The End of Ethics: A Thomistic Investigation
Article first published online: 28 MAY 2013
© 2013 The Author. New Blackfriars © 2013 The Dominican Council.
Volume 95, Issue 1057, pages 285–294, May 2014
How to Cite
Neri Reese, P. (2014), The End of Ethics: A Thomistic Investigation. New Blackfriars, 95: 285–294. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2005.2012.01512.x
- Issue published online: 4 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 28 MAY 2013
Capitalizing on the diversity of ways in which the phrase “the end of ethics” can be interpreted, this article explores how, from a Thomistic perspective, the virtue of prudence might be considered the “end” of ethics. After bringing to light certain problematic aspects of the relationship between ethics and prudence, it is argued that Aquinas’ understanding of the intellectual virtues allows for a clear line to be drawn between the two. In this way, it is possible to say where ethics “ends” and prudence begins. This answer, however, seems to raise a further difficulty which, upon resolution, reveals a sense in which prudence is also the “end” of ethics when “end” is taken to mean its goal.