More Words on the Verbum

In “Verbum Mentis: Theological or Philosophical Doctrine?” (Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, vol. 74, 2000), I argued against a common interpretation of Aquinas’s discussion of the verbum mentis. The common interpretation holds that the verbum mentis constitutes an essential part of Aquinas’s philosophical psychology. I argued, on the contrary, that it is no part of Aquinas’s philosophical psychology, but is a properly theological discussion grounded in the practice of scriptural metaphor, exemplified by such metaphors as “Christ is a rock.” James Doig challenges my alternate interpretation. His argument has three parts. He insists, first, that the discussion of the verbum mentis was a philosophical discussion in Aquinas’s predecessors, and that Aquinas never rejected this tradition; second, that it appears as a philosophical discussion in Aquinas’s commentary on the Gospel of John; third, that in the Summa theologiae, while there is no philosophical reason for Aquinas to discuss the verbum mentis in the context of the essence, powers, and operations of the soul (Ia, qq. 75–89), it is nevertheless a philosophical discussion in the examination of thedivine Trinity (Ia, qq. 27–43) Here I respond to and argue against all three legs of Doig’s counterargument
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI 10.5840/acpq200377213
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