Aquinas On Happiness

Topics: Behavior

In the opinion of Thomas Aquinas, there are several points made as to the “end”, the “ultimate end”, the shared ultimate end of all humans, and the difference between the object of the will and the possession or use of that object. The “end” itself in general terms, is stated to be “the measure of things ordered to the end” (Aquinas 3), which is essentially the rule of whatever is ordained to the end. Furthermore, the “ultimate happiness” is said to be happiness.

As there may be objections as to whether man acts for an end (and therefore the ultimate end), Aquinas states that, “although the end is last in execution, it is thefirst in the intention of the agent, and in this way has the aspect of a cause” (Aquinas 4). Also, although some may object that humans have different ends because some either turn away from the unchangeable good by sinning or enjoy various pursuits in life, Aquinas challenges that all men seek the same end (happiness), although they may choose different routes in pursuit of the same happiness (the ultimate end that all humans share).

Therefore, men might sin and fall from the ultimate good, enjoy different pursuits in life, or take different actions, their intentions and the principles and intentions of actions/pursuits remains as happiness. Moreover, the object of the will and the possession or use of that object differ in the fact that the object of the will is the end and the good in universal (happiness), while the possession or use of that object may differ accordingly to how one pursues or seeks happiness in ways fitting to their tastes and desires.

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Aquinas continues to declare that, although humans lead a variety of different kinds of lives, they all seek the ultimate end (happiness). Contrary to the objection that not all men seek happiness because “many do not know what happiness is… [because] some have maintained that happiness cons…

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Aquinas On Happiness. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

Aquinas On Happiness
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