In this powerfully argued book, Knasas engages a debate at the heart of the revival of Thomistic thought in the twentieth century. Richly detailed and illuminating, his book calls on the tradition established by Gilson, Maritain, and Owen, to build a case for Existential Thomism as a valid metaphysics.Being and Some Twentieth-Century Thomists is a comprehensive discussion of the major issues and controversies in neo-Thomism, including issues of mind, knowledge, the human subject, free will, nature, grace, and the act (...) of being. Knasas also discusses the Transcendental Thomism of Maréchal, Rahner, Lonergan, and others as he builds a carefully articulated case for completing the Thomist revival. (shrink)
Doctrina aliquorum ex Thomistis de analogiaIn hac dissertatione, quid Thomistae praecipui, qui saec. 15.–17. florebant (Thomas de Vio – Caietanus, Silvester Ferrariensis, Joannes Versor, Joannes a S. Thoma), ad Scoti contra analogiam obiectiones responderint et quomodo Doctoris sui doctrinam defenderint, exponitur. Auctor primo medullam doctrinae “semanticae” de analogia proponit, deinde modum, quo Caietanus et ceteri optimae notae Thomistae ex nonullis ab Aquinate de hac re obiter dictis doctrinam bene ordinatam aedificaverunt, declarat.Some Thomists on AnalogyThe article is a presentation of (...) the Thomist response to Scotist criticism of analogy; namely, the defense of St. Thomas’ teaching in some leading renaissance and post-renaissance Thomists: Thomas de Vio, better known as Cajetan, Sylvester of Ferrara, John Versor and John of Saint Thomas. The author first explains the general core of the semantic doctrine of analogy and outlines the basic terminology. Then he exposes the way Cajetan and other Thomists knit Aquinas’ dispersed remarks on analogy into a systematic doctrinal whole. (shrink)
Thomas Aquinas is one of the foremost thinkers in Western philosophy and Christian scholarship, recognized as a significant voice in both theological discussions and secular philosophical debates. Alongside a revival of interest in Thomism in philosophy, scholars have realized its relevance when addressing certain contemporary issues in bioethics. This book offers a rigorous interpretation of Aquinas's metaphysics and ethical thought, and highlights its significance to questions in bioethics. Jason T. Eberl applies Aquinas's views on the seminal topics of human nature (...) and morality to key questions in bioethics at the margins of human life - questions which are currently contested in the academia, politics and the media such as: · When does a human person's life begin? How should we define and clinically determine a person's death? · Is abortion ever morally permissible? How should we resolve the conflict between the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research and the lives of human embryos? · Does cloning involve a misuse of human ingenuity and technology? · What forms of treatment are appropriate for irreversibly comatose patients? How should we care for patients who experience unbearable suffering as they approach the end of life? · What ethical mandates and concerns underlie the practice of organ donation? Thomistic Principles and Bioethics presents a significant philosophical viewpoint which should motivate further dialogue amongst religious and secular arenas of inquiry concerning such complex issues of both individual and public concern. It will be illuminating reading for scholars, postgraduate and research students of philosophy, metaphysics, ethics, bioethics and moral theology. (shrink)
This overview proceeds by outlining, albeit very briefly, something of the historical growth of Thomism, turning then to a brief account of how analytic philosophy in the twentieth century can be viewed in relation to that history, before finally turning to a further consideration of what the phrase “Analytical Thomism,” can be taken to mean in light of this brief historical account.
