Aquinas’s Way to God: The Proof in De Ente et Essentia by Gaven Kerr

By Gaven Kerr

Gaven Kerr presents the 1st book-length learn of St. Thomas Aquinas's a lot ignored evidence for the life of God in De Ente et Essentia bankruptcy four. He bargains a latest presentation, interpretation, and security of this evidence, starting with an account of the metaphysical ideas utilized by Aquinas after which describing how they're hired in the facts to set up the lifestyles of God. alongside the best way, Kerr engages modern authors who've addressed Aquinas's or related reasoning.

The facts constructed within the De Ente is, on Kerr's studying, autonomous of the various different proofs in Aquinas's corpus and immune to the normal classificatory schemes of proofs of God. through utilising a ancient and hermeneutical know-how of the philosophical matters provided through Aquinas's proposal and comparing such philosophical concerns with analytical precision, Kerr is ready to go through the evidence and evaluation what Aquinas is asserting, and even if what he's asserting is true.

By technique of an research of 1 of Aquinas's earliest proofs, Kerr highlights a foundational argument that's current during the even more mostly studied Thomistic writings, and brings it to undergo in the context of analytical philosophy, displaying its relevance to the modern reader.

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Sample text

On the other hand, in type (i) multiplication, specific animals are actual instances and thereby multiplications of the type ‘animal’, and in 2 6 | A quinas ’ s way to god type (ii) material individuals of some type are actual instances and thereby multiplications of that type. Consequently, in type (iii) multiplication, there is not the actual multiplication of the general property in the individuals, but the participation of the individuals in the general property, in which case the separate property remains one and single.

Aquinas then concludes that such a being cannot be multiplied in any way, that is to say, there is at most one being whose essence is its esse. But immediately three questions present themselves: first, has Aquinas adequately eliminated multiplication types (i) and (ii) from the picture? Second, what about multiplication type (iii), given that Aquinas has not explicitly rejected this? Third, could there be any other type of multiplication applicable to that whose essence is its esse? Let us consider each of these questions in turn.

So given that in my interpretation stage one is bound up with concepts, then the argumentation in stage two must be hypothetical, and thereby bound up with concepts as well. I emphasise this because it is Long’s contention that if stage one is conceptual, then stage two must be also; this is surely correct, given that the hypothetical nature of stage two demands that its concern be with concepts. However, the hypothetical, and thereby conceptual, nature of stage two does not preclude the possibility of drawing real conclusions about essence and esse, as will be shown later.

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