Read e-book online Aquinas and Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity, and the PDF

By Stephen Wang

ISBN-10: 0813215765

ISBN-13: 9780813215761

Thomas Aquinas and Jean-Paul Sartre tend to be pointed out with totally different philosophical traditions: intellectualism and voluntarism. during this unique examine, Stephen Wang exhibits, as a substitute, that there are a few profound similarities of their knowing of freedom and human id. Aquinas offers way more scope than is usually stated to the open-endedness of cause in human deliberation, and argues that we will be able to remodel ourselves in particularly radical methods via our offerings. Sartre famously emphasizes the novel nature of selection, but additionally develops a refined account of rationality and of the authentic limits we stumble upon on this planet and in ourselves. And in either thinkers the center of human freedom lies in our skill to settle on the pursuits we're looking, as we look for an elusive fulfilment that lies past the confines of our temporal experience.

This vital examine will curiosity Aquinas and Sartre students, in addition to normal readers looking an creation to their suggestion. it is going to even be priceless for philosophers looking clean views on questions of freedom, happiness, own id, act concept, meta-ethics, and theories of the self.

ABOUT the writer:

Stephen Wang lectures in philosophy and systematic theology at Allen corridor, London, and is vacationing lecturer in ethical philosophy at St Mary's collage university, Twickenham.

PRAISE FOR THE publication:

"This provocative e-book juxtaposes philosophers mostly linked to substantially various views. . . . The book's energy lies in its transparent and nuanced clarification of hugely advanced principles, demonstrating much more care by way of delivering unique language citations for keyword phrases. . . . total, this basically written research deals very important insights into political anthropology, motion conception, existentialism, and Thomistic studies." ― A. W. Klink, Choice

"Wang articulates with superb readability, precision, and subtlety the typical positive aspects of Aquinas' and Sartre's bills of the which means of human life, the method of human knowing, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness." ― Severin Kitanov, Religious reviews Review


"This provocative e-book juxtaposes philosophers usually linked to noticeably diversified views. Wang reveals parts of similarity and convergence among Aquinas and Sartre of their specialize in id and motion thought. The book's energy lies in its transparent and nuanced explication of hugely advanced rules, demonstrating much more care through delivering unique language citations for keyword phrases. . . . total, this in actual fact written research deals vital insights into philosophical anthropology, motion idea, existentialism, and Thomistic reviews. . . . Recommended." ― A. W. Klink, Duke University

"[A] well-written volume." ―Eileen C. Sweeney, Journal of the background of Philosophy

"A exceptional and unique piece of labor. lower than Wang's probing exam Aquinas and Sartre grow to be perfect commentators on every one other's paintings. not often have I obvious the sort of mix of real scholarship and interpretative aptitude, in this sort of readable prose."―Timothy McDermott, editor of Thomas Aquinas: chosen Philosophical Writings

"Stephen Wang is outstandingly well-placed to debate the interesting and unforeseen courting among Sartre's existentialism and Aquinas's obvious 'essentialism,' and to teach the typical flooring they percentage over matters resembling accountability, freedom, or even happiness. This ebook is stimulating, in actual fact written, and hugely original."―Christina Howells, collage of Oxford, editor of The Cambridge spouse to Sartre

"A significant contribution to the appreciation of either authors."―Thomas Flynn, Emory collage, writer of Sartre, Foucault, and historic Reason

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Additional resources for Aquinas and Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity, and the Possibility of Happiness

Example text

13 The identity the gambler established for himself as reformed is fragile. He wishes it constrained him and guaranteed his new way of life, but this very wish betrays his knowledge that both gambling and not gambling are equally possible for him. The present identity (as resolved and reformed) is illusory, it is really a memory of a previous identity (who he was at the time of his resolution)—it is already surpassed and it will not be effective unless it is remade once more. 11. Sartre often oscillates between the first and third person; see BN 32; EN 67/69.

It’s a very particular example, but it illustrates the way our confidence in our identity can suddenly be undermined. In the most ordinary situations we can be struck with vertigo: we may suddenly appreciate, for example, that we can do something in a different way, that we can rethink our priorities, that we can change, that we don’t have to be the person we have been. Human identity is ambiguous. Normally we enjoy the security of moving for9. He was afraid that a so-called Aristotelian philosophy of essence would involve the total determination of the individual, but in fact his own view is compatible with an Aristotelian theory of natural kinds.

Sartre emphasized that the totality of essence that constitutes our identity cannot adequately define a human being as human because our consciousness of this totality is an essential aspect of our being. We have a relationship with the totality, an attitude to it, a responsibility for it. It’s for this reason, as we shall now see, that human identity is ambiguous, insecure, and insufficient to account for our actions. In a section of Being and Nothingness concerning angoisse (“anguish”), Sartre gives two examples of individuals who discover that their identity is insecure.

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Aquinas and Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity, and the Possibility of Happiness by Stephen Wang


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