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

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Whether under Thomistic metaphysics the human embryo (which not a human being) and the later fetus (which is a human being) are one or two entities

In Summa Theologica a human being is a biologically human body with a rational soul. An early human embryo is not a human being. At some point when the fetus is sufficiently developed God creates a ...
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Why real distinction in God gives act and potency composition

So Thomists believe that there are no real distinction between perfections in God as He is pure act and He isn't composed in any manner. But Im not getting how real distinctions between perfections ...
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What passage in Aquinas's Summa does this refer to?

From Chapter 18 of R. A. Lafferty's historical novel Okla Hannali: There is an interesting question in the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas and also in an old science fiction story, the name of which I ...
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How does the Scholastic concept of synderesis relate to rationalism?

In Summa Theologiae I q. 79 a. 12 "Whether synderesis is a special power of the soul distinct from the others?" co., Thomas Aquinas describes "synderesis" as a habit to acquire ...
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When the soul is with the body, does the soul change the body, or does it make the body as perfect as possible?

I would be grateful if you could answer the question above. When the soul is with the body, does the soul change the body or does it make the body perfect [or should I say that as perfect as the body ...
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Thomism: Has any Thomist created an ontology of nouns?

English philosopher John Wilkins wrote a book outlining a universal language, and included in it was an outline of a noun classification system for classifying all objects (both physical and abstract) ...
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Is Aquinas' ethics a case of a supererogation-first system?

Section 2.2 of the SEP article on modal epistemology differentiates possibility-first from necessity-first systems. Per modal logic, one can take these as metaphysical readings of the order-of-...
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Can someone explain the terms "virtual cause" and "eminent cause"?

I would highly appreciate it if you could explain the two terms virtual and eminent. Please also refer me to a book or an article where this issue has been discussed, preferably extensively. This ...
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In Thomas Aquinas's Argument from Degrees, how does he mean that fire is maximally hot and the cause of all heat?

Thomas Aquinas is famous for having made 5 arguments for the existence of God. The weirdest of them is arguably the Argument from Degrees. To illustrate his point, he claimed, if I correctly ...
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Is the premise of the Thomas Aquinas'es Argument from Degrees contradictory to the Third Law of Thermodynamics?

Thomas Aquinas is famous for making his 5 arguments for the existence of God. Arguably the weirdest of them is the Argument from Degrees. As far as I understand it, the basic premise of the Argument ...
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Is obedience necessary for friendship?

Is obedience necessary for friendship? Aristotle doesn't speak of obedience in his discussion of friendship in Ethics bk. 9, but he does speak of a sort of friendship: concord, which St. Thomas says ...
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What difference does Aquinas's 'actus essendi' really make?

According to Wikipedia, Aristotle didn't have the notion of actus essendi. In fact, the contribution of Aquinas to the philosophy of being is precisely that he discovered that all Aristotelian acts ...
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In what sense is the polis/city self-sufficient for St. Thomas Aquinas?

De Regno cap. 2 n. 14: Now since man must live in a group, because he is not sufficient unto himself to procure the necessities of life were he to remain solitary, it follows that a society will be ...
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For St. Thomas Aquinas, is speaking what is true with the intent to deceive a immoral?

For Saint Thomas Aquinas, the essence of lying (lying is always immoral for him) has nothing to do with the intention to deceive (Summa Theologica II-II q. 110 a. 1 co.): Accordingly if these three ...
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Seeking insights on the origin of the term "Peripatetic Axiom"

I have been researching the origins of the "Peripatetic Axiom," which states that nothing is in the mind that was not first in the senses. While I understand that this principle was first ...
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Where did Aristotle say that a relation is an accident?

I believe Aristotle listed "relations" as one of the accidents. I am in need of a citation (or at least the name of the work) where I can find this in Aristotle. Appreciate the help! A bit ...
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What does the phrase "predicated of" mean in the context of scholastic theology?

In Summa Theologica's article on "Whether God is altogether simple?" (and I believe in some other locations), Aquinas regularly uses the phrase "predicated of." For example: The ...
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Why is natural law ethics based on what happens in most cases? (St. Thomas Aquinas)

Summa Theologica II-II q. 154 a. 2: Nor does it matter if a man having knowledge of a woman by fornication, make sufficient provision for the upbringing of the child: because a matter that comes ...
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Why did Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas believe that the fetus only receives a rational soul at a later stage of pregnancy?

What is different about a fetus at this later stage to deserve a rational soul?
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How can our country be our "principle of being"? (St. Thomas Aquinas)

Summa Theologica II-II q. 101 a. 1: In the second place, the principles of our being and government (nostri esse et gubernationis principium) are our parents and our country (patria), that have given ...
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St. Thomas Aquinas on the purposes of punishment

"The punishments of the present life are not sought for their own sake, because this is not the time of final retribution; but they are sought insofar as they are medicinal, aiding either the ...
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Why cannot man be his own judge (St. Thomas Aquinas)?

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II-II q. 64 a. 5 ad 2: One who exercises public authority may lawfully put to death an evil-doer, since he can pass judgment on him. But no man is judge of ...
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What is the difference between "actus elicitus" and "actus imperatus"?

I have encountered the distinction between actus elicitus and actus imperatus, in the context of the will, in St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica I-II q. 1 a. 1 ("Whether it belongs to man to ...
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How to understand Prime matter?

In the Aristotle-Aquinas tradition prime matter is the thing that underlies all other things in the world. It is described as completely indeterminate-pure potentiality, it was not created and cannot ...
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Question about the Thomistic view of God's attributes

According to Thomism, God's essence must be identical with his attributes, lest God has real attributes he is dependent upon for his being and "compose" his essence, compromising God's ...
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How do proponents of the New Natural Law Theory (NNLT), such as John Finnis & Germain Grisez, define natural law?

