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Extra info for A Short Commentary on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
Although Aquinas begins with a statement similar to that found in the Summathat all knowledge is ordered to one end, the perfection which is beatitudein contradistinction to the preliminary remarks in both the Summa and the De Interpretatione, which are adapted to the requirements of theology and logic respectively, the Preface to In Meta. proceeds more prima philosophia, using vocabulary and concepts that are most adequate to that discipline. It is striking that, in the context of a philosophical discussion of metaphysics, Aquinas does not draw a distinction between philosophical metaphysics and divine science, rather he insists that what appears as composition within it is not intrinsic to the discipline.
Thus, names can communicate knowledge only as statements, explicitly or implicitly placing the name in relation to some thing. Unlike names, definitions are essential or follow upon the essence of a thing and are the ratio for their significative role. Thus, of that whose essence we can have no cognition, we can have no definition. 129 Since names do not communicate anything per se, the context in which names are employed decides their meaning. Whereas the name god means "nous" or "first mover" in Aristotelian metaphysics, the name God means provident creator in the context of the Book of Job.
At the same time, he assures the reader that, not only are divine and natural science consonant, but also true knowledge of the former is subsequent to and consequent upon knowledge of the latter. Thus, although by means of revelation the believer may possess true opinions about divine subjects, nevertheless he or she can understand them only after gaining knowledge of natural science. That is why God decreed that the Bible commence with the Account of the Beginning, and the philosophers begin their study with physics.