Vol. 6 No. 1 (2004)

La luce in Tommaso d'Aquino

Alessandra Tarabochia Canavero
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, Dipartimento di filosofia, Largo A. Gemelli, 1, I-20123 Milano, Italia

Published 01-04-2004

How to Cite

Canavero, A. T. (2004). La luce in Tommaso d’Aquino. Verbum – Analecta Neolatina, 6(1), 161–177. https://doi.org/10.1556/verb.6.2004.1.13


The theme of light is not central in Aquinas' thought. He speaks about it when the opportunity arises, especially when he is concerned with the creation of the world and vision. When he is concerned with light, Thomas appears as the magister, Aristotle's follower, an alert reader of the sacra pagina and of the sancti's works. He clearly adheres to the physics and cosmology of Aristotle and solves the old equivocation according to which light is part both of the sensible and intelligible and divine: proprie light is the one, and the only one, with the help of which we can see through they eyes of our body. Light is the medium through which the sun and the other heavenly bodies influence our world, it is connected to the natural warmth and favours of life. It is neither a body nor a form or substance or a substantial form, but it is the qualitas activa of the sun and of the other self-shining bodies. But as light has a virtus manifestativa, we can speak of light even metaphorice in all the cases in which we have a form of sight or knowledge. For that Thomas can write: "Divina sapienta lux dicitur, prout in puro actu cognitionis consistit."