Aquinas' thought is of more than historical interest. There is a large group of contemporary philosophers, the Thomists, who draw inspiration from his writings. Indeed, strange as it may sound, his influence is greater today than it was during the Middle Ages. This book attempts to explain Aquinas' philosophical ideas in a way which can be understood by those who are unacquainted with medieval thought. And where possible, it relates these ideas to problems as discussed today. In a final chapter (...) something is said about the development of Thomism in modern times. (shrink)
Classic introduction provides readers with insightful, accessible survey of major philosophical trends and thinkers of the Middle Ages--from the thought of Thomas Aquinas and the Averroists to Duns Scotus and William of Ockham. "A better conspectus of medieval philosophy than this would be difficult to conceive ... a notable achievement." The Tablet (London).
The author, using bertrand russell's "human knowledge": "it's scope and limits", makes a point of departure where russell distinguishes between "meaning" and "significance." the author contends that in using these distinctions in a metaphysical argument, his purpose is not to show whether or not the argument is possible, but to show the problem of validity of metaphysical arguments as the remaining fundamental problem in regards to metaphysics. (staff).
Aristotle stated that philosophy began with “wonder” and that men continue to philosophize because and in so far as they continue to “wonder.” Philosophy, in other words, is rooted in the desire to understand the world, in the desire to find an intelligible pattern in events and to answer problems which occur to the mind in connection with the world. By using the phrase “the world” I do not mean to imply that the world is something finished and complete at (...) any given moment: I use the phrase in the sense of the data of outer and inner experience with which any mind is confronted. One might say just as well that philosophy arises out of the desire to understand the “historical situation,” meaning by the last phrase the external material environment in which a man finds himself, his physiological and psychological make-up and that of other people, and the historic past. One might discuss the question whether the desire to understand ought to be interpreted or analysed in terms of another drive or other drives. Nietzsche, for example, suggested in the notes which have been published under the title “The Will to Power” that the desire to understand is one of the forms taken by the will to power. (shrink)
Many people who have never read the works of Nietzsche possess some vague notion of what he taught. For them the philosophy of Nietzsche is represented by a few floating ideas—“Superman,” “Will to Power,” and even perhaps “blond beast.” Others again have learnt a little more about Nietzsche and perhaps read something of what he actually said; yet the net result is an impression of a passionate and destructive thinker, who launched his attacks on this side and on that, without (...) any regard for consistency. For them there can be no philosophy of Nietzsche: they know that he often wrote in the form of aphorism and they picture his thought in general as a series of detached utterances, many of which are mutually exclusive. It may then be of use to some, if we attempt to set forth the guiding inspiration and leading ideas of Nietzsche, for when these have been grasped, it will be seen that it is by no means absurd to speak of a philosophy of Nietzsche. It may well be impossible to reconcile all his utterances, at least so far as the words are concerned—though Nietzsche is of course not the only philosopher who betrays inconsistency in his thought—but it should be remembered that Nietzsche was not given to standing still: his thought developed. Moreover, he often spoke in an exaggerated form, so that some of the apparent inconsistencies may be ascribed to over-emphasis. In any case, even granting the presence of irreconcilable inconsistencies in his thought, Nietzsche's various theories not only may, but must, be seen as a whole, if they are seen in the light of his guiding ideas and inspiration. (shrink)