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Mind, Metaphysics and Value

Mind, Metaphysics and Value
Contemporary western philosophy divides into three broad traditions: the analytical, the continental, and the historical. In the latter half of the twentieth century, analytical philosophy was dominant in the English-speaking world and tended to ignore the other two traditions. Now, however, analytical philosophy is less isolationist. It has come to appreciate the vitality of historical philosophy. Given their commonality of interests and shared appreciation of the values of conceptual clarity and argumentative rigour, it is particularly appropriate that there should be engagement between the main English-language tradition and the philosophy of Aquinas and, more broadly, of Thomism. The essays in this collection range widely across the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind and action, and theory of value with most linking analytical and Aristotelian-Thomistic ideas and some focusing on Aquinas in particular.

This collection is distinctive in content and unusual in North American publishing in the areas of medieval philosophy, scholasticism, and Thomism in that the majority of the contributors are based in Europe – many at medieval universities in which scholasticism had a historical presence, and in some cases a prominent and distinguished one. Mind, Metaphysics, and Value brings together the interests, knowledge, and expertise of a wide range of scholars to form a broad and exciting intellectual community. Read Mind, Metaphysics and Value.

Opinions and reviews

“John Haldane comments that ‘one of the merits of studying the history of philosophy … is that it encourages the realization of just how parochial and prejudiced one’s assumptions and ways of thinking may be’ (ix). A number of these essays can be read in this spirit, as attempts to show how contemporary analytical philosophy, in particular, may be brought to rethink some of its assumptions through exposure to the methods and concerns of medieval philosophy, and especially the writings of Aquinas. For instance, in his own essay, Haldane argues that ‘reductive physicalism is untenable and non-reductive physicalism is in something of a mess’ (67), and that certain Aristotelian-Thomistic proposals offer a more promising way forward’ …
All of the essays in this collection are of a very high standard, and they exhibit the combination of historical and textual sensitivity and rigour of argument that one would expect of analytically trained students of medieval philosophy. … this is a fine collection, which nicely displays the affinity of Thomistic and analytical ways of thinking, and points thereby to the potential fruitfulness of further exchange between the two schools”
Mark Wynn, Religious Studies.

“[Haldane] hopes that this new collection of essays will foster “interactions and exchanges between analytical and scholastic, but especially Aristotelian-Thomistic, philosophies” (p.x). This is a welcome change from the usual tendency of Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophers to limit themselves to the interpretation of classical texts. This collection of essays abounds in arguments and theories that are well informed by both analytical and Aristotelian-Thomistic thought”.
Gordon Barnes, Faith and Philosophy

“[This] volume must be regarded as entirely successful in showing the potential value of medieval Aristotelianism, and Aquinas’s views in particular, for advancing, and in some cases even resolving, important debates in contemporary analytic philosophy. … these essays demonstrate the type of work that must be done if medieval philosophy is ever to achieve the kind of recovery and appreciation already enjoyed by the neighboring fields of ancient and early modern philosophy”
Jeffrey Brower, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

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