Aquinas: A New Introduction by John Peterson

By John Peterson

Aquinas presents an in-depth research of simple philosophical thoughts within the considered Aquinas. those techniques contain: being, essence, life, shape, subject, fact, goodness, freedom and necessity, wisdom, prepared and selecting, and correct motion. those principles are approached from an analytical standpoint however the research isn't really technical, which permits newbies to stick to the dialogue.

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Finally, that same ideal pattern as end elicits my building as means. Thus are two moving or efficient causes connected by a final cause, making a systematic or integrated causal triad. The same holds for m’s birthing p. The form or essence of m is the condition of the growth changes that occur in m before m’s reproductive changes. The former are what make the form or nature of paramecium in m the end or goal of the latter. Thus do formal and efficient causes jointly exemplify a thoroughgoing reciprocity.

The form of a paramecium in the budding paramecium determines as an end the reproductive activities that produce a new paramecium. As final cause, that form logically (and temporally) precedes those activities. Once again, the final cause is the cause of the efficient cause. But since the natural end or goal of those activities is the production of a new paramecium it can be said that those same activities logically (and temporally) precede the supposed final cause and not the other way around.

Purpose is mind-dependent. Where something is aimed at there is some mind that aims at it. If, therefore, the forms of non-human agent-causes are ends to which the generating activities of those agents are oriented, then it must be those same agents that are aiming at those ends. But to think that they are is to succumb to anthropomorphism, to read human purpose into the behavior of non-cognitive agents. So while forms are ends for human agents, determining in advance the 26 Chapter One actions of those agents, they are not ends for non-human agents and hence do not exist in those agents as final causes.

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