A.   Virgili, Thomas Aquinas Explained to my Best Friend: A (Very) Elementary Introduction to Thomistic Philosophy, 2021, ECV.

Recensione in italiano, qui.

Often in discussions of a theological and philosophical nature I have quoted him. It is no secret about the training I received of Thomistic basis and open to dialogue with current philosophy and culture.

But for those who are not theologians and philosophers, is there a possibility to deepen the thought of St. Thomas? We are helped by a very interesting, agile and concise book by Adriano Virgili for ECV with a nice and catchy title:

Thomas Aquinas Explained to My Cousin, A Very Elementary Introduction to Thomistic Philosophy.

The book was also born in a non-academic moment: one evening at dinner, the author Virgili finds himself having a chat with his cousin. They both end up talking about Thomas Aquinas and the dialogue becomes fruitful.

Later Virgili decides to put his hand to this work: a concise introduction to Aquinas. The book is composed of 160 pages made up of short chapters in which the author offers a summary of the main concepts of Thomas’ philosophy, we remember among the many concepts of substance, accidents, efficient and final cause, the five ways of the existence of God, intellect, will, happiness, passions, law.

In the last 6 pages there is also a very useful and well-stocked glossary, which allows you to immediately go and find a notion previously read in order to review it or remember the definition.

I personally liked this text, as well as a good review and also a new reflection of the many issues studied in the years of philosophical and theological training, also for the chapter that distinguishes science and scientism, where one is a gift of God for man, while scientism is a philosophical drift that would claim to recognize science through the empirical method the ability to answer all the main questions of man. St. Thomas was well aware of the importance of scientific discoveries – since the Middle Ages – integrating it into a totally Catholic dimension of fides et ratio.

The text written in a clear and understandable way, therefore, wants to be a real Thomist road map for all the non-experts, the curious, for those who are beginning some philosophical investigation.

Recommended almost mandatory for Catholics of good will and sound reason, but mainly a text for everyone.

Fr Gabriele Giordano M. Scardocci OP

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