1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Competent, but Superseded,
This review is from: The Book of Causes: Liber De Causis (Mediaeval Philosophical Texts in Translation) (Paperback)
The pseudo-Aristotelian "Liber de Causis", whose Arabic original was probably written in 9th-century Baghdad, had a great influence on mediaeval thought. On its arrival in the Latin West in the 12th century it was hailed as the completion of Aristotle's metaphysics, filling the gap where his treatment of theology should have been. In the 13th century doubt was cast on its authenticity, and eventually Aquinas correctly traced its ancestry back to the Neoplatonist "Elements of Theology" of Proclus. But the ideas contained within the work nonetheless found their way into Aquinas' metaphysics, most notably in the notion of the procession of "being" from the First Cause (i.e. God).
Dennis Brand's translation is unfortunately based on a text that is riddled with errors (for references, seek out Richard Taylor's work from the 1980s). Luckily, though, there is a translation of the corrected text embedded within the 1996 translation of Aquinas' "Commentary on the Book of Causes" by Guagliardo, Hess and Taylor: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0813208440
In short, read this if you know some mediaeval philosophy and want to untangle the roots of Aquinas' metaphysics, but be sure to read it in the volume by Taylor et al. linked above.
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