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Summa Theologica, Questions 90-97: Aquinas' discussion of law in STI-IIqq90-97--a discussion actually extending thru the less studied qq98-105--has been justly admired by jurists & others not otherwise interested in his work. But it's shaped by his concern there (1) to present for beginner theologians an overview of the cosmos & of the vast sweep of creatures out from thei Summa Theologica, Questions 90-97: Aquinas' discussion of law in STI-IIqq90-97--a discussion actually extending thru the less studied qq98-105--has been justly admired by jurists & others not otherwise interested in his work. But it's shaped by his concern there (1) to present for beginner theologians an overview of the cosmos & of the vast sweep of creatures out from their divine creator & back to the same transcendent being as their ultimate destiny & (2) to synthesize the traditional vocabulary & classic theological sources on law. So prominence is there given the eternal law by which god governs even inanimate creatures (by the laws of physics etc.) & to the participation of natural moral law in that eternal law. But when he's free from these textbookish constraints he emphasizes that law's most essential feature is something which isn't true of the laws of nature (physics, biology etc.), namely that it's an appeal to the mind, choice, moral strength & love of those subject to the law: ScGIII cc.114-117--Cf. STI-II q.91 a.2 ad3. Law is a plan for coordination thru free cooperation. The structure of things being as it is, the principles of practical reason & morality (natural moral law & right) can be understood, accepted & lived by, as fully directive in conscience, w/out needing to be regarded as (what they really are) an appeal from mind to mind, a plan–-freely made to be freely adopted--for integral human fulfillment. As the creator was in no way constrained to choose to create this universe as distinct from any other good possible universe, so human legislators have moral freedom to choose amongst alternative possible legal arrangements, making one set of provisions legally & (presumptively) morally obligatory by the sheer fact of adopting it–-that is, by what he calls their determinatio: I-II q.95 a.2; q.99 a.3 ad 2; q.104 a.1.


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Summa Theologica, Questions 90-97: Aquinas' discussion of law in STI-IIqq90-97--a discussion actually extending thru the less studied qq98-105--has been justly admired by jurists & others not otherwise interested in his work. But it's shaped by his concern there (1) to present for beginner theologians an overview of the cosmos & of the vast sweep of creatures out from thei Summa Theologica, Questions 90-97: Aquinas' discussion of law in STI-IIqq90-97--a discussion actually extending thru the less studied qq98-105--has been justly admired by jurists & others not otherwise interested in his work. But it's shaped by his concern there (1) to present for beginner theologians an overview of the cosmos & of the vast sweep of creatures out from their divine creator & back to the same transcendent being as their ultimate destiny & (2) to synthesize the traditional vocabulary & classic theological sources on law. So prominence is there given the eternal law by which god governs even inanimate creatures (by the laws of physics etc.) & to the participation of natural moral law in that eternal law. But when he's free from these textbookish constraints he emphasizes that law's most essential feature is something which isn't true of the laws of nature (physics, biology etc.), namely that it's an appeal to the mind, choice, moral strength & love of those subject to the law: ScGIII cc.114-117--Cf. STI-II q.91 a.2 ad3. Law is a plan for coordination thru free cooperation. The structure of things being as it is, the principles of practical reason & morality (natural moral law & right) can be understood, accepted & lived by, as fully directive in conscience, w/out needing to be regarded as (what they really are) an appeal from mind to mind, a plan–-freely made to be freely adopted--for integral human fulfillment. As the creator was in no way constrained to choose to create this universe as distinct from any other good possible universe, so human legislators have moral freedom to choose amongst alternative possible legal arrangements, making one set of provisions legally & (presumptively) morally obligatory by the sheer fact of adopting it–-that is, by what he calls their determinatio: I-II q.95 a.2; q.99 a.3 ad 2; q.104 a.1.

30 review for The Treatise on Law (Studies in Law & Contemporary Issues 4)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Árni Freyr

