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Nothing in the world is accidental or free although

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Nothing in the world is accidental or free, although it may appear so in reference to the proximate cause. From this point of view miracles become necessary in themselves and are to be considered merely as inexplicable to man. From the point of view of the first cause all is unchangeable; although from the limited point of view of the secondary cause miracles may be spoken of. In his doctrine of the Trinity Aquinas starts from the Augustinian system. Since God has only the functions of thinking and willing, only two processiones can be asserted from the Father. But these establish definite relations of the persons of the Trinity one to another. The relations must be conceived as real and not as merely ideal; for, as with creatures relations arise through certain accidents, since in God there is no accident but all is substance, it follows that "the relation really existing in God is the same as the essence according to the thing. From another side, however, the relations as real must be really distinguished one from another. Therefore, three persons are to be affirmed in God. Man stands opposite to God; he consists of soul and body. The "intellectual soul" consists of intellect and will . Furthermore the soul is the absolutely indivisible form of man; it is immaterial substance, but not one and the same in all men (as the Averrhoists assumed). The soul's power of knowing has two sides; a passive (the intellectus possibilis ) and an active (the intellectus agens ). It is the capacity to form concepts and to abstract the mind's images ( species ) from the objects perceived by sense. But since what the intellect abstracts from individual things is a universal, the mind knows the universal primarily and directly, and knows the singular only indirectly by virtue of a certain reflexio (cf. Scholasticism ). As certain principles are immanent in the mind for its speculative activity, so also a "special disposition of works"; or the synderesis (rudiment of conscience), is inborn in the "practical reason", affording the idea of the moral law of nature, so important in medieval ethics. The Summa, Part II: Ethics The first part of the Summa is summed up in the thought that God governs the world as the "universal first cause". God sways the intellect in that he gives the power to know and impresses the species intelligibiles on the mind, and he sways the will in that he holds the good before it as aim, and creates the virtus volendi . "To will is nothing else than a certain inclination toward the object of the volition which is the universal good". God works all in all; but so that things also themselves exert their proper efficiency. Here the Areopagitic ideas of the graduated effects of created things play their part in Aquinas' thought. The second part of the Summa (two parts, Prima Secundae and Secundae Seconda ) follows this complex of ideas. Its theme is man's striving, after the highest end, which is the blessedness of the visio beata . Here Aquinas develops his system of ethics, which has its root in Aristotle.
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