Truth in Aquinas by Milbank John and Catherine Pickstock

By Milbank John and Catherine Pickstock

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In this case, however, there would seem on the face of things to be a clearly made distinction. 18 By ‘being’ as subject- Truth in Aquinas 22 matter, Aquinas means here its transcendental properties such as ‘substance’, which need not inhere in matter (rendering them meta-physical) and excludes the ‘causes of being’ (only secondarily dealt with), which are its first principles, including the first cause: these cannot inhere in matter. One is tempted to say that with this development metaphysics has become a fundamental ontology; however, this transformation was yet to come (with Scotus).

But again the difficult issue concerns exactly in what manner. In this case, however, there would seem on the face of things to be a clearly made distinction. 18 By ‘being’ as subject- Truth in Aquinas 22 matter, Aquinas means here its transcendental properties such as ‘substance’, which need not inhere in matter (rendering them meta-physical) and excludes the ‘causes of being’ (only secondarily dealt with), which are its first principles, including the first cause: these cannot inhere in matter.

Rather, as we have seen, there is an intrinsic proportio or analogy between the mind’s intrinsic drive towards truth, and the way things manifest themselves, which is their mode of being true. This proportio is assumed and experienced, but cannot be observed or empirically confirmed. It is assumed, because mind and things are both taken as proceeding from the divine creative mind, in such a way that the very source of things is dimly echoed in our minds which generate understanding. Yet it is also experienced, because the harmony between mind and things pre-established by God, is not a Leibnizian pre-establishment where no real relation between mind and things taken as windowless monads pertains.

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