Jacques Maritain Center : St. Thomas Aquinas / by Ralph McInerny

CHAPTER 3: Thomas Aquinas and Boethius

Until the introduction into the West of the complete works of Aristotle something we have spoken of in previous chapters, one of the major conduits whereby Aristotle became known was Boethius. Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (480- 524) has been called the last of the Romans and the first of the Scholastics. The description is apt because Boethius bridges, both in fact and by intention, the world of classical Greek philosophy become a Roman patrimony -- though even in his day it had sunk to a pitiable condition -- and the yet to be constructed medieval world, the world of the universities, traces of which are still present in our own day. Member of a notable Roman family, Boethius had both a public and a private career in that he was both politician and scholar. Under the Ostrogoth King Theodoric, Boethius held the office of consul as well as other traditional political offices. It was as the result of an accusation of treason, the charge that he had conspired with the emperor in Constantinople against the barbarian king, that Boethius was put to death in Pavia. The Consolation of Philosophy, the work that was to have such an immense influence on the Middle Ages, was written in his death cell. Thus, in a sense, Boethius's two careers finally blended and ended together.

Boethius, pained by the demise of philosophical culture, which at least in part was due to a declining knowledge of Greek, set himself the task of translating into Latin the complete works of Plato and Aristotle and then commenting on them in such a way that the thought of these two giants of antiquity would be seen to be complementary rather than opposed.{1} So far as we know, Boethius translated nothing of Plato, and of Aristotle he translated only the Categories, On Interpretation, and several other logical works. He also translated and wrote two commentaries on Porphyry's Isagoge, an introduction to the Categories of Aristotle, thus bequeathing to the Middle Ages the problem of universals. Besides the Consolation of Philosophy and these translations and commentaries, Boethius also wrote five short theological works, on two of which Thomas Aquinas wrote commentaries. Just as it was possible to consider some major Thomistic doctrines as arising out of the influence of Aristotle, so it is possible to consider others as having a Boethian background or setting.

The task that Boethius set himself -- to show the essential unity of thought between Plato and Aristotle -- is reminiscent of Neo-platonism and, indeed, it has been shown that there is great similarity, not to put too fine a point upon it, between the writings of Boethius, the commentaries as well as the Consolation, and the writings of such Neoplatonists as Porphyry and Ammonius.{2} Ammonius was teaching at Alexandria during the lifetime of Boethius, having come there from Athens, where he had studied under Proclus. Pierre Courcelle has proposed the thesis that Boethius was educated at Alexandria in the school of Ammonius, a fascinating hypothesis for the truth of which there is strong evidence of a literary kind. The significance of this fact, if it is a fact, is that it goes a long way toward explaining the peculiar character of Boethius's interpretation of Aristotle. His approach can be characterized as Neoplatonic and the penchant of the commentaries can be tested by reference to the ostensibly more independent works, the Consolation and the theological tractates.

In this chapter, we shall be looking at Thomas's commentaries on two Boethian theological tractates, the De trinitate (On the Trinity) and another the medievals called De hebdomadibus but whose title is rather the question, Whether Everything That Is Is Good Just Insofar As It Is? These commentaries were written, as we have seen, early in Thomas's career, and we can expect to find in them a reading of Aristotelian doctrine as transmitted by Boethius that will be controlled by Thomas's knowledge of the Aristotelian corpus. This wider and independent knowledge of Aristotle makes the commentaries of Thomas on Boethius qualitatively different from the many that had been written earlier in the 11th and 12th centuries.{3} Of course our discussion will not be confined to what Thomas had to say about the text of Boethius. That will merely be our springboard. Of principal interest will be the way in which the notion of separation is introduced into the discussion of the relation of metaphysics to the other speculative sciences; the distinction between essence and existence, with its apparent dependence on the Boethian axiom, Diversum est esse et id quo test (what a thing is and that it is are diverse); and the compatibility of divine foreknowledge and human freedom. We are interested in Thomas's relation to Boethius as to a source of knowledge of Greek philosophy, a source he could assess by reference to his own independent knowledge of the writings of Aristotle. More important, however, we are concerned with the three major themes mentioned above which -- although they have their counterparts in Boethius - in the hands of Aquinas achieve the kind of precise and clear treatment we have come to expect from him.

I The Kinds of Speculative Science

The commentary that Thomas began to write on the De trinitate of Boethius covers only its first chapter and part of the second. In his tractate, Boethius hopes to show, in terms of philosophical doctrine, how talk about God and the Trinity of Persons in God should be understood. Before getting to this task, however, he does a number of things, among them suggesting that in pursuing any inquiry it is well to know under what discipline it falls. Thus, at the outset of the second chapter, Boethius points out that theoretical or speculative considerations are of three kinds.

There are three kinds of speculative consideration, one of which natural philosophy, deals with things in motion which cannot be abstracted from it (for it considers the forms of bodies along with their matter, which forms cannot actually be in separation from their bodies which are in motion, as earth is borne downward and fire upward). Mathematics is concerned with things without motion but which cannot be apart (for it speculates about forms of bodies without considering matter and consequently without motion, which forms since they are in matter cannot be separate from matter and motion). Theology is concerned with things without motion and which are separable and abstract (for the substance of God lacks both matter and motion).{4}

This is a dense passage that can only be understood against the background of the division into speculative and practical knowledge that we discussed in the preceding chapter. Given that division, we are here provided with Boethius's restatement of Aristotle's further subdivision of speculative knowledge into natural science, mathematics, and what has come to be called metaphysics. Before turning to that particular question and to the presentation of it that Thomas gives, we must first say a word about an ambiguity in Boethius's own position, a word that will indicate the importance of his own Neoplatonic predilections.

A. Boethius and Platonism

It has often been noted that elsewhere, namely in his first commentary on Porphyry's Isagoge, Boethius presents the threefold division of speculative philosophy in a quite different manner than he does here.{5} The objects of the theoretical, he writes there, are three: intellectible, intelligibles, and naturals. Intellectibles are described after the fashion of Platonic Ideas, while naturals are physical bodies and the changes they undergo. The difficulty resides in the middle class, the intelligibles. They do not seem to be, as in the De trinitate, mathematicals, for included in their number is the human soul. Boethius says of the intelligibles that, generally speaking, they were first intellectibles but because of contact with body they degenerated from the status of intellectible to the status of intelligible. The suggestion of a kind of falling away, of a cascade, from the most perfect being, through graded steps to matter, is Neoplatonic. But we do not have to look beyond the De trinitate itself for this kind of suggestion. In the second chapter of that work we read that forms that exist separately from body are true forms, while those that are in bodies come from those pure forms and ought rather to be called images than forms. Whatever the final significance of such remarks for Boethius's own thought -- and it is obviously not our task here to determine that significance -- enough has been said to indicate that Boethius is not a pure Aristotelian and that, consequently, attempts to read his works from the viewpoint of strict Aristotelianism run the risk of going astray. Such is the accusation that has often been levelled at Thomas Aquinas, though it has more pertinence possibly to his commentary on the De hebdomadibus than to the commentary he wrote on the De trinitate of Boethius. The difference lies, as least in part, in the fact that these commentaries are of quite different types.

