German Translation of "Disputed Questions on Truth" by Thomas Aquinas
German translation and commentary by Fr. Anselm Ramelow, OP
Quaestiones Disputatae de Veritate (Disputed Questions on Truth) by Thomas Aquinas: As explained in the commentary section of this volume, the Quaestiones presented here treat the topic of free will in a framework that is almost completely lost in contemporary thought: it is the framework of a metaphysics of being, which is explored with regard to its character of being good. Ought and is, fact and value do not fall apart, but are – contrary to later theories – recognized as ultimately belonging together.
Metaphysics and ethics are differentiated but not separated. Free will is part of a reality so understood; it is understood as being ordered to the good – a feature shared with all other forms of being. Hence this cannot be understood in abstraction from God, since he is goodness itself and therefore the ultimate end of the will; he is also the one who, by his grace, liberates the will to its proper act.
The will is also correlated with reason, by which it is directed and ordered towards a preexisting reality; reason in turn is moved by the will. Thus both faculties are intimately related, but not mixed or fused.
It would be hard to find an understanding of free will that could rival the scope, depth and balance of the treatment of Thomas Aquinas.