Aquinas and the Natural Law

Journal of Religious Ethics 43 (1):28-50 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Recent decades have seen a shift away from the traditional view that Aquinas's theory of the natural law is meant to supply us with normative guidance grounded in a substantive theory of human nature. In the present essay, I argue that this is a mistake. Expanding on the suggestions of Jean Porter and Ralph McInerny, I defend a derivationist reading of ST I-II, Q. 94, A. 2 according to which Aquinas takes our knowledge of the genuine goods of human life and their proper ordering to one another to be self-evident only to the wise who are able to discern the truth about our God-given human nature. I then show that this reading provides a better account of Aquinas's view than two recent alternatives: John Finnis's brand of inclinationism and Daniel Mark Nelson's virtue-based interpretation

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,247

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Aquinas on the Natural Inclination of Man to Offer Sacrifice to God.Sean B. Cunningham - 2012 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 86:185-200.
Aquinas, Finnis and Non-Naturalism.Craig Paterson - 2006 - In Craig Paterson & Matthew Pugh (eds.), Analytical Thomism: Traditions in Dialogue. Ashgate.
Toward a Unified Foundation of Natural Law Ethics.Edmund Wall - 2010 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):747-779.
Aquinas and the Human Desire for Knowledge.Jan A. Aertsen - 2005 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 79 (3):411-430.
Nature as Reason: A Thomistic Theory of the Natural Law.Martin Rhonheimer - 2006 - Studies in Christian Ethics 19 (3):357-378.
Natural Law, End, And Virtue In Aquinas.John Peterson - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Research 24:397-413.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-01-27

Downloads
63 (#186,748)

6 months
2 (#276,145)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Peter Seipel
University of South Carolina

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Whose Justice? Which Rationality?Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1988 - University of Notre Dame Press.
Natural Law and Natural Rights.John Finnis - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
Summa Contra Gentiles.Thomas Aquinas - 1975 - University of Notre Dame Press.
Whose Justice? Which Rationality?Alasdair Macintyre - 1988 - Journal of Religious Ethics 16 (2):363-363.

View all 19 references / Add more references