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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: October 2020

Question 1, Article 5 - Whether one man can have several last ends?

from Question 1 - Man’s Ultimate Purpose

Summary

Although St. Thomas always tries to meet his opponents at their highest point, it may at first seem that the Objections in this Article seem rather silly. I don’t think he would deny that. Thinking that a single person can have more than one independent ultimate goal is like thinking that one can have one’s cake and eat it: To make it appear plausible, one must descent to even sillier suppositions. Yet there is much more to St. Thomas’s analysis than saying “Don’t be silly,” for questions from people who “don’t get it” are often the most difficult and challenging to answer. One may have to go right down to the foundations of thought in order to identify the mistake.

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