Die Entwicklung der Ethik

Zusammenfassung / Summary

The paper is a review of T. Irwin, The Development of Ethics, vol.1: From Socrates to Re-formation, Oxford 2007. It gives an overview of the historical connections and discusses the central systematic issue of the book: Aristotelian Naturalism. Irwin uses the word ‘naturalism’ because Aristotle in his Function Argument (EN I 6) uses the nature of the human being as an argument for his thesis about the human good. But this is not the concept of naturalism of the present discussion because the nature of the human being is reason and reason is a normative entity. In such a naturalistic ethics not only the means but also the ends must be rational. This leads to the question: What is the relation of the Aristotelian concept of boulesis (desire of the end) to Aquinas’ concept of voluntas? According to Irwin, both are essentially rational desire. But this interpretation does not agree with EN I 13. According to Aquinas, voluntas belongs to appetitus which is a potentia passiva; it is rational because it is moved by amor intellectivus.

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