Anthropologische Differenz und animalische Konvenienz

Tierphilosophie bei Thomas von Aquin


This study examines Thomas Aquinas’s contribution to the systematic field of animal philosophy. It applies various models from the current philosophical debate (especially from that concerning the mind of animals) as interpretative aids to tap the potential of the Thomistic approach.
Thomas draws a clear line of demarcation between animals and human beings (= anthropological difference). However, he also considers it important to work out the similarities between humans and animals, insofar as they are both so-called animalia, i.e., living beings possessing senses (= animal conformance).
His philosophical deliberations concerning animals have a methodological function as well, namely to highlight the distinct capacities of human beings. Thus, for Thomas, the reflection on animals is a key instrument in dealing with anthropological questions.

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Biographical Note

Tobias Davids, Ph.D. (2013) in Philosophy, University of Cologne, is scientific advisor at the Cusanuswerk (scholarship body of the Catholic Church in Germany).

Table of contents

Vorwort ix
Abkürzungen xi
Incipit: Thomas von Aquin und die Tierseele – Thema und
Methodologie 1
teil 1
Einleitende Bemerkungen zu Teil 1 13
1 Seelen-divisio 15
2 Parzellierung 38
3 Dependenzen und Independenzen 48
4 Materialität 68
5 Was ist, wenn ein Tier stirbt? 79
6 Taxonomie 91
teil 2
Vermögen und Tätigkeiten
Einleitende Bemerkungen zu Teil 2 103
7 Kognitivität 104
8 Das externe Sensorium 123
9 Wahrnehmungsbewusstsein und Wahrnehmungskreativität 149
10 Assoziation – Instinkt – Gedächtnis 162
11 Volitionale Bewegungen 180
12 Emotionen 202
Desinit: Thomas von Aquin und die Tierseele – Topographie der
Ergebnisse 213
Literatur 217
Personenregister 230
Sachregister 233


For everyone interested in the thought of Thomas Aquinas and in the history of Medieval Philosophy in general, and everyone concerned with the historical development of the debate on animal minds.


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