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BOOK REVIEWS Ethics and Other Knowledge, (Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, XXXI). Washington: The Catholic University of America, 1957. Pp. 236. Five main studies, which vary in length and thought, and ten Round Table Discussions, each concerned with a problem of philosophy, are contained in this publication stemming from the April 23 and 24, 1957 meeting of The American Catholic Philosophical Association's thirty-first annual meeting. In a penetrating and vigorous study on "The Empiricism of Thomistic Ethics," the presidential address by George P. Klubertanz, S. J. clarifies what he terms a "somewhat astonishing statement" that "Catholic ethics is not widely considered to be philosophically important" as evidenced by the number of publications concerning ethics in contrast to works that pertain to the other branches of philosophy. Study shows that "in epistemology , metaphysics, and the philosophy of nature, innumerable articles and books have presented the philosophical significance of Thomastic thought." However, in ethics "the same amount and kind of work has not been done by Catholics, and as a natural result Catholic ethics is not widely considered to be philosophically important." This lecturer urges those who wish to follow St. Thomas to devote themselves to Thomastic ethics in order to attain the twin goals "of historical accuracy and renewed understanding." The second essay is about "St. Thomas's Approach to Moral Philosophy," and in it the author, Ignatius T. Eschmann, O. P. attempts to show how St. Thomas's moral doctrine holds two things together: "On the one hand, man's autonomy, that is his privilege of free choice and his authority of self-government, and, on the other hand, the recognition of, and the submission to, an objective order of spiritual and moral truths." With pedagogical skill Father Eschmann explains the beginnings of St. Thomas's moral doctrine as contained in the statement in the Prologue to the Pars Secunda of the Summa Theologiae: "The subject matter to be considered in this part is man, inasmuch as he is God's image." The author points out that, "it is a beginning which restores to human nature a glory under God that legalists have neither understood nor appreciated, "for moral systems place most emphasis on law and obligation and give less attention to man's moral autonomy. James J. Doyle, S. J. pursues the topic "Ethics and the Faith" and concludes that "there is an influence of Faith (Revelation) on Ethics." He further adds that "such influence is morally necessary for man; it exists in the via inventionis, but is not appealed to in the via compositionis." In a lecture by a scholar for other scholars Elizabeth G. Salmon, in an article entitled "Ethics and Epistemology", considers the question of truth, how the ultimate moral truth can be formulated in respect to a concrete moral situation, and truth directives of action effected by us. 395 396Book Reviews The question of the extent to which ethics is self-contained as a science and the extent to which natural theology must be introduced is examined by Dr. John O. Riedl in "Ethics and Natural Theology." It is the contention of this author that "the notion of the good cannot be expanded within ethics" but that this notion "could be expanded by clarifications from natural theology." Dr. Riedl develops in a thought-provoking manner the fact that ethics is subordinated to theology, both natural and supernatural. The Round Table Discussions explore in briefer fashion, but in a no less critical and thorough-going manner questions of interest to "lovers of wisdom" including: (r) What is Formal Logic?; (2) A Philosophical Interpretation of Recent Formal Logic; (3) The Significance of the Term Virtus Naturalis in the Moral Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas ; (4) A Psychologist Looks at the Problem of Psychology and Logic; (5) The Being of Creatures: St. Thomas' Solution of the Dilemma of Parmenides and Heraclitus; (6) The Contemporary Status of Natural Philosophy; (7) The Contemporary Status of Scholastic Psychology; (8) Being and God in Heidegger's Philosophy; (9) Intuition in Thomistic Moral Philosophy; (ro) Knowledge of Person Implied in the Thomistic Doctrine of Love. Another section of this volume is a factually accurate account of "The Problem of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 395-396
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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