Thomism is the philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work
and thought of
Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), philosopher, theologian,
and Doctor of the Church. In philosophy, Aquinas' disputed questions
and commentaries on
Aristotle are perhaps his most well-known works.
In theology, his
Summa Theologica is one of the most influential
documents in medieval theology and continues to be the central point
of reference for the philosophy and theology of the Catholic Church.
In the 1914 encyclical Doctoris Angelici
Pope Pius X
Pope Pius X cautioned that
the teachings of the Church cannot be understood without the basic
philosophical underpinnings of Aquinas' major theses:
The capital theses in the philosophy of St. Thomas are not to be
placed in the category of opinions capable of being debated one way or
another, but are to be considered as the foundations upon which the
whole science of natural and divine things is based; if such
principles are once removed or in any way impaired, it must
necessarily follow that students of the sacred sciences will
ultimately fail to perceive so much as the meaning of the words in
which the dogmas of divine revelation are proposed by the magistracy
of the Church.
Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council described Aquinas' system as the "Perennial
1 Thomistic philosophy
1.2 24 Thomistic Theses
Existence of God
2.6 View of God
3.4 Free will
5.1 Influence on Jewish thought
6 Connection with Jewish thought
7 Scholarly perspectives
7.1 Individual thinkers
7.1.1 René Descartes
7.1.2 G. K. Chesterton
8.1 First Thomistic School
8.2 1325 to the Council of Trent
8.3 Council of Trent to Aeterni Patris
Aeterni Patris to Vatican II
9 Recent schools and interpretations
9.1 Scholastic Thomism
9.2 Cracow Circle Thomism
9.3 Existential Thomism
9.4 River Forest Thomism
9.5 Transcendental Thomism
9.6 Lublin Thomism
9.7 Analytical Thomism
10 See also
12 External links
Thomas Aquinas believed that truth is to be accepted no matter where
it is found. His doctrines draw from Greek, Roman, Jewish,
philosophers. Specifically, he was a realist (i.e., he, unlike the
skeptics, believed that the world can be known as it is). He largely
followed Aristotelian terminology and metaphysics, and wrote
comprehensive commentaries on Aristotle, often affirming Aristotle's
views with independent arguments. Aquinas respectfully referred to
Aristotle simply as "the Philosopher". He also adhered to some
neoplatonic principles, for example that "it is absolutely true that
there is first something which is essentially being and essentially
good, which we call God, ... [and that] everything can be called good
and a being, inasmuch as it participates in it by way of a certain
24 Thomistic Theses
With the decree Postquam sanctissimus of 27 July 1914, Pope Pius X
declared that 24 theses formulated by "teachers from various
institutions ... clearly contain the principles and more important
thoughts" of Aquinas. Principal contributors to the Church's official
statement of the "24 Theses" of
Thomism include Dominican philosopher
Edouard Hugon of the Pontifical University of Saint
Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum and Jesuit philosopher theologian Guido
Mattiussi of the Pontifical Gregorian University.
See also: Ontology
Potency and Act divide being in such a way that whatever is, is either
pure act, or of necessity it is composed of potency and act as primary
and intrinsic principles.
Since act is perfection, it is not limited except through a potency
which itself is a capacity for perfection. Hence in any order in which
an act is pure act, it will only exist, in that order, as a unique and
unlimited act. But whenever it is finite and manifold, it has entered
into a true composition with potency.
Consequently, the one God, unique and simple, alone subsists in
absolute being. All other things that participate in being have a
nature whereby their being is restricted; they are constituted of
essence and being, as really distinct principles.
A thing is called a being because of "esse".
God and creature are not
called beings univocally, nor wholly equivocally, but analogically, by
an analogy both of attribution and of proportionality.
In every creature there is also a real composition of the subsisting
subject and of added secondary forms, i.e. accidental forms. Such
composition cannot be understood unless being is really received in an
essence distinct from it.
Besides the absolute accidents there is also the relative accident,
relation. Although by reason of its own character relation does not
signify anything inhering in another, it nevertheless often has a
cause in things, and hence a real entity distinct from the subject.
A spiritual creature is wholly simple in its essence. Yet there is
still a twofold composition in the spiritual creature, namely, that of
the essence with being, and that of the substance with accidents.
However, the corporeal creature is composed of act and potency even in
its very essence. These act and potency in the order of essence are
designated by the names form and matter respectively.
See also: Cosmology
Neither the matter nor the form have being of themselves, nor are they
produced or corrupted of themselves, nor are they included in any
category otherwise than reductively, as substantial principles.
Although extension in quantitative parts follows upon a corporeal
nature, nevertheless it is not the same for a body to be a substance
and for it to be quantified. For of itself substance is indivisible,
not indeed as a point is indivisible, but as that which falls outside
the order of dimensions is indivisible. But quantity, which gives the
substance extension, really differs from the substance and is truly an
The principle of individuation, i.e., of numerical distinction of one
individual from another with the same specific nature, is matter
designated by quantity. Thus in pure spirits there cannot be more than
one individual in the same specific nature.
By virtue of a body's quantity itself, the body is circumscriptively
in a place, and in one place alone circumscriptively, no matter what
power might be brought to bear.
Bodies are divided into two groups; for some are living and others are
devoid of life. In the case of the living things, in order that there
be in the same subject an essentially moving part and an essentially
moved part, the substantial form, which is designated by the name
soul, requires an organic disposition, i.e. heterogeneous parts.
See also: Psychology
Souls in the vegetative and sensitive orders cannot subsist of
themselves, nor are they produced of themselves. Rather, they are no
more than principles whereby the living thing exists and lives; and
since they are wholly dependent upon matter, they are incidentally
corrupted through the corruption of the composite.
On the other hand, the human soul subsists of itself. When it can be
infused into a sufficiently disposed subject, it is created by God. By
its very nature, it is incorruptible and immortal.
This rational soul is united to the body in such a manner that it is
the only substantial form of the body. By virtue of his soul a man is
a man, an animal, a living thing, a body, a substance and a being.
Therefore, the soul gives man every essential degree of perfection;
moreover, it gives the body a share in the act of being whereby it
From the human soul there naturally issue forth powers pertaining to
two orders, the organic and the non-organic. The organic powers, among
which are the senses, have the composite as their subject. The
non-organic powers have the soul alone as their subject. Hence, the
intellect is a power intrinsically independent of any bodily organ.
Intellectuality necessarily follows upon immateriality, and
furthermore, in such manner that the further the distance from matter,
the higher the degree of intellectuality. Any being is the adequate
object of understanding in general. But in the present state of union
of soul and body, quantities abstracted from the material conditions
of individuality are the proper object of the human intellect.
Therefore, we receive knowledge from sensible things. But since
sensible things are not actually intelligible, in addition to the
intellect, which formally understands, an active power must be
acknowledged in the soul, which power abstracts intelligible likeness
or species from sense images in the imagination.
Through these intelligible likenesses or species we directly know
universals, i.e. the natures of things. We attain to singulars by our
senses, and also by our intellect, when it beholds the sense images.
But we ascend to knowledge of spiritual things by analogy.
The will does not precede the intellect but follows upon it. The will
necessarily desires that which is presented to it as a good in every
respect satisfying the appetite. But it freely chooses among the many
goods that are presented to it as desirable according to a changeable
judgment or evaluation. Consequently, the choice follows the final
practical judgment. But the will is the cause of it being the final
See also: God
We do not perceive by an immediate intuition that
God exists, nor do
we prove it a priori. But we do prove it a posteriori, i.e., from the
things that have been created, following an argument from the effects
to the cause: namely, from things which are moved and cannot be the
adequate source of their motion, to a first unmoved mover; from the
production of the things in this world by causes subordinated to one
another, to a first uncaused cause; from corruptible things which
equally might be or not be, to an absolutely necessary being; from
things which more or less are, live, and understand, according to
degrees of being, living and understanding, to that which is maximally
understanding, maximally living and maximally a being; finally, from
the order of all things, to a separated intellect which has ordered
and organized things, and directs them to their end.
