Is the number six creator or creature ? Indifference of essences and exemplarism in Aquinas’ doctrine of creation. By Pasquale PORRO. Among the various quodlibetal questions of Aquinas’ first Parisian regency, we find one (Quodl. VIII, q, 1, a 1, Easter 1257) particularly interesting from a philosophical point of view, but under a title which, at first glance, conceals its true content: the number six, according to which it is said all creatures were realised, is it creator or creature? The reference is obviously to the six days of creation according to Genesis, and more specifically to the exegesis that St. Augustine had proposed in his De Genesi ad litteram (in particular IV, 7, 14); but, in actual fact, for Aquinas the article is a good occasion to resume and reorganise the Avicennian doctrine of the indifference of the essences that he had already used since the beginning of his production, for instance in his De ente et essentia. In Aquinas’ exemplarist conception, the essence or nature, insofar as it is thought by God, precedes its absolute consideration, its physical instances in singular realities, and the intelligible being it receives, through sensible experience, via the human intellect. In this way, Aquinas gives the impression of "re-Platonising" a theory that Avicenna had elaborated to circumvent the Platonist and Neoplatonic doctrine of universals (even though Avicenna himself had not abandoned a form of exemplarism with regard to the role of the intelligences). A final remark concerns the primacy of species over individuals, which Aquinas draws from his previous conclusion and states very clearly in the following article of the same quodlibetal question.

Le nombre six est-il Créateur ou créature ? Indifférence des essences et exemplarisme dans la doctrine thomasienne de la création

PORRO Pasquale
2018

Abstract

Is the number six creator or creature ? Indifference of essences and exemplarism in Aquinas’ doctrine of creation. By Pasquale PORRO. Among the various quodlibetal questions of Aquinas’ first Parisian regency, we find one (Quodl. VIII, q, 1, a 1, Easter 1257) particularly interesting from a philosophical point of view, but under a title which, at first glance, conceals its true content: the number six, according to which it is said all creatures were realised, is it creator or creature? The reference is obviously to the six days of creation according to Genesis, and more specifically to the exegesis that St. Augustine had proposed in his De Genesi ad litteram (in particular IV, 7, 14); but, in actual fact, for Aquinas the article is a good occasion to resume and reorganise the Avicennian doctrine of the indifference of the essences that he had already used since the beginning of his production, for instance in his De ente et essentia. In Aquinas’ exemplarist conception, the essence or nature, insofar as it is thought by God, precedes its absolute consideration, its physical instances in singular realities, and the intelligible being it receives, through sensible experience, via the human intellect. In this way, Aquinas gives the impression of "re-Platonising" a theory that Avicenna had elaborated to circumvent the Platonist and Neoplatonic doctrine of universals (even though Avicenna himself had not abandoned a form of exemplarism with regard to the role of the intelligences). A final remark concerns the primacy of species over individuals, which Aquinas draws from his previous conclusion and states very clearly in the following article of the same quodlibetal question.
Parmi les différentes questions des Quodlibeta de la première régence parisienne de Thomas d’Aquin, il s’en trouve une (Quodl. VIII, q. 1, a. 1, Pâques 1257) particulièrement intéressante du point de vue philosophique, mais sous un titre qui en dissimule, au moins au premier coup d’oeil, le véritable contenu : le nombre six, selon lequel on dit que toutes les créatures furent réalisées, est-il créateur ou créature ? La référence est évidemment aux six jours de la création selon le récit de la Genèse, et plus précisément à l’exégèse qu’en avait proposée saint Augustin dans le De Genesi ad litteram (en particulier IV, 7, 14), mais, en réalité, l’article est pour Thomas une bonne occasion de reprendre et réorganiser la doctrine avicennienne de l’indifférence des essences qu’il avait déjà utilisée dès le début de sa production, dans le De ente et essentia. Dans la conception exemplariste de Thomas d’Aquin, l’essence ou nature, en tant qu’elle est pensée par Dieu, précède sa considération absolue, ses instances physiques dans les réalités singulières, et l’être intelligible que la chose reçoit, à partir de l’expérience des choses sensibles, dans l’intellect humain. De cette façon, Thomas donne l’impression de “replatoniser” une théorie qu’Avicenne avait élaborée pour contourner la doctrine platonicienne et néoplatonicienne des universaux (même si Avicenne n’avait pas renoncé à une forme d’exemplarisme en ce qui concerne le rôle des intelligences). Une dernière remarque concerne le primat de l’espèce sur les individus, que Thomas tire de sa conclusion précédente et affirme très clairement dans l’article suivant de la même question quodlibétique.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/230767
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