I looked in the main books of NNLT, namely Natural Law and Natural Rights by John Finnis and The Way of the Lord Jesus by Germain Grisez, but I did not find a definition of natural law.
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In which part of his treatise on law does Thomas Aquinas provide rules for ranking basic goods?

I know that it provides such rules as I read it in an article but there was no reference to this statement.
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Is John Finnis' list of basic goods different in the two editions (1980, 2011) of his book Natural Law and Natural Rights?

I can't find it in the first edition but here is the list of the second edition : life, knowledge, play, aesthetic experience, sociability (friendship), practical reason and religion. On what page can ...
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Existence being analytic of God vs. God being analytic of existence

Elsewhere, in light of the idea that understanding is not a species of knowledge but an epistemic genus parallel to knowledge, and then in terms of an understanding logic, I asked whether knowledge of ...
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How does hylomorphism solve mind-body and form-matter problem? How do they interact?

So, I have been reading Aristotle and Aquinas for quite a while, but their nuanced terms make their philosophy hardly graspable. It is not clear to me how do they solve mind-body and form-matter ...
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How did the existence-essence distinction help Aquinas explain finite being?

In a tortuously compressed passage, Frederick Copleston writes [Aquinas] adopted the (originally) Platonic notion of participation, [but] he did not employ it in a manner which would conflict with ...
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How again can 2 actions be morally different when they have exactly the same effect (if they can)?

(i have something to ask on meta stackexchange or maths meta stackexchange, but I want to ask a philosophy thing first. In fact, I may not even need to ask on meta stackexchange after this.) I could ...
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Grim Reaper Paradox Objections

I find the argument from first cause, contingency, and actualization to be emboldened by the very compelling thought experiment known as the Grim Reaper Paradox. For those unaware, Alexander Pruss and ...
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If Actus Purus is true, how can God be eternally creator?

If the Actus Purus of God, the complete perfection, is true, if God has no potentiality, and He was always what He is, then God was a creator from eternity. But God could not be eternally creator if ...
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How is a mere substance different from an "individual substance"?

The Scholastic philosophers defined a person as "an individual substance of a rational nature" (e.g., Boethius, Aquinas). I understand how an individual could not be a substance (it would be ...
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Principle of proportionate causality → the most eminent cause is intelligent?

In Five Proofs of the Existence of God, Edward Feser mentions the principle of proportionate causality: whatever is in some effect must in some way or other be in the cause, even if not always in the ...
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According to Aquinas, what is the relationship between the substantial form of a bodily being and its act of existing, ie. its esse?

Consider, for example, an existing bodily being. Because it is bodily, we know that it is composed of prime matter and substantial form. Also, because the bodily being is existing (not just made up in ...
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A simple way to explain the argument from efficient causes for the existence of god according to Aquinas? [closed]

According to Aquinas but not originally, I'm not exactly sure whose theory it was that Aquinas reworded.
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Where does Aquinas get his "logical-metaphysical presuppositions"?

In the Summa, Aquinas frequently invokes (for lack of a better term) certain "logical-metaphysical presuppositions." Here are two examples drawn from I-II, qq. 90-91: "that which is ...
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Why does Thomas Aquinas conclude that the First Mover is God?

It appears to me that the First Mover of any motion must not move only with respect to the change it is producing, but otherwise could be moved in a way unrelated to what it is changing, or moved ...
Internet User's user avatar
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How do Aquinas' and Aristotle's mixed regimes differ?

Both Aristotle and Aquinas seem to subscribe to the idea of a mixed constitution as the form of government best disposed to the common good. By "mixed constitution", I mean mixing between ...
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How can I change Aquinas's Fifth Way to prove there is not one ultimate first designer?

My philosophy textbook was asking to make a reconstruction of his argument to avoid his logical error where he basically says that there is 1 being that makes sure that natural things do their ...
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How is Socrates's daimon related to one of Aquinas's laws/views of virtue and justice

In Plato's Apology of Socrates, Socrates talks about having a daimon, a divine being/voice that tells him of things not to do. For Aquinas, what would this be?
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Parfit's mountain

Let Parfit's mountain be a moral theory based on combining previous moral theories in a certain way. (Readers of the book referenced will be familiar with the form of this way. I read part of it, ...
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How can a soul have parts if it's the unifying principle of the person? (Aquinas)

Context: Aquinas The problem is something like this: for the parts of the human body to be 'one', they must have a form — this form is the principle of the body's unity. But if the soul itself has ...
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Does the principle of double-effect apply to supererogatory acts?

Does the principle of double-effect apply to supererogatory acts, or only to acts one is obliged to perform?
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How can God be in the genus of efficient causes?

In Summa Theologica I q. 3 a. 5 "Whether God is contained in a genus?", Aquinas says that if God were in a genus, it would be the genus of "being," but being cannot be the genus of anything (cf. ...
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What does St.Thomas Aquinas teach about state of the univerese after renewal in Summa Theologica?

In Summa Theologica suppl.q.91, St.Thomas teaches clearly about the state of the world after its renewal. In article 5 of the same question I said above, he says plants and animals will not remain in ...
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Are you a 'body' according to Thomas Aquinas?

Usually we say that we 'have' a body than that we 'are' a body. Essentially we are human beings but is it wrong to deny that we are bodies according to Thomas?
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Identifying a contradiction - to demonstrate hylemorphism

I am trying to create a mind map that shows the shortest possible logical path of necessary entailments from the first principles of reason & nature, leading to the basic principles of scholastic ...
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