Turning to Aquinas

Candace Vogler (David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy, University of Chicago)

Date & Time:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


McNeely 233
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

Upper-level philosophy students are encouraged to attend.

Many contemporary theorists of virtue working in the Aristotelian tradition recognize some strengths of character—hope, for example, or humility or gratitude—as virtues, even though Aristotle does not address these explicitly.  I will argue that Aquinas's moral psychology, deeply indebted to Aristotle, gives insight into the role and structure of virtue in a way that helps to illuminate both the acquired virtues Aristotle recognized and the enlarged catalogue of virtues we now recognize.  In order to do so, Aquinas distinguished acquired virtue from infused virtue.  Infused virtue is a notoriously difficult topic.  I will close by considering how contemporary philosophers who are concerned about taking Aquinas's theology on board might begin to cope with infused virtue.

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