By Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung
The function 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 fashion that makes Aquinas (1224/5-1274) without difficulty obtainable to scholars and common readers, together with these encountering Aquinas for the 1st time. Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, Colleen McCluskey, and Christina Van Dyke start via explaining Aquinas's theories of the human individual and human motion, due to the fact those flooring his ethical idea. of their interpretation, Aquinas's theological commitments crucially form his account of the human individual, human capacities for motion, and human flourishing. The authors increase a entire photo of Aquinas's suggestion, that is designed to assist scholars know the way his thought of happiness and the nice existence are a part of a coherent, theologically-informed worldview.
"Aquinas’s Ethicsis an ideal creation to at least one of the main refined and influential moral structures in Western proposal. DeYoung, McCluskey, and Van Dyke catch the bright readability of Aquinas’s ethical imaginative and prescient, providing an illuminating viewpoint real to either the theoretical intensity and sensible richness of Aquinas’s writings. these new to Aquinas’s rules will locate this publication eminently readable. Everyone—students and students alike—will get pleasure from its direct, detailed voice and transparent philosophical intelligence." —Scott MacDonald, Norma okay. Regan Professor in Christian reviews, Cornell University
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Extra resources for Aquinas's Ethics: Metaphysical Foundations, Moral Theory, and Theological Context
This difference can be made clear with a familiar example in which will and sensory appetite come into conflict. Suppose we have had two chocolate chip cookies, and we are already comfortably full. On the level of sense appetite, we want another one; it smells delicious, and we know it will taste good. On the level of the will, however, we do not want it; we are trying to stay fit, and we know-even before experiencing the sensation-that another cookie will leave us uncomfortably full. We exercise our will, then, in choosing not to eat another cookie; out rational appetite is directed toward what the intellect presents to it as good (namely, promoting our well-being) instead of what simply appeals to our senses.
When he is discussing the particularities of human action, however, he emphasizes the intellect's role over that of the will. He defines happiness as an intellectual vision 9f God, which he calls the beatific vision. IS In fact, he argues that happiness cannot be primarily an act of the will, because an act of the will is not sufficient to guarantee that an end is actually attained. Aquinas gives an example of the greedy man who desires money. His mere desire is not enough to ensure that he will actually attain the money; he must engage in action in orderto acquire it.
Human beings cannot arrive at this ultimate end unless they are properly ordered to it, and they cannot be properly ordered to it unless their wills are oriented in the right way-that is, unless they have upright wills. 20 Furthermore, Aquinas thinks that a certain joy or delight necessarily accompanies the vision of the divine, which human beings would not feel unless they had wills. The will enables us to have the attendant joy when we attain the ultimate end. 21 Hence, happiness consists in knowing and loving God, which comes about only when the intellect and the upright will are fully engaged.