Aquinas on Scriptural Metaphor and Allegory

This paper attempts to situate Thomas Aquinas with respect to philosophical discussions of the nature of metaphorical language. I consider Aquinas’s comments in the Summa Theologiae on Scriptural metaphor and allegory in the light of two theses in current discussions of metaphor: the substitution thesis and the dual-meaning thesis. I compare Aquinas’s view to those of Aristotle and Donald Davidson. The substitution thesis asserts that figurative expressions can be replaced by semantically equivalent literal expressions. The dual-meaning thesis asserts that, in addition to a literal meaning (or sense), metaphorical language possesses another meaning, viz. a figurative one. I claim that Aquinas’s view is complex. He affirms the dual-meaning thesis with regard to Scriptural allegory. Yet he rejects the dual-meaning thesis and affirms the substitution thesis with regard to predicates ascribed metaphorically to God
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Conference Proceedings  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0065-7638
DOI 10.5840/acpaproc2002761
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,157
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Is Aquinas a Foundationalist?A. N. Williams - 2010 - New Blackfriars 91 (1031):20-45.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Peirce Versus Davidson on Metaphorical Meaning.Aaron Wilson - 2011 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 47 (2):117-135.
On the Meaning of Metaphor in Gadamer's Hermeneutics.Ben Vedder - 2002 - Research in Phenomenology 32 (1):196-209.
More Words on the Verbum.John O'Callaghan - 2003 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 77 (2):257-268.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

29 ( #177,618 of 2,171,921 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #326,615 of 2,171,921 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums