The One and the Many
A Contemporary Thomistic Metaphysics
332 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Paperback | 9780268037079 | January 2001
Hardcover | 9780268037062 | January 2022
eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268077242 | November 2015
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268077044 | November 2015
When it is taught today, metaphysics is often presented as a fragmented view of philosophy that ignores the fundamental issues of its classical precedents. Eschewing these postmodern approaches, W. Norris Clarke finds an integrated vision of reality in the wisdom of Aquinas and here offers a contemporary version of systematic metaphysics in the Thomistic tradition. The One and the Many presents metaphysics as an integrated whole which draws on Aquinas' themes, structure, and insight without attempting to summarize his work. Although its primary inspiration is the philosophy of St. Thomas himself, it also takes into account significant contributions not only of later philosophers but also of those developments in modern science that have philosophical bearing, from the Big Bang to evolution.
W. Norris Clarke, S.J., is professor emeritus of philosophy at Fordham University and is the author of The One and the Many (University of Notre Dame Press., 1994).
“Both students and teacher will benefit from a highly readable account of major themes in Aquinas’ metaphysics. The material is presented in a way accessible to those unfamiliar with the formidable Aristotelian apparatus usually presumed in textbook presentations of Aquinas. Clarke divides his book into short, easily digestible chapters.” —Theological Studies
“This is the book that many of us have long been waiting for: the systematic exposition of the Thomistically inspired but creative metaphysical system of one of the foremost philosophers in the Thomistic tradition. The work is not a recapitulation of standard Thomistic metaphysics so much as a re-creation, on Thomistic principles, of a contemporary metaphysical view that pushes Thomas’ principles to new developments and applications. Clarke stresses participation in the act of existence, substance as dynamic, system as a new metaphysical category, philosophic ramifications of evolution and relativity, and the great circle of being embodied in the universe. The book is well suited to both as a text in a course in metaphysics and as an historically conscious source of insights for the professional philosopher.” —James W. Felt, S.J., John Nobili Professor of Philosophy, Santa Clara University
“This book is rich in metaphysical insight and suggestiveness. At the same time it manages to be a rigorous presentation of Thomistic metaphysics suitable to contemporary life.” —Encounter
"Clarke has written a very interesting and provocative book, one that is likely to inspire future students to study metaphysics in the Thomistic tradition. We are especially indebted to Clarke for his willingness to engage modern science and his contribution to the revival of metaphysics as a systematic study." —The Thomist
“W. Norris Clarke is one of the giants of North American Thomism. For over fifty years he has been a learned and illuminating interpreter of the metaphysics of Aquinas . . . in this book he provides the most comprehensive presentation to date of his distinctive philosophical and metaphysical thinking. Overall, Clarke had produced a most stimulating and thought-provoking book on the subject of metaphysics. It is replete with insights and written with a rare generosity of spirit which is most uplifting to read.” —The Heythrop Journal
“[A] masterly account of the metaphysical system which he has worked out over a lifetime of historical research, teaching, and writing. Those who have been waiting for this account will not be disappointed. The One and The Manyis a very important book and its contribution to speculative metaphysics and to the Thomistic tradition is outstanding.” —Maritain Notebook
“...crisp, clear and easy to understand metaphysical arguments. It presents a well-justified Thomistic metaphysical theory. The importance of this book goes far beyond that of a good Thomistic textbook. Its ahistorical approach should enable The One and the Many to become a voice in contemporary discussions of metaphysical issues.” —The Review of Metaphysics
“After a lifetime in the study and teaching of philosophy, especially to undergraduates at Fordham University, Norris Clarke has produced a valuable textbook of metaphysics, inspired by St. Thomas, and adapted to issues of the present day. It does not just repeat what St. Thomas said, but retrieves it, completes it, appropriates it, and systematises it.” —Australasian Catholic Record
“Norris Clarke is a master of metaphysics, and one to whom others can well appretice themselves, since he is himself so astute an apprentice of classical figures in philosophy. This intended advanced text for systematic metaphysics is just that: advanced yet pedagogically planned; systematic yet suffused with heart. A sterling example from an exemplary oeuvre.” — David Burrell, C.S.C.