The Moral Philosophy of Bonaventura (Giovanni Fidenza)

The Moral Philosophy of Bonaventura (Giovanni Fidenza)

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

One of the most fundamental questions for Bonaventura is whether man can do well without God’s help.

For Bonaventura, of course, the most direct way of displaying good behavior is the orientation of the will towards the good. However, the will is weak in the attainment of virtue, just as our minds are hesitant to obtain the truth of knowledge. To unlock this weakness, we need moral enlightenment, just like the mental enlightenment we need to know the truth (Maurer, 1982: 151).

The source of our moral judgments is our practical reason. To act morally, we need to produce practical judgments guided by a virtue such as “prudence.” Therefore, prudence is at the center of our moral life, which is formed by all our moral actions. Bonaventura talks about the four virtues traditionally accepted in the Middle Ages: prudence, justice, fortitude and sobriety. It is imperative that these virtues be active in order for us to do positive things in our lives.

This activity only depends on the enlightenment of our souls through divine virtues. There are four divine virtues that will provide divine enlightenment: the highest honesty (justice), the stasis of existence (steadiness), practical wisdom (prudence and purity (moderate)). In this way, man can realize the necessary formation for a good life and puts happiness as an indispensable tool for himself with his will. According to Bonaventura, will is the will or mental affection of the soul towards any object. will have the most honorable place among them (Aspell, 1999: 130).

For Bonaventura, the subject of morality is happiness. Happiness is the unchangeable destiny of every rational soul. Since the soul is immortal, it enjoys happiness. Such a feature cannot be found in a mortal being, the human body is mortal, the soul that gives it value is immortal. On the other hand, man is responsible before God for all his actions. The reward for good is good, and the reward for evil is punishment.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook