Treatise on Habits (part 1-2a)

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Summa Theologica
by Thomas Aquinas, translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province
Treatise on Habits (part 1-2a), Part I of Second Part, QQ. 49-70
(c. 1274). Publisher: New York: Benzinger Brothers, 1915.

CONCISE TABLE OF CONTENTS[edit]

(II)(I) 3. TREATISE ON HABITS (PART 1-2A) (QQ 49-70)


<-- Treatise on Human Acts (Part 2) (QQ 22-48) --- Treatise on Habits (Part 2b) (QQ 71-89) -->


1. IN GENERAL

Q. 49: Of Habits In General, As To Their Substance

Q. 50: Of the Subject of Habits

[Of Cause and Change In Habits]

Q. 51: Of the Cause of Habits, As To Their Formation
Q. 52: Of the Increase of Habits
Q. 53: How Habits Are Corrupted or Diminished

Q. 54: Of the Distinction of Habits


2. IN PARTICULAR
a. Good Habits—that is, Virtues
Q. 55: Of the Virtues, As To Their Essence
Q. 56: Of the Subject of Virtue
Of the Distinction of Virtues
Q. 57: Of the Intellectual Virtues
Q. 58: Of the Difference Between Moral and Intellectual Virtues
Q. 59: Of Moral Virtue In Relation To the Passions
Q. 60: How the Moral Virtues Differ From One Another
Q. 61: Of the Cardinal Virtues
Q. 62: Of the Theological Virtues
Q. 63: Of the Cause of Virtues
Of Certain Properties of Virtues
Q. 64: Of the Mean of Virtue
Q. 65: Of the Connection of Virtues
Q. 66: Of Equality Among the Virtues
Q. 67: Of the Duration of Virtues After This Life
Of Other Matters Connected with Virtues
Q. 68: Of the Gifts
Q. 69: Of the Beatitudes
Q. 70: Of the Fruits of the Holy Ghost

PROLOGUE[edit]

^TOC

After treating of human acts and passions, we now pass on to the consideration of the principles of human acts, and first, of intrinsic principles, second of extrinsic principles (Treatise on Law). The intrinsic principle is power and habit; but as we have treated of powers in the First Part (Q. 77. sqq.), it remains for us to consider habits. And first we shall consider virtues and vices and other like habits, which are the principles of human acts (Q. 55).

[Habits in General (QQ. 49-54)

Habits in Particular (QQ. 55-89)]

HABITS IN GENERAL[edit]

^TOC ^Prologue

Concerning habits in general there are four points to be considered:

First, the substance of habits (Q. 49);

second, their subject (Q. 50);

third, the cause of their generation, increase and corruption (QQ. 51-53);

fourth, how they are distinguished from one another (Q. 54).


QUESTION 49: OF HABITS IN GENERAL, AS TO THEIR SUBSTANCE[edit]

^TOC ^Habits in General

Under the first head, there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether habit is a quality?

(2) Whether it is a distinct species of quality?

(3) Whether habit implies an order to an act?

(4) Of the necessity of habit.


Art. 1: Whether habit is a quality?[edit]

It would seem that habit is not a quality.

Obj. 1: For Augustine says (QQ. lxxxiii, qu. 73): "this word 'habit' is derived from the verb 'to have.'" But "to have" belongs not only to quality, but also to the other categories: for we speak of ourselves as "having" quantity and money and other like things. Therefore habit is not a quality.

Obj. 2: Further, habit is reckoned as one of the predicaments; as may be clearly seen in the Book on the Predicaments (Categor. vi). But one predicament is not contained under another. Therefore habit is not a quality.

Obj. 3: Further, "every habit is a disposition," as is stated in the Book of the Predicaments (Categor. vi). Now disposition is "the order of that which has parts," as stated in Metaph. v, text. 24. But this belongs to the predicament Position. Therefore habit is not a quality.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says in the Book of Predicaments (Categor. vi) that "habit is a quality which is difficult to change."

I answer that, This word habitus (habit) is derived from habere (to have). Now habit is taken from this word in two ways; in one way, inasmuch as man, or any other thing, is said to "have" something; in another way, inasmuch as a particular thing has a relation (se habet) either in regard to itself, or in regard to something else.

Concerning the first, we must observe that "to have," as said in regard to anything that is "had," is common to the various predicaments. And so the Philosopher puts "to have" among the "post-predicaments," so called because they result from the various predicaments; as, for instance, opposition, priority, posterity, and such like. Now among things which are had, there seems to be this distinction, that there are some in which there is no medium between the "haver" and that which is had: as, for instance, there is no medium between the subject and quality or quantity. Then there are some in which there is a medium, but only a relation: as, for instance, a man is said to have a companion or a friend. And, further, there are some in which there is a medium, not indeed an action or passion, but something after the manner of action or passion: thus, for instance, something adorns or covers, and something else is adorned or covered: wherefore the Philosopher says (Metaph. v, text. 25) that "a habit is said to be, as it were, an action or a passion of the haver and that which is had"; as is the case in those things which we have about ourselves. And therefore these constitute a special genus of things, which are comprised under the predicament of "habit": of which the Philosopher says (Metaph. v, text. 25) that "there is a habit between clothing and the man who is clothed."

But if "to have" be taken according as a thing has a relation in regard to itself or to something else; in that case habit is a quality; since this mode of having is in respect of some quality: and of this the Philosopher says (Metaph. v, text. 25) that "habit is a disposition whereby that which is disposed is disposed well or ill, and this, either in regard to itself or in regard to another: thus health is a habit." And in this sense we speak of habit now. Wherefore we must say that habit is a quality.

Reply Obj. 1: This argument takes "to have" in the general sense: for thus it is common to many predicaments, as we have said.

Reply Obj. 2: This argument takes habit in the sense in which we understand it to be a medium between the haver, and that which is had: and in this sense it is a predicament, as we have said.

Reply Obj. 3: Disposition does always, indeed, imply an order of that which has parts: but this happens in three ways, as the Philosopher goes on at once to say (Metaph. v, text. 25): namely, "either as to place, or as to power, or as to species." "In saying this," as Simplicius observes in his Commentary on the Predicaments, "he includes all dispositions: bodily dispositions, when he says 'as to place,'" and this belongs to the predicament "Position," which is the order of parts in a place: "when he says 'as to power,' he includes all those dispositions which are in course of formation and not yet arrived at perfect usefulness," such as inchoate science and virtue: "and when he says, 'as to species,' he includes perfect dispositions, which are called habits," such as perfected science and virtue.

^Q. 49


Art. 2: Whether habit is a distinct species of quality?[edit]

It would seem that habit is not a distinct species of quality.

Obj. 1: Because, as we have said (A. 1), habit, in so far as it is a quality, is "a disposition whereby that which is disposed is disposed well or ill." But this happens in regard to any quality: for a thing happens to be well or ill disposed in regard also to shape, and in like manner, in regard to heat and cold, and in regard to all such things. Therefore habit is not a distinct species of quality.

Obj. 2: Further, the Philosopher says in the Book of the Predicaments (Categor. vi), that heat and cold are dispositions or habits, just as sickness and health. Therefore habit or disposition is not distinct from the other species of quality.

Obj. 3: Further, "difficult to change" is not a difference belonging to the predicament of quality, but rather to movement or passion. Now, no genus should be contracted to a species by a difference of another genus; but "differences should be proper to a genus," as the Philosopher says in Metaph. vii, text. 42. Therefore, since habit is "a quality difficult to change," it seems not to be a distinct species of quality.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says in the Book of the Predicaments (Categor. vi) that "one species of quality is habit and disposition."

I answer that, The Philosopher in the Book of Predicaments (Categor. vi) reckons disposition and habit as the first species of quality. Now Simplicius, in his Commentary on the Predicaments, explains the difference of these species as follows. He says "that some qualities are natural, and are in their subject in virtue of its nature, and are always there: but some are adventitious, being caused from without, and these can be lost. Now the latter," i.e. those which are adventitious, "are habits and dispositions, differing in the point of being easily or difficultly lost. As to natural qualities, some regard a thing in the point of its being in a state of potentiality; and thus we have the second species of quality: while others regard a thing which is in act; and this either deeply rooted therein or only on its surface. If deeply rooted, we have the third species of quality: if on the surface, we have the fourth species of quality, as shape, and form which is the shape of an animated being." But this distinction of the species of quality seems unsuitable. For there are many shapes, and passion-like qualities, which are not natural but adventitious: and there are also many dispositions which are not adventitious but natural, as health, beauty, and the like. Moreover, it does not suit the order of the species, since that which is the more natural is always first.

Therefore we must explain otherwise the distinction of dispositions and habits from other qualities. For quality, properly speaking, implies a certain mode of substance. Now mode, as Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. iv, 3), "is that which a measure determines": wherefore it implies a certain determination according to a certain measure. Therefore, just as that in accordance with which the material potentiality (potentia materiae) is determined to its substantial being, is called quality, which is a difference affecting the substance, so that, in accordance with the potentiality of the subject is determined to its accidental being, is called an accidental quality, which is also a kind of difference, as is clear from the Philosopher (Metaph. v, text. 19).

Now the mode or determination of the subject to accidental being may be taken in regard to the very nature of the subject, or in regard to action, and passion resulting from its natural principles, which are matter and form; or again in regard to quantity. If we take the mode or determination of the subject in regard to quantity, we shall then have the fourth species of quality. And because quantity, considered in itself, is devoid of movement, and does not imply the notion of good or evil, so it does not concern the fourth species of quality whether a thing be well or ill disposed, nor quickly or slowly transitory.

But the mode or determination of the subject, in regard to action or passion, is considered in the second and third species of quality. And therefore in both, we take into account whether a thing be done with ease or difficulty; whether it be transitory or lasting. But in them, we do not consider anything pertaining to the notion of good or evil: because movements and passions have not the aspect of an end, whereas good and evil are said in respect of an end.

On the other hand, the mode or determination of the subject, in regard to the nature of the thing, belongs to the first species of quality, which is habit and disposition: for the Philosopher says (Phys. vii, text. 17), when speaking of habits of the soul and of the body, that they are "dispositions of the perfect to the best; and by perfect I mean that which is disposed in accordance with its nature." And since the form itself and the nature of a thing is the end and the cause why a thing is made (Phys. ii, text. 25), therefore in the first species we consider both evil and good, and also changeableness, whether easy or difficult; inasmuch as a certain nature is the end of generation and movement. And so the Philosopher (Metaph. v, text. 25) defines habit, a "disposition whereby someone is disposed, well or ill"; and in Ethic. ii, 4, he says that by "habits we are directed well or ill in reference to the passions." For when the mode is suitable to the thing's nature, it has the aspect of good: and when it is unsuitable, it has the aspect of evil. And since nature is the first object of consideration in anything, for this reason habit is reckoned as the first species of quality.

Reply Obj. 1: Disposition implies a certain order, as stated above (A. 1, ad 3). Wherefore a man is not said to be disposed by some quality except in relation to something else. And if we add "well or ill," which belongs to the essential notion of habit, we must consider the quality's relation to the nature, which is the end. So in regard to shape, or heat, or cold, a man is not said to be well or ill disposed, except by reason of a relation to the nature of a thing, with regard to its suitability or unsuitability. Consequently even shapes and passion-like qualities, in so far as they are considered to be suitable or unsuitable to the nature of a thing, belong to habits or dispositions: for shape and color, according to their suitability to the nature of thing, concern beauty; while heat and cold, according to their suitability to the nature of a thing, concern health. And in this way heat and cold are put, by the Philosopher, in the first species of quality. Wherefore it is clear how to answer the second objection: though some give another solution, as Simplicius says in his Commentary on the Predicaments.

Reply Obj. 3: This difference, "difficult to change," does not distinguish habit from the other species of quality, but from disposition. Now disposition may be taken in two ways; in one way, as the genus of habit, for disposition is included in the definition of habit (Metaph. v, text. 25): in another way, according as it is divided against habit. Again, disposition, properly so called, can be divided against habit in two ways: first, as perfect and imperfect within the same species; and thus we call it a disposition, retaining the name of the genus, when it is had imperfectly, so as to be easily lost: whereas we call it a habit, when it is had perfectly, so as not to be lost easily. And thus a disposition becomes a habit, just as a boy becomes a man. Secondly, they may be distinguished as diverse species of the one subaltern genus: so that we call dispositions, those qualities of the first species, which by reason of their very nature are easily lost, because they have changeable causes; e.g. sickness and health: whereas we call habits those qualities which, by reason of their very nature, are not easily changed, in that they have unchangeable causes, e.g. sciences and virtues. And in this sense, disposition does not become habit. The latter explanation seems more in keeping with the intention of Aristotle: for in order to confirm this distinction he adduces the common mode of speaking, according to which, when a quality is, by reason of its nature, easily changeable, and, through some accident, becomes difficultly changeable, then it is called a habit: while the contrary happens in regard to qualities, by reason of their nature, difficultly changeable: for supposing a man to have a science imperfectly, so as to be liable to lose it easily, we say that he is disposed to that science, rather than that he has the science. From this it is clear that the word "habit" implies a certain lastingness: while the word "disposition" does not.

Nor does it matter that thus to be easy and difficult to change are specific differences (of a quality), although they belong to passion and movement, and not the genus of quality. For these differences, though apparently accidental to quality, nevertheless designate differences which are proper and essential to quality. In the same way, in the genus of substance we often take accidental instead of substantial differences, in so far as by the former, essential principles are designated.

^Q. 49


Art. 3: Whether habit implies order to an act?[edit]

It would seem that habit does not imply order to an act.

Obj. 1: For everything acts according as it is in act. But the Philosopher says (De Anima iii, text 8), that "when one is become knowing by habit, one is still in a state of potentiality, but otherwise than before learning." Therefore habit does not imply the relation of a principle to an act.

Obj. 2: Further, that which is put in the definition of a thing, belongs to it essentially. But to be a principle of action, is put in the definition of power, as we read in Metaph. v, text. 17. Therefore to be the principle of an act belongs to power essentially. Now that which is essential is first in every genus. If therefore, habit also is a principle of act, it follows that it is posterior to power. And so habit and disposition will not be the first species of quality.

Obj. 3: Further, health is sometimes a habit, and so are leanness and beauty. But these do not indicate relation to an act. Therefore it is not essential to habit to be a principle of act.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Bono Conjug. xxi) that "habit is that whereby something is done when necessary." And the Commentator says (De Anima iii) that "habit is that whereby we act when we will."

I answer that, To have relation to an act may belong to habit, both in regard to the nature of habit, and in regard to the subject in which the habit is. In regard to the nature of habit, it belongs to every habit to have relation to an act. For it is essential to habit to imply some relation to a thing's nature, in so far as it is suitable or unsuitable thereto. But a thing's nature, which is the end of generation, is further ordained to another end, which is either an operation, or the product of an operation, to which one attains by means of operation. Wherefore habit implies relation not only to the very nature of a thing, but also, consequently, to operation, inasmuch as this is the end of nature, or conducive to the end. Whence also it is stated (Metaph. v, text. 25) in the definition of habit, that it is a disposition whereby that which is disposed, is well or ill disposed either in regard to itself, that is to its nature, or in regard to something else, that is to the end.

But there are some habits, which even on the part of the subject in which they are, imply primarily and principally relation to an act. For, as we have said, habit primarily and of itself implies a relation to the thing's nature. If therefore the nature of a thing, in which the habit is, consists in this very relation to an act, it follows that the habit principally implies relation to an act. Now it is clear that the nature and the notion of power is that it should be a principle of act. Wherefore every habit is subjected in a power, implies principally relation to an act.

Reply Obj. 1: Habit is an act, in so far as it is a quality: and in this respect it can be a principle of operation. It is, however, in a state of potentiality in respect to operation. Wherefore habit is called first act, and operation, second act; as it is explained in De Anima ii, text. 5.

Reply Obj. 2: It is not the essence of habit to be related to power, but to be related to nature. And as nature precedes action, to which power is related, therefore habit is put before power as a species of quality.

Reply Obj. 3: Health is said to be a habit, or a habitual disposition, in relation to nature, as stated above. But in so far as nature is a principle of act, it consequently implies a relation to act. Wherefore the Philosopher says (De Hist. Animal. x, 1), that man, or one of his members, is called healthy, "when he can perform the operation of a healthy man." And the same applies to other habits.

^Q. 49


Art. 4: Whether habits are necessary?[edit]

It would seem that habits are not necessary.

Obj. 1: For by habits we are well or ill disposed in respect of something, as stated above. But a thing is well or ill disposed by its form: for in respect of its form a thing is good, even as it is a being. Therefore there is no necessity for habits.

Obj. 2: Further, habit implies relation to an act. But power implies sufficiently a principle of act: for even the natural powers, without any habits, are principles of acts. Therefore there was no necessity for habits.

Obj. 3: Further, as power is related to good and evil, so also is habit: and as power does not always act, so neither does habit. Given, therefore, the powers, habits become superfluous.

On the contrary, Habits are perfections (Phys. vii, text. 17). But perfection is of the greatest necessity to a thing: since it is in the nature of an end. Therefore it is necessary that there should be habits.

I answer that, As we have said above (AA. 2, 3), habit implies a disposition in relation to a thing's nature, and to its operation or end, by reason of which disposition a thing is well or ill disposed thereto. Now for a thing to need to be disposed to something else, three conditions are necessary. The first condition is that which is disposed should be distinct from that to which it is disposed; and so, that it should be related to it as potentiality is to act. Whence, if there is a being whose nature is not composed of potentiality and act, and whose substance is its own operation, which itself is for itself, there we can find no room for habit and disposition, as is clearly the case in God.

