Blanchette, Oliva

1965

The Perfection of the Universe in the Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Blanchette’s dissertation considers both the nature of the universe, according to the doctrine of St. Thomas, as well as the nature of perfection that especially characterizes the ordered totality of being.

Photo Permission: Boston College

Oliva Blanchette (1929–) spent his professorial career at Boston College, achieving the rank of professor emeritus. In 2007, Blanchette’s Philosophy of Being garnered the John Findlay Book Prize, awarded by the Metaphysical Society of America, and his book on Maurice Blondel won the 2011 Catholic Book Award (he is interviewed about Blondel here). 


Blanchette’s 1992 book, The Perfection of the Universe According to Aquinas is largely taken from his doctoral dissertation, as is the article “The Four Causes as Texture of the Universe.”


Some of Blanchette’s work is reviewed here:

  • Baldner, Steven. “Oliva Blanchette, ‘The Perfection of the Universe According to Aquinas: A Teleological Cosmology.’” Philosophy in Review 12, no. 5 (1992): 311–12. [link]

  • Dodds, O.P., Michael J. “Philosophy of Being: A Reconstructive Essay in Metaphysics by Oliva Blanchette (Review).” The Thomist: A Speculative Quarterly Review 68, no. 3 (2004): 469–72. https://doi.org/10.1353/tho.2004.0017.

Select Bibliography

“The Order of Generation and Time in the Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas.” Laval théologique et philosophique 22, no. 1 (1966): 45–72. https://doi.org/10.7202/1020088ar.


“The Four Causes as Texture of the Universe.” Laval théologique et philosophique 25, no. 1 (1969): 59–87. https://doi.org/10.7202/1020134ar.


Blondel, Maurice. Action (1893): Essay on a Critique of Life and a Science of Practice. Translated by Oliva Blanchette. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984.


The Perfection of the Universe According to Aquinas: A Teleological Cosmology. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University, 1992.


Philosophy of Being: A Reconstructive Essay in Metaphysics. Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2003.


Maurice Blondel: A Philosophical Life. Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2010.

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