You are on page 1of 33

Truth in Thomas Aquinas

Author(s): John F. Wippel


Source: The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Dec., 1989), pp. 295-326
Published by: Philosophy Education Society Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20128871 .
Accessed: 06/11/2014 04:46
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .
http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of
content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms
of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Philosophy Education Society Inc. is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The
Review of Metaphysics.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS*


JOHN F. WIPPEL

is well-known

J. HOMAS aquinas
truth

that
thing.
better

consists

that

(De veritate).
of the
adequation

so,

intellect

and

Most

definitions.

a thing,

importantly,

he there

of the

might

(what

ditions

pointed
the

regarding

is heavily
to Aquinas

neoplatonic

especially
and Avicenna.
The

out,
nature

the

of truth

two

traditions

had
truth

of truth

As various
truth").1
time two general
tra

appeared.
already
of being.
It was

One
known

emphasizes
the writings
of Augustine,
through
Anselm,
more
as an
stresses
truth
other,
Aristotelian,
or
and reality,
truth of the intellect.
of
Both
own thinking,
as we
Aquinas's
a
to
of earlier
did appeal
defi
variety
his own view, and this suggests
that

influenced
and

in developing
were
not

as one might

mind

"logical
to Thomas's

prior
of truth

a notion

truth") along with truth

be called

and

of mind
adequation
these
traditions
deeply
see.
But he could
shall
nitions

a number

considers

he develops

be called "ontological

have

view
and

his literary
is
corpus
on
1 of his Disputed
Questions
in addition
to describing
truth as an

of being (what might


intellect

the

intellect

in qu.

offered

Even

Truth

scholars

defended
the

adequation
no discussion
of this within

Perhaps
known
than

of other

for having
between

of an

so opposed

to one

in Thomas's

another

think.2

This is the first part of a two-part


article which will be continued
in the March
1990 issue of the Review
of
Metaphysics.
1
This terminology
truth" and "logical
is not
("ontological
truth")
but
found in Thomas's
has
been
used
themselves,
long
writings
by later
of scholastic
"St.
See, for instance, R. J. McCall,
philosophy.
interpreters
on Ontological
12 (1938): 9-29; J.
Thomas
Truth," The New Scholasticism
"Le probl?me
Vande Wiele,
dans la philosophie
de la v?rit? ontologique
de
52 (1954): 521-71.
saint Thomas," Revue philosophique
de Louvain
2
on these two earlier traditions
see Vande
For historical
background
522-27 (on Aristotle),
532-35 (on Avicenna),
527-31 (on Augustine),
Wiele,
and 543 for summarizing
remarks.
Vande Wiele
neglects
Unfortunately,
Anselm's
role as a source for the truth of things (ontological
For
truth).
Review

of Metaphysics

43

(December

1989):

295-326.

Copyright

1989

by

Metaphysics

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

the Review

of

296

JOHN F. WIPPEL
to set

In order
views
book
from

on truth,

this

the
paper

stage
will

for

closer

begin

examination

with

his

1, dist.
19, qu. 5 of his commentary
1 of this question
In article
about
1252.

on

earliest

of Aquinas's
discussion

the Sentences,
he asks whether

in

dating
truth

is to be identified with the essence of a thing.3 In developing his


three different kinds of things which
reply Thomas distinguishes
terms may
the mind;
illustration
or stones.
from

One type enjoys


and total being outside
signify.
complete
that is, independently
from the mind's
consideration.
In
as
Thomas
such
cites
entities
human
complete
beings
no
A second
in
itself
type enjoys
reality
independently

the mind,

a foundation
operation
Thomas
dation

for
cites

or chimeras.

but depends
reality,
and formal
realization.

upon

dreams

instance,

in extramental

its complete
universals
and

in extramental

reality;
to be universal,
in this
truth
places

or a universal
Thomas

for

third
the

As

kind

has

intellect's

illustrations

some foun
enjoys
but that which makes
time to be time,
an
intellectual
upon
depends
operation.
third class.4

time.

Each

of these

see M. J. Lapierre,
In
usage of Anselm's
definition,
"Aquinas'
of Anselm's
Definition
of Truth," Sciences
18
terpretation
eccl?siastiques
zu Thomas von Aquin,
Cf. A. Zimmermann,
(1966): 413-41.
"Bemerkungen
15 (1982): 247-61, esp.
Mediaevalia
1,"Miscellanea
Quaest. disp. De veritate
on Truth.
Medieval
rei et
248-55; J. A. Aertsen,
Reflections
Adaequatio
intellectus
of Amsterdam,
Nov. 9,1984),
(Inaugural Address, Free University
see the dissertation
5-6.
Also
Sein-Wahrheit-Wort.
by R. B. Schmitz,
von Aquin
und die Lehre von der Wahrheit
Thomas
der Dinge
(M?nster,
Schmitz
also refers to a Bonn dissertation
1984), 398-401.
by W. Reiner
in der Hochscholastik,
des Wahrheitsbegriffes
Die
mann, Zur Problematik
von
mit dem Wahrheitsbegriff
des Aquinaten
Anselms
Auseinandersetzung
I have not seen.
which
Canterbury
(Bonn,
1928),
3
"Utrum veritas sit essentia rei." Scriptum
super libros Sententiarum,
ed. P. Mandonnet
(Paris, 1929), vol. 1, p. 484. For the dating of Thomas's
I shall follow J. A. Weisheipl,
works
Friar
Thomas d Aquino.
His Life,
With
and Addenda
D.C.:
Thought and Works.
Corrigenda
(Washington,
of America
Catholic University
Press,
1983).
4
In I Sent,
remarks
about this third class:
p. 486. Note Thomas's
autem sunt quae habent fundamentum
in re extra animam,
sed
"Quaedam
eorum quantum
rationis
ad id quod est formale,
est per
complementum
enim est aliquid
Humanitas
animae, ut patet in universali.
operationem
cum non sit extra animam
in re, non tarnen ibi habet rationem
universalis,
multis
sed secundum
in in
communis;
aliqua humanitas
quod accipitur
ei per operationem
intellectus
tellects
adiungitur
intentio, secundum quam
. . Similiter
est de tempore..
dico de veritate,
dicitur species: et similiter
in re, sed ratio eius completur
per actionem
quod habet fundamentum
eo modo quo est."
On this see
intellectus,
quando scilicet apprehenditur
F. Ruello, La notion de v?rit? chez saint Albert le Grand et chez saint Thomas
d Aquin
(Louvain-Paris:
B?atrice-Nauwelaerts,
1969), 179-227.
Thomas's

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS

297

if truth has a foundation


in extramental
Accordingly,
an operation
as truth
its nature
is perfected
only through
a thing as it really
the intellect
intellect?when
is.
grasps
Thomas

firmation

cites

the

oft-quoted

physics 6 to the effect that while


and

good
not quite
translation

say

this,

from

mediately
of

physics
existence

a confirming
name
being

from

the Arabic

are

present
more

(esse)

Meta

the medieval

accompanied
on the Metaphysics.5

however,

text

Greek

which

commentary

In con

Aristotle's

truth and falsity exist in the soul,

in things.
In fact, Aristotle's
is given
but this reading
by

goes beyond Aristotle,


essence
and existence

(esse)
existence

thing's
the

exist

of Averroes's

lation

finds

evil

text

reality,
by the

does
Latin

the Latin

trans
im

Thomas

to his meta

by appealing
both
Since

and
quiddity
on the
in a thing,
truth
is grounded
so than upon
its quiddity.
Thomas

for
argument
is imposed
(ens)

(esse).

this

in the grammatical
by reason

on a thing

fact

that

its esse.

of

He adds that it is only through the operation of the intellect which


the

grasps

esse

of a thing

as

it is by becoming

thing that the relation of adequation


relation

And it is in this

that
the nature
of truth
adequation
(ratio)
we
see
in this earliest
Thomas
text,
already
of truth as adequation.

of

Therefore,
the view
Given
truth

about

ments

that

to that

assimilated

is completed.

consists.6
defending

esse causes
of this, Thomas
concludes
that a thing's
to be present
in the intellect.
He also com
that thing
in the intellect
in prior fashion
the nature
of truth exists

all

to its existence

in the

thing.

He

recalls

Aristotle's

example

of the

see Metaphysics
6.4.1027b25-27:
"for
In I Sent, p. 486. For Aristotle,
is not as if the good were true, and
falsity and truth are not in things?it
in
in thought"
in itself false?but
the bad were
(W. D. Ross translation
ed. J. Barnes, vol. 2 [Princeton: Princeton
The Complete Works of Aristotle,
Press, 1984], 1623). But this is the reading given by the medieval
University
Averroes's
of the Arabic which accompanied
Latin translation
commentary
on the same.
In VIMetaph.
See Averroes,
(Venice, 1562), vol. 8. fols. 151 vb
152ra: "Verum enim et falsum non sunt in rebus, sicut bonum et malum,
sed sunt in cognitione."
ut verum sit sicut bonum et falsum sicut malum,
on this see fols. 152rb-152va.
And if one may
For Averroes's
commentary
on this same text, he must have
own commentary
judge from Thomas's
this.
See his In
had a similar
reading at hand at the time he prepared
Aristotelis
XII
libros Metaphysicorum
(Turin-Rome,
1950), bk. 6,
expositio
lect. 4, nn. 1230-1231.
6
In I Sent, d. 19, q. 5, a. 1, p. 486: "Cum autem in re sit quidditas
eius
in esse rei magis
et suum esse, veritas
fundatur
sicut
quam in quidditate,
et in ipsa operatione
et nomen entis ab esse imponitur;
intellectus
acci
esse rei sicut est per quamdam
similationem
ad ipsum, completur
pientis
ratio veritatis."
relatio adaequationis,
in qua consistit

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

298

JOHN F. WIPPEL

different
the

in which

ways

hot

the

and

cold

can be predicated.
Thus
"healthy"
causes
other
account
for the presence
of
is
not
said
of
in
these
"healthy"
primary

the
and

term

in an animal;
but
fashion
but of the animal,
and of the others
with
only by analogy
as
an
it
of
is
animal.
truth
is
in
said
"healthy"
predicated
So, too,
a
of
fashion
of truth
the intellect,
and of
insofar
primary
proposition
as the latter
is a sign of the truth which
is present
in the intellect.
as a thing causes
It is only insofar
truth to be present
to the intellect

health

that truth

is said of the thing

itself.

(In developing

this point

Thomas
also
that a thing
is said to be true because
it is nat
reason
of
a cor
fitted
its
external
to
appearances
urally
by
produce
rect understanding
of itself
in the intellect.
are
And
other
things
notes

to as

referred
of

their

themselves.
gold

"false"

external

but

they are naturally


a false
to produce

because

appearances
for

Consider,

instance,

by

understanding
which
appears

something

reason
of
to be

is not.)7

Both kinds of truth?truth


are

suited

or traced

reduced

of the intellect and truth of a thing?

to God

back

as

to their

first

principle.

This

is because God's being is the cause of all other being (esse) and his
is the

understanding

cause

of all

other

Therefore

knowing.

he

is

the first truth just as he is the first being, for each and every thing
stands in relation to truth just as it does to being (esse). It is for
this

reason,

2 that
truth
for
truth

the
and

Thomas
first

cause

continues,
of being

to the maximum

true

in it Thomas

can

see

of being

in Aristotle

that Aristotle
is identical

shows
with

the

inMetaphysics
cause
first

of

is interesting
some
a theory
for
of
finding
justification
as well
as a theory
of truth of intellect.)8
degree.

