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Reason, Morality, and LawThe Philosophy of John Finnis$
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John Keown and Robert P. George

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675500

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675500.001.0001

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John Finnis on Thomas Aquinas on Human Action

John Finnis on Thomas Aquinas on Human Action

(p.118) 8 John Finnis on Thomas Aquinas on Human Action
Reason, Morality, and Law

Kevin L. Flannery, SJ

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that Finnis' understanding of the object of the human act and its bearing upon intention is not Aquinas'. Aquinas' assertion in ST 1-2.15.3 ad 3 that consent [consensus] might involve just one attractive option is incompatible with Finnis' thesis that it must include at least two. It is argued that in ST 1-2.13.4 Aquinas does not (as Finnis maintains) exclude instruments and set procedures as objects of choice. Moreover, in the first lectio of his commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics, Aquinas does not maintain that the order pertaining to crafts is ‘irreducibly distinct’ from the order pertaining to human acts. Finally, the chapter argues that Finnis' attempt to align Aquinas'understanding, as set out in a number of places, of the term obiectum with his own concept of a proposal is unsuccessful.

Keywords:   Aquinas, object, intention, proposal, choice, consent, human act, means, attractive option

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