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Aquinas and Analogy [Paperback]

Ralph M. McInerny
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 1, 1998 0813209323 978-0813209326
An intelligible and accessible discussion about analogy and Aquinas's treatment of the subject. In this book, Ralph McInerny explores Cardinal Cajetan's treatise on analogy and uncovers Cajetan's serious but influential misreading of Thomas on the subject. In addition to his critique of Cajetan, McInerny provides an enlightening account of what Thomas means by analogous names.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Aquinas and Analogy provides readers a valuable service by offering a cogent, synthetic overview of the meaning and scope of analogy in the works of Thomas. . . . A discerning book on a difficult philosophical topic is a gift, and having it written in readable style is an unexpected gift. Aquinas and Analogy is such a work, valuable to both Thomistic scholars and those interested in gaining an understanding of Aquinas's treatment of the subject. -- Crisis

The concept of analogy plays perhaps the central role in nearly all projects undertaken by Thomas Aquinas. . . . McInerny's thoughtful analysis shows where the argument about analogy, and, consequently, much else in Thomas now stands. -- First Things

From the Publisher

In his De nominum analogia, Cajetan introduced a spurious distinction between analogy of attribution and analogy of proportionality that is not found in Aquinas's writings or anywhere else. Cajetan's mistake became a commonplace and it is still uncritically accepted today. In Aquinas and Analogy, Ralph McInerny carefully traces the source of the confusion to Cajetan's misunderstanding of a text from Aquinas's commentary on the Sentences and shows how unwarranted and how misleading that distinction is. Another source of confusion has been the attempt to equate the Greek word analogia and its Latin equivalent to try to find word for word correspondences between Aristotle and Aquinas. For instance, what Thomas calls analogy of names is consonant rather with what Aristotle describes as legetai pollachs, what " is said in many ways." McInerny brings in all relevant texts and analyzes the points they make, and he makes comparisons with the famous notion of focal meaning used by the Oxford philosopher G.E.L. Owen. McInerny shows how the word "analogy" is itself analogous and gives an enlightening expos of the analogy of names. He criticizes Enrico Berti's and Ramirez's influential treatments of analogy, as well as those of a few others for unaccountably falling under the spell of Cajetan's errors. He takes the reader further still into the question of the "analogy of being" and also of the "argument by analogy." But his conclusions steer the reader back to the momentous issues now made accessible by a clear understanding of analogy. The basic distinctions McInerny introduces, his criticism of the central piece in the literature, Cajetan's De nominum analogia, the applications he makes to problems such as that of the nature of metaphysics or of logic, his knowledge of contemporary debates on related topics, combine to make his contribution unique. Basic philosophical issues are renewed by this book and so is one's reading of Aquinas, Aristotle, and their many interpreters past and present.

Ralph McInerny is Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies and the director of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught since 1955. He is the founder and publisher of Catholic Dossier magazine, and the author of Boethius and Aquinas, Aquinas on Human Action, and The Question of Christian Ethics, all published by CUA Press. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America Press (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813209323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813209326
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,395,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is more than a metaphor January 1, 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found the book clear enough. To those with an honest desire to understand reality on a sounder basis than many contemporary philosophies allow,I highly recommend this book.To those who want live in a well paid soft focus world I commend the previous reviewers
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A counterweight April 22, 2012
By VT
Format:Paperback
I admit to not having read this text, but I'll give it five stars simply to counter the two reviews made by one individual who gave this text two reviews with two stars each.
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7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Out on a Limb February 17, 2005
Format:Paperback
I think that few thomistic scholars will go so far out on a limb as McInerny has in making analogy a purely logical doctrine. Perhaps that is why De Konninck chose to refer to the work as "unique." The question then seems to be: If analogy is a purely logical doctrine, why would Aquinas spend so much time considering predicates that are analogous to both God and creatures? And what foundation would there be to this purely logical doctrine in things themselves? The previous reviewer seems to have overlooked these questions. We might have expected some kind of answer to them from the author, rather than a mere dismissal of Thomas de Vio and a reconstruction de novo of Aquinas' entire metaphysical doctrine...
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15 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Look Elsewhere December 15, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This work is confused. McInerny tries to separate the logic of analogy from its real foundation in being. His criticisms of Cajetan just don't seem to hit the mark. The confusion can be summed up in his statement that "analogy" is itself used analogously. Well, if there is not some sense in which "analogy" is used univocally, then "analogy" loses any definite meaning. It becomes simply the night in which all cows are black. If you want to read something better by McInerny, read his translation and commentary on Aquinas' Disputed Question on Virtue. Ethics appears to be his forte.
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3 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lackluster December 15, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This work is confused. He tries to separate the logic of analogy from its real foundation in being. If you want to read something better by McInerny, read his translation and commentary on Aquinas' Disputed Question on Virtue. Ethics appears to be his forte.
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