Today’s Aquinas: Truth is not Beauty, and Vice Versa

Today’s Aquinas: Truth is not Beauty, and Vice Versa February 9, 2015

ThomasAquinas We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.

So God is remains one and metaphysically simple, although multiple names can be applied to Him; and yet, though those names all refer to Him they don’t all mean the same thing.  Thomas explains,

In this connection three observations are in order. The first is that the various names applied to God are not synonymous, even though they signify what is in reality the same thing in God. In order to be synonymous, names must signify the same thing, and besides must stand for the same intellectual conception. But when the same object is signified according to diverse aspects, that is, notions which the mind forms of that object, the names are not synonymous. For then the meaning is not quite the same, since names directly signify intellectual conceptions, which are likenesses of things. Therefore, since the various names predicated of God signify the various conceptions our mind forms of Him, they are not synonymous, even though they signify absolutely the same thing.

My wife calls me by name and my children call me “Dad”.  Both are referring to me, but by different concepts.  Similarly, the names Truth, Beauty, and Goodness all apply to God more than they do to any creature, and they truly describe God to us; thus, as names they signify God.  But at the same time they are distinct concepts, each casting light on God in a different way.

___
photo credit: Public Domain; source Wikimedia Commons

"You should update your bookshelf page accordingly."

In which the Blogger is Very ..."
"You need to change the "KS" photo. It's of KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI. It is not ..."

Meme Watch: Economic Bullsh*t
"This has been on my wish list for a while. Sounds like I need to ..."

The Apostasy That Wasn’t
"Is not the “splendor of heaven” the presence of God in all His glory, of ..."

Splendor Fatigue

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment