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An Aquinas Reader Paperback – 31 Oct 1988


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Paperback, 31 Oct 1988
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Product details

  • Paperback: 597 pages
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press; New edition edition (31 Oct 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823212068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823212064
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 3.1 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,152,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Mary T. Clark is Professor Emerita of Philosophy at Manhattanville College where she continues to teach. Among her authored books are Augustine, Philosopher of Freedom; Augustinian Personalism, and, most recently, Augustine: An Introduction. She is a former president of the Metaphysical Society of America, the Society of Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy, and the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and a recipient of the latter association's Aquinas Medal for eminence in philosophy. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 April 1999
Format: Paperback
This book suffered from three weaknesses, the first of which may be idiosyncratic. 1. A "reader," I presumed, would be an introduction to Acquinas, one I could read without attending a class. Not so. This book assumed a lot of familiarity with Acquinas's terminology and intellectual heritage. 2. The book is organized by topics, with brief excerpts from Thomas's works yanked out of context to fit the editor's topic selection. A sequential selection from Thomas's principal writings would have better preserved the integrity of the works and allowed the reader better to follow Thomas's reasoning. 3. Finally, the editor needed an editor. Her writing is cumbersome. She seems to have forgotten how to write a simple declarative sentence.
I find Moses Maimonides no more approachable than Thomas Acquinas, but Isadore Twersky's "A Maimonides Reader" is far more approachable than Mary Clark's Acquinas reader.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Sliced and Diced Aquinas 2 Jan 2000
By Timothy Gregg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an unfortunate example of the sort of thing which academics produce and then force undergraduates to wade through. The author has found all the similar passages in Aquinas' many works and has collected them together in snippets varying from a paragraph to two to three pages in length. This results in great repetition, and the beauty of the sweeping logical development which is presumably present in the original, is lost.
A word of warning to anyone who would approach Aquinas: read your Aristotle first.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Not well designed as an introduction to Acquinas. 6 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book suffered from three weaknesses, the first of which may be idiosyncratic. 1. A "reader," I presumed, would be an introduction to Acquinas, one I could read without attending a class. Not so. This book assumed a lot of familiarity with Acquinas's terminology and intellectual heritage. 2. The book is organized by topics, with brief excerpts from Thomas's works yanked out of context to fit the editor's topic selection. A sequential selection from Thomas's principal writings would have better preserved the integrity of the works and allowed the reader better to follow Thomas's reasoning. 3. Finally, the editor needed an editor. Her writing is cumbersome. She seems to have forgotten how to write a simple declarative sentence.
I find Moses Maimonides no more approachable than Thomas Acquinas, but Isadore Twersky's "A Maimonides Reader" is far more approachable than Mary Clark's Acquinas reader.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A more balanced view of this book 2 Jan 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have just finished this book. I just took five minutes to tell the customers of Amazon that it is very interesting. It is well presented by Mary Clark with very interesting introductions to the five chapters. This presentation really makes St Thomas Aquinas very readable today. What the Saint focuses on is so important and so relevant to our understanding of our modern world and yet he wrote in the 13th century. When I read the book I tried to always think about how it applies to my life today. Don't be put off by reviews that sound a little bit over the top and too harsh.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Helpful, but sloppy. 20 Oct 2008
By Ken Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been using Mary Clark's Aquinas Reader for the last several days, doing research for a paper on Aquinas' use of Aristotle's Ethics. On the one hand, the book has been very, very useful: it's directed me to some key passages, scattered across a wide range of Aquinas' works, that I would never have found on my own: I would have restricted my readings to the Summa, and as it turns out, that would have been a big mistake. I owe some substantial "thanks" to Mary Clark for her work in assembling this wide-ranging summary of Aquinas' thought.

At the same time, I found several points where Mary Clark's work seemed troublingly sloppy. In one passage, she accidentally failed to translate a key sentence: with this sentence absent, it appeared as if Aquinas was badly misinterpreting Aristotle. I had to track down Aquinas' original Latin to figure out what was going on. In another, she mistakenly attributed a given passage to one of Thomas' works (Commentary on the Soul), when it actually came from another (Commentary on the Sentences). (Ask me how long it took to track THAT down.) And these were just in the few passages that I happened to check.

In other words, if you're willing to put up with some hard slogging (which is sort of inherent in reading Aquinas), this is a good introduction. But I'd recommend that you look elsewhere if you're trying to do an academic paper.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Notable and Worthwhile Reader 9 Sep 2005
By Matthew V. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This reader is aimed for the graduate student or seminarian studying Philosophy of the Human Person.

This particular edition (maroon cover) is slightly different from the edition with the green cover. Section one on Reality is an historical study of St. Thomas's thought on ESSE. When 'An Aquinas Reader' was originally published (1972) that question of what St. Thomas meant by ESSE was a big deal in Thomsitic circles. Sr. Mary discovered that most college metaphysics professors were not interested in following St. Thomas's thought on ESSE as his life and work progressed, but simply on he topics of 'What is metaphysics?' and other foundational stuff. So she changed section one. Sections 2-5 are virtually unchanged.

The entire book enjoys coherence. Sr. Mary uses headings for each section and gives the source, so that if one so desires, one can go back to the original text and read it in its entirety. In fact, she would encourage anyone and everyone to read the original. The Reader is really a sourcebook to help students understand Thomas and introduce us to a wide range of his works.
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