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Profile: Thomas Williams (University of South Florida)
Profile: Thomas Williams (University of South Florida)
  1.  43
    Thomas Williams (2015). Anselm's Quiet Radicalism. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (1):1-20.
    It is characteristic of Anselm to adopt the formulations of his authorities while giving them meanings of his own, hiding conceptual disagreement by means of verbal echoes. Anselm's considerable originality sometimes goes unnoticed because readers see the standard Augustinian language and miss the fact that Anselm uses it to state un-Augustinian views. One striking instance of Anselm's quiet radicalism is his understanding of free choice and the fall. He seems to uphold standard Augustinian privation theory when he affirms that injustice (...)
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  2.  66
    Thomas Williams (2000). Recent Work on Saint Augustine. Philosophical Books 41 (3):145-153.
    An overview of major work on Augustine published between 1990 and 2000.
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  3.  66
    Thomas Williams (2013). The Franciscans. In Roger Crisp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics. Oxford University Press 167-183.
    It is somewhat misleading to think of the Franciscans as forming a “school” in ethics, since there was a fair bit of diversity among Franciscans. Nonetheless, one can identify certain characteristic tendencies of Franciscan moral thought, and certain “celebrity” Franciscans whose views in ethics and moral psychology are particularly noteworthy. I shall first offer an overview of the general character of Franciscan moral thought in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries and then turn to a more detailed examination of (...)
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  4. Thomas Williams (2003). Moral Vice, Cognitive Virtue. Philosophy and Literature 27 (1):223-230.
    An examination of jealousy and envy in the novels of Jane Austen.
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  5.  21
    Thomas Williams (2011). Human Freedom and Agency. In Brian Davies & Eleonore Stump (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas. Oxford University Press
    This paper considers Aquinas's accounts of the end of human action and the structure of human action, examines the debate between intellectualist and voluntarist interpretations of Aquinas, and corrects mistaken accounts of Aquinas's views on freedom, necessitation, and causation.
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  6.  30
    Sandra Visser & Thomas Williams (2008). Anselm. Oxford University Press.
    The reason of faith -- Thought and language -- Truth -- The Monologion arguments for the existence of God -- The Proslogion argument for the existence of God -- The divine attributes -- Thinking and speaking about God -- Creation and the word -- The Trinity -- Modality -- Freedom -- Morality -- Incarnation and atonement -- Original sin, grace, and salvation.
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  7.  17
    Thomas Williams (2001). Biblical Interpretation. In Eleonore Stump & Norman Kretzmann (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Augustine. Cambridge University Press 59--70.
    This paper examines Augustine's exegetical theory and practice, with particular emphasis on the epistemology that undergirds his Biblical interpretation and the moral constraints on exegesis that Augustine sets forth on De doctrina christiana.
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  8.  14
    Thomas Williams (1998). The Libertarian Foundations of Scotus's Moral Philosophy. The Thomist 62 (2):193-215.
    After setting out in part 1 Scotus's libertarian account of the will, I shall discuss two of the most important implications Scotus understood his account to have. First, according to Scotus, the Thomist understanding of the will as intellective appetite is inadequate to provide a libertarian account of freedom. Scotus therefore rejects that understanding and offers an alternative moral psychology. In part 2 of the paper I therefore draw attention to the passages in which Scotus offers his reasons for rejecting (...)
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  9.  88
    Thomas Williams (2005). The Doctrine of Univocity is True and Salutary. Modern Theology 21 (4):575-585.
    I shall confine my attention to the one Scotist doctrine that seems to be singled out as especially worrisome, the doctrine of univocity. In the first part of the paper I argue that the doctrine of univocity is true. So even if the doctrine has unwelcome consequences, we ought to affirm it anyway; it is not the job of the theologian or philosopher to shrink from uncomfortable truths. In the second part I argue further that the doctrine of univocity is (...)
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  10.  31
    Thomas Williams (1997). Reason, Morality, and Voluntarism in Duns Scotus. Modern Schoolman 74 (2):73-94.
    In some passages Scotus seems to endorse a thoroughgoing voluntarism, holding not merely that the moral law is established entirely by God's will, but even that there is no reason why God wills in one way rather than another. In other passages, however, Scotus insists that reason plays an important role in morality—that right reason is an essential element in the moral goodness of an action, and that moral truth is accessible to natural reason. -/- Many commentators have supposed that (...)
