Aquinas's Ethics: Metaphysical Foundations, Moral Theory, by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung

By Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung

The objective of Aquinas's Ethics is to put Thomas Aquinas's ethical conception in its complete philosophical and theological context and to take action in a manner that makes Aquinas (1224/5-1274) with ease obtainable to scholars and normal readers, together with these encountering Aquinas for the 1st time. Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, Colleen McCluskey, and Christina Van Dyke start through explaining Aquinas's theories of the human individual and human motion, considering those floor his ethical thought. of their interpretation, Aquinas's theological commitments crucially form his account of the human individual, human capacities for motion, and human flourishing. The authors boost a accomplished photo of Aquinas's concept, that's designed to assist scholars know how his proposal of happiness and the nice existence are a part of a coherent, theologically-informed worldview.

Many experiences of Aquinas obviously concentrate on yes parts of his notion and have a tendency to imagine a basic wisdom of the complete. Aquinas's Ethicstakes the other method: it deliberately hyperlinks his metaphysics and anthropology to his motion thought and ethics to light up how the ethical thought is outfitted on foundations laid in different places. The authors emphasize the combination of techniques of advantage, ordinary legislations, and divine grace inside of Aquinas's ethics, instead of treating such subject matters in isolation or competition. Their strategy, offered in transparent and intentionally non-specialist language, unearths the coherent nature of Aquinas's account of the ethical existence and of what fulfills us as humans. the result's a wealthy and interesting framework for additional research of Aquinas's proposal and its applications.

"Aquinas’s Ethicsis an ideal advent to at least one of the main subtle and influential moral platforms in Western proposal. DeYoung, McCluskey, and Van Dyke trap the bright readability of Aquinas’s ethical imaginative and prescient, providing an illuminating standpoint precise to either the theoretical intensity and functional richness of Aquinas’s writings. these new to Aquinas’s principles will locate this publication eminently readable. Everyone—students and students alike—will get pleasure from its direct, designated voice and transparent philosophical intelligence." —Scott MacDonald, Norma ok. Regan Professor in Christian reviews, Cornell University

"Aquinas's Ethicsis a very good contribution to the literature on Aquinas and ethics, delivering an built-in and powerful account of the connection among a metaphysics of human nature, typical legislation idea, and advantage thought. displaying those inextricable connections, it's very very like the paintings of St. Thomas himself, and indicates why such a lot of lesser theories of ethics are unsatisfying for his or her loss of intensity and complete reach." —John Kavanaugh, S.J., Saint Louis University
 
“DeYoung, McCluskey, and Van Dyke have written the appropriate advent to Aquinas’s ethics, situating it within the broader context of his wondering human nature and action. Although Aquinas cared extra about—and wrote extra about—ethics than approximately the other philosophical subject, it continues to be the main unjustly overlooked point of his proposal. i do know of no higher consultant to that territory than this book.” —Robert Pasnau, college of Colorado at Boulder

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Aquinas's Ethics: Metaphysical Foundations, Moral Theory, and Theological Context

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Additional resources for Aquinas's Ethics: Metaphysical Foundations, Moral Theory, and Theological Context

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Moreover, differences between the objects of capacities ground the distinctions between capacities. Obviously, then, the vegetative, sensory, and rational capacities all have different proper objects. The vegetative capacities have as their proper object the body that exercises those capacities. ities for nutrition and growth are directed only toward that skunk's body, not toward the neighboring squirrel. " They act on and are directed only toward the substance that possesses them. In contrast, sensory capacities are directed toward anything that can be sensed-namely, physical objects in general.

Our rational capacities (which, ag3;in, involve both our intellective and our volitional capacities) have as their proper object being itself-and so they are properly aimed at God. Directing our intellects and wills toward other things, such as memorizing the periodic table, is certainly possible, but our rational capacities will be completely and perfectly actualized only when they are directed at their proper object. It is certainly appropriate for us to use our intellective and volitional capacities to acquire a better understanding of Einstein's theory of relativity, but 60 Aquinas's Ethics knowledge of that theory alone cannot perfectly actualize our rational capacities.

If David lacks locomotive powers he falls short of genuine human flourishing, but this defect does not make him morally blameworthy any 66 Aquinas's Ethics i Ii! ' ~ more than a blunt knife's failing to cut well makes that knife morally blameworthy. If David fails to exercise his capacities for moral actions in the right. way, on the other hand- if he ignores the stop sign in from of him and runs into another car, for instance-then he is blameworthy. Simply put, we need to actualize all of our capacities to reach our ultimate end, but the question of moral responsibility only enters the picture in the cases that involve actualizing the capacities we have control over, most particularly, intellect and wilL Intellect and will, as we saw, direct and command the other capacities; human beings generally can control how and even whether to actualize many of their capacities.

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