CONGRESSO TOMISTA INTERNAZIONALE L’UMANESIMO CRISTIANO NEL III MILLENIO: PROSPETTIVA DI TOMMASO D’AQUINO ROMA, 21-25 settembre 2003
Pontificia Accademia di San Tommaso – Società Internazionale Tommaso d’Aquino
Jacques Maritain Against Modern Pseudo-Humanism
Prof. Paul Richard Blum Loyola College in Maryland, Baltimore (USA)
In this paper I will examine the traditional concepts of humanism, starting from the neo-humanism of the 19th century. Thereby I will emphasize the internal contradiction of this concept that is due to the appeal to 'humanize the human'. Maritain in his 'Humanisme Intégral', as I want to prove, was the only one to fill the gap by pointing to the aspirations of the individual toward perfection trough the anthropologically given divine appeal. From there follow several incentives for an anthropological understanding of religion that leave contemporary secularism behind.
In the 1930s Jacques Maritain advocated a new form of Humanism, an integral humanism, as he termed it, on the basis of "integral realism" and "Christian humanism", which took its major inspiration from Thomist philosophy. The essence of his message can be summarized as follows: Any philosophy has to account for the r eality of human condition, which is marked by the coincidence of natural and supernatural features. This realism deserves the attribute of 'integral' in as much it integrates the obvious material, natural and intellectual features of the human being by its aspirations at the supernatural, transcendent realm. As this realm is within the reach of human intellect and will, to exclude it from the definition of man amounts to truncating and diminishing human potentials and thus telling only half of the story of man. This concept of humanism has been criticized on historical and on philosophical grounds. It has been said, that Maritain misrepresents the Middle Ages and that he is shifting the philosophical argument to the level of theology.1 "So, what?" Maritain might have replied, and so do I. But I think
See Gerry Lessard, O. P., The Critics of Integral Humanism : A Survey, in: Thomistic Papers 3 (1987) 117-140. It should be noted (even though this is not at stake in this paper) that Maritain made a difference between “Christian Humanism” and
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29 sq.P. according to Tzvetan Todorov. 12: "(. 2 nd ed. Der Streit des Philanthropinismus und Humanismus in der Theorie des Erziehungs-Unterrichts unserer Zeit. While these schools claimed to be "philanthropic". "The Humanism of Jacques Maritain". Otto Bird. Robert E. Ga. ed. and in its philosophical importance. 117-131. R. 3 Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer. who applaud his call for a Christian humanism. 1987. Integral Humanism. Niethammer adhered to a kind of classical training as advocated by Wilhelm von Humboldt.3 In this book the author polemicized against a new type of schools with polytechnic orientation. and A Letter on Independence. Wilhelm von Humboldt und die Humanitätsidee. Niethammer invented the label of "humanist" schools and claimed their ideal to be "humanism". Freedom in the Modern World. 45. Cf. Philosopher and Friend . The former term designated for him that movement of Renaissance Humanism that ended up in a “Christian naturalism” as a forerunner of secular understandings of the human: see “On Humanism”. (Further quotations from Integral Humanism will refer to this edition.4 On the other hand Humboldt and Niethammer's technical means of education were modeled on the Renaissance "studia humanitatis". and for the latter cf. as for instance to designate someone as a nice person or to discuss matters of civilisation or global politics. 2
. Hudson a.
p. Paul Richard Blum.). simply miss the point. 2002. who expressly had demanded that "the mere individual has to be purified and upgraded in all its capacities to become a human". Princeton: Princeton Univ. Macon. in: Jacques Maritain. Understanding Maritain.) das bloße Individuum soll in allen seinen Kräften zum Menschen emporgeläutert werden". Humanism. p. Jena: Frommann 1808 (Reprint: Weinheim: Beltz 1968). pp. and maybe also some admirers of Maritain..2 The pedagogue Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer coined the term in his book on "Philanthropinismus und Humanismus" published in 1808. 227-246. BLUM. in: Jacques Maritain. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press 1996.s). Was ist Renaissance-Humanismus? Zur Konstruktion eines kulturellen Modells.) 2 I am dealing only with philosophical accounts and leave aside any non thematic usage of the word. Both meanings of humanism are "affective" and basically "philanthropist". pp. Freedom in the Modern World. The Legacy of Humanism . Berlin: Reuther & Reichard 1928. (ed.: Mercer Univ. On the one hand. Imperfect Garden. in: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. Philologie und Erkenntnis. 'humanism' was to be detected in the Renaissance and – ever since – humanism is associated with this period of pre-reformation culture. "The Pragmatic Humanism of Bohr. in: Deal W. in: Ralph Häfner (ed. this should be said at the outset. Jacques Maritain Against Modern Pseudo-Humanism
these criticisms. Einstein and Sakharov". Marshak. Pr. As a side effect of this polemics. is an invention of the 19th century. p. 268-275. Pr. As an example for the former see: John Hellman. 132 (1988) pp. 4 Quoted in Eduard Spranger.. Tübingen: Niemeyer 2001. Beiträge zu Begriff und Problem frühneuzeitlicher ‚Philologie’. But from the very beginning the main thread
“theocentric humanism”.o. both in terms of history.