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  11.  14
    Thomas Williams (2002). Review of John Hare, God's Call. [REVIEW] The Thomist 66:477-481.
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  12.  20
    Vicki Marsh, Francis Kombe, Raymond Fitzpatrick, Thomas N. Williams, Michael Parker & Sassy Molyneux (2013). Consulting Communities on Feedback of Genetic Findings in International Health Research: Sharing Sickle Cell Disease and Carrier Information in Coastal Kenya. [REVIEW] BMC Medical Ethics 14 (1):41.
    International health research in malaria-endemic settings may include screening for sickle cell disease, given the relationship between this important genetic condition and resistance to malaria, generating questions about whether and how findings should be disclosed. The literature on disclosing genetic findings in the context of research highlights the role of community consultation in understanding and balancing ethically important issues from participants’ perspectives, including social forms of benefit and harm, and the influence of access to care. To inform research practice locally, (...)
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  13.  13
    Thomas Williams (1998). Duns Scotus, Metaphysician. [REVIEW] International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 43 (2):125-127.
    Review of Allan B. Wolter and Daniel A. Frank, Duns Scotus: Metaphysician.
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  14. Thomas Williams (2004). Sin, Grace, and Redemption in Abelard. In Kevin Guilfoy & Jeffrey Brower (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Abelard. Cambridge University Press 258-278.
    "From time to time some of my friends startle me by referring to the Atonement itself as a revolting heresy," wrote Austin Farrer, "invented by the twelfth century and exploded by the twentieth. Yet the word is in the Bible." (1) Farrer is referring to Romans 5:11 in the Authorized Version: "we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." Here the word 'atonement'--literally, the state of being "at one"--translates the Greek (...)
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  15.  11
    Vicki M. Marsh, Dorcas M. Kamuya, Albert M. Mlamba, Thomas N. Williams & Sassy S. Molyneux (2012). Benefits and Payments for Research Participants: Experiences and Views From a Research Centre on the Kenyan Coast. BMC Medical Ethics (1):13-.
    Background: There is general consensus internationally that unfair distribution of the benefits of research is exploitative and should be avoided or reduced. However, what constitutes fair benefits, and the exact nature of the benefits and their mode of provision can be strongly contested. Empirical studies have the potential to contribute viewpoints and experiences to debates and guidelines, but few have been conducted. We conducted a study to support the development of guidelines on benefits and payments for studies conducted by the (...)
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  16.  10
    Thomas D. Williams, Personalism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  17.  18
    Thomas Williams (2007). Anselm: Basic Writings. Hackett Pub.
    Ranging from his early treatises, the ’Monologion’ (a work written to show his monks how to meditate on the divine essence) and the ’Proslogion’ (best known for its advancement of the so-called ontological argument for the existence of God), to his three philosophical dialogues on metaphysical topics such as the relationship between freedom and sin, and late treatises on the Incarnation and salvation, this collection of Anselm’s essential writings will be of interest to students of the history of philosophy and (...)
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  18.  17
    Thomas Rhys Williams (1959). The Evolution of a Human Nature. Philosophy of Science 26 (1):1-13.
    This discussion recounts the development of several anthropological definitions of human nature. It then examines conclusions of studies in other disciplines that make possible a revised empirical definition of human nature and which have led to re-examination of paleoanthropological data classed as unimportant under the rubrics of preceeding studies. Finally, this discussion appraises certain of these data, as they pertain to the question: "Do empirical evidences suggest that a human nature, as well as a human structure, may be the product (...)
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  19.  97
    Thomas Williams, Augustine and the Platonists.
    I start with a story to convey what I think is the essence of the Platonic outlook that Augustine adopts. Then I’ll show you how various Platonists put the insights that this story encapsulates to work in three different aspects of philosophy. After I’ve laid all that out, I’ll talk about how Augustine transforms this Platonic picture in the light of his Christian faith..
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  20.  11
    Thomas Williams (1997). Essay Review. History and Philosophy of Logic 18 (1):55-59.
    T. J. Holopainen, Dialectic & Theology in the Eleventh Century. Leiden:E. J. Brill, 1996. vii+171pp. $78.
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  21.  11
    Thomas Williams (2003). Introduction–The Life and Works of John Duns the Scot. In The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus. Cambridge University Press 1--14.
    An overview of the life and works of John Duns Scotus (now largely out of date, thanks to the progress of various editions).