(This

passage

1
In I Sent,
d. 19, q. 5, a. 1, p. 486. Note
in particular:
"Unde dico,
secundum
quod ipsum esse rei est causa veritatis,
quod est in cognitione
use of the example of health to illustrate how
intellectus."
For Aristotle's
in different ways but always by reason of reference
being can be predicated
to a first, see Metaphysics
4.2.1003a33-b6.
8
see In I Sent,
see Metaphysics
For Thomas
For Aristotle
p. 487.
causes derivative
"so that which
2.1.993b26-31:
truths to be true is most
true. Therefore
the principles
of eternal things must be always most true;
for they are not merely
sometimes
true, nor is there any cause of their
are the cause of the being of other things,
so
being, but they themselves
that as each thing is in respect of being, so is it in respect of truth" (Barnes
Vande Wiele
insists that there is no doctrine
of on
ed., vol. 2, p. 1570).
truth in Aristotle,
but while discussing
tological
this, he does not refer to
de la v?rit? ontologique,"
the present passage
On
("Le probl?me
522-25).
that the truth Aristotle
here has in mind
the other hand, Reale emphasizes
truth" and not the logico-epistemological
is "ontological
truth of which he

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


In sum,
discussion.

Thomas

has

intellect

insofar

as

the

but

only

sense
other
same
truth
the

and

things

truth

in this

is assigned

of

to the

of

their

to

corresponds

to things them

is then assigned

because

to produce

capacity

truth in the fullest and most perfect

Finally,

to God

is assigned

levels
sense

of a thing

grasp

Truth

analogically,

truth in the intellect.

three

complete

intellect's

that thing as it is in itself.


selves,

out

singled
full and

in the

Truth

299

causes

he

because

both

the acts

of knowing
of all other
this discussion
that
from

it is clear
time,
sense
in the full and primary
It is here, apparently,
intellect.9

for

reserves

Thomas
as

it insofar

that

the being
of all
At the
intellects.

it is present
in
it best meets
its descrip

as an adequation
of the intellect
and the thing known.
to end our investigation
If we were
of Thomas's
of truth
theory
at this point, a number
of questions
would
remain
unanswered.
For
tion

(1) if, as Aquinas


because
analogically

here maintains,

instance,
only

is truth

tellect,

of their
and

formally

selves or only in the intellect?


transcendental?
merely
formal

as the cause
and

to cause

to things
in the in

in things

present

them

(2) Is truth regarded by Thomas as

sense may
(3) In what
of truth of intellect

intrinsic

human), would

ability

intrinsically

is assigned
truth

truth

(4)

way?

truth exist

truth be assigned
to God?
or also in some
in creatures,
no mind
or
If there were
(divine

in any way at all?

(5) If truth in the

sense has a foundation


in a thing's
being and in its existence
so
or
more
in
than
its
does essence
essence,
play any
(esse)
quiddity
truth?
first operation?that
role in grounding
(6) Is the intellect's
it forms
and knows
what
are?sufficient
concepts
whereby
things
formal

for one

to grasp

truth,

operation?composing
Thomas
cites a number

or must
and

one move

dividing?in
of definitions

on to the
order

of truth

intellect's

to do
from

so?

earlier

second
(7) Since
thinkers,

how does he fit them together?


Most
metaphysics

from the standpoint


these questions
of
among
important
to answer
in light of Thomas's
and most
difficult
various

and
See G. Reale, The Concept of First Philosophy
speaks in 6.4, and 9.10.
trans. J. Catan
the Unity of the Metaphysics
of Aristotle,
(Albany, N.Y.:
of New York Press,
State University
1979), p. 40 and n. 114 (pp. 58-59).
on Metaphysics
from his commentary
later discussion
Cf. Thomas's much
nn.
Aristotle's
discussion
Thomas
of
295-98.
lect.
2,
brings
2,
together
in bk. 6 (see note 5 above) by noting that
truth of being with the discussion
a thing's esse is the cause of the true knowledge
the mind has of that thing
(see n.9 298).
to truth on the created
This remark should be restricted
level.
See
section 3 below for Thomas's
of truth to God.
application

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JOHN F. WIPPEL

300

truth

concerning
I Sentences

of

theologiae
will
shed

effort

we

of being,
1252, and

then

Although
light on Thomas's
raised, we shall devote
treatments

explicit

commentary
treatments

view
on

his
his

in De

I (ca. 1259), and Summa


gentiles
same
of these
texts
consideration

contra

some

just
to brief but

Aquinas's

with

begin
in turn
take

I of 1266.10

tions

to determine

shall

1 of 1256, Summa

qu.

veritate,

In our

is the first.

discussions

answers

to some

of the other
of this

sections

subsequent
of each of them.

ques
paper

1. Truth in the Intellect and Truth of Being


1: In I Sent,
dist
1 of this text, Thomas

Text
art.

sense
perfect
Truth
is assigned
and

applies
to things

in the
truth
produce
is formally
and
truth
trinsic
fashion.
One
from

text

this

that

in qu. 5,
19, qu. 5. As we have now seen,
in the complete
has indicated
that truth
as
to
truth
it
in
the intellect.
exists
only

insofar
only analogically,
intellect.
We may
immediately

as

they can
ask whether

or only in ex
in things,
present
J. Vande Wiele,
has concluded
commentator,
Thomas
has transferred
truth from the mind
to
intrinsically

but only by extrinsic


I take Vande Wiele
to
denomination.
things,
mean
is
not
this
that
truth
in
present
by
really
intrinsically
things.11
can be gleaned
more
from Thomas's
Nonetheless,
something
perhaps
discussion
As

in qu. 5 concerning
will
the
be recalled,
is this:

rected
objection

"Whether

truth

truth

question
explicit
is the essence

or argument
in support
harks
back to two earlier

question
to Augustine's

Soliloquies,

of being.

"the

true

to which

art.

1 is di

of a thing."12
The first
answer
to this
of an affirmative
definitions
is that which

of truth.
is."

And

According
according

to another definition, apparently that offered by Philip the Chan


cellor, "the true is the undividedness of being (esse) and that which
10
For

Friar Thomas dAquino,


these dates see Weisheipl,
358-59, 362
63,359-60,361.
11
"Le probl?me
de la v?rit? ontologique,"
548-49.
He reasons
that
terms are related to a primary
term only by a relation of
when secondary
in question
to the secondary
of the notion
reason, application
analogates
denomination.
Such is true in the case of health and
is only by extrinsic
in the transferring
such is also true, Vande Wiele
of the notion of
argues,
to a thing.
He stresses
that the relation of things
truth from the intellect
to the human
intellect
is a pure relation of reason.
12
See note 3 above.

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


is."13
true

by

reason

of truth,

identical.14
pletely
Thomas
proposes
of all,

the

is
everything
is
act
the
of
being
(esse)
is true in the formal
and everything
are com
it seems
that truth and essence

it enjoys
being
since each
Therefore,

essence.
sense

continues

Therefore,
as
insofar

the

verb

two

esse may

301
objection,
But
(esse).

each

and

to this objection.
replies
in two ways:
(1) insofar

possible
be taken

First
as

the

term being (ens) signifies the essence of things as when being itself
is divided

into

the

ten

supreme

genera

(in simpler
or (2) insofar

to extramental
reality);
points
a
effected
signifies
composition
by the soul;

being

(or dividing).

judges by composing
(ens) as true
in the second
"that which

Chancellor

is, when

When Aristotle

the

intellect

describes being

he is using
inMetaphysics
5, continues
Thomas,
being
to the true as
So too, when
refers
way.
Augustine
is realized when
that truth
is," it is as if he were
saying

it is said of that which


it is taken

that

as
insofar
terms,
as the verb esse

as

the

Philip's

is. And the same may be said of truth when

undividedness
definition).15

of

esse

In other

and
words,

that

which
in this

is (as in
sur
rather

13
see Soliloquia
For Augustine
II, c. 5. n. 8 (CSEL 89.56): "Ergo illud
dico et sic defini? nee vereor ne definitio mea ob hoc improbetur,
quod nimis
For this see Philip's
brevis est; nam verum mihi videtur esse id quod est."
de bono, q. 2, ed. N. Wicki
Summa
1985), vol. 1, p. 13: ". . .
(Bern: Francke,
esse et eius quod est."
verum est indivisio
Cf. p. 11. Philip's work
(ca.
In
treatise on the transcendentals.
the first medieval
1230) is apparently
of truth, Philip views truth as a property which
definition
his preferred
to an intellect:
to being in itself, without
"Verum
any reference
pertains
see Vande Wiele,
For discussion
enim dicitur sine respectu ad intellectum."
bei Thomas von Aquin
"Die Transzendentalienlehre
535-38; J. A. Aertsen,
und philosophischen
in ihren historischen
Motiven," Mis
Hintergr?nden
see the earlier
19 (1988): 94-95.
Also
cellanea Mediaevalia
study by H.
La 'Summa
transcendentales.
"Le premier
trait? des propri?t?s
Pouillon,
42
Revue n?oscolastique
de philosophie
de bono' du Chancelier
Philippe,"
40-77.
(1939):14
The final part of the objection
In ISent,
d. 19, q. 5, a. 1, pp. 484-85.
dicitur verum, secundum quod habet esse. Esse
reads: "Ergo unumquodque
veritate
formaliter
autem est actus essentiae.
Ergo cum unumquodque
et essentia."
idem sit veritas
sit verum, videtur quod omnino
15
". . .dicendum,
In I Sent, p. 488. Note especially:
quod esse dicitur
rerum prout
ens
uno
essentiam
secundum
modo
significat
quod
dupliciter:
com
dividitur
per decem genera; alio modo secundum
quod esse significat
ens
text.
V
et
istud
anima
Philosophus,
quam
facit;
Metaph.,
positionem
verum
cum
verum.
est
id
elicit
Et
similiter
quod
Augustinus,
14, appellat
quod est; quasi dicat: Verum est quando dicitur de eo quod est; et similiter
For
est indivisio esse et eius quod est."
intelligitur
quod dicitur: Verum
see Metaphysics
5.7.1017a 31-35.
Aristotle

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JOHN F. WIPPEL

302
Thomas

move,

prising
tioned

Even

definitions.

to reinterpret
seems
each

proposes
though

that we might

being, he suggests

two

the

to refer

last-men
to

truth

of

shift its focus to truth of the in

tellect.
the

On

hand, Thomas
counter
that

other

a second

proposes

possible
reply.
the
not
definitions
in
refer
One might
simply
question
as
to truth taken
in its complete
insofar
but only to truth
meaning,
in reality.
in or has a foundation
to either
it is grounded
According
in
Thomas
here
his
view
that
remains
then,
unwavering
approach,
in the

truth

out more

his understanding

fully

truth and being.


really
without

According

the

its truth.

Therefore,
from
its truth.17

even

conceptually
In reply, Thomas
without
be understood
It may

ways.
true

unless
another
without

mean

to exist.

is held

being

without

usage

Thomas

another
that

sense,

it is also
also

counters

Thus

in this

way,

is truth

one
being
because

intelligible

also

thinking

intellect.16

in that he

of the relationship
one

the claim

can

that

be

may

interpreted
be understood

cannot

cannot

(esse)
being

or true.

be understood
be understood

cannot

thing cannot
in two different

unless

of animal.
can

the other
without
at all

be understood

even
we

differ

one

But this might

Thus

not

does

be understood

cannot

that we

between

if things differ either

of them

of a thing cannot
essence
of a thing

that

as meaning
that we
of
the
other.
thinking

of the

is helpful

to that objection,

or even merely
conceptually,
But the essence
the other.

without

the

sense

primary

reply to the second objection

Thomas's
brings

and

complete

think

cannot

According
understand

acknowledges
of it as true; but the converse
being without
thinking
as true without
we cannot
think of something
also

be taken

in

of one

thing
of human

think

to this

second

or think
does

of a

not hold?

thinking

of

it as

a being. From this Thomas concludes that being (ens) is the intel
If this text suggests that
lect's first conception.18 Truth is not.

