The Virtuous Cooperator: Modelling the Human in an Ecologically Endangered Age

Jame Ehegartner Schaefer, Marquette University

Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion, Vol. 7, No.1 (2003): 171-195. DOI.


A theological model of the human is needed to prompt responsible thinking about and acting within the physical world. Some basic components for modeling the human as a virtuous cooperator appear in the teachings of Thomas Aquinas. When appropriated cautiously and informed broadly by contemporary scientific findings, this model provides a promising way of thinking about humans in relation to other species and ecological systems, a framework for acting responsibly, and the motivation for making this behavior habitual.