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Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  104 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction

provides an overview of Scholastic approaches to causation, substance, essence, modality, identity, persistence, teleology, and other issues in fundamental metaphysics. The book interacts heavily with the literature on these issues in contemporary analytic metaphysics, so as to facilitate the analytic reader's understand
Paperback, 302 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Editiones Scholasticae, Germany
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Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosphy
While Feser does not have the ability to argue at the level of Garrigou-Lagrange or Alexander Pruss he has another quality that is often not there, especially for scholastic metaphysicians, he is able to make the argument clear and will serve both for reference and as a textbook in a way others will not and this is a must read for anyone interested in the subject on any level. All is not well only in the sense that he does not engage much with Kant, Hegel and Heidegger and spends most of his tim ...more
Jonathan Platter
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, theology
This is an indispensable guide to scholastic metaphysics. The main virtue which distinguishes this book from others is that it is not simply historical on the one hand nor idiosyncratic on the other. Feser is neither providing a strict account of Thomistic metaphysics (though Thomas is one of the main heroes) nor offering his own system. Rather, Feser offers an introduction to metaphysics in the scholastic mode, recommending it by defending it and contrasting it with more recent analytic metaphy ...more
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing introduction to the topic. I haven't read the original works, so I cannot say how "true to tradition" he is, but Feser is extremely accessible and sheds a lot of light on how Scholastic views on causality, the theory of act and potency, hylemorphism, etc are relevant to us today. He has large sections on objections and the Scholastic response, which, since often the objections mirrored my own, were very helpful. He also shows how the early moderns, Hume in particular, misinter ...more
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alan by: Stefano Wolfe
Concise summary of refutations of modern philosophy's arguments contra Scholastic metaphysics

Considering this book is only ~260 pages, Dr. Feser covers a lot of ground. I found the beginning on causality and Dr. Feser's several arguments against Hume's "loose and separate" conception of causality very good.

Dr. Feser engages modern physics, too, quoting Heisenberg's Physics and Philosophy and briefly mentioning structural realism. His analogy that uncolored color-by-the-numbers drawings are to
Gregory Weber
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy

This book has helped me to understand better some of the central concepts of scholastic metaphysics: act and potency, causation, substance, matter and form, essence and existence. It deals mainly with Thomist metaphysics, but also touches on points where John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and Francisco Suarez had different ideas than St. Thomas Aquinas. Occasionally this can be confusing. For example, in section 1.3, "Real distinctions?", it seems to get bogged down in the controversy of Aquin
Michael Brennan
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love the book, but it feels like in the complete guide to scholasticism and Thomism. I have to say, I do love Feser's arrogance and wit, but it's sometimes a distraction and perhaps not the best representatives of the Thomists. Kreeft is correct in asserting that it is best to have an understanding of the Summa before reading about the Summa.
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Honestly, an excellent introduction.
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Although this book says it's an 'introduction', it will be a challenge for most readers. It was for me. Nevertheless, I like the books that are the most challenging, as they tend to stretch my mind. This book outlines scholastic metaphysics (the approach to philosophy that was predominant in the universities of the late medieval period), but does it in a way that engages with contemporary analytic philosophy. It also give a defense of metaphysics as a intellectual discipline, refuting various ob ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good general overview of scholastic metaphysics, presenting the thomist position first and contrasting it, where helpful, with dissenting views of Scotus and Suarez. The book first explicates the Aristotelian doctrine of act and potency, which forms the fundamental starting point for all of the remaining doctrines: Aristotelian causation, substance and accident (including identity), and essence v. existence (including different senses of "being," i.e., univocal, equivocal, and analogical. It is ...more
Benjamin Thompson
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Feser expertly navigates the current philosophical landscape and shows decisively why Scholastic Philosophy is more relevant than ever to the modern discussion. An excellent book to use for a reference whenever you encounter a claim like; "the laws of nature exclude the possibility of a supernatural cause," or even, "quantum mechanics dispels the notion that we live in an orderly universe." A must read for any sincere academic.
I'm so jazzed this book is about to present in actu! I pre-ordered my copy!
Sep 24, 2014 rated it liked it
In a sentence, I found Feser's book to be both quite enriching as well as dissatisfying.

[Proper review to follow]
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Prepare for a slog, simply due to the subject matter. I can't think of a better synthesis and distillation of current scholastic metaphysics, however.
Chris Zedick
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic introduction into the realist world of the Scholastics!
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Edward Feser is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California. He has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a Visiting Scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California at Santa Barbara, an M ...more