Aristotle and Aquinas have been equivocated by many philosophers and theologians due to the symmetry of their respective philosophies. This treatment of these two philosophers does an injustice to their work as it forces Aristotle into a Thomistic shape and Aquinas into an Aristotelian shape; however, in both cases, the forms of their philosophies are two different to fit the respective shapes. In some cases the similarity may only be in the words that are used. Upon a deeper examination the appearance of substantial differences come to light that point to dissimilarities that make Aquinas and Aristotle less of a hyphenated philosophy and more like cobelligerents in similar streams of thinking.
Joseph Owens, in an essay in the Cambridge Companion to Aquinas, examines some of the substantial differences between the two philosophers that demonstrate the cleavages. In the examples provided by Owens, the differences are not obvious by a prima facie examination of the texts but require a systemic examination of the texts; that is, Aquinas and Aristotle seem to demonstrate symmetries because of the proximate outcomes of their philosophies, starting points and vocabularies. However, their differences lie both in their presuppositions and where they go…. Read the whole article here >>>> The philosophical differences between Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas