sign that traffic is likely to stop. the external observer would note that it was a predictable result that drivers would stop when the light turns red (presumably, because of the risks of not doing so, but not necessarily).

However, by proceeding in this way, Hart argues that we would be missing an important component of what a red light means, viz. members of society treat a red light as a signal to stop by virtue as being part of a system of rules.4 the internal point of view, therefore, begins by asking how it is that individuals in a candidate society view rules and how (not just way) it is that they follow them. the internal point of view asks how it is that individuals in society: officials, lawyers, judges, citizens, etc. understand the application of rules in a given situation.5

1 scott J. shapiro, What is the Internal Point of View?, 2006. Faculty scholarship series. paper 1336, p. 1157. available at: <http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/1336>.

2 Herbert l. a. Hart, The Concept of Law. second edition. oxford: oxford university press, 1994, p. 88.

3 ibid., p. 89.4 ibid., p. 90.5 officials follow two sorts of rules: primary rules, which specify penalties for obligations, and

secondary rules, which inform the application and adjudication of rules (Herbert l. a. Hart, The Concept of Law).

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in Hart’s theory, the internal point of view plays four roles in his account of law.6 First, it specifies one particular type of motivation an individual may have before the law (and avoids reducing all rule following behavior to response to sanctions); second, its possibility provides one of the existence conditions for social and legal rules; third it explains the intelligibility of legal practice; fourth, it provides a naturalistic semantics for legal statements. What Hart does not expect from the internal position is that it shows the unimportance of morality for legal philosophy. rather, Hart believes that to understand the actions of actors, one need not share, or even know, their moral commitments.

although he is not entirely consistent, Hart’s position is methodological positivism.7 His argument is not that the law should be entirely divorced from moral considerations (although he has sometimes been less than clear on the subject). that view would be substantive positivism.8 Hart is advancing, he claims, no overtly normative position. rather, Hart’s view is that to properly understand the law, one can and must adopt a morally neutral point of view. this is tied to Hart’s more general view that it is impossible to include moral norms in the study of law without first sacrificing the generality of his theory of jurisprudence. For instance, in his postscript to the second edition of The Concept of Law, Hart states that his general method has the goal of providing a theory of law that is both general and descriptive.9 it is general in that it is supposed to provide an account of how law functions in all legal system and descriptive in that it adequately describes the inner functioning of law.

dWorkin’s interpretivist critique

ronald dworkin, one of Hart’s early interlocutors, based his critique of positivism around the argument that Hart was unable to account for the seeping through of morality into legal decisions in many contexts. For instance, in the common law, it is not unusual, dworkin argued, for judicial decisions to draw on moral norms previously not part of the law. in the oft-cited case of Riggs v. Palmer, a new york court was asked to decide if an heir named in his grandfather’s will as an inheritor could do so in spite of the fact that he had committed murder in order to obtain his inheritance. the court began its opinion by noting that: “[i]t is quite true that statutes regulating the making, proof, and effect of wills, and the devolution of property, if literally construed, and if their force and effect can in no way and under no circumstances be controlled or modified, give this property

6 scott J. shapiro, What is the Internal Point of View?, p. 1158.7 stephen perry, Hart’s Methodological Positivism, legal theory volume 4, 1998, p. 427.8 that view is not without its defenders – Hobbes and bentham certainly held that view. 9 stephen perry, Hart’s Methodological Positivism , p.428; Herbert l. a. Hart, The Concept of


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to the murderer.”10 nonetheless, the court continued, laws are controlled in their operation by general, fundamental maxims of the common law which do not allow an individual to profit from his own wrong. as such, no murderer could be entitled to an inheritance that he is only owed by virtue of his wrongful act. similar such cases abound in the common law, dworkin argues, suggesting it is impossible to understand what the law is without some idea of what moral norms background the interpretation of statutes.

this critique of Hart, which (for reasons beyond the scope of this paper) i believe ultimately incapable of sustaining its own weight, points to an important problem with Hart’s theory: how are we to be sure that what we are correctly identifying as law is in fact law itself? dworkin answers that we can never be, unless we include moral concepts in the law (as both rules of recognition and as principles underlying the identification of the law). in Riggs, for instance, the judges identified moral rules backgrounding the rule of recognition which otherwise specified the sources of law.

law is, dworkin says in his book Law’s Empire, an essentially interpretive concept; for its application, it depends on an understanding of the moral reasons we have law and the moral rules which make up the law (e.g. the rule that we cannot profit from our wrongdoing). “to say that law is an interpretive concept is to say, among other things, that we can’t understand the concept unless we understand the value or point of law. and the point of law, according to dworkin, is to justify the exercise of coercive power by the state.” 11 to that end, legal positivism must fail. the exercise of the coercive power of the state depends on its normative justification. the take away, therefore is that jurisprudence must be normative and not purely descriptive. the actor, in adopting the internal perspective, depends on an underlying moral theory to justify his actions: “a jurisprudential account of law must undertake a normative inquiry in to the conditions under which a normative system claiming to be ‘law’ would, in fact, justify state coercion.”12

but this claim must be surely wrong, or at the very least, dworkin has changed the subject of the debate.13 after all, there are many types of law and legal systems where moral considerations play no role (or at least an undesirable role) in the making of law. every natural law theorists, from aquinas to Finnis, acknowledges the existence of unjust law. no one claims, however, that to understand those laws one needs a general account of the moral principles underlying the law. 10 ronald dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously. cambridge: Harvard university press, 1978, p. 23. 11 brian leiter, Beyond the Hart/Dworkin Debate: The Methodology Problem in Jurisprudence.

the university of texas school of law, public law and legal theory Work paper, 2003, p. 21. available at: <http://ssrn.com/abstract=312781>.

12 ibid. see, e.g., Law’s Empire (ronald dworkin, Law’s Empire. london: Fontana press, 1991, p. 190.): “a conception of law must explain how what it takes to be law provides a general justification for the exercise of coercive power by the state.”

13 brian leiter, Beyond the Hart/Dworkin Debate: The Methodology Problem in Jurisprudence, p. 21.

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moreover, to follow these rules, the actor immersed in the legal system need not be convinced that he is acting morally (unless he is assumed, in all relevant cases, to be delusional).

Finnis and interpretivism

However, this criticism of Hart points in useful direction and to a potential problem. How do we, as social scientists, identify who is ‘doing’ law. modern critics of Hart, such as Finnis as others, borrow from this interpretivist critique of law and argues that there is an error in the 20th century contention that the evaluation of law as a social institution must proceed from value-free description and analysis (i.e. from a morally neutral position). Finnis directs his critique not at the ability of judges and lawyers to decide what the law is, but at the social scientist studying the internal perspective. Finnis claims, drawing on max Weber’s work on value-neutrality, that a theorist “cannot give a theoretical description and analysis of social facts unless he also participates in the work of evaluation, of understanding what is really good for human persons, and what is really required by practical reasonableness.”14

put simply, Finnis asks how we can identify the central cases of law. more specifically, in the case of social phenomena like law, which are constituted by human actions and practices, the relevant question is how can a variety of practices be subsumed under one general practice? Finnis argues that the only way to identify law is by identify its point: “the actions, practices, etc., can be fully understood only by understanding their point, that is to say their objective, their value, their significance or importance, as conceived by the people who performed them, engaged in them, etc.”15 and moreover, how can they be differentiated from practices that look like law, but in fact are not law. the theorist cannot do this easily, Finnis argues, because “the subject-matter of the theorist’s description does not come neatly demarcated from other features of social life and practice,” and moreover varies greatly with respect to place and time – for instance, how are we to demarcate good law from bad law?16

Hart, Finnis suggests, is either begging the question, or is a closet normativist: he is unable “to answer the question from what viewpoint, and relative to what concerns, are importance and significance to be assessed?”17 to take a different example, in classical philosophy, aristotle argues that there are central cases of friendship, which are primary examples of a type, and then peripheral cases

14 John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights. oxford: clarendon press, 1984, p. 3.15 ibid.16 ibid., p. 4.17 ibid., p. 11-12.

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– business friendships, friendships of convenience, cupboard love, etc.18 to differentiate them, aristotle does not draw on his own conception of what friendship is. rather, he argues that there is one proper definition of friendship which is central to the human condition – a model of friendship which promotes human flourishing, the good life, etc. When Hart attempts to identify the central type of law, he must already have an account of what is central to law (i.e. what is the primary type and why), and what is secondary. this can either be his own conception (which would make his theory idiosyncratic) or he must have some theory of law which drives from the centrality of law to social and political life.

Hart’s answer to the question – at least implicitly – is that the legal theorist should adopt the so-called internal position, i.e. the view of the individual engaged in the practice of law. if she does this, she will be able to identify the central cases of law. However, this again is problematic, for not only do we not know what the central cases are, we do not know whose opinion to look for. For instance, there are many practitioners of law, each with a slightly different reason for acting in the way he does. even ignoring outliers such as Joseph raz’ anarchist judge – who picks and chooses amongst the law he intends to enforce with the goal of overthrowing the whole legal system – there are many different sorts of judges, each with their own understanding of the practice in which they are participating.19 some judges will act according to the traditional attitude, whereby they act to preserve inherited tradition. some will be activist judges and militate to make the law more moral (as they see it), by encouraging the development of precedent which has the goal of advancing long term moral goals. other, finally, will base their decisions on a calculation of their long term interests – i.e. what decision will benefit them the most in the long run.20

thus, even once we get rid of extreme cases, we are still forced to choose. perhaps we could get by with a statement of a form that ‘law can be defined as any practice which manifests itself by exhibiting disinterested concern for others.’21 but what this would mean is vague (and it perhaps might be impossible to distinguish between law and morality if we accepted it). Finnis suggests that we might be tempted to say that the nature of law can be found by engaging in a debate about the nature of practical reasonableness: what is required by reason in order to maintain the legal system. However, such an approach would seem to suggest that there are quasi-moral values involved in legal obligations: attention to details, concern for remedying deficiencies, concern for changing economic and material conditions of social interaction, etc.22 but what is such an approach but a moral

18 ibid., p. 11; see also: John Finnis, “law and What i should decide.” The American Journal of Jurisprudence. volume 48, 2003, p. 107.

19 John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights , p. 13.20 ibid., p. 14.21 ibid., p. 14.22 ibid., p. 15.

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approach and a normative account of the nature of law (exactly what the natural law theorists wishes to show!)?

Finnis’ approach parallels the debate about value neutrality in the social sciences, well-known to philosophers and sociologists. as Weber himself argued, true value-neutrality is impossible in the social sciences. the theorists must first make a choice about what she wishes to investigate before she can investigate the phenomenon in question. she must first decide for himself the nature of the activity and the objects under investigation before she begins to investigate it.

many theorists have responded to the question of where we should begin with the suggestion that we should begin by discovering a thin account of the validity of law. in other words, they propose to begin by answering the what-question (i.e. what is law) before the why-question (i.e. why have law). this assumption, Finnis claims, is a mistake.23 Finnis’ response to his critics is that whenever they are forced to specify their choice of starting points, they are unable to provide any reasonable answer for their preference of one over the other. in other words, legal positivism is substantially underdetermined with respect to its starting point.

tHree Fallacies

Finnis proposes modifying Hart in two ways. First, he believes that the theorist should privilege the internal viewpoint of those who choose to follow law because they understand that law is more than merely coercively binding (with which Hart would agree); instead, they should chose the viewpoint of those individuals who chose to follow the law because they feel morally obligated to do so (with which Hart would not agree). second, the theorist should privilege the viewpoint of those who are practically reasonable and good at applying the law with respect to the first point.24 in this concluding section, i will argue that Finnis’ approach, and his subsequent attempts to improve it – hides three fallacies. the first two are well-known. However, i identify in his response to his critics a third, new fallacy.

First, there is an important non-sequitur in Finnis’ move from the argument that there are no presuppositionless points of inquiry (or facts that are theory-free) to the argument that legal theory must begin from practical reasonableness. to quote leiter:

the non-sequitur occurs in the slide from the ‘banal truth’ that ‘evaluations are an indispensable and decisive component in the selection or formation of any concepts

23 John Finnis, “law and What i should decide”, p. 129; for the opponent he is criticizing, see: John gardner, “legal positivism: 5 ½ myths,” The American Journal of Jurisprudence, volume 46, 2001, p. 226-227.

24 John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights, p. 14-15; brian bix, “H.l.a. Hart and the Hermeneutic turn in legal theory,” Southern Methodist University Law Review, vol. 52, 1999, p. 185-186.

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for use in description of such aspects of human affairs as law or legal order” to the claim that the evaluation in question involves ‘decid[ing] what the requirements of practical reasonableness really are.’ i take the banal truth to be the uncontested legacy of post-kuhnian and post-quinean philosophy of science: there is no such thing as a presuppositionless inquiry, or facts that are ‘theory-free,’ and so on. but that goes no distance at all to establishing that the presuppositions of the descriptive enterprise require judgments about what Finnis calls ‘practical reasonableness’ or that the viewpoint from which ‘importance’ and ‘significance’ are to be assessed is the ‘practical viewpoint’.25

in other words, even if we are convinced by Finnis’ argument that the theorist necessarily is making assumption about the nature of law, there is no good reason to believe the answer that the theorist should adopt as the criteria for law the criterion of practical reasonableness.

Finnis responds by arguing that it is impossible to make sense of human actions, unlike regularities in the natural sciences, without first understanding what the goal, i.e. the objective, of those actions is.26 any attempt to set aside such concerns will necessarily lead the researcher down the road of ethnocentrism. drawing on Weber, Finnis argues that:

any general theory of law, however merely descriptive its ambition, necessarily prefers one concept of law over countless others – given (that is to say) that the theorist’s is always a more or less distinctive concept, one that the theorist considers a superior concept, better fitted to answer the questions people have about how law relates to other things and why its various elements hang together as they do – explanations of why this concept is an improved one, to be preferred to other concepts, are designed to show that this concept, this theory, makes better sense of the complex idea that law is something there is reason to have.27

a theorist who is concerned with how justice is administered cannot help but notice that the only overarching criterion is that of practical reason.

but this again masks a non sequitur and introduces a second fallacy. there are other criteria for theory construction in the philosophy of law than merely what all thinkers have in common. in particular, the construction of theories in jurisprudence is not neutral with respect to extra-legal considerations: considerations would have to include theoretical parsimony for instance. law may possess many uniting characteristics, which one we chose will depend on norms of theory construction.

For instance, as coleman and others have noted, although it is a particularly striking feature of the law that it possesses the morally desirable capacity to instantiate a particular political ideal, there is no reason to take this as central to

25 John Finnis, “law and What i should decide.”, p. 117.26 ibid., p. 118.27 ibid., p. 119.

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a theoretical account of the nature of law.28 put simply, the fact that law has this particular ability does not mean that such a feature is essential to an understanding of the law, any more than the fact that a hammer can be used as a paperweight is essentially (rather than accidentally) part of the nature of the hammer.

to this second argument, Finnis responds that hammers and the law are different sorts of things. after all, he writes, “one can reasonably spend a lifetime of using hammers without ever noticing that they would be good as paperweights.”29 However, one does not need to spend a lifetime working with the law to notice that “it shares much of the same action-guiding vocabulary as morality, but – overwhelmingly more important – that it does so because it purports to occupy the same place in the world as morality: the decisive framing of the options for choice at the point where deliberation is ending in decision about what i should do and what kind of person i should be.”30

Finnis’ critic should remain undaunted by this response, for it introduces a third fallacy into Finnis’ work. if the criteria to differentiate the nature of law from its accidental features are what we are likely, as participants in the act, to notice about the law, than Finnis has put himself in a difficult position. participants in the law are likely to notice many different things – as Hart himself has argued. and Finnis cannot claim that all law is about morality (he expressly disavows this position in Natural Law and Natural Rights).

With respect to the nature of law, Finnis is on shaky ground. First, Hart never held the view that the law was never about sanctions – rather, he said that it was not exclusively so. and as the casual observer is likely to notice, law contains a great many sanctions, over many matters which we find morally inconsequential. second, law also contains a great deal of discussion of retribution and compensation – as noted, for instance, in the work of the early american legal realists.31 third, Weber, upon whom Finnis draws so heavily, believed that it was a fundamental characteristic of modern law not to be interested in practical rationality, but to coordinate autonomous institutions which emerged under early capitalism in europe. all societies have law, but law in the modern sense, Weber claimed, emerged out of the need to have mediation between different spheres of a structurally differentiated society. Fourth, a key feature of modern anglo-american jurisprudence has been the emergence of the law and economics movement, which argued that an essential feature (if not the essential feature) of modern law is its normatively desirable capacity to regulate the economic basis of society. on what

28 Jules coleman, The Practice of Principle: In Defense of a Pragmatist Approach to Legal Theory. oxford: oxford university press, 2001, p. 192.

29 John Finnis, “law and What i should decide.”, p. 126.30 ibid.31 For instance, see: oliver Wendell Holmes, The Common Law. mineola: dover publications,


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basis are we to conclude that these are not properly basis of the law? However one comes down on these particular issues will dictate what one takes to be the central features of law.

thus, most importantly, Finnis’ answer is merely Hart’s answer, with different empirical assumptions: that law is about morality in a way it is not about sanctions, retribution, compensation, the organization of autonomous realms of human conduct, or economics. Finnis has merely reproduced Weber’s position – which is that the theorist first must choose his own point of view before investigating the subject matter. and this is no argument against Hart at all; it is merely question begging.

