St. Thomas Aquinas on Impairment, Natural Goods, and Human Flourishing

The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 20 (2):311-328 (2020)
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Abstract

This essay examines St. Thomas Aquinas’s views on different types of impairment. Aquinas situates physical and moral impairments in a teleological account of the human species, and these impairments are made relative in light of our ultimate flourishing in God. For Aquinas, moral and spiritual impairments are of primary significance. Drawing on Philippa Foot’s account of natural goods, we describe what constitutes an impairment for Aquinas. In the Thomistic sense, an impairment is a lack or privation in relation to that which is appropriate to the human being, known by our nature and ultimate perfection. For Aquinas, perfection lies in the transformation necessary for union with God.

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John Berkman
Regis College

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Disability, Enhancement, and Flourishing.Jason T. Eberl - 2022 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 47 (5):597-611.

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