Date of Submission



The Fourth Way of Thomas Aquinas is one of the least popular and heavily neglected demonstrations one can find for the existence of God. Most scholars in the field of natural theology or the philosophy of Aquinas are well versed in Aquinas’ other Ways. But the Fourth Way is, for some reason or other, rarely afforded the time of day. This is very unfortunate. However, recent scholarship has shed some much needed light on the proof, arguing for its metaphysical lucidity and defensibility among its detractors and interlocutors. Edward Feser is one such scholar who has gone to great lengths to promote and defend Aquinas’ general metaphysics and its application to all of Aquinas’ Five Ways within the area of contemporary analytic philosophy. This dissertation is meant to defend and promote Edward Feser’s interpretation of the Fourth Way and, with equal importance, it seeks to defend and promote the Aristotelian-Thomistic principles that underscore the Fourth Way as a challenge to mainstream contemporary philosophical circles that view such a philosophical system as a refuted relic from the past. Principles such as the transcendentals, essence, being, analogy of being, instantiation, universals, et al., are all part and parcel to upholding a correct understanding of the Fourth Way and a correct understanding of the metaphysical structure that binds reality together. Ultimately, the Fourth Way accomplishes what Aquinas intended in arguing that the gradation of things leads to an ultimate cause of being, goodness, truth, and all other perfections.


School of Philosophy

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


293 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Theology and Philosophy

Included in

Philosophy Commons