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L'uomo e la donna nella dottrina di san Tommaso d'Aquino
Vol. VI/2004/2, pp. 345-356
As a detailed analysis of the text of St. Thomas Aquinas shows, Aquinas was influenced by the Aristotelian notion of a succession of souls. It means that the human embryo is infused at a moment of conception, first with a vegetative soul, then with a sensitive soul, and finally with a rational soul. Aquinas' description of a woman as mas occasionatus was also inuenced by Aristotle's biology, because a woman is not generated as a man with respect to the particular nature, but only with respect to the universal nature. This is why he attributes to a woman a certain lower dignity in her relationship to man, a biological and functional inferiority. Such an evaluation of a woman was not based on the metaphysical principles used for an explanation of human being, but it was caused by an influence of Aristotelian biology. This paper is an attempt to discuss an equality between man and woman on the basis of contemporary biology and genetics with the use of the Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysical principles.