What constitutes Lincoln’s political greatness as a statesman? As a great leader, he saved the Union, presided over the end of slavery, and helped to pave the way for an interracial democracy. His great speeches provide enduring wisdom about human equality, democracy, free labor, and free society. Joseph R. Fornieri contends that Lincoln’s political genius is best understood in terms of a philosophical statesmanship that united greatness of thought and action, one that combined theory and practice. This philosophical statesmanship, Fornieri argues, can best be understood in terms of six dimensions of political leadership: wisdom, prudence, duty, magnanimity, rhetoric, and patriotism. Drawing on insights from history, politics, and philosophy, Fornieri tackles the question of how Lincoln’s statesmanship displayed each of these crucial elements.
Providing an accessible framework for understanding Lincoln’s statesmanship, this thoughtful study examines the sixteenth president’s political leadership in terms of the traditional moral vision of statecraft as understood by epic political philosophers such as Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. Fornieri contends that Lincoln’s character is best understood in terms of Aquinas’s understanding of magnanimity or greatness of soul, the crowning virtue of statesmanship. True political greatness, as embodied by Lincoln, involves both humility and sacrificial service for the common good. The enduring wisdom and timeless teachings of these great thinkers, Fornieri shows, can lead to a deeper appreciation of statesmanship and of its embodiment in Abraham Lincoln.
With the great philosophers and books of western civilization as his guide, Fornieri demonstrates the important contribution of normative political philosophy to an understanding of our sixteenth president. Informed by political theory that draws on the classics in revealing the timelessness of Lincoln’s example, his interdisciplinary study offers profound insights for anyone interested in the nature of leadership, statesmanship, political philosophy, political ethics, political history, and constitutional law.
Analogies of Transcendence
Stephen M. Fields Catholic University of America Press, 2016 Library of Congress BX1795.N36F54 2016 | Dewey Decimal 233.5
The problem of nature and grace lies at the heart of Christian theology. No dimension of divine revelation can be addressed without implicitly drawing reference to this issue.Analogies of Transcendence focuses on the central role that the analogies of being and faith play in developing a solution to the problem. These link God, as self-manifesting transcendence, to the human person as both fallen and justified, and to the material cosmos. Although the proposed solution draws on the work of Maréchal, de Lubac, Balthasar, and Rahner, it criticizes their approach for its underdeveloped analogies that diminish nature in grace's engagement with it. In redressing this weakness, Fr. Fields adapts its solution to the intellectual struggle of our time. This volume examines the origins and structure of modernity, which, it asserts, has not been superseded and is therefore critical of'postmodernism,' as well as of some ambiguous legacies of Thomism.
Analogy after Aquinas
Domenic D'Ettore Catholic University of America Press, 2018 Library of Congress B765.T54D4658 2019 | Dewey Decimal 169
Since the first decade of the 14th Century, Thomas Aquinas’s disciples have struggled to explain and defend his doctrine of analogy. Analogy after Aquinas: Logical Problems, Thomistic Answers relates a history of prominent Medieval and Renaissance Thomists’ efforts to solve three distinct but interrelated problems arising from their reading both of Aquinas’s own texts on analogy, and from John Duns Scotus’s arguments against analogy and in favor of univocity in Metaphysics and Natural Theology. The first of these three problems concerns Aquinas’s at least apparently disparate statements on whether a name is said by analogy through a single concept or through diverse concepts. The second problem concerns the model of analogy suited for predicating names analogously across the categories of being or about God and creatures. Is “being” said analogously about God and creatures, or substance and accidents, on the model of how “healthy” is said of medicine and an animal, or on the model of how “principle” is said of a point and a line? The third problem comes from outside challenges to Aquinas’s thought, in particular Scotus’ claims that univocal names alone can mediate valid demonstrations, and any demonstration that failed to use its mediating terms univocally would fail by the fallacy of equivocation. Analogy after Aquinas makes a unique contribution to the study of philosophical theology in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas by showing the historical and philosophical connection between these three problems, as well as the variety of solutions proposed by leading representatives of this tradition. Thomists considered in the book include: Hervaeus Natalis (1250-1323), Thomas Sutton (1250-1315), John Capreolus (1380-1444), Dominic of Flanders (1425-1479), Paul Soncinas (d. 1494), Thomas dio vio Cajetan (1469-1534), Francis Silvestri of Ferrara (1474-1528), and Chrysostom Javelli (1470-1538).
Angels and Demons
Serge-Thomas Bonino Catholic University of America Press, 2016 Library of Congress BT966.3.B6613 2016 | Dewey Decimal 235
Angels occupy a significant space in contemporary popular spirituality. Yet, today more than ever, the belief in the existence of intermediary spirits between the human and divine realms needs to be evangelized and Christianized. Angels and Demons offers a detailed synthesis of the givens of the Christian tradition concerning the angels and demons, as systematized in its essential principles by St. Thomas Aquinas. Certainly, the doctrine of angels and demons is not at the heart of Christian faith, but its place is far from negligible. On the one hand, as part of faith seeking understanding, angelology has been and can continue to be a source of enrichment for philosophy. Thus, reflection on the ontological constitution of the angel, on the modes of angelic knowledge, and on the nature of the sin of Satan can engage and shed light on the most fundamental areas of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. On the other hand, angelology, insofar as it is inseparable from the ensemble of the Christian mystery (from the doctrine of creation to the Christian understanding of the spiritual life), can be envisioned from an original and fruitful perspective.
Aquinas and Analogy
Ralph McInerny Catholic University of America Press, 1996 Library of Congress B765.T54M236 1996 | Dewey Decimal 169.092
The basic distinctions McInerny introduces, his criticism of the central piece in the literature, Cajetan's De nominum analogia, the applications he makes to problems such as that of the nature of metaphysics or of logic, his knowledge of contemporary debates on related topics, combine to make his contribution unique
Thomas Aquinas and Jean-Paul Sartre are usually identified with completely different philosophical traditions: intellectualism and voluntarism. In this original study, Stephen Wang shows, instead, that there are some profound similarities in their understanding of freedom and human identity.
Aquinas and the Cry of Rachel
John F.X. Knasas Catholic University of America Press, 2013 Library of Congress B765.T54K586 2013 | Dewey Decimal 214
In Aquinas and the Cry of Rachel , John F. X. Knasas explores Thomas Aquinas's philosophical thinking about evil, and brings the results into discussion with the contemporary theodicies - philosophies of the problem of evil. It examines the relation of the human person and human nature to nature as a whole.
Generally speaking, possible philosophical accounts for evil are two kinds: cosmological or personal. The cosmological account has evils rebounding to the perfection of creation. The personal account would have evils suffered rebounding to the good of the sufferer. Knasas argues that for Aquinas no philosophical resolution of these two kinds of accounts is possible. This argument is based upon Aquinas's understanding of the human as an intellector of analogical being. Such an understanding establishes two truths. First, the human is by nature only a principal part of the created whole. Second, there is the philosophically discernible possibility of supernatural elevation by the creator.
Hence, as far as philosophy can discern, evil may have a natural explanation or it may have a supernatural one. The Thomistic philosopher has no answer as to why evil exists because that philosopher discerns too many possible ones. In that respect, Aquinas's thinking on evil is similar to his thinking about the philosophical knowledge of the biblical truth of the world's creation in time. Such a creation is one metaphysical possibility among others. Some authors that Aquinas and the Cry of Rachel considers are: Anthony Flew and Albert Camus, Jacques Maritain and Charles Journet, William Rowe, Marily McCord Adams, William Hasker, John Hick, David Ray Griffin, David Hume, Diogenes Allen, J. L. Mackie, Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, Bruce Reichenbach, Brian Davies, and Eleonore Stump.
Economists and theologians usually inhabit different intellectual worlds. Economists investigate the workings of markets and tend to set ethical questions aside. Theologians, anxious to take up concerns raised by market outcomes, often dismiss economics and lose insights into the influence of market incentives on individual behavior. Mary L. Hirschfeld, who was a professor of economics for fifteen years before training as a theologian, seeks to bridge these two fields in this innovative work about economics and the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.
According to Hirschfeld, an economics rooted in Thomistic thought integrates many of the insights of economists with a larger view of the good life, and gives us critical purchase on the ethical shortcomings of modern capitalism. In a Thomistic approach, she writes, ethics and economics cannot be reconciled if we begin with narrow questions about fair wages or the acceptability of usury. Rather, we must begin with an understanding of how economic life serves human happiness. The key point is that material wealth is an instrumental good, valuable only to the extent that it allows people to flourish. Hirschfeld uses that insight to develop an account of a genuinely humane economy in which pragmatic and material concerns matter but the pursuit of wealth for its own sake is not the ultimate goal.
