CFP: Thomism Today (Dialectica Special Issue)

Submission deadline: November 1, 2022

Topic areas


Call for Papers: Thomism Today, a special issue of dialectica (the diamond open access indexed journal of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy)

Guest Editor: Ryan Miller, Université de Genève ([email protected]

The deadline for submissions is: 1 November 2022 via

Neo-Aristotelianism has been booming in philosophy, not only in ethics (e.g. Peters, 2013) and metaphysics (e.g. Tahko, 2011; Novotný & Novák, 2014; Jansen & Sandstad, 2021) but also perception (e.g. Marmodoro, 2014), political philosophy (e.g. Walsh, 2018) and even philosophy of science (e.g. Simpson et al., 2018). Aristotelians often disagree, however, on even the most fundamental principles of metaphysics (see Koslicki, 2007 vs. Fine, 2007; Krizan, 2013; Marmodoro & Paolini Paoletti, 2021). Since the attractiveness of a philosophical position depends on its ability to resolve many problems from a limited and consistent set of principles, these seemingly irreconcilable disputes dating back to Aristotle’s early interpreters threaten to undercut the appeal of neo-Aristotelianism.

Thomism presents itself as just such a theory: a limited and consistent brand of neo-Aristotelianism which can respond to a broad swathe of philosophical concerns (e.g. Davies, 1993; Wippel, 2000; Stump, 2003; Shields & Pasnau, 2016). As existing collections begin to age (e.g. Haldane & Davis, 2002; Davies, 2002, 2012), how is Thomism meeting the combined challenges of internal coherence, explanatory power, and broad philosophical appeal? Submissions may address any of the following areas, or any other related theme, as long as they engage the relationship between characteristically Thomist views and philosophical problems of interest to non-Thomists.

  1. The Thomistic conception of hylemorphism has received extensive recent defense (e.g. Toner, 2008; O’Callaghan, 2008; Dumsday, 2010, 2016, 2021; Marmodoro, 2013; Marmodoro & Page, 2016; Brower, 2014; Oderberg, 2014, 2022; Koons, 2021). What considerations distinguish and favor Aquinas’s view over other neo-Aristotelian ones? Do they justify abandoning simpler relational ontologies, or bundle/bare substratum theories of substance?
  2. The unique Thomistic view of substances has mereological implications (see Salzillo, 2021). Are further formal tools needed or helpful in expositing Thomistic mereology?
  3. Is the Thomistic view straightforwardly characterizable as an A-theory or B-theory of time (see Craig, 1985; Brenner, 2010; Koons, 2020)? Does the relational Thomistic conception of place and time help with understanding spacetime as emergent (see Huggett & Wüthrich, 2013)?
  4. Do Thomists have anything specific to add to Aristotelian discussion of powers and dispositions in metaphysics and philosophy of science (e.g. Marmodoro, 2010; Groff & Greco, 2013)?
  5. Thomistic philosophy of religion has tended to focus on proofs (e.g. G. Kerr, 2015), divine simplicity (e.g. Hughes, 2018), or freedom and evil (e.g. Timpe, 2015). Is there more to be said in these areas, or can Thomists contribute elsewhere in philosophy of religion?
  6. With important exceptions (e.g. Pasnau, 2001; O’Callaghan, 2003), recent discussions of Thomistic philosophy of language, epistemology, and philosophy of mind have often occurred in more limited and/or historical contexts (e.g. Cory, 2014). What do Thomists have to contribute to the broader debates in these areas?
  7. Does Thomistic study of the passions (e.g. Miner, 2009) have anything to add to current debates on emotions (see Deonna & Teroni, 2012; Naar & Teroni, 2018; Tappolet et al., 2018)?
  8. Are Thomistic ethical hallmarks like natural law (e.g. George, 1994, 1996; Lisska, 1997; Foot, 2001; Crowe, 2019) and double-effect (e.g. Boyle, 1980; Quinn, 1989; Cavanaugh, 2006) too gerrymandered (see McIntyre, 2001) to have philosophical appeal for non-Catholics? Are they even compatible with Aristotle’s virtue ethics?
  9. In contrast to earlier efforts (e.g. Finnis, 1998; Rhonheimer, 2013), much recent Thomistic engagement with liberal political theory has been more antagonistic (e.g. Pink, 2013; Casey & Vermeule, 2022)—which approach is more promising?
  10. Is Thomism best understood as a linked set of positions within analytic philosophy (Haldane, 1997; Pugh & Paterson, 2016) or as a method in tension with analytic philosophy (Macintyre, 1991; Theron, 1997)? Is Thomism any more coherent than neo-Aristotelianism as a whole (see Kenny, 2004; F. Kerr, 2008)?

