Issue 148

Year 63 | 2014 Articles The Modal Dimension of Knowledge Enrique Alarcón To understand and to demonstrate in Aristotle and saint Thomas Aquinas José María Romero Baró The Knowledge on natural beings according to Thomas Aquinas Lorella Congiunti The Role of Existential...

Note on the commentary on the Book of Psalms of St. Thomas Aquinas

Last July, the II International Congress of Tomista Philosophy took place, organized by the Center for Tomistic Studies of the Santo Tomás University of Santiago, Chile. As part of the events, the first volume of the Latin-Castilian bilingual edition of the Commentary on Psalms was presented. First, Professor Enrique Alarcón, editor of the Latin text and author of the Introduction, intervened. Professor Carlos A. Casanova spoke later, responsible for the Spanish version and the text notes. We then offer the presentation of Professor Casanova and the text of Professor Alarcón’s Introduction.

The identity of Being and Think in God

The study of the Divine Essence has a central moment in the determination of the metaphysical constituive of God. This paper aims to offer some reflections of the proximity of the formulas Ipsum Esse Subsistens and Nóesis noéseos nóesis. That God is pure Understanding is not, for most of the Thomists, a mere operating attribute, but something particularly identified with Ens a se. To understand better this proximity, a shallow examination of the relationship between thinking and being in Thomism is proposed, so it will be exposed that the philosophy of St. Thomas is as “ontological” as “noetic”, ie, it adjusts with particular accurate the couple being and logos

Self-knowledge according to St. Thomas Aquinas

Self-knowledge has been considered in some great philosophical systems as the first and necessary fundament of human knowledge and science, but the path that was supposed to get opened in that way encountered soon unsurpassable barriers, because the very possibility of such self-knowledge was questioned by the philosophies that followed. Instead, in an aristotelian and thomist way of thinking, the self cannot be the first thing known, and yet, there would be no knowledge in general without some kind of original knowledge of the self. In this paper we try to illuminate the problems involved in this issue in the perspective opened by Francisco Canals and the reading of some key texts of St. Thomas Aquinas

The intelectual cognition of material individual according to Aquinas

The topic of the intellectual knowledge of particulars is one of the most controversial of Thomas Aquinas’ theory of knowledge, because he asserts that the material individual cannot be object of the intellect, but it is known per se only through the senses. However, we intend to demonstrate in this paper, that the position of Aquinas is far richer: Even if material individual is not known “directe et per se” by the intellect, it is known “indirecte et per quandam reflexionem”. In his various works, Aquinas explains this topic holding the same doctrine but with a variety of nuances. We discover that there are different kinds of reflection of the intellect on the singular, and that we need to use concepts like “continuatio” and “applicatio” to understand their meaning. We also discover that differences between simple apprehension and judgment are significant on the intellectual knowledge of particulars

The Existence of Being and the Original Cognitive Acts

The philosophical explanation of reality constitutes an attempt to discover the causes of the existence of everything that is. The aspect of inquiries thus described makes philosophy the fundamental body of knowledge, but at the same time it makes it the most difficult body of knowledge to formulate in a univocal way. The apprehension in one objective denotation of “everything that is” becomes a rather large difficulty in the precise establishment of investigative postulates and in the determination of the proper object of philosophy. Therefore in the current of realistic philosophy, an appeal is postulated to a method of knowledge that will be adequate to the real ways in which things exist. To this purpose, we should rely on spontaneous pre-scientific knowledge in which things are apprehended in the fundamental way of existence as “that which is.” On this basis, the object of philosophy is formulated, and a realistic method of philosophical knowledge based on the relational way that being exists is formulated

The Role of Existential Judgments in Knowing the Existence of Beings

In this paper I am going to focus on describing the character and role of the cognitive acts whereby we apprehend the existence of beings. In the first point, I take note of the main difficulties connected with explaining man’s knowing of the existence of beings. In the next step, I present a specific description of the existential judgment as the fundamental cognitive act in which the intellect apprehends the existence of known things. I will base my discussion of this basic cognitive act on the interpretation of the Polish philosopher M. A. Krąpiec, who in comparison with other authors has most systematically and exhaustively formulated this question. The next element in the presentation will be an analysis of the structure and content of the existential judgment in which I will remark on the presence and role of the existential factor of known being in the act of knowledge. I will conclude the paper by emphasizing the basic function of the existential judgment in all metaphysical knowledge, which in light of the analyses that have been made turns out to be nothing other than the explicit expression of what in actu confuse is already contained in the first cognitive act. Above all, I note that the discovery of the role of the existential judgment in human knowledge provides a rational justification for realism of knowledge, and thereby it refutes the grounds for sceptical, agnostic, and relativistic positions in epistemology

The Knowledge on natural beings according to Thomas Aquinas

The reflection on the meaning of the term “nature” is particularly important in the context of knowledge on natural beings and this topic maintains a distinctive relevance to the present day.
This contribution only attempts to clarify the meaning of the term nature in the works of Thomas Aquinas, and to particularly explain the two fundamental meanings proposed in the Summa Theologiae: nature as essence and nature as a whole of material things. It will then seek to analyse how Aquinas describes the presence of phenomenon as it happens by chance within the context of the natural order. This also serves as an illustration of the usefulness of a correct comprehension of what natural can mean

To understand and to demonstrate in Aristotle and saint Thomas Aquinas

A detailed exposition of Aristotle on complementary understanding and demonstration, which have its origin in two different faculties that are intelligence and reason, is presented. Then, some consequences arising from the Aristotelian approach about the relationship between philosophy and science or between reason and faith are discussed. Finally, the thought of Thomas Aquinas regarding the intellectual faculties is exposed in close comparison with Aristotle, concluding that only theological faith can lead reason to its fulfilment

The Modal Dimension of Knowledge

Truth and certitude are two different requirements of knowledge in strict sense. Such duality gives rise to the problem of justification: how to validate our assessment of what is true and what is not. Several texts of Thomas Aquinas give valuable clues for an answer. These indications clarify the relationship between truth and certainty in the light of the modal dimension of knowledge, and its dependence on the metaphysical structure of being