The Arguments of Aquinas is intended for readers with philosophical interests, who may not be specialists in medieval philosophy. Some think that a medieval saint must be, as such, wrong, dated, and boring; others feel that a saint, any saint, must be right, relevant, and inspirational. Both groups are likely to misread Aquinas, if indeed they read him at all. The works of great philosophers are products of their times, but that does not lessen their value for us. We profit by reading the works of St Thomas in the same interested but critical way that we read the works of our contemporaries.
MacIntosh does not hesitated to compare Thomas's arguments with those of later philosophers as well as with those of his contemporaries and earlier philosophers. He chooses topics from a variety of still interesting problem areas: the existence and attributes of God, including God's foreknowledge and human free will, causality and the origin of the universe, time and necessity, human souls, angels, and the problem of evil. Additionally, the volume looks at his views on honesty and lying, and on human sexuality, on which he is, as ever, philosophically interesting whether or not we accept his conclusions.
Table of Contents
Part I: Natural Philosophy
1. Necessity and Possibility
3. Time and Motion
4. Time and Infinity
Part II: Natural Theology
5. God's Existence
6. God's Attributes
7. Foreknowledge and Freedom
Part III: Human Beings
8. Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind
9. Souls and Immortality
10. Morality and Method: Aquinas on Lying and Unnatural Practices
J. J. MacIntosh is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. His publications include Boyle on Atheism, and papers in Mind, The Thomist, Franciscan Studies, Religious Studies, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, etc. His research interests include philosophy of religion, history of philosophy, and history and philosophy of science.
"The Arguments of Aquinas is a really good book. It deserves to be studied by anybody wanting to learn about the philosophical thought of Aquinas from someone who can both expound and reflect on him in a way that contemporary philosophers (analytical ones, anyway) might be able to appreciate."
- Brian Davies, Fordham University