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Truth in Thomas Aquinas Author(s): John F. Wippel Reviewed work(s): Source: The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 43, No.

2 (Dec., 1989), pp. 295-326 Published by: Philosophy Education Society Inc. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20128871 . Accessed: 12/04/2012 01:24
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J. HOMAS aquinas that thing. better Truth truth consists

is well-known of an

Perhaps known than

adequation no discussion of this within that offered so, and in qu.

for having between

defended the intellect


view and a

(De veritate). of the adequation definitions.

Even intellect Most

his literary is corpus on 1 of his Disputed Questions in addition to describing truth as an he there considers a notion a number of truth he develops

a thing,

of other

importantly, be called

of being (what might

of the scholars ditions intellect have (what pointed the

be called "ontological
might out, nature and prior of truth

truth") along with truth

As various truth").1 time two general tra One known

"logical to Thomas's had truth


especially and Avicenna. The

is heavily to Aquinas


of mind adequation these traditions deeply see. But he could shall nitions the mind two of truth traditions as one might

emphasizes the writings of Augustine, through Anselm, more stresses truth as an other, Aristotelian, or truth of the intellect. and reality, of Both influenced and own thinking, as we Aquinas's a variety to of earlier did appeal defi his own view, and this suggests that to one another in Thomas's

appeared. already of being. It was

in developing were not think.2

so opposed

This is the first part of a two-part article which will be continued in the March 1990 issue of the Review of Metaphysics. 1 This terminology truth" and "logical is not ("ontological truth") but has long been used by later found in Thomas's themselves, writings of scholastic "St. See, for instance, R. J. McCall, philosophy. interpreters on Ontological 12 (1938): 9-29; J. Thomas Truth," The New Scholasticism "Le probl?me Vande Wiele, dans la philosophie de la v?rit? ontologique de 52 (1954): 521-71. saint Thomas," Revue philosophique de Louvain 2 on these two earlier traditions see Vande For historical background 522-27 (on Aristotle), 532-35 (on Avicenna), 527-31 (on Augustine), Wiele, and 543 for summarizing remarks. Vande Wiele neglects Unfortunately, Anselm's role as a source for the truth of things (ontological For truth).
Review Metaphysics of Metaphysics 43 (December 1989): 295-326. Copyright ? 1989 by the Review of

In order views book from on truth, to set this the paper stage will for closer with examination his on

of Aquinas's discussion dating truth




1, dist. 19, qu. 5 of his commentary 1 of this question In article about 1252.

the Sentences, he asks whether

is to be identified with the essence of a thing.3 In developing his three different kinds of things which reply Thomas distinguishes
terms may the mind; illustration or stones. from One type enjoys and total being outside signify. complete that is, independently from the mind's consideration. In Thomas such as human cites entities complete beings no reality A second in itself type enjoys independently for instance, dreams or chimeras. A upon As third the kind has in extramental for cites but depends reality, and formal realization. time. Each of these intellect's

the mind,

a foundation operation Thomas dation

its complete universals and


in extramental

or a universal Thomas

reality; to be universal, in this truth places

some foun enjoys but that which makes time to be time, upon an intellectual depends operation. third class.4

see M. J. Lapierre, In usage of Anselm's definition, "Aquinas' of Anselm's Definition of Truth," Sciences 18 terpretation eccl?siastiques zu Thomas von Aquin, Cf. A. Zimmermann, (1966): 413-41. "Bemerkungen 15 (1982): 247-61, esp. Mediaevalia 1,"Miscellanea Quaest. disp. De veritate on Truth. Medieval rei et 248-55; J. A. Aertsen, Reflections Adaequatio intellectus of Amsterdam, Nov. 9,1984), (Inaugural Address, Free University see the dissertation 5-6. Also Sein-Wahrheit-Wort. by R. B. Schmitz, von Aquin und die Lehre von der Wahrheit Thomas der Dinge (M?nster, Schmitz also refers to a Bonn dissertation 1984), 398-401. by W. Reiner in der Hochscholastik, des Wahrheitsbegriffes Die mann, Zur Problematik von mit dem Wahrheitsbegriff des Aquinaten Anselms Auseinandersetzung I have not seen. Canterbury (Bonn, 1928), which 3 "Utrum veritas sit essentia rei." Scriptum super libros Sententiarum, ed. P. Mandonnet (Paris, 1929), vol. 1, p. 484. For the dating of Thomas's I shall follow J. A. Weisheipl, works Friar Thomas d Aquino. His Life, With and Addenda D.C.: Thought and Works. Corrigenda (Washington, of America Catholic University Press, 1983). 4 In I Sent, remarks about this third class: p. 486. Note Thomas's autem sunt quae habent fundamentum in re extra animam, sed "Quaedam eorum quantum rationis ad id quod est formale, est per complementum enim est aliquid Humanitas animae, ut patet in universali. operationem cum non sit extra animam in re, non tarnen ibi habet rationem universalis, multis sed secundum in in communis; aliqua humanitas quod accipitur ei per operationem intellectus tellects adiungitur intentio, secundum quam . . Similiter est de tempore.. dico de veritate, dicitur species: et similiter in re, sed ratio eius completur per actionem quod habet fundamentum eo modo quo est." On this see intellectus, quando scilicet apprehenditur F. Ruello, La notion de v?rit? chez saint Albert le Grand et chez saint Thomas d Aquin (Louvain-Paris: B?atrice-Nauwelaerts, 1969), 179-227. Thomas's


if truth has a foundation in extramental Accordingly, an operation as truth its nature is perfected only through a thing as it really the intellect intellect?when is. grasps firmation Thomas cites the oft-quoted text from Aristotle's

reality, by the In con Meta

physics 6 to the effect that while

good not quite translation lation mediately physics existence thing's finds the of and evil say exist this,

truth and falsity exist in the soul,

Greek the medieval the Latin Thomas text does Latin trans im

in things. In fact, Aristotle's is given but this reading by the Arabic commentary which


of Averroes's

accompanied on the Metaphysics.5

goes beyond Aristotle, essence and existence are present more

however, (esse).

(esse) existence


and quiddity on the in a thing, truth is grounded so than upon its quiddity. Thomas this on a thing in the grammatical by reason assimilated fact of that its esse.

by appealing both Since

to his meta

a confirming name being the esse

for argument is imposed (ens) of a thing as

He adds that it is only through the operation of the intellect which

grasps relation Therefore, the view Given truth ments about that it is by becoming to that

thing that the relation of adequation


is completed.

And it is in this
consists.6 defending

that the nature of truth adequation (ratio) we already see Thomas in this earliest text, of truth as adequation. all

esse causes of this, Thomas concludes that a thing's to be present in the intellect. He also com that thing in the intellect in prior fashion the nature of truth exists in the thing. He recalls Aristotle's example of the

to its existence

see Metaphysics 6.4.1027b25-27: "for In I Sent, p. 486. For Aristotle, is not as if the good were true, and falsity and truth are not in things?it in in thought" in itself false?but the bad were (W. D. Ross translation ed. J. Barnes, vol. 2 [Princeton: Princeton The Complete Works of Aristotle, Press, 1984], 1623). But this is the reading given by the medieval University Averroes's of the Arabic which accompanied Latin translation commentary on the same. In VIMetaph. See Averroes, (Venice, 1562), vol. 8. fols. 151 vb 152ra: "Verum enim et falsum non sunt in rebus, sicut bonum et malum, sed sunt in cognitione." ut verum sit sicut bonum et falsum sicut malum, on this see fols. 152rb-152va. And if one may For Averroes's commentary on this same text, he must have own commentary judge from Thomas's this. See his In had a similar reading at hand at the time he prepared Aristotelis XII libros Metaphysicorum (Turin-Rome, 1950), bk. 6, expositio lect. 4, nn. 1230-1231. 6 In I Sent, d. 19, q. 5, a. 1, p. 486: "Cum autem in re sit quidditas eius in esse rei magis et suum esse, veritas fundatur sicut quam in quidditate, et in ipsa operatione et nomen entis ab esse imponitur; intellectus acci esse rei sicut est per quamdam similationem ad ipsum, completur pientis ratio veritatis." relatio adaequationis, in qua consistit

different the hot ways and the in which cold the and term

can be predicated. Thus "healthy" causes other account for the presence of is not said of these in primary "healthy"


in an animal; but fashion but of the animal, and of the others with only by analogy as it is predicated of an animal. truth is said in "healthy" So, too, fashion of truth of the intellect, and of a proposition insofar primary as the latter is a sign of the truth which is present in the intellect. as a thing causes It is only insofar truth to be present to the intellect

that truth

is said of the thing



(In developing

this point

Thomas also that a thing is said to be true because it is nat of its external a cor fitted by reason to produce appearances urally rect understanding of itself in the intellect. are And other things referred of their to as external "false" because appearances for they are naturally a false to produce something suited by reason of to be

themselves. gold are but

Consider, is not.)7


understanding which appears

Both kinds of truth?truth

reduced or traced back

of the intellect and truth of a thing?

