Translation of The Twenty-Four Thomistic Theses


The Twenty four Thomistic Theses

Newly translated and annotated by

W. H. Marshner

Decree of the Sacred Congregation for Studies
July 27, 1914

1. Act and potency divide the set of beings in such a way that anything which “is” has to be either (1) pure act or else (2) a combination of potency and act, having these as the primordial factors within it.[1]

2. Since anything’s “act” is a completion it has, act is limited only by a potency which is the thing’s capacity for being completed.[2] Hence, in any order of being where there is a “pure act,” the pure act is unlimited and unique; but wherever an act is limited and has more than one instance, it is occurring in a genuine composition with potency.
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Addenda To “Metaphysical Personhood And The IUD”


Addenda to “Metaphysical Personhood and the IUD”

W. H. Marshner

October 3, 1974

1. Emergence

Fr. Joseph Donceel’s account of ontogeny might be read as presenting an organism which, without changing genetically, undergoes a series of holistic alterations which can best be described as “emergent shifts,” Such shifts are said to occur (by evolutionary theorists) when life, for example, “emerges” in matter previously non-living, or when sensation “emerges” in living matter previously non-sentient, or when consciousness “emerges” in animals previously non-conscious. Teilhard, indeed, seems to extend this series indefinitely, lumping such phenomena as thought, value, history, community, and even the contemporary Zeitgeist into the general category of emergent qualities. Continue reading “Addenda To “Metaphysical Personhood And The IUD””