The Metaphysics of Love
Publication Date: September 10, 2022
First published in 1962, The Metaphysics of Love is both a concise study of Thomas Aquinas's existential metaphysics and a demonstration of the enduring influence of Thomism on Western thought. Penned by distinguished Thomist scholar Frederick Wilhelmsen, this book explores the ontology of the human person, placing it in dialogue with philosophers ranging from Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas to Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger. Wilhelmsen ultimately narrows his discussion to an examination of human love, particularly in regard to the relationship between love of self (eros) and love of others (agape). For Wilhelmsen, many of the problems societies face are an extenuation of the struggle between eros and agape. While recognizing that certain cultures will manifest these two tendencies differently, Wilhelmsen posits that a truly healthy society will acknowledge the importance of both.
Even in this relatively brief work, Frederick Wilhelmsen shows himself to be a lucid metaphysician and convincing teacher. Maintaining a lyrical style alongside a whole host of philosophical and theological voices, The Metaphysics of Love is a standout contribution to the vast Thomistic tradition.