Chapter One: Thomistic Ontology

Luis Cortest

in The Disfigured Face

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228539
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235681 | DOI:

Series: Moral Philosophy and Moral Theology

Chapter One: Thomistic Ontology

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This chapter focuses on the distinguishing feature of Thomas Aquinas's moral thought, its ontological foundation. Ontology is defined as the science of being. Thomas considered “being” the first and most fundamental object known by reason. Aquinas's ontology was based, to a large extent, on an Aristotelian model. For Aquinas, existence is the most fundamental principle of all reality. Years after Aquinas's death, William of Ockham's doctrine of nominalism, dominated European thinking for more than 150 years. William rejects the fundamental Thomistic distinction between essence and existence. The Thomistic spirit was revived early in the sixteenth century with Cajetan and Vitoria. Cardinal Cajetan is probably the most celebrated Thomistic commentator in history. Francisco de Vitoria is the father of Spanish Thomism. Through his great personal influence, the Summa theologiae replaced the Sentences of Peter Lombard as the principal text for theological study at the University of Salamanca.

Keywords: Thomas Aquinas; ontology; being; Summa theologiae; Thomism; Francisco de Vitoria; William of Ockham; Cardinal Cajetan; Theology; moral thought

Chapter.  4495 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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