27. 6 On “concepts as appeals” in general see Paul Richard Blum. Berlin: Die Runde 1932.
p.5 Now. New York: Braziller. pp. 14: "die Erziehung des Menschen zu seiner wahren Form.. 1.
Werner Jaeger. 4: “It may be said. Der dritte Humanismus. "paideia". who had sought for ideals of civic education and appropriated Greek culture. A. 229.. als allgemeingültiges und verpflichtendes Bild der Gattung". Acta congressus internationalis habiti Brunae diebus 12-16 mensis Aprilis 1964 .8 it is an abstraction that is meant to be realized in some way in some future and under certain conditions. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter 1973 (first ed. 7 Ralph Barton Perry. 149-171. 3
. as Louis Mercier has cunningly stated.Congresso Tomista Internazionale
of the discussion was the question about the usefulness of education and the values transmitted by it in and for society. Jaeger was fully aware of the paradox included in making humans humans. which at their time had already become history. vol. Roger Garaudy takes humanism as constituted by two major exigencies: "celle d'une maîtrise rationnelle du monde et celle d'une initiative historique proprement humaine": "L'humanisme antique et moderne". Cf.” Todorov (note 2) calls humanism a "wager" (Epilogue. in: Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte 43 (2001) pp. This also entails that the ism of humanism. Louis J. dem eigentlichen Menschsein (. in: Jan Burian and Ladislav Widman (eds. in: Thought 19 (1944) 229-246. 6 and if there is any such thing like humanism it is a project. Paideia . 1933). indeed. Prague: Academia 1968. It was the philologist Werner Jaeger who reconnected the humanism of 19 century classicism with the ancient ideal of education. which is necessarily distant and alien to present times. Milwaukee: Bruce 1948. Lothar Helbing. Detecting values in history that means basically finding them somewhere else than here and now.). Maritain’s Conception of Integral Humanism . 226 sqq. a nd again demanded – on the model of Greece – that pedagogy should "educate man to his true form.
From this it becomes transparent that 'humanism' as a concept is nothing but an appeal.7 If 'humanism' is "an ism about the human". his intrinsic humanity. his 'being human'".). pp. „Europa . American Humanism and the New Age. A.ein Appellbegriff“. 1956. The Humanity of Man. Cf. Antiquitas Graeco-Romana ac tempora nostra. Mercier. 25-34. p. that humanism is now little more than a blessed word which can be trusted to evoke applause from an audience and loosen purse strings. p. 73.). in Jaeger the paradox of making man to what he is by nature is convergent with finding patterns of culture in history. in fact. p. He therefore underscored that. Mercier. humanism was thus "the realization of the universally true and obligatory image of the kind". and doing this for the benefit of present day society is inherent in the concept of humanism as it was being advocated in the first half of the 20th century. 8 Louis J. Consequently. this ideal had not been formulated in ancient Greece itself but rather in the Roman Empire of Aulus Gellius and Cicero.
