By Timothy C. Potts
This booklet offers in translation writings by way of six medieval philosophers which endure almost about sense of right and wrong. judgment of right and wrong, which might be thought of either as an issue within the philosophy of brain and a subject matter in ethics, has been unduly ignored in glossy philosophy, the place a triumphing trust within the autonomy of ethics leaves it no usual position. It was once, even though, a typical topic for a treatise in medieval philosophy. 3 introductory translations right here, from Jerome, Augustine and Peter Lombard, current the loci classici on which next discussions drew; there follows the 1st whole treatise on judgment of right and wrong, through Philip the Chancellor, whereas the 2 final translations, from Bonaventure and Aquinas, were selected as awesome examples of the 2 major ways which crystallised throughout the 13th century.
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Extra info for Conscience in Medieval Philosophy
So we can easily concoct examples which, like Philip's, support a distinction between synderesis and conscientia but which afford no ground to posit choice as a factor in assent to the minor premiss. Suppose that a man believes that he ought to give alms to the poor, but mistakenly believes of a certain very rich widow that she is destitute. He may simply have been misinformed about her; it could be a purely factual mistake, without any motivation in his desires. So he concludes that he ought to give alms to this widow.
The presupposition is that anything which is 'outside the substance of the soul* is a disposition rather than a potentiality. It leads us, directly, into the theological background to the discussion, the doctrine of original sin. 5,ni4 b 26 ff), are regarded as voluntarily acquired: a man is responsible for his dispositions. The potentialities or powers of the soul are thus part of a man's native endowment. But there is an important difference between the medieval notion of native endowment and ours: we think of people as varying in the hereditary component of their personalities, and in two ways.
This appetite is now present in all sexual activity, but when the latter is engaged in for the purpose of reproduction within the context of marriage, 'in as much as marriage is good, it also effects much good from the evil of sexual appetite, because it is reason and not sexual appetite which makes good use of sexual appetite' (ibid. 34). Even so, however, the parents generate 'sons of the flesh' and so transmit to them only what is generated; the regeneration effected by baptism cannot be inherited (ibid.
Conscience in Medieval Philosophy by Timothy C. Potts