[Summer 2022] Philosophical Thought of Garrigou-Lagrange

Philosophizing in Faith: The Philosophical Thought of Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, styled by certain parties as the “Sacred Monster of Thomism,” taught at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the “Angelicum”) in Rome for a long career of over fifty years.  Although he is normally understood to be a conservative Roman theologian of his period, an honest assessment of his work shows that, while being integrated deeply into the Dominican schola Thomae, he was an active thinker, synthesizing, with a particular strength in pedagogy, Thomistic thought on many topics in theology and philosophy. This seminar will primarily consider his philosophical thought, tracing his treatment of topics pertaining to the philosophy of knowledge, metaphysics, moral philosophy, politics, with a bit of logic as well; it will end with a consideration of Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange’s presentation of the boundaries between faith and reason.   Throughout the seminar, emphasis will be placed on his organic connection with the Thomistic tradition as well as with the ongoing development of Thomistic thought in the many figures he influenced over the course of years of teaching and writing.

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What is final causality?

To our day, the greatest philosophers, in agreement with natural reason, have said, “Becoming is not self-explanatory. It cannot exist by itself. It is not related to reality or to being as A is to A, as white is to white, as light is to light, and as spirit is to spirit.” First of all, it requires a subject. Movement is always the movement of something—of water, air, or the ether. Movement in general does not exist as such. Only this movement exists. It is only this movement or this becoming because it is the movement of this subject, of this mobile thing. No dream without a dreamer, no flight without that which flies, no outflow without a liquid, no flow without a fluid (no matter how subtle and small it might be). No thought without a mind, and if a mind is not, like God, Thought Itself and Truth Itself Ever Actually Known ab aeterno, it is distinct from its thinking and from its thoughts, which vary and are concerned with various objects while it remains one and the same (i.e., the same substantial being under the multiple and changing phenomena). And this imperfect mind cannot know without the concurrence of Him who is Thought Itself, Truth Itself, and Life Itself, He who is more intimately present to us than we ourselves are to ourselves, all the while being really and essentially distinct from us.

Garrigou-Lagrange, The Order of Things: The Realism of the Principle of Finality, 72.

Lyceum Institute seminar costs are structured on a principle of financial subsidiarity. There are three payment levels, priced according to likely levels of income. If you wish to take a seminar but cannot afford the suggested rate, it is acceptable to sign up at a less-expensive level. The idea is: pay what you can. Those who can pay more, should, so that those who cannot pay as much, need not. Lyceum Institute members receive a further discount (see here for details).

DISCUSSIONS:
July 2—27 August
Saturdays, 9:00-10:00am ET /
1:00-2:00pm UTC

WHERE:
Lyceum Institute digital platform run on Microsoft Teams

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (with a break at the halfway point—see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), we will discover the profound insights of Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, a thinker of great subtly and wisdom. The instructor for this seminar is Dr. Matthew Minerd, Professor of Philosophy and Moral theology at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, PA and Faculty Fellow of the Lyceum Institute. You can read more about Dr. Minerd here.

[2022Su-B] Philosophizing in Faith – Participant

Recommended for those who are currently students or with part-time employment.

$80.00

[2022Su-B] Philosophizing in Faith – Patron

Recommended for those in professions that do not pay as well as they ought and for whom continued education is especially important (including professors and clergy).

$135.00

[2022Su-B] Philosophizing in Faith – Benefactor

Recommended for those with fulltime employment in well-paying professions and sufficient resources to provide a little more in support of the Lyceum Institute and its mission.

$200.00

[2022 Spring] Thomistic Psychology: A Retreival

In 2017, an article was published in the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock, highlighting how pervasive mental health issues have become in our world.  Depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and psychosis all appear, according to the authors (Veronica Tucci and Nidal Moukaddam), to be rapidly on the rise. 

Why?

Is it a matter, merely, of increased recognition and improvement in diagnosis—or have we somehow gone fundamentally wrong in our understanding of the human person, to the point of our cures becoming worse than the disease?

As Spalding, Stedman, Gagné, and Kostelecky (three psychologists and a philosopher) write in their book, The Human Person:

Any undergraduate student of psychology, at the end of their studies, knows that there is no coherent, understandable picture of psychology as a single discipline.  Indeed, reading any modern introductory psychology textbook is enough to see this.  It is not just that different areas of psychology emphasize different aspects or approaches, but that they have fundamentally different, and incompatible, philosophical commitments, although those commitments are rarely described.

