The heart of Book Two of De Iibero arbitrio is devoted to a lengthy argument that concludes that God is and is truly and sovereignly. This argument rests upon two crucial principia that have been called the principles of subordination and participation. An examination of their function in the argument reveals that Augustine could hardly have thought that he had produced a demonstration of God’s existence.
The paper explores three areas in which Avicenna had an important influence on the metaphysics of Henry of Ghent: first, in developing an argument for the existence of God in metaphysics rather than in physics; secondly, in his intentional distinction between essence and existence; and thirdly, in his arguments not merely that there is only one God, but that it is impossible for there to be many gods, his arguments which Henry clearly took from books one and eight of Avicenna’s (...) ’Metaphysics’. (shrink)
The essays in this book, by a variety of leading Augustine scholars, examine not only Augustine's multifaceted philosophy and its relation to his epoch-making theology, but also his practice as a philosopher, as well as his relation to other philosophers both before and after him. Thus the collection shows that Augustine's philosophy remains an influence and a provocation in a wide variety of settings today.
The present volume contains a sixteen-page introduction that briefly sums up Suárez’s life and works, outlines the contents of the Metaphysical Disputations, and then presents a summary of the two disputations translated, which is valuable because of Suárez’s tendency to ramble and to include almost every imaginable detail from the thought of his predecessors. The heart of the volume is the translation of the two disputations; it is followed by a list of persons to whom Suárez alludes and a brief (...) identification of them—an invaluable addition since in many cases most readers would not otherwise know to whom the Jesuit philosopher is referring. The bibliography is particularly helpful in listing the thirteen other disputations that have been translated into English and in providing a select guide to secondary sources for further reading. (shrink)
This volume is a sequel to Phoenix of His Age: Interpretations of Erasmus c 1550-1750, the author's earlier study of Erasmus's reputation from the time of his death until the middle of the eighteenth century. The present volume offers a fascinating account of the reception of Erasmus during the period from around 1750 to the first quarter of the present century. The volume is divided into a brief introduction and two parts: a shorter first part covering the ages of Enlightenment, (...) Romanticism, and Revolution; and a longer second part dealing with the nineteenth century and after. Mansfield's two books look for an explanation for the continued interest in Erasmus during the past four centuries on the part of persons of quite different persuasions and backgrounds. (shrink)
In book eight of De trinitate Augustine of Hippo proposes two ways of coming to a vision of God, which have baffled me all my years of teaching Augustine.In the second of these he tells us to take “this good” and “that good” and to set aside “this” and “that” and promises that in doing so one will see God. Scholarlyliterature proved quite unhelpful in understanding what Augustine had in mind, especially since this procedure seems to presuppose that God, the (...) subsistent good, is present in particular good things and merely has to be unwrapped or unveiled in order for one to see the Good itself that is God. A clue to understanding what the bishop of Hippo had in mind can be found in his inversion of John’s claim in 1 John 4:8 to “Love is God.” Other Latin Fathers follow Augustine in this inversion, and Prosper of Aquitaine generalizes it for all the virtues or excellences. If one bears in mind the Plotinian doctrine of the integral omnipresence of suchvirtues or excellences, each of which is God, the sort of abstraction of the Good itself from individual good things, as Augustine proposed, becomes intelligible,and Henry of Ghent illustrates this sort of abstraction in his metaphysical argument for the existence of God. (shrink)