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Summary Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274) is the most influential Christian philosopher and theologian of the Scholastic period. His influence is primarily due to his synthesis of Aristotelian philosophy with Christian theology, as well as the breadth and systematic rigor of his writings. He wrote extensively on philosophical theology, metaphysics, epistemology, human nature (including philosophy of mind) and ethics (including moral psychology, virtue ethics, and natural law theory). The wide-ranging appeal of his theories have inspired a variety of "Thomisms" throughout the 20th century, under such prefatory labels as "Existential," "Transcendental," "Phenomenological," and "Analytical." His philosophical system has been explicitly promoted as the foundation par excellence for Catholic theology by Pope Leo XIII and Pope John Paul II.  
Key works For a comprehensive collection of Aquinas's works (in Latin) see Opera Omnia. Aquinas's most significant writings are the voluminous Summa theologiae and Summa contra Gentiles. Among his philosophical writings are comprehensive commentaries on Aristotle's works, including Metaphysics, Physics, De anima, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, and Posterior Analytics. Extensive arguments on certain topics can be found in collections of Disputed Questions on subjects such as truth, virtue, evil, the soul, and the power of God. Shorter, yet philosophically impactful, treatises Aquinas wrote include On Being and Essence and On Kingship.
Introductions A classical introduction to Aquinas's overall philosophical thought is Gilson 1956. An excellent recent introductory text is Davies 1993. A more in-depth scholarly treatment of various themes in Aquinas's philosophical system is provided by Stump 2003.
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  1. Interpreting Aquinas: Resources From Gadamer’s Hermeneutics.Matthew McWhorter - forthcoming - International Philosophical Quarterly.
  2. Matteo d'Acquasparta vs Tommaso d'Aquino. Ilemorfismo metafisico e immortalità dell'anima. [REVIEW]Simone Guidi - 2012 - la Cultura 3:531-539.
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  3. Can a Metaphysically Perfect God Have Moral Virtues and Duties? Re-Reading Aquinas.Agustín Echavarría - forthcoming - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly.
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  4. Accommodating Ambiguity Within Aquinas’ Philosophy Of Truth.Catherine Nancekievill - forthcoming - Wiley: New Blackfriars.
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  5. The Holy Spirit and Moral Action in Thomas Aquinas by Jack Mahoney Sj, Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, Lanham, 2021, Pp. VII + 186, £73.00, Hbk. [REVIEW]Nicholas Paul Crowe - 2022 - New Blackfriars 103 (1105):427-429.
    New Blackfriars, Volume 103, Issue 1105, Page 427-429, May 2022.
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  6. Aquinas, Original Sin, and the Challenge of Evolution by Daniel W. Houck, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 2020, Pp. X + 284, £75.00, Hbk. [REVIEW]Simon Francis Gaine - 2022 - New Blackfriars 103 (1105):414-416.
    New Blackfriars, Volume 103, Issue 1105, Page 414-416, May 2022.
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  7. Aquinas on Faith, Reason, and Charity.Roberto Di Ceglie - 2022 - Routledge.
    This book offers a new reading of Aquinas' views on faith. The author argues that the theological nature of faith is crucial to Aquinas' thought, and that it gives rise to a peculiar and otherwise incomprehensible relationship with reason. The first part of the book examines various modern and contemporary accounts of the relationship between faith and reason in Aquinas' thought. The author shows that these accounts are unconvincing because they exhibit what he calls a Lockean view of faith and (...)
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  8. Thomas Aquinas and the Civil Economy Tradition: The Mediterranean Spirit of Capitalism.Paolo Santori - 2021 - Routledge.
    Delving into the history of economic thought, this book presents a picture of the Mediterranean spirit of capitalism, a tradition that has its protagonists in Thomas Aquinas and the eighteenth-century civil economy, and seeks to understand its presence and relevance for contemporary societies. The book argues that it is reductive to attribute to the 'Protestant ethic' the different formations of capitalism in the Western world. Instead, it is vital to acknowledge the differences in the ways in which the market is (...)
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  9. Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth: A New Conversation.Jeffrey Skaff - 2021 - Routledge.
    This book argues for substantial and pervasive convergence between Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth with regards to God's relation to history and to the Christocentric orientation of that history. In short, it contends that Thomas can affirm what Barth calls the humanity of God. The argument has great ecumenical potential, finding fundamental agreement between two of the most important figures in the Reformed and Roman Catholic traditions. It also contributes to contemporary theology by demonstrating the fruitfulness of exchanging metaphysical vocabularies (...)
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  10. Thomas Aquinas: The Basics.Franklin T. Harkins - 2020 - Routledge.
    "Thomas Aquinas: The Basics is an engaging introduction to the theology of arguably the greatest theologian and philosopher of the Middle Ages. The sophistication and complexity of his thought can be daunting for those approaching his work for the first time. Through this lively and accessible book, Harkins provides an entry point to understanding Aquinas's mature theological thought. As well as giving an overview of Aquinas's life and written works, this book examines Aquinas's understanding of: the nature and purpose of (...)
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  11. The Arguments of Aquinas: A Philosophical View.J. J. Macintosh - 2017 - Routledge.
    The Arguments of Aquinas is intended for readers with philosophical interests, who may not be specialists in medieval philosophy. Some think that a medieval saint must be, as such, wrong, dated, and boring; others feel that a saint, any saint, must be right, relevant, and inspirational. Both groups are likely to misread Aquinas, if indeed they read him at all. The works of great philosophers are products of their times, but that does not lessen their value for us. We profit (...)
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  12. The Politics of Praise: Naming God and Friendship in Aquinas and Derrida.William W. Young Iii - 2007 - Routledge.
    The Politics of Praise argues that the redemptive potential of naming God lies in how this event transforms friendship. It breaks new ground by tracing the connections between naming God and friendship in the work of Thomas Aquinas and Jacques Derrida. Advancing an innovative reading of Aquinas on the divine names, the book explores how Dionysius' mysticism shapes Aquinas' appropriation of Aristotle's ethics, then retraces how Derrida's reading of religion renders possible an alternative conception of friendship. These explorations lead to (...)
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  13. Aquinas on God: The 'Divine Science' of the Summa Theologiae.Rudi Te Velde - 2006 - Routledge.
    Aquinas on God presents an accessible exploration of Thomas Aquinas' conception of God. Focusing on the Summa theologiae - the work containing Aquinas' most systematic and complete exposition of the Christian doctrine of God - Rudi te Velde acquaints the reader with Aquinas' theological understanding of God and the metaphysical principles and propositions that underlie his project. Aquinas' conception of God is dealt with not as an isolated metaphysical doctrine, but from the perspective of his broad theological view which underlies (...)
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  14. Modernity and the Question of Hope: Some Perspectives Through Thomas Aquinas.Jovito Cariño - 2021 - Kritike 15 (3):40-63.
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  15. The Problem of Universals From the Scientific Point of View: Thomas Aquinas Should Be More Appreciated.Shiro Ishikawa - 2022 - Open Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):86-104.
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  16. 3. Two Forms of Negative Theology Explained Using Thomas Aquinas.Jozef Wissink - 2022 - In Ilse Bulhof & Laurens ten Kate (eds.), Flight of the Gods: Philosophical Perspectives on Negative Theology. Fordham University Press. pp. 100-120.
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  17. 10 Analogy and Meta Phor From Thomas Aquinas to Duns Scotus and Walter Burley.E. Jennifer Ashworth - 2013 - In Charles Bolyard & Rondo Keele (eds.), Later Medieval Metaphysics: Ontology, Language, and Logic. Fordham University Press. pp. 223-248.
  18. Faith overcoming metaphysics: Gianni Vattimo and Thomas Aquinas on being.Victor Salas - forthcoming - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-15.
    This paper considers Gianni Vattimo’s rejection of metaphysical conceptions of being in favor of a hermeneutic ontology developed along the lines of ‘weak thought.’ I argue that Vattimo’s critique neglects an abiding pluralism within the very history of metaphysical thought itself; at least some metaphysical conceptions of being in that history do not fall prey to his critique. To establish my claim I turn to Thomas Aquinas, whose metaphysics is couched within a larger theological context and presents itself dynamically, thereby (...)
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  19. Computational Topic Models for Theological Investigations.Mark Graves - 2022 - Theology and Science 20 (1):69-84.
