The course has three theses. First, the course argues that many of the standard objections to Leibniz’s classic cosmological arguments derive from an unsophisticated understanding of existence. Aquinas’s De Ente et Essentia reasoning for God as essetantum contains a more nuanced view of existence that avoids these objections and others. Second, the course delineates a more robust version of the De Ente reasoning which is shown to be the hermeneutical context of all of Aquinas’s God proofs. Third, by the study of Aquinas’s understanding of actus essendi, the course endeavors to reawaken interest in a species of Thomistic interpretation that flourished in the 1950’s – Thomistic Existentialism. In Fides et Ratio (1998) St. John Paul II recommends it for theology as “the philosophy of being based upon the act of being.” (para. 97)
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Kenny, Anthony. Aquinas on Being. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002.
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Pruss, Alexander R. “The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument.” In The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, edited by William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland, 24–99. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
Wippel, John F. The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas: From Finite Being to Uncreated Being. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2000.