Person, Being, and History

Person, Being, and History

Michael Baur
Robert E. Wood
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 388
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt284zh3
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  • Book Info
    Person, Being, and History
    Book Description:

    the various essays in this volume by colleagues and former students of Schmitz examine his thought and the subjects of his teaching. In addition to an overall exposition of his own thought, the collection treats themes such as gift, faith and reason, culture and dialogue, modernity and post-modernity

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1914-1
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-viii)

    At the University of Toronto, where he is professor emeritus, Kenneth Schmitz was known as “the Educator.” Earlier in his career, students followed him from Loyola Marymount University to Marquette University when Marquette began its doctoral program in philosophy. His teaching itinerary moved through Indiana University to the Catholic University of America, and finally back to his native Canada at the University of Toronto. Even at his advanced age, he still teaches in Washington, D.C., where students from the John Paul II Institute and the School of Philosophy at Catholic University continue to be drawn more deeply into philosophy through...

  4. PART I. THEMES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF KENNETH L. SCHMITZ
    • 1. THE PHILOSOPHY OF KENNETH L. SCHMITZ: The Recovery and Discovery of Things, Being, and the Person
      (pp. 3-47)
      James Kow

      Why take up philosophy? Kenneth L. Schmitz recalls that, while returning from leave in wartime England and browsing in a bookstall, he was astonished to find a book entitled Does the World Exist? In his words: “Recall the times. That world, too much with us.... What a fantastic mind that could raise such a question! I bought the book and philosophy had trapped a new victim.”¹ A gracious victim, entrapped maybe, but a unique person, who has liberated many of his students and colleagues with his breadth of spirit and mind since then.

      This chapter is dedicated, albeit hesitantly, to...

    • 2. THE GIFT AND THE GIVING
      (pp. 48-56)
      Louis Dupré

      Before beginning this essay I feel obliged to disclose its writer’s prejudices. I have been a friend of Kenneth Schmitz for some forty years. We have shared discussions, panels, and, during one extended period, regular meetings in Boston and Philadelphia. We have read each other’s writings, published and unpublished. We have enjoyed personal encounters in which we subjected private experiences to common reflection. I have learned much from my friend, from his uncommon knowledge of Hegel (I still continue to consult his unpublished commentary on Hegel’s Logik), from his religious perceptiveness expressed in beautifully crafted essays, from his insight into...

    • 3. “PRAISE THE WORLD TO THE ANGEL”: Heidegger, Schmitz, and the Liturgy of the Thing
      (pp. 57-74)
      James Crooks

      In the realm of abstract speculation that seems now to encompass all the discursive spaces of the academy—from the university senate to the faculty/student barbecue—one tends to imagine the future of philosophy either as a response to economic, technological, and ideological forces external to it or as the steadfast resistance of those forces.

      More often than not, the proximate origin of the first option is the institution’s planning process. For decades now, universities have been underfunded. When the money does come it tends to target disciplines and modes of research with evident market value. Under the pressure of...

  5. PART 2. READING THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY IN THE SPIRIT OF KENNETH L. SCHMITZ
    • 4. COMING-TO-KNOW AS A WAY OF COMING-TO-BE: Aristotle’s De Anima III.5
      (pp. 77-102)
      Michael Baur

      In book III, chapter 5 of the De Anima, Aristotle introduces the distinction between poetikos nous and pathetikos nous. The former term was not used by Aristotle himself, but gained currency later among his Greek commentators.¹ In my own treatment of book III, chapter 5, I shall employ the conventional English terms for the two forms of nous—active intellect and passive intellect, respectively. I believe that it is possible to make use of such terminology without adopting as a result any distorting views concerning the nature of the two forms of nous. While Aristotle does not consider nous to...

    • 5. REVISITING ANSELM’S ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
      (pp. 103-114)
      John W. Burbidge

      There is something beguiling about Anselm’s argument for the existence of God. By combining a negation with a comparison, it creates a definition that is both subtle and ambiguous. By telling us more about what God is not than about what he is, it bears a whiff of Eastern negative theology. And the delicate relationship between thought and existence, between concept and reality, carries within it the ongoing puzzle about how our (very human) reflections and theoretical constructions could possibly lead us to conclusions about what the world is really like, beyond all appearances.

      Intrigued by these considerations, it is...

