The Presence of Aristotle in Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Treatise of Temperance


Leo J. Elders


Espíritu: cuadernos del Instituto Filosófico de Balmesiana, ISSN 0014-0716, Year 65, Issue. 152 (july-december), 2016, pages 327-348




An introduction describes the meaning of temperance in the philosophy of Plato, Aristotle and the Stoa. Ambrose considered it a cardinal virtue. Thomas brings clarity by dividing temperance into integral, subjective and the potential parts. Can a virtue be opposed to natural inclinations? Temperance does not withhold us from those pleasures which are conform to reason, it concerns the pleasures of touch consecutive on operations, ordained to the conservation of the individual and the species. Contrary vices intemperance and insensitivity. An integral part is feeling shamed. Subjective parts are abstinence and fasting, chastity and purity.

Finally, the so called potential parts are mentioned such as clemency, studiousness and curiosity.


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