The commentary Thomas wrote on the De hebdomadibus is, like those he wrote on Aristotle and on Scripture, what could be called an extended exposition of the text. In commenting on the De trinitate, however, Thomas employs a literary form like that he used in commenting on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. That is, after an initial and brief indication of how the text is divided, he goes on to enumerate the questions it raises and then treats these questions more or less independently of the text which occasioned them. Thus, the whole of Question 5 in the commentary of St. Thomas deals with the dense passage we quoted above. For Thomas, this passage contains four major points for discussion. It is to what Thomas has to say on these points that we now turn, putting aside the question of Thomas's fidelity or lack of it to the thought of Boethius.

B. the Object of Speculation

In the preceding chapter, we saw the ease with which Thomas set down the criteria for distinguishing speculative and practical thought. We are entitled to expect that he will show the same care in discussing how there can be different theoretical or speculative sciences. Our expectation will not be frustrated.

Let us, Thomas suggests, use the term speculabile to designate the object of the speculative concern of the mind. The concern in our mind in its practical mode is something we can do or effect in some way. As we saw in the preceding chapter, in pure speculative knowledge we are concerned with something which is not such an object, that is, which cannot be effected by us. Thus, we must say that our intellectual concern with what Thomas now calls the speculable object is not, since it cannot be, how to construct it, how to do it, but rather to see how and what it is: to arrive at the truth concerning it.

I. Intuition

This sort of language, the language of seeing, looking, contemplating, seems to suggest that for Thomas, theoretical thinking is a kind of intuition, a taking-a-look. While it is the case that our knowledge may be thought of as involving, by way of principle, starting point, or presupposition, such mere looking, Thomas was far more impressed by the need the mind has for an active process if it is going to discover how it is with things, their truth. When he speaks of speculative or theoretical knowledge, the emphasis seems to be far more on the discursive than on the intuitive. And it is just this notion of discourse that we need to have in mind if we are to follow Thomas through his exposition of Boethius here. It becomes very clear very soon that the vehicle of speculative knowledge for Thomas is what Aristotle called the apodictic, and what Thomas calls the demonstrative, syllogism Theoretical knowing is science, scientia, when it is achieved by means of such a discursive process.

What we have been calling intuition, Thomas would call intellectus,{6} a term he uses to speak of our grasp of a truth that is, so to say, self-warranting. Truth in its most common sense involves judgment; that is, when we think that something is the case and it is indeed the case, then our thinking of judgment is true. The verbal expression of such a judgment may be symbolized as S is P. Now, and again this is something we touched on earlier in speaking of the precepts of natural law, a judgment is what we have here called self-warranting (and Thomas would call per se notum) when to know was S is and to know what P is is to know the truth of the claim that S is P . Thomas would say that such a truth is immediately known. The adverb is being used logically and not temporally; that is, Thomas is not claiming, though neither is he denying, that such a judgment is known in a flash, swiftly, in the blink of an eye. When he says that it is known immediately, he has in mind its difference from the way in which the conclusion of a syllogism is known.

2. Scientific Knowing.

Imagine that knowing what S is and knowing what P is do not suffice for knowing the truth of S is P. This instance of S is P is not immediately known, is not an object of intellectus. It may nonetheless be true and it may be known to be true. Its truth could be known in a variety of ways, but the way that interests us here is that which undergirds Thomas's use of "know" in the sense of scire, that which is productive of scientia, science, true and certain knowledge.

Before we can speak of the demonstrative or scientific syllogism, we must say something of syllogism itself. The Greek term from which the Latin and our English come first meant mental discourse, a knowing process, a coming to know. Aristotle's Analytics gave it a far narrower sense, at first technical but soon the ordinary or common or usual sense of the term. If the object of intellectus is expressed in a suite or series of them: If C is said of every B, and B is said of every A, then C is said of every A. the very statement of the principle of syllogism conveys what we mean by discourse, process, coming to know. If we drop the hypothetical mode of expression and put the relations involved categorically, we would have:

(1) Every B is C

(2) Every A is B

(3) Every A is C

The third line, (3), stands for the conclusion that follows from or is derivable from the premises. (1) and (2). If the premises are true, the conclusion is true and its truth is dependent upon or derivable from theirs. It is clear that B is the hook, or link, between C and A, it is the means whereby (3) is seen to obtain. So we should say that (3) is known mediately. The connection between its predicate and subject is not known so soon as we know what each is: (3) is not known immediately. Mediate knowledge is thus intimately linked to syllogism where the middle term B is the medium whereby the major term C and the minor term A are linked in the conclusion.

We cannot here dwell on the nature of the syllogism, but it will be appreciated that since in the example we have been using all the sentences comprising it are universal affirmative ones, all we need do is imagine the variations that would follow on introducing particular and negative propositions to see how thin a presentation we have given. The example we have provided is a syllogism in the First Figure; that is, the middle term is the subject of the major premise and the predicate of the minor premise. One can see that other arrangements of the middle term are possible, for example, as subject term in both premises.

But inadequate as our remarks on the syllogism are, they may yet suffice for our purposes. Our purpose is to grasp what Thomas is saying in his exposition of Chapter Two of Boethius's De trinitate, where the Roman author is recalling, as it seems, Aristotle's classification of speculative or theoretical knowledge into types. Thomas has begun by saying that the object of theoretical knowledge can be given the name or designation , speculabile. In order for there to be kinds or types of speculabile and thereby kinds or types of theoretical knowing or science, we need to know what belongs to the speculable as such and, having found this out, to ask what variations in its essential or characteristic notes are possible. Our excursus into the nature of the syllogism has been meant to prepare the setting for Thomas's discussion of this: the natural habitat of the speculable is the demonstrative syllogism.

First, then, what belongs to the speculable as such? The "as such" is crucial. If we were asked to mention types or shades of green, the answer "hats and grass and hospital gowns" would not be an as-such answer. Green is not classifiable into shades in terms of objects that happen to be green. So too, if we wish to ask whether there are distinct types of speculative or theoretical knowings, distinct theoretical sciences, the distinction should be made in terms of what pertains to the object of such knowing, to the speculabile, as such. And what is that? Thomas holds that there are two things which pertain to the object of speculative or theoretical knowing as such, one of them deriving from the faculty or capacity in play, namely, the intellect, the other deriving from that which qualifies or perfects the intellect in this activity, namely, science.{7}

Already, in our discussion of the immortality of the human soul, we have seen something of what Thomas means by saying that our minds know whatever they know in an immaterial fashion. It is because he holds this to be true that Thomas can say that our minds know whatever they know in a immaterial fashion. It is because he holds this to be true that Thomas can say that it will be a characteristic of the object of theoretical thinking that it is immaterial. From the side of science, Thomas suggests, another characteristic pertains to the speculable as such, and that is necessity. This takes us back to the demonstrative or scientific syllogism.