    • 6. ARISTOTLE AND AQUINAS
      (pp. 115-124)
      Ralph McInerny

      There are some men who seem venerable even in their youth, and Ken Schmitz was one of them. When I was young and he was already venerable, a function of wisdom, not of age, we met mainly at meetings. He moved often on the academic checkerboard, although many will perhaps imagine that he was in Toronto throughout his career. Not so. He taught in California, he taught in Indiana, but when he was called to Toronto it must have seemed a homecoming. There was something deeply fitting about it. Surely Ken is one of the finest flowers of the Pontifical...

    • 7. SUBJECTIVITY AND OBJECTIVITY IN HEGEL’S SCIENCE OF LOGIC
      (pp. 125-139)
      John Russon

      When I undertook graduate studies in the 1980s, the University of Toronto was internationally recognized as a center for study in the history of philosophy. The presence of Kenneth L. Schmitz in the department made it especially strong as a center for the study of Hegel’s philosophy, and I had the great privilege and pleasure of attending many courses that he taught on Hegel, Kant, and German idealism. The jewel in this crown was his graduate seminar on Hegel’s Science of Logic, in which I was able to participate in three different years. Hegel’s Science of Logic is much maligned,...

    • 8. VIOLENT AND NONVIOLENT TELEOLOGY IN HEGEL’S SCIENCE OF LOGIC
      (pp. 140-155)
      Jay Lampert

      Some modern and postmodern philosophers favor violence as a means of outflanking authoritarian forms of peace and philosophy, and find promising concepts of violence in the great philosophers, above all in Hegel. This motivation is not altogether incorrect, but perhaps there are other ways besides violence to slip out of classical constraints. Kenneth Schmitz’s philosophy of freedom is, among other things, a move away from modern violence philosophies. Yet with all his classical philosophical commitments, Schmitz is as modern a philosopher as there is, particularly regarding the modern proof of unconditioned freedom. For these reasons, his work is not only...

    • 9. PERFORMING HEGEL
      (pp. 156-180)
      Martin Donougho

      Theodor W. Adorno remarks of Hegel that “for a contemporary of Humboldt it is striking how little he is concerned with language.”¹ The same could hardly be said of Adorno, who in stark contrast presents himself as the self-conscious stylist, ever alert to the subtleties of form and attitude. Yet his own practice was often to set language against itself, to push the envelope of intelligibility, the opposite of transparent communication. And this, oddly enough, was the trait he admired above all in Hegel. For example, a few pages after the above we read: “The dialectic’s protest against language cannot...

    • 10. BEAUTY AND THE GOOD IN HEGEL’S AESTHETICS
      (pp. 181-199)
      Daniel E. Shannon

      Kenneth Schmitz has written on a great number of philosophical subjects, often dealing with questions of humanity and its relation to the transcendentals: being, truth, unity, beauty, and goodness. In some of his writings he has focused not just on the metaphysics, but also on the aesthetics of this relationship. For instance, in a recent essay, “The Lustrous Power of Beauty,” he holds that “To claim that being is itself beautiful is a statement about the fundamental character of reality. It is an affirmation of the positive character of existence” (“Lustrous,” 237).¹ Later in the same lecture, he ties the...

    • 11. THE PROBLEM OF GENIUS IN KING LEAR: Hegel on the Feeling Soul and the Tragedy of Wonder
      (pp. 200-225)
      Jennifer Bates

      Hegel’s discussion of the genius of the “feeling soul” (Die fühlende Seele) is found in his Anthropology (under “Mind Subjective” in Hegel’s Encyclopedia Philosophy of Mind).¹ The feeling soul is a singular inwardness of feeling. It embraces the corporeal in itself as its substance. It does not experience the multiple parts of the external body as divisions of the soul. Rather (like Aristotle’s sensus communis), it gathers them up into one experience. “[T]he ‘real’ outness of parts in the body has no truth for the sentient soul.”² The feeling soul in the body is “one simple, omnipresent unity.”³

      While Hegel’s...

    • 12. SCIENCE AND THE SHAPING OF MODERNITY: The Reciprocal Influence of Science and Culture
      (pp. 226-241)
      Jude P. Dougherty

      Cultural historians necessarily deal in broad generalizations. Whatever is affirmed of a period, a people, or a nation, no matter how well-grounded by factual study and reflection, is subject to qualification. Exceptions to broad characterizations may always be found without mitigating the value of the broader insight. We grasp something when an author refers to the Greeks, to Roman civilization, to the Hellenic period, to Christendom, to the Benedictines, to the Renaissance, or to the Enlightenment. These designations, all generalizations formed by an examination of a host of particulars, indeed refer to something intelligible, something quite apart from the mind.¹...

