Analysis and Critique of Aquinas's Argument of Contingency

Document Type : Research Paper


1 * Master's student, Philosophy Department, KhwārazmīUniversity

2 * Assistant professor, Philosophy Department, KhwārazmīUniversity


Contrary to some of his great commentator's belief such as Gilson, Aquinas hasn’t corrected the arguments of contingency given by Avicenna and Averroes, and he hasn’t even been fully aware of the differences between them. So, in the points of disagreement between them, Aquinas hasn’t entered into the discussion knowingly so that he can form a correct judgment or at least side with one of them thoughtfully.
His first argument is a combination of the arguments of Avicenna and Averroes which denotes his lack of knowledge about their philosophical principles. The same difficulty applies to his second argument according to one interpretation. Anyway, influenced by Averroes, Aquinas has drawn up his both arguments in two parts without knowing what had made Averroes to resort to that.
The use of the natural causes and effects in this argument and the application of impossibility of an infinite regress to them is also among its difficulties.


Main Subjects

-  Aquinas, T. (1923). Summa Contra Gentiles. book II, trans. the English Dominican Fathers. London. Burns, Oates & Washbourne.
-  Aquinas, T. (1911). Summa Theologica. Part1, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province. London. Burns, Oates & Washbourne.
-  Copleston, F. (1963). Aquinas. Baltimore. Penguin Books.
-  Craig, W. L. & Smith, Q. (1993). Theism. Atheism. and Big Bang Cosmology. NewYork. Oxford University Press.
-  Mackie, J. L. (1982). The  Miracle of Theism. NewYork. Oxford University Press Inc.
-  Nagel, E. (1976). "Philosophical Concepts of Atheism" in Critiques of God. Buffalo. Prometheus Books.
-  Palmer,M. (2002). The Question of God. NewYork. Routledge.
-  Reichenbach, H. (1951). The Rise of Scientific  Philosophy. Berkeley. University of California Press.
-  Russell, B. (1974). History of Western Philosophy. London. George Allen & Unwin LTD.
Resources written in Arabic / Persian
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-  Avicenna (Ibn Sina). Al-Shifa al-Ilhaiyyat (The book of healing: metaphysics). Qom: Ayatollah Mar‘ashi Najafi Library.
-  Avveroes (Ibn Rushd). (1993). Tahafut al-Tahafut (Incoherence of the incoherence). Introduction and commentary by Muhammad al-‘Arabi. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr.
-  Copleston, F.C.(1391 SH). A History of Philosophy, Agustinus to Scotus. Translated by: Ibrahim Dadju. Tehran: ‘Ilmi Farhandi Publication Company
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-  Gilson, E. (1384). Thomism: The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. Translated by: Seyed Ziyaʼuddin Dehshiri. Tehran: Hikmat.
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