16
"Vel potest dici, quod definitiones
istae dantur de vero non secundum
sed secundum
sui rationem,
illud quod fundatur
in re" (p. 488).
completam
17
In I Sent, p. 485. Note the conclusion
of the argument:
"Ergo es
re neque ratione."
sentia rei et veritas non differunt
?eque
18
In I Sent, p. 488: "Dupliciter
enim dicitur aliquid non posse intelligi
sine altero.
Aut ita quod unum non possit intelligi si non ponatur alterum
esse; et sic dicitur quod esse non potest
intelligi sine vero, sicut etiam non
sine hoc quod est esse intelligibile.
Sive ita quod quan
potest
intelligi
unum, intelligatur
intelligitur
documque
alterum, sicut quicumque
intelligit

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

303

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


is a conceptual
distinction
to deal
it also appears

there

its truth,
than with
that

Thomas

not merely
In art.
are

as

truth

to truth

assign
of the intellect.

2 of this

same

by reason
nature
of truth
true

the

some

in fact

does

involves

to truth

importance

of being,
all

asks whether

things
he again
reminds
us,
an
existence
and
(esse)
Both of these
power.

truth.

As

a thing's
of a cognitive

both

on the part

act of apprehension

This

Thomas

question
of the uncreated

of a thing and
of being
rather
leads us to suspect

being
truth

with

directly
intellect.

in the

it exists

the

between

are to be traced back to God as first efficient and first exemplar


cause.

in its own

entity
exists

participates
in the formal

pates

in its own light by which

Nonetheless,
is one truth?the

each

created
that

and

by the uncreated
all other
of which

exemplated
by reason
cause.

sense,

insists

also

Thomas

Nonetheless,

both

that

existence

particular

it judges correctly, a light which


light.

Hence

it

(esse) whereby
intellect
partici

created

every

every

is one

there

divine

is

esse

as dependent
their
upon
its own esse as well.
So too,

exist

things
creature
has

are true
which
all other
things
divine?by
cause.
as they depend
and efficient
insofar
upon it as their exemplar
reason
are
truths
in
there
created
also
many
things by
Nonetheless,
sense
is said to be true in the formal
of which
each
(formaliter).19
there

in mind
have
In saying
this, does Thomas
He has concluded
that
truth of the intellect?
in created
of his
be

restricting

non

of which

each

there

is true

intelligit
e converso:

animal.
quia

verum

Et hoc modo
non

est

'esse' potest

in ratione

entis,

or only
truths

of being
are many

formally.
he must,

one might
that
argue
discussion,
as it exists
to truth
his conclusion

previous

hominem
sed

things

by reason

truth

in the

intelligi
sed

ens

In light
therefore,
intellect.

sine vero,
in ratione

. . . Unde etiam patet quod ens est prima conceptio


intellectus."
19
". . .nihilominus
Note
In ISent,
in particular:
tarnen
pp. 491-92.
res particip?t
suum esse creatum,
quo formaliter
est, et unus
quaelibet
intellectus
lumen per quod recte de re iudicat, quod
quisque
particip?t
. . . Unde dico, quod sicut est
a lumine increato.
quidem est exemplatum
a
unum esse divinum
sicut
omnia
effectivo
quo
sunt,
principio
exemplari,
est diversum
res
tarnen in rebus diversis
nihilominus
esse, quo formaliter
veri.

est;

ita

etiam

est

una

veritas,

scilicet

divina,

qua

omnia

vera

sunt

...

verae
sunt plures veritates
in rebus creatis, quibus dicuntur
of Thomas's
On the significance
remark about every thing
in its created esse whereby
it exists
in the formal sense for
participating
see my "Thomas Aquinas
his metaphysics
of participation,
and Partici
in Studies
in Medieval
ed. J. F. Wippel
pation,"
Philosophy,
(Washington,
of America
D.C.: Catholic University
Press,
1987), 144-48.
nihilominus
formaliter."

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JOHN F. WIPPEL

304
On

the other

such

no such

hand,

a restricted

stated.
is explicitly
to be offset by his reply

restriction
seems

reading

Moreover,
to the first

objection.
That
many
tained

contests
claim
Thomas's
that there are
directly
objection
as
It
Thomas
has main
truths.
himself
created
out,
points
in the preceding
that true is predicated
article,
analogically

things in which truth is present just as health is


analogically of healthy things. But there is really only

of the various
predicated

one

numerically
healthy
Therefore
things

as

are

health

the subject
that
it seems
said

an animal

of which
by reason
of health,
and urine
there

as

one

is only

truth

to be

its sign, and so forth.


all other
by which

to be true.20

to this
In replying
early texts on analogical
be predicated
analogically

Thomas

one

offers

He

but

may
something
The
analogy
(1)

not

to the

order

of

notion

of

in terms of

things

to the

order of
applies
only
of existence;
for the perfection
is
health
meaning,
one
in
the
The
animal.
realized
analogate,
only
(2)
analogy
actually
not
to
but
the
order
the
of
to
order
existence
of
may
meaning.
apply
priority

and

posteriority,
not to the order

the

the

Although

of different

analogically

interesting

that

predication.
in any one of three ways.

of meaning
alone
to the order
apply
case
as
in
the
of
health.
existence
(esse),

is predicated

of his most

notes

may

health

is said

analogy

in the same mean


different
share equally
when
things
happens
even though
the perfection
signified
by the common
ing or intention,
in the same way
in the different
analo
term does not enjoy being

This

gates.

In the order

vocity.

Thomas

of meaning
a very

offers

it is said of terrestrial
both

one

does

medieval

order

entities.

of meaning
of substance

may
apply
as when
existence,
being
(ens) is said
and
that
is in this way
truth,
goodness,
of God and creatures.
Hence
analogically

analogy

by such names
their existence
because
subjects
truths,

must

be present

in God

have

but

analogy

insofar

example?body

and of celestial
to the

not

and

all

such

(3) Finally,
and
and

the

order

uni
as

the
of
It

accident.

names

the perfections
in creatures

are

said

signified
in terms
of

in varying
of perfection.
And
degrees
(esse), though
cannot
in
be
and similar
different
present
perfections
one
must
to
existence
there
be distinct
(esse),
according
only
and thus, many
truths.21
truth

20
In I Sent, p. 491.
21
In I Sent, p. 492. Though
the text is too long to permit
introduces
the three kinds of analogy
here, note that Thomas

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

full citation
as applying

305

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


This

if truth
is predicated
in analogical
fash
as
it
is
in
creatures
creatures,
present
intrinsically
truth differs
from health.
In this respect,
therefore,

text

ion of God
well

as

in God.

But,

we

may

that

indicates

and

Thomas

ask, would

this

apply

being or only to truth of the intellect?


answer

here

perhaps

it seems

wish,

this

clear

enough

Truth

truth of the intellect.


well.

Still,

Thomas

truth taken strictly


to which

proprie),
see more

of this

truth
inition

endorse

this

it would

seem,

in things as

present

some

without

conclusion
as

such

does not

as we might
his claim
to

the difference

(proprie) and truth taken broadly (im


in later writings.22

appeal

But

we

shall

below.
for this
be found
in
may
support
reading
to the second objection.
to that objection,
According
or rightness
of rectitude
Anselm's
def
(rectitudo).
can
as "rectitude
which
be grasped
only by the mind"

reply
is a kind
of truth

is clearly

But

intended.

it seems

things,
true things

temporal
which
all
no need

he will

is intrinsically

of

additional

Some
Thomas's

not

or distinctions,

qualifications

between

would

Though Thomas

as explicitly
quite
he does not restrict

question
that

to truth

conclusion

to hold

In his

reply

that

if one

serves

time

that

correspond
there are many

Thomas

as

the measure

is only one
as their measure.
Hence

to follow

acknowledges,

there

for all
truth

to

there

is

truths.23
as

the

objection

implies,

"vel secundum
intentionem
tantum, et non secundum
esse," "Vel secundum
esse et non secundum
et
and "Vel secundum
intentionem
intentionem,"
is of concern to us, he
As regards
the third kind, which
secundum
esse."
in intentione
"et hoc est quando neque parificatur
continues:
communi,
et accidente;
et de talibus
in esse; sicut ens dicitur de substantia
neque
eorum
communis
habeat
oportet quod natura
aliquod esse in unoquoque
rationem maioris
sed differens
secundum
vel minoris
de quibus dicitur,
Et similiter dico, quod veritas, et bonitas, et omnia huiusmodi
perfectionis.
suum
Unde oportet quod secundum
dicuntur analogice de Deo et creaturis.
esse omnia haec in Deo sint, et in creaturis
secundum
rationem maioris
cum non possint
esse secundum
ex quo sequitur,
et minoris;
perfectionis
unum esse utrobique,
veritates."
On this text see B.
quod sint diversae
La doctrine de l'analogie de l'?tre d'apr?s saint Thomas d'Aquin
Montagnes,
Publications
Universitaires,
1963), 60-61, and his reference
(Louvain-Paris:
"En torno a un famoso texto de santo
to J. Ramirez,
for fuller treatment
8 (1953): 166-92.
sobre la analogia,"
Tom?s
Sapientia
22
For this see our discussion
below of texts from De veritate, Summa
I.
contra gentiles,
and Summa
theologiae
23
c. 11: "Possumus,
see De veritate,
For Anselm
igitur, nisi fallor,
sola perceptibilis."
See S. Anselmi
definir? quia veritas est rectitudo mente
t. 1, vol. 1
ed. F. S. Schmitt,
Cantuariensis
Opera Omnia,
Archiepiscopi
as
191.
For
the
p.
Constatt,
presented
1968),
objection
(Stuttgart-Bad
by
see In I Sent, p. 491.
Thomas

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JOHN F. WIPPEL

306
that

is a kind

truth

nature

if the
Hence,
commensuration

intellect

must
by

relationships
is the cause of all other
by the divine

be measured
its first

a
is to be perfected,
it must
include
to an intellect.
But different
things
to different
intellects.
the
Because

truth

of

of a thing

in different

stand
divine

of rightness
and commensuration.
Therefore
must
within
be included
the nature
of truth.

of measure

note

the

principle.

intellect,
Anselm

Accordingly,

that a thing is said to be true when


been

within

ordered
to our

related

as

such

causes

things.

is measured

since

Our

are

The human

intellect).

not measure.

does

and

measures,

one first measure

they

intellect

Thomas
of truth;

veritate

But
our

intellects

measure

not

does

knowledge

it has

are
things
take their

created

them.24

by

is not measured

which

second

in his De

writes

From all of this it follows that the divine


measure

thing
is measured

it fulfills that to which

intellect.

divine

intellects

from

knowledge
but
things

the

created

every
things,
for everything

intellect

else.
by anything
are also measured

is measured

is the first

Created
(by

the

things
divine

(by its objects),


that

concludes,
therefore,
but there are many
second

there

but

is only

measures

just
are many
he
also
concludes
created
things.
Accordingly,
a
are many
because
truth
involves
there
that
truths,
presumably
an intellect
and there are many
between
and a measure,
relationship
even
were
measures.
In
if
he
there
created
fact,
adds,
only one

as

there

measure
truth;

of
for

it would
still not follow
that
there
is only
truth,
is not a measure
but a commensuration
truth
itself

There
could be different
adequation.
same measure.25
one
to
the
and
things
creatures

be related

would

in different

one
or

in different

commensurations
For

many
instance,
to the divine
fashion

different
intellect.