In Faithful Reason, the noted Catholic philosopher John Haldane explores various aspects of intellectual and practical life from a perspective inspired by Catholic thought and informed by his distinctive philosophical approach: "Analytical Thomism." Haldane's discussions of ethics, politics, education, art, social philosophy and other themes explain why Catholic thought is still relevant in today's world, and show how the legacy of Thomas Aquinas can benefit modern philosophy in its efforts to answer fundamental questions about humanity and its place within nature. (...) Drawing on a Catholic philosophical tradition that is committed to concepts of the world's intrinsic intelligibility and the objectivity of truth, Faithful Reason's bold and insightful perspectives provide rich matter for debate, and food for further thought. (shrink)
W. Norris Clarke's metaphysics of the universe as a journey rests on six major positions: the unrestricted dynamism of the mind, the primacy of the act of existence, the participation structure of reality, and the person, considered as both the starting point of philosophy and the source of the categories needed for a flexible contemporary metaphysics. Reflecting on his conscious life and the universe around him, the finite person mounts by a two-fold path to its Infinite source, who, though immutable (...) in His natural being, is mutable in the intentional being of His personal knowledge and love. The personal God is the efficient cause from whom the universe comes and the final cause to whom it returns.Less optimistic than Norris Clarke, John Caputo wonders about his metaphysics of the person. In a hermeneutical interpretation of the human face, the person through whom Being "sounds" discloses an ambiguous Being that both reveals and conceals itself. Far from grounding a casual ascent to God, hermeneutical phenomenology allows us no more than the right to interpret the world and its transcendent source through our own free decision.Although impressed by Norris Clarke's attempt to introduce mutability into God, Lewis Ford still finds Clarke's Thomistic God unacceptable. As a Whiteheadian, he proposes in place of Thomas' God, whose perfection consists in static unity, a God whose perfection consists in a never-ending process of unification. John Smith argues against the traditional dichotomy made between the ontological and cosmological arguments. Rather than opposed methods of proving God's existence, they should be taken as complementary journeys to the divine presence which discloses itself, although diversely, in the soul and in the world. There are parallels between Smith's historical study of two arguments and Clarke's two-fold path to God. Yet Smith is critical of Thomas' cosmological journey to God and does not share Clarke's confidence in its validity. Significant studies in their own right, the three essays as a group challenge Clarke's whole metaphysics of the universe as a journey. Meeting the challenge, Clarke clarifies and refines his own thought.An account of Clarke's philosophy by Gerald A. McCool, S.J. preceds this unified and stimulating philosophical discussion. (shrink)
In this chapter I seek to examine the credibility of Finnis’s basic stance on Aquinas that while many neo-Thomists are meta-ethically naturalistic in their understanding of natural law theory (for example, Heinrich Rommen, Henry Veatch, Ralph McInerny, Russell Hittinger, Benedict Ashley and Anthony Lisska), Aquinas’s own meta-ethical framework avoids the “pitfall” of naturalism. On examination, the short of it is that I find Finnis’s account (while adroit) wanting in the interpretation stakes vis-à-vis other accounts of Aquinas’s meta-ethical foundationalism. I (...) think that the neo-Thomists are basically right to argue that for Aquinas we cannot really understand objective truths about moral standards unless we derive them from our intellective knowledge of natural facts as given to us by the essential human nature that we have. While I find Finnis’s interpretative position on Aquinas wanting, I go on to argue that his own attachment to non-naturalism is justified and should not be jettisoned. Because I think non-naturalism important to the future tenability of a viable natural law ethics (an ethics that is both cognitive and objectivist), I argue that Finnis should, so to speak, “beef up” his “fundamental option” for non-naturalism and more fully avail himself of certain argumentative strategies available in its defense, argumentative strategies that are inspired by the analytical philosophy of G.E. Moore. (shrink)
Ever since the publication of Dieu sans l’être in 1982, Jean-Luc Marion’s various (and varying) pronouncements on the status and meaning of esse in Aquinas have excited a good deal of interest and controversy among Thomists. Marion’s evolving understanding of Thomistic metaphysics in general, and of Thomistic analogy in particular, has been commended for its openness to correction even as it has been criticized for what many still regard as its residual deficiencies. All such criticisms, however, neglect to take (...) account of the phenomenological provenance of Marion’s concerns, and to this extent they risk misunderstanding them. Ironically, Marion’s phenomenological approach to Aquinas intends to safeguard precisely what his Thomist critics think he has jettisoned: namely, our ability to speak about God in a way that says something meaningful—or perhaps better, reveals something meaningful—about God to us. The apophatic language Marionuses to make this point should be taken as a reminder to his fellow Christians (and especially to those who happen to be Thomists) who rightfully desire to speak of God about the danger that is involved in doing so. If we interpret Aquinas’s use of the divine names according to the phenomenological horizon of distance and thus think the various names of God “according to truly theological determinations,” Marion suggests, we can avoid the danger of lapsing into a conceptual idolatry of univocal predication that occludes their phenomenological disclosiveness. (shrink)