The metaphysical motion of the Divine
Essence is correctly expressed
by saying that it is identified with the exercised actuality of its
own being, or that it is subsistent being itself. And this is the
reason for its infinite and unlimited perfection.
By reason of the very purity of His being,
God is distinguished from
all finite beings. Hence it follows, in the first place, that the
world could only have come from
God by creation; secondly, that not
even by way of a miracle can any finite nature be given creative
power, which of itself directly attains the very being of any being;
and finally, that no created agent can in any way influence the being
of any effect unless it has itself been moved by the first Cause.
Aquinas says that the fundamental axioms of ontology are the principle
of non-contradiction and the principle of causality. Therefore, any
being that does not contradict these two laws could theoretically
exist, even if said being were incorporeal.
Aquinas noted three forms of descriptive language when predicating:
univocal, analogical, and equivocal.
Univocality is the use of a descriptor in the same sense when applied
to two objects or groups of objects. For instance, when the word
"milk" is applied both to milk produced by cows and by any other
Analogy occurs when a descriptor changes some but not all of its
meaning. For example, the word "healthy" is analogical in that it
applies both to a healthy person or animal (those that enjoy of good
health) and to some food or drink (if it is good for the health).
Equivocation is the complete change in meaning of the descriptor and
is an informal fallacy. For example, when the word "bank" is applied
to river banks and financial banks. Modern philosophers talk of
Further, the usage of "definition" that Aquinas gives is the genus of
the being, plus a difference that sets it apart from the genus itself.
For instance, the Aristotelian definition of "man" is "rational
animal"; its genus being animal, and what sets apart man from other
animals is his rationality.
Being § Thomistic analogical predication of being
[E]xistence is twofold: one is essential existence or the substantial
existence of a thing, for example man exists, and this is existence
simpliciter. The other is accidental existence, for example man is
white, and this is existence secundum quid.
— De Principiis Naturæ, 1.
In Thomist philosophy, the definition of a being is "that which is,"
which is composed of two parts: "which" refers to its quiddity
(literally "whatness"), and "is" refers to its esse (the Latin
infinitive verb "to be"). "Quiddity" is synonymous with essence,
form and nature; whereas "esse" refers to the principle of the being's
existence. In other words, a being is "an essence that exists."
Being is divided in two ways: that which is in itself (substances),
and that which is in another (accidents). Substances are things which
exist per se or in their own right. Accidents are qualities that apply
to other things, such as shape or color: "[A]ccidents must include in
their definition a subject which is outside their genus." Because
they only exist in other things, Aquinas holds that metaphysics is
primarily the study of substances, as they are the primary mode of
The Catholic Encyclopedia
The Catholic Encyclopedia pinpoints Aquinas' definition of quiddity as
"that which is expressed by its definition." The quiddity or form
of a thing is what makes the object what it is: "[T]hrough the form,
which is the actuality of matter, matter becomes something actual and
something individual," and also, "the form causes matter to
be." Thus, it consists of two parts: "prime matter" (matter
without form), and substantial form, which is what causes a
substance to have its characteristics. For instance, an animal can be
said to be a being whose matter is its body, and whose soul is its
substantial form. Together, these consist of its
All real things have the transcendental properties of being: oneness,
truth, goodness (that is, all things have a final cause and therefore
a purpose), etc.
Aristotle categorized causality into four subsets in the Metaphysics,
which is an integral part of Thomism:
"In one sense the term cause means (a) that from which, as something
intrinsic, a thing comes to be, as the bronze of a statue and the
silver of a goblet, and the genera of these. In another sense it means
(b) the form and pattern of a thing, i.e., the intelligible expression
of the quiddity and its genera (for example, the ratio of 2: 1 and
number in general are the cause of an octave chord) and the parts
which are included in the intelligible expression. Again, (c) that
from which the first beginning of change or of rest comes is a cause;
for example, an adviser is a cause, and a father is the cause of a
child, and in general a maker is a cause of the thing made, and a
changer a cause of the thing changed. Further, a thing is a cause (d)
inasmuch as it is an end, i.e., that for the sake of which something
is done; for example, health is the cause of walking. For if we are
asked why someone took a walk, we answer, "in order to be healthy";
and in saying this we think we have given the cause. And whatever
occurs on the way to the end under the motion of something else is
also a cause. For example, reducing, purging, drugs and instruments
are causes of health; for all of these exist for the sake of the end,
although they differ from each other inasmuch as some are instruments
and others are processes."
Metaphysics 1013a, trans. John P. Rowan, Chicago, 1961
(a) refers to the material cause, what a being's matter consists of
(b) refers to the formal cause, what a being's essence is.
(c) refers to the efficient cause, what brings about the beginning of,
or change to, a being.
(d) refers to the final cause, what a being's purpose is.
Unlike many ancient Greeks, who thought that an infinite regress of
causality is possible (and thus held that the universe is uncaused),
Aquinas argues that an infinite chain never accomplishes its objective
and is thus impossible. Hence, a first cause is necessary for the
existence of anything to be possible. Further, the First Cause must
continuously be in action (similar to how there must always be a first
chain in a chain link), otherwise the series collapses:
The Philosopher says (Metaph. ii, 2) that "to suppose a thing to be
indefinite is to deny that it is good." But the good is that which has
the nature of an end. Therefore it is contrary to the nature of an end
to proceed indefinitely. Therefore it is necessary to fix one last
— Summa, II-I, Q.1, art.4.
Aristotle and Aquinas conclude that there must be an
uncaused Primary Mover, because an infinite regress is
However, the First Cause does not necessarily have to be temporally
the first. Thus, the question of whether or not the universe can be
imagined as eternal was fiercely debated in the Middle Ages. The
University of Paris's condemnation of 1270 denounced the belief that
the world is eternal. Aquinas' intellectual rival, Bonaventure, held
that the temporality of the universe is demonstrable by
reason. Aquinas' position was that the temporality of the
world is an article of faith, and not demonstrable by reason; though
one could reasonably conclude either that the universe is temporal or
As per the
Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle, Aquinas defines "the
good" as what all things strive for. E.g., a cutting knife is said to
be good if it is effective at its function, cutting. As all things
have a function/final cause, all real things are good. Consequently,
evil is nothing but privatio boni, or "lack of good", as Augustine of
Hippo defined it.
Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv), '
Evil is neither a being nor a good.' I
answer that, one opposite is known through the other, as darkness is
known through light. Hence also what evil is must be known from the
nature of good. Now, we have said above that good is everything
appetible; and thus, since every nature desires its own being and its
own perfection, it must be said also that the being and the perfection
of any nature is good. Hence it cannot be that evil signifies being,
or any form or nature. Therefore it must be that by the name of evil
is signified the absence of good. And this is what is meant by saying
that 'evil is neither a being nor a good.' For since being, as such,
is good, the absence of one implies the absence of the other.
— Summa, I, Q.48, art.1.
Commentating on the aforementioned, Aquinas says that "there is no
problem from the fact that some men desire evil. For they desire evil
only under the aspect of good, that is, insofar as they think it good.
Hence their intention primarily aims at the good and only incidentally
touches on the evil."
God is the ultimate end of all things,
God is by essence
goodness itself. Furthermore, since love is "to wish the good of
another," true love in
Thomism is to lead another to God. Hence
John the Evangelist
John the Evangelist says, "Whoever is without love does not know
God is love."
