Aquinas’ integrated view of emotions, morality, and the person
Aquinas’ integrated view of emotions, morality, and the person.
Pacifica: Australasian theological studies, 14 (1), 55-70.
In this article the author argues that there are five components in Aquinas’ integrated account of emotions, morality and the person. Firstly, it is the rationally “fitting” or “consonant” with human nature that mediates the affective virtues as they structure the objects of emotions as specific emotional responses. Secondly, Aquinas outlines principles to ascertain a) how emotions are moral and voluntary and b) the need for certain right and good emotional responses. Thirdly, he highlights the psychological and physiological resonance of emotions in moral living. Fourthly, by an over-arching metaphor (the polis), Aquinas encapsulates the mutual tutoring and interdependence of intellect, will and emotions in practical reasoning. Finally, Aquinas’ insistence on the location and immanence of the affective virtues grounds his view of the body/spirit relationship.