A judgment that is not self-warranting can nonetheless be known to be true. If we assert that snow is white, we mean our assertion to be true, and our warrant for its truth would be that we have never seen nonwhite snow. Of course we have seen dirty snow and snow which when Christmas light reflect on it, looks red and green and blue and other colors, but we would not take this to count against our claim. We might, on the other hand, assert that the blossoms of flowering dogwoods are white, meaning that all flowering dogwoods have white flowers, and this would be false, our experience having been limited apparently to only one kind of flowering dogwood. Judgments that happen to be true or happen to be false are not self-warranting, and the basis of our claim that they are true or false may simply be such experiential evidence as leads us to speak as we do. But in the case of parallel lines, in Euclidean geometry, we would not of course say that it is true that parallel lines never meet because we have never seen any that do. What we mean by parallel lines are lines that do not meet no matter how extended on a plane. Thus, this is a self-warranting claim, per se notum. If now one takes the claim that the interior angles of a plane triangle equal 180degrees, this is not a self-warranting claim, although it is necessarily true. Taken as a theorem, we can cite reasons why it cannot be the case that the interior angles of a plane triangle fail to equal 180degrees. That is the sort of necessity Thomas has in mind when he speaks of the second characteristic of the speculable object. When we know something in the strong sense (scire, scientia), what we know does not just happen to be the case; it cannot not be the case; it is a necessary truth. Not every syllogism leads to a conclusion of that sort; the kind that does is called an apodictic or demonstrative or scientific syllogism.{8}

3. Modes of Defining

What Thomas is taking Boethius to be saying is this: there are formally different speculative sciences. In other words, not every necessary conclusion is of the same type. But, as the example of green and its shades was meant to show, he expects this claim to be a formal one, one that relies on what pertains to the speculable as such. But what pertains to the speculable as such, he observes, is that it is (a) immaterial and (b) necessary. He now adds that what is necessary is unchangeable. The changeable is that which can be otherwise than it is, the necessary is that which cannot be otherwise. Therefore, if we are going to claim that there are formally different speculative sciences, we are going to have to show that there are different ways in which objects of speculation are separated from matter and motion. Separation (separation) from matter and motion pertains to the speculable as such. So, insofar as there is an order or gradation or difference in removal (remotio) from matter and motion, there is a basis for speaking of formally different objects of theoretical thinking and, derivatively, or formally different theoretical sciences. It is against this backdrop, carefully and formally constructed, that he now gives his own statement of the content of the passage from Boethius.

(1) Some speculables are such that they depend on matter in order to be, because they can only exist in matter, and these are subdivided, because (a) some of the these are such that they depend on matter both to be and to be understood, for example, those in whose definitions sensible matter is included; thus they cannot be understood without sensible matter. Flesh and bones, for example, must be put into the definition of man. Physics or natural science is concerned with speculables of this sort. (b) Others are such that while they depend on matter in order to be, do not depend on it in order to be understood since sensible matter is not put into their definitions, things like lines and numbers. Mathematics is concerned with speculables of this sort. (2) There are some speculables which do not depend o matter in order to be, since they can exist apart from it, whether they are never in matter, like God and the angels, or sometimes are and sometimes are not in matter, like substance, quality, theology, being, potency, act, one and many, and the like, with all of which theology is concerned, that is, divine science, God being its chief concern; it is also called metaphysics, that is, beyond physics, because we who learn about the insensible from the sensible must study it after we have leaned physics.{9}

We have here another example of the extremely formal way in which Thomas approaches a subject. His writings have a surface simplicity, a kind of limpidity that may seem like shallowness; yet that simplicity is a means of density and depth. It is not only that he must, in any given discussion, presuppose things, as here he presupposes the immateriality of intellection and the necessity of the object of science, though such presuppositions are inevitable, and, in expositions such as this, it is important to draw attention to them. It is also true that when he is granted the presuppositions he requires, Thomas proceeds in a manner whose formality is breathtaking. By "formality" I mean, of course, the logical elegance of his manner. Thomas is not the kind of author who is intent on concealing the seams and connections in what he has to say. The linkages, the skeleton, is close to the skin of his style. This makes reading him at once easy and difficult. Easy, because he is usually painstakingly clear as to what he thinks follows from what, which facilitates the testing and assessing what he says. But difficult too, because his style permits a great deal of condensation. There are not only no longuers, there are almost no paragraphs meant to relieve the reader -- the kind of paragraph I am writing now -- to amuse or divert him. Thomas was, as has been mentioned, capable of introducing rhetoric and poetry into his style, but when his purpose is, as it almost always was, to convey what he knows and to get us to know it too, he makes few concessions to a limited attention span. Such writers invite commentary and exposition, the spelling out of what in them is terse and tight. Oddly enough, they are also subject to much misinterpretation.

What we have just seen Thomas do is provide us with as formal a statement as he could fashion of the way in which we can speak of formally distinct speculative sciences. The tradition in which he moves speaks of natural science, mathematics and a further science, call it theology or divine science or metaphysics. It would be possible simply to take these as more or less traditional divisions of intellectual labor. We are amused by the man who is surprised to learn that he has been speaking prose all his life without knowing it. But it is also possible to know that one is speaking prose without being able to assign formal criteria for prose whereby it is distinguished from verse. So too one might be able to distinguish natural science and mathematics, in the sense that one would correctly identify this argument as belonging to natural science and that argument as belonging to Mathematics, and still not be able to say just what it is that characterizes a natural argument or just what characterizes a mathematical one. Thomas demands of his own tradition that it deliver up criteria for the distinctions it makes. His confidence is rewarded, as in the present instance, for he takes what he has said to be what both Aristotle and Boethius meant.

The setting forth of the criteria for distinguishing speculative sciences and the summary statement of the three speculative sciences form the burden of the first article of Question 5 of Thomas's exposition of the De trinitate of Boethius. There are three further articles in this question in which Thomas treats special difficulties that arise in applying the proposed accounts to natural science, to mathematics, and, finally, to divine science. In Article 2, he asks whether natural philosophy is, as has been urged, concerned with things that require matter and motion both in order to exist and in order to be defined. In the third article, he asks if mathematics defines without matter things that require matter in order to exist. Finally, in Article 4, he asks if divine science treats things that are not only defined without matter and motion but that exist independently of matter and motion. He thus unpacks and expands the doctrine we have seen developed in a preliminary and schematic way. We shall not, of course, follow those further developments in detail. Rather, we shall concentrate on the claims and controversies concerning Thomas's notion of metaphysics as it emerges out of things said in the third article of Question 5.

