Can a Thomist help me with a passage from SCG?

Yes, I think you have done very well. I’m trying to trace down specific T. and A.

I have found a lot of hints in S.T. ques 79 - 122 and I think I will have to read his Commentary on A’s De Anima.

We seem to have lost Hammiesink.


The stern taskmaster has left us to the task? :smiley:

That’s O.K., I just want an educated opinion from experts. I just sent an e-mail to Blackfriars of Oxford.


Well maybe our souls are eternal, thus we don’t need Someone to give us intelligence. Also, we don’t know if life can be made from non-life yet, so we don’t know if intelligence can come from non-intelligence, one which has all the components of intelligence, but not all put together into a personal Person. If God is immaterial, some DEEPLY philosophical tells me that He must be personal. But it is the same with the soul: HOW do you prove it is simple. I would love to discuss Aquinas on this. I went to Thomas Aquinas College by the way

"Quintessence: the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies"

If you say that God, than you are a panenthiest. You can believe in the eternal Platonic forms of everything, and be a Pandeist, such that they become incarnate in the world at the big bang. I wish Aquinas were alive today to answer all my questions.

Panentheist: God includes the world as a part though not the whole of His being

God is Pure Spirit not matter, He is Pure Being , His essence is Existence. He is simple, not composed. The universe is matter it is not infinite, but determined, and finite, limited. It is subject to change, it is not unchangeable. It is Potency and Act, not Pure Act. Matter is particle in nature. To say we are part of God is erroneous. God has no parts, He is simple. Nature is not simple, it has matter and form, essence and existence, and potency and act. It does not move or explain itself, and is moved by another. It has a beginning and it is not its own creator.

Pandeist: Where god is either the universe itself, or is a part of each person. You can apply the above to the first half of the statement. The second half: What part of a human is God? His body which is subjected to corruption and change? To limitation and dependence can this be God.? Is his soul part of God? We know that the faculties of the soul are intelligence, and volition, did human experience validate their existence in eternity. Wouldn’t we know that we existed in eternity, and not have a beginning. Wouldn’t we be conscious of this? Human experience the criteriion of our knowledge tells us we had a beginning in time, not eternity. the soul is created with essence and existence, and potency and act, and it is the form of the body. this is composition, God is not composed but the composer. To say the universe is whole or part of God is pantheism

the substance or highest element that permeates all nature and is the substance composing all celestial bodies. It depends on what nature we are speaking about., the nature of the material universe, or the nature of the spiritual. If it is the material universe, it is matter and the highest physical celestial body, with it power is the sun.that orders lower material life forms
The highest spiritual celestial bodies that orders all lower spiritual bodies are angelic spirits who resemble God the closest. they control the order in the universe. You realize I am open to correction.

I have sent a half dozen e-mails to professional philosophers, haven’t heard anything back.
As I read chapter 44, it doesn’t seem logical. It is the last paragraph which gives the proof.

In the meantime I have the best argument for God’s intelligence from an online course in the Philosophy of Nature by Fr. William A. Wallace.

To understand Thomistic philosophy one has to understand some basic principles. These are covered in an online course offered by the great philosopher of nature, Fr. Willaim A. Wallace.

I have added the following comment to show how it concludes. But the whole course should be studied carefully.

Here is an excellent analysis of Thomas’ First Way by the brilliant Philosopher of Nature, Fr. William A. Wallace which he gives in an online course:

All of Lecutre 6 should be studied carefully.:

6th Lecture: Nature’s First Unmoved Mover

  1. Aquinas’s Prima Via
  2. The Motor Causality Principle
  3. Validity in the Present Day
  4. Three Instances of Local Motion
  5. Efficient and Material Causality
  6. Aquinas’s Own Objection
  7. Nature’s First Unmoved Mover

In chapter 3 he gives explains how the argument has not been invalidated by either Newton’s Laws nor by the later developments of modern science, much as I have explained above. There is always an external agent which imparts an impetus which alters the nature of the moved mover so that it moves until stopped.

In chapter 4 he gives three examples.

In chapter 7 he concludes:

                                         ( God is Intelligent ) 

Therefore, the first cause is not a body, and does not have parts on which it depends for its being and acting. It is not composed of matter and form, nor of potency and act. It is not capable of being moved or having motion, either by itself or by something else, but it is the unmoved mover of other things. Because it is unmoved, it is not a temporal being but eternal. Because it is unmoved and incorporeal, it does not cause motion mechanically, as one body moves another from without, but rather as mind or intelligence moves a body with a higher order of action. ( underlining mine ).


Can you quote chapter 44 for us?

This is the part we are puzzeled over:

" We have shown above that among movers and things moved we cannot proceed to infinity, but must reduce all movable things, as is demonstrable, to one first self-moving being. The self-moving being moves itself only by appetite and knowledge, for only such beings are found to move themselves, because to be moved and not moved lies in their power. The moving part in the first self-moving being must he appetitive and apprehending. Now, in a motion that takes place through appetite and apprehension, he who has the appetite and the apprehension is a moved mover, while the appetible and apprehended is the unmoved mover. Since, therefore, the first mover of all things, whom we call God, is an absolutely unmoved mover, He must be related to the mover that is a part of the self-moving being as the appetible is to the one who has the appetite. Not, however, as something appetible by sensible appetite, since sensible appetite is not of that which is good absolutely but of this particular good, since the apprehension of the sense is likewise particular; whereas that which is good and appetible absolutely is prior to that which is good and appetible here and now. The first mover, then, must be appetible as an object of intellect, and thus the mover that desires it must be intelligent. All the more, therefore, will the first appetible be intelligent, since the one desiring it is intelligent in act by being joined to it as an intelligible. Therefore, making the supposition that the first mover moves himself, as the philosophers intended, we must say that God is intelligent. "

Thomas gives other proofs in the same chapter and also in his other works, but this is the one we are having trouble with. You can read a couple of the others here:

Well, I get it, but it doesn’t make sense. “The mover that is a part of the self-moving being…”. Part of God? So is God the selfmoving or the selfmoved? He goes on to say “[3] Moreover, the same conclusion must follow if the reduction of movable beings is, not to a first self-moving being, but to an absolutely unmoved mover.” So God is both unmoved and self-moving? Confusing way to put this together, but I suppose that is what he means.

Math is intelligible and desirable but is impersonal

Yes, very confusing. If you read the whole chapter you will find other proofs which make sense.


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