Instead of a separate bibliography for the Neo-Scholastics who taught at the Gregorian University in Rome, there follows
a commentary on their contributions and innovations. Their achievements are listed here to make easy access to their
books and articles.
The faculty of the Gregorian University in Rome provided an example of the development of the philosophy of evolution
and its teaching. The current course at the Gregorian University is restricted in two major ways. It generally restricted
the treatment of evolution to the philosophy of man. Further, it generally restricted the treatment of evolution to biological
evolution. This restricted presentation gives greater emphasis to the scientific issues of evolution than to the philosophical
issues. The course has contemporary characteristics. It is taught in the Italian language, and the student notes are in Italian.
The course book no longer sought ecclesiastical approval for publication. The course is open to all students, not just clerical
students. Such modern characteristics are far different from the text books and classes during the early twentieth century.
At least eight of these changes deserve fuller treatment. These innovations, involving the concern for the modern, divisions
in the philosophy of nature, the promotion of epistemology related to science, and the development of individual courses taught
in Italian, can be seen to have slowly developed during the course of the twentieth century. Other innovations at the Gregorian
University concerning evolution involved finality, hominization, the Anthropic Principle, and education.
Innovation at the Gregorian University involved the philosophical concern for modern problems, such as evolution. Calcagno,
in 1937, treated evolution in ten pages in the tract on plant life. Boyer, in 1939, treated evolution in seventeen pages as
an addition to human intellectual life. Siwek, in 1965, places the treatment of evolution in the beginning of the treatment
of life, and spends forty-nine pages on evolution, but still uses the Latin manual style. La Vecchia expands the philosophy
of evolution in an Italian textbook of 330 pages, complete in itself.
Innovation at the Gregorian University resulted in the division of the philosophy of nature, which also touches evolution.
Calcagno notes that his predecessors included all inorganic bodies and organic bodies in one tract called Cosmology, which
was the traditional philosophy of nature. Calcagno (1937) and Boyer (1939) treated inorganic being (Cosmology) and organic
being (Metaphysical Psychology) as separate philosophical tracts, but within philosophical manuals that comprehensively treated
every department of philosophy. The manuals of Calcagno and Boyer went through numerous editions with only very small changes.
Hoenen, in 1956, so extensively treated modern problems in cosmology, such as Einstein’s relativity and Heisenberg’s
quantum mechanics, that the philosophy of inorganic being (Cosmology) began to be treated in a separate book and a totally
separate course. Naturally, the philosophy of organic being, involving evolution, began to evolve separately. Siwek, in 1965,
treated evolution with the philosophy of organic being (Metaphysical Psychology) in a 554 page volume that stood by itself.
In 1999, La Vecchia restricted her new 330 page book to evolution itself, which previously had been only a small part of the
philosophy of man (Higher Metaphysical Psychology).
Innovation at the Gregorian University led to a philosophy of science, where epistemology touches evolution. Philosophy
of science deals with the principles of biology, while the philosophy of nature studies the material and facts of biology.
Selvaggi in his 1953 Filosofia delle Scienze gives renewed emphasis to epistemological principles. Selvaggi, in 1962,
in his Cosmologia, page 401, gives a positive answer to the placement of the philosophy of nature between physics and
metaphysics, favoring Kane at the Aquinas Institute rather than Maritain. Selvaggi uses epistemology in philosophy to make
an analysis of the material of science. This practice was shared by Pascual, in 2002, at the International Congress on Evolution
Innovation at the Gregorian University continued to develop a number of independent philosophy courses, eventually including
an entire course on evolution. Soccorsi, in 1958, did a Latin course on physics. Crochon, in 1958, did a Latin course on the
psychology of children and adolescents. Arcidiacono, in 1962, did a Latin course on numeration, and another course on geometries.
Dezza, in 1960, for the first time in Italian, did a philosophy course on the scholastic synthesis, including a treatment
of evolution. Babolin, in 1997, did an Italian course on the philosophy of esthetics. La Vecchia, in 1999, did the Italian
course on the philosophy of evolution.
Innovation at the Gregorian University arose in application of the principle of finality to evolution. Although the principle
is traditional among Neo-Scholastics, such as Calcagno (in vol. 1, page 313), its application as a central problem applied
to evolution is significant. Marcozzi, in 1976, published a book entitled Chance and Finality. La Vecchia, in 1999,
made finality part of the title of her class notes for the course in evolution at the Gregorian University.
Innovation at the Gregorian University stressed hominization, more than the study of fossils, to determine evolution. Marcozzi,
in 1958, uses this theory of hominization to show that the humanity of the Neanderthals is proved not only by fine stone work,
but also funeral rites and religious ideas, as noted in Doctor Communis 2/3 (May to December 1958): page 133. La Vecchia,
in 1999, expands this useful theory in her book, chapter seven.
Innovation at the Gregorian University also touched the Anthropic Principle. Calcagno (in vol. 2, page 455) in 1952 notes
that, although God is the primary goal of creation, man is a secondary goal of creation. This view, which was later called
the Anthropic Principle in reference to man as a goal of creation, is an opinion common among the Neo-Scholastics. The phrase
"Anthropic Principle" itself was first used by Brandon Carter in Cracow in 1973. The Anthropic Principle was elaborated by
Zycinski at the International Congress on Evolution in Rome in 2002, chaired by Pascual, a Gregorian graduate.
Innovation to improve education has been a perennial feature of the Gregorian University. In the 1960s, Lonergan and De
Finance promoted learning by the student’s self-appropriation. In addition to classes in Latin, both Lonergan and De
Finance published in the vernacular for a wider audience. Educational accommodation is seen in Dezza’s 1960 course touching
evolution which was taught in Italian and which was open to laity. La Vecchia, in 1999 and thereafter, uses Italian for her
course on evolution. Her course is open to laity, and uses a style that invites student participation and discovery.
Innovation by the use of dialogue is helpful for the promotion of understanding. Dezza in 1960 gives a balanced view of
evolution, citing both arguments and objections. His presentation to lay students at the Gregorian University Institute of
Higher Religious Culture involved, according to Dezza’s preface, presentation and discussion ("vengono presentati
e discussi"). Pascual, a doctoral graduate of the Gregorian University, presided over the professional dialogue at the
International Congress on Evolution, held in Rome in 2002.