as to their first principle. Therefore This

to God

is because God's being is the cause of all other being (esse) and his
understanding is the cause of all other knowing. he is

the first truth just as he is the first being, for each and every thing stands in relation to truth just as it does to being (esse). It is for
this reason, the and Thomas first true cause 2 that truth for truth continues, of being see that Aristotle is identical degree. shows with the inMetaphysics cause first of

to the maximum can

in it Thomas of being

in Aristotle

is interesting some a theory for finding of justification as well as a theory of truth of intellect.)8 (This passage

1 In I Sent, d. 19, q. 5, a. 1, p. 486. Note in particular: "Unde dico, secundum quod ipsum esse rei est causa veritatis, quod est in cognitione use of the example of health to illustrate how intellectus." For Aristotle's in different ways but always by reason of reference being can be predicated to a first, see Metaphysics 4.2.1003a33-b6. 8 see In I Sent, see Metaphysics For Thomas For Aristotle p. 487. causes derivative "so that which 2.1.993b26-31: truths to be true is most true. Therefore the principles of eternal things must be always most true; for they are not merely sometimes true, nor is there any cause of their are the cause of the being of other things, so being, but they themselves that as each thing is in respect of being, so is it in respect of truth" (Barnes Vande Wiele insists that there is no doctrine of on ed., vol. 2, p. 1570). truth in Aristotle, but while discussing tological this, he does not refer to de la v?rit? ontologique," the present passage On ("Le probl?me 522-25). that the truth Aristotle here has in mind the other hand, Reale emphasizes truth" and not the logico-epistemological is "ontological truth of which he


In sum, discussion. intellect Thomas Truth insofar as has in the the singled full and intellect's out three levels sense of a thing of their of truth

in this to the to

complete grasp

is assigned corresponds

that thing as it is in itself.

selves, sense other same truth the tion but only analogically,


is then assigned

to things them
to produce


capacity both

truth in the intellect.

is assigned things and


truth in the fullest and most perfect

he causes the being of all At the intellects. Thomas as reserves

to God the acts


it is clear time, sense in the full and primary It is here, apparently, intellect.9

of knowing of all other this discussion that from for it insofar


it is present in it best meets its descrip

as an adequation of the intellect and the thing known. to end our investigation If we were of Thomas's of truth theory at this point, a number of questions would remain unanswered. For instance, only tellect, (1) if, as Aquinas because analogically is truth formally here maintains, of their and ability truth to cause present is assigned truth to things in the in them


in things

selves or only in the intellect?

transcendental? merely formal as the cause and

(2) Is truth regarded by Thomas as

truth be assigned to God? or also in some in creatures, no mind or If there were (divine

sense may (3) In what of truth of intellect way? (4)


human), would

truth exist

in any way at all?

(5) If truth in the

sense has a foundation in a thing's being and in its existence so than in its quiddity or essence, more does essence play any (esse) truth? first operation?that role in grounding (6) Is the intellect's it forms and knows what are?sufficient concepts whereby things for one to grasp truth, or must and one move on to the order of truth intellect's so? second (7) Since thinkers, to do from

operation?composing Thomas cites a number

dividing?in of definitions


how does he fit them together?

Most metaphysics from the standpoint these questions of among important to answer in light of Thomas's and most difficult various

and See G. Reale, The Concept of First Philosophy speaks in 6.4, and 9.10. trans. J. Catan the Unity of the Metaphysics of Aristotle, (Albany, N.Y.: of New York Press, State University 1979), p. 40 and n. 114 (pp. 58-59). on Metaphysics from his commentary later discussion Cf. Thomas's much Aristotle's discussion Thomas of lect. 2, nn. 295-98. 2, brings together in bk. 6 (see note 5 above) by noting that truth of being with the discussion a thing's esse is the cause of the true knowledge the mind has of that thing (see n. 298). 9 to truth on the created This remark should be restricted level. See section 3 below for Thomas's of truth to God. application

discussions concerning I Sentences veritate, theologiae will shed tions qu. is the first. truth of of being, 1252, and In our we then effort shall to determine with his his

Aquinas's commentary treatments view on in De

begin in turn take

1 of 1256, Summa I of 1266.10



just to brief but

Although light on Thomas's raised, we shall devote explicit treatments

I (ca. 1259), and Summa gentiles same of these texts consideration to some of the other of this ques paper


subsequent of each of them.


1. Truth in the Intellect and Truth of Being

Text art. and 1: In I Sent, dist 1 of this text, Thomas applies to things in qu. 5, 19, qu. 5. As we have now seen, in the complete has indicated that truth to truth as it exists in the intellect. only they can ask whether as

sense perfect Truth is assigned

in the truth produce is formally and truth trinsic fashion. One from this text that

insofar only analogically, intellect. We may immediately intrinsically

or only in ex in things, present J. Vande Wiele, has concluded commentator, Thomas has transferred truth from the mind to

but only by extrinsic I take Vande Wiele to denomination. things, mean is not really this that truth in things.11 present by intrinsically can be gleaned more from Thomas's Nonetheless, something perhaps discussion As rected objection in qu. 5 concerning will the be recalled, is this: "Whether truth truth of being. to which art. 1 is di of a thing."12 The first answer to this of an affirmative definitions is that which of truth. is." And According according

question explicit is the essence

question to Augustine's

or argument in support harks back to two earlier Soliloquies, "the true

to another definition, apparently that offered by Philip the Chan cellor, "the true is the undividedness of being (esse) and that which
Friar Thomas dAquino, these dates see Weisheipl, 358-59, 362 63,359-60,361. 11 "Le probl?me de la v?rit? ontologique," 548-49. He reasons that terms are related to a primary term only by a relation of when secondary in question to the secondary of the notion reason, application analogates denomination. Such is true in the case of health and is only by extrinsic in the transferring such is also true, Vande Wiele of the notion of argues, to a thing. He stresses that the relation of things truth from the intellect to the human intellect is a pure relation of reason. 12 See note 3 above. 10 For


is."13 true Therefore, as insofar reason continues the objection, But (esse). each and


essence. sense by

it enjoys being since each Therefore, of truth, two

is everything is the act of being (esse) is true in the formal and everything are com it seems that truth and essence

identical.14 pletely Thomas proposes of all, the verb

esse may the ten

possible be taken

to this objection. replies in two ways: (1) insofar

First as the

term being (ens) signifies the essence of things as when being itself
is divided being into supreme genera to extramental reality); points a composition effected signifies by the soul; (in simpler or (2) insofar that as insofar terms, as the verb esse the intellect

is, when

judges by composing
(ens) as true in the second "that which

(or dividing).

When Aristotle

describes being

he is using inMetaphysics 5, continues Thomas, being to the true as So too, when refers way. Augustine is realized when that truth is," it is as if he were saying

it is said of that which

it is taken Chancellor as the Philip's

is. And the same may be said of truth when

of esse and words, that which in this In other is (as in sur rather

undividedness definition).15

13 see Soliloquia For Augustine II, c. 5. n. 8 (CSEL 89.56): "Ergo illud dico et sic defini? nee vereor ne definitio mea ob hoc improbetur, quod nimis For this see Philip's brevis est; nam verum mihi videtur esse id quod est." de bono, q. 2, ed. N. Wicki Summa 1985), vol. 1, p. 13: ". . . (Bern: Francke, esse et eius quod est." verum est indivisio Cf. p. 11. Philip's work (ca. In treatise on the transcendentals. the first medieval 1230) is apparently of truth, Philip views truth as a property which definition his preferred to an intellect: to being in itself, without "Verum any reference pertains see Vande Wiele, For discussion enim dicitur sine respectu ad intellectum." bei Thomas von Aquin "Die Transzendentalienlehre 535-38; J. A. Aertsen, und philosophischen in ihren historischen Motiven," Mis Hintergr?nden see the earlier 19 (1988): 94-95. Also cellanea Mediaevalia study by H. La 'Summa transcendentales. "Le premier trait? des propri?t?s Pouillon, 42 Revue n?oscolastique de philosophie de bono' du Chancelier Philippe," 40-77. (1939): 14 The final part of the objection In ISent, d. 19, q. 5, a. 1, pp. 484-85. dicitur verum, secundum quod habet esse. Esse reads: "Ergo unumquodque veritate formaliter autem est actus essentiae. Ergo cum unumquodque et essentia." idem sit veritas sit verum, videtur quod omnino 15 ". . .dicendum, In I Sent, p. 488. Note especially: quod esse dicitur rerum prout ens significat uno modo secundum essentiam quod dupliciter: com dividitur per decem genera; alio modo secundum quod esse significat text. V Metaph., anima facit; et istud ens Philosophus, quam positionem cum elicit quod verum est id verum. Et similiter Augustinus, 14, appellat quod est; quasi dicat: Verum est quando dicitur de eo quod est; et similiter For est indivisio esse et eius quod est." intelligitur quod dicitur: Verum see Metaphysics 5.7.1017a 31-35. Aristotle

prising tioned move, Thomas Even proposes though to reinterpret seems each

the two to last-men truth of


to refer

being, he suggests
tellect. On the other

that we might
hand, Thomas counter that

shift its focus to truth of the in

proposes a second

possible reply. the definitions in question refer not One might simply as to truth taken in its complete insofar but only to truth meaning, in reality. in or has a foundation to either it is grounded According in his view that Thomas here remains then, unwavering approach, truth in the complete and primary sense is truth of the intellect.16

brings out more

reply to the second objection

fully his understanding one

is helpful

in that he

of the relationship of them can

truth and being.

really without without even


to that objection,

if things differ either

be understood be understood does not differ

or even merely conceptually, But the essence the other. its truth. Therefore, from its truth.17 counters another that Thus sense, one being because that may cannot (esse) the

of a thing cannot essence of a thing the claim be that

conceptually In reply, Thomas without be understood ways. is held the true It may mean


interpreted be understood cannot cannot

thing cannot in two different the other without at all


to exist. in this

be understood be understood


another without being usage

it is also
way, also without Thomas


or true.

