Souls Before Birth and at Death

Norman Kretzmann

in The Metaphysics of Creation

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9780199246540
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597879 | DOI:
 Souls Before Birth and at Death

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In Aquinas's attempt to explain the origin of an individual human being's soul (his embryological account), he argues that a human soul does not begin to exist at conception, or for some time thereafter. After opposing 12 naturalistic explanations previously given by others of the origin of new human souls, Aquinas claims that, consequently, only particular creation can account for human reproduction. Aquinas thinks he has good, natural–theological arguments to show that at least at death a human soul or intellect is not corrupted along with the human body with which it has been united. The organlessness of intellection is his key to arguing for the intellective soul's survival of death.

Keywords: conception; death; embryology; intellection; intellective soul; reproduction; soul

Chapter.  23589 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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