Plotinus in the Jungle

Home » Dissertation Progress » Outline of chapters 1-3

Outline of chapters 1-3

Some of you may be wondering if I will ever emerge from the jungle as Dr. Zimmerman.  Take heart!  I hope to be finished writing the dissertation by the end of the next year.  I had some great meetings with my director, Dr. Matthias Vorwerk, when I was in the USA this summer.  He came up with a plan to reorganize the work that I already did into three chapters, cut most of a planned chapter out, and then condense what had been projected as three chapters into two.  The focus is changing a bit so that the dissertation will be more of a comparison between Thomas Aquinas and Plotinus on the causality of God than a dissertation just on Plotinus, but that set me up to sell myself as capable of ancient and medieval philosophy when I hit the job field.

My goal is to write chapter 4 during the Spring (USA) term and chapter 5 by the end of 2017.  I was delayed by having my laptop stolen about a month ago, but I had backed up my files when I was in the US and my kind mother-in-law procured a new computer for me (which I am now using).

Here is the outline of the completed chapters, in case you are interested:

Part I: Creation is said in many ways [80 pages]

Introduction to Part I

Chapter 1: Objections

1.1 – Gilson and Associates

1.1.1 – Gilson, Pegis, and Sweeney: Why Plotinus Does Not Present an Account of Creation

1.1.2 – Gilson and Pegis: Aquinas Denies that Greek Philosophers Reached the Idea of Creation

1.1.3 – Responses Against and Continuations of Gilson’s Thesis

1.1.4 – Six Objections

1.2 – The Christian Distinction

1.2.1 – Robert Sokolowski, James Hart, and the Christian Distinction

1.2.2 – The Limits of Philosophical Explanation

1.2.3 – Sokolowski and Hart’s Critiques of Plotinus’s Philosophy

1.2.4 – David Burrell’s Rethinking of the Creation-Emanation Antithesis

1.3 – Lloyd Gerson’s Ambiguous Stance on Plotinus and Creation

1.4 – List of Objections

Conclusion to Part I

 

Part II: Aquinas on the Philosophical Discovery and Meaning of Creation

 

Introduction to Part II

Chapter 2: Aquinas on the Philosophical Idea of Creation [90 pages]

2.1 – Immediate Context for Thomas’s Doctrine of Creation

2.1.1 – Peter Lombard on the Christian Doctrine of Creation

2.1.2 – How Creation Was Understood by Thomas’s Scholastic Predecessors

2.2 – Thomas on God and Creation

2.2.1 Thomas’s Method for Investigating God and Creation

2.2.2 – Thomas’s Arguments and Argumentative Strategy for Creation

2.3 – The Philosophical Meaning of Creation

2.3.1 – Creation Presupposes Nothing

2.3.2 – Non-being is Naturally Prior to Being in the Creature

2.3.2.1 – Thomas’s Debt to Avicenna

2.3.2.2 – The Existential Dependence of all Things on God

2.4 – The Nature of the Creator

 

Chapter 3: Aquinas on Which Philosophers Taught Creation and Their Errors [60 pages]

3.1 – Introduction

3.2 – Who Teaches the Doctrine of Creation?

3.2.1 – The Textual Riddle

3.2.2 – A Survey of Thomas’s Judgments

3.2.3 – A New Interpretation of ST I, q. 44, a. 2

3.2.4 – Who Teaches the Doctrine of Creation?

3.3 – The Errors of the Philosophers

3.4 – The Philosophical Meaning of Creation

 

Conclusion to Part II

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2 Comments

  1. phillipcary says:

    Looks interesting indeed. And more than enough to make a dissertation already. Are you saying you already have written 230 pages? That’s nearing the maximum that some philosophy departments will accept. Wouldn’t that be good news?

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  2. Sounds like real dissertation work to me; you are blessed to have someone who will guide you through with great care. I continue to expect great things from you. You won’t have a problem on the job market, and the chapter that was eliminated may serve as a foundation for future writing projects. Keep up the good work; you and your blessed family will remain in my prayers. Next time you are in the states, perhaps you can pay me a visit st Andover Newton Theological School and facilitate a Hot Topics Lunchein discussion on your research.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
    Rev. Satcher (Mikel)

    Like

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