A Scholastic List of

Philosophical Axioms

 

                      In Latin (For precision and clarity)                        In English  

Logica1.1 Impossibile est idem secundem idem simul esse et non esse (principle of non‑contradiction).

1.2 Omnis comparatio claudicat nisi in puncto comparationis.

1.3 Contra factum non fit argumentum.

1.4 Qui nimis probat nihil probat.

1.5 Cum negante principia nequit disputari.

1.6 Definitio declarat essentiam; verbum significat definitionem.

1.7 Quad gratis affirmatur, gratis negatur.

1.8 Parvus error in principiis, magnus in conclusionibus.

1.9 De singularibus non est scientia.

1.10 Ab esse ad posse valet illatio.

 

Cosmologia:

2.1 Corruptio unius generatio alterius.

2.2 Accidens non migrat de subjecto in subjectum.

2.3 Actiones sunt suppositorum (of the substance itself).

2.4 Individuum est incommunicabile (ineffabile).

2.5 Natura abhorret a vacua.

2.6 Natura nihil facit inane. [I:75:6], [III:9:4], [I:105:5]

2.7 Actio in distans simpliciter repugnat.

2.8 Nihil violentum perpetuum.

Psychologia:

3.1 Nihil in intellectu quod non prius in sensu.

3.2 Omnem formam sequitur inclinatio (towards its perfection).

3.3 Nihil appetitur nisi quod apprehenditur.

3.4 Nihil volitum nisi praecognitum (ignoti nulla cupido).

3.5 Intellectus est universalium; sensus est particularium. [I:75:6:@3]

3.6 Quod potest cognoscere aliqua, oportet ut nihil eorum habeat in sua natura. [I:75:2]

3.7 Quidquid recipitur modo recipientis recipitur. [I:75:5]

3.8 Intellectus in actu est intelligibile in actu [I:85:2:ad1] (cognitum et cognoscens sunt unum intentionalter).

3.9 Anima est quodammodo omnia.

3.10 Bonum est diffusivum sui. [I:27:5:ad2]

3.11 Aliquid cognoscibile est inquantum est actu. [I:12:1]

3.12 Abstrahentium non est mendacium. [I:85:1:ad1]

3.13 Voluntas se habet ad finem sicut intellectus ad prima principia.

3.14 Sicut principium in speculativis, ita finis in operativis.

3.15 Cognitum est proprie in cognoscente, amans in amato. [I:82:3; II.II:23:6:ad1]

3.16 Intellectus in principio est sicut tabula rasa. [I:79:2]

Metaphysica:

 

Actus‑potentia:

4.1 Agere sequitur esse. [I:75:2‑5]

4.2 Tertium non datur (Non est medium inter esse et non esse ‑ foundation of all distinctions).

4.3 Potentia dicitur ad actum et specificatur ab objecto.

4.4 Quod est in potentia non reducitur ad actum nisi per ens actu.

4.5 Est de natura actus communicare se inquantum potest. [I:27:1]

4.6 Quantum distat potentia ab actu, tantum potentior debet esse agens. [I:45:5:ad2; II.II:141:7:ad1]

Essentia-existentia:

5.1 Forma dat esse.

5.2 Omne agens agit per formam.

5.3 Omne agens agit sibi simile.

5.4 Nulla substantia creata est per se operans (substances need accidents to act). [I:79:1; I:54:1‑2; I:77:1]

5.5 Quod est per accidens accidit ei quod est per se. [I:116; I:44:2]

 

Causalitas:

6.1 Omne quod movetur ab alia movetur. [I:2:3:ad1]

6.2 Ex nihilo, nihil. [I:44:1‑2]

6.3 Omne agens agit propter finem. [I.II:1:6]

6.4 Causa potior est effectu. [I:16:1:ad3; I:95:1; I:88:3:ad2]

6.5 Nihil est causa suiipsius (Nihil sui causa). [I:3:4:ad1]

6.6 Causae sunt ad invicem causae (sed aliter et aliter).

6.7 Causa causae est causa causati. [I:103:6]

6.8 Sublata causay tollitur effectus. [I:2:3]

6.9 Posito effectus, ponitur causa.

6.10 Finis est causa causarum. [I.II:1:6]

6.11 Finis est primus in intentione, ultimus in executione. [I.II:1:3:ad2]

6.12 Qui vult finem, vult media ad finem.

6.13 Est proprium causae perfectissimae dare dignitatem causae secundariae effectibus imperfectis. [I:103:6]

6.14 Multitudo non reddit rationem unitatis suae. [De Pot. 3:5]

6.15 Compositio non reddit rationem unitatis suae. [I:3:7]

6.16 Nihil agit nisi secundum quod est actu. [I:2:3:ad1]

6.17 Secundum ordinem agentium est ordo finium.

6.18 Corruptio optimi pessima (Corruptio principis et principii.) [II.II:154:12]

6.19 Per se prius est eo quod est per accidens.

6.20 Quod est per participationem causatur ab eo quod est per essentiam. [I:2:3:ad 4]

6.21 Nemo dat quod non habet. [I:2:3]

6.22 Quanto altior est natura, tanto id quod ex ea emanat magis est intimum. [I:27:1]

6.23 Optimi est optima facere. [I:103:1]

6.24 Qualis unusquisque est, talis finis videtur ei conveniens. [I.II:9:2] apud Garrigou- Lagrange [I.II:1:7]

6.25 Quod possibile est non esse quandoque non est. [I:2:3:ad3]

6.26 Quod possibile est fallere quandoque deficit. [I:48]

6.27 Entia (et miracula) non sunt multiplicanda.

6.28 Quod est supremum in genere est causa omnium in genere. [I:44:1]

6.29 Quod potest compleri per pauciora principia, non fit per plura.

6.30 Idem oportet esse judicium de totius multitudinis et unius. Pars et totum sunt quodammodo idem. [II.II:61:1:ad2] [De Reg. Principis 1:14]

6.31 Qui magis potest minus potest.

Prima Principia rationis

7.1 Sufficient reason: omne ens habet rationem sufficientem sui essendi in se aut in alio.

7.2 Identity: Ens est ens.

7.3 Non‑contradiction: Ens non est non ens.

7.4 Contraries: Non potest idem secundum idem simul determinari diversis modis.

7.5 Causality: Omne ens contingens est ab alio (causa efficiente).

7.6 Finality: omne agens agit propter  finem.

Logic:1.1 It is impossible that the same thing be and not be at the same time and in the same respect.

