ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
Whether law is something pertaining to reason?
1. Law is two things, a rule and a measure. How is law a rule? How is law “a
measure of acts?”
Law is a rule and measure of acts, whereby man is induced to act or is restrained
from acting, because it binds one to act.
2. What role does reason play in law (or law in reason)?
Law is pertaining to reason, reasons issue its commands as regards things ordained
to the end. It needs to be in accord with some rile of reason.
3. Who is the Philosopher?
Whether the law is always something directed to the common good?
4. What is the “last end” of human life?
The last end of human life is bliss or happiness.
5. What must be the primary concern of the law
The common benefit of the citizens
6. How does Aquinas define justice?
For the common good of the citizens and to bring happiness to the citizens
Whether the reason of any man is competent to make laws?
7. Who may make law?
Making of law belongs either to the while people or to a public personage who has
care of the whole people, or to someone who is the vicegerent of the whole people.
8. How is the common good different form “all other matters [in which] the
directing of anything to the end concerns him to whom the end belongs?”
The common good is different, because other laws might be placed by elders in a
household which work for the house how ever the house is also in the state so they
must also follow other laws for the purpose of common good.
Whether promulgation is essential to a law?
9. Why is promulgation necessary?
It is necessary, because laws are established when they are promulgated.
10.How does Aquinas summarize his definition of law?
Ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the
community, and promulgated
11.In this section Aquinas first introduces the notion that law is “imposed on
there’s as a rule and measure” making promulgation necessary. Is this
consistent with his notion that law is an aspect of reason.
No, because he goes on to say that those who are not present when a law is
promulgated are bound to observe the law. Whether there is an eternal law?
12.Aquinas distinguishes practical and divine reason. What is the difference?
How is a ruler similar to God?
Practical reason: emanating from the ruler who governs a perfect community.
Devine reason: that the whole community of the universe is governed.
A ruler is similar to God because like people follow the law of the gods they follow
the law of the ruler.
13.What does Aquinas mean by external law?
Accordingly the external concept of the Divine law bears the character of an eternal
law, in so far so God ordains it to the government of things foreknown by him.
Whether there is in us a natural law?
14.Aquinas speaks of the eternal law being “imprinted” on mankind. Is this a
kind of promulgation? Does mankind know the eternal law?
This is not a kind of promulgation, this is because no one tells the person, and
mankind doesn’t know the eternal law but rather observes it.
15.What characteristics do human begins have that make them inclined to the
proper end of life?
Humans are free to do what they like, and have the power and will to do whatever.
16.How does Aquinas define the natural law?
The first direction of our acts to their end must, needs be in virtue of the natural law.
Whether there is a human law?
17.Here Aquinas makes an important distinction between practical and
speculative reasons. What is the difference between them?
Speculative reason, from naturally known indemonstrable principles, we draw the
conclusion of the various sciences, the knowledge of which is not imparted to us by
nature, but acquired by the efforts of reason, so too it is from the precepts of the
natural law, as from general and indemonstrable principles, that the human reason
needs to proceed to more particular determination of certain maters.
18.How does Aquinas define human law?
Human laws cannot have that inerrancy that belongs to the demonstrated
conclusion of science. Human laws are basically morals.
Whether there was any need for divine law?
19.Here Aquinas speaks of natural and human law but omits eternal law. Why?
He omits eternal law because, eternal law is divine law
20.What are the four reasons why divine law was necessary?
i) It is by law that man is directed how to perform his peoper acts in view of
his last end
ii) On account of the uncertainty of human judgment, especially on
contingent and particular matters iii) Man can make laws in those matters of which he is competent to judge
iv) Human law cannot punish