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Right Practical Reason : Aristotle, Action, and Prudence in Aquinas - Daniel Westberg

Right Practical Reason

Aristotle, Action, and Prudence in Aquinas

Hardcover Published: 8th September 1994
ISBN: 9780198267317
Number Of Pages: 296

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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.

Industry Reviews

'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.' Expository TImes `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 excellent bibliography.' 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.' Religious Studies `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

Prefacep. vii
Abbreviationsp. xi
The Character of Practical Reasonp. 3
The Aristotelian Backgroundp. 15
Thomistic Practical Reasonp. 26
Intellect, Will, and Actionp. 41
The Metaphysics of Agencyp. 43
Cognition and Volitionp. 61
Liberum Arbitrium, Principle of Actionp. 81
The Distinctiveness of Thomist Psychologyp. 95
Analysing the Process of Actionp. 117
Stages in Human Actionp. 119
Intentionp. 136
Decisionp. 147
Deliberationp. 165
Executionp. 175
p. 185
Prudence and the Integration of Human Actionp. 187
Error, Sin, and Defective Actionp. 198
Prudence as a Virtuep. 216
Law and Prudencep. 229
Prudence and Lovep. 245
Bibliography of Works Citedp. 261
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198267317
ISBN-10: 0198267312
Series: Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 8th September 1994
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.35 x 14.88  x 2.57
Weight (kg): 0.48

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