The "ratio omnipotentiae" in Aquinas

Acta Philosophica 2 (1):17-42 (1993)
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Aquinas says that omnipotence means power for everything possible, which is everything not self-contradictory. This view faces various objections; to many of them, it seems that one could respond more easily by saying that omnipotence is God's power for everything that is not self-contradictory for Him to do. But this is a weak answer, and Thomas's support for it is only apparent. A more satisfactory solution is found in a fundamental restriction on the term "power" that Thomas thinks necessary when power is attributed to god. It is exclusively productive power. So omnipotence is the power to produce everything producible. Still, Thomas himself, in earlier works, seems to have adopted an excessive distinction between power and will in God. But in the two Summae, it becomes clear that power is properly power to produce some being; and so omnipotence is power to produce every possible being.
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