The Division of Action in Thomas Aquinas

Aquinas accepts that (i) some kinds of voluntary action are (qua voluntary) “basic,” not divisible into (non-fictional) further kinds; (ii) a concrete individual action may belong to more than one basic kind; (iii) the basic kinds to which it belongs are determined by the agent’s intentions qua performing the action; (iv) some intentions may stand to others as means to ends; (v) there can be concrete individual actions in which the agent’s intended means are disordered with respect to the ends; (vi) such actions are morally wrong; (vii) whether a given intention is disordered as means to a given end is determined solely by the natures of the agent and of the intended means or ends. Together, these propositions entail that, pace many analytic philosophers, concrete individual actions can have a moral wrongness that consists neither in expectation of disutility nor in violation of the pure logic of practical reason
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DOI 10.5840/acpq200983338
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