St. Thomas on the Incorruptibility of the Human Soul: A Reassessment of His Argument from Natural Desire

Review of Metaphysics 68 (4):742-757 (2015)

Authors
Eike-Henner Kluge
University of Victoria
Abstract
St. Thomas’s argument for the immortality of the human soul in question 75, article 6 of his Summa Theologica has historically been rejected, most famously perhaps by Duns Scotus, who said that it was inconclusive at best and question begging at worst. This article argues that Scotus’s critique may be unfair because it rests on a mistaken understanding of what St. Thomas means by the phrase “natural desire,” and that if one unpacks the ontological assumptions that underlie St. Thomas’s reasoning about the difference between sensible and intellective awareness, an argument emerges that does not suffer from the shortcomings that Scotus alleges
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
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