of the Week. Oct. 28th, 2002.
The Kids Philosophy Slam now features a
philosopher of the week. Included with this new offering is a
brief biography and famous quotes of the featured philosopher,
ideas for classroom discussions, and links to related philosopher
sites! There will be a new philosopher of the week each and every
week through March!
Aquinas (1225-1274 AD)
was born the seventh son of an Italian nobleman. His family wanted
him to join a group of monks called the Benedictines, but he wanted
to be a Dominican monk instead. When he ran away to join the Dominicans,
his brothers kidnapped him and brought him back. His family finally
allowed him to join the Dominicans. As part of the Dominicans,
Aquinas had the opportunity to study ancient Greek philosophers,
such as Plato and Aristotle. His goal became proving God’s
existence through reason, the tool of philosophy.
Before Thomas Aquinas, people believed
that faith in God was in conflict with philosophy. Aquinas, a
monk, set out to change that belief. He believed that Aristotle’s
"unmoved mover," a supreme being whose existence at
the beginning of time set the universe in motion, was the same
as the Christians’ God, who created all things. He believed
that without God there was no universe because "to take away
the cause is to take away the effect." Aquinas provided five
proofs that show the existence of God in his book Summa Contra
Gentiles. Aquinas also believed that all living things had
souls, and that people's souls had the ability to reason.
Classroom discussion questions.
• How would Aquinas have
answered the question: What is the meaning of life?
• How did Aquinas prove the
existence of God through reason?
• What might the universe
look like from the perspective of Aquinas?
For more information about
Thomas Aquinas follow these links:
If you have suggestions for the
Philosopher of the week, please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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