On Aquinas on Evil.
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In De malo, St. Thomas Aquinas famously argues that evil does not exist, but is only the absence of good. This paper critically examines Aquinas’s arguments for this stunning conclusion. First, the three arguments Aquinas presents in Article 1 of De malo are consolidated into a single argument (the reasons for this merger are explained in the paper), which is then evaluated for validity and soundness. It will be shown that Aquinas’s reasoning is logically valid but unsound. In addition, the paper offers a sketch of a possible naturalistic reconstrual of Aquinas’s position on good and evil.