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The Teleological Grammar of the Moral ACT
Cutting through contemporary confusions with his characteristic rigor and aplomb, Steven A. Long offers the most penetrating study available of St. Thomas Aquinas's doctrine of the intention, choice, object, end, and species of the moral act. Many studies of human action and morality after Descartes and Kant have suffered from a tendency to split body and soul, so that the ...more
Paperback, 139 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Sapientia Press
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An excellent analysis of the classical Thomistic account of the moral act. Why 3 stars? Because Long is not a great writer, and that's being nice. The book is so repetitious, even cases where a chunk of text in the main part of the book is reproduced verbatim in a footnote on the next page. The book strikes me as being poorly edited and Long's prose can be torturous. There are writers one ought to imitate in one's own writing, but Aristotle is not one of them.
A number of things about this book are very good. First, Long's argument that the end to which the object is per se directed provides the most formal specification of the action is brilliant both philosophically and as an interpretation of Aquinas. Similarly, his interpretation of the principle of double effect greatly clarifies the key issues. This turns on his view that intention should be understood narrowly not broadly, as referring to an act of the will directed toward an end rather than as ...more
Already, having read this has been absolutely invaluable to sorting out difficult moral issues. As our mad mad modern world advances, our medical capabilities continue to present challenges to Catholic Christian ethics. Dr. Long rightly understands that our procedures for sorting through each difficult case (and every one presents its own unique set of considerations) requires a unified approach tied down to the Thomistic principles of intention and choice, ends and means. A difficult read, on a ...more