Eduardo Pérez Pueyo
DOI:  10.17421/2498-9746-03-15

This article will attempt to integrate the concept of nature within an interpersonal anthropology through an analysis of a work written by Pierre Rousselot in 1908: The Problem of Love in the Middle Ages. An introduction will be followed by a biography of the author (n. 1), after which we will analyse the content of the work, which revolves around concepts of love that existed in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Rousselot groups these concepts around two positions: «ecstatic» love (n. 2) and «natural» love (n. 3). The author compares the two visions and comes down clearly in favour of the «natural» concept as the one that best expresses human dynamisms (n. 4). Finally, some of the limitations of the work will be explored (n. 5), based on the contrast between its avant-gardeness and the lack of intellectual tools available to the author (n. 5.1). The limitations are basically twofold: the relationship between nature and person (n. 5.2) and the ignorance of interpersonal purpose, which prevent the author from discovering the feasibility of a duality within personal unity (n. 5.3). Naturally, these limitations do not detract from the novelty that Pierre Rousselot’s contribution signified at that time.


There is a perception currently abroad that in certain personalist writers it is possible to put on hold the concept of nature when one is dealing with themes such as interpersonal relationships and, within these, a very special one: love. This may be due to the reduction of meaning to which the notion of nature has been exposed in recent centuries, and which has gone from being the «internal principle of movement» to a notion that is strongly linked to modern biology of a mechanistic nature.

In order to be able better to integrate the notion of nature within an interpersonal anthropology, I propose a reading of an early twentieth-century work, The Problem of Love in the Middle Ages, written by Pierre Rousselot in 1908. In this work, Rousselot analyses the different concepts of love that existed in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and which can broadly be grouped into two categories: «personalist» or «ecstatic» love, and «physical» or «natural» love. Rousselot’s conclusion is surprising: the most authentically human and personal concept of love is precisely the natural and not the ecstatic one. It is true that this work may have its limits, since it was written when the phenomenological school had not been developed and personalism still did not exist, but, because of the importance that the link between the nature concept and the experience of love may have, it is interesting to be aware of the arguments advanced in this work.[1]

1 Contextualisation: A Biographical and Intellectual Profile of Pierre Rousselot

Pierre Rousselot (1878-1915) was born in Nantes (France) into a deeply Catholic family. After studying with the Jesuits in Le Mans, at the age of sixteen he began his novitiate, which at that time had to be overseas (in Canterbury, England). He was ordained as a priest in 1908 and achieved a Doctorate in Philosophy with two theses: L’Intellectualisme de saint Thomas (The Intellectualism of Saint Thomas),[2] and Pour l’histoire du problème de l’amour au Moyen-Âge.[3] The following year he began teaching at the Institut Catholique de Paris, an activity that was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. He was called up and was killed in battle at Epages in 1915.

Despite his early death, Rousselot laid the foundations of a radical way of thinking about Thomist synthesis. While training in the seminaries exaggerated the value of conceptual knowledge, secular thought gradually rejected scientific determinism in favour of idealism and Bergsonian intuitionism. Together with these two very different ways of understanding the world, when Rousselot was training, modernism was being propagated within the Catholic Church. Its postures led to a softening of fixed concepts and dogmatic propositions. This movement was definitively condemned by Pope Pius X in 1907, forcing many to recognise the risks that could arise from basing one’s faith on mere sentiment, on a dynamism or on intuition.

These three forms (rationalism, intuitionism and modernism) represented for Rousselot paths of unilateral access to reality. Although he was greatly attracted by Blondel’s opinions, especially by the central importance of Christ, he feared attributing primacy to a will that turned out to be irrational. His personal interpretation of Saint Thomas, in which his Platonic-Plotinian inheritance is to the fore, exposed imminent dynamism to intellectual knowledge itself.[4]

Following John Michel McDermott, one could say that this new understanding of Saint Thomas is guided by a «sacramental» vision of reality, which offers a key to the interpretation of the thoughts of Angelic Doctor and of Pierre Rousselot’s contribution. This sacramental approach is based on the presence of the divine in matter, which obliges one to conceive reality from a unity that is not so much «numerical» (understood as the sum of individuals) as «transcendental» (understood from participation in God’s being through the creatural condition), a unity that is evident in all human activity,[5] but in a special way in love.[6]

