Studia Neoaristotelica

Volume 5, Issue 2, 2008

A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

Matthias Perkams
Pages 109-131

Naturgesetz, Selbstbestimmung und Moralität. Thomas von Aquin und die Begründung einer zeitgemässen Ethik.
A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

Starting from Aquinas’s natural law theory, the article discusses in which way one can ground an ethical theory relying on the concept of personal autonomy. This is possible because natural law, as a law of reason, determines the ends for which every individual human being reasonably may strive. In this context, it is also possible to justify the role of morality in human life. This is due to the nature of man as a social animal whose natural ends include a life in a human community. From this one can infer the two principles, not to harm others and to attribute his right to everybody. The application of those rules, as of any other rule of natural law, depends upon the person of the agent and his historical and social situation.