But this might

even we think cannot

be taken
of one thing of human second


as meaning that we of the other. thinking also thinking

cannot Thus can


of animal. that we

acknowledges of it as true; but the converse being without thinking as true without we cannot think of something also

According understand

to this

or think does

of a

not hold? of it as


a being. From this Thomas concludes that being (ens) is the intel If this text suggests that lect's first conception.18 Truth is not.

16 "Vel potest dici, quod definitiones istae dantur de vero non secundum sed secundum sui rationem, illud quod fundatur in re" (p. 488). completam 17 In I Sent, p. 485. Note the conclusion of the argument: "Ergo es sentia rei et veritas non differunt ?eque re neque ratione." 18 In I Sent, p. 488: "Dupliciter enim dicitur aliquid non posse intelligi sine altero. Aut ita quod unum non possit intelligi si non ponatur alterum esse; et sic dicitur quod esse non potest intelligi sine vero, sicut etiam non sine hoc quod est esse intelligibile. Sive ita quod quan potest intelligi unum, intelligatur intelligitur documque alterum, sicut quicumque intelligit


there is a conceptual distinction to deal it also appears truth as it exists in fact in the does to truth 2 of this between directly intellect. some the with being truth

of a thing and of being rather leads us to suspect to truth of being, all

its truth, than with that



not merely In art. are the true

assign of the intellect. same


by reason nature of truth

question of the uncreated involves both

Thomas truth.

asks whether As

act of apprehension cause. entity exists

on the part Thomas in its own sense, and

a thing's of a cognitive insists

things he again reminds us, existence and an (esse) Both of these power. that

are to be traced back to God as first efficient and first exemplar

Nonetheless, participates in the formal also both existence every Hence exist created every particular it created that (esse) whereby intellect partici is one divine


in its own light by which

by the uncreated all other of which each

it judges correctly, a light which

light. there


exemplated by reason cause. there


are true which all other things divine?by cause. as they depend and efficient insofar upon it as their exemplar reason truths in created there are also many things by Nonetheless, sense is said to be true in the formal of which each (formaliter).19 in mind have In saying this, does Thomas He has concluded that truth of the intellect? in created of his be things by reason of which each truth there of being are many or only truths In light therefore, intellect.

Nonetheless, is one truth?the

things creature has

as dependent their upon its own esse as well. So too,

is true



one might that argue discussion, as it exists to truth his conclusion

formally. he must, in the

sed non

e converso:

quia verum

Et hoc modo
non est

'esse' potest

sed ens

sine vero,
in ratione

in ratione

. . . Unde etiam patet quod ens est prima conceptio intellectus." 19 ". . .nihilominus Note In ISent, in particular: tarnen pp. 491-92. res particip?t suum esse creatum, quo formaliter est, et unus quaelibet intellectus lumen per quod recte de re iudicat, quod quisque particip?t . . . Unde dico, quod sicut est a lumine increato. quidem est exemplatum unum esse divinum omnia sunt, sicut a principio effectivo quo exemplari, est diversum res tarnen in rebus diversis nihilominus esse, quo formaliter veri.
est; ita etiam est una veritas, scilicet divina, qua omnia vera sunt ... ;

verae sunt plures veritates in rebus creatis, quibus dicuntur of Thomas's On the significance remark about every thing in its created esse whereby it exists in the formal sense for participating see my "Thomas Aquinas his metaphysics of participation, and Partici in Studies in Medieval ed. J. F. Wippel pation," Philosophy, (Washington, of America D.C.: Catholic University Press, 1987), 144-48. nihilominus formaliter."

On such the other hand, no such reading restriction seems

stated. is explicitly to be offset by his reply Moreover, to the first

a restricted

objection. That many tained

contests claim Thomas's that there are directly objection as Thomas It points has main truths. himself created out, in the preceding that true is predicated article, analogically

of the various predicated

numerically healthy Therefore things as

things in which truth is present just as health is analogically of healthy things. But there is really only
one health of which by reason of health, and urine there is only offers one an animal as truth is said to be its sign, and so forth. all other by which

the subject that it seems said


to be true.20 Thomas one He of his most that interesting

to this In replying early texts on analogical be predicated analogically may

predication. in any one of three ways. but


may something The analogy (1) to the the order notion of of

of meaning alone to the order apply as in the case of health. existence (esse),




is predicated


of different


in terms of

order of applies only of existence; for the perfection is health meaning, in one analogate, the animal. The analogy realized only (2) actually but not to the order of meaning. to the order of existence may apply posteriority, not to the order analogy This in the same mean different share equally when things happens even though the perfection signified by the common ing or intention, in the same way in the different analo term does not enjoy being In the order Thomas offers of meaning a very to the one does not have analogy but insofar uni as medieval

to the

gates. vocity.


it is said of terrestrial
analogy both

and of celestial


(3) Finally,
and and the order accident. are

of It said

may apply as when existence, being (ens) is said and that is in this way truth, goodness, of God and creatures. Hence analogically must be present in God

of meaning of substance all such


by such names their existence because subjects truths, truth


the perfections in creatures

signified in terms of

in varying of perfection. And degrees (esse), though cannot in different be present and similar perfections to only one existence be distinct (esse), there must according and thus, many truths.21

20 In I Sent, p. 491. 21 In I Sent, p. 492. Though the text is too long to permit introduces the three kinds of analogy here, note that Thomas

full citation as applying


This ion of God well But, as we text and indicates that


in God. may here it seems

if truth is predicated in analogical fash as it is intrinsically in creatures creatures, present truth differs from health. In this respect, therefore, Thomas apply this conclusion to truth of

ask, would answer clear this

being or only to truth of the intellect?

perhaps wish, well. enough would question that

Though Thomas

does not

as explicitly quite he does not restrict

as we might his claim to

truth of the intellect.

Still, Thomas qualifications


is intrinsically
endorse it would this seem,

such as

in things as
without some the difference


or distinctions, to which of this he will below.

proprie), see more Some Thomas's truth inition

truth taken strictly

(proprie) and truth taken broadly (im

in later writings.22 But we shall



reply is a kind of truth

for this be found in may support reading to the second objection. to that objection, According or rightness of rectitude Anselm's def (rectitudo). can be grasped as "rectitude which only by the mind" But it seems if one time serves that as the measure for all truth there to is to follow is only one as their measure. Hence there truths.23 as the objection implies,

is clearly temporal which all no need

intended. things, true things to hold reply that

correspond there are many

In his



"vel secundum intentionem tantum, et non secundum esse," "Vel secundum esse et non secundum et and "Vel secundum intentionem intentionem," is of concern to us, he As regards the third kind, which secundum esse." in intentione "et hoc est quando neque parificatur continues: communi, et accidente; et de talibus in esse; sicut ens dicitur de substantia neque eorum communis habeat oportet quod natura aliquod esse in unoquoque rationem maioris sed differens secundum vel minoris de quibus dicitur, Et similiter dico, quod veritas, et bonitas, et omnia huiusmodi perfectionis. suum Unde oportet quod secundum dicuntur analogice de Deo et creaturis. esse omnia haec in Deo sint, et in creaturis secundum rationem maioris cum non possint esse secundum ex quo sequitur, et minoris; perfectionis unum esse utrobique, veritates." On this text see B. quod sint diversae La doctrine de l'analogie de l'?tre d'apr?s saint Thomas d'Aquin Montagnes, Publications Universitaires, 1963), 60-61, and his reference (Louvain-Paris: "En torno a un famoso texto de santo to J. Ramirez, for fuller treatment 8 (1953): 166-92. sobre la analogia," Tom?s Sapientia 22 For this see our discussion below of texts from De veritate, Summa I. contra gentiles, and Summa theologiae 23 c. 11: "Possumus, see De veritate, For Anselm igitur, nisi fallor, sola perceptibilis." See S. Anselmi definir? quia veritas est rectitudo mente t. 1, vol. 1 ed. F. S. Schmitt, Cantuariensis Opera Omnia, Archiepiscopi as presented p. 191. For the objection Constatt, 1968), (Stuttgart-Bad by see In I Sent, p. 491. Thomas

that the truth note is a kind of measure nature

of rightness and commensuration. Therefore must within be included the nature of truth. of truth a is to be perfected, it must include to an intellect. But different things to different intellects. the Because every things, for everything writes created thing is measured veritate

if the Hence, commensuration stand divine must by been related

of a thing

in different intellect be measured

relationships is the cause of all other by the divine Accordingly, the divine as things. by

intellect, Anselm

its first

principle. within

in his De

that a thing is said to be true when

ordered to our from intellects such causes Our

it fulfills that to which

But our created intellects does not since

it has


are things take their measure

knowledge but things measure are


is measured


From all of this it follows that the divine

which is not measured and they second measures,

(by that

is the first
the things divine

else. by anything are also measured


does as

The human
of truth;


is measured

(by its objects),

there measures


not measure.


one first measure there

just are many he also concludes created things. Accordingly, a are many because truth involves there that truths, presumably an intellect and there are many between and a measure, relationship even measures. In fact, he adds, if there were created only one of for it would still not follow that there is only truth, is not a measure but a commensuration truth itself commensurations many instance, to the divine fashion For one or

concludes, therefore, but there are many second

is only

measure truth;

There could be different adequation. to one and the same measure.25 things creatures would be related in different

in different different intellect.

