Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [aquinas]

[St. Thomas Aquinas][1] (1225–1274), scholastic philosopher, Catholic theologian, and most famous commentator on Aristotle. [Thomism][2] is his school of thought. [1]: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aquinas [2]: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14698b.htm

1
vote
0answers
51 views

Principle of proportionate causality - what are virtual and eminent causes?

I'm reading Edward Feser's book Five Proofs of the Existence of God. On pages 32-33 he introduces the principle of proportionate causality (PPC). I'm having trouble understanding what precisely ...
8
votes
2answers
109 views

What does Aquinas mean in this passage from Summa Theologica responding to the claim that goodness is prior to being?

In his article on goodness in general, Summa Theologica I q. 5 a. 2, Aquinas considers the question of whether goodness is prior in idea to being. He is responding to the following objection (arg. 1): ...
3
votes
5answers
310 views

Why must the first mover be unmovable?

In the first way of Aquinas it is proved that there exists an unmoved mover (or unchanged changer or even better, actualizer which was not actualized). It is often claimed that God is pure act without ...
3
votes
3answers
151 views

Can potentiality be used to dispel Parmenides's monism?

Can we say that beings are different precisely because this being has this potencies and that being has that potencies? Is the (only) thing differentiating two different things their set of potencies? ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

What are the best arguments for the defense of the “principle of motion”?

How would someone (I would love to hear how Aquinas and/or Aristotle would) defend the principle of motion (that is, whatever is changed is changed by another or only actual being can actualize ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

What does Aquinas mean when he refers to things being “identical numerically” or “specifically identical” with things?

In his discussion on the simplicity of God in Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas considers the question of "whether God enters into the composition of other things": Objection 1: It seems that God ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

What is the definition of 'will' according to Thomas Aquinas?

His definition of faith is an act of the intellect (mind) turned on by the will. But what is his definition of 'Will'? Is the will also an act of the mind or just moren an instinct/desire?
4
votes
2answers
88 views

How to understand the identity of matter in Aristotelianism?

I am currently reading "Real Essentialism" written by David Oderberg. He discusses the issue of substance individuation. The principle of individuation is matter. Now if we have Plato and Socrates, ...
4
votes
4answers
171 views

Why does Thomas Aquinas say that “in every composite there must be potentiality and actuality”?

In the chapter in Summa Theologica on the simplicity of God, Aquinas says the following in arguing that God is not composite: ... in every composite there must be potentiality and actuality; but ...
3
votes
2answers
186 views

Aquinas on the role of consciousness in women

My question is on exactly what comments Aquinas has made on consciousness in women. This is because I believe he said we all have God-given reason as we are made in the image of God. Except he also ...
6
votes
2answers
318 views

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, do “being” (ens) and “truth” (verum) differ?

In his Disputed Questions on Truth q. 1 a. 1 arg. 3, St. Thomas Aquinas presents an argument against "that the true (verum) is exactly the same as being (ens)": 3. Things which differ conceptually [...
3
votes
2answers
270 views

Was Aquinas a foundationalist?

Foundationalism is, generally speaking, the belief that a group of undoubtable beliefs 'ground,' or 'justify' other beliefs. As of late, foundationalism has fallen out of favor in many different ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Does Aquinas believe the first principle of human action is self-love as friendship or as concupiscence?

Aquinas states in the Summa Theologiae, First Part of the Second Part, Question 1, Article 5 the following: ... just as in the process of reasoning, the principle is that which is naturally known, ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

What is Aquinas' argument for humans having a nature desire to live forever?

In the Summa Contra Gentiles, Thomas Aquinas presents many arguments for the immortality of the soul. Here is one of them: [13] A further argument. It is impossible for natural desire to be in ...
3
votes
0answers
73 views

Is a Thomist possible modal proposition a non-judicative proposition?

According to Thomist philosophy and logic, is a possible modal proposition (either divisive or compound) a non-judicative proposition? It would seem to me that the other three modal propositions (...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

What is Malebranche's explanation for the source of human error?

An omnibenevolent God would not deceive us or cause us to be in error, thus the gifts from cannot be the source of error. Rather sin confuses our faculties and prevents us from using them as they ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

How are “causal” loops avoided in Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics?

If we take Aquinas' first way, for example, the inference that a chain of movers exist, is readily made, but no defense for this assumption is given. Usually the argument is interpreted so, that all ...
2
votes
2answers
699 views

How can Aquinas' argument from motion to mover be reconciled with Newton's law of inertia?

A common objection to Thomas Aquinas' first way, the argument from motion (which means rather something like change), is that the second premise is flawed: It is certain, and evidence to our ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How can souls and angels be pure forms if only matter undergoes change?

In Thomas Aquinas' philosophy, angels are conceived as pure forms without any matter, like God, but contrary to God they still possess potentiality. Although there is no composition of matter and ...
2
votes
2answers
664 views

Thomas of Aquino vs. William of Ockham

Thomas of Aquinas mentions Aristotle´s views at length in his writings. It seems that Aristotle who I understand did not teach about an intervening God, is nevertheless considered a skilled mechanics ...
2
votes
1answer
354 views

What is the similarity and difference in the way Aristotle and Tomas Aquinas defining the concept of “Analogy of Being”?

As is well known to us all, "Analogy of Being" is a very important term created by the Scholasticism of St. Thomas Aquinas. While this term cannot be found in Aristotle' original book,and the similiar ...
6
votes
2answers
688 views

How can the soul be a form in Aristotle's metaphysics but continue to exist after the body's destruction?