The second condition is, that that which is in a state of potentiality in regard to something else, be capable of determination in several ways and to various things. Whence if something be in a state of potentiality in regard to something else, but in regard to that only, there we find no room for disposition and habit: for such a subject from its own nature has the due relation to such an act. Wherefore if a heavenly body be composed of matter and form, since that matter is not in a state of potentiality to another form, as we said in the First Part (Q. 56, A. 2) there is no need for disposition or habit in respect of the form, or even in respect of operation, since the nature of the heavenly body is not in a state of potentiality to more than one fixed movement.

The third condition is that in disposing the subject to one of those things to which it is in potentiality, several things should occur, capable of being adjusted in various ways: so as to dispose the subject well or ill to its form or to its operation. Wherefore the simple qualities of the elements which suit the natures of the elements in one single fixed way, are not called dispositions or habits, but "simple qualities": but we call dispositions or habits, such things as health, beauty, and so forth, which imply the adjustment of several things which may vary in their relative adjustability. For this reason the Philosopher says (Metaph. v, text. 24, 25) that "habit is a disposition": and disposition is "the order of that which has parts either as to place, or as to potentiality, or as to species," as we have said above (A. 1, ad 3). Wherefore, since there are many things for whose natures and operations several things must concur which may vary in their relative adjustability, it follows that habit is necessary.

Reply Obj. 1: By the form the nature of a thing is perfected: yet the subject needs to be disposed in regard to the form by some disposition. But the form itself is further ordained to operation, which is either the end, or the means to the end. And if the form is limited to one fixed operation, no further disposition, besides the form itself, is needed for the operation. But if the form be such that it can operate in diverse ways, as the soul; it needs to be disposed to its operations by means of habits.

Reply Obj. 2: Power sometimes has a relation to many things: and then it needs to be determined by something else. But if a power has not a relation to many things, it does not need a habit to determine it, as we have said. For this reason the natural forces do not perform their operations by means of habits: because they are of themselves determined to one mode of operation.

Reply Obj. 3: The same habit has not a relation to good and evil, as will be made clear further on (Q. 54, A. 3): whereas the same power has a relation to good and evil. And, therefore, habits are necessary that the powers be determined to good.

^Q. 49


QUESTION 50: OF THE SUBJECT OF HABITS[edit]

^TOC ^Habits in General

We consider next the subject of habits: and under this head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether there is a habit in the body?

(2) Whether the soul is a subject of habit, in respect of its essence or in respect of its power?

(3) Whether in the powers of the sensitive part there can be a habit?

(4) Whether there is a habit in the intellect?

(5) Whether there is a habit in the will?

(6) Whether there is a habit in separate substances?


Art. 1: Whether there is a habit in the body?[edit]

It would seem that there is not a habit in the body.

Obj. 1: For, as the Commentator says (De Anima iii), "a habit is that whereby we act when we will." But bodily actions are not subject to the will, since they are natural. Therefore there can be no habit in the body.

Obj. 2: Further, all bodily dispositions are easy to change. But habit is a quality, difficult to change. Therefore no bodily disposition can be a habit.

Obj. 3: Further, all bodily dispositions are subject to change. But change can only be in the third species of quality, which is divided against habit. Therefore there is no habit in the body.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says in the Book of Predicaments (De Categor. vi) that health of the body and incurable disease are called habits.

I answer that, As we have said above (Q. 49, AA. 2 seqq.), habit is a disposition of a subject which is in a state of potentiality either to form or to operation. Therefore in so far as habit implies disposition to operation, no habit is principally in the body as its subject. For every operation of the body proceeds either from a natural quality of the body or from the soul moving the body. Consequently, as to those operations which proceed from its nature, the body is not disposed by a habit: because the natural forces are determined to one mode of operation; and we have already said (Q. 49, A. 4) that it is when the subject is in potentiality to many things that a habitual disposition is required. As to the operations which proceed from the soul through the body, they belong principally to the soul, and secondarily to the body. Now habits are in proportion to their operations: whence "by like acts like habits are formed" (Ethic. ii, 1, 2). And therefore the dispositions to such operations are principally in the soul. But they can be secondarily in the body: to wit, in so far as the body is disposed and enabled with promptitude to help in the operations of the soul.

If, however, we speak of the disposition of the subject to form, thus a habitual disposition can be in the body, which is related to the soul as a subject is to its form. And in this way health and beauty and such like are called habitual dispositions. Yet they have not the nature of habit perfectly: because their causes, of their very nature, are easily changeable.

On the other hand, as Simplicius reports in his Commentary on the Predicaments, Alexander denied absolutely that habits or dispositions of the first species are in the body: and held that the first species of quality belonged to the soul alone. And he held that Aristotle mentions health and sickness in the Book on the Predicaments not as though they belonged to the first species of quality, but by way of example: so that he would mean that just as health and sickness may be easy or difficult to change, so also are all the qualities of the first species, which are called habits and dispositions. But this is clearly contrary to the intention of Aristotle: both because he speaks in the same way of health and sickness as examples, as of virtue and science; and because in Phys. vii, text. 17, he expressly mentions beauty and health among habits.

Reply Obj. 1: This objection runs in the sense of habit as a disposition to operation, and of those actions of the body which are from nature: but not in the sense of those actions which proceed from the soul, and the principle of which is the will.

Reply Obj. 2: Bodily dispositions are not simply difficult to change on account of the changeableness of their bodily causes. But they may be difficult to change by comparison to such a subject, because, to wit, as long as such a subject endures, they cannot be removed; or because they are difficult to change, by comparison to other dispositions. But qualities of the soul are simply difficult to change, on account of the unchangeableness of the subject. And therefore he does not say that health which is difficult to change is a habit simply: but that it is "as a habit," as we read in the Greek [*isos hexin (Categor. viii)]. On the other hand, the qualities of the soul are called habits simply.

Reply Obj. 3: Bodily dispositions which are in the first species of quality, as some maintained, differ from qualities of the third species, in this, that the qualities of the third species consist in some "becoming" and movement, as it were, wherefore they are called passions or passible qualities. But when they have attained to perfection (specific perfection, so to speak), they have then passed into the first species of quality. But Simplicius in his Commentary disapproves of this; for in this way heating would be in the third species, and heat in the first species of quality; whereas Aristotle puts heat in the third.

Wherefore Porphyrius, as Simplicius reports (Commentary), says that passion or passion-like quality, disposition and habit, differ in bodies by way of intensity and remissness. For when a thing receives heat in this only that it is being heated, and not so as to be able to give heat, then we have passion, if it is transitory; or passion-like quality if it is permanent. But when it has been brought to the point that it is able to heat something else, then it is a disposition; and if it goes so far as to be firmly fixed and to become difficult to change, then it will be a habit: so that disposition would be a certain intensity of passion or passion-like quality, and habit an intensity or disposition. But Simplicius disapproves of this, for such intensity and remissness do not imply diversity on the part of the form itself, but on the part of the diverse participation thereof by the subject; so that there would be no diversity among the species of quality. And therefore we must say otherwise that, as was explained above (Q. 49, A. 2, ad 1), the adjustment of the passion-like qualities themselves, according to their suitability to nature, implies the notion of disposition: and so, when a change takes place in these same passion-like qualities, which are heat and cold, moisture and dryness, there results a change as to sickness and health. But change does not occur in regard to like habits and dispositions, primarily and of themselves.

^Q. 50


Art. 2: Whether the soul is the subject of habit in respect of its essence or in respect of its power?[edit]

It would seem that habit is in the soul in respect of its essence rather than in respect of its powers.

Obj. 1: For we speak of dispositions and habits in relation to nature, as stated above (Q. 49, A. 2). But nature regards the essence of the soul rather than the powers; because it is in respect of its essence that the soul is the nature of such a body and the form thereof. Therefore habits are in the soul in respect of its essence and not in respect of its powers.

Obj. 2: Further, accident is not the subject of accident. Now habit is an accident. But the powers of the soul are in the genus of accident, as we have said in the First Part (Q. 77, A. 1, ad 5). Therefore habit is not in the soul in respect of its powers.

Obj. 3: Further, the subject is prior to that which is in the subject. But since habit belongs to the first species of quality, it is prior to power, which belongs to the second species. Therefore habit is not in a power of the soul as its subject.

On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. i, 13) puts various habits in the various powers of the soul.

I answer that, As we have said above (Q. 49, AA. 2, 3), habit implies a certain disposition in relation to nature or to operation. If therefore we take habit as having a relation to nature, it cannot be in the soul—that is, if we speak of human nature: for the soul itself is the form completing the human nature; so that, regarded in this way, habit or disposition is rather to be found in the body by reason of its relation to the soul, than in the soul by reason of its relation to the body. But if we speak of a higher nature, of which man may become a partaker, according to 2 Pet. 1, "that we may be partakers of the Divine Nature": thus nothing hinders some habit, namely, grace, from being in the soul in respect of its essence, as we shall state later on (Q. 110, A. 4).

On the other hand, if we take habit in its relation to operation, it is chiefly thus that habits are found in the soul: in so far as the soul is not determined to one operation, but is indifferent to many, which is a condition for a habit, as we have said above (Q. 49, A. 4). And since the soul is the principle of operation through its powers, therefore, regarded in this sense, habits are in the soul in respect of its powers.

Reply Obj. 1: The essence of the soul belongs to human nature, not as a subject requiring to be disposed to something further, but as a form and nature to which someone is disposed.

Reply Obj. 2: Accident is not of itself the subject of accident. But since among accidents themselves there is a certain order, the subject, according as it is under one accident, is conceived as the subject of a further accident. In this way we say that one accident is the subject of another; as superficies is the subject of color, in which sense power is the subject of habit.

Reply Obj. 3: Habit takes precedence of power, according as it implies a disposition to nature: whereas power always implies a relation to operation, which is posterior, since nature is the principle of operation. But the habit whose subject is a power, does not imply relation to nature, but to operation. Wherefore it is posterior to power. Or, we may say that habit takes precedence of power, as the complete takes precedence of the incomplete, and as act takes precedence of potentiality. For act is naturally prior to potentiality, though potentiality is prior in order of generation and time, as stated in Metaph. vii, text. 17; ix, text. 13.

^Q. 50


Art. 3: Whether there can be any habits in the powers of the sensitive part?[edit]

It would seem that there cannot be any habits in the powers of the sensitive part.

Obj. 1: For as the nutritive power is an irrational part, so is the sensitive power. But there can be no habits in the powers of the nutritive part. Therefore we ought not to put any habit in the powers of the sensitive part.

Obj. 2: Further, the sensitive parts are common to us and the brutes. But there are not any habits in brutes: for in them there is no will, which is put in the definition of habit, as we have said above (Q. 49, A. 3). Therefore there are no habits in the sensitive powers.

Obj. 3: Further, the habits of the soul are sciences and virtues: and just as science is related to the apprehensive power, so is virtue related to the appetitive power. But in the sensitive powers there are no sciences: since science is of universals, which the sensitive powers cannot apprehend. Therefore, neither can there be habits of virtue in the sensitive part.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 10) that "some virtues," namely, temperance and fortitude, "belong to the irrational part."

I answer that, The sensitive powers can be considered in two ways: first, according as they act from natural instinct; secondly, according as they act at the command of reason. According as they act from natural instinct, they are ordained to one thing, even as nature is; but according as they act at the command of reason, they can be ordained to various things. And thus there can be habits in them, by which they are well or ill disposed in regard to something.

Reply Obj. 1: The powers of the nutritive part have not an inborn aptitude to obey the command of reason, and therefore there are no habits in them. But the sensitive powers have an inborn aptitude to obey the command of reason; and therefore habits can be in them: for in so far as they obey reason, in a certain sense they are said to be rational, as stated in Ethic. i, 13.

Reply Obj. 2: The sensitive powers of dumb animals do not act at the command of reason; but if they are left to themselves, such animals act from natural instinct: and so in them there are no habits ordained to operations. There are in them, however, certain dispositions in relation to nature, as health and beauty. But whereas by man's reason brutes are disposed by a sort of custom to do things in this or that way, so in this sense, to a certain extent, we can admit the existence of habits in dumb animals: wherefore Augustine says (QQ. lxxxiii, qu. 36): "We find the most untamed beasts, deterred by fear of pain, from that wherein they took the keenest pleasure; and when this has become a custom in them, we say that they are tame and gentle." But the habit is incomplete, as to the use of the will, for they have not that power of using or of refraining, which seems to belong to the notion of habit: and therefore, properly speaking, there can be no habits in them.

Reply Obj. 3: The sensitive appetite has an inborn aptitude to be moved by the rational appetite, as stated in De Anima iii, text. 57: but the rational powers of apprehension have an inborn aptitude to receive from the sensitive powers. And therefore it is more suitable that habits should be in the powers of sensitive appetite than in the powers of sensitive apprehension, since in the powers of sensitive appetite habits do not exist except according as they act at the command of the reason. And yet even in the interior powers of sensitive apprehension, we may admit of certain habits whereby man has a facility of memory, thought or imagination: wherefore also the Philosopher says (De Memor. et Remin. ii) that "custom conduces much to a good memory": the reason of which is that these powers also are moved to act at the command of the reason.

On the other hand the exterior apprehensive powers, as sight, hearing and the like, are not susceptible of habits, but are ordained to their fixed acts, according to the disposition of their nature, just as the members of the body, for there are no habits in them, but rather in the powers which command their movements.

^Q. 50


Art. 4: Whether there is any habit in the intellect?[edit]

It would seem that there are no habits in the intellect.

Obj. 1: For habits are in conformity with operations, as stated above (A. 1). But the operations of man are common to soul and body, as stated in De Anima i, text. 64. Therefore also are habits. But the intellect is not an act of the body (De Anima iii, text. 6). Therefore the intellect is not the subject of a habit.

Obj. 2: Further, whatever is in a thing, is there according to the mode of that in which it is. But that which is form without matter, is act only: whereas what is composed of form and matter, has potentiality and act at the same time. Therefore nothing at the same time potential and actual can be in that which is form only, but only in that which is composed of matter and form. Now the intellect is form without matter. Therefore habit, which has potentiality at the same time as act, being a sort of medium between the two, cannot be in the intellect; but only in the conjunction, which is composed of soul and body.

Obj. 3: Further, habit is a disposition whereby we are well or ill disposed in regard to something, as is said (Metaph. v, text. 25). But that anyone should be well or ill disposed to an act of the intellect is due to some disposition of the body: wherefore also it is stated (De Anima ii, text. 94) that "we observe men with soft flesh to be quick witted." Therefore the habits of knowledge are not in the intellect, which is separate, but in some power which is the act of some part of the body.

On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 2, 3, 10) puts science, wisdom and understanding, which is the habit of first principles, in the intellective part of the soul.

I answer that, concerning intellective habits there have been various opinions. Some, supposing that there was only one possible [*See First Part, Q. 79, A. 2, ad 2] intellect for all men, were bound to hold that habits of knowledge are not in the intellect itself, but in the interior sensitive powers. For it is manifest that men differ in habits; and so it was impossible to put the habits of knowledge directly in that, which, being only one, would be common to all men. Wherefore if there were but one single "possible" intellect of all men, the habits of science, in which men differ from one another, could not be in the "possible" intellect as their subject, but would be in the interior sensitive powers, which differ in various men.

Now, in the first place, this supposition is contrary to the mind of Aristotle. For it is manifest that the sensitive powers are rational, not by their essence, but only by participation (Ethic. i, 13). Now the Philosopher puts the intellectual virtues, which are wisdom, science and understanding, in that which is rational by its essence. Wherefore they are not in the sensitive powers, but in the intellect itself. Moreover he says expressly (De Anima iii, text. 8, 18) that when the "possible" intellect "is thus identified with each thing," that is, when it is reduced to act in respect of singulars by the intelligible species, "then it is said to be in act, as the knower is said to be in act; and this happens when the intellect can act of itself," i.e. by considering: "and even then it is in potentiality in a sense; but not in the same way as before learning and discovering." Therefore the "possible" intellect itself is the subject of the habit of science, by which the intellect, even though it be not actually considering, is able to consider. In the second place, this supposition is contrary to the truth. For as to whom belongs the operation, belongs also the power to operate, belongs also the habit. But to understand and to consider is the proper act of the intellect. Therefore also the habit whereby one considers is properly in the intellect itself.

Reply Obj. 1: Some said, as Simplicius reports in his Commentary on the Predicaments, that, since every operation of man is to a certain extent an operation of the conjunctum, as the Philosopher says (De Anima i, text. 64); therefore no habit is in the soul only, but in the conjunctum. And from this it follows that no habit is in the intellect, for the intellect is separate, as ran the argument, given above. But the argument is not cogent. For habit is not a disposition of the object to the power, but rather a disposition of the power to the object: wherefore the habit needs to be in that power which is principle of the act, and not in that which is compared to the power as its object.

Now the act of understanding is not said to be common to soul and body, except in respect of the phantasm, as is stated in De Anima, text. 66. But it is clear that the phantasm is compared as object to the passive intellect (De Anima iii, text. 3, 39). Whence it follows that the intellective habit is chiefly on the part of the intellect itself; and not on the part of the phantasm, which is common to soul and body. And therefore we must say that the "possible" intellect is the subject of habit, which is in potentiality to many: and this belongs, above all, to the "possible" intellect. Wherefore the "possible" intellect is the subject of intellectual habits.

Reply Obj. 2: As potentiality to sensible being belongs to corporeal matter, so potentiality to intellectual being belongs to the "possible" intellect. Wherefore nothing forbids habit to be in the "possible" intellect, for it is midway between pure potentiality and perfect act.

