Wisdom, happiness and perfection: the relation between theoretical knowledge and moral goodness with the ultimate end and happiness in Saint Thomas’ thought

This article intends to answer the question of how Thomas Aquinas can define the ultimate human happiness as an operation of the intellect, even though the intellect does not make us morally good. First of all, the article explains why Aquinas considers happiness essentially as an act of the intellect. Secondly, it contests the interpretation that happiness understood as an intellectual act is only achievable in a life after death. Furthermore, it argues that this primacy of intellect in no way diminishes the value of the practical and moral life, by showing how and why the moral goodness is necessary to achieve happiness.