Volume 55, Issue 1, March 2015
Gaven Kerr, O.P.
Thomist Esse and Analytical Philosophy
In this paper I seek to consider the project of analytical Thomism with particular regard to Aquinas’s metaphysics of esse. My overall conclusion is that Thomas’s thought on esse is part and parcel of a way of philosophizing that is alien to analytical philosophy and is such that analytical philosophy is constitutionally unable to come to terms with it. In order to argue for such a conclusion, I begin with a presentation of Aquinas’s metaphysics of esse. I then respond to the objection that arguably some analytical philosophers have already arrived at the same thought at which Aquinas arrived, thereby blocking the way to my denial of the possibility of an encounter between analytical philosophy and Thomist esse. Having removed that obstacle, I argue that analytical philosophy is constitutionally unable to come to terms with Thomist esse.