PDC Homepage

Home » Products » Purchase

Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 88, 2014

Dispositions, Habits, and Virtues

Samuel A. Pomeroy
Pages 127-144
DOI: 10.5840/acpaproc20161535

Accommodating Avicenna, Appropriating Augustine
Assessing the Sources for Thomas Aquinas’s Doctrine of Prophecy

In this paper I argue that Aquinas’s doctrine of prophecy develops from the early period (De uer. q. 12, a. 1, prophecy is a habit) to his more mature articulation (ST IIa-IIae q. 171, a. 2, prophecy is not a habit) as a result of his complex handling of the metaphysical thought of Avicenna. Aquinas subtly distances himself from the implication of Avicenna’s emanationist framework for prophecy, namely that prophetic knowledge is acquired through perfected natural intellectual habit. Yet at the same time he accommodates this aspect insofar as it aligns with Augustine’s biblical neo-Platonism. He does so, as I shall demonstrate, with Augustine’s notion of prayer (orandi) as a kind of inquiry (disputatio) that disposes the soul to aptly receive the prophetic light by the extension of divine grace. In this, Aquinas incorporates Avicenna’s notion of prophetic habit without committing to the emanationist model from which it arises.

Usage and Metrics
Dimensions
PDC