Reply Obj. 3: Because the apprehensive powers inwardly prepare their proper objects for the possible intellect, therefore it is by the good disposition of these powers, to which the good disposition of the body cooperates, that man is rendered apt to understand. And so in a secondary way the intellective habit can be in these powers. But principally it is in the "possible" intellect.

^Q. 50


Art. 5: Whether any habit is in the will?[edit]

It would seem that there is not a habit in the will.

Obj. 1: For the habit which is in the intellect is the intelligible species, by means of which the intellect actually understands. But the will does not act by means of species. Therefore the will is not the subject of habit.

Obj. 2: Further, no habit is allotted to the active intellect, as there is to the "possible" intellect, because the former is an active power. But the will is above all an active power, because it moves all the powers to their acts, as stated above (Q. 9, A. 1). Therefore there is no habit in the will.

Obj. 3: Further, in the natural powers there is no habit, because, by reason of their nature, they are determinate to one thing. But the will, by reason of its nature, is ordained to tend to the good which reason directs. Therefore there is no habit in the will.

On the contrary, Justice is a habit. But justice is in the will; for it is "a habit whereby men will and do that which is just" (Ethic. v, 1). Therefore the will is the subject of a habit.

I answer that, Every power which may be variously directed to act, needs a habit whereby it is well disposed to its act. Now since the will is a rational power, it may be variously directed to act. And therefore in the will we must admit the presence of a habit whereby it is well disposed to its act. Moreover, from the very nature of habit, it is clear that it is principally related to the will; inasmuch as habit "is that which one uses when one wills," as stated above (A. 1).

Reply Obj. 1: Even as in the intellect there is a species which is the likeness of the object; so in the will, and in every appetitive power there must be something by which the power is inclined to its object; for the act of the appetitive power is nothing but a certain inclination, as we have said above (Q. 6, A. 4; Q. 22, A. 2). And therefore in respect of those things to which it is inclined sufficiently by the nature of the power itself, the power needs no quality to incline it. But since it is necessary, for the end of human life, that the appetitive power be inclined to something fixed, to which it is not inclined by the nature of the power, which has a relation to many and various things, therefore it is necessary that, in the will and in the other appetitive powers, there be certain qualities to incline them, and these are called habits.

Reply Obj. 2: The active intellect is active only, and in no way passive. But the will, and every appetitive power, is both mover and moved (De Anima iii, text. 54). And therefore the comparison between them does not hold; for to be susceptible of habit belongs to that which is somehow in potentiality.

Reply Obj. 3: The will from the very nature of the power is inclined to the good of the reason. But because this good is varied in many ways, the will needs to be inclined, by means of a habit, to some fixed good of the reason, in order that action may follow more promptly.

^Q. 50


Art. 6: Whether there are habits in the angels?[edit]

It would seem that there are no habits in the angels.

Obj. 1: For Maximus, commentator of Dionysius (Coel. Hier. vii), says: "It is not proper to suppose that there are intellectual (i.e. spiritual) powers in the divine intelligences (i.e. in the angels) after the manner of accidents, as in us: as though one were in the other as in a subject: for accident of any kind is foreign to them." But every habit is an accident. Therefore there are no habits in the angels.

Obj. 2: Further, as Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. iv): "The holy dispositions of the heavenly essences participate, above all other things, in God's goodness." But that which is of itself (per se) is prior to and more powerful than that which is by another (per aliud). Therefore the angelic essences are perfected of themselves unto conformity with God, and therefore not by means of habits. And this seems to have been the reasoning of Maximus, who in the same passage adds: "For if this were the case, surely their essence would not remain in itself, nor could it have been as far as possible deified of itself."

Obj. 3: Further, habit is a disposition (Metaph. v, text. 25). But disposition, as is said in the same book, is "the order of that which has parts." Since, therefore, angels are simple substances, it seems that there are no dispositions and habits in them.

On the contrary, Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. vii) that the angels of the first hierarchy are called: "Fire-bearers and Thrones and Outpouring of Wisdom, by which is indicated the godlike nature of their habits."

I answer that, Some have thought that there are no habits in the angels, and that whatever is said of them, is said essentially. Whence Maximus, after the words which we have quoted, says: "Their dispositions, and the powers which are in them, are essential, through the absence of matter in them." And Simplicius says the same in his Commentary on the Predicaments: "Wisdom which is in the soul is its habit: but that which is in the intellect, is its substance. For everything divine is sufficient of itself, and exists in itself."

Now this opinion contains some truth, and some error. For it is manifest from what we have said (Q. 49, A. 4) that only a being in potentiality is the subject of habit. So the above-mentioned commentators considered that angels are immaterial substances, and that there is no material potentiality in them, and on that account, excluded from them habit and any kind of accident. Yet since though there is no material potentiality in angels, there is still some potentiality in them (for to be pure act belongs to God alone), therefore, as far as potentiality is found to be in them, so far may habits be found in them. But because the potentiality of matter and the potentiality of intellectual substance are not of the same kind. Whence, Simplicius says in his Commentary on the Predicaments that: "The habits of the intellectual substance are not like the habits here below, but rather are they like simple and immaterial images which it contains in itself."

However, the angelic intellect and the human intellect differ with regard to this habit. For the human intellect, being the lowest in the intellectual order, is in potentiality as regards all intelligible things, just as primal matter is in respect of all sensible forms; and therefore for the understanding of all things, it needs some habit. But the angelic intellect is not as a pure potentiality in the order of intelligible things, but as an act; not indeed as pure act (for this belongs to God alone), but with an admixture of some potentiality: and the higher it is, the less potentiality it has. And therefore, as we said in the First Part (Q. 55, A. 1), so far as it is in potentiality, so far is it in need of habitual perfection by means of intelligible species in regard to its proper operation: but so far as it is in act, through its own essence it can understand some things, at least itself, and other things according to the mode of its substance, as stated in De Causis: and the more perfect it is, the more perfectly will it understand.

But since no angel attains to the perfection of God, but all are infinitely distant therefrom; for this reason, in order to attain to God Himself, through intellect and will, the angels need some habits, being as it were in potentiality in regard to that Pure Act. Wherefore Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. vii) that their habits are "godlike," that is to say, that by them they are made like to God.

But those habits that are dispositions to the natural being are not in angels, since they are immaterial.

Reply Obj. 1: This saying of Maximus must be understood of material habits and accidents.

Reply Obj. 2: As to that which belongs to angels by their essence, they do not need a habit. But as they are not so far beings of themselves, as not to partake of Divine wisdom and goodness, therefore, so far as they need to partake of something from without, so far do they need to have habits.

Reply Obj. 3: In angels there are no essential parts: but there are potential parts, in so far as their intellect is perfected by several species, and in so far as their will has a relation to several things.

^Q. 50


[OF CAUSE AND CHANGE IN HABITS][edit]

^TOC ^Habits in General

We must next consider the cause of habits: and

firstly, as to their formation (Q. 51);

secondly, as to their increase (Q. 52);

thirdly, as to their diminution and corruption (Q. 53).


QUESTION 51: OF THE CAUSE OF HABITS, AS TO THEIR FORMATION[edit]

^TOC ^Habits in General

Under the first head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether any habit is from nature?

(2) Whether any habit is caused by acts?

(3) Whether any habit can be caused by one act?

(4) Whether any habits are infused in man by God?


Art. 1: Whether any habit is from nature?[edit]

It would seem that no habit is from nature.

Obj. 1: For the use of those things which are from nature does not depend on the will. But habit "is that which we use when we will," as the Commentator says on De Anima iii. Therefore habit is not from nature.

Obj. 2: Further, nature does not employ two where one is sufficient. But the powers of the soul are from nature. If therefore the habits of the powers were from nature, habit and power would be one.

Obj. 3: Further, nature does not fail in necessaries. But habits are necessary in order to act well, as we have stated above (Q49, A4). If therefore any habits were from nature, it seems that nature would not fail to cause all necessary habits: but this is clearly false. Therefore habits are not from nature.

On the contrary, In Ethic. vi, 6, among other habits, place is given to understanding of first principles, which habit is from nature: wherefore also first principles are said to be known naturally.

I answer that, One thing can be natural to another in two ways. First in respect of the specific nature, as the faculty of laughing is natural to man, and it is natural to fire to have an upward tendency. Secondly, in respect of the individual nature, as it is natural to Socrates or Plato to be prone to sickness or inclined to health, in accordance with their respective temperaments. Again, in respect of both natures, something may be called natural in two ways: first, because it entirely is from the nature; secondly, because it is partly from nature, and partly from an extrinsic principle. For instance, when a man is healed by himself, his health is entirely from nature; but when a man is healed by means of medicine, health is partly from nature, partly from an extrinsic principle.

Thus, then, if we speak of habit as a disposition of the subject in relation to form or nature, it may be natural in either of the foregoing ways. For there is a certain natural disposition demanded by the human species, so that no man can be without it. And this disposition is natural in respect of the specific nature. But since such a disposition has a certain latitude, it happens that different grades of this disposition are becoming to different men in respect of the individual nature. And this disposition may be either entirely from nature, or partly from nature, and partly from an extrinsic principle, as we have said of those who are healed by means of art.

But the habit which is a disposition to operation, and whose subject is a power of the soul, as stated above (Q50, A2), may be natural whether in respect of the specific nature or in respect of the individual nature: in respect of the specific nature, on the part of the soul itself, which, since it is the form of the body, is the specific principle; but in respect of the individual nature, on the part of the body, which is the material principle. Yet in neither way does it happen that there are natural habits in man, so that they be entirely from nature. In the angels, indeed, this does happen, since they have intelligible species naturally impressed on them, which cannot be said of the human soul, as we have said in the FP, Q55, A2; FP, Q84, A3.

There are, therefore, in man certain natural habits, owing their existence, partly to nature, and partly to some extrinsic principle: in one way, indeed, in the apprehensive powers; in another way, in the appetitive powers. For in the apprehensive powers there may be a natural habit by way of a beginning, both in respect of the specific nature, and in respect of the individual nature. This happens with regard to the specific nature, on the part of the soul itself: thus the understanding of first principles is called a natural habit. For it is owing to the very nature of the intellectual soul that man, having once grasped what is a whole and what is a part, should at once perceive that every whole is larger than its part: and in like manner with regard to other such principles. Yet what is a whole, and what is a part--this he cannot know except through the intelligible species which he has received from phantasms: and for this reason, the Philosopher at the end of the Posterior Analytics shows that knowledge of principles comes to us from the senses.

But in respect of the individual nature, a habit of knowledge is natural as to its beginning, in so far as one man, from the disposition of his organs of sense, is more apt than another to understand well, since we need the sensitive powers for the operation of the intellect.

In the appetitive powers, however, no habit is natural in its beginning, on the part of the soul itself, as to the substance of the habit; but only as to certain principles thereof, as, for instance, the principles of common law are called the "nurseries of virtue." The reason of this is because the inclination to its proper objects, which seems to be the beginning of a habit, does not belong to the habit, but rather to the very nature of the powers.

But on the part of the body, in respect of the individual nature, there are some appetitive habits by way of natural beginnings. For some are disposed from their own bodily temperament to chastity or meekness or such like.

Reply Obj. 1: This objection takes nature as divided against reason and will; whereas reason itself and will belong to the nature of man.

Reply Obj. 2: Something may be added even naturally to the nature of a power, while it cannot belong to the power itself. For instance, with regard to the angels, it cannot belong to the intellective power itself capable of knowing all things: for thus it would have to be the act of all things, which belongs to God alone. Because that by which something is known, must needs be the actual likeness of the thing known: whence it would follow, if the power of the angel knew all things by itself, that it was the likeness and act of all things. Wherefore there must needs be added to the angels' intellective power, some intelligible species, which are likenesses of things understood: for it is by participation of the Divine wisdom and not by their own essence, that their intellect can be actually those things which they understand. And so it is clear that not everything belonging to a natural habit can belong to the power.

Reply Obj. 3: Nature is not equally inclined to cause all the various kinds of habits: since some can be caused by nature, and some not, as we have said above. And so it does not follow that because some habits are natural, therefore all are natural.

^Q. 51


Art. 2: Whether any habit is caused by acts?[edit]

It would seem that no habit is caused by acts.

Obj. 1: For habit is a quality, as we have said above (Q49, A1). Now every quality is caused in a subject, according to the latter's receptivity. Since then the agent, inasmuch as it acts, does not receive but rather gives: it seems impossible for a habit to be caused in an agent by its own acts.

Obj. 2: Further, the thing wherein a quality is caused is moved to that quality, as may be clearly seen in that which is heated or cooled: whereas that which produces the act that causes the quality, moves, as may be seen in that which heats or cools. If therefore habits were caused in anything by its own act, it would follow that the same would be mover and moved, active and passive: which is impossible, as stated in Physics iii, 8.

Obj. 3: Further, the effect cannot be more noble than its cause. But habit is more noble than the act which precedes the habit; as is clear from the fact that the latter produces more noble acts. Therefore habit cannot be caused by an act which precedes the habit.

On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 1,2) teaches that habits of virtue and vice are caused by acts.

I answer that, In the agent there is sometimes only the active principle of its act: for instance in fire there is only the active principle of heating. And in such an agent a habit cannot be caused by its own act: for which reason natural things cannot become accustomed or unaccustomed, as is stated in Ethic. ii, 1. But a certain agent is to be found, in which there is both the active and the passive principle of its act, as we see in human acts. For the acts of the appetitive power proceed from that same power according as it is moved by the apprehensive power presenting the object: and further, the intellective power, according as it reasons about conclusions, has, as it were, an active principle in a self-evident proposition. Wherefore by such acts habits can be caused in their agents; not indeed with regard to the first active principle, but with regard to that principle of the act, which principle is a mover moved. For everything that is passive and moved by another, is disposed by the action of the agent; wherefore if the acts be multiplied a certain quality is formed in the power which is passive and moved, which quality is called a habit: just as the habits of moral virtue are caused in the appetitive powers, according as they are moved by the reason, and as the habits of science are caused in the intellect, according as it is moved by first propositions.

Reply Obj. 1: The agent, as agent, does not receive anything. But in so far as it moves through being moved by another, it receives something from that which moves it: and thus is a habit caused.

Reply Obj. 2: The same thing, and in the same respect, cannot be mover and moved; but nothing prevents a thing from being moved by itself as to different respects, as is proved in Physics viii, text. 28,29.

Reply Obj. 3: The act which precedes the habit, in so far as it comes from an active principle, proceeds from a more excellent principle than is the habit caused thereby: just as the reason is a more excellent principle than the habit of moral virtue produced in the appetitive power by repeated acts, and as the understanding of first principles is a more excellent principle than the science of conclusions.

^Q. 51


Art. 3: Whether a habit can be caused by one act?[edit]

It would seem that a habit can be caused by one act.

Obj. 1: For demonstration is an act of reason. But science, which is the habit of one conclusion, is caused by one demonstration. Therefore habit can be caused by one act.

Obj. 2: Further, as acts happen to increase by multiplication so do they happen to increase by intensity. But a habit is caused by multiplication of acts. Therefore also if an act be very intense, it can be the generating cause of a habit.

Obj. 3: Further, health and sickness are habits. But it happens that a man is healed or becomes ill, by one act. Therefore one act can cause a habit.

On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. i, 7): "As neither does one swallow nor one day make spring: so neither does one day nor a short time make a man blessed and happy." But "happiness is an operation in respect of a habit of perfect virtue" (Ethic. i, 7,10,13). Therefore a habit of virtue, and for the same reason, other habits, is not caused by one act.

I answer that, As we have said already (A2), habit is caused by act, because a passive power is moved by an active principle. But in order that some quality be caused in that which is passive the active principle must entirely overcome the passive. Whence we see that because fire cannot at once overcome the combustible, it does not enkindle at once; but it gradually expels contrary dispositions, so that by overcoming it entirely, it may impress its likeness on it. Now it is clear that the active principle which is reason, cannot entirely overcome the appetitive power in one act: because the appetitive power is inclined variously, and to many things; while the reason judges in a single act, what should be willed in regard to various aspects and circumstances. Wherefore the appetitive power is not thereby entirely overcome, so as to be inclined like nature to the same thing, in the majority of cases; which inclination belongs to the habit of virtue. Therefore a habit of virtue cannot be caused by one act, but only by many.

But in the apprehensive powers, we must observe that there are two passive principles: one is the "possible" [*See FP, Q79, A2 ad 2] intellect itself; the other is the intellect which Aristotle (De Anima iii, text. 20) calls "passive," and is the "particular reason," that is the cogitative power, with memory and imagination. With regard then to the former passive principle, it is possible for a certain active principle to entirely overcome, by one act, the power of its passive principle: thus one self-evident proposition convinces the intellect, so that it gives a firm assent to the conclusion, but a probable proposition cannot do this. Wherefore a habit of opinion needs to be caused by many acts of the reason, even on the part of the "possible" intellect: whereas a habit of science can be caused by a single act of the reason, so far as the "possible" intellect is concerned. But with regard to the lower apprehensive powers, the same acts need to be repeated many times for anything to be firmly impressed on the memory. And so the Philosopher says (De Memor. et Remin. 1) that "meditation strengthens memory." Bodily habits, however, can be caused by one act, if the active principle is of great power: sometimes, for instance, a strong dose of medicine restores health at once.

Hence the solutions to the objections are clear.

^Q. 51


Art. 4: Whether any habits are infused in man by God?[edit]

It would seem that no habit is infused in man by God.

Obj. 1: For God treats all equally. If therefore He infuses habits into some, He would infuse them into all: which is clearly untrue.

Obj. 2: Further, God works in all things according to the mode which is suitable to their nature: for "it belongs to Divine providence to preserve nature," as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv). But habits are naturally caused in man by acts, as we have said above (A2). Therefore God does not cause habits to be in man except by acts.

