The newest volume in the ongoing ""Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy"" series comprises ten essays that mediate between Scholastic concerns and contemporary philosophical issues. Distinguished author and philosopher Nicholas Rescher suggests that the Scholastic era - the 500-year period from Abelard to Suarez - was a model of philosophical activity. More than at any other stage of history, philosophy stood at the center of academic and intellectual culture. And many of the criticisms of the scholastic thinkers voiced since that time - their preoccupation with subtle distinctions and logic-chopping, for example - fail to do justice to the seriousness of their concerns and to the fact that their subtleties generally served a clear purpose with regard to the clarification of significant philosophical issues. The studies gathered in this volume seek to do homage to the spirit of Scholasticism. They address key issues in that tradition - some from an historical point of view, others from a more substantive standpoint. The essays are written in the conviction that there is much to be learned from the schoolmen even when one fails to agree with their substantive doctrinal positions. The methods they employed and their commitment to their projects have much to teach - and to inspire - us about the proper conduct of philosophizing.
Nicholas Rescher is professor of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. A former president of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, he is the author of more than one hundred books in various areas of philosophy, including epistemology, metaphysics, value theory and social philosophy, logic, the philosophy of science, and the history of philosophy.