UNIV 2011 Jacques Maritain

Jacques Maritain

ENGLISH

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/maritain/

http://maritain.nd.edu/jmc/

Jacques Maritain (1882–1973), French philosopher and political thinker, was one of the principal exponents of Thomism in the twentieth century and an influential interpreter of the thought of St Thomas Aquinas.

Maritain saw himself as working in continuity with the thought of Thomas Aquinas, and his writings frequently contain quotations from and references to Thomas’ texts. While his turn to Catholicism and his intellectual itinerary were largely due to personal reasons and to the influence of friends, his defense of Catholic thought and Thomistic philosophy were undoubtedly affected by events involving his adopted church.

Maritain’s early writings sought to address some of the concerns arising out of these events. Maritain took it upon himself to develop some aspects of Thomistic philosophy to address the problems of the contemporary world.

Maritain’s most enduring legacy is undoubtedly his moral and political philosophy, and the influence of his work on human rights can be seen, not only in the United Nations Declaration of 1948 but, it has been claimed, in a number of national declarations, such as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the preamble to the Constitution of the Fourth French Republic (1946) — this last was likely a reflection of Maritain’s lengthy correspondence with the French war hero and, later, President, General Charles DeGaulle. Maritain’s Christian humanism and personalism have also had a significant influence in the social encyclicals of Pope Paul VI and in the thought of Pope John Paul II.

Maritain’s moral and political philosophy lies within what may be called the Aristotelian-Thomistic natural law tradition. Maritain held, however, that Aristotelian ethics, by itself, was inadequate because it lacked knowledge of humanity’s ultimate end. The Thomistic view — that there is a law in human nature that is derivative of (though knowable separately from) a divine or eternal law and that humanity’s ‘end’ goes beyond anything attainable in this life — was, Maritain thought, a significant advance on what Aristotle had provided.

Following Aquinas, Maritain maintained that there is a natural law that is ‘unwritten’ but immanent in nature. Specifically, given that nature has a teleological character, one can know what a thing ‘should’ do or how it ‘should’ be used by examining its ‘end’ and the ‘normality of its functioning.’ Maritain therefore defines ‘natural law’ as “an order or a disposition that the human reason may discover and according to which the human will must act to accord itself with the necessary ends of the human being” (La loi naturelle, p. 21; see Man and the State, p. 86). This law “prescribes our most fundamental duties” (Man and the State, p. 95) and is coextensive with morality.

There is, Maritain holds, a single natural law governing all beings with a human nature. The first principles of this law are knownconnaturally, not rationally or through concepts — by an activity that Maritain, following Aquinas, called ‘synderesis.’ Thus, ‘natural ‘law’ is ‘natural’ because it not only reflects human nature, but is known naturally. Maritain acknowledges, however, that knowledge of the natural law varies throughout humanity and according to individuals’ capacities and abilities, and he speaks of growth in an individual’s or a collectivity’s moral awareness. This allows him to reply to the challenge that there cannot be any universal, natural law because no such law is known or respected universally. Again, though this law is progressively known, it is never known completely, and so the natural law is never exhausted in any particular articulation of it. This recognition of the historical element in human consciousness did not, however, prevent Maritain from holding that this law is objective and binding.

A key notion in Maritain’s moral philosophy is that of human freedom. He says that the ‘end’ of humanity is to be free but, by ‘freedom,’ he does not mean license or pure rational autonomy, but the realisation of the human person in accord with his or her nature — specifically, the achievement of moral and spiritual perfection. Maritain’s moral philosophy, then, cannot be considered independently of his analysis of human nature. Maritain distinguishes between the human being as an individual and as a person. Human beings are ‘individuals’ who are related to a common, social order of which they are parts. But they are also persons. The person is a ‘whole’, is an object of dignity, “must be treated as an end” (Les droits de l’homme, p. 84) and has a transcendent destiny. In both the material and the spiritual order, however, human beings participate in a ‘common good.’ Thus, one is an individual in virtue of being a material being; one is a person so far as one is capable of intellectual activity and freedom. Still, while distinct, both elements are equally necessary to being a human being. It is in virtue of their individuality that human beings have obligations to the social order, but it is in virtue of their personality that they cannot be subordinated to that order. Maritain’s emphasis on the value of the human person has been described as a form of personalism, which he saw as avia media between individualism and socialism.

