April 23rd, 2008

Aquinas and Natural Virtue

I was thinking about Aquinas' theory of natural virtue.  He had the idea that reason, unaided by revelation, was perfectly adequate to construct a lot of ethical truth.
Aquinas thinks that some virtues are aimed at the limited human happiness achievable in this life through our natural capacities. He calls these "natural virtues" and follows Aristotle and Plato in his account of them.
Thomas Aquinas
    thought happiness a universal goal.

Without divine guidance,
    setting reason in the ruling role,

The mind defines virtue,
     building habits for a happy soul.

Not So Slight Philosophy

I'm very pleased to see that Liberty ran a rave review of Quee Nelson's book, The Slightest Philosophy.

The piece, by Warren Gibson, is titled "Expanding on Rand," and it's in the May 2008 issue.

I loved this paragraph of Gibson's review:
Now, self-publishing is the road taken by incompetents and idlers.  But a little page-flipping through "The Slightest Philosophy" suggests a well-organized work with lots of citations.  Then you settle down to read, and wonder of wonders: it's easy and pleasant.  You have in your hands  - well, let me just say it - a masterpiece.
There is something very catchy about the book.  I've even been thinking of reading it again.  I'm not sure I completely absorbed its lessons on my first breakneck tear through its pages.

What puzzles me in the book
is how clear she made things look.