4. Degrees of Abstraction?

We have seen how Thomas, having said that separation from matter and motion pertains to the speculable as such, concludes that, insofar as there are distinct modes of such separation, there are distinct speculative sciences. This has sometimes been referred to as a theory of degrees of abstraction from mater, a manner of speaking that is open to, and has received, much objection.{10} Thus, understood in a fairly wooden way, St. Thomas might be taken to teach the following. Take a material object, say, an apple. First, abstract from its singular and individual traits the traits which make it to be this apple. You are left with the nature of apple, with that which makes an apple to be an apple, the kind or sort of thing it is. Second, abstract from, strip away, the characteristics of apple, but retain such notes as extension, sphericity, and the like, and you have the basis for geometry. Third, strip away such spatial extension and you have left only the subject of extension, the subject of physical and mathematical properties, namely, substance. Now, this would of course be a Lockean understanding of substance. Thomas himself, insofar as this travesty is meant to move us by degrees to theology or divine science, took it to mean that knowledge of God lurks in anything, since when we strip away the physical and the mathematical we are left with substance in the sense of divine substance. Thomas thought this misunderstanding to be stupid.

Now if this misunderstanding is to be avoided, we will need a correct understanding of what makes metaphysics or theology possible. Commentators on Thomas have insisted, particularly since the various drafts of this exposition of Boethius became known, on the terminology encountered in Article 3.{11} There Thomas speaks of metaphysics, not in terms of abstraction, but in terms of separation. This, we are told, is of the highest importance.

C. Abstraction, Separation, and Metaphysics

The importance must be carefully stated of course. We have already seen Thomas use the term separatio to cover any and all removal remotio or distancing from matter and motion, whether it is a question of natural science, mathematics, or metaphysics. There are introduced, in Article 1, as involving variations in the separatio required of any speculable. We can expect, then, that in Article 3 separatio must be being used in a special and narrower sense if it is to characterize the procedure of metaphysics as opposed to those of natural science and mathematics. And that is just what we do find. As a matter of fact, we find three terms in play, namely, distinction (distinctio), abstraction (abstractio), and separation (separatio), all having to do with the way in which the object of theoretical thinking relates negatively to matter and motion. We also find that two of these terms, namely, abstraction and separation, have both a common or broad sense and a narrow and more technical sense. It is in a narrow and technical sense, which he is at pains to provide, that Thomas now holds that separatio is peculiar to metaphysics. We must take equal pains to understand him aright.

1. Two Mental Acts

There are two different mental acts that must not be confused, Thomas begins: that whereby we know what a thing is, its nature, knowledge expressible in a definition, and that whereby, employing composition and division, we make affirmative or negative judgments. I may be said to abstract one thing from another, according to this second kind of mental activity, when I say "X is not Y." Here I am abstracting X from Y and, Thomas says, abstracting in this sense is permissible only if it is true that X is separate from Y. Better to call such abstraction separation he suggests, since it implies separation in reality. The mental act whereby we consider what a thing is does not have the same implication, since I can, for example, consider the color red without considering the apple whose color it is, but I am not thereby committed to saying that red or redness exists apart from the apple, apart from things that are red. To think apart what does not exist apart is to consider it abstractly: this is abstraction in the narrow sense.

Very well. A terminological point. Our mind, Thomas says distinguishes (distinctio) one thing from another in different ways. According to that mental activity which expresses itself in definition, the mind can distinguish A, can think A without thinking B, even though A exists together with B; to think apart what cannot exist apart is abstraction (abstractio) in the narrow sense. According to that mental activity which expresses itself in propositions, in judgments that are true or false, we can distinguish one thing from another, that is, say "A is not B," only if, in fact A and B are separate; this kind of distinguishing is called separation (separatio) in the narrow sense.

Very well. A terminological point. Our mind, Thomas says distinguishes (distinctio) one thing from another in different ways. According to that mental activity which expresses itself in definition, the mind can distinguish A, can think A without thinking B, even though A exists together with B; to think apart what cannot exist apart is abstraction (abstractio) in the narrow sense. According to that mental activity which expresses itself in propositions, in judgments that are true or false, we can distinguish one thing from another, that is, say "A is not B," only if in fact A and B are separate; this kind of distinguishing is called separation (separatio) in the narrow sense.

All this is clear enough. Separation, in the narrow sense, is expressed in a negative judgment, the implication of which is that the subject exists separately from what occupies the predicate role in the sentence. This can be exemplified, as it is by Thomas, by "Man is not an ass." What all this has been introduced for, however, is to provide a new way of seeing the distinction of the speculative sciences. If we recall the way that Thomas laid out the three speculative sciences above, we will see that the mode of defining was the clue. Natural science considers things that cannot exist apart from matter and motion and that cannot be understood or defined without sensible matter. Mathematics considers things apart from sensible matter that exist in sensible matter. Now, if we stop here, we can easily put the earlier statement together with what Thomas says in Article 3 about abstraction. In the first place, given the notion of demonstrative syllogism, this emphasis on mode of defining seems right. The strongest instance of a demonstrative syllogism would be one whose conclusion attributes a property to a subject and whose middle term is the definition of the subject. A property being an accident which belongs to something just insofar as it is what it is, an accident will be seen to be a property only with reference to the definition of the subject.{12} Thus we might say that the subject of the conclusion of the demonstrative syllogism is the subject of the science, and that the conclusion is the object or aim of science.{13} The mode of defining, with reference to what is characteristic of the speculable, will give us different sciences, different subject matters, their difference residing precisely in the kinds of definition in play. Of course, a plurality of demonstrative syllogisms employing the same mode of defining will collectively make up one science.{14}

2. Two Kinds of Abstraction

If we return to the discussion of abstraction in the narrow sense, that is, to the consideration of A without considering B even though A does not and cannot exist apart from B, we find Thomas speaking of two kinds of abstraction, the abstraction of whole from parts, and the abstraction of form from matter. And there are, of course, restrictions on abstraction in this sense.

