This course is a continuation of Metaphysics I. We will continue our exploration of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, together with Thomas’s commentary, looking at the Iota and especially at the Lambda, the latter allowing both a review of key elements of Aristotle’s metaphysical thought and his arguments for the existence of immaterial substances, and in particular of the Unmoved Mover. We will then expand our scope to consider rational accounts and justifications for the belief in God proposed by Anselm of Canterbury (Proslogion) and Thomas Aquinas (Summa theologiæ). In the second half of the semester, we will examine metaphysics from the perspective of Anglo-American analytic philosophy, considering such issues as: atheological arguments from evil (Mackie and Rowe) and the theistic response (Wykstra), identity, possible worlds (van Inwagen), time (McTaggart and Lewis), and fate (Taylor).
ARISTOTLE, The Metaphysics, transl. by Hugh Lawson-Tancred, Penguin Classics, 1999; EDWARD FESER, Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction, Editiones scholasticae, 2014; DAVID LEWIS, "The Paradoxes of Time Travel," American Philosophical Quarterly 13 (1976): 145-152; J.L. MACKIE, "Evil and Omnipotence," Mind 64 (1955): 200-212; J. M. ELLIS McTAGGART, "The Unreality of Time," Mind 17 (1908): 457-474; WILLIAM L. ROWE, "The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism," American Philosophical Quarterly 16:4 (1979): 335-341; RICHARD TAYLOR, "Fate," in Metaphysics, Fourth Edition, 54-67, Prentice Hall, 1992; THOMAS AQUINAS, Commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics, Dumb Ox Books (St. Augustine's Press), 1995; On Being and Essence, in Selected Writings, ed. and trans. by Ralph McInerny, Penguin Books, 1998; STEPHEN JOHN WYKSTRA, "Rowe's Noseeum Arguments from Evil," in The Evidential Argument from Evil, ed. by Daniel Howard-Snyder, 126-150, Indiana University Press, 1996.