Thomas Aquinas: Selected Writings

An Analysis of Aquinas' Cosmological Argument 12th Grade

The Cosmological argument is ‘a posteriori’ – it is reliant upon and fits with our experience of the world around us, with our own experience of causal chains provoking questions over how we, and the universe as a whole, came to be. The aim of the Cosmological argument is to attempt to prove God’s existence by showing that an infinite regress of causal chains is logically impossible, and in turn, that there must have been a first cause. It highlights the problems of infinite regression and suggests God’s existence as a solution. There are several versions of the argument, the classic being that of St. Thomas Aquinas. Other significant figures include Leibniz and Kant.

The Medieval philosopher, St. Thomas Aquinas, provided five arguments in his book, the Summa Theologica, the first three of which are cosmological: the argument from motion, the argument from causation and the argument from necessity and contingency.

In his Second Way, the argument from causation, Aquinas argues that nothing causes itself, so if the universe was to exist – which it does -, there must be a first cause. It is an ‘a posteriori’ argument as it is from our own experience that we know causes are ordered in to causal chains.

P1) There is an order of...

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