Étienne Gilson

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Étienne Gilson (13 June 188419 September 1978) was a French philosopher and historian of philosophy.


Thomism: The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas[edit]

  • What is most apparent and constant in Thomas' personality, the image he most likely had of himself, is the teacher.  The saint was essentially a Doctor of the Church; the man was a teacher of theology and philosophy; the mystic never entirely separated his meditations from his teaching, which drew its inspiration from them.
    • Introduction
  • Thomas considers that a religious may legitimately aspire to the title and functions of master, but since he could only teach divine things, it is only in relation to the science of divine things that secular sciences can legitimately interest him.  This is demanded by the very essence of the contemplative life, the teaching of which is nothing but its immediate extension into the order of the active life.
    • Introduction
  • What, then, will this philosophy be?  Thomas only employed it for the service it renders Christian wisdom.  No doubt this is why he never thought of separating it from this wisdom and giving it a name.  He probably did not foresee that the day would come when people would go through his works to extract the elements of a philosophy from his theology.  He himself never attempted this synthesis.
    • Introduction

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