Aquinas and the Five Ways

The Monist 58 (1):16-35 (1974)
Abstract
FIVE 'WAYS' TO PROVE THAT GOD EXISTS ARE OFFERED IN AQUINAS' "SUMMA OF THEOLOGY," ALL TAKEN FROM HISTORICALLY TRACEABLE SOURCES IN WHICH THEY DID NOT REACH THE CONCLUSION ENVISAGED BY HIM. 'WAYS' UP TO ELEVEN IN NUMBER ARE IN FACT USED IN HIS WORKS. ALL FUNCTION IN A STRICTLY METAPHYSICAL--NOT COSMOLOGICAL OR TELEOLOGICAL--FRAMEWORK THAT WAS DEVELOPED EARLY IN HIS CAREER. THE ANSELMIAN AND OTHER ARGUMENTS THAT CANNOT FIT INTO THAT FRAMEWORK ARE REJECTED OR LEFT UNNOTICED, WHILE THOSE THAT DO FIT IN ARE ACCEPTED IN LINE WITH THE CONVENIENCE OF THE MOMENT. ACCORDINGLY THE NUMBER AND ORDER OF THE 'FIVE WAYS' MEAN NO MORE THAN A MOMENTARY CONVENIENCE OF THIS TYPE.
Keywords Aquinas, Five Ways, Proofs, Metaphysics
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