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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How do Aquinas and Aristotle's mixed regime 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 desinger?

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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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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How does Buddhist soteriology link to the first cause argument?

Aquinas argued that the observable order of causation is not self-explanatory. It can only be accounted for by the existence of a first cause; this first cause, however, must not be considered ...
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Does the act-potency distinction lead to Meinong's jungle?

The Aristotelian-Thomistic distinction of act-potency is, among other things, supposed to solve Parmenides' paradoxes of change. Since change requires something non-existent popping into existence ex ...
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Is classical theism 'spiritually' equivalent to atheism?

Classical theists believe that God is simple, in the sense described by the doctrine of divine simplicity. God has no parts, has no distinct essences, God's essence is God's existence, God is pure ...
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Where did Suárez say the principle of non-contradiction does not apply to the Trinity?

Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., says, in Le Sens du Mystère et le Clair-Obscur Intellectuel: Nature et Surnaturel p. 128 fn. 1 (Engl. transl. p. 142 fn. 41): St. Thomas never would have ...
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According to Aquinas, why doesn't God need a cause but everything else does? Why would God resolve the problem of infinite regress?

Do you think the explanation for the universe could be something physical or does it have to be metaphysical?
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What should you do in this situation?

You've been on a cruise for two days when there's an accident that forces everyone on board to abandon ship. During the evacuation, one of the boats is damaged, leaving it with a hole that fills it ...
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What are all attributes of God and what is the manner of knowing them according to Aquinas?

What are all of the divine attributes, and in which way is each of them predicted of God (univocal, equivocal or analogical way; if in an analogical way, what kind of analogy)? An answer should be ...
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Did Aquinas or Aristotle discuss what happens to the man when he feels bored?

Question: Did Aquinas or Aristotle discuss what happens to the man when he feels bored? What do they say about it? How do they explain that feeling? I coupled Aristotle and Aquinas in this question ...
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How did Suarez defend objectivity of human knowledge (cognition)?

It seems that Aquinas (and the first scholastics) founded objectivity of knowledge in the unity of intellect and the thing known. Namely, the intellect receives the form of the thing and literally ...
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Does St. Thomas Aquinas' cosmological argument from contingency assume that an infinite regress of contingent things is impossible?

The Third Way: Argument from Possibility and Necessity (Reductio argument) We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, that come into being and go out of being i.e., ...
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Divine simplicity vs. divine aseity

Although the concept of divine simplicity is so poetic that I almost wish I could believe it, as it turns out, I can't believe it. Here's my argument: [Assumption for reductio] The creatrix is a se ...
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Do those who deny a univocal understanding of “God is good” conflate sense and connotation?

Several theologians following Aquinas have said that when we say things like "God is good" that this must mean something different to when we call other things good; this is called analogical use of ...
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How to resolve this argument against possibility of change?

Let's say that some being A is changed to being B (example: lion burned to ashes, cold metal turned to hot metal, etc.). Thesis. It is impossible that being A is changed to being B. Proof. Suppose ...
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How do Thomists justify “same causes in the same circumstances produce always the same effects.” in light of Quantum Mechanics?

One of the Scholastic axioms says: 7.7 The same causes in the same circumstances produce always the same effects. How do Thomists justify that axiom when in Quantum Mechanics we see a different ...
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How do Thomists prove that: “Everything that exists must exist by something.”?

One variation of principle of sufficient reason that Thomists use is: Everything that exists must exist by something. How do they prove such a statement? In particular, why can not something just ...
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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 ...
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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): ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 [...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 (...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What are the similarities and differences in the ways Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas define the “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's original work, the similar ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How does one cause impede the action of another cause?

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 ...