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Summa Theologicae Thomas Aquinas Who is Thomas Aquinas? -Doctor of the Church, considered to be Her greatest theologian and philosopher -“dumb ox”; due to his silent ways and Summa Theologica -Man’s Happiness -Four Cardinal Virtues -Faith, Hope, and Charity as Theological Virtues -Divine, Natural, Human Laws Of Those Things in Which Man’s Happiness Consists What is the summum bonum (highest good) that leads to the last end of man (happiness)? Wealth - Money ONLY buys anything money can buy - Wealth as twofold: natural (meets basic needs) and artificial (i.e. amassing wealth) - Natural wealth =/= happiness (it's not an end in itself, but a means to an end) - Artificial wealth is the excess that provides for natural wealth (a means to the means) - Therefore, happiness cannot come from wealth (which can only provide for one's basic needs), and not other needs (i.e. things money cannot buy) Honor > Honor more than anything else seems to be that by which virtue is rewarded. - Honor is external (comes from others who give honor), while happiness is internal - Honor is given on account of excellence. Excellence is in proportion to happiness. Therefore, honor can result from happiness, but not the other way around. - Honor is not the reward of virtue, it's the reward from people who have nothing greater to offer. - Virtue's reward is happiness itself. If one worked for honor, it would no longer be virtue, but vice (in the form of ambition) Fame, Glory > Fame/Glory consists in being well-known and praised > Happiness is the most enduring good, which fame offers at a certain point (imagine Alexander the Great) - Happiness is true good, but fame and glory can be obtained through lies (think Gilderoy Lockheart from HP2). - Glory and fame are often obtained through singular acts - Fame has no stability (can be easily stained). - Fame (if true) is derived from the good (and subsequently the happiness) of the person (through excellent acts) Power -To have power is to be like God -Although people want to be happy, they also would want to avoid servitude. -To be able to rule others is the highest perfection for man. -Although there is happiness in having power, it is impossible for it to consist in power. -Happiness is man’s proper and perfect good, and power is open to both good and evil. -It is possible to use power for good, but it is open to being used for evil as well. Happiness is incorruptible; it is good. Bodily Good (Health) -”There is no riches above the riches of the health of the body”; to be healthy then, is to be happy -On the contrary, while man surpasses animals in regard to happiness, animals surpass men in bodily goods; an elephant’s longevity, a lion’s strength, a stag’s grace -Man is not the supreme good. Man is ordained to something as his end. We cannot find happiness in the mere preservation of our health and bodies. Bodily Delights (Pleasure) -”For it is absurd to ask of anyone what is his motive in wishing to be pleased”; since all desires delight, man’s happiness consists in pleasure -Pleasure is not the supreme and essential good. Every delight results from some good, and some delight results from that which is essential and supreme good. Good of the Soul - Obj: Perfection = happiness of man; happiness does not reside in the body (as above) therefore it belongs to the soul, thus being considered as “goods of the soul”. - Augustine: “that which constitutes the life of happiness is to be loved for its own sake” > Happiness does not exist for the sake of man alone, but for the sake of God; as a result happiness is not simply a good of the soul > If happiness consists only for the soul, then it is not attainable for the soul exists merely in potentiality and not in actuality > Happiness then must be a goal existing outside of the soul for we cannot attain something which exists in potentiality Created Good - Obj: Man is made happy via things that satisfy his natural desires; although man’s creation has its limits and cannot surpass all creation > Since man’s creation has limits, it cannot be the perfect good > If happiness is to be our end goal, then nothing should be above this > If happiness lies in created goods, then it cannot be our end goal because created goods are not perfect goods > Happiness is the perfect good that satiates all desires; if this is otherwise then there should be something beyond happiness and it would not be our end goal Goodness in General For Aquinas, there are only three reasons why anyone would do anything: Useful: It meets a particular end Virtuous: It is moral; Pleasure: Terminating the moment of an appetite with the intent of resting in it • • • Distinctions “Fault is a greater evil than pain.” Fault is culminated in an act of will while pain results from the privation of something used by the will Evil of fault is an active opposition of the uncreated good. Evil of fault is the passive deprivation of it • • Of the Cardinal Virtues The Four Cardinal Virtues Aquinas approaches the virtues in terms of the interplay of reason and passion. Obtaining and abiding by reason is the goal, whilst passion is seen to thwart reason. The first two virtues therefore enforce reason, while the latter two virtues curb or protect against passion. The Four Cardinal Virtues • Prudence: the very act of reason • Justice: the enactment of reason • Temperance: curbing passions that distract • reason [moderation and self-control] Fortitude: strengthening our reason against passions that withdraw us from reason e.g. fear or danger [courage] The Four Cardinal Virtues Aquinas also adds that each value contains/inheres a subject. Prudence (again) is rationality in itself, whilst the other three take on subjects of rationale by participation. The Four Cardinal Virtues • Prudence: power which is rational in its • • • essence Justice: matters of the will Temperance: concupiscible faculty [desiring passions] Fortitude: irascible faculty [averting passions] Of the Theological Virtues Of the Theological Virtues • • • Faith o Obj: Classified as imperfect knowledge therefore is not a virtue o Reply: Man, regardless of intellect, cannot know everything Hope: o Obj: Hope is not a virtue because it is merely a passion o Reply: Hope is the habit of acting like what we assent to with faith will actually come to pass Charity: o Obj: o Reply: The ultimate goal of man is to enjoy God, and is revealed Aquinas on Laws • • • • Aquinas defines Laws as the dictate of reason. Is there an Eternal Law? o Yes, God's law and according to His reason. Is there in Us a Natural Law? o Yes, in that we inherently partake in God's eternal law. Is there a Human Law? o Yes, as a function of our human reason. Aquinas on Laws • • • Is there need for a Divine Law? o Yes, because inasmuch that we are ordained for eternal happiness, humans are imperfect. Can Natural Laws be Changed? o Fundamentally speaking, no. Although secondary precepts may be (albeit rarely) changed. Can Natural Laws be blotted out from the human heart? o Fundamentally, no, but it's possible for passions and vice to blind our reason and hence to inhibit the natural laws in the human heart. Significance of ideas? • • Aquinas makes us think and reflect on where it is we find our happiness. o We have a rather shallow view of happiness. Leads us to ask, just what is happiness exactly, and where do we find it? Aquinas gives us a framework with which to understand the virtues holistically (in terms of reason). o This frame of mind allows us to have a cohesive view of the virtues. Our reflections on the text JC: We all have our different “definitions” of happiness. J: Aquinas’ logic/approach is questionable: i.e. presuming the philosophers’ view as fact, and injecting theological conjecture Hillary:His philosophy heavily relies on Christian theology. While this is due to the fact that his intended audience were Christians, it presents a problem for non-Christians who wish to understand his philosophy. Vernon: Aquinas’ seems biased towards Church teaching and explains that true happiness can only be attained through pursuing God as the end goal and nothing else.