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UST Philosophy Professors Osborne and Houser Pen New Books

Cambridge Press Publishes Dr. Osborne’s Book on Aquinas’s Ethics

Dr. Osborne's new bookDr. Thomas Osborne, chair and professor of Philosophy, has written and published a new book on Thomas Aquinas’ moral philosophy, titled, Aquinas’s Ethics, that emphasizes the intrinsic connection between happiness and the human good, human virtue, and the percepts of practical reason.

The book description notes: Human beings by nature have an end to which they are directed and concerning which they do not deliberate – namely happiness. Humans achieve this end by performing good human acts, which are produced by the intellect and the will and perfected by the relevant virtues. These virtuous acts require that the agent grasps the relevant moral principles and uses them in particular cases.

The short book, written for a general audience, is published Cambridge University Press as part of its Cambridge Element Ethics Series, and is currently available online free for four weeks. View the book here. The hard copy will be for sale in June.

About the Series: This Elements series provides an extensive overview of major figures, theories, and concepts in the field of ethics. Each entry in the series acquaints students with the main aspects of its topic while articulating the author’s distinctive viewpoint in a manner that will interest researchers.

Thomas M. Osborne, Jr., is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy, and a member of the Center for Thomistic Studies, University of St. Thomas (Houston). He has written many articles on medieval and late-scholastic philosophy and other topics, and is the author of Love of Self and Love of God in Thirteenth-Century Ethics (2005) and Human Action in Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and WIlliam of Ockham (2014).

A photo of Dr. Osborne was not available.


Professor Emeritus R.E. Houser Pens Book on
Logic as a Liberal Art: An Introduction to Rhetoric and Reasoning

Dr. Ed Houser with his new book coverUST Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Ed Houser’s book, Logic as a Liberal Art: An Introduction to Rhetoric and Reasoning, was recently published by The Catholic University Press in December 2019.

Professor Houser, who was awarded the prestigious Aquinas Medal by the American Catholic Philosophical Society in 2019, has given over 80 lectures, published over 40 articles, and is author or editor of 12 volumes, concentrating on Aquinas, Avicenna and Bonaventure.

“Contrary to textbooks confined to symbolic logic,” Houser said, “this book covers logic ‘as a liberal art,’ taught in English rather than mathematical style symbols, and in conjunction with the other two linguistic arts, grammar and rhetoric, as the subject has been taught for over two millennia, since Aristotle’s time.”

Book reviewer Casey Chalk notes this advantage of such an approach: “From learning logic by sentence diagramming, to learning rhetoric by distinguish different forms of appeal, … the Aristotelian logic in Houser’s book brings many benefits. It improves our ability to be intelligent, savvy citizens. It improves our ability to evaluate others’ arguments, and our own ability to make sound arguments.” Chalk then cites Houser’s own reason why this approach is right for contemporary American students: “Though we are exposed to various forms of rhetoric every day, how many citizens could effectively differentiate an ethical appeal (persuading the audience based on the qualities of the speaker himself) from a rational appeal (persuading via reason) from an emotional appeal (persuading via appeals to emotion)? Indeed, Americans in a celebrity-obsessed culture are particularly vulnerable to misapplication of the ethical appeal, evidenced by how often we are willing to believe actors and actresses opinions on politics.”

For more information, go to The Catholic University of American Press website. The book is available for purchase at major online retailers.