Talk:Thomism

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Philosophical realism[edit]

As a neo-Thomist, I find the vast majority of this article quite accurate and informative. The only point that really sticks out to me is the explanation of "Philosophical Realism." I don't have any texts handy, so I can't provide support yet. I believe that St. Thomas holds all men to be of one species, while every individual angel is a species unto itself, with no two angels of the same species. Summa Theologica I, Q. 75, a. 7 touches on this. Article 4 of the same question touches on the matter of man's body, as does article 4 of question 76. It would be far less controversial to state that man is made of body and soul, the body being the matter and the soul being the form, without arguing that the body must be prime matter. "Philosophical realism" might better be described as "Hylomorphism", which is the understanding of material things as being composed of matter (hylo) and form (morph). "Philosophical realism" seems to have more to do with the existence of universals in the things that actually exist, and with the things we sense actually existing in themselves, and not simply in our minds. St. Thomas is, quite clearly, a philosophical or metaphysical realist.

-Dane Weber


Proofs of God's existence?[edit]

I removed the following from the introduction to the 5 Ways discussion: "Though termed "proofs" of God's existence, they are better understood as "reasonings." These reasonings observe certain effects, and move towards inferring the cause. Aquinas would argue that God's existence cannot be "proven" per se because thinking of an object does not prove its existence, but that God's existence can be inferred based on these effects."

This is factually incorrect. Aquinas not only believed they were proofs, he Called them proofs, and is quoted above (in the section under Theodicy) of explaining that God's existence could be proven a-posteriori, which the 5 Ways are. Bozimmerman 22:35, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

The first thing he argued indeed, but that is one possible way of proving God and the other possible ways he ap-proved. --84.154.43.64 (talk) 13:38, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Natural Law and Ethics in General[edit]

Could we have a section on the Thomist ethical beliefs, especially a summary of Aquinas' understanding of Natural Law? I would like to know all the things he had to say on the matter, and all the alterations he made to the pagan philosophy in claiming it for Christianity.Fledgeaaron (talk) 10:22, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Changed heading from "Theodicy" to "God"[edit]

Items 22 to 24 do not appear to be about Theodicy at all. According to Wikipedia, "Theodicy is a specific branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to reconcile the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the belief in an omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent God, i.e., the problem of evil." There is no reference to the problem of evil here. It is about Aquinas' concept of God.

Maybe something on his theology[edit]

Thomas's views on predestination are very surprising and interesting. It also may be worth discussing other elements of his views on the Trinity, Christ, angels, or human salvation, as he was a theologian.

Schaff-Herzog[edit]

The quotation from Schaff-Herzog does not represent current scholarly opinion. The consensus today is that scholars of the past over-emphasized Thomas Aquinas the Philosopher. This quotation represents that old perspective. It suggests that the theology of Thomas Aquinas fundamentally depended on Aristotelian convictions derived from reason. This is certainly not the stated intention of Aquinas, as the first question of the Summa Theologiae makes clear. But it is not even an accurate reading of what was *really* going on.

Here is a current assessment of the "theological turn" in attitudes towards Thomism:

http://www.amazon.com/Theology-Thomas-Aquinas-Rik-Nieuwenhove/dp/0268043639--Cyrusrex1545 (talk) 14:14, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Decline of thomism in the 1970s[edit]

The article should maybe try to explain the causes that led to thomism's decline in the 1970s, at least in the form of neothomism. One of the reasons is the Church's active dialogue with other religions, many of which had been frankly opposed to the aristotelian origins of thomism. Another reason is the general intellectual turmoil that the West experienced in the years that followed the 1968 cultural revolution. Many former thomists either adopted entirely secular philosophies such as structuralism and phenomenology or embraced new intellectual currents within the Church itself, such as anonymous Christianity, ecclesiology of communion and liberation theology. ADM (talk) 11:42, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

"Thought of St. Thomas Aquinas"[edit]

The article Thought of Thomas Aquinas seems superfluous, since Thomism is by definition the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. I would argue for a merger. -- LightSpectra (talk) 00:37, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Maybe not. At the very least the section Thomistic philosophy seems to instead deserve the title The dogmata of Pius X, not Thomism. I believe I can perceive a sound underlying philosophy under these dogmata, but the dogmata themselves seems to be more like anathematizing religious incorrectness, not philosophy in the very least. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 13:58, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
I've now read the articles more in detail, and I agree. A merger is justified, but the other article contains some essayish texts that simply deserve removal. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 16:15, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Possible glitch in Chesterton quote[edit]

The quote from G.K. Chesterton includes:

"The modern philosopher claims, like a sort of confident man, that if we will grant him this, the rest will be easy…"

I am compelled to wonder whether "confident man" (a man who is, presumptively honestly, cofident) is a mis-transcription of "confidence man" (a man who, exploiting others' willingness to trust in him – i.e. to be confident in him – gulls them into a position he can abuse). (Eddy) 84.215.6.188 (talk) 19:50, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Islamic influence[edit]