Existence of God
Main article: Quinquae viae
Thomas Aquinas holds that the existence of
God can be demonstrated by
reason, a view that is taught by the Catholic Church. The
quinque viae (Latin: five ways) found in the
Summa Theologica (I, Q.2,
art.3) are five possible ways of demonstrating the existence of
God, which today are categorized as:
1. Argumentum ex motu, or the argument of the unmoved mover;
2. Argumentum ex ratione causae efficientis, or the argument of the
3. Argumentum ex contingentia, or the argument from contingency;
4. Argumentum ex gradu, or the argument from degree; and
5. Argumentum ex fine, or the teleological argument.
Despite this, Aquinas also thought that sacred mysteries such as the
Trinity could only be obtained through revelation; though these truths
cannot contradict reason:
The existence of
God and other like truths about God, which can be
known by natural reason, are not articles of faith, but are preambles
to the articles; for faith presupposes natural knowledge, even as
grace presupposes nature, and perfection supposes something that can
be perfected. Nevertheless, there is nothing to prevent a man, who
cannot grasp a proof, accepting, as a matter of faith, something which
in itself is capable of being scientifically known and demonstrated.
— Summa, I, Q.2, art.2.
Aquinas responds to the problem of evil by saying that
God allows evil
to exist that good may come of it, (for goodness done out of free
will is superior than goodness done from biological imperative) but
does not personally cause evil Himself.
See also Reality: A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought: Chapter 7: The
Proofs Of God's
Existence by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange.
View of God
Aquinas articulated and defended, both as a philosopher and a
theologian, the orthodox Christian view of God.
God is the sole being
whose existence is the same as His essence: "what subsists in
His existence." (Hence why
God names himself "I Am that I Am" in
Exodus 3:14.) Consequently,
God cannot be a body (that is, He
cannot be composed of matter), He cannot have any accidents,
and He must be simple (that is, not separated into parts; the Trinity
is one substance in three persons). Further, He is goodness
itself, perfect, infinite, omnipotent, omniscient,
happiness itself, knowledge itself, love itself,
omnipresent, immutable, and eternal. Summing up these
properties, Aquinas offers the term actus purus (Latin: "pure
Aquinas held that not only does
God have knowledge of everything,
God has "the most perfect knowledge," and that it is also
true to say that
God "is" his understanding.
Aquinas also understands
God as the transcendent cause of the
universe, the "first cause of all things, exceeding all things caused
by him," the source of all creaturely being and the cause of every
other cause. Consequently, God's causality is not like the
causality of any other causes (all other causes are "secondary
causes"), because he is the transcendent source of all being, causing
and sustaining every other existing thing at every instant.
Consequently, God's causality is never in competition with the
causality of creatures; rather,
God even causes some things through
the causality of creatures.
Aquinas was an advocate of the "analogical way", which says that
God is infinite, people can only speak of
God by analogy, for
some of the aspects of the divine nature are hidden (Deus absconditus)
and others revealed (Deus revelatus) to finite human minds. Thomist
philosophy holds that we can know about
God through his creation
(general revelation), but only in an analogous manner. For
instance, we can speak of God's goodness only by understanding that
goodness as applied to humans is similar to, but not identical with,
the goodness of God. Further, he argues that sacred scripture employs
figurative language: "Now it is natural to man to attain to
intellectual truths through sensible objects, because all our
knowledge originates from sense. Hence in Holy Writ, spiritual truths
are fittingly taught under the likeness of material things."
In order to demonstrate God's creative power, Aquinas says: "If a
being participates, to a certain degree, in an 'accident,' this
accidental property must have been communicated to it by a cause which
possesses it essentially. Thus iron becomes incandescent by the action
of fire. Now,
God is His own power which subsists by itself. The being
which subsists by itself is necessarily one."
Summa Theologiæ, Pars secunda, prima pars. (copy by Peter Schöffer,
In addition to agreeing with the Aristotelian definition of man as
"the rational animal," Aquinas also held various other beliefs
about the substance of man. For instance, as the essence (nature) of
all men are the same, and the definition of being is "an essence
that exists," humans that are real therefore only differ by their
specific qualities. More generally speaking, all beings of the same
genus have the same essence, and so long as they exist, only differ by
accidents and substantial form.
Thomists define the soul as the substantial form of living beings.
Thus, plants have "vegetative souls," animals have "sensitive
souls," while human beings alone have "intellectual" – rational
and immortal – souls.
For Aristotle, the soul is one, but endowed with five groups of
faculties (dunámeis): (1) the "vegetative" faculty (threptikón),
concerned with the maintenance and development of organic life; (2)
the appetite (oretikón), or the tendency to any good; (3) the faculty
of sense perception (aisthetikón); (4) the "locomotive" faculty
(kinetikón), which presides over the various bodily movements; and
(5) reason (dianoetikón). The Scholastics generally follow
Aristotle's classification. For them body and soul are united in one
complete substance. The soul is the forma substantialis, the vital
principle, the source of all activities. Hence their science of the
soul deals with functions which nowadays belong to the provinces of
biology and physiology. [...] The nature of the mind and its relations
to the organism are questions that belong to philosophy or
— Dubray, C. (1909). Faculties of the Soul. In The Catholic
Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved May 29,
2010 from New Advent.
The appetite of man has two parts, rational and irrational. The
rational part is called the will, and the irrational part is called
Aquinas affirms Aristotle's definition of happiness as "an operation
according to perfect virtue", and that "happiness is called
man's supreme good, because it is the attainment or enjoyment of the
supreme good." Regarding what the virtues are, Aquinas ascertained
the cardinal virtues to be prudence, temperance, justice, and
fortitude. The cardinal virtues are natural and revealed in nature,
and they are binding on everyone. There are, however, three
theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity (which is used
interchangeably with love in the sense of agape). These are
supernatural and are distinct from other virtues in their object,
In accordance with Roman Catholic theology, Aquinas argues that humans
can neither wish nor do good without divine grace. However, "doing
good" here refers to doing good per se: man can do, moved by
then but "only" in the sense in which even his nature depends on God's
moving, things that happen to be good in some respect, and are not
sinful, though if he has not grace, it will be without merit, and he
will not succeed in it all the time. Therefore, happiness is attained
through the perseverance of virtue given by the Grace of God,
which is not fully attained on earth; only at the beatific
vision. Notably, man cannot attain true happiness without
Regarding emotion (used synonymously with the word "passion" in this
context), which, following John Damascene, Aquinas defines as "a
movement of the sensitive appetite when we imagine good or evil,"
Thomism repudiates both the
Epicurean view that happiness consists in
pleasure (sensual experiences that invoke positive emotion),
and the Stoic view that emotions are vices by nature. Aquinas
takes a moderate view of emotion, quoting Augustine: "They are evil if
our love is evil; good if our love is good." While most emotions
are morally neutral, some are inherently virtuous (e.g. pity) and
some are inherently vicious (e.g. envy).
Thomist ethics hold that it is necessary to observe both
circumstances and intention to determine an action's moral
value, and therefore Aquinas cannot be said to be strictly either a
deontologicalist or a consequentialist. Rather, he would say that an
action is morally good if it fulfills God's antecedent will.
Of note is the principle of double effect, formulated in the Summa,
II-II, Q.64, art.7, which is a justification of homicide in
self-defense. Previously experiencing difficulties in the world of
Christian philosophy, the doctrine of
Just War was expounded by
Aquinas with this principle. He says:
In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the
authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged...
Secondly, a just cause is required, namely that those who are
attacked, should be attacked because they deserve it on account of
some fault... Thirdly, it is necessary that the belligerents should
have a rightful intention, so that they intend the advancement of
good, or the avoidance of evil...
— Summa, II-II, Q.40, art.1.