24 see the whole 7 in of chapter For Anselm In I Sent, pp. 492-93. 185-86. his De veritate, Schmitt ed., 25 est divinus "Sic ergo intellectus In I Sent, p. 493. Note especially:
ut mensura surata; prima, intellectus non autem mensurata: noster est res autem est mensura et non mensuratus secunda, mensurans." men For

see J. McEvoy, more on Thomas's of measure "The Divine understanding as the Measure in Studies of Being in Platonic and Scholastic Thought," see in note 19), 107-13, esp. 110-11. in Medieval Also Philosophy (cited et l'existence the general d'un study by G. Isaye, La th?orie de laMesure 16.1 (Paris: Beau maximum de Philosophie selon saint Thomas, Archives E. P. Mahoney, Foundations of the Hierarchy chesne, 1940); "Metaphysical to Some Late-Medieval of Being According and Renaissance Philosophers," and Medieval, ed. P. Morewedge in Philosophies Ancient (New of Existence York: Fordham Press, 1982), 169-72 (with richly documented University



This text is interesting in that it seems to offer two focal points which justify one in assigning truth to being. A created being may
be as measured regarded by And truth of being. enjoying to be understood of its ability intellect. In art. many the divine it may as and therefore intellect, as true because also be regarded to produce truth truth of being. in a created

by and

it enjoys therefore, Again, 3 of this same question Thomas asks whether He replies that because eternal truths. the nature through in a thing's from one's existence an act esse, view of of the one's about intellect, about and because view



of truth truth is

is completed grounded will the one one There The follow eternal eternal eternal

the eternal Since


the eternity of truth of things existence and that there he holds is only is only truth.

esse, the divine, He goes truth.

he quickly concludes that there on to say the same of immutable and totally is mutable, immutable at least

is only one completely esse of all other things

the divine. being, in the sense that if

left to fend for themselves, speaking, they were ontologically they no truth as found in creatures would be nothing. is ab Therefore, if we speak Thomas of truth necessary. Moreover, adds, solutely as its nature no in of the intellect, is perfected insofar by reason immutable of its nature the divine. tellect and is eternal except Even truth eternal that so, much of being of Thomas's discussion the eternal here has been directed or the non to (esse), whether and truth of creatures. of God being to be assuming he seems Again or created, to being, whether in divine nature its complete and perfect though of some intellect.26 move forward a few

being truth is to be assigned even some intrinsic fashion, an operation veritate, to qu. 1 of the De 2: De

requires Text years,

on the part qu. veritate

1. With of 1256.

this we While

the whole

of question

zu Erkenntnis als Massverh?ltnis bei Ar notes); H. Seidl, "Bemerkungen von Aquin," Miscellanea 16.1 (Berlin istoteles und Thomas Mediaevalia New York, 1983), 32-42. 26 In I Sent, pp. 495-96. Note especially: "Unde sicut esse unum tan tum est aeternum, ita una tantum veritas. scilicet divinum, Similiter de est quod de mutabilitate mutabilitate veritatis idem dicendum essendi. . . . Quorumdam vero esse est mutabile solum secundum vertibilitatem in nihil, si sibi relinqueretur; et horum veritas est per similiter mutabilis in nihil, si sibi relinqueretur." vertibilitatem On this see A. Maurer, St Thomas and Historicity Press, Marquette (Milwaukee: University 1979), and Eternal 32 Studies 23-32; also his "St. Thomas Truths," Mediaeval (1970): 91-107.

1 is directed
Thomas begins for first

JOHN F. WIPPEL to truth, article

his response in the

1 explicitly

asks: "What

is truth?"

between the need by drawing to demonstration order of things principles subject in the order of conceptu which is first and the need for something as most known the intellect first conceives But that which alization. and into which states it resolves all its other conceptions is being (ens), as all Therefore some addition to

a parallel

Avicenna other

being. ing can added that

conceptions This seems be added to a genus

at the beginning of the intellect to present

of his Metaphysics. must arise from As

to being or an accident

a problem. from without


in the way The

puts it, noth a difference is

superadded anything within included being any such nature ments, be share in being. He also

to being

to a subject. in such fashion as Thomas be added from

is implication not actually would com itself claim in

itself; but, that might draws

immediately to being must Aristotle's

support cannot that being be a genus.27 the Metaphysics that something From this Thomas concludes sense

can be said of being may

to add which in is are

in the that to being it expresses only itself. This is not expressed the name "being" by It may two different be that the mode which ways. or special mode some more of being. particularized to which of entity, the different according degrees of being the ten other mode themselves supreme are derived. genera, substance may Corresponding and the nine to add

a mode


is expressed Thus there different

modes are the

to these modes accidents. On

hand, which

something is not more

be said

to being



a by expressing in extension) than

27 references ed., vol. 22.1, pp. 4-5; all subsequent Opera Omnia, Leonine see his Liber de philosophia For Avicenna for De veritate are to this edition. E. Peeters, 1977), pp. 31-32. prima I, c. 5, ed. S. Van Riet (Louvain-Leiden: von see Aertsen, bei Thomas "Die Transzendentalienlehre For discussion and Creature. Thomas Aquinas's Nature 92-95; Aertsen, Way of Aquin," "L'id?e de transcen Thought (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1988), 144-47; S. Breton, chez Saint Thomas in dental et la gen?se des transcendentaux d'Aquin," "The Saint Thomas d'Aquin (Paris, 1963), 45-74; M. Jordan, aujourd'hui on the Transcendental," of Esse: Re-reading Thomas The Tho Grammar der Transzen mist 44 (1980): 1-26; H. Seidl, "Die aristotelischen Quellen von Aquin, De ver, q. 1, art. 1," Philo bei Thomas dentalien-Aufstellung For Aristotle's denial that being 80 (1973): 166-71. sophisches Jahrbuch Note how Thomas summarizes is a genus see Metaphysics 3.3.998b22ff. this thinking: "Sed enti non possunt addi aliqua quasi extranea per modum natura additur generi vel accidens quo differentia subiecto, quia quaelibet est essentialiter ens" (p. 5).



as being or, as Thomas is as general itself, but which being phrases which follows upon every being.28 it, Thomas goes on to argue that there are five distinct modes which as being are as broad itself or, to use non-Thomistic in extension there are five transcendental language, such a general mode follow upon may as that being is in itself, or insofar being else. If it follows may upon every being the mode about properties any being is in relation as that that being of being. insofar Thus as that


to something is in itself, being either affirma the essence refer upon from to any every itself.


tively or negatively. of the being, and being as

something If affirmatively,

the mode to its essence

(2) one, or unity.29 by as the being upon every being only insofar to something in two different this also may happen is in relation else, as it is viewed as follow upon a being The mode may insofar ways. In this case we may from every other being. refer to it as divided is expressed If the mode follows the name (3) "something" "what" another described to as Or can to or as one meaning (aliquid), aliud quid). (quasi insofar as insofar follow with as that it is, as it were, thereby In other words, if a being is it is not divided from itself, it is referred it is divided every being else. from insofar Thomas other being. every as it is conformed argues that this

being This mode

corresponding The negation which follows (1) a thing (res). or in itself is its undividedness taken absolutely

expresses we may

"something" the mode may in agreement


happen in agreement istotle writes in the soul

to which it belongs to be only by with the soul. Thus Ar else, specifically, everything that the soul is in a certain all things.30 fashion But there is both

something reason of something

a cognitive and an appetitive When power. as in agreement we consider with of the appetitive power any being it as (4) good. And when we consider it the soul, we may describe

28 De

sit modus

p. 5.


in particular:
consequens omne

"Alio modo
ens . . ."

ita quod modus

29 "non autem De veritate, invenitur p. 5. Note especially: aliquid affirmative dictum absolute quod possit accipi in omni ente nisi essentia eius secundum quam esse dicitur, et sic imponitur hoc nomen res, quod in in principio Metaphysicae, hoc differt ab ente, secundum Avicennam quod ens sumitur sed nomen rei exprimit vel es ab actu essendi quidditatem omne ens absolute autem consequens est indivisio, sentiam entis; negatio et hanc exprimit hoc nomen unum: nihil aliud enim est unum quam ens


30 De


p. 5.

For Aristotle

see De



as we in agreement may refer is the with to fact the cognitive it as (5) true.31 that Thomas has power Of now of the immediate introduced

soul?the interest truth So far or intellect? to us, of as a prop in this text is

course, erty

of being or, if you will, there is no suggestion that Thomas

as a transcendental. truth taken formally


similation assimilation

to truth of the intellect.

immediately of a knower is said observes that to something to be the cause an as involves knowledge so much so that such known, of knowledge. as an But the first

relation of being to intellect

This agreement or conformity

is that it be conformed
is known

to the intellect.
of the

adequation truth adds

intellect and the thing.

is formally perfected. it is this conformity the

If we

it is in this that the nature of truth

therefore, of thing what and to being, intellect.

