Kenny writes By profession I am a philosopher: and in the present century philosophers in this country have been keen to emphasise not only the difficulty of stating God's will on particular issues but the difficulty for human beings of saying anything intelligible at all about the nature of God. It is probably true to say that the majority of philosophers in this country in the last fifty years have been atheists of one kind or another. In his masterly introduction, Kenny explains the autobiographical background to this important new book. For some years, Kenny was a Roman Catholic priest, he lost his faith and resigned from the priesthood. This was something of a cause celebre and Kenny gave a full account of this development in his book The Path From Rome. But, as this book demonstrates, he has never been able to let go of God and he continues to struggle with the intellectual problems of theism and the possibility of believing in God, especially in an intellectual climate dominated by Logical Positivism. In this book Kenny revisits the Five Ways of Aquinas and argues that they are not so much proofs as definitions of God. He is also in constant dialogue with Wittgenstein for, Kenny writes, no man in recent years has surpassed him in devotion of sharp intelligence to the demarcation of the boundary between sense and nonsense. This is an important book from a major philosopher and will be widely and favourably reviewed.
Sir Anthony Kenny was until recently Master of Balliol College, Oxford. Among his many publications are The Metaphysics of Mind, Aquinas on Religion and A Brief History of Western Philosophy. Kenny is now a Fellow of St John's College, Oxford.