Connolly, Sean Micheal. “The Reality of Knowing”. PhD, Boston College, 2009. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/723.
Thomas Aquinas and Thomas Reid are philosophers who, while writing from very different historical and intellectual contexts, both share a common conviction as epistemological realists. This paper will argue that, despite any initial appearances of conflict, their arguments and conclusions are both compatible and complementary, and that through such an agreement we can come to a richer understanding of the realist tradition. At the heart of this unity lie the shared principles that: * Knowledge involves a direct apprehension of things themselves. * Ideas are not themselves objects or intermediaries, but the active means by which the intellect understands. * The relationship between the mind and its object is not one of a material likeness, but of a formal likeness. * The existence of external objects of knowledge is not demonstrable, but is a self-evident first principle.