Metaphysics now joins the series of translations of Father Gardeil's Initiation a la Philosophie de S. Thomas d'Aquin.
After an Introduction which discusses the general notion of metaphysics as a science, the relation of metaphysics to the critical analysis of knowledge and metaphysics as developed by Aristotle and St. Thomas, the author turns to the questions of First Philosophy which have concerned philosophers from Parmenides to Sartre and Heidegger. In seven chapters he considers being in itself and as it is known, the transcendental, the categories of being, act and potency, essence and existence and causality.
As in the other volumes of this series, the author includes a generous selection of texts from the works of St. Thomas carefully correlated with the various chapters of the work itself. These are not mere snippets, but substantial quotations drawn from the Commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics, De ente et existentia, the Disputed Questions and the two Summas. The reader has the words of Aquinas in the best modern English versions before him. Here is St. Thomas for the thinker--unfiltered.
A most valuable addition in this fourth volume is the technical vocabulary of Thomistic and scholastic terms, covering all four volumes of the Initiation.
The beginner in metaphysics will find this book most valuable, for it presents clearly the basic problematics and the Thomistic solution of them. For the more profound student here is a clear, concise (but not cursory) review of the science. Thomistic metaphysics, in Father Gardeil's presentation, is not an historical curiosity but a living and lively discipline. While the aim of the work is to give a synthetic view of St. Thomas' thought, the insights of modern or contemporary philosophers is not neglected.
The translator's notes offer clarification and add bibliographical information on works published since the French edition.
Valuable as a class manual, indispensable as supplementary reading, this book can serve the needs of a strictly philosophical course or one designed as a preparation for theology.