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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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St. Thomas and the First Cause of Moral Evil

St. Thomas and the First Cause of Moral Evil

(p.186) Chapter 11 St. Thomas and the First Cause of Moral Evil
Wisdom, Law, and Virtue

Lawrence Dewan

Fordham University Press

In seeking the first cause of moral evil, St. Thomas Aquinas was not content to speak only of the deficiency in the will's choice, nor again to speak only of the freedom of the will itself, taken as a good thing created by God. Rather, between these two, namely, the privative deficiency and the good nature, he insisted on the necessity to posit in the free operation of the will a pure negation, a non-considering of the rule, that is in no way culpable, nor indeed in any sense an evil, but that is absolutely indispensable for an adequate conception of the first cause of moral evil. This chapter investigates the first cause of moral evil as presented in the Summa contra gentiles (SCG) 3.10 that we find the requirement for the first time and Quaestiones disputatae de malo 1.3.

Keywords:   Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, Quaestiones disputatae de malo, moral evil, will

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