Outside Speaker Series: "Nature as Substantial Form: Aquinas’s Sizeless Stretchable Souls"

Fr. Stephen Brock (Pontifical University of Santa Croce, Rome)

Date & Time:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


MHC 204 (Murray-Herrick)
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

Aquinas follows Aristotle in defining nature, taken strictly, as a thing’s primary intrinsic principle of motion and rest.  He also identifies nature, so defined, with the essential makeup of its bearer, and chiefly with the substantial form.  I sketch a rationale for this identification.  A subtle but key thesis of Thomas’s regards the indivisibility of substantial form.  He does not get the thesis from Aristotle; its wording is Augustine’s, and its thought is largely Albert’s.  But it seems to help clinch the afore­said identification.  I suggest that the topic’s history gives negative support to this judgment.

(aimed at upper level philosophy majors and minors)