On the place of friendship in moral life

Here, I examine the place of human friendship in moral life from the standpoint of Aristotle’s and Thomas Aquinas’ ethical conceptions. I focus especially on the question of friendship’s relationship to happiness as the ultimate goal. Friends are necessary for people, not only because of some desire or weakness, or just as an aid to better carry out the contemplative activity of which a happy life consists; but rather, as objects of contemplation in themselves. Through friends we can attain self-knowledge while at the same time taking pleasure in their existence and virtuous life.

Aristotle’s God

This paper presents the Aristotelian conception of the eternal and unmovable substance, first mover of the world, as the supreme God in his theology. Starting with the common concept of “a god” and the demonstrations of its existence in the Physics and the Metaphysics, the problem of the kind of causality it exerts is examined. It is sustained that both types of causality are implied, that is, efficient and final. After completing its characterization in accord with Metaphysics XII, some problems which are still open to debate among the interpreters of Aristotle, are briefly indicated.

Human Nature According to Aristotle

First, Aristotle’s general concept of nature is explained, on the basis of its definition in the Physics as an intrinsic principle of change, and also it is shown that this concept represents the essential link that exists between being and change in things. On this basis, Aristotle’s view of human nature is presented, ascending from corporeal to psychic characteristics, and finally to the intellect, which is immaterial and independent from the body, in order to see that this view is the ground on which Aristotle’s ethical and political theses are founded.

Self-knowledge according to St. Thomas Aquinas

Self-knowledge has been considered in some great philosophical systems as the first and necessary fundament of human knowledge and science, but the path that was supposed to get opened in that way encountered soon unsurpassable barriers, because the very possibility of such self-knowledge was questioned by the philosophies that followed. Instead, in an aristotelian and thomist way of thinking, the self cannot be the first thing known, and yet, there would be no knowledge in general without some kind of original knowledge of the self. In this paper we try to illuminate the problems involved in this issue in the perspective opened by Francisco Canals and the reading of some key texts of St. Thomas Aquinas

Natural appetite and the essential structure of mobile being

This paper discusses the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas on the natural appetite attributed to all beings, including those lacking knowledge, in the framework of his finalist conception of nature. The purpose of the study is to clarify the epistemological status of Aquinas’ theses, and in particular, to what extent is the philosophical thesis of natural appetite based on data of experience, and in what sense is it a necessary truth, or is it based on Thomistic metaphysics of the good.