Metateisinis diskursas Tomo Akviniečio traktate apie istatymus.
In this article the first three parts of Thomas Aquinas’ treatise On Law (s. Th., I-II, q.90-92) are considered as metajurisprudential discourse; for in these questionibus the author speaks of the nature, origin and functions of law on the most general level. Also some misinterpretations of Aquinas’ philosophy of law by modem thinkers are analyzed. The article consists of two parts. In the first Aquinas’ concept of discourse is explicated by means of linguistic analysis and the presence of meta-jurisprudential discourse in the considered text is determined. Following the etymology of discurrere Aquinas compares mental discourse with the physical process of running and jumping. The mental "running" and "jumping" is the necessary means of human reason for achieving truths which man is unable to understand immediately. It starts from the true self-evident principles and ends with true inferences, provided it follows logically correct course. In the second part the most important arguments and inferences of T. Aquinas’ meta-jurisprudential discourse are considered. He starts that discourse by constituting the most general fourfold definition of law which he applies in the further considerations of different kinds of law: eternal, natural, human, divine, and a law in the fomes of sin. The eternal law alone is the law without qualifications whereas the others are just imperfect images or shadows of it. Finally T. Aquinas speaks of the effects of human law, the main of which is to make citizens good. Law intends this effect by means of command, prohibition, permission and punishment. If the human law corresponds to the natural, divine and eternal law it makes men good simply, but if it contradicts to these higher kinds of law, or Creator’s will, it makes men good only in some particular respect, i.e. good to the particular government. So, a good citizen not always is a good man. But a person, who strives to the supernatural happiness, or beatific vision, has to be good without qualification. Therefore in relation to human laws the guiding principle is conscience. According to Aquinas, just law binds a man in conscience, distorted laws concerning human goods does not bind in conscience, but contrary to the Divine law human laws must nowise be observed. This way Aquinas defines the autonomy of human conscience in relation to the laws of state. The relation between the main effect of human law and man’s supernatural end shows the organic unity of theological and judicial as well as of judicial and ethical aspects in the Aquinas’ meta-jurisprudential discourse. This unity appears especially discernable, when the relation between law and evil is considered.
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