2 Ecstasy of Love

Rousselot’s thesis on love in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries appeared as a historical study that was to accompany the main thesis of The Intellectualism of Saint Thomas.[7] Nevertheless, The Problem of Love in the Middle Ages offers a significant insight on theology since the two concepts of love discussed in the book are quite different from one another as far as the evaluation of the relationship between nature and the supernatural is concerned. This implied that the «minor» thesis had a more important repercussion. What Rousselot affirms is that, while the medieval mind considered God to be the final destination for human beings (which was not an insignificant observation), the question that was not resolved in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was whether love of desire (amor concupiscentiae) and love of friendship (amor amicitiae) were so different from each other as to be opposites, or whether, in the final analysis, they could be reduced to a common principle.

The disagreement was centred on the reply to the following question: «humans by nature love God more than themselves?»[8] Those who believed that the love of desire and the love of friendship were mutually exclusive, answered the question in the negative and extolled a completely disinterested love that demanded self-sacrifice and the abandonment of love of desire in favour of love of God. Consequently, love of friendship was seen as a purely ecstatic reality, with the result that to love truly consisted of the placing of the subject outside of himself in an attitude of self-sacrifice in relation to the other person. This understanding of love can be gleaned from some texts of the schools of Saint Victor, Saint Bernard and Peter Abelard’s followers. It has four characteristics:

– It is a dualistic love, as it presents two separate people, who sacrifice themselves for the happiness of the other;

– it is violent, in the sense that it goes against one’s natural tendencies and tyrannizes the subject of love to the point of self-destruction;

– it is irrational, since it contradicts natural reasoning, which pursues self interest;

– it is free, in the sense that it is self-sufficient, in as much as it seeks no objective other than self-sacrifice, with the result that all personal happiness would have to be sacrificed to the achievement of this ultimate objective of love.[9]

3 Unity of Love: Physical or Natural Love

Rousselot rejects the ecstatic concept in favour of what he calls the «physical» (natural) or «Greco-Thomist» vision of love,[10] which affirms that «there is between the love of God and the love of self a fundamental identity».[11] The chief exponent of this current is Saint Thomas, but there are also traces of it in Hugh of Saint Victor, Saint Bernard,[12] and in the Neoplatonic doctrines of pseudo-Dionysius, which have exerted an especially strong influence on the Angelic Doctor. In particular, the latter would have used three theories which would allow him to postulate the reconciliation between self-love and love of the other.

The first is the theory of the whole and the part, which can be traced following Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.[13] For Aristotle, altruism is derived from self-love. Saint Thomas, for his part, re-elaborates this identification between self-love and altruism, and declares that the desire for self-happiness is the ultimate guiding force of the human will, so that «love of self is the measure of all other loves».[14] None the less, if human beings are able to love God as their supreme aim, it is, as Aquinas states, because «it is clear that God is the common good of the whole universe and of all its parts. Hence each creature in its own way naturally loves God more than itself».[15] This assertion is based on the doctrine of participation, through which, according to Rousselot, all human beings share in God by way of imitation. Therefore, the nature of things would require a love for God that is greater than self-love, while self-love would be a part of love of God. The conclusion, then, is that these two loves are «in perfect continuity».[16]

The second Thomist principle is that of a universal appetite of all creatures for God.[17] For Angelic Doctor, everything that exists, even plants and animals, possesses an inclination towards God. This natural appetite for «the acquisition of God» means that it would be impossible to place the love for a finite being in opposition to the love of God. It is true that people do not necessarily have to be aware that by nature they love God more than they love themselves, with the result that they could be tempted to subordinate the good of the whole to their own «private» interests. Nevertheless, «virtue consists in not proposing as an end any other whole than the complete assemblage of being whose good coincides with the good of God Himself»;[18] or, to put it another way, true love implies seeing oneself and other human beings not as totalities but as creatures of God. From this perception, if the desire for God is natural, then following true self-desire is loving God. Self-love and love for God are in continuity rather than in opposition.

