Maritain, Jacques

Maritain, Jacques

biographical name

(born Nov. 18, 1882, Paris, France—died April 28, 1973, Toulouse) French philosopher. Reared a Protestant, he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1906. His thought, which is based on Aristotelianism and Thomism, incorporates ideas of other Classical and modern philosophers and draws upon anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Among the dominant themes in his work are: that science, philosophy, poetry, and mysticism are among many legitimate ways of knowing reality; that the individual person transcends the political community; that natural law expresses not only what is natural in the world but also what is known naturally by human beings; that moral philosophy must take into account other branches of human knowledge; and that people holding different beliefs must cooperate in the formation and maintenance of salutary political institutions. Among his major works are Art and Scholasticism (1920), The Degrees of Knowledge (1932), Art and Poetry (1935), Man and the State (1951), and Moral Philosophy (1960).

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