Degrees of Knowledge
528 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Paperback | 9780268008864 | January 1995
eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268201371 | October 2020
Maritain argues that there are different ‘kinds’ and ‘orders’ of knowledge and, within them, different ‘degrees’ determined by the nature of the thing to be known and the ‘degree of abstraction’ involved. The book is divided into two parts: Part one discusses the degrees of knowledge for science and philosophy – or ‘rational knowledge,’ and part two discusses the degrees of knowledge for religious faith and mysticism – or ‘super-rational knowledge.’
Jacques Maritain (1882 – 1973), was a French Catholic philosopher. Raised Protestant, he was agnostic before converting to Catholicism in 1906. An author of more than 60 books, he helped to revive Thomas Aquinas for modern times, and was influential in the development and drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pope Paul VI presented his "Message to Men of Thought and of Science" at the close of Vatican II to Maritain, his long-time friend and mentor.
Ralph McInerny (1929–2010) was Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies and director emeritus of the Jacques Maritain Center, University of Notre Dame. He was the author of numerous works in philosophy, literature, fiction, and journalism, including The Very Rich Hours of Jacques Maritain, Characters in Search of Their Author, and his autobiography, I Alone Have Escaped to Tell You, all published by the University of Notre Dame Press.
"One can open The Degrees of Knowledge to almost any page and discover there something worth thinking about." —Pastoral Life~Perspectives on Political Science
"The Degrees of Knowledge represents one of the most complete articulations of Maritain's incorporation of the thinking of Saint Thomas Aquinas into his work." —The Library Quarterly~Choice
“The Degrees of Knowledge remains interesting and valuable because it deals with a theme that is characteristic of, but antedates, much of postmodern thought—i.e., the critique of ‘modern epistemology.’ —Études maritainiennes~Commentary