Obj. 3: Further, if any habit be infused into man by God, man can by that habit perform many acts. But "from those acts a like habit is caused" (Ethic. ii, 1,2). Consequently there will be two habits of the same species in the same man, one acquired, the other infused. Now this seems impossible: for the two forms of the same species cannot be in the same subject. Therefore a habit is not infused into man by God.

On the contrary, it is written (Ecclus. 15:5): "God filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding." Now wisdom and understanding are habits. Therefore some habits are infused into man by God.

I answer that, Some habits are infused by God into man, for two reasons.

The first reason is because there are some habits by which man is disposed to an end which exceeds the proportion of human nature, namely, the ultimate and perfect happiness of man, as stated above (Q5, A5). And since habits need to be in proportion with that to which man is disposed by them, therefore is it necessary that those habits, which dispose to this end, exceed the proportion of human nature. Wherefore such habits can never be in man except by Divine infusion, as is the case with all gratuitous virtues.

The other reason is, because God can produce the effects of second causes, without these second causes, as we have said in the FP, Q105, A6. Just as, therefore, sometimes, in order to show His power, He causes health, without its natural cause, but which nature could have caused, so also, at times, for the manifestation of His power, He infuses into man even those habits which can be caused by a natural power. Thus He gave to the apostles the science of the Scriptures and of all tongues, which men can acquire by study or by custom, but not so perfectly.

Reply Obj. 1: God, in respect of His Nature, is the same to all, but in respect of the order of His Wisdom, for some fixed motive, gives certain things to some, which He does not give to others.

Reply Obj. 2: That God works in all according to their mode, does not hinder God from doing what nature cannot do: but it follows from this that He does nothing contrary to that which is suitable to nature.

Reply Obj. 3: Acts produced by an infused habit, do not cause a habit, but strengthen the already existing habit; just as the remedies of medicine given to a man who is naturally healthy do not cause a kind of health, but give new strength to the health he had before.

^Q. 51


QUESTION 52: OF THE INCREASE OF HABITS[edit]

^TOC ^Habits in General ^Of Cause and Change in Habits

We have now to consider the increase of habits; under which head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether habits increase?

(2) Whether they increase by addition?

(3) Whether each act increases the habit?


Art. 1: Whether habits increase?[edit]

It would seem that habits cannot increase.

Obj. 1: For increase concerns quantity (Phys. v, text. 18). But habits are not in the genus quantity, but in that of quality. Therefore there can be no increase of habits.

Obj. 2: Further, habit is a perfection (Phys. vii, text. 17,18). But since perfection conveys a notion of end and term, it seems that it cannot be more or less. Therefore a habit cannot increase.

Obj. 3: Further, those things which can be more or less are subject to alteration: for that which from being less hot becomes more hot, is said to be altered. But in habits there is no alteration, as is proved in Phys. vii, text. 15,17. Therefore habits cannot increase.

On the contrary, Faith is a habit, and yet it increases: wherefore the disciples said to our Lord (Lk. 17:5): "Lord, increase our faith." Therefore habits increase.

I answer that, Increase, like other things pertaining to quantity, is transferred from bodily quantities to intelligible spiritual things, on account of the natural connection of the intellect with corporeal things, which come under the imagination. Now in corporeal quantities, a thing is said to be great, according as it reaches the perfection of quantity due to it; wherefore a certain quantity is reputed great in man, which is not reputed great in an elephant. And so also in forms, we say a thing is great because it is perfect. And since good has the nature of perfection, therefore "in things which are great, but not in quantity, to be greater is the same as to be better," as Augustine says (De Trin. vi, 8).

Now the perfection of a form may be considered in two ways: first, in respect of the form itself; secondly, in respect of the participation of the form by its subject. In so far as we consider the perfections of a form in respect of the form itself, thus the form is said to be "little" or "great": for instance great or little health or science. But in so far as we consider the perfection of a form in respect of the participation thereof by the subject, it is said to be "more" or "less": for instance more or less white or healthy. Now this distinction is not to be understood as implying that the form has a being outside its matter or subject, but that it is one thing to consider the form according to its specific nature, and another to consider it in respect of its participation by a subject.

In this way, then, there were four opinions among philosophers concerning intensity and remission of habits and forms, as Simplicius relates in his Commentary on the Predicaments. For Plotinus and the other Platonists held that qualities and habits themselves were susceptible of more or less, for the reason that they were material and so had a certain want of definiteness, on account of the infinity of matter. Others, on the contrary, held that qualities and habits of themselves were not susceptible of more or less; but that the things affected by them [qualia] are said to be more or less, in respect of the participation of the subject: that, for instance, justice is not more or less, but the just thing. Aristotle alludes to this opinion in the Predicaments (Categor. vi). The third opinion was that of the Stoics, and lies between the two preceding opinions. For they held that some habits are of themselves susceptible of more and less, for instance, the arts; and that some are not, as the virtues. The fourth opinion was held by some who said that qualities and immaterial forms are not susceptible of more or less, but that material forms are.

In order that the truth in this matter be made clear, we must observe that, in respect of which a thing receives its species, must be something fixed and stationary, and as it were indivisible: for whatever attains to that thing, is contained under the species, and whatever recedes from it more or less, belongs to another species, more or less perfect. Wherefore, the Philosopher says (Metaph. viii, text. 10) that species of things are like numbers, in which addition or subtraction changes the species. If, therefore, a form, or anything at all, receives its specific nature in respect of itself, or in respect of something belonging to it, it is necessary that, considered in itself, it be something of a definite nature, which can be neither more nor less. Such are heat, whiteness or other like qualities which are not denominated from a relation to something else: and much more so, substance, which is "per se" being. But those things which receive their species from something to which they are related, can be diversified, in respect of themselves, according to more or less: and nonetheless they remain in the same species, on account of the oneness of that to which they are related, and from which they receive their species. For example, movement is in itself more intense or more remiss: and yet it remains in the same species, on account of the oneness of the term by which it is specified. We may observe the same thing in health; for a body attains to the nature of health, according as it has a disposition suitable to an animal's nature, to which various dispositions may be suitable; which disposition is therefore variable as regards more or less, and withal the nature of health remains. Whence the Philosopher says (Ethic. x, 2,3): "Health itself may be more or less: for the measure is not the same in all, nor is it always the same in one individual; but down to a certain point it may decrease and still remain health."

Now these various dispositions and measures of health are by way of excess and defect: wherefore if the name of health were given to the most perfect measure, then we should not speak of health as greater or less. Thus therefore it is clear how a quality or form may increase or decrease of itself, and how it cannot.

But if we consider a quality or form in respect of its participation by the subject, thus again we find that some qualities and forms are susceptible of more or less, and some not. Now Simplicius assigns the cause of this diversity to the fact that substance in itself cannot be susceptible of more or less, because it is "per se" being. And therefore every form which is participated substantially by its subject, cannot vary in intensity and remission: wherefore in the genus of substance nothing is said to be more or less. And because quantity is nigh to substance, and because shape follows on quantity, therefore is it that neither in these can there be such a thing as more or less. Whence the Philosopher says (Phys. vii, text. 15) that when a thing receives form and shape, it is not said to be altered, but to be made. But other qualities which are further removed from quantity, and are connected with passions and actions, are susceptible of more or less, in respect of their participation by the subject.

Now it is possible to explain yet further the reason of this diversity. For, as we have said, that from which a thing receives its species must remain indivisibly fixed and constant in something indivisible. Wherefore in two ways it may happen that a form cannot be participated more or less. First because the participator has its species in respect of that form. And for this reason no substantial form is participated more or less. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Metaph. viii, text. 10) that, "as a number cannot be more or less, so neither can that which is in the species of substance," that is, in respect of its participation of the specific form: "but in so far as substance may be with matter," i.e. in respect of material dispositions, "more or less are found in substance."

Secondly this may happen from the fact that the form is essentially indivisible: wherefore if anything participate that form, it must needs participate it in respect of its indivisibility. For this reason we do not speak of the species of number as varying in respect of more or less; because each species thereof is constituted by an indivisible unity. The same is to be said of the species of continuous quantity, which are denominated from numbers, as two-cubits-long, three-cubits-long, and of relations of quantity, as double and treble, and of figures of quantity, as triangle and tetragon.

This same explanation is given by Aristotle in the Predicaments (Categor. vi), where in explaining why figures are not susceptible of more or less, he says: "Things which are given the nature of a triangle or a circle, are accordingly triangles and circles": to wit, because indivisibility is essential to the motion of such, wherefore whatever participates their nature must participate it in its indivisibility.

It is clear, therefore, since we speak of habits and dispositions in respect of a relation to something (Phys. vii, text. 17), that in two ways intensity and remission may be observed in habits and dispositions. First, in respect of the habit itself: thus, for instance, we speak of greater or less health; greater or less science, which extends to more or fewer things. Secondly, in respect of participation by the subject: in so far as equal science or health is participated more in one than in another, according to a diverse aptitude arising either from nature, or from custom. For habit and disposition do not give species to the subject: nor again do they essentially imply indivisibility.

We shall say further on (Q66, A1) how it is with the virtues.

Reply Obj. 1: As the word "great" is taken from corporeal quantities and applied to the intelligible perfections of forms; so also is the word "growth," the term of which is something great.

Reply Obj. 2: Habit is indeed a perfection, but not a perfection which is the term of its subject; for instance, a term giving the subject its specific being. Nor again does the nature of a habit include the notion of term, as do the species of numbers. Wherefore there is nothing to hinder it from being susceptible of more or less.

Reply Obj. 3: Alteration is primarily indeed in the qualities of the third species; but secondarily it may be in the qualities of the first species: for, supposing an alteration as to hot and cold, there follows in an animal an alteration as to health and sickness. In like manner, if an alteration take place in the passions of the sensitive appetite, or the sensitive powers of apprehension, an alteration follows as to science and virtue (Phys. viii, text. 20).

^Q. 52


Art. 2: Whether habit increases by addition?[edit]

It would seem that the increase of habits is by way of addition.

Obj. 1: For the word "increase," as we have said, is transferred to forms, from corporeal quantities. But in corporeal quantities there is no increase without addition: wherefore (De Gener. i, text. 31) it is said that "increase is an addition to a magnitude already existing." Therefore in habits also there is no increase without addition.

Obj. 2: Further, habit is not increased except by means of some agent. But every agent does something in the passive subject: for instance, that which heats, causes heat in that which is heated. Therefore there is no increase without addition.

Obj. 3: Further, as that which is not white, is in potentiality to be white: so that which is less white, is in potentiality to be more white. But that which is not white, is not made white except by the addition of whiteness. Therefore that which is less white, is not made more white, except by an added whiteness.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Phys. iv, text. 84): "That which is hot is made hotter, without making, in the matter, something hot, that was not hot, when the thing was less hot." Therefore, in like manner, neither is any addition made in other forms when they increase.

I answer that, The solution of this question depends on what we have said above (A1). For we said that increase and decrease in forms which are capable of intensity and remissness, happen in one way not on the part of the very form considered in itself, through the diverse participation thereof by the subject. Wherefore such increase of habits and other forms, is not caused by an addition of form to form; but by the subject participating more or less perfectly, one and the same form. And just as, by an agent which is in act, something is made actually hot, beginning, as it were, to participate a form, not as though the form itself were made, as is proved in Metaph. vii, text. 32, so, by an intense action of the agent, something is made more hot, as it were participating the form more perfectly, not as though something were added to the form.

For if this increase in forms were understood to be by way of addition, this could only be either in the form itself or in the subject. If it be understood of the form itself, it has already been stated (A1) that such an addition or subtraction would change the species; even as the species of color is changed when a thing from being pale becomes white. If, on the other hand, this addition be understood as applying to the subject, this could only be either because one part of the subject receives a form which it had not previously (thus we may say cold increases in a man who, after being cold in one part of his body, is cold in several parts), or because some other subject is added sharing in the same form (as when a hot thing is added to another, or one white thing to another). But in either of these two ways we have not a more white or a more hot thing, but a greater white or hot thing.

Since, however, as stated above (A1), certain accidents are of themselves susceptible of more or less, in some of these we may find increase by addition. For movement increases by an addition either to the time it lasts, or to the course it follows: and yet the species remains the same on account of the oneness of the term. Yet movement increases the intensity as to participation in its subject: i.e. in so far as the same movement can be executed more or less speedily or readily. In like manner, science can increase in itself by addition; thus when anyone learns several conclusions of geometry, the same specific habit of science increases in that man. Yet a man's science increases, as to the subject's participation thereof, in intensity, in so far as one man is quicker and readier than another in considering the same conclusions.

As to bodily habits, it does not seem very probable that they receive increase by way of addition. For an animal is not said to be simply healthy or beautiful, unless it be such in all its parts. And if it be brought to a more perfect measure, this is the result of a change in the simple qualities, which are not susceptible of increase save in intensity on the part of the subject partaking of them.

How this question affects virtues we shall state further on (Q66, A1).

Reply Obj. 1: Even in bodily bulk increase is twofold. First, by addition of one subject to another; such is the increase of living things. Secondly, by mere intensity, without any addition at all; such is the case with things subject to rarefaction, as is stated in Phys. iv, text. 63.

Reply Obj. 2: The cause that increases a habit, always effects something in the subject, but not a new form. But it causes the subject to partake more perfectly of a pre-existing form, or it makes the form to extend further.

Reply Obj. 3: What is not already white, is potentially white, as not yet possessing the form of whiteness: hence the agent causes a new form in the subject. But that which is less hot or white, is not in potentiality to those forms, since it has them already actually: but it is in potentiality to a perfect mode of participation; and this it receives through the agent's action.

^Q. 52


Art. 3: Whether every act increases its habit?[edit]

It would seem that every act increases its habit.

Obj. 1: For when the cause is increased the effect is increased. Now acts are causes of habits, as stated above (Q51, A2). Therefore a habit increases when its acts are multiplied.

Obj. 2: Further, of like things a like judgment should be formed. But all the acts proceeding from one and the same habit are alike (Ethic. ii, 1,2). Therefore if some acts increase a habit, every act should increase it.

Obj. 3: Further, like is increased by like. But any act is like the habit whence it proceeds. Therefore every act increases the habit.

On the contrary, Opposite effects do not result from the same cause. But according to Ethic. ii, 2, some acts lessen the habit whence they proceed, for instance if they be done carelessly. Therefore it is not every act that increases a habit.

I answer that, "Like acts cause like habits" (Ethic. ii,1,2). Now things are like or unlike not only in respect of their qualities being the same or various, but also in respect of the same or a different mode of participation. For it is not only black that is unlike white, but also less white is unlike more white, since there is movement from less white to more white, even as from one opposite to another, as stated in Phys. v, text. 52.

But since use of habits depends on the will, as was shown above (Q50, A5); just as one who has a habit may fail to use it or may act contrary to it; so may he happen to use the habit by performing an act that is not in proportion to the intensity of the habit. Accordingly, if the intensity of the act correspond in proportion to the intensity of the habit, or even surpass it, every such act either increases the habit or disposes to an increase thereof, if we may speak of the increase of habits as we do of the increase of an animal. For not every morsel of food actually increases the animal's size as neither does every drop of water hollow out the stone: but the multiplication of food results at last in an increase of the body. So, too, repeated acts cause a habit to grow. If, however, the act falls short of the intensity of the habit, such an act does not dispose to an increase of that habit, but rather to a lessening thereof.

From this it is clear how to solve the objections.

^Q. 52


QUESTION 53: HOW HABITS ARE CORRUPTED OR DIMINISHED[edit]

^TOC ^Habits in General ^Of Cause and Change in Habits

We must now consider how habits are lost or weakened; and under this head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether a habit can be corrupted?

(2) Whether it can be diminished?

(3) How are habits corrupted or diminished?


Art. 1: Whether a habit can be corrupted?[edit]

It would seem that a habit cannot be corrupted.

Obj. 1: For habit is within its subject like a second nature; wherefore it is pleasant to act from habit. Now so long as a thing is, its nature is not corrupted. Therefore neither can a habit be corrupted so long as its subject remains.

Obj. 2: Further, whenever a form is corrupted, this is due either to corruption of its subject, or to its contrary: thus sickness ceases through corruption of the animal, or through the advent of health. Now science, which is a habit, cannot be lost through corruption of its subject: since "the intellect," which is its subject, "is a substance that is incorruptible" (De Anima i, text. 65). In like manner, neither can it be lost through the action of its contrary: since intelligible species are not contrary to one another (Metaph. vii, text. 52). Therefore the habit of science can nowise be lost.

Obj. 3: Further, all corruption results from some movement. But the habit of science, which is in the soul, cannot be corrupted by a direct movement of the soul itself, since the soul is not moved directly. It is, however, moved indirectly through the movement of the body: and yet no bodily change seems capable of corrupting the intelligible species residing in the intellect: since the intellect independently of the body is the proper abode of the species; for which reason it is held that habits are not lost either through old age or through death. Therefore science cannot be corrupted. For the same reason neither can habits of virtue be corrupted, since they also are in the rational soul, and, as the Philosopher declares (Ethic. i, 10), "virtue is more lasting than learning."

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (De Long. et Brev. Vitae ii) that "forgetfulness and deception are the corruption of science." Moreover, by sinning a man loses a habit of virtue: and again, virtues are engendered and corrupted by contrary acts (Ethic. ii, 2).

