Friday, May 4, 2012
Philosophers in 90 Minutes (Part Three)
There is plenty of worthwhile information in the small tome, but this is one that Strathern would have been well suited to farm out to another writer. It isn't just because he clearly has an axe to grind against the Church for restricting philosophy for over a thousand years, though that has certainly put off many who have read this. No, Strathern should have had someone else write this because he couldn't be bothered to put in the work to separate the philosophy of Augustine from Plato or the Church, deciding instead that it was just the merging of Platonic ideas with Christian theology.
Strathern decides to spend his energy describing the connective tissues between Aristotle and Aquinas rather than allowing Thomas to have any ideas of his own. Maybe that is accurate, but it feels like Strathern is still grinding an axe against the Catholic Church and wanting to keep philosophy as something that can only be infected by religion.
It isn't a bad read; I think it does a fine job of giving a rough overview of Thomas Aquinas in short order. But it is another one where Strathern was likely not the best choice to have as the author.