Analogy and Criticisms

  • Created by: Lucas D
  • Created on: 13-04-12 19:31


-Aquinas created this to explain how we can talk about God, using human language.

- There are 2 types of language: Equivocal language- One word that has two completely different meaning e.g. Bat, Wicked etc.

- Univocal Language- Word has same meaning when in different contexts e.g. London is a city, Berlin is a city.

- Language can’t be the same, when applied to God as when applied to humans, God’s goodness is not the same as humans. Human goodness comes from actions, but God cannot act as he cannot change. God has pure goodness, thus his goodness is higher than humans.

- Univocal language cannot be applied to God as, ‘I am good’ and ‘God is good’ would have the same meaning, but it cannot mean the same thing as God is so much greater than humans.

- However, it is not equivocal as it does not mean completely different things. Aquinas suggests we know god through creation, so as there is a relationship, there is a point of comparison.

- Therefore language is analogical.

- Analogy- Compare two or more things where one is much more simpler than the other to aid our understanding (e.g. Plato’s cave)


Analogy of Proportion

- Used when a word is employed to refer to a quality that a thing possesses in proportion to the kind of reality it possesses.

- Example would be loyal of a dog and a person, the persons loyal is different to the dogs.

- Statement such as ‘God is good’; ‘good’ is used to indicate that God measures up to what it is for god to be good. God is good states that God is whatever it is to be God.

- Aquinas describes God as perfectly good, unchangeable and eternal.

- Aquinas is not talking about moral goodness, used the word


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