Oes justice concern emotions? & Is justice the most important moral virtue?
Course: Philosophy, Into to Ethics (Tomas Aquinas Readings)
Professor checks work on some sort of web link for plagiarism
Essay format not needed, answer questions or sections with the following guidelines:
Explain what is going on in each section
What are some of the main points?
For question #9 (these are just examples I came up with)
* Do we agree?
* What about temperance insanity, like in the Andrea Yates case?
Does justice concern emotions?
Two things make clear the answer to this question. The first is the very subject in which justice inheres; that is, the will, whose movements or acts are not emotions. Rather, we call only movements of sense appetites emotions; and so justice does not concern emotions, as do temperance and fortitude, which belongs to the irascible and concupiscible powers.
The second thing making clear the answer is the subject matter, since justice concerns things that are in relation to other things. But internal emotions do not immediately direct us in relation to other things. Therefore, justice does not concern emotions.
Objection. Justice rightly directs actions in relation to others. But we can direct such actions rightly only if we rightly direct our emotions, since disordered actions in relation to others result from disordered emotions, For example, adultery results from sexual lust, and theft from excessive love of money. Therefore, justice needs to concern emotions.
Reply Objection. External actions are in some way between external things, which are the subject matter of external actions. But there may sometimes be a defect in one of these to things without there being a defect in the other. For example, one may steal the property of another out of a desire to harm the other rather than a desire to posses the thing. Or conversely, one may desire the property of another without wanting to steal it. There fore, it belongs to justice to direct actions rightly insofar as external things are the objects of the actions; but it belongs to other moral virtues, which concerns emotions, to direct actions rightly insofar as the actions result from emotions. And so justice prohibits stealing the property of another insofar as this is contrary to the equality that should be established regarding external things, while generosity prohibits stealing out of excessive desire of riches. But internal emotions do not specify external actions; rather, the external things that are the objects of the actions do. Therefore, properly speaking external actions are the subject matter of justice rather than the subject matter of other moral virtues.
For question #12
* Reason as more important?
Is justice the most important moral virtue?
If we should be speaking of legal justice, justice is clearly the most important virtue, since the common good surpasses the individual good of a single person.
But even if we should be speaking of particular justice, justice is the most important moral virtue for two reasons. We can understand the first reason regarding the subject–namely, that justice inheres in the more excellent part of the soul (i.e., the rational appetite, to which emotions belong. We understand the second reason regarding the object. For we praise other virtues only by reason of the good of the virtuous persons themselves, but we praise justice insofar as virtuous persons are rightly related to others. And so justice is, in one respect, the good of others.
Objection. Only something more worthy adorns something else. But magnanimity is an adornment of justice and all virtues. Therefore, magnanimity is more worthy than justice.
Reply Obj. Magnanimity, insofar as it adds to justice, increases the goodness of justice. But magnanimity without justice would not have the character of virtue.