Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Aquinas on the historicity of the natural law

"According to the Philosopher (Ethic. vii) 'human nature is not unchangeable as the Divine nature is.' Hence things that are of natural law vary according to the various states and conditions of men; although those which naturally pertain to things Divine nowise vary."

     Thomas Aquinas, IV Sent. 26.1.ad 3 =Summa Theologiae III Suppl. 41.1.ad 3, trans. FEDP.

"secundum philosophum, in 6 Ethicor., natura humana non est immobilis sicut divina; et ideo diversificantur ea quae sunt de jure naturali, secundum diversos status et conditiones hominum; quamvis ea quae sunt in rebus divinis naturaliter nullo modo varientur."

     I was put on to this by Jean-Pierre Torrell, "Saint Thomas et l'histoire:  ├ętat de la question et pistes de recherches," Nouvelles recherches thomasiennes, Bibliotheque thomiste 61, ed. L.-J. Bataillon, O.P, and A. Oliva, O.P. (Paris:  Librairie philosophique J. Vrin, 2008), 149 (131-175) =Revue thomiste 105 (2005):  355-409.

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