Its Meaning for World Survival by the learned Howard Mumford Jones. The neo-humanist approach of Humboldt and Jaeger tended to see the essence of the human as some feature of the kind. This is why the polytechnic school of the early 19th century could claim to be "philanthropist" in helping the prosperity of the nation. he still defends humanism as a general task of education for the benefit of the American culture. which allows to voice concern about cultural issues (justified or not) without addressing the philosophical meaning of being human. 9 In his hapless attempt at defending “the substance of humanism” (such the headline of his chapter 4) against “the fallacy of utility” (chapter 3). the project feature of the concept of humanism prevailed and was transformed into the concept of social progress. and historicist concept of humanism into the ideal of social progress was completed. which then had to be brought about in the individuals as the subjects of education. which always could claim much more usefulness. that is utilitarian applications of the humanities. In the English speaking world the early 1930s had been the high time of such view. in 1933 the Humanist Manifesto was published. arts. and oftentimes with explicit preclusion of any religious or theological background of it. To make a long story short. namely some dignity. From there the question arises whether it is a feature of every individual human being or only of humankind. Ever since Francis Bacon the "advancement of learning" was associated with the progress of the people.
p. Eventually. arts and letters. 4
. religion. American Humanism. His account of humanism draws vaguely upon Renaissance humanists and ends up in the postulate of “the first essential element in humanism: that it is nontheological”. The disadvantage was evidently that in terms of curriculum of studies humanism had to compete with polytechnical education. On the other hand.10 Jones’ account is a symptom of the appellative function of the term humanism for political purposes. the humanities) for the society.P. and letters) it always could claim to foster the inner qualities of any individual human being. 14). “[h]umanism implies an assumption about man”.e. pp. 97 and 101 sqq. However. the meaning of which Jones is not willing to explore in any anthropological depth. spiritual. BLUM. R. The political advantage of this view was that one could prove the usefulness of "studia humanitatis" (i. Jacques Maritain Against Modern Pseudo-Humanism
the project. Its Meaning for World Survival. that is: the appeal must be inherent in human nature. 10 Ibid. vol. wherein the transformation of a cultural. A typical product of this notion of humanism is the booklet on American Humanism. as this neo-humanism in matters of study dealt with human culture and spiritual values (such as philosophy. The
Howard Mumford Jones. New York: Harper 1957 (World Perspectives.
Potter defines humanism “as faith in the supreme value and self-perfectibility of human personality”. dogmatic creeds. p. p. above and beyond the divisive particulars. 16 Ibid. into the future: "Humanism (. p.. The self-referring momentum of the concept of person insinuates an understanding of the individual. a Unitarian minister before he founded the First Humanist Society in New York. the Humanist will find all the thrills which formerly intrigued the seekers of celestial bliss in the thereafter. even though in terms of fact the discourse dwells in the realm of scarcely warranted assumptions about human nature. 15 Ibid. such as self-recognition. New York: Ungar 1993. and ritual customs of past religions or their mere negation. this social humanism transposed the very ideal. No wonder. and it endows the reversal of the transcendent meaning of humanity with the appearance of individualistic concern."12 Charles Francis Potter (1885-1962).).) has time on its side. the book concludes with a chapter on “The Social Program of Humanism” and a look into “the Religion of the Future”. declared humanism to be “a new religion” by a strict anthropocentric turn in everything that Christian tradition had to offer.13 Already in his program the teleological impetus is transparent: “To men and women today. self-consciousness etc. which instigated the progress. 20-33. heroic personalities. A New Religion. (…) In the challenge to make the world better here and now.
Charles Francis Potter. In order to achieve this view.. p. 291. Ibid. 5
. Humanism is an ethical process through which we all can move. Of course this manifesto and the publications that accompanied it never attempted at explaining how individual happiness might be secured by collective advancement."11 I need not to discuss the origin and sources of this Manifesto. pp. It stands as a paradigm of such humanism that tries to embed individual perfection in the progress of social welfare. 14 Ibid. Humanism.16 The conceptual advantage of this procedure is that the author may continuously speak about humankind under the label of ‘personality’ and thus keep blurring over the difference between humankind and the individual. Humanism offers inspiration and a program. New York: Simon and Schuster 1933. The Philosophy of Humanism.
Corliss Lamont. 13.Congresso Tomista Internazionale
Manifesto declared the signers' "commitment to the positive belief in the possibilities of human progress (. While the neohumanism of Humboldt and Jaeger saw the ideal of humanity (rightly or wrongly) in history.
p.15 Humanism is thus marked by a series of composites of “self-“.”14 Eschatology and transcendence are being turned into horizontal teleology of the near future beyond the here and now. 300. 7 th ed.. 18..
who have not opted for a fundamental atheism.) 20 Ibid. are decisive for qualifying any humanism. comme l'actuelle 'ligne générale' de la philosophie soviétique semble l'indiquer. 1). hope for an integral realism and a Christian humanism ". CDK 14/01. Jacques Maritain Against Modern Pseudo-Humanism
These two topics. dated June 15. psychic activity. 974: "Je pense comme vous que c'est à un réalisme intégral et à un humanisme chrétien qu'aspirent aujourd'hui tous les esprit qui n'ont pas opté pour un athéisme foncier (…). d'un dieu en devenire (…)". dated "8 juin 1932". la liberté." (Maritain's emphasis. other than Maritain did. Notre Dame Indiana. p. 4). the individual and the eschatology. à une sorte d'hylozoïsme attribuant à la 'matière' la spontanéité. freedom etc. R. as will be shown in the following paragraphs.06. We may infer. but rather employed them in order to determine the meaning of anthropology for human action and its implications in politics and morals. Maritain – to the best of my knowledge – is the only philosopher who has not blurred over these inconsistencies of the concept of humanism. and to stretch any transcendent meaning of life into an unknown future. 973-978. in: Oeuvres 5. he agrees with Maritain in criticizing the lack of transcendence in the current meaning of humanism.19 What is striking is his description of that atheism. Zofingue18 . 1938. dated January 1940. 6
. In these notes for a conference. BLUM.P. as voiced in communism as well as in the so called Religious Humanism of the Manifesto. even though Maritain doesn't speak about it. Even though De Koninck declared himself to be “no maritainist” (letter to Mortimer Adler. 19 Letter. p. He did not make positive use of the intrinsic paradox of the concept as such. 974: "[athéisme] qui doit tourner en réalité. 18 Centralblatt des Schweizerischen Zofingervereins. 17 As early as in June 1932. l'activité psychique. Basel 1868-1946. etc. that the optimism of social progress is nothing but the historicity of human values – as advocated in the traditional humanism – stripped of their past and therefore projected into future.20 In this short remark Maritain reveals his understanding of atheism as an attempt at making spiritual features intrinsic to non-spiritual substances and conditions. in a letter to Feuille Centrale.
Among the documents at the Maritain Center of the University of Notre Dame. and stripped of their fundamental human meaning and therefore projected into social welfare. Maritain stated that: "all intellectuals. of a god to come". He observes that forced antitheism.
p. by nature of spiritual reality turns itself into something like second hand theology. pp. the author states: “l’émancipation humaniste de l’homme entraîne en même temps son assujettissment et la négation absolue de soi-même” (p. typescript copy in the same collection no. namely as: "doomed to turn into a kind of hylozoism in attributing to 'matter' all spontaneity. there are interesting notes by the philosopher Charles De Koninck on “Les paradoxes de l’univers purement humain” (document CDK 11/11).. ‘Zofingia’ is an old Swiss student's fraternity.
(2) of an ontology that encompasses "theological and mystical wisdom in their own rights". then. s'il n'est uni au réalisme de l'amour et de la volonté. ni qu'une restauration de la connaissance ontologique puisse elle-même être stable si la sagesse théologique et la sagesse mystique ne sont aussi rétablies dans leurs droits.21 To be sure. Enfin le réalisme de la connaissance restera.: "Le sens de la vie humaine est de tender à la perfection de la charité (…). definitely a Christian humanist of the Renaissance.: "Je ne crois pas qu'un respect universel du réel (…) puisse être assuré dans une culture sinon sur la base d'une métaphysique reconnaissant la plein valeur de l'intelligence et du savoir rationnel. consists in taking reason and revelation. pp. Christian Humanism. he rather gives an agenda for any philosophy that claims to be realistic.Congresso Tomista Internazionale
Maritain puts together what makes up "integral realism": It consists (1) of "such a metaphysics that f ully values intelligence and rational knowledge". bien fragile en nous. (3) and finally it has to be "realistic about love and will". Dudley. 187-199. de fait. 7
. combines the rational and emotional features as assessed for any realist thought. but an inner reality of the human. His antidote against atheism. However. is given in: John A. 23 Ibid. intuition and intention into account of what there really is. had used the same pattern in taking
Ibid. and Jane E. As the author is well aware that Incarnation and Passion are concepts that are despised for being "contradictory in terms". 22 When Maritain. International Perspectives. describes his concept of "Christian Humanism" he seems to theologize in referring immediately to the Incarnation and Passion of Christ. considered to be non-blessed and selfsufficient". because suffering and redemption is "not an outward blessing of humanity. Charity. "The Concept of Substance and Life Presupposed by Christianity".: "(…) un humanisme soi-disant chrétien qui réduit la grâce du Christ a couronner et sanctionner du dehors le développement d'une nature tenue pour non blessé et se suffisant. New York: Lang 1995. in: Richard P. un tel humanisme est la destruction de l'homme. J.24 As an historical aside it is interesting that Nicholas Cusanus. consequently."23 and I don't see anything exclusively Christian in this. based on Plato and Aristotle and without reference to Maritain. The agenda of realist philosophy is dictated by reality and not by reference to existing patterns of thought. he understands the Cross as a natural feature of the human. I don't think that the author is simply purporting his philosophical prejudices." 22 A defense of this view. he makes his observations culminate in the statement: "The meaning of human life is to strive for perfection of love [charité]."
