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Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Promise of the Common Good

$47.99 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521722384

$ 47.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Promise of the Common Good claims that contemporary theory and practice have much to gain from engaging Aquinas’s normative concept of the common good and his way of reconciling religion, philosophy, and politics. Examining the relationship between personal and common goods, and the relation of virtue and law to both, Mary M. Keys shows why Aquinas should be read in addition to Aristotle on these perennial questions. She focuses on Aquinas’s Commentaries as mediating statements between Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics and, Aquinas’s own Summa Theologiae, showing how this serves as the missing link for grasping Aquinas’s understanding of Aristotle’s thought, in relation to Aquinas’s own considered views. Keys argues provocatively that Aquinas’s Christian faith opens up new panoramas and possibilities for philosophical inquiry and insights into ethics and politics. Her book shows how religious faith can assist sound philosophical inquiry into the foundation and proper purposes of society and politics.

    • First major book by a political theorist on Aquinas's thought since Harry V. Jaffa's Thomism and Aristotelianism
    • Advances a political understanding of Aquinas's natural law and virtue theories with reference to today's ethical, social, and political issues
    • Interdisciplinary approach and scope that integrates politics, social and political theory, philosophy, ethics, legal theory, and theology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "[A] surprisingly timely book. As the Bush era winds down, critics aim broadsides at the 'faith-based' approach to social problems that has been a signature policy of the administration. While hostility to government collaboration with religion has varied sources, one of these is the suspicion that common-good theory grounded in natural law is disguised sectarianism in conflict with democratic pluralism. [This book] is no mere exercise in academic antiquarianism. Its argument is relevant to efforts to reform the ethos of American public life today."
    -Russell Shaw, Crisis Magazine

    "Both methodologically and substantively, Keys has charted new paths for thinking about Aristotle, Aquinas, and the common good in contemporary political thought."
    - Todd Breyfogle, University of Denver, Perspectives on Politics

    "Key's well written work implicitly invites readers to test her theses by going back to the primary sources."
    -J.Brian Benestad, Ph.D., The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521722384
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Virtue, Law and the Problem of the Common Good:
    1. Why Aquinas? Reconsidering and receiving the common good
    2. Contemporary responses to the problem of the common good: three Anglo-American theories
    Part II. Aquinas's Social and Civic Foundations:
    3. Unearthing and appropriating Aristotle's foundations: from three Anglo-American theorists back to Thomas Aquinas
    4. Reinforcing the foundations: Aquinas on the problem of political virtue and regime-centered political science
    5. Finishing the foundations and beginning to build: Aquinas on human action and excellence as social, civic, and religious
    Part III. Moral Virtues at the Nexus of Personal and Common Goods:
    6. Remodeling the moral edifice (I): Aquinas and Aristotelian magnanimity
    7. Remodeling the moral edifice (II): Aquinas and Aristotelian legal justice
    Part IV. Politics, Human Law, and Transpolitical Virtue:
    8. Aquinas's two pedagogies: human law and the good of moral virtue
    9. Theological virtue and Thomisitic political theory.

  • Author

    Mary M. Keys, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
    Mary M. Keys is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. She has received fellowships from the Erasmus Institute, University of Notre Dame, the Martin Marty Center for Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago, and the George Strake Foundation, among others. Her articles have appeared in American Journal of Political Science and History of Political Thought.

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