Knowledge follows while the thing conformity. Therefore, of a thing is prior to truth, knowledge is an effect of truth.32 entity In this context to be concentrating on truth of Thomas appears In any event, he has begun with truth so understood. And being. now he has distinguished three moments, in the order of nature, I of assume, a thing if not necessarily in the order of time. First, or entity. there is the added note Secondly, there is simply of conformity

ask, or adequation such upon

of being to an intellect
nally, the intellect. thing?that has written. and there is the

(or adequation

of intellect and thing).

of the on


resulting It is in the

the part of knowledge thing second moment?adequation of intellect the nature of truth is formally Thomas perfected, could be taken as referring yet that conformity of any created to the divine or to entity intellect, to produce of itself in a human ability knowledge


to the adequation a created entity's intellect, or entity these

or to the adequation of the human with intellect any being it understands. Thomas does not exclude any of Though or adequation of taking of thing and intellect, ways conformity

in his explicit discussion

of truth in this text he has at least begun

31 De veritate, p. 5. Note in particular: ". ad intellectum hoc nomen verum." exprimit 32

De veritate, pp. 5-6. ". . . prima ergo

. . convenientiam
comparatio entis

vero entis
ad intel

lectum est ut ens intellectui quae quidem concordia concordet, adaequatio et rei dicitur, et in hoc formaliter intellectus ratio veri perficitur. Hoc est conformitatem ergo quod addit verum sive adaequa super ens, scilicet tionem rei et intellectus, ad quam conformitatem, ut dictum est, sequitur rei: sic ergo entitas rei praecedit rationem veritatis sed cognitio cognitio est quidam veritatis effectus."


with the second with (and by implication truth of being.33 attempts the first), to coordinate it would seem,






of these


known now formal notes,

he has just distinguished

to him. Corresponding truth is defined (ratio) refers

with earlier definitions

in which, is prior of that as which

of truth
as he to its

to the first moment in terms


and which


its foundation, as the

is Au



in his Soliloquies:
to the truth

truth is "that which

"proper the


So it is
un and

too, Avicenna from named this same

of a thing it has the been

teristic of its being which

Philip that which is."34 Corresponding truth is formally perspective the Chancellor

has been established

that as "undividedness

for it." And

by still of being the nature now,


to the


moment?in which

which Thomas is the


incorrectly, thing and an intellect." of truth as does rectitude this, Thomas Anselm's

perfected?is to Isaac ascribes Thomas which he

a definition Israeli:




also places be perceived

of a adequation here Anselm's definition by the mind alone.


ing to this moment we speak the true when not to be."35

as it appears rectitude because in explains, a kind of adequation. Also implies correspond is Aristotle's statement in Metaphysics 4 that "what is is said to be or what is not is said

33 This should occasion no surprise, of course, since in this context he which is dealing with general properties follow upon every being. 34 De veritate, to Augustine see For references and Philip pp. 5-6. see Liber de philosophia note 13 above. For Avicenna prima VIII, c. 6, ed. S. Van Riet (Louvain-Leiden: E. Peeters, is 1980), p. 413. Here Avicenna the necessary truth: discussing being (God) and its perfections, including esse est veritas; veritas enim cuiusque rei est "Quicquid autem est necesse est ei; igitur nihil est dignius esse ver sui esse quod stabilitum proprietas itatem quam necesse esse" (Italics mine.) 35 De veritate, pp. 5-6. "Alio modo diffinitur secundum id in quo for et sic dicit Ysaac quod 'Veritas est adaequatio maliter ratio veri perficitur, et Anselmus rei et intellectus,' in libro De veritate 'Veritas est rectitudo sola mente enim ista secundum perceptibilis',?rectitudo adaequationem et Philosophus dicit IV Metaphysicae dicitur?; quandam quod diffinientes verum dicimus esse quod est aut non esse quod non est'." 'cum dicitur J. T. Muckle out his inability to find the definition of pointed originally no one else has managed truth as adequation in Isaac Israeli, and apparently to do so. See "Isaac Israeli's Definition of Truth," Archives d'Histoire et litt?raire du Moyen Age 8 (1933): 5-8. Also see Aertsen, Me doctrinale on Truth, 6. For Anselm's dieval Reflections text see note 23 above. For see Metaphysics Aristotle 4.7.1011b25-28.

Finally, terms: "the corresponding true is that which to the third moment?the or manifests


that results from it?truth Augustine

which judge Of ment, that inferior the

is defined by Hilary

of Poitiers

in these
and by

in his De vera religione:

and also: "Truth things."36 definitions offered truth's nature to

is that

is that whereby
according to which


is is shown";

in which ascribed

by Thomas definition

as corresponding to the second mo is formally the first two? perfected, Isaac and that offered by Anselm?


be applied

to truth of being and not merely

taken from Aristotle,

to truth of the
is clearly



to truth of the intellect.


in replying

to the first

as he had already in the corpus, Thomas done suggests, objection, first-mentioned that Augustine's definition of truth as "that which is" might not an to intellect. be taken its nature as referring as perfected be Or it might in his in reality, foundation an adequation of a thing to through as Thomas much had reinterpreted only on I Sentences so as to refer to truth's




not to a thing's act of being (actus essendi) but only to the being In produced by the intellect when it judges (composes and divides). other words, itmight be shifted from truth of being to truth of the
intellect.37 On that as to add larized being Again, what the to objection in replying other writes 4, Thomas hand, is a characteristic of being but not so entis), (dispositio nor so as to express a more to it a distinct nature particu


mode even

Truth is something which is present in every of being. name "being."38 not explicitly it is though expressed by the we may Thomas would in mind have us bear that presume, adds

or conformity to being of adequation is a relation on truth of being. to an intellect, and here the focus is again Since much in qu. 1, art. 1 has to do with of the discussion truth wherever with is found and therefore, being ask which truth of being, we may

are present which properties so far as truth is concerned,

see his De Trinitate For (PL 10.131). veritate, p. 6. For Hilary c. 36 (PL 34.151/CCSL c. 31 see De vera religione, 32.230-31); Augustine is completely literal. None of these citations 32.225). (PL 34.147/CCSL 37 from the second solution: "Vel dicendum De veritate, p. 6. Note ibi secundum quod cum dicitur verum est id quod est, li est non accipitur com actum essendi sed secundum quod est nota intellectus quod significat . .ut sic in scilicet affirmationem significat. propositionis prout ponentis, cum diffinitione idem redeat diffinitio Augustini supra inducta." Philosophi
38 De veritate, p. 7, "Ad quartum. . . ."

36 De


is primary, in things. truth as it exists can this in the intellect or truth answer as

it is present

In light on / Sentences, we plicitly considers

of Thomas's


treatment his

in his

anticipate easily 2. issue in article

commentary ex He here.

it to be present in the others. in prior fashion it is predicated of that in which its complete Rather, nature For instance, and perfect is first realized. is said "healthy" in prior fashion because it is in an animal of an animal that the and perfected complete even though medicine duces health. the So too, in which nature is said the is first realized; of health this is so or pro to be healthy it causes because true must be said in prior fashion of that

of different is predicated something and priority, it does not necessarily causes fashion of that which prior

that when replies to posteriority things according follow it is predicated in that


nature of truth is first realized. The perfec complete or operation in the terminus tion of any motion is present of that of a cognitive Therefore the motion is present in power operation. the soul; for what is known must be in the knower to the according mode of the knower. Consequently, as insofar except is present in an it is adequated in prior intellect a thing to an intellect. fashion, is not said to be true the true only in


Therefore, in things

fashion.39 posterior Thomas immediately to theoretical and

knowledge the practical intellect. causes intellect and measures is in a certain serve by way as measures the divine measured

this qualifies as distinguished In the things. by the of our case





from practical knowledge of practical the knowledge, But the speculative intellect it knows. they And if these are also themselves


things measured



39 See p. 8 for the statement of the question: "Secundo quaeritur utrum inveniatur in intellectu quam in rebus." For Thomas's principalius see p. 9. Note in particular: ". . . et quia bonum, sicut dictum response verum autem dicit ordinem entis ad appetitum, ad in est, dicit ordinem dicit in VI Metaphysicae inde est quod Philosophus tellectum, quod bonum et malum sunt in rebus, verum autem et falsum sunt in mente. Res autem non dicitur vera nisi secundum unde per quod est intellectui adaequata, invenitur in rebus, per prius autem in intellectu." posterius veritas
40 De intellectus veritate, noster p. 9. ". . . ex accipit, scientiam quo patet mensurant quod res naturales, a quibus . nostrum intellectum . .

sed sunt mensuratae ab intellectu in quo sunt omnia sicut omnia divino, . . ." As he had done in his commentary artificiata in intellectu artificis. on I Sentences, dist. 19, Thomas again refers to the divine intellect as mea but not measured, to natural and measured, suring things as measuring and to our intellect as measured but not measuring natural things (though it does measure artificial See note 25 above. things).

