446. Not Doubting Thomas: the Aquinas Revival

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Cajetan, Bañez and other thinkers make Aquinas a central figure of Counter-Reformation thought; we focus on their theories about analogy and the soul.



Further Reading

• W.H. Marshner (trans.), Summa Theologiae, Prima Pars, with the Commentary of Cardinal Cajetan (3 vols, with Catholic University Press).

• R. Cessario, A Short History of Thomism (Washington DC: 2005).

• R. Cessario and C. Cuddy, Thomas and the Thomists: The Achievement of Thomas Aquinas and His Interpreters (Minneapolis: 2017).

• R.L. Friedman, “Domingo Báñez (1528-1604) and the novus philosophus: Cajetan, Franciscus Toletus, and the (In)equality of Human Rational Souls,” Mediterranea 8 (2023), 595-634.

• J. Hochschild, The Semantics of Analogy: Rereading Cajetan’s De Nominum analogia (Notre Dame: 2010).

• H.G. Hrynkiw, Cajetan on Sacred Doctrine (Washington DC: 2020).

• D. Janz, “Cajetan: a Thomist Reformer?” Renaissance and Reformation 6 (1982), 94-102.

• P.O. Kristeller, Le Thomisme et la pensée de la Renaissance (Montreal: 1967).

• L. Lanza and M. Toste (eds), Summistae: the Commentary Tradition on Thomas Aquinas’ Summa theologiae from the 15th to the 17th Centuries (Leuven: 2021),

• M. Levering and M. Plested (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Reception of Aquinas (Oxford: 2021).

• M. O’Connor, Cajetan’s Biblical Commentaries: Motive and Method (Leiden: 2017).

• J.P. Reilly, Cajetan’s Notion of Existence (The Hague: 1971).

• P. van Geest, H. Goris, and C. Leget (eds), Aquinas as Authority (Leuven: 2002).


Eugene Hamill on 26 May 2024


I’ve been looking forward to this for about 200 episodes.

In reply to by Eugene Hamill

Peter Adamson on 27 May 2024

200 episodes

Hope it was worth the wait!

CaptainCH on 29 May 2024

Development of cosmological theories


To start off this comment I just want to say I love this podcast. I started listening to it about a month and a half ago and I’m up to around the 100 episode mark with the Patristic period. Needless to say I have quite a ways to go before I’m fully caught up. 

Some of my favorite episodes were about the theories of natural philosophy and cosmology put forward by the philosophers. Starting of course with the Presocratics who were also the first cosmologists, then to Plato’s Timaeus and Aristotle’s Physics and next to the Hellenistic and late antique modifications of those pre-existing theories. I very much look forward to listening to the episodes on medieval and early modern cosmology. I am especially interested in how the dominant Aristotelian physics and cosmology of medieval Christendom  came to be challenged by new discoveries. I haven’t looked through all of the episodes yet so I don’t know if you covered the likes of Copernicus yet, or if you did spend some episodes going over developments in cosmology in the 1300s, 1400s, and 1500s. And I assume that Galileo is still a little ways off as of writing this comment.

And in particular, I am interested in knowing when the medieval idea (influenced by Aristotle) of the celestial spheres and the classical elements as incorruptible bodies, was challenged and people found out that they couldn’t be incorruptible, and the philosophical/theological reception of those discoveries. A while ago, I had a discussion on Reddit about the corruptibility/incorruptibility of the universe and its implications for the Christian doctrine of the new heavens and the new earth, and he mentioned that 16th/17th writers made the same points I did in my arguments. He never gave me the names of the writers, so I always wondered where/when this would have been talked about. 

Since you are currently working on this general span of time in the history of philosophy and science, I thought that perhaps you would know a bit of what I’m talking about, and that you could give me some pointers? 

In reply to by CaptainCH

Peter Adamson on 30 May 2024

Heavenly bodies

Thanks, glad you are enjoying the podcast! Actually this has indeed already been covered: if you look in the Renaissance series you'll find an episode on Galileo, but also the one about Telesio and Campanella is relevant. And I did Copernicus, Brahe and Kepler already (look in the series on the German Reformation) but for the question of dropping the Aristotelian contrast between the heavenly bodies and sublunary bodies the ones in the Italian Renaissance series are more relevant.

I am coming back to Galileo by the way and looking at his trial at the end of the current mini-series on the Counter-Reformation.  

