Being and Some Philosophers
Second edition, corrected and enlarged, reprinted with minor corrections, 2016. xii, 235 pp. Paperback: ISBN 978-0-88844-415-8 • $27.50
Second edition, corrected and enlarged, 1952. xii, 235 pp. Casebound: ISBN 978-0-88844-401-1 • $39.95
The study of being was one of the main preoccupations of Gilson’s scholarly and intellectual life. Being and Some Philosophers is at once a testament to the persistence of those concerns and an important landmark in the history of the question of being. The book charts the ways in which being is translated across history, from unity in Plato and substance in Aristotle to essence in Avicenna and the act of existence in Aquinas. It examines the vicissitudes of essence and existence in Suarez and Christian Wolff, in Hegel and Kierkegaard, in order to uncover the metaphysical and existential foundations of modern thought.
And yet Being and Some Philosophers remains not so much an historical investigation (although it could only have been written by a scholar steeped in the history of philosophy) but, in the words of its author, “a philosophical book, and a dogmatically philosophical one at that.” Its passionate vigour has proven, over many years, at once fresh and provocative. Indeed, the appendix to this revised edition contains critiques of the book by two Thomists as well as Gilson’s replies to their objections.
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