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Wisdom, Law, and VirtueEssays in Thomistic Ethics$
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Lawrence Dewan

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227969

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823227969.001.0001

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Natural Law and the First Act of Freedom: Maritain Revisited

Natural Law and the First Act of Freedom: Maritain Revisited

(p.221) Chapter 14 Natural Law and the First Act of Freedom: Maritain Revisited
Wisdom, Law, and Virtue

Lawrence Dewan

Fordham University Press

According to Jacques Maritain, his essay “La dialectique immanente du premier acte de libert é (notes de philosophie morale)” is closely tied to two very important texts of St. Thomas, firstly, on the question: Can the human being, by its natural power, without grace, love God above all? The other on the question: Can venial sin be present in someone along with original sin alone? He also recommends reading Thomas de Vio, Cardinal Cajetan's commentary on the latter item. This chapter recalls Maritain's teaching and raises some questions about it. It also looks at Cajetan's comments on Thomas. It shows that Maritain makes knowledge of God a central feature of the first moment in the moral life.

Keywords:   Jacques Maritain, natural law, freedom, Thomas Aquinas, knowledge of God, moral life, Thomas de Vio

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