David Braine (philosopher)

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David Braine (1940 – 17 February 2017[1]) was a British analytic philosopher with interests in analytic Philosophy of religion and Metaphysics, who sought to marry the techniques and insights of analytical philosophy and Phenomenology to the Metaphysics of classical Thomism. His The Reality of Time and the Existence of God set out to prove the existence of God from the fact that the world enjoys continuity in time. He argued that nothing in the world could be the cause of this continuity, whence God came into the picture.

His book The Human Person: Animal and Spirit attempts to provide a philosophical analysis of human beings which makes life after death possible.[2]

Due to a car accident in 1977, he became paralysed from the chest down.[1] Braine was opposed to the legalisation of euthanasia, and based some of that opposition on his own personal experience of living with a disability.[3]

Braine was an important, if insufficiently well-known, contributor to the renaissance of analytical Philosophy of religion.


  • David Braine, (1983), Medical Ethics and Human Life, Palladio.
  • David Braine, (1988), The Reality of Time and the Existence of God, OUP.
  • David Braine, (1992, 1993), The Human Person: Animal and Spirit, University of Notre Dame Press, Duckworth.

______________ (1994) University of Notre Dame Press, paperback edition.

  • David Braine, (2014), Language and Human Understanding: The Roots of Creativity in Speech and Thought, The Catholic University of America Press.
  • David Braine and Harry Lesser (eds.), (1988), Ethics, Technology and Medicine, Avebury.


Papers in Metaphysics[edit]

  • David Braine, (1971), 'The Nature of Knowledge.', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 72.
  • David Braine, (1972), 'Varieties of Necessity.', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume, 46.

Papers in the Philosophy of Mind[edit]

  • David Braine, (1994) 'Reply to David Cockburn's Discussion', Religious Studies.
  • David Braine, (2002) 'The Active and Potential Intellects: Aquinas as a Philosopher in his own right.' In John Haldane (ed.), Mind, Metaphysics, and Value in the Thomistic and Analytical Traditions. University of Notre Dame Press.

Papers in Ethics[edit]

  • David Braine, (1981), 'Why Abortion?', in Light in the Darkness, Unity Press, Mowbray.
  • David Braine, (1988), 'Human animality: its relevance to the shape of ethics.' In David Braine and Harry Lesser (eds.) Ethics, Technology and Medicine, Avebury.
  • David Braine, (1988), 'Human life: its secular sacrosanctness.' In David Braine and Harry Lesser (eds.) Ethics, Technology and Medicine, Avebury.
  • David Braine, (1994), 'The Human and the Inhuman in Medicine; Review of Issues concerning Reproductive Technology.' In Luke Gormally (ed.) Moral Truth and Moral Tradition, Four Courts, Dublin.

Papers in the Philosophy of Religion[edit]

  • David Braine, (1994), 'God, Eternity and Time', Evangelical Quarterly 66.
  • David Braine, (1998), 'Cosmological Arguments', in Brian Davies (ed.), Philosophy of Religion, Cassell.
  • David Braine, (1999), 'Philosophy and Cultures', Reflections on Fides et Ratio, no. 14, English trans. in L'Osservatore Romano (weekly English edition), 4 August.
  • David Braine, (2006), 'Aquinas, God and Being'. In Craig Paterson and Matthew Pugh (eds.) Analytical Thomism: Traditions in Dialogue (Ashgate).

Papers in Theology[edit]

  • 'Observations on the Trinity: a reply to Professor Lochman.' 1976. Theology, 1976.
  • 'The Place of the Virgin Mary in Dogmatics.' 1984. Scottish Journal of Theology.
  • 'The Inner Jewishness of St John's Gospel as the clue to the Inner Jewishness of Jesus.' 1998. Studien zum Neuen Testament und Seiner Umwelt, 13: 101–157.
  • 'What Makes a Christology into a Christian Christology?' 1996. New Blackfriars 70.


  • David Braine, (1968), Review of Anselm's discovery: a re-examination of the ontological proof for God's existence by Charles Hartshorne. (La Salle, Open Court Publishing Co., USA, 1965) in Mind.
  • David Braine, (1994), Review of From Existence to God by Barry Miller (Routledge, London, UK, (1992) in New Blackfriars 75: 228–30.
  • David Braine, (1994), Review of Medicine, Money and Morals by Mark A. Rodwin (OUP, New York City, 1993) in 16 Sep issue of The Times Higher Education Supplement.
  • David Braine, (2000), Review of Redirecting Philosophy: Reflections on the Nature of Knowledge from Plato to Lonergan by Hugo A. Meynell, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998 in International Philosophical Quarterly, 40.


  1. ^ a b Fimister, Alan (27 March 2017). "Obituary: David Braine, leading Catholic philosopher who battled disability". Catholic Herald. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  2. ^ John W. Cooper (2000). Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism-dualism Debate. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. xix. ISBN 978-0-8028-4600-6. David Braine uses contemporary philosophical tools to articulate a concept of humans as language-using animals that is a holistic alternative both to substance dualism and materialism and yet accounts for the possibility of personal transcendence of biological death. 
  3. ^ Braine, David (11 May 2010). "End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill" (PDF). Retrieved 1 April 2017. 

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