Aquinas on Imitation of Nature highlights and explores the doctrine of the imitation of nature, a crucial aspect of Aquinas’ metaethics and fills the gap in research on Aquinas’ moral doctrine and theory of action. It conveys Aquinas’ doctrine of the imitation of nature as a natural feature of right practical reason regarding moral thinking and action, indeed as an indispensable feature of virtuous flourishing in individual and communal aspects of human life.
The book starts with an overview of some of recent interpretations of Aquinas’ moral doctrine and natural law, introducing the need to explore the role of the imitation of nature in human practical reasoning and action in this area of Aquinas’ teaching. The chapters that follow are based on a careful reading of selected texts of Aquinas, and gradually develop a thorough and comprehensive picture of his doctrine of the imitation of nature as a source of practical principles. The final chapter provides various examples of how Aquinas understands the imitation of nature in the realm of moral reasoning and action.
The originality of this volume comes from its account of Aquinas’ medieval doctrine of the imitation of nature, in light of which the principles of right practical reason and virtuous action are congruent with and epistemologically dependant upon the basic terms of the movements of natural, sensible, non-rational agents. Through its thorough reading of Aquinas on the imitation of nature, the book aims to open new ways of appropriation of the metaphysical and natural tenets of his moral doctrine in the areas of theory of action, practical reason, natural law, and contemporary virtue ethics.
"Argues that the principle 'art imitates nature' is an essential part of Aquinas’s natural law theory, and ultimately explains how practical reason imitates or follows the divine mind or art...significant in that it sheds light on some basic issues in our knowledge and understanding of the natural law."~Thomas M. Osborne, author of Human Action in Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham