Classical Theism, Philosophy, and Religion Forum

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2/13/2018 11:44 am  #1


Hello

Ave Maria!
I'm a Catholic revert from New Hampshire. I'm pretty sure most people here will be much more philosophically learned than me, so I hope to learn a lot. What usually kindles my devotion most is slowly and carefully reading Holy Scripture, but the Bible is so mysterious and can be very, very confusing indeed and I'm always asking more questions than I know what to do with. So I really should be building a stronger philosophical/theological foundation.

It was recently called to my attention the importance of really starting from the very bottom, "the ABCs of philosophy" (an author I read said the first should be the ABCs of Logic), and working up slowly and methodically, before getting to theology. It looks like there are some good resources here I'm excited to looking at. But maybe there are different views among theists and in the Church about what "the bottom" is. If anyone has any particular recommendation of what you think is the best place to start, please do tell.

Thanks and God bless!

 

2/13/2018 3:48 pm  #2


Re: Hello

Are you familiar with Feser's books? With thomism?

A few recommendations for your studies:

"The One and the Many" by fr. Norris Clarke. It's a good introduction to metaphysics and existential thomism. Will explain to you act and potency, hylemorphism (form and matter), essence and existence, etc. It also has a good exposition of some arguments for the existence of God. Don't aorry too much if you cannot understand everything right away, just read and try to soak in as much as you can.

"Aquinas" by Edward Feser. It's an excellent introduction to thomistic thought, a clear exposition of metaphysics, Aquinas's five ways, psychology (including arguments for the immaterial and immortal soul in human beings), and ethics.

"Five Proofs" by Feser, which is focused on Natural Theology. The arguments here are not the five ways; they include 2 of the five ways (the aristotelean and the thomistic arg) but the other three are the neoplatonist argument, the augustinian argument, and the rationalist argument.

If you carefully read these 3 books you will have a sound start and good ground in most philosophical issues (metaphysics, God's existence, the soul, ethics, some well known disputes e.g. abstract objects, empiricism, etc). Then you can continue studying if you wish

 

2/15/2018 12:35 pm  #3


Re: Hello

Thanks Miguel, I will be looking into these recommendations!
I've been hearing that name lately, Feser, so I suppose he's good!

I read just the first two Questions of St. Thomas' Summa, which I enjoyed very much, but once I got to the third, it kept saying things like, "Because of the principle of _______, therefore..." so I couldn't really understand his reasoning because I didn't know the philosophy that came before it.

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