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At the time of his death, Maritain was arguably the best known Catholic philosopher in the world. The breadth of his philosophical work, his influence in the social philosophy of the Catholic Church, and his ardent defenses of human rights made him one of the central figures of his times.

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For the topic of Personalism, click here:

Personalism in a Nutshell

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ESPAÑOL

http://www.humanismointegral.com/Indices/1.%20Maritain_Gral.htm#cinco

Jacques Maritain fue uno de los más grandes pensadores del siglo XX. Fue un hombre de profunda pasión religiosa, filosófica y cívica, así como un testigo activo y participante en los acontecimientos de su tiempo.

Fue uno de los padres de la Declaración Universal de los Derechos del Hombre de 1948 y uno de los grandes defensores del ideal democrático amenazado por las ideologías totalitarias del siglo pasado. Sus reflexiones sobre democracia, arte y ciencia constituyen un instrumento sólido y efectivo para la interpretación de los cambios que experimenta el mundo de hoy.

Jacques Maritain reintrodujo la riqueza universal y milenaria del pensamiento cristiano al abordar los temas más apreciados por el hombre contemporáneo: desde su sufrimiento a la acción política y social; desde la libertad a la belleza; desde la adhesión a la fe a la autonomía de la razón.

El suyo fue un mensaje de libertad y de independencia de la inteligencia, de vigilancia crítica de los tiempos y de compromiso con un futuro de diálogo y cooperación entre los hombres y las culturas. Maritain fue un filósofo de la nueva frontera mundial y su humanismo integral definió el alma de nuestra villa global.

Una breve biografía de Jacques Maritain:

http://www.humanismointegral.com/DOCS_1_Maritain/1_DOCS_BIOGRAFICOS/111_4_Cronologia.html

A principio de los años 30, visitó Canadá y EE.UU. (por la cual había una conexión íntima entre Francia y el Nuevo Mundo); durante esta época se publicó el libro “Libertad en el Mundo Moderno”.

Hacia 1936, con ocasión de su viaje a América Latina, cuando los problemas sociales habían relegado en todas partes a un segundo plano los problemas estéticos, filosóficos y religiosos, que ocuparon hasta entonces a las nuevas generaciones, fue nuevamente Maritain quien nos salvó de ciertos errores y de ciertas ilusiones políticas, que en mayor o menor grado nos habían deslumbrado.

El autor de ‘Del régimen temporal y de la libertad’ nos abrió un nuevo camino en el terreno político, así como antes nos lo abriera en el metafísico. El fundamento era el mismo; el sentido común. Desde la filosofía del sentido común, el maestro de Meudon nos revelaba la política del sentido común.

http://arvo.net/etica-y-politica/bien-comun-la-maduracion-de-un-concepto/gmx-niv894-con16781.htm

Para Jacques y Raissa Maritain: “Lo que constituye el bien común de la sociedad política no es sólo el conjunto de los bienes o servicios de utilidad pública o de interés nacional (carreteras, puertos, escuelas, etc.) que suponen la organización de la vida común, ni las buenas finanzas del Estado, ni su potencia militar; no es solamente el entramado de leyes justas, de buenas costumbres o de sabias instituciones que dan su estructura a la nación, ni la herencia de sus grandes recuerdos históricos, de sus símbolos y de sus glorias, de sus tradiciones vivas y de sus tesoros de cultura. El bien común comprende todas estas cosas, pero aún mucho más, y más profundo y más humano; pues también y ante todo comprende la propia suma (muy diferente de una simple colección de unidades yuxtapuestas, pues, como Aristóteles nos enseña, incluso en el orden matemático seis es algo distinto de tres más tres), comprende la suma, decimos, o la integración sociológica de cuanto hay de conciencia cívica, de virtudes políticas y de sentido del derecho y de la libertad, y de todo cuanto hay de actividad, de prosperidad material y de riquezas del espíritu, de sabiduría hereditaria inconscientemente activa, de rectitud moral, de justicia, de amistad, de felicidad, de virtud y de heroísmo en las vidas individuales de los miembros de la comunidad, debido a que todo esto es, en cierta medida, comunicable, y revierte sobre cada miembro de la sociedad, ayudándole así a perfeccionar su vida y su libertad de persona. Es todo esto lo que constituye auténtica vida humana de la multitud”[10].

