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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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Truth and Happiness

Truth and Happiness

(p.68) Chapter 4 Truth and Happiness
Wisdom, Law, and Virtue

Lawrence Dewan

Fordham University Press

This chapter focuses on the truth as the goal of human life, that is, on the truth as happiness, according to Thomas Aquinas. It emphasizes the importance of the practice of contemplation if one is to “get the idea of life.” We are living in an atmosphere soaked with interest in survival. We do not ask often enough, “ survival to do what?” We have made magnificent progress in developing the means of observation. We have hitherto unimaginable ability to study nature. And we have the means of communicating very widely such access to things. However, our mentality in these endeavors remains lamentably pragmatic. Although knowledge of new species will reveal new medical possibilities, there is a more important dimension to the situation. Knowledge of natural beings is a perfection of the mind, of the human person. It makes a human being happy. It makes life worth living. It is an introduction to God. It is an anticipation of eternal life.

Keywords:   Thomas Aquinas, truth, happiness, human life, contemplation

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