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Aquinas on the Divine Ideas as Exemplar Causes

Gregory T. Doolan

Publication Year: 2011

Gregory T. Doolan provides here the first detailed consideration of the divine ideas as causal principles. He examines Thomas Aquinas's philosophical doctrine of the divine ideas and convincingly argues that it is an essential element of his metaphysics

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

I would like to offer my thanks to all those who helped me in writing this book: Barry Jones for always offering a ready ear to listen to my ideas; Peter Kwasniewski and Daniel O’Connell for providing me with philosophical insights; Giuseppe Butera, Patrick Harmon, Gerald Russello, and my mother, Elisabeth Doolan, for helping me with the occasional translation; ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xii

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pp. xiii-xvi

In Le Thomisme Étienne Gilson observes that “exemplarism is one of the essential elements of Thomism.”1 Such a claim might take the reader by surprise: if we consider medieval philosophy, it is not Thomas Aquinas who is commonly associated with the doctrine of exemplarism but Bonaventure. ...

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1. Ideas as Exemplar Causes

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pp. 1-43

“[I]n the divine mind,” Thomas Aquinas tells us, “there are exemplar forms of all creatures, which are called ideas, as there are forms of artifacts in the mind of an artisan.”1 Time and again throughout his career, Thomas affirms the existence of such forms in the mind of God, and time and again he presents these ideas as the exemplars of created things.2 ...

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2. The Existence of Divine Ideas

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pp. 44-82

Thomas’s analogy between human art and divine exemplarism is a useful one for understanding the metaphysical role that he assigns to the divine ideas. Taken alone, however, the analogy presumes two things: first, that God does in fact exist and second, that he indeed possesses ideas. ...

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3. The Multiplicity of Divine Ideas

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pp. 83-122

The arguments that we considered in the last chapter present the divine ideas as principles accounting for the order of the created universe. As we saw, Thomas argues that from the ideas, the diverse things of our experience receive their determinate forms. That there is a diversity of formed beings suggests that there must also be a corresponding diversity of divine ideas. ...

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4. Identifying God’s Exemplar Ideas

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pp. 123-155

On more than one occasion, Thomas asks the question whether there are divine ideas for everything God knows, and he answers this question in the affirmative.1 The very phrasing of the question, however, raises a further one: what precisely does God know? ...

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5. The Causality of the Divine Exemplars

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pp. 156-190

We have thus far determined the sense in which Thomas considers ideas to act as causes, namely, as exemplars. We have also determined which of the divine ideas he identifies as causal principles: those of individual things that God creates at some point in time. ...

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6. Participation and the Divine Exemplars

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pp. 191-243

The theory of exemplarism is one that is closely related to the theory of participation; to mention the former is to call to mind the latter. Any discussion of exemplarism, therefore, would be incomplete without a consideration of participation. ...

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pp. 244-252

Thomas’s doctrine of the divine ideas touches upon some of the most fundamental elements of his metaphysical thought. In the course of exploring his doctrine, we examined such issues as the nature of causality, the real distinction between essence and existence, and the theory of participation, to name a few. ...


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pp. 253-264

Index of Subjects

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pp. 265-274

Index of Names

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pp. 275-277

E-ISBN-13: 9780813218427
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813215235

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2011