Nature and will according to Thomas Aquinas


Martín F. Echavarría


Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 66, Issue 154, 2017, pages 345-377




Modern philosophy has made of the opposition between nature and freedom one of the central points of anthropology and ethics, but Thomas Aquinas’ position is very different. This author considers that nature and will not only are not opposed, but the former is preserved and elevated in the latter. Natural and voluntary are only opposed when “natural” is taken in a precisive sense. The voluntary and the natural have in common the proceeding of interiority, unlike the violent. They differ in that the natural is spoken of in a precisive sense when the entity is directed to an end that it does not know as such, while the voluntary supposes the knowledge of the end. The will itself has an act per modum naturae, which is the appetite for human goods. These are the acts of voluntas ut natura, which differs from voluntas ut ratio. Finally, even realities that depend on the deliberate will are called “natural” insofar as through them are acted inclinations inchoated in the natural will, and terminated by the deliberate will.

Key words:

Will, nature, Thomas Aquinas, Voluntas ut Natura, Natural Law.



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