St. Thomas Aquinas is by common consent a great philosopher. But he has been badly treated by his friends and his enemies alike. His disciples have tended to regard his work as a sacred text and to embalm his thought in eulogistic and boring paraphrases, with no hint of criticism. His opponents, having dismissed him as a talented man doomed to waste his abilities on the superstitions of a pre-scientific age, have not, in general, bothered to read him. There has recently been a change for the better in these respects. The work of critical co-religionists like Father Copleston1 and Professor Geach2 has shown how many philosophical ideas of contemporary interest and importance can be found in Aquinas. And on the other side, sympathetic critics like Professor Tranøy3 have shown that one need not share St. Thomas’ religious beliefs in order to study his work for its philosophical interest, just as we study Aristotle or Hume or Spinoza.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.