Philosophy and Social Criticism 46 (2):131-140 (2020)

John Hacker-Wright
University of Guelph
Neo-Aristotelian ethical naturalists argue that moral norms are natural norms that apply to human beings. A central issue for neo-Aristotelians is to determine what belongs to the good human life; the question is complicated, since we take up a diversity of different lives, many of which seem good, and it seems unclear what the human species-characteristic life really is. The Aristotelian tradition gives some guidance on this question, however, because it describes us as rational animals with intellectual and appetitive powers; the perfection of those powers is what makes us good qua human. This is especially well spelled out in Thomas Aquinas; he takes moral virtues of courage and temperance to be perfections of our sense appetites, a power of going for things presented as good through our senses. These virtues thereby shape our passions, specifically the passions of fear, daring and concupiscent love, which are a result of the sense appetites pursuing what appears as good. This view provides a framework for virtue, which can then be taken as the perfections of distinct powers shared by all human beings, though actualized in a variety of ways. In this article, I will focus on the passion of fear, which I here describe, following Aquinas, as a movement of sense appetite away from evils that are difficult or impossible to avoid. My focus will be on showing that this passion is necessary, irreplaceable by our cognitive powers, and that the underlying sensitive appetites that produce fear must be perfected for any human being to count as good.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0191453718810928
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,599
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Aristotle on the Epistemic Role of Passion.Patricia Marechal - 2018 - Dissertation, Harvard University
Modern Moral Philosophy Again: Isolating the Promulgation Problem.Candace Vogler - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (3):345–362.
The Role of Non‐Human Exemplars in Aquinas.Adam M. Willows - 2018 - New Blackfriars 99 (1081):332-345.


Added to PP index

Total views
13 ( #753,384 of 2,462,217 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #299,023 of 2,462,217 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes