Peripatetic axiom


Peripatetic axiom

The Peripatetic axiom is: "Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses" (Latin: "Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius in sensu"). It is found in "De veritate, q. 2 a. 3 arg. 19". [cite book|last=Aquinas|first=Thomas |title=Quaestiones disputatae de veritate|url=http://www.corpusthomisticum.org/qdv02.html]

Thomas Aquinas adopted this principle from the Peripatetic school of Greek philosophy, established by Aristotle. Aquinas argued that the existence of God could be proved by reasoning from sense data. [Leftow, Brian (ed., 2006), Aquinas: Summa Theologiae, Questions on God, pp. vii et seq.] He used a variation on the Aristotelian notion of the "active intellect" which he interpreted as the ability to abstract universal meanings from particular empirical data. [Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1969), "Thomas Aquinas", subsection on "Theory of Knowledge", vol. 8, pp. 106–107.]

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