Aquinas / Edition 1

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This book is a lively and highly accessible introduction to the thought of Thomas Aquinas. While primarily a theologian, Aquinas' conception of theology presupposed an autonomous philosophy. This book concentrates on his philosophy while making clear its openness to theology as reflection on Revelation. As a philosopher, Aquinas is fundamentally Aristotelian. Like Aristotle, he sees philosophy as emerging from the ordinary thinking of ordinary human beings (and philosophers when they are off duty). Philosophy does not initiate certain knowledge but prolongs it by perfecting the instrument of thinking and expanding its content. The quest for wisdom, like that for happiness, is an inescapable fact of human existence. This book uses key and crucial texts to describe the trajectory of Aquinas' philosophical thought from the analysis of changeable things through the reasoned awareness that to be and to be material are not identical to such knowledge as we can have of God. This brings Aquinas to the threshold of Christian faith.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Ralph McInerny knows as much about Thomas Aquinas, and about how to communicate his thought, as anyone else alive. He is not only a very learned commentator upon him, but also a fluent, lucid, and often entertaining writer, who can make profound ideas seem deceptively simple....McInerny offers an accessible guide to a difficult and important topic."

The Heythrop Journal

"McInery is perhaps the most important Catholic philosopher of his generation. While many limit philosophy to textual exegesis of formal logic, McInerny, in the spirit of his immediate predecessors Etienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain, still regards philosophy as the pursuit of wisdom, speculative and practical. Steeped in the history of philosophy, McInerny is a reliable guide to Aristotle and Aquinas and their commentators through the ages. He writes not for colleagues down the hall or for the appreciation of antiquity or who seek an intellectual compass in stormy times. Translated into many languages, his work rightly commands a global audience. For its freshness, Aquinas will only enhance McInerny’s status as a major interpreter of the Angelic Doctor."

Jude P. Dougherty, The Catholic University of America

"Aquinas lived in a time of remarkable intellectual and religious ferment. His thought, which McInerny following John Paul II describes as an implicit philosophy, articulates not just for his own time, but foe all times, the philosophical principles implicitly operative in human nature. In his new primer on Aquinas, Ralph McInerny manages the impossible. He gives us Aquinas, his times, the core of his philosophical teaching, and the significance of his continued contribution to philosophy and theology. With the deft stlye of the novelist and the clarity of a seasoned teacher of Aquinas, McInerny provides a marvelous path into the thought of the greatest of Catholic teachers."

Thomas Hibbs, Boston College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745626864
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/5/2004
  • Series: PCTS-Polity Classic Thinkers Series, #10
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Ralph McInerny is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.
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Table of Contents

Part I A Short Life 1
1 Origins 3
2 Montecassino (1230-1239) 5
3 University of Naples (1239-1244) 7
4 Under House Arrest (1244-1245) 11
5 Cologne and Albert the Great (1245-1248) 12
6 Student at Paris (1252-1256) 13
7 First Paris Professorship (1256-1259) 16
8 Italian Interlude (1259-1268) 17
9 Second Paris Period (1269-1272) 20
10 Naples (1272-1274) 24
Selected Further Reading 26
Part II In Pursuit of Wisdom 27
11 Theology Presupposes Philosophy 30
12 The Quest of Philosophy 31
13 Theoretical and Practical 34
14 The Order of Learning 37
15 The Two Theologies 38
16 The Four Orders 40
17 The Logical Order 42
18 Our Natural Way of Knowing 45
19 Matter and Form 49
20 Things that Come to Be as the Result of a Change 51
21 The Parmenidean Problem 54
22 The Sequel 56
23 The Prime Mover 58
24 The Soul 59
25 Sense Perception 63
26 The Immortality of the Human Soul 65
27 The Opening to Metaphysics 66
28 The Big Problem 70
29 The Two Theologies Revisited 71
30 Being as Being 76
31 Analogy 78
32 Being as Analogous 80
33 Substance 82
34 Presuppositions of Metaphysics 85
35 God and Metaphysics 86
36 Ipsum esse Subsistens 89
37 The Moral Order 92
38 Ultimate End in Aristotle 94
39 Ultimate End in Thomas 96
40 Virtuous Action 98
41 Natural Law 100
42 Natural Inclinations 104
43 Virtue and Law 106
44 Practical Syllogism 107
45 End/Means 109
46 The Common Good 110
47 Natural and Supernatural Ends 112
48 Preambles of Faith 114
49 Christian Philosophy 115
50 Beyond Philosophy 117
51 The Range of Theology 125
Sources 129
Selected Further Reading 135
Part III Thomism 137
52 The First Phase 141
53 Second Scholasticism 144
54 The Leonine Revival (1879-1965) 145
55 Three Thomisms 148
56 Whither Thomism in the Third Millennium? 150
Selected Further Reading 153
Index 154
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