MalebrancheÃs doctrine of the will can be illuminated by consideration of the views both of Aquinas and early modern would-be Thomists. Three Malebranchian themes are considered here: his conception of the will as an inclination toward general and indeterminate good, his intellectualism (the view that that the locus of morality lies ultimately with the intellect), and his attempt to avoid the extreme views of Jansenism and Quietism, both condemned in the period as theologically unacceptable. Two little-known Thomists in (...) particular are examined: Antonin MassouliÅ½, whose work helps to explain why Malebranche rejected Quietism and the libertarian view of the will typical of it, and Laurent-Franï¿½ois Boursier, whom Malebranche criticized for failing to provide a conception of the will and its freedom that avoids Jansenism. (shrink)
Part I: Reprinted articles -- Twenty-fourth award of Aquinas medal by the American Catholic Philosophical Association to W. Norris Clarke, SJ -- Interpersonal dialogue : key to realism -- Causality and time -- System : a new category of being -- A curious blind spot in the Anglo American tradition of antitheistic argument -- The problem of the reality and multiplicity of divine ideas in Christian neoplatonism -- Is the ethical eudaimonism of Saint Thomas too self-centered? -- Conscience and the (...) person -- Democracy, ethics, religion : an intrinsic connection -- What cannot be said in Saint Thomas's essence-existence doctrine -- Living on the edge : the human person as frontier being and microcosm -- The metaphysics of religious art : reflections on a text of Saint Thomas -- Part II: New articles -- The immediate creation of the human soul by God and some contemporary -- Challenges -- The creative imagination : unique expression of our soul-body unity -- The creative imagination as treated in western thought -- The integration of personalism and thomistic metaphysics in twenty-first-century Thomism. (shrink)
A number of recent discussions of atheism allude to cosmological arguments in support of theism. The five ways of Aquinas are classic instances, offered as rational justification for theistic belief. However, the five ways receive short shrift. They are curtly dismissed as vacuous, arbitrary, and even insulting to reason. I contend that the atheistic critique of the Thomistic five ways, and similarly formulated cosmological arguments, argues at cross purposes because it misrepresents them. I first lay out the context, intent and (...) structure of Aquinas’ arguments, then show in what way recent discussions misrepresent them, and finally conclude with a comment on metaphysical orientation, which I take to be central, not only to a proper understanding of the Thomistic five ways but generally to the debate between atheism and theism on the existence of God. (shrink)
This paper reports some attempts undertaken in Poland in the 1930s to modernize Thomism by means of modern logic. In particular, it concerns J.M. Bocheski and J. Salamucha, the leading members of the CracowCircle. They attempted to give precise logical form to the Five Ways of Thomas Aquinas. Other works concerned the concept of transcendentals, the levels of abstraction, and the concept of essence.
Jacques Maritain tells us that, apart from St. Thomas himself, his “principal teacher” in Thomism was John Poinsot. Poinsot, like Maritain and Thomas, expressly teaches that the basis of “Thomist realism” lies in the distinction between sentire, which makes no use of concepts, and phantasiari and intelligere, which together depend essentially on concepts. O’Callaghan makes no discussion of this point, resting his notion of realism rather on the widespread quo/quod fallacy, that is, the misinterpretation of concepts as the id quo (...) of knowing. Poinsot demonstrates that this view conflates the distinct notions of species expressae and species impressae, demonstrating further that concepts as such cannot provide the cognitive basis of realism. O’Callaghan in effect suppresses the distinction betweenobjects and things in his effort to achieve the impossible. In this review, I show that it is a question of semantics vs. semiotics over which O’Callaghan stumblesin misrepresenting “Thomist realism.”. (shrink)
Cognitive therapies are among the most popular forms of psychotherapy in the United States (e.g., Robins, Gosling & Craik 1999). It goes without saying that those seeking psychotherapeutic treatment are best served by a profession whose representatives thoughtfully examine their methods of choice. Giuseppe Butera’s article on cognitive therapy and Thomistic psychology is truly thoughtful, as he gives careful philosophical consideration to the basic premises of Aaron Beck’s cognitive approach to therapy. Accordingly, Butera’s work is a valuable contribution to the (...) fields of psychology and psychiatry. Butera carries out his analyses in a manner that is at once conscientious, circumspect, and quite generous. The .. (shrink)
William Norris Clarke, S.J., one of the leading Thomist scholars in the United States, came to the Philippines recently and delivered a series of lectures in the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of Santo Tomas on various philosophical topics inspired by the thought of St. Thomas. Fr. Clarke is now a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy in Fordham University. He was co-founder and editor (l961-85) of the International Philosophical Quarterly and is the author of some 60 articles, plus the (...) following books: The Philosophical Approach to God, The Universe as Journey, Person and Being, Explorations in Metaphysics: Being—God—Person, and The One and the Many: A Contemporary Thomistic Metaphysics (Fall, 2000).He continues to fulfill his mission of propagating the thoughts of St. Thomas—-the “creative retrieval of St. Thomas,” as he puts it—-in and out of the U.S.An brief excerpt from this interview was originally published in Budhi: A Journal of Ideas and Culture1/3, 1997. (shrink)
