Elders, Leo J.
The Ethics of St. Thomas Aquinas
Happiness, Natural Law and The Virtues
Year of Publication: 2005
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2005. 313 pp., 1 table
ISBN 978-3-631-53748-0 pb. (Softcover)
Weight: 0.420 kg, 0.926 lbs
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The far reaching changes in man's social and personal life taking place in our lifetime underline the need for a sound ethical evaluation of our rights and duties and of human behaviour both on the individual level and in the political society. On many issues judgments of value vary widely and a consultation of the thought of Thomas Aquinas on the basic questions will be helpful, the more since he is not only one of the greatest philosophers but also succeeded in integrating in his moral philosophy the wisdom of the ancients, in particular of Aristotle and the Stoa. This book presents Aquinas's thought on such central questions as man's happiness, how to determine the morality of our actions, the natural law and the main virtues, as well as on the common good, war, human labour, love and friendship. Throughout the book the intellectual character of this moral philosophy is pointed out and problems are set in a historical perspective.
Contents: Man's Quest for Happiness - Human Acts - The Moral Goodness and Badness of our Acts - Passions and Emotions in General - The Individual Passions - Habitus - Virtues in General - Sins and Vices - Laws and the Natural Law - Thomas on the Common Good - The Cardinal Virtues - Prudence - Justice - Appendices on War and on Labour - Fortitude - Temperance - Love and Friendship.
About the author(s)/editor(s)
The Author: Leo J. Elders was born in Enkhuizen (Netherlands), he studied philosophy and theology in Holland, Germany, Canada (Montreal) and the United States (Harvard). He taught philosophy in Nagoya (Japan), Rome and Houston. At present he holds the chair of metaphysics at the Faculté Libre de Philosophie (Paris), teaches ethics at the Gustav-Siewerth-Akademie Weilheim and is a guest lecturer at several universities. A member of the Papal Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, he published several books on the thought of Aristotle and Aquinas, as well as over 200 scientific articles.
«These are only a few of the guiding principles of the book by which the author unites the wealth of material into a reliable exposition of Aquina's ethical thought that can serve as an excellent help to undergraduate students. Its detail and breadth of learning also make it valuable reading for graduate students. Father Elders has done a great favor in reminding us that a commentary on the moral section of the 'Summa Theologiae' for those 'who restrict themselves to a purely philosophical approach' can indeed assist us in seeking 'the beauty of a life according to the virtues.» (Jörgen Vijgen, The Thomist)