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  22.  21
    Thomas Williams (forthcoming). Anselm's Proslogion. Topoi:1-4.
    Up to this point, Anselm has been known for two quite different kinds of work: his devotional writings, which aim to move and inspire the reader and are marked by an ornate style that relies heavily on alliteration and antitheses and suchlike ornaments, and his Monologion, a work of what has come to be known as analytic theology, written in straightforward, unadorned, philosophical prose that aspires only to clarity and precision. In his new work, Proslogion, Anselm attempts to combine the (...)
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  23.  87
    Thomas Williams (2011). Human Freedom and Agency. In Brian Davies & Eleonore Stump (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas. Oxford University Press 199-208.
    Aquinas opens the second part of the ST by arguing, in a series of careful steps, that there is one and only one ultimate end for all human actions. The placement of this argument is no accident, since the notion of an end is of fundamental importance not only in Aquinas’s theory of human action but in his accounts of practical reasoning, law, and the virtues. Yet the interpretation of Aquinas’s argument in ST 1a2ae, q.1, is a matter of considerable (...)
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  24.  87
    Thomas Williams (2002). Two Aspects of Platonic Recollection. Apeiron 35 (2):131 - 152.
    Notwithstanding considerable disagreement over certain details, writers on Plato’s theory of recollection are broadly in agreement regarding some of the main features. Setting aside for the moment those who doubt that Plato ever held any considered doctrine so well‐developed as to constitute a theory of recollection at all, we can find a substantial scholarly consensus in favor of the following account: In the Phaedo Plato argues that all human beings recollect the Forms. Such recollection is meant to account for the (...)
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  25.  49
    Thomas Williams (1995). How Scotus Separates Morality From Happiness. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 69 (3):425-445.
    As everyone who discusses Scotus's moral theory points out, Scotus recognized two fundamental inclinations in the will: the affectio commodi and the affectio iustitiae. Everyone agrees that these two affectiones play an important role in his moral theory, and there is virtual unanimity about what that role is. I contend that the standard view is misguided, and that it obscures the true character of Scotus's very un-medieval moral theory. I shall begin by laying out the context in which Scotus develops (...)
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  26.  22
    Thomas Williams (2005). Nad metodou historie filosofie. Studia Neoaristotelica 2 (2):214-218.
    reflections on method in the historiography of philosophy.
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  27.  3
    Vicki Marsh, George Mocamah, Emmanuel Mabibo, Francis Kombe & Thomas N. Williams (2013). The “Difficult Patient” Conundrum in Sickle Cell Disease in Kenya: Complex Sociopolitical Problems Need Wide Multidimensional Solutions. American Journal of Bioethics 13 (4):20 - 22.
    (2013). The “Difficult Patient” Conundrum in Sickle Cell Disease in Kenya: Complex Sociopolitical Problems Need Wide Multidimensional Solutions. The American Journal of Bioethics: Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 20-22. doi: 10.1080/15265161.2013.767960.
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  28.  19
    Thomas Williams (2012). Credo Ut Mirer. Modern Schoolman 89 (3-4):181-188.
    Anselm had a particular interest in the art of painting. He saw a close analogy between physical beauty and rational beauty. Both can be represented—physical beauty by paintings, rational beauty through discourse—and Anselm was especially attentive to the possibility of misrepresentation. Deceptive rhetorical coloring can mislead; unworthy discourse can obscure the truth’s inherent beauty. Yet even when discourse does justice to the beauty it is intended to represent, Anselm places strict limits on the appeal to beauty. For beauty by itself (...)
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  29.  69
    Thomas Williams (2008). Thomas Aquinas and John Duns Scotus: Natural Theology in the High Middle Ages (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (3):pp. 483-485.
    In this ambitious study, Alexander W. Hall examines the two preeminent figures of the golden age of natural theology: Thomas Aquinas and John Duns Scotus. Hall is not so much concerned with retracing particular proofs of the existence of God and derivations of the divine attributes—well-worn paths in discussions of medieval natural theology—as with investigating the larger philosophical issues that are raised by the project of natural theology, such as the nature of scientia and demonstrative arguments, and accounts of signification (...)
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  30.  29
    Thomas Williams (2005). Aquinas in Dialogue with Contemporary Philosophy. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 79 (3):483-491.
    In her volume on Aquinas for Routledge’s “Arguments of the Philosophers” series, Eleonore Stumps aims at an interpretation of Aquinas that is historically faithful but also responsive to the concerns of contemporary philosophers. I assess her success in attaining this twofold aim by examining in detail Stump’s overview of Aquinas’s metaphysics, which engages with contemporary debates over constitution and identity, and her interpretation of Aquinas’s account of justice, which brings Aquinas into dialogue with Annette Baier and Thomas Nagel. I conclude (...)
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  31.  14
    Thomas Williams (2003). From Metaethics to Action Theory. In The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus. Cambridge University Press 332-351.
    Work on Scotus's moral psychology and action theory has been concerned almost exclusively with questions about the relationship between will and intellect and in particular about the freedom of the will itself. In this essay I broaden the scope of inquiry. For I contend that Scotus's views in moral psychology are best understood against the background of a long tradition of metaethical reflection on the relationship between being and goodness. In the first section of this essay, therefore, I sketch the (...)
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  32.  45
    Thomas Williams (2011). Augustine's Intellectual Conversion: The Journey From Platonism to Christianity. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2011.
    Review of Brian Dobell, Augustine's Intellectual Conversion.
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  33.  44
    Thomas Williams (2007). God Who Sows the Seed and Gives the Growth. Anglican Theological Review 2007:611-627.
    This paper examines Anselm's pneumatology.
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  34.  35
    Thomas Williams & Sandra Visser (2001). Anselm's Account of Freedom. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):221-244.
    In this paper we offer a reconstruction of Anselm’s account of freedom that resolves various apparent inconsistencies. The linchpin of this account is the definition of freedom. Anselm argues that the power to preserve rectitude for its own sake requires the power to initiate an action of which the agent is the ultimate cause, but it does not always require that alternative possibilities be available to the agent. So while freedom is incompatible with coercion and external causal determination, an agent (...)
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  35.  47
    Thomas Williams (1998). The Unmitigated Scotus. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 80 (2):162-181.
    Scotus is notorious for occasionally making statements that, on their face at least, smack of voluntarism, but there has been a lively debate about whether Scotus is really a voluntarist after all. Now the debate is not over whether Scotus lays great emphasis on the role of the divine will with respect to the moral law. No one could sensibly deny that he does, and if such an emphasis constitutes voluntarism, then no one could sensibly deny that Scotus is a (...)
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  36.  57
    Thomas Williams (2005). Aquinas and the Ethics of Virtue. In Thomas Williams & E. M. Atkins (eds.), Disputed Questions on the Virtues. Cambridge University Press
    Thomas Williams Note: This is a preprint of my introduction to the forthcoming translation by Margaret Atkins of Thomas Aquinas’s Disputed Questions on the Virtues (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy). The basic procedure was simple. The topic would be announced in advance so that everyone could prepare an arsenal of clever arguments. When the faculty and students had gathered, the professor would offer a brief introduction and state his thesis. All morning long an appointed graduate student would take (...)
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  37.  31
    Thomas Williams (2000). Lying, Deception, and the Virtue of Truthfulness. Faith and Philosophy 17 (2):242-248.
    In “Lies and the Vices of Deception,” J. L. A. Garcia argues that lying is always immoral, since it always involves a motivation contrary to the proper discharge of a morally determinative role. I argue that Garcia fails to show (i) that anyone who fails in the sub-role of information-giver thereby fails in a morally determinative role, (ii) that the sub-role of information-giver is precisely that of “informing another truthfully,” (iii) that lying deviates from the motivation characteristic of someone with (...)
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  38.  53
    Thomas Williams (2002). Augustine Vs Plotinus the Uniqueness of the Vision at Ostia. In John Inglis (ed.), Medieval Philosophy and the Classical Tradition in Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
    Every reader creates a personal version of what is read....This is often the very opposite of what might at first blush be expected: but on consideration it is exactly the way in which a writer of genius should — we perhaps suddenly realise — respond. It is, in short, creative rather than passively parallel, and a matter of unobtrusive decisive omissions followed by the flow of new matter, of demarcation rather than of imitation.
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  39.  50
    Thomas Williams (2009). Describing God. In Robert Pasnau (ed.), The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy. Cambridge University Press 749-760.
    The philosophical problem of describing God arises at the intersection of two different areas of inquiry. The word ‘describing’ makes it clear that the issue is in part a logical one – in the broad medieval sense of ‘logic,’ which includes semantics, the philosophy of language, and even some aspects of the theory of cognition. It is the problem, first, of forming an understanding of some extramental object and, second, of conveying that understanding by means of verbal signs. But the (...)