    Sallie McFague’s theological models construct a tensive relationship between conceptual structures and symbolic, metaphorical language to interpret the defining and elusive aspects of theological phenomena and loci. Computational models of language can extend and formalize the conceptual structures of theological models to develop computer-augmented interpretations of theological texts. Previously unclear is whether computational models can retain the tensive symbolism essential for theological investigation. I demonstrate affirmatively by constructing a computational topic model of the moral theology of Thomas Aquinas from Summa (...)
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  20. Can God Immediately Produce a Necessary Effect? Some Remarks on Gloria Frost’s Aquinas and Scotus on the Source of Contingency.Francesco Binotto - 2022 - Noctua 9 (1):79-103.
    This discussion note aims to call into question the first part of Gloria Frost’s article, Aquinas and Scotus on the Source of Contingency, devoted to Aquinas’s thought on the source of contingency in creation. I shall discuss three controversial claims that represent the key points of Frost’s interpretation of Aquinas’s account on contingency: with re spect to existence, every creature exists contingently on the grounds that no creature is necessarily willed by God; with respect to cause-and-effect relationship, only those effects (...)
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  21. Collapsing the Sacred and the Profane: Pan-Sacramental & Panentheistic Possibilities in Aquinas and Their Implications for Spirituality.Hans Gustafson - forthcoming - Heythrop Journal.
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  22. ‘We Know in Part’: How the Positive Apophaticism of Aquinas Transforms the Negative Theology of Pseudo-Dionysius.Alan Philip Darley - forthcoming - Heythrop Journal.
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  23. St. Thomas, Doctor Graecus?: A Rapprochement Between Irenaeus and Aquinas on Salvation.Daniel M. Garland - 2013 - Heythrop Journal.
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  24. Thomas Aquinas on the Vegetative Soul.Martin Pickavé - 2021 - In Fabrizio Baldassarri & Andreas Blank (eds.), Vegetative Powers: The Roots of Life in Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Natural Philosophy. Springer. pp. 139-152.
    This short chapter explores Aquinas’s teaching on the vegetative soul. At first glance, Aquinas does not seem too interested in the vegetative soul, and this type of soul certainly takes last rank compared with the sensory and the intellectual souls, which are of more relevance when it comes to human perfection and morality. However, this does not mean that Aquinas’s teaching on the vegetative soul lacks sophistication. The chapter first examines why there is a need to posit a vegetative soul (...)
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  25. Knowledge of Oneself and of Others: Aquinas, Wittgenstein and Rembrandt☆.John Haldane - forthcoming - Philosophical Investigations.
    Philosophical Investigations, EarlyView.
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  26. Thomas Aquinas, "Thomas Aquinas's Quodlibetal Questions." Trans. Turner Nevitt and Brian Davies.Christopher A. Bobier - 2022 - Philosophy in Review 42 (1):1-3.
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  27. Re‐Thinking Truth: Assessing Heidegger's Critique of Aquinas in Light of Vallicella's Critique of Heidegger.Jonathan Lyonhart - 2022 - Wiley: New Blackfriars 103 (1105):326-336.
    New Blackfriars, Volume 103, Issue 1105, Page 326-336, May 2022.
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  28. Accommodating Ambiguity Within Aquinas’ Philosophy Of Truth.Catherine Nancekievill - forthcoming - New Blackfriars.
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  29. Thomas Aquinas, Pierre Rousselot, and the Performative Aesthetics of Contemplative Theology.Robert St Hilaire - 2013 - Wiley: The Heythrop Journal.
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  30. Reconciling the Teachings of Cyril of Alexandria and Thomas Aquinas on the Universal Headship of Christ.Daniel Lendman - 2019 - Wiley: The Heythrop Journal.
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  31. The Raison D’Etre of Sacramental Character: Rereading Aquinas’s Treatment of Sacramental Character in Light of ‘64.7’.Michael R. De Salvo - 2019 - Wiley: The Heythrop Journal.
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  32. Thomas Aquinas and the Complex Simplicity of the Rational Soul.Jeremy W. Skrzypek - 2022 - Wiley: European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4).
    European Journal of Philosophy, Volume 29, Issue 4, Page 900-917, December 2021.
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  33. Aquinas’s Third Way.Gaven Kerr - 2022 - Maynooth Philosophical Papers 11:1-19.