    Ég las þessa í útgáfu lærdómsritanna. Þýðing Þórðar Kristinssonar er frábær og stórskemmtilegur inngangur Garðars Gíslasonar þar sem stiklað er á stóru um ævi og fræðimennsku Tómasar var að mínu mati hápunktur bókarinnar. Hvað varðar ritið sjálft veltir Tómas upp mikilvægum spurningum um eðli laga og tengsl laga og siðferðis. Margar niðurstöður hans eru góðar og gildar enn í dag. En það fer ekki á milli mála að hann var kirkjunnar maður og hann hleypur oft í skjól trúarinnar þegar á móti blæs í r Ég las þessa í útgáfu lærdómsritanna. Þýðing Þórðar Kristinssonar er frábær og stórskemmtilegur inngangur Garðars Gíslasonar þar sem stiklað er á stóru um ævi og fræðimennsku Tómasar var að mínu mati hápunktur bókarinnar. Hvað varðar ritið sjálft veltir Tómas upp mikilvægum spurningum um eðli laga og tengsl laga og siðferðis. Margar niðurstöður hans eru góðar og gildar enn í dag. En það fer ekki á milli mála að hann var kirkjunnar maður og hann hleypur oft í skjól trúarinnar þegar á móti blæs í röksemdarfærslunum. Útleiðslur hans struku stærðfræðingnum í mér ansi margar öfugt og hann eyðir óheyrilega stórum hluta verksins í að þræta gegn tilbúnum mótrökum. Textinn á góða spretti en er heilt yfir alltof knappur. Það er þó ekki svo slæmt, því hann er víða óheyrilega þurr og leiðinlegur.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    This was the first book I completed upon enrolling into Loyola University Chicago's philosophy program, presumably for David Ozar's class on ethics. In this class we discussed Natural Law, Deontological and Utilitarian ethical systems, Aquinas being representative of the former. So far as Natural Law was concerned most class discussion concerned the position of the Catholic Church as regards abortion. Natural Law ethics is rather moribund today thanks to the general acceptance of evolutionary the This was the first book I completed upon enrolling into Loyola University Chicago's philosophy program, presumably for David Ozar's class on ethics. In this class we discussed Natural Law, Deontological and Utilitarian ethical systems, Aquinas being representative of the former. So far as Natural Law was concerned most class discussion concerned the position of the Catholic Church as regards abortion. Natural Law ethics is rather moribund today thanks to the general acceptance of evolutionary theory. The Thomistic position, however, is that every thing has a nature prefigured in the mind of the creator and that the goal of human behavior ought be to realize the harmonious perfection of these natures. The only person I have ever met who ostensibly subscribed to Natural Law ethics was Father Piderit, a Jesuit who served for a few disasterously tumultuous years as president of the university.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Aquinas believes law ideally creates good people by imposing moral obligations rather than forcing subjects to do or not do something. Human law is derived from natural law which comes from divine law, which is good. So all law, ideally, should be good because it comes from God and makes people want to be good. "Laws framed by men are either just or unjust. If they be just, they have the power of binding in conscience, from the eternal law whence they are derived.." Also, "the rules and measure of Aquinas believes law ideally creates good people by imposing moral obligations rather than forcing subjects to do or not do something. Human law is derived from natural law which comes from divine law, which is good. So all law, ideally, should be good because it comes from God and makes people want to be good. "Laws framed by men are either just or unjust. If they be just, they have the power of binding in conscience, from the eternal law whence they are derived.." Also, "the rules and measure of human acts is the reason, which is the first principle of human acts..Consequently it follows that law is something pertaining to reason". Yeah, kinda dry, so it was slow reading. I don't think I'll seek out any Aquinas again, but that's just personal preference.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Adam Cherson

    I rate this book a 4.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being best. A very interesting emphasis on the practical, as opposed to the speculative, as being the best foundation for the creation of laws. Suggests that the best type of government combines all the others and also that the appropriate response to tyrannical government is the ‘other cheek’ approach. There are some laws which may be ignored when there is a greater good for the community to be achieved. All laws commend acts of virtue but not a I rate this book a 4.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being best. A very interesting emphasis on the practical, as opposed to the speculative, as being the best foundation for the creation of laws. Suggests that the best type of government combines all the others and also that the appropriate response to tyrannical government is the ‘other cheek’ approach. There are some laws which may be ignored when there is a greater good for the community to be achieved. All laws commend acts of virtue but not all acts of virtue are commanded by laws since some virtuous acts are for the private good and laws are not made for the private good. Laws are better made by lawmakers than by judges, but judges are essential to work out details.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Thordur

    Tómas af Aquina var uppi á 13. öld. Á sama tíma og hann var að skrifa þessa bók þá geysaði Sturlungaöld á Íslandi. Þessi bók fjallar um lög, ýmiskonar lög. T.d. fjallar hún um mannalög, náttúrulög, og eilíf lög. Hvenær getum við fylgt lögum, hvaða lögum, og hverra er að fylgja lögum og hvenær er það ekki hægt? Tómas talar um þetta allt og á köflum þá verður þetta nokkuð flókið. Ég velti fyrir mér þýðingum á svona efni. Stundum virðist hugmyndin óskiljanleg eða að það vanti eitthvað inní. Tapaðis Tómas af Aquina var uppi á 13. öld. Á sama tíma og hann var að skrifa þessa bók þá geysaði Sturlungaöld á Íslandi. Þessi bók fjallar um lög, ýmiskonar lög. T.d. fjallar hún um mannalög, náttúrulög, og eilíf lög. Hvenær getum við fylgt lögum, hvaða lögum, og hverra er að fylgja lögum og hvenær er það ekki hægt? Tómas talar um þetta allt og á köflum þá verður þetta nokkuð flókið. Ég velti fyrir mér þýðingum á svona efni. Stundum virðist hugmyndin óskiljanleg eða að það vanti eitthvað inní. Tapaðist eitthvað við þýðingu eða er maður sjálfur ekki nógu glöggur til að skilja hvert verið sé að leiða mann? Gott samt að renna í gegnum þetta. Það situr alltaf eitthvað eftir.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Aquinas theological theory, "Treatise On Law" was that all law is came from the highest-----which is God. That by creation God sets limited being in existence apart from Himself. He also mentioned that there is no eternal law, because every law was exercise by someone. Since, there is no someone existing: that God alone is the eternity. The words alone above is enough for me to understand his theory, I'm not going to criticize Aquinas it's basically a fundamental idea that I grow up with, and I'm Aquinas theological theory, "Treatise On Law" was that all law is came from the highest-----which is God. That by creation God sets limited being in existence apart from Himself. He also mentioned that there is no eternal law, because every law was exercise by someone. Since, there is no someone existing: that God alone is the eternity. The words alone above is enough for me to understand his theory, I'm not going to criticize Aquinas it's basically a fundamental idea that I grow up with, and I'm however familiar with his law. Yes, I disagree with it completely, because his theory does not have enough proof to exercise with.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Luke Langley

