Jacques Maritain Center : Studies in Analogy / by Ralph McInerny


    The present volume brings together a number of things I have written on the subject of analogy since the appearance of The Logic of Analogy in 1961. In that book I tried to disengage St Thomas' teaching on analogous names from various subsequent accretions which, in my opinion, had obscured its import. The book was widely reviewed, various points in it were rightly criticized, but its main argument, namely, that analogical signification is a logical matter and must be treated as such, was, if often confronted, left finally, I think, standing. The studies brought together now reflect the same concentration on the teaching of Aquinas. I am not of the opinion that everything important on the question of analogy, and certainly not everything of imporance on those problems which elicit the doctrine of analogy, was said by Thomas Aquinas. But it was my decision, for my personal work, first to achieve as much clarity as I could with respect to the teaching of Thomas, and then to go on to other writers, both ancient and modern. I am currently engaged in working out the relations among equivocation, analogy and metaphor in Aristotle. When that study is completed, I shall turn eagerly to some quite recent contributions to the nature of religious language. In short, the present work, which is by and large a prolongation of my attempt at an exegesis of Thomistic texts, marks the end of one phase of my research into the problem of analogy.

    Three of the essays brought together here have appeared in English in the same form, the essays which make up Chapter Two, Four and Five. The date and place of their previous appearance is noted in the appropriate place and I wish to thank the editors who first published them for permission to reprint them. A version, considerably shorter, of the first essay appeared in print, but it was so truncated that I feel it fair to say that this essay has not before been published. Chapter Six appeared in French; Chapter Three had been read on a number of occasions but this is its first appearance in print.

    Scholarly research is a lonely task, but as everyone who has engaged in it knows, it is as well an intensely social if not necessarily gregarious enterprise: one's cohorts are numbered among both the quick and dead. I shall not list here all those to whom I am grateful. They know who they are, however, and being what they are, neither desire nor require my poor thanks. I commend them in my prayers to the dispenser of the ultimate accolade.

Notre Dame, Indiana
November, 1966

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