Hawkins, Denis John Bernard

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English Catholic philosopher; b. Thorntown Heath, London, July 17, 1906; d. Godalming, Surrey, Jan. 16, 1964. He was educated at the Whitgift School, Croydon, and at the Gregorian University, Rome, and received his doctorates in philosophy and theology. Ordained priest for the Diocese of Southwark in 1930, he devoted his life to pastoral as well as to intellectual work. He became rector of Claygate (Surrey) in 1940 and parish priest of Godalming in 1950. In 1956 he was made an honorary canon of the diocese. Canon Hawkins was a Thomist who devoted himself to the task of meeting the challenge of D. Hume and I. Kant to the possibility of metaphysics. He rethought the principles of St. Thomas's metaphysics and presented them anew in the climate of English academic philosophy. His most original works are his Criticism of Experience (London 1945) and Being and Becoming (New York 1954). The Essentials of Theism (New York 1949) and Sketch of Mediaeval Philosophy (London 1946) have been the most widely read of his books, but the former suffers from the brevity at which he always aimed in presenting his ideas. In Crucial Problems of Modern Philosophy (New York 1957) he discussed the bearing of contemporary ideas on his own critical approach to metaphysics; in Man and Morals (New York 1961) he sketched the outlines of a system of ethics. He wrote numerous articles in reviews and symposia and was well known as a lecturer.

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Hawkins, Denis John Bernard

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