24
see the whole
7 in
of chapter
For Anselm
In I Sent,
pp. 492-93.
185-86.
his De veritate, Schmitt
ed.,
25
est
divinus
"Sic ergo intellectus
In I Sent, p. 493. Note especially:
ut mensura
surata;

prima,
intellectus

non
autem

res

mensurata:
noster

est

autem

mensuratus

est

mensura
et

non

secunda,
mensurans."

men
For

see J. McEvoy,
more on Thomas's
of measure
"The Divine
understanding
as the Measure
in Studies
of Being
in Platonic
and Scholastic
Thought,"
see
note
in
110-11.
in Medieval
Also
esp.
19), 107-13,
Philosophy
(cited
et l'existence
the general
d'un
study by G. Isaye, La th?orie de laMesure
16.1 (Paris: Beau
maximum
de Philosophie
selon saint Thomas, Archives
E.
P.
Foundations
of the Hierarchy
chesne, 1940);
Mahoney,
"Metaphysical
to Some Late-Medieval
of Being According
and Renaissance
Philosophers,"
and Medieval,
ed. P. Morewedge
in Philosophies
Ancient
(New
of Existence
York: Fordham
Press,
1982), 169-72
(with richly documented
University

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS

307

This text is interesting in that it seems to offer two focal points


which justify one in assigning truth to being. A created being may
as measured
regarded
by
And
truth
of
being.
enjoying
to be understood
of its ability

the

be

intellect.

as
and therefore
intellect,
as true because
also be regarded

divine

it may

to produce
truth
truth of being.

by and

in a created

it enjoys
therefore,
Again,
3 of this same question
Thomas
asks whether
He replies
that because
eternal
truths.
the nature

In art.
many

is completed
grounded

through
in a thing's

will

follow

from

one's

an act
esse,
view

the

eternal

existence

one

eternal

one

eternal

esse, the divine,


He goes
truth.

There

is only one completely


esse of all other
things

The

of

of the
one's

about

and

intellect,

view

there

are

of truth
truth

because

is

about

the eternity
of truth
of things
existence
and
that there
he holds
is only

the eternal

intellect.

Since

he quickly
concludes
that there
on to say the same of immutable
and

immutable

totally
is mutable,

at

least

is only
truth.

the divine.
being,
in the sense
that if

left to fend for themselves,


speaking,
they were
ontologically
they
no truth as found
in creatures
would
be nothing.
is ab
Therefore,
if we speak
Thomas
of truth
necessary.
Moreover,
adds,
solutely
as its nature
no in
of the intellect,
is perfected
insofar
by reason
immutable
of its nature
the
tellect
and
is eternal
divine.
except
Even

so, much

truth

of being

eternal

of Thomas's

the

(esse), whether
and truth of creatures.

being
truth
is to be assigned
even
some intrinsic
fashion,
that

an operation

requires
Text
years,

2: De

discussion

veritate,
to qu. 1 of the De

veritate

has

been

directed

to

or the non

of God
being
seems
to be assuming
he
Again
or created,
to being, whether
in
divine
nature
its complete
and perfect
though

on the part
qu.

here

eternal

of some

1. With
of 1256.

intellect.26

this we
While

move

forward

the whole

a few

of question

zu Erkenntnis
als Massverh?ltnis
bei Ar
notes); H. Seidl, "Bemerkungen
von Aquin," Miscellanea
16.1 (Berlin
istoteles
und Thomas
Mediaevalia
New York, 1983), 32-42.
26
In I Sent, pp. 495-96.
Note especially:
"Unde sicut esse unum tan
tum est aeternum,
ita una tantum veritas.
scilicet divinum,
Similiter
de
est quod de mutabilitate
mutabilitate
veritatis
idem dicendum
essendi.
. . . Quorumdam
vero esse est mutabile
solum secundum
vertibilitatem
in nihil, si sibi relinqueretur;
et horum veritas
est per
similiter mutabilis
in nihil, si sibi relinqueretur."
vertibilitatem
On this see A. Maurer,
St
Thomas
and Historicity
Press,
Marquette
(Milwaukee:
University
1979),
and Eternal
32
Studies
23-32; also his "St. Thomas
Truths," Mediaeval
(1970): 91-107.

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

308

JOHN F. WIPPEL

1 is directed

1 explicitly

to truth, article

asks: "What

is truth?"

a parallel

between
the need
by drawing
to
of
demonstration
order
things
principles
subject
in the order of conceptu
which
is first
and the need for something
as most
known
the intellect
first conceives
But that which
alization.

Thomas

his

begins

response
in the

for first

and

into which
states

Avicenna
other

be added
to a genus

added

to present

superadded
anything
within
included
being
any such nature
ments,
in being.

a problem.
from without

to being

that

He

As

in the way

as Thomas
be

some

Thomas

to a subject.
in such fashion

itself; but,
that might

also

is being
(ens), as
all
Therefore

conceptions

of his Metaphysics.
must
arise
from

to being
or an accident

be

share

its other

at the beginning
of the intellect

conceptions
This seems

being.
ing can

all

it resolves

added
from

draws

support
cannot
that being
be a genus.27
the Metaphysics
that something
From
this Thomas
concludes
sense

other
mode

themselves

is
implication
not actually
would

supreme

hand,
which

genera,

something
is not more

substance
may

Corresponding
and the nine

be said

particularized

to add

itself
claim

Aristotle's

can be said
of being
may

in

to add
which
in

happen

is expressed
Thus
there
different

is
are

modes

to these modes

are

accidents.

the

to being

(restricted

com

immediately
to being must

a mode

are derived.

puts
it, noth
a difference
is

The

in the
that
to being
it expresses
only
name
itself.
This
is not expressed
the
"being"
by
It may
two different
be that the mode which
ways.
or
some more
of being.
special mode
particularized
to which
of entity,
the
different
according
degrees
of being
the ten

to

addition

On

a
by expressing
in extension)
than

27
references
ed., vol. 22.1, pp. 4-5; all subsequent
Opera Omnia, Leonine
see his Liber de philosophia
For Avicenna
for De veritate are to this edition.
E. Peeters,
1977), pp. 31-32.
prima I, c. 5, ed. S. Van Riet (Louvain-Leiden:
von
see Aertsen,
bei Thomas
"Die Transzendentalienlehre
For discussion
and Creature.
Thomas Aquinas's
Nature
92-95; Aertsen,
Way of
Aquin,"
"L'id?e de transcen
Thought
(Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1988), 144-47; S. Breton,
chez Saint Thomas
in
dental et la gen?se des transcendentaux
d'Aquin,"
"The
Saint Thomas
d'Aquin
(Paris, 1963), 45-74; M. Jordan,
aujourd'hui
on the Transcendental,"
of Esse: Re-reading
Thomas
The Tho
Grammar
der Transzen
mist 44 (1980): 1-26; H. Seidl, "Die aristotelischen
Quellen
von Aquin, De ver, q. 1, art. 1," Philo
bei Thomas
dentalien-Aufstellung
For Aristotle's
denial that being
80 (1973): 166-71.
sophisches Jahrbuch
Note how Thomas
summarizes
is a genus see Metaphysics
3.3.998b22ff.
this thinking:
"Sed enti non possunt addi aliqua quasi extranea per modum
natura
additur generi vel accidens
quo differentia
subiecto, quia quaelibet
est essentialiter
ens" (p. 5).

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

309

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS

as being or, as Thomas


is as general
itself, but which
being
phrases
which
follows
upon every being.28
it,
Thomas
goes on to argue that there are five distinct modes which
as being
are as broad
itself or, to use non-Thomistic
in extension
there are five transcendental
language,
such a general
mode
follow
upon
may
as that being
is in itself, or insofar
being
If it follows

else.

the mode

upon

express

may

every

being

any

being
is in relation

that

being
This mode

affirma

refer

corresponding
The negation
which
follows
(1) a thing
(res).
or in itself
is its undividedness
taken absolutely

as

being

that

the essence

expresses
we may

to its essence

Thus
as

either

being

the mode

of being.
insofar

to something
is in itself,
being

as that

insofar
about

something
If affirmatively,

tively or negatively.
of the being,
and

properties

to any

upon

every

from

itself.

(2) one, or unity.29


by
as the being
upon every being
only insofar
to something
in
this
two
also
is in relation
different
may happen
else,
as it is viewed
as
follow upon a being
The mode may
insofar
ways.
case
we
In
from
other
refer
to
this
divided
it as
every
may
being.
the name

is expressed
If the mode
follows

(3) "something"
"what"
another
described

as one

to as
Or

"something"
the mode may

to or

in agreement

can

happen
in agreement
istotle writes

that
it is, as it were,
thereby
In other words,
if a being
is
it is not divided
from itself,
it is referred

meaning
(aliquid),
aliud
quid).
(quasi
as

insofar

insofar
follow

as

upon

it is divided
every

with

being
else.

something
reason
of something

from

other being.
every
as it is conformed

insofar
Thomas

argues

that

this

to which
it belongs
to be
only by
with
the
soul.
Ar
Thus
else, specifically,
everything
that the soul is in a certain
all things.30
fashion
But

a cognitive
and an appetitive
When
power.
as in agreement
we consider
with
of
the appetitive
power
any being
it as (4) good.
And when we consider
it
the soul, we may
describe
in the

soul

28
De
expressus

there

veritate,
sit modus

is both

p. 5.

Note

generalis

"Alio modo

in particular:
consequens

omne

ens

ita quod modus

. ."

29
"non autem
De veritate,
invenitur
p. 5. Note
especially:
aliquid
affirmative
dictum absolute
quod possit accipi in omni ente nisi essentia
eius secundum
quam esse dicitur, et sic imponitur hoc nomen res, quod in
in principio Metaphysicae,
hoc differt ab ente, secundum Avicennam
quod
ens sumitur
sed nomen rei exprimit
vel es
ab actu essendi
quidditatem
omne ens absolute
autem consequens
est indivisio,
sentiam
entis; negatio
et hanc exprimit
hoc nomen unum: nihil aliud enim est unum quam ens
indivisum."

30
De

veritate,

p. 5.

For Aristotle

see De

anima

3.8.431b21.

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

310

JOHN F. WIPPEL

as

in agreement

we

may

course,

with

refer

to

is the

fact

the cognitive
it as (5) true.31
that

of being
or, if you will,
there
is no suggestion
that

erty

soul?the

immediate

now

intellect?

introduced

truth

as a transcendental.

So far

truth

or

taken

to us, of
as a prop

interest

formally

in this

text
is

intrinsically

to truth of the intellect.

restricted
Thomas
similation

observes

immediately
of a knower
is said

assimilation

or

agreement

is formally
perfected.
it is this conformity

of knowledge.

But

is that it be conformed
as

is known

conformity

intellect and the thing.

an as
involves
knowledge
so
so
much
such
that
known,

that

to something
to be the cause

relation of being to intellect


This

Of

has

Thomas

of the

power

an

the

first

to the intellect.
of

adequation

the

it is in this that the nature of truth

And
If we

ask,
or adequation
such
upon

what

therefore,
of thing

and

truth

adds

to being,

intellect.

