Ordo rationis and moral life. An unsuspected space of practical rationality in Thomas Aquinas’ thought

The article seeks to explore the meaning and function of ordo rationis within Thomas Aquinas’ moral doctrine. Abundant and converging signs invite to recognize such notion, being a general principle that structures the Thomistic ethics in its totality. Conversely, the device of ordo rationis develops a rich heuristic function, since it allows a detailed and homogeneous understanding of numerous major themes of Thomistic ethics, including: the configuration of human acts and their moral specification, the classification of virtues on the basis of their mode of regulation, and the articulation of the precepts of the natural law in relation to virtuous excellence.