As professor of theology at the University of Paris in the mid-13th century, Thomas Aquinas (1224–74) made the study of morality a major part of his course.1 He had taken a degree in liberal arts, with philosophy as core subject, at the state university in Naples and then studied theology at Paris and Cologne under Albert the Great as key teacher. In Cologne Albert’s lectures on the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle (as transcribed by Aquinas) opened the door to the ethical thinking of the ancient Greek and Latin philosophers, as well as to the Fathers of the early Christian Church (such as Augustine, Ambrose, Gregory the Great, John Chrysostom and John Damascene), to the Greek and Latin commentators on Aristotle, to Boethius and Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite, to the classics of Roman and ecclesiastical law, and to the ethical writings of Moses Maimonides and of Avicenna and Averroes.2


Moral Agent Moral Philosophy Moral Virtue Nicomachean Ethic Moral Good 
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Works of Thomas Aquinas with Ethical Content

  1. 1.
    Scriptum in libros Sententiarum,AD 1252–56, Commentary on Peter Lombard’s Sentences no English version (cited as InS).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Quaestiones Disputatae de veritate,1256–59, Disputed Questions on Truth trans. Mulligan, McGlynn and Schmidt, 3 vols. (Chicago, Regnery, (DV) 1952–54).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Summa contra Gentiles,1259–64, On the Truth of the Catholic Faith against the Gentiles trans. Pegis, Anderson, Bourke, O’Neil, 5 vols. (New York: Doubleday, 1955–57; reprinted Indiana: Notre Dame University Press (CG) 1975).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Expositio in librum Job,circa 1261–62, no English version (InJ).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Quaestiones Disputatae de malo, 1266–67, Disputed Questions on Evil, trans. John and Jean Oesterle (Indiana: Notre Dame University Press, ( DM ) 1986 ).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    De regno, ante 1267, On Kingship, trans. Phelan and Eschmann (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (DR) 1949 ).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Quaestiones Disputatae de virtutibus, 1269–72, partial versions: On the Virtues in General, trans. J. P. Reid (Indiana: Providence College Press, 1951; On Charity, trans. L. H. Kendzierski ( Milwaukee: Marquette University Press (Vir) 1960 ).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Expositio in libros Ethicorum,1265–70, Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics trans. C. I. Litzinger, 2 vols. (Chicago: Regnery (EE)1964).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Summa Theologiae,Part II, 1269–70, Summa of Theology trans. English Dominicans, 22 vols. (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1912–36; reprint in 3 vols. New York: Benziger, 1947–48); Latin-English edition, by T. Gilby et al. 60 vols. (New York: McGraw-Hill (ST) 1964–74).Google Scholar

Secondary Works

  1. 1.
    Armstrong, P. A., Primary and Secondary Precepts in Thomistic Natural Law Teaching ( The Hague: Nijhoff, 1966 ).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bourke, V. J., St. Thomas and the Greek Moralists (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1948 ); Ethics. A Textbook in Moral Philosophy ( New York: Macmillan, 1966 ).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chenu, M. D., Toward Understanding St. Thomas, trans. A. M. Landry and D. Hughes ( Chicago: Regnery, 1964 ).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    D’Arcy, E., Conscience and Its Right to Freedom ( London and New York: Sheed & Ward, 1961 ).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Finnis, J., Natural Law and Natural Rights ( Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980 ).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Grisez, G., Christian Moral Principles ( Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1983 ).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Grisez, G. and R. Shaw, Beyond the New Morality ( Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1974 ).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jaffa, H. V., Thomism and Aristotelianism. A Study of the Commentary by Thomas Aquinas on the Nicomachean Ethics (University of Chicago Press, 1952).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Klubertanz, G., Habits and Virtues ( New York: Appleton-CenturyCrofts, 1965 ).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kluxen, W., Philosophische Ethik bein Thomas von Aquin ( Mainz: Gruenewald, 1964 ).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mclnerny, R., Ethica Thomistica. The Moral Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas ( Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1982 ).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Midgley, E. B. F., The Natural Law Tradition and the Theory of International Relations ( New York: Harper & Row, 1975 ).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    O’Connor, D. J., Aquinas and Natural Law ( London: Macmillan, 1968 ).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Oesterle, J., Ethics. Introduction to Moral Science ( Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1957 ).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Pieper, J., The Four Cardinal Virtues ( Indiana: Notre Dame University Press, 1967 ).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tranoy, K. E., Thomas av Aquino som Moral Filosof. Prefaced by English summary (Oslo: Universitetsforiget, 1957 ).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Veatch, H., Rational Man ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1964 ).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Weisheipl, J. A., Friar Thomas d’Aquino (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1974 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Vernon J. Bourke 1989

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  • Vernon J. Bourke

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