Date of Award

Spring 1965

Document Type



Languages & Literature


With the introduction of the real distinction into modern scholastic philosophy the possibility of defining a meaningful aesthetic becomes very real. With the work of the non-scholastics and such philosophers as Maritain and Gilson it has become possible to be more than a scholastic essentialist and interpret the reality of our times in an intelligent Christian manner. With modern thought returning to an interpretation of reality based on finality it is important that the dynamism which is always attractive be made to come to terms with authentic thomistic teaching. It is with this purpose in mind, to link a dynamism to the philosophy of St. Thomas,that this paper is written.

Through the history of thought the term nature has enjoyed a mercurial reputation; at no time in its history did the term fall so much out of favor as in the modern period following the breakdown of scholasticism. Contemporary man falls heir to this positivistic period where order and finality had no meaning or following save in the rigid essentialistic remanants of the once dominant philosophy of the Middle Ages. As contemporary thought begins to shake the positivistic attitude which inebriated the moderns, natures are making a modest comeback; with the chaos of subjectivism in art, poetry, and the other creative disciplines demonstrating, if they are demonstrating anything at all, the irrational and inevitable non-intelligibility of an approach dominated by a wholly subjective attitude, it might be more than a victory for philosophic speculation if natures were to reappear as a meaningful way of understanding the subjective and its relation to the real world.