Main article: Treatise on Law
Thomism recognizes four different species of law, which he defines as
"an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care
of the community, and promulgated":
Eternal law, which is "the type of Divine Wisdom, as directing all
actions and movements;"
Natural law, "whereby each one knows, and is conscious of, what is
good and what is evil," which is the rational being's participation in
the eternal law;
Human or temporal law, laws made by humans by necessity; and
Divine law, which are moral imperatives specifically given through
The development of natural law is one of the most influential parts of
Thomist philosophy. Aquinas says that "[the law of nature] is
nothing other than the light of the intellect planted in us by God, by
which we know what should be done and what should be avoided.
this light and this law in creation... For no one is ignorant that
what he would not like to be done to himself he should not do to
others, and similar norms." This reflects Paul the Apostle's
argument in Romans 2:15, that the "work of the law [is] written in
[the Gentiles'] hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them."
Aquinas argues that the
Mosaic covenant was divine, though rightfully
only given to the Jews before Christ; whereas the New Covenant
replaces the Old Covenant and is meant for all humans.
Aquinas argues that there is no contradiction between God's providence
and human free will:
... just as by moving natural causes [God] does not prevent their acts
being natural, so by moving voluntary causes He does not deprive their
actions of being voluntary: but rather is He the cause of this very
thing in them; for He operates in each thing according to its own
— Summa, I., Q.83, art.1.
Aquinas argues that
God offers man both a prevenient grace to enable
him to perform supernaturally good works, and cooperative grace within
the same. The relation of prevenient grace to voluntariness has been
the subject of further debate; the position known here as "Thomist"
was originated by Domingo Báñez and says that
God gives an
additional grace (the "efficient grace") to the predestined which
makes them accept, while
Luis de Molina
Luis de Molina held that
grace according to a middle knowledge, and man can accept it without a
Molinism is a school that is part of
Thomism in the
general sense (it originated in commentaries to Aquinas), yet it must
be born in mind that, here,
Molinism oppose each other.
(The question has been declared undecided by the Holy See.)
"Whatever is in our intellect must have previously been in the
— Thomas Aquinas, the peripatetic axiom.
Aquinas adhered to the correspondence theory of truth, which says that
something is true "when it conforms to the external reality."
Therefore, any being that exists can be said to be true insofar that
it participates in the world.
De anima (On the Soul) divides the mind into three parts:
sensation, imagination and intellection. When one perceives an object,
his mind composites a sense-image. When he remembers the object he
previously sensed, he is imagining its form (the image of the
imagination is often translated as "phantasm"). When he extracts
information from this phantasm, he is using his intellect.
Consequently, all human knowledge concerning universals (such as
species and properties) are derived from the phantasm ("the received
is in the receiver according to the mode of the receiver"), which
itself is a recollection of an experience. Concerning the question of
"Whether the intellect can actually understand through the
intelligible species of which it is possessed, without turning to the
phantasms?" in the Summa Theologica, Aquinas quotes
Aristotle in the
sed contra: "the soul understands nothing without a phantasm."
Hence the peripatetic axiom. (Another theorem to be drawn from this is
that error is a result of drawing false conclusions based on our
Aquinas' epistemological theory would later be classified as
empiricism, for holding that sensations are a necessary step in
acquiring knowledge, and that deductions cannot be made from pure
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Scholasticism away from neoplatonism and towards
Aristotle. The ensuing school of thought, through its influence on
Catholicism and the ethics of the Catholic school, is one of the most
influential philosophies of all time, also significant due to the
number of people living by its teachings.
Triumph of St Thomas Aquinas, Benozzo Gozzoli,1471. Louvre, Paris
Before Aquinas' death, Stephen Tempier, Bishop of Paris, forbade
certain positions associated with Aquinas (especially his denial of
both universal hylomorphism and a plurality of substantial forms in a
single substance) to be taught in the Faculty of Arts at Paris.
Through the influence of traditional Augustinian theologians, some
theses of Aquinas were condemned in 1277 by the ecclesiastical
authorities of Paris and Oxford (the most important theological
schools in the Middle Ages). The
Franciscan Order opposed the ideas of
the Dominican Aquinas, while the Dominicans institutionally took up
the defense of his work (1286), and thereafter adopted it as an
official philosophy of the order to be taught in their studia. Early
opponents of Aquinas include William de la Mare, Henry of Ghent, Giles
of Rome, and Jon Duns Scotus.
Early and noteworthy defenders of Aquinas were his former teacher
Albertus Magnus, the ill-fated Richard Knapwell, William Macclesfeld,
Giles of Lessines, John of Quidort, Bernard of Auvergne, and Thomas of
Sutton. The canonization of Aquinas in 1323 led to a
revocation of the condemnation of 1277. Later, Aquinas and his school
would find a formidable opponent in the via moderna, particularly in
William of Ockham
William of Ockham and his adherents.
Thomism remained a doctrine held principally by Dominican theologians,
Giovanni Capreolo (1380–1444) or Tommaso de Vio
(1468–1534). Eventually, in the 16th century,
Thomism found a
stronghold on the Iberian Peninsula, through for example the
Francisco de Vitoria
Francisco de Vitoria (particularly noteworthy for his work
in natural law theory),
Domingo de Soto
Domingo de Soto (notable for his work on
economic theory), John of St. Thomas, and Domingo Báñez; the
Carmelites of Salamanca (i.e., the Salmanticenses); and even, in a
way, the newly formed Jesuits, particularly Francisco Suárez, and
Luis de Molina.
The modern period brought considerable difficulty for Thomism. By
the 19th century, Aquinas's theological doctrine was often presented
in seminaries through his Jesuit manualist interpreters, who adopted
his theology in an eclectic way, while his philosophy was often
neglected altogether in favor of modern philosophers. Many think the
manualist approach had more in common with
Duns Scotus than it did
with Aquinas—thus is more properly labeled Neo-Scholasticism. And in
all this, the Dominican Order, was having demographic difficulties.
Leo XIII attempted a Thomistic revival, particularly with his
Aeterni Patris and his establishment of the Leonine
Commission, established to produce critical editions of Aquinas' opera
omnia. This encyclical served as the impetus for the rise of
Neothomism, which brought an emphasis on the ethical parts of Thomism,
as well as a large part of its views on life, humans, and theology,
are found in the various schools of Neothomism.
Neothomism held sway
as the dominant philosophy of the Roman
Catholic Church until the
Second Vatican Council, which seemed to confirm the significance of
Thomism remains a school of philosophy today,
and influential in Catholicism, though "The Church has no philosophy
of her own nor does she canonize any one particular philosophy in
preference to others."
In recent years, the cognitive neuroscientist Walter Freeman proposes
Thomism is the philosophical system explaining cognition that is
most compatible with neurodynamics, in a 2008 article in the journal
Matter entitled "Nonlinear Brain Dynamics and Intention
According to Aquinas."
Influence on Jewish thought
Aquinas' doctrines, because of their close relationship with those of
Jewish philosophy, found great favor among Jews.
Judah Romano (born
1286) translated Aquinas' ideas from Latin into Hebrew under the title
Ma'amar ha-Mamschalim, together with other small treatises extracted
from the "Contra Gentiles" ("Neged ha-Umot").
Eli Habillo (1470) translated, without the Hebrew title, the
"Quæstiones Disputatæ," "Quæstio de Anima," his "De Animæ
Facultatibus," under the title "Ma'amar be-KoḦot ha-Nefesh," (edited
by Jellinek); his "De Universalibus" as "Be-Inyan ha-Kolel"; "Shaalot
Ma'amar beNimẓa we-biMehut."
Abraham Nehemiah ben Joseph (1490) translated Aquinas's "Commentarii
in Metaphysicam." According to Moses Almosnino, Isaac Abravanel
desired to translate the "Quæstio de Spiritualibus Creaturis."
Abravanel indeed seems to have been well acquainted with the
philosophy of Aquinas, whom he mentions in his work "Mif'alot Elohim"
(vi. 3). The physician Jacob Zahalon (d. 1693) translated some
extracts from the Summa contra Gentiles.
