Self Knowledge in Thomas Aquinas

The Angelic Doctor on the Soul's Knowledge of Itself

by Richard T. Lambert



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 2/1/2007

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 440
ISBN : 9781420889666
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 440
ISBN : 9781420889659
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : E-Book
Page Count : 440
ISBN : 9781420889673

About the Book

This study concerns the position of Saint Thomas Aquinas on human self knowledge (“the soul’s knowledge of itself,” in medieval idiom).  Its main goal is to present a comprehensive account of Aquinas’s philosophy of self knowledge, by clarifying his texts on this topic and explaining why he made the claims he did.  A second objective is to situate Thomas’s position on self awareness within general world, and specific thirteenth century, traditions concerning this theme.  And a third is to apply Aquinas’s approach and insights to selected and contemporary issues that involve self knowledge, such as the alleged paradoxes of self reflection and of “unconscious awareness.”

            The primary approach is that of  “critical narrative,” which attempts to understand St. Thomas’s texts by posing critical questions for them.  While this questioning may expose certain texts as equivocal or unsupported, usually Thomas emerges as coherent, reasonable, and better understood.

            This work is serious scholarship that presumes reader interest in philosophical reflection and some background in medieval type thinking.  On the other hand, the book is not narrowly specialized in Aquinas or a single methodology, but includes broad reference to worldwide traditions and attempts to integrate St. Thomas’s approach into topics of contemporary interest.

About the Author

Richard Thomas Lambert is Professor of Philosophy at Carroll College in Helena, Montana, where he has served since 1970.  He earned his B.A. in Philosophy at St. Bernard’s College in Rochester (NY), and a Philosophy doctorate at the University of Notre Dame.  His scholarly productions have included translations, book reviews, a newspaper column, and a wide variety of articles and papers, many of them on Saint Thomas Aquinas.  He is a member of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and a charter member of the International Berkeley Society.  He has served as officer and national president of Delta Epsilon Sigma, an honorary society for students at Catholic colleges.  Dr. Lambert is married to Barbara Weydert Lambert, and has three children.