LIV Philosophical Meetings

Inteligence and Will in Thomas Aquinas


Intelligence and will play a key role in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. They are the most specific faculties in a person, and therefore modulate the best of the person's life, work and aim. They allow us to learn the truth and to love what is good. It's plenitude is also the maximum perfection of the act of being, for «to live is to be for the living» and «the act of the intellect is life». Divine intelligence and will are the origin of everything created and, therefore, truth and good are transcendentals, for all reality is commensurated with its provenance. For this reason, intelligence and will are in the nucleus of the history of philosophy, and Aquinas's contributions in Metaphysics, Ethics, Anthropology or Theory of Knowledge are closely linked to his thoughts on intelligence and will.

This aspect of Thomistic philosophy can be seen, on the one hand, in the most specific of Thomas's teaching. The analogy of the actus essendi and the diversity of categories are originated, for Thomas Aquinas, in God's own intelligence and will capacities. Besides, the character and richness of knowledge and moral life, as they are developed in Thomistic thought, lie also in intelligence and will. And the harmony between nature and liberty, between natural and supernatural order, between philosophy and theology, is possible thanks to the specifics of both faculties.

On the other hand, the importance of intelligence and will in Aquinas's doctrine arises too from the relevance both hold in the history of thought and, therefore, in the main controversies that Thomas had to face in his time, like the unicity of intellect and the immortality of the individual; the relation between philosophy and theology; or the character of moral perfection. Hence, historical perspective also helps understand Thomas Aquinas's contributions to our understanding of intelligence and of will.

The Department of Philosophy of the University of Navarra and Fundación Tomás de Aquino, organising bodies of these LIV Philosophical Meetings, invite Thomist scholars to present and debate their own contributions in this field.

When and Where?


April 2018, 26th-27th

Room 30, Central Building
University of Navarra

Contact information

Raquel Goñi
Central Building,
University Campus
31009 Pamplona

+34 948 425600 Ext: 802404