Étien Gilsson ( Fr. Étienne Gilson ; June 13, 1884 - September 19, 1978 ) - French religious philosopher, neotomist , medievalist , co-founder and director of the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies (Canada). He proved the influence of scholasticism on the philosophy of Descartes . He affirmed the closeness of the Christian spirit to the philosophy of existentialism .
|Birth name||Etienne Henri Gilson|
|Date of Birth|
|Place of Birth|
|Date of death|
|Place of death|
|Language (s) of Works|
|School / Tradition||neo-thomism|
He studied at the Catholic College, then in the Lyceum of Henry IV . In 1907 he graduated from the Sorbonne Department of Literature . After defending his thesis in 1913, he taught at the University of Lille . At the beginning of the First World War, he was drafted into the army, in 1916 he was captured by German prisoners, where he lectured on prisoner of war philosophy on philosophy. After the war, he returned to Lille , in 1919 he was appointed professor at the University of Strasbourg .
In 1926-1932 occupied the chair of the medieval philosophy of the Sorbonne . Member of the American Academy of Medieval Studies (1927)  .
In 1932-1950 held the Department of the History of the Philosophy of the Middle Ages, Collège de France .
He lectured in the United States until 1971.
In 1929 he founded and headed the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto (Canada).
In 1947 he was elected a member of the French Academy .
He actively expressed his political position (close to Gaullism ) on the pages of the newspaper Monde . In 1947–48, the Senator of the French Republic ( Fr. Conseil de la République ).
He wrote over 60 books and 600 articles, more than 100 of them after 74 years.
He was awarded the Gifford Lectures.
When working on his thesis “Freedom at Descartes and Theology ” in 1913, Gilson discovered the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas and came to the conclusion that Cartesian thought depends much more on its scholastic origins ( scholasticism ) than Descartes thought. Gilson belongs to the discovery of the originality of the philosophy of life in Thomas Aquinas compared with all previous philosophy, including the Aristotelian one . According to Gilson, this originality consists in the distinction between essence and existence and in recognition of the ontological ( ontology ) of the primacy of existence, which refers to essence as an act of potency. While Plato and Aristotle , as well as many modern philosophers (for example, Hegel ), consider only entities, and representatives of modern existentialism focus on existence, ignoring the essence , the approach of Thomas Aquinas provides an opportunity to comprehend both essence and existence, and irreducibility to each other. According to Gilson, this originality was not noticed even by the Thomists of the New Age. Gilson himself first stated this only in the 4th edition of his book Le thomisme ( Thomism ), published in 1941 . Gilson taught that any concept concerns only the essence, therefore the concept of being cannot exist: being is learned when we move from the concept of a thing to the judgment about the existence of this thing . Therefore, there is no direct knowledge of being. In this, Gilson disagreed with Mariten , who believed that we would know being with the help of special intellectual intuition . Gilson argued with the so-called critical realism , which was developed by Thomists from the Louvain Catholic University , who tried to substantiate Thomistic metaphysics, based on epistemological analysis. From Gilson’s point of view, not epistemology should substantiate metaphysics , but vice versa, since the attempts of epistemological substantiation of metaphysics cannot go beyond the concept, that is, the essence, to real existence. According to Gilson, the content of Christian philosophy, unlike theology, is not revelata ( truths that cannot be comprehended without Revelation), but revelabilia (truths that, being based on the natural mind , have historically been deepened and preserved by Revelation ). According to Gilson, such truths of Christian philosophy are, for example, the existence of God , the freedom of divine and human action .
Etienne Gilson is mentioned in the novel “ The Name of the Rose ” by Umberto Eco .
- Being and Essence (1948)
- Favorites. Christian philosophy
- Favorites. Volume 1. Thomism. Introduction to the philosophy of sv. Thomas Aquinas
- Philosopher and Theology (inaccessible link from 11-05-2013 [2276 days])
- Philosophy in the Middle Ages. From the origins of patristics to the end of the 14th century = La Philosophie au Moyen Âge. - M .: "Republic", 2004. - 678 p. - ISBN 5-250-01825-4 .
- Averintsev S. S. Between Medieval Philosophy and Modern Reality .
- Gilson / B. L. Gubman // New Philosophical Encyclopedia : in 4 t. / Before. scientific - ed. Council V.S. Stepin . - 2nd ed., Corr. and add. - M .: Thought , 2010. - 2816 p.
- Etienne Gilson (inaccessible link) (inaccessible link from 11-05-2013 [2276 days]) .