The Angelic Doctor and Angelic Speech: The Development of Thomas Aquinas's Thought on How Angels Communicate

Medieval Philosophy and Theology 11 (1):87-105 (2003)
This paper shows how Aquinas gradually developed his view on angelic speech. His major texts are summarized and compared to those of contemporaries (sections II-III). Next the texts are analyzed, focusing on three issues: the notion of ‘word’ (section IV), the role of the will (section V), and the need of signification (section VI). With regard to each of these topics, Aquinas’ thought evolved, first by juxtaposing and later by integrating Augustinian and Aristotelian viewpoints. Aquinas reaches his mature position in the Summa Theologiae by radically reinterpretating the meaning of ‘word’ and denying that angelic speech has a semiotic structure.
Keywords thomas aquinas  angels
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DOI 10.1017/S1057060803000033
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