Review of Metaphysics 62 (4):819-847 (2009)

Al-Farabi saw himself as inheriting from Aristotle the problem of limits to political responsibility for virtue. If the state possesses the authority to habituate citizens to virtue, what are the limits to that responsibility? Aristotle establishes two main limits: the family and the size of the state. Al-Farabi rejects both. Thomas Aquinas’s view of marriage as a sacrament, on the other hand, reinforces the Aristotelian position that the family is the most basic limit to public responsibility for virtue. In fact, Aquinas expands the notion of subsidiarity beyond the family. Moreover, Aquinas and Aristotle agree that political life is not only limited from “below” by the family but also from “above.” Thus, in spite of Aquinas’ views on punishing heretics and apostates, it is not the case, as Leo Strauss’ claims, that Aquinas’ Christian faith led him to increase and exaggerate political responsibility for virtue
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph200962448
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 61,064
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Aquinas on The Graceless Unbeliever.Justin M. Anderson - 2012 - Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie Und Theologie 59 (1):5-25.
The Virtue of Moral Responsibility and the Obligations of Patients.Candace Cummins Gauthier - 2005 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (2):153 – 166.
From Empedocles to Wittgenstein: Historical Essays in Philosophy.Anthony Kenny - 2008 - Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;.
Cultivating the Virtue of Acknowledged Responsibility.Jason T. Eberl - 2008 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 82:249-261.
Aquinas on the Function of Moral Virtue.Jeffrey Hause - 2007 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (1):1-20.
Dispositions of the Will.Jean Porter - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (2):289-300.


Added to PP index

Total views
33 ( #322,466 of 2,439,689 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #432,499 of 2,439,689 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes