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10 - The Suitability of Thomas Aquinas’s Definition of Virtue

from Part IV - Confirmations and Conclusions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2020

Justin M. Anderson
Affiliation:
Seton Hall University, New Jersey
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Summary

Throughout our study, we have remained close to the texts of Aquinas and emphasized accepting those texts as a whole. The treatise on good habits (i.e., virtue and gifts) must be read in light of the treatise on bad habits (i.e., sin and vice). This latter treatise, again, must be read in the light of the treatise on grace. To approach our investigation with our own modern criteria of the kind of texts and arguments we would accept from Aquinas would do nothing but reveal what we implicitly expected to find. Despite the attention we have given to these texts, until now we have failed to discuss Thomas’s most obvious declaration on virtue, his formalized definition of it. In closing our examination, then, we turn finally to this formal definition not as a point of departure but as a point of arrival. It acts as a confirmation of what we have now worked out.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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