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ST. Thomas, the Common Good, and the Love of Persons
SRJ is a prestige metric based on the idea that not all citations are the same. SJR uses a similar algorithm as the Google page rank; it provides a quantitative and qualitative measure of the journal's impact. Section 4 addresses the different meanings of common good in the 20th century. Given that the classical version of the common good implies an anthropological position and a theory of the good, Section 5 extracts them from Aristotle's works, while Section 6 deduces policy implications from the previous definitions.
Finally, Section 7 analyzes two current economic theories from the point of view of their relation with the common good: economics of happiness and the capability approach. The final section presents a brief conclusion.. Luigino Bruni has written extensively on 18th-century Neapolitan philosopher and economist Antonio Genovesi, who revisits the classical tradition of the polis based on philia to posit that the market is built on philia. Moreover, it seems that what prevails today is an atomistic view of utility-oriented individuals, with very limited room for the common good.
As a result, the privatized individual good is dissociated from the public goods supported by a welfare state. Thus, this paper will argue for a specific view of the common good, wherein the personal and common good merge, and it will look at the economic consequences of this view.
Conceived by Aristotle and further developed later by St. Thomas Aquinas, this notion has been widely used for centuries. Given that the classical concept of the common good implies an anthropological position and a Theory of the Good, Section 5 extracts them from Aristotle's works, while Section 6 deduces policy implications from the previous definitions.
Why these two theories? I think that these currents could positively contribute to building an economy centered in human beings if their definitions of happiness and capabilities are consistent with the search for the common good. The final section presents a brief conclusion.
From a metaphysical point of view, it is obvious that, given its substantial nature, the human being takes precedence over the city, which is an association of human beings. Then, how should the following statement by Aristotle be interpreted? Aristotle recognizes the temporal priority of the parts of the polis when he explains how a house stems from the union of a man and a woman, a clan stems from the union of many houses, and a polis stems from a group of clans. For Aristotle, the end, though it may be last chronologically, is first ontologically.
When this good is complete teleion , it is self-sufficient autarkes. Consequently, the task of the political community and its related science — Politics — of the political organization and of society's authorities is to drive and support the good actions that enable all citizens to live this life of true happiness and goodness — i.
To have a good character that enables noble acts is to be virtuous. The idea of the common good underlies these notions.
As a result, Keys , p. In a nutshell, Aristotle views the common good or end as eudaimonia for all citizens, who are political animals and, thus, only achievable within the polis ; for him, the common good is the end of a just polis.
According to Elders , p. Aquinas follows Aristotle in this topic and many others , firmly believing that the good of individuals cannot be opposed to the common good. Elders explains , pp. On the other hand, by working for the common good, one serves best one's own authentic interests. One cannot act against the common good without at the same time causing damage to one's own well-being. According to St. Thomas, the citizens are de facto promoting the common good when they devote themselves to their own affairs while obeying the laws, provided the government is capable and the laws are just.
Indeed, also following Aristotle, Aquinas thinks that the object of general or legal justice — itself a virtue — is the disposition of all human actions toward the common good Summa Theologiae — ST — II-IIae q.
Which laws is Aquinas speaking about? He refers to just laws, which can be positive laws, albeit rectified by a natural law that points to the true good of individuals. The common good is not such because it is common, but because it is good. In other words, humans need a political order to be just and virtuous, thus following their natural inclination toward virtue and, as a result, toward happiness.
In Aristotelian terms, law and education helps individuals to be virtuous, as they need to overcome their akrasia incontinence. Yet, this must be reinforced by a normative and ethical order. Drawing away from Aristotle, Aquinas believes that the political common good is not the highest common good, which is God — the final common good. This does not imply that some particular human actions do not affect the political common good. For Aquinas, even the most private human actions have a communal aspect and can be geared or not toward the political common good.
What is then the political common good for Aquinas? This is for Aquinas the main role of politics. Clearly, at this point, it has surely become apparent that both Aristotle and especially Aquinas view the common good as rooted in the legitimacy of a theory of the good. Though ontologically grounded, the common good is for them a moral category. The content of this theory of the good will be discussed at length in the fifth section.
This point is clearer in Aquinas than in Aristotle — so much so that Mary Keys thinks that Aquinas interrupts his Commentary on Aristotle's Politics in book III because the rest of the book undermines the universality of his theory of the good in order to adapt it to different political regimes. She asserts , pp. Section 5 will also use Aristotelian grounds to argue for a theory of the good.
