How To Be Righteous? Richard Kilvington’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Ethics Cover Image

Jak być sprawiedliwym? Ryszarda Kilvingtona komentarz do Etyki Arystotelesa
How To Be Righteous? Richard Kilvington’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Ethics

Author(s): Monika Michałowska, Elżbieta Jung
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL & Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II
Keywords: Richard Kilvington; Middle Ages; ethics; Aristotle; the philosophy of 14th century; średniowiecze; etyka; Arystoteles; filozofia XIV wieku

Summary/Abstract: The article presents Richard Kilvington’s interpretation of Aristotle’s views on the concept of justice. Richard Kilvington was a fourteenth century philosopher and theologian who commented on various Aristotle’s works including the “Nicomachean Ethics”. Kilvington’s commentary on the “Nicomachean Ethics” was composed in 1325-1326 at Oxford University. It contains, among others, a question “Utrum iustitia sit virtus moralis perfecta”, which is devoted to the concept of justice. In his investigations Kilvington always uses logic as a major analytical tool, and mathematics as a method to discuss the issues and settle between opposite points of view, which is common for Kilvington’s commentaries. These techniques allow him to indicate all the contradictions in Aristotle’s analyses. Kilvington’s concept of justice clearly points to a twofold order: horizontal and vertical. In the horizontal one Kilvington’s distinguishes the virtue of absolute justice that is a perfect model for all kinds of justice. In the vertical one he presents a model of a just man that is such a man who is ‘perfectly harmonious’. He also indicates the order of justice existing in the world, visible in human relationships, and regulated by three kinds of justice viz. compensatory, distributive and political. Kilvington’s investigations complete Aristotle’s opinions on justice, however they remain in the field of Aristotelian analyses and his concept of morality implemented in society. In this question Kilvington consistently separates the supernatural order and the order of natural reason, and, in his ethics, he never refers to theological issues concerning the relation between God and the created world, which was uncommon for medieval theoretical practice.

  • Issue Year: 56/2008
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 117-129
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Polish