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The Specification of Human Actions in St Thomas Aquinas

Joseph Pilsner

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
May 2006
ISBN:
9780199286058
eISBN:
9780191603808
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199286051.001.0001
Subject:
Religion, Theology

Thomas Aquinas believed that human actions have kinds or species. He divided human actions into good, evil, or indifferent, and subdivided them into more particular kinds such as almsgiving, murder, ... More


Object

Joseph Pilsner

in The Specification of Human Actions in St Thomas Aquinas

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
May 2006
ISBN:
9780199286058
eISBN:
9780191603808
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199286051.003.0005
Subject:
Religion, Theology

Aquinas asserts on many occasions that human actions are specified by their objects. Two meanings he gives to the term ‘object’ are particularly significant. On some occasions, he uses ‘object’ to ... More


End

Joseph Pilsner

in The Specification of Human Actions in St Thomas Aquinas

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
May 2006
ISBN:
9780199286058
eISBN:
9780191603808
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199286051.003.0004
Subject:
Religion, Theology

Aquinas asserts that ends specify human actions, and explains this point by comparing human actions with other realities. For example, he maintains that an end is comparable to a form in a natural ... More


Human Actions and Aquinas's Moral Theory

Joseph Pilsner

in The Specification of Human Actions in St Thomas Aquinas

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
May 2006
ISBN:
9780199286058
eISBN:
9780191603808
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199286051.003.0002
Subject:
Religion, Theology

The importance of specification of human actions in Aquinas becomes clearer when one recognizes the indispensable role that human actions play in his moral theory as a whole. For Aquinas, human ... More


Proximate and Remote Ends

Joseph Pilsner

in The Specification of Human Actions in St Thomas Aquinas

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
May 2006
ISBN:
9780199286058
eISBN:
9780191603808
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199286051.003.0009
Subject:
Religion, Theology

There is an apparent paradox with respect to Aquinas’s teaching on proximate and remote ends. On some occasions, he seems to assert that a proximate end specifies a human action, while the remote end ... More


Conclusion

Joseph Pilsner

in The Specification of Human Actions in St Thomas Aquinas

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
May 2006
ISBN:
9780199286058
eISBN:
9780191603808
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199286051.003.0010
Subject:
Religion, Theology

This chapter shows that end, object, matter, circumstance, and motive can all be understood to contribute to the specification of human actions for Aquinas in a fundamentally consistent way. Although ... More


Matter

Joseph Pilsner

in The Specification of Human Actions in St Thomas Aquinas

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
May 2006
ISBN:
9780199286058
eISBN:
9780191603808
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199286051.003.0006
Subject:
Religion, Theology

Aquinas sometimes says that matter specifies a human action, and frequently uses ‘matter’ as an alternative term for ‘object’. He does not hold that all matter can determine a human action’s species, ... More


Circumstance

Joseph Pilsner

in The Specification of Human Actions in St Thomas Aquinas

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
May 2006
ISBN:
9780199286058
eISBN:
9780191603808
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199286051.003.0007
Subject:
Religion, Theology

A circumstance is an attendant property of an action. In murder, for instance, one might take note of the time, the type of weapon, or the perpetrator’s height. Although Aquinas in some contexts ... More


Does brain science change our view of free will?1

PATRICK HAGGARD

in Free Will and Modern Science

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780197264898
eISBN:
9780191754074
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:
10.5871/bacad/9780197264898.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind

This chapter explores the interaction between neuroscience and free will. First, it considers how freely willed actions should be defined. Second, it outlines current understanding of brain ... More


Conclusion

N. J. Sewell‐Rutter

in Guilt by Descent: Moral Inheritance and Decision Making in Greek Tragedy

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
January 2008
ISBN:
9780199227334
eISBN:
9780191711152
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199227334.003.0008
Subject:
Classical Studies, Plays and Playwrights: Classical, Early, and Medieval

This concluding chapter presents a synthesis of the discussions in the preceding chapters. It argues that issues of familial interaction, causation, human action, and moral responsibility in Attic ... More


Introduction

Joseph Pilsner

in The Specification of Human Actions in St Thomas Aquinas

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
May 2006
ISBN:
9780199286058
eISBN:
9780191603808
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199286051.003.0001
Subject:
Religion, Theology

A crucial task for any moral theory is to determine what makes a human action to be of a certain kind. For instance, what makes almsgiving to be in its own species rather than in the species of theft ... More


Dualism and the determination of action1

RICHARD SWINBURNE

in Free Will and Modern Science

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780197264898
eISBN:
9780191754074
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:
10.5871/bacad/9780197264898.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind

This chapter argues that it is most unlikely that neuroscientists will ever be able to predict human actions resulting from difficult moral decisions with any high degree of probable success. That ... More


Motive

Joseph Pilsner

in The Specification of Human Actions in St Thomas Aquinas

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
May 2006
ISBN:
9780199286058
eISBN:
9780191603808
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199286051.003.0008
Subject:
Religion, Theology

Aquinas says that motives are responsible for the specification of human action. ‘Motive’ can generally refer to any principle of movement, but two meanings are especially significant in the context ... More


Causes and Effects in The Revival of the Religious Sciences

Frank Griffel

in Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
September 2009
ISBN:
9780195331622
eISBN:
9780199867998
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331622.003.0009
Subject:
Religion, Theology, Islam

In Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din), a work that was written after the Incoherence (Tahafut), causes and effects play a very important role. Every event in this world is ... More


Physicalism and the determination of action

FRANK JACKSON

in Free Will and Modern Science

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780197264898
eISBN:
9780191754074
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:
10.5871/bacad/9780197264898.003.0004
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind

There is no single version of physicalism. There is no single argument for physicalism. There is, accordingly, no standard answer concerning the implications of physicalism for the causation of human ... More


Poverty and Human Development

Sabina Alkire

in Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction

Published in print:
2002
Published Online:
April 2004
ISBN:
9780199245796
eISBN:
9780191600838
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0199245797.003.0002
Subject:
Economics and Finance, Development, Growth, and Environmental

Each of the four chapters of Part I of the book synthesizes one aspect that must be specified in the operationalization of the capability approach, then proposes a framework for doing so. The issue ... More


Action and its Explanation

David-Hillel Ruben

Published in print:
2003
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780198235880
eISBN:
9780191679155
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198235880.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind

This book pursues some novel and unusual standpoints in the philosophy of action. It rejects, for example, the most widely held view about how to count actions, and argues for what it calls a ... More


On determinacy or its absence in the brain

HARALD ATMANSPACHER and STEFAN ROTTER

in Free Will and Modern Science

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
January 2013
ISBN:
9780197264898
eISBN:
9780191754074
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:
10.5871/bacad/9780197264898.003.0006
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind

This chapter analyzes the different ways to describe brain behaviour with the goal to provide a basis for an informed discussion of the nature of decisions and actions that humans perform in their ... More


Mind in Action

Bede Rundle

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780198236917
eISBN:
9780191679414
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198236917.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics/Epistemology

This book challenges the quasi-mechanical view of human action that is dominant in contemporary philosophy of mind. A materialist view of the mind and a causal theory of action fit together ... More


How to Be Happy

Brian Davies

in The Thought of Thomas Aquinas

Published in print:
1993
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780198267539
eISBN:
9780191600500
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0198267533.003.0012
Subject:
Religion, Theology

What is it that perfects and fulfils human beings and what is really good for them? To put it at its simplest, Thomas Aquinas’ answer is that we are perfect, fulfilled, and good when we are happy, ... More


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