Saint Thomas Aquinas


Thomas Aquinas, also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino; was an Italian priest of the Catholic Church in the Dominican Order. Immensely influential philosopher and theologian,in the tradition of scholasticism. Popularly known as Doctor Angelicus & Doctor Universalis. "Aquinas" is a Latin adjective meaning "of Aquino", his place of birth. Born- c. 1229 ,Aquino, Kingdom of Sicily and Died - 7 March, 1274 (aged 49) Fossanuova Abbey , Kingdom of Sicily. Priest , Philosopher, Theologian.

Fields of Interest - Metaphysics , logic , Mind , Ethics , Politics, Epistemology . Notable Works - Summa Theologica and Summa Contra Gentiles.


By profession, Thomas was a theologian rather than a philosopher. He was, nonetheless, a masterfully skilled philosopher. Much of his work bears upon philosophical topics, and in this sense may be characterized as philosophical. Thomas's philosophical thought has exerted enormous influence on subsequent Christian theology, extending to Western philosophy in general. Thomas stands as a vehicle and modifier of Aristotelianism, Augustinian Neoplatonism and Proclean Neoplatonism.


Thomistic Philosophy is inspired by the philosophical methods and principles used by Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican and Theologian, in his explanation of the Catholic faith. Aquinas, who is most renowned for his Five Ways of Proving the Existence of God, believed that both faith and reason discover truth, a conflict between them being impossible since they both originate in God. Believing that reason can, in principle, lead the mind to God, Aquinas defended reason's legitimacy, especially in the works of Aristotle. The philosophy of Aquinas continues to offer insights into many problems of Metaphysics, the Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion and Ethics.

Revelation - Thomas believed that truth is known through reason (natural revelation) and faith (supernatural revelation). Epistemology - Thomas believed "that for the knowledge of any truth whatsoever man needs divine help, that the intellect may be moved by God to its act.” However, he believed that human beings have the natural capacity to know many things without special divine revelation. Creation - Thomas believed life could form from non living material or plant life, a theory of ongoing abiogenesis known as spontaneous generation.

Aquinas said,” the agent intellect is, like the passive intellect, a faculty of the human soul.” Aquinas maintains that the soul is capable of existing apart from the living body after the death of the body. This might suggest that he is a kind of Substance Dualist, the soul being one substance and the body another, with the soul “interacting” as it were with the other substance, the body. But, A substance, is something that is both subsistent and complete in a nature(example:- Body). Therefore, soul is a subsistent (part of substance) after the death of the body and is incomplete in nature.

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