2019: The Human Person: What Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas Offer Modern Psychology, 2.

Put otherwise, psychology—as with all sciences, but especially so—cannot operate in a philosophical vacuum.  And yet, the methodologies employed by contemporary practitioners of psychology consists either in a materialist reductivism which eschews having any philosophical commitments whatsoever, or it relies upon nebulous concepts of what it means to be human, resulting in inferences of murky significance and strength. In consequence, there are philosophical commitments employed but never explored or analyzed in much of our psychological literature and in the concepts which are handed down to us, the public, from “elite” psychological authorities.

We are left therefore with many professionals studying and analyzing mental health, but, it seems, no real grasp of what “mental health” means in truth.  Absent a rich causal understanding of the human psyche, we seem condemned to improve only in our recognition that something is not right, that we are mentally unhealthy—while the epidemic of mental illness continues to spread.

Thus, in this seminar, we will undertake to retrieve the deep, coherent, and rich conception of the human psyche professed by Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae. At the center of this retrieval is a threefold recovery and clarification: 1) of the understanding of the ψυχή, anima, or soul; 2) of the faculties by means of which the soul operates; and 3), of the notion of habits as structuring both these faculties individually and the entire soul.  These recoveries and clarifications will help us understand personhood.

DISCUSSIONS:
April 2—28 May
Saturdays, 10:00-11:00am ET /
2:00-3:00pm UTC

(Additional discussion sessions may be added depending on interest.)

WHERE:
Lyceum Institute digital platform run on Microsoft Teams

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (with a break at the halfway point—see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), we will learn what Thomas Aquinas has to say about our human nature and faculties. The instructor for this seminar is Brian Kemple, PhD, Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute. You can read more about Dr. Kemple here.

Lyceum Institute seminar costs are structured on a principle of financial subsidiarity. There are three payment levels, priced according to likely levels of income. If you wish to take a seminar but cannot afford the suggested rate, it is acceptable to sign up at a less-expensive level. The idea is: pay what you can. Those who can pay more, should, so that those who cannot pay as much, need not. Lyceum Institute members receive a further discount (see here for details).

[2022Sp] Thomistic Psychology: A Retrieval – Participant

Recommended for those who are currently students or with part-time employment.

$80.00

[2022Sp] Thomistic Psychology: A Retrieval – Patron

Recommended for those in professions that do not pay as well as they ought and for whom continued education is especially important (including professors and clergy).

$135.00

[2022Sp] Thomistic Psychology: A Retrieval – Benefactor

Recommended for those with fulltime employment in well-paying professions and sufficient resources to provide a little more.

$200.00

Standard priceBasic Lyceum
Enrollment
Advanced Lyceum EnrollmentPremium Lyceum Enrollment
Benefactor$200 per seminar$903 seminars included
$90 after
8 seminars included
$90 after
Patron$135 per seminar$653 seminars included
$65 after
8 seminars included
$65 after
Participant$80 per seminar$403 seminars included
$40 after
8 seminars included
$40 after

[2022 Spring] Introduction to a Living Thomism

What is Thomism?  What does it mean, to be a Thomist?  Étienne Gilson once wrote in private correspondence to John Deely, in a letter written in the summer of 1968 that:

‘A thomist’ of whatever brand should find it superfluous to develop a question which Thomas was content to pass over with a few words… [because] it is very difficult to develop such a question with any certitude of doing so along the very line he himself would have followed, had he developed it.  If we develop it in the wrong way, we engage his doctrine in some [new] thoroughfare, instead of keeping it on the threshold his own thought has refused to cross, and which, to him, was still an assured truth.

Étienne Gilson, 28 August 1968 (quoted in Deely 1994: New Beginnings, 36).

This attitude toward being a Thomist, it seems to me, runs directly contrary to the spirit of Thomas Aquinas himself.  There are many problems, difficulties, and issues in our lives to which Thomas’ “few words” provide no guidance in our own endeavors, and yet the resolution of which stands of paramount importance for our intellectual, moral, and cultural well-being.

At the same time, however, Gilson did promote what he and his 20th century contemporary Thomist, Jacques Maritain, called a “Living Thomism” (cf. Gilson 1964: The Spirit of Thomism, 84ff).  In Maritain’s words:

Thomism is not a museum piece.  No doubt, like other systems of medieval philosophy, indeed, philosophic systems of all ages, it must be studied historically… But Thomism [triumphs over time] so more completely than any other [philosophy] since it harmonises and exceeds them all, in a synthesis which transcends all its components.  It is relevant to every epoch.  It answers modern problems, both theoretical and practical.  In face of contemporary aspirations and perplexities, it displays a power to fashion and emancipate the mind.

