Belief December 19, 2011

Thomas (ST II-II, 2, 1) offers this neat spectrum of varieties of “acts of intellect” that have “unformed thought devoid of a firm assent”: Thos that “incline to neither side” are doubts; those that “incline to one side rather than the other, but on account of some slight motive” are “suspicions”; those that “incline to one side yet with fear of the other” are “oipinions.”

Belief differs from each of these. It “cleaves firmly to one side, in which respect belief has something in common with science and understanding; yet its knowledge does not attain the perfection of clear sight, wherein it agrees with doubt, suspicion, and opinion.

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