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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...