Ideas from 'Summa Theologicae' by Thomas Aquinas [1265], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Summa Theologicae (Concise)' by Aquinas,Thomas (ed/tr McDermott,Timothy) [Christian Classics 1991,0-87061-210-7]].

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2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
Supposing many principles is superfluous if a few will do it
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 1. Truth
Types of lying: Speak lies, intend lies, intend deception, aim at deceptive goal? [Tuckness/Wolf]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 9. Rejecting Truth
If the existence of truth is denied, the 'Truth does not exist' must be true!
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / g. Particular being
Being implies distinctness, which implies division, unity, and multitude
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 4. Naturalism
Non-human things are explicable naturally, and voluntary things by the will, so God is not needed
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / d. Form as unifier
Humans only have a single substantial form, which contains the others and acts for them
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / b. Direct realism
A knowing being possesses a further reality, the 'presence' of the thing known
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 2. Self-Evidence
Some things are self-evident to us; others are only self-evident in themselves
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 8. A Priori as Analytic
A proposition is self-evident if the predicate is included in the essence of the subject
12. Knowledge Sources / C. Rationalism / 1. Rationalism
Sensation prepares the way for intellectual knowledge, which needs the virtues of reason
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 1. Faculties
Sensations are transmitted to 'internal senses' in the brain, chiefly to 'phantasia' and 'imagination' [Kretzmann/Stump]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 2. Imagination
Mental activity combines what we sense with imagination of what is not present
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind
Abstracting A from B generates truth, as long as the connection is not denied
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 5. Generalisation by mind
We understand the general nature of things by ignoring individual peculiarities
Very general ideas (being, oneness, potentiality) can be abstracted from thought matter in general
The mind abstracts generalities from images, but also uses images for understanding
Particular instances come first, and (pace Plato) generalisations are abstracted from them
Species are abstracted from appearances by ignoring individual conditions
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 1. Nature of Free Will
Aquinas attributes freedom to decisions and judgements, and not to the will alone [Kretzmann/Stump]
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 1. Dualism
The human intellectual soul is an incorporeal, subsistent principle
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 6. Judgement / a. Nature of Judgement
First grasp what it is, then its essential features; judgement is their compounding and division
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 1. Abstract Thought
We abstract forms from appearances, and acquire knowledge of immaterial things
Understanding consists entirely of grasping abstracted species
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 2. Abstracta by Selection
Mathematics can be abstracted from sensible matter, and from individual intelligible matter
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 3. Abstracta by Ignoring
Mathematical objects abstract both from perceived matter, and from particular substance
Abstracting either treats something as separate, or thinks of it separately
We can just think of an apple's colour, because the apple is not part of the colour's nature
Numbers and shapes are abstracted by ignoring their sensible qualities
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 8. Abstractionism Critique
The mind must produce by its own power an image of the individual species
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / e. Means and ends
We must know the end, know that it is the end, and know how to attain it
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / b. Rational ethics
For humans good is accordance with reason, and bad is contrary to reason.
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / d. Teaching virtue
Aquinas wanted, not to escape desire, but to transform it for moral ends [MacIntyre]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / b. Temperance
Temperance prevents our passions from acting against reason
25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 2. The Law / c. Natural law
Tyrannical laws are irrational, and so not really laws
Right and wrong actions pertain to natural law, as perceived by practical reason
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 1. War
For Aquinas a war must be in a just cause, have proper authority, and aim at good [Grayling]
25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 3. Abortion
Aquinas says a fertilized egg is not human, and has no immortal soul [Martin/Barresi]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 7. Later Matter Theories / c. Matter as extension
Bodies are three-dimensional substances
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / b. Ontological Proof critique
We can't know God's essence, so his existence can't be self-evident for us
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / a. Cosmological Proof
If you assume that there must be a necessary being, you can't say which being has this quality [Kant]
Way 1: the infinite chain of potential-to-actual movement has to have a first mover
Way 2: no effect without a cause, and this cannot go back to infinity, so there is First Cause
Way 3: contingent beings eventually vanish, so continuity needs a necessary being
Way 4: the source of all qualities is their maximum, so something (God) causes all perfections
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / b. Teleological Proof
Way 5: mindless things act towards an obvious end, so there is an intelligent director
29. Religion / B. Monotheistic Religion / 4. Christianity / a. Christianity
Life aims at the Beatific Vision - of perfect happiness, and revealed truth [Zagzebski]
29. Religion / B. Monotheistic Religion / 4. Christianity / c. Angels
Aquinas saw angels as separated forms, rather than as made of 'spiritual matter' [Kretzmann/Stump]
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 2. Immortality / d. Heaven
Those in bliss have their happiness increased by seeing the damned punished
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 3. Problem of Evil / a. Problem of Evil
God does not exist, because He is infinite and good, and so no evil should be discoverable
It is part of God's supreme goodness that He brings good even out of evil