Because many of Aquinas’s most distinctive philosophical claims are embedded in theological works, in order to see what his philosophy comes to it is necessary to do a great deal of extracting and reconstructing. A major school of interpretation, however, cautions that such efforts are misguided, since Aquinas’ philosophy and theology are inextricably bound together. We respond that some versions of this inseparability thesis are too strong to be true and the remainder too weak to stand in the way of (...) renewed efforts to identify Aquinas’ pure philosophical systems. Nonetheless, a good deal is to be learned about Aquinas (and about other religious philosophers) by pondering the inseparablist challenge to rational reconstruction. (shrink)
In this paper we evaluate two sets of theistic arguments against the traditional position that Cod created with absolute freedom. The first set features several variations of Leibniz’s basic proof that Cod must create the best possible world. The arguments in the second set base the claim that Cod must create on the Platonic or Dionysian principle that goodness is essentially self-diffusive. We argue that neither the Leibnizian nor the Dionysian arguments are successful.