Thursday, May 17, 2012

Aquinas on audio

Your print copy of Aquinas is dog-eared.  You’ve worn out your Kindle reading the e-book version.  If only you could give your eyes a rest!  And avoid the car accidents you’re risking by flipping though the book on the way to work!  Well, you’re in luck: Aquinas is now available in an audio version

24 comments:

Eduardo said...

Hey that is cool.

U_U GONNA go get me some international credit card to buy this!.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that is amused by the fact that a book about Medieval thinking is offered in audio and digital format? ;)

What would Thomas say?

Anonymous said...

All God-ideas come from the ego which is by self-definition and action always God-less. All God-ideas not only reflect the ego itself, but,altogether all God-ideas, being mere ideas, reinforce and console the state of God-less egoity, and, in fact, subordinate The Real Divine to the ego and the ego's search and purposes - both individually and as a cultural collective.

The purpose of such God-ideas is to account for the presumed objective world and the presumed separate and always separative self - by presuming the objective world and the separate self as the FIRST, and even irreducibly existing matters of philosophical importance. However, in the Real Process of Spiritual Religion and ultimately of God-Realization, the first matter of philosophical importance is the PRIOR transcending of the mind-created ILLUSIONS, or the non-ultimacy of the presumed objective world and separate self.

Put in another way such God-ideas are essentially tail-end-of-the-dog philosophy. Having already very solidly indentified with the tail end of the dog, or the lowest possible position re Reality altogether, philosophies are generated which try to account for the entire dog, and the pattern of relations in and as which the entire dog appears - the entire Cosmos.

But it does not make any difference as to how seemingly fancy any such philosophy seems to be, everything that is thus said is governed or limited by the identification with the tail end of the dog.

In our thus dreadful sanity we create entire cultures as extensions of our tail-end philosophy. We then wonder why everything always fails or falls apart.

Everybody knows that if you wish to wash a dog you have to begin from the head down, and that no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to wash a dog from the tail up.

mhssu said...

Haha, whoa. I think a certain cuckoo bird has been illicitly supping from the alternative medicine cabinet.

FM said...

@Anonymous May 18, 2012 1:35 AM

I think the only "tail-end-of-the-dog philosophy" here is yours.

You are basically mincing the same old materialistic pop-psychology of religion ideas that come up here and there in atheist forums.

Evidently you know nothing of Aquinas' philosophy... nor about philosophy in general.

That "All God-ideas come from the ego which is by self-definition and action always God-less" is a pretty weak supposition and does not really take in account the real thought process of many philosopher and also ignores the logic behind the ideas of these philosophers.




" We then wonder why everything always fails or falls apart."


Indeed one wonders why materialism has been leading to colossal failures in the past and the present.


So I am not sure if you are just a troll or plainly dumb sir.

FM said...

@ Anonymous May 17, 2012 9:34 PM

What would Thomas say?

Why would Aquinas care in which format their words would be put on?

I also do not see the irony, since unlike many people thought the medievals were not backwards or against technological progress.

Actually I am sure Aquinas would be pleased to have his words in audio format, so that deaf people could make use of them without the need of someone else reading these words to them.

FM said...

"since unlike many people thought "

I apologize:

I meant 'unlike many people THINK', since many still think that in the present, apparently...

Nate said...

This is tremendous. I'll be using this text again for a course I'm teaching over the summer, and I can wager that some of the students will prefer this format, or perhaps get it as an addition to the regular version, so they can listen as they read along.

Very nice!

machinephilosophy said...

All God-ideas come from the ego which is by self-definition and action always God-less.

Sure glad no reasoning was provided for any of this. Who would have thunk. Surprise!

Maybe all unargued universal parsing comes from posturing bluffs who have a self-esteem problem.

All ideas about God are ego-driven, except my own ideas about God of course.

Be sure to sign up for my Self-Exempting Ego Theory Seminar!

Eduardo said...

I don't think that the Anon up there is a Materialist.

His ideas... I have heard them before; He could be some type of Gnostic. Maybe.

You know, ego gets in the way, because of ego we create a bunch of bad ideas, that are completely wrong, and that is why things go down the drain.

My friend study gnosis and he is sort of like that...