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ArkAdiusz GudAniec The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland

M. A. Krąpiec’s philosophicAl Anthropology And the turbulent currents of

conteMporAry culture.A Presentation of an eminent Philosopher and

His Original Philosophy of Man

M. A. Krąpiec’o filosofinė AntropologijA ir suKūringos šiuolAiKinės Kultūros srovės.Žymaus filosofo ir jo originalios žmogaus teorijos pristatymas

suMMArythe author on the article argues that contemporary culture lacks of metaphysical anthropology and therefore suffers and sometimes turns to be inhuman. He claims that in order to eliminate this drawback the philosophical anthropology elaborated by a prominent polish philosopher M. A. Krąpiec should be accepted; for it provides a neutral vision of man which can be the reference point for the human sciences in a broad sense as far as they assume a definite conception of man. this also means that this philosophy of man is in a position to provide an original and interesting response to the deep confusion in contemporary culture about how man should be understood and treated.

key wOrds: M. A. Krąpiec, anthropology, metaphysics, culture, humanities.

sAntrAuKAstraipsnyje siekiama įrodyti, kad šiuolaikinei kultūrai trūksta metafizinės antropologijos ir dėl to ji kenčia kartkartėmis prarasdama žmogiškumą. jo teigimu, norint pašalinti šį trūkumą, būtina priimti žymaus lenkų filosofo M. A. Krąpiec’o sukurtą antropologiją, nes ji pateikia neutralią žmogaus viziją, kuria galima remtis humanitariniuose moksluose tiek, kiek jie vadovaujasi bendrąja žmogaus samprata. Be to, tai reiškia, kad M. A. Krąpiec’o žmogaus filosofija pajėgi pateikti originalius ir įdomius atsakymus į klausimus, kurie kyla dėl šiuolaikinėje kultūroje vyraujančio nežinojimo, kaip suprasti žmogų ir kaip su juo reikėtų elgtis.

rAKtAŽodŽiAi: M. A. Krąpiec, antropologija, metafizika, kultūra, humanitariniai mokslai.

tHe stArting point: tHe need for MetApHYsicAl AntHropologY

Human beings have created culture to live better, to be able become more human, and to achieve their own personal ends. At present, however, we see that human culture is less and less personal, and even sometimes has begun to turn against man. this is because we do not know who we are or because we possess false knowledge concerning man. We live in a tangle of turbulent currents and cultural

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confusion, which in large measure concerns problems with the understanding of man and person. on the other hand, our society as very rational and “modern,” puts the authority of science in the highest place, and excepts from science exhaustive answers to the questions concerning the meaning of man’s life and the status of the human condition, questions that bother man today.

But the particular sciences today do not provide an answer to the question of who man is taken as a whole, and the question of how he is related to other beings (society, culture, nature, non-temporal values, the Absolute). the sciences do not tell us whether man is simple in essence or composite in his ontological structure, or what is the meaning of man in his ontological perspective. We do not know how ultimately to resolve the dichotomies of man and the world, freedom and necessity, immanence and transcendence, or the dualism and the unity of soul and body. nor are philosophical theories of partial perspectives of human personality sufficient to resolve these problems, even if these theories cover various functions in man.

in all manifestations and activities man is ontologically identical, although he may have different and diametrically opposed profiles. We must find a perspective in the philosophy of man to achieve a complementarity of approaches. the antagonism between conceptions of philosophical anthropology to this time does not help in searching for such a perspective. Meanwhile the responsibility of human beings for the reality in which they live and create increases, and despite the immense progress of science and technology the problems in taking the best attitude in civilization as it is at present do not lessen. it turns out that sufficient and rationally grounded foundations for resolving this tangled, unexplored, and rich human reality can be provided by a theory that studies man under the aspect of his being and shows the ultimate reasons in his ontological structure for man1.

the need for a philosophical science about man does not contradict the theses that, besides the particular sciences about man and autonomous philosophical anthropology, there are merits to a third science built upon these sciences. this certainly contributes to the organization of many pieces of information about man and allows us more easily to avoid gaps and accidental disharmony in these, and to see analogies and relations of dependence among the regional spheres that lead to knowledge.

likewise there is still a need for the philosopher to be familiar with the important findings of the particular sciences. independent of the functions these findings perform in the broader culture, they provoke and prepare on the side questions for the philosophy of man and help under a negative aspect to clarify the facts at its starting point. finally, when we oppose a conception of the philosophy of man that is based on an ideology or idealization of natural sciences (scientism), we are not justifying any kind of irrationalism in philosophical anthropology. there are serious historical reasons for thinking that an autonomous philosophy of man 1 Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, stanisław Kamiński, Antropologia filozoficzna, powszechna

encyklopedia filozofii, vol. 1, lublin: pttA, 2000, p. 251-263.

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is possible, one which does not draw on sources of knowledge outside the range of reason and which ultimately provides an empirically legitimate resolution to the problems which torment human beings and which cannot be examined in the framework of nonphilosophical disciplines.

it does not seem right as we evaluate the gravity of man’s mystery and role that we should have to proclaim epistemological or ontological anthropocentrism. Man does appear to be an unusual and privileged being in the way he acts and his position in the world. Man even appears to be like a keystone for the ontological variety of the cosmos.

But, on the other hand, human beings do not comprise the entire field of interest in philosophy. More importantly, human beings cannot become the deepest reason that explains all reality. Man is also an element of the cosmos. Hence we need a theory concerning types of beings other than human beings. We also need a general theory of being to fully and ultimately explain everything however it exists that does not exist by necessity. finally, while experience of the self, self-understanding, and self-perfection are important factors in defining who we are, they are not the whole of human knowledge or of human action2.

BiogrApHY of professor M. A. Krąpiec

the proposals mentioned above became the starting point for the development of a philosophy of man by prof. Mieczysław A. Krąpiec op, one of the most eminent polish philosophers, a theologian, and a humanist. He was the chief creator of the lublin school of philosophy, which was a center of free philosophical thought in poland at a time when Marxist ideology was striving to the utmost to dominate and enslave minds of all the people under its regime.

the lublin school of philosophy remains one of the very few centers of realistic philosophy all over the world. professor Krąpiec developed a coherent philosophical system to explain the whole of reality available for human cognition. His philosophy is one of the biggest achievements in the field of realistic and wisdom-oriented classic philosophy in 20th century. He was an outstanding teacher who formed several generations of philosophers. those philosophers now form a scientific circle that is developing the classical way of doing philosophy.

He was the principle figure in the publication of the very first universal encyclopedia of philosophy in poland (the publication started in 2000 and finished in 2009, with 10 volumes in polish, now is under translation to english). He was also rector of the catholic university of lublin during the most difficult period of the communist regime in poland (for thirteen years).

He successfully reinforced the position of the university by affiliating it with several foreign universities; he reformed and developed its scientific structure; he expanded the range of education in the university; he managed to make the

2 ibid.

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catholic university of lublin a center of free humanistic thought for the good of polish culture and the humanities.

Mieczysław Albert Krąpiec was born on May 25, the year 1921 in Berezowica Mała in podole (presently the ukraine). After his ordination to the priesthood, father Krąpiec began studies in 1945 in the theology department of the catholic university of lublin. in 1957 he received the rank of docent, in 1963 he received the title of extraordinary (assistant) professor, and in 1968 the title of ordinary (full) professor in the philosophy department of the university (he would be connected with the department for the rest of his life). in 1989 father Krąpiec was awarded the title of doctor honoris causa by pontifical institute of Mediaeval studies of toronto and by the catholic university in leuven (louvain, Belgium). for his merits he received many decorations and international awards (grand officer in the order of leopold 1977, salsomaggiore international prize golden Medal 1981, order of Academic palms – commander 1984, order of polonia restituta, professor of the Year in 1988 by unesco Mexico, Man of the Year 1991/92 by the international Biographical center and by the American Biographical institute) 3.

professor father Krapiec died May 8, 2008 in lublin while working on volume 10 of the universal encyclopedia of philosophy.

He contributed much to the revival and development of the catholic university of lublin, which remained the only university not administered by the state throughout the communist part of europe in that period. He also did a great deal to promote the catholic university of lublin in poland and abroad.

the term “lublin school of philosophy” and the classic philosophy that the school cultivated and developed become popular and famous both in poland and abroad thanks to publications of Krąpiec’s papers. His literary output consists of over thirty books (many of which were translated into english, french or russian) and around two hundred and fifty studies and articles, where in light of the basic view mentioned above he considered the following topics: cognition, love, freedom, evil, death, culture, religion, law, morality, politics, production, and last but not least, the question of the relation between language and reality, which was very much in vogue. He had something to say about almost every domain of human activity, and spoke out in order to restore the meaning they had in ancient and mediaeval thought, according to which the wisdom is the essential purpose of human cognition. the abandonment of classical philosophy seriously threatens to deplete the spiritual life of our civilization today.

the objectives that Krąpiec set for himself by his work were shared by other professors: stefan swieżawski, jerzy Kalinowski, stanisław Kamiński, and last but not least Karol Wojtyła (since 1954), who were followed by the numerous disciples. they all declared themselves on the side of classic philosophy, because

3 Biography on an official page on M. A. Krąpiec’s thought and achievements: <www.ptta.pl/ krapiec/>.

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it did represent the most universal and perfectly balanced conception of reality. And it is still needed in the world tempest-tossed by various forms of radicalism.

the importance and fame of the faculty was growing high as the publications grew in numbers, but most significant was the prestige of the person of Krąpiec himself in the eyes of other philosophers, including Marxists. And Krąpiec knew how to make use of his influence and popularity, which were the natural consequences of his personality. While he was the dean of the faculty (1958-1961 and 1969-1970) he had great success in getting the faculty out of isolation that had been imposed on it.

Krąpiec always combined ancient and mediaeval philosophy in his work, focusing on theory of being formulated by Aristotle and st. thomas. during his research he came to regard them both as the co-authors of the classic metaphysics. father Krąpiec worked to show that thomas’ theory was a creative continuation of Aristotle’s, that Aquinas didn’t depart from Aristotelian realism, but looked at Aristotle’s theory of being through the prism of the phenomenon of human existence4.

Krąpiec combined the ‘nova’ cum ‘vetera’, starting from the ‘vetera’, i.e., starting from thomas’ metaphysics, moving toward the ‘nova’, in order to bring them in a methodologically correct way to their true principle. His intention was not to prove that human mind couldn’t really reach further than thomas (as some too eager thomists actually suggested) but to demonstrate that there was no need to modernize or adjust st. thomas in any way, for the philosophy thomas presented and passed on to future generations was timeless, supranational and classless, so it could by its nature filter philosophical currents of all kinds. Krąpiec’s many disciples have taken up and continue to take this message found in his papers in lectures. there is no doubt at all that philosophy and the catholic university of lublin owe Him a great deal5.

fundAMentAl tHeses of pHilosopHicAl AntHropologY

philosophical anthropology, elaborated by M. A. Krąpiec, is not a philosophical interpretation from man’s position concerning nature, society, and cognition, but it is a separate section of philosophy. this philosophical interpretation of human facts is immune to subjectivism and its consequences, because at the starting point it considers, besides self-experience and self-understanding, also what it known about the basic structures of objective reality. We should not understand this as if the philosophy of man were merely a development of ontology or as if a merely reflection on the nature of philosophy could lead us to see the philosophical anthropology. philosophical anthropology isn’t a particularization

4 ibid.5 ibid.

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of general metaphysics, but it does remain metaphysics. it possesses distinct data to explain. the phenomena it takes in its starting point are located within the horizon of being, but are of a human type; they are constitutive and fundamental for man and his existential position. However, since they are not only absolute situations of my “i” alone, but also of the relations of my self to another person, to another thing, to the future, to the whole universe, and further more they are not explained by their own nature and therefore to interpret them in depth we must do so in the framework of cognition of a metaphysical type. in the most theoretical explanations Krąpiec uses the method of the philosophy of being and its conceptual apparatus. of course, this method is enriched in accordance with the different starting point of philosophical anthropology. the language also transforms general metaphysical terms into terms in which new contents are expressed (on the basis of analogy). With regard to this analogical character it produces new concepts and also characterizes them by referring to general metaphysical concepts. thereby we can reasonably say that human existence is ultimately and fully explained by man’s inner ontological structure. this structure is in large measure common to all beings, and more important, it is a shared participation in the absolute being6.

the starting point for the philosophy of man is data coming from the apprehension concomitant to the existential statement: «i am». Among these basic data, subjectivity and the human ability to cause things are very important. the conclusions of general metaphysics are helpful tools in the philosophical analysis of these data. in its fundamental dimension, philosophical anthropology is the metaphysics of man, and its purpose is to present the structure of human being, and to show and explain the basis of human transcendence. Man grasped in metaphysical terms appears to be a material and spiritual being that has the reason of its unity in the act of existence. As a substantial being (or subject) and a person by nature who expresses himself in free and conscious action (science, morality, religion, creativity), man is open to truth, good and beauty-and above all, to god. the main feature of man as such is his transcendence to the world of nature and to society. the person is a being that transcends the determinations of the world of nature, due to his capacity for intellectual cognition, his free will, and his ability for disinterested love. in turn, the person transcends society because of his power to be the subject of law and the cause of the completeness (the substantiality), of his possession of natural dignity, which means that man is an end and not a means.

the establishment of the “human fact” as an object of study and explanation may be done by calling upon the external observation and by calling upon the internal experience of being a man that we perceive in the course of human actions. Both points of view complete each other. calling upon the “human fact” seen from outside gives a feeling of an objective measure in establishing the object 6 Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, stanisław Kamiński, Antropologia filozoficzna, p. 262-263.

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of philosophical explanations. the “human fact” seen from outside provides information about who man is, for it reveals his rational cogntion in the building and use of tools which are a necessary system of relations; it reveals contemplative-esthetic and reflective cognition. the human fact seen “from inside” is accessible to man in each of his experiences of action when he experiences himself as “i who am acting,” which means as the one who elicits from “myself” actions which are “mine,” whether this is in the vegetative, sensitive, or spiritual order. i say that “i” breathe, “i” see, “i” understand, etc7.

the original experience of being a man presents the real subject which is man, whose ontological structure and whose activity must be explained. this explanation must be made by a metaphysical analysis of that which is “mine” as originating from “i,” which provides an undestanding of the ontological content (nature) of man, whose act of existence is indisputably experienced. the ontological unity of the human being needs to be explained, a unity that exists despite the heterogeneity of human action (of that which is “mine”). the explanation is made by showing the one fundamental source of action called the “soul.” this source of action appears within the system of action that flows from the received genetic code. A uniforum system of action with the experience of the unity and identity of the subject in all the heterogenous acts points to the soul as the factor that actualizes man. the soul, therefore, as an act (entelechaeia), organizes and forms matter for itself to be a human body through which it realizes its acts. As the organizer and form of the body, the soul can act only through the body. As it performs acts of intellectual knowledge, acts of decision, and acts of love – which are acts that are immaterial and unmeasurable in their structure – the soul reveals by these acts the character of its existence, and the immaterial structure indicates the essential simplicity of the soul, which in these contexts can come into existence only as a consequence of an act of creation, since the soul transcends all the forces of nature. When we show in human (cognitive and volitional) activity acts of an immaterial structure that transcend nature and society, we indicate that the existence of the soul can be explained by a creative act of god, since it is impossible for that which is simple in its ontological structure to have come into being by evolution. the soul, then, receives existence in itself as a subject whose existence it imparts to the body as matter that it organizes. the soul thus understood cannot cease to exist in the incessant organization (and simultaneous disorganization) of the matter of its body8.

the soul cannot arise by “generation,” that is, by material transformations, for it is the subject of an immaterial existence; nor can it cease to exist by natural destruction, for destruction or corruption does not affect it.7 ibid, p. 252-253; Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, On man, transl. by W. Hansen. lublin: pttA, 2012,

p. 13-21.8 Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, stanisław Kamiński, Antropologia filozoficzna, p. 253-256;

Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, On man, p. 22-47.

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understAnding deAtH

one of the greatest achievements of prof. M. A. Krąpiec is an original conception of personal death. in the problematics of death, he says, we should distinguish death considered in a passive sense, and death considered in an active sense. death in the passive sense is the disintegration of the human organism. death in an active sense occurs in the sphere of the spirit, insofar as the human soul carries the changing actions of the reason and will and their end and ultimate completion. the ultimate completion of the changing states of the spiritual psyche is the moment of taking the final decision as the personal joining of cognition and love. All our cognition of really existing being is a cognition only of being that is contingent, changing, unintelligible on its own, and so it is an incomplete cognition that appeals to the source, that is, to the Absolute or god. Without a real and indubitable, intuitive and experiential cognition of god—as the reason for the existence of contingent beings and of ourselves—our intellectual life would be incomplete and unfulfilled in its fundamental and most important point, since it was not provided for the spirit a concrete answer to the question that is involved in all acts of intellectual cognition. Man would be an unnatural and incomplete construct in the most important act of cogntion9.

likewise in the experience of love and happiness the necessity of man’s ultimate completion appears, and this occurs at the moment of “passage,” death personally experienced. if this is a desire of nature, it has a chance of being fulfilled in human life, in its ultimate, final, and completing act. this “intersection” of the abstract and infinite with the concrete and real which takes place in human nature is possible and necessary at the moment life ends, when god as the Absolute (still not in a supernatural vision) stands before the human spirit to show himself to the human spirit as the real and concrete good that was acting in us through the changing world of goods, a world that never satisfied the capacity of our will. death thus understood is a fulfillment of the natural desire of the human will, since only at that moment can there be a total confrontation of human desires, loves and decisions with the concrete and infinite good, for this is not possible in any other moment of human life because of the variation in goods and in the human will. love as a form of human existence conquers death, and in the moment biological life ceases it gains the condition for full declaration, full freedom, and a full actuation of the human person who is ultimately joined in an act of love with the known transcendent thou, who is chosen in an act of perfect decision, who ultimately completes, and to whom every real human love and every free decision leads. death as experienced in an active sense becomes the factors that gives ultimate meaning to human life.

9 Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, Śmierć [death], powszechna encyklopedia filozofii, vol. 9, lublin: pttA, 2008, p. 334-339; Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, stanisław Kamiński, Antropologia filozoficzna, p. 256-257; Mieczysław A. Krąpiec, On man, p. 107-116.

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Man’s entire life has a threefold dimension, i.e., it is contained within a threefold womb: first in the mother’s womb from which he receives all the conditions of life; then in the bosom of the earth and the whole cosmos which prepares him through questions, imperfect love, and imperfect decisions for his ultimate completion in the “bosom of god” at the moment of “passage” when the conditions that limit human actions through matter cease and there is a maturation to ultimate completion as a person by a decision of the ultimate choice of god as the Absolute Being, truth, good, and Beauty10.