    • 13. SCHELER ON THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS CONSCIOUSNESS
      (pp. 242-257)
      Daniel O. Dahlstrom

      One of Kenneth Schmitz’s major and undoubtedly lasting accomplishments is his demonstration of the distinctive contribution made by Karol Wojtyla to philosophy. In Schmitz’s masterful expositions, Wojtyla’s philosophical project comes alive as an effort to understand action phenomenologically and realistically, as something that proceeds from and reveals, not consciousness, but the whole person “as a being among other beings.”¹ In this connection, among other things, Schmitz corrects a common misunderstanding of the extent of Wojtyla’s philosophical debt to Scheler’s thought. To be sure, Wojtyla plainly acknowledges the importance to him of both Scheler’s critique of Kant’s ethics and its basis...

    • 14. THE PERVASIVE PRESENCE OF THE SPIRITUAL IN GABRIEL MARCEL’S WORLD
      (pp. 258-272)
      Thomas C. Anderson

      I imagine that Ken Schmitz was responsible for a number of his students pursuing the exalted vocation of philosopher. That was certainly true in my case. I was an engineering student when I took my first philosophy course from him, and it was the beginning of my life-long pursuit of wisdom and my affection for Dr. Schmitz.

      This chapter dealing with Gabriel Marcel’s investigations into the spiritual dimensions of reality is, I believe, particularly appropriate as a tribute to Ken, for it was he who first introduced me to Marcel’s thought. In addition, his own investigations into the nature of...

    • 15. JEAN-PAUL SARTRE: An Existentialist to the End?
      (pp. 273-283)
      Thomas W. Busch

      Early in the 1960s, I had completed my first year of graduate study. While I found my professors to be good people, I was discouraged because none of the courses I had taken had gripped me to the point of personal involvement. I was beginning to wonder whether I had made a wise career choice. Then this blast of fresh air from Canada arrived on the scene and abruptly reassured me. Professor Kenneth Schmitz introduced me to Kierkegaard, Jaspers, Heidegger, Marcel, and Sartre. I just had to go on in philosophy. What a role model this man was: brilliant, scholarly,...

    • 16. THE UNMASKING OF OBJECTIVITY
      (pp. 284-304)
      John Deely

      Professor Kenneth Schmitz and I developed a friendship as senior to relatively junior member of the academic world with a common interest in Heidegger, Aquinas, and matters metaphysical and epistemological, which came increasingly to mean for me semiotics.

      Probably the main event that cemented our friendship and intellectual relationship was the review he wrote for the University of Toronto Press concerning my then-manuscript Four Ages of Understanding, purporting to be a new map of the history of philosophy, removing the gap between Ockham and Descartes by redefining the Middle Ages as rather “the Latin Age,” wherein the first general conception...

  6. PART 3. THEMES IN THE SPIRIT OF KENNETH L. SCHMITZ
    • 17. SEEING THE UNSEEN
      (pp. 307-324)
      John C. McCarthy

      It was as an undergraduate student that I incurred my first debts to Kenneth Schmitz. In the years since, my obligations to him have steadily mounted, and in ways that I could not possibly have anticipated on that bright September afternoon, now decades ago, when I found myself sitting in a wood-paneled classroom at Trinity College, the University of Toronto, as he outlined the task of the semester ahead: a reading of the Critique of Pure Reason. The course had been highly recommended by friends, as was its sequel, an introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit. In conformity with the...

    • 18. HUMAN NATURE, CULTURE, AND THE DIALOGICAL IMPERATIVE
      (pp. 325-340)
      Robert E. Wood

      Kenneth Schmitz is my teacher. His courses on existentialism, on modern philosophy, and on Hegel and Nietzsche had a decisive impact on my own subsequent approach to philosophy. Existentialism and its background in phenomenology, as well as both Nietzsche and Hegel, continue to be focal points in my own studies. His interest in Paul Weiss led me to Weiss’s systematic approach to philosophy; his interest in the aesthetics of Hans Urs von Balthasar led me to a comprehensive review of The Glory of the Lord that was linked to my own writings on aesthetics.¹

      Schmitz’s class presentations were models of...

  7. A CHRONOLOGICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS BY KENNETH L. SCHMITZ
    (pp. 341-348)
  8. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 349-370)
  9. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 371-374)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 375-380)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 381-381)