The classical theory of the common good was revisited in the 20th century, mainly by Catholic thinkers, and was adopted by the Catholic Church's Social Teaching. This doctrine renaissance included a debate about the relation between particular goods and the common good to determine which one takes precedence over the other, especially according to Aquinas.
For Aristotle, there is no opposition between these goods: true personal good is a common good. The political common good is, then, a justice-centered coordination of individual actions and society's institutions — good for both society and every citizen. Indeed, far from being opposite, common and particular true goods are complementary or correlative.
The fact that the specific content of the common good is determined by practical reason does not mean a sort of relativism, because practical reason is able to discover also some universal requirements of the common good. For Aquinas, this coincidence between common and particular good might be not without tensions and, in this sense, the common good has priority over the particular good.
In several passages, Aquinas affirms that the aim of the political society or the laws is to foster the common good see ST I-II, q. Sometimes the common good goes against our particular good; in these cases, we should understand the convenience of pursuing the common good surpassing our interests or affections.
Aristotle criticized two alternative theories of society and the common good. This case evokes the ethos of modern liberal theories. For Aristotle, the polis is not only a mere plurality of individuals see, e. In fact, in this version, the common good becomes a generalized private good.
Let us take a quick glance at these two alternative views of the common good. For Rawls, his theory of a well-ordered society, based on his famous two principles of justice, will make it possible for all to look for their individual conceptions of the good.
Yet, his view of rationality, reducing it to instrumental rationality and neglecting the content of people's desires or preferences based on reason, prevents a shared view of the good by definition see , Chapter VII. The role of the state is instrumental: it has to guarantee this combination of right and good by means of procedural regulations. Changing the meaning of the words, this may be dubbed a theory of the common good, but it strays far away from the classical theory.
For this liberal view, the human being is not a political animal in the classical sense, because to be a political animal means sharing a theory of the good. Instead, from the classical standpoint, the individual good is not different from the common good.
As MacIntyre , pp. The liberal position is besieged by severe issues. Second, a theory of rights or rules without a theory of the good does not help to find consensual solutions for deep moral questions. For example, MacIntyre raises the issues of abortion and old age, noting that a procedural approach to these matters automatically implies adopting a theory of the good without discussing it.
This is why, for Leszek Kolakowski , a perfectly neutral liberal society is actually unviable. With regard to the second alternative in Aristotle's classical doctrine of the common good, it has become widely rejected today, because it implies the dissolution of individuality in the whole of society.
Rudolf Jung popularized it in his book Der Nationale Sozialismus. Roughly, for them the common good is more common than good. Their strong inter-subjective anthropological conception builds specific communities that shape personal character.
As Keys , p. This basis will prove essential to build a social and economic policy leading to the Aristotelian version of the common good. In my paper , p. The word used by Aristotle to express language is logos , also meaning reason, which is the source of language.
Reason has a three-fold use: theoretical, technical and practical. Relying on practical reason, human beings are able to discriminate between good and evil. For Aristotle, social interaction proves crucial for both sustainability and the development of rationality. Individuals have a natural impulse toward association: they do not need a contract to become social — they are born social. Language: the human being is the only animal furnished with this capacity. Language does not develop independently from society Politics I, 2.
Communication, enabled by rationality, sociability and language. The ability to look for common aims, as a clarification of the deep meaning of sociability. For Aristotle, these aims are shared by a family or a polis : these are not mere aggregations Politics I, 2, a 18— A different aim of the will or a weakness of the will akrasia might lead to other behaviors, which might be deemed irrational, or asocial or immoral.
Fulfillment or eudaimonia as the individual and common end of all human beings Nicomachean Ethics I, 4 and 7. Virtue as the way of achieving eudaimonia NE I, 7. Given that man is a political animal, individuals must look for the common good, which is their true good.
This makes them flourish eudaimonia NE I, 2. Given the previous traits of human nature, what is good for man?
The Thomist: A Speculative Quarterly Review
Access options available:. The Thomist 64 : ST. College Dominicain Ottawa, Ontario, Canada In our observance of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is worthwhile to recall that the role of the philosopher is to provide, as Jacques Maritain said, the true philosophy of those rights. Thus, I see myself here as defending the universal right to live in a true city using this word to translate the classical "civitas" or "polis". While many articles in the Universal Declaration relate to this, I would cite especially article Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. The present paper was originally composed for a symposium on human rights sponsored by the Canadian Maritain Association and held in Ottawa, June, In the early s there was a rather acrimonious dispute among Thomists in North America, involving principally Charles De Koninck and Ignatius Eschmann, 0.