M. A. Krąpiec’s conception is one of the most original propositions for a philosophical theory of man in contemporary realistic philosophy. in his philosophical anthropology, Krąpiec has presented a comprehensive, coherent, and automous theory of the person (autonomous in relation to theology and other sciences). that theory has its own autonomous object (the experience of the “human fact”), method (the explanation of the “human fact” by showing objective reasons), and end. the philosophical anthropology developed by professor Krąpiec provides a neutral vision of man; that vision can be the reference point for the human sciences in a broad sense (because they assume in their inquiries a definite conception of man). this also means that this philosophy of man is in a position to provide an original and interesting response to the deep confusion in contemporary culture about how man should be understood.

10 ibid.

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John F. X. KnasasCenter for Thomistic Studies University of St. Thomas, Houston, U.S.A.

Is AquInAs An Ideologue?

ar aKvinietis yra ideologas?

summaryBy mentioning two points from a recent monograph on aquinas and evil, i attempt to exempt aquinas from the criticism that as a Catholic, aquinas cannot do real philosophy, which, in the words of arvydas Šliogeris, is “a free search for truth, an atmosphere of risk and endless questions, and effort to begin from arche.” First, aquinas’ philosophical thoughts on evil are soberly earthbound. though an afterlife and a resurrection are philosophical possibilities, they are not philosophically demonstrable truths. aquinas will not stretch the truth for religious gain. he leaves philosophers to stop, pause and dream. second, his philosophical psychology of the human as an intellector of analogical being possesses resources to explain a persistent disposition of personalist philosophers in the evil debate, e.g., mcCord adams, stump, hick, dostoevsky, Camus, Flew, and maritain, to overvalue the human person. in the human mind, being can become intensely associated with certain things, such that they acquire a value out of all proportion to the philosophical truth. the high dignity that personalists claim for the human is actually a theological truth. again, aquinas is shown not to be pushing a theological agenda.

Key Words: ideologue, inter-war lithuanian philosophy, notion of being, fauxizing, personalist theodicy.

santrauKaPrimindami du teiginius iš paskutinės savo monografijos apie T. Akvinietį ir blogio problemą siekiame apginti jį nuo kritikų, įrodinėjančių, kad jis negali būti tikras filosofas, nes yra katalikas, todėl, anot A. Šliogerio, nėra laisvas tiesos ieškotojas, pasiruošęs viskuo rizikuoti, nagrinėti nesibaigiančius klausimus ir kiekvieną kartą viską pradėti iš pradžių. Visų pirma filosofinės T. Akviniečio mintys apie blogį yra blaiviai žemiškos. Nors pomirtinis gyvenimas ir mirusiųjų prisikėlimas yra filosofinės galimybės, tačiau tai nėra filosofiškai įrodomos tiesos. T. Akvinietis nesistengia aukoti tiesos dėl religijos. Jis leidžia filosofams stabtelėti, pailsėti ir pasvajoti. Antra, jo filosofinė žmogaus, kaip analoginės būties supratėjo, psichologija turi pakankamai priemonių paaiškinti, kodėl tokie filosofai personalistai kaip McCord Adams, Stump, Hick, Dostojevskis, Camus, Flew ir Maritainas pernelyg sureikšmina žmogaus asmenį. Žmogaus sąmonėje būtis su konkrečiais daiktais gali būti taip tvirtai susieta, kad jie įgautų filosofinei tiesai neproporcingą vertę. Tas didis orumas, kurį personalistai priskiria žmogui, iš tiesų yra ne filosofinė, o teologinė tiesa. Taigi ir vėl akivaizdu, kad T. Akvinietis teologijos naudai filosofijos neprievartauja.

RAkTAŽoDŽiAi: ideologas, tarpukario Lietuvos filosofija, būties samprata, išsisukinėjimas, personalistinė teodicėja.

as the dean of current lithuanian philosophy, arvydas Šliogeris, has noted in his “lithuanian Philosophical thought between east and West,”1 lithuanian 1 Published online in 2000 by Jūratė Baranova, Lithuanian Philosophy: Persons and Ideas.

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thinkers are at last free of ideology, the ideology of Catholicism that marked the post WW i independence period and the ideology of marxism that marked the post WW ii period. speaking of the inter-war Catholic philosophers Jakštas and Šalkauskis, Šliogeris expresses the ideological problem this way: “We shall not find in their philosophy a free search for truth, an atmosphere of risk and endless questions, an effort to begin from arche, not a real passion for thought.” Šliogeris exhorts that lithuanian philosophers philosophize on the basis of their own lithuanian experience. this experience is not marked by a turning to the “sky,” as was the case in Western philosophical flights into metaphysics, but by a turning to the earth and nature.

Šliogeris’ exhortation is eminently proper. most profoundly speaking, it expresses a desire to do philosophy honestly and authentically and not as a script that one has learned to parrot. it also is the correct reaction to ideologues whose ideas have a basis less in real experience and more in some ulterior motive of conversion or political action. and here i must turn philosophical, and i hope that i can express myself clearly. For if someone says that you cannot play the piano, then the only rebuttal is to sit down and play it. likewise, if someone says that you cannot do philosophy, the only rebuttal is to do it.

aquinas is no ideologue, as post-soviet lithuanian philosophers fear. in 2014 my latest monograph entitled, Aquinas and the Cry of Rachel: Thomistic Reflections on the Problem of Evil, was published by the Catholic university of america Press.2 i think that an encounter with aquinas on the problem of evil would be a surprisingly valuable one for lithuanian philosophers and students. i insist on that denial for two reasons.

First, aquinas’ thoughts on the existence of evil are soberly earthbound, frighteningly so. they are earthbound because though our souls are incorruptible, they are naturally meant to operate only in conjunction with the body. Hence, though a resurrection of human bodies is a philosophical possibility, an afterlife is not something that can be definitively offered as some solution for suffering. As far as the philosopher can see, we may well have only this life to live. aquinas’ understanding of the creator includes no obligation to offer human nature a resurrection as is taught by his Church.3 in this respect aquinas’ thinking has

2 John F. X. Knasas, Aquinas and the Cry of Rachel: Thomistic Reflections on the Problem of Evil. Washington, d.C.: the Catholic university of america Press, 2013.

3 at Summa Contra Gentiles iv, 79, aquinas argues for a resurrection, a reunion of the separated soul and the body, on the basis that “nothing unnatural is perpetual.” that the nature that aquinas is presuming is a nature theologically considered within a special and undue divine providence, see Knasas, Aquinas and the Cry of Rachel, 84. For the view that aquinas’ resurrection argument is a strict philosophical demonstration, see montague Brown, “aquinas on the resurrection of the Body,” The Thomist 56 (1992), 165-207. aquinas’ The Literal Exposition on Job: A Scriptural Commentary concerning Providence (atlanta: scholars Press, 1989) is also worth mentioning. aquinas describes the resurrection as a work of “grace” for “hope” of which “plausible reasons” are forthcoming. (p. 229) also, the position of Job’s

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some surprising similarities to Heidegger’s. But it definitely reveals that Aquinas is acting as Šliogeris says a true philosopher must act, namely, to follow the ideas wherever they lead. aquinas’ philosophical thesis that we may have only this life to live gives us what sliogeris wants, “resoluteness and courage to look at the abyss of the mysterious transcendence, where faceless truth emerges only as a dim hope and anxiety of ignorance.” 4

second, aquinas offers some profound psychological analyzes that address, in the discussion of evil, personalists like mcCord adams, stump, hick, dostoevsky, Camus, Flew, and maritain.5 here too one sees that aquinas is no ideologue. rather, the personalists seem to be the ideologues. For the personalists any solution to the problem of evil must have some good rebounding specifically to the good of the person suffering evil. if there is a redeeming consequent good, it must be brought about first and foremost in the sufferer. in my opinion, Aquinas regards that personalist requirement as following a theological understanding of the human person in which the human person is a child of god. But for aquinas our philosophically discernible dignity does not achieve that exalted proportion. at our

interlocutors that God’s providence is confined to this life is not described as philosophical error but an error against the “truth of the faith.” (p. 471 and 214) on the other hand, Job foresaw the resurrection through a “spirit of faith.” (p. 269) aquinas has god castigating both Job and his interlocutors for claiming a certitude that neither has. Job’s error is to think that he can prove the resurrection when in fact it is a truth of faith. the interlocutors, as mentioned, erroneously limit god’s providence to only this life. hence, “But since human wisdom is not sufficient to comprehend the truth of divine providence, it was necessary that the debate just mentioned by determined by divine authorities.” (p. 415)

4 For the thesis that even activity in the separated soul is possible only with the supernatural assistance of the creator and so not philosophically knowable, see Joseph owens, “soul as agent in aquinas,” The New Scholasticism 48 (1974), 40-72. For the view that the separated soul’s activity is philosophically knowable but that the separated soul’s activity is very poor, see mary rousseau, “the natural meaning of death in the Summa Theologiae,” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 52 (1978), 87-95. in his Quaestiones de Veritate 19, 1, ad 13m. aquinas, does distinguish between a “natural knowledge” had by all souls, both the damned and the blessed, and by separate substances and a knowledge by grace had by the blessed only. it could be argued that this “natural knowledge” in all separated souls is simply a supernatural extension of the infused knowledge natural to the angels. that seems to be Aquinas’ reply to an objection at Summa Theologiae i, 89, 1, ad 3m. in my opinion the difficulty in crafting a demonstration from what is true of the angels to what is true of the separated soul is that the former are complete natures while the latter are incomplete ones.

5 For an expression of the personalist sentiment, consider maritain’s remark place on the lips of the Biblical rachel wailing for her murdered children: “tell her this thing was necessary in order that every degree of being should be filled, and she will answer that she cares not one whit for the machine of the world, - let them give back her child!” Jacques maritain, St. Thomas and the Problem of Evil (milwaukee: marquette university Press, 1942), 9. For a discussion of the above listed personalists, see Knasas, Aquinas and the Cry of Rachel, Ch. 6.

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natural best we are still a principle “part” of the natural world,6 the “most perfect thing in all of nature.”7 a phenomenology of our intellection reveals the basis for aquinas’ circumspection. the intellective grasp of the encompassing notion of being, also called the good, is at best analogical. that is, being is intellected as a sameness-in-difference.8 as such, being never perfectly seats itself in the human mind so that we lose our natural status as parts and achieve the status of wholes.

it may well be that the personalist assumption about the human person as an end unto itself represents an unappreciated hangover from more religious times. But, in my opinion, aquinas’ philosophical psychology of the intellector of being provides better insight into the persistent personalist assumption among philosophers and even ordinary people. the notion of being can play tricks on the human intellector of it. one of these tricks is to create faux epiphanies of itself. Because of an association with the notion of being, something can acquire a value out of all proportion to the truth. this fauxizing happens especially when contemplating something gargantuan or diminutive.9 to take the latter, the consideration of minutiae entails a vacating from consciousness of everything else, so that the minutiae are discernible. But that never means that the minutiae stand apart from being. in such a case, the minutiae can come to acquire all the preciousness of being itself. For example, consider as the small or minute, the fragility and helplessness of the child and baby. their perceived vulnerability is a reaction to that isolation. unlike an adult, they have not yet effected relations that establish them in existence. But even though as yet they are isolated from

6 see aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles iii, 112. in this chapter aquinas is arguing that divine providence governs rational creatures for their own sake. this is the personalist claim, but as Aquinas’ fifth argument notes, the conclusion is only one of “fittingness” (convenienter).

7 aquinas, Summa Theologiae i, 29, 3.8 the “sameness-in-difference” way of speaking about being derives from aquinas’ teaching

that being is a non-generic notion. see his Quaestiones de Veritate, i, 1 and XXi, 1. Characteristic of a genus is that the differences of the species are intellectually extrinsic to the genus. elsewhere in Summa Contra Gentiles i, 25, he gives the reason: the differences would be twice in the definition of the species. However, with the notion of being, the differences cannot be placed extrinsic without consigning them to non-being with a resultant monism. hence, unlike a genus, being intellectually includes its differences and so remains appreciated through them, a sameness-in-difference. aquinas’ thinking gives the notion of being (the ratio entis) an unspeakable richness that in turn is the basis for denominating being as the good (the ratio boni). For a presentation of neo-thomist discussion of the notion of being, see John F. X. Knasas, Being and Some Twentieth-Century Thomists (new york: Fordham university Press, 2003), Ch. 5.

9 my basis in aquinas for what i am calling “fauxizing” is Summa Contra Gentiles iii, 38. the chapter argues that there is a knowledge of god commonly possessed by most men. even though these men know god, they confuse that knowledge with the heavens (my “gargantuan”) and with the elements (my “diminutive”). For further elaboration and for the implicit presence of aquinas’ metaphysics in the minds of men, see Knasas, Aquinas and the Cry of Rachel, 31-41.

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everything else, they are not in our awareness isolated from being. in fact, the association with being is intensified the greater their dissociation from other things. here the experience of the children as precious has everything to do with their association to being.

this analysis illustrates that some of the most striking perceptions of human dignity do not always derive from the correct source. the unwitting psychic association of the child or infant up and against being seems sufficient to generate in everyday experience a modicum of respect for these small humans. it also explains the complaints of personalists like anthony Flew. Flew constructed the famous example of the earthly father desperately trying to find a cure for the cancer afflicting his son, while, God, our heavenly father, apparently doing nothing. The question has to be asked. From where did Flew get the idea that humans should be exempt from suffering? a more measured reaction is found in the hurricane victim who is subtly taunted by the news reporter about continued faith in god. the victim turned the tables and asked the reporter, “Who do you think we are to be exempt from such catastrophes?” a correct phenomenology of grief needs the guidance of a correct metaphysical psychology. those who suffer grief feel that they have lost everything for they have nothing else to live for. But being is the everything. so a correct understanding of the relation of being to things, especially to the thing that the sufferer has lost is crucial.

once one becomes familiar with the dynamic, one sees that it repeats itself over and over in human experience. it can create an endearment that stymies growth. that unfortunate result is what scarlett o’hara, the heroine of the american novel Gone with the Wind, pathetically suffered as she fought, often immorally, to resurrect her plantation of tara that had become lost in the mists of time. at various times, all of us are scarlett. For example, as it fades into the past, one’s life and its experiences, e.g., our studies in graduate school, can take on an endearing quality such that one never engages contemporary discussion nor moves beyond the ways of one’s old professors. likewise, a people’s love and respect for the land of their forefathers can be so great that it creates injustices for humans existing right now. sometimes we have to let go. the motivation for letting go lies in the realization that what all truly love is being which is more accurately placed in people rather than ideas or land. With that personal focus we can go on to truly honor our past teachers and forefathers even if we do something different. But it is ironic that the notion of being in whose intellection human dignity consists is also the very thing that can defeat the human psyche.

one can see this same fauxizing also in Šliogeris’ insistence that lithuanians philosophize originally on the basis of the earth and nature. there is a deep truth here, just as there is a deep truth in the beauty of the child mentioned above. Consider Jonas Aistis’ poem “Peizažas” (Landscape). The first and second stanzas are sufficient to make my point:

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Laũkas, kẽlias, píeva, krỹžius, A field, road, meadow, cross,Šilo júosta mẽlyna, A blue ribbon of pine,Debesèliu tánkus ìžas Thick ice floes of cloudsir᷉ graudì graudì dainà and sad, sorrowful song.

Bẽga kẽlias, ir beržẽliai The road runs, and the bircheslin᷉ksta vẽjo pučiami blown by the wind bendSamanótas stógas žãlias the moss covered roofir᷉ šuñs balsas prietemỹ and the voice of the dog at twilight.

aistis had a great love of the lithuanian land, and perhaps he gives us some insight into Šliogeris’ insistence that lithuanians have always preferred the earth to the sky and poetry to prose. Even if one has never seen Lithuania, “Peizažas” has a poignancy. Why? how can such ordinary things move us so deeply and create in us such an endearment for them? aquinas the philosopher provides an answer to these interesting questions. The answer lies in the rapid-fire presentation of discrete objects. one after another is presented just in itself. So just like the entertainment of the minutiae mentioned above, each draws being to itself in our consciousness and acquires a preciousness that is crazy to the more prosaically minded. of course, the true bearer of the intelligibility of being is the human observer. and so the deep truth here is the preciousness of the person. that is what the love of the land should teach one. it should engender a social existence in which one regards one’s fellows as giving a voice to the mysterious intelligibility of being. honest, authentic , and original philosophy will follow.10

lithuanian higher education had a strong thomistic and Catholic background in the writings of Jakštas, Šalkauskis, maceina, and girnius. yet for lithuanian philosophers coming out of soviet times, philosophers of the inter-war period and their post-war disciples were not true philosophers but ideologues. even worse, they had failed to philosophize as lithuanians. unfortunately, i have heard lithuanian philosophers say, “that day (of Šalkauskis) is gone and there is no returning to it.” But in recommending aquinas i am not asking current philosophers to return to Šalkauskis. thomism has come a long way since the 1930’s. it is not a question of going back but of catching up. aquinas’ philosophical insights will amply repay in the coin of genuine philosophizing the effort needed to attain them. i would hope that my own work is some expression of this claim and that dr. dalia Stančienė’s conferences and summer schools provide an occasion for Aquinas to enter lithuanian philosophical discussion.

10 For another discussion about aquinas and ideology, see Joseph owens, “ideology and aquinas,” ed. By leonard a. Kennedy in Thomistic Papers I (houston: Center for thomistic studies, 1984): 135-152.

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aquinas’ thoughts on the afterlife, resurrection, and the play of the notion of being in human psychology, show that he is no ideologue. in other words, they show that in his philosophizing we find “a free search for truth, an atmosphere of risk and endless questions, an effort to begin from arche, not a real passion for thought.”

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Zbigniew PańPuch The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland

Can thomistiC ethiCs be the foundation of a seCular soCiety?

ar tomistinė etika galėtų būti Pasaulietinės visuomenės Pamatas?

summaryThe article analyzes the problem of possible applicability of the thomistic ethics as a fundamental for a secular society. Although a secular society is thought as distanced from any presence of religion in public life, it however requires certain moral basis, as it was shown by Plato and Aristotle in their political writings. Although seen as theological in publics’ opinion, the thomistic ethics in its natural part gives the realistic moral theory based on realistic metaphysics of being and man. Beause of this important feature it could be a fundamental for a secular society.

key words: thomistic ethics, moral theory, secular society, metaphysics.

santraukastraipsnyje nagrinėjama tomistinės etikos, kaip dorovės pamato, pritaikymo pasaulietinei visuomenei problema. nors pasaulietinė visuomenė traktuojama kaip ta sritis, kurios viešajame gyvenime religija nedalyvauja, tačiau, kaip savo politiniuose veikaluose parodė Platonas ir aristotelis, jai būtinas tam tikras dorovinis pamatas. nors į tomistinę etiką pasaulietinė visuomenė žvelgia kaip į teologijos produktą, tačiau filosofinė jos dalis yra realistinė dorovės teorija, pagrįsta realistine būties ir žmogaus metafizika. būtent todėl tomistinė etika galėtų būti dorovinis pasaulietinės visuomenės pamatas.

raktažodžiai: tomistinė etika, moralės teorija, pasaulietinė visuomenė, metafizika.

in order to answer this question, we must first d etermine the basic notions included in it – that is, „secular”, “society” and “thomistic ethics”.

The word secularism1 historically comes from g. J. holyoake, an english social activist, atheist, freethinker, self-proclaimed ‚agitator’, champion of the working class and co-operator, who suggested this term in 1851. he initiated a social movement called, simply, secularism. (lat.: saecularis,-e - laical; saeculum,-i: earthly temporal, transient world). he stated that religion was powerless in solving serious social problems, like poverty and exploitation of the working class. he organized the early Secular Societies, becoming vice-President of the National Secular Society. Its doctrine included claims such as that science is the source of truth, that morality has secular and not religious origin, that reason is in all issues the highest criterion, that the people have to possess the freedom of thought and 1 see rev. Prof. dr. hab. Paweł mazanka, in: <http://www.ptta.pl/pef/pdf/suplement/sekularyzm.


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expression and that the uncertainty of life conditions forces us to limit all human efforts to worldly goals only. In the following years, secularism has developed to a certain ideology connected with new ideas, such as social progress based on only natural means – like the development of sciences and technology by using only humans’ natural forces of intellect and will. Secularism consciously resigned from the help of religious means and initially stayed separated and distant from religion. however, in its more radical versions, it started to fight it and tried eliminate it from social and even individual life. contemporary versions of secularism emphasize the every-day ordinary problems of men and exclude their relations to god and even negate any possibility of such a relation. A secular attitude must not necessarily be atheistic, but practically often shows itself as such. Moreover, it could lean towards agnosticism, laical humanism or religious indifference.

In this meaning, a secular society is a kind of ideology and programmed actions towards a complete elimination of any religious influence or content in the social life of the people and a practical and theoretical rejection of any transcendental reality. But is such a secular society something real or rather a kind of an utopian social project? to answer this question, we must refer to ancient concepts of society. They have for us a special advantage, because we can name them as pagan – may be just secular – because there was no christianity in those times and philosophical thinking was not influenced by any strong religion. rather, ancient philosophers tried to free themselves from the official, mythological religion and to create their own ‘rational’ model of it or to find rational elements in it.

the most famous thinkers of antiquity – Plato and aristotle – in their intellectual activities also focused on theory of society. Of course, they didn’t have such developed language for naming various aspects of social life of humans like we have today (such as city, state, society, nation, community, commonwealth, homeland, country), but they enclose them in one word, polis, marking the chief form of collective life. It was the center of not only state economic life or, more generally, social, but also the center of spiritual life of citizens2. It was the Spartan polis which was praised not for showing their power in art or philosophy, but for doubtlessly creating a new paradigm in the field of education, as it was successful in the formation and the preparation of its citizens to its special way of life, which was the systematic education of citizens and forming their life according to absolute norms. For Plato and Aristotle, there is no doubt that formation and education of people in polis and, generally, their life in it, has only one main, most important goal, which is acquiring and possessing the arete – the moral and intellectual excellence (goodness, virtue) – and living according to it.

According to Plato, there is even a parallelism of individuals inhabiting it and a polis itself, i.e. goodness and efficiency of individuals and polis are similar and based on the same principles. Both people and polis must be righteous – that is, to have harmonized their intellectual (in polis rulers, who should be philosophers – 2 Werner Jaeger, Paideia, v.1. tłum. m. Plezia,warszawa: PaX, 1962, s. 107.

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thinkers), combative-protective (army, police and clergy) and appetitive (craftsmen, farmers, traders) parts. Such a polis and corresponding men Plato named good and proper. Every different form of a polis would be bad and ineffective if this were to be good3, because, it seems, there’s only one form of arete, while forms of evil can be unlimited4. it is very essential because of its influence on shaping human arete. The philosopher has indicated the fact that the ways of functioning of politics have their reflection in the souls of citizens5. The aim of all established laws in polis should be the arete of the people and every law should be considered at an angle of its contribution to the arete6.

In comparison to Plato, who preferred the good of the whole or of the organism which he thought was polis, aristotle however identified the goal of the politics with the goal of an individual man. This is, of course, happiness7, generally described as to live good and to act well. In his Politics, he added that everybody would probably agree that both are the same – the happiness of a polis and that of a single man8. Polis in his writing is described as a certain commonwealth, and the reason for its becoming is a certain good. The process of becoming a community is in every case an example of the general rule of theology which is present in all actions. in this sense, every commonwealth aims at some good, but the most profound which aims at the highest good is the polis – the political commonwealth.9. Its goal is superior in relation to all sciences and arts. The polis in its structure contains many smaller communities and villages or communes and thus becomes a perfect, self-sufficient (gr. autarkeia) commonwealth in which a good life of its participants is possible in respect of needed means. there’s a lack of scarcity and life in it is a worthy choice and we could call it happiness. Political community comes into being because of life, but it exists to make life good10. In this sense, the good of citizens who are possessing the arete and living according to its requirements fulfill the goal of the polis – happiness of its participants. The following conclusion is similar to that of Plato – that because of this normative condition for every political community, not each that is aspiring to the name of polis is one. Aristotle had plainly written that the real, true polis, should care about the arete of its citizens11.

This way, we come to the role of thomistic ethics. As we have seen the main requirements for existence of organized society – besides securing necessary means for a good life of citizens – are some moral requirements contained in one general

3 See Plato, Republic 449 a 1.4 See Plato, Republic 445 c 4.5 See Plato, Republic 445 c 11.6 see Plato, laws 836 d 2.7 See Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1095 a 15.8 See Aristotle, Politics 1324 a 6.9 See Aristotle, Politics 1252 a 1.10 See Aristotle, Politics 1252 b 29.11 See Aristotle, Politics 1280 b 6.

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name, the arete. it was understood either as a general excellence or goodness of man or a set of particular virtues, for example cardinal virtues.

The question which could be raised here is whether it is possible to acquire the arete without the help from any religion. Plato and Aristotle have emphasized the important role of religion in acquiring the arete by citizens – religion was even a part of duties of state clerks and the cult was officially organized and financed by the state (i.e. polis). but the official greek state religion was more like a tradition, a ceremony and a mythology – a part of a cultural heritage, rather than a personal relation with a transcendental God who has an ability to transform personalities of men and shapes all their external relations, including social and political too.

in this sense – from the point of view of christian religion – we could call the ancient theories of society secular. Even for Plato, who has seen the transcendental goal of human soul – liberating from the body by the means of philosophy to contemplate the ideas after the death of the body – all human activity is contained in the limits of polis and its good is a criterion of all human arete. The natural and unlimited by the bounds of the body activity of the soul – that is, the contemplation of transcendental ideas – is possible only after death. In Aristotelian concepts, the soul itself is not immortal and transcendental God – the immovable mover – is beyond the reach of man.

The main question which arises here is whether it is possible to achieve such high ideals of society drawn up by both Plato and Aristotle only with human natural forces. To put it in other words – would it be possible to achieve the real polis (and not a community only named this way) with the highest possible amount of people who attained a high degree of the arete – human excellence and goodness? Thomistic ethics and human experience throughout history gives us a negative answer here. the ideals drawn up by the philosophers – both for society and individuals – had never fully came to reality before the coming of christianity. there were some legendary and famous people who attained a high degree of the arete and were even praised, but it was not the widespread reality. Similarly, there were certain so called “golden ages” in the past, but they hadn’t lasted for a long time. under the influence of the christian revelation, st. thomas aquinas has given the comprehensive lecture of the integral realistic ethics in which one could distinguish two parts, the natural one – inherited from Aristotle and commentators – and the second one, which we could call supranatural – based on the first one, according to the rule that the grace of god builds on natural fundamentals. This second part of thomistic ethics opens before humans quite a new perspective of life and actions with supranatural goals and with the help of God’s grace, where the ultimate goal for human life is eternal friendship with infinite good, truth and beauty which is realized in the Person of god. this magnificent relationship with god based on his grace is the ultimate fulfillment of human life and starts during the ordinary human life. The people engaged in such transcendent relationship with God are the members of a new spiritual community, Saint Augustinus Civitas Dei or The Church of Jesus Christ. In this regard, the natural

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human goals of life and its usual efforts are completed by the supranatural ones and the human life with the help of god’s grace could exceed the natural limits and bounds. hereof, a natural society to which every human is attributed as a political zoon12 could essentially be completed by the real existence of a spiritual society and this is the perspective any ancient philosopher could ever dream about.

coming to the conclusion, we can say that it is reasonable to distinguish two concepts of a secular society: the ancient one, which we could call a natural society, perfectly described and theorized about in the political writings of Plato and Aristotle, and the second one, which is the contemporary one, which negates the heritage of christianity and the presence of any transcendence in the human life. Both concepts of a secular society could be based on the foundations of thomistic ethics in its first, natural part. because every society requires moral basis, as it was shown by Plato and Aristotle, and thomistic ethics gives the realistic moral theory based on realistic metaphysics of being and man in its first natural part.

it can be understood that some persons of skeptical attitude and with certain difficulties towards religious beliefs would rather prefer to stay by the concept of a natural society but they are potentially open to something more. however, it is difficult to grasp the real and not only declared motivations and reasons of such persons who a priori reject the complement of natural society by the supranatural possibilities brought by revealed religion. could their intentions be to leave the natural society in a state of ineffectiveness and impossibility?


1. Every society requires moral basis, as it was shown by Plato and Aristotle. 2. Thomistic ethics in its natural part gives the realistic moral theory based on

realistic metaphysics of being and man. The supranatural one can be left for pure utilitarian aims, but it shouldn’t.

3. Although seen as theological in publics’ opinion, thomistic ethics could be a fundamental for a secular society.

4. This is valid even though it is reasonable to distinguish two concepts of a secular society: the ancient one, which we could call a natural society, described in the political writings of Plato and Aristotle, and the contemporary one, which negates the heritage of christianity and the presence of any transcendence in the human life.

5. it is difficult to understand such an attitude, where the complement of natural society by the supranatural possibilities brought by revealed religion is a priori rejected.

6. in such a situation there is a danger that the natural society will be left in a state of ineffectiveness and impossibility to fulfill its natural goals.

12 See Aristotle, Politics 1253 a 30.

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ERNESTA MOLOTOKIENĖKlaipėda University, Lithuania

The ApplicATion of ThomisTic eThics in mediA: The problem of consumer’s/creATor’s morAl




SUMMARyThis paper analyzes the application of thomistic ethics principles to media as a theoretical experiment. The aim of this theoretical experiment is: to investigate, or the model of thomistic ethics can become a valuable basis of media ethics, which is in the practically application of the internet. The article raises the problem: because media consumer/creator has the ability to dispose of virtual unlimited identities in the internet space, it makes difficult to define the moral responsibility and moral landmarks for specific actions. Therefore, it is necessary to establish the common rules which can govern the ethical behavior of media consumer‘s/creator‘s in the background of relative moral models. The article defends the main thesis: experimental application of thomistic ethics principles to media is able : 1) to provide common standards of morality that could define media consumer‘s/creator‘s actions; 2) to suggest a clear, rational model of christian values as an alternative of the chaos of moral models in the internet; 3) to contribute to a solution of many current problems in the media ethics field.

KEy wORdS: media, media ethics, Thomistic ethics, media consumer/creator, moral responsibility.

SANTRAUKAStraipsnyje analizuojamas tomistinės etikos principų taikymas medijose, kaip teorinis eksperimentas. Šio teorinio eksperimento tikslas: ištirti, ar tomistinės etikos modelis gali tapti vertybiniu medijų etikos pagrindu, praktiškai taikomu internete. Straipsnyje keliama problema: dėl medijų vartotojo / kūrėjo galimybės disponuoti neribotomis virtualiomis tapatybėmis interneto erdvėje tampa sudėtinga apibrėžti moralinę atsakomybę ir moralinius konkrečių veiksmų orientyrus. Todėl reliatyvių moralės modelių daugybškumo fone būtina nustatyti medijų vartotojo / kūrėjo etinį elgesį reglamentuojančias bendras taisykles. Straipsnyje ginama pagrindinė tezė: eksperimentinis tomistinės etikos principų taikymas medijose galėtų: 1) suteikti bendrus moralės kriterijus, apibrėžiančius medijų vartotojo / kūrėjo veiksmus; 2) pasiūlyti aiškų, racionalų krikščioniškųjų vertybių modelį kaip alternatyvą moralinių modelių daugybiškumo chaosui internete; 3) prisidėti prie daugelio dabartinių medijų etikos lauko problemų sprendimo.

RAKTAžOdžIAI: medijos, medijų etika, tomistinė etika, medijų vartotojas / kūrėjas, moralinė atsakomybė.


The breakthrough and development of digital-electronic communication technology in recent decades is related to the changes of so-called human lifeworld

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(Lebenswelt). These changes for some time are the area of multidisciplinary research of media1 theorists. It is clear that lightning dissemination of the information in the global space of the Internet poses new challenges: the problem of quality of information and its organization tools, the problem of information producers, distributors and consumers‘ goals and motives, and finally, the problem of media consumer‘s/creator‘s moral responsibility etc., these problems largely constitute the ethical field of human actions and especially of specific human as a member of „networked“ digital society behavior on the Internet. These and similar issues of human behavior in the “networked“ digital society covering a variety of ethical conflicts and human rights violations in a broad sense, investigate new and rapidly evolving scientific discipline - media ethics2. In this article is analyzing

1 The media etymologically understood as mediated transmission of information (for example, the writing: information is transmitted as a text, this means - mediated). However one of the most prominent authors of the media theory - Marshall McLuhan and his followers have taken the view that the media are certain organs of the human body related to the sensory perception of the external world: eyes, ears, hands, tongue, nose. In accordance with this approach it is possible to raise the question: are neurons, which have a function to transmit the information in our body, media? If the answer is yes, then it can be said that all the information, which is processed by the human brain, is mediated without exception. The rapid spread of electronic media (Tv, press, radio, Internet) in the society is the reason why in the academic discourse and, later, in the general public there is begining with the use of the concept mass media. However, the dispersion of the digitization processes, that are related to the creation of the global Internet space, so these processes differentiates the Internet as an unique, having no analogues with other media as well as all other media integrating digital media. In most cases, in terms of the Internet, is used the concept new media proposed by Lev Manovich, emphasizing different principles of the organization of the information in the Internet, compared with the so-called old media, or mass-media: „<...> we are now in the full swing of the started new media revolution, when the whole culture which we know moves to the computer mediated production, distribution and to the forms of communication“ (Manovich 2009: 90). And also: „<...> The new media represent two separate historical trajectories – the convergence of the computing and media technology“ (ibid.). In the current European-American research context of media theorists is often used all those concepts, or simply the concept media, which is commonly defined as dominant, all-embracing online (Internet) media.

2 The concept “media ethics” in the Lithuanian media research context is used in the same sense as a literal equivalent in the English language - „media ethics“. However, in the German language the concept “media ethics“ in specific contexts of media research is used in a width values , for example, direct equivalent of the concept „media ethics“ in German would be “Medienethik“ or “Informationsethik“ (information ethics). Such widely used concepts as “Netzethik“ (network ethics) and “Internetethik“ (internet ethics) defend specific research fields. Therefore it is possible to distinguish between two main quite different trends of media ethics field: a british-American, which is characterized by a broad, low-differentiated problematic field (usually the ethical challenges of the new media are analyzed in parallel with the old media), and the German-continental research field of the media ethics, which at first glance looks “more orderly“ because already at the level of concepts differentiated fields of ethical “tension“ allowe to focus on certain specific problems, for example, of “Internet

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the application of thomistic ethics principles to media as a theoretical experiment, separately analysing the problem of media consumer‘s/creator‘s moral responsibility and including a broader context of media ethics. In order to investigate whether the model of thomistic ethics, which provides the general standards of morality and has a possibility to define the actions of media consumer‘s/creator‘s, to suggest a clear, rational model of christian values as an alternative of the chaos of moral models in the internet and to contribute to a solution of many current problems in the media ethics field, could provide a valuable basis of media ethics, in this article is analyzing some problems: 1) The problem of media consumer‘s/creator‘s identity definition; 2) Is morality of media consumer‘s/creator‘s a private affair? 3) which an alternative offers Thomistic ethics? 4) The perspectives of Thomistic media ethics.


One of the main question of media ethics and media theories in general is: what is media consumer/creator? There is no answer to this quite simple looking question, because, on the one hand, the Internet specifically “synthesizes” the user and the creator, therefore every Internet-user is Internet-creator (and vice versa). On the other hand mainly because the Internet has a function of “synthesis”, there is a complicated problem of the identity definition. In what way is it possible, if it at all possible, to capture the identity of media consumer’s/creator’s? Speaking more specifically, what is that or those who are participating in various web-forums, social networks, websites and who are commenting, browsing, chatting, creating, using etc., in other words, living a virtual life? The ability to create and to model the content of personal profiles on social networks, as well as unlimited freedom to create personal websites with personal information still does not imply a reference to the identity of the subject, on the contrary, the identity of the virtual online environment is becoming fragmented, variable and without fixed substancial content. Hence, these traces of identity - different personal online-profiles are masking the person, instead referring to it.

