Aristotle inspired many philosophers and thinkers with his ideas of how the universe functions. One of the people who built on the ideas of Aristotle was Aquinas, a well-renounced theologian. The similarities between Aristotle and Aquinas’s views on the universe are in their interpretation of knowledge and some views of how the world functions. According to Soccio (2015), Aristotle was a naturalist, which means that he believed that reality is a part of the natural world or that “human beings are part of the natural order and behave according to fixed laws and principles” (p. 40). Therefore, people behave following some predefined principles that exist in nature. This idea contradicts the basic principles of Christianity, where God is the divine force that is responsible for creating the world and human beings, which is one contradiction with the views of Aquinas. Next, the knowledge about the universe and the world is gained through sensations and by interpreting the self-evident truths, in accordance with Aristotle’s views.
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There are some differences between the interpretations of the universe made by Aristotle and Aquinas. Since Aquinas is connected to religion, he believed that knowledge is gained from something divine (Soccio, 2015). Moreover, Aquinas’ religious background meant that he was more concerned with explaining why the universe exists, while Aristotle focused on determining how it functions, although the final cause defined by Aristotle does aim to answer the question “why?” Aquinas argued that Aristotle’s work is either misinterpreted or based on probabilistic arguments to argue that the world was not created by God since it has always existed and that the human soul is not immortal.
Soccio, D. J. (2015). Archetypes of wisdom: An introduction to philosophy (9th ed.). Cengage Learning.