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Thomas Aquinas' Philosophy

Although he never considered himself to be a philosopher, Thomas Aquinas’ philosophy was one of leading intellectual forces in European thought for centuries and still holds a central place in Roman Catholic dogma. Aquinas’ thought has been characterized as belonging to the Scholastic school of philosophy, known frequently as Thomism.

Thomas Aquinas' PhilosophyUnder Thomism, truth must be accepted regardless of where it is discovered. Therefore, Aquinas drew heavily on numerous sources, such as Muslim or Greek thinkers, especially Aristotle, whom he called “The Philosopher.”

Thomas Aquinas' Thoughts

The essential thoughts of Aquinas’ philosophy have been distilled into 24 Theses, broken into categories of:

  1. Ontology
  2. Cosmology
  3. Psychology
  4. God

Ontology is the philosophical inquiry of being. Part of Thomism’s ontology maintains that only God exists in absolute being. Also, the soul is the most essential part of any living being.

Aquinas’ philosophy also heavily dealt with ethics, and Aquinas himself said that all beings strive towards “the good.” He also maintained in the Summa Theologica that the existence of God could be discovered through reason, and that there were five separate arguments to demonstrate it. Aquinas’ philosophy also held that there was no contradiction between the free will of human beings and God’s providence, or intervention in the world. Thomism, however, has declined in popularity as a philosophy in the modern world.

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