I answer that, A form is said to be corrupted directly by its contrary; indirectly, through its subject being corrupted. When therefore a habit has a corruptible subject, and a cause that has a contrary, it can be corrupted both ways. This is clearly the case with bodily habits--for instance, health and sickness. But those habits that have an incorruptible subject, cannot be corrupted indirectly. There are, however, some habits which, while residing chiefly in an incorruptible subject, reside nevertheless secondarily in a corruptible subject; such is the habit of science which is chiefly indeed in the "possible" intellect, but secondarily in the sensitive powers of apprehension, as stated above (Q50, A3, ad 3). Consequently the habit of science cannot be corrupted indirectly, on the part of the "possible" intellect, but only on the part of the lower sensitive powers.

We must therefore inquire whether habits of this kind can be corrupted directly. If then there be a habit having a contrary, either on the part of itself or on the part of its cause, it can be corrupted directly: but if it has no contrary, it cannot be corrupted directly. Now it is evident that an intelligible species residing in the "possible" intellect, has no contrary; nor can the active intellect, which is the cause of that species, have a contrary. Wherefore if in the "possible" intellect there be a habit caused immediately by the active intellect, such a habit is incorruptible both directly and indirectly. Such are the habits of the first principles, both speculative and practical, which cannot be corrupted by any forgetfulness or deception whatever: even as the Philosopher says about prudence (Ethic. vi, 5) that "it cannot be lost by being forgotten." There is, however, in the "possible" intellect a habit caused by the reason, to wit, the habit of conclusions, which is called science, to the cause of which something may be contrary in two ways. First, on the part of those very propositions which are the starting point of the reason: for the assertion "Good is not good" is contrary to the assertion "Good is good" (Peri Herm. ii). Secondly, on the part of the process of reasoning; forasmuch as a sophistical syllogism is contrary to a dialectic or demonstrative syllogism. Wherefore it is clear that a false reason can corrupt the habit of a true opinion or even of science. Hence the Philosopher, as stated above, says that "deception is the corruption of science." As to virtues, some of them are intellectual, residing in reason itself, as stated in Ethic. vi, 1: and to these applies what we have said of science and opinion. Some, however, viz. the moral virtues, are in the appetitive part of the soul; and the same may be said of the contrary vices. Now the habits of the appetitive part are caused therein because it is natural to it to be moved by the reason. Therefore a habit either of virtue or of vice, may be corrupted by a judgment of reason, whenever its motion is contrary to such vice or virtue, whether through ignorance, passion or deliberate choice.

Reply Obj. 1: As stated in Ethic. vii, 10, a habit is like a second nature, and yet it falls short of it. And so it is that while the nature of a thing cannot in any way be taken away from a thing, a habit is removed, though with difficulty.

Reply Obj. 2: Although there is no contrary to intelligible species, yet there can be a contrary to assertions and to the process of reason, as stated above.

Reply Obj. 3: Science is not taken away by movement of the body, if we consider the root itself of the habit, but only as it may prove an obstacle to the act of science; in so far as the intellect, in its act, has need of the sensitive powers, which are impeded by corporal transmutation. But the intellectual movement of the reason can corrupt the habit of science, even as regards the very root of the habit. In like manner a habit of virtue can be corrupted. Nevertheless when it is said that "virtue is more lasting than learning," this must be understood in respect, not of the subject or cause, but of the act: because the use of virtue continues through the whole of life, whereas the use of learning does not.

^Q. 53


Art. 2: Whether a habit can diminish?[edit]

It would seem that a habit cannot diminish.

Obj. 1: Because a habit is a simple quality and form. Now a simple thing is possessed either wholly or not at all. Therefore although a habit can be lost it cannot diminish.

Obj. 2: Further, if a thing is befitting an accident, this is by reason either of the accident or of its subject. Now a habit does not become more or less intense by reason of itself; else it would follow that a species might be predicated of its individuals more or less. And if it can become less intense as to its participation by its subject, it would follow that something is accidental to a habit, proper thereto and not common to the habit and its subject. Now whenever a form has something proper to it besides its subject, that form can be separate, as stated in De Anima i, text. 13. Hence it follows that a habit is a separable form; which is impossible.

Obj. 3: Further, the very notion and nature of a habit as of any accident, is inherence in a subject: wherefore any accident is defined with reference to its subject. Therefore if a habit does not become more or less intense in itself, neither can it in its inherence in its subject: and consequently it will be nowise less intense.

On the contrary, It is natural for contraries to be applicable to the same thing. Now increase and decrease are contraries. Since therefore a habit can increase, it seems that it can also diminish.

I answer that, Habits diminish, just as they increase, in two ways, as we have already explained (Q52, A1). And since they increase through the same cause as that which engenders them, so too they diminish by the same cause as that which corrupts them: since the diminishing of a habit is the road which leads to its corruption, even as, on the other hand, the engendering of a habit is a foundation of its increase.

Reply Obj. 1: A habit, considered in itself, is a simple form. It is not thus that it is subject to decrease; but according to the different ways in which its subject participates in it. This is due to the fact that the subject's potentiality is indeterminate, through its being able to participate a form in various ways, or to extend to a greater or a smaller number of things.

Reply Obj. 2: This argument would hold, if the essence itself of a habit were nowise subject to decrease. This we do not say; but that a certain decrease in the essence of a habit has its origin, not in the habit, but in its subject.

Reply Obj. 3: No matter how we take an accident, its very notion implies dependence on a subject, but in different ways. For if we take an accident in the abstract, it implies relation to a subject, which relation begins in the accident and terminates in the subject: for "whiteness is that whereby a thing is white." Accordingly in defining an accident in the abstract, we do not put the subject as though it were the first part of the definition, viz. the genus; but we give it the second place, which is that of the difference; thus we say that "simitas" is "a curvature of the nose." But if we take accidents in the concrete, the relation begins in the subject and terminates at the accident: for "a white thing" is "something that has whiteness." Accordingly in defining this kind of accident, we place the subject as the genus, which is the first part of a definition; for we say that a "simum" is a "snub-nose." Accordingly whatever is befitting an accident on the part of the subject, but is not of the very essence of the accident, is ascribed to that accident, not in the abstract, but in the concrete. Such are increase and decrease in certain accidents: wherefore to be more or less white is not ascribed to whiteness but to a white thing. The same applies to habits and other qualities; save that certain habits increase or diminish by a kind of addition, as we have already clearly explained (Q52, A2).

^Q. 53


Art. 3: Whether a habit is corrupted or diminished through mere cessation from act?[edit]

It would seem that a habit is not corrupted or diminished through mere cessation from act.

Obj. 1: For habits are more lasting than passion-like qualities, as we have explained above (Q49, A2, ad 3; Q50, A1). But passion-like qualities are neither corrupted nor diminished by cessation from act: for whiteness is not lessened through not affecting the sight, nor heat through ceasing to make something hot. Therefore neither are habits diminished or corrupted through cessation from act.

Obj. 2: Further, corruption and diminution are changes. Now nothing is changed without a moving cause. Since therefore cessation from act does not imply a moving cause, it does not appear how a habit can be diminished or corrupted through cessation from act.

Obj. 3: Further, the habits of science and virtue are in the intellectual soul which is above time. Now those things that are above time are neither destroyed nor diminished by length of time. Neither, therefore, are such habits destroyed or diminished through length of time, if one fails for long to exercise them.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (De Long. et Brev. Vitae ii) that not only "deception," but also "forgetfulness, is the corruption of science." Moreover he says (Ethic. viii, 5) that "want of intercourse has dissolved many a friendship." In like manner other habits of virtue are diminished or destroyed through cessation from act.

I answer that, As stated in Phys. vii, text. 27, a thing is a cause of movement in two ways. First, directly; and such a thing causes movement by reason of its proper form; thus fire causes heat. Secondly, indirectly; for instance, that which removes an obstacle. It is in this latter way that the destruction or diminution of a habit results through cessation from act, in so far, to wit, as we cease from exercising an act which overcame the causes that destroyed or weakened that habit. For it has been stated (A1) that habits are destroyed or diminished directly through some contrary agency. Consequently all habits that are gradually undermined by contrary agencies which need to be counteracted by acts proceeding from those habits, are diminished or even destroyed altogether by long cessation from act, as is clearly seen in the case both of science and of virtue. For it is evident that a habit of moral virtue makes a man ready to choose the mean in deeds and passions. And when a man fails to make use of his virtuous habit in order to moderate his own passions or deeds, the necessary result is that many passions and deeds fail to observe the mode of virtue, by reason of the inclination of the sensitive appetite and of other external agencies. Wherefore virtue is destroyed or lessened through cessation from act. The same applies to the intellectual habits, which render man ready to judge aright of those things that are pictured by his imagination. Hence when man ceases to make use of his intellectual habits, strange fancies, sometimes in opposition to them, arise in his imagination; so that unless those fancies be, as it were, cut off or kept back by frequent use of his intellectual habits, man becomes less fit to judge aright, and sometimes is even wholly disposed to the contrary, and thus the intellectual habit is diminished or even wholly destroyed by cessation from act.

Reply Obj. 1: Even heat would be destroyed through ceasing to give heat, if, for this same reason, cold which is destructive of heat were to increase.

Reply Obj. 2: Cessation from act is a moving cause, conducive of corruption or diminution, by removing the obstacles, thereto, as explained above.

Reply Obj. 3: The intellectual part of the soul, considered in itself, is above time, but the sensitive part is subject to time, and therefore in course of time it undergoes change as to the passions of the sensitive part, and also as to the powers of apprehension. Hence the Philosopher says (Phys. iv. text. 117) that time makes us forget.

^Q. 53


QUESTION 54: OF THE DISTINCTION OF HABITS[edit]

^TOC ^Habits in General

We have now to consider the distinction of habits; and under this head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether many habits can be in one power?

(2) Whether habits are distinguished by their objects?

(3) Whether habits are divided into good and bad?

(4) Whether one habit may be made up of many habits?


Art. 1: Whether many habits can be in one power?[edit]

It would seem that there cannot be many habits in one power.

Obj. 1: For when several things are distinguished in respect of the same thing, if one of them be multiplied, the others are too. Now habits and powers are distinguished in respect of the same thing, viz. their acts and objects. Therefore they are multiplied in like manner. Therefore there cannot be many habits in one power.

Obj. 2: Further, a power is a simple force. Now in one simple subject there cannot be diversity of accidents; for the subject is the cause of its accidents; and it does not appear how diverse effects can proceed from one simple cause. Therefore there cannot be many habits in one power.

Obj. 3: Further, just as the body is informed by its shape, so is a power informed by a habit. But one body cannot be informed at the same time by various shapes. Therefore neither can a power be informed at the same time by many habits. Therefore several habits cannot be at the same time in one power.

On the contrary, The intellect is one power; wherein, nevertheless, are the habits of various sciences.

I answer that, As stated above (Q49, A4), habits are dispositions of a thing that is in potentiality to something, either to nature, or to operation, which is the end of nature. As to those habits which are dispositions to nature, it is clear that several can be in one same subject: since in one subject we may take parts in various ways, according to the various dispositions of which parts there are various habits. Thus, if we take the humors as being parts of the human body, according to their disposition in respect of human nature, we have the habit or disposition of health: while, if we take like parts, such as nerves, bones, and flesh, the disposition of these in respect of nature is strength or weakness; whereas, if we take the limbs, i.e. the hands, feet, and so on, the disposition of these in proportion to nature, is beauty: and thus there are several habits or dispositions in the same subject.

If, however, we speak of those habits that are dispositions to operation, and belong properly to the powers; thus, again, there may be several habits in one power. The reason for this is that the subject of a habit is a passive power, as stated above (Q51, A2): for it is only an active power that cannot be the subject of a habit, as was clearly shown above (Q51, A2). Now a passive power is compared to the determinate act of any species, as matter to form: because, just as matter is determinate to one form by one agent, so, too, is a passive power determined by the nature of one active object to an act specifically one. Wherefore, just as several objects can move one passive power, so can one passive power be the subject of several acts or perfections specifically diverse. Now habits are qualities or forms adhering to a power, and inclining that power to acts of a determinate species. Consequently several habits, even as several specifically different acts, can belong to one power.

Reply Obj. 1: Even as in natural things, diversity of species is according to the form, and diversity of genus, according to matter, as stated in Metaph. v, text. 33 (since things that differ in matter belong to different genera): so, too, generic diversity of objects entails a difference of powers (wherefore the Philosopher says in Ethic. vi, 1, that "those objects that differ generically belong to different departments of the soul"); while specific difference of objects entails a specific difference of acts, and consequently of habits also. Now things that differ in genus differ in species, but not vice versa. Wherefore the acts and habits of different powers differ in species: but it does not follow that different habits are in different powers, for several can be in one power. And even as several genera may be included in one genus, and several species be contained in one species; so does it happen that there are several species of habits and powers.

Reply Obj. 2: Although a power is simple as to its essence, it is multiple virtually, inasmuch as it extends to many specifically different acts. Consequently there is nothing to prevent many superficially different habits from being in one power.

Reply Obj. 3: A body is informed by its shape as by its own terminal boundaries: whereas a habit is not the terminal boundary of a power, but the disposition of a power to an act as to its ultimate term. Consequently one same power cannot have several acts at the same time, except in so far as perchance one act is comprised in another; just as neither can a body have several shapes, save in so far as one shape enters into another, as a three-sided in a four-sided figure. For the intellect cannot understand several things at the same time "actually"; and yet it can know several things at the same time "habitually."

^Q. 54


Art. 2: Whether habits are distinguished by their objects?[edit]

It would seem that habits are not distinguished by their objects.

Obj. 1: For contraries differ in species. Now the same habit of science regards contraries: thus medicine regards the healthy and the unhealthy. Therefore habits are not distinguished by objects specifically distinct.

Obj. 2: Further, different sciences are different habits. But the same scientific truth belongs to different sciences: thus both the physicist and the astronomer prove the earth to be round, as stated in Phys. ii, text. 17. Therefore habits are not distinguished by their objects.

Obj. 3: Further, wherever the act is the same, the object is the same. But the same act can belong to different habits of virtue, if it be directed to different ends; thus to give money to anyone, if it be done for God's sake, is an act of charity; while, if it be done in order to pay a debt, it is an act of justice. Therefore the same object can also belong to different habits. Therefore diversity of habits does not follow diversity of objects.

On the contrary, Acts differ in species according to the diversity of their objects, as stated above (Q18, A5). But habits are dispositions to acts. Therefore habits also are distinguished according to the diversity of objects.

I answer that, A habit is both a form and a habit. Hence the specific distinction of habits may be taken in the ordinary way in which forms differ specifically; or according to that mode of distinction which is proper to habits. Accordingly forms are distinguished from one another in reference to the diversity of their active principles, since every agent produces its like in species. Habits, however, imply order to something: and all things that imply order to something, are distinguished according to the distinction of the things to which they are ordained. Now a habit is a disposition implying a twofold order: viz. to nature and to an operation consequent to nature.

Accordingly habits are specifically distinct in respect of three things. First, in respect of the active principles of such dispositions; secondly, in respect of nature; thirdly, in respect of specifically different objects, as will appear from what follows.

Reply Obj. 1: In distinguishing powers, or also habits, we must consider the object not in its material but in its formal aspect, which may differ in species or even in genus. And though the distinction between specific contraries is a real distinction yet they are both known under one aspect, since one is known through the other. And consequently in so far as they concur in the one aspect of cognoscibility, they belong to one cognitive habit.

Reply Obj. 2: The physicist proves the earth to be round by one means, the astronomer by another: for the latter proves this by means of mathematics, e.g. by the shapes of eclipses, or something of the sort; while the former proves it by means of physics, e.g. by the movement of heavy bodies towards the center, and so forth. Now the whole force of a demonstration, which is "a syllogism producing science," as stated in Poster. i, text. 5, depends on the mean. And consequently various means are as so many active principles, in respect of which the habits of science are distinguished.

Reply Obj. 3: As the Philosopher says (Phys. ii, text. 89; Ethic. vii, 8), the end is, in practical matters, what the principle is in speculative matters. Consequently diversity of ends demands a diversity of virtues, even as diversity of active principles does. Moreover the ends are objects of the internal acts, with which, above all, the virtues are concerned, as is evident from what has been said (Q18, A6; Q19, A2, ad 1; Q34, A4).

^Q. 54


Art. 3: Whether habits are divided into good and bad?[edit]

It would seem that habits are not divided into good and bad.

Obj. 1: For good and bad are contraries. Now the same habit regards contraries, as was stated above (A2, Obj.1). Therefore habits are not divided into good and bad.

Obj. 2: Further, good is convertible with being; so that, since it is common to all, it cannot be accounted a specific difference, as the Philosopher declares (Topic. iv). Again, evil, since it is a privation and a non-being, cannot differentiate any being. Therefore habits cannot be specifically divided into good and evil.

Obj. 3: Further, there can be different evil habits about one same object; for instance, intemperance and insensibility about matters of concupiscence: and in like manner there can be several good habits; for instance, human virtue and heroic or godlike virtue, as the Philosopher clearly states (Ethic. vii, 1). Therefore, habits are not divided into good and bad.

On the contrary, A good habit is contrary to a bad habit, as virtue to vice. Now contraries are divided specifically into good and bad habits.

I answer that, As stated above (A2), habits are specifically distinct not only in respect of their objects and active principles, but also in their relation to nature. Now, this happens in two ways. First, by reason of their suitableness or unsuitableness to nature. In this way a good habit is specifically distinct from a bad habit: since a good habit is one which disposes to an act suitable to the agent's nature, while an evil habit is one which disposes to an act unsuitable to nature. Thus, acts of virtue are suitable to human nature, since they are according to reason, whereas acts of vice are discordant from human nature, since they are against reason. Hence it is clear that habits are distinguished specifically by the difference of good and bad.

Secondly, habits are distinguished in relation to nature, from the fact that one habit disposes to an act that is suitable to a lower nature, while another habit disposes to an act befitting a higher nature. And thus human virtue, which disposes to an act befitting human nature, is distinct from godlike or heroic virtue, which disposes to an act befitting some higher nature.

