Author Topic: «Material Logic» by John of St. Thomas (in English)  (Read 1166 times)

Offline Geremia

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Online Maximilian

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Re: «Material Logic» by John of St. Thomas (in English)
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 01:13:15 PM »

https://archive.org/details/MaterialLogicJohnOfSt.Thomas

Preface by Jacques Maritain.

Foreword and translation by Yves R. Simon:

"Simon trained to work in the realm of Thomism or scholastic philosophy. Thus, in 1955, he was one of several contributors to the translating of John of St. Thomas into English.

However, he is better known for his work in moral and political philosophy. There, he defended the traditional Thomistic account of moral action and the virtues. He was an ardent defender of the proposition that this traditional account was compatible with liberal democracy in the West, arguing that French Catholics had erred in holding that the Catholic faith supported their adherence to monarchy, à la Action Française."
 

Offline Geremia

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Re: «Material Logic» by John of St. Thomas (in English)
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2014, 03:20:57 PM »

https://archive.org/details/MaterialLogicJohnOfSt.Thomas

Preface by Jacques Maritain.

Foreword and translation by Yves R. Simon:

"Simon trained to work in the realm of Thomism or scholastic philosophy. Thus, in 1955, he was one of several contributors to the translating of John of St. Thomas into English.

However, he is better known for his work in moral and political philosophy. There, he defended the traditional Thomistic account of moral action and the virtues. He was an ardent defender of the proposition that this traditional account was compatible with liberal democracy in the West, arguing that French Catholics had erred in holding that the Catholic faith supported their adherence to monarchy, à la Action Française."
Yes, some big-wigs Thomists were involved in this translation. It's a good selection of the important parts of Cursus philosophicus Thomisticus.

Considering St. Thomas himself said in his Summa:
Quote from: Summa I-II q. 105 a. 1 c.
Unde optima ordinatio principum est in aliqua civitate vel regno, in qua unus praeficitur secundum virtutem qui omnibus praesit; et sub ipso sunt aliqui principantes secundum virtutem; et tamen talis principatus ad omnes pertinet, tum quia ex omnibus eligi possunt, tum quia etiam ab omnibus eliguntur. Talis enim est optima politia, bene commixta ex regno, inquantum unus praeest; et aristocratia, inquantum multi principantur secundum virtutem; et ex democratia, idest potestate populi, inquantum ex popularibus possunt eligi principes, et ad populum pertinet electio principum.

Accordingly, the best form of government is in a state or kingdom, where one is given the power to preside over all; while under him are others having governing powers: and yet a government of this kind is shared by all, both because all are eligible to govern, and because the rules are chosen by all. For this is the best form of polity, being partly kingdom, since there is one at the head of all; partly aristocracy, in so far as a number of persons are set in authority; partly democracy, i.e. government by the people, in so far as the rulers can be chosen from the people, and the people have the right to choose their rulers.

And Pope Pius VI said monarchy is the best form of government in thesis (“praestantioris monorchici regiminis forma”)
{allocution to the Consistory of June 17, 1793, Les Enseignements Pontificaux – La Paix Interieure de Nations, by the monks of Solesmes (Paris: Desclee & Cie), p. 8.}

There's nothing wrong with French Catholics "holding that the Catholic faith supported their adherence to monarchy". What's wrong with Action Française was its neo-pagan, atheist leader Maurras, his writings, and Action Française's newspaper.

Offline Geremia

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monarchy simply the best
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2019, 04:20:46 PM »
Pope Pius VI said monarchy is the best form of government in thesis (“praestantioris monorchici regiminis forma”)
{allocution to the Consistory of June 17, 1793, Les Enseignements Pontificaux – La Paix Interieure de Nations, by the monks of Solesmes (Paris: Desclee & Cie), p. 8.}
His allocution comments on King Louis XVI's death in January that year; here's the original text of it and an English transl.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 03:55:03 PM by Geremia »
 

Offline Non Nobis

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Re: «Material Logic» by John of St. Thomas (in English)
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2019, 10:38:00 PM »
Although Thomas Aquinas says that a monarchy is the best form of government when choosing just one of the simple forms of government (e.g. in a multiple choice test), it seems he says (in what you quoted) that in an actually existing monarchy (in some time and place?) there may be an element of democracy, and that it is a good thing:

in his Summa:
Quote from: Summa I-II q. 105 a. 1 c.
Unde optima ordinatio principum est in aliqua civitate vel regno, in qua unus praeficitur secundum virtutem qui omnibus praesit; et sub ipso sunt aliqui principantes secundum virtutem; et tamen talis principatus ad omnes pertinet, tum quia ex omnibus eligi possunt, tum quia etiam ab omnibus eliguntur. Talis enim est optima politia, bene commixta ex regno, inquantum unus praeest; et aristocratia, inquantum multi principantur secundum virtutem; et ex democratia, idest potestate populi, inquantum ex popularibus possunt eligi principes, et ad populum pertinet electio principum.