There are three accounts of divine providence: the Thomistic-Augustinian account, the Molinist account, and the open theist account. Of the three, the Thomistic account has received relatively little attention in recent years, largely because it is been understood to be a form of theological compatibilism or soft determinism, and compatibilism has been subject to powerful objections, most notably those of van Inwagen. In fact, it is possible for a Thomistic account to be robustly incompatibilist and indeterministic, much more so than (...) its Molinist rival. By combining recent developments in the metaphysics of causation with the fertile suggestions of Oxford theologian Austin Farrer, I develop a Thomistic account of providence and freedom that respects the reality of human freedom and provides an adequate foundation for a free will theodicy. (shrink)
This paper attempts to show that Charles Taylor’s persuasive and expansive phenomenology, developed primarily in his Sources of the Self, ultimately depends upon an ontology of the human person that remains undeveloped, as he often admits. His fundamentalphilosophical claims stand finally as postulates of practical reason, which nevertheless depend upon a dialogical practice that is grounded in the dialogical nature of the human person. This phenomenological and ethical approach raises persistent epistemological and metaphysical questions. What Taylor does not admit, and (...) what this paper will propose in his stead, is that a more systematic metaphysics in the existential Thomist tradition can help support philosophically both his explicit and implicit ontological claims regarding the nature of the human person. (shrink)
Mark Jordan’s recent book, Rewritten Theology, challenges the way in which the achievement of Thomas Aquinas has been both received and reformulated,often in order to serve particular theological and philosophical ends. It helps to unmask the often hidden presuppositions behind efforts to “police” Thomism, efforts which frequently require a revision and a rewriting of the texts of Aquinas themselves. At a time when it appears that there is a repristinization of the Thomistic “synthesis” reminiscent of Garrigou-Lagrange, this book is an (...) auspicious reminder that such “synthesis” often comes at the cost of fidelity to theMaster in whose name it is fashioned. (shrink)
The following essay explores the way in which notions of truth are linked to those of secure identity and hence to certain mathematical issues, from Plato and Aristotle onward. It argues that this recognition underlies traditional resorts to notions of form or eidos as securing both particular and general identity—at once the integrity of things and the link among things. I contend that nominalism rightly saw that there were certain problems with this notion in terms of the strict application of (...) the logical law of identity and the recognition of the “artificial” character of human understanding. However, I also argue that the most extreme fulfillment of the nominalist program after Frege itself ran foul of the law of identity because of the paradoxes of set theory. In the face of this double impasse I press for a re-configured Thomistic realism, taking account of the insights of Nicholas of Cusa that would abandon the ultimacy of the law of identity as paradoxically the only way to save identity and so truth, and would admit that the passage to the recognition of universals lies through the human creative construction of universals. Realism can still be saved here because in the Divine Son or Logos, in whom human reason participates, divine ideas are at once made and seen. (shrink)
How should contemporary Thomistic theologians speak of providence and predestination? This essay suggests that St. Catherine of Siena’s approach to the doctrine provides a model for Thomistic theology today. After examining biblical teaching and the guidelines proposed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I explore in some detail the positions of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Jacques Maritain, both of whom sought to overcome what they perceived to be difficulties in the Thomistic account of predestination. I conclude by proposing (...) a retrieval of the perspective of St. Catherine of Siena. (shrink)
Martin Rhonheimer’s The Perspective of Morality: Philosophical Foundations of Thomistic Virtue Ethics offers a bold summary of Thomistic virtue ethics, laid upon some not-so-Thomistic foundations, culminating in questionable, perhaps even dangerous, conclusions concerning actions evil in themselves. As anintroduction to ethical thought, the book covers a wide range of topics, including happiness, freedom, the nature of human actions, the moral virtues, conscience, the principles of practical reason, consequentialism, Kantian ethics, and much more. For some of these topics Rhonheimer provides a (...) helpful summary of the ethics of Aquinas, sprinkled with thoughtful reflections for the modern age. For other topics Rhonheimer introduces questionable interpretations and developments of Aquinas, written with obscurity and lack of precision. This article provides some suggested alternatives to Rhonheimer’s account, especially with regard to the origin of the first practical principles. (shrink)
John F. X. Knasas has issued a series of philosophical and exegetical critiques of what he presents as the Cartesian subjectivism of “transcendental Thomism” in general and Bernard Lonergan in particular. But Professor Knasas’s spontaneous assumptions about knowing, objectivity, and reality are those of Descartes and Kant, not St. Thomas. He thus misinterprets St. Thomas and Fr. Lonergan and misconstrues the nature of knowing. The roots of the differences between Professor Knasas and Fr. Lonergan are exposed by contrasting two radically (...) opposed accounts of knowing, two correlative meanings of the term ‘real’, and two correspondingly divergent interpretations of St. Thomas. In the process, Professor Knasas’s repeated misrepresentation of Fr. Lonergan is corrected. (shrink)
The objective of this article is to analyze some of the ambiguities of the Thomistic theory related to the agent intellect. Precisely, it is about those contradictionsor confusions that appeared as a consequence of Saint Thomas necessity to prove the existence and continuity of intellectual human activity after the death. These ideas are mainly found in Quaestiones disputatae de anima, where they generate two doctrines relatively opposed with regards to agent intellect, but they do not completely vanish in Summa theologica.
