Personality and moral evil. The connection of vices

The Aristotelian moral tradition affirms that the virtues are connected, which also implies that the moral character is a unit in which there is organization and hierarchy. Moral vices, on the other hand, are considered in this tradition to be essentially unconnected. However, especially in the thought of Thomas Aquinas, there is a certain connection between some vices. This connection can be considered in two ways: either by attending to the individual and his own inclinations, a perspective which cannot be the object of science; or by attending to the connection between the objects of the appetitive inclinations, which is a consideration that attends to connections per se between moral vices and which, therefore, can be the object of science. Of this second type Aquinas’ consideration of the capital vices.

The mind as imago Dei according to Thomas Aquinas

The concept of imago Dei plays a fundamental role in the christian conception of human being. Saint Augustine’s conception of the mind, held in De Trinitate was determinant to the theorization of this subject throughout the Middle Ages. Indeed, this work exerted a capital influence on the way in which Thomas Aquinas understood this same topic. In this article, we explain the interpretation of the fundamental Augustinian concepts that intervene in Aquinas’ explanation of the mind as the image of God, such as those of likeness and image, those of mind, knowledge and love, those of memory, intelligence and will, as well as those of “dicens”, word and love. Through them, the human mind and its operations are conceived as a privileged reference to speak of God as Trinity, from the application of analogy. Just as in the human mind there is habitual presence to oneself (memory/dicense), from which comes, by intellectual means, a word in which one expresses one’s own nature, and, through this one, a love of self proceeds by way of will, which is a new way of affective presence of oneself, in God, from the Father, perfect as a subsisting being, the Word and Love proceed.

Person and Personality. From contemporary Psychology of Personality to Thomistic Metaphysics of the Person

In contemporary psychology there have been two opposing solutions to the problem of the relationship between person and personality. The first and most popular is dependent on the development of empiricist philosophy. It’s the total identification between person and the operating structure obtained trough biological and psychosocial development. Thus, they deny the substantiality of person, and states that person emerges when personality has been developed. The other solution is more in line with German philosophy and Kantian rationalism. It consists of the distinction between psychological and personality ontological personality, so much so that it appears that these are two completely separate things. This article proposes a solution to the problem in the light of the Thomistic metaphysics of person, which avoids the problems of both positions, and saves both substantial and historic character of the human person.

The analogy of faith and reason in Saint Thomas Aquinas

Speaking of reason and faith in the Year of Faith, arranged by Benedict XVI, is something entirely logical. To do so also in the light of St. Thomas Aquinas, on the day of his feast, is also very appropriate, since the Church proposes it as a model of the correct way of understanding the harmonious relationship that must exist between reason and faith (for example, Fides et ratio, 43-44). Following St. Thomas, it must be said that faith and reason can be spoken in multiple ways. That is, it is an analogous term that is predicated of many realities, ordered among themselves. By faith one can understand, in the first place, the object of faith, expressed in statements that must be believed; second, the act of faith, that is, the assent by which we accept these statements as true; and, finally, the habit of faith, that is, the virtue by which our intelligence is inclined to such an act with respect to that object.

Contributions of Rudolf Allers to the anthropological foundation of psychotherapy

Se cumplen este año los ciento treinta años del nacimiento y los 50 del fallecimiento del psiquiatra y filósofo austríaco Rudolf Allers (1883-1963). Este autor, que en su momento se hizo conocido para el público de habla española por el libro del filósofo francés Louis Jugnet, Rudolf Allers o el Anti-Freud, es hoy casi completamente desconocido para el público general, incluidos psicólogos y psiquiatras. No obstante lo cual, sus méritos propios y su lugar en la historia de la psicología y de la psicoterapia hacen que merezca la pena recordar algunas de sus ideas, en este doble aniversario. De él dijo su antiguo discípulo Viktor Frankl, creemos que justamente, que “ha anticipado la psicoterapia del futuro”.

