Teleology, natural desire and knowledge of God in the Summa contra gentiles

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Abstract

Teleological reasoning was common among authors of the XIII century. Certainly,
the existence of a finalist order among things allowed them to explain both the
movement of natural bodies and the movement of the celestial bodies: for these
authors all things would move because of final causality. Aquinas’ Summa contra
gentiles, which we analyze in the following, reproduces this same reasoning model.
Taking as reference the movement of natural bodies, he tries to explain the meaning
of a special category of movement, namely: human knowledge. Thus, he states that
human knowledge is an expression of a natural appetite of our intelligence, the
natural desire to know, which rests only in the knowledge of God, the first cause of
the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-286
JournalImago Temporis - Medium Aevum
Volume2015
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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