By Antony G. Flew

This is a brand new, up-to-date and revised version of a reference paintings that has proved worthy as a device for the scholar of philosophy, in addition to a instruction manual for the overall reader. From the classical thinkers via Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, as much as the trendy age of Russell and Wittgenstein, this complete dictionary spans the personalities, terminology, and vocabulary of hundreds and hundreds of philosophers over hundreds of thousands of years.

This moment version of a big and priceless paintings has been thoroughly revised, and fifteen new significant articles were additional. Now, greater than ever ahead of, A Dictionary of Philosophy is an important and well timed paintings for the trendy pupil of thought.

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The intellect is the capacity to think: to form concepts and to possess beliefs. Concepts and beliefs are called by Aquinas 'species', an ambiguous term with the many senses of the English word 'idea'. The intellect is the power to acquire, possess, and exercise species: the power to acquire them, by operating upon sense experience, is called the active intellect (intellectus agens) and the power to store and exercise them is called the receptive intellect (intellectus possibilis). Against Muslim commentators on Aristotle, Aquinas maintained that every individual human being possessed both kinds of intellect; and against Platonizing theologians he insisted that for both the acquisition and exercise of intellectual ideas the cooperation of the Aquinas imagination was necessary.

It can, on the contrary, afford to hail the triumphs of science as enriching its own premises. *Darwin's theory of the origin of species by natural selection would be immensely upsetting to spokesmen of the former sort of design argument, yet could be welcome to those committed only to the latter. " Without that kind of guarantee, which the Humean will maintain that we neither can nor do have, we must be reduced to arguing from our accumulated experience of Gods and of Universes. But such experience is, of necessity, entirely lacking, for both the God whose existence it is desired to argumentum ad judicium prove and the Universe from which the whole argument must start are, by definition, unique.

Even after his canonization Aquinas did not enjoy in the Middle Ages that official status in the Catholic Church which has been accorded to him in modern times. Most medieval Thomists were Dominicans, and it was only in the period between the First and the Second Vatican Councils that the study of Thomist doctrines was enjoined as a regular part of the education of all Catholic clergy. The official sanction given to Aquinas's work by Catholic authorities was in fact an obstacle to the serious critical study of his philosophy: many Catholics tended to study text-books 'according to the mind of the Angelic Doctor' rather than to read his own writings, while non-Catholics shied away from him as being the spokesman for a party line.

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