Knowledge
follows
while
the
thing
conformity.
Therefore,
a
of
an
to
is
is
of
effect
truth.32
thing
prior
truth, knowledge
entity
In this context
to be concentrating
on truth of
Thomas
appears
In
so
he
has
with
truth
understood.
And
any
event,
being.
begun
now he has distinguished
three moments,
in the order of nature,
I
of

the

if not necessarily
in the order of time.
First,
or entity.
there
is the added note
Secondly,

assume,
a thing

of being to an intellect
there

nally,
the intellect.

(or adequation

there

is simply

of conformity

of intellect and thing).

Fi

is the

of the

And

could be taken as referring


yet that conformity
of any created
to the divine
or to
entity
intellect,
to produce
of itself
in a human
ability
knowledge

the part of
knowledge
thing
second moment?adequation
of intellect
the nature
of truth
is formally
Thomas
perfected,

resulting
It is in the

and

thing?that
has written.

on

to the adequation
a created
entity's

or to the adequation
of the human
with
intellect
any being
it understands.
Thomas
does not exclude
any of
Though
or
of
of thing and intellect,
ways
taking
adequation
conformity

intellect,
or entity
these

in his explicit discussion

of truth in this text he has at least begun

31
De veritate, p. 5. Note
in particular:
".
ad intellectum
hoc nomen verum."
exprimit
32
De

veritate,

pp.

5-6.

".

. .

prima

ergo

. . convenientiam
comparatio

entis

vero entis
ad

intel

lectum est ut ens intellectui


quae quidem concordia
concordet,
adaequatio
et rei dicitur, et in hoc formaliter
intellectus
ratio veri perficitur.
Hoc est
conformitatem
ergo quod addit verum
sive adaequa
super ens, scilicet
tionem rei et intellectus,
ad quam conformitatem,
ut dictum est, sequitur
rei: sic ergo entitas
rei praecedit
rationem
veritatis
sed cognitio
cognitio
est quidam veritatis
effectus."

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


with

the

second

Thomas

moments
now
formal

meaning

gustine's

(ratio)

and which

to the

refers

teristic of its being which


from

this

same

that

to the

Corresponding
truth is formally

second

incorrectly,
thing and an intellect."
Thomas
Anselm's

as

rectitude

does

this,

definition

as

been

Israeli:

the

can

is Au

it is

still

of being

which
which

the

by

the

Thomas

So

charac

"proper

defined

its

is."

for it." And

"undividedness

"Truth

to

is prior

its foundation,

moment?in

Thomas
which

the

as he

in which,

which

as

three

of truth

truth is "that which

a definition

perfected?is
to Isaac
ascribes

truth

serves

it has

as

Philip
that which
is."34

of

that

of a thing

truth

of these

each

has been established

perspective
the Chancellor

named

of

in his Soliloquies:

definition

too, Avicenna

in terms

and

seem,

with earlier definitions

to the first moment

Corresponding
truth
is defined

notes,

it would

to coordinate

attempts

immediately

he has just distinguished


to him.

known

the first),

(and by implication
truth of being.33

with

therefore

311

nature
now,

un
and

of

albeit

of a
adequation
here Anselm's
definition

also places
be perceived

is the

by

the mind

alone.

as it appears
rectitude
because
in
explains,
a
kind
of
Also
implies
adequation.
correspond
is Aristotle's
statement
in Metaphysics
4 that

he

ing to this moment


we speak
the true when
not to be."35

"what

is is said

to be or what

is not

is said

33
This should occasion no surprise,
of course, since in this context he
which
is dealing with general properties
follow upon every being.
34
De veritate,
to Augustine
see
For references
and Philip
pp. 5-6.
see Liber de philosophia
note 13 above.
For Avicenna
prima VIII, c. 6, ed.
S. Van Riet (Louvain-Leiden:
E. Peeters,
is
1980), p. 413. Here Avicenna
the necessary
truth:
discussing
being (God) and its perfections,
including
esse est veritas; veritas enim cuiusque rei est
"Quicquid autem est necesse
est ei; igitur nihil est dignius
esse ver
sui esse quod stabilitum
proprietas
itatem quam necesse
esse" (Italics mine.)
35
De veritate, pp. 5-6.
"Alio modo diffinitur
secundum
id in quo for
et sic dicit Ysaac quod 'Veritas est adaequatio
maliter
ratio veri perficitur,
et Anselmus
rei et intellectus,'
in libro De veritate
'Veritas est rectitudo
sola mente
enim ista secundum
perceptibilis',?rectitudo
adaequationem
et Philosophus
dicit IV Metaphysicae
dicitur?;
quandam
quod diffinientes
verum dicimus
esse quod est aut non esse quod non est'."
'cum dicitur
J. T. Muckle
out his inability
to find the definition
of
pointed
originally
no one else has managed
truth as adequation
in Isaac Israeli, and apparently
to do so.
See "Isaac Israeli's Definition
of Truth," Archives
d'Histoire
et litt?raire du Moyen Age 8 (1933): 5-8. Also see Aertsen, Me
doctrinale
on Truth, 6. For Anselm's
dieval Reflections
text see note 23 above.
For
see Metaphysics
Aristotle
4.7.1011b25-28.

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JOHN F. WIPPEL

312
to

corresponding

Finally,

that results from it?truth


terms:

true

"the

is that which

is is shown";

and

moment?the

also:

"Truth
is that

"Truth

knowledge

of Poitiers

or manifests

declares

in his De vera religione:

Augustine
which

third

the

is defined by Hilary

in these
and

being"

is that whereby
to which

according

by

that
we

inferior

judge
Of

things."36
definitions
offered

the

in which

ment,
that

to truth of being and not merely

be applied

might

to

by Thomas

ascribed

as corresponding
to the second mo
is formally
the first two?
perfected,
Isaac
and that offered
by Anselm?

nature

truth's

from

intellect.

The

restricted

to truth of the intellect.

definition

taken

Aristotle,

And

to truth of the
is clearly

however,

in replying

to the first

as he had already
in the corpus,
Thomas
done
suggests,
objection,
first-mentioned
that Augustine's
definition
of truth as "that which
is" might

as referring
as perfected
be
Or it might

be taken

not

to

its nature

an

intellect.

in his

suggested

previously

to truth's

in reality,
foundation
an
a
of
to
through
adequation
thing
as Thomas
much
had
reinterpreted
only

on I Sentences

commentary

so as to refer

not to a thing's act of being (actus essendi) but only to the being
In
produced by the intellect when it judges (composes and divides).
other words, itmight be shifted from truth of being to truth of the
intellect.37
to objection
in replying
other
writes
4, Thomas
hand,
is a characteristic
not so
of being
but
entis),
(dispositio
a
nor
so
as
a
more
to express
to it
nature
distinct
particu

the

On

truth

that

as to add
larized

Truth
is something
which
is present
in every
of being.
name
not
it is
though
explicitly
expressed
by the
"being."38
we may
Thomas
would
in mind
have us bear
that
presume,

mode

being

even

Again,
what

truth

or conformity
to being
of adequation
is a relation
on truth of being.
to an intellect,
and here the focus
is again
Since much
in qu. 1, art. 1 has to do with
of the discussion
adds

are present
which
properties
so far as truth
is concerned,

is found and therefore,


being
ask which
truth of being, we may

wherever
with

36
De

see his De Trinitate


For
(PL 10.131).
veritate, p. 6. For Hilary
c.
c.
vera
see
36
31
34.151/CCSL
De
(PL
32.230-31);
religione,
Augustine
is completely
literal.
None of these citations
32.225).
(PL 34.147/CCSL
37
from the second solution:
"Vel dicendum
De veritate,
p. 6. Note
ibi secundum
quod cum dicitur verum est id quod est, li est non accipitur
com
actum essendi sed secundum
quod est nota intellectus
quod significat
.
.
ut
sic
in
scilicet
affirmationem
significat.
propositionis
prout
ponentis,
cum diffinitione
idem redeat diffinitio Augustini
supra inducta."
Philosophi
38
De

veritate,

p.

7,

"Ad

quartum.

. ."

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


is primary,
in things.

as

truth

can
this

considers

in the

it exists

of Thomas's

In light
on / Sentences,
we
plicitly

313

treatment
his

anticipate
easily
2.
issue in article

of different
is predicated
something
and priority,
it does not necessarily
causes
fashion
of that which
prior

or truth

intellect

earlier

as

in his

answer

it is present

commentary
ex
He
here.

Thomas

that when
replies
to posteriority
things
according
follow
it is predicated
in
that

it to be present
in the others.
in
it
is
that
in
which
fashion
of
its complete
Rather,
predicated
prior
nature
For instance,
and perfect
is first realized.
is said
"healthy"
in prior
fashion
because
it is in an animal
of an animal
that the
is first realized;
of health
this is so
or pro
to be healthy
it causes
because
true must
be said in prior fashion
of that

nature

and perfected
complete
even though medicine

is said

duces

the

health.

So too,

nature
of truth
is first realized.
The perfec
complete
or operation
in the terminus
tion of any motion
is present
of that
a
of
Therefore
the
motion
is
in
power
cognitive
present
operation.
the soul; for what
is known must
be in the knower
to the
according
in which

the

of

mode

the knower.

as
insofar
except
is present
in an

Consequently,

it is adequated
in prior
intellect

fashion.39
posterior
Thomas
immediately
to theoretical

knowledge
the practical
intellect.
causes
intellect
and measures

things
measured

serve

measured

In the
things.
by the

way
as measures

of our

the divine

intellect.40

by

case

is not

and

fashion,

this
qualifies
as distinguished

and

is in a certain

a thing
to an intellect.

said

Therefore,
in things

conclusion

by

to be

true

the true
in

only

it

restricting

from practical
knowledge
of practical
the
knowledge,
But the speculative
intellect
it knows.

things

intellect,

they

And

themselves

if these
are

also

39
See p. 8 for the statement
of the question:
"Secundo quaeritur utrum
inveniatur
in intellectu quam in rebus."
For Thomas's
principalius
see p. 9. Note
in particular:
". . . et quia bonum,
sicut dictum
response
verum autem dicit ordinem
entis ad appetitum,
ad in
est, dicit ordinem
dicit in VI Metaphysicae
inde est quod Philosophus
tellectum,
quod bonum
et malum
sunt in rebus, verum autem et falsum sunt in mente.
Res autem
non dicitur vera nisi secundum
unde per
quod est intellectui
adaequata,
invenitur
in rebus, per prius autem in intellectu."
posterius
veritas

40
De

intellectus

veritate,
noster

p.

9.

scientiam

".

. . ex
accipit,

quo
patet
mensurant

quod

res naturales,
a quibus
.
nostrum
intellectum

. .

sed sunt mensuratae


ab intellectu
in quo sunt omnia sicut omnia
divino,
. . ." As he had done in his commentary
artificiata
in intellectu
artificis.
on I Sentences,
dist. 19, Thomas
again refers to the divine intellect as mea
but
not
to
and measured,
natural
suring
measured,
things as measuring
and to our intellect as measured
but not measuring
natural
things (though
it does measure
artificial
See note 25 above.
things).

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JOHN F. WIPPEL

314

two

In terms

of adequation,

intellects.

According

natural
therefore,
to their adequation

fall
things
to the divine

they are said to be true because they fulfill that to which


finds
by God.
(Aquinas
as
of
truth
definition
classical

been

ordered

selm's

Augustine's
Avicenna.)

De

vera

To

this

I would

extent,
or the
of being

comment,

that

by
he has
Thomas

intellect

they have

confirmed

point

rectitude,
by the one

and

religione,

this

between

by An
in
offered

cited

from

is still

con

we refer
But when
truth of things.
reason
a
to
of its relationship
human
intellect,
by
a
it is naturally
to
is so described
because
the thing
apt
produce
an
awareness
correct
of itself within
such
Truth
of being
intellect.41
truth
sidering
to a thing as true

is still

at

issue.

