Trichotomizing the Standard Twofold Model of Thomistic Eudaimonism

Aquinas’s eudaimonism is normally interpreted as twofold in the sense of it dividing into the imperfect, natural happiness of Aristotle and the perfect, supernatural happiness of Augustine. I argue in this work that Aquinas is logically committed to a third type of happiness that, in light of the standard view, rendershis eudaimonism threefold. The paper begins with an overview of the standard twofold model of Aquinas’s eudaimonism; it then turns to the model’s logicalproblem whose solution requires the postulation of a third type of happiness. In the second part of the paper, two clarificatory issues are addressed, several objections are considered, and in closing, I explain why Aquinas’s commitment to a third type of happiness offers the Christian wayfarer grounds for a new optimism
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DOI 10.5840/acpq_2012_2
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