Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hugon’s Cosmology

Editiones scholasticae is publishing an English translation of Cosmology, an important manual written by the Thomist philosopher and theologian Édouard Hugon (1867-1929).  The translation was made by Dr. Francisco Romero Carrasquillo (who also runs the blog Ite ad Thomam, a useful resource for those interested in Thomism).  The publisher’s description of the book can be found here.


  1. I highly recommend this work (cf. the original Latin). So did Popes St. Pius X, Benedict XV, and Pius XI, and Hugon's Angelicum confrere Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. Pope St. Pius X said it contains "the unadulterated teaching of Saint Thomas". He praised the "wealth and coherence of [Hugon's] arguments and the clarity of [his] style, … particularly for applying ancient scholastic principles to shed light on new advances in philosophy and to the judicious refutation of errors." Garrigou-Lagrange called Hugon the "theologus communis," the "faithful eco of the Common Doctor of the Church," St. Thomas Aquinas.

    Hugon splits it up into three treatises:
    1. On the World with Respect to Its Efficient Cause
    2. On the World with Respect to Its Material and Formal Causes
    3. On the World Insofar as It is Ordered to an End

    The second treatise is where the rubber of scholastic natural philosophy meets the road of modern science. It is where Hugon shows his more-than-superficial familiarity with Pierre Duhem's philosophy of physics, especially where Hugon argues that modern science does not disprove hylemorphism.

  2. At close to $100 it seems to be aimed mainly at academic libraries -- and rich philosophers.

  3. rich philosophers.

    What is this strange cryptozoological beast you speak of?

  4. Aristotle was a "strange cryptozoological beast"? haha

  5. I'm very glad this book has been made available in English, but cannot see how the $100+ pricing is justified. Why not price it at $200 or $300?

    I'd like to see just one of the publishers of these super-expensive books post a public essay justifying this kind of pricing.

    Such pricing is beyond ridiculous in light of the fact that you can, as a single individual author, get premium-quality hardcovers published for less than $10 per in lots of merely 100, and equivalent trade paperbacks for $5 or less. I'm quite satisfied with both the quality and sales of my own near 300 page book through CreateSpace, and although other companies carry it who can afford large bulk purchases, my own purchases in lots of 100 cost only $4 each, with retail at $18 and secondary market offerings currently averaging $10.

  6. Ed,

    Regarding the visual trichotomy of the Dark Enlightenment, here is a great visual of the theonomists:

    This is being sent around on various email lists.

  7. I believe the price is in euros. So the dollar price is around 130.

    Looks like a very good book to have, but....

  8. Right, Craig.

    The only thing that super-expensive pricing does is cause pirated pdfs of such books to be uploaded to the torrent sites. The solution is what is extensively discussed in the great documentary, Revolution OS. I think of Ed's blog as exemplifying the spirit of that film: a predominant value-added free service in addition to reasonably-priced products (his books). Eventually we will be mainly subscribing to authors' information services, with printed books being convenient options, however popular they may remain.

  9. machinephilosophy,

    More than 10,000 books costing $100 or more can be found listed over at Brill. Several hundred books cost $1,000 or more. And three books cost more than $10,000 apiece, with the most expensive book priced at $17,125.

    Since Brill has been around since 1683, one may surmise that the list prices for its books has not been detrimental to its existence. Borders, on the other hand, was founded in 1971 and kept the majority of its books listed at well under $100. May it rest in peace.

    Brill offers Medieval Philosophy and the Transcendentals: The Case of Thomas Aquinas, published in 1996, for $219.

    Think you might be able to do better over at Amazon? Think again. No new copies are in stock, none are on the way, and the only used copy available is priced at $374.98. Suddenly, $219 doesn't look so bad.

    Come to think of it, $100 or so for Hugon's Cosmology doesn't look so bad either. In fact, you can purchase it from Amazon for under $99, which is even better.