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Aquinas Lecture 2017

Thursday 2nd March 2017

The 2017 Aquinas Lecture was delivered on Thursday 2 March 2017 by Prof Candace Vogler. Her title was “The Intellectual Animal”, so as to complement the Seminar Series being run in the same Term. Prof Vogler argued for a transformative rather than an additive understanding of how the human intellect relates to the capacities human beings share with other animals. The soul is the substantial form that maintains an organism as a single being throughout life, and Aquinas holds that the human soul is the only substantial form in the human being. He has a high view of the perceptive powers of the higher animals: they “share somewhat in reason”. Hence it is no surprise that we cannot easily identify a rigid boundary between our intellectual powers and the cognitive powers we share with other animals; rather, the powers not only interact, they qualify each other. As Stephen Brock put it, “Rationality is a mode of intellect… intrinsically connected to the life of the senses, and therefore to the sense-organs… and to matter itself.”

The quotations referred to by Prof Vogler in her lecture can be seen at “related downloads”.

A recording of the Lecture is available on YouTube at

For Prof Vogler’s web-site and links to her recorded interviews and lectures, visit

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