The Twofold Character of Thomas Aquinas's Analogy of Being

Abstract
In this paper I argue that Aquinas’s doctrine of analogy must be understood against the background of his overall philosophy of being. I suggest that Thomas’s oscillation between an analogy of attribution and proper proportionality should be understood as an attempt to address analogy from two different, albeit complementary, metaphysical perspectives. If created being is, as Thomas maintains, a composition of essence and existential act, then it would seem that the analogy of being would bear out the implications of the composite character of being. Thus, if Thomas’s analogy sometimes focuses on formal causality and at other times upon the communication of act via efficient causality, it is not because he adopts a new doctrine of being that supplants his earlier teaching but because of the twofold character of created being
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI 10.5840/ipq200949344
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