Thomas Hausmanninger and Rafael capurro in the texts dedicated to the media ethics this problem of identity loss defines as: “desubstalization of the subject and contingent presence of information flow”3. jürgen Habermas similarly formulates

ethics”. In a broad sense media ethics can be understood as a new branch of ethics that investigates ethical issues related to the spreading of the electronic-digital media in society. The researches of media ethics are raising one of the key questions: “How to behave in the virtual world?“ And they are looking for a response by analyzing ethical multidisciplinary aspects of journalism, law, politics, economics, philosophy, etc.

3 Thomas Hausmanninger, Rafael capurro, Netzethik - Konzepte und Konkretionen einer Informationsethik für das Internet. München: Fink, 2002, p. 15.

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the problem of the definition of the identity on the Internet, arguing that the ratio of substancial subject expressed in the form of dialogue „face-to-face“ on the Internet transforms into the form of chaotic polylogue „interface“, therefore it becomes very difficult to define a stable identity as well as to reach a common consensus4. In spite of a possibility to have different identities, which means to manipulate and to live different lives in the virtual world, in reality there is a very clear legislated identification system5. However, the identification program of bodily, physical subject and the procedures of a disclosure of the infinite game of virtual identities does not eliminate a fundamental possibility to have an unlimited number of identities in the virtual world. Even though a particular physical subject who has thousands of identities can be identified, this does not eliminate the fact that his physical identity splits into thousands of different personality profiles in the digital reality.


depending on the possibility of multiplicity of virtual identities on the Internet, there is a problem with morality or common ethical code as operational control system: does that mean the moral relativity, if it is possible to have different identities (until the real physical identity of the person is unidentified) and live different online-lives? In other words, depending on the particular operating online community, which confirms and acknowledges a virtual identity, it is recognized certain separate moral model too. Is this model of morality no longer valid, when I am connecting to other communities? does the option of infinite virtual identities mean the infinity of moral models? Thus, morality of media consumer’s/creator’s is a private affair, because by creating virtual identity media consumer/creator establishes or chooses free a specific model of morality, or, accordingly, he just behaves at his discretion? can the Internet enables multiplicity of morality models? Maybe a classic western morality model based foremost on the christian doctrine is no longer valid on the Internet?

4 jurgen Habermas, Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns. Bd. 2. Zur Kritik der funktio-nalistischen Vernunft. – Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1999, p. 273.

5 Identity can be determined using biometrics, written, financial identifiers. In this sense identity primarily concerned with person’s individuality, which is defined by the personal data. Any information identifying particular physical person provides a content of identity in cyberspace. physical space and the virtual space are not identical by the aspect of identity‘s definition: identity in the physical space is identified by an identity document and identity in the cyberspace can be identified by the login name, by the Ip address (Internet protocol) identifying your computer or by the computer physical address of the network card: MAc (Media Access control).

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Formally the general model of ethical behavior in media is legally defined at the internationally level in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UdHR)6. At the national level, separate states dispose institutionally established regulatory principles of ethical behavior on the Internet. For example, in The Republic of Lithuania are valid The Public Information Law, The Protection of Minors against the Negative Effect of Public Information Law, The Electronic Communications Law, The Personal Data Protection Law, The Copyright and Related Rights Law and The Journalists and Publishers Ethics Code. In The Public Information Law of The Republic of Lithuania is defined order of public information collection, compilation, publication and dissemination, as well as rights, duties and responsibilities of public information producers, disseminators, journalists and others participants7. violations of this law are tracing of The Inspector of Journalist’s Ethics. journalists and publishers Ethics code for the violations of captures and examines journalists and publishers Ethics commission. The Commission of Journalist’s and Publisher’s Ethics traces and investigates violations of journalist’s and publisher’s Ethics code. The activity of these institutions attracts more and more attention of society, especially by the increasing number of cases when anonymous commentators for their unethical, immoral comments are reaching the legal sanctions of moral damage’s compensation.

However, the possibility to create an infinite number of identities in the virtual world provokes to violate legally defined principles of ethical behavior in media and includes those institutions into a some sort of „cat and mouse“ game, which is sometimes not only can not end, but also it remains unclear who is the cat and who is the mouse when some Internet users-professionals are free surfing in the online space and therefore they can eliminate any possible traces of physical identity. This is why the immoral content information sometimes is presented in mass-visited websites, and its dissemination and control is often the case of dependence on the tolerance of connected digital community on the time and on the individual decision: to inform the special institutions about the spread of such information or not. Thus, in each case media consumer/creator is included in the field of moral responsibility and by disposing of certain individual values-model encounters with

6 In The Universal Declaration of Human Rights formulated the main ethical rules are mandatory in nature and still remain relevant. Further are presented some of them: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood“ (1 article); “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance“ (18 article); “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers“ (19 article).

7 In The Public Information Law of The Republic of Lithuania especially relevant for the problem of morality in media are 4, 5, 13 and 19 articles (Valstybės žinios. 2006, Nr. 82-3254).

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the values-models (these models are bound, or ignore each other) of other members of the digital community, and all the space of interaction of different moral-fields blurring the boundaries between what could be construed as “private” and “public” in the general ethical discourse.

Another important aspect is regarding to the possibilities of practically unlimited any kind of information dissemination in global Internet space: unlimited dissemination of information very limits the activity of the international institutions responsible for the regulation of dissemination of information and it becomes almost impossible to control the spread of the immoral content information in the different cultures, values, and worldviews integrating webspace. Therefore, the problem of media consumer‘s/creator‘s moral responsibility is becoming more acute.

Let us consider the particular case: for example, how to evaluate such websites as „best Gore“8 in moral terms? The website has brought together a broad fan club community which is actively involved in website activities, hence, it can be assumed that the moral models (or the lack thereof?) of this website consumers and creators are identical in many aspects, which confirms the website‘s popularity especially among minors. In this way, website’s creators the problem of moral responsibility moves to the parents or guardians, who are responsible for the rights of minors. However, in practice, to control the minor‘s access to similar information on the Internet is difficult: control mechanisms for personal computers or various programs in the so-called smart technologies (smart-phones, smart-computers etc.) may be soon be „circumvented“ and found „illegal“ routes on the banned attractive information. Formal point of view, the debate concerning the issue of moral responsibility, usually ends up appealing to the necessity of education, but it seems that the creators of similar websites do not afford similar goals. The impression is that morality is not the main priority of this website’s creators: morality is left to the private affair of website’s consumers, and the highest value has become freedom on access.


Human freedom and responsibility for decisions is one of the most important areas of St. Thomas Aquinas‘ moral philosophy. despite the difficult identification scheme, fundamental givens, which we can assign all members of „networked“ digital society, as exactly observed by the capurro, is a mind and free will and these givens are the basic human characterizing features in Thom‘s philosophy. 8 previewed of 2013. june 25. Available at: http://www.bestgore.com/#. In this and similar

websites wholly legally is presented visual, audio and textual information of destructive, immoral , pornographic, suicidal, violent, etc. content. Access to this information is limited as usual: it is informing that the information is intended for adult and required to approve an access of regular user/visitor.

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Since a person is intelligent and free, he is able to follow the moral codes, helping to decide what should be the purpose of life and the means by which it must be achieved. Tom‘s moral philosophy provides the rules of human behavior, which are constituted in theological background of christianity as well as can offer many solutions of the above-mentioned issues of media ethics in European and American cultural context. In our opinion, the application of Thomistic ethics to media (in agreement that the main properties of the members of ‚networked‘ digital society are mind and free will) may become a common ethics model of media consumer/creator. Thomistic ethics has still a great influence on ethics and morality in Europe and the U.S. as a basic moral theological thinking frame of christian tradition.

Some researchers of Thomistic philosophy such as wolfgang Kluxen takes the position that theological-philosophical problematic in the context of theological reflection in Thom‘s philosophy can be distinguished from philosophical ethics9. This aspect is important Thomism ethical principles when trying to adjust media. As already mentioned, the freedom of the human will and mind is the key Thomism ethical categories. This aspect is important when we are trying to adapt the principles of Thomistic ethics to media. As already mentioned, the freedom of the human will and mind are the main categories of Thomistic ethics. Thomas in his main work Summa Theologiae dedicated to ethical problems distinguishes the important ability to “decide free” (liberum arbitrium), which is legitimized by the human mind and which expresses human behavior leading solutions of the practical mind. Man, according to Thomas, has the power to decide free because he is intelligent10. Of course, the possibility of free will is defined in the context of responsibility for the decisions. Therefore, only the man himself takes responsibility for the influence to certain decisions on another person or the community. The ability to decide free, according to Thomas, is changing depending on good and evil, so it may a cause of moral evil or sin11. However, the action-field of practical mind is not unlimited, as it restricts the movement towards the ultimate goal (perfect goodness). Thomas says that we can not choose the ultimate goal12. perhaps the most important news of Thomistic ethics is that even the aiming of ultimate goal (perfect goodness) constitutes choice of moral evil13. Thus, the movement of the world is pre-programmed: the processes both in the physical and in the spiritual level leading to the ultimate goal, which gives happiness – a contemplation of perfect goodness (God). How this program can be realized in the “networked” digital society?9 See: wolfgang Kluxen, philosophische Ethik bei Thomas von Aquin. Meiner, 1980. 10 St. Thomae Aquinatis, Summa Theologiae I. Matritti: La Editorial catolica, S. A., 1955, q. 83

a. 1, c.11 St. Thomae Aquinatis, Summa Theologiae I-II. Matritti: La Editorial catolica, S. A., 1953, q.

113, a. 5, p, 114, a. 9, c.12 Ibid., q. 13 a. 6, c.13 Ibid., q. 18 a. 3, ad 4.

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Necessary condition for the working of the program of Thomistic morality in “networked” digital society, there is recognition of a concept of metaphysical or theological „eternal law“ (lex aeterna). Although it seems paradoxical, but it is not an impossible mission such input of metaphysical dimension to digital society (as one of the options), especially with the view of recognition a multiplicity of forms of rationality by many of the current media theorists and related with that a spreading of different models of morality, communication, world views, etc. in media. For example, Hausmanningeris and capurro, stated that “the opportunity to reflect on the current situation in the contingency and multiplicity opens post-contingency space as an alternative to metaphysics14. For example, Hausmanninger and capurro states that: „the possibility to reflect on the current situation of contingency and multiplicity opens a post-contingency space as an alternative to metaphysics“15.

Let‘s go back to the lex aeterna concept which defines the systems of morality and law: „Eternal Law is defined as the plan of the divine wisdom, managing all the activities and movements „16. The functioning of Eternal Law in the human Thomas calls natural law (lex naturalis). In other words, a human participates in the Eternal Law and he himself thanks to the mind “becomes law“. Lex naturalis deals with the practical mind (or conscience) which is able to consider the specific action as a good or bad. Thomas points out that the first requirement of the lex naturalis is: „to do and to seek to do good and avoid evil“17. Thus, the practical reason must be able to define what is good and, consequently, what is evil. The by the practical reason defined good should take a moral and obligatory nature. Thus, as Thomas points, from the first moral principle formulated in the lex naturalis, it is proceeding to the concrete and practical rules and responsibilities: „All of the responsibilities and prohibitions are the obligations of the Natural Law, which the practical reason inherent treats as the goodness for a human. but good is the goal, and evil - what is the opposite to purpose. Therefore, all in what a human by nature tends to be, mind naturally perceives as good, then, as something what it is need to do, while the opposite of nature is perceived as something bad, what it is need not to do. So the order of obligations of the Natural Law corresponds to the order of innate dispositions“18. Thus, practical reason as a conscience must concretise and specify good on the basis of variety of extremely different but to all people common the natural inclinations. The important point is that the goodness as what is a good for a human, always have a nature of the general welfare. don Adams comments comprehensively this aspect of Thomistic ethics arguing that egoistic moral motives in the context of Thomistic ethics can be realized only in 14 Thomas Hausmanninger, Rafael capurro, p. 30.15 Ibid.16 St. Thomae Aquinatis, Summa Theologiae I-II. q. 93, a. 1.17 Ibid., q. 94, a. 2.18 Ibid.

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the context of common social good, in other words, I can not be happy if the other is unhappy19. This is why the social life is organized with a view to the common good. So lex naturalis is a setting of the autonomous law of the mind, which shows a priori how practical reason distinguishes moral principles, rules and specific responsibilities and why it is the main property (habitus) of the moral capacity to decide. Thomas calls the lex nauralis „natural light of reason, thanks to which we can judge what is good and what is bad“20. However, Thomas defines the natural habitus of the first and most general moral principles as synderesis (practical mind, the conscience). According to Otto Hermann pesch, in the synderesis given principles are determined by the „light“of lex naturalis21. According to Thomas, synderesis is an a priori knowledge of some common moral-practical principles involving specific areas of knowledge: sapientia (wisdom), scientia (science, practical knowledge). Synderesis in the narrow sense is to all people common natural habitus, however sapientia and scientia are acquired: sapientia defines the field of the human value orientation and scientia, respectively, express the practical human knowledge in a particular context. Thus, the experimental approach regarding to the ability of Thomistic ethics to solve the many ethical problems in the field of media, hypothetically leaving to be valid some metaphysical concepts in the so-called “postmetaphysical” space induced of the processes of the Internet, such approach could to try to explain, how is functioning the model of Thomistic ethics in specific cases. Going back to our mentioned problematic ethical situation related to the consumer’s/creator’s moral responsibility by the creating/using websites of immoral content, let‘s examine, how exactly is functioning the model of Thomistic ethics. we have already mentioned the situation when in the Internet are created websites with a controversial moral content (as an example, we have presented website the best Gore). The question is: what can say Thomistic ethics about similar websites consumer‘s/creator‘s moral responsibility?

For instance, the website creators are considering whether it is worth it to start this business, which guarantees the expected financial benefit. A priori acting practical reason (synderesis) reveals only the general moral perspective: it must to behave well and not to do bad, especially not to harm others. The moral context of self-determination, acting creators of the immoral content websites depends on their value model (sapientia). In this level of moral self-determination can be considering the following issues: does the media creators feel and are able to take responsibility for such wesites and their negative influence on other members of digital society? what is the significance of the moral dimension by accepting of specific decision? How can the media creators align the economic 19 don Adams, „Aquinas and Modern consequentialism“. International journal of phi-

losophical Studies. vol. 12(4), 395-417, 2004, p. 398. 20 St. Thomae Aquinatis, Summa Theologiae I-II. q. 91, a. 2.21 Otto Hermann pesch, Das Gesetz. Kommentar zu Thomas von Aquin Summa theologiae I-II,

90-105. bd. 13. Thomas-Ausgabe. Heidelberg, 1977, p. 573.

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and business interests with the interests of morality (or conscience)? The finally decision is determined by the specific circumstances of the situation or context of practical knowledge (scientia): do these websites will have a significant negative impact? To which target group the negative impact will be the largest? How is it practically (but not formally) possible to protect minors from the negative effects of information? what is the future profit expected over a period of time? Is this activity accomplishes my abilities, makes me a better person? what are the laws regulating the working of such websites? Is it worth to violate these laws etc.? consideration of whether a particular action is morally right or wrong, is always problematic for human being as a finite being and for complete inability to provide long-term consequences of a decision. The model of Thomistic ethics in this case helps to make regular „cleaning“, when it is purified a horizon of motivation of a moral judgment, but moral evaluation of a result of a specific decision is possible only in the long run. In the case of our situation‘s analysis, and the decision to create websites with a controversial moral content, as well as refusal to create may have enough convincing moral considerations. For example, the decision to create such websites includes these moral priorities: 1. Fundamental right and freedom of the adults of digital society is access to information; 2. In the specific context such websites may make educational or preventive function; 3. Some visual material may be useful as actual material of law enforcement or criminalists in understanding criminal situations; 4. For a certain contingent of people obtained information may have a function of psychological therapy; 5. The profits can be donated to charity and the business in the long term can be a socially responsible etc. This means that by the making of a positive decision, it is possible to achieve a good, humane and moral goals. Of course, the situation can change, after a negative decision and by the arguing for the existence of such websites. So in both cases we have firmly grounded moral decisions, as well as in both cases media creators take full responsibility for the decisions, regardless of this the result in both cases is likely to be different. As we have already mentioned, individuals, who take specific morally motivated decisions within the limits of practical reason, can not to know the result in advance. It remains unclear, what influence to digital society will do a creating/using of such websites in a long-term, in other words, in this moral equation are too many unknowns. However, this problem is encoded in the core of Thomistic ethics: we have already mentioned that on the aspect of synderesis (or practical reason) all people have a common moral sense and in this sense every human being is moral, but on the aspect of sapientia and scientia or depending on certain specific social, cultural, historical, geographical etc. circumstances, people are different. Therefore the model of Thomistic ethics can offer general indicative knowledge only (how to behave) in the context of the specific issues of media ethics. Is this knowledge sufficient?

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The application of Thomistic ethics to media is possible if members of a “networked“ digital society recognize certain landmarks of the common worldview, it means the fundamental human characterizing categories: mind, free will, and christian values . As we saw in analyzing a case of a specific website consumer‘s/creator‘s moral responsibility, only the mind and free will is not enough to define a moral horizon of a certain moral judgment, because different solutions can be based on an equally high level of moral motivation. This is why it is necessary to the field of moral reflection enter a metaphysical dimension, which in this case gives the christian doctrine. This, as we identified, an experimental model of Thomistic ethics, providing a common regulatory mechanisms of behavior and moral landmarks, would be the most effective in a European-American cultural space, without excluding the possibility to adapt it to the global multicultural online-space, if it is reached a consensus on the need to establish a system of the some common ethical principles on the Internet. The recognition of mind and free will as the general features of a digital society as well as a perception of the need for universal system of ethical principles, in our view, is an essential condition for an experiment of Thomistic ethics on the Internet. However, as we have seen, when we are applying the principles of Thomistic ethics in practice, it is difficult to make a particular moral decision, as we can not to know the final result of a decision in the context of the „global“ objectives, so the model of Thomistic ethics provides only common moral landmarks of practical activities.

