lecture9 - LECTURE 9: AQUINAS ON HAPPINESS February 20,...

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LECTURE 9: AQUINAS ON HAPPINESS February 20, 2011
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In the Future Today we are looking at the second set of selections from Aquinas: this can be found on our compass website. Wednesday, we will exam the third set of readings.
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Review: All beings aim at the good All things act towards an end or goal, even beings without an intellect but which are in motion (have activity) = teleology. All beings—every action or motion in the world—aims, in some way, at what is good. E All things tend towards being, towards continued existence, which is good, a sort of perfection. E Intelligent beings determine the end of their actions for themselves (freedom), but they only do so MORALLY insofar as they consider and aim at “the rational character of the good.” The end of all things is to become like God, to achieve that level of perfection available to it: whether that is mere existence, propagation of the species, or perfection of the intellect.
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Human Action and the Good Truly human actions are those that are rationally directed acts of the will (free acts). E In other words, unfree actions are not truly human: they are merely animal. E To be free, to be human: we must be rationally directing ourselves (our wills) towards our ends/goals. The will contains two elements: it is first something like a compass that orients us towards the good (rational appetite striving for the good). But it is also the power of choice and the capacity to execute action. E It is important to see this: the will has something like an innate tendency to strive towards the good. E But this does not work like an instinct: we still have to rationally select the correct end and act on it.
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The Will and its Universal Aim The object of the will (the rational appetite) is the UNIVERSAL GOOD. E We do not just want any particular good. E
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lecture9 - LECTURE 9: AQUINAS ON HAPPINESS February 20,...

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