Connection with Jewish thought
Aquinas did not disdain to draw upon Jewish philosophical sources. His
main work, the Summa Theologica, shows a profound knowledge not only
of the writings of
Avicebron (Ibn Gabirol), whose name he mentions,
but also of most Jewish philosophical works then existing.
Aquinas pronounces himself energetically against the hypothesis
of the eternity of the world, in agreement with both Christian and
Jewish theology. But as this theory is attributed to Aristotle, he
seeks to demonstrate that the latter did not express himself
categorically on this subject. "The argument," said he, "which
Aristotle presents to support this thesis is not properly called a
demonstration, but is only a reply to the theories of those ancients
who supposed that this world had a beginning and who gave only
impossible proofs. There are three reasons for believing that
Aristotle himself attached only a relative value to this
reasoning..." In this, Aquinas paraphrases Maimonides' Guide for
the Perplexed, where those reasons are given.
Thomism began to decline in popularity in the modern period,
which was inaugurated by René Descartes' works Discourse on the
Method in 1637 and
Meditations on First Philosophy
Meditations on First Philosophy in 1641. The
Cartesian doctrines of mind-body dualism and the fallibility of the
senses implicitly contradicted
Aristotle and Aquinas:
But, meanwhile, I feel greatly astonished when I observe [the weakness
of my mind, and] its proneness to error. For although, without at all
giving expression to what I think, I consider all this in my own mind,
words yet occasionally impede my progress, and I am almost led into
error by the terms of ordinary language. We say, for example, that we
see the same wax when it is before us, and not that we judge it to be
the same from its retaining the same color and figure: whence I should
forthwith be disposed to conclude that the wax is known by the act of
sight, and not by the intuition of the mind alone, were it not for the
analogous instance of human beings passing on in the street below, as
observed from a window. In this case I do not fail to say that I see
the men themselves, just as I say that I see the wax; and yet what do
I see from the window beyond hats and cloaks that might cover
artificial machines, whose motions might be determined by springs? But
I judge that there are human beings from these appearances, and thus I
comprehend, by the faculty of judgment alone which is in the mind,
what I believed I saw with my eyes.
— Meditations on First Philosophy, Med. II, §13.
G. K. Chesterton
Thomism as a philosophy of common sense, G. K.
Since the modern world began in the sixteenth century, nobody's system
of philosophy has really corresponded to everybody's sense of reality;
to what, if left to themselves, common men would call common sense.
Each started with a paradox; a peculiar point of view demanding the
sacrifice of what they would call a sane point of view. That is the
one thing common to
Hobbes and Hegel, to Kant and Bergson, to Berkeley
and William James. A man had to believe something that no normal man
would believe, if it were suddenly propounded to his simplicity; as
that law is above right, or right is outside reason, or things are
only as we think them, or everything is relative to a reality that is
not there. The modern philosopher claims, like a sort of confidence
man, that if we will grant him this, the rest will be easy; he will
straighten out the world, if he is allowed to give this one twist to
Against all this the philosophy of St. Thomas stands founded on the
universal common conviction that eggs are eggs. The Hegelian may say
that an egg is really a hen, because it is a part of an endless
process of Becoming; the Berkelian may hold that poached eggs only
exist as a dream exists, since it is quite as easy to call the dream
the cause of the eggs as the eggs the cause of the dream; the
Pragmatist may believe that we get the best out of scrambled eggs by
forgetting that they ever were eggs, and only remembering the
scramble. But no pupil of St. Thomas needs to addle his brains in
order adequately to addle his eggs; to put his head at any peculiar
angle in looking at eggs, or squinting at eggs, or winking the other
eye in order to see a new simplification of eggs. The Thomist stands
in the broad daylight of the brotherhood of men, in their common
consciousness that eggs are not hens or dreams or mere practical
assumptions; but things attested by the Authority of the Senses, which
is from God.
— Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas, p. 147.
J. A. Weisheipl emphasizes that within the
Dominican Order the history
Thomism has been continuous since the time of Aquinas:
Thomism was always alive in the Dominican Order, small as it was after
the ravages of the Reformation, the French Revolution, and the
Napoleonic occupation. Repeated legislation of the General Chapters,
beginning after the death of St. Thomas, as well as the Constitutions
of the Order, required all Dominicans to teach the doctrine of St.
Thomas both in philosophy and in theology.
An idea of the longstanding historic continuity of Dominican Thomism
may be derived from the list of people associated with the Pontifical
University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Thomism has had varying fortunes leading
some to periodize it historically or thematically. Weisheipl
distinguishes "wide" Thomism, which includes those who claim to follow
the spirit and basic insights of Aquinas and manifest an evident
dependence on his texts, from "eclectic"
Thomism which includes those
with a willingness to allow the influence of other philosophical and
theological systems in order to relativize the principles and
conclusions of traditional Thomism. John Haldane gives an historic
Thomism including 1) the period of Aquinas and his first
followers from the 13th to 15th centuries, a second
Thomism from the
16th to 18th centuries, and a Neo-
Thomism from the 19th to 20th
centuries. One might justifiably articulate other historical
divisions on the basis of shifts in perspective on Aquinas' work
including the period immediately following Aquinas' canonization in
1325, the period following the Council of Trent, and the period after
the Second Vatican Council. Romanus Cessario thinks it better not to
identify intervals of time or periods within the larger history of
Thomism because Thomists have addressed such a broad variety of issues
and in too many geographical areas to permit such divisions.
First Thomistic School
The first period of
Thomism stretches from Aquinas' teaching activity
beginning in 1256 at Paris to Cologne, Orvieto, Viterbo, Rome, and
Naples until his canonization in 1325. In this period his doctrines
"were both attacked and defended" as for example after his death
(1274) the condemnations of 1277, 1284 and 1286 were counteracted by
the General Chapters of the
Dominican Order and other disciples who
came to Aquinas' defense.
1325 to the Council of Trent
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Council of Trent to Aeterni Patris
Responding to prevailing philosophical rationalism during the
Enlightenment Salvatore Roselli, professor of theology at the College
of St. Thomas, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas
Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome, published a six volume Summa
philosophica (1777) giving an Aristotelian interpretation of Aquinas
validating the senses as a source of knowledge. While teaching at
the College Roselli is considered to have laid the foundation for
Neothomism in the nineteenth century. According to historian J.A.
Weisheipl in the late 18th and early 19th centuries "everyone who had
anything to do with the revival of
Thomism in Italy, Spain and France
was directly influenced by Roselli’s monumental work.
Aeterni Patris to Vatican II
Main article: Neo-Scholasticism
The Thomist revival that began in the mid-19th century, sometimes
called "neo-scholasticism" or "neo-Thomism," can be traced to figures
such as Angelicum professor Tommaso Maria Zigliara,
Kleutgen, and Giovanni Maria Cornoldi, and secular priest Gaetano
Sanseverino. This movement received impetus from Pope Leo XIII's
Aeterni Patris of 1879. Generally the revival accepts the
interpretative tradition of Aquinas' great commentators such as
Capréolus, Cajetan, and John of St. Thomas. Its focus, however, is
less exegetical and more concerned with carrying out the program of
deploying a rigorously worked out system of Thomistic metaphysics in a
wholesale critique of modern philosophy. Other seminal figures in the
early part of the century include
Martin Grabmann (1875-1949) and
Amato Masnovo (1880-1955). The movement's core philosophical
commitments are summarized in "Twenty-Four Thomistic Theses" approved
by Pope Pius X. In the first half of the twentieth century
Angelicum professors Edouard Hugon,
Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange among
others, carried on Leo's call for a Thomist revival. Their approach is
reflected in many of the manuals and textbooks widely in use in
Roman Catholic colleges and seminaries before Vatican II.
Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council took place from 1962-1965 Cornelio
Fabro was already able to write in 1949 that the century of revival
with its urgency to provide a synthetic systematization and defense of
Aquinas' thought was coming to an end. Fabro looked forward to a more
constructive period in which the original context of Aquinas' thought
would be explored.
Recent schools and interpretations
A summary of some recent and current schools and interpretations of
Thomism can be found, among other places, in La Metafisica di san
Tommaso d'Aquino e i suoi interpreti, 2002, by Battista Mondin, Being
and Some 20th Century Thomists, 2003, by
John F. X. Knasas as well as
in the writing of Edward Feser.
Thomism identifies with the philosophical and theological
tradition streaching back to the time of St. Thomas. In the nineteenth
century authors such as
Tommaso Maria Zigliara
Tommaso Maria Zigliara focus not only on
exegesis of the historical Aquinas but also on the articulation of a
rigorous system of orthodox
Thomism to be used as an instrument of
critique of contemporary thought. Due to its suspicion of attempts to
harmonize Aquinas with non-Thomistic categories and assumptions
Thomism has sometimes been called "Strict Observance
Thomism." A discussion of recent and current Scholastic Thomism
can be found in La Metafisica di san Tommaso d'Aquino e i suoi
interpreti (2002) by Battista Mondin, which includes such figures
as Martin Grabmann, Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Sofia Vanni Rovighi
Cornelio Fabro (1911-1995), Carlo Giacon
Tomas Tyn O.P. (1950-1990), Abelardo Lobato O.P.
(1925-2012), Leo Elders (1926- ) and Giovanni Ventimiglia (1964-
) among others. Fabro in particular emphasizes Aquinas' originality,
especially with respect to the actus essendi or act of existence of
finite beings by participating in being itself. Other scholars such as
those involved with the "Progetto Tommaso" seek to establish an
objective and universal reading of Aquinas' texts.
Cracow Circle Thomism
The Cracow Circle has been called "the most significant expression of
Catholic thought between the two World Wars." The Circle was
founded by a group of philosophers and theologians that in distinction
to more traditional neo-scholastic
Thomism embraced modern formal
logic as an analytical tool for traditional Thomist philosophy and
theology. Inspired by the logical clarity of Aquinas, members of
the Circle held both philosophy and theology to contain "propositions
with truth-values…a structured body of propositions connected in
meaning and subject matter, and linked by logical relations of
compatibility and incompatibility, entailment etc." "The Cracow Circle
set about investigating and where possible improving this logical
structure with the most advanced logical tools available at the time,
namely those of modern mathematical logic, then called 'logistic'."
 Perhaps the most famous exponent of the Cracow Circle is Józef
Maria Bocheński O.P. (1902 – 1995), author of A History of Formal
Logic (1961), and one of the preeminent twentieth-century historians
of logic. Bocheński completed a doctorate in theology at the
Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in 1934 where
he taught logic until 1940. Other members included Jan Salamucha
and Jan F. Drewnowski.
Étienne Gilson (1884–1978), the key proponent of this approach to
Thomism, tended to emphasize the importance of historical exegesis but
also to deemphasize Aquinas's continuity with the Aristotelian
tradition, and like
Cornelio Fabro of the Neo-scholastic school, to
highlight the originality of Aquinas's doctrine of being as existence.
He was also critical of the Neo-Scholastics' focus on the tradition of
the commentators, and given what he regarded as their insufficient
emphasis on being or existence accused them of "essentialism" (to
allude to the other half of Aquinas's distinction between being and
essence). Gilson's reading of Aquinas as putting forward a
distinctively "Christian philosophy" tended, at least in the view of
his critics, to blur Aquinas's distinction between philosophy and
Jacques Maritain (1882–1973) introduced into
Thomistic metaphysics the notion that philosophical reflection begins
with an "intuition of being," and in ethics and social philosophy
sought to harmonize
Thomism with personalism and pluralistic
democracy. Though "existential Thomism" was sometimes presented as a
counterpoint to modern existentialism, the main reason for the label
is the emphasis this approach puts on Aquinas's doctrine of existence.
Contemporary proponents include Joseph Owens and John F. X.
River Forest Thomism
According to River Forest Thomism, also called Aristotelian-Thomism,
the natural sciences are epistemologically prior to metaphysics,
preferably called metascience.
This approach emphasizes the Aristotelian foundations of Aquinas's
philosophy, and in particular the idea that the construction of a
sound metaphysics must be preceded by a sound understanding of natural
science, as interpreted in light of an Aristotelian philosophy of
nature. Accordingly, it is keen to show that modern physical science
can and should be given such an interpretation. Charles De Koninck
(1906–1965), Raymond Jude Nogar, OP (1915-1966), James A.
Weisheipl, OP (1923–1984), William A. Wallace, OP, and Benedict
Ashley, OP, are among its representatives. It is sometimes called
"Laval Thomism" after the
University of Laval
University of Laval in Quebec [which
Thomism and Mathematical Physics], where De Koninck was a
professor. The alternative label "River Forest Thomism" derives from a
suburb of Chicago, the location of the
Albertus Magnus Lyceum for
Natural Science, whose members have been associated with this
approach. It is also sometimes called "Aristotelian Thomism" (to
highlight its contrast with Gilson's brand of existential Thomism)
though since Neo-Scholastic
Thomism also emphasizes Aquinas's
continuity with Aristotle, this label seems a bit too proprietary.
(There are writers, like the contemporary Thomist
Ralph McInerny who
have exhibited both Neo-Scholastic and Laval/River Forest influences,
and the approaches are not necessarily incompatible.)
Unlike the first three schools mentioned, this approach, associated
Joseph Maréchal (1878–1944),
Karl Rahner (1904–84), and
Bernard Lonergan (1904–84), does not oppose modern philosophy
wholesale, but seeks to reconcile
Thomism with a Cartesian
subjectivist approach to knowledge in general, and Kantian
epistemology in particular. It seems fair to say that most Thomists
otherwise tolerant of diverse approaches to Aquinas's thought tend to
Thomism as having conceded too much to modern
philosophy genuinely to count as a variety of Thomism, strictly
speaking, and this school of thought has in any event been far more
influential among theologians than among philosophers.
This approach, which derives its name from the Catholic University of
Lublin in Poland where it is centered, is also sometimes called
"phenomenological Thomism." Like transcendental Thomism, it seeks to
Thomism with certain elements of modern philosophy. In
particular, it seeks to make use of the phenomenological method of
philosophical analysis associated with
Edmund Husserl and the
personalism of writers like
Max Scheler in articulating the Thomist
conception of the human person. Its best-known proponent is Karol
Wojtyla (1920–2005), who went on to become Pope John Paul II.
However, unlike transcendental Thomism, the metaphysics of Lublin
Thomism places priority on existence (as opposed to essence), making
it an existential
Thomism that demonstrates consonance with the
Thomism of Étienne Gilson. It should be noted that the
phenomenological concerns of the Lublin school are not metaphysical in
nature as this would constitute idealism. Rather, they are
considerations which are brought into relation with central positions
of the school, such as when dealing with modern science, its
epistemological value, and its relation to metaphysics.
Main article: Analytical Thomism
This approach to
Thomism is described by John Haldane, its key
proponent, as "a broad philosophical approach that brings into mutual
relationship the styles and preoccupations of recent English-speaking
philosophy and the concepts and concerns shared by Aquinas and his
followers" (from the article on "analytical Thomism" in The Oxford
Companion to Philosophy, edited by Ted Honderich). By "recent
English-speaking philosophy" Haldane means the analytical tradition
founded by thinkers like Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore,
and Ludwig Wittgenstein, which tends to dominate academic philosophy
in the English-speaking world.
