Aquinas on the Moral Progress of the Weak Willed

In Tobias Hoffmann, Jörn Müller & Matthias Perkams (eds.), The Problem of Weakness of Will in Medieval Philosophy. Peeters (2006)
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The paper investigates Aquinas’s explanation of how the incontinent can make moral progress. The incontinent cannot be healed by moral instruction, because they already know what is best, but fail to act accordingly. Their moral knowledge has to be interiorized. Thus by attaining prudence and the moral virtues, moral knowledge becomes practically effective knowledge. Yet these virtues are no remedy for the incontinent, who are still struggling to attain them. By reason and will they can resist individual acts of incontinence, but in order to resist incontinence consistently, they need the assistance of grace.



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Tobias Hoffmann
Sorbonne Université

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