If he is Gnostic; I am afraid you will never be able to talk to him about anything. For him all your thoughts are ego originated ideas, and they are ....worthless.

Yep I know that because my friend is just like that.

James said...

Aside from anything else WRT anon/1:35AM, I can confirm the possibility of washing a dog from the tail end up. When bathing my own dog I routinely begin with her rump; she grows less agitated when there’s no water in her face.

What? A post that silly can only be responded to literally.

machinephilosophy said...

Ed,

Excellent. Both are bargains. Download and subsequent absorption are imminent.

Like the TTS mp3 I made of my notes on The Last Superstition, the audio of this should be mind-blowing.

Hopefully, Kindle and audio versions of your other books will at some point become available as well.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Feser, I got an unrelated question (although it is related to chapter 4 of "Aquinas"):

Assuming hylomorphic dualism, that 'the sould is the form of the body' and that the mind is not the same thing as the brain, what would happen if one underwent a brain transplant, i.e. an old guy put his own brain into the body of a young man (or even a robotic body).

Would his maind and soul be transfered along with his brain? Would the person be 'incomplete' since large part of his boby is destroyed? Is the mind (and indeed soul) tied more closely to the brain than the rest of the human body?

Anonymous said...

PS:

sould= soul
maind = mind

sorry for the typos

Jurgen said...

Hi professor Feser, I've just finished reading The Last Superstition and I found this book very informative.

I have a couple of questions, however:

You mention Lock's objection against Aristotelianism about "monsters" being individuals of a different species or having a "form" or nature of their own.

Your rejoinder is that Locke's objection is bad, because the examples mentioned by him (i.e. monsters) amount to cases which FAILS to instantiate perfectly the form or essence of human beings, and this is perfectly compatible with (and in fact entailed by) the Aristotelian metaphysics.

Here is where I find a problem: If I understood you right, an "universal" in Aristotelian-Scholastic sense is not something which exists OUTSIDE the objects (e.g. in a Platonic realm), but something which is a intrinsic part of them and hence only can be discoveried by abstraction of concrete objects.

But then, how is it possible that Lock's example of "monsters" are mere instantiations of the actual form of human beings, instead of being an instantiation of ANOTHER UNIVERSAL? After all, if "monsters" were the rule (and "normal" human beings the exception) we could, by abstraction, to conclude (after close examination of monsters) that there is a universal called "form of monsters" and that (normal) human beings are simply imperfect instantiations of them.

The "perfect monster" (i.e. a perfect instantiation of the universal monsters) clearly is at variance with human beings and these would be see as imperfect examples of such perfect monsters.

Perhaps my question will be understood better like this: (For the argument's sake) suppose that by natural selection "normal human beings" (e.g. NOT monsters) dissapear and ONLY monsters survive in the year 10000.

A new civilization exists in which only monsters exist and the few "human beings" which remains are considered "mutants" or rare species.

In this case, exactly why we cannot speak of monsters as being themselves the instantiation of a universal (called the universal of "monsters") instead of being a failed or imperfect instantiation of human beings?

If the universal doesn't exist independently of the concrete beings, then the overwhelming plurality of new concrete beings (monsters in my thought experiment) could be themselves examples of a new universal (against which "normal" human beings would be "imperfect" instantiations, or a whole different species).

This is what I think Lock was trying to say.

Thanks for the help.

Sean Robsville said...

I there a perfect 'Form' for unicorns?
If there is, then from where does it derive? If there isn't, then what would happen if a genetic engineer were to produce a near-perfect unicorn? Of what would it be an instantiation?

Sean Robsville said...

...oops, missed the s off the first word, that should be 'Is there a perfect 'Form' for unicorns?

Eduardo said...

Right Sean ... don't forget that in Thomism, these forms most likely go all the way back to G*d. So if it is possible in this world to produce a freaking unicorn ... then it was the first appearance of that form.

Now, there might be no way to create a unicorn the way we have pictured, so the form never existed in first place. Anyways, the idea of form doesn't necessarily need to have a huge catalog of everything there is or might be.

