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Utrum verum et simplex convertantur. The Simplicity of God in Aquinas and Swinburne

Christian Tapp


This paper explores Thomas Aquinas’ and Richard Swinburne’s doctrines of simplicity in the context of their philosophical theologies. Both say that God is simple. However, Swinburne takes simplicity as a property of the theistic hypothesis, while for Aquinas simplicity is a property of God himself. For Swinburne, simpler theories are ceteris paribus more likely to be true; for Aquinas, simplicity and truth are properties of God which, in a certain way, coincide – because God is metaphysically simple. Notwithstanding their different approaches, some unreckoned parallels between their thoughts are brought to light.

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