Thursday, March 24, 2011

Faciendum et Prosequendum

Aquinas's formulation of the first precept of natural law, bonum est faciendum et prosequendum is interesting, because it's arguably more robust than the usual English translations ("good is to be done and sought/pursued"). Faciendum applies not just to what we call "doing" but also to what we call "making". So to capture the meaning we possibly should translate it as:

Good is to be done, made, and sought.

Doing, making, seeking: each has its good, because each is a practical action with a goal. In a fully rational life, we do good things, make good things, and seek out good things in the world around us.

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