Truth - Vol. 1

Truth - Vol. 1

Truth - Vol. 1

Truth - Vol. 1


The Quaestiones Disputatae de Veritata constitutes Aquinas's most extended treatment of any single topic. Volume I (questions 1-9) discusses the nature of truth and divine and angelic intellects. Volume II (questions 10-20) deals with truth and human intellect. Volume III (questions 21-29) investigates the operation of the will.


In the seven hundred years since St. Thomas wrote the De veritate, perhaps his most extended treatment of any one topic, no complete translation of it has appeared in any language. The present translation intends to remedy this situation and make this monumental work available to the ever increasing number of students of philosophy, scholastic as well as non-scholastic, who read Latin, if at all, only with difficulty.

I realize that the task I have set myself is ambitious. Anyone familiar with St. Thomas's succinct style, his compact Latin, his occasional obscurity, and general profundity, will realize that the primary task of his translators--to express his thought with fidelity--is not an easy one. I have tried to carry out this task, but I would welcome any suggestions on how I might better have done so. These will be incorporated in subsequent editions.

My intention has been to produce a literal translation rather than a "literary paraphrase," but at the same time to render the thought into idiomatic English. Consequently, the translation shies away from mere transliteration of difficult phrases and recasts many sentences to conform to English idiom. However, since much of what St. Thomas has written is highly technical, it is no more possible or desirable to make what is commonly called a flowing English translation of these sections than it is to render one of Professor Einstein's treatises on relativity into iambic pentameters. In general, I have tried to keep the English smooth and idiomatic; in some instances, however, a choice had to be made between departing from our ordinary English idiom for greater accuracy and departing from St. Thomas's thought for greater smoothness. Needless to say, smoothness was in these instances sacrificed for accuracy and clarity.

The Latin text of this work as it appears in editions so far published is uncritical and far from satisfactory. But I am happy to announce that by agreement reached between the Leonine Commission through its president, Very Rev. Clement Suermondt, O.P., and the Library . . .

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