When then that through which the definition of a nature is constituted, that through which it is known, has an order to or dependence upon something else, if it is clear that the nature cannot be understood without that other:

a) whether they be conjoined as the part is conjoined to the whole, as the foot cannot be understood apart from animal, because that whereby a foot is a foot depends on that where by an animal is an animal.

b) or conjoined as form is conjoined to matter, as part to part, or accident to subject, as the snub cannot be understood apart from nose;

c) or even really separate things, as father cannot be understood without understanding child, those these relations exist in diverse things.{15}

When the understanding of a thing does not depend upon understanding something else, then the mind can abstract in the present sense of that term.

a) And not only when they exist separately, like man and stone, but even when they are really conjoined.

b) whether as part and whole are conjoined, as the letter can be understood without syllable, but not vice versa, and the animal without foot, but not vice versa;

c) or conjoined as form is conjoined to matter, and accident to subject, as whiteness can be understood without man, and vice versa.{16}

The twofold division of abstraction in the narrow sense, abstraction of whole and abstraction of form, Thomas goes on to apply to natural science and mathematics, respectively. The mathematician's consideration of quantified being is taken to involve the abstraction of form because of the order in which accidents inhere in substance.{17}

If it seems fairly unsurprising that Thomas should assign the "abstraction of form" to mathematics as more or less peculiar to it, the assignment of "abstraction of the whole" to natural science is considerably less perspicuous.{18} What Thomas means by abstracting a whole would seem to be involved in any and every science. Indeed, the very examples he uses makes this clear. Thus he wants to say that there are some parts which enter into the understanding and definition of a whole and from which therefore we cannot abstract in knowing that whole, whereas we can of course abstract a whole from those of its parts on which an understanding of it is not dependent. We cannot understand what a syllable is without bringing in letters, or a compound without implying elements. On the other hand, we can understand a circle without reference to semicircles, though we cannot understand a triangle without reference to lines. Parts requisite for the understanding of a whole may be called formal parts, and those not requisite, material parts. Flesh and bones are formal parts of man, finger and toe, indeed this flesh and these bones, are not. The defined whole thus emerges as the universal, and the parts from which it is abstractable, its material parts, as the particular.

And thus there are two sorts of intellectual abstractions; one which answers to the union of form and matter, or of accident and subject, and this is the abstraction of form from sensible matter; another which answers to the union of whole and part, which is the abstraction of the whole whereby the nature is considered absolutely, according to its essential nature, and without the parts which are accidental to it because they are not parts of its species.{19}

It is because mathematics too presumably must abstract the universal whole from particulars, that is, consider circle apart from this circle or that, that the appropriation of this second kind of abstraction to natural science surprises. Thomas himself draws attention to the flaws in this appropriation. Nonetheless, a point has been reached in our discussion where controversy must be taken into account.

3. The Controversy

Thomas began by saying that we can think about one thing without thinking about another in two ways. In one way, by expressly setting aside the second, by saying that X is not Y. Here we are saying that X can be considered apart from Y because it exists independently or separately from Y. In another way, we think about X without thinking about Y, even though X does not exist apart from Y. This is what he means by abstraction, in the narrow sense. The conjunction S/Y, which abstraction does not deny, may be a conjunction of form and matter (accident and subject) or of whole and part. The two kinds of abstraction based on these two kinds of conjunction can be exemplified both in natural and mathematical science, nonetheless. Thomas appropriates the abstraction of form to mathematics and the abstraction of the universal whole to natural science. Now we can see what textual symmetry demands. We have run out of kinds of abstraction, but we still have one more speculative science. But there was a kind of mental distinguishing that was prior to the discussion of abstraction, namely, separation. Let us then appropriate separation to metaphysics. That is just what Thomas does.

As with the kinds of abstraction, separation can be exemplified in sciences other than that to which it is appropriated. Thus, in Thomas's early example, "Man is not an ass" is an example of separatio, as would be "A triangle is not discrete quantity." Since separatio is expressed in a negative judgment, we must ask just what negative judgment Thomas had in mind when he appropriated separation to metaphysics. It has sometimes been suggested that the separation he has in mind is that of essence for esse or existence. But this will not do, as we shall see. The context requires that the separation be from matter and motion, and this not only in understanding but in reality as well. That is to say, metaphysics reposes on the truth of the judgment that there exist things independent of, separate from, matter and motion.

Is there any need for a theoretical science beyond natural science and mathematics? That is the way the question is put by Aristotle. He rejected, as Thomas in turn will do,{20} the suggestion that our understanding of natures independently of notes of particularity argues for the existence of a realm of entities distinct from the particular things of our sense experience. That we might think of man, of human nature, without adverting to what is peculiar to this man or that, to Socrates as Socrates or to Plato as Plato, does not entail that there is an entity, Man, who exists independently of our consideration and separately from Plato and Socrates. This is one solution to the so-called Problem of Universals, which we will be considering in our next chapter. No more does mathematics argue for the existence of another realm of things apart from physical objects. Thus, one possibility of generating a third speculative science would be to say that it is a third way of considering physical objects.

Now while this seems to take us back to the conception of degrees of abstraction as a way of understanding the distinction of the theoretical sciences, it does seem to be necessary to say that metaphysics is yet another way of thinking about the objects diversely thought about by natural science and mathematics. The subject of metaphysics is said to be, in the Aristotelian phrase, being as being, ens inquantum ens. The degree or gradation view of the theoretical sciences would then characterize their subjects as: (a) being as sensible or being as mobile;(b) being as quantified; and (c) being as being. And this suggests that metaphysics is a kind of general science, a yet more universal way of considering what is considered by natural science and mathematics. And then, just as mathematics does not argue for the existence of a realm of nonphysical objects, metaphysics would not argue for the existence of objects other than the physical objects of our sense experience. Call this conception of metaphysics ontology. But clearly Thomas wants to allow for the existence of things that are not physical objects, things that exist separately from matter and motion, things like God and the angels. If metaphysics is concerned with such things, our conception of it will be as a theology, a divine science. Which of these conceptions of metaphysics does Thomas choose? As we shall see at length in Chapter 5, he chooses both, or, more accurately, he rejects the meaningfulness of the proposed option. If metaphysics is concerned with God, as it is, God is nonetheless not the subject, nor part of the subject, of the science; rather, God enters into the science as the cause of its subject. The subject of metaphysics, being as being, must therefore be yet another way of viewing physical objects.

A fuller explanation of the Thomistic position on this matter will be attempted later. We must now discuss a matter which has been referred to in our remarks on the exposition of the De trinitate of Boethius but which is a concern of another Boethian work, the De hebdomadibus: the distinction of essence and esse.

II Essence and Existence

While few would maintain that Thomas was the first to teach that in things other than God, in creatures, their nature or essence is distinct from their existence -- that is, only God is such that, given what he is, it is thereby given that he is -- it seems clear that no one prior to Thomas made such constant reference to this truth or employed it in so many ways as the source of other truths. When we turn to Thomas's predecessors, however, we find a good deal of controversy among scholars as to where precisely they made the distinction in question. With Boethius, it is comparatively easy to cite the place. It is in his De hebdomadibus that we find the phrase Thomas will so often quote: diversum est esse et id quod est: what a thing is and that it is are diverse. Boethius, it has been argued,{21} does not mean by this phrase what Thomas in his exposition takes him to mean. Our principal interest here of course is to discover what Thomas took Boethius to mean.

