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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 86, Issue 1, Winter 2012

David Svoboda
Pages 47-70

The Ratio of Unity
Positive or Negative? The Case of Thomas Aquinas

The paper deals with the problem of the ratio of unity in the work of Thomas Aquinas. More specifically, it tries to answer the question wherein the ratio of unity consists: whether it is a “positive entity of being” or rather the “negative aspect of being undivided.” In order to answer the question properly the paper is divided into four main parts. In the first two parts the constitutive characteristics of unity are explained and attention is focused on the concepts division and negation of division. In the third part Aquinas’s statements that seem to reflect a negative conception of unity are expounded and the relationship of unity and goodness to the “entitative principles” of being (essence and existence) are elucidated. Finally, in the fourth part the answer to the fundamental question of the article is given and arguments for the “positive” conception of unity are presented.

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