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Medieval Philosophy as Transcendental Thought

From Philip the Chancellor (ca. 1225) to Francisco Suárez

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Jan Aertsen

The origin of transcendental thought is not to be sought in Kant's philosophy but is a medieval achievement. This book provides for the first time a complete history of the doctrine of the transcendentals, from its beginning in the "Summa de bono" of Philip the Chancellor (ca. 1225) up to its most extensive systematic account in the "Metaphysical Disputations" of Francisco Suárez (1597). The book also shows the importance of the doctrine for the understanding of philosophy in the Middle Ages. Metaphysics is called "First Philosophy", not because it deals with the first, divine being, but because it treats that which is first in a cognitive sense, the transcendental concepts of "being", "one", "true" and "good".

Winner of the Journal of the History of Philosophy Book Prize competition for the best book in the history of western philosophy published in 2013.
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Medieval Philosophy and the Transcendentals

The Case of Thomas Aquinas

Jan Aertsen

Students of Thomas Aquinas have so far lacked a comprehensive study of his doctrine of the transcendentals. This volume fills this lacuna, showing the fundamental character of the notions of being, one, true and good for his thought.
The book inquires into the beginnings of the doctrine in the thirteenth century and explains the relation of the transcendental way of thought to Aquinas's conception of metaphysics. It analyzes "Being," "One," "True," "Good" and "Beautiful" individually and discusses their importance for the philosophical knowledge of God.
Medieval Philosophy and the Transcendentals: The Case of Thomas Aquinas is intended as a contribution to the question "What is philosophy in the Middle Ages?". It argues that the doctrine of the transcendentals is essential for understanding medieval philosophy.