    Treatise on Law covers Questions 90–97 of the Summa Theologica Part 1, it is a short but extraordinary set of questions from the 'Summa Theologica' treating the origins and nature of Law, human, natural, and divine law. Aquinas gives a definition of law (a certain dictate of reason, for the common good, made by him who has the care of the community and promulgated) followed by proofs for the founding authority of law, the limiting extents of law, and most importantly the purpose of law- "Law is Treatise on Law covers Questions 90–97 of the Summa Theologica Part 1, it is a short but extraordinary set of questions from the 'Summa Theologica' treating the origins and nature of Law, human, natural, and divine law. Aquinas gives a definition of law (a certain dictate of reason, for the common good, made by him who has the care of the community and promulgated) followed by proofs for the founding authority of law, the limiting extents of law, and most importantly the purpose of law- "Law is given for the purpose of directing human acts, and insofar as human acts conduce to virtue, to that extent does law make man good." (Q-92)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nick Shelton

    Four stars, Maybe closer to five. It's hard not to give the Summa five stars. To be honest, I thought I would hate this book. I read it originally for Phil & Eth. Aquinas gets a bad rap for strawmaning arguments and to be sure, he does that way too much for comfort, but his style demands he always has another argument so it kinda demands that. With that. Crisp political writing and solid argumentation. He even admits that political philosophy may progress over time. He sets up executive authorit Four stars, Maybe closer to five. It's hard not to give the Summa five stars. To be honest, I thought I would hate this book. I read it originally for Phil & Eth. Aquinas gets a bad rap for strawmaning arguments and to be sure, he does that way too much for comfort, but his style demands he always has another argument so it kinda demands that. With that. Crisp political writing and solid argumentation. He even admits that political philosophy may progress over time. He sets up executive authority and I think lays the groundwork for republicanism. Certainly a thrill to read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Luke Adams

    Foundational stuff.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marc Schaeffer

    brilliant! but I'm going to have to re-read it before concluding it is actually 100% correct.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Good!

  12. 5 out of 5

    JR Snow

    Really good stuff. Even if you disagree with the content of Aquinas, you have to appreciate his clear and precise form of writing. He basically sets forth his topic (For example, 'On the effects of law') and his specific question related to the nature or definition of it (for example, "Is the effect of law to make human beings good?") Then, he lists several objections to his question, citing authorities, arguments, and evidence along the way. Admittedly, some of his objections seem rather trite, Really good stuff. Even if you disagree with the content of Aquinas, you have to appreciate his clear and precise form of writing. He basically sets forth his topic (For example, 'On the effects of law') and his specific question related to the nature or definition of it (for example, "Is the effect of law to make human beings good?") Then, he lists several objections to his question, citing authorities, arguments, and evidence along the way. Admittedly, some of his objections seem rather trite, but many are not. Then, he summarizes his reply to their objections "I reply that" and proceeds to list his replies to the rebuttals to his question. This edition includes a helpful introduction explaining the contributions of Aristotle and the medieval synthesis.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Muath Aziz

    I read this book to dig deep into Christianity and also Christianity's prospective of Judaism. Now I'm more familiar of the christian language and resources and issues and way of thinking and so on. Both Judaism complete society system and Christ complete personality is seen comprehensively in Islam. I'm not being dogmatic, at least I always try to avoid that, I'm just trying to make a full account of religions meanings and means.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Everyman

    Difficult book to review properly...definitely five stars for thoroughness! However this reads more like a manual for whatever questions one might have regarding the reason behind laws (which is quite necessary if you have such questions).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rifat Islam

    loved the framing of how human laws are only legitimate if they are in accord with the natural and the divine. could be interesting to read further on how later thinkers on civil disobedience reconcile with aquinas' thought here on the force of law

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pam Seale

    Difficult read for me, but thought provoking.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  19. 4 out of 5

    D

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Kendall

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cory Civilla

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Nobody

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nomix

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robert Corzine

  26. 4 out of 5

    David Bock

  27. 4 out of 5

    .

  28. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bill

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Summers

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