Introduction to Philosophy

ISBN-10: 0742550532

ISBN-13: 9780742550537

Edition: 2005

Authors: Jacques Maritain, Ralph McInerny, E. I. Watkin

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I have been teaching intro to philosophy for five years, and Maritain's book is the best I have ever seen. In the first four chapters, Maritain lays out the development of philosophical thought from various schools of thought around the world in ancient time, through the pre-Socratics and through Aristotle. Then in the next four chapters he shows what philosophy is, how it is related to the special sciences, to theology, and to common sense. That is all part one of the book. In part two of the book, he examines and explains each of the main divisions of philosophy inluding: logic, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of nature, epistemology, ontology (to which he devotes four chapters), and the philosopy of art
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Book details

List price: $37.00
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/18/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 5.50" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

T. S. Eliot once called Jacques Maritain "the most conspicuous figure and probably the most powerful force in contemporary philosophy." His wife and devoted intellectual companion, Raissa Maritain, was of Jewish descent but joined the Catholic church with him in 1906. Maritain studied under Henri Bergson but was dissatisfied with his teacher's philosophy, eventually finding certainty in the system of St. Thomas Aquinas. He lectured widely in Europe and in North and South America, and lived and taught in New York during World War II. Appointed French ambassador to the Vatican in 1945, he resigned in 1948 to teach philosophy at Princeton University, where he remained until his retirement in 1953. He was prominent in the Catholic intellectual resurgence, with a keen perception of modern French literature. Although Maritain regarded metaphysics as central to civilization and metaphysically his position was Thomism, he took full measure of the intellectual currents of his time and articulated a resilient and vital Thomism, applying the principles of scholasticism to contemporary issues. In 1963, Maritain was honored by the French literary world with the national Grand Prize for letters. He learned of the award at his retreat in a small monastery near Toulouse where he had been living in ascetic retirement for some years. In 1967, the publication of "The Peasant of the Garonne" disturbed the French Roman Catholic world. In it, Maritain attacked the "neo-modernism" that he had seen developing in the church in recent decades, especially since the Second Vatican Council. According to Jaroslav Pelikan, writing in the Saturday Review of Literature, "He laments that in avant-garde Roman Catholic theology today he can 'read nothing about the redeeming sacrifice or the merits of the Passion.' In his interpretation, the whole of the Christian tradition has identified redemption with the sacrifice of the cross. But now, all of that is being discarded, along with the idea of hell, the doctrine of creation out of nothing, the infancy narratives of the Gospels, and belief in the immortality of the human soul." Maritain's wife, Raissa, also distinguished herself as a philosophical author and poet. The project of publishing Oeuvres Completes of Jacques and Raissa Maritain has been in progress since 1982, with seven volumes now in print.

Ralph McInerny was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 24, 1929. He served in the Marine Corps in the late 1940s. He received a bachelor's degree from St. Paul Seminary in 1951, a master's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1952 and a doctorate in philosophy from Laval University in Quebec in 1954. He was a member of the University of Notre Dame faculty from 1955 until 2009. He gained international renown as a scholar, author and lecturer who specialized in the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. During his academic career, he was the Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies and director of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame. He is founder and publisher of Catholic Dossier magazine and co-founder of Crisis magazine. His philosophical works include Aquinas on Human Action, The Question of Christian Ethics, and Aquinas and Analogy. His novels include the Father Dowling Mystery series, an Andrew Broom Mystery series, and the Sister Mary Teresa Mystery series. He also wrote under the pseudonyms of Harry Austin, Matthew FitzRalph, Ernan Mackey, Edward Mackin, and Monica Quill. He died on January 29, 2010 at the age of 80.

The Nature of Philosophy
Philosophic Thought before Philosophy in the Strict Sense
Primitive tradition
The Semites and the Egyptians
The Indo-Europeans
The Persians
The Indians
Other schools
The Chinese
Limitations of human wisdom
The Greeks the chosen people of reason
The Pre-Socratic Philosophers
The Sages
The Ionians
Thales and his successors
The great physicists
The Italians: Pythagoras
The Eleatics: Parmenides
The Sophists and Socrates
The sophists
Ethics and knowledge
Irony, maieutic, dialectic
Moderate intellectualism
Plato and Aristotle
The minor Socratics
His theory of ideas
His system of philosophy
Its limitations
Corrections of Plato
The Aristotelian system
Aristotle's works
Aristotle and St. Thomas
Philosophia perennis
Definition of Philosophy
Scientific knowledge
Its material object
Its formal object
Conclusion I
Further considerations
Philosophy and the Special Sciences
Philosophy judges the special sciences
It governs them
It defends them
It is pre-eminently free
Further observations
Conclusion II
Philosophy and Theology
Nature of theology
Theology judges philosophy
Philosophy submits to theology its conclusions, not its premises
Philosophia ancilla theologiae
Further considerations
Conclusion III
Philosophy and Common Sense
Unscientific knowledge
Philosophy is derived from common sense, understood as the natural apprehension of first principles
Common sense may accidentally judge philosophy
Conclusion IV
The method of philosophy
The Classification of Philosophy
The Main Divisions of Philosophy
Logic. Theoretical philosophy. Practical philosophy
Their objects
Conclusion V
Correct reasoning
Ideas and images
Conclusion VI
Individual and universal
Conclusion VII
The problems of universals
Moderate Realism
The Philosophy of Mathematics and the Philosophy of Nature
The term body
The philosophy of mathematics
The philosophy of nature
Problem of the origin of ideas
Conclusion VIII
Abstraction: Problem of human nature
Conflicting schools
Criticism (Epistemology)
Being qua being
Problem of truth
Conclusion IX
Conflicting schools
Moderate intellectualism
Problem of the object of the intellect
Conclusion X
Being and intelligibility
Conclusion XI
Ontology: Essence
Problems of ontology
In the wide sense
In the strict sense
Characteristics of this essence
Conclusion XII
Further observations
Our intellect can apprehend essence
Conclusion XIII
Further observations
Essence is universal in the mind
Conclusion XIV
Individual nature and matter
Individual nature
First matter
Archetypal being
Nature, essence, and quiddity
Ontology: Substance and Accident
Origin of these notions
Conclusion XV
Further observations
Conclusion XVI
Further observations
Conflicting schools
The individuality of substance
Substantia prima, substantia secunda
Per se, a se, in se
Ontology: Act and Potentiality
Origin of these notions
Identity and change
Their apparent incompatibility
Solved by the concept potentiality
Potency or potentiality
Conclusion XVII
The nature of change
Act and potentiality in things
Axioms i-vii
Conflicting schools
Material and formal
Virtual and formal (actual)
Implicit and explicit
In express act, in accomplished act
Theodicy (Natural Theology)
Subsistent being itself
The Philosophy of Art; Ethics
The philosophy of art
Divisions of ethics
Conflicting schools
Conclusion: Classification of philosophy
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