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Catholic Dictionary




A system of philosophy formulated by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati (1797-1855), founder of the Institute of Charity. Encouraged by Popes Pius VII, Gregory XVI, and Pius IX, he undertook a renewal of Italian philosophy, ostensibly following St. Thomas Aquinas. But the influence of Descartes, Kant, and Hegel shifted his thinking. He came to hold that the human mind is born with the idea of "being." In time it analyzes this basic idea to discover in it many other ideas, which are identical with those in the mind of God. Rosmini also taught that reason can explain the Trinity and that original sin is only a physical infection of the body. After his death forty of his propositions were condemned by Pope Leo XIII in 1887 and 1888.