The Fifth Way (pt. 2)

The Fifth Way rests on the axiom that all order is from intelligence. Few commentators have noticed how central this claim is to STA’s work, though it is frequent and invariant from the beginning of his career to the end (search “ordinare” in the Thomistic index.) The axiom arises as a conclusion from several different lines of thought:

1.) Self-ordering is fundamental to any order, and anything self-ordering is intelligent.

2.) Order is a relation, and relations are only given to intelligence.

3.) Self order is a participated perfection that is proportionate to intelligence.

4.) Things that are not actual before they act cause things that are actual before they act; the former are intelligences, the latter are physical.


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