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BOOK REVIEWS 489 including the fragments of Scripture and of our own lives, find their place. In this way, systematic theology requites biblical theology in some small way for blessings received. Dominican House ofStudies Washington, D.C. LAWRENCE}. DONOHOO, 0.P. The Common Things: Essays on Thomism and Education. Edited by DANIEL MCINERNY, intro. by BENEDICT M. AsHLEY, 0.P. Mishawaka, Ind.: American Maritain Association, 1999. Pp. x + 281. $15.00 (paper). ISBN 0-9669226-0-3. This book is the fruit of a colloquium on education and Thomism of Catholic intellectuals who have taken Jacques Maritain's Education at the Crossroads as their point of departure. In 1943, Maritain saw Western educational philosophy at a crossroads. Half a century later Daniel Mcinerny finds the West at a spiritual dead end and urges a reconsideration of the road not taken. Educational institutions have turned from common things and especially from truth and "toward the privacies of custom, technique, and contingent desire" (ix). Such is the premise that authorizes the collection of the 23 essays that make up this book. Its contributors include Benedict M. Ashley, John M. Palms, Herbert I. London, Alice Ramos, Francis Slade, Donald DeMarco, Curtis L. Hancock, Gregory Kerr, Robert J. McLaughlin, Robert E. Lauder, James V. Schall, Gregory M. Reichberg, Joseph Koterski, Romanus Cessario, Peter A. Redpath, Daniel Mcinerny, Ernest S. Pierucci, Michael W. Strasser, Walter Raubicheck, Henk E. S. Woldring, Jerome Meric Pessagno, Mario Ramos-Reyes, and Charles R. Dechert. In the introductory essay Ashley focuses on the "sapiential unification" that metaphysics provides for the many arts and sciences. In opposition to the adherents of transcendentalist or existentialist Thomism, Ashley's metaphysician does "not claim to have any data other than that supplied by the special sciences nor to be independent of these sciences in its own conclusions" (8). He insists that disciplined understanding of human nature in anthropology is a requirement for ethics, just as disciplined understanding of natural science is necessary if metaphysics is to rise above a commonsense understanding. In the course of a running critique of Maritain's theory of education, Ashley makes a trenchant case for a core education in the natural sciences. Needless to say, the institutions of Western education have strayed far from the path 490 BOOK REVIEWS marked out by Ashely's Thomism and the order of arts and sciences that it requires. Mcinerny ("A Humble and Trembling Movement: Creative Intuition and Maritain's Philosophy of Education") uses Maritain's Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry to fill in gaps in his Education at the Crossroads. He directs our attention to "what Maritain calls the dynamics of education, i.e., to 'the inner vitality of the student's mind and the activity of the teacher"' (188). Most interesting is his development of Maritain's rich concept of the preconscious life of the intellectual soul and its affective connaturality in learning. Mcinerny knows his texts well, but he also speaks convincingly out of his personal pedagogical art. In the end, he teases the reader with suggestive remarks about the liberation of the student as the essential aim of education. In one of the more elegant essays ("Studiositas, the Virtue of Attention"), Reichberg examines what Aquinas has to say about studiositas, a moral quality that introduces both moderation and courage into the life of the mind. His particular observations on the personal moral conditions for intellectual inquiry are both interesting for the philosopher and practical for the student. His concluding comparison with Simone Weil enriches the essay's overall effect. Cessario ("John Poinsot: On the Gift of Counsel") offers a careful, almost literal exposition ofJohn Poinsot's treatment of counsel, the supernatural gift that intervenes "in practical intelligence [as an aid to] the moral conscience in making concrete choices" (169). Cessario hopes to demonstrate the relevance of Poinsot's Treatise on the Gifts to contemporary moral theory. He argues that this early modern treatise effectively bridges "classical explanations of the moral life that view the human person as a free agent within a universe of divinely established purposes and ends and modern accounts of human agency that emphasize personal purposes and self-determination as the starting-point of moral...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 489-492
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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