The Thomistic economics that Hirschfeld outlines is thus capable of dealing with our culture as it is, while still offering direction about how we might make the economy better serve the human good.
Pope John Paul's Theology of the Body catecheses has garnered tremendous popularity in theological and catechetical circles. Students of the Theology of the Body have generally interpreted it as innovative not only in its presentation of the Church's teaching on marriage and sexuality, but also as radically advancing that teaching. Aquinas and the Theology of the Body offers a somewhat different interpretation. Fr. Thomas Petri argues that the philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas substantially contributed to John Paul's intellectual formation, which he never abandoned. A correct interpretation of the Theology of the Body requires, therefore, a thorough understanding of Thomistic anthropology and theology, which has been mostly lacking in commentaries on the pope's important contributions on the subject of marriage and sexuality.
To dismiss the work of philosophers and theologians of the past because of their limited perceptions of the whole of humankind is tantamount to tossing the tot out with the tub water. Such is the case when feminist scholars of religion and ethics confront Thomas Aquinas, whose views of women can only be described as misogynistic. Rather than dispense with him, Susanne DeCrane seeks to engage Aquinas and reflect his otherwise compelling thought through the prism of feminist theology, hermeneutics, and ethics.
Focusing on one of Aquinas's great intellectual contributions, the fundamental notion of "the common good"—in short, the human will toward peace and justice—DeCrane demonstrates the currency of that notion through a contemporary social issue: women's health care in the United States and, specifically, black women and breast cancer. In her skillful re-engagement with Aquinas, DeCrane shows that certain aspects of religious traditions heretofore understood as oppressive to women and minority groups can actually be parsed, "retrieved," and used to rectify social ills.
Aquinas, Feminism, and the Common Good is a bold and intellectually rigorous feminist retrieval of an important text by a Catholic scholar seeking to remain in the tradition, while demanding that the tradition live up to its emphasis on human equity and justice.
Aquinas: God and Action
David B. Burrell C.S.C. University of Scranton Press, 2008 Library of Congress BT103.T4B87 2008 | Dewey Decimal 231.042
First published 30 years ago and long out of print, Aquinas: God and Action appears here for the first time in paperback. This classic volume by eminent philosopher and theologian David Burrell argues that Aquinas’s is not the god of Greek metaphysics, but a god of both being and activity. Aquinas’s plan in the Summa Theologiae, according to Burrell, is to instruct humans how to find eternal happiness through acts of knowing and loving. Featuring a new foreword by the author, this edition will be welcomed by philosophers and theologians alike.
Aquinas on Emotion’s Participation in Reason aims to present Aquinas’s answer to the perennial and now popular question: In what way can the emotions be rational? For Aquinas, the starting point of this inquiry is Aristotle’s claim (EN. I. 13) that there are three parts to the soul: 1) the rational part, 2) the non-rational part which can participate in reason, and 3) the non-rational part that does not participate in reason. It is the extent to which the second part (the sense appetites, the seat of the emotions) participates in reason that the emotions can become rational. However, immediately after Aristotle introduces his tripartite division of the soul, he warns that one need not delve into the details of the division or the participation. Aquinas, however, ignores Aristotle, and uses his precise metaphysics of participation within in his sophisticated anthropology to great effect in his ethics. Unlike Aristotle, to fully understand Aquinas’s thinking on how the emotions can become rational, we simply must delve into the kinds of precisions that Aristotle thinks are misplaced. When Aquinas’s views emerge from these precisions, he has a surprisingly level-headed and commonsense view of how the emotions can become rational. On this point, he is more pessimistic than Aristotle and more optimistic than Kant; he is certainly not, as is he is often thought to be, the faithful follower of Aristotle and the polar opposite of Kant. Nicholas Kahm argue that Aquinas has a realistic and plausible view of how far reason can go in shaping our emotions. Furthermore, his plausible views can accommodate the serious current challenge raised against virtue ethics from social psychology. The method has mainly been a careful reading of primary texts, but unlike the rest of the scholarship on Aquinas’s ethics, Kahm is particularly sensitive to Aquinas’s historical and philosophical development.
Aquinas on Imitation of Nature highlights and explores the doctrine of the imitation of nature, a crucial aspect of Aquinas’ metaethics and fills the gap in research on Aquinas’ moral doctrine and theory of action. It conveys Aquinas’ doctrine of the imitation of nature as a natural feature of right practical reason regarding moral thinking and action, indeed as an indispensable feature of virtuous flourishing in individual and communal aspects of human life.
