My article “Aquinas on the Human Soul” appears in the anthology The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism, edited by Jonathan Loose. Aquinas is an in-depth but accessible introduction to the Feser shows that Aquinas’s philosophy is still a live option for thinkers today. In this multifaceted introduction to the renowned thinker, Edward Feser shows how Thomas Aquinas’s works are as relevant today as when they were written.
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aqujnas Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Aquinas by Edward Feser. A Beginner’s Guide by Edward Feser. One of the most influential philosophers and theologians in history, St.
In this cogent introduction to the great Saint’s work, Edward Feser argues that you cannot fully understand Aquinas’ philosophy without his theology and vice versa. Covering his though One of the most influential philosophers and theologians in history, St.
Covering his thoughts on the soul, natural law, metaphysics, and the interaction of faith and reason, this will prove indispensable for students, experts or the general reader. Paperbackpages. Published September 1st by Oneworld Publications first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Aquinasplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Jul 04, Sancti Tomma rated it it was amazing Shelves: Soon a proper review. Jan 10, Wendy Wong Schirmer rated it it was amazing Shelves: If one is interested in Aquinas, one has to start somewhere, and Edward Feser’s Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide is an excellent place. Feser not only walks the reader through the basics of Aquinas’s metaphysics, but also its logical conclusions for natural theology, psychology, and ethics.
The overarching argument behind the book is that Thomism remains viable and that those who dismiss Aquinas misunderstand what he actually means by certain terms as well as the kinds of arguments ceser If one is interested in Aquinas, one has to start somewhere, and Edward Feser’s Aquinas: The overarching argument behind the book is that Thomism remains viable and that those who dismiss Aquinas misunderstand what he actually means by certain terms as well as the kinds of arguments that he’s actually making, and that those espousing modern philosophy often read those assumptions back into Aquinas.
The result is a good example of how to think clearly through and about thought– both that of Aquinas and others who are a part of the larger conversation about Aquinas both those who reject the latter’s metaphysics, like Richard Dawkins, and even those who consider themselves Thomists in some way, like Germaine Grisez and John Finnis. Whether one agrees or does not agree with Feser’s handling of the subject and the conclusions he draws, there is no denying that fsser valuable about this book is that it’s instructive in how to qauinas certain kinds of questions.
Also helpful is that Feser provides a guide for further reading for each chapter at the back of the book. His further-reading suggestions are important for understanding the kinds of conversations that philosophers and non-philosophers are having about Aquinas. Such information will likely prove useful for anyone putting together an introductory course on Aquinas, Scholasticism, or even Classical philosophical thought, who needs a roadmap regarding how to approach the material systematically.
May 02, Jesse De Costa rated it it was amazing. As many of the previous reviews have already indicated, although it says it is a beginner book, I would use this more to deepen my understanding of Aquinas’ basic philosophy. As aquinzs introduction, it delves deeper into certain issues than beginners may be efser with. I would recommend starting with Feser’s “The Last Superstition,” where he goes into basic Platonic and especially Aristotelian metaphysics. These set the groundwork for better understanding Aquinas’ thought, and much of what is As many of the previous reviews have already indicated, although it says it is a beginner book, I would use this more to deepen my understanding of Aquinas’ basic philosophy.
Edward Feser: Now available: AQUINAS
These set the groundwork for better understanding Aquinas’ thought, and much of what is in this book. These considerations aside, this book was a great tool for further understanding Aquinas’ thought, especially in light of current modern misunderstandings and objections. Dec 03, Wanderson rated it it was amazing Shelves: A must-read book for those who want to understand the basics Aquinas’ positions.
Jun 26, Scott rated it it was aquunas. Stellar introduction to the thought of Thomas Aquinas, and under pages! Jan 07, Gary Sedivy rated it really liked it. The only reason I gave this book four instead of five stars aquinaa because of my personal inadequacy – there were parts I had to read several times to get the gist of it.
I only had one quarter of philosophy class in college 45 years agoand it was an overview, an introduction to the subject. Too often I was putting modern definitions, even applying electrical engineering meanings to some of these. About halfway through, things started to come together and make some sense.
This is one of those books for which having a dictionary or encyclopedia close by is absolutely essential. Feaer the way, I do not mind looking stuff up.
Feb 12, Pater Edmund rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a remarkably clear and well written introduction Aquinas’s philosophy rather than his theology. Feser gives a wonderful example of how to give a popular exposition of heavy-duty philosophical thought.
He also shows how to argue when one’s readers are likely to have all the prejudices of modern philosophy.
