Volume 13, Issue 1, Spring 2013
Critiques of the New Natural Law Theory
Rev. Kevin L. Flannery, SJ
Thomas Aquinas and the New Natural Law Theory on the Object of the Human Act
The author offers, first, an account of St. Thomas Aquinas’s Aristotelian-inspired understanding of the object of a moral act and of what morally that species contributes to the act of which it is a part. Then, with special (but not sole) attention to two passages in Aquinas cited frequently by the proponents of the new natural law theory—that is, Summa theologiae 2-2.64.7 and the commentary on Peter Lombard’s Sentences 18.104.22.168—the author argues that a close analysis of Aquinas’s remarks on objects and intentions does not support the claim that the new natural law theory is Thomistic. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13.1 (Spring 2013): 79–104.