Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Understanding of Good and Evil as Objects of Emotions

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Jadwiga Guerrero van der Meijden


The aim of this article is to investigate the taxonomy of emotions formulated by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Thomas’ vision of a human being as a unity of soul andbody results in a conclusion that emotions are states of persons, yet it is possible to name a particular power of a soul responsible for the appearance of emotions – it is a sensitive appetite. Referring back to Aristotle’s theory of motion, St. Thomas calls emotions passive movements of a sensitive appetite into two directions: towards good or away from evil. In this article bonum and malum are considered as objects of emotions what poses a question about the positive or negative value of purely emotional states.


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