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date: 15 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a sketch of Aquinas’s understanding of the nature of virtue and its role in human life, stressing some of the advantages Aquinas's account has over Aristotle’s and touching on such matters as the distinction between acquired and infused virtues, the essentially corrective character of virtue on Aquinas’s account, and some ways in which his undeniably theological account might nevertheless be useful for non-theistic moral philosophers. The chapter favors a reading of Aquinas on human nature emphasizing the sense in which humans are meant to pursue good and avoid bad reasonably, even though we are rarely entirely well governed in this sense. In different ways, both acquired and infused virtue help human beings to order themselves and their lives, enabling smoother, wiser, and less fraught lives.

Keywords: Aquinas, Aristotle, infused virtue, postlapsarian, reason, guise of the good, human powers, practical wisdom, cardinal virtues, secondary virtues

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