Thomas Aquinas on Natural Inclinations: Metaphysical Background, Philosophical Anthropology, and Relation to Goods and Precepts
How and why does a being’s nature relate to what is good for it? Thomas Aquinas provides an account such that a being’s nature endows it with powers and natural inclinations – tendencies, strivings, directednesses – for the very goods that constitute a flourishing life for beings of that nature. In this essay, I aim to present, elucidate, and motivate Aquinas’s rich and nuanced thought on natural inclinations and how it illuminates some of his key views in metaphysics, philosophical anthropology, and ethics. I first provide the background in Aquinas’s philosophical psychology and metaphysics, including his natural theology. Next, I take up the objection that evolutionary theory renders Aquinas’s thought on these matters obsolete. I then consider the natural inclinations of human beings, and specifically how these natural inclinations relate to practical cognition of basic goods and precepts.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Justin Matchulat, "Thomas Aquinas on Natural Inclinations: Metaphysical Background, Philosophical Anthropology, and Relation to Goods and Precepts", in "Esercizi Filosofici" 16, 2021, pp. 111-137