Bonum amatur inquantum est communicabile amanti. Love and Good in the Metaphysics of Saint Thomas Aquinas


Enrique Martínez


Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 61, Issue 143 (January-June), 2012, pages 73-92




It is an authentic Saint Thomas Aquinas’ thought —and sometimes forgotten— that contemplative act consists on knowledge and love. To properly understand this thesis is necessary to examine the nature of love and the differentiation of its different types following the footsteps of Aquinas, and we do it from the “good is diffusive of itself ” principle, which means it communicates its own perfection. This process of differentiation of the types of love from this principle allows us to identify the self-giving love or giving of oneself as the most perfect one, because it is the one that best directs the union with the friend. But we argue that this friendly union is achieved by the interplay of one’s life among friends, so that this union is resolved in a contemplative act which necessarily involve knowledge and love. This helps us understand not only the preeminent place of contemplation in the order of human friendship, but even the man who is called by grace to live fully with God, that is, the loving contemplation of divine good.

Key words:

love, good, contemplation, Thomas Aquinas.



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