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de Raeymaeker, Louis


Philosopher; b. Nov. 18, 1895, Sint-Pietres Roda, Belgium; d. Feb. 25, 1970, Louvain.

He received his doctorate in philosophy (1920) and in theology (1927). From 1927 to 1935, he was professor of philosophy at the Seminary of Malines, Belgium. From 1934 to 1965 he was professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, where he taught psychology, introduction to philosophy, and metaphysics. In 1948, De Raeymaeker became president of the Institut Supérieur de Philosophie of Louvain; in 1957, counselor of the "rector magnificus;" and in 1962, prorector of the Flemish section of the university (since then an autonomous university under the denomination Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven). He retired in 1966. From 1935 to 1948, he was president of the Seminary of Leo XIII, Louvain.

His main works are an Introduction to Philosophy, which is one of the best-known works of this kind (published for the first time in French, in 1938, last edition in 1964; published in Flemish in 1946, English translation in 1948), and a work of metaphysics, The Philosophy of Being (first published in Flemish, De metaphysiek van het zijn, 1944, then in French, Philosophie de l'être, 1946, 2d edition in 1947, English translation in 1954). This book can be considered as one of the most important contributions to metaphysics in the Neothomistic school. Based upon a very personal meditation of the texts of St. Thomas, it undertakes an original reconstruction of a doctrine of the absolute and of creation, starting from the "Ego," conceived as the human person, which is free and autonomous, but limited by the non-Ego, and must be understood as related to a transcendent Absolute. De Raeymaeker also wrote an interesting history of the Institut Supéreiur de Philosophie of Louvain, and numerous articles and contributions to collective works.

Bibliography: l. de raeymaker, Introduction to Philosophy, tr. h. mcneill (New York, London 1948); The Philosophy of Being (New York, London 1954); Le Cardinal Mercier et l'Institut Superieur de Philosophie de Louvain (Louvain 1952).

[j. ladriere]

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