Maurice Dionne solved the problem of how to understand analogy in metaphysics. His doctrine was picked up by Ralph Mc Inerny and enriched over the course of thirty five years, until Mc Inerny wrote his magisterial “Aquinas and Analogy”.

Back to Dionne, though. One of my favorite anecdotes about him is about how one day one of his students came up to him and asked him what he thought of Descartes. “Who is that?” he said. The student proceeded to tell him about Descartes, and about the doctrines of “the father of modern philosophy”. I have been told that Dionne only shrugged and laughed at Descartes. He certainly didn’t know who he was.

To be honest, I had to study Descartes for years- from my very first undergrad philosophy class to a full semester in descartes alone in grad school. Come to think of it, I have not gotten a single positive principle from him. So long as one is interested in learning philosophy in a positive sense- as opposed to learning the exact nature of certain errors- then Descartes can be omitted without consequence.

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