I am fascinated by the (at a first and only cursory skim through the page) apparent lack of any reference to the Arabic philosophers via whom Thomas Aquinas surely obtained much of his knowledge of Aristotelean (and Platonic) philosophy – most obviously, to use their Europeanized names, Avicenna and Averroes. The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy (Peter Adamson and Richard C. Taylor, Ed., CUP, ISBN 0 521 81743 9ISBN 0 251 52069 X) may be a usable source for relevant material. (Eddy) 84.215.6.188 (talk) 19:50, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Influences on St. Thomas Aquinas is is more appropriate for his article, rather than Thomism, I'd think; since Thomism is moreso about the beliefs themselves. -- LightSpectra (talk) 20:14, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
If the influences were dealt with in a specific article (which I didn't find), it is sufficient to say here that he integrated opionions of Muslims, and to name just one specific philosopher, to wit, the Philosopher. Otherwise one might mention the Commentator, who was Muslim, or else the Master of Sentences, or even "Tully" to whom he gives great authority if it comes to putting things into comprehensive lists, as it seems. --84.154.94.126 (talk) 10:20, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Pathetic img[edit]

Looks like he is deeply shameful from pilfering in the monastery pantry. Are all images this pathetic? Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 19:47, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

The Philosopher[edit]

It may seem picayune, but the significance of how Aquinas referred to Aristotle was not that he called him a "Philosopher." It's that he called him "THE Philosopher." Other philosophers are mentioned often in Aquinas, but only one gets the definite article. I took the liberty of moving the quote in the first paragraph under General; excluding the definite article -- which was, after all, present -- from the quotes stopped just short of making the real point.

Yikes, I just noticed this further on: "'[A]ccidents must include in their definition a subject which is outside their genus.' Because they only exist in other things, Thomas holds that metaphysics is primarily the study of substances, as they are the primary mode of being." While technically fair grammar, the "they" comes off quite ambiguous. I don't have an immediate suggestion that wouldn't entirely reword the paragraph. rasqual (talk) 16:11, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

I unquoted "THE" assuming Aquinas wrote in Latin (without articles) and the translator inserted articles freely. Curiosity led to a latin version (the original?) behind the cited portion of Question 84 Article 7: "Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in III de anima, quod nihil sine phantasmate intelligit anima." It seems that he calls him "quod philosophus" and likewise in the previous article. Maybe the "quod" in that quote exalts him.
Taking my original research further, I find counterexamples nearby in Article 2. Aquinas refers to Aristotle (translated "the philosopher") without "quod" affixed here: "Praeterea, philosophus dicit, in III de anima, quod anima quodammodo est omnia." Then "the ancient philosophers" (Plato, Dionysius, and Empedocles?) are also dignified with "quod antiqui philosophi" as he responds: "Respondeo dicendum quod antiqui philosophi posuerunt quod anima per suam essentiam cognoscit corpora." The translator inserted "the Philosopher" into "And consequently things that are not receptive of forms save materially, have no power of knowledge whatever--such as plants, as the Philosopher says (De Anima ii, 12)." from "Et ideo quae non recipiunt formas nisi materialiter, nullo modo sunt cognoscitiva, sicut plantae; ut dicitur in II libro de anima." where Aquinas was elliptical. Enough to illustrate my point of view about definite articles.
Prari (talk) 06:05, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Thomism's spiritual "evolutionism"[edit]

Gustav Wetter, in his work Dialectic Materialism, compared Thomism with Soviet metaphysics in a manner that could similarly be stated as a similarity with Darwinian evolution, interestingly enough:

pg. 331. ..."We need only refer to the fact that Thomism, for example, employs a similar notion when it treats substantial change (transformation of essence) as in many cases the results of a more or less lengthy process of accidental change." c.f. P. Hoenen, S.J.: Cosmologia, Rome 1936, pp. 281 ff.; J. Gredt, O.S.B.: Die aristotelish-scholastische Philosophie, I, Freiburg-i-B 1935, pp. 148, 267. ... Nagelfar (talk) 10:14, 3 August 2011 (UTC)


Potency as metaphor[edit]

From the article : ...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..... Potency as metaphor for what what concept? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 196.215.189.117 (talk) 05:20, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Removed text[edit]

I removed the following, as 1. Peggy Frye is not notable, and 2. The link is dead. Narssarssuaq (talk) 22:12, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Apologist Peggy Frye of Catholic Answers comments that "Aquinas’s vision may have been a vision of heaven, compared to which everything else, no matter how glorious, seems worthless."[1]

I removed additional superfluous text:

Gottfried Leibniz later expounds on this view[47] in his work Théodicée (1710), which argues that God has authored the best of all possible worlds, one that requires the existence of evil to be optimal.

While that is about the same subject, the "Problem of Evil", it has nothing to do with Thomism and is not a part of it. It has to do with the same subject, but the statement only serves to misrepresent Thomism, which does not argue about the requirement of the existence of evil. LaRoza (talk) 17:57, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Cracow Circle and Analytic Thomism[edit]

Apart from the fact that one is Polish and the other British, is there a significant difference between Cracow Circle Thomism and Analytic Thomism? --173.246.30.142 (talk) 04:48, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Peggy Frye, This Rock Volume 17 (May–June 2006), Number 5, Quick Questions.[dead link]