Troubadour of truth, by R. E. Brennan.--Reflections on necessity and contingency, by Jacques Maritain.--Intellectual cognition, by Rudolf Allers.--The problem of truth, J. K. Ryan.--The ontolgical roots of Thomism, by Hilary Carpeuter.--The role of habitus in the Thomistic metaphysics of potency and act, by V. J. Bourke.--The nature of the angels, by J. O. Riedl.--The dilemma of being and unity, by A. C. Pegis.--Prudence, the incommunicable wisdom, by C. J. O'Neil.--A question about law, by M. J. Adler.--The economic philosophy of Aquinas, (...) by J. A. Ryan.--Beyond the crisis of liberalism, by Y. R. Simon.--The fate of representative government, by Walter Farrell.--The Thomistic concept of education, by R. J. Slavin.--The perennial theme of beauty, by Immanuel Chapman.--Epilogue, by H. T. Schwartz.--Bibliography (p.-419). (shrink)
This paper presents a Thomistic analysis of addiction that incorporates scientific, philosophical, and theological features of addiction. I will argue first, that a Thomistic hylomorphic anthropology provides a cogent explanation of the causal interactions between human action and neuroplasticity. I will employ Karol Wojtyła’s account of self-determination to further clarify the kind of neuroplasticity involved in addiction. Next, I will elucidate how a Thomistic anthropology can accommodate, without reductionism, both the neurophysiological and psychological elements of addiction, and finally, I will (...) make clear how Thomism can provide an ethics and a theology of grace that can be integrated with these ontological and scientific considerations into a holistic theory of addiction. (shrink)
I argue that two components of Thomistic philosophy of nature (specifically, hylomorphism combined with a relational ontology of space) entail a core claim of big-bang cosmology. I then consider some implications of this fact for natural theology.
Arguments that Aquinas’s literal commentaries on Aristotle present his own philosophy are often proxies for larger claims about the relation of philosophy to theology. While trying to secure a place for Thomas in philosophic conversation, such arguments impose modern notions of an autonomous and apodictic philosophy, with fixed genres of declarative speech. The result is neither a plausiblereading of the Thomistic corpus nor a helpful exemplar for contemporary Catholic philosophy.
To the extent that dualism is even taken to be a serious option in contemporary discussions of personal identity and the philosophy of mind, it is almost exclusively either Cartesian dualism or property dualism that is considered. The more traditional dualism defended by Aristotelians and Thomists, what I call hylemorphic dualism, has only received scattered attention. In this essay I set out the main lines of the hylemorphic dualist position, with particular reference to personal (...) identity. First I argue that overemphasis of the problem of consciousness has had an unhealthy effect on recent debate, claiming instead that we should emphasize the concept of form. Then I bring in the concept of identity by means of the notion of substantial form. I continue by analyzing the relation between form and matter, defending the traditional theses of prime matter and of the unicity of substantial form. I then argue for the immateriality of the substantial form of the human person, viz. the soul, from an account of the human intellect. From this follows the soul's essential independence of matter. Finally, although the soul is the immaterial bearer of personal identity, that identity is still the identity of an essentially embodied being. I explain how these ideas are to be reconciled. Footnotesa I am grateful to Stephen Braude, John Cottingham, John Haldane, David Jehle, Joel Katzav, Eduardo Ortiz, and Fred Sommers for helpful comments and discussion of a draft of this essay. I would also like to thank Ellen Paul, whose suggestions have helped greatly to improve the essay's style and content. (shrink)
In his classic introduction to the subject, Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders, Aaron Beck observes that “the philosophical underpinnings” of cognitive therapy’s (CT) approach to the emotional disorders “go back thousands of years, certainly to the time of the Stoics, who considered man’s conceptions (or misconceptions) of events rather than the events themselves as the key to his emotional upsets” (Beck 1976, 3). But beyond acknowledging that the stoics anticipated the central insight of CT, Beck has very little to (...) say about the philosophical underpinnings of CT, content it would seem for it to be an empirically grounded system of psychological principles and therapeutic methods. Yet even this little .. (shrink)
Thomas of Sutton was one of the earliest, and by all measures one of the most astute defenders of St. Thomas Aquinas’ characteristic theological and philosophical doctrines. As usual with medieval thinkers, we have little information regarding Sutton’s life..
