Throughout the long centuries of western metaphysics the problem of the infinite has kept surfacing in different but important ways. It had confronted Greek philosophical speculation from earliest times. It appeared in the definition of the divine attributed to Thales in Diogenes Laertius (I, 36) under the description "that which has neither beginning nor end. " It was presented on the scroll of Anaximander with enough precision to allow doxographers to transmit it in the technical terminology of the unlimited (apeiron) (...) and the indeterminate (aoriston). The respective quanti tative and qualitative implications of these terms could hardly avoid causing trouble. The formation of the words, moreover, was clearly negative or privative in bearing. Yet in the philosophical framework the notion in its earliest use meant something highly positive, signifying fruitful content for the first principle of all the things that have positive status in the universe. These tensions could not help but make themselves felt through the course of later Greek thought. In one extreme the notion of the infinite was refined in a way that left it appropriated to the Aristotelian category of quantity. In Aristotle (Phys. III 6-8) it came to appear as essentially re quiring imperfection and lack. It meant the capacity for never-ending increase. It was always potential, never completely actualized. (shrink)
"Christian Philosophy" concerns the perennial paradox of reason/revelation and philosophy/theology by reflecting on: whether philosophy has ever been -pure- i.e., free of beliefs; how Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus helped prepare for Christian philosophy; how these practiced it: Bonaventure, Guerric, Albert, Aquinas, Maritain. As monists Marcel and Whitehead confirm that philosophy cannot be faith but must remain distinct and yet dependent on it if philosophy is to be Christian. This book closes by studying how Aquinas' positions are an antidote to current trends (...) such as Sartre's existentialism, Neo-kantian self-centered epistemology and ethics, Derrida's deconstructionism.". (shrink)
This book brings together never-before published contributions of leading scholars in Greek and Medieval thought. The list of thinkers examined includes Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Pseudo-Dionysius, Gregory of Nyssa, Anselm, Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Henry of Harclay, William of Auvergne, Paulus Soncinas and William of Alnwick.