Aquinas on the Emotions: A Religious-Ethical Inquiry (Moral by Diana Fritz Cates

By Diana Fritz Cates

We all are looking to feel free and stay good. occasionally extreme feelings impact our happiness―and, in flip, our ethical lives. Our feelings may have an important effect on our perceptions of truth, the alternatives we make, and the ways that we engage with others. will we, as ethical brokers, impact our feelings? will we have any selection by way of our feelings?

In Aquinas at the Emotions, Diana Fritz Cates indicates how feelings are composed as embodied psychological states. She identifies different factors, together with spiritual ideals, intuitions, pictures, and questions which may have an effect on the formation and the process a person's feelings. She attends to the appetitive in addition to the cognitive measurement of emotion, either one of which Aquinas translates with flexibility. the result's a strong research of Aquinas that also is a source for readers who are looking to comprehend and domesticate the emotional measurement in their lives.

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Additional resources for Aquinas on the Emotions: A Religious-Ethical Inquiry (Moral Traditions)

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To encounter another’s worldview in a way that permits understanding, we must encounter it as a meaningful possibility relative to our own way of viewing things. This requires having our own view in mind all along as a view but also as an object for thought. It requires trying to articulate our view, at least to ourselves, asking ourselves why we continue to hold it and how it shapes our experiences of reality. We will perforce make many judgments of a comparative nature as we approach another’s way of seeing things—judgments about whether this alternative possibility makes sense, whether it has better or worse explanatory power than ours, whether it can meaningfully be lived, and so on.

Our task is to understand Aquinas’s account of the emotions in light of the fact that he sets it within a comprehensive view of the nature of reality. I can explore only some aspects of his larger view, but readers will, I hope, take the opportunity to explore additional aspects in their own study of Aquinas. FURTHER REFLECTION ON THE RELIGIOUS Many of us, when we hear the word “religion,” think of various religions of the world. There are good reasons for thinking of religions primarily as organized social-historical phenomena.

Exercising this sort of reflective moral agency prepares one to answer to the inquiries of others; yet much of the activity of morality does not involve answering expressly to others’ demands for the reasons for one’s choices, particularly if most of one’s choices are not obviously off the mark. Second, to the extent that one acquires good habits of character one is likely to take many of one’s moral commitments as given, not needing to be subjected to constant reflection. Just as the typical scientist does not regularly rehearse the reasons for holding to the fundamental principles of physics, so the typical moral agent does not regularly rehearse the reasons for holding to the basic principles and norms of his or her community.

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