The One and the Many

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The One and the Many

W.Norris Clarke

Publisher: University of Notre Dame PressFormat: Paperback

When it is taught today, metaphysics is often presented as a fragmented view of philosophy that ignores the fundamental issues of its classical precedents. Eschewing these postmodern approaches, W. Norris Clark finds an integrated vision of reality in the wisdom of Aquinas and here offers a contemporary version of systematic metaphysics in the Thomistic tradition.

The One and the Many presents metaphysics as an integrated whole which draws on Aquinas' themes, structure, and insight without attempting to summarize his work. Although its primary inspiration is the philosophy of St. Thomas himself, it also takes into account significant contributions not only of later philosophers but also of those developments in modern science that have philosophical bearing, from the Big Bang to evolution.

Norris pursues two central themes in his explication of Thomistic metaphysics. He uncovers the unity and diversity found at all levels of the universe, with all beings held together in harmony rather than disconnected chaos. He also proposes the act of existence as the core of the positive attributes of all real beings, which in its pure unlimited state is the very nature of God. In the end, he offers a final synthetic overview of being both emanating from and returning to God in the Great Circle of Being — a journey in which each of us is a traveler.

Through Aquinas' metaphysics, Clarke helps the reader develop a holistic view of the meaningfulness of our universe and of human life. His work rescues the essence of Aquinas' metaphysics, making this body of thought accessible to students and interested readers not trained in Thomistic terminology and contributing to a revival of this fundamentalcomponent of philosophy.

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