Doctoral Dissertation Explores the Nature of Disordered Actions

John Skalko successfully defended his dissertation titled “Why is it Intrinsically Evil to Violate the Purpose of a Power or Use Assertions Unnaturally?” at the University of St. Thomas’s Center for Thomistic Studies on May 18. In his dissertation, Skalko explored the nature of disordered actions in the context of homosexuality.

Pictured L to R: Dr. Steven Jenson, Dr. Kristina Leyden, Dr. Osborne, John Skalko, Dr. Graham, Dr. Mirela Oliva, Other DudeSome actions are disordered due to inordinate desires, he explained, while other actions are disordered due to a disorder in the very acts themselves. In the latter category, the agent engages in an action with an order to an end set by nature while ordering himself away from that end being attained. Skalko specifically focused on two particular kinds of actions that are disordered by the very acts themselves: the action of telling lies and the action of engaging in homosexual activity.

“Persons with homosexual desires have been defrauded by our current culture,” Skalko said. “They have been sold (material) lies. Many of them desire happiness, but today few have been unable or unwilling to truly love them. Instead of helping them be truly happy, we have sold them a cheat counterfeit of the truth by telling them that engaging in homosexual acts will make them truly happy. The truth remains, however, that they are called to something much higher.”

Skalko’s dissertation committee included Dr. Kristina Leyden, assistant professor of nursing; philosophy professor, Dr. Steve Jensen; philosophy professor, Dr. Thomas Osborne; philosophy professor, Dr. Christopher Martin; associate professor of philosophy, Dr. Mirela Oliva; and external reader, Dr. Gary Atkinson (professor of philosophy, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN).

Skalko is currently working on a book version of the dissertation, Disordered Actions, that he hopes to have published within the next few years.


Story by Katie Fleming