Philosophy

This is a list of ebooks by Catholic Christian authorities and authors on philosophy, “the study of being as being”, or (roughly) the rational study of ultimate causes using the data of nature. Some of these are works of “pure” philosophy. Others are theological works that employ philosophical reasoning either (a) to explain revealed truth and make it comprehensible to non-believers, (b) to demonstrate that revealed and rational truth are not in conflict, or (c) to understand the circumstances in which revealed truth is to be applied.

All these works–even the theological texts–are truly philosophical because their arguments on matters within reason’s grasp are premised on what reason gleans from natural things and not only on the “special revelation” culminating in Christ the Incarnate Logos; yet all of them–even those written by non-Christians–are truly Christian, because, being authentically rational and open to all truth, their methods and conclusions point to Christ Who is Truth, even if their reach exceeds their grasp. Like the magi, they walk on the ground which is reason, but their eyes are open to the star of faith.

 

I. Faith & Reason; Philosophy of Religion

  • Decrees and Canons of the Vatican Council. Available at Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: National Institute for Newman Studies; Book contributor: Saint Mary’s College of California). [NB, The decree Dei Filius set out the dogma on the relation between reason and revelation]
  • Dogmatic Canons and Decrees: Authorized Translations of the Dogmatic Decrees of the Council of Trent, the Decree on the Immaculate Conception, the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX, and the Decrees of the Vatican Council (New York: Devin-Adair Co., 1912). With Imprimatur. Available at Open Library and Internet Archive [N.B., According to the Preface, it includes Canon Waterworth’s translation for the Council of Trent, Cardinal Manning’s for the First Vatican Council, and the translation of the Syllabus authorized by Cardinal McCabe, Archbishop of Dublin.]
  • Encyclical Letter “Fides et Ratio” on the Relationship between Faith and Reason, by Pope St. John Paul II (14 September 1998). May be read online (on this page) at the Holy See, and on this page of the University of Notre Dame; and available in PDF format (on this page) at Catholic Pages.
  • Encyclical “Aeterni Patris” On the Restoration of Christian Philosophy, by Pope Leo XIII (promulgated on 4 August 1879). Available at EWTN Library and The Summa.info.
  • Études Théologiques sur les Constitutions du Concile du Vatican d’après les Actes du Concile: La Constitution Dei Filius, par Jean-Michel-Alfred Vacant (Paris, Lyon: Delhomme et Briguet, 1895). Avec Imprimatur. Disponible dans Bibliotheque Saint Libere: Tome I (Prologue, Chapitres I et II); et Tome II (Chapitres III et IV et Conclusion).
  • “Faith, Reason and the University: Memories and Reflections” (also known as the Regensburg Lecture or the Regensburg Address), lecture delivered by Pope Benedict XVI at his meeting with the representatives of science at the University of Regensburg on 12 September 2006 (part of his Apostolic Journey to München, Altötting and Regensburg on 9-14 September 2006) (© 2006, Libreria Editrice Vaticana). The text may be read online at the Holy See and available in pdf format at The Catholic Church of England and Wales and at The Catholic Church of England and Wales (catholicnews.org.uk).
  • Faith and Reason according to Benedict XVI: Six Key Texts: Subiaco, Regensburg, Paris, London, Berlin (Opus Dei Information Office, 2017). Available in ePub format and Mobi format, and may be downloaded at iTunes iBooks and Google Play Books, through Opus Dei. Also available at Google Books.
  • The Freedom of Science, by Joseph Donat (New York: J. F. Wagner, 1913). With Imprimatur. Available on Open Library and Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: MSN; Book contributor: Kelly Library, University of Toronto). According to Open Library, it has the following sections: The freedom of science and its philosophical basis; Freedom of research and faith; The liberal freedom of research; Freedom of teaching; Theology.
  • An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, by Blessed John Henry Newman. On  Dogmatic Theology, Faith. May be read online on Newman Reader (The National Institute for Newman Studies, 2007).
  • An Introduction to Christian Philosophy, by William G. Most. Available at EWTN Library. Copyright (c) 1994 William G. Most.
  • Joseph Ratzinger’s Theology of the Word: The Dialogical Structure of His Thought (Dissertation, Boston College), by Rev. Christopher Collins, S.J. (© Christopher Stephen Collins, 2012). Available in pdf format (here) at eScholarship@BC.
  • The Lives of the Saints: Catechesis on the Great Christian Writers of Both East and West, by Pope Benedict XVI (General Audiences 2007-2011). May be read online through Catechesis of the Popes. Includes: “St. Thomas Aquinas”  (June 2, 2010); “St. Thomas Aquinas: The Inter-Relation of Philosophy and Theology” (June 16, 2010); “St. Thomas Aquinas: The ‘Summa Theologica’” (June 23, 2010).
  • “Logos and Dia-Logos: Faith, Reason, (and Love) According to Joseph Ratzinger”, by Pablo Blanco Sarto, Anglican Theological Review, vol. 92, no. 3 (Summer 2010) pp. 499-509. Available in pdf format at the Anglican Theological Review [N.B., Although this is a non-Catholic publication, an online search indicates that the author is a professor at the University of Navarra/Navarre, a Catholic Christian institution directed by the Opus Dei Prelature.]
  • Science and Religion: Lectures on the Reasonableness of Christianity and the Shallowness of Unbelief, by Most Rev. Roger Bede Vaughan (Baltimore: J.B. Piet, 1879). Available at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  • The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost: or, Reason and Revelation, by Cardinal Manning, Henry Edward, 1808-1892 (1865). Available at Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: National Institute for Newman Studies, Book contributor: Saint Mary’s College of California).


II. General Philosophy


III. Theology and Natural Theology

  • Contra Errores Graecorum [Against the Errors of the Greeks], by St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P., translated by Peter Damian Fehlner, F.I., re-edited and missing chapters supplied by Joseph Kenny, O.P. May be read online at DHS Priory of the Immaculate Conception. [N.B., This work demonstrates that the Eastern Fathers affirm the teaching of the Catholic Church on points disputed by the schismatic Eastern churches.] [N.B.2, In his essay “St. Thomas Aquinas, Papal Supremacy, and the Witness of the Eastern Churches in the First Millennium”, online at Credo of Buffalo, James Likoudis refutes objections to St. Thomas’ citations of the Fathers.]
  • De Rationibus Fidei: Reasons for the Faith Against Muslim Objections (and one objection of the Greeks and Armenians), to the Cantor of Antioch, by Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P. (1264 AD), translated by Joseph Kenny, O.P. May be read online (on this page) at Dominican House of Studies Priory of the Immaculate Conception; at the Wayback Machine (1 January 2013 snapshot from the website of Fr. Joseph Kenny, O.P.); and at Catholic Apologetics Information. The reprint by St. Francis Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 4 (August 2010) is available in PDF format at the Wayback Machine (5 June 2016 snapshot of the relevant page at St. Francis Magazine.[N.B., St. Francis Magazine, which has many resources for evangelizing Muslims, appears to be non-Catholic in provenance; while Catholic Apologetics Information appears to espouse a hermeneutic of discontinuity. Please approach other materials thereon with prayerful caution.]
  • The Journey of the Mind into God (Or, The Vision of the Poverello in the Desert of Mt.Alverna), by St. Bonaventure. Latin-English parallel text available at Franciscan Archive; English text available at The Crossroads Initiative (English translation of the 1938 Quaracchi Edition), EWTN Library.
  • A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy, Volume II: Natural Theology (Theodicy), Logic Ethics, History of Philosophy, by Cardinal Mercier and Professors of the Higher Institute of Philosophy, Louvain, authorized translation and eighth edition by T.L. Parker and S.A. Parker, with a preface by P. Coffey, Ph.D. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.; St. Louis: B. Herder, 1917). With Imprimatur. Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library. The third impression (1922) is available at Internet Archive.
  • Of God and His Creatures: An Annotated Translation (With some Abridgement) of the Summa Contra Gentiles of Saint Tho[ma]s Aquinas, by Joseph Rickaby (London: Burns and Oates, 1905). Available on Jacques Maritain Center.
  • On God’s Existence, by St. Anselm (excerpts of his Proslogium); with How Someone Writing On Behalf Of The Fool Might Reply To All This, by Gaunilo, and Anselm’s Reply to Gaunilo. Available on this page of the Russian-language Medieval Philosophy Library.
  • Proslogium and Monologium by St. Anselm of Canterbury. May be downloaded in PDF format through the Saints’ Books index,
  • Proslogium, or Discourse on the Existence of God, by St. Anselm (c. 1078). Available on Medieval Sourcebook.