Accordingly, the best form of government is in a state or kingdom, where one is given the power to preside over all; while under him are others having governing powers: and yet a government of this kind is shared by all, both because all are eligible to govern, and because the rules are chosen by all. For this is the best form of polity, being partly kingdom, since there is one at the head of all; partly aristocracy, in so far as a number of persons are set in authority; partly democracy, i.e. government by the people, in so far as the rulers can be chosen from the people, and the people have the right to choose their rulers.

Here is  part of an article on Thomas Aquinas: Political Philosophy (https://www.iep.utm.edu/aqui-pol/) that makes the same observation:

 
Quote
Aquinas is well aware, of course, that such a monarch is not always available in political societies, and even where he is available it is not always guaranteed that the conditions will be right to grant him the political authority he ought to wield. Even worse, there is always the danger that the monarch will be corrupted and become a tyrant. In this case the best of all regimes has the greatest tendency to become the worst. This is why, whereas monarchy is the best regime simply speaking, it is not always the best regime in a particular time and place, which is to say it is certainly not always the best possible regime. Therefore, Aquinas outlines in the Summa Theologiae a more modest proposal whereby political rule is somewhat decentralized. The regime that he recommends takes the positive dimensions of all three "good regimes." Whereas it has a monarch at its head, it is also governed by "others" possessing a certain degree of authority who may advise the monarch while curbing any tyrannical tendencies he may have. Finally, Aquinas suggests that the entire multitude of citizens should be responsible for selecting the monarch and should all be candidates for political authority themselves. Whereas the best regime simply speaking is monarchy, the best possible regime seems to be the mixed government that incorporates the positive dimensions of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy (In the Summa Theologiae, Aquinas appears to use the name of democracy in place of Aristotle's conception of polity.). To support this conclusion, Aquinas is able to cite the Hebrew form of government established by God in the Old Testament. Whereas Moses (and his successors) ruled the Jews as a monarch, there also existed a council of seventy-two elders which provided "an element of aristocracy." Inasmuch as the rulers were selected from among the people, this sacred regime of the Bible also incorporated a certain dimension of democracy (ST, I-II, 105.1)

FWIW, I found this interesting. But how does a traditional Kingdom in history have an element of democracy?

I hope other people will comment on this quote and article.

A nation with Lincoln as President sure would beat a nation with Obama as King.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 10:41:14 PM by Non Nobis »
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
 

Offline Kephapaulos

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Re: «Material Logic» by John of St. Thomas (in English)
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2019, 01:36:03 PM »
It would be that the monarch is the final authority at the top, the aristocracy of nobility established under him, and the democracy found on the local level. That was basically what the feudal system was, although complex according to nation and historical circumstances. The Low Countries had a sort of democracy but still subject to the higher authority of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles Coulombe said something about how even republics were subject to monarchies.
 

Offline Geremia

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Re: «Material Logic» by John of St. Thomas (in English)
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2019, 03:56:29 PM »
Although Thomas Aquinas says that a monarchy is the best form of government when choosing just one of the simple forms of government (e.g. in a multiple choice test), it seems he says (in what you quoted) that in an actually existing monarchy (in some time and place?) there may be an element of democracy
St. Robert Bellarmine's view is the same:
He asks in De Romano Pontifice (On the Roman Pontiff) ch. 1: "What Might be the Best System of Government?"
He answers, in ch. 4, "That Without the Circumstances of this World, Simple Monarchy Would Absolutely and Simply Excel," but, in ch. 3, "That Monarchy Mixed with Aristocracy and Democracy, Should be More Useful in this Life".
 
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Offline Geremia

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Re: «Material Logic» by John of St. Thomas (in English)
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 04:01:30 PM »
A nation with Lincoln as President sure would beat a nation with Obama as King.
U.S. presidents are definitely not kings. The U.S. is not "a state or kingdom, where one is given the power to preside over all". The U.S. is tricephalous (three-headed): congress, president, supreme court.

Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: «Material Logic» by John of St. Thomas (in English)
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2019, 09:00:48 PM »
A nation with Lincoln as President sure would beat a nation with Obama as King.
U.S. presidents are definitely not kings. The U.S. is not "a state or kingdom, where one is given the power to preside over all". The U.S. is tricephalous (three-headed): congress, president, supreme court.