p. It should be noted that Maritain in his claim combines ontological and spiritual matters as well as rational and emotional powers.). Francis (eds. which is at the same time its aim. rather." 24 Ibid.
"Un humanisme héroïque". 757-762 (originally 1943). 6. that Christian humanism has to deal with human reality. tertius. and keeps the door open to a future. too) its aim being to give access to interior freedom and spiritual life to everyone.P. but such failure does not disclaim the naturalness of the strife nor the option for progress. Œuvres complètes. De docta ignorantia . p. which consists in plurality (again a consequence drawn by Cusanus. Jacques Maritain Against Modern Pseudo-Humanism
Christ and Incarnation as the model of his anthropology. Jacques Maritain. and to manifest his original greatness by having him participate in all that which c an enrich him in nature 27 and in history". in Jacques et Raïssa Maritain. lib. 153. § 219. Raymundus Klibansky. 27 Integral Humanism . 152. illi meruerunt. 8
. vol. Fribourg: Éditions Universitaires / Paris: Éditions Saint-Paul 1984. p. Maritain observes against André Malraux's socialist humanism.
Nicolaus de Cusa. 44: "quidquid Christus Iesus passione sua meruit. Hamburg: Meiner 1977. ed. 6. according to Maritain. 3. there is nothing less common to man than heroism. cap. p. This letter of 1932 presents Maritain's Integral Humanism in a nutshell.25 Hence follows. We may state that the strife for a better life entails the possibility of failure. then he echoes deliberately the standard definitions of socialist and other humanisms.
p. as the socialist humanism tended to do. pp. qui unum sunt cum ipso (. 298 : “rendre l’homme plus vraiment humain”. which. 26 Integral Humanism . Enrichment in history undoes the truncation from intellectual history. Cf. p. The Twilight of Civilization. To render man more human means for him to undo the restriction to the mere natural conditions of an animal rationale. because it is Incarnation in which the divine and earthly nature of man is theologically expressed. When Maritain in defining humanism uses the words: "humanism (…) tends essentially to render man more truly human. in: Oeuvres complètes. vol. love and will in the realities that make for a human it comes without surprise that the great book Humanisme Intégrale of 1937 starts with considerations of the "heroic life": "There is nothing that man desires so much as a heroic life. p. BLUM..)". On the difference between heroism in war and as human condition see Jacques Maritain. R. 1988. Jacques Maritain. 7. Humanisme Intégral. however. has nothing of utopia."26 Heroism – as postulated by the Humanist Manifesto – is an antinomy.. Enrichment in nature has its specific significance if one takes into account the tendency to reduce the human nature to exclusively spiritual values (as the neo-humanism had done): The nature of m an is natural. but he has changed the meaning and given it an anthropological turn. If one is aware of the inclusion of charity. indeed. New York: Sheed and Ward 1943.
He rather makes use of the structure of the concepts of human. humanity. Therefore he prides himself to outdo socialist humanism: "that which I call integral humanism is capable of saving and of promoting (…) all the truths affirmed or
In 1943 Jaeger gave a lukewarm recommendation of Maritains integral humanism. that this book closes with an appeal for practical engagement in politics. a man of his convictions must either abandon humanism entirely or redefine it. in which “the Christian acts and appears before men as a Christian as such”. 338-339. then. Whatever Maritain suggested at his time. both published in 1933. but it is very unlikely that he did not take them into account while he was working on his Humanisme Intégrale. 29
One cannot be astonished. 41. which are linked together by a third plane. which was published in 1937. p. p. Unlike these and most of those who appeal for some humanism. (…) I should act as Christian. Humanism and Theology (The Aquinas Lecture 1943).Congresso Tomista Internazionale
If I am not mistaken. as well as transcendence need no justification on dogmatic grounds but are evident from the phenomenology of human being itself. (…) engaging my whole self. he does not offer a positive set of assumptions and teachings that are presupposed and pursued by it.
