On the Alleged Subalternate Character of Sacra Doctrina in Aquinas

Largely uncontested among interpreters of Aquinas is the claim that the Angelic Doctor presents sacra doctrina as a subalternated science. To be sure, in fourtexts of the Thomistic corpus Aquinas broaches the subject of subalternation in discussions of whether sacra doctrina can be a science. I contend that the appeal to subalternation in these discussions is not to defend sacra doctrina as a subalternated science, but is rather to defend the possibility of arriving at scientific conclusions when an act of belief serves as the starting point for syllogistic reasoning. There is indeed an epistemic similarity between the starting points of a subalternated science and the science of sacra doctrina, insofar as an act of belief serves as the proximate epistemic point of departure in both cases. However, the cognitive similarity between the practitioner of a subalternated science and a practitioner of sacra doctrina does not necessitate that sacra doctrina is a subalternated science
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Conference Proceedings  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0065-7638
DOI 10.5840/acpaproc20037716
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