The other day when I was answering a question using Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica (Notre Dame Prof. Alfred J. Freddoso's translation) I came across a new type of "Reply to Objection" in II-II q.83 a.14 called
"Reply to the argument for the contrary"
The New Advent website version is not consistent. Sometimes, the "On the contrary" is prefixed with another "Objection". For example, in Article 14, the "On the contrary" is labeled
"Objection 4. On the contrary"
and the reply is titled
"Reply to Objection 4".
But sometimes the New Advent website simply adds another "Reply to Objection" with no corresponding "Objection", since the "On the contrary" itself is the objection. For example in I-II q.26 a.3 (Notre Dame version here), we have
On the contrary
Reply to Objection 4
I found other examples in
- I-II q.11 a.2 (Whether to enjoy belongs to the rational creature alone, or also to irrational animals?): ND website vs. New Advent
- II-II q.136 a.5 (Is patience the same as longanimity): ND website vs. New Advent
Using Google search on the query
"Reply to the argument for the contrary" site:www.nd.edu yields 9 results, but there are maybe more since this search is dependent on how uniform the labeling of the section is in Prof. Alfred J. Freddoso's translation (hosted in the ND website).
What is the meaning of this rare occurrence? Can we infer that St. Thomas does not have a definitive answer for the question? Or does it point to something else?