IV. Metaphysics, Cosmology

  • A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy, Volume I: Cosmology, Psychology, Epistemology (Criteriology), General Metaphysics (Ontology), by Cardinal Mercier and Professors of the Higher Institute of Philosophy, Louvain, authorized translation and eighth edition by T.L. Parker and S.A. Parker, with a preface by P. Coffey, Ph.D. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.; St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916). Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  • Metaphysics: Let Thomas Aquinas Teach It, edited by Joseph Kenny, O.P., St. Thomas Aquinas Priory (Ibadan, Nigeria, 2012). Available in PDF format at the website of Joseph Kenny. [N.B., This is a collection of texts by St. Thomas Aquinas, arranged thematically.]
  • Of God and His Creatures: An Annotated Translation (With some Abridgement) of the Summa Contra Gentiles of Saint Tho[ma]s Aquinas, by Joseph Rickaby (London: Burns and Oates, 1905). Available on Jacques Maritain Center.
  • Philosophy of Nature: Let Thomas Aquinas Teach It, edited by Joseph Kenny, O.P., St. Thomas Aquinas Priory (Ibadan, Nigeria, 2012). Available in PDF format at the website of Joseph Kenny. [N.B., This is a collection of texts by St. Thomas Aquinas, arranged thematically.]
  • The Physical System of St. Thomas, by Cornoldi, Giovanni Maria, 1822-1892, Dering, Edward Heneage (London : Art and Book Co., 1893). Available at Internet Archive.
  • Thomism and Mathematical Physics, Dissertation by Bernard I. Mullahy (July 1946). Available on Internet Archive. (Creative Commons license: Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)


V. Anthropology, Psychology

  • Christian anthropology, by John Thein, with an introduction by Prof. Chas. G. Herbermann, Ph.D. (New York, Cincinnati: Benziger Brothers, 1892). Available at Internet Archive. [N.B., No Imprimatur, but it is published by a reputable Catholic publisher, and the content appears to be Catholic.]
  • “Human Freedom and Truth According to the Encyclical Fides et Ratio”, by Angelo Cardinal Scola, translated by Margaret Harper McCarthy, Communio, Vol. 26 (Fall 1999), 486-509. Available in PDF format (through this page) at Communio: International Catholic Review. [This article is a challenging read–in part because the text has greater regard for substance than form–, but one of profit for true seekers of wisdom.]
  • Humani Generis: Encyclical Concerning some False Opinions Threatening to Undermine the Foundations of Catholic Doctrine, Pope Pius XII, August 12, 1950. May be read online at the Holy See.
  • A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy, Volume I: Cosmology, Psychology, Epistemology (Criteriology), General Metaphysics (Ontology), by Cardinal Mercier and Professors of the Higher Institute of Philosophy, Louvain, authorized translation and eighth edition by T.L. Parker and S.A. Parker, with a preface by P. Coffey, Ph.D. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.; St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916). Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  • “Nonlinear Brain Dynamics and Intention According to Aquinas”, by Walter J. Freeman, Mind and Matter: An International Interdisciplinary Journal of Mind-Matter Research, Vol. 6(2), pp. 207-234. Available in PDF format at Mind and Matter, with an abstract on this page. Also available in PDF format through Cite Seer X.
  • The Philosopher Pope: Pope John Paul II & the Human Person, by Simon F. Nolan, O. Carm. 13 pages. Available in PDF format on this page of the Irish Province of the Order of Carmelites.
  • “Philosophical Anthropology and Evangelium Vitae”, by Professor William E. May, Acta Philosophica, vol. 12 (2003), pp. 311-322, available in PDF format on this page at Acta Philosophica.
  • Thomas Aquinas and Positive Psychology: A Catholic Approach to the Use of the Virtues in Psychology, by Craig Steven Titus. 32 pages. Available in PDF format at the Society for Christian Psychology.
  • Thomistic Evolution: A Catholic Approach to Understanding Evolution in the Light of Faith, by Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, OP, James Brent, OP, Thomas Davenport, OP, and John Baptist Ku, OP. (Cluny Media, 2016). The paperback edition may be purchased on this page of Cluny Media; and the kindle and paperback editions may be purchased at Amazon.com. [See also “In Defense of Thomistic Evolution: A Response to Chaberek”, by Nicanor Austriaco, OP (March 7, 2018) at The Public Discourse. This essay seeks to refute the assertion by Fr. Michael Chaberek, O.P. that Thomism and evolutionary theory are incompatible. For an entirely different perspective, a creationist critique of the book may be read at the Kolbe Center: “’Thomistic Evolution’: Development of Doctrine or Diabolical Deception?”, by Eric Bermingham, with an Introduction and a conclusion by Fr. Thomas Hicke