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  40.  14
    Thomas Williams (2011). John Duns Scotus. In H. Lagerlund (ed.), Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy. Springer 611--619.
    An overview of the life and philosophical works of John Duns Scotus.
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  41.  49
    Thomas Williams & Sandra Visser (2005). Anselm on Truth. In Brian Leftow & Brian Davies (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Anselm. Cambridge University Press 204-221.
    A good place to start in assessing a theory of truth is to ask whether the theory under discussion is consistent with Aristotle’s commonsensical definition of truth from Metaphysics 4: “What is false says of that which is that it is not, or of that which is not that it is; and what is true says of that which is that it is, or of that which is not that it is not.”1 Philosophers of a realist bent will be delighted (...)
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  42.  37
    Thomas Williams, John Duns Scotus. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    John Duns Scotus (1265/66-1308) was one of the most important and influential philosophertheologians of the High Middle Ages. His brilliantly complex and nuanced thought, which earned him the nickname "the Subtle Doctor," left a mark on discussions of such disparate topics as the semantics of religious language, the problem of universals, divine illumination, and the nature of human freedom. This essay first lays out what is known about Scotus's life and the dating of his works. It then offers an overview (...)
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  43.  13
    Thomas Williams (2004). Tobias Hoffmann, Creatura intellecta: Die Ideen und Possibilien bei Duns Scotus mit Ausblick auf Franz von Mayronis, Poncius und Mastrius. Münster: Aschendorff, 2002. Paper. Pp. 356; black-and-white figures. [REVIEW] Speculum 79 (1):206-208.
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  44.  3
    Joseph W. Dauben, Francisco Rodríguez-Consuegra, Jan Dejnožka & Thomas Williams (1997). Essay Review. History and Philosophy of Logic 18 (1):33-40.
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  45.  13
    Thomas Williams (2008). Review of Ronald Cole-Turner, Ed., Design and Destiny: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Human Germline Modification. [REVIEW] American Journal of Bioethics 8 (10):84-85.
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  46.  45
    Thomas Williams (2009). Anselm on Freedom. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009.
    In Anselm on Freedom Katherin Rogers investigates Anselm's attempt to provide room for genuine creaturely freedom in a world in which a perfect being is altogether sovereign. She begins with two chapters of general background. Chapter 1, "Anselm's Classical Theism," reads like a grab bag of brief essays on Anselm's account of the divine nature, the relationship between Creator and creature, theological semantics, the problem of evil, and the relationship between God and the moral order. Chapter 2, "The Augustinian Legacy," (...)
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  47.  21
    Thomas Williams (2002). The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts, Vol. 2. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 111 (4):576-578.
    A review of The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Thought, vol. 2.
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  48.  37
    Thomas Williams, Some Reflections on Method in the History of Philosophy.
    So I present myself this morning not as an expert with wisdom to impart, but as a neophyte reflecting on his own practice with a view toward getting clearer on the vision of philosophical historiography that underlies it and thereby, perhaps, improving that practice. The paper will fall into two tenuously connected parts. The first part contains a general reflection on method that I wrote a few years back which has since been published in Czech but has not had any (...)
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  49.  34
    Thomas Williams (1996). Book Reviews. [REVIEW] Mind 105 (418).
    The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts are meant to be companions to The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy,1 which appeared in 1982. They have been slow in coming, however: the first volume, Logic and the Philosophy of Language,2 appeared in 1988, and this second volume, Ethics and Political Philosophy, in 2001. The connection between the History and the Trans- lations is somewhat loose in any case. For example, a volume on Philosophical Theology is planned for the Translations series (...)
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  50.  35
    Thomas Williams (2012). Credo Ut Mirer: Anselm on Sacred Beauty. Modern Schoolman 89 (3/4):181-188.
    Anselm had a particular interest in the art of painting. He saw a close analogy between physical beauty and rational beauty. Both can be represented—physical beauty by paintings, rational beauty through discourse—and Anselm was especially attentive to the possibility of misrepresentation. Deceptive rhetorical coloring can mislead; unworthy discourse can obscure the truth’s inherent beauty. Yet even when discourse does justice to the beauty it is intended to represent, Anselm places strict limits on the appeal to beauty. For beauty by itself (...)
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