Thomas Aquinas Research Paper

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Due to the centrality of God in his philosophy, Thomas Aquinas is dismissed as an “idol” in the project of Friedrich Nietzsche. Aquinas, according to Nietzsche, ­ builds his account of truth on religious presuppositions where “the effect of what is believed true is mistaken for truth” hence “falling entirely under the psychology of error” (Nietzsche). Aquinas treats religious doctrines as if they are outside the jurisdiction of reason. For Nietzsche, Aquinas mistakenly presents a view of the world that is neither objective nor able to be subjected to scientific analysis. These initial problems with Aquinas’ view noted by Nietzsche lead to contradictions in his positions. Nietzsche calls for a revaluation of all values, even after his assertion that we cannot perceive or know a phenomenon from the “outside” from an objective position, presents the problem that he then proceeds to do so in his work. Hence, his philosophy ultimately becomes either relativism or contradiction. For Nietzsche’s system to escape contradiction he must either admit to relativism, build a new epistemology, or recognize the same premises that systems such as Aquinas’ are built upon. Thus Nietzsche enters into the competition among other systems and validates the possibility of some other position’s correctness.
Aquinas takes the stance of asserting a single and objective standard of truth and right, judgment-truth as well as person-truth, is grounded in, the deepest truth which, according to the Bible, is God: “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14, 6). Though Aquinas does not argue that complete truth is divulged through reason alone, he does argue that human beings can discover the natural law through practical reason. Those who are able to re...

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...ns, he loses validity in his critique of objective thinkers such as Aquinas. His arguments’ inherent contradictions undermine his own assertions and do nothing to lessen the validity of objective claims to truth either. This is again not to agree with Aquinas, but to point out that Nietzsche is still working in a system correspondence in order to refute the correspondence theory of truth. Nietzsche’s primary contribution to ethical theory is the realization that we no longer truly believe in God, that we must confront the consequences of this moral and spiritual gap in our lives and look for something to replace Him. His writings contain criticisms of these new replacements such as skepticism, nihilism, feminism, democracy, utilitarianism and scientific positivism, but these criticisms I don’t believe justify the demarcation of ‘False’ by Nietzsche’s own standards.
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