Cardinal Mercier's A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy – Volume Two is one of the most detailed books ever written on the subject of natural theology and modern philosophy. When considered alongside the other volumes in this collection, it is one of the great works of philosophical analysis, and serves as an invaluable resource to students and scholars alike.
Edited and written primarily by Cardinal Mercier, with contributions from other professors at the Higher Institute of Philosophy in Louvain, this book was originally written in French and has since been translated into English. The collection as a whole serves as a reference guide for philosophy, with Volume Two focused primarily on natural theology.
Volume Two opens with an explanation of natural theology, which is essentially the rational study of the concepts of God based on reason and human experience. From there, the book progresses into a discussion of the existence of God, focusing primarily on the philosophical concept of a divine being and the proofs of the existence of God. The nature of God and the activity of God are each devoted their own chapters. Following the thorough examination of God (or a Theory of First Being, as it is referred), Mercier transitions to discussions of logic (Theory of Right Thinking) and ethics (Theory of Right Living). The book concludes with a brief history of philosophy including an examination of other philosophical theories.
A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy – Volume Two is an enormous work tackling immense subjects. The text has clearly been well researched and it is apparent that this is the work of experts in the field. While likely to often be a challenging read for the philosophy novice, this book is immensely rewarding to those willing to dedicate the time to digesting it.