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8/05/2017 8:46 pm  #1


What convinced you of the AT worldview?

I'm currently studying it. I'm fascinated but skeptical.

 

8/07/2017 4:14 pm  #2


Re: What convinced you of the AT worldview?

It might be worth keeping in mind that many (perhaps most) on this site are not convinced of the AT worldview - you don't have to buy into that particular system in order to be a classical theist, still less to find classical theism worthy of discussion. As for me personally:

I think a lot of A-T metaphysical concepts (such as act/potency, existence/essence, matter/form, substance/accidents) are useful to express problems which I feel intuitively but are otherwise hard to communicate. Whether those concepts are the best ones is another question, and I certainly don't see A-T as a comprehensive worldview within which everything can be understood. Its ideas have to be stretched considerably to fit the results of modern science, for example - this is no bad thing, but it is clear that the traditional "system" of A-T may be flawed even if its key concepts can live on in a transformed state. Mainly it was the central (not always explicit) presence of the PSR that attracted me to A-T thought, and soon after to classical theism in general. The conviction that reality is thoroughly intelligible in itself seems lost in a lot of modern thought, but is surely the foundation of any serious attempt to understand the world, and once certain questions are asked it leads naturally to some kind of belief in God.

 

8/07/2017 10:08 pm  #3


Re: What convinced you of the AT worldview?

Alexander wrote:

It might be worth keeping in mind that many (perhaps most) on this site are not convinced of the AT worldview - you don't have to buy into that particular system in order to be a classical theist, still less to find classical theism worthy of discussion. As for me personally:

I think a lot of A-T metaphysical concepts (such as act/potency, existence/essence, matter/form, substance/accidents) are useful to express problems which I feel intuitively but are otherwise hard to communicate. Whether those concepts are the best ones is another question, and I certainly don't see A-T as a comprehensive worldview within which everything can be understood. Its ideas have to be stretched considerably to fit the results of modern science, for example - this is no bad thing, but it is clear that the traditional "system" of A-T may be flawed even if its key concepts can live on in a transformed state. Mainly it was the central (not always explicit) presence of the PSR that attracted me to A-T thought, and soon after to classical theism in general. The conviction that reality is thoroughly intelligible in itself seems lost in a lot of modern thought, but is surely the foundation of any serious attempt to understand the world, and once certain questions are asked it leads naturally to some kind of belief in God.

The AT worldview is what I'm currently interested in, though I understand it's not the be all and end all of classical theism. It's what got me interested in classical theism. I think we're in a similar boat--I primarily find the AT metaphysical distinctions helpful in assessing the intelligibility of reality. So where did you go after your initial interest in AT thought?

     Thread Starter
 

8/08/2017 3:27 pm  #4


Re: What convinced you of the AT worldview?

My initial interest came through being introduced to Aquinas (by way of Edward Feser and Herbert McCabe) so the most immediate response was to find out more about him, which had all sorts of ramifications outside an interest in A-T thought, including a year-long period in which I was seriously planning on applying to the Dominicans after finishing my masters. But when it comes to the A-T worldview, a lot of my reading beyond the initial stuff came from the neo-Scholastics and others writing in a more or less Thomistic tradition - such as Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Brian Davies, Frederick Copleston, and Eleonore Stump. Again, none of it really convinced me that A-T thought is completely solid as a system of thought, but that it provides useful resources for questions that need to be asked.

 

8/09/2017 2:02 pm  #5


Re: What convinced you of the AT worldview?

Alexander wrote:

My initial interest came through being introduced to Aquinas (by way of Edward Feser and Herbert McCabe) so the most immediate response was to find out more about him, which had all sorts of ramifications outside an interest in A-T thought, including a year-long period in which I was seriously planning on applying to the Dominicans after finishing my masters. But when it comes to the A-T worldview, a lot of my reading beyond the initial stuff came from the neo-Scholastics and others writing in a more or less Thomistic tradition - such as Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Brian Davies, Frederick Copleston, and Eleonore Stump. Again, none of it really convinced me that A-T thought is completely solid as a system of thought, but that it provides useful resources for questions that need to be asked.

Sounds like an exciting journey. I'm wondering--seeing how you're more well read than I when it comes to classical theism--is there a good book or books that put emphasis on PSR and its applicability to classical theism? Preferably one that defends PSR and other metaphysical principles.

     Thread Starter
 

8/09/2017 6:37 pm  #6


Re: What convinced you of the AT worldview?

@ RomanJoe

Check out Alexander Pruss, he devotes a lot of time defending the PSR. You can read his book on the PSR or check out his long essay in the Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology.  

 

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