A. The Boethian Axiom

The treatise of Boethius sets out to answer the question whether everything that is is good just insofar as it is. In other words, is for a thing to be the same as for a thing to be good? A difficult problem, and one that Boethius proposes to approach more geometrico, which is to say that he will first set down axioms necessary for the resolution of the question and then,

taking the question as a theorem, resolve it. It is among these axioms that we find the phrase that interests us because it interested Thomas so much, namely, diversum est esse et id quod est: what a thing is and that it is are diverse. In what way are they diverse? Boethius, as Thomas reads him, gives three differences.{22} First, existence (ipsum esse) does not share or participate in anything else: existence is that which what-is participates in order to be. Third, what-is can possess what is not part of or identical with itself, whereas existence cannot. Thomas insists that this threefold diversity of the subject of being and existence is conceptual, a matter of what we understand by the terms. Indeed, he will exemplify the two with a variety of abstract and concrete terms. Thus, what-is, for example, white, that which has whiteness, differs from whiteness. Likewise, the runner is diverse from running. There are conceptual differences between the members of such couplets, precisely the three differences mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Whiteness does not exist, but that which has whiteness does. That which has whiteness can share in temperature, weight, and so forth, but whiteness as such is not hot or cold, heavy or light. What has humanity (man) and humanity exhibit the same differences.

What precisely is being distinguished here? It is often said that all Boethius is distinguishing is nature and individual. That is, it is pretty clear that what-has-humanity, Socrates, for example, is not identical with humanity, with what-it-is-to-be-a man. However important this distinction, call it the distinction between nature or essence and individual or supposit,{23} it does not seem to be what Thomas himself has in mind when he talks about the difference between, or the composition of, essence and esse. How does Thomas argue that-which-has-existence and existence differ really and not merely conceptually?

When that-which-has-existence is in itself composite, as any natural thing is, since it is a compound of matter and form, then, Thomas argues, it is clear that that-which-has-existence is really different from existence. Here is his argument.{24}

(1) Existence itself (ipsum esse) does not partake of or participate in anything.

(2) Existence itself cannot have anything extraneous: it cannot be the subject of an accident.

(3) Therefore existence itself is not composed, is not compound.

(4) Therefore no composed thing is identical with its existence.

(1) and (2) are taken from the axioms Boethius set down and which have already been analyzed by Thomas. (3) is a direct consequence of them, on the assumption that the modes of complexity denied ipsum esse in (1) and (2) are exhaustive of relevant complexity and thus warrant the denial which (3) is. It is the transition from (3) to (4) that may seem problematic. Why does it follow from the fact that existence itself is not composed that no composed thing is identical with its existence?

(5) That-which-has-existence, an existent thing, a being is designated such from its existence.

(6) A being is composed of that-which-has existence and the existence it has.

(7) That which exists is not existence alone.

(8) Its existence is simple, noncompound.

(9) That-which-has existence is not its existence, is distinct from, diverse from, it.

In propositions (5)-(9), that which exists may be either in itself composed, that is, a composite of matter and form, or it might conceivably be form alone. In other words, we have here a more generalized form of the argument (1)-(4). Whenever existence is the existence of something, there is a distinction between what is and existence -- not merely a conceptual distinction, but a distinction realiter.{25} Thus a simple or noncomposed essence, form alone, enters into an existent thing as one component of it distinct from existence as another component. As a being, therefore, it is composed, even though its essence is not a composed essence. A truly simple being would be one in which there is no composition of essence and existence, a being to which existence would not be the existence of something, inherent, but rather subsistent existence. There can be only one simple being of this kind.

This however would be unique, because if ipsum esse has nothing admixed with it and is nothing other than existence itself, it is impossible that it be diversified or multiplied. . . .This one and sublime simple thing is God himself.{26}

Elsewhere, in another early work, On Being and Essence, Thomas gives a much simpler and more straightforward version of his doctrine of the real distinction between essence and existence.

Whatever does not enter into the understanding of an essence or quiddity comes to it from without and enters into composition with the essence, since no essence could be understood without the parts that make it up. Every essence or quiddity, however can be understood without its being understood that it exists in fact: for I can understand what a man or a phoenix is and yet not know whether they are given in reality. Therefore, it is clear that existence is other than essence of quiddity, unless indeed there should be some thing whose quiddity is its existence; and such a thing could only be unique and first.{27}

It seems clear enough that natural things do not exist by definition, as if existence were what they are or part of what they are, since, if that were so, they could not be. But natural things are simply things which come into being, then cease to be. If there is something which exists by definition, which cannot exist, it is unique and first, it is God.

The matters we have just been considering are easily the most difficult and arcane of any that we have considered or will be considering in this book. But to ignore a doctrine so central to the thought of Thomas Aquinas, one which caused controversy in his own time and has continued to do so ever since, would have been irresponsible. Unfortunately, it is impossible to give an account of it that is both succinct and cogent. The upshot of the teaching is quite clear. God alone is a being for whom to be is what he is; God alone is such that he cannot not be. He is, in short, a necessary being.{28} Whatever other than God exists does so, not because it is of its nature to exist, a definitional necessity, as it were, but because it has received existence. This upshot of the real distinction between essence and existence is one to which we shall be returning.

B. Separation and the Real Distinction

We must now ask what is the connection, if any, between the real distinction of essence from existence and separatio which Thomas took to be characteristic of metaphysics. We have already mentioned that some have said that Thomas means to say that metaphysics commences at the moment that we recognize the real separation of essence and existence.{29} In this view, the negative judgment expressive of separatio would be: essence is not existence. If it is asked how this enables us to see what the subject of metaphysics is, the answer has been that essence is the subject of natural science, whereas esse, or existence, is the subject of metaphysics. Now, quite apart from the fact that this leaves mathematics unaccounted for, it will not do because it simply does not mesh with the doctrine in Thomas's exposition of De trinitate of Boethius.

The subjects of the various speculative sciences are distinguished insofar as their definitions diversely remove them from matter and motion. The definition of the subject of natural philosophy abstracts from particular sensible matter, but common universal sensible matter is part of the natures studied. The definition of the subject of mathematics does not include sensible matter, common or particular, but no assertion is made that there exist, apart from our consideration and apart from physical bodies, subsistent lines, circles, triangles, and so forth. It is into this general development that the notion of separatio has to be fitted. The subject of metaphysics is defined in such a way that no matter enters into the definition, with the implication that there are existent things which respond as such to such definitions. That is, the negative judgment that is expressive of the separatio in question is: not every existent thing is material and mobile. For Thomas, metaphysics becomes a possibility, there is seen to be need for a science beyond natural science and mathematics, when and if we can demonstrate that not every existent thing is a physical thing. Examples of such a demonstration would be (a) that the human soul, which is immaterial, continues to exist after death, and (b) that there is a first unmoved mover. He finds such demonstrations in Aristotle and he takes it to be highly important that they are found in works devoted to natural philosophy.{30} The proofs which are the prerequisites of metaphysics are achievements of an ongoing natural science.

