Between Immortality and Death: Some Further Reflections On The Summa Contra Gentiles

The Monist 58 (1):1-15 (1974)

Abstract
When St. Thomas wrote the Summa Contra Gentiles in the first half of the 1260s, he was contributing to a long-standing Christian effort to receive Aristotle’s writings without accepting his errors. If Aristotle was to be in the Christian world what everybody was proclaiming, namely, the Philosopher, he could not remain an ancient pagan thinker nor could his philosophy remain subject to the errors and, even more, the limitations that historically it contained. Clearly enough, an Aristotle who was merely freed from his errors would not do. For if, though purified, he retained the perspective of his own ancient world, he could not speak for philosophy in a Christian climate and his philosophy could not serve as a human instrument in the exposition of Christian teaching. What Aristotle needed—so St. Thomas thought—was, beyond correction, a reconstruction and even a reestablishment of his doctrine on a different foundation from his own.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest  Philosophy of Mind  Philosophy of Science
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ISBN(s) 0026-9662
DOI 10.5840/monist19745817
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