Los Maritain son tomistas pero al momento de describir al bien común colocan el acento en la dimensión espiritual del mismo. Para ellos el individuo humano es para el Estado pero el Estado es para la persona. Este aparente juego conceptual significa que “el hombre no está totalmente ordenado a la sociedad política por cuanto es en sí mismo y por cuanto hay en él”[11]. El ser humano es miembro de una comunidad y en cuanto a esto se le subordina. Sin embargo, el ser humano es más que un miembro de la comunidad. Posee una dimensión trascendente a todo lo material. Así es que el Estado que incluye en sí mismo a los individuos ha de tener como fin a la persona, es decir, al hombre integralmente considerado, al sujeto individual organizado y animado por el espíritu.

El insistir que la persona humana es trascendente a toda institución por su condición de  sustancia corpórea que posee espíritu situó a los Maritain dentro del ámbito de los «personalistas». De hecho la amistad de Emmanuel Mounier – padre del personalismo contemporáneo –y de los Maritain fue intensa y prolongada. Los Maritain conformaron parte del círculo de intelectuales en torno a la revista Esprit fundada por Mounier. Todos en este ambiente afirmaban la trascendencia de la persona respecto de cualquier sistema. Con diferentes lenguajes más o menos todos intuían que la persona no es una cosa y no puede ser usada como mero medio, como instrumento, como herramienta.

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Para el tema del PERSONALISMO, haced clic aquí:

Personalismo en resumen

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ITALIANO

Libertà in Maritain

1) Maritain in “Humanisme integral” (1936) ha criticato duramente i fascismi permettendo ai cattolici di abbandonare le visioni del passato e di recuperare un rapporto positivo con le libertà moderne.


2) In “L’uomo e lo Stato” determina il rapporto tra la persona e lo Stato.La persona è nello Stato ma non si risolve interamente nello Stato. Il suo fine ultimo è trascendente.Ciò significa che lo Stato non può essere totale, deve rispettare diritti e libertà della pesona.La libertà i i diritti non sono fondati ma “riconosciuti” dallo Stato che nel rispetto di quei diritti fonda la sua legittimità.


3) La libertà non è anarchia – fare ciò che uno vuole. La libertà trova il suo ordine nel “fine” naturale. Vi sono due forme di libertà: la libertà da (negativa) e la libertà di (positiva).
La “libertà da” è la libertà dagli ostacoli che la limitano, l’opposizione alle catene.
La “libertà di” è la libertà di essere, la libertà di realizzazione. Questa porta alla distruzione quando avviene contro la natura dell’io; alla realizzazione quando perfeziona la natura dell’io secondo il suo fine.

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UNIV 2011 Freedom

Some blogs or sites on ‘FREEDOM’ that I’ve found:

Allow me to share here the blog on ‘FREEDOM’ of Father Luis Tamayo (Spain):

Some of the noteworthy statements said, that are worth highlighting are:

*St Paul reminds us “Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” What the following of Christ offers to us is this – freedom. Whoever follows Christ becomes free to be who they are, to be fully human.

Each human being has been given the gift of freedom, a freedom to love others, to help, to serve. What do we use our freedom for?

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Para los hispanoparlantes: aquí tenéis un artículo sobre ‘Libertad’, por Maribel Sánchez, que nuestro amigo Adolfo Pérez de Arellano nos comparte en una nota en Face:

Hablando de Libertad

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Please also read this wonderful paper on

‘TRUTH AND FREEDOM

by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

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Some suggestions for “Freedom as Music Theme”:

With the King of Pop’s first death anniversary just over, I couldn’t help thinking of the possible UNIV 2011 Paper Topics related to “Freedom in Music & Poetry”.  Perhaps we can do a CONTENT ANALYSIS of the songs which have FREEDOM as their theme.  Here are some recommended sites:

(1) Freedom songs and lyrics.