The third and final principle is the coincidence of spiritual good with good in itself.[19] When human beings experience a conflict between their love of self and love of God, this happens, according to Saint Thomas, not because they are in opposition, but because human beings are composite and not purely spiritual creatures. However, from the moment in which the spiritual nature of human beings is what makes them authentically human, a sacrifice of the good of the senses necessarily implies a sacrifice that benefits the self.[20] Moreover, due to the weakness of the human spirit, some temporal inclinations of the spirit could be prohibited for the good of eternal life. «However, this sacrifice will be temporary: when, after our earthly state of wayfaring, we come to exist beyond time, the perception of truth cannot but be excellent in regard to its exercise, just as it was in regard to its “specification”».[21]

4 Comparison Between Ecstatic Love and Physical Love

The three principles of physical love (the theory of the whole and the part, the universal appetite of all creatures for God, and the coincidence of spiritual good and good itself) are opposed to the ecstatic concept of love, which reverberates with a resounding «no» to the question of whether men by nature loved God more than themselves. In the ecstatic concept, precisely because of this negation, nature would necessarily be overtaken by the lover’s denying his personality in favour of the personality of the loved one.[22] From Rousselot’s perspective, the difficulty of this response lies in the dualism that is his starting-point:

«If one wanted […] to bring out its dominant principle, the best course of action to take would most likely be to characterize the ecstatic conception of love by the predominance of the idea of person over the idea of nature. It is because love is conceived of purely as tending from a person to a person that it is conceived of as ecstatic, as doing violence to innate inclinations, as ignoring natural dissimilarities, as a pure affair of freedom. In St. Thomas, on the contrary, the individual personhood itself is conceived of as a participation of God, and in this way is part of nature».[23]

The ecstatic notion of love takes for granted the priority of the individual personality over the community of human nature. Saint Thomas’s starting point, by contrast, was the community of nature and person as participant in the life of God. In other words, for Saint Thomas, unity, as a transcendental concept, took priority over plurality:

«In the physical conception of love, unity is the raison d’être and the ideal of love, as it is its end. Things are quite different in the ecstatic conception of love: there plurality, or at the very least duality, is presented as an essential and necessary element of perfect love».[24]

Therefore, the physical concept of love comes with an affirmative response to the much-discussed question of whether men by nature love God more than they love themselves. The close connection between human nature and love of God as its end implies that amor concupiscentiae and amor amicitiae cannot be in opposition to each other. They must both be viewed as interconnected; and, more than that, they must be viewed as a single love. Of course, identifying amor concupiscentiae with amor amicitiae means that, when it comes to it, the controversial question would not need to be answered in the affirmative, but it would have to be exposed as a false dilemma. As Rousselot demonstrates, Aquinas’s complete response, «would aim at abolishing the problem: […] instead of reducing the love of God to a mere form of the love of self, it is the love of self that is reduced to a mere form of the love of God».[25]

Rousselot is aware of the Neoplatonic roots of the physical vision of love, which reach Saint Thomas via the pseudo-Dionysius, and which may be expressed in the principle according to which all things desire God.[26] For this reason, the physical concept may be correctly named «Greco-Thomist».

The discovery of this Neoplatonic influence is very important, since it facilitates a sacramental ontology, which emphasises the continuity between nature and the supernatural. Rousselot found in the Angelic Doctor a Neoplatonic emphasis on the natural desire of seeing God. This beginning of a natural appetite for God in all things directly contradicted the Neo-Thomist separation of nature and the supernatural, which held that only the infusion of a supernatural principle could cause the desire for God. Thirty years later, this question of natural desire (desiderium naturae) would be fundamental for Henri de Lubac in his reading of the Fathers of the Church and the medieval theologians. The constant emphasis that Rousselot places on continuity, even going as far as identification, between self-love and love of God finally found an echo in the theological debates of the 1940s and 1950s on the natural and the supernatural.[27]

5 The Limits of Rousselot’s Proposal

Rousselot’s proposal that most interested scholars in the decades following the publication of The Problem of Love was precisely the continuity between the natural and the supernatural. Nevertheless, there is another question that perhaps at that time did not seem so relevant both because interests appeared to be different and because Rousselot himself did not manage to integrate it into this work and later did not have time to develop it. In any case, more than a century after the author’s death, it must be said that we believe it to be a central theme: it is the relationship between person and nature.[28]