Thomas
whatsoever,
to the divine

such

were

no human

things

continued
whatsoever.

no

to exist,
the nature
of truth
To put this another
way,
no
ex
of being.42
if
And
mind

truth
longer
enjoy
not
truth of intellect.
could
isted, they evidently
enjoy
we should
In summarizing
recall
that even
in this

things

intellect

still

in no way

remain
would

if there

that

be true by reason
of their relationship
things
In
other
would
of
intellect.
truth
words,
they
enjoy
nor divine
human
neither
intellect
if, per impossibile,
would

But
being.
while
remained
would

comments

also

discussion

Thomas has insisted that truth applies both to truth of the intellect
and

truth

of things

or being;

to truth of the intellect.

but

taken

in its primary

sense,

it refers

Only in the intellect does truth reach its

41
De veritate,
from Anselm
and Avicenna
p. 9. For the definitions
see notes 35 and 34 above.
see the first definition
For Augustine
cited in
note 36, though Aquinas
there (in article 1) included this under the third
moment
rather than under the second.
42
De veritate,
that Thomas
this by remarking
p. 9. Note
prefaces
a thing's
to the divine
that because
is prior to its
intellect
relationship
to a human
truth taken as a thing's adequation
to
intellect,
relationship
intellect
is prior to truth taken as a thing's adequation
the divine
to a
Also note: ". . . sed si uterque
human
intellect.
rebus rema
intellectus,
nentibus
per impossibile,
intelligeretur
auferri, nullo modo ratio veritatis
on Thomas's
remaneret."
One might
part that
object to this admission
it implies a real separability
of being and truth, at least in created entities.
the hypothesis,
Under
being would endure without
being true. And what
can there be than this?
Hence
greater
sign of real distinction
being and
truth of being are not merely
but really distinct.
To this,
conceptually
counter
Thomas would
that the two are not really distinct;
for
probably
an impossible
in question
the separability
presupposes
situation,
namely,
of God's
the nonexistence
intellect
of God) and the con
(and therefore
of
creatures.
tinuing existing

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


fullness
both

Even

and

perfection.
in relation
to the

intellect.

Hence
of

definition

divine

to follow

as an

adequation

truth

in the order of nature,


the
that,
of thing and intellect
applies

between a thing and the divine intellect

and then only to the relationship


between
a thing.
on the latter re
If we concentrate
a thing and the human
between
intellect?in
the

it corresponds,
and
intellect

a human

lationship?that
order of nature

the

can again

thing

as true
be regarded
so, things may
to a human
intellect
and in relation

it seems

first of all to the relationship


to which

315

causes

thing

be referred

But truth as it exists

capacity.

in the

truth

to as true

intellect.

in itself

because

in the human

is not.43
fashion.
Truth
of being
primary
to
Thomas's
the
first
makes
reply
objection
tinction.

it does

According
But being
to the soul,

truth.

To

fashion

of a true

can

that

vertible.

to the

the

objection,
to things

pertains
that
is, to mental
counters
Thomas
that

this

Hence

the

it enjoys

this

intellect

is truth in

an

true

dis

interesting
are
and being

so (principalius)
entities.
Therefore

con

more

the

true

than
so does

is said

in primary
a
of
thing which
in either
taken

and only by consequence


intellect,
to that
is adequated
intellect.
But, he now adds,
are
convertible.
When
truth is said of things,
way the true and being
we
with
in
the
of
it is convertible
order
Hence
being
predication.
say

is being.
divine

and

to it.

But
true

in the order

so because

some

conversely.
be conformed

is true,

being

is because

intellect

equated
intellect?the
not

every

This

is also
when
is also

and

that

instance

every

every (finite) being


of making
capable
in the second
taken

convertible

of predication
being must

but

with
by way

of the

is adequated

true

to the

a human

intellect

way?as

truth

ad
of the

extramental

being,
though
of consequence.
This
is
to every
true intellect,
and

correspond
to mean
by this that every being must
can produce
to the divine
and every being
intellect;
of itself in a human
The important
intellect.44
point

I take

true knowledge

Thomas

to be retained from this text is that convertibility

of being and truth

43
This

is not yet to resolve completely


the question whether
according
to Aquinas,
truth is intrinsically
in things.
As we shall now see,
present
he adds some helpful
in article 4.
clarifications
44
see De veritate,
For the objection
p. 8. For Thomas's
reply see p.
10. From his reply note: ". . . quia secundum
quod (verum) dicitur de
rebus

quatum
et

cum

convertitur

intellectui

e converso.

ente

divino

per

enim

praedicationem?omne

et potens

adaequare

sibi

intellectum

. ."

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ens

est

adae

humanum,

JOHN F. WIPPEL

316
of predication
intellect.

applies

4 Thomas

clarifies

in the order
of the

In article

to truth

only
his

thinking

of being,

divine

(proprie)

is present

either

as health

taken

intellect,
just
truth
is present

But
reason

to the

of their

other

things

relationship
intellect
divine

relationship
only because
to the health

things,
intellect,

by
taken

intellect or in the
in an animal.

is, in beings,
by
as health
is said of

that

just
or preserve

they produce
of an animal.

truth

truth

is present

strictly

in extramental

of

considers

one

is only
that

in a human

to truth

truth

concerning
This article

a little more
or truth of being
fully.
things
of
whether
the by now familiar
there
question
are true.45
which
Thomas
all things
responds

strictly

not

Therefore

or bear
truth

some

is in the

sense

in both primary
fashion
and in the strict
(pro
sense
in
in
It
is
human
intellects
the
strict
present
prie).
(proprie),
I take it, in comparison
in secondary
but only
fashion;
secondary,

with its presence in the divine intellect. And truth is present in


extramental
things only broadly speaking (improprie), that is to
sense.
in the strict
truth
It is present
is not taken
only when
some
on
of
to
in such things
their part
only because
relationship
two senses,
in one of the other
in the
taken
that is, as present
truth
or in the human
intellect
divine
intellect.46
say,

some question
text is interesting,
be raised
although
might
two points
its compatibility
with
made
already
by Thomas.
on / Sentences,
to his commentary
d. 19, qu. 5, art. 2, ad
According
as
are
in God and in
and
truth
such
present
1, perfections
goodness
This

about

by an analogy
of existence

to the order of meaning


and
applies
We
have
that
this
suggested
(esse).
early
to truth of being and not merely
to truth of the intellect.
referred
as we have also seen, in the corpus of this same article,
Thomas

creatures
the
text
And

order

states

that

in De

created
qu.

veritate,

formally

quation

consists

which

things
1, art.
of

the

are

restricting
to the present

in the

agreement

of intellect and thing.


such

true

1, Thomas

adequation
text, he restricts

or

Again,

to truth
truth

formal

has

written
conformity

sense.
that

Secondly,
truth
taken

known

as

ade

there we did not find him

of the
taken

intellect.
strictly

But

according
to
(proprie)

45

it

utrum
sit tantum una veritas
qua omnia sunt
"Quarto quaeritur
veritate, p. 11).
46(De
in intellectu
De veritate, p. 13. Note the key text: "Est ergo veritas
vero humano proprie quidem
in intellectu
divino quidem primo et proprie,
et secundario,
in rebus autem improprie
sed secundario,
per
quia nonnisi
duarum veritatum."
ad alteram
(Italics mine.)
respectum

vera"

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

317

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


as present
strictly
either

in an

intellect,

not

does

apply

intrinsically
This seeming

to

as

of

the

divine
how

things,
esse)

(secundum

as distinguishing
attribute
such
possession

whether

or human.47
can

it be

If truth
realized

taken

in them

or formally?
be resolved

if we take Thomas
may
inconsistency
a strict
or proper
between
of an
understanding
on the one hand,
and intrinsic
and formal
truth,
same,

on

the

other.

Accordingly,

he holds

that

truth is intrinsically present in things, and that it is formally present


to an intellect,
whether
this
they are adequated
or the human
intellect
be the divine
by which
they are measured
can
in
which
But
intellect
of themselves.
knowledge
they
produce
in them

insofar

as

we understand
to the present
text this holds
according
only when
we take truth
or improprie.
in the strict sense
truth broadly,
When
it is intrinsically
in some
and formally
in
present
only
(proprie),
tellect.
be raised
(At this point an objection
might
a
contrast
solution.
At times Thomas
draws
names

of God

properly

[proprie]

and

doing

against
between

my

proposed

predicating

so only metaphorically

47
of these texts above, pp. 304-5, and 310-11.
Con
See our discussion
on this point
to our difficulty
in interpreting
Thomas
tributing
correctly
to the example
of health.
Thus in In I Sent, d.
is his repeated
reference
to show that truth is said in
to this example
19, q. 5, a. 1, he appeals
fashion of truth of the intellect, and of a thing insofar as it causes
primary
truth in the intellect
(see above, pp. 297-98, and note 7). One should not
there holds that truth is not intrinsically
conclude from this that Thomas
his
in
to
The
See
present
things.
reply
obj. 1, art. 2 of the same question.
to the example
to argue that just as there is
of health
appeals
objection
an animal
as
is said to be healthy
numerically
only one health by which
its subject, with urine as its sign, etc., so too there seems to be only one
counters
Thomas
truth by which all other things are said to be true.
that
an
to
which
truth is said of God and creatures
according
analogy
applies
In other words,
and the order of being (esse).
both to the order of meaning
to creatures
and truth is not assigned
is not purely extrinsic,
the analogy
or to God in purely extrinsic
But in this same text Thomas
fashion.
refers
to another kind of analogy which applies only to the order of meaning,
not
this with the example of health.
to the order of being (esse). He illustrates
I conclude that when he likens the case of truth to that of health he wishes
one point?that
to things because
to make
truth is assigned
they cause
he distinguishes
the case of truth from that
truth in the intellect.
When
to make another point?that
of health
(reply to obj. 1, in art. 2), he wishes
in both the primary and secondary analogates,
truth is intrinsically
present
is not.
In the text from De veritate,
q. 1, a. 4, he again
though health
the point that truth is assigned
likens truth to health,
this time to make
to things because of their relationship
to an intellect.
He does not conclude
in things extrinsically,
from this that truth is only present
but that it is
in an intellect proprie and in things improprie.