However, even in such a case the application of the principles of Thomistic ethics on the Internet could make a significant contribution to the solution of many issues of the field of media ethics, and provide the guidelines defining ethical behavior of media consumer/creator. The model of Thomistic ethics as a possible basis for media ethics actualizes the problem of media consumer‘s/creator‘s “body-lack” or physical identity in cyberspace, also enables the functioning of ethical principles on the Internet: a corporeal dimension in the context of Thomistic ethics is „neutralized“ by the regulatory mechanisms: mind and free will. This point exactly notes Karl Rahner, by commenting on ST I, question 89, where Thomas investigating whether the soul can to know, regardless of the body, and he comes to the conclusion that such knowledge is possible. Rahner summarizes and argues that what we are depends largely on our understanding of being, therefore our actions are primarily concentrated on the being, but not on the particular existence22. This is why the common moral landmarks offered by Thomistic ethics determine decisions of members of a “networked” digital society not only formally but in practice and provide a defined course of actions. Of course, may arise the question, whether such an experiment of Thomistic ethics in an attempt to explain the doctrine of christian morality as the dominant discourse of other ethical discourses 22 See: Karl Rahner, Geist in Welt. 2. Aufl. München: Kösel, 1957.

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in the global space of the Internet can be effective and bring real benefits, that is, that suddenly everyone will agree to participate in this experiment, and now by the connecting to the Internet all will seek consciously only moral good? This would be a shallow understanding of this theoretical experiment. The application of the principles of Thomistic ethics to media foremost should be understood not as a “privileged” discourse, hiding the other ethical discourses, but as an alternative, offering a clear, rational moral model in the chaos of moral codes in cyberspace that eventually leads to the fact that the media consumer/creator is left without any moral landmarks, having only a mind and free will to act as a suitable (perhaps the best-known thesis among poststructuralists that expresses chaotic freedom of actions is: anything goes). Many researchers of media ethics also have an aim to provide the structure of the multiplicity of ethical discourses in the cyberspace and common starting point for moral reflection. we believe that the experiment of the application of Thomistic ethics to media as a proposal of common moral landmarks for the members of “networked“ digital society can be understood as a promising way to solving many issues of media ethics.


The definition of media consumer‘s/creator‘s identity in cyberspace is problematic, because a particular individual may have an unlimited number of virtual identities, and, accordingly, practically unlimited possibilities for action, but lose the clear ethical behavior defining landmarks. In this sense the model of Thomistic ethics can provide to media consumer/creator common standards of morality as an ethical behavior regulating common rules. The experimental application of the principles of Thomistic ethics to media, offering a clear, rational model of the christian values as an alternative of the chaos of the moral model‘s multiplicity on the Internet can become valuable basis for media ethics by the practical application of the members of a “networked” digital society on the Internet. The model of Thomistic ethics can contribute to the solution of many current issues in the field of media ethics, especially in the defining media consumer‘s/creator‘s moral responsibility by the using information with controversial moral content.

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Rudolf laRenzPrelature of Opus Dei, Helsinki, Finland

Thomism and Physics – maTch or mismarriage?

Tomizmas iR fizika – sanTuoka aR skyRybos?

summaRyWhile belonging to the section ’intercultural dialogue and Thomism’, this paper deals with the relationship between Physics and Thomism. natural sciences are universal and therefore agglutinate cultures. but one natural science, namely physics, is split into an experimental and a mathematical branch. To date, this represents a serious lack of internal unity. The internal problem of physics is discussed as well as the starting point of its solution. it turns out that Thomistic philosophy of nature is a good candidate for helping to build up that internal unity of physics. This would make Thomism present in all cultures. at the same time, it is a good opportunity for updating the Thomistic doctrine of hylomorphism. The same holds for the position of mathematics within the theoretical sciences according to Thomas’ Expositio super Librum Boethii de Trinitate.

keyWoRds: thomism, physics, mathematics, internal split, hylomorphism.

sanTRaukaŠis straipsnis nagrinėja fizikos mokslo ir tomizmo filosofijos santykį. Gamtos mokslai yra universalūs, todėl jie vienija kultūras. Tačiau vienas iš jų, būtent fizika, skilo į eksperimentinę ir matematinę. Akivaizdu, kad jai trūksta vidinės vienybės. Ši vidinė fizikos mokslo problema aptariama ir kaip sprendimo pradžia, nes atsiskleidžia, kad tomistinė gamtos filosofija yra puikus kandidatas į vidinės vienybės siekiančio fizikos mokslo pagalbininkus. Jeigu tomizmo siūloma pagalba būtų priimta, tomizmas taptų visų kultūrų dalyviu. Be to, jis būtų paskatintas iš naujo permąstyti savąją hilomorfizmo doktriną. Tą patį galima pasakyti ir apie matematikos padėtį teoriniuose moksluose, remiantis T. Akviniečio Expositio super Librum Boethii de Trinitate.

RAkTAžodžiAi: tomizmas, fizika, matematika, vidinis susiskaldymas, hilomorfizmas.

i. inTRoducTion

This paper belongs to the section ’intercultural dialogue and Thomism’. Thomism is part of the perennial philosophical tradition, which is to be found, although partly, in all currents of thinking. That is to say that Thomism may serve as an agglutinative factor, because it provides common grounds for dialogue. but it seems that a similar agglutinative function is increasingly exercised by the natural sciences, because they have become an influential part of most human cultures. certainly, natural sciences have their own dynamics including changes of paradigm, which is opposed to universality as well as to stability. nevertheless, there are many who are voicing the claim that it should

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be rather the natural sciences than philosophy which sets the basic co-ordinates of a culture.

from a sociological point of view and for the time being, Thomism is a minoritarian way of doing philosophy. in the general cultural climate, biology as well as chemistry and physics are mostly associated with a scientific world view, which declares itself often as atheist or naturalistic, while Thomism represents a thoroughly realist and theist world view.

in this paper, we leave aside biology and chemistry and focus on the natural science called physics. The fact is that physics has a fundamental internal problem and that precisely Thomism, more specifically thomistic philosophy of nature, is the best candidate for helping physics to get rid of that problem. This changes everything. Thomism is serving physics rather than competing with it. but in doing this, also Thomism would gain a lot, because „meditation on His works enables us somewhat to admire and reflect upon the divine wisdom“1 and an „error concerning creatures, by subjecting them to causes other than God, spills over into false opinion about God, and takes men’s mind away from Him2.

What is more, by its contribution to solving a fundamental internal problem of physics, Thomism does not just operate from within physics, but it inspires somehow the whole rationality of physics. as a consequence, it gives the technological dominium provided by physics a somehow more philosophical outlook. This in turn cannot remain without influence on the other natural sciences. The same holds with respect to other traits of human culture such as art, literature, music, humanities, love, marriage and family, poetry, as well as the highest values such as freedom, truth, justice, peace and beauty and, last not least, morality and religion. it happens just something opposite to how sociobiology or evolutionary psychology influences all these traits and their understanding, as can be observed at present.

ii. THe TWo inTeRnal PRoblems of PHysics: a fiRsT suRvey

in order to substantiate the claim made two paragraphs before, the first thing to be done is to present, however brief, the fundamental internal problem of physics. starting from this, we should arrive, at least, at a working programme for its solution. in fact, physics has got two internal problems:1 Thomas aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, lib. ii, cap. 2. “ex factorum meditatione divinam

sapientiam utcumque possumus admirari et considerare”. The latin text is taken from http://www.corpusthomisticum.org. The English text is taken (slightly modified) from the edition of Burns oates & Washbourne Ltd., London, 1924 (which is based on the Leonine edition).

2 Thomas aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, lib. ii, cap. 3: ”error circa creaturas redundat in falsam de deo sententiam, et hominum mentes a deo abducit, …, dum ipsas quibusdam aliis causis supponit”. The latin text is taken from http://www.corpusthomisticum.org. The english text is taken from the edition of burns oates & Washbourne ltd., london, 1924 (which is based on the Leonine edition).

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(i) it is unknown, why and how mathematics is linked to material things3. Despite this lack of knowledge the mathematisation of physics is forcefully going ahead. - The second internal problem is that

(ii) activity and passivity of material things – in mechanical collisions, for instance, or gravitation - are pictured by tools that are mathematical and therefore alien to activity and passivity.

The major part of this paper is thus devoted to presenting an innovative idea about the philosophical assessment and solution of these two internal problems of physics.

again, it might be surprising to hear that precisely Thomistic philosophy of nature should become relevant in this task. yet, a rationalistic way of doing philosophy would have difficulties in the task of solving those problems. The reason is that the activity and passivity of material things are known by sense perception and not by rational intuition or deduction. But if problem (ii) cannot properly dealt with, it is impossible to develop a philosophy of experiment, where dynamics plays an essential role. in other words, problem (i) cannot be properly addressed.

neither phenomenology would have it easy; although it stands under the guideline ‚back to the things themselves’, it focuses on the essences of things as perceived by the mind. but essences use to be something permanent and invariable, while dynamics is linked to change. and analytic philosophy, despite of its sympathetic attitude towards natural sciences and logic, has made itself dependent on the linguistic turn. That is to say, language stands somehow between knowledge and reality: while language has terms like ‚dynamics’, ‚activity’, passivity’ and causality’, analytic philosophy traces their meaning back to other terms, not to realities.

on the other hand, aristotelian-thomistic philosophy is epistemologically strongly committed to the ‚things themselves’ by recognizing a high cognitive value to sense perception and experience. This is why we consider the latter as most apted to successfully tackle the task we are concerned with. despite its lack of development during the last 700 years, it is precisely Thomistic philosophy of nature that possesses the appropriate notions to deal with those problems. These notions are:

(α) hylomorphism(ß) the activity and passivity of material things, shaped by their permanent

hylomorphic constitution in virtue of the principle agere sequitur esse.although there is still a long way to go in order to arrive at a detailed view

of how these two notions are involved in the solution of the above mentioned 3 This assertion can be collected from the vast literature. more details and references can be

found in Larenz, Rudolf, What can Thomistic Philosophy of nature contribute to Physics?, Societal Studies, 2013, 5(2), Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania, online <www.mruni.eu/en/mokslo_darbai/sms/paskutinis_numeris/ and in the references of footnote 4>.

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two problems of physics, the results obtained so far give hope that Thomistic philosophy of nature is really capable to do the job.

a last word about why precisely physics and not biology is considered here as an addressee for the services of philosophy. also biology seems to be in need of them, for the theory of evolution poses first order philosophical problems. on the other hand, the two internal problems of physics are equally deep and, so far, without solution. What makes the difference is that the case of physics seems to be the simplest of the three big natural sciences. it is the natural science which is most clearly divided into two parts: experimental and theoretical (or mathematical) physics. The connection between the experience of material things and mathematics appears to be more easily tractable than the complexities of biology and chemistry.

additionally, physics continues being important. While it is true that biology is gaining importance every day, it cannot be denied that Physics has been and continues being a pivotal science. it has advanced so far that the development of the early universe as well as the microcosmos have come into the reach of our knowledge. Altogether, physics influences not only sectors as technology and economy, but also literature and education. for centuries, it has shaped the mind of humanity by promoting the selfunderstanding of man as a dominator and user of nature.

after these introductory considerations we are ready to work towards a starting point for the solution of the internal problems of physics. because of the lack of space, in this paper we will deal only with the relationship of mathematical objects to material things, which has been labeled with (i). Problem (ii) will be treated almost as a minor part of problem (i) and mentioned only when it is useful for the presentation of the latter.

The question of the connection between mathematics and material world will be unfolded in two steps. first, we will deal with measurements. measurements are considered as a bridge between material things and mathematical objects. They were already known in the most remote antiquity, but we will treat them keeping in mind the general features of modern experimental physicist’s practice, who are working in view of the mathematical apparatus. it will turn out that measurements involve serious deformations of experienced reality (Section iii.). The second step of our survey of problem (i) deals with the other side of the bridge, i.e. with mathematics. it will turn out that the mainstream selfunderstanding of modern mathematics does not involve any relationship to material things (Section iV.).

The key words of sections iii. and iv., deformations of experienced reality and absence of any reference to the material world in the dominating ways of self-understanding of mathematics, make it clear that the situation of any self-understanding of Physics is rather desolate. nevertheless, the deformations of

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experienced reality referred to in section iii. suggest immediately a starting point for a working programme of elaborating such a relationship (Section V.).

iii. THe fiRsT inTeRnal PRoblem of PHysics: cuT-offs and maTHemaTizaTion

experiments in general, and measurements in particular, play an essential role in the acquisition of knowledge in modern physics. astonishingly, except of very basic statements like the one that an experiment consists always of two interacting sides, there is no purely conceptual definition of what transforms two interacting sides into an experiment. even though there exists a general consensus that experiments are somehow designed in the light of some previously established physical theory, there is no purely conceptual definition of how the traffic goes back and forth from that theory to the experiment. it is generally accepted that experiments are practical interventions of the experimenter by means of sophisticated arrangements within natural processes. all this holds, a fortiori, for measurements.

but despite of these unknowns, physics is very successful and highly developed, which indicates that experimental physicists do know very well what to do and how to do it, even though they cannot give a purely conceptual account of it.

as a matter of fact, the basic intervention of the experimenter in natural processes is very simple indeed: he sets the spatial and temporal limits within which every experiment is conducted. That is to say, the world is divided into a spatial part that is considered relevant and the rest, normally much bigger than the relevant part.

Analogously, the time flow is divided into the interval that is considered relevant and the rest. This temporal partition makes possible what is called ‚result of an experiment’. both procedures together can be called a ‚spatio-temporal cut-off’. The consequence of this cut-off is the view that the world consists of dynamically isolated pieces of matter which only occasionally interact. This is a radical deformation of what the experimenter really experiences, and it affects the whole of physics.

at the end of every or almost every experiment, there is a mental operation upon the experienced reality, which consists in attributing the result to the experimental object alone. it is as if the experimental apparatus would be forgotten after its use and not treated as a natural thing just like the object. That is the second ‚cut-off’. Notice that it is difficult, if not impossible, to calibrate the consequences of both cut-offs together from a position after having performed them. if the calibration would be done on the basis of measurements only, and measurements are made possible by the cut-offs, it would simply beg the question.

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The operation of attributing the result to the experimental object alone breaks the equality of experimental object and apparatus. Both are equally just things of nature, and it is only the experimenter’s interest which makes a difference. That operation could rightly be called a breaking of a natural symmetry. That is to say, while nature „treats both sides of an experiment – so to speak –equally“, in physics, unequal functions originate unequal treatment. The dismissal of the experimental (or measuring) apparatus after its use brings about the curious situation that, on the one hand, experiments are a means to do physics, because both sides can be object of physical inquiry. But on the other hand, experiments are considered to yield only knowledge about one side, as if the other side were outside physics.

from the results obtained in this way, abstract mathematical laws of nature are elaborated. These laws do not contain any reference to the partition of the world occurring in an experiment. nor do they contain any reference to the asymmetry between the externally introduced functions of object and apparatus. only the experimenter’s memory knows it. one might even suspect that a good part of the ignorance of why and how mathematical structures are linked to material things is due to these cut-offs, and in particular to the second one. anyway, in order to come closer to an understanding of the relationship of mathematics to material things, the asymmetry mentioned must be eliminated.

in fact, it has been tried to remove that asymmetry. but it is an attempt to eliminate the asymmetry by using it. The reason is that the asymmetry (both cut-offs together) opens the door for a complete mathematisation of physics. Measured properties belong to one object alone, and therefore the mathematical laws of nature refer to such single objects. But then also the apparatus is considered as following separately such laws of nature, and there remains the question of how to put the mathematical representatives of both sides of an experiment together.

another reason for that this attempt is not appropriate is that it is an attempt of re-establishing the natural symmetry in theory, after having dismissed it in reality. it can suitably been called a theory of experiment or in particular, a theory of measurement. [in fact, a quantum theory of measurement has been attempted to develop since the sixties, but the outcomes are discouraging.] Therefore, in addition to the formula ‚eliminate the asymmetry by using it’‚ one can briefly characterise the whole situation by saying that there is an increase of mathematisation together with a decrease of understanding of its meaning.

Despite lacking a solution of problem (i), physics has undergone an increasing mathematisation. The theory of measurement just mentioned is only the top of the iceberg. This process of mathematisation has taken place during the last centuries, and has notably accelerated in the last century. The mathematisation includes, but is not confined to the use of more and more branches of mathematics and their methods in physical science with its own concepts. Rather, the core

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of the ongoing mathematisation is that the rationality of physics is shaped more and more by the conceptual world of mathematics. Thus physics is not far from becoming a special branch of mathematics. Physicists have made themselves more and more dependent of a language the physical meaning of which they only understand in terms of successful application, but not in a purely theoretical way.

The second fundamental problem of physics labeled as (ii) in section ii. is the replacement of dynamics by mathematical objects. common sense realism understands activity and passivity as something real and inseparably linked to individual material things. dynamics is, therefore, irreducibly different from abstract concepts, in particular mathematical ones. This gives an idea of how great the distance is between the efficient causality exercised by individual material things as considered in pre-modern philosophy of nature, on the one hand, and the physical concept of causality meaning a unequivocally determined sequence of states of a system (which might comprise only one single material thing), on the other. Therefore, the second problem becomes much smaller by taking activitiy and passivity as a reality sui generis, and it disappears completely in the course of solving the first problem. This will become a bit clearer in section v. below.

iv. anoTHeR PRoblem foR PHysics: THe modeRn SELf-UNdERSTANdiNG of MATHEMATicS

since several centuries, physics is built upon two different bodies of knowledge, namely experience and mathematics. but it is unknown why and how mathematics is connected to material things (problem (i)). To date, there is only a huge body of experience of the true success of mathematical physics in the whole range between elementary particles and cosmological orders of magnitude. but this only allows the generic statement that these two bodies of knowledge are somehow interlocked. in other words, physics has been transformed from a purely theoretical science aimed at the knowledge of truth into a practical science comparable, perhaps, to medicine.

We might present this situation with a fictitious conversation between a physicist and a non-physicist about the importance of modern physics for mankind. at a given moment, the physicist stresses the capacity of physics for predicting the future or looking into the past in virtue of mathematical laws of nature. Then the non-physicist asks him:

- What are you speaking about? about mathematical theories or about this material world? What is the connection between mathematical theories and the material world? What we “see” is only that physicists apply certain mathematical theories to material things. These theories do not contain any reference to this or that particular individual object, nor to individual objects in general. To my

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understanding, mathematics is something in your mind, but the material world is something external that has entered through your eyes or other senses.

