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Aquinas and the Nicomachean Ethics


Tobias Hoffmann, Jörn Müller, Matthias Perkams, T. H. Irwin, Michael Pakaluk, Bonnie Kent, Jennifer Herdt, Kevin Flannery, SJ, Jeffrey Hause, Martin Pickavé, Marko Fuchs, Kevin White, Candace Vogler
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  • Date Published: November 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107576407

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About the Authors
  • Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics is the text which had the single greatest influence on Aquinas's ethical writings, and the historical and philosophical value of Aquinas's appropriation of this text provokes lively debate. In this volume of new essays, thirteen distinguished scholars explore how Aquinas receives, expands on and transforms Aristotle's insights about the attainability of happiness, the scope of moral virtue, the foundation of morality and the nature of pleasure. They examine Aquinas's commentary on the Ethics and his theological writings, above all the Summa theologiae. Their essays show Aquinas to be a highly perceptive interpreter, but one who also brings certain presuppositions to the Ethics and alters key Aristotelian notions for his own purposes. The result is a rich and nuanced picture of Aquinas's relation to Aristotle that will be of interest to readers in moral philosophy, Aquinas studies, the history of theology and the history of philosophy.

    • Provides a systematic treatment of Aquinas's reception of Aristotle's work, with special attention to how Aquinas adopts, corrects or transforms key themes from Aristotle's ethics
    • Studies the historical antecedent of contemporary virtue ethics
    • Raises the question of the compatibility of 'secular' and 'religious' ethics, and whether one can disengage virtue ethics from Christianity
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… ideal for readers who wish to know what distinctively philosophical contributions Aquinas made to ethics … the authors bring together many sources and insights, sorting out what had been a messy debate. The result is perhaps the best book in print on Aquinas the moral philosopher, as opposed to Aquinas the moral theologian.' C. J. Wolfe, Claremont Review of Books

    'Whether the reader has newly begun his study of Aquinas's ethics, or is an established scholar in the field, both should find this collection a valuable addition to the current literature.' Tina Baceski, International Philosophical Quarterly

    'The group assembled here includes some outstanding scholars who write with commendable clarity. As a consequence, even readers who have studied Aquinas in detail are likely to benefit from new insights.' Andrew Pinsent, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

    'The volume is well-edited, well-conceived, and well-executed … It will be useful for scholars of Aquinas and Aristotle but the philosophical focus, in addition to the exegetical one, should rightly attract other scholars as well.' W. Scott Cleveland, Journal of Moral Philosophy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107576407
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction Tobias Hoffmann, Jörn Müller and Matthias Perkams
    2. Historical accuracy in Aquinas's commentary on the Ethics T. H. Irwin
    3. Structure and method in Aquinas's appropriation of Aristotelian ethical theory Michael Pakaluk
    4. Duplex beatitudo: Aristotle's legacy and Aquinas's conception of human happiness Jörn Müller
    5. Aquinas on choice, will, and voluntary action Matthias Perkams
    6. Losable virtue: Aquinas on character and will Bonnie Kent
    7. Aquinas's Aristotelian defense of martyr courage Jennifer Herdt
    8. Being truthful with (or lying to) others about oneself Kevin Flannery, SJ
    9. Aquinas on Aristotelian justice: defender, destroyer, subverter, or surveyor? Jeffrey Hause
    10. Prudence and practical principles Tobias Hoffmann
    11. Aquinas on incontinence and psychological weakness Martin Pickavé
    12. Philia and caritas: some aspects of Aquinas's reception of Aristotle's theory of friendship Marko Fuchs
    13. Pleasure: a supervenient end Kevin White
    14. Aristotle, Aquinas, Anscombe, and the new virtue ethics Candace Vogler.

  • Editors

    Tobias Hoffmann, Catholic University of America, Washington DC
    Tobias Hoffmann is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. His most recent book is Creatura intellecta (2002) and he has edited several anthologies, including A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy (2012).

    Jörn Müller, Universität Würzburg, Germany
    Jörn Müller is Professor of the History of Philosophy at the University of Würzburg. His most recent book is Willensschwäche in Antike und Mittelalter (2009) and he has edited several anthologies, including a collection of commentaries on Plato's Phaedo (2011).

    Matthias Perkams, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany
    Matthias Perkams is Lecturer in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at the University of Jena. His most recent book is Selbstbewusstsein in der Spätantike (2008). He has edited several anthologies and Latin-German text editions, most recently Peter Abaelard, Theologia Scholarium (2010).


    Tobias Hoffmann, Jörn Müller, Matthias Perkams, T. H. Irwin, Michael Pakaluk, Bonnie Kent, Jennifer Herdt, Kevin Flannery, SJ, Jeffrey Hause, Martin Pickavé, Marko Fuchs, Kevin White, Candace Vogler

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