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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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?
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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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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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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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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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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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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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If the universe has a beginning does that prove God exists?

It is curious to note that a eminent Physicist like Stephen Hawking thinks the universe has a beginning. This has some rather startling Religious implications You can find the link here: http://www....
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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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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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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 ...