This article analyzes the syntagma causa sui to seek an understanding of human liberty in the thought of Aquinas, in light of recent research.
The thomistic causa sui finds its inspiration from Aristotle and denotes the final causality of the agent. Some sustain that in Thomas, it acquires new connotations, that is, it implies the efficient causality of the subject. The author reviews the use of syntagma in the main thomistic authors so as to individuate the sense in which it is used in these contexts and later confirm whether it can be used as a valid element for a thomistic theory of subjectivity.
In choice, Thomas Aquinas assigns an order of causality between the intellect and the will. Hence there arises a problem of interpretation, insofar as only the causality of the intellect is frequently affirmed. The article first addresses the theme of the moral object, considering “object” as a freely chosen behavior, a choice, according to the Summa Theologiae I-II and parallel texts. Then the relation of the object to the end is presented. Finally, the article discusses elective dynamism in actions, underlining the balance that must exist between the will and the intellect to be morally qualifiable.