In terms two intellects. of adequation, According natural therefore, to their adequation this

fall things to the divine between intellect

they are said to be true because they fulfill that to which

been selm's ordered finds by God. (Aquinas as of truth definition classical De To vera this religione, and I would point confirmed by he has Thomas that rectitude, by the one comment,

they have
by An in offered from con

Augustine's Avicenna.)

cited is still

we refer But when truth of things. reason to a human of its relationship intellect, by a it is naturally to produce is so described because the thing apt an intellect.41 awareness correct of itself within such Truth of being truth sidering to a thing as true is still at issue. also comments would still that if there were no human intellect be true by reason of their relationship things In other words, would of intellect. truth they enjoy nor divine human neither intellect if, per impossibile, such things continued whatsoever. in no way no to exist, the nature of truth To put this another way, ex of being.42 if no mind And discussion Thomas whatsoever, to the divine

extent, or the of being

But being. while remained would things remain would

truth longer enjoy truth of intellect. could not enjoy isted, they evidently we should In summarizing recall that even in this truth of things or being; but taken in its primary

Thomas has insisted that truth applies both to truth of the intellect
and sense, it refers

to truth of the intellect.

Only in the intellect does truth reach its

41 De veritate, from Anselm and Avicenna p. 9. For the definitions see notes 35 and 34 above. see the first definition For Augustine cited in note 36, though Aquinas there (in article 1) included this under the third moment rather than under the second. 42 De veritate, that Thomas this by remarking p. 9. Note prefaces a thing's to the divine that because is prior to its intellect relationship to a human truth taken as a thing's adequation to intellect, relationship intellect is prior to truth taken as a thing's adequation the divine to a Also note: ". . . sed si uterque human intellect. rebus rema intellectus, nentibus per impossibile, intelligeretur auferri, nullo modo ratio veritatis on Thomas's remaneret." One might part that object to this admission it implies a real separability of being and truth, at least in created entities. the hypothesis, Under being would endure without being true. And what can there be than this? Hence greater sign of real distinction being and truth of being are not merely but really distinct. To this, conceptually counter Thomas would that the two are not really distinct; for probably an impossible in question the separability presupposes situation, namely, of God's the nonexistence intellect of God) and the con (and therefore of creatures. tinuing existing


fullness both perfection. in relation to the Hence of truth and Even divine

as true be regarded so, things may to a human intellect and in relation in the order of nature, the that, of thing and intellect applies

intellect. definition

it seems as an

to follow adequation

first of all to the relationship

to which a human it corresponds, and intellect

between a thing and the divine intellect

lationship?that order of nature thing can again

and then only to the relationship between a thing. on the latter re If we concentrate a thing and the human between intellect?in the thing causes truth in the in itself intellect. because Hence it enjoys the this to as true


be referred


But truth as it exists

in the human


is truth in
dis con than so does

is not.43 fashion. Truth of being primary to the first objection Thomas's makes reply tinction. vertible. it does truth. fashion According But being to the soul, To this of a true to the objection, to things the more true

interesting are and being

pertains that is, to mental counters Thomas that

so (principalius) entities. Therefore the true is said

and only by consequence intellect, to that is adequated intellect. But, he now adds, are convertible. When truth is said of things, way the true and being we with in the order of predication. it is convertible Hence being can say that every and But true some being is also when is also is true, and that every instance of the true

in primary a thing which of in either taken

is being.
divine equated intellect?the not so because

to it.

is because

every (finite) being

of making capable in the second taken

is adequated
a human intellect truth

to the
ad of the



convertible but

with by way

in the order

conversely. be conformed true knowledge

I take

correspond to mean by this that every being must can produce to the divine and every being intellect; of itself in a human The important intellect.44 point Thomas

of predication being must

being, though of consequence. This is to every true intellect, and


to be retained from this text is that convertibility

43 This

of being and truth

is not yet to resolve completely the question whether according to Aquinas, truth is intrinsically in things. As we shall now see, present he adds some helpful in article 4. clarifications 44 see De veritate, For the objection p. 8. For Thomas's reply see p. 10. From his reply note: ". . . quia secundum quod (verum) dicitur de
rebus convertitur cum . . ." ente per praedicationem?omne enim ens est adae




et potens





e converso.

in the order of the of predication intellect. 4 Thomas applies clarifies only his to truth

of being, not to truth

In article


a little more or truth of being fully. things of whether the by now familiar there question are true.45 which Thomas all things responds

concerning This article is only that one

truth considers truth



by taken

divine But reason other


is present
as health


in a human
strictly things, intellect, that

intellect or in the
in an animal. is, in beings, by as health is said of or bear truth some

intellect, just truth is present of their things

is present

in extramental to the

in both primary fashion and in the strict (pro in human in the strict sense It is present intellects prie). (proprie), I take it, in comparison in secondary but only fashion; secondary,

relationship intellect divine

relationship only because to the health

they produce of an animal.

just or preserve Therefore

is in the


with its presence in the divine intellect. And truth is present in extramental things only broadly speaking (improprie), that is to
sense. in the strict truth It is present is not taken only when some on their part of to in such things only because relationship two senses, in one of the other in the taken that is, as present truth or in the human intellect divine intellect.46 say, some question text is interesting, be raised although might two points its compatibility with made already by Thomas. on / Sentences, to his commentary d. 19, qu. 5, art. 2, ad According in God and in and truth are present such as goodness 1, perfections This about creatures the text And states in De formally order to the order of meaning and applies We have that this early suggested (esse). to truth of being and not merely to truth of the intellect. referred as we have also seen, in the corpus of this same article, Thomas which that created qu. things 1, art. of the are true in the has or formal written conformity intellect. strictly sense. that 1, Thomas agreement to truth truth Secondly, truth taken as ade by an analogy of existence

veritate, consists



of intellect and thing.

such adequation text, he restricts


there we did not find him

But taken according to (proprie) it

restricting to the present 45

of the


utrum sit tantum una veritas qua omnia sunt "Quarto quaeritur veritate, p. 11). 46(De in intellectu De veritate, p. 13. Note the key text: "Est ergo veritas vero humano proprie quidem in intellectu divino quidem primo et proprie, et secundario, in rebus autem improprie sed secundario, per quia nonnisi duarum veritatum." ad alteram (Italics mine.) respectum


as present strictly either in an does not intellect, apply whether to things, esse) divine how or human.47 can it be If truth realized


in them

intrinsically This seeming as the


as distinguishing attribute such possession in them of

if we take Thomas may inconsistency a strict or proper between of an understanding on the one hand, and intrinsic and formal truth, same, on the other. Accordingly, he holds that

or formally? be resolved

truth is intrinsically present in things, and that it is formally present

to an intellect, whether this they are adequated or the human intellect be the divine by which they are measured can produce in which But intellect of themselves. knowledge they insofar we understand to the present text this holds according only when we take truth or improprie. in the strict sense truth broadly, When it is intrinsically in some and formally in present only (proprie), tellect. be raised (At this point an objection might a contrast solution. At times Thomas draws names of God properly [proprie] and doing against between my proposed as


so only metaphorically

47 of these texts above, pp. 304-5, and 310-11. Con See our discussion on this point to our difficulty in interpreting Thomas tributing correctly to the example of health. Thus in In I Sent, d. is his repeated reference to show that truth is said in to this example 19, q. 5, a. 1, he appeals fashion of truth of the intellect, and of a thing insofar as it causes primary truth in the intellect (see above, pp. 297-98, and note 7). One should not there holds that truth is not intrinsically conclude from this that Thomas in things. The See his reply to obj. 1, art. 2 of the same question. present to the example to argue that just as there is of health appeals objection an animal as is said to be healthy numerically only one health by which its subject, with urine as its sign, etc., so too there seems to be only one counters Thomas truth by which all other things are said to be true. that to an analogy which truth is said of God and creatures according applies In other words, and the order of being (esse). both to the order of meaning to creatures and truth is not assigned is not purely extrinsic, the analogy or to God in purely extrinsic But in this same text Thomas fashion. refers to another kind of analogy which applies only to the order of meaning, not this with the example of health. to the order of being (esse). He illustrates I conclude that when he likens the case of truth to that of health he wishes one point?that to things because to make truth is assigned they cause he distinguishes the case of truth from that truth in the intellect. When to make another point?that of health (reply to obj. 1, in art. 2), he wishes in both the primary and secondary analogates, truth is intrinsically present is not. In the text from De veritate, q. 1, a. 4, he again though health the point that truth is assigned likens truth to health, this time to make to things because of their relationship to an intellect. He does not conclude in things extrinsically, from this that truth is only present but that it is in an intellect proprie and in things improprie.

[metaphorice nify directly As regards that which vel symbolice]. names certain [their res significata],

such are names said sig of God

properly [proprie]; but this does not hold for the way inwhich they These names must include no signify [their modus significandi]. in that which they signify [res significata], even though imperfection
the way the in which imperfect they signify manner in which include some reference to include always are realized in creatures. Other they or limitation even in that imperfection will




they signify [res significata]

and can, therefore, be applied to

in this way, Should we for not instance, conclude that from

God only metaphorically. we might refer to God that when such usage as present the same is said in things

It is only as a "lion."48 Thomas

in the present text of truth speaks when truth is taken that he has only improprie means in mind to say that truth and therefore distinction of things and in extrinsic fashion? only metaphorically

conclusion. no said

though itmay be, I do not think we should draw this

includes res truth among those names can which therefore fashion. in their and which analogical, below imply be But


imperfection significata in nonmetaphorical, of God albeit the intellect? as we shall see

would Thomas say this of truth of being as distinguished

of Yes, Thomas Yes, in section

from truth
3; for he


truth of being and truth of intellect

would say Iwould this of truth again

in God.