Reply Obj. 1: The same habit may be about contraries in so far as contraries agree in one common aspect. Never, however, does it happen that contrary habits are in one species: since contrariety of habits follows contrariety of aspect. Accordingly habits are divided into good and bad, namely, inasmuch as one habit is good, and another bad; but not by reason of one habit being about something good, and another about something bad.

Reply Obj. 2: It is not the good which is common to every being, that is a difference constituting the species of a habit; but some determinate good by reason of suitability to some determinate, viz. the human, nature. In like manner the evil that constitutes a difference of habits is not a pure privation, but something determinate repugnant to a determinate nature.

Reply Obj. 3: Several good habits about one same specific thing are distinct in reference to their suitability to various natures, as stated above. But several bad habits in respect of one action are distinct in reference to their diverse repugnance to that which is in keeping with nature: thus, various vices about one same matter are contrary to one virtue.

^Q. 54


Art. 4: Whether one habit is made up of many habits?[edit]

It would seem that one habit is made up of many habits.

Obj. 1: For whatever is engendered, not at once, but little by little, seems to be made up of several parts. But a habit is engendered, not at once, but little by little out of several acts, as stated above (Q51, A3). Therefore one habit is made up of several.

Obj. 2: Further, a whole is made up of its parts. Now many parts are assigned to one habit: thus Tully assigns many parts of fortitude, temperance, and other virtues. Therefore one habit is made up of many.

Obj. 3: Further, one conclusion suffices both for an act and for a habit of scientific knowledge. But many conclusions belong to but one science, to geometry, for instance, or to arithmetic. Therefore one habit is made up of many.

On the contrary, A habit, since it is a quality, is a simple form. But nothing simple is made up of many. Therefore one habit is not made up of many.

I answer that, A habit directed to operation, such as we are chiefly concerned with at present, is a perfection of a power. Now every perfection should be in proportion with that which it perfects. Hence, just as a power, while it is one, extends to many things, in so far as they have something in common, i.e. some general objective aspect, so also a habit extends to many things, in so far as they are related to one, for instance, to some specific objective aspect, or to one nature, or to one principle, as was clearly stated above (AA2,3).

If then we consider a habit as to the extent of its object, we shall find a certain multiplicity therein. But since this multiplicity is directed to one thing, on which the habit is chiefly intent, hence it is that a habit is a simple quality, not composed to several habits, even though it extend to many things. For a habit does not extend to many things save in relation to one, whence it derives its unity.

Reply Obj. 1: That a habit is engendered little by little, is due, not to one part being engendered after another, but to the fact that the subject does not acquire all at once a firm and difficultly changeable disposition; and also to the fact that it begins by being imperfectly in the subject, and is gradually perfected. The same applies to other qualities.

Reply Obj. 2: The parts which are assigned to each cardinal virtue, are not integral parts that combine to form a whole; but subjective or potential parts, as we shall explain further on (Q57, A6, ad 4; SS, Q48).

Reply Obj. 3: In any science, he who acquires, by demonstration, scientific knowledge of one conclusion, has the habit indeed, yet imperfectly. And when he obtains, by demonstration, the scientific knowledge of another conclusion, no additional habit is engendered in him: but the habit which was in him previously is perfected, forasmuch as it has increased in extent; because the conclusions and demonstrations of one science are coordinate, and one flows from another.

^Q. 54


HABITS IN PARTICULAR[edit]

^TOC ^Prologue

We come now to the consideration of habits individually. And since habits, as we have said (Q 54, A 3), are divided into good and bad, we must speak in the first place of

good habits, which are virtues, and of other matters connected with them, namely the Gifts, Beatitudes and Fruits (Q 68);

in the second place, of bad habits, namely of vices and sins (Q 71)

GOOD HABITS—THAT IS, VIRTUES[edit]

^TOC ^Habits in Particular

Now five things must be considered about virtues:

(1) the essence of virtue (Q. 55);

(2) its subject (Q. 56);

(3) the division of virtue [QQ. 57-62]

(4) the cause of virtue (Q. 63);

(5) certain properties of virtue [QQ. 64-67];

[(6) other matters connected with virtues (QQ. 68-70)]

QUESTION 55: OF THE VIRTUES, AS TO THEIR ESSENCE[edit]

^TOC ^Good Habits—That Is, Virtues

Under the first head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether human virtue is a habit?

(2) Whether it is an operative habit?

(3) Whether it is a good habit?

(4) Of the definition of virtue.


Art. 1: Whether human virtue is a habit?[edit]

It would seem that human virtue is not a habit.

Obj. 1: For virtue is "the limit of power" (De Coelo i, text. 116). But the limit of anything is reducible to the genus of that of which it is the limit; as a point is reducible to the genus of line. Therefore virtue is reducible to the genus of power, and not to the genus of habit.

Obj. 2: Further, Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. ii) [*Retract. ix; cf. De Lib. Arb. ii, 19] that "virtue is good use of free-will." But use of free-will is an act. Therefore virtue is not a habit, but an act.

Obj. 3: Further, we do not merit by our habits, but by our actions: otherwise a man would merit continually, even while asleep. But we do merit by our virtues. Therefore virtues are not habits, but acts.

Obj. 4: Further, Augustine says (De Moribus Eccl. xv) that "virtue is the order of love," and (QQ. lxxxiii, qu. 30) that "the ordering which is called virtue consists in enjoying what we ought to enjoy, and using what we ought to use." Now order, or ordering, denominates either an action or a relation. Therefore virtue is not a habit, but an action or a relation.

Obj. 5: Further, just as there are human virtues, so are there natural virtues. But natural virtues are not habits, but powers. Neither therefore are human virtues habits.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Categor. vi) that science and virtue are habits.

I answer that, Virtue denotes a certain perfection of a power. Now a thing's perfection is considered chiefly in regard to its end. But the end of power is act. Wherefore power is said to be perfect, according as it is determinate to its act.

Now there are some powers which of themselves are determinate to their acts; for instance, the active natural powers. And therefore these natural powers are in themselves called virtues. But the rational powers, which are proper to man, are not determinate to one particular action, but are inclined indifferently to many: and they are determinate to acts by means of habits, as is clear from what we have said above (Q49, A4). Therefore human virtues are habits.

Reply Obj. 1: Sometimes we give the name of a virtue to that to which the virtue is directed, namely, either to its object, or to its act: for instance, we give the name Faith, to that which we believe, or to the act of believing, as also to the habit by which we believe. When therefore we say that "virtue is the limit of power," virtue is taken for the object of virtue. For the furthest point to which a power can reach, is said to be its virtue; for instance, if a man can carry a hundredweight and not more, his virtue [*In English we should say 'strength,' which is the original signification of the Latin 'virtus': thus we speak of an engine being so many horse-power, to indicate its 'strength'] is put at a hundredweight, and not at sixty. But the objection takes virtue as being essentially the limit of power.

Reply Obj. 2: Good use of free-will is said to be a virtue, in the same sense as above (ad 1); that is to say, because it is that to which virtue is directed as to its proper act. For the act of virtue is nothing else than the good use of free-will.

Reply Obj. 3: We are said to merit by something in two ways. First, as by merit itself, just as we are said to run by running; and thus we merit by acts. Secondly, we are said to merit by something as by the principle whereby we merit, as we are said to run by the motive power; and thus are we said to merit by virtues and habits.

Reply Obj. 4: When we say that virtue is the order or ordering of love, we refer to the end to which virtue is ordered: because in us love is set in order by virtue.

Reply Obj. 5: Natural powers are of themselves determinate to one act: not so the rational powers. And so there is no comparison, as we have said.

^Q. 55


Art. 2: Whether human virtue is an operative habit?[edit]

It would seem that it is not essential to human virtue to be an operative habit.

Obj. 1: For Tully says (Tuscul. iv) that as health and beauty belong to the body, so virtue belongs to the soul. But health and beauty are not operative habits. Therefore neither is virtue.

Obj. 2: Further, in natural things we find virtue not only in reference to act, but also in reference to being: as is clear from the Philosopher (De Coelo i), since some have a virtue to be always, while some have a virtue to be not always, but at some definite time. Now as natural virtue is in natural things, so is human virtue in rational beings. Therefore also human virtue is referred not only to act, but also to being.

Obj. 3: Further, the Philosopher says (Phys. vii, text. 17) that virtue "is the disposition of a perfect thing to that which is best." Now the best thing to which man needs to be disposed by virtue is God Himself, as Augustine proves (De Moribus Eccl. 3,6,14) to Whom the soul is disposed by being made like to Him. Therefore it seems that virtue is a quality of the soul in reference to God, likening it, as it were, to Him; and not in reference to operation. It is not, therefore, an operative habit.

On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 6) says that "virtue of a thing is that which makes its work good."

I answer that, Virtue, from the very nature of the word, implies some perfection of power, as we have said above (A1). Wherefore, since power [*The one Latin word 'potentia' is rendered 'potentiality' in the first case, and 'power' in the second] is of two kinds, namely, power in reference to being, and power in reference to act; the perfection of each of these is called virtue. But power in reference to being is on the part of matter, which is potential being, whereas power in reference to act, is on the part of the form, which is the principle of action, since everything acts in so far as it is in act.

Now man is so constituted that the body holds the place of matter, the soul that of form. The body, indeed, man has in common with other animals; and the same is to be said of the forces which are common to the soul and body: and only those forces which are proper to the soul, namely, the rational forces, belong to man alone. And therefore, human virtue, of which we are speaking now, cannot belong to the body, but belongs only to that which is proper to the soul. Wherefore human virtue does not imply reference to being, but rather to act. Consequently it is essential to human virtue to be an operative habit.

Reply Obj. 1: Mode of action follows on the disposition of the agent: for such as a thing is, such is its act. And therefore, since virtue is the principle of some kind of operation, there must needs pre-exist in the operator in respect of virtue some corresponding disposition. Now virtue causes an ordered operation. Therefore virtue itself is an ordered disposition of the soul, in so far as, to wit, the powers of the soul are in some way ordered to one another, and to that which is outside. Hence virtue, inasmuch as it is a suitable disposition of the soul, is like health and beauty, which are suitable dispositions of the body. But this does not hinder virtue from being a principle of operation.

Reply Obj. 2: Virtue which is referred to being is not proper to man; but only that virtue which is referred to works of reason, which are proper to man.

Reply Obj. 3: As God's substance is His act, the highest likeness of man to God is in respect of some operation. Wherefore, as we have said above (Q3, A2), happiness or bliss by which man is made most perfectly conformed to God, and which is the end of human life, consists in an operation.

^Q. 55


Art. 3: Whether human virtue is a good habit?[edit]

It would seem that it is not essential to virtue that it should be a good habit.

Obj. 1: For sin is always taken in a bad sense. But there is a virtue even of sin; according to 1 Cor. 15:56: "The virtue [Douay: 'strength'] of sin is the Law." Therefore virtue is not always a good habit.

Obj. 2: Further, Virtue corresponds to power. But power is not only referred to good, but also to evil: according to Is. 5: "Woe to you that are mighty to drink wine, and stout men at drunkenness." Therefore virtue also is referred to good and evil.

Obj. 3: Further, according to the Apostle (2 Cor. 12:9): "Virtue [Douay: 'power'] is made perfect in infirmity." But infirmity is an evil. Therefore virtue is referred not only to good, but also to evil.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Moribus Eccl. vi): "No one can doubt that virtue makes the soul exceeding good": and the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6): "Virtue is that which makes its possessor good, and his work good likewise." I answer that, As we have said above (A1), virtue implies a perfection of power: wherefore the virtue of a thing is fixed by the limit of its power (De Coelo i). Now the limit of any power must needs be good: for all evil implies defect; wherefore Dionysius says (Div. Hom. ii) that every evil is a weakness. And for this reason the virtue of a thing must be regarded in reference to good. Therefore human virtue which is an operative habit, is a good habit, productive of good works.

Reply Obj. 1: Just as bad things are said metaphorically to be perfect, so are they said to be good: for we speak of a perfect thief or robber; and of a good thief or robber, as the Philosopher explains (Metaph. v, text. 21). In this way therefore virtue is applied to evil things: so that the "virtue" of sin is said to be law, in so far as occasionally sin is aggravated through the law, so as to attain to the limit of its possibility.

Reply Obj. 2: The evil of drunkenness and excessive drink, consists in a falling away from the order of reason. Now it happens that, together with this falling away from reason, some lower power is perfect in reference to that which belongs to its own kind, even in direct opposition to reason, or with some falling away therefrom. But the perfection of that power, since it is compatible with a falling away from reason, cannot be called a human virtue.

Reply Obj. 3: Reason is shown to be so much the more perfect, according as it is able to overcome or endure more easily the weakness of the body and of the lower powers. And therefore human virtue, which is attributed to reason, is said to be "made perfect in infirmity," not of the reason indeed, but of the body and of the lower powers.

^Q. 55


Art. 4: Whether virtue is suitably defined?[edit]

It would seem that the definition, usually given, of virtue, is not suitable, to wit: "Virtue is a good quality of the mind, by which we live righteously, of which no one can make bad use, which God works in us, without us."

Obj. 1: For virtue is man's goodness, since virtue it is that makes its subject good. But goodness does not seem to be good, as neither is whiteness white. It is therefore unsuitable to describe virtue as a "good quality."

Obj. 2: Further, no difference is more common than its genus; since it is that which divides the genus. But good is more common than quality, since it is convertible with being. Therefore "good" should not be put in the definition of virtue, as a difference of quality.

Obj. 3: Further, as Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 3): "When we come across anything that is not common to us and the beasts of the field, it is something appertaining to the mind." But there are virtues even of the irrational parts; as the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 10). Every virtue, therefore, is not a good quality "of the mind."

Obj. 4: Further, righteousness seems to belong to justice; whence the righteous are called just. But justice is a species of virtue. It is therefore unsuitable to put "righteous" in the definition of virtue, when we say that virtue is that "by which we live righteously."

Obj. 5: Further, whoever is proud of a thing, makes bad use of it. But many are proud of virtue, for Augustine says in his Rule, that "pride lies in wait for good works in order to slay them." It is untrue, therefore, "that no one can make bad use of virtue."

Obj. 6: Further, man is justified by virtue. But Augustine commenting on Jn. 15:11: "He shall do greater things than these," says [*Tract. xxvii in Joan.: Serm. xv de Verb. Ap. 11]: "He who created thee without thee, will not justify thee without thee." It is therefore unsuitable to say that "God works virtue in us, without us."

On the contrary, We have the authority of Augustine from whose words this definition is gathered, and principally in De Libero Arbitrio ii, 19.

I answer that, This definition comprises perfectly the whole essential notion of virtue. For the perfect essential notion of anything is gathered from all its causes. Now the above definition comprises all the causes of virtue. For the formal cause of virtue, as of everything, is gathered from its genus and difference, when it is defined as "a good quality": for "quality" is the genus of virtue, and the difference, "good." But the definition would be more suitable if for "quality" we substitute "habit," which is the proximate genus.

Now virtue has no matter "out of which" it is formed, as neither has any other accident; but it has matter "about which" it is concerned, and matter "in which" it exists, namely, the subject. The matter about which virtue is concerned is its object, and this could not be included in the above definition, because the object fixes the virtue to a certain species, and here we are giving the definition of virtue in general. And so for material cause we have the subject, which is mentioned when we say that virtue is a good quality "of the mind."

The end of virtue, since it is an operative habit, is operation. But it must be observed that some operative habits are always referred to evil, as vicious habits: others are sometimes referred to good, sometimes to evil; for instance, opinion is referred both to the true and to the untrue: whereas virtue is a habit which is always referred to good: and so the distinction of virtue from those habits which are always referred to evil, is expressed in the words "by which we live righteously": and its distinction from those habits which are sometimes directed unto good, sometimes unto evil, in the words, "of which no one makes bad use."

Lastly, God is the efficient cause of infused virtue, to which this definition applies; and this is expressed in the words "which God works in us without us." If we omit this phrase, the remainder of the definition will apply to all virtues in general, whether acquired or infused.

Reply Obj. 1: That which is first seized by the intellect is being: wherefore everything that we apprehend we consider as being, and consequently as one, and as good, which are convertible with being. Wherefore we say that essence is being and is one and is good; and that oneness is being and one and good: and in like manner goodness. But this is not the case with specific forms, as whiteness and health; for everything that we apprehend, is not apprehended with the notion of white and healthy. We must, however, observe that, as accidents and non-subsistent forms are called beings, not as if they themselves had being, but because things are by them; so also are they called good or one, not by some distinct goodness or oneness, but because by them something is good or one. So also is virtue called good, because by it something is good.

Reply Obj. 2: Good, which is put in the definition of virtue, is not good in general which is convertible with being, and which extends further than quality, but the good as fixed by reason, with regard to which Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) "that the good of the soul is to be in accord with reason."

Reply Obj. 3: Virtue cannot be in the irrational part of the soul, except in so far as this participates in the reason (Ethic. i, 13). And therefore reason, or the mind, is the proper subject of virtue.

Reply Obj. 4: Justice has a righteousness of its own by which it puts those outward things right which come into human use, and are the proper matter of justice, as we shall show further on (Q60, A2; SS, Q58, A8). But the righteousness which denotes order to a due end and to the Divine law, which is the rule of the human will, as stated above (Q19, A4), is common to all virtues.

Reply Obj. 5: One can make bad use of a virtue objectively, for instance by having evil thoughts about a virtue, e.g. by hating it, or by being proud of it: but one cannot make bad use of virtue as principle of action, so that an act of virtue be evil.

