Article ID: CBB001450272

Avicenna, Aliqui, and Thomas Aquinas's Doctrine of Creation (2013)


At Summa theologiae I, 44, 2, Thomas Aquinas argues that God is the cause of all things, even primary matter, by turning historian and distinguishing four stages in the history of metaphysics, where Plato and Aristotle turn up at the third stage and unnamed aliqui at the last stage. In this paper, I conclude historically that the unnamed philosopher is Avicenna, and I conclude philosophically that Aquinas drew his philosophical doctrine of creation --- that creatures depend upon God as efficient cause of their existence, which is independent from the religious notion of creation at a first moment in time --- from Avicenna. In this way, the history of philosophy and philosophy itself reinforce each other in helping us to understand philosophical doctrines, both in themselves and in comparison with allied religious doctrines.

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Authors & Contributors
Bertolacci, Amos
Tanzella-Nitti, Giuseppe
Fidora, Alexander
Antolic, Pia A.
Lutz-Bachmann, Matthias
Daiber, Hans
Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Acta Philosophica
Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch fur Antike und Mittelalter
Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
Oxford University Press
Yale University
Edizioni Cadmo
Philosophy and religion
Arab/Islamic world, civilization and culture
Thomas Aquinas, Saint
al-Fārābī, Abū Naṣr Muḥammd ibn Muḥammad
Time Periods
10th century
17th century
4th century, B.C.
Middle and Near East
Mediterranean region

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