Aquinas on Purpose

Starting from Summa Theologiae 1.2.3.obj.2, I consider some aspects of the term propositum as it occurs in his works. The objection divides “everything thatappears in the world” into what is natural and what is a proposito, and argues that each of these can be accounted for by causes other than God. I suggest that what is a proposito be called “the purposed,” and I try to clarify Aquinas’s understanding of purpose in relation to other notions in his writings, in particular nature, fortune, and above all deliberation or “counsel,” which is the prelude to choice. After some reflection on the theme of “deliberated will” and on the contrast between deliberating and being deliberate, I return to Aquinas’s reply to the objection I began with, then conclude with reference to a recent discussion of the difference between ends and purposes.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Conference Proceedings  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0065-7638
DOI 10.5840/acpaproc20078120
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