Chapter

Aquinas: Using the Distinction

Lawrence Moonan

in Divine Power

Published in print April 1994 | ISBN: 9780198267553
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683282 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198267553.003.0008
Aquinas: Using the Distinction

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Aquinas uses the Power Distinction more than a score of times — quite a few more, depending on how you count uses — from the earliest work of his career as a master in theology, to works of his last years. Faced with Abelard's question as to whether God can do what he is not doing, Aquinas is put as an exponent of Negative Theology. He cannot, as a consistent exponent of Negative Theology on the divine nature, know anything about the divine nature. Aquinas's use of the Distinction raises no special perplexities, invokes no special ad hoc rules to avoid such perplexities, and is consonant with his use of significant speech to scientifically serious purpose generally.

Keywords: Power Distinction; ad hoc rules; St Thomas Aquinas; God; divine nature; Negative Theology

Chapter.  12691 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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