Good and Bad in Human Action


Aristotle held that all action aims at the good and Aquinas held that a primary orientation to the good cannot be obliterated from human hearts or minds. For anyone who pays any attention to current events or to accounts of hideous things that people have done in the past, this thought looks very odd. Why would anyone think that people in general seek to pursue good and avoid bad? Where can we even look to find an orientation to good in human beings generally? In this talk, I will draw from a number of sources in the course of beginning to answer these questions.