International Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 56, Issue 4, December 2016

Randall Colton
Pages 393-410

A Thomistic Defense of the Distinction Between the Moral and Intellectual Virtues

Contemporary virtue epistemologists often evince a great deal of sympathy for the virtue ethics of Aristotle and Aquinas. For the most part, they also deny the distinction between the moral and intellectual virtues that is common to Aristotle and Aquinas. More sustained reflection on Thomas’s account of the intellectual virtues can show that this distinction has been too hastily dismissed. To that end this paper will offer a defense of Thomas’s version of the distinction by responding to four theses that are often taken to provide compelling grounds for rejecting it.