David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This paper seeks to defuse two claims. On the one hand, I confront the Hildebrandian claim that Thomism, by placing the principium of love in the needs and desires of the lover rather than in the beloved, denies the possibility of transcendent love; on the other, I seek to refute the Thomistic objection that Hildebrand lacks a sufficient understanding of nature and its inherent teleology. In order to accomplish this, a distinction must be made between different kinds of principium or “for-its-own-sakeness.” Using St. Thomas’ theory of friendship-love, I show how every affective movement in fact has two fundamentally different principia: an “end-desired,” and an “end-for-whom” the former is desired. I next note that “value” and “bonum honestum” each encompass both of these types of “worthiness,” and that the failure to distinguish between these two has led to much of the misunderstanding between Thomists and Hildebrandians: for while the latter sometimes seem to include inanimate objects like sunsets under the higher “worthiness” (as “ends-for-whom”), the former often tend to classify even the beloved under the lower “worthiness” (as a mere “end-desired”), which are both untenable positions. It is shown, however, that for St. Thomas it is the higher, more ultimate sense of “worthiness” that is the foundation of friendship-love, and that thus love remains a truly “transcendent” or “ecstatic” phenomenon. Two objections are then addressed: 1) St. Thomas’ claim that substantial unity is the greatest cause of love, and 2) his claim that man’s primary end is Vision. In both these respects I argue that Aquinas’ position needs correction; still I maintain that neither claim should be taken to imply that, for Aquinas, man is his own center, his own chief “end-for-whom.” Finally, while Hildebrand emphatically denies that natural teleology can explain man’s transcendence (a Thomistic position), this denial seems to flow simply from confusing two ways in which “nature” can be invoked as an explanation: where he sees it invoked as the final cause, Thomists actually invoke it as simply the formal cause of our love for our true Final Cause.
|Keywords||Ethics Value theory Friendship Disinterested love Eudaemonism Thomism Phenomenology von Hildebrand Thomas Aquinas|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Sharon Krishek (2008). Two Forms of Love: The Problem of Preferential Love in Kierkegaard's Works of Love. Journal of Religious Ethics 36 (4):595-617.
Gary Foster (2009). Bestowal Without Appraisal: Problems in Frankfurt's Characterization of Love and Personal Identity. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (2):153 - 168.
Troy A. Jollimore (2011). Love's Vision. Princeton University Press.
Roger E. Lamb (ed.) (1997). Love Analyzed. Westview Press.
Pierre Rousselot (2001). The Problem of Love in the Middle Ages: A Historical Contribution. Marquette University Press.
Bennett W. Helm, Love. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Caroline J. Simon (1993). Just Friends, Friends and Lovers, Or…? Philosophy and Theology 8 (2):113-128.
Simon May (2011). Love: A Secret History. Yale University Press.
Simon May (2011). Love: A History. Yale University Press.
Added to index2010-08-03
Total downloads81 ( #52,375 of 1,906,946 )
Recent downloads (6 months)20 ( #33,172 of 1,906,946 )
How can I increase my downloads?