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 idea in its complete philosophical and theological context and to take action in a manner that makes Aquinas (1224/5-1274) comfortably available to scholars and common readers, together with these encountering Aquinas for the 1st time. Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, Colleen McCluskey, and Christina Van Dyke commence by way of explaining Aquinas's theories of the human individual and human motion, considering those floor his ethical concept. 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 finished photo of Aquinas's suggestion, that's designed to aid scholars know how his suggestion of happiness and the nice lifestyles are a part of a coherent, theologically-informed worldview.

Many experiences of Aquinas clearly specialise in convinced parts of his notion and have a tendency to imagine a normal wisdom of the total. Aquinas's Ethicstakes the other process: it deliberately hyperlinks his metaphysics and anthropology to his motion conception and ethics to light up how the ethical conception is outfitted on foundations laid somewhere else. The authors emphasize the combination of recommendations of advantage, common legislations, and divine grace inside Aquinas's ethics, instead of treating such themes in isolation or competition. Their technique, provided in transparent and intentionally non-specialist language, unearths the coherent nature of Aquinas's account of the ethical lifestyles and of what fulfills us as people. the result's a wealthy and interesting framework for extra research of Aquinas's notion and its applications.

"Aquinas’s Ethicsis an ideal creation to at least one of the main subtle and influential moral structures in Western inspiration. DeYoung, McCluskey, and Van Dyke trap the bright readability of Aquinas’s ethical imaginative and prescient, delivering an illuminating point of view real to either the theoretical intensity and functional richness of Aquinas’s writings. these new to Aquinas’s rules will locate this ebook eminently readable. Everyone—students and students alike—will enjoy its direct, specified voice and transparent philosophical intelligence." —Scott MacDonald, Norma ok. Regan Professor in Christian stories, Cornell University

"Aquinas's Ethicsis a very good contribution to the literature on Aquinas and ethics, delivering an built-in and strong account of the connection among a metaphysics of human nature, typical legislation concept, and advantage concept. displaying those inextricable connections, it's very very similar to 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 finished reach." —John Kavanaugh, S.J., Saint Louis University
“DeYoung, McCluskey, and Van Dyke have written the precise creation to Aquinas’s ethics, situating it within the broader context of his puzzling over human nature and action. Although Aquinas cared extra about—and wrote extra about—ethics than approximately the other philosophical subject, it is still the main unjustly ignored element of his inspiration. i do know of no larger advisor to that territory than this book.” —Robert Pasnau, collage of Colorado at Boulder

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

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Second, he implies that it results from the activity of the will. His description of a human action asthe result of a deliberate will, however, seems to leave the intellect out altogether. What is the intellect's role in this process? For Aquinas, the intellect is found in the "deliberate" part; the intellect allows the agent to identify the various courses of action that are open to her and to consider the pros and cons of these alternatives. In considering them, the agent settles upon and inclines toward a particular course of action, which she ultimately performs.

Only knowledge of and love for God can do that, since only God is the first cause and final end of everything that exists. This point also helps ground Aquinas's ethical theory, as we will see more fully in part 3 of this book. Since Aquinas equates being with goodness, he explains that we attain perfect human goodness only when we direct all of our capacities toward knowing and loving God. Everything we do is part of the moral life, whether it is praying, mowing the grass, or thinking about how best to care for our aging parents.

BEING AND GOODNESS REVISITED The pay-off of Aquinas's discussion of the soul's capacities (and in particular the discussion of intellect and will) is not just a deeper understanding of human nature, although that is certainly important. Rather, it is the insight into both how human beings can act and how they should act. An understanding of the soul's capacities allows us to see what is possible for human beings, how it could be made actual in human lives, and why that would be desirable for us-that is, why it would result in our flourishing.

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