By John Haldane
Routledge – 2010 – 212 pages
In this awaited follow up to his book Faithful Reason, the well-known philosopher and Catholic thinker John Haldane brings his unrivalled insight to bear on questions of the existence of God and the nature and destiny of the human soul. His arguments weave elements drawn from philosophy of mind, epistemology and aesthetics, together with recurrent features of human experience to create a structure that simultaneously frames and supports ideas such as that the cosmos is a creation, human beings transcend their material composition, and that human fulfilment lies beyond death. As in many of his other writings this volume blends themes from Aquinas with insights drawn from analytical philosophy and further establishes John Haldane as the leading 'analytical thomist'.
'Carefully argued and engagingly written, John Haldane's essays are examples of genuinely humane philosophy. Unlike much of the work currently being produced in the anglophone philosophical world, they are informed by a broad historical understanding, and display a clear moral vision of the role of philosophy and its place in our intellectual culture.' - John Cottingham, Universities of Reading and Oxford, UK
'John Haldane's essays are each impressive in their own right, for clarity, insight and argument. Taken together, they undermine the assumption of many contemporary philosophers, that it is possible to pursue systematic philosophical enquiry without having to engage with religious questions. Haldane uses philosophy to put philosophy to the question.' - Alasdair MacIntyre, University of Notre Dame, USA
'John Haldane is outstanding among contemporary thinkers for the instructiveness of his exposition of Catholic philosophical themes and the cogency of his argumentation in their support. The present collection of essay displays his lucid insight into a wide range of compelling topics. No one who reads these essays will come away without having his thoughts stimulated, his sympathies broadened, and his spirits lifted.' - Nicholas Rescher, University of Pittsburgh, USA
'This work is worth taking seriously because it provides a model for how the religious philosopher can move the debate forward without throwing out much of what is important to him.' - Lara Buchak, University of California - Berkeley, USA
Preface. Acknowledgements Part 1: Reason, Faith and God 1. Introduction: The Prospects for Religious Philosophy 2. A Thomist Metaphysics 3. Metaphysics, Common Sense, and the Existence of God 4. Meditations, Wagers and Existential Issues 5. The Restless Heart: Philosophy and the Meaning of Theism 6. Finding God in Nature: Beauty, Revulsion and Art Part 2: Reason, faith and the soul 7. The Very Idea of Spiritual Values 8. Reason, Truth and Sacred History 9. Rational and Other Animals 10. Aquinas on Ensoulment 11. The Examined Death 12. Philosophy, Death and Immortality 13. Causes, Reasons and Grace. Index
John Haldane is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs in the University of St Andrews, and also a Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute, Princeton. His books include Atheism and Theism 2nd Edition (2003); Faithful Reason (2004), The Church and the World (2008) and Practical Philosophy: Ethics, Society and Culture (2009).