Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pope Francis on Thomism

The current pope recently had this to say about Thomism:

"The church has experienced times of brilliance, like that of Thomas Aquinas. But the church has lived also times of decline in its ability to think. For example, we must not confuse the genius of Thomas Aquinas with the age of decadent Thomist commentaries. Unfortunately, I studied philosophy from textbooks that came from decadent or largely bankrupt Thomism. In thinking of the human being, therefore, the church should strive for genius and not for decadence."

Ouch! Even I, Scotist though I be, have spent many happy hours poring over Thomist manuals. I can only dream of such an education.

We might ask, why were they decadent? It is contrasted with "thinking of the human being", which perhaps means restricting ones' theologizing and philosophizing to human affairs and human nature. so no transcendental metaphysics, no seven-fold division of distinction? I'm not really sure. Of course, who would disagree that the church should strive for genius and not decadence?

Maybe this is the best response.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Final Volume of the Ordinatio Now Available!

The Vatican Commission has completed their edition of the Ordinatio. The final distinctions of book IV are now available from Quaracchi. But their website is broken. If you want to order, down load this  order form. For the first time that I have seen, we even have the option of ordering the volume in hardcopy!

Here is the publishers' information:

Ioannis Duns Scoti Opera Omnia studio et cura Commissionis Scotisticae ad fidem codicum edita, Tom. XIV (A. 114). - Ordinatio. Liber Quartus. Distinctiones 43-49, pp 441
 Città del Vaticano, 2013                  ISBN 978-88-7013-314-1

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Interview with Fabrizio Amerini

Here. An interesting interview with Fabrizio Amerini on his recently translated book, Aquinas on the Beginning and End of Human Life. Thanks to one of our readers for sending it in.

A snippet:

Of course, medieval philosophy cannot be proposed again today exactly as it is, Amerini said.
“Even in Continental philosophy, modern philosophers tend to mock it. But in most cases this is the result of an oversimplification of it, or of the false conviction that medieval philosophy can be re-proposed today exactly as it is.”
On many occasions medieval philosophers anticipated (more or less exhaustively) modern theories in philosophy, he said. But medieval philosophers should not be regarded only as forerunners for modern philosophers.
“What is profitable for the current philosophical debates, I believe, is rather the method of medieval philosophy, the medieval thinkers’ philosophical scrupulousness, their almost obsessive attention to language and arguments. Their method may still be useful today, as a stimulus for improving our way of doing philosophy.
“As to the contents, of course, if one wanted to propose medieval philosophy again today, he or she would need to qualify it very carefully and compare it critically with the current philosophical and scientific models.”

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cesena, Biblioteca Malatestiana

I'm usually the last to know about such things, but it has come to my attention that the Biblioteca Maletastiana at Cesena is being digitized. It contains mss. of works by Aquinas, Bonaventure, Scotus, Francis of Meyronnes, William of Ware, Alexander of Hales, etc. A list of the currently digitized ms. is here.