Commentary on the Book of Causes (Thomas Aquinas in by Thomas Aquinas, Richard C. Taylor

By Thomas Aquinas, Richard C. Taylor

The ebook of Causes, hugely influential within the medieval collage, used to be quite often yet incorrectly understood to be the final touch of Aristotle's metaphysics. It was once Thomas Aquinas who first judged it to were abstracted from Proclus's Elements of Theology, most likely through an unknown Arabic writer, who extra to it principles of his own.

The publication of Causes is of specific curiosity simply because topics that seem in it are echoed within the metaphysics of Aquinas: its therapy of being (esse) as continuing from the 1st growing reason; the triadic scheme of being, residing, and understanding; and the final scheme of participation during which "all is in all." hence, the Book of Causes offers a old backdrop for figuring out and appreciating Aquinas's improvement of those topics in his metaphysics.

Thomas's Commentary at the ebook of Causes, composed in the course of the first 1/2 1272, is a special philosophical paintings in its personal correct. It presents a longer view of his method of Neoplatonic notion and features as a advisor to his metaphysics. even though lengthy overlooked and, before, by no means translated into English, it merits an equivalent position along his commentaries on Aristotle and Boethius.

In addition to the huge annotation, bibliography, and thorough advent, this translation is followed by way of helpful appendices. the 1st presents a translation of one other model of proposition 29 of the Book of Causes, which used to be now not recognized to St. Thomas. the second one lists citations of the Book of Causes present in the works of St. Thomas and cross-references those to a listing exhibiting the works, and the precise position inside of them, the place the citations could be found.


The overdue Vincent A. Guagliardo, O.P., used to be professor of philosophy on the Dominican university of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California. Charles R. Hess, O.P., is an accessory lecturer in ecclesiastical Latin on the Dominican tuition. Richard C. Taylor is affiliate professor of philosophy at Marquette college. His sector of forte is historic and medieval philosophy.

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61 4. 64 5. The doctrine that intelligences (angels) create the nature of intellectual souls and inform them with knowledge, which the author of the Book of Causes espouses, is "corrected" by St. Thomas: creation of the intellectual or human soul is due to the direct activity of God alone. 66 6. The position of the author of the Book of Causes that higher souls 60. See S{20, 23, 80, 103}. 61. See S{47}. This view, however, is more strictly speaking that of St. Thomas. For Pseudo-Dionysius, "to be" is the primary perfection of finite reality, caused by God and from which God is named as from his first proper effect.

See De Subst. , 3, where Aquinas asserts that both Plato and Aristotle agree in the basic idea of participation. Fran O'Rourke remarks that once he has "[f]reed [it] from its separatist nature, Aquinas fully embraces the Platonist principle of causality and participation; in particular he makes his own much of the vision of the Liber de Causis, which he continuously relates to the Corpus Areopagiticum" (Pseudo-Dionysius, p. ) 33. See ST I, Q. 45, A. 4. 34. See S{910). Also, see S{2324, 3739, 62}.

Thomas's comments on S{79}. 28. See S{12ff} and S{74ff}. While St. Thomas acknowledges that the term "eternity" is sometimes used to mean "unfailingness and immobility of being," this still does not remove the difficulty. See S{12}. St. Thomas clearly distinguishes elsewhere in his writings the question of creation as ontological dependence in being from the question of the duration of the world.  . although Plato and Aristotle did posit that immaterial substances or even heavenly bodies always existed, we must not suppose on that account that they denied to them a cause of their being.

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