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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 37, 2012

Gaven Kerr
Pages 99-133
DOI: 10.5840/jpr2012375

Aquinas's Argument for the Existence of God in De Ente et Essentia Cap. IV
An Interpretation and Defense

Aquinas’s name is practically synonymous with attempts at proving the existence of God. In this article I offer an interpretation and defense of a much neglected argument from Aquinas’s works, that of De Ente et Essentia Cap. IV. Therein Aquinas presents quite a youthful and in my view compelling argument for the existence of God. To begin with, I present an interpretation of the argument and on the basis of this interpretation I suggest that the argument has a prima facie plausibility to it. Thereafter I consider several criticisms that are relevant to the argument, yet not compelling in my view. I conclude that the argument from the De Ente survives the criticisms leveled against it in this paper, in which case if one accepts the methodological framework that Aquinas adopts, then one ought to accept that Aquinas’s argument for God in the De Ente succeeds in what it sets out to do: to establish the existence of a single, immaterial, self-subsisting act of being, which we understand to be God.

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