Aquinas on the passions by Robert Miner

By Robert Miner

The Summa Theologiae is Thomas Aquinas' undisputed masterwork, and it comprises his recommendations at the elemental forces in human existence. emotions akin to love, hatred, excitement, ache, desire and melancholy have been defined via Aquinas as 'passions', representing the several ways that happiness can be affected. yet what explanations the passions? What effect have they got at the one that suffers them? Can they be formed and reshaped for you to greater advertise human flourishing? the purpose of this ebook is to supply a greater figuring out of Aquinas' account of the passions. It identifies the Aristotelian affects that lie on the center of the Summa Theologiae, and it enters right into a discussion with modern considering the character of emotion. The research argues that Aquinas' paintings continues to be very important this day, and exhibits why for Aquinas either the certainty and attainment of happiness calls for lengthy mirrored image at the passions.

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1993, p. 62; emphasis in original) Aquinas seems to hold that only particulars (this particular steak) can be the object of the sensitive appetite. Against this, Kenny claims that what moves the sensitive appetite is often not the act of perceiving or imagining a particular member of a class (“This piece of steak looks good”), but simply thinking of the class itself (“Steak would be good”). 22 The sensitive appetite But does Aquinas actually reduce the object of the sensitive appetite to particulars in the way that Kenny imagines?

An irascible passion) and a “positive appetition” (an inclination toward perceived good). e. animals with bodies) toward particular goods perceived as pleasant or useful. So far, in accordance with Aquinas’ own emphasis, I have stressed the tendency toward good. But is the sensitive appetite restricted toward what an animal apprehends as good? Are there appetites that tend away from evil, without necessarily tending toward good? Can there be an appetite to evil, or an appetite directed away from the good?

4–5) Noting this passage, Candace Vogler confesses that she finds it “very hard to follow the link Aquinas makes between the sensual, the public, and the virtuous lives and the threefold division” (2002, p. 258n7). Her difficulty may lie in her misdescription of the lives. ” It is the “contemplative” (contemplativa). Vogler thinks that Aquinas identifies the public life with the utile because it privileges honor, and thereby makes happiness a function of others. “I suppose that there is a sense in which this makes all of what one does in one’s public capacity a mere means to attaining a good reputation, but, again, it’s a stretch” (2002, p.

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