Thomas Aquinas’ Theory of Knowledge through Connaturality in a Dispute on the Anthropological Principles of Liberalism by John Rawls
The anthropological principles of liberalism presuppose that an individual has a possessive character. It means that a person possesses only specified characteristics and attributes which define them from the outside but do not constitute their nature. The essence of what a person is remains entirely independent from specific choices.
Thomas Aquinas distinguishes between rational knowledge and affective knowledge. Explaining the structure of judgment through connaturality Thomas shows the relation between constitutive nature and human characteristics. Connaturality is achieved gradually as a result of a repetition of simple acts. This means that a person’s choices constitute human nature to some extent.