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St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas

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St. Thomas Aquinas

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  1. St. Thomas Aquinas Ronald F. White, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy College of Mount St. Joseph

  2. Biographical • 1225-1274 • Roccasecca (castle), Italy • Montecassino (monastery) • University of Naples (Dominicans) • Later Paris • Lived most of his life in Italy

  3. Philosophy v. Theology • “… the believer and the philosopher consider creatures differently. The philosopher considers what belongs to their proper natures, while the believer considers only what is true of creatures insofar as they are related to God, for example, that they are created by God and are subject to him, and the like.” (Summa contra gentiles,bk II, chap. 4)

  4. Philosophical Orientation • Philosophy is public what everyone knows by rational reflection. • Knowledge of the World-defensible knowledge claims • The rediscovery of the works of Aristotle • Integrated Roman Catholic theology with Aristotelian philosophy. (Faith-Reason) • Metaphysics • Form and Matter • Potentiality and Actuality • Natural Purposefulness • Soul as Animation • Theoretical and Practiical • Problem: Aristotle was (at best) indifferent to a theistic God. • Deism • Polytheism • Ethics: Natural Law

  5. Theological Orientation • Known by Divine Revelation • Roman Catholic Theism • Soul will be re-united with the Body • Subsistence v. substance

  6. Souls • Human Soul • Thinking (eternal) immaterial • Animal Soul • Perception • motion • Plant Soul • nutrition

  7. Rationality of Belief in God • Knowledge of God’s “existence” v. “essence” • Ontological v. Cosmological Proof • 5 ways of “knowing” God (from Aristotle and Plato) • 1. Motion • 2. Causation • 3. Existence • 4. Degrees of Perfection • 5. Design

  8. Issues for Philosophy of Mind • Philosophy v. Theology: • Vitalism: The Belief that there is a “vital” difference between living and non-living things. • Anthropocentrism: The belief that humans possess a distinctive kind of soul that elevates us above other living things (plants and animals). • Immortality: The belief that the soul is immortal and “subsists” independent of body. • God as Creator • God as Organizer • Rationality of the Belief in God (Faith-Reason): • Ontological Proof • Cosmological Proof