Items in TSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Abstract summary : This dissertation considers the contemporary importance of the concept of the common good. It argues that an important contribution towards understanding the common good, especially in its relation to the good of individual human beings, can be made by reexamining the thought of Thomas Aquinas. The first chapter treats Michael Sandel's critique of John Rawls's 'Theory of Justice', insofar as it bears upon the possibility, nature, and limits of a genuine common good. Various limitations in Rawls's liberal and especially Sandel's communitarian notion of the common good prompt an inquiry into Aquinas's position. The second chapter analyzes the mid-twentieth-century exchange between Thomists Jacques Maritain and Charles De Koninck on the relation between personal and common goods. Chapters three through five center on Thomas's texts themselves.
Jacques Maritain — , French philosopher and political thinker, was one of the principal exponents of Thomism in the twentieth century and an influential interpreter of the thought of St Thomas Aquinas. Jacques Maritain was born on November 18, in Paris. He was initially attracted to the philosophy of Spinoza. Both were struck by the spiritual aridity of French intellectual life and made a vow to commit suicide within a year should they not find some answer to the apparent meaninglessness of life. They returned to France in the summer of , and it was at this time that the Maritains explicitly abandoned bergsonisme and Jacques began an intensive study of the writings of Thomas Aquinas. He became full Professor in and, in , was appointed to the Chair of Logic and Cosmology, which he held until
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SRJ is a prestige metric based on the idea that not all citations are the same. SJR uses a similar algorithm as the Google page rank; it provides a quantitative and qualitative measure of the journal's impact. Section 4 addresses the different meanings of common good in the 20th century. Given that the classical version of the common good implies an anthropological position and a theory of the good, Section 5 extracts them from Aristotle's works, while Section 6 deduces policy implications from the previous definitions. Finally, Section 7 analyzes two current economic theories from the point of view of their relation with the common good: economics of happiness and the capability approach.
Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Maritain Published By Jacques Maritain Among the truths of which contemporary thought stands in particular need and from which it could draw substantial profiit, is the doctrine of the distinction between individuality and personality.
This text is reproduced in the form in which it was given. A more complete version will subsequently be published in book form. Both these schools of thought emphasise the strong connection between the human person and the common good.
Scholasticism and Politics (1940, 2011)
To submit your article to TJT, please click the link above to our online submission site. Jacques Maritain, one of the twentieth century's leading Christian philosophers in the Thomist tradition, offers us a temporal ideal for a universal, inclusive struggle for justice and integral liberation while retaining the unique contribution and centrality of Jesus Christ. For Maritain, a concrete historical ideal encapsulates in a given historical climate the best possible actualization or temporal manifestation of the integral liberation of the whole person in community, signifying redemption and heralding the Kingdom of God to come. Focusing on the human person, rights, and the common good, Maritain stands on the concrete historical ideal of the holy freedom of the individual whom grace unites to God, which has become our global ideal since its inception within the concrete events of the European Enlightenment, and the French and American revolutions of the eighteenth century. Maritain contends that individualism and collectivism represent two sides of the same solipsistic coin curtailing the pursuit of authentic personalism.
Она села и начала, подобно пианисту-виртуозу, перебирать клавиши Большого Брата. Бринкерхофф посмотрел на мониторы, занимавшие едва ли не всю стену перед ее столом. На каждом из них красовалась печать АНБ. - Хочешь посмотреть, чем занимаются люди в шифровалке? - спросил он, заметно нервничая. - Вовсе нет, - ответила Мидж.
Четверо. Всего трое. Халохот стиснул револьвер в руке, не вынимая из кармана. Он будет стрелять с бедра, направляя дуло вверх, в спину Беккера. Пуля пробьет либо позвоночник, либо легкие, а затем сердце.
The Person and the Common Good by Jacques Maritain. Translated by John J. Fitzgerald. New York Charles Scribner's sons
Сьюзан буквально онемела, когда эта страшная правда дошла до ее сознания. Северная Дакота - это Грег Хейл. Глаза ее не отрывались от экрана.
- Сомневаюсь, что Танкадо пошел бы на риск, дав нам возможность угадать ключ к шифру-убийце. Сьюзан рассеянно кивнула, но тут же вспомнила, как Танкадо отдал им Северную Дакоту. Она вглядывалась в группы из четырех знаков, допуская, что Танкадо играет с ними в кошки-мышки. - Туннельный блок наполовину уничтожен! - крикнул техник.
Последний файл обычно попадает в машину около полуночи. И не похоже, что… - Что? - Бринкерхофф даже подпрыгнул. Мидж смотрела на цифры, не веря своим глазам.