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Aquinas on Human Action and Natural Change.
</>The goal of my dissertation is to defend the claim that, on Aquinass view, human actions have a structure analogous to that of natural changes. I substantiate this claim by looking at issues in Aquinass action theory such as Aquinass conditions of voluntariness, his account of the reasons for action, his theory of the unity of action, and his discussion of free decision. I argue that the criteria for voluntariness are, for Aquinas, similar to the criteria that a motion needs to satisfy in order to be natural. Second, I argue that the motivational apparatus explaining action is, on Aquinass view, grounded on a natural desire, namely the desire to be happy. Third, I argue that human actions are sandwiches constituted by the mental acts causing the action, and the change caused by these mental acts, just as motions are sandwiches of action and passion. Fourth, I draw attention to an issue often neglected in research on Aquinass theory of action: his theory of mental action. I suggest that mental action (e.g. making a decision) differs significantlyfrom bodily action, but that both types of action are nonetheless in light of Aristotles theory of self-motion</>.</> </>
Date:8 Sep 2011 → 11 Apr 2016
Keywords:Theology and the sciences, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, Semantics of theological language, Philosophy of language, Philosophical theology, Negative attributes
Disciplines:Theory and methodology of philosophy
Project type:PhD project