Why Scholastic Thomism?
One system of science alone, amidst the incessant endeavors of the many systems through four centuries to investigate the inmost mysteries
of reality, has been able to stand without modification in its fundamental tenets, and this is the system of Scholastic Thomism. Today
its stability and breadth is such that it serves as an excellent basis and principle of unification for all the results of scientific
speculation reached by the various particular sciences of modern times. We are convinced, and in this we feel confident we are not
mistaken, that all who have the courage to pursue his philosophy to the bottom and follow its logical conclusions will agree with
us that concerning the analysis of the activity and processes of the mind, concerning the inner nature of body, living being and man,
concerning the foundations of speculative science and ethical philosophy, no other man has ever thought and written with the power
of Thomas Aquinas.
Nevertheless, whilst it is true that our philosophy is intimately associated with the name of Thomas, we wish it
to be understood that we do not regard the Thomistic philosophy either as an ideal which one must not attempt to surpass or as a boundary
which sets limits to personal activity in thought; but our position is that we regard it as a mark no less of prudence than of modesty
to make use of his teaching as a starting-point from which we may go further afield in original speculations and as a constant standard
of reference. This we feel called upon to say in reply to those, whether opponents or friends, who may feel tempted to ask if it is
our intention to lead back the modern mind to the outlook of the Middle Ages.
There is no question of retracing our steps back to bygone
centuries. But respect for tradition is no indication of servility of mind but rather one of elementary prudence; respect for a doctrine
whose merits have been personally ascertained and verified is no mark of a blind devotee, but of a dutiful disciple of truth.
-Adapted from Mercier's 'Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy'
Copyright 2013 by the International Society of Scholastics.
All public material on this website is owned and operated by the International
Society of Scholastics. All rights reserved.
The International Society of Scholastics