Knowledge and Faith in Their Relation to Truth According to St. Thomas Aquinas Cover Image

Wissen und Glaube in Bezug auf die Wahrheit nach dem Hl. Thomas von Aquin
Knowledge and Faith in Their Relation to Truth According to St. Thomas Aquinas

Author(s): Marcin Sieńkowski
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Wydawnictwo Diecezjalne »Adalbertinum«
Keywords: knowledge; faith; truth; Thomas Aquinas

Summary/Abstract: The considerations provided by this article, based upon the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, are aimed at responding to the question: what is the role of truth in the relationship between knowledge and faith? Knowledge and faith are these intellectual activities of man which refer to truth. Both knowledge and faith see their goal in knowing truth. The main difference between them is that reason (knowledge) looks for truth in the natural world, while faith goes beyond this world and strives to capture absolute truth. The difference of objects makes the ways of acquiring them different too. The truth of the natural world can be discovered by the innate reason of man. The truth of the supernatural world requires the interaction of reason, will, and grace, which constitute the act of human faith. The starting point of searching for the ultimate truth can be, beside the revelation, the natural truth, which similarly to the natural world requires its own cause. The created truth is caused by the absolute truth which has no cause. The reason, which seeks for the truth in the world, is indispensable also in seeking for the transcendent truth. But to reach the supernatural truth it must exert some higher activities in addition to its faith (vision – visio, and comprehension – comprehensio). If the man has a reason, which is able to know the truth, the truth about himself as well, then, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, to know the ultimate truth is an objective of human intellectual activity. This truth makes that knowledge and faith capture their proper place in the cognitive efforts of man. The knowledge is able to lead him to the faith, and the faith, as an act of his reason, can not exist without knowledge. Therefore, truth that is discovered by reason determine the relation between knowledge and faith.

  • Issue Year: 14/2012
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 147-159
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: German