Thus far in this chapter, we have taken the occasion of Thomas's exposition of two tractates of Boethius to discuss two fundamental Thomistic doctrines. The first concerned the criteria for distinguishing the theoretical sciences. We are committed to returning to the question of metaphysics in a later chapter in order to resolve the question whether it is best thought of as an ontology or as a theology. Second, prompted by an interpretation given to the technical term separatio as it occurs in the exposition of the De trinitate, we discussed the real distinction between essence and existence. We turn now to a third point, almost as difficult as these, alas, which is discussed by Boethius in The Consolation of Philosophy,{31 the problem of determinism. Thomas did not comment on this work, but he did comment on the work of Aristotle which is one of its sources.

III Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Free Will

That men act freely and are thus answerable for what they do is one of those assumptions so basic that to formulate it is to adopt a platitudinous air. Praise, blame, reward, and punishment -- the whole network of morality and society -- would be nonsense if man were not free. The individual is often tempted to think the contrary, of course; there are times when it would be convenient to think that we could not have acted as we did, that some force, power, or fate, of which we were the mere pawns, was working itself out through us. Of course, the sense of innocence that such a thought may mistakenly induce would be, granting the truth of the temptation, as absurd as the guilt it exorcises. There are other less self-serving ways in which our thoughts might turn upon this fundamental assumption of freedom and wonder if it is so. Now the wonder would arise from the assumption's being so if something else is so. For example, someone might hold that all material things are governed by natural law; that every event has a cause and that, if only we knew enough, we would see that each and every natural event comes about necessarily. Human freedom becomes problematic when it is doubted that there is any aspect of human behavior that escapes the material, natural world. If human free acts are only natural events in the sense just described, it would seem that they come about necessarily. But does that make sense? Can an action be such that it is both free and yet could not have been performed? The believer has what can only be called a more acute version of this difficulty. The Christian vocation makes no sense unless men freely respond to it, and that means that they could equally well have not responded to it. To accept God's word and to act in accord with it is praised and rewarded; to defy God's will is blamed and punished. Can one be praised or blamed for what one could not have done? Surely not. Thus Christianity sees man as a center of freedom, responsible for the condition that will be his eternally. And, of course, the Christian believes in God's providence; he believes that God knows all things and can do all things. For these great truths of the faith, arises the problem: Are they compatible with each other? Is the set of them consistent? If God knows from all eternity that I will choose this rather than that, is my choice free?

A. The Divine Omnipotence

What does it mean to say that God can do all things, that all things are possible to God? If God is all-powerful, he should be able to effect anything that is possible. We speak of what is humanly possible, and presumably the phrase covers all the things that a human can do. If God's power meant simply that God can do all the things that God can do, this would not capture the seeming import of calling him all-powerful or omnipotent. "If we should say that God is omnipotent because he can do all things that are possible for him to do, there would be a circle in our manifestation of the divine omnipotence: this would be to say nothing more than that God is omnipotent because he can do all the things that he can do. Therefore it remains that God is called omnipotent because he can effect anything that is possible without qualification."{32} Thus, something is possible relative to a given power, for example, humanly possible, or the possible is understood without this qualification. Now something is possible or impossible, absolutely speaking, with reference to the import of terms: possible, because the predicate is compatible with the subject, for example, that Socrates should sit; impossible, because the predicate is incompatible with the subject, for example, that a man should be a donkey. The power of an agent is read from the sort of kind of being the agent is; things of different kinds have effects, or can perform acts, of different kinds. But God is not a restricted kind of being; he is a being who is the fullness of being, possessing in a unified way the perfections found separate and, as it were, scattered among the sorts or kinds of things which are his effects. The power of such a being must extend as widely as being itself, which is to say that God's power encompasses any and every being.

Nothing is opposed to the notion of being except non-being. Therefore only that will be repugnant to the notion of the absolutely possible, the object of the divine omnipotence, which simultaneously implies in itself being and non-being. That is not subject to the divine omnipotence, not because of any deficiency of divine power, but because it does not qualify as makeable or possible. But whatever does not involve a contradiction is contained among the possibles with respect to which God is called omnipotent. Whatever does involve a contradiction is not included in the divine omnipotence because it does not have the note of possible. That is why it is better to say they cannot be made than that God cannot make them.{33}

God can bring into existence anything that can exist, anything that can possibly be. The question of human freedom can now be restated with reference to the divine omnipotence.

In the first place, there is no difficulty with the notion that God can make creatures whose actions and activities follow necessarily. Thomas would not agree that every event has a cause when this is taken to mean that every event is determined by its cause or causes, but he would of course allow that some things happen necessarily.{34}Indeed, it is necessary that a man will die, so that even if we grant that man is a free agent, we are not saying that every event stemming from him is a product of his freedom. Man can abuse his freedom and bring about his own death, but he cannot choose whether or not to be mortal. The way in which freedom can be related to divine omnipotence such that it causes a most difficult problem is this: Can God create a free creature who cannot not do what he freely does? Is such a situation possible in the absolute sense just defined?

It would seem not to be. A free action is one that may or may not be performed, something the agent can do or not do. But surely it is contradictory to say of this same action that it is at once free and one that the agent cannot do. Let us be more precise. If I take as an example of a free action my drinking this glass of water, I am not of course suggesting that, while I am drinking this glass of water, I could be not drinking this glass of water. The necessity that is incompatible with my freely drinking the glass of water is that which would be involved in saying that I could not not have drunk this glass of water now. So we are referring the present act or event to the past; if the event is free, then the past determines or necessitates its taking place, then it is not a free act.

For these reasons, God can not bring it about that a free action is one that could not have been done. But to say this may appear to collide with the implications of divine omniscience.

B. The Divine Omniscience

When God is said to be omniscient, the meaning is that he knows not only everything that actually is but also everything that it is in his power or in that of any of his creatures to do.{35} That means that he knows what will happen in the future, future contingent events. Some causes produce their effects necessarily, and to know such effects in their causes, before they are produced, is not the kind of knowledge of what will happen that interests us here. Rather, we are thinking of future events due to causes which could possibly not produce or bring about the events in question. Is it possible for anyone to have certain knowledge of future events of that kind, as future, before they happen? We might have conjectural, probable knowledge of such events. To another we might say, though it is usually inadvisable to do so, "I knew you were going to do that." And there might have been high probability in our antecedent prediction; but we could not have been certain in the sense that we knew the other could not do what he went on to do. God, on the other hand, in the view of St. Thomas, knows all contingent events, not only as they are in their causes, but also as each of them actually is in itself.

