The Unity of the Virtues and the Ambiguity of Goodness: A Reappraisal of Aquinas's Theory of the Virtues
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Religious Ethics 21 (1):137 - 163 (1993)
This paper examines Aquinas's contention that the virtues are necessarily connected, in such a way that anyone who fully possesses one of them, necessarily possesses them all. It is argued that this claim, as Aquinas develops it in the "Summa Theologiae", is more complex, interesting, and plausible than it is often taken to be. On his view, the cardinal virtues can be said to be connected in two senses, corresponding to the two senses in which certain virtues can be said to be cardinal, namely, as general qualifications of all virtuous action and as particular normative ideals having a specific content. This distinction suggests, in turn, that Aquinas's claim that the virtues are connected should be understood as a psychological thesis about what is characteristic of the virtuous person's distinctive way of acting, as well as a thesis about the interrelationships among the different cardinal virtues considered as discrete normative ideals. So understood, Aquinas's claim that the virtues are connected is seen to be a necessary implication of his metaphysically grounded theory of human action. At the same time, it enables him to offer an interpretation of the complexities of moral discourse that is illuminating and at least prima facie plausible, taken on its own merits.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Angela McKay Knobel (2011). Aquinas and the Pagan Virtues. International Philosophical Quarterly 51 (3):339-354.
Thomas (2005). Thomas Aquinas: Disputed Questions on the Virtues. Cambridge University Press.
David S. Oderberg (1999). On the Cardinality of the Cardinal Virtues. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 7 (3):305 – 322.
Andrew Pinsent (2012). The Second-Person Perspective in Aquinas's Ethics: Virtues and Gifts. Routledge.
Douglas K. Mikkelson (2005). Aquinas and Dōgen and Virtues. Philosophy East and West 55 (4):542-569.
Robert C. Roberts (1992). Emotions Among the Virtues of the Christian Life. Journal of Religious Ethics 20 (1):37 - 68.
John Inglis (1999). Aquinas's Replication of the Acquired Moral Virtues: Rethinking the Standard Philosophical Interpretation of Moral Virtue in Aquinas. Journal of Religious Ethics 27 (1):3 - 27.
David G. Attfield (1978). Problems with Virtues. Journal of Moral Education 7 (2):75-80.
Eleonore Stump (2011). The Non-Aristotelian Character of Aquinas's Ethics. Faith and Philosophy 28 (1):29-43.
S. Goldberg (2009). The Social Virtues: Two Accounts. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 24 (4):237-248.
Christoph Jedan (2009). Stoic Virtues: Chrysippus and the Religious Character of Stoic Ethics. Continuum.
Ben Bryan (2013). A Feminist Defense of the Unity of the Virtues. Philosophia 41 (3):693-702.
Jeffrey Hause (2007). Aquinas on the Function of Moral Virtue. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (1):1-20.
Jean Porter (1995). Moral Action and Christian Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads8 ( #239,109 of 1,696,171 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #239,005 of 1,696,171 )
How can I increase my downloads?