A cogent argument for justice as a personal rather than a social virtue. Thoughtfully reviewing Thomas Aquinas's ideas as set forth in Summa Theologiae, Porter contends that the medieval theologian conceives of justice as a perfection of the will; develops a constructive expansion of Aquinas's work; and resolves tension in his thought to highlight contemporary applications. 336 pages, softcover from Eerdmans.
"Aquinas," says Jean Porter, "gets justice right." In this book she shows that Aquinas offers us a cogent and illuminating account of justice as a personal virtue rather than a virtue of social institutions, as John Rawls and his interlocutors have described it and as most people think of it today.
Porter presents a thoughtful interpretation of Aquinass account of the complex virtue of justice as set forth in the Summa theologiae, focusing on his key claim that justice is a perfection of the will. Building on her interpretation of Aquinas on justice, Porter also develops a constructive expansion of his work, illuminating major aspects of Aquinass views and resolving tensions in his thought so as to draw out contemporary implications of his account of justice that he could not have anticipated.
Jean Porter is John A. OBrien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Her other books include Ministers of the Law, Natural and Divine Law, and Nature as Reason.
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