Although contingent events come actually to be successively, God does not know them successively, the way they take place, as we do, but all at once. The reason is that his knowledge is measured by eternity, as is his existence, and eternity being total and simultaneous being encompasses the whole of time. . . .Hence whatever is in time is eternally present to God.{36}

Future contingents are not future to God. He sees them as if they were all happening now. But what he sees to be happening cannot not be happening. Among the future contingents which he sees and which thus cannot not be happening are human free acts. Is that a contradiction?

If God knows this will be, it will be. If God know what is going to happen, it happens necessarily.

But those things which are known by God are necessary according to the mode whereby they come under the divine knowledge, and not absolutely, as considered in their proximate causes. Hence this proposition, "Whatever is known by God necessarily is," is customarily distinguished: that is, it can be understood either de re or de dicto. If it is understood de dicto, it is composite and true, for its sense is, "this dictum, that which is known by God, is necessary."{37}

It might be objected that this distinction is not applicable here. If I should say, "What is white can be black," then admittedly, understood de dicto, that is, "It is possible that white is black," it is false, while understood de re, that is, "that which is white can be black," it is true. It is not possible that black is white, but that which is white could be black. Here the distinction works because the forms or qualities are distinguishable from a subject having them. But, "A blackbird can be white" is false, whether the possibility be understood de re or de dicto, of what is being talked about or the way of talking about it, because black is not a quality the blackbird can fail to have. But is not to be known by God somewhat like the blackness of the black bird? What is known by God cannot not be known by God.

To this, Thomas replies that "to be known" is not an inherent

quality of the thing known in the way that black is of the blackbird. Rather, "to be known" refers to the act of the thing known in itself, though it is always known, which is not attributed to it insofar as it is an object of knowledge. To be material is attributed to a rock as it exists, but it is not attributed to it as it is known.{38}

Difficult matters, these, and what we have said of them perhaps generates as much obscurity as it dissipates. The point would seem to be that the necessity which qualifies God's knowledge does not spill over into the things he knows, such that they in themselves are necessary. This means that if God knows a future free act as if it were present, his knowledge cannot fail to be true, it is necessarily true; nonetheless, the free act he knows necessarily, as it occurs, in itself, remains free. So we are not confronted with a contradiction. No free act is in itself a necessary occurrence, even though God's eternal knowledge, seeing it as present, cannot be false, is necessarily true. And this, as it happens, is roughly what we find in Boethius, both in the Consolation of Philosophy, Books Four and Five, and in his commentary on Aristotle's On Interpretation to which Thomas makes reference in his own commentary.{39}

{1} See Boethius, In librum de interpreatione edito secunda, Migne, Patrologia Latina, Vol. 64, col. 433C. Hereafter cited as PL.

{2} See Pierre Courcelle, Late Latin Writers and Their Greek Sources (Cambridge, Mass., 1969), Ch. 6.

{3} See Ralph McInerny, Philosophy from St. Augustine to Ockham (Notre Dame, 1970), pp. 157-186.

{4} De trinitate, Ch. 2 The Latin text with an English translation can be found in Boethius: Theological Tractates and The Consolation of Philosophy, ed. H. F. Stewart and E. K. Rand (New York, 1918), pp. 2-31.

{5} On this, see Migne, PL 64, 10-11.

{6} On Truth, q. 1, a. 12.

{7} Exposition of Boethius's De trinitate, q. 5, a. 1.

{8} Summa theologiae, Ia, q. 2, a. 2.

{9} Exposition of De trinitate, q. 5, a. 1. I have added numbers and underlining.

{10} On all this, see Summa theologiae, Ia, q. 85, a. 3.

{11} See, for instance, L. B. Geiger, "Abstraction et separation d'après Saint Thomas in de Trinitate, q. 5, a. 3," Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Théologiques, 31 (1947), pp. 3-40.

{12} Summa theologiae, IaIIae, q. 82, a. 2, ad 3m.

{13} Ibid., IaIIae, q. 3, a. 6; Ia, q. 1, a. 7.

{14} The procedure within a science is from the more to the less common, but the latter are not deduced from the former. Thomas distinguishes the Ordo determinandi (from more to less universal) from the Ordo demonstrandi. See In I Physic., lectio 1.

{15} Exposition of Boethius's De trinitate, q. 5, a. 3. I have divided and numbered the text.

{16} Ibid.

{17} Ibid. "That form whose definition does not include matter can be abstracted from matter but the mind cannot abstract from matter a form the understanding of which depends on matter. Hence, since all accidents relate to substance as form to matter, and the definition of any accident depends on substance, it is impossible for such forms to be abstracted from substance. But accidents inhere in substance in an ordered way; first quantity, then quality, then passion and motion inhere in it. Hence quantity can be understood in the matter, substance, without sensible qualities being understood, qualities from which substance is called sensible matter; so considering its formal definition, quantity does not depend on sensible matter. But only on intelliegible matter (that is, on substance)."

{18} Ibid. Cf Summa theologiae, Ia, q. 85, a. 1.

{19} Exposition of Boethius's De trinitate, q. 5, a. 3.

{20} Ibid. q. 5, a. 2.

{21} For instance, in Ralph McInerny, "Saint Thomas Aquinas and Boethius," Revista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica, 66 (1974), 219-245.

{22} Exposition of Bethius's De hebdomadibus, lectio 2.

{23} See n. 21, above.

{24} See exposiion of Boethius's De hebdomadibus, lectio 2, n. 32.

{25} Ibid., ". . . just as to be and that which is differ secundum intentiones in simple things, so in composed things they differ realiter."

{26} Ibid. n. 35.

{27} On Being and Essence, Ch. 5, n. 3.

{28} For Thomas, "necessary" modifies existence and not merely judgments or propositions.

{29} For instance, Etienne Gilson, Being and Some Philosophers (Toronto, 1952).

{30} Commentary on Metaphysics, trans. Rowan (Chicago, 1964) nn. 46, 181, 593, 690, 748, 2517.

{31} Bks. 4 and 5.

{32} Summa theologiae, Ia, q. 25, a. 3.

{33} Ibid.

{34} Charles de Koninck, "Le problem de l'indetérminisime," L'Académie Canadienne Saint-Thomas d'Aquin (Quebec, Canada, 1937), pp. 65-159.

{35} Summa theologiae Ia, q. 14, a. 9.

{36} Ibid., q.14, a. 13. This definition of eternity comes from Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, ed. H. F. Stewart and E. K. Rand, New York, 1928, Bk. 5, prose 6.

{37} Summa theologiae, Ia, q. 14, a. 13, ad 3m. On this question see A. N. Prior, "The Formalities of Omniscience," Papers on Time and Tense (Oxford, 1968), pp. 26-44.

{38} Summa theologiae, 1a, q. 14, a. 13, ad 3m.

{39} Commentary on Aristotle's On Interpretation, lectio 14.

<< ======= >>