New Blackfriars 99 (1081):332-345 (2018)

Abstract
In this paper I discuss the role of non-humans in Aquinas’ account of moral learning. I intend to show that the entire created order can play an important role in demonstrating to us the life of virtue, and argue that non-human exemplars offer important advantages to the moral learner. I begin by addressing apparent problems with this approach, founded on the observation that human virtue, for Aquinas, is unique to humans. I resolve these by showing that Aquinas’ approach to exemplars is fundamentally analogical, meaning that exemplars point beyond themselves and need not necessarily live the good life to which they direct learners. I show that this means that Aquinas can use non-humans as moral exemplars and offer examples of him doing just that. Finally, I offer an assessment of the benefits of this approach. Among other things, it offers ethicists new ways to focus on particular virtues and provides a plausible way to include non-humans in the moral realm.
Keywords Analogy  Animal  Aquinas  Creation  Exemplar  Good  Human  Moral
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1111/nbfr.12274
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Augustine on Free Will.Eleonore Stump - 2001 - In Eleonore Stump & Norman Kretzmann (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Augustine. Cambridge University Press. pp. 124--47.
Thinking with Animals: New Perspectives on Anthropomorphism.Lorraine Daston & Gregg Mitman - 2005 - Journal of the History of Biology 38 (3):624-626.

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