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

318

JOHN F. WIPPEL
As regards
that which
vel symbolice].
names
certain
[their res significata],

[metaphorice
nify

directly

names

such
are

sig
of God

said

properly [proprie]; but this does not hold for the way inwhich they
These names must include no
signify [their modus significandi].
in
which
that
imperfection
they signify [res significata], even though
the way
the

include

however,

It is only
as a "lion."48

for

Thomas

Thomas

truth

includes

in their

res

names

those

among

imperfection
significata
in nonmetaphorical,
of God
albeit

which

can

and which
analogical,

therefore

intellect?

identifies

Yes,
Thomas

insist,
in created
entities?

say

analogy
to God

does

Thomas

then,

qu.
veritate,
only when we

erly?
truth
intellect

below

1, art.
take

4, when
truth

to a thing.

sense
This

3; for

he

Still, one

in God.

of being as
in light
answer,

it is realized
of Thomas's

in assigning
truth
[secundum
esse]
I
art.
d.
ad
19, qu. 5,
2,
Sent,
[In
1].
in mind
have
in our text from De

he

refers

broadly

or,

as present

to truth
to translate

I take him to mean by this that the meaning


in its strict

from truth

in section

of truth

again

But

of being and truth and in light of his

to an intrinsic
appeal
to creatures
both
and
What,

this

Iwould

Yes,

of the convertibility

defense

see

shall

truth of being and truth of intellect


would

may

as we

imply
be

fashion.

would Thomas say this of truth of being as distinguished


the

from

conclude

though itmay be, I do not think we should draw this

Tempting

of

that

instance,

not

in things

conclusion.

said

in this way,
Should we

in the present
text of truth
speaks
when
truth
is
taken
that he has
only
improprie
means
in mind
to say that truth
and therefore
distinction
in
of things
extrinsic
and
fashion?
only metaphorically

as present
the same

no

and can, therefore, be applied to

they signify [res significata]

God only metaphorically.


we might
refer to God
that when
such usage

is said

will

they signify
manner
in which

imperfect

names,

which

some reference
to
include
always
are
in
creatures.
realized
Other
they
or limitation
even
in that
imperfection

in which

includes
meaning

to truth as it is realized in things.

literally,

in things
improp

or definition

an adequation
or conformity
does not apply
in the same

He makes

of

of an
sense

this point by referring

48
See In I Sent, d. 4, q. 1, a. 1 (Mandonnet
ed., vol. 1, p. 131); d. 22, q.
he notes that wisdom,
and all
1, a. 2 (p. 535), where
goodness,
essentia,
names of this kind (those which Anselm
c. 15 it is
says inMonologium,
as regards
to be than not to be) are said of God proprie
better
the res
d. 35, q. 1, a. 1 (p. 811); De potentia,
q. 7, a. 5, and ad 2; Summa
significata;
contra gentiles
I, q. 13, a. 3. Cf. Summa
theologiae
I, c. 30 (for discussion
see Wippel, Metaphysical
Themes,
224-26).

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


as applied

to truth

that

In fact,
art.

6, Thomas

and

univocal

to its proper

shortly
this out

singles

and

metaphorically

in them.
in Summa

see,

Theologiae
between

as a difference

In the case

of univocal

of different things is present

I, qu.

16,

analogical
what

predication,

in each of them according

predication,
ratio]; but in analogical
[propria
of different
is predicated
What
analogically
one
to its proper meaning
in only
of them according

meaning
the case.

is not

is present

things

present

predication.

is predicated
this

shall

to things

be applied

only

that it is not intrinsically


as we

understanding

But it does not follow from this that he wishes

can

truth

or improper

as a broad

to things

of truth [improprie].
to say

319

[ratio], and it is from this that the same name

is applied

to the

the analogy
in question
holds whether
is
or
as
of
illustrated
intrinsic,
truth,
extrinsic,
purely
on other
That
issue can only be decided
by the case of health.
to say that truth
I conclude
that for Thomas
Hence
is
grounds.
For

others.

this

Thomas

as

in the

case

present in things only when it is taken improprie is not for him to


or that it is not
hold that it is said of them only metaphorically
to them.)
this aside

intrinsic
With
from

the De

out of the way,

veritate.

we may

return

to Thomas's

text

his distinction
between
making
taking
turns
to
he
the
at
directly
improprie,
question
proprie
one
are
Is there
all things
issue:
truth by which
true?
The
only
is only one, and from
it many
truth
of the divine
intellect
truths
truth

After

and

in human

derive

result
may
are many,
truth
human

intellects,
in a mirror.
But

just

assigned
intellect

if no human
remain

those

entities

face many

likenesses

in extramental

themselves.

Nonetheless,

of their relationship
things
by reason
to such things.
is in some sense
accidental

to such

intellect

in their

of their

as are

just as from one


the truths present

either

essences.

relationship
them
it accompanies

existed
And

to the

or could

the truth

divine

in inseparable

exist,

assigned
would
intellect

things
the
to the
Even

such

things would
to them by reason
also remain,
for

fashion.49

49
in particular:
De veritate,
Note
". . . veritates
autem
pp. 13-14.
Veritas
autem
quae sunt in rebus sunt plures sicut et rerum entitates.
ad intellectum
est rebus
quae dicitur de rebus in comparatione
humanum,
non esset
humanus
quodam modo accidentalis,
quia, p?sito quod intellectus
nec esse posset, adhuc res in sua essentia
sed veritas quae de
permaneret;
eis dicitur in comparatione
con
ad intellectum
eis inseparabiliter
divinum,
cum nec subsistere
eas in
divinum
comitatur,
possint nisi per intellectum
esse

producentem."

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JOHN F. WIPPEL

320
comments

also

Thomas

so that

sense

are

is taken

truth

that when

proprie)
for each.

as

thing's
are
things

are

there

true

Thomas

being.)
named

true

not

from

is taken

intellects
(im

broadly

his
sense

strict

there
truth

is only one
is identified

from
form.

the health
But

truth which

present

when

intellect,

just

in an animal,
are said to be

they

to them, just as food is said to be healthy

that is intrinsic

with

things
in the things
themselves
are so named
from a form

is present

or improprie),

truth

that
by observing
the truth which
is

reply
from

intellect or in the human

to be healthy
an inherent

true by reason
of the
taken broadly
(truth

such

concludes

in the

present either in the divine


is said

but

entities;
because

is so, of course,

(This

the

and

in different

so that all things may be said to be true, there are still as

truths

as food

strict

in secondary
only
for the many
true things

things
(proprie)
truths
there are many
fashion,
(of intellect)
are
truths
which
there
also
and
many
exist,
one
same
truth
But when
for
and the
thing.

many

in the

to be true

said

from a

it to be so described.50

in it which
enables
present
quality
are true in the broad
sense by reason
In saying
of
that things
a form
to them, Thomas
in mind
has
their entity
that
is intrinsic
as adequated
to the divine
to make
intellect
and their
capacity
we
to human
intellects.
known
it
themselves
may
Again,
ask, does

follow from this that truth of being is intrinsically


No,

Thomas

cording

to

if we

would

reply,
its proper
definition.

take

or ac
strictly
(proprie)
if we take
he would
answer,

Yes,

truth broadly and improperly so as to identify


the
For

thing which
confirmation

has
of

present to them?

truth

it with

the being of

to be understood
the capacity
by some intellect.
turn to his reply
to the first ar
this we may

50
De veritate, p. 14. Thomas has also just noted that truth is present
in a thing by reason of its relationship
to the divine
intellect
in prior
to its presence
fashion
in a thing by reason of its relationship
to a human
intellect.
Therefore
the thing is said to be true more so (principalius)
by
reason of its relationship
to the truth of the divine
intellect
than to the
truth of the human
intellect.
Note
". . . si autem accipiatur
especially:
veritas
dicta secundum
vera, sic sunt
quam omnia dicuntur
improprie
plurium

verorum

plures

veritates,

sed

unius

veri

tantum

una

veritas.

De

nominantur
autem res verae a veritate
divino vel in
quae est in intellectu
intellectu
humano
sicut denominatur
cibus sanus a sanitate
quae est in
et non sicut a forma inhaerente;
animali
sed a veritate
quae est in ipsa re,
intellectui
vel intellectum
sibi
quae nihil aliud est quam entitas
adaequata
sicut a forma inhaerente,
sicut cibus denominatur
denominatur
adaequans,
sanus

a qualitate

sua,

a qua

sanus

dicitur."

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

321

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


for

gument
intellect

is a certain
truth
While
agreement
contrary.
sense
in
the
strict
not
it
is
present
(proprie)
thing,

and

is
strictly
(proprie)
the
divine
intellect.51
by

truth
for the contrary,
argument
are
which
of
the
said
exemplated
things

taken

second

proprie)
tra gentiles

are confirmed

I, c. 60, Thomas
he
arguments

These

(proprie) and when


later

by
in Summa

I and

I, c. 60.

gentiles

taken strictly

truth when

treatments

views

in Thomas's

I. In Summa
theologiae
to show that God
is truth.

attempts

when

that

acknowledges

true

the

concerning

taken broadly

to Aristotle's

contra

gentiles
In one of his

is taken

a thing
tinues,
a proper
way

6.4, for support.


Metaphysics
said to be true insofar
is sometimes
act

the

(proprie)
Avicenna's
by

confirmed

its own

of

as

as

strictly

Again he

Even

nature.

of truth

(im
con

Summa

it does not exist in things but in the intellect.

(proprie),
turns

contra

3: Summa

Text

in

to the

As he puts this in replying

both, but only in the intellect.


not

of

the

con

so, he
it achieves

This

in

usage

"the

is

char

proper
description
has been es
of each and every
thing which
(proprietas)
to a thing insofar
this applies
for it." As Thomas
tablished
explains,
a true awareness
in an
as it is naturally
to produce
of itself
suited

acteristic

intellect and insofar as it imitates its proper idea (ratio) in the divine
But

mind.
we

speak
Text

U: Summa

is in the

of the

intellect

his

essence.

again
intellect

intellect

so as

as

insofar
The

the

notion

to be applied

Therefore,
of a thing, God

or truth

I, qu. 16.
theologiae
that
the
terminus
argues

is understood.

which

with

is identical

of truth

Thomas

the

God

In article

(ratio)
to the

1 of this

of knowledge?the
is conformed

intellect

of truth
thing

of this, the thing itself is said to be true.

whether
is truth.52

question
true?
to a thing
from

is transferred

Because

understood.

But a thing is true only

51
in the text cited in the previous note to the effect
Note his comment
is in a thing is nothing other than that thing's entity
that the truth which
as adequated
intellect
to (the divine)
intellect or as adequating
(a) human
see p. 15.
for the contrary
to itself.
For the replies to the arguments
52
see note
Ed. Leonina Manualis
(Rome, 1934), p. 56. For Aristotle
see note 34. From Thomas's
text note: "res tarnen
5 above.
For Avicenna
vera dicitur,
actum propriae
naturae
interdum
secundum
quod proprie
as follows: ". . . inquan
definition
He explains Avicenna's
consequitur."
tum

talis

propriam

res

nata

est

sui rationem

de

se

quae

facer?

est

veram

in mente

aestimationem,

divina,

imitatur."

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

et

inquantum

JOHN F. WIPPEL

322
insofar

as

related

to an

to an
way
per se or per

in some

it is related
intellect

either

per se to that intellect on which

it can

and

intellect,
accidens.

It

it depends for its being.

be

is related

It is related

our
it can be known.
intellect
But
by which
on
a
not
to
is
based
what
it
per ac
thing
pertains
judgment
to it per se.
is
cidens
but on what
every
belongs
Therefore,
thing
sense by reason
to
of its ordering
said to be true in the unqualified

per

to an

accidens

about

on which
are said to be
it depends.
Thus
artifacts
our
reason
to
A
statement
is
intellect.
of
their
relationship
by
as it is a sign of truth
in the intellect.
Natural
true insofar
things
are true insofar as they attain
to a likeness
of their forms
(specierum)
that

intellect

true

in the divine
the

intellect,

remarks
but

thing

intellect

in replying
rather

existence

fashion

in

of their
by reason
But, as Thomas

fashion
principle.

to the third objection,

its very

in primary

truth exists

in secondary
as to their

in things

to an

relationship

Hence

intellect.
and

it is not the truth of a


causes

(esse) which

truth

in our

intellect.53
Thomas
to article

draws
6.

There

this

upon
he

same

in framing
his reply
reasoning
whether
there
is
again
only one
true.
in a certain
He
that
replies

once

asks

are
all things
by which
there
is only one such truth,
is predicated
univocally
something
truth

sense

in question
meaning
ferent

in each
is present
But when
(ratio).

things,

it is present

and

of different

of these
something

according

in a certain

sense

things,

not.

