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v2.1 Reference

Analogy after Aquinas

Logical Problems, Thomistic Answers

Since the first decade of the 14th Century, Thomas Aquinas's disciples have struggled to explain and defend his doctrine of analogy. Analogy after Aquinas: Logical Problems, Thomistic Answers relates a history of prominent Medieval and Renaissance Thomists' efforts to solve three distinct but interrelated problems arising from their reading both of Aquinas's own texts on analogy, and from John Duns Scotus's arguments against analogy and in favor of univocity in Metaphysics and Natural Theology. The first of these three problems concerns Aquinas's at least apparently disparate statements on whether a name is said by analogy through a single concept or through diverse concepts. The second problem concerns the model of analogy suited for predicating names analogously across the categories of being or about God and creatures. Is "being" said analogously about God and creatures, or substance and accidents, on the model of how "healthy" is said of medicine and an animal, or on the model of how "principle" is said of a point and a line? The third problem comes from outside challenges to Aquinas's thought, in particular Scotus' claims that univocal names alone can mediate valid demonstrations, and any demonstration that failed to use its mediating terms univocally would fail by the fallacy of equivocation. Analogy after Aquinas makes a unique contribution to the study of philosophical theology in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas by showing the historical and philosophical connection between these three problems, as well as the variety of solutions proposed by leading representatives of this tradition. Thomists considered in the book include: Hervaeus Natalis (1250-1323), Thomas Sutton (1250-1315), John Capreolus (1380-1444), Dominic of Flanders (1425-1479), Paul Soncinas (d. 1494), Thomas dio vio Cajetan (1469-1534), Francis Silvestri of Ferrara (1474-1528), and Chrysostom Javelli (1470-1538).

About the Author

Domenic D'Ettore is assistant professor of philosophy at Marian University, IN.


"D'Ettore teaches Thomists an important lesson: fidelity to the Thomist tradition is measured not by fidelity to the texts of Aquinas but to the pursuit of truth exhibited by Aquinas's enquiries. Before reading this book, I knew my nescience on analogy ran deep, I am grateful to D'Ettore for helping me sound how many fathoms deeper it is and for trailblazing a way through the tricky terrain of Thomist answers to analogical problems."—Reviews in Religion and Theology

"Markedly valuable as an example of a luminous approach to complex issues, developing coherently all the important ideas and stages of the development of Aquinas' doctrine of analogy in the writings of Thomists. Recommended to all those who are interested in the teachings of Thomas Aquinas (in which analogy maintains a crucial role), in Thomism as such, or in the doctrine of analogy itself, which is still the cornerstone in metaphysics and natural theology when articulating the relationship between God, the world and creatures."—European Journal for the Study of Thomas Aquinas

"D'Ettore's book is one of the best monographs on this subject in at least the last fifty years, suitably elaborated with the most updated sources and secondary literature and with a true philosophical understanding that, together with a rigorously historical procedure, makes it particularly understandable and useful. It makes us better understand the importance of 'post-Thomasian' Thomism, when his disciples tried to solve a question to which Aquinas had not yet given any or very vague answers and when one has to choose between different texts of Thomas and develop those more sustainable positions with reasonable arguments and independent of his own authority."—Angelicum

"Textually rich and philosophically astute, contributing significantly to discussions of analogical predication and of histories of Thomism. D'Ettore's identification of three problems frames well the comparisons between Thomists and clarifies the philosophical and theological stakes."—Corey Barnes, Oberlin College

"It is well known that analogy played a crucial role in the metaphysics and theology of Aquinas. But until recently, relatively little attention has been paid to the explorations and arguments, more in logic and epistemology, that preoccupied St. Thomas's later medieval Dominican successors. Analogy after Aquinas offers a thorough study of seven important thinkers who grappled with various questions left unresolved, and even unformulated, in Aquinas's own writing about analogy. This book will be a lasting resource for Thomists and historians of philosophy, will inspire new evaluations of Aquinas and his legacy, and should help renew contemporary discussions about the formation and use of concepts."—Joshua P. Hochschild, Mount St. Mary's University

"Thomas Aquinas's account of analogy is a distinctive part of his own philosophy and a touchstone of the later Thomistic school. Nevertheless, Thomas's texts on the topic are somewhat indistinct and confusing even to scholars. Domenic D'Ettore's book is now the central reference for medieval and renaissance Thomistic accounts of analogy. It clarifies essential metaphysical and logical issues in scholastic philosophy that have enduring philosophical importance. It needs to be read by every historian of medieval philosophy and every Thomist."—Thomas M. Osborne, author of Human Action in Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham

"Aquinas bequeathed his Dominican disciples a distinctive but incomplete and even enigmatic account of analogy. Domenic D'Ettore traces and meticulously analyzes the efforts made by the leading protagonists of the Thomistic school up to the mid-sixteenth century to construe Aquinas's doctrine as well as to respond to the forceful objections proposed by alternative scholastic traditions, in the first place Scotism. In this valuable contribution to the history of the Thomistic school, D'Ettore argues successfully that these three issues, as well as the often divergent resolutions proposed, were closely interdependent."—Michael Tavuzzi, OP, Professor Emeritus, Pontifical University of St. Thomas, Rome

"This book offers an insightful account of the history of a vexed concept in the story of Thomism."—Thomist

9780813234779 : analogy-after-aquinas-dettore
Paperback / softback
224 Pages
$34.95 USD

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