Notes on Aquinas’s de Deo Uno

Canterbury-Tales

These are taken from Prima Pars, so for ease of quotation I will just reference the question number, article, etc. This deals with De Deo Uno.

  1. The first being of necessity must be in act and in no way in potency (3.1).  If God had potency in him, then he would need an Act-or behind him.
  2. God is not only his own essence, but his own being (Esse).  Esse is the actuality of form (3.4).
  3. God is simple because every composite is posterior to its component parts (3.7).
  4. God is good through his own essence, not by participation (6.3).
  5. God is in all things as an agent present to that upon which it works (8.1).
  6. God is immutable because he is pure act (9.1).  Further, God is infinite, so he cannot obtain anything by movement.
  7. If proportion is understood as the effect to its cause, potency to act, then “in this way the created intellect can be proportioned to know God” (12.1).
  8. Since God is in the highest degree of immortality, it follows that he occupies the highest place in knowledge (14.1). When we name God, we attribute the perfection but deny the mode of imperfection..
  9. God understands himself through himself (14.2).
  10. The act of God’s intellect is his substance, for if it weren’t, then something other than God would be the perfection of God (14.4).
  11. Thomas distinguishes various necessities in God (19.3). God [absolutely] necessarily wills his own goodness, but he [contingently] wills creation ad extra. A necessary cause sometimes has a non-necessary effect.
  12. There is an order of causation in the divine will (19.7).  The divine will itself is unchangeable; however, there are mediate causes under that will that are not included in the first cause.
  13. Providence doesn’t always impose a necessity on things (22.4). Providence orders things towards an end. Some things happen by contingent and proximate causes.
  14. Thomas places predestination under providence (23.1). Men are predestined as a type in God’s mind that moves them to an end.

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