p. p.30 What is important for his view of humanism. not amputated or inanimate. 9
. and humanism in order to show that ‘enrichment’ or progress. Maritain never quotes the neo-humanism of Werner Jaeger . 30 Integral Humanism . (…) a Christian sap. however. history or tradition. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press 1943. saying that against “those whose ideal of education and culture is of a merely formalistic nature (…) Maritain pointed out (…) that if this be humanism. It is the nature of the (Christian) human that infuses humanity into the world. even though he repeatedly argued against the development of anthropology since Renaissance and Reformation and frequently referred to S. 574). Mercier (note 8) in Thought 19 (1944) 573575. namely the spiritual and the worldly plane. 757-758) does not respond to this point. is how he defines the worldly plane of action: "On the plane of the temporal [activity]. Mercier in his reply (ibid.” Werner Jaeger."31 This is how Maritain combines the appeal to become human with the essence of being human. the completeness of his understanding of human nature requires secular activity: Therefore he describes three planes of activity of a Christian. 31 Integral Humanism . where he claims not to write "literary history of ideas" (as Mercier did) but rather to "situate [Molina and others] and to bring out their significance in the philosophy of modern culture and history" (p. nor the Humanist Manifesto. 340. Thomas Aquinas. 29 See Maritain's reply to the article by L. (…) infusing into the world. My contention is that it s not a matter of convictions but of coherence of the concept. Therefore it would be mistaken to expect historical research from Maritain.
chapter 5: "Le désir de voir Dieu". 190.point to the original root of human activity as it is expressed in the heroic potential of humans. 154. because "every will. 320-327. in: Œuvres complètes. i. nor does he postpone humanity into a distant future. i tomisti e la volontà . The paradox described here has been discussed in scholastic philosophy as "velleitas". Later. BLUM.
p. 1960]."32 He is right in claiming this. the will of the impossible. The main source of heroism in humanist action is the desire and will. Aproches de Dieu. 208. Moral Philosophy. L'impossibile volere.e."37 Human desire as such is "a token of the possibility (…) to know God in a way that transcends reason. makes the difference. New York: Scribner’s 1964 [French ed.that is. Maritain would blame August Comte for substituting humanity for God. 36 Integral Humanism . 301 : “D’une part. Humanisme Intégral. because he understood the tension between individualism and teleology of human actions.P. p."35 Such an ironic remark should prevent any interpreter from confining Maritain to some stubborn dogmatism. even in philosophy: "Human weakness is always trying to go to sleep. even the most perverse. and of being prone to laziness. and future for transcendence. desires God without knowing it. it is the eternal truths it will take for its pillow."36 This is a proof of the existence of God based on the volition in human nature. 34 Integral Humanism . 187. as a complement to intellect. 10
. il n'est rien de plus humain. and which is not
Integral Humanism . An historical and critical survey of the great systems. and the intellectual temptations of skepticism and dogmatism . if it is not the doubt of the old humanist Stoic. Tommaso d'Aquino. For this see Andrea A. the twofold nature of man. Jacques Maritain Against Modern Pseudo-Humanism
glimpsed by socialist humanism (…). Robiglio. ou de spiritualité incarnée." Translations from this text are mine. p. 37 Jacques Maritain.33 Maritain accepted the paradox of human being. Jacquest Maritain. Will. Maritain elaborates this proof in his Approches de Dieux. " 35 Integral Humanism . being spirituality that lives in a bodily world. to be a "unity of flesh and spirit. (…) of incarnate spirituality"34 . il enveloppait dans ses formes sacrales un humanisme virtuel et implicite (…). He does not simply refer his contemporaries to super-historical values in history. p. R. p. 10. in his La Philosophie morale. p. 1985. p. when he repeats the paradox of heroism in the formula: "Nothing is more human than that man naturally desires what is impossible by his own nature. pp. vol. thus creating “The religion of Humanity”. Milan: Vita e Pensiero 2002. Both statements taken together . du seul fait que le regime de la chrétienneté médiévale était un régime d’unité de la chair et de l’esprit. chapter 12. 88: "Que l'homme désire naturellement des choses impossibles à sa nature.
