Essay on Comparing Avicenna And Thomas Aquinas

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Both Avicenna and Thomas Aquinas articulately explain the nature of the Divine Intellect in their respective works The Salvation, “Metaphysics” and Summa Contra Gentiles: Book One: God. They offer arguments that contrast one another concerning the divine intellect, and in particular, God’s ability to intellect singulars. Despite the convincing nature of Avicenna’s proofs, Aquinas effectively proves God’s knowledge of singulars by a sound argument that supports God’s knowledge of singulars, a proof that necessitates this reality, and in turn, provides an argument that undercuts the necessity that God cannot intellect singulars. For this topic, complexity often ensues when explaining how an eternal and unchanging God knows the changing individuals that man experiences. As the foundation of the question whether God knows singulars, two questions presented are “how does God know?”, and “how does God remain unchanging in the knowledge of singulars?” Avicenna begins by explaining that God, the principle of all existence, subsists and intellects through himself, otherwise, he would do so through another being. The individual itself comes into existence when “[necessary causes] interact with one another until particular things come to exist as a result.” Avicenna’s specific term for the principle being is the “Necessary Existent,” to capture the concept that all being necessarily comes from the Necessary existent. From this idea, Avicenna describes the Necessary Existent’s…

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