Political History

Aquinas: Political Writings by Thomas Aquinas, R. W. Dyson

By Thomas Aquinas, R. W. Dyson

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) is an exceptionally influential determine within the historical past of Western inspiration and the Catholic church. during this significant addition to the Cambridge Texts within the historical past of Political notion sequence, Robert Dyson has translated texts through Aquinas that replicate the full diversity of his considering, and obviously convey his improvement of a Christian model of the philosophy of Aristotle. His translations are supported by way of short biographies, notes for additional interpreting and a concise serious advent.

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Now something is directed rightly when it is led to its proper end, and not rightly when it is led to an end which is not proper to it. But the end proper to a community of free men is different from that of slaves.  If, therefore, a community of free men is ordered by a ruler in such a way as to secure the common good, such rule will be right and just inasmuch as it is suitable to free men. If, however, the government is directed not towards the common good but towards the private good of the ruler, rule of this kind will be unjust and perverted; and such rulers are warned by the Lord at Ezekiel :, where He says: ‘Woe be to the shepherds that do feed themselves’ – because they seek only gain for themselves.

L. ), A History of Political Philosophy (Chicago, ), pp. ff; J. Tooke, The Just War in Aquinas and Grotius (London, ); J. Dunbabin, ‘The Reception and Interpretation of Aristotle’s Politics’, in N. Kretzmann, A. Kenny and J. ), The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy (Cambridge, ); J. I. Catto, ‘Ideas and Experience in the Political Thought of Aquinas’, Past and Present  (), pp. ff. Medieval political thought A. Black, Political Thought in Europe, – (Cambridge, ); J.

He thinks that law derives the morally important aspects of its character not from the will or command of a legislator, but from the rational content which it embodies; and legislative pronouncements which depart from, or which fail to institutionalise, the natural law simply do not have the character of law. Promulgation and command are important parts of what make law a reality, and there is a formal or technical sense in which even bad laws are laws; but no one who commands or promulgates something against nature makes law in the proper sense.

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