244. Everybody Needs Some Body: Aquinas on Soul and Knowledge

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Thomas Aquinas makes controversial claims concerning the unity of the soul and the empirical basis of human knowledge.



Further Reading

• B. Bazán, “The Human Soul: Form and Substance? Thomas Aquinas’s Critique of Eclectic Aristotelianism,” Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du moyen âge 64 (1997), 95-126.

• J. Brower, Aquinas's Ontology of the Material World (Oxford: 2014).

• J. Haldane, “Aquinas and the Active Intellect,” Philosophy 67 (1992), 199–210.

• A. Kenny, Aquinas on Mind (New York: 1993).

• R. Pasnau, Theories of Cognition in the Later Middle Ages (Cambridge: 1997).

• R. Pasnau, Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature: a Philosophical Study of Summa Theologiae 1a 75-89 (Cambridge: 2002).

• A. Pegis, St. Thomas and the Problem of the Soul in the Thirteenth Century (Toronto: 1934).

• L. Schumacher, Divine Illumination: The History and Future of Augustine’s Theory of Knowledge (Oxford: 2011).


Xaratustrah on 23 October 2018


Hi Peter,

I am re-listening to all Aquinas episodes, I am specially interested in him drawing on Avicenna and (disagreeing with) Averoes as you mentioned once in the episode. Can you recommend a source with more details on Aquinas' usage of Avicenna/Averoes ideas?



In reply to by Xaratustrah

Peter Adamson on 23 October 2018

Aquinas, Avicenna, Averroes

A good start might be the paper on this topic in the Cambridge Companion to Aquinas. You could also check out the activities of the "Aquinas and the Arabs" project run by Richard Taylor.

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