Over the years I have written a number of articles critiquing Transcendental Thomism both from philosophical and from textual points of view. In the course of these articles, I have made comments on Bernard J. F. Lonergan’s epistemology. These comments have caught the eye of Jeremy D. Wilkins, and have provoked his article, “A Dialectic of ‘Thomist’ Realisms: John Knasas and Bernard Lonergan.” The violence of Wilkins’s reaction leads me to believe that despite the passing nature of my comments, they (...) are sufficiently incisive to have cut a nerve. Nevertheless, it is my opinion that no reader of Wilkins would come away with any accurate grasp of my understanding of Lonergan, my reasons for it, and the precise point of contention between us. So, both for the record and the benefit of calm discussion of this influential figure, I would like to provide my hermeneutic of Lonergan and to pinpoint my trouble with him. To this end, I will repeat some descriptions of Lonergan from a recently published monograph, Being and Some Twentieth-Century Thomists (New York: Fordham University Press, 2003), and then address the criticisms of Wilkins. (shrink)
Incommensurability and tragic conflict -- The business of order -- The real thing -- Virtue and the twofold order -- Practical reason and final ends -- Natural hierarchy and moral obligation -- Conflict -- The virtues of conflict.
Machine generated contents note: 1. Socrates, Plato and the invention of the ancient quarrel; 2. Aristotle, poetry and ethics; 3. Plotinus, Augustine and strange sweetness; 4. Boethius, Dionysius and the forms; 5. Thomas, and some Thomists; 6. Vico's new science; 7. Kant and His Students on the Genius of Nature; 8. Hegel and the owl of Minerva; 9. Kierkegaard: a poet, alas; 10. Dilthey: poetry and the escape from metaphysics; 11. Nietzsche, Heidegger and the saving power of poetry; 12. (...) Mikhail Bakhtin and novelistic consciousness. (shrink)
The objective of this study is to analyze the writing of three neo-scholastic writers of the twentieth century -- Marcel Chossat, Pedro Descoqs, and Francis Cunningham -- who happen to dispute the prevailing view of Thomists that St. Thomas Aquinas does indeed hold a doctrine of thereal distinction of essence and existence in created being. The approach utilized will be basically historical: we start with the year 1910, the year in which Marcel Chossat rekindled the ever-smoldering embers of the (...) essence-existence controversy with his claim that Aquinas never held such a doctrine. In order to justify another treatment of what has been called “the endlessly rehashed question”, we try to show that the arguments put forth by the three thinkers in question an are based on considerable and weighty linguistic grounds which others in the debate have tended to dismiss. We conclude by saying that any discussion of the real distinction controversy must take a “linguistic turn” if it is to have any hope of being fruitful. (shrink)
This book is a revised and expanded edition of three lectures delivered by the author as the centerpiece of a symposium on the philosophy of God at Wake Forest University in 1979. Long out of print, in its new edition it should be a valuable resource for scholars and teachers of the philosophy of religion. The first two lectures, after a critique of the incompleteness of St. Thomas Aquinas's famous Five Ways of arguing for the existence of God, explores two (...) lesser-known resources of Aquinas's philosophical ascent of the mind to God. The first is the unrestricted dynamism of the human spirit, both intellect and will, reaching toward the fullness of being as both true (i.e., intelligible) and good. The second is the strictly metaphysical ascent to God from finite to infinite, in the line of Aquinas's later, more Neoplatonically inspired, metaphysics of participation. The third lecture is a critique of Whitehead's process philosophy. It asks: Is process philosophy compatible with Christian theism? This article is heavily revised from its earlier version, distinguishing Aquinas more sharply and critically from Whitehead than in the first edition. (shrink)