Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press, 1959. First edition. Octavo, original sky blue cloth, original dust jacket. Small chip to top front panel, base of the spine of the unclipped dust jacket. A near-fine copy. Item #1187
"GENUINE UNDERSTANDING OF THE NATURE OF FREE WILL"
First English translation of Jacques Maritain's essay—a metaphysical study of the essence of free will. First printed in the Revue Thomiste in 1956, the essay presents Maritain's "rethinking of the old controversy on whether, in a purely natural order, angels could sin. The problem is solved in the affirmative. Along the way much is done to clarify the nature of free will and of evil" (George F. McLean). In a brief Foreword, Maritain cautions of the technical nature of the discussion and admits that his "re-interpretation" will often be in conflict with established Thomistic positions: "I had to depart from a tradition established by particularly authoritative interpreters of the Angelic Doctor, and to demonstrate--in opposition to them--the truth of my own interpretation." The text is divided into three sections: I. Philosophical Presuppositions, II. The Angel, Supposed in the State of Pure Nature, Would Have Been Able to Sin, III. The Two Instants of the Angel. Index of Names. Translated by William Rossner, S.J. of Rockhurst College, with his short Translator's Preface conveying gratitude to Maritain "for his words and writings, which have nourished my soul in every area of philosophy for twenty-five years." Father Rossner acknowledges the technical nature of the essay where Maritain "systematizes, discusses, and integrates the rich, even bewildering, complexity, and at times apparent contradictions, of relevant texts of St. Thomas. Out of them and his own wisdom he constructs an elevated and luminous vision." Approbations. McLean, An Annotated Bibliography of Philosophy in Catholic Thought, 1930.