Thomas Aquinas on Epistemic Realism
Thomas Aquinas on Epistemic Realism In current philosophical research there is a revival of realism, and within it, a renewed search for principles of thinking and for the grounds of epistemology, especially in analytic philosophy. Metaphysical realism appears to be the best available background theory for the concept of truthmakers which plays such a central role in current epistemic realism. For many realists, Thomas Aquinas still is a central figure, especially for most ‘Analytic Thomists’. Within this variety of Thomism, however, very little attention is paid to the link between Aquinas’s epistemology and his views on metaphysics. This thesis will therefore investigate this link. It will focus on what I call the problem of realism, i.e., on the dilemma between either an antinomy or a potentially vicious circularity between epistemic and metaphysical realism. The guiding research question for my project is: If, for Thomas Aquinas, epistemology is grounded in metaphysics, how does he solve the problem of realism? Does he solve it at all?