A Society Worth Investigating

Hello Friends,

Heard of this interesting new group this morning. Seems like there is much to like about them. I am curious about your opinions of it.

I found their 'third principle' regarding The Commentator as strange- we are aware of Cajetan's misunderstandings about analogy. Moreover, the church certainly has not spoken of him as having authority likened to Thomas, and so I wonder if "energetically" defending "the philosophic doctrines of the Scholastic Expositor in his explanations of them, even if he does not fully grasp their meaning or import," as they say, is really a fitting docility.

Also in the 'fourth principle' DeKonnick was excluded from the list of 'faithful' and 'continuous line of Thomist,' though they admit that the list is not limited to what they include.

Lastly, I wonder at the significance in excluding the mention of Aristotle as "The Philosopher."


Best wishes.


  1. Natural_Inquirer said...
    So I took an extensive look at the website, and I must say this seems to me to be a very promising group. My one caveat I suppose would be that the officers be somewhat older and more experienced, say especially with governing.

    They do seem a bit young to be considered experienced rulers and leaders much less masters of St. Thomas. But I would definitely consider joining. I think that a society of this nature would have much to contribute to the academic community, provided there is prudent leadership.
    Vincentius said...
    In lieu of answering your actual question (since I have not looked into the society enough to give a good response), I will direct your attention to another party interested in Scholasticism:


    He has some great textual resources on his page, but I thought his critique of TAC might be of particular interest:

    Vincentius said...
    Sorry, that last link got cut off:

    ho mathetes said...

    Here is a third group which I think is indisputably impressive--Check out the members of the council....
    ho mathetes said...

    The 2nd link also didn't work when I tried it, FYI.

    ho mathetes said...
    Nevermind my last post. So what do you all think of his criticisms?
    Vincentius said...
    I think its good to have a healthy respect for the tradition of scholasticism, as the author clearly does. That being said, I wonder how feasible his proposed curriculum really is. Do you think one can get a sufficient grasp of physics in high school? Then go on to grasp St. Thomas' metaphysical principles as well as their development and application to other fields through the scholastic manuals, all in undergraduate work? I doubt it. It seems to me that such an education at best would be able to give one good Thomistic doctrine, but not allow one to understand reality enough to defend Thomistic principles. Witness the poor argumentation on said author's website when he actually gets involved in disputation:

    1) his "principle of sufficient reason" dialogue (he gets shown up re: the order of knowing by a guy who obviously doesn't understand St. Thomas that well)

    2) his "doctrine of participation" dialogue (he resorts to ridiculous nit-picking and name-calling)

    Also witness the rapid collapse of the intellectual life of priests in the 60's, who had been trained with scholastic manuals in the 50's or earlier.

    Generally, he seems overly concerned with who said what, whether it was in proper "scholastic form", and to what "school" of Thomism they belong rather than reality and the arguments themselves.
    (By the way, I don't bring up these points to bash him. They are pertinent to answering his criticism because I think his intellectual traits are indicative of the kind of manual-based education he proposes.)

    The work at TAC seems rushed as it is to be even a good beginning, without expanding the field to later scholastics. I fully grant the importance of learning Thomistic doctrine in light of later masters, but you have to actually learn the principles first through disputation. I think also that a living scholastic tradition comes in at TAC through the tutors.

    I do appreciate his (nowadays uncommon) intention to follow the correct order of study outlined by St. Thomas.

    Any thoughts?

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