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Paweł M. Święcki

Appetite and intellect according to St. Thomas Aquinas

  • language: Polish


The subject of the paper is appetite and its role in human intellectual cognition. The analysis is based on St. Thomas Aquinas’ works, especially on his "Summa Theologiae" and "Quaestiones disputatae de veritate". Only intellect and will, powers of the rational part of soul, are considered. According to Aquinas, the presence of appetite on this level is not limited to free acts of will. Appetite can be found in the very structure of these powers – in both intellect and will there is a natural appetite, which inclines them to acting. These powers naturally desire: to cognize the truth, and the object of cognition as such. Consequently, there are three types of appetite that influence the acts of intellect: free acts of will, natural appetite of will, and natural appetite of intellect. Their essence, mutual relations, and their influence on intellect are discussed. It is shown that according to Aquinas the natural appetite of intellect and will enables any cognitive activity.


Keywords: Aquinas will intellect