(2) “Born Free”, Matt Monro.

(3) FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa Official Theme Song.

Lyrics:

Ooooooh Wooooooh

Give me freedom, give me fire, give me reason, take me higher
See the champions, take the field now, you define us, make us feel proud
In the streets are, exaliftin , as we lose our inhabition,
Celebration its around us, every nation, all around us

Singin forever young, singin songs underneath that sun
Lets rejoice in the beautiful game.
And together at the end of the day.

WE ALL SAY

When I get older I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom
Just like a wavin’ flag
And then it goes back
And then it goes back
And then it goes

YouTube video: Official FIFA 2010 World Cup Theme Song

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Please click on my blog “UNIV 2010 and Music”.

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Join “UNIV Forum” Facebook group.

🙂

World Youth Alliance

World Youth Alliance (WYA) Asia Pacific office

The World Youth Alliance (WYA) is a global coalition of young people committed to promoting the dignity of the person and building solidarity among youth from developed and developing nations.

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The WYA Asia Pacific (WYAAP) Office is based in the Philippines.  It has recently moved to a new location.  The new address is: 11 J. P. Laurel Street, Xavierville 1, Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1108 Philippines.

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I was so fortunate to have been invited to the echoing, the evening of 22 June 2010, of the International Solidarity Forum (ISF) whose topic last March was “MATERNAL HEALTH”.  This was important to me, as I needed to complete the ‘conceptual framework’ I developed for the orientation on the so-called ‘Reproductive Health (RH) Bill’ that some lawmakers have wished to pass for a long time now, up to today.

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The most important information I picked up that could complete the framework on Maternal Health in the link above is as follows:

–In the talk given by Dr. Rebecca Austen during the ISF in March, she explained the top causes of maternity mortality being the following:

  1. Infection
  2. Hemorrhage
  3. Obstetric fistula/labor
  4. Hypertensive disorder

–Clearly, NONE of the proposals in the family planning (RH Bill) programs has got anything to do with resolving these problems.  And yet, what the family planning (RH Bill) proposals contain are: contraceptives, condoms, etc.: objects which have to do with prevention of pregnancy instead of assisting mother & child (and providing true health & happiness) during & after childbirth.

–For more info on the issue of Maternal Health, the WYA website leads you to MaterCareUSA.org.

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I quickly understood why all of these youths in WYA have decided to commit their energies and resources to this worthy cause: promoting the dignity of the person in development.  In the Philippines in particular, I think the most critical task is that of EDUCATING the people, both parents and children, about the TRUTH regarding their health, human development, the dignity of the human person… in short, their HAPPINESS.

🙂

Xavierville Phase 2

Xavierville Phase 2

I currently stay in a place owned by Atty. Horace Pascual.  I stay in the house’s attic 🙂  I’m pleased to say that this was the birthplace of the Forum of OpusDeiToday (at least as far as Manila is concerned) 🙂 I still remember the date: November 9, 2009, 3 days after I successfully defended my Dissertation (sigh!)  It was 9:00 in the evening (the 2 other birthplaces were Madrid and Cebu City) and we were so excited about the forum’s birth… and the rest is history… 🙂 Thanks to Atty. Pascual: I have a nice place to stay!

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One of the things I quickly decided to do in this new residential area (Xavierville Phase 2, Barangay Loyola Heights, Quezon City) was to attend the Kapihan (coffee mornings) sessions every 1st Saturday, 8am.  Little did I know that I was gonna get involved in plenty of (fun!) activities, like the Halloween last Oct. 2009 🙂

The other duty I was tasked to carry out was to edit the village’s Newsletter “Xavier Views”, released to the homeowners as of yesterday (22 June 2010, Feast of St Thomas More).  Here’s the front page:

*If you’re a Xavierville Phase 2 resident, and you haven’t received your copy of Xavier Views, June 2010 issue, please pick up your copy at XHA II office (Rosa Alvero Guard Post), c/o Neriza or Vivian.

