Treatise on the Virtues

University of Notre Dame Pess
Free sample

In his Treatise on the Virtues, Aquinas discusses the character and function of habit; the essence, subject, cause, and meaning of virtue; and the separate intellectual, moral, cardinal, and theological virtues. His work constitutes one of the most thorough and incisive accounts of virtue in the history of Christian philosophy. John Oesterle's accurate and elegant translation makes this enduring work readily accessible to the modern reader.
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About the author

The late John A. Oesterle was assistant chairman of the department of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame (1972-1977) and the editor of The New Scholasticism (1967-1977).

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Notre Dame Pess
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Published on
Jun 1, 1992
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9780268158033
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Philosophy / Religious
Religion / Ethics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This carefully crafted ebook: "Summa Theologica (All Complete & Unabridged 3 Parts + Supplement & Appendix + interactive links and annotations)" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. This ebook is the best-known work of Thomas Aquinas (c.1225–1274). Although unfinished, the Summa is "one of the classics of the history of philosophy and one of the most influential works of Western literature." It is intended as an instructional guide for moderate theologians, and a compendium of all of the main theological teachings of the Catholic Church. It presents the reasoning for almost all points of Christian theology in the West. The Summa Theologica is divided into three parts, and each of these three parts contains numerous subdivisions. Part 1 deals primarily with God and comprises discussions of 119 questions concerning the existence and nature of God, the Creation, angels, the work of the six days of Creation, the essence and nature of man, and divine government. Part 2 deals with man and includes discussions of 303 questions concerning the purpose of man, habits, types of law, vices and virtues, prudence and justice, fortitude and temperance, graces, and the religious versus the secular life. Part 3 deals with Christ and comprises discussions of 90 questions concerning the Incarnation, the Sacraments, and the Resurrection. Some editions of the Summa Theologica include a Supplement comprising discussions of an additional 99 questions concerning a wide variety of loosely related issues such as excommunication, indulgences, confession, marriage, purgatory, and the relations of the saints toward the damned. Scholars believe that Rainaldo da Piperno, a friend of Aquinas, probably gathered the material in this supplement from a work that Aquinas had completed before he began working on the Summa Theologica. It seeks to describe the relationship between God and man and to explain how man’s reconciliation with the Divine is made possible at all through Christ. To this end, Aquinas cites proofs for the existence of God and outlines the activities and nature of God. Approximately one-half of the Summa Theologica then examines the nature and purpose of man. Finally, Aquinas devotes his attention to the nature of Christ and the role of the Sacraments in effecting a bridge between God and man. Within these broad topical boundaries, though, Aquinas examines the nature of God and man in exquisite detail. His examination includes questions of how angels act on bodies, the union of body and soul, the cause and remedies of anger, cursing, and the comparison of one sin with another. Aquinas is attempting to offer a truly universal and rational view of all existence. Thomas Aquinas, O.P. (1225 – 1274), also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the "Doctor Angelicus", "Doctor Communis", and "Doctor Universalis". He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of Thomism. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory.
Objection 1: It seems that, besides philosophical science, we have no need of any further knowledge. For man should not seek to know what is above reason: "Seek not the things that are too high for thee" (Ecclus. 3:22). But whatever is not above reason is fully treated of in philosophical science. Therefore any other knowledge besides philosophical science is superfluous.


Objection 2: Further, knowledge can be concerned only with being, for nothing can be known, save what is true; and all that is, is true. But everything that is, is treated of in philosophical science—even God Himself; so that there is a part of philosophy called theology, or the divine science, as Aristotle has proved (Metaph. vi). Therefore, besides philosophical science, there is no need of any further knowledge.


On the contrary, It is written (2 Tim. 3:16): "All Scripture inspired of God is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice." Now Scripture, inspired of God, is no part of philosophical science, which has been built up by human reason. Therefore it is useful that besides philosophical science, there should be other knowledge, i.e. inspired of God.


I answer that, It was necessary for man's salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by God besides philosophical science built up by human reason. Firstly, indeed, because man is directed to God, as to an end that surpasses the grasp of his reason: "The eye hath not seen, O God, besides Thee, what things Thou hast prepared for them that wait for Thee" (Isa. 66:4). But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their thoughts and actions to the end. Hence it was necessary for the salvation of man that certain truths which exceed human reason should be made known to him by divine revelation. Even as regards those truths about God which human reason could have discovered, it was necessary that man should be taught by a divine revelation; because the truth about God such as reason could discover, would only be known by a few, and that after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors. Whereas man's whole salvation, which is in God, depends upon the knowledge of this truth. Therefore, in order that the salvation of men might be brought about more fitly and more surely, it was necessary that they should be taught divine truths by divine revelation. It was therefore necessary that besides philosophical science built up by reason, there should be a sacred science learned through revelation. 


THE SUMMA THEOLOGICA: COMPLETE EDITION

SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS


 — A Classic in Western Philosophy and the Catholic Church

 — Complete and Unabridged, contains the Complete Text and Supplements

 — Three Parts, 38 Tracts, 631 Questions, 3,000 Articles, 10,000 Objections and Answers

 — Over 2.5 Million words


 — Includes an Active Index and multiple Table of Contents to every Part, Question and Article

 — Includes Layered NCX Navigation

 — Includes Illustrations by Gustave Dore


The Summa Theologica, or 'Summary of Theology' was written from 1265 to 1274. It is the greatest achievement of Saint Thomas Aquinas and one of the most influential works of Western literature and Philosophy. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern Philosophy was conceived as a reaction against, or as an agreement with, his ideas, particularly in the areas of Ethics, Natural Law, Metaphysics, and Political Theory.


It is intended as a manual for beginners in Theology and a Compendium of all of the main Theological teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. It presents the reasoning for almost all points of Christian Theology in the West. The book is famous, among other things, for its five arguments for the existence of God, the Quinque viae.


The Summa Theologica's topics follow a cycle: The Existence of God; Creation, Man; Man's Purpose; Christ; The Sacraments; and back to God.


The first part is on God. In it, he gives five proofs for God’s existence as well as an explication of His attributes. He argues for the actuality and incorporeality of God as the unmoved mover and describes how God moves through His thinking and willing.


The second part is on Ethics. Thomas argues for a variation of the Aristotelian Virtue Ethics. However, unlike Aristotle, he argues for a connection between the virtuous man and God by explaining how the virtuous act is one towards the blessedness of the Beatific Vision (beata visio).


The last part of the Summa is on Christ and was unfinished when Thomas died. In it, he shows how Christ not only offers salvation, but represents and protects humanity on Earth and in Heaven. This part also briefly discusses the sacraments and eschatology. The Summa remains the most influential of Thomas’s works.


Saint Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican Priest, born near Aquino, Sicily in 1225. He was an immensely influential Philosopher and Theologian in the tradition of Scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus. He died in 1274. As one of the 33 Doctors of the Church, he is considered the Church's greatest Theologian and Philosopher. Thomas is held in the Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood. He was canonized in 1323.


PUBLISHER: CATHOLIC WAY PUBLISHING


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