In reply to by Peter Adamson

CaptainCH on 30 May 2024


Oh, that’s really good to know. I’ll take a look at those episodes. Thanks for the reply!

Edson Siquara … on 1 June 2024


I know what you are thinking! A special episode about Schiller and his concept of Freedom and Beauty.
Thank you for all the hard work. I've been listening on Spotify. I hope this will continue forever!

In reply to by Edson Siquara …

Peter Adamson on 1 June 2024


Unfortunately you'll have to wait until I get to him. Should only be another 12-15 years or so!

Nikola on 1 June 2024

Structure of the project

Hi! I love the podcast. I found out about it few years ago and apart from the valuable input from you and your guests, I feel like your thorough approach and a "map" of philosophy you provide here was very valuable to me. I find it so much easier to learn when I know all that is out there, when I can put it in categories and have a holistic picture without any missing parts.

I was wondering if it's possible for you to outline a general plan and what you want to cover until the end of the project. I know it's probably wishful thinking on my part, but I find it hard to find sources that have everything thoroughly outlined like you do it here and when you get to later centuries it gets messy and confusing and I have trouble categorizing it. I know asking you to see a decade into the future is ambitious on my part haha but If you could provide any good sources that outline the history of philosophy in a thorough way like you do here, I would be very thankful. Greetings from Serbia!

In reply to by Nikola

Peter Adamson on 1 June 2024

Future series

Thanks, glad you have found the series helpful! If you dig around in comment threads, especially on some of the recent blog posts, like this one:


you'll see that there has been a lot of disussion about this on the site. But briefly the plan is to tackle 17-18th century philosophy in three series/books, devoted respectively to France and the Low Countries; Britain; and Germany (plus related regions in each case, e.g. Ireland to go with Britain or Eastern Europe with Germany). After that, I have no real idea yet how to cover the 19th century but that will surely be a lot of material.

In reply to by Peter Adamson

dukeofethereal on 4 June 2024

Italy and Iberia content being squeezed

Professor, given that there is so much content on 17th/18th Century Low Countries/French Philosophy as many users have expressed their recommendations on this site, how will you be able to squeeze in Italian philosophers? There is not much Iberian philosophy in these two centuries compared to 16th century  Iberia which you are currently covering but the Italian Philosophers themselves will require several episodes devoted to them as there are quite a lot of them in these two centuries, I fear they might be 'second thoughts' while trying to cover French/Dutch speaking Philosophers. 


You will have to cover at-least 75+ devoted scripts so do not feel constricted because you fear the OUP volume book will be too large, at the end of the day this is a podcast first, book edition 2nd. 


In reply to by dukeofethereal

Peter Adamson on 6 June 2024

Iberia and Italy

Yes this is actually to my mind the biggest potential problem with the "three phase" geographical approach I am planning; there are similar problems with, say, Scandinavia, but lacking a series for all of southern Europe is a real potential problem. I am going to have to sit down and figure out how many episodes I really need to devote to that topic, maybe it has to be a fourth free-standing miniseries and as you say it would be a further question where that could go in the book series.

In reply to by Peter Adamson

dukeofethereal on 6 June 2024

Solution for Southern Europe + Scandinavia

Regarding Scandinavia, just put them alongside your coverage on German Philosophy (Protestant Heritage) and Russian Philosophy (heavily influenced by German Philosophy). Also there is not much on Scandanavia philosophy other than Emanuel Swedenborg, Laurids Smith


Solutions for Southern europe coverage if you are worried about converting into a book (since it would be the shortest series, on par with Byzantine Philosophy);

1. Cover Southern Europe alongside France and Low Countries together 1600-1800 (Catholic heritage, Dutch gaining independence from Habsburg Spain), when releasing the book version since it will be bloated with content, you will need to release two separate books, titled '1600-1800 France, Low Countries and Southern europe Part I and Part II' just like how CUP releases their history books when content was too large for example (Cambridge History of iran Volume 3, The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanid Periods, Part 1 and Part 2).


2. Cover Southern Europe as a separate 4th series, the book will be the smallest of your entire collection however (so pricing will be reduced). 


So it's either those two options Professor, cover Southern europe, France and Low Countries as 1 series but splitting the content into two books or cover Southern Europe separately as a fourth series but the book release will be very small. 

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