- of course, i am speaking about this material world.- but then, what converts your mathematical formulas into laws of nature?

is it by the fact of applying? or by giving physical names to mathematical objects?- To be honest, i don’t know. celebrities like einstein, feynman, Penrose

and Wigner have frankly admitted this. What i do know is that certain mathematical formulas are successful. and we distinguish the successful from the unsuccessful ones by making experiments and take only the successful ones as candidates for ‘laws of nature’.

- in other words, you say that mathematical laws of nature have to do with (material) nature, because they are successful. But why they are successful?

- again, i don’t know.- don’t you feel it necessary to investigate this problem?- it seems to be a difficult question. But why care about it at all, as long as

Physics continues being so successful? Wouldn’t we loose the competitivity of our civilization, if we try to reshape Physics? Wouldn’t that mean to radically change the basic mindset? and which method should be followed in such investigation? even if we had a starting point for such an internal reform, we do not know how far it would carry and how much time it would take. additionally, any such attempt would presumably require an immense work and additionally be in opposition to contemporary mainstream positions in epistemology and philosophy of mathematics. no, no, the risk is too high.

- This answer seems to move on a predominantly practical level. Therefore, i cannot but challenge your claim about the success of mathematical theories in Physics. What, in rigor, is success? To the date, the success never has been absolute, with total precision, but only with relative precision. doubtlessly, this is already very much. but we are faced here with a serious option: do we want to proceed, in tackling this problem, in the spirit of engineers or in the spirit of philosophers?

Engineers aim at efficient technology and push the precision ahead as far as they need it, and neglect the question why on earth does relative precision exist at all. on the other hand, philosophers do not neglect but rather focus on the question of what precision is and why on earth it is only relative. for engineering, a working model is sufficient. But for philosophy, any simplification or abstraction from things because they are considered as irrelevant, can be fatal.

This shows that there is needed a philosophical answer to the question what an experiment and, more specifically, a measurement is. And precisely the lack of this rational, not practical answer is the first internal problem of physics. The solution of this problem consists, in general lines, in a foundation of mathematics on the material things physics is dealing with, not in an interpretation of physico-mathematical theories. interpretations start always

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from mathematical theories and pretend to arrive at this real world. conversely, a foundation departs from reality and arrives at mathematics.

but mathematics has developed as an autonomous science, and accordingly exists a philosophy of mathematics. Therefore, it is convenient to have some information about the dominating philosophical stance in epistemology and the modern selfunderstanding of mathematics4. it will turn out that the modern understanding of mathematics is almost, if not completely, unrelated to the material world. in view of the fact that physics is as successful as it is, this must be considered as unsatisfactory.

The selfunderstanding of mathematics is dealt with by mathematicians as well as by philosophers, even though with different points of emphasis. While mathematicians focus, by and large, more on foundational issues of mathematics, philosophers deal preferably with metaphysical and epistemological questions related to mathematical objects and mathematical knowledge, respectively. nevertheless, both approaches overlap largely.

The view of mathematics prima facie most attractive is the platonistic one. That is to say, those mathematicians refer to abstract entities which exist independently from the mathematician’s mind. These entities just have to be discovered, not invented, notwithstanding any axiomatization of Mathematics. G. frege (1848-1925) and k. Gödel (1906-1978) had views of this kind.

nevertheless, the three presently relevant views of mathematics originated in the beginning of the 20th century and are anti-platonistic: the logicistic approach attempts a foundation of mathematics by reducing it to logics. it is linked to frege and B. Russell (1872-1970) and is practically abandoned. The intuitionist approach is linked to L.E.J. Brouwer (1881-1966). He considers the whole of Mathematics as a mental construction in the strictest sense of the word: mathematical objects are only those that have been effectively constructed: Brower rejects mathematical objects whose existence is only assured by a proof of the absurdity of its nonexistence.

Such non-constructive proofs of existence have the form: “if there were not an x satisfying P, then we would arrive to a contradiction, hence there is an x satisfying P”. brouwer observes that such undesired proofs rest on the logical boolean axiom that the negation of a negation of a true proposition is true which, in turn, is linked to the principle of excluded middle [for any proposition p holds: either p is true or non-p is true]. - The intuitionist approach is not used in current mathematics.

The presently dominant view among mathematicians is the formalistic approach, which is linked to d. Hilbert (1862-1943). it tries to understand Mathematics as a web of formal systems, without reference to any abstract entities. nevertheless, 4 for this topic can be consulted the entry “Philosophy of Mathematics” (version 2.5.2012) of

the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP; http://plato.stanford.edu/) and related entries. The following paragraphs are taken from my article “does Physics Need a Second Scientific Revolution?” International Journal for Sino-Western Studies, online www.sinowesternstudies.com, 2013(1).

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the natural numbers, whose name suggests some proximity to the physical world, are thought to play a basic role within mathematics. all anti-platonistic views rest decisively upon axiomatics.

as the views mentioned in the previous paragraph present themselves as rather independent from the physical world, the undeniable success of mathematics in natural sciences, above all Physics, remains ununderstood. There are, however, also attempts to account for that fact. in this case, not all of mathematics appears to be linked to the material world. Therefore, accounts of such a link are not necessarily a foundation of mathematics as a whole. nevertheless, the multiple internal connections within Mathematics make it difficult to draw a distinction between parts of Mathematics relevant for Physics and others that are irrelevant (at present).

one attempt to understand the link between mathematics and the physical world goes back to aristotle5. He opposes the platonic view of two separated worlds – the hierarchically ordered ideas, from which the individuals of the material world participate in one or other way. according to aristotle, each material individual has – so to speak - incorporated its own idea or ‘(substantial) form’, as he calls it.

another attempt of understanding the link between mathematics and the physical world has been proposed by W.V.o. Quine (1908-2000) and H. Putnam (1926-) and has become known as (methodological) naturalism6. it consists in renouncing of traditional metaphysical and epistemological thinking and instead consider as basic the currently best scientific theories, that is to say, the currently most successful ones. They express what exists, what we know and the way how we know it. To this naturalistic view has to be added Quine’s thesis of confirmational holism: scientific experience globally confirms a theory as a whole, together with its methodological ingredients. as physical theories are formulated in mathematical terms, through which entire mathematical theories are linked to it, these latter are also confirmed by experience.

Quine goes beyond this. “it seems that mathematics is indispensable to our best scientific theories: it is not at all obvious how we could express them without using mathematical vocabulary. Hence the naturalist stance commands us to accept mathematical entities as part of our philosophical ontology. This line of argumentation is called an indispensability argument”7.

in conclusion: The current anti-platonistic accounts of mathematics (perhaps with the exception of Arithmetics) have no roots in the physical world. on the other hand, the aristotelian view of mathematical objects is based on the perceptional knowledge of the physical world. it is opposed to mathematical Platonism insofar mathematical objects exist only in the scientist’s mind. But it is not at all up to 5 Principal sources are the Posterior Analytics, De Anima iii.6-8, Metaphysics iii.2, vi.1, vii.10-

11, ix.9, x.1-2, xi.2-3, 7, xiii.1-3, Physics ii.2. (cf. SEP, entry “Aristotle and Mathematics” (version 26.3.2004), 7.

6 SEP, entry “Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mathematics” (version 1.11.2008), 2.7 SEP, entry “Philosophy of Mathematics” (version 2.5.2012), 3.2 Naturalism and indispensability

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date. The naturalistic view proposed by Quine is foremost characterized by putting scientific theories and not philosophical ones as a foundation of our knowledge. Additional principles, namely that of confirmational holism and the indispensability argument, are needed in order to give mathematics a link to the physical world. but this offers only an utmost generic account of the link between mathematics and the material world.

Therefore, the present understanding of the success of physics is unsatisfactory. Given the overwhelming success of mathematical theories in Physics, the most satisfactory rationale would be a view, according to which certain mathematical objects and structures emerge from precisely those material things they refer to, as a result of a “vital elaboration”, “extraction” or “abstraction” within the experimenter-theoretician. This would radically eliminate the problem of ‘why mathematics is applicable to nature’, as if mathematics were something exogene to nature.

in order to do at least some justice to problem (i) form the point of view of the history of physics, let us just mention two factors, which have been influential for mathematics to obtain its present position in modern physics:

(a) sense perceptions are considered to have little or no cognitive value. in other words, nature is considered as being (almost) silent about itself. The history of this view begins already with descartes, passes through Spinoza (“res mutae sunt”) and kant and arrives at Russell and Popper.

consequently, if one wants to have a picture of the material world, this epistemological stance forces us to take refuge in artificial models, mathematical or others. in this context many authors speak of that experience is necessarily theory-laden.

(b) The scientific revolution of the 17th and 18th century has abandoned individual material things which were the starting point of the classical philosophy of nature, and instead has embraced abstract laws of nature.

This move is partly due to the fact that the purpose of the natural sciences has been changed. it is not any longer the unconditional search for the truth about their object, but the search of truth conditioned by the relevance of its results for dominating nature, for instance, in order to improve human health and to produce technology. For many of these purposes, mathematical models are highly suited.

The search for a more harmonious relationship between mathematics and experiences of material reality cannot be expected to be solved within Physics itself. neither by mathematics. Rather, the problem and its solution are philosophical ones. in fact, the work done until now for the solution of this problem suggests that here is a magnificent opportunity to update Thomistic philosophy of nature, followed by an updating of the Thomistic view of the location of mathematics within the theoretical sciences8.

8 Thomas aquinas, Expositio super Librum Boethii de Trinitate, q.5, a.3, c.

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v. THe PoinT of dePaRTuRe foR THe inTeRnal RefoRm of PHysics and iTs fiRsT ResulT

if one wishes to recover the lost functional symmetry between apparatus and object, the operation which led to that loss must be undone. More precisely, these operations must not be performed at all, from the very outset. otherwise one would go the mistaken way of the theory of measurement, which attempts a recovery in theory that does not compensate the loss in reality. but renouncing of performing the two cut-offs makes it impossible to perform an experiment according to the „old fashion“. Perhaps there will be found a „new fashion“ for doing experiments and, in particular, measurements.

What is more, the dismissal of both cut-offs together force us to quarantine the physico-mathematical theories known to the date. This measure is very radical indeed, but it seems to be the unavoidable price for the recovery of the mentioned natural symmetry.

There is another characteristic of the global dynamical order, which rests upon the conviction that all material bodies consist of elementary particles, that is to say, of individuals of certain species. This conviction is confirmed by many different observations. We will not here discuss possible objections concerning, for example, living organisms. furthermore, we will assume, for the sake of simplicity, that the world consists of individuals of just one (arbitrary) species. We also assume that such elementary particles can form what we are used to call ‚solid bodies’. also without presenting the reasons for it, we will depart from that space is not a container things are put in, but a positional quality of each one of these things. This assures that the being an elementary particle - an individual of a species - is really and exclusively a feature of that elementary particle, and not a result of the conjunction of that thing and a container-space. it entails that every single elementary particle interacts uninterruptedly with every other elementary particle. It is this feature that gives to the characteristic we are about to explain, its global extension.

With these presuppositions, this characteristic of the overall structure of the (simplified) material world can be qualitatively explained as follows:

First, we can observe single elementary particles by means of the typical beam experiments of quantum physics. no cut-off is performed.

Second, the apparatuses of those beam experiments consist of elementary particles of the same species. in short: single individuals are confronted with a suitable agglomeration of many individuals. both sides display, in a different way, the properties that characterize each individual of the species. Therefore, many individuals of the same species yield in experiments with single individuals of the same species precisely a characterization of this species (its properties).

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Here we have a sort of internal reflexivity or self disclosure of the material world as a whole, but at the same time valid for each and every single individual.

This is the idea. of course, the presuppositions must be carefully settled and indeed, it must yield an insight of where the thoroughly unitarian order of the whole universe stems from. This task will be tackled elsewhere.

obviously, the aristotelian-thomistic conceptual elaboration of the hylomorphic constitution of material things, together with the principle agere sequitur esse, are qualitatively in harmony with the observational insights about the existence of elementary particles and their interactions. The necessary measure of quarantining of physico-mathematical theories leads naturally to basing the argument on experience and induction. Perhaps later might come also deductions from these insights inductively gained.

The change from a theory-based procedure to an experience-based procedure is nothing else than the change of the epistemological climate announced in Section ii. Notice that the internal reflexivity or self disclosure of the material world is something inherent to the real world. on the other hand, the attempt to imitate this idea via a theory of measurement, is precisely that: a theory.

another philosophically relevant point is that the species of elementary particles are treated differently in physics and in classical philosophy of nature. in physics, it is the physicist who gathers certain properties mentally together and calls the result ‘species’. in classical philosophy of nature, the species corresponds with the hylomorphism in reality, especially with the substantial form, from which flow somehow the specific properties as from a unique principle. That is much more than a mere collection of properties. This idea rests on the unicity of the substantial form and can be found in the writings of Thomas aquinas in many formulations. one of them is particularly interesting, for it uses the concept of (metaphysical) degree, which might provide the systematic place of the specific properties: ”Quodammodo una et eadem forma, secundum quod constituit materiam in actu inferiores gradus, est media inter materiam et seipsam, secundum quod constituit eam in actu superioris gradus.”9.

This is, in a nutshell, the programme for physics to get rid of its fundamental internal problems. it seems impossible to prove that this programme will succeed, or how far it will succeed, otherwise than by trying to carry it out. That is to say that only after having done the effort, it will be clear until which degree and how physico-mathematical theories have been recovered. in any case, the recovered elements of a theory would reflect somehow the natural symmetry and the internal reflexivity or self disclosure of the material world.

Here are seven pairs of opposites in order to give an impression of what an internal reform of Physics amounts to:

9 Thomas aquinas, Quaestio disputata de anima, a. 9, c

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generally accepted attempted internal reformAbstract mathematical laws of nature are claimed to refer to individual material things based on their success in describing natural processes.

Physico-mathematical theories are founded in the material things they refer to (theories are the result of a certain process of abstraction from these things).

knowledge proceeds mainly by hypotheses and deduction.

knowledge proceeds first by experiential evidence and induction.

A species is constituted as such by specific properties mentally grouped together by the physicist and attributed by him to certain individuals.

a species is constituted as such by a unitary entity traditionally called substantial form, which is part of each individual of that species. The specific properties result in a certain order from the individualized substantial form.

There is no functional symmetry between apparatus and object.

There is a functional symmetry between apparatus and object.

There is no internal reflexivity of the global dynamical order.

The world as a whole has a dynamical order with an internal reflexivity.

space is a container. space arises from the positional qualities of every single thing.

Things interact, but not necessarily everything with everything else and without interruption.

every thing interacts with everything else and without interruption.

The first result is that all elementary particles together yield a global dynamical order which is highly symmetric. it seems to generate what a human observer perceives as the three spatial dimensions.

The table does not show yet specific mathematical elements and structures as obtained ultimately from experience. it is clear, then, that a long way remains to be covered until physico-mathematical theories come into sight. in any case, all this does not imply that a physico-mathematical theory could be completely derived from metaphysical structures. Rather it is to be expected that the obtaining of many mathematical elements requires additional data of experience. The contingent character of this world remains untouched. but taking all things together, the insights obtained so far give hope that the project of obtaining mathematical elements related to material things by philosophical arguments is capable of yielding results.

vi. conclusion and final RemaRks

The idea presented here is really innovative. The word „contribute (in solving a fundamental problem of physics)“ makes it clear that we do not aim at giving an additional picture of the material world, which can be attached to physics

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without exercising any influence on the latter. Rather the word „contribute“ indicates that philosophy is capable of shaping the account of the material world given by physics precisely by solving a problem of physics unsolvable within physics. in this way, philosophy becomes a necessary part of the intellectual equipment of scientists.

The fact that philosophy is needed to solve a fundamental problem of and within physics, is something unheard to the date. it means that without philosophy, a sound self-understanding of modern physics is impossible. it would make it clear that typical frases like the following one are utterly reductionist: “during recent centuries, physics has provided the main tools for the human enterprise of understanding reality and our own role in this context”10.

nevertheless, philosophy does not set out to handle physical problems, but problems of physics. Here, it is important to stress that the internal reform in question is from the very outset an exactly proportionate response to the internal problem of physics. obviously, nothing hinders that physics is a factor in shaping cultures in a non-fundamental way and thus, by its universality, also in agglutinating cultures. The philosophical foundation of physics is likewise universal and thus gives to the cultural impact of physics its philosophical inspiration.

if the internal reform of physics can really be performed, it can be expected to cause a change of intellectual climate. More specifically, the change from the present day physics to the reformed one would go hand in hand with the change from attributing little or none cognitive value to ordinary experience to aknowledging its high cognitive value. inseparably, the view of physico-mathematical theories as designed by human genius would change to their recognition as being caused in the human mind by the material things they are referring to. both changes bring the intellectual climate in physics in greater harmony with the natural spontaneous or common sense realism every healthy human being starts with.

acknowledgementi would like to thank dr. mike story of iltin kuukso, kausala, finland, for

his valuable contribution in polishing the text into its linguistic and logical shape.

10 kallio-Tamminen, Tarja, Quantum Metaphysics. The Role of Human Beings within the Paradigms of Classical and Quantum Physics, p.3. Helsinki: otamedia oy, 2004.

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Gintautas Vyšniauskas Klaipėda University, Lithuania


šViEsOs iR taMsOs MEtaFiZika

Kad ir kokie rafinuoti ar naivūs būtų metafiziniai principai, jie visada implicite glūdi žmogaus savivokos pamatuose. (No matter how sophisticated or naive seemmetaphysical principles they always implicitly reside in the foundations of human self-consciousness.)

Algirdas Degutis

suMMaRy Ancient tradition is inclined to identify darkness with evil and light with good. But the discovery of the universe’s accelerating expansion makes theoreticians assume that darkness in the shape of dark energy and matter occupies 96 percent of the whole. Therefore, in order to escape pessimistic philosophical conclusions, the darkness has to be „rehabilitated“. The article applies modernized Plato’s cave allegory and expanded McLuhan’s idea of media without a message to the issue. This way it reaches the conclusion that darkness is the media of the media without message. Therefore darkness loses status of evil and becomes the conditio sine qua non of light. Moreover, the article considers the possibility that so called dark matter is not a matter but something else of a quite different nature. This metaphysical assumption is theoretically legitimate until physicists „catch“ a particle of the dark matter and therefore philosophers have no right to ignore it.