Still, one
it is realized of Thomas's

insist, in created entities?

of being as in light answer,


of the convertibility
analogy to God Thomas

of being and truth and in light of his

in assigning truth [secundum esse] I Sent, d. 19, qu. 5, art. 2, ad 1]. [In in mind have in our text from De refers or, to truth to translate as present literally, in things improp

to an intrinsic appeal to creatures both and What, then, does

qu. veritate, only when we

1, art. take

4, when truth

he broadly

truth intellect

I take him to mean by this that the meaning

in its strict to a thing. sense This includes meaning

or definition


an adequation or conformity does not apply in the same

of an sense

to truth as it is realized in things.

He makes

this point by referring

48 See In I Sent, d. 4, q. 1, a. 1 (Mandonnet ed., vol. 1, p. 131); d. 22, q. he notes that wisdom, and all 1, a. 2 (p. 535), where goodness, essentia, names of this kind (those which Anselm c. 15 it is says inMonologium, as regards to be than not to be) are said of God proprie better the res d. 35, q. 1, a. 1 (p. 811); De potentia, q. 7, a. 5, and ad 2; Summa significata; contra gentiles I, q. 13, a. 3. Cf. Summa theologiae I, c. 30 (for discussion see Wippel, Metaphysical Themes, 224-26).


to truth as applied that truth to things can as a broad or improper to things understanding


of truth [improprie].
to say

But it does not follow from this that he wishes

only be applied metaphorically and

that it is not intrinsically

In fact, art. and 6, Thomas univocal as we shall singles predication.


in them.
in Summa Theologiae between I, qu. 16, analogical what

shortly this out

as a difference of univocal

In the case


is predicated
to its proper this things others. is not

of different things is present

meaning the case.

in each of them according

is present For

predication, ratio]; but in analogical [propria of different is predicated What analogically one of them according to its proper meaning in only

[ratio], and it is from this that the same name

Thomas in the this as case

is applied

to the

the analogy in question holds whether is or purely as illustrated of truth, intrinsic, extrinsic, on other That issue can only be decided by the case of health. to say that truth I conclude that for Thomas Hence is grounds.

present in things only when it is taken improprie is not for him to or that it is not hold that it is said of them only metaphorically
intrinsic With from to them.) this aside veritate. and out of the way, After we may return to Thomas's text

his distinction between making taking to the question he turns directly at improprie, proprie one truth by which are true? Is there all things issue: The only is only one, and from it many truth of the divine intellect truths truth in human intellects, in a mirror. But as are to such those just as from one the truths present entities themselves. face many in extramental Nonetheless, likenesses things the to the Even

the De


result may are many, truth human


assigned intellect

of their relationship things by reason to such things. is in some sense accidental either existed And to the or could exist, such the truth

if no human remain of their


in their


relationship them it accompanies


assigned would intellect fashion.49

things would to them by reason also remain, for

in inseparable

49 in particular: De veritate, Note ". . . veritates autem pp. 13-14. Veritas autem quae sunt in rebus sunt plures sicut et rerum entitates. ad intellectum est rebus quae dicitur de rebus in comparatione humanum, non esset humanus quodam modo accidentalis, quia, p?sito quod intellectus nec esse posset, adhuc res in sua essentia sed veritas quae de permaneret; eis dicitur in comparatione con ad intellectum eis inseparabiliter divinum, cum nec subsistere eas in divinum comitatur, possint nisi per intellectum
esse producentem."

Thomas sense also comments so that that when are said truth

is taken in the strict

things (proprie) truths there are many fashion, (of intellect) truths which and there are also many exist, one and the same thing. truth But when for

to be true

in secondary only for the many true things in different is taken intellects broadly (im truth with

many the for each.

so that all things may be said to be true, there are still as

as (This being.) named there are true is so, of course, Thomas true in the entities; because concludes strict but such his sense there truth reply from is only one is identified


thing's are things

that by observing the truth which is

present either in the divine

as food and not is said from to be healthy an inherent

intellect or in the human

from form. the health But when present



true by reason of the taken broadly (truth

truth which or improprie),

is present they

things in the things themselves are so named from a form

in an animal, are said to be

that is intrinsic

to them, just as food is said to be healthy

it to be so described.50

from a

in it which enables present quality are true in the broad sense by reason In saying of that things a form to them, Thomas in mind has their entity that is intrinsic as adequated to the divine to make intellect and their capacity we may to human intellects. known it themselves Again, ask, does

follow from this that truth of being is intrinsically

No, Thomas to cording the For reply, its proper definition. has of would if we take Yes, truth

present to them?

or ac strictly (proprie) if we take he would answer,

truth broadly and improperly so as to identify

thing which confirmation

it with

the being of

to be understood the capacity by some intellect. turn to his reply to the first ar this we may

50 De veritate, p. 14. Thomas has also just noted that truth is present in a thing by reason of its relationship to the divine intellect in prior to its presence fashion in a thing by reason of its relationship to a human intellect. Therefore the thing is said to be true more so (principalius) by reason of its relationship to the truth of the divine intellect than to the truth of the human intellect. Note ". . . si autem accipiatur especially: veritas dicta secundum vera, sic sunt quam omnia dicuntur improprie
plurium verorum plures veritates, sed unius veri tantum una veritas. De

nominantur autem res verae a veritate divino vel in quae est in intellectu intellectu humano sicut denominatur cibus sanus a sanitate quae est in et non sicut a forma inhaerente; animali sed a veritate quae est in ipsa re, intellectui vel intellectum sibi quae nihil aliud est quam entitas adaequata sicut a forma inhaerente, sicut cibus denominatur denominatur adaequans,
sanus a qualitate sua, a qua sanus dicitur."


gument intellect for and the is a certain truth While agreement contrary. sense in the strict it is not present (proprie) thing,

of in

both, but only in the intellect.

second not

As he puts this in replying


to the

truth for the contrary, argument are exemplated of the things which said Text 3: Summa contra gentiles later I, c. 60.

is strictly (proprie) the divine intellect.51 by views



truth when
proprie) tra gentiles

taken strictly
I and by in Summa

(proprie) and when


taken broadly
Summa contra


are confirmed

in Thomas's

I, c. 60, Thomas he arguments

attempts acknowledges

I. In Summa theologiae to show that God is truth. that when the true

gentiles In one of his strictly

is taken


it does not exist in things but in the intellect.

6.4, for support. Metaphysics said to be true insofar is sometimes the act of its own nature. as "the Even as

Again he
so, he con in is

to Aristotle's

a thing tinues, a proper way confirmed acteristic

it achieves This usage char

proper description has been es of each and every thing which (proprietas) to a thing insofar this applies for it." As Thomas tablished explains, a true awareness in an as it is naturally to produce of itself suited

(proprie) Avicenna's by

of truth

intellect and insofar as it imitates its proper idea (ratio) in the divine
mind. we speak Text Thomas is in the which the But God is identical of the with his essence. of truth U: Summa again intellect intellect or truth Therefore, of a thing, God 1 of this whether is truth.52

I, qu. 16. theologiae that the terminus argues insofar The as the intellect (ratio) to the notion

In article

of knowledge?the is conformed of truth

question true? to a thing from Because

is understood. intellect so as

is transferred

to be applied



of this, the thing itself is said to be true.

But a thing is true only

51 in the text cited in the previous note to the effect Note his comment is in a thing is nothing other than that thing's entity that the truth which as adequated intellect to (the divine) intellect or as adequating (a) human see p. 15. for the contrary to itself. For the replies to the arguments 52 see note Ed. Leonina Manualis (Rome, 1934), p. 56. For Aristotle see note 34. From Thomas's text note: "res tarnen 5 above. For Avicenna vera dicitur, actum propriae naturae interdum secundum quod proprie as follows: ". . . inquan definition He explains Avicenna's consequitur."
tum talis res nata est de se facer? veram aestimationem, et inquantum


sui rationem



in mente



insofar related as it is related intellect in some either to an way per se or per intellect, accidens.

and It it can be

to an

is related

per se to that intellect on which

per accidens to an about

it depends for its being.

