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On Law, Morality and Politics, 2nd Edition (Hackett Classics) 2nd Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0872206632
ISBN-10: 0872206637
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Editorial Reviews

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Perfect for presenting the core of St. Thomas' teachings on law, morality, and politics. --Charles E. Butterworth, University of Maryland

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The best available selection of texts for the study of Aquinas' natural law doctrine. --Alfonso Gomez-Lobo, Georgetown University

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Language Notes

Text: English, Latin (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Hackett Classics
  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; 2nd edition (June 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872206637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872206632
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John M. Balouziyeh on December 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
In this volume, William Baumgarth and Richard Regan of Fordham University offer the reader selections from Aquinas's Summa Theologica (summary treatise on theology), which is comprised of Part I, dealing with God, creatures, and human nature; Part I-II, dealing with the human end, human acts, virtue, and law; Part II-II, dealing with specific moral virtues and human acts; and Part III, dealing with Christ's redemptive sacrifice (never completed). The portions of the Summa selected for the present volume revolve around the questions of law and morality and thus come mainly from Parts I-II and II-II of the Summa. The individual chapters of the present work treat the following topics: conscience, law, justice, property, war and killing, obedience and rebellion, tolerance and church-state relations, and practical wisdom and statecraft. Some of these questions are drawn not only from the Summa, but from Aquinas's Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard as well. The following is a review of some of Aquinas's questions treated in the present volume:

1. Law (Summa I-II)
A law is a promulgated ordinance of right reason for the common good that is created by the person who is charged with the care of the community. A good law has the effect of making men's behavior good. There are four kinds: (i) the eternal law; (ii) the divine law; (iii) the natural law; and (iv) the human law.
The eternal law is the eternal and unchanging Will of God. Although we cannot see it, we can perceive its effects through the rational orderliness of the universe. The eternal law is reflected in the divine law, which can only be known through God's revelation in the old law of the Old Testament and in the new law of the New Testament. The divine law is necessary to "give direction to human life" (p.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Mease on November 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
I found this an extremely effective collection of Aquinas. To my knowledge, Aquinas' writings are very scattered, but this volume does a good job of pulling his political and ethical writings together coherently. A full reading offers the knowledge of Aquinas' political theory, and a fair acquaintance with his ethical outlook. Not contained in this volume are writings on logic or metaphysics.

I have no complaints about the format of this text. It uses good footnotes, has introductions to several formats, and lays out everything in clear language (or as clear as Thomist doctrines can be, in any case).
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J Truffer on May 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
The excerpts of Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Theologica" are well-presented in this book. Aquinas blends together his Christian faith and ancient philosophy, especially Aristotle, to examine questions about law, human nature, faith, politics, and ethics. I read this for a class on political philosophy and found it particularly interesting, a bridge between the ancients (Aristotle, Plato, Sophocles) and the more modern philosophers (Machiavellie, Locke, Hobbes).
It is also a hard read. The structure of each section is rigid: Aquinas poses a question, gives three objections to his answer, quotes other sources to support his answer (be it Greek philosophers, early Christians like Augustine, or the Bible) and then explains his answer and refutes the objections. To read it straight through is tedious, but to read several sections and consider Aquinas' whole thoughts on subjects can be very interesting, especially in the study of philosophy or theology.
For a student of theology or philosophy, I think Aquinas is important to read and understand, even if from another version of his writings. This book does a good job in presenting Aquinas. Aquinas and his beliefs are more interesting than the reading itself, but it's worth a look if you are interested in studying faith and theology or philosophy. As a light read, though, this is not the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Savannah Hulsopple on January 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The way he organizes his arguments is so perfect, and so well done. If you ever want to argue with someone or something, you MUST read this and model after this.
On top of that, he attacks some very interesting subjects, and while his answer is usually no, sometimes he'll surprise you with a yes.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kk on December 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for an ethics course and I enjoyed the readings. The introduction of the book gives a fine representation of what is in the context of the readings. I would recommend this product for college courses or if you want to study one of the great philosophers.
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