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Aquinas's Third Way of Proving a God: Logic or Love?

Feb 5 2015 4:30pm
Classics 110
1010 E 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Stephen L. Brock

Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome

cosponsored by the Medieval Studies Workshop

Thomas Aquinas’s famous five ways of proving the existence of a God continue to intrigue and perplex his readers. The most troublesome is perhaps the third—the one based on the possible and the necessary—to which all sorts of objections can be heard: logical, scientific, theological, phenomenological, even Thomistic. Contrary to the usual assumption, however, the kind of possibility and necessity that the third way regards does not seem to be the logical kind.  In a sense, it has more to do with love than with logic. This reading puts the problems that the third way faces, and also the God that it affirms, in a rather different light.

Fr. Brock will also be leading a summer seminar for graduate students in Rome this summer on “Metaphysics and the Soul in Thomas Aquinas.”

Stephen L. Brock is a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei.  He is Ordinary Professor of Medieval Philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.  During 2017 he is a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago, collaborating in the Templeton Foundation project “Virtue, Happiness, and Meaning in Life,” directed by Candace Vogler and Jennifer Frey.  He is the author of Action & Conduct: Thomas Aquinas and the Theory of Action (T&T Clark, 1998), articles on various aspects of Aquinas’s thought, and most recently, The Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas: A Sketch (Wipf & Stock, 2015).