THE PHILOSOPHICAL SYSTEM OF THOMAS AQUINAS I. Introduction  A. The place of Thomism in Mediaeval Philosophy Some years ago I made a circuit of the French Cathedrals under the guidance of a friend who is an archaeologist. "We shall visit first," said he, "the cathedral of Amiens, for it is the prototype...
The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, a beginners course by Dr. Jonathan Dolhenty I. THE LIFE OF THOMAS AQUINAS (122-1274): THE "ANGELIC DOCTOR" Thomas Aquinas, born of a noble family in Rocca Secca, near Aquino in 1225, was to complete the magnificent synthesis of Scholasticism. As a very young boy, he went to...
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THOMAS AQUINAS General Discussion from Classic Philosophers by Jonathan Dolhenty Ph.D. In determining or defining the relationship of God with the world, Aquinas departs not only from the doctrine of the Averroist Aristotelians, but also from the teaching of Aristotle himself. For Aristotle matter was uncreated and co-eternal with...
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THOMAS AQUINAS MADE SIMPLE, BY JONATHAN DOLHENTY, PH.D. Part V, General Metaphysics Aquinas accepts the general principles of the metaphysics of Aristotle, for whom there are two principles of being, potency and act. Act signifies being, reality, perfection; potency is non-being, non-reality, imperfection. Potency does not, however, mean absolute...
The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas Made Simple, by Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D. Part IV, Epistemology of Thomas Aquinas To explain the process of knowledge, Thomas Aquinas has recourse neither to the innate ideas of Platonism nor to the illumination of Augustine. Instead, he postulates a cognitive faculty naturally capable of acquiring...
The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas: A Beginners Course, by Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D. Part III, An Introduction to His Doctrines Thomas Aquinas was the first to recognize the fact that Aristotelian intellectualism would be of great help for the study of philosophy as well as theology. But the introduction of Aristotle's...
The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, a beginners course by Jonathan Dolhenty II. The Works of Thomas Aquinas The works of Thomas Aquinas may be conveniently divided into four groups: COMMENTARIES on the Logic, Physics, Metaphysics, and Ethics of Aristotle; on the Scriptures; on Dionysius the Areopagite; on the Four Books of Sentences of Peter Lombard. SUMMAE The Summa...
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THOMAS AQUINAS General Philosophy of Classic Philosophers by Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D. In opposition to the voluntarism of St. Augustine, Aquinas upholds the primacy of the intellect over the will. Aquinas extends this law even to God; the foundation of creation is the Divine Essence, which is rational; the...
Adventures in Philosophy St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 1274) St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 1274) Philosophy and Theology Thomas Aquinas (picture) does not accept the Averroist principle of the double truth. Philosophy and theology are distinct but not opposed, and what reason shows to be true is absolutely true in theology also. Moreover,...
The Philosophical System of Thomas Aquinas, by Maurice de Wulf, Edited and Adapted for the web by Jonathan Dolhenty XIX.  Doctrinal Characteristics of Scholasticism A. Moderation and the sense of limit After this brief and elementary survey of the principal philosophical doctrines of Aquinas, we are in a position to discern certain characteristics...
The Philosophical System of Thomas Aquinas, by Maurice de Wulf, edited and adapted for the web by Jonathan Dolhenty XVIII. Classification of the Sciences and Divisions of Philosophy A. Particular and General Sciences At the time of the thirteenth century, the West possessed a comprehensive classification of the sciences, which we may well...
The Philosophical System of Thomas Aquinas, by Maurice de Wulf, edited and adapted for the web by Jonathan Dolhenty XVII. The Esthetic Aspect of the Universe A. Art, Nature, and Beauty Themselves contemporaries of a tremendous artistic development, which ranks the thirteenth century among the great creative epochs, the Schoolmen did not neglect...
The Philosophical System of Thomas Aquinas, by Maurice de Wulf, edited and adapted for the web by Jonathan Dolhenty XVI. The Construction of the Sciences A. Logic as a teaching method, and as a branch of philosophy Thomas asks whether logic is an art or a science, and comes to the conclusion...
The Philosophical System of Thomas Aquinas, by Maurice de Wulf, edited and adapted for the web by Jonathan Dolhenty XV. Group Life and the State A. The fundamental principle of group life Man is intended by nature to form a society. The group life is necessary, for if left to himself in...
The Philosophical System of Thomas Aquinas, by Maurice de Wulf, edited and adapted for the web by Jonathan Dolhenty XIV. Conscience and Moral Virtue.  A. Conscience The obligation to act in a particular way in a particular instance affects the will through the intermediary of an act of knowledge. This is evident...
The Philosophical System of Thomas Aquinas, by Maurice de Wulf, edited and adapted for the web by Jonathan Dolhenty XIII. Obligation and Moral Law A. Nature and extension of moral obligation The study of moral obligation is one of the chief features in which the Schoolmen advance beyond the Greek philosophers, who...
The Philosophical System of Thomas Aquinas, by Maurice de Wulf, edited and adapted for the web by Jonathan Dolhenty XII. Personal Conduct and Moral Values A. The Science of Morality The activity of man is characterized by teleology, i.e., he desires certain things as ends, and he wills other things a means...
The Philosophical System of Thomas Aquinas, by Maurice de Wulf, edited and adapted for the web by Jonathan Dolhenty XI. God A. Proofs of the existence of God It has been noticed above that the innumerable individual beings which make up the universe are subject to change, and that the change of...
The Philosophical System of Thomas Aquinas, by Maurice de Wulf, edited and adapted for the web by by Jonathan Dolhenty X. Soul and Body A. The substantial Ego The subject matter of scholastic psychology is not mere consciousness, or any single human function, but the whole man, the ego with the manifold...
The Philosophical System of Thomas Aquinas, by Maurice de Wulf, edited and adapted for the web by by Jonathan Dolhenty IX. The Process of Change A. Actuality and Potentiality Our supposition of a motionless and dead universe is after all only an artifice of our didactic method. For it is evident that...