Edited by Jason Eberl (Saint Louis University)
|Summary||Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274) is the most influential Christian philosopher and theologian of the Scholastic period. His influence is primarily due to his synthesis of Aristotelian philosophy with Christian theology, as well as the breadth and systematic rigor of his writings. He wrote extensively on philosophical theology, metaphysics, epistemology, human nature (including philosophy of mind) and ethics (including moral psychology, virtue ethics, and natural law theory). The wide-ranging appeal of his theories have inspired a variety of "Thomisms" throughout the 20th century, under such prefatory labels as "Existential," "Transcendental," "Phenomenological," and "Analytical." His philosophical system has been explicitly promoted as the foundation par excellence for Catholic theology by Pope Leo XIII and Pope John Paul II.|
|Key works||For a comprehensive collection of Aquinas's works (in Latin) see Opera Omnia. Aquinas's most significant writings are the voluminous Summa theologiae and Summa contra Gentiles. Among his philosophical writings are comprehensive commentaries on Aristotle's works, including Metaphysics, Physics, De anima, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, and Posterior Analytics. Extensive arguments on certain topics can be found in collections of Disputed Questions on subjects such as truth, virtue, evil, the soul, and the power of God. Shorter, yet philosophically impactful, treatises Aquinas wrote include On Being and Essence and On Kingship.|
|Introductions||A classical introduction to Aquinas's overall philosophical thought is Gilson 1956. An excellent recent introductory text is Davies 1993. A more in-depth scholarly treatment of various themes in Aquinas's philosophical system is provided by Eleonore 2003.|
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