Personal mode of subsistence as a substantial reflection, according Thomas Aquinas

When introducing the definition of person given by Boethius, Aquinas says that the name “person” is proper to the first substance of a rational nature, for individual subsistence occurs in it in a more perfect way. He supports this assertion by the fact that persons have dominion over their own actions. Having dominion over one´s actions entails spiritual powers’ capability to return upon themselves. Spiritual substances’ return upon themselves is complete since they are able to know their own essence. Supported by Proclus and by the De causis, Aquinas states that the basis for this operative reflection is a substantial reflection, which is nothing but the intimate mode of subsistence of spiritual beings. This reflective mode of subsistence is a kind of formal infinity. Therefore, being a person implies an infinite perfection. Ultimately, the paper shows that Aquinas sometimes calls “memory” this reflective mode of subsistence, hence being a person entails the constitutive self-presence of the mind, by which persons recall themselves

The intelectual cognition of material individual according to Aquinas

The topic of the intellectual knowledge of particulars is one of the most controversial of Thomas Aquinas’ theory of knowledge, because he asserts that the material individual cannot be object of the intellect, but it is known per se only through the senses. However, we intend to demonstrate in this paper, that the position of Aquinas is far richer: Even if material individual is not known “directe et per se” by the intellect, it is known “indirecte et per quandam reflexionem”. In his various works, Aquinas explains this topic holding the same doctrine but with a variety of nuances. We discover that there are different kinds of reflection of the intellect on the singular, and that we need to use concepts like “continuatio” and “applicatio” to understand their meaning. We also discover that differences between simple apprehension and judgment are significant on the intellectual knowledge of particulars

The Intellectual Cognition of Material Individual in the Thomistic School of Thought

There are two predominant traditions whitin the thomistic school that have been developed around the interpretation of Thomas Aquinas’s thesis of the intelectual knowledge of the material individuals: the one that has Cajetan as its prominent representative and the one whose leading exponent is John of Saint Thomas. Although both lines of interpretation assert that the intellection of the material singulars is indirect, the first one says that it is an inappropriate, confusing and discursive knowledge while the second holds that it is proper, distinct and immediate. In the first group we may place Thomas de Sutton, Capreolo and Cajetan while Ferrara, Báñez and John of Saint Thomas followed the second way. The continuation and modifications of these traditions in ongoing thomism, particularly in Jacques Maritain, Cornelio Fabro, Joseph Gredt, Joseph Maréchal and Francisco Canals Vidal are also expounded.

The Heart: An Analysis on Sensitive Affectivity and Spiritual Affectivity in the Psychology of Aquinas

Haecker and Hildebrand refer to “feeling” or “heart” as a new faculty different from will, whose existence should ensue from the existence of a spiritual affectivity. Neither the ancient pagan philosophy nor Christian thought, including saint Augustine and saint Thomas would have succeeded in recognizing this faculty. This paper seeks to show the fault of these statements with respect to Aquinas. Thus, it is noticed the linkage between the notions of affection and appetite elicited; the notion of passion is differentiated from that of affection; it is demonstrated the existence -in Thomas Aquinas-, of a spiritual affection and even the use of the word “heart” to refer to it. It is shown the close and complex relationship between spiritual and sensitive affection in Thomas Aquinas, who by the concept of “redundantia” makes “one heart”
from both species of affection.

Nature and will according to Thomas Aquinas

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.

Virtue and Being according to Thomas Aquinas

The word “virtue” is usually associated with the domain of the moral virtues, or with other dispositions that belong to the first species of quality. However there is a broader use of the concept of
virtue in Aquinas´ work. Virtue can be regarded as pure perfection, which is fully realized in God, “Virtus virtutum”. For the correct understanding of this doctrine it is highlighted the difference between “dimensional quantity” and “virtual quantity”. Saint Thomas not only identifies in God virtue with being but also he understands being in some way through the concept of virtue: God is the being according to all the power of being. The concept of “virtus essendi” is capital to understand Aquinas’ metaphysics of participation. While God is the being according to all the power of being, in creatures whose “essentia” differs from “esse”, being is found with a certain measure or mode and not according to all its power. Hence the need for the creature to complete the likeness of God, in whom being, essence and virtue are identical, through accidental determinations added to its substance. God is Goodness “per essentiam” because in Him being and virtue are identical. The creature is good by participation,
because being is not in it according to all its virtue. That’s why the perfection of substantial being (“esse simpliciter”) is completed by the perfection added by accidents, which intensify the perfection of the finite “virtus essendi”.