When

the perfection
to its proper

things
according
is said analogically

of dif

to its proper

in only

meaning

53
Art.
Summa
theologiae, Prima Pars
(Turin-Rome,
1950), pp. 93-94.
1 is entitled: "Utrum veritas sit tantum in intellectu."
Note from Thomas's
intellecta
ad intellectum
discussion:
"Res autem
potest habere
aliquem
Per se quidem habet ordinem
ordinem
vel per se, vel per accidens.
ad
suum esse; per accidens
a quo dependet
autem ad
secundum
intellectum
. . Iudicium autem de re non sumitur
a quo cognoscibilis
est..
intellectum
sed secundum
id quod inest ei per
id quod inest ei per accidens,
secundum
res dicitur vera absolute,
se. Unde
secundum
ordinem
ad
unaquaeque
. . . Sic ergo veritas
a quo dependet.
est in in
intellectum
principaliter
vero in rebus, secundum
secundario
ad intel
quod comparantur
tellectu;
esse
See from the reply to obj. 3: "Et similiter
lectum ut ad principium."
intellectus"
The point of
eius, caus?t veritatem
(p. 94).
rei, non veritas
this remark seems to be that if a thing is to be regarded as true only insofar
as it is related
to the divine
to some intellect,
and first and foremost
in
This
it can cause truth in our intellect by reason of its very esse.
tellect,
in In I Sent, d. 19, q. 5, a. 1, that
view as expressed
squares with Thomas's
in reality,
truth in the intellect has a foundation
i.e., in a thing's esse.

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

323

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


one

of

name.
of an

them.

It

Again

he

animal,
is present

health

is from

this

the

that

receive

itself

are

said

is not

in primary fashion

truth is in the intellect


only in secondary
If we
intellect.

fashion

the

same

intellect

of truth

speak
primary

truth,

as

cundum

to which

each

theologiae, p.
aliquid praedicatur
rationem
propriam
Sed quando aliquid
propriam

as they
it exists
there

to be healthy.
If
or in urine,
some
of which

(see

and in things
to the divine

ordered

in the

intellect

are many

is likened

and

truths

there

in many
in one and
But

if we

by the one
to its own being.55

97. Note especially:


". . . sciendum
est quod,
eorum se
univoce de multis,
illud in quolibet
in qualibet
sicut animal
invenitur,
specie ani
se
dicitur analogice
de multis,
illud invenitur
in uno

rationem

according

one

1) that

article

(perprius)
are

the

truths may be present


Indeed, many
as it knows
insofar
different
things.
are true
in things,
all things
it exists

54
Summa
quando
cundum
malis.

insofar

speak of truth as
to its proper meaning,

fore according
different
intellects.

common

is said
"Healthy"
not
is
to say that
in an animal;
but it is from

in the medicine
really present
in
each
them
of
else
is present
by reason
thing
is a sign of health.54
and the other
produces
now recalls
Thomas
that he has explained

health

the

to the example
of health.
and of medicine.
This

turns

of urine,

else except
anywhere
of the animal
that the others

the health

others

eorum

tantum,

a quo

alia

denominantur.

non quod sanitas


et urina et medicina,
Sicut sanum dicitur de animali
sit
nisi in animali tantum, sed a sanitate animalis denominatur
medicina
sana,
et urina, inquantum
est illius sanitatis
est illius san
effectiva,
inquantum
For an interesting
of this text, and for
itatis significativa."
discussion
criticism
of Cajetan's
that whenever
the ratio propria
is present
reading
in only the primary
all other applications
of a corresponding
referent,
common name must be extrinsic,
see Ralph Mclnerny,
The Logic of Analogy.
An Interpretation
of St. Thomas
(The Hague: M. Nijhoff,
1961), 18-23, 30.
a reading
As Mclnerny
such as Cajetan's
will be hard pressed
indicates,
to distinguish
terms from metaphors
Note
analogous
(see pp. 22,144-52).
on p. 147: "What distinguishes
name
comment
the analogous
Mclnerny's
is this: those things which do not verify the proper notion
from metaphor
name are nonetheless
if less so, signified
of the common
properly,
by it
it can properly
and consequently
This seems close to,
suppose for them."
I have defended
the position
above,
i.e., that
though not identical with,
in things improprie,
when Thomas
he does not
says that truth is present
mean
in them in purely extrinsic
fashion and metaphor
that it is present
of Mclnerny's
For additional
development
ically said of them.
position
see his Studies
in Analogy
1968), ch. 2 ("Metaphor
(The Hague: M. Nijhoff,
and Analogy").
55
in particular:
Summa
"Si vero loquamur de
theologiae, p. 97. Note
veritate

ritate,

secundum

quod

cui unumquodque

est

in

rebus,

assimilatur

sic

omnes

secundum

sunt

suam

verae

una

entitatem."

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

prima

ve

324

JOHN F. WIPPEL
In sum,

Thomas's
continues
therefore,
position
in primary
and proper
fashion
in the
as they bear some relationship
insofar

is realized
things

only

to his

According
when we

take

later

the

truth

texts,

term

"truth"

we apply
that
things
only when
the presence
in things,
of truth
some
to an intellect
relationship

is said
in the

If the thing is understood


intellect

(improprie)

to such

applies

to be present
in the
sense
strict
(proprie),

intellect
in

and
As

for
as

in terms of its relationship

as

its measure,
a thing per se.

truth
If we

taken
consider

to

broadly
such a

thing in terms of its ability to be known by created intellects,


taken

in

intellect.

broadly
(improprie).
to them only
it applies
insofar
is included
in our understanding

the divine

serves

intellect,
to an

truth
and

term

of them.

which

to be that

truth

to

does apply
broadly
(improprie)
it, but only per accidens.
case truth taken as adequation
adds to such a thing or entity
a relationship
to intellect.
of a being
to a created
The relationship
In each

intellect
and

does

has

been

any

real

addition

is a relation
criticized

to the

being

in question

of reason.56

for

this
last-mentioned
holding
as
to
insofar
it is true is only
assigned
being
of reason,
ex
is this not to make
truth of being
purely
In De veritate,
art.
does state
that the
qu. 21,
1, Thomas

If the

relation

added

either

trinsic?57
relation

entail

to Thomas

according
Thomas

point.
a relation

not

a relation

can only be
to being
by truth or by goodness
But in justifying
his additional
claim that the

of reason.

56
See De veritate,
asks whether
q. 21, a. 1, where Thomas
explicitly
to being.
the good adds something
After distinguishing
different ways
in
which
on the third
may add to something
something
else, he concentrates
of these?one
in the order of reason alone, so
thing may add to another
is included in the notion (ratio) of one which
that something
is not included
in the ratio of the other.
The good cannot add anything
to being so as to
or restrict
contract
it to a given class.
Therefore
it can only add to it
that
to the order of reason.
While
the one adds a
something
pertains
to being, the true and the good are said of being pos
of division
negation
Therefore
of reason: ". . . unde non
itively.
they can only add a relation
addere
nisi
relationem
sit
rationis
tantum"
quae
possunt
(De veritate,
Leonine

ed.,

vol.

22.3,

p.

593).

57
For a good statement
see Aertsen, Medieval
of this objection
Re
on Truth, 10-11.
Aertsen
attributes
this weakness
in Thomas's
flections
to his restricted
of relation.
explanation
understanding
Accordingly,
Thomas
cannot appeal to a real relation
in this case because he views every
as falling within
real relation
the category
of relation,
as
and therefore
an accident which
inheres in a substance.
Aertsen
laments
the fact that
on the transcendentals,
in his doctrine
has not taken into account
Thomas
of a real transcendental
the possibility
relation.

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

325

TRUTH INTHOMAS AQUINAS


some

he offers

is nonmutual,
the being
relationship,
relation

In such a
precisions.
not really depend
upon
to
does not hold.
That

helpful
does

is related

which

but the converse


it is related;
in the case of truth?does
is related?the
intellect
the being
in question.
in some way upon the being
Thomas
illustrates
depend
to the relationship
and
between
science
this by appealing
(scientia)
to which

that

which

an object of scientific knowledge


the

upon

object,
of science

relation

the

object
to the

is only a relation
in all cases where

science
tinues,
fected.

Therefore
the

being
it is true

and what

measures

or perfects,

but

of

that
same

science depends
the

science.

the

to the
object
con
Thomas

holds,
as measure

and

of perfecting.58
as perfecting

text we may

this
as

The

and

that which

that
is per

are really
is perfected
related
the converse
does not obtain.

the true and the good add to the intelligible


relation
is viewed

From

is real;
object
of reason.
The

is measured

What

to that which

upon

depend

are related
things
or as that which
perfects

is measured,

which

(scibile). While
not

does

In other

content of
as

insofar

being

words,

intellect.

the

that

conclude

for Thomas

is only conceptually
related
to it.
If
that
related
intellect
is
while
really
it,
we were
that the relation
to stop here, we might
added
agree
by
we
relation
of
and
is only conceptual
truth to being
reason),
might
(a
as intrinsic
to being.
is no longer
fear that truth of being
regarded
insofar

thing
which

understands

if we

But

between
tween
mension
as

it is true

a being
or a
to the intellect

true

that

what

in mind

bear

which

measures

that which

and
and

perfects
Thomas
is introduced.

insofar

as

it is related
esse.

has

Thomas
that

holds

to the divine
as we

about

the

relation

or be
is measured,
is perfected,
another
di
a
that
is regarded
being

which

that which
also

said

intellect
seen

upon

which

it

from

have
other
for its very
texts,
This,
depends
to that which measures.
is measured
of that which
is a relationship
even
is a real relation,
this, we have now learned,
runs from a measure
is measured
to that which
which
And

ceptual.

Therefore

we

should

conclude

that when

we

though
is only

consider

that
con
truth

58
"scientia
De veritate, Leonine
ed., vol. 22.3., p. 593. Note especially:
a scibili sed non e converso.
relatio qua scientia
Unde
enim dependet
refertur ad scibile est realis, relatio vero qua scibile refertur ad scientiam
...
ut
est rationis
tantum.
alus quae se habent
Et ita est in omnibus
mensura
et perfectibile.
et mensuratum,
vel perfectivum
igitur
Oportet
entis addant respectum
perfectivi."
quod verum et bonum super intellectum

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

JOHN F. WIPPEL

326

to the divine
of a being's
relation
and
intellect
so
to
is
related
the
intellect.
viewed
divine
measure,
really
being
from that perspective,
of
when
viewed
entails
truth
being,
Therefore,
con
a real relation
not one that
to its divine measure,
is merely
of being

in terms

ceptual.59

(To be continued)

The Catholic University

of America

59
To this one might
object, what of the text cited from De veritate, q.
to that passage,
because
21, a. 1, at the end of note 56 above?
According
in positive
the true and the good are said (of being)
fashion,
they can only
answer
is of reason.
The simplest
is that there
add a relation which
to the relationship
himself
between
truth and any
Thomas
is restricting
on in that same article he comments:
A little farther
created
intellect.
ut philosophus
et
"verum enim est in mente
dicit in VI.
Metaphysicae,
ens in tantum dicitur verum
est conformatum
in quantum
unumquodque
verum ponunt
et ideo omnes recte definientes
vel conformabile
intellectui;
to
While
Thomas's
in eius definitione
intellectum."
focus here continues
to the nonmutual
be on truth of the intellect, his references
relations
be
tween a thing measured
and that which measures
have invited us to apply
a created thing and the divine
intellect.
this to the relation between

This content downloaded from 158.121.247.60 on Thu, 6 Nov 2014 04:46:49 AM


All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions