This book is a study of the role of intellect in human action as described by Thomas Aquinas. One of its primary aims is to compare the interpretation of Aristotle by Aquinas with the lines of interpretation offered in contemporary Aristotelian scholarship. The book seeks to clarify the problems involved in the appropriation of Aristotle's theory of practical reason by a Christian theologian, including such topics as the practical syllogism and the problems of akrasia. Professor Westberg argues that Aquinas was closer to Aristotle than is often recognized; and he puts forward important new interpretations of the relation of intellect and will in human action, and on the division of the process of action in the stages of intention, deliberation, decision, and execution. In the concluding section of the book, he shows how this new interpretation yields fruitful insights on a range of theological topics, including sin, law, love, and the moral virtues.
'Daniel Westberg's new book is a comprehensive, magisterial and scholarly account of these matters of Thomistic exegesis.'
Times Higher Educational Supplement
`technical and penetrating dissertation, ... In a lively and learned fashion Dr Westberg has recovered Aquinas's idea of prudence; and his work of restoration should remind modern philosophers not to neglect Aristotle's greatest interpreter.'
`Westberg is well-acquainted with recent Aristotelian scholarship, and convincing in his readings of Aquinas's texts ... its meticulous scholarship and its balanced originality make it well worth the effort for anyone who is interested either in the interpretation of Aristotle ... or in a more accurate understanding of Aquinas's contribution to the psychology of human action and the nature of good moral decision-making. There is a good index, and an
The Heythrop Journal
`Westberg's account of Aquinas is impressive ... I will not try to do justice to the depth and perceptiveness of the illuminating account of action and ethics which Westberg attributes to Aquinas ... We can fully expect this book to take its place as the benchmark for other treatments of the same topic; it will be a long time before a better full-length study of its subject-matter is produced.'
Journal of Theological Studies
`excellent ... advance our understanding of Aquinas's moral thought, and ... provide an important corrective to certain trends in recent Thomistic scholarship ... Through a careful and detail exegesis of Aquinas's remarks on the subject, he shows that for Aquinas, intellect and will are mutually interrelated at every stage of action .... Westberg's analysis of Aquinas should be of interest to philosophers and Christian ethicists, as well as to scholars of
Aquinas ... rich in carefully argued exegetical detail.'
Jean Porter, Studies in Christian Ethics
`well-researched and carefully crafted book.'
Speculum, April 1997
`For students of moral theology with a special interest, not only in Aquinas, but also in accounts of the human act and of moral reasoning.'
`Westberg shows that the core of Aquinas's action theory is authentically Aristotelian...argues effectively...anyone with a serious interest in medieval eithics should read Westberg's study.'
The Philosophical Review