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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 89, Issue 2, Spring 2015

Patrick Toner
Pages 175-194

On Departing Hominization

It is a matter of dispute whether St. Thomas Aquinas accepted the doctrine of “departing hominization.” Departing hominization is the view that in the process of human death, the rational soul departs first, leaving a mere animal ensouled by a sensitive soul, and then the sensitive soul departs, leaving a corpse. This would be a surprising thing for St. Thomas to believe, but he does appear to endorse the view in at least one place. I argue that he does not, in fact, accept departing hominization, and explain how the recalcitrant text should be understood.