Submissions which argue that Thomistic approaches in any of these areas are unhelpful or counter-productive are also welcome.

All submissions will undergo dialectica's ordinary triple-blind review process.


Boyle, J. M., Jr. (1980). Toward Understanding the Principle of Double Effect. Ethics, 90(4), 527–538.

Brenner, A. (2010). Aquinas On Eternity, Tense, And Temporal Becoming. Florida Philosophical Review, 10(1), 16–24.

Brower, J. E. (2014). Aquinas’s ontology of the material world: Change, hylomorphism, and material objects (First edition). Oxford University Press.

Casey, C., & Vermeule, A. (2022). Myths of Common Good Constitutionalism. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, 45(1).

Cavanaugh, T. A. (2006). Double-Effect Reasoning: Doing Good and Avoiding Evil. Oxford University Press.

Cory, T. S. (2014). Aquinas on human self-knowledge. Cambridge University Press.

Craig, W. L. (1985). Was Thomas Aquinas a B-Theorist of Time? The New Scholasticism, 59(4), 475–483.

Crowe, J. (2019). Natural Law and the Nature of Law. Cambridge University Press.

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Deonna, J., & Teroni, F. (2012). The Emotions: A Philosophical Introduction. Routledge.

Dumsday, T. (2010). Natural Kinds and the Problem of Complex Essences. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 88(4), 619–634.

Dumsday, T. (2016). Non-mereological pluralistic supersubstantivalism: An alternative perspective on the matter/spacetime relationship. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 46(2), 183–203.

Dumsday, T. (2021). Can a relational substance ontology be hylomorphic? Synthese, 198, 2717–2734.

Fine, K. (2007). Response to Kathrin Koslicki. Dialectica, 61(1), 161–166.

Finnis, J. (1998). Aquinas: Moral, Political, and Legal Theory (1st ed.). Oxford University Press.

Foot, P. (2001). Natural Goodness. Oxford University Press.

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Groff, R., & Greco, J. (Eds.). (2013). Powers and capacities in philosophy: The new Aristotelianism. Routledge.

Haldane, J. (1997). Analytical Thomism: A Prefatory Note. The Monist, 80(4), 485–486.

Haldane, J., & Davis, R. (Eds.). (2002). Mind, Metaphysics, and Value in the Thomistic and Analytical Traditions. University of Notre Dame Press.

Huggett, N., & Wüthrich, C. (2013). Emergent spacetime and empirical (in)coherence. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 44(3), 276–285.

Hughes, C. (2018). Aquinas on the Nature and Implications of Divine Simplicity. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 10(2), 1–22.

Jansen, L., & Sandstad, P. (2021). Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation. Routledge.

Kenny, A. (2004). Stump’s Aquinas. Philosophical Quarterly, 54(216), 457–462. aph.

Kerr, F. (2008). After Aquinas: Versions of Thomism. John Wiley & Sons.

Kerr, G. (2015). Aquinas’s Way to God: The Proof in De Ente et Essentia. Oxford University Press.

Koons, R. C. (2020). Aristotelians and the A/B Theory Debate about Time: A Response to Feser’s Aristotle’s Revenge. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 94(3), 463–474.

Koons, R. C. (2021). Thermal substances: A Neo-Aristotelian ontology of the quantum world. Synthese, 198, 51–2772.

Koslicki, K. (2007). Towards a Neo-Aristotelian Mereology. Dialectica, 61(1), 127–159.

