Saint Thomas Aquinas, aka Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis

Saint Thomas
Aquinas, aka Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis
c. 1225
1274

Italian Dominican Priest of the Roman Church, Philosopher and Theologian in the tradition of scholasticism

Author Quotes

It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.

Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.

Distinctions drawn by the mind are not necessarily equivalent to distinctions in reality.

I receive Thee ransom of my soul. For love of Thee have I studied and kept vigil toiled preached and taught.

It is to be borne in mind, in regard to the philosophical sciences, that the inferior sciences neither prove their principles nor dispute with those who deny them, but leave this to a higher science; whereas the highest of them, viz. metaphysics, can dispute with one who denies its principles, if only the opponent will make some concession; but if he concede nothing, it can have no dispute with him, though it can answer his objections. Hence Sacred Scripture, since it has no science above itself, can dispute with one who denies its principles only if the opponent admits some at least of the truths obtained through divine revelation; thus we can argue with heretics from texts in Holy Writ, and against those who deny one article of faith, we can argue from another. If our opponent believes nothing of divine revelation, there is no longer any means of proving the articles of faith by reasoning, but only of answering his objections — if he has any — against faith. Since faith rests upon infallible truth, and since the contrary of a truth can never be demonstrated, it is clear that the arguments brought against faith cannot be demonstrations, but are difficulties that can be answered.

Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures.

Even as in the blessed in heaven there will be most perfect charity, so in the damned there will be the most perfect hate. Wherefore as the saints will rejoice in all goods, so will the damned grieve for all goods. Consequently the sight of the happiness of the saints will give them very great pain; hence it is written "Let the envious people see and be confounded, and let fire devour Thy enemies." Therefore they will wish all the good were damned.

God should not be called an individual substance, since the principal of individuation is matter.

I would rather feel compassion than know the meaning of it. I would hope to act with compassion without thinking of personal gain.

It must be understood that prime matter, and form as well, is neither generated nor corrupted, because every generation is from something to something. Now that from which generation proceeds is matter, and that to which it proceeds is form. So that, if matter or form were generated, there would be a matter for matter and a form for form, endlessly. Whence, there is generation only of the composite, properly speaking.

Man does not choose of necessity... in all particular goods, the reason can consider an aspect of some good, and the lack of some good, which has the aspect of evil; and in this respect, it can apprehend any single one of such goods as to be chosen or to be avoided. The perfect good alone which is Happiness, cannot be apprehended by the reason as an evil, or as lacking in any way. Consequently man wills Happiness of necessity, nor can he will not to be happy, or to be unhappy. Now since choice is not of the end, but of the means... it is not of the perfect good, which is Happiness, but of other particular goods. Therefore man chooses not of necessity, but freely.

Beauty adds to goodness a relation to the cognitive faculty: so that "good" means that which simply pleases the appetite; while the "beautiful" is something pleasant to apprehend.

Every judgment of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent, is obligatory, in such wise that he who acts against his conscience always sins.

Good can exist without evil, whereas evil cannot exist without good.

If the motion of the earth were circular, it would be violent and contrary to nature, and could not be eternal, since nothing violent is eternal. It follows, therefore, that the earth is not moved with a circular motion.

It seems that, besides philosophical science, we have no need of any further knowledge. For man should not seek to know what is above reason.

Man has free choice, or otherwise counsels, exhortations, commands, prohibitions, rewards and punishments would be in vain.

Beauty... consists in a certain clarity and due proportion. Now each of these has its roots in the reason, because both the light that makes beauty seen, and the establishing of due proportion among things belong to reason.

Everything I have written seems like straw by comparison with what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.

Good is the cause of love, as being its object. But good is not the object of the appetite, except as apprehended. And therefore love demands some apprehension of the good that is loved... Accordingly knowledge is the cause of love for the same reason as good is, which can be loved only if known.

If forgers and malefactors are put to death by the secular power, there is much more reason for excommunicating and even putting to death one convicted of heresy.

Just as it is better to illuminate than merely to shine, so to pass on what one has contemplated is better than merely to contemplate.

Man is judged to be good or bad chiefly according to the pleasure of the human will; for that man is good and virtuous who takes pleasure in the works of virtue, and that man evil who takes pleasure in evil works.

Because of the diverse conditions of humans, it happens that some acts are virtuous to some people, as appropriate and suitable to them, while the same acts are immoral for others, as inappropriate to them.

Author Picture
First Name
Saint Thomas
Last Name
Aquinas, aka Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis
Birth Date
c. 1225
Death Date
1274
Bio

Italian Dominican Priest of the Roman Church, Philosopher and Theologian in the tradition of scholasticism