Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Aristotelico-Thomist Bibliography

I've had a couple of requests on what to read to get a handle on Aristotelian Thomism. Here are some of my favorites:

Leo Sweeney, Authentic Metaphysics in an Age of Unreality
Anthony Rizzi, The Science before Science
Jacques Maritain, An Introduction to Philosophy
Jacques Maritain, Degrees of Knowledge
Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Reality--A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought

I've restricted myself to works that are in print and easy to get. I like another work by a fellow Zubirian Thomist, Frederick Wilhelmsen, titled Man's Knowledge of Reality: An Introduction to Thomistic Epistemology. It's out of print, though, and you can get the substance from these others.

On the 20th century history of Arisotelian Thomism, I recommend:
Richard Peddicord, The Sacred Monster of Thomism
Ronald McCamy, Out of a Kantian Chrysalis?

Finally, if you want to see some scholarly throw-downs on some related matters, I've heard high praise for Joseph Owens (although I've not read as much of his work as I ought to have) and there are any number of works by Etienne Gilson (though I have become a bit skeptical about his claims of the necessity of Christian revelation for metaphysics, which seem a bit overstated). I can personally commend the following:
Ralph McInerny, Praeambula Fidei
John F. Wippel, The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas

I welcome any suggestion of works that are currently in print dealing with Aristotelian metaphysics as deployed by St. Thomas.


At 2:53 PM, Blogger AH said...

Oliva Blanchette's "Philosophy of Being" a must. Also Pasnau, "Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature" which has some applicability. That's my 2 cents...

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Paul Hamilton said...

I have a hard time reading Gilson. As brilliant as he is, I often get so blinded by his triumphantalism that I often get distracted from his otherwise good thoughts.

Since I've sat through many-a John Wippel Metaphysics class, I probably don't have to say who I recommend. He's written on a few parts of Thomistic metaphysics which aren't readily available otherwise in English. It's fun to read his works, in part due to their brilliance and clarity, and in part because I can hear Fr. Wippel's dry, monotonous voice whenever I read one of his writings.

At 7:00 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Not to be a smart-aleck, but, what works by Thomas himself do you recommend? Specifying parts of works is fine as well. :)

Your posts the past few weeks have interested me in this. I'm going to keep repeating to myself... inter-library loan is my friend... inter-library loan is my friend.


At 9:42 PM, Blogger CrimsonCatholic said...

My current obsession is over the subject of infinity in St. Thomas, so I've been reading and re-reading several Qs from the Prima Pars. But all that really did was point out how much I had missed before, so I'd say that it's impossible to go wrong reading the ST and Summa Contra Gentiles, and that you'll probably never exhaust them, and frankly, I haven't come close. I found Against the Averroists: On There Being One Intellect surprisingly helpful.

Among the works that I need to read in their entirety are the Commentary on the Sentences; the disputations De Malo, De Anima, De Potentia, De Veritate; and the commentaries on Aristotle's Physics, Metaphysics, Heaven and Earth, Soul and Boethius's Hebdomads (most preferably after I read the Hebdomads). I've read bits of all those, but I'd like to get the flow. But it's a lot of work for me, as I imagine it would be for lost of people, which is why I'd like to set up the Cliff's Notes version (referring only to the brilliance of the Angelic Doctor, by comparison to which even the most brilliant minds seem easier to grasp).

At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Mike Burgess said...

Robert, I found Kreeft's "Summa of the Summa" was a good starting place. Ralph McInerny's edition of St. TA's selected works from Penguin Classics is terrific.

Out of print but available online is "Principles of Natural Theology," by George Hayward Joyce, SJ, and "Readings in Natural Theology," selections from biggies like Newman, de Lubac, Brownson, Malebranche, Bergson, Maritain, Garrigou-LaGrange, Gilson, Guardini, et alia.

Jonathan, on a related note, you might enjoy (and be able to more easily handle than I) "Rational Faith, Catholic Responses to Reformed Epistemology" edited by Linda Zagzebski. Interesting stuff.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger CrimsonCatholic said...

Zagzebski's book is a popular one among my commenters, so I'll have to get it. I'm familiar with her work from others critical interaction with it, and I am generally familiar with the natural theology critique of Reformed epistemology in the analytic context, but it sounds like that book is a must-have. I'll say that I have found some points of dispute with Thomists of the analytic school (including Stump and Zagzebski), so I don't know how wholeheartedly I will accept it. I'm convinced that many analytical philosophers have trouble separating logic from ontology, mistakenly asserting that logical compossibility entails ontological possibility. But the fact that something can be logically conceived does not mean that we can know whether or not the real things described by those concepts can really contingently exist in this manner.

Thanks for the recommendation!

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Apolonio said...

Zagzebski's Catholic Responses is a little outdated in that Plantinga has developed more of his thinking since (Rational Faith was published 1993). One should compare Warranted Christian Belief with that book.

One could also try David Oderberg, Alex Pruss, and Gyula Klima for some nice stuff.

At 2:34 PM, Blogger CrimsonCatholic said...

I do like all those guys among the analytical school. I had read Pruss's articles before, and Scott Carson just gave me a heads-up on his website. And I've been reading Klima's articles since you pointed out his website to me (I must have been over that Anselm article twenty times now, and I'm still not sure how I want to synthesize it with some other folks like the Thomists I mentioned and Sokolowski). But that's a bit off the subject of the crusty Aristotelico-Thomism that spawned the initial inquiry. I'd probably throw in Edith Stein and Erich Pryzwara if we're going beyond the introductory level.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Lee Faber said...

I'm somewhat suspicious of Pasnau. He uses Aquinas to argue for abortion. My analytic thomist professor John o'callaghan (author of "thomist realism and the linguistic turn" or somesuch) got so angry when he got a copy to review that he threw it behind the couch and ignored it for a year. Then he and pasnau had a few exchanges in academic journals (which i didn't read, pasnau's book being enough and me not being a thomist, after all). I'm all for Wippel...tried to read his metaphysical thought several times and just got too bored.


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