On intellectual desire according to Thomas Aquinas


Magdalena Bosch y Abel Miró i Comas


Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 68, Issue 158, 2019, pages 365-394




The aim of this article is to offer a metaphysical analysis of the notion of intellectual desire in Thomas Aquinas. Intellectual desire is studied from its origin in the esse of the personal subject to its full development in the “love of friendship”. It is shown that the intellectual appetite consists of a singular faculty, that is, distinct from the intellect. In addition, the intellective desire is rooted, like the intellect, in the esse of the subject, of which it can be considered as an “expansion” or “distension”; it also examines the “relative” superiority of love in the interpersonal relationship; it is considered the radical ordering of intellectual desire to “happiness”, which is also, ultimately, an ordination to God; and finally, it is exposed that, from Aquinas’ point of view, man’s “happiness” is impossible without the “coming out of oneself” implied in the “love of friendship”.

Key words:

Thomas Aquinas, intellectual desire, friendship, happiness, metaphysics, ethics.


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