Monday, May 15, 2006

Q17 A1: Whether falsity exists in things?

Yes, but in things, neither truth nor falsity exists, except in relation to the intellect because "things are called false that are naturally apt to appear such as they are not, or what they are not" (Metaph. v, 34).

In things that depend on God, falseness cannot be found, insofar as they are compared with the divine intellect.

But in relation to our intellect, natural things which are compared thereto accidentally, can be called false; not simply, but relatively.

Things do not deceive by their own nature, but by accident. For they give occasion to falsity, by the likeness they bear to things which they actually are not.

Things are said to be false, not as compared with the divine intellect, in which case they would be false simply, but as compared with our intellect; and thus they are false only relatively.