This is a major new study of Thomas Aquinas, the most influential philosopher of the Middle Ages. The book offers a clear and accessible guide to the central project of Aquinas' philosophy: the understanding of human nature. Robert Pasnau sets the philosophy in the context of ancient and modern thought, and argues for some groundbreaking proposals for understanding some of the most difficult areas of Aquinas' thought: the relationship of soul to body, the workings of sense and intellect, the will and the passions, and personal identity. Structured around a close reading of the treatise on human nature from the Summa theologiae and deeply informed by a wide knowledge of the history of philosophy and contemporary philosophy, this study will offer specialists a series of novel and provocative interpretations, while providing students with a reference commentary on one of Aquinas' core texts.
• Aquinas is the most influential philosopher of the medieval period • Cambridge Companion to Aquinas is one of the best-selling companions • This is a complete introduction to Aquinas's views on human nature; of interest to scholars but also, because a commentary, to students
Introduction; Part I. Essential Features (QQ75-76); 1. Body and soul; 2. The immateriality of soul; 3. The unity of body and soul; 4. When human life begins; Excursus metaphysics: reality as actuality; Part II. Capacities (QQ77-83); 5. The soul and its capacities; 6. Sensation; 7. Desire and freedom; 8. Reason and temptation; Part III. Functions: (QQ84-89); 9. Mind and image; 10. Mind and reality; 11. Knowing the mind; 12. Life after death; Epilogue: Why did God make me?
'… entertaining and intricate … represents an adventurous free thinking philosophical rationalism that will no doubt irritate to distraction many of Aquinas' more possessive followers …'. The Philosophical Quarterly
' … a fine addition to the growing literature on the angelic doctor. it will be profitably read by beginning students and seasoned scholars alike.' Theoria