5.1 Historiographic Limitations

It is fair to preface any criticism of this work with a recognition that the limits that one may find in it today must be tempered by taking into account the historic and intellectual period in which it was written. In the first place, when Rousselot died in 1915, philosophical personalism had not yet emerged and phenomenology was in its infancy: suffice it to say that, prior to the publication of The Problem of Love (1908), Hussel’s Logical Investigations had only been published in 1900-1901, and his Ideas did not come out until 1913. Moreover, a work as fundamental to the beginnings of personalist reflection as Martin Buber’s I and Thou was not published until 1923. Secondly, the recovery of the thoughts of Saint Thomas, which had begun during the nineteenth century, had still not attained the systematization that it would achieve over the twentieth century. For example, the first edition of Étienne Gilson’s The Christian philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas (Le Thomisme) was published in 1919, and Gallus Manser’s The Essence of Thomism did not appear until 1932.[29] Finally something as fundamental as the complete lack of a philosophical-theological study of love needs to be pointed out. Proof of this is that a work as famous in the field as Anders Nygren’s Agape and Eros was published in 1930.[30] It is precisely because he did not have available to him a whole series of intellectual tools that would be developed later that it is fascinating to deal with a work that is ahead of its time in its treatment of love.

Therefore, bearing in mind this bibliographical detail, it should be emphasised that, on the one hand, Rousselot make us aware that a realist reflection on the person is not possible without taking into account his natural dynamisms, and, on the other, the line drawn between physical-natural love and ecstatic-personal love is so marked that it is easy to see at least a lack of integration of nature within the person.

5.2 Nature and Person

Following the canons of the Aristotelian-Thomist philosophical tradition to which Rousselot wishes to adhere, one must begin by emphasising that nature and person are not comparable concepts since they are situated on different ontological levels. That is to say, while person implies a direct reference to an existing reality, in that it indicates a substance, a self-subsisting being;[31] on the other hand, nature belongs to the realm of the essential, of the determinant, of that which channels the creative possibilities of being, so that it exists when it occurs within an substance.[32] As a consequence, since person and nature do not indicate the same level of reality, they cannot be opposed dialectically, but, on the other hand, a space is opened up for a possible integration.

If Rousselot sets nature and person in opposition to each other, it is because, at bottom, he is transposing to medieval, and specifically Thomist, thought an understanding of both concepts that is not typical of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries but of the modern period. In short, the nominalist inheritance of this latter period caused scholastic metaphysics to lose its ontological depth and, as a result, the notions that it employed were emptied of its formal dimension and were reduced to its material level. This is what happened, for example, with the notion of cause, which was reduced to efficient causality, and with the notion of nature, which came to refer only to the biological aspects of being, or, at most, the environment which they inhabit. In both senses, nature came to designate the combinations of restrictions that limit the existence of individuals, while, when faced with this, the nucleus of the person became identified with its consciousness.[33]

It is certainly legitimate for Rousselot to wish to respond to a modern problem by resorting to medieval texts, in order to see how the question had been illuminated in the past and to extract consequences for the present. However, it is unclear whether the author bore in mind that the intellectual world of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was very different and was one in which the opposition between nature and person did not exist.

5.3 Intentionality

As far as this is concerned, one needs to recognize that the human person possesses certain natural conditions (intelligence, genetics, etc.) that facilitate relations and communication with other persons in a way that may be called rational, but understanding this adjective in a broad sense, which goes beyond the intellectual field and covers the whole person, including, for example, human passions, in which the natural and the personal history of each individual are intertwined. In this way, then, the human person possesses a rational nature in the spiritual, or rather intentional, sense of the word.[34]

Clearly, Rousselot could not foresee all the debate on intentionality that would be provoked throughout the twentieth century, in both the phenomenological and Thomist spheres (let alone in the analytical Anglo-American world). However, one should not forget that Franz Brentano had begun the recovery of this notion in 1874, with the publication of Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, with the result that it was already being debated.

Thanks to the consideration of intentionality, one can better understand that the person is capable of internally embracing other individuals and engendering with them a new spiritual existence in which both the subject who embraces and the subject who is embraced appear as united. On the other hand, the subject who is embraced may also be seen as a subject who acts within the interiorizing subject and transforms him in the sense that he molds his thoughts, his feelings, his projects and his successive actions, so that when the interiorizing subject acts, he does so encouraged by the shared being he has intentionally engendered with the other subject.

From this intentional perspective it is possible to discover the interpersonal duality within personal unity, something that Rousselot would have been unable to see. For this author, communication between two people was carried out from communion in rational nature, with the result that what was exclusively personal suffered from being excessively individualistic. None the less, without denying the value of the community of nature, but, on the contrary, by placing it as the basis of personal life, one can reach a different metaphysical level that is more existential, in which the person himself is neither opposed to another nor nullifies himself to affirm his opposite, but affirms the person as capable of engendering himself through interaction with other subjects.