Krizan, M. (2013). Elemental structure and the transformation of the elements in On Generation and Corruption 2.4. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 45, 195–224.

Lisska, A. J. (1997). Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law: An Analytic Reconstruction. Oxford University Press.

Macintyre, A. (1991). Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopaedia, Genealogy, and Tradition. University of Notre Dame Press.

Marmodoro, A. (Ed.). (2010). The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and their Manifestations. Routledge.

Marmodoro, A. (2013). Aristotle’s hylomorphism without reconditioning. Philosophical Inquiry, 37(1/2), 5–22.

Marmodoro, A. (2014). Aristotle on Perceiving Objects. Oxford University Press.

Marmodoro, A., & Page, B. (2016). Aquinas on Forms, Substances and Artifacts. Vivarium, 54(1), 1–21.

Marmodoro, A., & Paolini Paoletti, M. (2021). Introduction to the special issue on form, structure and hylomorphism. Synthese, 198(11), 2647–2656.

McIntyre, A. (2001). Doing Away with Double Effect. Ethics, 111(2), 219–255.

Miner, R. (2009). Thomas Aquinas on the Passions: A Study of Summa Theologiae, 1a2ae 22-48 (1 edition). Cambridge University Press.

Naar, H., & Teroni, F. (2018). The Ontology of Emotions. Cambridge University Press.

Novotný, D., & Novák, L. (Eds.). (2014). Neo-Aristotelian perspectives in metaphysics. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

O’Callaghan, J. (2003). Thomist realism and the linguistic turn: Toward a more perfect form of existence. University of Notre Dame Press.

O’Callaghan, J. (2008). The Plurality of Forms: Now and Then. The Review of Metaphysics, 62(1), 3–43.

Oderberg, D. S. (2014). Is Form Structure? In D. D. Novotny & L. Novak (Eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives in Metaphysics (pp. 164–180). Routledge.

Oderberg, D. S. (2022). Is Prime Matter Energy? Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 0(0), 1–17.

Pasnau, R. (2001). Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature: A Philosophical Study of Summa Theologiae, 1a 75-89. Cambridge University Press.

Peters, J. (Ed.). (2013). Aristotelian Ethics in Contemporary Perspective. Routledge.

Pink, T. (2013). The Right to Religious Liberty. In J. Keown & R. P. George (Eds.), Reason, Morality, and Law: The Philosophy of John Finnis (p. 427). Oxford University Press.

Pugh, M. S., & Paterson, C. (2016). Analytical Thomism: Traditions in Dialogue. Routledge.

Quinn, W. S. (1989). Actions, Intentions, and Consequences: The Doctrine of Double Effect. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 18(4), 334–351.

Rhonheimer, M. (2013). The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy: Essays in Political Philosophy and on Catholic Social Teaching (W. F. Murphy, Trans.). The Catholic University of America Press.

Salzillo, R. M. (2021). The mereology of Thomas Aquinas. Philosophy Compass, 16(3), e12728.

Shields, C., & Pasnau, R. (2016). The Philosophy of Aquinas. Oxford University Press.

Simpson, W. M. R., Koons, R. C., & Teh, N. J. (Eds.). (2018). Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science. Routledge.

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Tahko, T. E. (Ed.). (2011). Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.

Tappolet, C., Teroni, F., & Ziv, A. K. (2018). Shadows of the Soul: Philosophical Perspectives on Negative Emotions. Routledge.

Theron, S. (1997). The Resistance of Thomism to Analytical and Other Patronage. The Monist, 80(4), 611–618.

Timpe, K. (Ed.). (2015). Metaphysics and God: Essays in Honor of Eleonore Stump (1st edition). Routledge.

Toner, P. (2008). Emergent substance. Philosophical Studies, 141(3), 281–297.

Walsh, A. J. (2018). A Neo-Aristotelian Theory of Social Justice. Routledge.

Wippel, J. F. (2000). The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas: From Finite Being to Uncreated Being (First paperback edition). The Catholic University of America Press.

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