VI. Epistemology, Logic, Language, Philosophy of Science

  • A Brief Text-Book of Logic and Mental Philosophy, by Charles Coppens, 1835-1920 (New York: Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 1891). Available on Open Library and Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: MSN; Book contributor: University of California Libraries).
  • The First Principles of Knowledge, by John Rickaby, S.J. (1889). Available at Jacques Maritain Center.
  • A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy, Volume I: Cosmology, Psychology, Epistemology (Criteriology), General Metaphysics (Ontology), by Cardinal Mercier and Professors of the Higher Institute of Philosophy, Louvain, authorized translation and eighth edition by T.L. Parker and S.A. Parker, with a preface by P. Coffey, Ph.D. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.; St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916). Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  • A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy, Volume II: Natural Theology (Theodicy), Logic Ethics, History of Philosophy, by Cardinal Mercier and Professors of the Higher Institute of Philosophy, Louvain, authorized translation and eighth edition by T.L. Parker and S.A. Parker, with a preface by P. Coffey, Ph.D. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.; St. Louis: B. Herder, 1917). With Imprimatur. Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library. The third impression (1922) is available at Internet Archive.
  • “Knowledge and Normality: Bl. John Henry Newman’s Grammar of Assent and Contemporary Skepticism”, by Anselm Ramelow, O.P., Nova et Vetera, English Edition, Vol. 11, No. 4 (2013): pp. 1081–114. Available at Academia.edu, uploaded by Anselm Ramelow.
  • “Thomists and Thomas Aquinas on the Foundation of Mathematics”, by Armand Maurer, Review of Metaphysics, vol. 47, no. 1 (1993): pp. 43-61. Available in pdf format at the University of Arizona.