Elizabeth Anscombe (1919–2001) and
Peter Geach are sometimes considered the first "analytical
Thomists," though (like most writers to whom this label has been
applied) they did not describe themselves in these terms, and as
Haldane's somewhat vague expression "mutual relationship" indicates,
there does not seem to be any set of doctrines held in common by all
so-called analytical Thomists. What they do have in common seems to be
that they are philosophers trained in the analytic tradition who
happen to be interested in Aquinas in some way; and the character of
their "analytical Thomism" is determined by whether it tends to stress
the "analytical" side of analytical Thomism, or the "Thomism" side,
or, alternatively, attempts to emphasize both sides equally.
List of Thomist writers (13th–18th centuries)
Rule according to higher law
Rule of law
School of Salamanca
Thomistic sacramental theology
^ http://maritain.nd.edu/jmc/etext/doctoris.htm Accessed 25 October
^ Pope Pius X, Doctoris Angelici, 29 June 1914.
^ Second Vatican Council,
Optatam Totius (28 October 1965) 15.
^ E.g., Summa Theologiæ, Q.84, art.7., where the sed contra is only a
quote from Aristotle's De anima.
^ "Summa, I, Q.6, art.4". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ Postquam sanctissimus, Latin with English translation
See also P. Lumbreras's commentary on the 24 Thomistic Theses.
^ De Ente et Essentia, 67–68. "Although everyone admits the
simplicity of the First Cause, some try to introduce a composition of
matter and form in the intelligences and in souls... But this is not
in agreement with what philosophers commonly say, because they call
them substances separated from matter, and prove them to be without
^ "Summa contra Gentiles, II, chp. 91". Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20
^ Sproul, R.C. (1998). Renewing Your Mind: Basic Christian Beliefs You
Need to Know. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. p. 33.
^ a b "De Ente et Essentia, 37". Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20
^ De Ente et Essentia, 83. "And this is why substances of this sort
are said by some to be composed of "that by which it is" and "that
which is," or as
Boethius says, of "that which is" and "existence.""
^ a b Summa, I, Q.3, art.4. "Therefore, if the existence of a thing
differs from its essence, this existence must be caused either by some
exterior agent or by its essential principles."
^ "De Ente et Essentia, 17". Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "De Ente et Essentia, 110". Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20 November
2011. "And because accidents are not composed of matter and
form, their genus cannot be taken from matter and their difference
from form, as in the case of composed substances."
^ "Aveling, Francis. "
Essence and Existence." The Catholic
Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 4 Nov.
2009". Newadvent.org. 1 May 1909. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ "De Ente et Essentia, 18". Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ Summa, I, Q.75, art.5. The meaning of this sentence can be altered
depending on how the Latin word used in this sentence, "materiæ", is
translated into English. An alternate rendering of this sentence is
"The form causes matter to be what it is.
^ "De Ente et Essentia, 40". Dhspriory.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ a b The Aristotelian and Thomist definition of the "soul" does not
refer to spirit, but is perhaps better translated as "life force."
Hence, plants have souls in the sense that they are living beings. The
human soul is unique in that it has consciousness. Cf. De anima, Bk.
^ "De Ente et Essentia, 14". Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ De Principiis Naturæ, 5. "But, just as everything which is in
potency can be called matter, so also everything from which something
has existence whether that existence be substantial or accidental, can
be called form; for example man, since he is white in potency, becomes
actually white through whiteness, and sperm, since it is man in
potency, becomes actually man through the soul."
^ "De veritate, Q.1". Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ a b c "Summa, I, Q.44, art.1". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "St. Thomas Aquinas's commentary on the Metaphysics, Bk. V, 1015a
20-1015b 15, §840". Dhspriory.org. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ "St. Thomas Aquinas's commentary on the Metaphysics, Bk. II, 994a
11-994b 9". Dhspriory.org. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ Summa contra Gentiles, II, chp.15.
^ Summa, I, Q.2, art.3. "The third way is taken from possibility and
necessity, and runs thus..."
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.1, art.4". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ Br. Bugnolo, Alexis, trans., Opera Omnia S. Bonaventurae (Franciscan
Archives, 2007), 22. "It must be said, that to posit, that the world
is eternal and (has) not (been) eternally produced, by positing that
all things (have been) produced out of nothing, is entirely contrary
to the truth and to reason."
^ Davis, Richard. "
Bonaventure and the Arguments for the Impossibility
of an Infinite Temporal Regression." American Catholic Philosophical
Quarterly 70, no. 3 (Summer 1996): 361 – 380. Poiesis: Philosophy
Online, EBSCOhost (Retrieved 13 April 2010): 380.
^ "Summa, I, Q.46, art.2". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "De aeternitate mundi". Dhspriory.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Nicomachean Ethics, Bk. I, Chp. I, 1094a4". Dhspriory.org.
Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ Augustine of Hippo. Enchridion, chp. 11.
^ "St. Thomas Aquinas's commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics, Bk. I,
Lec. I, §10". Dhspriory.org. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ "Summa Contra Gentiles, III, Q.18". Dhspriory.org. Retrieved 20
^ a b "Summa, I., Q.6., art.2 & 3". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.26, art.4". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "1 John 4:8". Usccb.org. 13 March 2011. Retrieved 20 November
^ a b "Summa, I, Q.20, art.1". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, I, Q.2". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC 34.
^ Aquinas offers more metaphysical explanations for the existence of
God in De Ente et Essentia and elsewhere, though the
Quinquae viae are
the most well-known and most commonly analyzed among these.
^ Summa Contra Gentiles, Bk. III, Q.10. "Thus, it is... that evil is
only caused by good accidentally."
^ "Summa, I, Q.49, art.2". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, I, Q.3, art.4". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, I, Q.13, art.11". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, I, Q.13, art. 1". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, I, Q.13, art. 6". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, I, Q.13, art. 7". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, I., Q.4". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ "Summa, I., Q.7". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ "Summa, I., Q.25, art.3". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ a b "Summa, I, Q.14, arts. 5, 6, & 9". Newadvent.org. Retrieved
20 November 2011.
^ a b Summa, II-I, Q.3, art.1. "
God is happiness by His Essence."
^ a b "Summa, I, Q.14, art. 4". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, I., Q.8". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ "Summa, I., Q.9". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ "Summa, I., Q.10, art.2". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ Summa Theologiae I, Q. 12, art. 12.
^ Summa Contra Gentiles III, chap. 17.
^ Summa contra Gentiles, Bk. I, chp. 30. "For we cannot grasp what God
is, but only what He is not and how other things are related to Him,
as is clear from what we said above."
^ "Summa, I, Q.1, art.9". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ De Ente et Essentia, 24. "It is clear, therefore, that the essence
of man and the essence of
Socrates do not differ, except as the
non-designated from the designated. Whence the Commentator says in his
considerations on the seventh book of the
Metaphysics that "Socrates
is nothing other than animality and rationality, which are his
^ De Ente et Essentia, 33. "The difference, on the contrary, is a name
taken from a determinate form, and taken in a determinate way, i.e. as
not including a determinate matter in its meaning. This is clear, for
example, when we say animated, i.e., that which has a soul; for what
it is, whether a body or something other, is not expressed. Whence Ibn
Sīnā says that the genus is not understood in the difference as a
part of its essence, but only as something outside its essence, as the
subject also is understood in its properties. And this is why the
genus is not predicated essentially of the difference, as the
Philosopher says in the third book of the
Metaphysics and in the
fourth book of the Topics, but only in the way in which a subject is
predicated of its property."
^ St. Thomas Aquinas's commentary on De anima, Bk. I, 402a1–403b2,
§1. "Now living beings taken all together form a certain class of
being; hence in studying them the first thing to do is to consider
what living things have in common, and afterwards what each has
peculiar to itself. What they have in common is a life-principle or
soul; in this they are all alike. In conveying knowledge, therefore,
about living things one must first convey it about the soul as that
which is common to them all. Thus when
Aristotle sets out to treat of
living things, he begins with the soul; after which, in subsequent
books, he defines the properties of particular living beings."
