Natural law in Aquinas and Suarez

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This article considers the relationship between the philosophies of Thomas Aquinas and Francisco Suarez. It has been said that Suarez made significant departures from the natural law theory of Aquinas, by putting greater emphasis on divine command as the source of natural law precepts, and by replacing Aquinas’s focus on good and bad with a focus on right and wrong. Hence, Suarez appears to replace Aquinas’s eudaimonist account of ethics with one based in deontology. The article argues that the differences separating Aquinas and Suarez are minimal, and that Suarez can be seen as upholding the central tenets of Aquinas’s doctrine of natural law. This has ramifications for our understanding not only of Suarez, but also of Aquinas himself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-341
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2017


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