Neo-Thomism and the Guild

Neo-Thomism is an influential Christian philosophy eagerly followed and discussed within the Guild. It is clear that Gill was much influenced by the writings of Neo-Thomist Jacques Maritain 1882-1973, who influenced the Guild community in Ditchling, and whose cultural criticism Antimodern 1922, Religion et Culture 1930, and his reflections on aesthetics Art et Scolastique 1921, enjoyed wide interest in artistic and intellectual circles.

Neo-Thomism has its roots in the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas 1225 – 1274, who attempted to create a blend of Aristotelian realism and basic Christian beliefs.

Aristotelian realism is the idea was that material laws or facts of the universe exist even though individual minds might not actually be able to see or recognize them.

Aquinas believed "that for the knowledge of any truth whatsoever, man needs divine help, that the intellect may be “moved by God to its act." However, he believed that human beings have the natural capacity to know many things without special divine revelation. Thomas epistemological theory would later be classified as empiricism, for holding that sensations are a necessary step in acquiring knowledge, and that deductions cannot be made from pure reason.

In Aquinas's thought, the goal of human existence is union and eternal fellowship with God. Specifically, this goal is achieved through the beatific vision, an event in which a person experiences perfect, unending happiness by seeing the very essence of God. In ontology you can give a definition for some concept because it "is" what it "is". Gravity is defined in this way, since physics does not explain where gravity comes from it just describes how it works, and what laws this phenomenon "seems" to follow.

You can give an epistemology definition to some concept via formula's, for example like the way Newton introduced the concept of force as F = Mass * Acceleration. This definition is backed up by experimental evidence, so that the definition is "proven".
In ontology credence is given to things based upon the fact that they "are" what they seem to be. This definition does not explain why this thing is what it is. In epistemology you give definitions based upon some logic proof like the diverse laws in physics
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