Gredt, Joseph August
GREDT, JOSEPH AUGUST
Benedictine philosopher of the Thomistic revival inaugurated by leo xiii; b. Luxembourg, July 30, 1863; d. Rome, Jan. 29, 1940. The son of a teacher, he made his philosophical and theological studies in Luxembourg, was ordained in 1886, and studied in Rome under F. satolli, A. lepidi, T. zigliara, and G. Pecci. He became a Benedictine in 1891 at Seckau, Austria, and served as philosophy professor at San Anselmo, Rome, from 1896 to his death. His main work, based on T. de vio cajetan and ferrariensis, is the comprehensive manual Elementa philosophiae aristotelico-thomisticae (2 v. Rome 1899–1901). Under the influence of some neoscholastics, the salmanticenses, and especially john of st. thomas, he notably altered the second edition in arrangement and in several theses, while retaining the rigidly scholastic method. Long quotations from Aristotle and Aquinas are of special value. The emphasis is on metaphysics; Gredt argues that aliquid is one of the transcendentals and proposes a sexta via to God's existence from the ordering of the soul toward the Infinite. In cosmology he makes extensive use of the positive sciences. His "natural realism" (De cognitione sensuum externorum, 2d ed. Rome 1924) defends the objectivity of all sense qualities against experimental psychologists and "critical realists." His criticisms of other philosophers, however, are not always reliable. His articles are concerned mostly with cosmology and psychology, and develop Aquinas's doctrine of the real distinction between act and potency.
See Also: scholasticism.
Bibliography: j. a. gredt, Miscellanea philosophica R. P. Josepho Gredt (Rome 1938); Divus Thomas (Fribourg) v.16–18 (1938–40) passim.; "De entitate viali qua in schola thomistica explicatur causalitas instrumentalis," Divus Thomas (Piacenza) 41:413–424; "De activitate creaturarum," ibid. 43:339–344; Acta Pontificiae Academiae Romanae S. Thomae Aquinatis v.3–5 (1936–38); Elementa philosophiae aristotelico-thomisticae (13th ed. rev. Barcelona 1961).
[a. w. mÜller]
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