TWO PERSPECTIVES ON THE ISSUE OF PRUDENCE (PRUDENTIA): THOMAS AQUINAS AND WILLIAM OF OCKHAM
Abstract: The text focuses on a comparison of the concept of prudence from the points of view of Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham, detailing four various insights into the core of prudence. The first concerns the position of the virtue of prudence within the framework of ethics; the second deals with the role of will and the intellect in regard to virtue; the third describes the principles of prudence; and the fourth is dedicated to relations between an exterior and interior act of virtue. On the basis of the comparison, we discover that the understanding of prudence has changed radically along with the transformation of the relations among reason, will and natural inclinations. While prudence, according to Aquinas, illuminates us the ways to properly pursue the good of our natural inclinations, Ockham does not associate prudence and virtue with the idea of inclination at all. This change also had an impact on the perception of an exterior act of virtue. An interior act is crucial for both authors, but while Aquinas sees an exterior act as the apex of prudence, Ockham is not convinced about the importance of reaching it. In the case of Ockham’s ethical theory, there is a distinct shift from the ethics of virtue towards the incoming modern formalism and individualism.
Authors: Nemec, Rastislav – Blaščíková, Andrea
doc. Mgr. Andrea Blaščíková, PhD.; Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Faculty of Arts, Department of Religious Studies, Hodžova 1, 949 74 Nitra, Slovakia; email: ablascikova@ ukf.sk; ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6142-1464, WOS Researcher ID: AAG-7802-2020, SCOPUS Author ID: 56054484400
Source: Konštatínove listy, 2021, vol.: 14, issue: 2, pages: 51-60 (PDF file)
Keywords: PRUDENCE (PRUDENTIA), VIRTUE, THOMAS AQUINAS, WILLIAM OF OCKHAM