    Aquinas’s Five Ways are often presented as standard cosmological arguments for God’s existence. They tend to be anthologized and presented independently of the metaphysical thought that informs them. Thus, when Aquinas deploys technical metaphysical issues in his articulation of the ways, the contemporary reader may have trouble interpreting them correctly. This is particularly the case when Aquinas uses terminology familiar to a contemporary reader that nevertheless should be understood within the context of Aquinas’s own metaphysical thought. The Third Way is (...)
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  34. Thomas Aquinas and Hervaeus Natalis on First and Second Intentionality.Fabrizio Amerini - 2022 - Topoi 41 (1):159-169.
    Thomas Aquinas and Hervaeus Natalis share a correlational theory of intentionality. When I cognize a thing, I am in a real relation with the thing cognized and at the same time the thing is in a relation of reason with me. Hervaeus coins the term “intentionality” to designate precisely this relation of reason. First and second intentionality express two stages of this relation. First intentionality refers to the relation that a thing has to the mind, while second intentionality indicates the (...)
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  35. Heidegger and Aquinas: An Essay on Overcoming Metaphysics.John D. Caputo - 2020 - Fordham University Press.
  36. The Early Modern Rationalists and the Substantial Form: From Natural Philosophy to Metaphysics.Valtteri Viljanen - manuscript
    This paper argues that, contrary to what one might think, early modern rationalism displays an increasing and well-grounded sensitivity to certain metaphysical questions the substantial form was designed to answer – despite the fact that the notion itself was in such disrepute, and emphatically banished from natural philosophy. This main thesis is established by examining the thought of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz through the framework constituted by what have been designated as the two aspects, metaphysical and physical, of the substantial (...)
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  37. Pre-Liberal Political Philosophy: Rawls and Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas.Daniel A. Dombrowski - 2022 - Brill.
    John Rawls is the most influential 20th century political philosopher, but critics have complained about the ahistorical character of his approach. The purpose of this book is to argue that these critics are, at best, only half correct._Pre-Liberal Political Philosophy_ concentrates on four pre-liberal thinkers who are major figures in the history of philosophy and who are surprisingly formative in the development of Rawls’s mature political philosophy: Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas.
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  38. Human Extinction From a Thomist Perspective.Stefan Riedener - 2022 - In Effective Altruism and Religion Synergies, Tensions, Dialogue. Baden-Baden, Germany: pp. 187-210.
    “Existential risks” are risks that threaten the destruction of humanity’s long-term potential: risks of nuclear wars, pandemics, supervolcano eruptions, and so on. On standard utilitarianism, it seems, the reduction of such risks should be a key global priority today. Many effective altruists agree with this verdict. But how should the importance of these risks be assessed on a Christian moral theory? In this paper, I begin to answer this question – taking Thomas Aquinas as a reference, and the risks of (...)
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  39. Aquinas on the Unity of Perfect Moral Virtue and Its Significance for the Nature-Grace Question.Renée Mirkes - 1995 - Dissertation, Marquette University
    For St. Thomas Aquinas, moral theory is a practical discipline. It is primarily concerned with free acts by which Christians, cooperating with divine grace, make their way to God. The topic of virtue assumes center stage in Thomistic moral theology precisely because it is virtue which enables the justified to perform good acts consistently so as to reach their final end. the face-to-face vision of God...
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  40. Aquinas on the Ontological and Theological Foundation of the Transcendentals.Jason A. Mitchell - 2013 - Alpha Omega 16 (1):39-78.
    The metaphysical study of ens qua ens and its transcendental properties requires an ontological foundation according to intrinsic causes and a theological foundation accord-ing to extrinsic causes. Following the method of resolutio secundum rationem, Aquinas founds the transcendental properties of ens in se and the transcendental proper-ties of ens in ordine ad aliud on the real composition of essence and actus essendi in creatures. The theological foundation follows the method of resolutio secundum rem and involves the notions of transcendental participation (...)
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  41. From Aristotle’s Four Causes to Aquinas’ Ultimate Causes of Being: Modern Interpretations.Jason A. Mitchell - 2013 - Alpha Omega 16 (3):399-414.
    Over time, Aristotle’s theory of four causes lost some of their original flexibility as an instrument to be applied analogically in diverse sciences. Enrico Berti’s distinction between physical and metaphysical causality in Aristotle provides insight into overcoming this crystallization. More importantly, the novelty of Aquinas’ metaphysics of actus essendi calls for a revision of the four causes: first, actus essendi is presented as actuating act and the source of the finite being’s ordered operation; the substantial essence falls to potency and (...)
