Maimonides and Aquinas

            With reverence to the Guide, St. Thomas Aquinas was already in belief with the common interest of the principles of Maimonides that the study of natural science and that science itself is the cause of human apprehension to God. As Maimonides claimed the elements of apprehension to be the things made by Him, it became a part of Aquinas’ thought too, where both appeared to acknowledge the physical world to be the sole avenue to natural knowledge of God, as comprehended by Aristotle himself (Rubio Chapter 2). The divinity in their understanding and the acknowledgement of Aristotle’s vision sets Maimonides and Aquinas on the divine nature.

            From the world of divinity, Aquinas has made the quest of worldly life, but through a very critically chosen media. To unveil the media, it is to understand ‘Aquinas’s claim that a human being essentially consists of body and soul, given his other claim that the soul is the one and only substantial form of the body’ (Kenny 28). It is natural that human body is a matter. But a mix of body and soul is not mix of same pair, as matter and form. This is Aquinas’s point of intervention that the human soul to the human body is not in form of matter, but in form of subject. Because, a human body does not have a body, rather it is a body by itself, a living and of a particular kind. But a human dead body is not a human body anymore. With decomposition and amalgamation of various bodies, human bodies like other materials get composed of ‘matter’ and ‘form’. And it is the form of the human body that comprehends the soul, but the form of the matter of the human body as discussed by Aquinas on the Soul (Kenny 28).

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            Aquinas on Providence and foreknowledge circles the idea of will are three complex power of the human soul. It is the intellect, the will and the passions or feelings. It is the comparison between human freedom and the contemporary free will, as freedom is the element of a total human being, not in parts. The will can not act without intellect, creating a dynamic and complex interaction of multiple stages that decides a person’s initial perception and the creation by the final act of will, by the passions. The entire cycle may take a moment or a longer span of time for the effect of providence. The will might ask intellect for foreknowledge for something else, which it may or may not do. It is the effect of selectivity propelling focus of mind (Informationphilosopher 2008).

            Aquinas on natural law deals with several precepts of its own kind finally drawing the most basic outlines to make the actual choice. His moral is to believe the reasons should be perfect by virtue like prudence, to unveil the precepts of natural law that is closest to one’s choice in daily life. His notion has its root to the creation of universe and its care by God as a basic concept of law, as it should be; as a fact. Though human law is more universal, still the proximity of the forbidden acts is not obvious, what the natural law commands. Alas, it still seeks the people in the social and rational ground to determine the very particular input of Natural Law (Thomistic Philosophy Page 1999).

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Bibliography

Kenny, Anthony. Aquinas on Mind. London: Routledge, 1994.

Rubio, Mercedes. Aquinas and Maimonides on the possibility of the knowledge of god. Netherlands: Springer, 2006.

Stump, Eleonore. ‘Thomas Aquinas.” Informationphilosopher. 30 October. 2008 http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/aquinas/

Thomistic Philosophy Page. Magee, Joseph M. 27 August. 1999. 30 October 2008 http://www.aquinasonline.com/Topics/natlaw.html

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