- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: St. Augustines Press; 3rd edition (July 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1890318787
- ISBN-13: 978-1890318789
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #809,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Silence Of St Thomas 3rd Edition
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This book is an excellent addition to reading Etienne Gilson's "Unity of the Philosophical Experience" as Pieper gives further explanantions as to the behavior of the Augastinians and Latin Averroists. It could explain also why modern Muslims are so singularly textually dogmatic - it is in reaction to Averroist's attempting to rid religion of faith altogether - and thus the violent reaction in nixing reason and rationalism. It tells how Aquinas circumvented this problem. The last essay also compliments Gilson's book in that it shows what Existentialism has in common with Aquinas, some interesting things, despite some gapping fundimental differences at their very root and conclusion.
The first essay vividly descibes what an attitude of accademic pursuit and teaching should look like. Too many teachers are dogmatic and are only interested in pursuing and supporting an idea that is presently clear in their minds and propogating it, rather than treating the moment as an active pursuit of truth. Thomas was a model teacher and the book is an active discripition of his method.
The book also argues, with supporting evidence and reason, that Thomas' main work The "Summa Theologica" was intentionally left unfinished. Why it was left unfinished is at the root of what Aquinas was all about concerning philosophy and metaphysics - it is a process not a conclusion. Gilson's book describes what a conclusion is, as sometimes philosophers have rejected the idea that they have reached a conclusion, when in fact they have. Gilson effectively defines what a conclusion looks like.
Both are highly recommended books for Teachers, Historians, and Philosophers.
For me, this book ended a long struggle to discover what St. Thomas Aquinas really taught about our knowledge of things. Pieper succeeds in reconciling Thomas's frequent statements that we cannot know the essence of any created thing with his repeated claims elsewhere that our minds are receptive of the forms (i.e., essences) of things.
While my attitude toward Pieper's understanding of St. Thomas's thought is not uncritical, I must concede that he is one of the best and most original (the two are not the same) of twentieth century Thomist philosophers. Unfortunately, he is sometimes (unjustly) put down by scholars as a mere popularizer. Let them read this book and be disabused; Pieper has much to teach them.
My ratings of other books by Josef Pieper: Guide to Thomas Aquinas ****; Leisure the Basis of Culture *****; Scholasticism *****