ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
SummaTheologia▯: Treatise on God
Question 2: Does God Exist?
Article 1: Is the existence of God self-evident?
Article 2: Is the existence of God demonstrable?
Article 3: Does God exist?
for a moment, going back to last class on Being and Essence...
Potency: essence, ﬁrst actuality
Actuality: being, second actuality
Aristotle's analogy for understanding the soul. If the eye were a body, what would be the soul of this body? Sight.
Sight is its ﬁrst actuality. The second actuality is seeing. When the eye is closed, or I am sleeping, I have the ﬁrst
actuality of sight. When I awake and look I am actualizing that, second actuality: seeing.
IN GOD,THERE IS NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN FIRSTAND SECONDACTUALITY
- in God, there is no distinction between potency and actuality—no composition between what he could do and
what he is actually doing.
Quidity: the nature. quiditative knowledge - predications on a similitude. i.e. Human is rational animal.
because of time constraints, we deleted a reading: question 1 of this treatise. question 1 is about the relation
between philosophy (including all sciences and mathematics) and theology. Do we need theology? Aquinas says yes
we need theology.
BUT, Aquinas project becomes turning Theology into a Natural Science. THIS IS ABOUT METHOD.
Question 1: a) philosophy is good. b) that being said, it is not alone suﬃcient. c) I am going to turn theology into a
this goes the way of any basic aristotelian science (so this is the context, Aquinas is trying to establish Theology as
Q2: Is God?
Q3: What God is (not).
1. Is God Self-Evident (per se nota - is it known through itself / in itself)? No.
2. Is God Demonstrable? Yes.
3. Does God Exist? Yes.
he doesn't think God is self evident, but that doesn't mean he is indemonstrable. For something to need to be
demonstrated it must not be self-evident. There is some pessimism and some optimism mingling here.
Science in an Aristotelian form is all about demonstration. Demonstration for Aristotle is syllogistic: Socrates is a
man, men are mortal, therefore Socrates is mortal.
For Aristotle, the paradigm of science is the demonstratio▯.
[major premise, proposition]
[minor premise, proposition]