Many authors, especially in introductory books, seem to characterize Aristotle's forms as some kind of structure or organizational feature of matter, which seems to be compatible with a reductionist ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Looking for a term about the structure of an argument

In Aquinas's Summa Theologica I q. 76 a. 2, "Whether the intellectual principle is multiplied according to the number of bodies?," he begins his argument that there must many intellects by shortly ...
2
votes
0answers
237 views

How would Nietzsche argue against classical theism?

Completely out of curiosity, how would someone like Nietzsche, let's use him as an example, argue against Aquinas's metaphysical argument for classical theism. I can't seem to find any references in ...
3
votes
2answers
246 views

Why did Aquinas distinguish his first three “cosmological argument” for God?

The first three of Aquinas' Five Ways seem to be very similar to each other. They can be generalized into one argument and they all rely on the impossibility on infinite regress and argued that God is ...
4
votes
3answers
101 views

How does the removal of an impeding cause generate an effect?

How does Aristotle or a medieval scholastic commentator like St. Thomas Aquinas explain how one cause can impede the action of another cause? Or, conversely, how does the removal of an impeding cause ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

This question became a symbol for the silly and pointless sophistry of medieval scholastics. But as modern scholarship has shown scholastics was not such a thoughtless desert as some of its ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the agent intellect according to Avicenna and Aquinas?

Avicenna and Thomas Aquinas seem to generally interpret Aristotle in different ways, and I am trying to understand the differences. Specifically, what are the differences between Avicenna's view and ...
2
votes
3answers
369 views

According to the Natural Law, should poetry rhyme?

I usually ask questions like this on Christianity.SE, but I've got a feeling it's better suited here. And just to be clear, I want only Natural Law (Aristotle, Aquinas, etc) answers pointing to ...
1
vote
2answers
647 views

Why is Being not a genus?

Aquinas wrote: Being is not a genus, since it is not predicated univocally, but analogically Genus is a term that is used in Aristotles Organon; as is predicate and I think univocal and analogy. ...
3
votes
3answers
107 views

Does “ens materiale” = “ens sensible”? If so, why?

As far as I know, Aristotelianism and Thomism state that a material being is always potentially sensible. For example, there are microorganisms that we cannot see with the naked eye. But if we use a ...
2
votes
3answers
315 views

How can “essentialism” ever make sense?

So, searching for J. L. Mackies "argument from queerness", I stumbled upon this blog entry. Now, Mr. Feser seems to be a quite... controversial figure, to say the least, but please let's resist the ...
7
votes
2answers
223 views

Did Thomas Aquinas state randomness as a prerequisite of free will?

I was told the other day that in one work on free will, Thomas Aquinas suggested that some randomness / non-determinism was a prerequisite for its existence. Does any one know where he expressed this ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Is transubstantiation faithfully Aristotelian?

Transubstantiation is a concept that Roman Catholic scholastics, most notably Thomas Aquinas, developed for the doctrine of Communion. Catholics state that when a priest blesses the elements of bread ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Are analogical middle terms sufficient for a valid demonstration?

William A. Wallace, O.P., in “Thomism and the Quantum Enigma,” The Thomist 61 (1997): 455–468, claims that analogical middle terms are sufficient for a valid demonstration and that this is a ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

What do necessity and possibility mean in Aquinas' Third Way argument for the existence of God?

In his famous Summa Theologica, the Scholastic theologian Thomas Aquinas presents Five Ways to demonstrate the existence of God. Here is Aquinas' Third Way, the argument from contigency: The third ...
0
votes
0answers
142 views

Truth in Aquinas metaphysics

From what I'm reading, Aquinas distinguished truth in two senses: Ontological truth: It's the adaptation(adequation ?) of the 'created being' to God's understanding, whereby it fulfils that for ...
1
vote
4answers
334 views

Aquinas' Third Way: Why Argue For Only One Necessary Entity?

I came across this description of Aquinas' third way: Third, he argues that if there were no eternal, necessary, and immortal being, if everything had a possibility of not being, of ceasing to be, ...
6
votes
4answers
978 views

If God is pure act of being, where does the essence of being come from?

According to the Thomistic view in Ontology, essence and 'the act of being' (I'm translating from a romance language) are different, in which 'to be' is the act received by the essence, which is the ...
2
votes
2answers
161 views

We know substances by means of their accidents?

Where does Aristotle or St. Thomas Aquinas say we know substances by means of their accidents? For example: To know the substance of an apple, I first have to sense its quantity and qualities: shape, ...
2
votes
3answers
160 views

Does Kant distinguish different types of “pure reason”?

Does Kant distinguish different types of "pure reason"s? Viz., is there a human "pure reason," angelic "pure reason," Godly "pure reason," etc.? (cf. this comment) This comment claims "it's quite ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Why must objects be moved by other objects in Aquinas' First Way argument for God?

In his famous Summa Theologica, the Scholastic theologian Thomas Aquinas presents Five Ways to demonstrate the existence of God. Here is Aquinas' First Way, the argument from motion: The first and ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

What does Dawkins suggest is the main flaw in these three arguments from Aquinas?

Source: p 100-101, The God Delusion, By Richard Dawkins 1. The Unmoved Mover. Nothing moves without a prior mover. This leads us to an infinite regress, from which the only escape is God. ...
4
votes
3answers
348 views

How did Aristotle or St. Thomas resolve the liar's paradox?

How did Aristotle or St. Thomas Aquinas (such as in one of his commentaries on Aristotle) resolve the liar's paradox?