Anyways, why not come and say clearly your arguments, instead of making then in a form of questions. I mean the question generates a problem in logical proccess... but what you are truly looking for is this problem, not the question. Sooooo .... give up on the questions and give a try at an argument; for instance of your point of view.

jhall said...

Jurgen,

Dr. Feser and others here can no doubt answer your question much better than I, but I believe the short answer would be that for the Thomistic-Aristotelian , the form doesn't exist only in the individual instantiation which we abstract from. It exists also in the mind when the form is apprehended and also, more directly addressing you concern, in the mind of God.

I'll leave a more thorough explanation to folks more knowledgeable.

Sean Robsville said...

My argument would be that the universal Form of unicorn exists in the minds of those who have seen pictures and animations of the creature, irrespective of its existence or non-existence; and that the Forms of real creatures such as cows and horses exist in exactly the same way.

There is no difference between the Form of a unicorn in the mind of a child who believes they exist, and the Form of a penguin in the mind of a child who has only seen drawings and cartoons of the creature.

In other words, universal Forms are mental concepts and mental concepts only.

Sean Robsville said...

For clarity, perhaps I should have said 'There is no existential difference between the Form of a unicorn...'

Obviously the concept of a unicorn doesn't resemble the concept of a penguin visually.

Jurgen said...

Dr. Feser and others here can no doubt answer your question much better than I, but I believe the short answer would be that for the Thomistic-Aristotelian , the form doesn't exist only in the individual instantiation which we abstract from. It exists also in the mind when the form is apprehended and also, more directly addressing you concern, in the mind of God.

Thanks for your reply,jhall.

I've considered such a reply, but I find it problematic:

1-It's true that the "form" exists in the intellect too, but it doesn't depend of our intellect in order to exist (otherwise, "forms" wouldn't exist in the time when no human beings existed).

Precisely, the whole point of "realism" is that something (in this case "forms") are ontologically independent of human minds (regardless of whether the mind can grasp or not such forms).

2-The argument that such forms exist in God's minds as patters for creation implies that Darwinism (with its random mutations and so forth) cannot be true, because the "form" of human beings was predetermined in God's mind as part of the divine plan of creation even before natural selection would begin to function.

As a theist, I have no problem with such view. But Thomists like to say that Darwinism is compatible with Aquinas metaphysics, and for the reason mentioned above, I think it is NOT.

3-It is question begging to argue that "forms" pre-exist in God's minds, because precisely Thomistic arguments for God's existence depend on the metaphysical notions of "form" and "matter", "act and potency" and so forth.

If the only way to make sense of "forms" (in order to respond to Locke's questions about mounsters) is to appeal to God, then it is false that the metaphysics of "forms" can be defended on the grounds of our experiences.

And it is massively question begging to argue for God's existence beginning from premises that ASSUME God's existence (i.e. forms which depend of God's minds).

I find extremely problematic this part of (otherwise interesting and defensible) Thomistic metaphysics.

Anonymous said...

"Am I the only one that is amused by the fact that a book about Medieval thinking is offered in audio and digital format? ;)
What would Thomas say?"


He'd probably say that as long as the form is informed, the matter doesn't matter.

Mr. Green said...

Jurgen: 2-The argument that such forms exist in God's minds as patters for creation implies that Darwinism (with its random mutations and so forth) cannot be true, because the "form" of human beings was predetermined in God's mind as part of the divine plan of creation even before natural selection would begin to function.

Why would that be a problem? We normally think of creatures with form A producing offspring of form A (which is of course why we call it re-producing). But that isn't logically necessary; for special evolution to work, some A's would produce offspring that are B's, and so on. Eventually, according to Darwinism, some non-human animal gave birth to something that had human form. The forms of A, B, etc., and of man would all exist in God's mind. All that's needed is laws of biology that allow certain A's (say, ones with certain mutations) to produce B's instead of more A's.


3-It is question begging to argue that "forms" pre-exist in God's minds, because precisely Thomistic arguments for God's existence depend on the metaphysical notions of "form" and "matter", "act and potency" and so forth.

But we first know that forms must exist, and then discover "where" they exist (in God's mind), so no question is being begged. Daytime and nighttime depend on the earth's rotation, but you can know that there is such a thing as day and night before you know that the earth rotates.