This is part of an ongoing series in which I read and interpret Thomas Aquinas’s SUMMA THEOLOGICA for butt joke aficionados. See this post for more information.
Let’s start with how the Summa’s organized. It’s broken into three large parts: Part I is mostly about God; Part II is mostly about morality; Part III is mostly about Jesus. Each part is broken down into several “questions,” and each question is broken down into several articles (which themselves are actually phrased as actual questions, so that’s kind of weird).
I’ll be looking at an article a week. Each article has a specific structure:
- a question, followed by
- several objections to Aquinas’s answer;
- (sometimes) an “On the Contrary” section, which provides a counterpoint to the objections;
- Aquinas’s answer, and finally
- his responses to the objections.
In other words, the objections to the answer come before the answer itself, sort of like when Fox News interviews a Democrat. I’ll break this stuff down piece-by-piece for you. Good? Good.
As a reminder: I’m doing this as a layman, from the English translation of the Summa that I have on hand. Anything I actually get right is purely coincidental.
FIRST ARTICLE [I, Q. 1, Art. 1]:
Whether, besides Philosophy, any Further Doctrine Is Required?