Friday, December 02, 2005

Invisible Ideal Reasons

An interesting passage from Aquinas's Commentary on Hebrews(PDF) (par. 565). Aquinas is commenting on Hebrews 11:3 ("By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear").

He continues, that from invisible things visible things might be made. But because the common notion among the ancients was that the soul was produced from nothing (2 Physics), when they saw a new work, they said that it was made from invisible things. Hence, they either supposed that everything was in everything else, as Empedocles and Anaxagoras, of whom we shall say nothing at present; or thought that forms were in hiding, as Anaxagoras. Still others supposed that they were formed from ideas, as Plato; and others from a mind, as Avicenna. Hence, according to all these philosophers, visible things were made from invisible ideal reasons. But we say, according to the aforesaid manner, that visible things were produced from invisible ideal reasons in the Word of God, by Whom all things were made. These reasons, even thought they are the same reality, differ in aspect by diverse relations connoted in respect to the creature. Hence, man was created by one reason, and a horse by another reason, as Augustine says in the Book of 83 Questions. Thus, therefore, the world was framed by the word of God, that from invisible ideal reasons in the World of God, visible things, i.e., every creature, might be made.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.