On Universals ND
 Jacques Maritain Center


an exposition of

Thomistic Doctrine.


Father Matteo Liberatore, S.J.

translated by

Edward Heneage Dering,

author of "The Philosopher of Roverrto," "Esoteric Buddhism"
"Sherborne." "Freville Chase," etc., etc.
Art and Book Co.,
Leamtngton, & 23, King Edward St., London.


MONSIGNOR F*** undertook to defend in many volumes, under the title of Universals, the philosophical doctrine of Rosmini, and laboured expressly to show, not only that it is true and orthodox, but also that it agrees perfectly with the teaching of St. Thomas of Aquin. We, choosing the same title of Universals, undertook to refute in seven Opuscula his defence of its truth, its orthodoxy and its accordance with St. Thomasí teaching. Therefore this work of ours is substantially nothing else than a refutation of the Rosminian system.

Another refutation of that system, by Count Avogadro della Motta, was published in 1852. It is profound and complete: but its very learned author could not then have at hand the five volumes of Rosminiís Teosofia, which was a posthumous work; nor could he anticipate the sophistries and cavillings by which Monsignor F*** has sought to justify the Rosminian theories. In that respect therefore our treatise has a great advantage over that of the distinguished Piedmontese. Moreover, the necessity of showing that the Rosminian theories are in irreconcilable opposition to the doctrine of St. Thomas has led me to make sufficiently evident the holy Doctor's teaching on some of the most important points of Philosophy and Theology. Many people have expressed a wish that I should publish these seven Opuscula in one Book, to serve as a guide for those who, having neither time nor inclination to study the many and voluminous works of Rosmini, would like nevertheless to know what his principal errors are. But having already published them separately, I could not comply with this desire otherwise than by having them bound up together in a volume, with a general index prefixed thereto. This little work of mine has cost me no slight labour and weariness in handling the tangled web that I had to unravel. I trust that it will help to open the eyes of many to the dangers of a doctrine which ut cancer serpit,* and which perhaps will, sooner or later, give serious trouble to the Church of God. When, six lustres ago, emboldened by a fleeting triumph, it considered itself to be for ever free from assault, I began to attack it; and I might almost say that I have continued to do so without intermission, not only in the Civiltà Cattolica, but also in separate works. I now thank God that in my old age I am obliged again to break a lance against it.

Feb. 24, 1885.



THE following is a translation of Seven Opuscula, which originally appeared in the "ACCADEMIA ROMANA DI SAN TOMMASO D'AQUINO." The name of Father Liberatore speaks for itself. He had published his Institutiones Philosophicae when Sanseverino was a young student; and he has devoted the whole of his life to explaining and defending, with a clearness that cannot be surpassed, the doctrine of the angelic Doctor. Written in reply to a voluminous work, these opuscula are exhaustively conclusive against the system therein defended: but this is only a part of their value. Those who have not gone through a course of Thomistic Philosophy, or, owing to the pressure of other occupations, have not kept it up, will find in these seven opuscula an extraordinary amount of information on most important doctrines and the explanations given are so clear, that any intelligent reader, acquainted with the meaning of the few scholastic terms necessarily used, will have the means of acquiring more information than he could learn as easily in any other way. I know not where a Catholic, desirous of such information, could as easily obtain so much; and I believe that any professor of Thomistic Philosophy, after reading the whole work, would say the same. It represents an amount of mental science and trained intellectual power, such as -- be it said with due respect to all our "great thinkers" -- is not to be found outside the Catholic Church.


Baddesley Clinton,
June 1889.

<< ======= >>