^ "Summa, I, Q.75, art.6". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.3, art.2". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ St. Thomas Aquinas's commentary on Nicomachean Ethics, Lec. 10,
§130. Aquinas further says that "it is clear that happiness is a
virtue-oriented activity proper to man in a complete life."
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.3, art.1". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.62, art.2". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.109, art.2". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q. 109, art.10". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ Summa, II-I, Q.5, art.3. "First, from the general notion of
happiness. For since happiness is a "perfect and sufficient good," it
excludes every evil, and fulfils every desire. But in this life every
evil cannot be excluded."
^ Summa, II-I, Q.5, art.1. "Happiness is the attainment of the Perfect
Good... And therefore man can attain Happiness. This can be proved
again from the fact that man is capable of seeing God, [which] man's
perfect Happiness consists."
^ "Summa, supp., Q.93, art.1". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.5, art.5". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.22, art.3". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.34., art.2". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.2, art.6". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.24, art.2". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.24, art.1". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.24, art.4". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-II, Q.36". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.18, art.3 & 10". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.19, art.1 & 2". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20
^ "De veritate, Q. 23, art.7". Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.90, art.4". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.93, art. 1". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
Thomas Aquinas cites Romans 2:14 authoritatively on the definition
of natural law, in Summa, II-I, Q.91, art.2.
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.95, art.1". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ Summa, II-I, Q.91, art.4. "By the natural law the eternal law is
participated proportionately to the capacity of human nature. But to
his supernatural end man needs to be directed in a yet higher way.
Hence the additional law given by God, whereby man shares more
perfectly in the eternal law."
^ Cf. Veritatis splendor, 12.
^ "St. Thomas Aquinas's commentary on the Ten Commandments, prologue,
sec. 'A fourfold law'". Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.98, art.1 & 4–5". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.107, art.2". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, II-I, Q.106, art.4". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ Ludwig Ott, Grundriss der Dogmatik, nova & vetera, Bonn 2005,
IV/I § 15
^ "De veritate, Q.2, art.3, answer 19". Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20
^ "De veritate, Q. 1, art. 3". Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, I, Q.16, art.6". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "De anima, Bk. II, Chp. V, 417b18–418a25". Op-stjoseph.org.
Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ "Summa, I, Q.84, art.1". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, I, Q.84, art.7". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "St. Thomas Aquinas's commentary on De anima, §688".
Op-stjoseph.org. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
^ "Summa, I, Q.84, art.8". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ a b Kennedy, Daniel (1912). "Thomism". In Herbermann, Charles.
Catholic Encyclopedia. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
"Gradually, however, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,
there came a decline in the study of the works of the great
^ John Paul II. "Fides et ratio, 49". Vatican.va. Retrieved 20
^ "Summa, I, Q.3, art. 7". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ "Summa, I, Q.46., art.1". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 20 November
^ Maimonides, The Guide for the Perplexed, (I:2,15).
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2013.
Retrieved 21 August 2013. “The Revival of Thomism: An
Historical Survey, ” James Weisheipl, 1962.
^ John Haldane, 1998. "Thomism". In E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge
Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Retrieved August 18,
2013, from http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/N067
^ A Short History of Thomism, Catholic University of America Press,
^ Early Thomistic School, Frederick J. Roensch, 1964;
https://books.google.com/books?id=v0lDAAAAIAAJ&q Accessed 30
Accessed 30 August 2013
Archived 17 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 30 August 2013
Roselli, Salvatore Maria, New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2003, Roensch, F.
J.: "...he furnished the basis for the Thomistic reconstruction of the
Accessed 7 August 2015; Scholasticon calls Roselli "l'un des
principaux ancêtres du néo-thomisme du XIXe siècle. Accessed 28
^ “The Revival of Thomism: An Historical Survey,” James Weisheipl,
1962 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2013.
Retrieved 21 August 2013. Accessed 30 August 2013
^ a b c d e Feser, Edward (15 October 2009). "The Thomistic tradition
(Part 1)". Retrieved 2011-01-02.
Thomas Aquinas (1952), edd., Walter Farrell, OP, STM, and
Martin J. Healy, STD, My Way of Life: Pocket Edition of St.
Thomas—The Summa Simplified for Everyone, Brooklyn, NY:
Confraternity of the Precious Blood.
^ La nozione Metafisica di Participazione, Cornelio Fabro, Preface to
the second edition, 5;
Accessed 30 August 2013
Accessed 27 March 2013
Accessed 5 September 2013
^ it:Battista Mondin Accessed 12 April
2013[better source needed]
Accessed 17 August 2013
Accessed 9 April 2013
^ Leo Elders Accessed 30 August 2013
^ http://www.istitutotomistico.it/risorse/testi_arca.htm Accessed 5
^ See Raffaele Rizzello’s "Il Progetto Tommaso," in Vita quaerens
intellectum, eds. Giacomo Grasso and Stefano Serafini, Millennium
Romae, Rome 1999, pp. 157-161. "Archived copy". Archived from the
original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
Accessed 5 Sept. 2013
^ a b
Accessed 15 March 2013
^ " Bocheński and Balance: System and History in Analytic
Philosophy", Peter Simons, Studies in East European Thought 55 (2003),
281–297, Reprinted in: Edgar Morscher, Otto Neumaier and Peter
Simons, Ein Philosoph mit "Bodenhaftung": Zu Leben und Werk von Joseph
M. Bocheński. St.Augustin: Academia, 2011, 61–79
^ pl:Jan Salamucha Accessed 16 March
2013[better source needed]
^ Gilson wrote about the topic of faith and reason in a chapter of his
book Le Thomisme.
^ "The natural sciences are epistemologically first." contains an
Benedict Ashley (2006). The Way toward Wisdom: An
Interdisciplinary and Contextual Introduction to Metaphysics. Houston:
University of Notre Dame Press for the Center of Thomistic Studies.
OCLC 609421317. comparing this chief thesis of River Forest
Thomism to the objections from Lawrence Dewan, O.P.
^ Biography https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70346283 .
^ "Weisheipl, James Patrick Athanasius", in The Dictionary of Modern
American Philosophers(2005), New York: Oxford.
^ There is a River Forest Dominican Collection at the Jacques Maritain
Center, at the University of Notre Dame.
http://www3.nd.edu/Departments/Maritain/rf.htm . Accessed 2015 January
^ For an excellent introduction to River Forest Thomism, see:
Benedict Ashley (2006). The Way toward Wisdom: An Interdisciplinary
and Contextual Introduction to Metaphysics. Houston: University of
Notre Dame Press for the Center of Thomistic Studies.
Benedict Ashley; Raymond James Long (1991). "The River Forest School
Philosophy of Nature Today".
Philosophy and the
Abraham: essays in memory of James A. Weisheipl, OP.
^ "A Brief Overview of Lublin Thomism". Hyoomik.com. Retrieved 20
^ Feser, Edward (18 October 2009). "The Thomistic tradition (Part 2)".
^ The introduction to Paterson & Pugh's book on Analytical Thomism
is available gratis online.
(in English) (in Latin) Thomas Aquinas' Works in English
(in Latin) Corpus Thomisticum – his complete works
The Thomist, a scholarly journal on Thomism
Introductory chapter by Craig Paterson and Matthew Pugh on the
development of Thomism
The XXIV Theses of Thomistic
Philosophy and commentary by P.
Electronic Resources for Medieval Philosophy
Reality: A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought by Reginald
Garrigou-Lagrange, Réginald (2013). The
Essence & Topicality of
Thomism. ISBN 9781304416186.
Philosophy by Richard Percival Phillips, a good
introduction on the Thomistic philosophy of nature for students
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