Item description for Thomas Aquinas in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes) by Paul Strathern...
Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character....I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one s friends to Western civilization. Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe. Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them....I find them hard to stop reading. Richard Bernstein, New York Times. Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise. Jim Holt, Wall Street Journal. These brief and enlightening explorations of our greatest thinkers bring their ideas to life in entertaining and accessible fashion. Philosophical thought is deciphered and made comprehensive and interesting to almost everyone. Far from being a novelty, each book is a highly refined appraisal of the philosopher and his work, authoritative and clearly presented."
Citations And Professional Reviews Thomas Aquinas in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes) by Paul Strathern has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2007 page 608
Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2011 page 753
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Studio: Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.92" Width: 5.24" Height: 0.29" Weight: 0.25 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 1998
Publisher Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
ISBN 1566631947 ISBN13 9781566631945
Availability 0 units.
More About Paul Strathern
Paul Strathern is author of the popular and critically acclaimed Philosophers in 90 Minutes series. Highlights from the series include Nietzsche in 90 Minutes, Aristotle in 90 Minutes, and Plato in 90 Minutes. Mr. Strathern has lectured in philosophy and mathematics and now lives and writes in London. A former Somerset Maugham prize winner, he is also the author of books on history and travel as well as five novels. His articles have appeared in a great many newspapers, including the Observer (London) and the Irish Times. His own degree in philosophy came from Trinity College, Dublin.
Paul Strathern currently resides in London. Paul Strathern was born in 1940.
Reviews - What do customers think about Thomas Aquinas in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes)?
90 Minutes of Classic philosophers May 12, 2007
In Feb., on Maui, my wife found this book in our condo laundry room. and, I read it. I liked it so much, I have not only acquired it, but, most of the 90 Minute series. I keep reading and adding.
Anti-Catholic snobbery Mar 6, 2007
Assuming good faith, I'm not quite sure why this book was written. There's very little discussion about and explanation of Thomas' philosophy. Filling his book with put-downs from page one, dripping with sarcasm, the author comes across as a stellar example of late 20th century intellectual snobbery. If you're looking for a concise beginner's introduction to Aquinas' influential thought, this is not it. The only practical use I can think of for this book would be as fodder for a study of published modern anti-Catholic "intellectualism."
Thomas Aquinas in 90 Slanders Mar 8, 2006
Strathern says Thomas Aquinas was a towering figure of Medieval philosophy. I had to read another book (Aquinas for Armchair Theologians) to find out why.
Strathern is less interested in revealing Aquinas' philosophy than in reviling his theology. Strathern outlines Aquinas' life, discusses Aquinas' philosophical errors, and ridicules Aquinas' theology. Along the way, he succeeds in ignoring almost every important contribution Aquinas made to the history of Western thought. E.g., Aquinas' profound effect on the thought of Martin Luther King, Jr., helped shape the American Civil Rights movement. But why write about that when you can lampoon Aquinas for making philosophical arguments in support of Christianity?
In the last paragraph of his afterword Strathern celebrates Descartes' dictum "cogito ergo sum" because with it, modern philosophy had begun and the cobwebs of Aquinas' teachings were "swept away forever." A reading of Descartes' "Discourse on Method" reveals that Descartes reasoned from "cogito ergo sum" to the existence of God. Far from "sweeping away" Aquinas' cobwebs, Descartes seems to be very much entangled in them. The belief that reason could provide a pathway to God was not original to Descartes, Aquinas thought of it a few centuries before Descartes' time. There are still enough of Aquinas' cobwebs around for Martin Luther King, Jr., to have quoted Aquinas in his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," and for George Bush, Sr., to have patterned his speech justifying Desert Storm after Aquinas' model for the just war.
Almost everything about modern thought is influenced by Thomas Aquinas, from Greenpeace to the World Court. You won't learn how reading this book. Read "Aquinas for Armchair Theologians" instead.
Condescending and sarcastic Jan 10, 2006
I am so glad I was able to obtain this book on loan because I can think of much better ways to spend my money. I was so hopeful when I started this reading that I would get a general idea of the philosophies of Aquinas. Obviously I did not expect to get to know him intimatly. What I got was a sarcastic and condescending review of a man who has greatly impacted the catholic church (the author claims that without Aquinas, the church may not have survived) and thus western civilization. I wish I had read the other reviews here first. The book presents itself as being biographical and unbiased but from page one you learn of the author's obvious distaste for Aquinas. I don't mind this sort of writing, only that I would like to know what I am in for. But worse, the books claims it will help you understand Aquinas but instead the author wanders off on barely related topics leaving me with no more information about Aquinas' philosophies than when I began.
A Very Basic Introduction to Thomas Aquinas Mar 26, 2005
The title of this 2 CD set is Thomas Aquinas in 90 minutes, and that is exactly what this is: a very basic introduction. If you have a Doctorate in Midevil Philosophy, I doubt you will be impressed. However, if you know a little about Aquinas, and would like an overview of his life and work, this CD set fits the bill. I gave this 4 stars, in part, because this volume is the only game in town. The audiotape market is not exactly bursting with Thomas Aquinas introductions. It is lonely at the top. And the reality is, beggars cannot be choosers! Still this is a well read, solid introduction. The one negative aspect is it does not really focus much on the philosphy of Aquinas, rather the emphasis is on his biography and times.
Now, why should you get this volume? Because it is a serviceable quick introduction to Aquinas, which if you listen to it, will put you ahead of 99.9% of the people out there with regard to a knowledge of his life and work. Aquinas had a major role in Catholic history as well as in philosophy. He also is an interesting person. For one thing, he had a fascinating mystical experience near the end of his life, after which he lost all interest in philosophy. And then there is the story of his chasing the French coquette off with a faggot when she tried to seduce him as a young man. I would say this is a very profitable way to spend 90 minutes, we are lucky to have this volume available.