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Medieval Philosophy - Time, metaphysics and Mind I



The course is designed as an introduction to the topics of being, time and eternity and their relationships in the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas.



The course deals with central questions in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, theology and philosophical psychology. How are being, time and eternity related? If life implies time, is God's eternity consistent with a living God? If intelligence and will imply time, is God's eternity consistent with a personal God? Are God's eternity, immutability and impassibility consistent with God as love? Is God's eternity consistent with the (Aristotelian conception of the) eternity of the world? Is God's eternal foreknowledge of future human deeds consistent with human freedom? Does God's eternity denote timelessness or everlastingness? Can "time" be said in many ways (as "tempus", "aevum", "aeternitas")? Aquinas' answers to these questions, the answers given by some of his critics and by later philosophers will be presented and evaluated.



The course consists of a series of lectures alternating with presentations given by students and general discussions. Students will be required to submit regular written work and produce a research paper at the end of the course.



Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Blackfriars edition (Latin-English), selected quaestio will be made available.

Thomas Aquinas, De aeternitate mundi (Latin-English):

Braine, D. (1988), The Reality of Time and the Existence of God. Oxford: OUP.

Brock, S.L. (2007), Thomas Aquinas and “What Actually Exists”, in P. A. Kwasniewski

(ed. by) (2007), Wisdom’s Apprentice: Thomistic Essays in Honor of Lawrence Dewan,

Washington DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 13-39.

Kenny, A. (20012), The God of the Philosophers, Oxford: OUP.

Kretzmann, N. (20042), The Metaphysics of Theism. Aquinas's Natural Theology in Summa contra Gentiles I, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Kretzmann, N. (20112), The Metaphysics of Creation. Aquinas's Natural Theology in Summa contra Gentiles II, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Leftow, B. (2012), God's Impassibility, Immutability, and Eternality, in: Davies B. - Stump E. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas, Oxford: OUP, 173-186.



Ventimiglia G.

Course director

Additional information

Academic year
Master of Arts in Philosophy, Core course, 1st year