The Non-Aristotelian Character of Aquinas's Ethics

Faith and Philosophy 28 (1):29-43 (2011)
Scholars discussing Aquinas’s ethics typically understand it as largely Aristotelian, though with some differences accounted for by the differences in world­view between Aristotle and Aquinas. In this paper, I argue against this view. I show that although Aquinas recognizes the Aristotelian virtues, he thinks they are not real virtues. Instead, for Aquinas, the passions—or the suitably formulated intellectual and volitional analogues to the passions—are not only the foundation of any real ethical life but also the flowering of what is best in it
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