Analogy and relative homonymy: Aristotle and St. Thomas
The term analogia or proportio appears in St. Thomas’s commentaries on Aristotle’s works, in connection with the Aristotelian doctrine of analogy, and it is linked to relative homonymy. It seems that a rather original synthesis may be found which cannot be ascribed to the Stagirite. The two Aristotelian elements may both be easily identified in St. Thomas’s thought, but they are no longer clearly distinguishable. In fact, in St. Thomas, the Aristotelian omonimia pros en appears to be linked to analogia in an original way. For St. Thomas the term analogy acquires a wider meaning than in Aristotle and in the Hellenic world. He defines as analogy also that which the Stagirite defines as ὁμωνυμἱα πρὁς ἕν and ἀφ’ ἑνὀς. There is no longer a clear separation between the analogical relationship and the one established by relative homonymy. So, proportionality and reference to a prime reality cannot be separated in St. Thomas. The unity which is established on the basis of the identity of relations and that which is developed due to the different relations to a prime thing are not completely distinguishable. Both share the same name and the reference to a ratio princeps.