Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (School of Philosophy and Theology)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology

First Supervisor

Renee Kohler-Ryan

Second Supervisor

Rev. Dr. Scott Armstrong


This thesis argues that the plight of Mass Man finds relief when creaturely awareness is practised. For Guardini, a close reading of key passages substantiates the basis for the thesis. The Pieper response considers a broad selection of texts to affirm what is explicit in Guardini regarding Mass Man, established continuity with it, and to explicate what Guardini infers regarding creatura. Chapter 1 finds that Guardini affirms the goodness of matter or masses, and man’s mediative role in perfecting it (Ur-Werk), by drawing upon Augustine’s theory of hyle as creation; but shows the possibility of massification when man, as created spirit, contravenes his mediative role given to him by the Creator, who is uncreated spirit. Through a discussion pertaining Augustine’s Manichean past, Chapter 2 finds that the problem of masse can never go so far as to claim that masse is intrinsically evil. Rather, the problem consists in an evil (malum), an ontological privation in man’s relational dimension to other beings. Chapter 3 finds that Mass Man is conceived conceptually due to the proliferation of the Kantian autonomous worldview. Chapter 4 finds that Mass Man suffers subjugation to autonomous artefacts, or technology, which eclipses the created order, and which is a condition of existence in inverse proportion to a practise of creaturely awareness. Lastly, Chapter 5 finds continuity with Guardini, that Pieper acknowledges the existential problem of masse apropos to the terms of reference Guardini posits, and responds through the recommendation to re-espouse intellectus, through the philosophical act, and so re-espouse the givenness that is creatura.

Available for download on Monday, October 30, 2023

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