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Foundations of Moral Selfhood

Dell'Olio, Andrew J.

Foundations of Moral Selfhood

Aquinas on Divine Goodness and the Connection of the Virtues

Series: Studies in Theoretical and Applied Ethics - Volume 8

Year of Publication: 2003

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., Oxford, Wien, 2003. XIII, 203 pp.
ISBN 978-0-8204-6140-3 hardback  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.430 kg, 0.948 lbs

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Book synopsis

Foundations of Moral Selfhood addresses the general issue of ethics and religion by examining the connection between the natural and theological virtues in the moral thought of Thomas Aquinas. While Aquinas is often invoked in contemporary discussions of virtue ethics, the interpenetration of the secular and religious dimensions of his thought is not often appreciated. Andrew J. Dell’Olio shows how Aquinas’s metaphysics of goodness allows him to harmonize secular and religious virtues within the individual so as not to compromise the unity of the moral self. Aquinas is seen as presenting a theory of self-perfection that requires both self-development and self-abnegation, depicting each as ways of participating in the divine. The significance for contemporary virtue ethics of what Dell’Olio calls a «deep conception of the good» is also explored. Foundations of Moral Selfhood is relevant to the revival of Neo-Aristotelianism and Thomism in ethics, as well as to recent attempts to articulate forms of ethical Platonism and religious morality in a pluralistic society.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: Andrew J. Dell’Olio is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hope College, Holland, Michigan. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has published a number of articles on ethics and the philosophy of religion.


Studies in Theoretical and Applied Ethics. Vol. 8
General Editor: Sherwin Klein