Notable Books

Publications of Note

On Determining What There IsOn Determining What There Is: The Identity of Ontological Categories in Aquinas, Scotus, and Lowe, by Paul Symington (Ontos Verlag, 2010).

Book Description: Generally, categories are understood to express the most general features of reality. Yet, since categories have this special status, obtaining a correct list of them is difficult. This question is addressed by examining how Thomas Aquinas establishes the list of categories through a technique of identifying diversity in how predicates are per se related to their subjects. A sophisticated critique by Duns Scotus of this position is also examined, a rejection which is fundamentally grounded in the idea that no real distinction can be made from a logical one. It is argued Aquinas’ approach can be rehabilitated in that real distinctions are possible when specifically considering per se modes of predication. This discussion between Aquinas and Scotus bears fruit in a contemporary context insofar as it bears upon, strengthens, and seeks to correct E J Lowe’s four-category ontology view regarding the identity and relation of the categories.

From Big Bang to Big MysteryFrom Big Bang to Big Mystery: Human Origins in the Light of Creation and Evolution, by Brendan Purcell (Veritas Publications, 2011).

Book Description: This book is about the ultimate question or Big Mystery: where did human beings come from. One of the author s favourite quotes is from the American-based philosopher of evolution, Michael Ruse, who s said that: Unfortunately, there is simply nothing in the literature by philosophers on human origins. In a facinating, accessible and thorough study, renowned priest Brendan Purcell explores this complex area and tries to make up for that lack. Brendan Purcell is Adjunct Professor in Philosophy at Notre Dame University, Sydney.

Difficult AtheismDifficult Atheism: Post-theological Thinking in Alain Badiou, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Quentin Meillassoux, by Christopher Watkin (Edinburgh University Press, 2011).

Book Description: Difficult Atheism shows how contemporary French philosophy is rethinking the legacy of the death of God in ways that take the debate beyond the narrow confines of atheism into the much broader domain of post-theological thinking. Christopher Watkin argues that Alain Badiou, Jean-Luc Nancy and Quentin Meillassoux each elaborate a distinctive approach to the post-theological, but that each approach still struggles to do justice to the death of God.

Blurb: “This book is a brilliant presentation of debates between key figures in the recent turn to religion (even in the shape of an insistent atheism or a-theism) in continental philosophy. Chris Watkins positions his work very precisely between philosophies of the finite (Nancy) and of the infinite (Badiou). The author could not have his finger more firmly on the pulse of contemporary discussion of these matters. I cannot think of a book on such difficult material written with more sparkle or clarity.” –David Wood, Centennial Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University

Quentin Meillassoux: Philosophy in the Making, by Graham Harman.

Book Description: Quentin Meillassoux has been described as the most rapidly prominent French philosopher in the Anglophone world since Jacques Derrida in the 1960’s. With the publication of After Finitude (2006), this daring protege of Alain Badiou became one of the world’s most visible younger thinkers. In this book, his fellow Speculative Realist, Graham Harman, assesses Meillassoux’s publications in English so far. Also included are an insightful interview with Meillassoux and first-time translations of excerpts from L’Inexistence divine (The Divine Inexistence), his famous but still unpublished major book.

Blurb: “Quentin Meillassoux’s entry into the philosophical scene marks the beginning of a new epoch: the end of the transcendental approach and the return to realist ontology. Harman’s beautifully written and argued book provides not just an introduction to Meillassoux, but much more: one authentic philosopher writing about another – a rare true encounter. It is not only for those who want to understand Meillassoux, but also for those who want to witness a radical shift in the entire field of philosophy. It is a book that will shake the very foundations of your world!” –Slavoj Zizek



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