David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (1):1-20 (2007)
Aquinas is quite clear about the definition of moral virtue and its effects, but he devotes little space to its function: How does it accomplish what it accomplishes?Aquinas’s treatment of the acquired moral virtues in our non-rational appetites reveals that they have at least two functions: they make the soul’s powersgood instruments of reason, and they also calm the appetites so that one can make moral judgments with an unclouded mind. Virtue in the will has a different, “strong directive” function: it directs our will to certain goods prior to reason’s forming its judgment. Aquinas must also hold that the virtues of the non-rational appetites exercise strong direction as well, but we cannot see why unless we examine his account of the infused moral virtues
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