1.2 Each comparison limps except in the point of comparison.

1.3 Against a fact you can’t argue.

1.4 He who proves too much, proves nothing.

1.5 With someone denying the principles, don’t dispute.

1.6 The definition declares the essence, the word signifies the definition.

1.7 What is freely affirmed can be freely denied.

1.8 A small error in the principles is large in the conclusions.

1.9 There is no science of singulars.

1.10 The argument is valid only from being to the possibility of being

 Cosmology

2.1 Corruption of one thing is the generation of another thing.

2.2 The accidents do not migrate from subject to subject.

2.3 The actions are of the supposit.

2.4 The individual is incommunicable (and therefore ineffable).

2.5 Nature abhors the void.

2.6 Nature does nothing in vain.

2.7 The action (act) at some distance is totally repugnant. (Act if far, from potency can’t reduce it to act.)

2.8 No violent state lasts forever.

Psychology:

3.1 Nothing is in the intellect which is not first in the senses.

3.2 An inclination follows every form.

3.3 Nothing is desired except what is apprehended.

3.4 Nothing is desired unless it is pre‑known. The ignorant has no desire.

3.5 The intellect is of universals, the senses are of particulars.

3.6 To be apt to know something, one must not have the form of it in its own nature.

3.7 Whatever is received, is received in the mode of the receiver.

3.8 The intellect in act is the intelligible object in act.

3.9 The soul is in a certain way all things.

3.10 Good is self diffusing.

3.11 Something is knowable insofar as it is in act.

3.12 Abstractors are not liars.

3.13 The end is to the will what the first principles are to the intellect.

3.14 The end is to operative things what the principle is to the speculative ones.

3.15 The object known is properly in the knower, the lover in the object loved.

3.16 The intellect at the beginning is like a blank slate (or a newly formatted floppy disk).

Metaphysics:

 

Act-Potency:

4.1 “To act” follows “to be.” Action follows (and manifests) the being of something.

4.2 There is no third way, there can be no middle between being and non­being.

4.3 The potency is ordained to its act and is specified by its object.

4.4 What is in potency, is not reduced to act except by a being already in act.

4.5 It is of the nature of act to communicate itself insofar as it is able.

4.6 The more distant a potency is from act, the more powerful an agent must be to actuate it.

Essence-Existence:

5.1 Through the form the existence comes to a thing (Form gives being).

5.2 Each agent acts through its form.

5.3 Each agent produces an effect similar.

5.4 No created substance is operating per se (by itself).

5.5 What is “per accidens” is accidental to that which is “per se.” (i.e. accidental presupposes essential, see [6.19]).

 

 

Causality:

6.1 Whatever is moved is moved by another.

6.2 Nothing comes from nothing.

6.3 Every agent acts on account of an end.

6.4 The cause is greater than the effect.

6.5 Nothing is the cause of itself.

6.6 Causes are the causes of one another (in different lines of causality).

6.7 The cause of the cause) is the cause of the thing caused.

6.8 Take away the cause and you take away the effect.

6.9 If you have an effects you have necessarily a cause.

6.10 The end is the cause of causes.

6.11 The end is first in intention and last in execution.

6.12 Whoever desires the ends desires the means to that end.

6.13 It is the proper of the most perfect cause to give the dignity of secondary cause to imperfect effects.

6.14 A multitude does not have in itself the reason of its unity.

6.15 What is composed does not have in itself the reason of its unity.

6.16 Nothing acts unless insofar as it is in act.

6.17 The order of ends corresponds to the order of agents.

6.18 The corruption of the best is the worst (e.g. corruption of the prince or of the principles).

6.19 What is essential is prior to that which is accidental.

6.20 What is by participation is caused by that which is by essence.

6.21 No one can give what he does not have.

6.22 The higher the natures the more intimate is what flows from it.

6.23 It is the proper of the best to make the best.

6.24 The way someone is is the way he determines what end is convenient for him.

6.25 What can not be, sometimes is not.

6.26 What can be deficient sometimes is deficient.

6.27 Being (and miracles) must not be multiplied.

6.28 What is supreme in a genus is cause of everything in the genus.

6.29 What can be done by few principles is not done by many.

6.30 The part and the whole are the same regarding the end.

6.31 He who can do more can do less.

  

First Principles of Reason:

7.1 Sufficient reason: Everything has sufficient reason of being either in itself or in another.

7.2 Identity: Every being is by itself constituted in its own specific nature.

7.3 Non‑contradiction: One and the same being cannot be and not be what it is.

7.4 Contraries: One and the same being cannot be and not be at the same time and in the same sense determined in two different ways.

7.5 Causality: Every being which can not‑be needs an efficient cause to be.

7.6 Finality: Every agent acts for an end.

7.7 The same causes in the same circumstances produce always the same effects.

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Causa causae est causa causati.

The cause of a cause is the cause of the thing caused.

Black’s A Dictionary of Law, p.  180.

St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , Qu. Disp. De Veritate – 2 Qu.27 Art.3.