VII. Ethics and Social & Political Philosophy


VIII. Aesthetics


IX. Philosophy of History

X. History of Philosophy

  • “Edith Stein and Thomas Aquinas on the Analogy on Being”, by Walter Redmond, Studia Metodologiczne, Vol. 37 (2016): pp. 29-45. Available in pdf format (here) at Studia Metodologiczne (Methodologial Studies): Volume 37 (2016).
  • History of Medieval Philosophy, by Maurice De Wulf, 3rd edition, translated by P. Coffey, D.Ph. (London, New York, Bombay, and Calcutta: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1909). Available on Jacques Maritain Center.
  • A History of Western Philosophy, Volumes 1 and 2, by Ralph McInerny. (Copyright 1963 by the University of Notre Dame Press. All rights reserved.). Available at Jacques Maritain Center.
  • “Husserl, Thomas and Thomists: Edith Stein’s Approach to ‘Faith and Reason’ in An Attempt to Contrast Husserl’s Phenomenology and the Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas (1929) and Finite and Eternal Being (1935)”, by Richard Bernier. Available at Academia.edu.
  • A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy, Volume II: Natural Theology (Theodicy), Logic Ethics, History of Philosophy, by Cardinal Mercier and Professors of the Higher Institute of Philosophy, Louvain, authorized translation and eighth edition by T.L. Parker and S.A. Parker, with a preface by P. Coffey, Ph.D. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.; St. Louis: B. Herder, 1917). With Imprimatur. Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library. The third impression (1922) is available at Internet Archive.
  • The Natural Law: A Study in Legal and Social History and Philosophy, by Heinrich Rommen (1936), trans. Thomas R. Hanley, with Introduction and Bibliography by Russell Hittinger (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund 1998). Available in multiple formats at the Online Library of Liberty.
  • “Natural Law and Public Discourse: The Legacies of Joseph Ratzinger”, by F. Russell Hittinger, Loyola Law Review, Vol. 60, No. 2 (2014): pp. 241-271. A paper delivered on 21 November 2013.The text is available in pdf format (on this page) at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.The video of the lecture delivering the paper is available on this page of the Lumen Christi Institute’s Youtube channel. A later version of the paper was published as “Natural Law and Wisdom Traditions”, The Muslim World, Vol. 106, Issue 2 (April 2016): pp. 313-336, which may be accessed by members at the Wiley Online Library.
  • “Natural Law: From Neo-Thomism to Nuptial Mysticism”, by Tracey Rowland Communio 35 (Fall 2008): pp. 374-395. Available in pdf format (here)  through this page of Communio: International Catholic Review.
  • The Philosopher Pope: Pope John Paul II & the Human Person, by Simon F. Nolan, O. Carm. 13 pages. Available in PDF format on this page of the Irish Province of the Order of Carmelites.
  • “The Relation Between Natural Law and Human Law in Thomas Aquinas”, by Raymond Bradley, The Catholic Lawyer, Vol. 21, No. 1, Article 5 (1975): pp. 42-55. Available in pdf format at  at: St. John’s University School of Law.
  • “The Renaissance of Natural Law: Tolkien, Fantasy, and Video Games”, by Edward Castronova (September 18, 2012). Available in pdf format at the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) through this link.
  • Scholasticism, by Joseph Rickaby (New York: Dodge Publishing Company, 1908). May be read online on this page of the Jacques Maritain Center: Readings.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas, by G.K. Chesterton. Available at Chesterton’s Works on the Web. [N.B., This was pronounced by Etienne Gilson to be the best introduction to St. Thomas he had yet read.]
  • St. Thomas Aquinas, by Jacques Maritain. May be read online at the online on this page of the Jacques Maritain Center (“Copyright by the Jacques Maritain Center, University of Notre Dame. All rights reserved”).
  • St. Thomas Aquinas and Medieval Philosophy, by D.J. Kennedy, O.P. (New York: The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1919). Available at the on this page of the Jacques Maritain Center: Readings.
  • “Thomists and Thomas Aquinas on the Foundation of Mathematics”, by Armand Maurer, Review of Metaphysics, vol. 47, no. 1 (1993): pp. 43-61. Available in pdf format at the University of Arizona.
  • “Why Do We Need the Philosophy of Edith Stein?” by Mette Lebech, Communio: International Catholic Review, Vol. 38 (Winter 2011): pp. 682-726. Available in PDF format on this page (with an abstract on this page) of Communio.


XI. Philosophy and Spirituality, Pastoral Ministry

 

 

XII. Legislation on Philosophy

  • Decree of Approval of some Theses Contained in the Doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas and Proposed to the Teachers of Philosophy, by the Sacred Congregation of Studies, translated from Latin by Hugh McDonald. Latin-English text available on this page of the home page of Hugh McDonald.
  • Decree on the Reform of Ecclesiastical Studies of Philosophy, by Congregation for Catholic Education (2011). Available at the website of the Holy See, with excerpt and and link on Rorate Coeli.
  • Doctoris Angelici: Motu Proprio for Italy and the adjacent islands, to encourage the study of the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas in Catholic Schools, by Pope St. Pius X (1914). Available at The Summa.info.
  • Encyclical “Aeterni Patris” On the Restoration of Christian Philosophy, by Pope Leo XIII (promulgated on 4 August 1879). Available at EWTN Library and The Summa.info.
  • Encyclical “Pascendi Dominici Gregis” on the Doctrines of the Modernists, of Pope St. Pius X, September 8, 1907. May be read at the Holy See and Papal Encyclicals Online.
  • Lamentabili Sane: Syllabus Condemning the Errors of the Modernists, by the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition, July 3, 1907. May be read online at Papal Encyclicals Online. A list of errors held by Modernists.
  • Studiorem Ducem: Encyclical on St Thomas Aquinas, by Pope Pius XI, June 29, 1923. Available at The Summa.info.

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