Bonus Lecture: Thomas Aquinas, Soul’s Powers (Faculties), Cognition & Proof of God’s Existence

(1225-1274). Painting attributed to Botticelli, 1481-82.

Video Link – Thomas Aquinas, Soul’s Powers (Faculties), Cognition & Proof of God’s Existence

Contents of Video

Aquinas’ hylomorphism
– Soul and body are distinguishable realities, ‘incomplete substances’; but together they form one substance, the human being.
– The Soul as a Subsisting Form Configuring Matter.
– Soul survives death (contra Aristotle).
– Powers (faculties) of the human soul.

Aquinas on Cognition-Knowledge
– Common sense, phantasia, agent intellect, possible intellect.
– Sensible species, phantasms
– Active intellect & intelligible species, inner word or concept, possible intellect
– Four different stages – the reception of sensible species; their processing into phantasms; the abstraction of intelligible species; and their processing into intellected intentions.

Arguments for Existence of God
– The First Way: God, the Prime Mover
– The Second Way: God, the First Cause
– The Third Way: God, the Necessary Being
– The Fourth Way: God, the Absolute Being
– The Fifth Way: God, the Grand Designer

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Thomas Aquinas, Soul’s Powers (Faculties), Cognition & Proofs God’s Existence

Forthcoming Uploads – New series of videos on Biblical-Nicene Trinitarianism vs Early Heresies.

Philosophy and Theology Reading 2/3

Theology Judges the Conclusions of Philosophy

As the superior science, theology judges philosophy in the same sense that philosophy judges the sciences. It therefore exercises in respect of the latter a function of guidance or government, though a negative government, which consists in rejecting as false any philosophic affirmation which contradicts a theological truth. In this sense theology controls and exercises jurisdiction over the conclusions maintained by philosophers.

The premisses of philosophy, however, are independent of theology, being those primary truths which are self-evident to the understanding, whereas the premisses of theology are the truths revealed by God…[philosophy] develops its principles autonomously within its own spheres, though subject to the external control and negative regulation of theology.

Theology can turn the investigations of philosophy in one direction rather than in another, in which case it may be said to regulate philosophy positively by accident (per accidens). But absolutely speaking theology can regulate philosophy only negatively, as has been explained above. Positively it does not regulate it either directly, by furnishing its proofs (as faith for apologetics), or indirectly, by classifying its divisions (as philosophy itself classifies the sciences).

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