Aquinas, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion

Aquinas, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion

Metaphysics and Practice
Thomas Hibbs
Distribution: World
Publication date: 5/7/2007
Format: cloth 256 pages
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-34881-4
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In Aquinas, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion, Thomas Hibbs recovers the notion of practice to develop a more descriptive account of human action and knowing, grounded in the venerable vocabulary of virtue and vice. Drawing on Aquinas, who believed that all good works originate from virtue, Hibbs postulates how epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, and theology combine into a set of contemporary philosophical practices that remain open to metaphysics. Hibbs brings Aquinas into conversation with analytic and Continental philosophy and suggests how a more nuanced appreciation of his thought enriches contemporary debates. This book offers readers a new appreciation of Aquinas and articulates a metaphysics integrally related to ethical practice.

Author Bio

Thomas Hibbs is Dean of the Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture at Baylor University. He is author of Virtue’s Splendour: Wisdom, Prudence, and the Human Good and Dialectic and Narrative in Aquinas: An Interpretation of the Summa Contra Gentiles.


". . . This is a heady mixture of philosophy, theology, and aesthetics. . . . Highly recommended." —Choice

"Hibbs . . . convincingly argues that the practice of seeking the good—both moral and intellectual—leads to and requires metaphysics, and not the reverse. . . . The book will help those who want

to (1) revisit Aquinas’s epistemology, metaphysics, and virtue ethic, especially in light of [Hibbs's] substantial previous work on these questions; (2) investigate [Hibbs's] broader theses about metaphysics; (3) generate a more convincing philosophical foundation and a more robust description of social accountability for virtue theory and narrative ethics; or (4) engage one or more of [Hibbs's] admirably diverse interlocutors (Plantinga, MacDonald, Murdoch, Joyce, Turner,

Marion, Zagzebski, Pieper, Gadamer, MacIntyre, Nietzsche, and others)." —CRISTINA L. H. TRAINA, Northwestern University,
Theological Studies , March 2009

"[This book] is an extremely broad-minded engagement—and this must surely be very welcome—with the basic contours of contemporary philosophy as practiced in the U.S. today." —Graham McAleer, Loyola College in Maryland

"A remarkable teacher takes us on an exciting journey to recover Aquinas, following

the contours of a graduate course to engage contemporary philosophers who might

seem unlikely protagonists. Yet they become salient foils for unveiling the secret of

Aquinas’ metaphysical inquiry: a 'distinctive sort of intellectual activity closely allied

to the imagination and always including appropriate emotional response' (p. 161).

This daring venture both demands and displays a formidable familiarity with contemporary philosophy—from ethics to epistemology, metaphysics to theology, incorporating analytic with continental modes of reflection. With a judiciously critical eye

given deft and gracious expression, we are moved gracefully among worlds of discourse,

as we acquire the skills needed to compare them. Yet that is precisely what

good teachers can do." —David Burrell, C.S.C., Uganda Martyrs University

Kampala, UGANDA,

". . . this book suggests and models a new direction for the methodology of contemporary philosophical discourse." —Janine Marie Idziak,
Intnl Journal for Philosophy of Religion , 64 1/16/2008 (online)

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Table of Contents

Preface: Metaphysics and Practice
1. Ethics as a Guide into Metaphysics
2. Virtue and Practice
3. Self-Implicating Knowledge: The Practice of Intellectual Virtue
4. Dependent Animal Rationality: Epistemology as Anthropology
5. Metaphysics and/as Practice
6. Metaphysics, Theology, and the Practice of Naming God
7. The Presence of a Hidden God: Idolatry, Metaphysics, and Forms of Life
8. Portraits of the Artist: Eros, Metaphysics, and Beauty
9. Metaphysics of Contingency, Divine Artistry of Hope