🙂

Michael Hennessey

Michael Hennessey

In a column of ‘Today’s Catholic’, we are told that the Hennesseys are ‘strongly pro-life’, with Michael ‘having helped start Greater Austin Right to Life (later known as Texas Alliance for Life) while a student at the University of Texas in Austin’.

Michael Hennessey has set up the Ironman for Kids Foundation to raise awareness for Trisomy, a chromosomal disorder.  Here’s a video of the story of Michael and his record accomplishment of doing the most Ironmans in a year by doing 15 in 9 months in 2008:

  • Michael Hennessey in Facebook.
  • In the photo below, you see him coming out of the St Josemaría Mass at the Basilica of the Little Flower in Austin, Texas, in 2009:

  • Here’s a nice video of love shown to a Trisomy baby who lived 99 days:

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Marielle Benitez

The Best of Both Worlds: Marielle M. Benitez as Football Player and as Bayanihan Dancer

We were so lucky to have had Marielle Benitez as guest today! 🙂

Marielle was a graduate of Woodrose School, a PAREF School.  She formed part of its football team “to spend more time with friends” and, since then, has been enjoying the sport until she became part of the National Team at age 16 (later as captain of the Women’s National Football Team). Thus she has come to be labelled the “David Beckham of the Philippines” 🙂

Marielle is a granddaughter of the prestigious Ms Helena Benitez, owner and founder of Philippine Women’s University (PWU).  This explains why she’s currently PWU’s Sports Development and Physicial Education director.  This also explains why she has come to form part of and enjoy the beautiful dancing at the BAYANIHAN (means, literally, ‘solidarity’, ‘all for one, one for all’) or Philippine National Folk Dance Company, of which her Mom is Executive Director.

What amazes me about Marielle is her ability to combine all these skills and achievements –National Dance performances on the hand, and excellent football on the other hand– at the same time.  Out of all the data she shared with us, allow me to highlight the following as critical, because of their formative reach and their ability to touch people lives:

  • The training she has given to kids, especially to special children, in the program called “CHAMPS”.  A spin-off activity of this enabled Pinoy street kids to win against Brazil in the Street Child World Cup this 2010!
  • Creation of town-specific local dance: A new program  initiated by her Mom as a program she called “Teaching and Touching Lives”, whereby the Bayanihan Dance Company would ‘adopt a city or town’ and create a specialized dance peculiar to or representative of that particular place, e.g., “Zapatero” for Marikina, or “Bangkero” for Pagsanhan (referring to the bangkas plying the Pagsanjan falls).

What occured to me are the values and education being imparted in these initiatives.  For example, in CHAMPS, the special kids (autistic, ADHD) are made to wait or be patient until they achieve victory in a given sport, and therefore grow in these virtues (at the same time learning the sport) which elsewhere they may learn only with difficulty. Or in the “localized dances creation” in that “adopt-a-town” program, there is a fantastic achievement of cultural heritage awareness and promotion, which otherwise may be lost through the “metropolitanization” of our arts & culture programs in our schools.

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Kudos, Marielle Benitez! I’m your new fan!

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Sources:

Marielle’s Multiply Site: http://marielleb.multiply.com/photos/of/me

Manila Bulletin story, 25 May 2010: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/258920/football-becomes-her

Bayanihan: Dancing to the World: http://www.newsflash.org/2004/02/tl/tl012586.htm

Helena Benitez and here family: http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/lifestyle/lifestyle/view/20090725-217195/Helena-Benitez-young-at-95

Segment Host, ‘Road to Johannesburg’, 2010 FIFA World Cup: http://www.bworld.com.ph/cms_assets/printerfriendly.php?id=6456

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/sports/02/22/10/2010-fifa-world-cup-primer-premieres-balls

RP Street kids beat Brazil in soccer: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/sports/02/22/10/2010-fifa-world-cup-primer-premieres-balls

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MARIELLE BENITEZ in FACEBOOK

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