Beyond the limits that this work on The Problem of Love in the Middle Ages may have, Pierre Rousselot teaches us that true love cannot be purely ecstatic, because if one sacrifices oneself totally to the point of self-obliteration, what remains to be offered to the other person? It is true that true love cannot force human capacities, as capacities do not exist independently of the person, so that to force his intelligence or will means to force the person. In short, there is no opposition between person and nature.


[1] Apart from the works of Pierre Rousselot that I will cite, my arguments are based primarily on the following publications: E. Pérez Pueyo, La intencionalidad de la experiencia humana en la filosofía de Joseph de Finance, Dissertationes – Series Philosophica 45, EDUSC, Roma 2015, pp. 82-96; H. Boersma, A sacramental journey to the beatific vision: the intellectualism of Pierre Rousselot, «The Heythrop Journal», 49 (2008), pp. 1015-1034; Id., Nouvelle théologie and sacramental ontology. A return to mystery, Oxford University Press, Oxford – New York 2009, pp. 67-83; J.M. McDermott, Pierre Rousselot (1878-1915), in E. Coreth – W.M. Neidl – G. Pfligersdorffer (eds.), Filosofía cristiana en el pensamiento católico de los siglos XIX y XX, II. Vuelta a la herencia escolástica, Encuentro, Madrid 1994, pp. 400-413; J.J. Pérez Soba, Introducción a la edición española, in P. Rousselot, El problema del amor en la Edad Media, Cristiandad, Madrid 2004, pp. 11-39. For more depth on the subject, the following studies may be consulted: J.M. McDermott, Love and understanding. The relation of will and intellect in Pierre Rousselot’s christological vision, Analecta Gregoriana 229, Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Roma 1983; S. Zieliński, Se gagner soi-même et gagner Dieu. Esquisse anthropologique basée sur la confrontation des philosophies de l’esprit et de l’amour avec la grâce surnaturelle dans les écrits publiés et inédits de Pierre Rousselot (1878-1915), Studia Friburgensia – Nouvelle série 84, Éditions Universitaires Fribourg Suisse, Fribourg 1997.

[2] L’intellectualisme de saint Thomas, Alcan, Paris 1908; Beauchesne, Paris 19363 (english translation J.E. O’Mahony, The Intellectualism of Saint Thomas, Sheed & Ward, New York 1935).

[3] Pour l’histoire du problème de l’amour au Moyen Âge, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters 6/6, Aschendorff, Münster 1908 (eng.trans. Alan Vincelette, The Problem of Love in the Middle Ages: A Historical Contribution, Marquette Studies in Philosophy 24, Marquette University Press, Madison [Wisconsin] 2001).

[4] Cfr. J.M. McDermott, Pierre Rousselot, cit., pp. 400-401.

[5] Cfr. P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., pp. 30-31.43 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 116).

[6] For Rousselot, this unity is also shown in two other activities: intelligence, which is also studied in L’intellectualisme de saint Thomas; and faith, to which our author dedicated two articles (Les yeux de la foi, «Recherches de Science Religieuse», 1 [1910], pp. 241-259.444-475). Cfr. J.M. McDermott, Love and understanding, cit., p. 299; cited in H. Boersma, A sacramental journey, cit., p. 1016. In sections 2, 3 y 4, I will follow Hans Boersma’s interpretation of Rousselot.

[7] Cfr. P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 5 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., pp. 80-81).

[8] P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 1: «Utrum homo naturaliter diligat Deum plus quam semetipsum?» (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 76).

[9] Cfr. P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., pp. 3-4 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 79).

[10] Cfr. P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 3 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 78). When Rousselot speaks of «physical» love, he is not referring to corporal or sexual love, but to a love that corresponds to nature, in its classical sense, as a search for one’s own good. Cfr. Aristotle, Metaphysics, Δ, 4, 1014 b 16 – 1015 a 19; J. de Finance, Réalité et normativité de la nature humaine, in Id., Personne et valeur, Recueil d’articles, Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Roma 1992, pp. 177-204, here p. 177.

[11] P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 3 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit. p. 78): «Il y a entre l’amour de Dieu et l’amour de soi une identité foncière».

[12] The two comprehensions of love are found in Saint Bernard, the ecstatic and the physical.

