Contingency and Fortune in Aquinas' Ethics

Review and recommend books and other resources such as videos, tapes or websites that you would like other Christians to be aware of. (posts considered spam will be removed)
Post Reply
User avatar
Jac3510
Ultimate Member
Posts: 5489
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:53 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Location: Fort Smith, AR
Has liked: 137 times
Been liked: 335 times
Contact:

Contingency and Fortune in Aquinas' Ethics

#1

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:09 pm

My review of John R. Bowlin's book Contingency and Fortune in Aquinas' Ethics. Great book :)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you want a better understanding of virtue theory, or ethics in general, this book should definitely be on your reading list. Bowlin argues that Aquinas' view of the virtues is that they are functional in nature--that is, that they help us interact with the world around us and make the right choice in any given situation.

Extremely important to this is the idea that nothing, except God, is good in and of itself, but rather that things are contingently good. That is, what may be good in one case may not be good in another (thus, consider the old dilemma of lying to a killer to save your family). While deontologists and teleologists have spent their time trying to work out some sort of objective methodology to account for such variations, Aristotelians, like Aquinas, can rely on the virtues to help them perceive the right order and respond accordingly.

In light of this, Bowlin does an excellent job defending the fact of contingency in moral issues and its relation to the virtues, especially courage (though the others are not ignored). He also fairly deals with three main objections to his view: whether or not Aquinas actually held it, whether such a view robs life of joy by insisting on constant toil, and whether such a view is inherently unfair since people have different experiences in life and thus different chances at developing the virtues.

In the end, classical Thomists will find a solid defense for their view. Those of Augustinian, Stoic, or Kantian persuasions, and even some Thomists like Geisler who hold to a different interpretation of virtue ethics, will find the arguments worth considering. Highly recommended.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

User avatar
Kurieuo
Technical Admin
Posts: 9659
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:25 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Progressive Creationist
Location: Qld, Australia
Has liked: 590 times
Been liked: 611 times

Re: Contingency and Fortune in Aquinas' Ethics

#2

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:14 am

Sounds interesting, but that's one expensive book! :shock:

User avatar
jlay
Ultimate Member
Posts: 3616
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:47 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 9 times

Re: Contingency and Fortune in Aquinas' Ethics

#3

Post by jlay » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:02 pm

Yep,

That price is unethical!! :pound:
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

Post Reply