Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics is the text which had the single greatest influence on Aquinas's ethical writings, and the historical and philosophical value of Aquinas's appropriation of this text provokes lively debate. In this volume of new essays, thirteen distinguished scholars explore how Aquinas receives, expands on and transforms Aristotle's insights about the attainability of happiness, the scope of moral virtue, the foundation of morality and the nature of pleasure. They examine Aquinas's commentary on the Ethics and his theological writings, above all the Summa theologiae. Their essays show Aquinas to be a highly perceptive interpreter, but one who also brings certain presuppositions to the Ethics and alters key Aristotelian notions for his own purposes. The result is a rich and nuanced picture of Aquinas's relation to Aristotle that will be of interest to readers in moral philosophy, Aquinas studies, the history of theology and the history of philosophy.
Tobias Hoffmann is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. His most recent book is Creatura intellecta (2002) and he has edited several anthologies, including A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy (2012). Jorn Muller is Professor of the History of Philosophy at the University of Wurzburg. His most recent book is Willensschwache in Antike und Mittelalter (2009) and he has edited several anthologies, including a collection of commentaries on Plato's Phaedo (2011). Matthias Perkams is Lecturer in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at the University of Jena. His most recent book is Selbstbewusstsein in der Spatantike (2008). He has edited several anthologies and Latin-German text editions, most recently Peter Abaelard, Theologia Scholarium (2010).
1. Introduction Tobias Hoffmann, Jorn Muller and Matthias Perkams; 2. Historical accuracy in Aquinas's commentary on the Ethics T. H. Irwin; 3. Structure and method in Aquinas's appropriation of Aristotelian ethical theory Michael Pakaluk; 4. Duplex beatitudo: Aristotle's legacy and Aquinas's conception of human happiness Jorn Muller; 5. Aquinas on choice, will, and voluntary action Matthias Perkams; 6. Losable virtue: Aquinas on character and will Bonnie Kent; 7. Aquinas's Aristotelian defense of martyr courage Jennifer Herdt; 8. Being truthful with (or lying to) others about oneself Kevin Flannery, SJ; 9. Aquinas on Aristotelian justice: defender, destroyer, subverter, or surveyor? Jeffrey Hause; 10. Prudence and practical principles Tobias Hoffmann; 11. Aquinas on incontinence and psychological weakness Martin Pickave; 12. Philia and caritas: some aspects of Aquinas's reception of Aristotle's theory of friendship Marko Fuchs; 13. Pleasure: a supervenient end Kevin White; 14. Aristotle, Aquinas, Anscombe, and the new virtue ethics Candace Vogler.
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