Josef Pieper


Josef Pieper (May 4, 1904- November 6, 1997) was a German Catholic philosopher, at the forefront of the Neo-Thomistic wave in twentieth century Catholic philosophy. Among his most notable works are The Four Cardinal Virtues, Leisure, the Basis of Culture, The Philosophical Act, and Guide to Thomas Aquinas (published in England as Introduction to Thomas Aquinas). He translated C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, into German.

His views are rooted primarily in the Scholasticism of Thomas Aquinas and in the teachings of Plato. In 60 years of creative work as a philosopher and writer, Pieper explicated the wisdom tradition of the West in clear language, and identified its enduring relevance.

A recent champion of Pieper's philosophy in the English-speaking world is James V. Schall, S.J., Professor of Political Philosophy at Georgetown University. His many books contain innumerable references to Pieper, particularly in his Another Sort of Learning and The Life of the Mind.