41 Maritain agrees with his fellow philosophers in observing that transcendence is inherent to human nature. then at least every action. that is: "precisely a nature which is in movement. Mishawaka: American Maritain Association 1988. intellect and will." 39 Integral Humanism. and antitheism can seriously deny the reality and power of human will. (…) la vérité suit l'existence des choses (…). p. No naturalism. The "humanist quality"42 of his teaching is granted by its existential approach. 153. Fribourg: Éditions Universitaires / Paris: Éditions Saint-Paul 1989. Knasas (ed. Therefore he referred to Max Scheler." 44 Ibid. 41 A few remarks on Maritain and existentialism can be found in: Laura Westra. as on human will depends. But he applies it in a style congenial to 20th century philosophy. p. 154: "Thomas d'Aquin est (…) le plus existentiel des philosophes. Translations from this text are mine. pp. When Maritain observes the weakness and the strength of human capacity to shape ones own destiny he obviously applies scholastic terminology of freedom. He defines human nature as "immutable". Aquinas is "the most existential of all philosophers"43 because his metaphysics is based on the axiom: "The truth of things is an upshot of their existence.40 This is easily recognizable as the core thesis of existentialism. namely that man is defined in his relation to the world. 42 Jacques Maritain. 90: "Ainsi le désir naturel (…) est il dans la raison la marque de la possibilité (…) d'une connaissance de Dieu supérieure à la raison."44 This truth – as Maritain read Aquinas – applies to man in all senses of the word. "Freedom. 40 Integral Humanism . if not intellection. It is under the emblem of "existence" that Maritain names Thomas Aquinas thought a humanism."38 Inclusion of divinity is therefore the fulfillment of Maritain's call for realism. Jean-Paul Sartre will later call it eksistence. C'est parce qu'il est par excellence un philosophe de l'existence que saint Thomas est (…). because it is the power that enables humans to act within nature and despite all alienation from it and from human
Ibid.Congresso Tomista Internazionale
yielded but rather aspired to by reason. the nature of a being of flesh made in the image of God". in: Oeuvres 8. in: John F. Jacques Maritain: The Man and His Metaphysics. qui n'est pas due à la raison. p. when talking about humanism's enrichment of man: "concentrating the world in man" and "dilating man to the world". 43 Ibid."
p. "L'humanisme de Saint Thomas d'Aquin". 243-253. which is a paradox. utopianism.). Martin Heidegger termed it "Being-in-the-world". p. mais à laquelle elle aspire. X. 153-174 (originally 1941).39 His biblical allusion serves to illustrate 20th century anthropology par excellence: nature in motion. 153: "la qualité humaniste d'une doctrine". a relation that endangers and constitutes human being. Existence and Existentialism". 156: "Veritas sequitur esse rerum . 11
. p. 187.
47 he gives the traditional humanism its full meaning. 46 By this interpretation. Being. calling it "theocentric". BLUM. In taking transcendence seriously as the dialectic of internalism and externalism of the Divine in human nature. p. but repeats his basic insight that humanism. p.
Ibid.45 'Existence' denotes the antinomy of human perfection and shortcoming. Jacques Maritain Against Modern Pseudo-Humanism
nature itself. including human being. Maritain not simply enrolls the medieval scholastic in the movement of 'integral humanism'. 162 sq. 159 on "surabondance de l'existence divine". on "amour de charité" and "perfection". 158: "(…) la force et le courage de faire notre travail d'hommes au sein de l'étrange nature et de notre propre étrangeté." 46 Ibid.P. and he precludes any temptation at making man the object of social or scientific experiments. and he overcomes the antinomy of the concept of humanism between anthropology and call for action. is the theory of the transcendent nature of the human. p. R. is realized in grades of perfection and never comes to an end. p. 171 on "aspirations". 169: “Theocentric and Anthropocentric Humanism”: “The first kind of humanism recognizes that God is the center of man (…). 12
. p. 47 Integral Humanism .”
p. namely as the unity of presence and history in the individual and in the society. as an ism about man. but the inherent power to enact the aspirations is expressed in charity and love – both being gifts of God's grace and superabundance.