Dos versiones de razón práctica: Hume y Tomás de Aquino

Translated title of the contribution: Two Versions of Practical Reason: Hume and Thomas Aquinas

Elton María*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thomas Aquinas would have agreed with Hume’s approach in the “is-ought question”, also called “Hume’s law”, because both would agree that it is not theoretical reason that encourages moral action. To act right is characteristic of the common man, not of metaphysicists. The “is-ought question” opens up a very interesting field of research on the difference between theoretical reason and practical reason, as well as on the required functions of the latter and the type of causality it exerts on our will. The problem of the use of practical reason as a tool is also raised, either because it is considered as a mere ancillary reason —slave to the passions, as in Hume’s case— or because of its degradation due to the disarray of the passions —as in the case of Thomas Aquinas. This investigation also leads us to value a philosophy that distinguishes different causalities in the realization of moral action, as opposed to a different philosophy that reduces the causality of such action only to efficient cause, therefore ignoring the spirituality of mankind.

Translated title of the contributionTwo Versions of Practical Reason: Hume and Thomas Aquinas
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)255-275
Number of pages21
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2023

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