By Professor Tobias Hoffmann, Jörn Müller, Matthias Perkams
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics is the textual content which had the one maximum impact on Aquinas's moral writings, and the old and philosophical worth of Aquinas's appropriation of this article provokes energetic debate. during this quantity of latest essays, 13 distinctive students discover how Aquinas gets, expands on, and transforms Aristotle's insights in regards to the attainability of happiness, the scope of ethical advantage, the root of morality, and the character of delight. They research Aquinas's remark at the Ethics and his theological writings, specially the Summa theologiae. Their essays exhibit Aquinas to be a hugely perceptive interpreter, yet one that additionally who additionally brings convinced presuppositions to the Ethics and alters key Aristotelian notions for his personal reasons. the result's a wealthy and nuanced photo of Aquinas's relation to Aristotle that might be of curiosity to readers in ethical philosophy, Aquinas stories, the heritage of theology, and the background of philosophy.
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Extra resources for Aquinas and the Nicomachean Ethics
But Aristotle takes decision to be a type of desire (ὄρεξις), and so he must attribute desire to the rational part. And so, if the initially plausible interpretation of “appetitive and in general desiring” is correct, Aristotle contradicts himself within this one chapter. But a reasonable alternative is available. “In general desiring” may indicate not that all desire is included in the non-rational part, but rather that the non-rational part is simply a desiring part, in contrast to the rational part, which does not simply desire but rather has distinctively rational desires.
In general desiring” may indicate not that all desire is included in the non-rational part, but rather that the non-rational part is simply a desiring part, in contrast to the rational part, which does not simply desire but rather has distinctively rational desires. 13 The choice between the two interpretations of “in general desiring” raises a question that often faces an interpreter. If the first interpretation is initially more straightforward and plausible, and the second gives a better sense, we have to decide whether the sacrifice of initial plausibility is justified by the better sense.
I do not mean merely the question of how the Book 4 virtues relate to the Book 3 and 5 virtues but also, for instance: Aristotle mentions a variety of traits related to practical wisdom (φρόνησις) in Book 6 – insight (σύνεσις), understanding (συγγνώμη), sound deliberation (εὐβουλία) – but how they are related to that apparently more basic virtue is unclear. Similarly, are statecraft (πολιτική) and estate administration (οἰκονομία) species of practical wisdom, or something else? Again, the virtue of justice is grouped with “equitability” (ἐπιείκεια), yet apparently there are also species of justice – distributive, commutative, retributive, and reciprocal.