Disputed Questions

As a teacher St. Thomas Aquinas engaged in disputations with his students that were focused on answering and exploring one question or theme. These disputations were later rewritten and heavily edited to be short works. For this stylistic reason the Disputed Questions are grouped together. These questions have a range of subject matter that is united by the use of the same writing style throughout the questions. This approach of asking and answering questions is the same method that St. Thomas employs in the Summa Theologiae, the difference is that each disputed question is a short, individual work, with a variety of unique topics, while the Summa Theologiae unites them into one large work.

Because each work is a short, cohesive whole devoted to a single topic, the Disputed Questions are an excellent way to experience St. Thomas’s thought on many different topics.

Publishing Timeline

  • Vol. 25: De Potentia

    STATUS:   Formatting
    TRANSLATOR:    Fathers of the English Dominican Province
    SOURCE TEXTS:    Marietti 1965 edition
    The disputed questions De Potentia are divided into two parts, the first of which treats of God’s power while the second considers the Trinity. In the first part, St. Thomas considers the genitive and creative power of God as well as creation and the conservation of being.
  • Vol. 28: Quodlibetal Questions

    STATUS:   Editing
    TRANSLATOR:    Urban Hannon
    SOURCE TEXTS:   Leonine 1996 edition
    This volume contains the twelve quodlibetal questions of St. Thomas Aquinas.
  • Vol. 26: Disputed Questions De anima et alia

    STATUS:    Editing
    TRANSLATOR:    John P. Rowan et alia
    SOURCE TEXTS:    Leonine; Marietti
    This volume contains four disputed questions: De Anima, De virtutibus, De spiritualibus creaturis, and De Unione Verbi Incarnati. In these questions, St. Thomas delves into the study of the human soul, the virtues, spiritual substances, and finally, he ponders what constitutes the unity of the person of Christ.
  • Vol. 23: De Veritate I

    STATUS:   Editing
    TRANSLATOR:    Robert W. Mulligan and James V. McGlynn
    SOURCE TEXTS:    Leonine 1970-1976 edition
    In the first part of the disputed questions De Veritate, St. Thomas considers truth and knowledge. In particular he considers knowledge in angels and men. St. Thomas considers at length how men know and discusses how Christ knew as a man.
  • Vol. 24: De Veritate II

    STATUS:    Editing
    TRANSLATOR:    Br. Maria Evagrius Hayden, OSB
    SOURCE TEXTS:   Leonine 1970-1976 edition
    The second part of the disputed questions De Veritate considers the good. St. Thomas is interested in the good in general and the appetite for the good. He also seeks to understand God’s will and man’s free will along with a consideration of how the wicked are justified.
  • Vol. 27: De Malo

    STATUS:    Translating
    TRANSLATOR:    Dr. Chris Decaen
    SOURCE TEXTS:   Leonine 1982 and Marietta 1965 editions
    This volume contains the disputed questions De Malo, presented in disputatio form by St. Thomas at the University of Paris. St. Thomas explores questions on evil, sin, and the capital vices.