more from Thomas Aquinas

Single Idea 1850

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / g. Moral responsibility]

Full Idea

If we are not free to will in any way, but are compelled, everything that makes up ethics vanishes: pondering action, exhorting, commanding, punishing, praising, condemning.

Gist of Idea

Without free will not only is ethical action meaningless, but also planning, commanding, praising and blaming


Thomas Aquinas (Quaestiones Disputatae de Malo [1271], Q6.reply)

Book Reference

Aquinas,Thomas: 'Selected Philosophical Writings', ed/tr. McDermott,Timothy [OUP 1993], p.176

A Reaction

If doesn't require some magical 'free will' to avoid compulsions. All that is needed is freedom to enact your own willing, rather than someone else's.