Sine Thoma, Aristoteles mutus esset

Recently, I came across this gem, written by Petrus Hoenen in his Cosmologia (5th ed., 1956, p. 305). Hoenen, who obtained a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Leiden in 1912 (writing a dissertation on thermodynamics and studying under, among others, H. A. Lorentz), writes in this context against making form out to be a being, which is against the intention of Aristotle.

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The “Note XVII” to which Hoenen refers is titled: “On the error of reifying material forms.” A translation of the first paragraph:

The theory of Aristotle was perfectly understood by St. Thomas; indeed, to the point that he makes use of the clearest formulations even in the most remote deductions. Aquinas seems to have been the first one who fully understood the Stagirite; after so many ages, at last someone was found equal to the talent of Aristotle’s mind, such that through his clarity we too even now can easily understand the problem of the greatest import and the one most worth of metaphysical attentiveness: how a being is able to be intrinsically mutable.

Of course, we must also remember Ralph McInerny’s converse maximSine Aristotele, Thomas non esset.

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