I thought there were a few weaknesses–the explanation of the fourth way’s premise that the first in a genus is the cause of everything else in the genus was weak–and a few things ou This is a remarkably clear and well written introduction Aquinas’s philosophy rather than his theology. I thought there were a few frser explanation of the fourth way’s premise that the first in a genus is the cause of everything else in the genus was weak–and a few things ought to have been discussed to avoid misunderstanding–I especially thought he ought to have included a discussion of the primacy of the commmon good without which aquimas chapter on ethics is open to Hildebrandian misunderstanding–but on the whole this is a triumphant achievement.
Feb 09, Seth Holler rated it it was amazing Shelves: Still excellent, and after all my Maritain reading, easier to understand. To understand I had to stop and reread fesee.
Oct 21, Kevin rated it did not like it Shelves: Perhaps my expectations were calibrated too highly. I was hoping for an introduction that would sketch both the theoretical manifold of Thomism, fesre its motivations. I was only satisfied with the former. The proffered justifications of Thomism seemed targeted towards New Atheists, failing to engage more sophisticated philosophical frameworks.
Further, Feser motivates his account by way of spurious empirical examples that I will now proceed to debunk.
For Aquinas, it is things that are causes, not events; and the immediate efficient cause of an effect is simultaneous with it, not temporally prior to it. In the case of the broken window, the key point in the causal series would be something like the pushing of the brick into the glass and the glass’s giving way.
These events are simultaneous; indeed, the bricking’s pushing into the glass and the glass’s giving way are really just the same event. Or to take an example often used to illustrate the Aristotelian conception of efficient causation we might think aquinad a potter making a pot, where fexer potter’s positioning his hand in just such-and-such a way and the pot’s taking on such-and-such a shape are simultaneous, and, again, the same event described in two different ways.
Sheets of glass and shards of pottery are physical substances extended in space. Force-carriers do not travel from the point of contact to the rest of the surface instantaneously. Like all other particles, they are constrained by the speed of light. These analogies are empirically bankrupt. Feser introduces the aqhinas of causal series in chapter 2. The idea is embedded within the standard Aristotelian Four Causes that Aquinas adopts: A key distinction here is that, whereas modern philosophy tends to read causality in the language of events, medieval philosophy interprets in the language of things.
The frser types of causal chains considered feesr the accidens series and aquonas essential series. Let us now examine what Feser means by this distinction.
Sometimes it involves something essential, as when the ball is melted into a puddle of goo and thus no longer counts as a ball at all. For a ball merely to change its color is for its matter to lose one accidental form and take on another, while retaining the substantial form of a ball and thus remaining the same substance, namely a ball.
Taking Aquinas Seriously
For a fesed to be aquonas into goo is for its matter to lose one substantial form and take on another. But this account does not treat the problem of ambiguity. Suppose I am microwaving my red ball: Let us suppose that, per Thomism, my red ball really did lose its form at the eighty-one second mark.
What is it about the physical phenomena during that second that differed from the previous eighty seconds? If Forms substitution is really as clean and binary as Aquinas suggests, why don’t Thomists remain equally vulnerable to epistemic disagreement as the rest of us? While contra Plato no form exists apart from some particular individual substance that instantiates it, not every form exists in a material substance. There can be forms without matter, and thus immaterial substances – namely, for Aquinas, angels and postmortem human souls.
This recapitulates an asymmetry noted earlier: Feser fails to provide an explanation for these curious asymmetries.
How can the A-T framework mediate intra-group disagreement? How do change in matter lead to change in substance, or change in Form? In the former case, condensation leads to precipitation, which leads to collection, which leads to evaporation, which leads to condensations, and the cycle begins again.
A Quite Long Review of Edward Feser’s Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide
In the latter case, igneous rock forms into sedimentary rock, which aquinaz into metamorphic rock, which melts into magma, which hardens into igneous rock, and the cycle begins again.
Scientists who study these processes identify each of their stages as playing a certain specific role relative to the others. For example, the role of condensation in the water is to bring about precipitation; the role of pressure in the rock cycle is, in conjunction with heat, to generate magma, and in the absence of heat to contribute to generating sedimentary rock; and aquinsa forth.
Each stage has the production of some particular outcome or range of outcomes as an “end” or “goal” towards which it points. Nor will it do to suggest that either cycle could be adequately described by speaking of each stage as being the efficient cause of certain others, with no reference to its playing fdser “role” of generating some effect as aquinad “end” or “goal.
As Oderberg points out, sedimentation might for example happen to block the water flow to a certain region, the formation of magma might cause some local birds to migrate, or condensation in some area might for all we know cause someone to have arthritic pain in his big toe.
But [these examples] are no part of the water cycle.