1934: Preface to Metaphysics, 1.

This emancipative power is not one which resolves the contemporary perplexities by mere repetition of already-stated answers, but one which, in the dialectical manner exemplified by Aquinas himself, weighs and measures the diverse efforts of its time and discerns through or against them what is true in itself.  In this, we see Thomism exhibit a systematic approach to thinking-through honest inquiry while never confining itself to a determinate or closed system of thought.  In this seminar, we will undertake to follow in authentic repetition the Thomistic thinking, in discovering the principles which guide all the inquiries he undertook himself—thereby enabling us not only to follow St. Thomas to his own conclusions, but to seek out conclusions to problems which he himself never had to face.

DISCUSSIONS:
April 2—28 May
Saturdays, 1:15-2:15pm ET /
5:15-6:15pm UTC

(Additional discussion sessions may be added depending on interest.)

WHERE:
Lyceum Institute digital platform run on Microsoft Teams

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (with a break at the halfway point—see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), we will investigate what the principles of Thomistic thinking and how they apply perennially in all ages and to all questions. The instructor for this seminar is Brian Kemple, PhD, Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute. You can read more about Dr. Kemple here.

Lyceum Institute seminar costs are structured on a principle of financial subsidiarity. There are three payment levels, priced according to likely levels of income. If you wish to take a seminar but cannot afford the suggested rate, it is acceptable to sign up at a less-expensive level. The idea is: pay what you can. Those who can pay more, should, so that those who cannot pay as much, need not. Lyceum Institute members receive a further discount (see here for details).

[2022Sp] Introduction to a Living Thomism – Participant

Recommended for those who are currently students or with part-time employment.

$80.00

[2022Sp] Introduction to a Living Thomism – Patron

Recommended for those in professions that do not pay as well as they ought and for whom continued education is especially important (including professors and clergy)

$135.00

[2022Sp] Introduction to a Living Thomism – Benefactor

Recommended for those with fulltime employment in well-paying professions and sufficient resources to provide a little more.

$200.00

Standard priceBasic Lyceum
Enrollment
Advanced Lyceum EnrollmentPremium Lyceum Enrollment
Benefactor$200 per seminar$903 seminars included
$90 after
8 seminars included
$90 after
Patron$135 per seminar$653 seminars included
$65 after
8 seminars included
$65 after
Participant$80 per seminar$403 seminars included
$40 after
8 seminars included
$40 after

IO2S Deely – Mind and Cognition at play in the Semiotics of Peirce

On 12 February 2022 at 10am ET/3pm UTC (see times around the world here), Lucia Santaella will present on “Mind and Cognition at play in the Semiotics of Peirce”. Santaella is a researcher 1A of CNPq, graduated in Portuguese and English Literature. She is a Full Professor in the Post-Graduate Program in Communication and Semiotics and Director of the Post-Graduate Program in Technologies of Intelligence and Digital Design at PUC-SP – Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, with a PhD in Literary Theory received from PUC-SP, in 1973, plus a Habilitation Thesis (Livre-Docência, in Portuguese) in Communication Sciences at ECA-USP – School of Communications and Arts of the University of São Paulo, achieved in 1993. She is the Director of the CIEP – International Center for Peircean Studies at PUC-SP. She is the Honorary President of the FELS – Latin American Federation of Semiotics, as well as the Brazilian correspondent of the Argentinian National Academy of Fine Arts, appointed in 2002. She was elected the President of the Charles S. Peirce Society, USA, for 2007. Santaella is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Peirce Edition Project in Indianapolis, USA, and holds many other responsibilities and honors.

Commentary will be provided by Gary Shank, Professor of Educational Research at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He has been active in semiotics since 1979, when he attended his first Semiotic Society of America meeting at his alma mater, Indiana University.

Join the Zoom meeting to participate.

2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics (IO2S) | Website

This collaborative international open scientific initiative and celebration is jointly organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project.

