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The Common Good in Late Medieval Political Thought$
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M. S. Kempshall

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207160

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207160.001.0001

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Henry of Ghent—Self-Love and Inclusion

Henry of Ghent—Self-Love and Inclusion

(p.157) 6 Henry of Ghent—Self-Love and Inclusion
The Common Good in Late Medieval Political Thought


Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Henry of Ghent's theology and writing. It notes that when Henry does consider the common good of human society in abstract terms, it is in this context, not of metaphysics, but of love. It explains that love is a principle which both Aristotle and Augustine had made central to the operation of a political community. It reasons that in the discussions of the common good, scholastic theologians are quick to examine the relationship between love for one's own good and love for the good of the community. It reports that as far as everything other than God is concerned, Henry suggests that an intellectual creature has a greater love for itself. It reasons that an individual loves himself in the first instance and his neighbor only by extension in that he wills good for himself before he wills good for someone else.

Keywords:   Henry of Ghent, common good, human society, metaphysics, love, Aristotle, Augustine, political community

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