Quite possibly the best opening line . . .

Thomist Realism by Gilson. . . to any modern philosophy book:

After passing twenty centuries as the very model of those self-evident facts that only a madman would ever dream of doubting, the existence of the external world finally received its metaphysical demonstration from Descartes.

—Étienne Gilson, Thomist Realist and The Critique of Knowledge, trans. Mark A. Wauck (1986; repr. San Francisco: Ignatius, 1986), 27.

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