[2021 Fall] Metaphysics: The Existence, Nature, and Intelligibility of God

The fourteen questions which we will read in this seminar, comprising eighty-five articles, will explore the existence, nature, and intelligibility of God.  The existential demonstration—the famous “five ways” of Aquinas—will be covered quickly: for their intelligibility grows the better we understand the rest of the questions, and we will be better equipped for grasping their significance in light of the divine nature and its intelligibility to us.  In addition to the divine attributes (simplicity, perfection, goodness, infinity, omnipresence, immutability, eternality, and unity), we will take recurrent interest in the topics of analogy, significance, knowledge, and the relation of act and potency which cuts across all being.

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), basic principles of metaphysics will be applied to an understanding of the existence, nature, and intelligibility of God. One should be at least passingly familiar with both Aristotle and Aquinas, and especially the doctrine of act and potency. The instructor for this seminar is Brian Kemple, PhD, the Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute. You can read more about Dr. Kemple here and download the syllabus here.

WHEN
October 2–20 November
Saturdays, 3:15-4:15pm ET/7:15-8:15pm UTC [8:15-9:15pm UTC after Nov.7]

WHERE
Lyceum Institute digital platform run on Microsoft Teams

Lyceum Institute seminar costs are structured on a principle of financial subsidiarity. There are three payment levels, with discounts for those who are professors and clergy (whose continuing education is not sufficiently prioritized by their institutions) and for students (who are already taxed excessively by the educational system). However, if you are part of the working world and wish to take a seminar but cannot afford the “standard” rate, it is acceptable to sign up at one of these discounted prices. The idea is: pay what you can. Those who can pay more, should, so that those who cannot pay as much, need not. Lyceum Institute members receive a further discount (see here for details).

[2021 Summer] Science: Aristotle’s Organon

In order to be a proper ἀκροᾱτής (akroates), i.e., hearer or student of Aristotle’s, such that one might read and understand the Stagyrite’s treatment of specific subjects like nature (Physics), the soul (De Anima), ethics (Nicomachean Ethics), politics (Politics) or metaphysics (Metaphysics), one must first obtain a general understanding of Aristotle’s rigorous logical method. This method is disclosed in a set of works that, since Alexander of Aphrodisias (A.D. 200), has been called the  ὄργανον (organon) because it provides an account of the instrument of coming to know being or reality (οὐσία/ousia).

This seminar, Science: On Being, Language and Reason, and Cause in Aristotle’s Organon, treats Aristotle’s methodology for coming to know reality in two parts. In the first part, to be led by Dr. Daniel Wagner, students will gain understanding of the primary terms for defining (Topics), the classification of the most general concepts of the intellect (Categories), and the method of reasoning used for defining beings, which Aristotle calls induction (ἐπαγωγή/epagoge) and division (διαίρεσις/diairesis and ἀνάλῠσις/analusis) (Posterior Analytics). In the second part, to be led by Dr. John Boyer, students will gain understanding of Aristotle’s method of deductive demonstrative reasoning and explanation by proper cause (αἰτία/aitia), which constitutes scientific understanding (Posterior Analytics).

WHEN: Saturdays from 12 June through 31 July 2021, from 1:00-2:00pm Eastern Time US / 5:00-6:00pm UTC.

WHERE: on the Lyceum Institute platform run through Microsoft Teams.

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), an intense inquiry into the means of defining and demonstration will be undertaken. The instructors for this seminar are Faculty Fellows Daniel Wagner, PhD, and John Boyer, ABD. You can read more about our fellows here.

Lyceum Institute seminar costs are structured on a principle of financial subsidiarity. There are three payment levels, with discounts for those who are professors and clergy (whose continuing education is not sufficiently prioritized by their institutions) and for students (who are already taxed excessively by the educational system). However, if you are part of the working world and wish to take a seminar but cannot afford the “standard” rate, it is acceptable to sign up at one of these discounted prices. The idea is: pay what you can. Those who can pay more, should, so that those who cannot pay as much, need not. Lyceum Institute members receive a further discount (see here for details).

[2021 Summer] Science: Aristotle’s Organon – Standard

Includes full access to the seminar and a free month at the Lyceum Institute. Price is suggested for those with full-time employment.

$135.00

[2021 Summer] Science: Aristotle’s Organon – Professor / Clergy

Includes full access to the seminar and a free month at the Lyceum Institute. Discount is suggested for those employed as educators or clergy.

$85.00

[2021 Summer] Science: Aristotle’s Organon – Student

Includes full access to the seminar and a free month at the Lyceum Institute. Discount is suggested for students or others with part-time employment.

$60.00