Volume 16, 1991
Egoism and Mortality in the Teleology of Thomas Aquinas
Aquinas holds that human actions are directed to a last end which is the supreme good and the complete satisfaction of the agent’s desires. He confronts serious difficulties in explaining how morally wrong or sinful choices and renunciatory acts are possible and in avoiding psychological egoism. The distinction that he makes between the concept of the last end as the fulfillment of desire and the object (God) in which that ful fillment is found enables him to alleviate these difficulties but still leaves him with a predominantly instrumental view of morality.