- The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy
- The Late Ancient Background to Medieval Philosophy
- Greek Philosophy
- Arabic Philosophy and Theology before Avicenna
- Avicenna and Afterwards
- Averroes and Philosophy in Islamic Spain
- Medieval Jewish Philosophy in Arabic
- Jewish Philosophy in Hebrew
- Latin Philosophy to 1200
- Latin Philosophy, 1200–1350
- Latin Philosophy, 1350–1550
- Medieval Philosophy after the Middle Ages
- Logical Form
- Logical Consequence
- Meaning: Foundational and Semantic Theories
- Mental Language
- States of Affairs
- Parts, Wholes and Identity
- Material Substance
- Mind and Hylomorphism
- Body and Soul
- Scepticism and Metaphysics
- Freedom of the Will
- Moral Intention
- Virtue and Law
- Natural Law
- Arguments for the Existence of God
- Philosophy and the Trinity
Abstract and Keywords
Recent writers have commended Aristotle to the attention of contemporary moral philosophers on the grounds that he is a virtue theorist. If one commends Aristotle as a virtue theorist, one may be inclined to commend some medieval moralists as well. However, medieval moralists also raise difficulties for critics who seek to place them in a tradition of virtue theory, for they also connect morality with the requirements of natural law. Meanwhile, Thomas Aquinas's discussion of natural law makes it clear why it is reasonable to cultivate the virtues, and what difference they make to the right application of complex moral principles to specific situations. This article considers different versions of virtue theory, Aquinas and Aristotle, the link between virtue and law, natural law and its precepts, and the role of prudence.
T. H. Irwin is Professor of Ancient Philosophy in the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Keble College. From 1975 to 2006 he taught at Cornell University. He is the author of: Plato's Gorgias (translation and notes) (Clarendon Plato Series, Oxford University Press, 1979); Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (translation and notes) (Hackett Publishing Co., 2nd edn, 1999); Aristotle's First Principles (Oxford University Press, 1988); Classical Thought (Oxford University Press, 1989); Plato's Ethics (Oxford University Press, 1995); The Development of Ethics, 3 vols. (Oxford University Press, 2007–2009).
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