Thomism and Aristotelianism

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1952. New York: Praeger Press, 1979 reprint.

Summary from Publisher:

Dubbed a “minor classic” by Alasdair MacIntyre, Jaffa’s Thomism and Aristotelianism, that grew out of his doctoral dissertation, analyzes Thomas’ interpretation of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. The problem to be examined is how Aristotle’s “pagan” ethics might be interpreted in a non-pagan, indeed Christian, context. While Jaffa highlights the immense influence of Aristotle on Thomas, he also points to ways in which Thomas departed from Aristotle.

Table of Contents:

I. Introductory Statement of the Problem

II. Science and Ethics

III. Pagan versus Christian Ethics

IV. The Order of the Virtues

a. The Analytical Method of the Commentary
b. Critique of the Analysis of the Commentary
c. Summary

V. Heroic Virtue

a. Introductory
b. The Principle of the “Ultimate”
c. The Lowest Form of Courage
d. The Different Levels of Courage and Virtue
e. Heroic Virtue

VI. Magnanimity and the Limits of Morality

a. Magnanimity and the Relation of Praise to Opinion about the Gods
b. Friendship and Honor
c. The Superiority of the Magnanimous Man

VII. The Ambiguity of “Man” and the Limits of Human Happiness

a. A Review: The Levels of Morality
b. The Independence of the Moral Dimension
c. Thomas’ Reservations in Favor of Personal Immortality
d. The Ambiguity of “Man”
e. The Perfection of Human Happiness
f. Thomas against Averroes

VIII. Natural Right and Natural Law

a. Statement of the Problem
b. The Thomistic Doctrine of a Natural Habit of the Moral Principles
c. Thomas’ Identification of Natural Right and Natural Law
d. The Incompatibility of Thomistic and Catholic Natural Law and Aristotelian Natural Right
e. The Ultimate Dependence of Morality on the Theoretical Principles
f. Conclusion


Google Books