Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/820

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NEO-SCHOLASTICISM


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NEO-SCHOLASTICISM


lidity met witli no cliallciii:!", wluTcas, in thotwenticth oontury, its very possihility is:it stake and, to defend il against the eonoerted al lack of Hume aiul Kant and Conite, the true sipnifieanee of sueh eoneepts as being, substance, absolute, cause, potency, and act must bo exphiined and upheld. It is further needful to show that, in a very real sense. God is not unknowable; to rebut the chartres preferred by Herbert Spencer against the traditional proofs of God's existence; to deal with the materials furnished by ethnography and the history of religions; and to study the various forms which monism and inwnaiieiitism nowadays assvune.

Cosmology can well alTord to insist on the tradi- rional theory of matter and form, provided it pay due attention to the findings of physics, chemistry, crys- tallography, and mineralogy, and meet the objections of atomism and dynamism, theories which, in the opinion of scientific authority, are less satisfactory as explanations of natural phenomena than the hylomor- phism (q. v.) of the S<'liolastics. The theory also of qualities, once the subject of ridicule, is nowadays entlorsed by some of the most prominent scientists. In psychology especially the progressive spirit of neo- Scholasticism makes itself felt. The theory of the substantial union of body and soul, as an interpreta- tion of biological, psychical, and psycho-physiologi- cal facts, is far more serviceable than the extreme spirituaHsm of Descartes on the one hand and the Positivism of modern thinkers on the other. As Wundt admits, the results of investigation in physio- logical psychology do not square either with material- ism or with dualism whether of the Platonic or of the Cartesian type; it is only Aristotelean animism, which brings psychology into connexion with biology, that can offer a satisfactory metaphysical interpretation of experimental psychology ("Grundzuge d. physiol. Psychologic", II, 540). So vigorous indeed has been the growth of psychology that each of its offshoots is developing in its own way: such is the case with crito- riology, aesthetics, didactics, pedagogy, and the numer- ous ramifications of applied psychology. Along these various lines, unknown to medieval philosophy, neo- Scholasticism is working energetically and success- fully. Its criteriology is altogether new: the older Scholasticism handled the problem of certitude from the deductive point of view; God could not have mis- shaped the faculties with which He endowed the mind in order that it might attain to knowledge. Neo- Scholasticism, on the other hand, proceeds by analy- sis and introspection; it states the problem in the terms which, since Kant's day, are the only admissible terms, but as again.st the Kantian criticism it finds the solu- tion in a rational dogmatism. Its aesthetics holds a middle course between the extreme subjectivism of many modern thinkers who would reduce the beautiful to a mere impression, and the no less extreme objectiv- ism which the Greeks of old maintained. It is equally at home in the field of experimental psychology which investigates the correlation between conscious phe- nomena and their physiological accompaniments; in fact, its theory of the substantial union of body and soul imphes as its corollary a "bodily resonance" corresponding to each psychical process.

The laws and principles which the modern science of education hiis drawn from experience find their ade- quate explanation in neo-Scholastic doctrine; thus, the intuitive method, go largely accepted at present as an essential element in education, is based on the Scho- lastic theory that nothing enters the intellect save through the avenue of sense. In the study of ethical problems, neo-Scholasticism holds fast to the vital teachings that prevailed in the thirteenth century, but at the same time it takes into account the histori- cal and sociological data which explain the varying application of principles in successive ages. In view of contemporary systems which, on a purely experi- mental basis, attempt to set aside all moral impera-


tives and ideas of value, it is necessary to insist on the older concepts of good and evil, of finality and obliga- tion — a need which is I'asily supplied by neo-.Scliola.s- tic ethics. As to logic, the most perfect, part of y\ris- totle's great constructive work an<l therefore that which has been least modilicd in thi- course of time, its positions still call for defence against the objections of writers like Mill, who regard the syllogism as a "solemn farce". Accordingly, with iluc considera- tion for modern modes of thinking, neo-Scholasticism adapts the teaching of the Middle Ages to actual con- ilitions. Even as regards the relations between jjhi- losophy and religion, there are important changes to note. For tli<' medieval mind in the Western world, philosophy and t hcology were identical until about the twelfth century. In the thirteenth the line of de- marcation was clearly drawn, but philosophy was still treated as the preliminary training for theology. This is no longer the case; neo-Scholastici.sm assigns to philosophy a value of its own as a rational explana- tion of the world, on a par in this respect with Posi- tivism and other systems; and it welcomes all who are bent on honest research, whether their aim be purely philosophical or apologetic.

Parallel with these modifications are those which affect the pedagogical phase of the movement. The methods of teaching philosophy in the thirteenth cen- tury were too closely dependent on the culture of that age; hence they have been replaced by modern pro- cedures, curricula, and means of propagation. It would be ill-advi.sed to wrap neo-Scholastic doctrine in medieval envelopes, e. g. to write books (jn the plan of the theological "Summaj" or the "(hmdlibetal Questions" that were current in the thirteenth cen- tury. Without at all lessening its force, syllogistic demonstration gains in attractiveness when its essen- tial characteristics are retained and clothed about with modern forms of presentation. In this connexion, the use of living languages as a means of exposition has obvious advantages and finds favour with many of those who are best qualified to judge.

III. AppRECi.'iTiON. — By interesting itself in mod- ern questions, interpreting the results of scientific research and setting forth its principles for thorough discussion, neo-Scholasticism has compelled atten- tion: it has to be reckoned with. Among non-Catho- lics, many leaders of thought have frankly acknowl- edged that its methods and doctrines deserve to be ex- amined anew. Men like Boutroux admit that Aris- totle's system may well serve as an offset to Kantism and evolution ( Aristote, Etudes d 'histoire et de phi- losophic, Paris, 1901, 202). Paulsen ("Kant der Philo.soph des Protest antismus" in "Kantstudien", 1899) and Eucken ("Thomas von Aquino u. Kant, Ein Kampf zweier Welten", loc. cit., 1901) declare that neo-Thomism is the rival of Kantism and that the conflict between them is the "clash of two worlds ". Harnaek ("Lehrbuch fl. Dogmengesch.", Ill, 3rd. ed., 327), Seeberg (" Kcalencyklopadie f. Prot. Theol." s. v. "Scholastik") and others protest against those who underrate the value of scholastic doctrine.

Among Catholics, Neo-Scholasticism gains ground day by day. It is doing away with Ontologism, Tra- ditionalism, the Dualism of Gunther, and the exagger- ated Spiritualism of Descartes. It is free from the weaknesses of Pragmatism and Voluntarism, systems in which some thinkers have vainly sought the recon- ciliation of their philosophy and their faith. Neo-Scho- lasticism has a character of permanence as truth itself has; but it is destined in its development to keep up with scientific progress. Like everything that lives, it must advance; arrested growth would mean decay.

IV. The Leaders and their Work. — The Neo- Scholastic movement was inaugurated by such writers asSanseverino (1811-6.5) and Cornoldi (1822-92) in Italy; Gonzalez (1831-92) in Spain; Kleutgen (1811- 83) and Stockl (1823-95) in Germany; de San (1832-