Congrats Ed! Great lecture by the way. Just recieved Aristotle's Revenge in the mail. Fantastic read so far! I'm wondering if the principle of proportionate causality: What ever is in an effect must be in its cause in some way The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that "in all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves the system, the potential energy of the state will always be less than that of the initial state.
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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Aquinas by Edward Feser. Charting the life and thought of this hugely influential medieval thinker. One of the most influential philosophers and theologians in the history of Western thought, St Thomas Aquinas established the foundations for much of modern philosophy of religion, and is infamous for his arguments for the existence of God.
In this cogent and multifaceted introduction to the great Sa Charting the life and thought of this hugely influential medieval thinker. In this cogent and multifaceted 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 thoughts on the soul, natural law, metaphysics, and the interaction of faith and reason, this will prove a indispensable resource for students, experts or the general reader. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published October 1st by Oneworld Publications first published More Details Oneworld Beginner's Guide.
Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Aquinas , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide. Jan 10, Wendy Wong Schirmer rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy.
But it's more: 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 tha If one is interested in Aquinas, one has to start somewhere, and Edward Feser's Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide is an excellent place.
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 what's valuable about this book is that it's instructive in how to ask 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. Jul 04, Charlemagne rated it it was amazing Shelves: theologia. Amazing, astounding. Soon a proper review. 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 an introduction, it delves deeper into certain issues than beginners may be comfortable 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.
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. Must read. Dec 03, Wanderson rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy , theology. A must-read book for those who want to understand the basics Aquinas' positions. Jan 07, Gary Sedivy rated it really liked it.
The only reason I gave this book four instead of five stars is 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 ago , and 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. By the way, I do not mind looking stuff up. View 1 comment. Jun 26, Scott rated it it was amazing. Stellar introduction to the thought of Thomas Aquinas, and under pages! Mar 17, Kelly McLane added it.
This book opened up a new world of thought for me and is so applicable to our times! Feb 12, Pater Edmund rated it really liked it Shelves: philosophy. 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 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 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 his chapter on ethics is open to Hildebrandian misunderstanding--but on the whole this is a triumphant achievement.
Jul 23, John Ellis rated it really liked it. Feser not only wrote an engaging introduction to the metaphysics of Aquinas, but the book is also a compelling defense of Thomistic thought that serves as a robust and thought provoking challenge to much of post-Enlightenment thought. Feb 09, sch rated it it was amazing Shelves: five-star. Jun Read again. Still excellent, and after all my Maritain reading, easier to understand.
Feb To understand I had to stop and reread regularly. Oct 21, Kevin rated it did not like it Shelves: religion , meta-reviewed , unfinished.
A disappointing text. Perhaps my expectations were calibrated too highly. I was hoping for an introduction that would sketch both the theoretical manifold of Thomism, and 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 of a potter making a pot, where the 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 concept of causal series in chapter 2. The idea is embedded within the standard Aristotelian Four Causes that Aquinas adopts: material, formal, efficient, and final. 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.
Edward Feser is associate professor of philosophy at Pasadena City College, where he writes and teaches on contemporary analytic philosophy from a Thomistic perspective. He recently spoke with first things junior fellow Connor Grubaugh about three of his favorite books in the field. This is the best book in print on the problem of evil. Second, you cannot properly understand the problem of evil if you conceive of God in anthropomorphic terms—as something like a human agent, only bigger and stronger. If the world is like a story, God is not a character in the story alongside other characters; he is like the author of the story. And just as it makes no sense to think of an author as being unjust to his characters, neither does it make sense to think of God as being unjust to his creatures.
Taking Aquinas Seriously
Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide
Edward C. He is also the author of many academic articles. His primary academic research interests are in metaphysics , natural theology , the philosophy of mind , and moral and political philosophy. Feser also writes on politics and culture, from a conservative point of view; and on religion, from a traditional Roman Catholic perspective.
Aquinas : A Beginner's Guide
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