Aquinas and Maimonides on the Possibility of the Knowledge by Mercedes Rubio

By Mercedes Rubio

Thomas Aquinas wrote a textual content later often called Quaestio de attributis and ordered it inserted in an actual position of his statement at the Sentences of Peter Lombard greater than a decade after composing this paintings. Aquinas assigned unparalleled significance to this article, during which he confronts the talk at the factor of the divine attributes that swept crucial centres of studying in thirteenth Century Europe and examines the solutions given to the matter via the representatives of the 4 mainstream colleges of his time: the Greek mystic Dionysius Areopagita, the Latin Saint Anselm of Canterbury, the Jewish rabbi Moses Maimonides and the Muslim thinker Ibn Sina. This in-depth examine of Thomas Aquinas Quaestio de attributis (In I Sent., d. 2, q. 1, a. three) binds jointly the findings of earlier examine at the specified background of this article by means of reconstructing the old situations surrounding its composition, indicates that the Quaestio includes Aquinas ultimate resolution to the dispute at the divine attributes, and punctiliously examines his interpretation of Maimonides place at the factor of the information of God via analysing this and different texts relating to it chronologically and doctrinally. The exam of the Quaestio unearths the history of Thomas Aquinas renewed curiosity in Maimonides place at the factor and brings to gentle parts of Aquinas interpretation which are absent from his prior references to Maimonides. furthermore, the chronological and doctrinal connection of the Quaestio de attributis to different Thomistic works with specific references to Maimonides permits a reconstruction of his accomplished method of Maimonides instructing at the danger and volume of the data of God within the consultant of the confused and highlights where of Maimonides philosophical teachings in Thomas personal notion in matters like 'Being' because the right identify of God, the multiplicity of the divine names, the beatific imaginative and prescient within the afterlife, the explanations that hinder the guideline of the multitude in divine concerns and the function of religion and prophecy within the acquisition of the real wisdom of God during this lifestyles. The final bankruptcy examines the explanations at the back of Aquinas silencing of Maimonides identify whilst introducing his 5 methods for the information of the life of God, despite the obvious relation among those and Maimonides 4 Speculations. The learn is done with an intensive appendix that comes with the textual content of the Quaestio de attributis with an English translation and the severe variation of numerous chapters of the thirteenth Century Latin translation of the consultant of the confused referred to as Dux neutrorum.

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Additional resources for Aquinas and Maimonides on the Possibility of the Knowledge of God: An Examination of The Quaestio de attributis (Amsterdam Studies in Jewish Thought) (Amsterdam Studies in Jewish Philosophy)

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1247, vol. 4, 280-283 [ad 1243]. Cf. 280: Incipiebant magistri Theologiae, praecipue tamen praecipui Praedicatorum et Minorum lectores, disputare et disserere subtilius et celsius, quam decuit aut expedivit. Qui non verentes tangere montes, a gloria Dei opprimendi, nitebantur secreta Dei investigabilia temere perscrutari, et judicia Dei, quae sunt ‘abyssus multa’, nimis praesumptuose indagare. 35 St. 36 This widespread atmosphere of mutual accusations of teaching heretical doctrines was fueled by the irruption of a vast body of philosophical and scientific literature of Arabic and Greek origin, newly translated and previously inaccessible to the Christian West, that reached the Arts and Theology Faculties of the University of Paris and prompted the ecclesiastical authorities to take some defensive measures until the contents of these works could be assessed.

The second part of the distinction (a. 3 and a. 4 before the insertion of the Quaestio de attributis) is devoted to the divine Persons. The articles are enunciated as follows: a. 1: On the unity of God. a. 2: Whether a plurality of attributes can be found in God. a. 3: Whether that unity is compatible with a plurality of Persons. a. 4: If compatible, whether that plurality is a real one, or just in our intellect. Article 1 follows Dionysius Areopagita’s assertion that any multiplicity proceeds from a unity, describing the divine being as the origin and end of the whole creation.

D. 2, q. 1, a. 2, Solutio: Quidam autem dicunt, quod ista attributa non differunt nisi penes connotata in creaturis, quod non potest esse; tum quia causa non habet aliquid ab effectu, sed e converso: unde Deus non dicitur sapiens quia ab eo est sapientia, sed potius res creata dicitur sapiens inquantum imitatur divinam sapientiam. Tum quia ab aeterno creaturis non existentibus, etiamsi nunquam futurae fuissent, fuit verum dicere, quod est sapiens, bonus, et huiusmodi. Nec idem omnino significaretur per unum et per aliud, sicut idem significatur per nomina synonyma.

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