The Specification of Human Actions in St Thomas Aquinas

Hardcover | June 27, 2006

byJoseph Pilsner

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Thomas Aquinas believed that human actions have species, such as theft or almsgiving. A problem arises, however, concerning his teaching on how such moral kinds are determined. Aquinas uses five different terms - end, object, matter, circumstance, and motive - to identify what gives species tohuman actions. Although similarities in meaning can be discerned between certain of these terms, apparent differences between others make it difficult to grasp how all five could refer to what specifies human actions. Joseph Pilsner examines and compares Aquinas's understanding of these five termsto see if a consistent account of his teaching on specification can be proposed.

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Thomas Aquinas believed that human actions have species, such as theft or almsgiving. A problem arises, however, concerning his teaching on how such moral kinds are determined. Aquinas uses five different terms - end, object, matter, circumstance, and motive - to identify what gives species tohuman actions. Although similarities in mea...

Joseph Pilsner is Assistant Professor of Theology, University of St Thomas, Houston.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.84 inPublished:June 27, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199286051

ISBN - 13:9780199286058

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Human actions and Aquinas's moral theory3. Two fundamental types of specification4. End5. Object6. Matter7. Circumstance8. Motive9. Proximate and remote ends10. Conclusion