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Individual

Box from Italy

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Our cats got a present yesterday. A box from IBS Italia—an online bookseller. They seem to like it: maybe it smells different. Inside the box was the Marietti edition of John of St. Thomas’s Cursus philosophicus thomisticus in three volumes. The first volume was printed in 1948, and has sat somewhere unsold for fifty-seven years. It’s reassuring somehow to come across something older than I am which is nevertheless new. The pages have yellowed, the binding begins to crack. But still it’s new.
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Claims have been made on behalf of John of Saint Thomas (John/Jean/João Poinsot) as a pioneer in semiotics (see John Deely, Semiotics and ontology; see also New beginnings: early modern philosophy and postmodern thought, Toronto University Press, 1994 · 0802006248). I have found the Cursus not only worth reading for its own sake, but useful for distinguishing the positions of Jesuits like Suárez and Fonseca from those of the Dominican philosophers of the period, who follow Thomas more closely. The Cursus has the additional advantage of including, in its natural philosophy part, sections on De Cælo and the Meteora, works much less frequently treated in textbooks and commentaries than the Physics and De Anima.

LinkApril 20, 2005 in History of Philosophy