Key worDs: the universe, dark matter, the world, media, Mc’Luhan, Plato’s cave.

santRauka1998 m. Hablo teleskopas parodė, kad Visatos plėtimosi greitis didėja. Norėdami šį fenomeną paaiškinti, fizikai priėmė tamsiosios energijos ir materijos egzistavimo hipotezę. remdamiesi gravitacine sąveika jie nustatė, kad Visatoje yra maždaug 72 % tamsiosios energijos, 24 % tamsiosios materijos, kuri nei spinduliuoja, nei atspindi elektromagnetinių bangų. Tokiu atveju mums pažįstamos Visatos daliai telieka 4 procentai. Greitėjančio Visatos plėtimosi atradimas gali būti palygintas su M. Koperniko revoliucija, žmoniją pašalinusią iš Visatos centro, nes jis parodė, kad mums daugiau ar mažiau pažįstamą pasaulį supa kažkas beveik visiškai mums nežinomo. santykis tarp mums pažįstamos ir nežinomos Visatos dalies yra maždaug keturi prie devyniasdešimt šešių. Be to, nežinomybė ne tik mus supa, bet ir persmelkia. Fizikai spėja, kad kiekvieną sekundę milijonai tamsiosios materijos, arba masyviųjų silpnos sąveikos, dalelių kiaurai pereina per mus ir mūsų planetą nesutikdamos jokio pasipriešinimo. Kitaip tariant, mes esame ne tik tamsos apsupti, bet ir persmelkti. Šios prielaidos kelia pasaulėžiūrinio ir filosofinio pobūdžio problemų, nes sena,

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iš zoroastrizmo ir Platono laikų kylanti tradicija mus įpratino gėrį tapatinti su šviesa, o blogį – su tamsa. Bet šiuolaikinis fizikos mokslas mums sako, kad ne tik mūsų pažįstamas pasaulis, kuris ir taip mums atrodė be galo didelis, yra tik 4 % Visatos, bet ir tame pažiniame pasaulyje švytinčioji materija sudaro tik keturias dešimtąsias procento. Taigi jame, nekalbant jau apie Visatos visumą, viešpatauja blogis, tamsa. Norint išvengti tokios pesimistinės išvados, būtina tamsą „reabilituoti“. Šiame straipsnyje, pasitelkus garsiąją Platono olos alegoriją ir M. McLuhan’o medijos be pranešimo idėją, į tamsą siūloma žvelgti kaip į metamediją. Pirmiausia atkreipiamas dėmesys į tai, kad Platonas savo alegorijoje panaudoja laužą kaip primityvų technologinį šviesos šaltinį, o tai šiuolaikiniams menininkams ir mąstytojams leidžia Platono olą modernizuoti, laužo liepsnos šviesą pakeičiant elektros šviesa, kurią M. McLuhanas apibūdina kaip mediją be „turinio“. Kadangi šviesa spindi tamsoje, kitaip tariant, yra tamsos turinys, galima tarti, kad tamsa yra medijos be „turinio“ medija. Šitaip mąstant, tamsa visais savo pavidalais – mums pažįstama nešvytinti materija, mums beveik visiškai nepažįstama tamsioji materija ir energija – netenka blogio statuso ir tampa gėrio (šviesos) conditio sine qua non. Be to, straipsnyje atsižvelgiama į galimybę, kurios ignoruoti filosofas neturi teisės: kol fizikams nepavyko pagauti nė vienos tamsiosios materijos dalelės, tol turi teisę egzistuoti hipotezė, kad tamsioji materija yra nematerialios prigimties, kitaip tariant, kad ji nėra jokia materija, kad mums pažini materija tėra nedidelė dalelė mus supančio ir persmelkiančio kažko nematerialaus.

rAKTAžoDžiAi: Visata, tamsioji materija, pasaulis, medija, Mc’Luhanas, Platono ola.


in 1998, the Hubble space Telescope revealed that contrary to the assumptions of astronomers the expansion of the universe is accelerating. in order to account for this phenomenon, theorists surmised the existence of dark matter and energy. Making reference to gravitational interactions alone, they supposed that the universe is composed of approx. 72% of dark energy, 24% of dark matter, which neither emits nor reflects electromagnetic radiation. if this is the case then the world in which we live and which we explore shrinks to tiny 4 per cent.

The discovery of accelerating expansion makes impact on weltanschauung and philosophy comparable with that of the Copernican revolution. As the revolution removed the humankind from the center of the universe, so the discovery showed that our world is enveloped of something immense and almost completely unknown. The ratio between relatively known and unknown is approx. 4 to 96. Moreover, that unknown not only envelopes but also transfuses the relatively known. Physicists believe that every second of millions of the hypothetical dark matter particles, or weakly interacting Massive Particles, transpierce us and our planet without meeting any resistance. Thus we are enveloped and transfused by darkness. Darkness around and darkness inside. But if this is the case, then we encounter a metaphysical problem.

Zoroastrian as well as Platonic tradition identifies the good with light. But as it is already seen the modern (though hypothetical) picture of the universe leaves little place for goodness. even our 4 per cent of the universe consists of approx. 3,6% non-luminous matter and only of 0,4% of luminous matter. Hence the share of ormuzd is tiny and Ahriman reigns in the universe. in order to escape pessimism

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we go to have to revise the traditional status of light and darkness. Let us begin with their dialectics in Plato’s cave.


„And now… let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened…”1 These are the introductory words of the famous Plato’s cave allegory. since enlightened means illuminated, they promise us explication of our nature’s relation to the light and darkness. The allegory fulfills the promise. it makes the light conditio sine qua non of all speculative as well as visual cognition. The ultimate source of light for both is the idea of goodness. The good is the „parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual“.2 Here the sun represents the idea of good, visible light – intelligible light, vision – reason, visible objects represent truth.

it looks as though Plato made his allegory unnecessary complicated by introducing a fire as the third source of illumination. since the cave has an open mouth, the sunlight penetrating through it could easily create the shadows of things on the wall; and prisoner’s getting through it could represent „the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world“3. This way the allegory would be a lot simpler. But it seems that Plato did not care much of the lex parsimoniae and introduced technology into his cave; for a fire is technological invention perhaps even more significant than electricity. This introduction opens the possibility of modernization.

New TeCHNoLoGy iN PLATo’s CAVe

in 2007, the Media Ecology Association journal Explorations in Media Ecology published the poster by a visual artist Joan Thornborrow-steacy Plato’s Cave – Then and Now4. Five years later in the online journal for critical thinking about technology and new media Second Nature, the same poster was published again under the title – Plato’s New Media Cave5. The former title claims that Plato’s cave still exists. The later adds that now it belongs not only to Plato but to modern

1 Plato, republic, [514 a.] <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0168%3Abook%3D7%3Asection%3D514a>.

2 ibid., 517b-c.3 ibid.4 Joan Thornborrow-steacy, Plato’s Cave – Then Abd Now. exploration of Media ecology,

Vol. 6, No. 3 (2007). Media–ecology.org. Journal of the Media ecology Association. web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://www.media-ecology.org/publications/explorations_Media_ecology/v6n3.html>. For the poster open the site: <http://secondnaturejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cave.jpg>.

5 Joan Thornborrow-steacy, “Plato’s New Media Cave.” second Nature. 9 Apr. 2013. web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://secondnaturejournal.com/platos-new-media-cave/#wrap>.

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media as well. in the poster, this media is presented as computers and electric lamp. Certainly, these gadgets did not exist in the original cave. if they did, they simply could not function there for the lack of electricity. Thus, the poster shows them not in a cave but in a basement. why then this “cave” is attributed to Plato? what is the foundation for such attribution? Presumably it consists of observable commonalities. Let us enumerate them: shadows, three categories of prisoners, the exit and the sunshine outside. However, we can regard them as commonalities if and only if we prescind from their obvious differences.

iNMATes, sHADows AND TeCHNoLoGies

The first category of the new media cave prisoners is not shackled. They are free to leave their places at will but their attention is so absorbed by the shadows on computer monitors that they behave as if they were shackled. This is the significant difference between the ancient and the modern cave. inmates of the latter observe the shadows not on the wall but on the monitors. illuminated by the electric light of monitors, they themselves cast shadows on the screen behind them but nobody pay attention to the latter phenomenon, to the fact that modern media turns people into shadows. Hence, paraphrasing well known Marshall McLuchan’s quote, we can say that the more our attention is taken up by the digital media, the less we exist. The old cave does not steal prisoner’s personal existence, but the modern one does. invented as the most effective communication means, the modern media destroys direct interpersonal communication. The most shocking example of this phenomenon is well known spouses which let real baby starve to death while caring for virtual child.

it is a reminder that any technology is dangerous; that the most sophisticated technologies are the most perilous. Nuclear power plant technology is very dangerous in a case of disaster. it damages living organisms all around. it causes obvious harm which mobilizes people to take measures. But the noxious influence of the media on a person is extremely difficult to detect until it is too late. And so far there are no effective means to amend the damage. As a rule, when victims realize that social media destroy their lives, they still acknowledge that without it they would have no life.6 They feel themselves uncomfortable in the new media cave but are reluctant to leave it. They are not willing to take the red pill.

The second category of new cave inmates seems free from computer media hypnosis at least for a moment. They are not absorbed by the shadows of virtuality. They communicate with each other directly. But it is not certain what direction they will follow soon: back to virtual reality or up the stairs to join the former inmates, which observe higher reality, the world illuminated by sunshine. This group resembles Plato’s guardians in a sense that only the best of them manage to escape 6 Nancy Jo sales, “Friends without Benefits.” Vanity Fair. Vanity Fair worldwide, 28 sep.

2013. web. 30 Dec. 2013.

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the cave, reach the world of ultimate reality and become philosophers. Perhaps, as in Plato’s guardians case, orientations and achievements of the representatives of the second group depend on their nature. if this is true, then some people are predestined by their genotype to internet idiocy; others are able to maintain more or less reasonable balance between virtual and factual reality.

TeCHNoLoGiCAL VersUs esseNTiAL DiFFereNCes

There is some other significant difference between the ancient and modern cave. The light which is conditio sine qua non of any inter-cave activity is of different origins: fire and electricity. But this technologically significant difference is essentially unimportant; for light by nature is nothing else than electromagnetic waves of the visible spectrum. if someone extinguishes the fire or turns off electricity, the result will be the same: both caves will submerge into darkness and visual cognition will become impossible – no light, no sight, no cognition. Hence, it seems that we have finally found the essential commonality which serves as a basis for attributing the new media cave to Plato. The comparison between the old and the new caves highlights the importance of the light. it shows that the latter gives us the possibility to claim that the modernized cave still can be attributed to Plato. Both caves are united by the nature and functions of light. No matter what is the source, the light illuminates things and creates shadows on the walls, monitors or anywhere.


when the 20th century media guru Herbert Marshall McLuhan writes in his famous opus Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man that electric light „is a medium without a message“, he touches, perhaps unintentionally, upon some profound metaphysical problem claiming that

The electric light is pure information. it is a medium without a message, as it were, unless it is used to spell out some verbal ad or name. This fact, characteristic of all media, means that the “content” of any medium is always another medium. 7

He soon abandons the problem but what he says concerning the electric light could be successfully applied to elucidation of some profound metaphysical matters.8

7 Marshal McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. New york: McGraw-Hill, 1964. web. 5 Nov. 2013, p. 10.

8 For this purpose we prescient from the attribute „electric“ and claim that any light, light in general is a pure information and a medium without a message, or the medium of all other media.

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while speaking of electric light as the medium of other media McLuhan gives two examples of qualitative medium change. He asks, „what is the content of speech“, and answers: „it is an actual process of thought, which is in itself nonverbal“.9 Here inaudible and invisible becomes verbal (audible or visual). The other example is a visibility of sound waves at the moment a plane is breaking the sound barrier. Both examples are very important since they give evidence of an invisible becoming visible. But the author’s comment on the second example is even more vital for us, since it contains the highest metaphysical generalization reminding us at one time forgotten being. it reads that

„The sudden visibility of sound just as sound ends is an apt instance of that great pattern of being that reveals new and opposite forms just as the earlier forms reach their peak performance.“10

in this case the transformation happens within the framework of perceptibility: the audible is transformed into visible. But the first example surpasses that framework: it indicates the transformation of imperceptible into perceptible; and (let us make some metaphysical suggestion) – darkness into light. Accepting it, we immediately stumble on the philosophical question – what is darkness? is it just the absence of light, as commonsense suggests, or some form of being? The question remains metaphysical and relevant until physicists fail catching the supposed dark matter particles, i. e. the weakly interacting massive particles supposed to be the main component of dark matter. According to astrophysical speculations this matter makes up more than eighty percent of all matter in the universe. As i already mentioned, these speculations, strictly speaking, are not scientific but philosophical and will remain as such till the hypothesis of the specific nature of dark matter remains neither verified nor falsified.


Therefore, proceeding in the direction indicated by the mentioned McLuhan’s thought, we can draw the two contrary hypothetical conclusions: (1) that the dark matter is pure information as a medium without a message and the „content“ of this medium is perceptible matter in general and visible electromagnetic waves in particular; (2) that the dark matter is of purely spiritual nature, i. e. it is not matter but spirt. in the latter case spirit would be the medium of perceptible matter, its conditio sine qua non.

9 ibid.10 ibid., 13

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BECHETOILLE Marc-Antoine OP entered the Dominican Order in 2004. He was ordained a priest in 2010. In june 2012, he obtained a Master in Theology at the Catholic Institute of Paris: « The celebration of the Eucharist as dialogical encounter with the living God. » (Ed. E. Durand, OP) and currently lives in Vilnius priory, Lithuania.

E-mail: [email protected]

DUMA Tomasz (rev.) is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), an assistant at the Chair at the Department of Metaphysics of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland). Research interests: metaphysics, anthropology, philosophy of God, philosophy of religion, ethics, theology.

E-mail: [email protected]

GRAY Kevin William is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), a professor at American University of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates). Research interests: critical theory, existentialism, philosophy of law and western Marxism.

E-mail: [email protected]

GUDANIEC Arkadiusz is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), an assistant professor at the Department of Metaphysics of The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland). Research interests: history, history of culture, Thomas Aquinas philosophy.

E-mail: [email protected]

KIOPE Māra is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), a senior researcher at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of Latvia University, an associate professor at Riga Higher Institute of Religious Science (Latvia). Research interests: metaphysics, philosophy of religion, history of philosophy, Thomas Aquinas philosophy.

E-mail: [email protected]

KNASAS John Francis Xavier is a habil. doctor of humanities (philosophy), a professor at Center for Thomistic Studies University of St. Thomas, Houston (U.S.A.). Research interests: metaphysics, philosophy of religion, thomistic philosophy.

E-mail: [email protected]

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LARENZ Rudolf (rev.) is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), a monsignor at Prelature of Opus Dei, Helsinki (Finland). Research interests: metaphysics, Thomas Aquinas philosophy, natural philosophy.

E-mail: [email protected]

MOLOTOKIENĖ Ernesta is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), a lecturer at the Department of the Philosophy and Cultural Science at Klaipeda university (Lithuania). Research interests: post-phenomenology, media philosophy, philo-sophy of mind.

E-mail: [email protected]

ONIŠČIK Marija is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), an associate professor at Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania). Research interests: metaphysics, philosophy of religion, Thomas Aquinas philosophy.

E-mail: [email protected]

PAŃPUCH Zbigniew is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), an assistant professor at the Department of Metaphysics of The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland). Research interests: theory of being and philosophical anthropology from the perspective of realistic philosophy, ethics and anthropology in the writings of Plato and Aristotle, philosophy of politics, economy.

E-mail: [email protected]

SOUAL Philippe is a habil. doctor of humanities (philosophy), a professor at Catholic Institute of Toulouse (France). Research interests: metaphysics, phi-losophy of law, Hegel philosophy.

E-mail: [email protected]

STANČIENĖ Dalia Marija is a habil. doctor of humanities (philosophy), a professor and head of the Department of the Philosophy and Cultural Science at Klaipeda university (Lithuania), an editor-in-chief of the magazine Logos. Research interests: history of philosophy, philosophy in the middle ages, metaphysics, phenomenology, social ethics, philosophy of education.

E-mail: [email protected]

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VABALAITĖ Rūta Marija is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), a research fellow at the Department of History of Lithuanian Philosophy at the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute,an associate professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Humanities at Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania). Research interests: philosophy of art, modern philosophy, contemporary philosophy.

E-mail: [email protected]

VALATKA Vytis is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), a professor at the Department of Philosophy and Communication of Faculty of Creative Industries at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and a professor of Kazimieras Simonavičius University (Lithuania). Research interests: classic and modern logic, medieval philosophy, the history of philosophy, philosophy of law, philosophy of education.

E-mail: [email protected]

VIDAUSKYTĖ Lina is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), an associate professor at Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania). Research interests: philosophy of media, philosophy of religion, visual theory, history.

E-mail: [email protected]

VYŠNIAUSKAS Gintautas is a doctor of humanities (philosophy), a professor at the Department of the Philosophy and Cultural Science at Klaipeda university (Lithuania), a deputy editor-in-chief of the magazine Logos. Research interests: metaphysics, ethics, Thomas Aquinas philosophy.

E-mail: [email protected]

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Klaipėdos universiteto leidykla


Compiled by Professor Dr. Dalia Marija Stančienė

Maketavo Ingrida SirvydaitėViršelio dailininkas Vilius GiedraitisViršelio nuotrauka Ritos Gorodeckienės

Klaipėda, 2015

SL 1335. 2015 06 22. Apimtis 20,86 sąl. sp. l. Tiražas 90 egz.Išleido ir spausdino Klaipėdos universiteto leidyklaHerkaus Manto g. 84, LT-92294 KlaipėdaTel. (+370 ~ 46) 398 891, el. paštas: [email protected] interneto adresas: http:/www.ku.lt/leidykla/