The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 13, Issue 4, Winter 2013

Michael Augros, Christopher Oleson
Pages 637-661

St. Thomas and the Naturalistic Fallacy

Certain scholars wish to acquit St. Thomas Aquinas of the “illicit inference from facts to norms” commonly referred to as the naturalistic fallacy. Seeing in certain passages his awareness of illegitimate ways to derive morality from natural ends, many have come to read Aquinas as agreeing with the view that knowledge of the moral order does not derive from knowledge of human nature and of the natural ends of its parts and powers. This paper aims to expose the deficiencies of this reading as a way of bringing more fully into view the whole thought of Aquinas on the question. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 13.4 (Winter 2013): 637–661.