9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2008
This is an excellent version of this particular part of the Summa. Pasnau renders a new translation of this section that is much easier to read than older versions, and yet is also true to the Latin. The translation alone makes the book worthwhile, but the real value comes from the extensive commentary Pasnau offers after the translation. Each article has an introductory paragraph that neatly summarizes what Aquinas claims. Technical vocabulary (and there's a lot of in this section) is explained. Explanations of Aquinas' key arguments are offered and done so in a generous way -- that is, Pasnau admits when certain arguments might not make sense, so he attempts to explain what Aquinas is attempting to do in a way that may make Aquinas' point better than Aquinas did.
Much of this part of the Summa relies upon Aquinas' reading of Aristotle's De Anima, so Pasnau's intimacy with that text is especially helpful; Pasnau did the interpretation of Aquinas' Commentary on De Anima, so Pasnau is familiar with both Aristotle's arguments and Aquinas' understanding of them.
A final bonus is that Pasnau offers up some other translations in the appendix of Thomas' writings on the themes in the book that appear elsewhere in Thomas' work.
If you are a Aquinas neophyte and you are working in this area, this book is a must have. And even if you are an expert, you will find this to be a useful text.
on September 15, 2015
This is my third approach to Aquinas’ “Philosophy-of-Mind. First I read his book “On the Soul”, then I researched Aristotle’s “On the Soul”; and now this “systematic approach”. I would have to say that what I like about this approach is that Aquinas is even more determined to be systematic. This shows up especially in his discussion of sentient and intellective “powers” or “capacities”. These get their best treatment here. The structure breaks down into the following stages of development:
THOMAS AQUINAS’ FULL STRUCTURE OF “PHILOSOPHY-OF-MIND” from “SUMMA THEOLOGIAE”
1. SENTIENT SOUL : abstracts “psychical-phantasms”
2. SENTIENT POWERS: common sense, imagination, estimative, recollection
3. INTELLECTIVE SOUL: raises “intelligible-species” to “existential-signification”
4. INTELLECTIVE POWERS: memory, intelligence, practical-will
5. DOKOUNTA-THRESHOLD: communal dialogue to acquire “structure”
6. PROPRIUM: “relevant-mark-of-universality” acquired for refinement
7. APPETITE: intellective, sentient, “volition-to-act”
8. INCLINATION OF WILL: “eboulethe” inclination after deliberation
9. FREE DECISION TO ACT: as “boulesis”; act of grace & “suneidesis”
10. ACT-OF-EXISTENCE: with returning feedback to intellective-soul.
I strongly recommend this volume to all serious students of theology and philosophy. 5 stars