St. Thomas, awesome as always. Would like your comments.

Lectio 1. In his prooemium, St. Thomas provides a division of the sciences with an eye to discussing the division of philosophia moralis. What is interesting is that this division follows upon four kinds of order related to mind, two of which are found, and three of which are made, (the order of things, the order of the mind’s acts, the order made in human acts, and the order made in exterior things—hence, since logic is in a way an art and a science, but more of an art, this seems to be an order that is found and made). Hence, since ratio is a natural power that seeks order, it is perfected according to these orders. However, these perfections are the excellences of various sciences. Hence a division of the sciences results. This is related to the division provided in De Trinitate. In that place, St. Thomas begins by dividing the speculative from the practical sciences based upon the intellect’s relationship to truth: either in itself or for the sake of something. However, the mind insofar as it is related to order is also a division according to truth, for this order is always in a “thing” to which the mind is adequated (even in rationalis philosophia, namely second intentions). Hence, one can relate what St. Thomas here calls naturalis philosophia to the three speculative sciences, and the practical sciences to philosophia moralis and artes mechanicas. Also, the division of the sciences based upon the ways in which the mind is related to order fits with the further division of the speculative sciences, for the mind insofar as it is perfected by being adequated to such order receives that order according to its mode of receiving, namely immaterially. However, this immaterial reception is ‘graduated’ into degrees which follow the immateriality present in the things in which said order resides.

Lectio 2. St. Thomas resolves the demonstration that there is a best end [optimum finem] in human affairs to the First Mover, “quia naturale desiderium nihil aliud est quam inclinatio inhaerens rebus ex ordinatione primi moventis, quae non potest esse supervacua.” What implication does this have for the Fifth Way as compared to the First Way? What implication does this have for scientific accounts of the natural law?

Lectio 3. The observation that “auditor bene disciplinatus nec debet maiorem certitudinem requirere nec minori esse contentus quam sit conveniens rei de qua agitur,” in the place where Aristotle is discussing the qualities required of a student of ethics, given the mode in which ethics must proceed (I.3), when put in conjunction with St. Thomas’ analogy of the matter proper to various arts, seems to offer an argument that every science has its own “sapiential part.” For if the good auditor of any science must know the limits of the matter dealt with in the science, he participates in the architectonic office, for the sapiential office holder must inspect the matter in order to use it to his own ends. (It is finely put by St. Thomas where he states the two requirements of an architectonic as that it command the lower, and use them to its own ends. Also finely put is the example St. Albert the Great provides of the various modes in which various arts use their respective matters: "sicut forma hominis in auro per liquefactionem, sed in cera per molliationem, in lingo per decavationem." So just as a rhetorizing mathematician and a mathematizing rhetorician are improper modes, so also attempting to soften gold will not be sufficient, and melting wood will be too extreme, when one is attempting to craft an imitation of the human body.)


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