Being and time: Aquinas after Frege
The course is designated as an in-depth analysis of the topics of being and time in the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, starting from some insights of Frege’s philosophy.
The course is based on the idea that some insights of Frege’s philosophy are important in order to better understand some key topics of Aquinas’s metaphysics such as being, essence, properties of being (transcendentals), being and time.
The structure of the course is the following:
The course consists of a series of lectures alternating with presentations given by students and general discussions. The students will be required to submit regular written work and produce a research paper at the end of the course.
1. Frege, Aquinas and the senses of being Being (1)
2. Senses of “unit” (Frege) / senses of “being” (Aquinas) Being (2)
3. Object/Concept (Frege), universal/individual (Aquinas) Essence (1)
4. Functions (Frege) and forms (Aquinas) Essence (2)
5. Logical constants (Frege) and transcendentals (Aquinas) Transcendentals (1)
6. Sense/reference (Frege), ratio/res (Aquinas) Transcendentals (2)
7. Non-sensible numbers (Frege) and multitudo transcendens (Aquinas) Transcendentals (3)
1. Senses of being, Timelessness and Timefullness Being and time
2. God, Passions and Time Human being and time
Students will submit regular written work and a longer research paper at the end of the course (70% of their final grade). Students are also expected to participate in discussions and give a presentation during the course (30% of their final grade).
- Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Blackfriars edition (Latin-English), some quaestiones
- Other works available in English: https://dhspriory.org/thomas/
- Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege., trans. and ed. P. Geach and M. Black (Oxford: Blackwell, 1952, 1960).
- The Foundations of Arithmetic: A logico-mathematical enquiry into the concept of number., trans. J. L. Austin (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1980).
- The Basic Laws of Arithmetic: Exposition of the System, Volume I., trans. and ed. M. Furth (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964).
- Gottlob Frege: Posthumous Writings., trans. Long and White, ed. Hermes, Kambartel, and Kaulbach (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1979).
- The Frege Reader., ed. Michael Beaney (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997).
- "On Function and Concept" in The Frege Reader, ed. Michael Beaney, 1997, pp. 130–148
- On Sense and Reference. Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik, C (1892), 25-50.
Reprinted in Geach and Black.
- On Concept and Object. Vierteljahrsschrift für wissenschaftliche Philosophie, XVI (1892), 192-205. Reprinted in Geach and Black.
Further reading on Aquinas:
- Gyula Klima, Aquinas’ Reception in Contemporary Metaphysics, to be published in Levering M. and Plested M. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Reception of Aquinas, OUP: Oxford, 2018
- Giovanni Ventimiglia, Transcendentals and Syncategoremata: the Beginning of medieval Ontology between Syntax and Semantics (forthcoming)
- Giovanni Ventimiglia, Aquinas on Being: One, Two or Three Senses of Being? (forthcoming in Quaestio. Yearbook of the History of Metaphysics, 2018)
- Anthony Kenny, "Quidditas and anitas after Frege", Giornale di Metafisica 38 (2016) 1, 109-118;
- Gaven Kerr, "Thomist Esse and Analytical Philosophy", International Philosophical Quarterly, 55, 217 (March 2015), 1, 25–48.
Giovanni Ventimiglia, Idem re differunt ratione. Frege "interprete” di Tommaso d’Aquino a proposito della distinzione fra essenza ed esistenza, "Rivista di Filosofia neo-scolastica", 107 (2015), 1-2, 195-215 (peer-reviewed)
Giovanni Ventimiglia, I trascendentali tommasiani ens, unum, multiplicitas nel cosiddetto "tomismo analitico” "Alpha Omega", 17 (2014), 2, 289-321
-Alejandro Llano, "Metafisica tommasiana e filosofia analitica del linguaggio: i sensi dell’essere", Rivista di Teologia di Lugano 17 (2012) 3, 339-348;
- Stephen Brock, "Thomas Aquinas and What Actually Exists”, in ed. P.A. Kwasniewski, Wisdom’s Apprentice. Thomistic Essays in Honor of L. Dewan O.P. (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 2007), 13-39;
- David Braine, Aquinas, God and Being, in eds C. Paterson – M.S. Pugh, Analytical Thomism. Traditions in Dialogue (Aldershot-Burlington: Ashgate, 2006), 1-24;
- Alejandro Llano, Metaphysics and Language, English transl. by J.W. Albrecht (Hildesheim–New York: Olms, 2005);
- Anthony Kenny, Aquinas on Being (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002);
- Gyula Klima, "Aquinas's Theory of the Copula and the Analogy of Being", in eds U. Meixner – A. Newen, Philosophiegeschichte und logische Analyse – Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy, (Paderbon: Mentis, 2002), 159-176;
- Alejandro Llano, "The Different Meanings of 'Being' According to Aristotle and Aquinas", Acta philosophica 10 (2001) 1, 29-44;
- Christopher Martin, "The Notion of Existence used in Answering an est?", in Christopher Martin, Thomas Aquinas. God and Explanations (Edimburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997), 50-79;
- Norbert Bathen, Thomistische Ontologie und Sprachanalyse (Freiburg-München: Alber, 1988);
- Hermann Weidemann, "The Logic of Being in Thomas Aquinas", in eds S. Knuuttila – J. Hintikka, The Logic of Being. Historical Studies (Dordrecht et al.: Reidel, 1986), 181-200;
- Anthony Kenny, Aquinas (New York: Hill and Wang, 1980);
- Hermann Weidemann, "'Socrates est'/'There is not such thing as Pegasus': Zur Logik singulärer Existenzaussagen nach Thomas von Aquin und W. Van Orman Quine", Philosophisches Jahrbuch 86 (1979), 42-59;
- Peter Geach, "What Actually Exists", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes 42 (1968), 7-30;
- Peter Geach, "Aquinas", in Elisabeth Anscombe - Peter Geach, Three Philosophers (Oxford: Blackwell, 1961), 65-125;
- Peter Geach, "Form and Existence", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, New Series 55 (1954-1955), 251-272, repr. in Peter Geach, God and the Soul (London-Henley: Routledge-Kegan Paul, 1969, 42-64).
- Sergio Galvan, Quantificatori ed esistenza, “Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica”, 1-2 (2015)
- Kris McDaniel, 2017 The Fragmentation of Being, OUP,
- Colin McGinn, « Existence », ch. 2 Logical Properties. Identity, Existence, Predication, Necessity, Truth, Oxford UP, 15-68
- Barry Miller The Fullness of Being. A New Paradigm for Existence (Notre Dame IN: Notre Dame University Press, 2002);
- Barry Miller, "Existence", in ed. Eduard Zalta, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2002 (Fall 2009 Edition);
- Kevin Mulligan, Forms of life or ways of life?, “Rivista di estetica”, 24 (2003/3), 103-105.
- Kevin Mulligan, Modes of being and the mind, in M. Szatkowsky (ed.), Quo Vadis, Metaphysics?, de Gruyter (forthcoming)
- William Vallicella, 2002 A Paradigm Theory of Existence. Onto-Theology Vindicated, Dordrecht: Kluwer.