Ethica Thomistica: The Moral Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas

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CUA Press, 1997 - Philosophy - 129 pages
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First published fifteen years ago, Ethica Thomistica is widely recognized as one of the finest introductions to St. Thomas's moral philosophy. Though the book has been out of print for several years, scholars and students still refer to it as the standard resource on Thomistic ethics. In this much-anticipated, revised edition, Ralph McInerny revisits the basics of Thomas's teachings and offers a brief, intelligible, and persuasive summary.

Chapters: Morality and Human Life; The Good for Man; Ultimate End and Moral Principles; The Structure of the Human Act; Good and Evil Action; Character and Decision; Prudence and Conscience; Religion and Morality


Ralph McInerny is Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies and director of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught since 1955. He is founder and publisher of Catholic Dossier magazine; cofounder of Crisis magazine; and author of several books published by CUA Press, including Aquinas on Human Action (1992), The Question of Christian Ethics (1993), and Aquinas and Analogy (1996).


"Remarkable for its moderation and common sense. . . . [McInerny] rapidly sketches selected themes from Thomistic moral thinking: what distinguishes the moral activities of man, what is distinctive of moral goodness (in Aristotle and in Aquinas), an analysis of practical reason in relation to natural law, the bases for judging good and evil moral actions, the roles of intellect and will in voluntary activity, the work of virtues as components of moral character, the functions of prudence and conscience, and finally the relation of ethics to religious belief. . . . For the person who desires a quick and understandable introduction to this subject, this little book can be recommended as readable and reliable."--Vernon J. Bourke, Speculum

"An important contribution both to moral philosophy and to its teaching. . . . [McInerny] has put us all in his debt by writing it."--Alasdair MacIntyre, Teaching Philosophy

"A clear, thorough and readable introduction to the thought of one of the intellectual giants of the Catholic moral tradition."--National Catholic Register


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Morality and Human Life
The Good for Man
Ultimate End and Moral Principles
The Structure of the Human Act
Good and Evil Action
Character and Decision
Prudence and Conscience
Religion and Morality
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About the author (1997)

Ralph McInerny was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 24, 1929. He served in the Marine Corps in the late 1940s. He received a bachelor's degree from St. Paul Seminary in 1951, a master's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1952 and a doctorate in philosophy from Laval University in Quebec in 1954. He was a member of the University of Notre Dame faculty from 1955 until 2009. He gained international renown as a scholar, author and lecturer who specialized in the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. During his academic career, he was the Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies and director of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame. He is founder and publisher of Catholic Dossier magazine and co-founder of Crisis magazine. His philosophical works include Aquinas on Human Action, The Question of Christian Ethics, and Aquinas and Analogy. His novels include the Father Dowling Mystery series, an Andrew Broom Mystery series, and the Sister Mary Teresa Mystery series. He also wrote under the pseudonyms of Harry Austin, Matthew FitzRalph, Ernan Mackey, Edward Mackin, and Monica Quill. He died on January 29, 2010 at the age of 80.

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