more from Thomas Aquinas

Single Idea 9094

[catalogued under 18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 3. Abstracta by Ignoring]

Full Idea

Objects of mathematics abstract from perceived matter both in particular and in general, though from thought matter (substance as underlying quality) only in particular and not in general.

Gist of Idea

Mathematical objects abstract both from perceived matter, and from particular substance


Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologicae [1265], Ch.5 Q85.1)

Book Reference

Aquinas,Thomas: 'Summa Theologicae (Concise)', ed/tr. McDermott,Timothy [Christian Classics 1991], p.133

A Reaction

This appears to be a thoroughly abstractionist view of the way in which humans create mathematics. Aquinas explicitly denies the Platonic view that the numbers already have abstract existence, awaiting our discovery.