The book starts with an overview of some of recent interpretations of Aquinas’ moral doctrine and natural law, introducing the need to explore the role of the imitation of nature in human practical reasoning and action in this area of Aquinas’ teaching. The chapters that follow are based on a careful reading of selected texts of Aquinas, and gradually develop a thorough and comprehensive picture of his doctrine of the imitation of nature as a source of practical principles. The final chapter provides various examples of how Aquinas understands the imitation of nature in the realm of moral reasoning and action.
The originality of this volume comes from its account of Aquinas’ medieval doctrine of the imitation of nature, in light of which the principles of right practical reason and virtuous action are congruent with and epistemologically dependant upon the basic terms of the movements of natural, sensible, non-rational agents. Through its thorough reading of Aquinas on the imitation of nature, the book aims to open new ways of appropriation of the metaphysical and natural tenets of his moral doctrine in the areas of theory of action, practical reason, natural law, and contemporary virtue ethics.
Though often invoked by pro-life supporters, Thomas Aquinas in fact held that human life begins after conception, not at the moment of union. But in following the twists and turns of Aquinas’ thinking about the beginning and end of human life, Fabrizio Amerini reaches a nuanced interpretation that will unsettle both sides in the abortion debate.
Gregory T. Doolan provides here the first detailed consideration of the divine ideas as causal principles. He examines Thomas Aquinas's philosophical doctrine of the divine ideas and convincingly argues that it is an essential element of his metaphysics
All of us want to be happy and live well. Sometimes intense emotions affect our happiness—and, in turn, our moral lives. Our emotions can have a significant impact on our perceptions of reality, the choices we make, and the ways in which we interact with others. Can we, as moral agents, have an effect on our emotions? Do we have any choice when it comes to our emotions?
In Aquinas on the Emotions, Diana Fritz Cates shows how emotions are composed as embodied mental states. She identifies various factors, including religious beliefs, intuitions, images, and questions that can affect the formation and the course of a person's emotions. She attends to the appetitive as well as the cognitive dimension of emotion, both of which Aquinas interprets with flexibility. The result is a powerful study of Aquinas that is also a resource for readers who want to understand and cultivate the emotional dimension of their lives.
Aquinas on Transubstantiation
Reinhard Hutter Catholic University of America Press, 2019 Library of Congress BX2220.H88 2019 | Dewey Decimal 234.163
Aquinas on Transubstantiation treats one of the most frequently mis-understood and mis-represented teachings of Thomas Aquinas—Eucharistic transubstantiation. The study interprets Aquinas’s teaching as an exercise of “holy teaching” (sacra doctrina) that intends to show theologically and back up philosophically the simple yet profound thesis that “transubstantiation” affirms nothing but the truth of Christ’s words at the Last Supper—“This is my body,” “This is my blood.” Yet in order to achieve a contemporary ressourcement of this simple yet profound truth, it is necessary to probe the depths of Thomas Aquinas’s philosophical interpretation of it. For Thomas Aquinas, in regarding the truth of Eucharistic conversion, it is faith that preserves the human intellect from missing or dismissing the mystery announced in Christ’s words. Faith, however, is not intellectually blind, a faith that, as is often erroneously held, is commanded by arbitrary divine dictates to which the will submits in blind obedience. Rather, Aquinas takes faith is sustained, but not constituted, by an intellectual contemplation of the proposed mystery of faith, by faith seeking understanding. Thomas Aquinas unfolds this exercise of understanding guided by faith in the medium of a metaphysical contemplation that affords a profound intellectual appreciation of this central mystery of faith—precisely as mystery. Thomas’s metaphysical contemplation of Eucharistic conversion gestures toward the blinding light of superintelligibility, experienced as the unique darkness that surrounds this sublime mystery of faith. A ressourcement in Thomas Aquinas’s doctrine of transubstantiation also affords an renewed appreciation of the Church’s affirmation of transubstantiation as the most apt term for the interpretation of the mystery of Eucharistic conversion and a greater precision of what is centrally at stake in this mystery in the ongoing ecumenical conversation of this most central Christian teaching. A doctrinally sound, ecumenically informed, and philosophically reflected contemporary Catholic theology cannot afford to ignore or dismiss Aquinas’s surpassing account of Eucharistic conversion.