Reply Obj. 6: Infused virtue is caused in us by God without any action on our part, but not without our consent. This is the sense of the words, "which God works in us without us." As to those things which are done by us, God causes them in us, yet not without action on our part, for He works in every will and in every nature.

^Q. 55


QUESTION 56: OF THE SUBJECT OF VIRTUE[edit]

^TOC ^Good Habits—That Is, Virtues ^^1. Of the Virtues, as to Their Essence


We now have to consider the subject of virtue, about which there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the subject of virtue is a power of the soul?

(2) Whether one virtue can be in several powers?

(3) Whether the intellect can be the subject of virtue?

(4) Whether the irascible and concupiscible faculties can be the subject of virtue?

(5) Whether the sensitive powers of apprehension can be the subject of virtue?

(6) Whether the will can be the subject of virtue?


Art. 1: Whether the subject of virtue is a power of the soul?[edit]

It would seem that the subject of virtue is not a power of the soul.

Obj. 1: For Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. ii, 19) that "virtue is that by which we live righteously." But we live by the essence of the soul, and not by a power of the soul. Therefore virtue is not a power, but in the essence of the soul.

Obj. 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6) that "virtue is that which makes its possessor good, and his work good likewise." But as work is set up by power, so he that has a virtue is set up by the essence of the soul. Therefore virtue does not belong to the power, any more than to the essence of the soul.

Obj. 3: Further, power is in the second species of quality. But virtue is a quality, as we have said above (Q55, A4): and quality is not the subject of quality. Therefore a power of the soul is not the subject of virtue.

On the contrary, "Virtue is the limit of power" (De Coelo ii). But the limit is in that of which it is the limit. Therefore virtue is in a power of the soul.

I answer that, It can be proved in three ways that virtue belongs to a power of the soul. First, from the notion of the very essence of virtue, which implies perfection of a power; for perfection is in that which it perfects. Secondly, from the fact that virtue is an operative habit, as we have said above (Q55, A2): for all operation proceeds from the soul through a power. Thirdly, from the fact that virtue disposes to that which is best: for the best is the end, which is either a thing's operation, or something acquired by an operation proceeding from the thing's power. Therefore a power of the soul is the subject of virtue.

Reply Obj. 1: "To live" may be taken in two ways. Sometimes it is taken for the very existence of the living thing: in this way it belongs to the essence of the soul, which is the principle of existence in the living thing. But sometimes "to live" is taken for the operation of the living thing: in this sense, by virtue we live righteously, inasmuch as by virtue we perform righteous actions.

Reply Obj. 2: Good is either the end, or something referred to the end. And therefore, since the good of the worker consists in the work, this fact also, that virtue makes the worker good, is referred to the work, and consequently, to the power.

Reply Obj. 3: One accident is said to be the subject of another, not as though one accident could uphold another; but because one accident inheres to substance by means of another, as color to the body by means of the surface; so that surface is said to be the subject of color. In this way a power of the soul is said to be the subject of virtue.

^Q. 56


Art. 2: Whether one virtue can be in several powers?[edit]

It would seem that one virtue can be in several powers.

Obj. 1: For habits are known by their acts. But one act proceeds in various way from several powers: thus walking proceeds from the reason as directing, from the will as moving, and from the motive power as executing. Therefore also one habit can be in several powers.

Obj. 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 4) that three things are required for virtue, namely: "to know, to will, and to work steadfastly." But "to know" belongs to the intellect, and "to will" belongs to the will. Therefore virtue can be in several powers.

Obj. 3: Further, prudence is in the reason since it is "the right reason of things to be done" (Ethic. vi, 5). And it is also in the will: for it cannot exist together with a perverse will (Ethic. vi, 12). Therefore one virtue can be in two powers.

On the contrary, The subject of virtue is a power of the soul. But the same accident cannot be in several subjects. Therefore one virtue cannot be in several powers of the soul.

I answer that, It happens in two ways that one thing is subjected in two. First, so that it is in both on an equal footing. In this way it is impossible for one virtue to be in two powers: since diversity of powers follows the generic conditions of the objects, while diversity of habits follows the specific conditions thereof: and so wherever there is diversity of powers, there is diversity of habits; but not vice versa. In another way one thing can be subjected in two or more, not on an equal footing, but in a certain order. And thus one virtue can belong to several powers, so that it is in one chiefly, while it extends to others by a kind of diffusion, or by way of a disposition, in so far as one power is moved by another, and one power receives from another.

Reply Obj. 1: One act cannot belong to several powers equally, and in the same degree; but only from different points of view, and in various degrees.

Reply Obj. 2: "To know" is a condition required for moral virtue, inasmuch as moral virtue works according to right reason. But moral virtue is essentially in the appetite.

Reply Obj. 3: Prudence is really subjected in reason: but it presupposes as its principle the rectitude of the will, as we shall see further on (A3; Q57, A4).

^Q. 56


Art. 3: Whether the intellect can be the subject of virtue?[edit]

It would seem that the intellect is not the subject of virtue.

Obj. 1: For Augustine says (De Moribus Eccl. xv) that all virtue is love. But the subject of love is not the intellect, but the appetitive power alone. Therefore no virtue is in the intellect.

Obj. 2: Further, virtue is referred to good, as is clear from what has been said above (Q55, A3). Now good is not the object of the intellect, but of the appetitive power. Therefore the subject of virtue is not the intellect, but the appetitive power.

Obj. 3: Further, virtue is that "which makes its possessor good," as the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6). But the habit which perfects the intellect does not make its possessor good: since a man is not said to be a good man on account of his science or his art. Therefore the intellect is not the subject of virtue.

On the contrary, The mind is chiefly called the intellect. But the subject of virtue is the mind, as is clear from the definition, above given, of virtue (Q55, A4). Therefore the intellect is the subject of virtue.

I answer that, As we have said above (Q55, A3), a virtue is a habit by which we work well. Now a habit may be directed to a good act in two ways. First, in so far as by the habit a man acquires an aptness to a good act; for instance, by the habit of grammar man has the aptness to speak correctly. But grammar does not make a man always speak correctly: for a grammarian may be guilty of a barbarism or make a solecism: and the case is the same with other sciences and arts. Secondly, a habit may confer not only aptness to act, but also the right use of that aptness: for instance, justice not only gives man the prompt will to do just actions, but also makes him act justly.

And since good, and, in like manner, being, is said of a thing simply, in respect, not of what it is potentially, but of what it is actually: therefore from having habits of the latter sort, man is said simply to do good, and to be good; for instance, because he is just, or temperate; and in like manner as regards other such virtues. And since virtue is that "which makes its possessor good, and his work good likewise," these latter habits are called virtuous simply: because they make the work to be actually good, and the subject good simply. But the first kind of habits are not called virtues simply: because they do not make the work good except in regard to a certain aptness, nor do they make their possessor good simply. For through being gifted in science or art, a man is said to be good, not simply, but relatively; for instance, a good grammarian or a good smith. And for this reason science and art are often divided against virtue; while at other times they are called virtues (Ethic. vi, 2).

Hence the subject of a habit which is called a virtue in a relative sense, can be the intellect, and not only the practical intellect, but also the speculative, without any reference to the will: for thus the Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 3) holds that science, wisdom and understanding, and also art, are intellectual virtues. But the subject of a habit which is called a virtue simply, can only be the will, or some power in so far as it is moved by the will. And the reason of this is, that the will moves to their acts all those other powers that are in some way rational, as we have said above (Q9, A1; Q17, AA1,5; FP, Q82, A4): and therefore if man do well actually, this is because he has a good will. Therefore the virtue which makes a man to do well actually, and not merely to have the aptness to do well, must be either in the will itself; or in some power as moved by the will.

Now it happens that the intellect is moved by the will, just as are the other powers: for a man considers something actually, because he wills to do so. And therefore the intellect, in so far as it is subordinate to the will, can be the subject of virtue absolutely so called. And in this way the speculative intellect, or the reason, is the subject of Faith: for the intellect is moved by the command of the will to assent to what is of faith: for "no man believeth, unless he will" [*Augustine: Tract. xxvi in Joan.]. But the practical intellect is the subject of prudence. For since prudence is the right reason of things to be done, it is a condition thereof that man be rightly disposed in regard to the principles of this reason of things to be done, that is in regard to their ends, to which man is rightly disposed by the rectitude of the will, just as to the principles of speculative truth he is rightly disposed by the natural light of the active intellect. And therefore as the subject of science, which is the right reason of speculative truths, is the speculative intellect in its relation to the active intellect, so the subject of prudence is the practical intellect in its relation to the right will.

Reply Obj. 1: The saying of Augustine is to be understood of virtue simply so called: not that every virtue is love simply: but that it depends in some way on love, in so far as it depends on the will, whose first movement consists in love, as we have said above (Q25, AA1,2,3; Q27, A4; FP, Q20, A1).

Reply Obj. 2: The good of each thing is its end: and therefore, as truth is the end of the intellect, so to know truth is the good act of the intellect. Whence the habit, which perfects the intellect in regard to the knowledge of truth, whether speculative or practical, is a virtue.

Reply Obj. 3: This objection considers virtue simply so called.

^Q. 56


Art. 4: Whether the irascible and concupiscible powers are the subject of virtue?[edit]

It would seem that the irascible and concupiscible powers cannot be the subject of virtue.

Obj. 1: For these powers are common to us and dumb animals. But we are now speaking of virtue as proper to man, since for this reason it is called human virtue. It is therefore impossible for human virtue to be in the irascible and concupiscible powers which are parts of the sensitive appetite, as we have said in the FP, Q81, A2.

Obj. 2: Further, the sensitive appetite is a power which makes use of a corporeal organ. But the good of virtue cannot be in man's body: for the Apostle says (Rm. 7): "I know that good does not dwell in my flesh." Therefore the sensitive appetite cannot be the subject of virtue.

Obj. 3: Further, Augustine proves (De Moribus Eccl. v) that virtue is not in the body but in the soul, for the reason that the body is ruled by the soul: wherefore it is entirely due to his soul that a man make good use of his body: "For instance, if my coachman, through obedience to my orders, guides well the horses which he is driving; this is all due to me." But just as the soul rules the body, so also does the reason rule the sensitive appetite. Therefore that the irascible and concupiscible powers are rightly ruled, is entirely due to the rational powers. Now "virtue is that by which we live rightly," as we have said above (Q55, A4). Therefore virtue is not in the irascible and concupiscible powers, but only in the rational powers.

Obj. 4: Further, "the principal act of moral virtue is choice" (Ethic. viii, 13). Now choice is not an act of the irascible and concupiscible powers, but of the rational power, as we have said above (Q13, A2). Therefore moral virtue is not in the irascible and concupiscible powers, but in the reason.

On the contrary, Fortitude is assigned to the irascible power, and temperance to the concupiscible power. Whence the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 10) says that "these virtues belong to the irrational part of the soul."

I answer that, The irascible and concupiscible powers can be considered in two ways. First, in themselves, in so far as they are parts of the sensitive appetite: and in this way they are not competent to be the subject of virtue. Secondly, they can be considered as participating in the reason, from the fact that they have a natural aptitude to obey reason. And thus the irascible or concupiscible power can be the subject of human virtue: for, in so far as it participates in the reason, it is the principle of a human act. And to these powers we must needs assign virtues.

For it is clear that there are some virtues in the irascible and concupiscible powers. Because an act, which proceeds from one power according as it is moved by another power, cannot be perfect, unless both powers be well disposed to the act: for instance, the act of a craftsman cannot be successful unless both the craftsman and his instrument be well disposed to act. Therefore in the matter of the operations of the irascible and concupiscible powers, according as they are moved by reason, there must needs be some habit perfecting in respect of acting well, not only the reason, but also the irascible and concupiscible powers. And since the good disposition of the power which moves through being moved, depends on its conformity with the power that moves it: therefore the virtue which is in the irascible and concupiscible powers is nothing else but a certain habitual conformity of these powers to reason.

Reply Obj. 1: The irascible and concupiscible powers considered in themselves, as parts of the sensitive appetite, are common to us and dumb animals. But in so far as they are rational by participation, and are obedient to the reason, they are proper to man. And in this way they can be the subject of human virtue.

Reply Obj. 2: Just as human flesh has not of itself the good of virtue, but is made the instrument of a virtuous act, inasmuch as being moved by reason, we "yield our members to serve justice"; so also, the irascible and concupiscible powers, of themselves indeed, have not the good of virtue, but rather the infection of the "fomes": whereas, inasmuch as they are in conformity with reason, the good of reason is begotten in them.

Reply Obj. 3: The body is ruled by the soul, and the irascible and concupiscible powers by the reason, but in different ways. For the body obeys the soul blindly without any contradiction, in those things in which it has a natural aptitude to be moved by the soul: whence the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 3) that the "soul rules the body with a despotic command" as the master rules his slave: wherefore the entire movement of the body is referred to the soul. For this reason virtue is not in the body, but in the soul. But the irascible and concupiscible powers do not obey the reason blindly; On the contrary, they have their own proper movements, by which, at times, they go against reason, whence the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 3) that the "reason rules the irascible and concupiscible powers by a political command" such as that by which free men are ruled, who have in some respects a will of their own. And for this reason also must there be some virtues in the irascible and concupiscible powers, by which these powers are well disposed to act.

Reply Obj. 4: In choice there are two things, namely, the intention of the end, and this belongs to the moral virtue; and the preferential choice of that which is unto the end, and this belongs to prudence (Ethic. vi, 2,5). But that the irascible and concupiscible powers have a right intention of the end in regard to the passions of the soul, is due to the good disposition of these powers. And therefore those moral virtues which are concerned with the passions are in the irascible and concupiscible powers, but prudence is in the reason.

^Q. 56


Art. 5: Whether the sensitive powers of apprehension are the subject of virtue?[edit]

It would seem that it is possible for virtue to be in the interior sensitive powers of apprehension.

Obj. 1: For the sensitive appetite can be the subject of virtue, in so far as it obeys reason. But the interior sensitive powers of apprehension obey reason: for the powers of imagination, of cogitation, and of memory [*Cf. FP, Q78, A4] act at the command of reason. Therefore in these powers there can be virtue.

Obj. 2: Further, as the rational appetite, which is the will, can be hindered or helped in its act, by the sensitive appetite, so also can the intellect or reason be hindered or helped by the powers mentioned above. As, therefore, there can be virtue in the interior powers of appetite, so also can there be virtue in the interior powers of apprehension.

Obj. 3: Further, prudence is a virtue, of which Cicero (De Invent. Rhetor. ii) says that memory is a part. Therefore also in the power of memory there can be a virtue: and in like manner, in the other interior sensitive powers of apprehension.

On the contrary, All virtues are either intellectual or moral (Ethic. ii, 1). Now all the moral virtues are in the appetite; while the intellectual virtues are in the intellect or reason, as is clear from Ethic. vi, 1. Therefore there is no virtue in the interior sensitive powers of apprehension.

I answer that, In the interior sensitive powers of apprehension there are some habits. And this is made clear principally from what the Philosopher says (De Memoria ii), that "in remembering one thing after another, we become used to it; and use is a second nature." Now a habit of use is nothing else than a habit acquired by use, which is like unto nature. Wherefore Tully says of virtue in his Rhetoric that "it is a habit like a second nature in accord with reason." Yet, in man, that which he acquires by use, in his memory and other sensitive powers of apprehension, is not a habit properly so called, but something annexed to the habits of the intellective faculty, as we have said above (Q50, A4, ad 3).

Nevertheless even if there be habits in such powers, they cannot be virtues. For virtue is a perfect habit, by which it never happens that anything but good is done: and so virtue must needs be in that power which consummates the good act. But the knowledge of truth is not consummated in the sensitive powers of apprehension: for such powers prepare the way to the intellective knowledge. And therefore in these powers there are none of the virtues, by which we know truth: these are rather in the intellect or reason.

Reply Obj. 1: The sensitive appetite is related to the will, which is the rational appetite, through being moved by it. And therefore the act of the appetitive power is consummated in the sensitive appetite: and for this reason the sensitive appetite is the subject of virtue. Whereas the sensitive powers of apprehension are related to the intellect rather through moving it; for the reason that the phantasms are related to the intellective soul, as colors to sight (De Anima iii, text. 18). And therefore the act of knowledge is terminated in the intellect; and for this reason the cognoscitive virtues are in the intellect itself, or the reason.

And thus is made clear the Reply to the Second Objection.

Reply Obj. 3: Memory is not a part of prudence, as species is of a genus, as though memory were a virtue properly so called: but one of the conditions required for prudence is a good memory; so that, in a fashion, it is after the manner of an integral part.

^Q. 56


Art. 6: Whether the will can be the subject of virtue?[edit]

It would seem that the will is not the subject of virtue.

Obj. 1: Because no habit is required for that which belongs to a power by reason of its very nature. But since the will is in the reason, it is of the very essence of the will, according to the Philosopher (De Anima iii, text. 42), to tend to that which is good, according to reason. And to this good every virtue is ordered, since everything naturally desires its own proper good; for virtue, as Tully says in his Rhetoric, is a "habit like a second nature in accord with reason." Therefore the will is not the subject of virtue.

Obj. 2: Further, every virtue is either intellectual or moral (Ethic. i, 13; ii, 1). But intellectual virtue is subjected in the intellect and reason, and not in the will: while moral virtue is subjected in the irascible and concupiscible powers which are rational by participation. Therefore no virtue is subjected in the will.

Obj. 3: Further, all human acts, to which virtues are ordained, are voluntary. If therefore there be a virtue in the will in respect of some human acts, in like manner there will be a virtue in the will in respect of all human acts. Either, therefore, there will be no virtue in any other power, or there will be two virtues ordained to the same act, which seems unreasonable. Therefore the will cannot be the subject of virtue.

