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.

Vol. 23: De Veritate I
STATUS:    Editing for Publication
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:    Searching for Translator
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. 25: De Potentia
STATUS:    Editing for Publication
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. 26: De Anima
STATUS:    Editing for Publication
TRANSLATOR:    John P. Rowan
SOURCE TEXTS:    Vives 1875 edition
In the disputed questions De Anima St. Thomas delves into the study of the human soul. He considers what a soul is, whether it is different from an angel, what the powers of the soul are, whether the soul is a composite of matter and form as well as the soul separated from the body.
Vol. 27: De Virtutibus and De Spiritualibus Creaturis
STATUS:    Searching for Translator
SOURCE TEXTS:    Marietti 1965 edition
This volume contains the disputed questions De Virtutibus, where St. Thomas explores what a virtue is and how virtues relate to the powers of the soul. In the disputed questions De Spiritualibus Creaturis, St. Thomas treats of what spiritual creatures are and how they are distinguished.
Vol. 28: De Unione Verbi Incarnati and De Malo
STATUS:    Searching for Translator
SOURCE TEXTS:    Leonine 1982 edition
This volume contains two disputed questions: De Unione Verbi Incarnati and De Malo. In De Unione Verbi Incarnati, St. Thomas ponders what constitutes the unity of the person of Christ. In De Malo, St. Thomas explores the question of evil.
Vol. 29: Quodlibetal Questions
STATUS:    Editing for Publication
TRANSLATOR:    Urban Hannon
SOURCE TEXTS:    Leonine Edition
This volume contains the collection of disputed questions called the Quodlibetal questions. The Quodlibetal questions were a series of lectures that St. Thomas delivered every year during Lent and Advent.