The Aesthetical Philosophies of St Thomas Aquinas

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The Aesthetics of San Tomasso D’Aquino
The Relevance of The Aesthetics of St. Thomas Aquinas to Contemporary Concept of Art and Beauty

Dean Michael Anthony C. Vasco, PhD Professor, ‘St. Thomas on Critical Thinking’ Majella Antonia Z. Salceda - Tresvalles MFA Candidate University of Sto. Tomas, Graduate Studies March 23, 2011

Majella Salceda-Tresvalles • budji_tresvalles@yahoo.com • UST Graduate School

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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction Tomasso D’Aquino Medieval Concept of Beauty and Art St. Thomas Aesthetics Contemporary Concepts of Art and Beauty Conclusion Glossary Bibliography

2 3 5 8 14 19 26
28 29

Majella Salceda-Tresvalles • budji_tresvalles@yahoo.com • UST Graduate School

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Preface
In writing this paper, I was very much apprehensive by the breath and immensity of the task that was required of me, having no solid education in philosophy or even logic in my undergrad years, my appreciation of the talents and brilliance of St. Thomas Aquinas is just that, appreciation. I cannot begin to think on how to discuss Metaphysics, or Cosmology or even Theodicy, aside from learnings I got from my esteemed Professor, Prof. Michael Anthony C. Vasco, PhD, I am still not confident to discuss those sort of topics. However, with my education as a Fine Arts graduate (Industrial Design major) of the University of Sto. Tomas, have a slight inclination in the area of aesthetics. Being a designer all my professional career and now ‘budding’ artist late in my life, I am interested in the application of the artistic theories of St. Thomas to the present-day aesthetics. I know the task will prove to be not easy with the scarcity of the sources available at my disposal and with St. Thomas not having written a treatise on aesthetics in a single book, I strategized. Whatever shortcomings my paper may have, I apologizing here beforehand. Having based my ideas mostly on published materials and the internet, I am not claiming to have all of it to be my own. But putting one and two together and stitching them to present a tapestry of ideas and information, I am hoping that the reader would have a glimpse of the concept that I am presenting in this paper. In spite of the struggles and sleepless nights and all this paper’s shortcomings, this project have taken me to a fantastical journey to the Middle Ages and back, and the new understanding and enjoyment I had belies the output herein. This whole exercise opened my eyes to many new learnings and I have St. Thomas and Prof. Vasco, to thank for, I volimus vobis gratissimum! Majella Antonia Z. Salceda - Tresvalles MFA 1984010575

Majella Salceda-Tresvalles • budji_tresvalles@yahoo.com • UST Graduate School

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Introduction
It is a curious thought that had Thomas became a
Benedictine, his immense philosophical brilliance would have been lost to the world. The monasticism of the Benedictines would limit his mighty intellectual pursuits and a peripatetic life would have not been possible. The cloisters would have been a small world for the young Thomas whose intellectual prowess and curiosity cannot be confined in the enclosed walls of piety, routine and continuous invocations. Or had he accepted the position of Archbishop of Naples, an appointment given by Pope Clement IV in 12651. The Summa Theologiae would have not been written at all. Being tied to a secular church position would be too much for a man whose mind only focus is carrying out the task of writing illuminating commentaries on sacred scriptures and philosophies and weeding out religious controversies than to carry out a more temporal job of managing a diocese. But it was not meant to be, the Divine Providence knows how to steer the course of history, Tomasso D’Aquino became a Dominican, a “hound of God”, a staunch preacher, philosopher and theologian. And thus, the rest as they say, is history. His ascendancy as a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church with the title Doctor Angelicus and Doctor...
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