[13] Cfr. P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., pp. 7-14 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., pp. 82-93). Rousselot begins these pages with a quote in Latin that comes from Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, IX, 4, 1166 a 1-2 (eng.trans. C. Rowe – S. Broadie, Oxford University Press, Oxford – New York 2002): «Amicabilia quae sunt ad alterum venerunt ex amicabilibus quae sunt ad seipsum» («The features typical of friendship for others, and those by which the kinds of friendship are defined, seem to derive from aspects of our relationship towards ourselves»).

[14] P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 9 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 85): «L’amour de soi est la mesure de tous les autres amours».

[15] P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 11 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, p. 88); Thomas de Aquino, Quodlibet, I, q. 4 a. 3 co.: «Manifestum est autem quod Deus est bonum commune totius universi et omnium partium eius. Unde quaelibet creatura suo modo naturaliter plus amat Deum quam seipsam».

[16] P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 13 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 92).

[17] Cfr. P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., pp. 15-18 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., pp. 94-98.

[18] P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 18 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 98): «La vertu consiste à ne point se proposer pour fin d’autre tout que l’ensemble complet des êtres, dont le bien coïncide avec le bien de Dieu même».

[19] Cfr. P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., pp. 19-23 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., pp. 99-104).

[20] Cfr. P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 21 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 101).

[21] P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 22 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., pp. 101-102): «Mais ce sacrifice sera passager: après le temps, après l’état de voie, la perception de toute vérité ne pourra être qu’excellente quant à son exercice, comme elle le fut toujours quant à sa “spécification”».

[22] Cfr. P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 55 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 151).

[23] P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 56 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 152): «Si pourtant l’on voulait […] mettre en relief le principe qui la domine, le meilleur parti à prendre serait sans doute de la caractériser par la prédominance de l’idée de personne sur l’idée de nature. C’est parce que l’amour est purement conçu comme tendant d’une personne à une personne qu’il est conçu comme extatique, comme violentant les inclinations innées, comme ignorant les distances naturelles, comme une pure affaire de liberté. Chez saint Thomas, au contraire, la personnalité individuelle elle-même est conçue comme une participation de Dieu, et rentre ainsi dans la nature».

[24] P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 58 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 155): «Dans la conception physique, l’unité est la raison d’être et l’idéal de l’amour, comme elle est sa fin. Il en est bien autrement dans la conception extatique: la pluralité, ou tout au moins la dualité, y est présentée comme un élément essentiel et nécessaire du parfait amour».

[25] P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 15 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 94): «Sa réponse complète tendrait à supprimer le problème: […] au lieu de réduire l’amour de Dieu à n’être qu’une forme de l’amour de soi, c’est l’amour de soi qu’il réduit à n’être qu’une forme de l’amour de Dieu».

[26] Cfr. P. Rousselot, Problème de l’amour, cit., p. 32 (eng.trans., The Problem of Love, cit., p. 117).

[27] Cfr. H. Boersma, A sacramental journey, cit., pp. 1021-1024.

[28] Cfr. J.J. Pérez-Soba, Introducción a la edición española, cit., pp. 34-39. The limitations of Rousselot’s interpretations of love have been clearly pointed out in this introduction to the Spanish edition of The Problem of Love. Our analysis is indebted to it, although we do not follow it exactly.

[29] Cfr. E. Pérez Pueyo, La intencionalidad de la experiencia humana, cit., pp. 55-58.

[30] I am grateful to Professor Juan José Sanguineti for drawing my attention to this work.

[31] Cfr. Boethius, Liber de persona et de duabus naturis contra Eutychen et Nestorium, cap. 3 (J.-P. Migne, PL 64, column 1343 C); Thomas de Aquino, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 29, a. 3, co.

[32] Cfr. Aristóteles, Física, II, 1, 192 b 21; Id., Metafísica, Δ, 4, 1014 b 16 – 1015 a 19; Thomas de Aquino, Summa Theologiae, III, q. 2, a. 1, co.

[33] Cfr. R. Descartes, Discours de la méthode, 4ème partie (Ch. Adam – P. Tannery [eds.], Oeuvres, VI, Cerf, Paris 1902, p. 32, lines 15-23).

[34] Cfr. E. Pérez Pueyo, La intencionalidad de la experiencia humana, cit., pp. 264-270.

© 2017 Eduardo Pérez Pueyo & Forum. Supplement to Acta Philosophica


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