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  42. A Hypothesis About the Science of the Transcendentals as Passiones Entis According to Saint Thomas Aquinas.Alain Contat - 2014 - Alpha Omega 17 (2):213-266.
    This study, on Thomas Aquinas’ doctrine on the transcendentals, is both epistemological and metaphysical. From the epistemological point of view, we want to determine if and how the sequence subiectum / principia subiecti / passiones subiecti can be applied to ens qua ens and to the transcendentals. Our investigation concludes that the five transcendentals – res, unum, aliquid, verum, bonum – are effectively founded on the principles of ens, and that the last four are counted among the properties that are (...)
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  43. Natural Teleology and Human Dignity: Reading the Second Vatican Council in the Light of Aquinas.Dominic Farrell - 2014 - Alpha Omega 17 (3):543-567.
    In Gaudium et Spes and Dignitatis Humanae the Second Vatican Council not only presents the dignity of the human person as the parting point for its moral teaching but also grounds human dignity in natural teleology. Natural teleology is the view that the good of any thing corresponds to, and so can be discerned from, the ends to which it is directed by its nature, both that end which is proper to it and those ends that it has as part (...)
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  44. Is God Just? Aquinas’s Contribution to the Discussion of a Divine Attribute.Dominic Farrell - 2017 - Alpha Omega 20 (3):467-507.
    Justice is a divine attribute to which the sacred texts of the Abrahamic religions attest frequently and to which people attach great importance. However, it is the express subject of comparatively few contemporary studies. It has been argued that this is symptomatic of a long-standing trend in Christian theology, which has tended to conceive justice narrowly, as retributive. This paper makes the case that, mediaeval theologians, from Anselm to Aquinas, address the divine attribute of justice in depth and with philosophical (...)
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  45. Accommodating Ambiguity Within Aquinas’ Philosophy Of Truth.Catherine Nancekievill - forthcoming - New Blackfriars.
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  46. Re‐Thinking Truth: Assessing Heidegger's Critique of Aquinas in Light of Vallicella's Critique of Heidegger.Jonathan Lyonhart - 2020 - New Blackfriars 103 (1105):326-336.
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  47. Aquinas on the Nature of Christ's Punishment and its Role in His Work of Satisfaction.Daniel Waldow - 2022 - New Blackfriars 103 (1103):7-28.
    New Blackfriars, Volume 103, Issue 1103, Page 7-28, January 2022.
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  48. A Thomistic Reflection on Philippa Foot’s Corrective Theory of Virtue.Nathan Luis Cartagena - 2020 - Heythrop Journal 63 (3):367-377.
    In her influential essay ‘Virtues and Vices,’ Philippa Foot argues that virtues are essentially corrective, moderating between two vicious extremes. She also contends that Aquinas champions this view, too. In contrast, I argue that Foot misreads Aquinas; that Aquinas's actual theory of virtue is incompatible with the corrective theory Foot defends; and that those who endorse Aquinas's Augustinian theology should side with his perfective theory of virtue rather than Foot's corrective one.
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  49. Essere e causalità: ontologia tomista.Pasquale Viola - 2021 - Dissertation,
    L'elaborato intende analizzare lo statuto ontologico dell'ente a partire dal binomio esse e id quod est, sviluppato da Tommaso nel commento al De Hebdomadibus di Boezio, specificando i concetti di partecipazione come causalità forte, e di essere come massimo estensivo e più generale.
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  50. Thomas Aquinas on Reprobation: The Arbitrariness Problem and Some Quiescence Solutions.Adam Wood - 2022 - Res Philosophica 99 (1):1-23.
    Given certain anti-Pelagian assumptions he endorses, Aquinas faces an “arbitrariness problem” explaining why God predestines and reprobates the particular individuals he does. One response to the problem that Aquinas offers—biting the bullet and conceding God’s arbitrariness—has a high theoretical cost. Eleonore Stump proposes a less costly alternative solution on Thomas’s behalf, drawing on his notion that our wills may rest in a state of “quiescence.” Her proposal additionally purports to answer the general question why God reprobates anyone at all. I (...)
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