It is related

our it can be known. intellect But by which a thing not on what to it per ac is based pertains judgment to it per se. is cidens but on what every belongs Therefore, thing sense by reason to of its ordering said to be true in the unqualified that intellect true

on which are said to be it depends. Thus artifacts reason to our intellect. A statement is of their relationship by as it is a sign of truth in the intellect. Natural true insofar things are true insofar as they attain to a likeness of their forms (specierum)

in the divine
the intellect, relationship

and to an


truth exists

in primary



in things intellect

in secondary as to their

fashion principle.

of their by reason But, as Thomas causes truth in our

thing but intellect.53

in replying

to the third objection,


it is not the truth of a

its very

(esse) which

Thomas to article truth sense 6.

draws There

upon he

this asks

same once

are all things by which there is only one such truth, is predicated univocally something in question meaning ferent in each is present But when (ratio). it is present

in framing his reply reasoning whether there is only one again true. in a certain He that replies and in a certain sense not. When of different the perfection to its proper of dif in only


of these something

things according is said analogically to its proper




53 Art. Summa theologiae, Prima Pars (Turin-Rome, 1950), pp. 93-94. 1 is entitled: "Utrum veritas sit tantum in intellectu." Note from Thomas's intellecta ad intellectum discussion: "Res autem potest habere aliquem Per se quidem habet ordinem ordinem vel per se, vel per accidens. ad suum esse; per accidens a quo dependet autem ad secundum intellectum . . Iudicium autem de re non sumitur a quo cognoscibilis est.. intellectum sed secundum id quod inest ei per id quod inest ei per accidens, secundum res dicitur vera absolute, se. Unde secundum ordinem ad unaquaeque . . . Sic ergo veritas a quo dependet. est in in intellectum principaliter vero in rebus, secundum secundario ad intel quod comparantur tellectu; esse See from the reply to obj. 3: "Et similiter lectum ut ad principium." intellectus" The point of eius, caus?t veritatem (p. 94). rei, non veritas this remark seems to be that if a thing is to be regarded as true only insofar as it is related to the divine to some intellect, and first and foremost in This it can cause truth in our intellect by reason of its very esse. tellect, in In I Sent, d. 19, q. 5, a. 1, that view as expressed squares with Thomas's in reality, truth in the intellect has a foundation i.e., in a thing's esse.


one name. of an health of them. Again It he is from turns this that the others receive the

common is said "Healthy" not to say that is in an animal; but it is from are said to be healthy. If or in urine, some of which the one

animal, is present itself

of urine,

to the example of health. and of medicine. This

the health health

else except anywhere of the animal that the others is not

in the medicine really present in each of them by reason else is present thing is a sign of health.54 and the other produces now recalls Thomas that he has explained



1) that

truth is in the intellect

only in secondary If we intellect. fashion

in primary fashion
insofar as they it exists there

are ordered intellect in the

and in things
to the divine and there

fore according different intellects. the speak primary same intellect

speak of truth as to its proper meaning,

are many


of truth truth,


truths may be present Indeed, many as it knows insofar different things. are true in things, all things it exists each is likened according

in many in one and But if we

to which

by the one to its own being.55

54 Summa quando cundum malis.


theologiae, p. aliquid praedicatur rationem propriam Sed quando aliquid

propriam rationem

97. Note especially: ". . . sciendum est quod, eorum se univoce de multis, illud in quolibet in qualibet sicut animal invenitur, specie ani se dicitur analogice de multis, illud invenitur
in uno eorum tantum, a quo alia denominantur.

non quod sanitas et urina et medicina, Sicut sanum dicitur de animali sit nisi in animali tantum, sed a sanitate animalis denominatur medicina sana, et urina, inquantum est illius sanitatis est illius san effectiva, inquantum For an interesting of this text, and for itatis significativa." discussion criticism of Cajetan's that whenever the ratio propria is present reading in only the primary all other applications of a corresponding referent, common name must be extrinsic, see Ralph Mclnerny, The Logic of Analogy. An Interpretation of St. Thomas (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1961), 18-23, 30. a reading As Mclnerny such as Cajetan's will be hard pressed indicates, to distinguish terms from metaphors Note analogous (see pp. 22,144-52). on p. 147: "What distinguishes name comment the analogous Mclnerny's is this: those things which do not verify the proper notion from metaphor name are nonetheless if less so, signified of the common properly, by it it can properly and consequently This seems close to, suppose for them." I have defended the position above, i.e., that though not identical with, in things improprie, when Thomas he does not says that truth is present mean in them in purely extrinsic fashion and metaphor that it is present of Mclnerny's For additional development ically said of them. position see his Studies in Analogy 1968), ch. 2 ("Metaphor (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, and Analogy"). 55 in particular: Summa "Si vero loquamur de theologiae, p. 97. Note
veritate secundum quod est in rebus, sic omnes sunt verae una prima ve


cui unumquodque





In sum, is realized things only Thomas's continues therefore, position in primary and proper fashion in the as they bear some relationship insofar to his take the later term texts, truth is said in the term "truth"

to be that intellect, to an truth and intellect. intellect and As in for as in

According when we

to be present in the sense strict (proprie),

we apply that things only when the presence in things, of truth some to an intellect relationship

broadly (improprie). to them only it applies insofar is included in our understanding

of them.
the divine (improprie) taken

If the thing is understood

intellect applies which serves as to such

in terms of its relationship

truth If we taken consider


its measure, a thing per se. to

broadly such a

thing in terms of its ability to be known by created intellects,

In each


does apply broadly (improprie) it, but only per accidens. case truth taken as adequation adds to such a thing or entity a relationship to intellect. of a being to a created The relationship intellect and does not entail any real addition to the being in question to Thomas has been is a relation criticized for of reason.56

according Thomas

point. a relation trinsic?57 relation a relation

If the

this last-mentioned holding as it is true is only to being insofar assigned of reason, ex is this not to make truth of being purely In De veritate, art. 1, Thomas does state that the qu. 21, relation either can only be to being by truth or by goodness But in justifying his additional claim that the


of reason.

56 See De veritate, asks whether q. 21, a. 1, where Thomas explicitly to being. the good adds something After distinguishing different ways in which on the third may add to something something else, he concentrates of these?one in the order of reason alone, so thing may add to another is included in the notion (ratio) of one which that something is not included in the ratio of the other. The good cannot add anything to being so as to or restrict contract it to a given class. Therefore it can only add to it that pertains to the order of reason. While the one adds a something to being, the true and the good are said of being pos of division negation Therefore of reason: ". . . unde non itively. they can only add a relation addere nisi relationem sit rationis tantum" quae possunt (De veritate, 57 For a good statement see Aertsen, Medieval of this objection Re on Truth, 10-11. Aertsen attributes this weakness in Thomas's flections to his restricted of relation. explanation understanding Accordingly, Thomas cannot appeal to a real relation in this case because he views every as falling within real relation the category of relation, as and therefore an accident which inheres in a substance. Aertsen laments the fact that on the transcendentals, in his doctrine has not taken into account Thomas of a real transcendental the possibility relation.
Leonine ed., vol. 22.3, p. 593).


is nonmutual, the being relationship, relation that to which which he offers which some is related helpful does

In such a precisions. not really depend upon to does not hold. That

but the converse it is related; in the case of truth?does is related?the intellect the being in question. in some way upon the being Thomas illustrates depend to the relationship and between science this by appealing (scientia)

an object of scientific knowledge

upon relation science tinues, which fected. the object, of science the object to the does

(scibile). While
not depend upon that same of

science depends
the the science. The to the object con Thomas and that is per

is only a relation in all cases where is measured, What measures

is real; object of reason. The

are related things or as that which perfects and what or perfects, but

holds, as measure


that which

is measured

to that which

are really is perfected related the converse does not obtain.

being it is true the

the true and the good add to the intelligible

relation is viewed this as of perfecting.58 as perfecting it is true In other the intellect. that for Thomas words, being

content of
insofar as

From thing which

text we may


is only conceptually related to it. If that intellect related is really while it, we were that the relation to stop here, we might added agree by relation of reason), and we might is only conceptual truth to being (a as intrinsic to being. is no longer fear that truth of being regarded insofar understands But if we bear that in mind which what Thomas and and that has said about the relation between tween mension as true measures which or be is measured, is perfected, another di a being that is regarded intellect seen upon which it from

a being or a to the intellect

that which

perfects Thomas is introduced. as it is related esse.

that which also as we holds


to the divine

have other for its very texts, This, depends to that which measures. is measured of that which is a relationship even is a real relation, this, we have now learned, runs from a measure is measured to that which which And ceptual. Therefore we should conclude that when we though is only that con truth


58 "scientia De veritate, Leonine ed., vol. 22.3., p. 593. Note especially: a scibili sed non e converso. relatio qua scientia Unde enim dependet refertur ad scibile est realis, relatio vero qua scibile refertur ad scientiam ... ut est rationis tantum. alus quae se habent Et ita est in omnibus mensura et perfectibile. et mensuratum, vel perfectivum igitur Oportet entis addant respectum perfectivi." quod verum et bonum super intellectum

of being in terms


to the divine of a being's relation and intellect so viewed to the divine is really related intellect. measure, being from that perspective, viewed entails truth of being, when Therefore, con a real relation not one that to its divine measure, is merely ceptual.59

(To be continued)

The Catholic University

of America

59 To this one might object, what of the text cited from De veritate, q. to that passage, because 21, a. 1, at the end of note 56 above? According in positive the true and the good are said (of being) fashion, they can only answer is of reason. The simplest is that there add a relation which to the relationship himself between truth and any Thomas is restricting on in that same article he comments: A little farther created intellect. ut philosophus et "verum enim est in mente dicit in VI. Metaphysicae, ens in tantum dicitur verum est conformatum in quantum unumquodque verum ponunt et ideo omnes recte definientes vel conformabile intellectui; to While Thomas's in eius definitione intellectum." focus here continues to the nonmutual be on truth of the intellect, his references relations be tween a thing measured and that which measures have invited us to apply a created thing and the divine intellect. this to the relation between