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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

E. M. Atkins
Affiliation:
University of Leeds
Thomas Williams
Affiliation:
University of Iowa
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Summary

The basic procedure was simple. The topic would be announced in advance so that everyone could prepare an arsenal of clever arguments. When the faculty and students had gathered, the professor would offer a brief introduction and state his thesis. All morning long an appointed graduate student would take objections from the audience and defend the professor's thesis against those objections. (And if the graduate student began to flounder, the professor was allowed to help him out.) A secretary would take shorthand notes. The next day the group would reassemble. This time it would be the professor's job to summarise the arguments on both sides and give his own response to the question at issue. The whole thing would be written up, either in a rough-and-tumble version deriving from the secretary's notes or in a more carefully crafted and edited version prepared by the professor himself. Records of such academic exercises have come down to us under the title ‘disputed questions’.

The present text offers translations of some disputed questions on ethical topics presided over by Thomas Aquinas (1224/6–74), probably during the period of 1271–2, when he was for the second time the Dominican Regent Master in theology at the University of Paris. They examine the nature of virtues in general; the fundamental or ‘cardinal’ virtues of practical wisdom, justice, courage, and temperateness; the divinely bestowed virtues of hope and charity; and the practical question of how, when, and why one should rebuke a ‘brother’ for wrongdoing.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

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  • Introduction
  • Thomas Aquinas
  • Edited and translated by E. M. Atkins, University of Leeds
  • Edited by Thomas Williams, University of Iowa
  • Book: Thomas Aquinas: Disputed Questions on the Virtues
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511840289.002
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  • Introduction
  • Thomas Aquinas
  • Edited and translated by E. M. Atkins, University of Leeds
  • Edited by Thomas Williams, University of Iowa
  • Book: Thomas Aquinas: Disputed Questions on the Virtues
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511840289.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Thomas Aquinas
  • Edited and translated by E. M. Atkins, University of Leeds
  • Edited by Thomas Williams, University of Iowa
  • Book: Thomas Aquinas: Disputed Questions on the Virtues
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511840289.002
Available formats
×