On the contrary, Greater perfection is required in the mover than in the moved. But the will moves the irascible and concupiscible powers. Much more therefore should there be virtue in the will than in the irascible and concupiscible powers.

I answer that, Since the habit perfects the power in reference to act, then does the power need a habit perfecting it unto doing well, which habit is a virtue, when the power's own proper nature does not suffice for the purpose.

Now the proper nature of a power is seen in its relation to its object. Since, therefore, as we have said above (Q19, A3), the object of the will is the good of reason proportionate to the will, in respect of this the will does not need a virtue perfecting it. But if man's will is confronted with a good that exceeds its capacity, whether as regards the whole human species, such as Divine good, which transcends the limits of human nature, or as regards the individual, such as the good of one's neighbor, then does the will need virtue. And therefore such virtues as those which direct man's affections to God or to his neighbor are subjected in the will, as charity, justice, and such like.

Reply Obj. 1: This objection is true of those virtues which are ordained to the willer's own good; such as temperance and fortitude, which are concerned with the human passions, and the like, as is clear from what we have said (Q35, A6).

Reply Obj. 2: Not only the irascible and concupiscible powers are rational by participation but "the appetitive power altogether," i.e. in its entirety (Ethic. i, 13). Now the will is included in the appetitive power. And therefore whatever virtue is in the will must be a moral virtue, unless it be theological, as we shall see later on (Q62, A3).

Reply Obj. 3: Some virtues are directed to the good of moderated passion, which is the proper good of this or that man: and in these cases there is no need for virtue in the will, for the nature of the power suffices for the purpose, as we have said. This need exists only in the case of virtues which are directed to some extrinsic good.

^Q. 56


OF THE DISTINCTION OF VIRTUES[edit]

^TOC ^Good Habits—That Is, Virtues ^^2. Of the Subject of Virtue

We now have to consider the various kinds of virtue: and

(1) the intellectual virtues [Q. 57];

(2) the moral virtues [QQ. 58-61];

(3) the theological virtues [Q. 62].


QUESTION 57: OF THE INTELLECTUAL VIRTUES[edit]

^TOC ^Of the Distinction of Virtue

Concerning the first there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether habits of the speculative intellect are virtues?

(2) Whether they are three, namely, wisdom, science and understanding?

(3) Whether the intellectual habit, which is art, is a virtue?

(4) Whether prudence is a virtue distinct from art?

(5) Whether prudence is a virtue necessary to man?

(6) Whether "eubulia," "synesis" and "gnome" are virtues annexed to prudence?


Art. 1: Whether the habits of the speculative intellect are virtues?[edit]

It would seem that the habits of the speculative intellect are not virtues.

Obj. 1: For virtue is an operative habit, as we have said above (Q55, A2). But speculative habits are not operative: for speculative matter is distinct from practical, i.e. operative matter. Therefore the habits of the speculative intellect are not virtues.

Obj. 2: Further, virtue is about those things by which man is made happy or blessed: for "happiness is the reward of virtue" (Ethic. i, 9). Now intellectual habits do not consider human acts or other human goods, by which man acquires happiness, but rather things pertaining to nature or to God. Therefore such like habits cannot be called virtues.

Obj. 3: Further, science is a speculative habit. But science and virtue are distinct from one another as genera which are not subalternate, as the Philosopher proves in Topic. iv. Therefore speculative habits are not virtues.

On the contrary, The speculative habits alone consider necessary things which cannot be otherwise than they are. Now the Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 1) places certain intellectual virtues in that part of the soul which considers necessary things that cannot be otherwise than they are. Therefore the habits of the speculative intellect are virtues.

I answer that, Since every virtue is ordained to some good, as stated above (Q55, A3), a habit, as we have already observed (Q56, A3), may be called a virtue for two reasons: first, because it confers aptness in doing good; secondly, because besides aptness, it confers the right use of it. The latter condition, as above stated (Q55, A3), belongs to those habits alone which affect the appetitive part of the soul: since it is the soul's appetitive power that puts all the powers and habits to their respective uses.

Since, then, the habits of the speculative intellect do not perfect the appetitive part, nor affect it in any way, but only the intellective part; they may indeed be called virtues in so far as they confer aptness for a good work, viz. the consideration of truth (since this is the good work of the intellect): yet they are not called virtues in the second way, as though they conferred the right use of a power or habit. For if a man possess a habit of speculative science, it does not follow that he is inclined to make use of it, but he is made able to consider the truth in those matters of which he has scientific knowledge: that he make use of the knowledge which he has, is due to the motion of his will. Consequently a virtue which perfects the will, as charity or justice, confers the right use of these speculative habits. And in this way too there can be merit in the acts of these habits, if they be done out of charity: thus Gregory says (Moral. vi) that the "contemplative life has greater merit than the active life."

Reply Obj. 1: Work is of two kinds, exterior and interior. Accordingly the practical or active faculty which is contrasted with the speculative faculty, is concerned with exterior work, to which the speculative habit is not ordered. Yet it is ordered to the interior act of the intellect which is to consider the truth. And in this way it is an operative habit.

Reply Obj. 2: Virtue is about certain things in two ways. In the first place a virtue is about its object. And thus these speculative virtues are not about those things whereby man is made happy; except perhaps, in so far as the word "whereby" indicates the efficient cause or object of complete happiness, i.e. God, Who is the supreme object of contemplation. Secondly, a virtue is said to be about its acts: and in this sense the intellectual virtues are about those things whereby a man is made happy; both because the acts of these virtues can be meritorious, as stated above, and because they are a kind of beginning of perfect bliss, which consists in the contemplation of truth, as we have already stated (Q3, A7).

Reply Obj. 3: Science is contrasted with virtue taken in the second sense, wherein it belongs to the appetitive faculty.

^Q. 57


Art. 2: Whether there are only three habits of the speculative intellect, viz. wisdom, science and understanding?[edit]

It would seem unfitting to distinguish three virtues of the speculative intellect, viz. wisdom, science and understanding.

Obj. 1: Because a species is a kind of science, as stated in Ethic. vi, 7. Therefore wisdom should not be condivided with science among the intellectual virtues.

Obj. 2: Further, in differentiating powers, habits and acts in respect of their objects, we consider chiefly the formal aspect of these objects, as we have already explained (FP, Q77, A3). Therefore diversity of habits is taken, not from their material objects, but from the formal aspect of those objects. Now the principle of a demonstration is the formal aspect under which the conclusion is known. Therefore the understanding of principles should not be set down as a habit or virtue distinct from the knowledge of conclusions.

Obj. 3: Further, an intellectual virtue is one which resides in the essentially rational faculty. Now even the speculative reason employs the dialectic syllogism for the sake of argument, just as it employs the demonstrative syllogism. Therefore as science, which is the result of a demonstrative syllogism, is set down as an intellectual virtue, so also should opinion be. On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 1) reckons these three alone as being intellectual virtues, viz. wisdom, science and understanding.

I answer that, As already stated (A1), the virtues of the speculative intellect are those which perfect the speculative intellect for the consideration of truth: for this is its good work. Now a truth is subject to a twofold consideration--as known in itself, and as known through another. What is known in itself, is as a "principle," and is at once understood by the intellect: wherefore the habit that perfects the intellect for the consideration of such truth is called "understanding," which is the habit of principles. On the other hand, a truth which is known through another, is understood by the intellect, not at once, but by means of the reason's inquiry, and is as a "term." This may happen in two ways: first, so that it is the last in some particular genus; secondly, so that it is the ultimate term of all human knowledge. And, since "things that are knowable last from our standpoint, are knowable first and chiefly in their nature" (Phys. i, text. 2, 3); hence that which is last with respect to all human knowledge, is that which is knowable first and chiefly in its nature. And about these is "wisdom," which considers the highest causes, as stated in Metaph. i, 1,2. Wherefore it rightly judges all things and sets them in order, because there can be no perfect and universal judgment that is not based on the first causes. But in regard to that which is last in this or that genus of knowable matter, it is "science" which perfects the intellect. Wherefore according to the different kinds of knowable matter, there are different habits of scientific knowledge; whereas there is but one wisdom.

Reply Obj. 1: Wisdom is a kind of science, in so far as it has that which is common to all the sciences; viz. to demonstrate conclusions from principles. But since it has something proper to itself above the other sciences, inasmuch as it judges of them all, not only as to their conclusions, but also as to their first principles, therefore it is a more perfect virtue than science.

Reply Obj. 2: When the formal aspect of the object is referred to a power or habit by one same act, there is no distinction of habit or power in respect of the formal aspect and of the material object: thus it belongs to the same power of sight to see both color, and light, which is the formal aspect under which color is seen, and is seen at the same time as the color. On the other hand, the principles of a demonstration can be considered apart, without the conclusion being considered at all. Again they can be considered together with the conclusions, since the conclusions can be deduced from them. Accordingly, to consider the principles in this second way, belongs to science, which considers the conclusions also: while to consider the principles in themselves belongs to understanding.

Consequently, if we consider the point aright, these three virtues are distinct, not as being on a par with one another, but in a certain order. The same is to be observed in potential wholes, wherein one part is more perfect than another; for instance, the rational soul is more perfect than the sensitive soul; and the sensitive, than the vegetal. For it is thus that science depends on understanding as on a virtue of higher degree: and both of these depend on wisdom, as obtaining the highest place, and containing beneath itself both understanding and science, by judging both of the conclusions of science, and of the principles on which they are based.

Reply Obj. 3: As stated above (Q55, AA3,4), a virtuous habit has a fixed relation to good, and is nowise referable to evil. Now the good of the intellect is truth, and falsehood is its evil. Wherefore those habits alone are called intellectual virtues, whereby we tell the truth and never tell a falsehood. But opinion and suspicion can be about both truth and falsehood: and so, as stated in Ethic. vi, 3, they are not intellectual virtues.

^Q. 57


Art. 3: Whether the intellectual habit, art, is a virtue?[edit]

It would seem that art is not an intellectual virtue.

Obj. 1: For Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. ii, 18,19) that "no one makes bad use of virtue." But one may make bad use of art: for a craftsman can work badly according to the knowledge of his art. Therefore art is not a virtue.

Obj. 2: Further, there is no virtue of a virtue. But "there is a virtue of art," according to the Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 5). Therefore art is not a virtue.

Obj. 3: Further, the liberal arts excel the mechanical arts. But just as the mechanical arts are practical, so the liberal arts are speculative. Therefore, if art were an intellectual virtue, it would have to be reckoned among the speculative virtues.

On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 3,4) says that art is a virtue; and yet he does not reckon it among the speculative virtues, which, according to him, reside in the scientific part of the soul.

I answer that, Art is nothing else but "the right reason about certain works to be made." And yet the good of these things depends, not on man's appetitive faculty being affected in this or that way, but on the goodness of the work done. For a craftsman, as such, is commendable, not for the will with which he does a work, but for the quality of the work. Art, therefore, properly speaking, is an operative habit. And yet it has something in common with the speculative habits: since the quality of the object considered by the latter is a matter of concern to them also, but not how the human appetite may be affected towards that object. For as long as the geometrician demonstrates the truth, it matters not how his appetitive faculty may be affected, whether he be joyful or angry: even as neither does this matter in a craftsman, as we have observed. And so art has the nature of a virtue in the same way as the speculative habits, in so far, to wit, as neither art nor speculative habit makes a good work as regards the use of the habit, which is the property of a virtue that perfects the appetite, but only as regards the aptness to work well.

Reply Obj. 1: When anyone endowed with an art produces bad workmanship, this is not the work of that art, in fact it is contrary to the art: even as when a man lies, while knowing the truth, his words are not in accord with his knowledge, but contrary thereto. Wherefore, just as science has always a relation to good, as stated above (A2, ad 3), so it is with art: and it is for this reason that it is called a virtue. And yet it falls short of being a perfect virtue, because it does not make its possessor to use it well; for which purpose something further is requisite: although there cannot be a good use without the art.

Reply Obj. 2: In order that man may make good use of the art he has, he needs a good will, which is perfected by moral virtue; and for this reason the Philosopher says that there is a virtue of art; namely, a moral virtue, in so far as the good use of art requires a moral virtue. For it is evident that a craftsman is inclined by justice, which rectifies his will, to do his work faithfully.

Reply Obj. 3: Even in speculative matters there is something by way of work: e.g. the making of a syllogism or of a fitting speech, or the work of counting or measuring. Hence whatever habits are ordained to such like works of the speculative reason, are, by a kind of comparison, called arts indeed, but "liberal" arts, in order to distinguish them from those arts that are ordered to works done by the body, which arts are, in a fashion, servile, inasmuch as the body is in servile subjection to the soul, and man, as regards his soul, is free [liber]. On the other hand, those sciences which are not ordered to any such like work, are called sciences simply, and not arts. Nor, if the liberal arts be more excellent, does it follow that the notion of art is more applicable to them.

^Q. 57


Art. 4: Whether prudence is a distinct virtue from art?[edit]

It would seem that prudence is not a distinct virtue from art.

Obj. 1: For art is the right reason about certain works. But diversity of works does not make a habit cease to be an art; since there are various arts about works widely different. Since therefore prudence is also right reason about works, it seems that it too should be reckoned a virtue.

Obj. 2: Further, prudence has more in common with art than the speculative habits have; for they are both "about contingent matters that may be otherwise than they are" (Ethic. vi, 4,5). Now some speculative habits are called arts. Much more, therefore, should prudence be called an art.

Obj. 3: Further, it belongs to prudence, "to be of good counsel" (Ethic. vi, 5). But counselling takes place in certain arts also, as stated in Ethic. iii, 3, e.g. in the arts of warfare, of seamanship, and of medicine. Therefore prudence is not distinct from art.

On the contrary, The Philosopher distinguishes prudence from art (Ethic. vi, 5).

I answer that, Where the nature of virtue differs, there is a different kind of virtue. Now it has been stated above (A1; Q56, A3) that some habits have the nature of virtue, through merely conferring aptness for a good work: while some habits are virtues, not only through conferring aptness for a good work, but also through conferring the use. But art confers the mere aptness for good work; since it does not regard the appetite; whereas prudence confers not only aptness for a good work, but also the use: for it regards the appetite, since it presupposes the rectitude thereof.

The reason for this difference is that art is the "right reason of things to be made"; whereas prudence is the "right reason of things to be done." Now "making" and "doing" differ, as stated in Metaph. ix, text. 16, in that "making" is an action passing into outward matter, e.g. "to build," "to saw," and so forth; whereas "doing" is an action abiding in the agent, e.g. "to see," "to will," and the like. Accordingly prudence stands in the same relation to such like human actions, consisting in the use of powers and habits, as art does to outward making: since each is the perfect reason about the things with which it is concerned. But perfection and rectitude of reason in speculative matters, depend on the principles from which reason argues; just as we have said above (A2, ad 2) that science depends on and presupposes understanding, which is the habit of principles. Now in human acts the end is what the principles are in speculative matters, as stated in Ethic. vii, 8. Consequently, it is requisite for prudence, which is right reason about things to be done, that man be well disposed with regard to the ends: and this depends on the rectitude of his appetite. Wherefore, for prudence there is need of a moral virtue, which rectifies the appetite. On the other hand the good things made by art is not the good of man's appetite, but the good of those things themselves: wherefore art does not presuppose rectitude of the appetite. The consequence is that more praise is given to a craftsman who is at fault willingly, than to one who is unwillingly; whereas it is more contrary to prudence to sin willingly than unwillingly, since rectitude of the will is essential to prudence, but not to art. Accordingly it is evident that prudence is a virtue distinct from art.

Reply Obj. 1: The various kinds of things made by art are all external to man: hence they do not cause a different kind of virtue. But prudence is right reason about human acts themselves: hence it is a distinct kind of virtue, as stated above.

Reply Obj. 2: Prudence has more in common with art than a speculative habit has, if we consider their subject and matter: for they are both in the thinking part of the soul, and about things that may be otherwise than they are. But if we consider them as virtues, then art has more in common with the speculative habits, as is clear from what has been said.

Reply Obj. 3: Prudence is of good counsel about matters regarding man's entire life, and the end of human life. But in some arts there is counsel about matters concerning the ends proper to those arts. Hence some men, in so far as they are good counselors in matters of warfare, or seamanship, are said to be prudent officers or pilots, but not simply prudent: only those are simply prudent who give good counsel about all the concerns of life.

^Q. 57


Art. 5: Whether prudence is a virtue necessary to man?[edit]

It would seem that prudence is not a virtue necessary to lead a good life.

Obj. 1: For as art is to things that are made, of which it is the right reason, so is prudence to things that are done, in respect of which we judge of a man's life: for prudence is the right reason about these things, as stated in Ethic. vi, 5. Now art is not necessary in things that are made, save in order that they be made, but not after they have been made. Neither, therefore is prudence necessary to man in order to lead a good life, after he has become virtuous; but perhaps only in order that he may become virtuous.

Obj. 2: Further, "It is by prudence that we are of good counsel," as stated in Ethic. vi, 5. But man can act not only from his own, but also from another's good counsel. Therefore man does not need prudence in order to lead a good life, but it is enough that he follow the counsels of prudent men.

Obj. 3: Further, an intellectual virtue is one by which one always tells the truth, and never a falsehood. But this does not seem to be the case with prudence: for it is not human never to err in taking counsel about what is to be done; since human actions are about things that may be otherwise than they are. Hence it is written (Wis. 9:14): "The thoughts of mortal men are fearful, and our counsels uncertain." Therefore it seems that prudence should not be reckoned an intellectual virtue.

On the contrary, It is reckoned with other virtues necessary for human life, when it is written (Wis. 8:7) of Divine Wisdom: "She teacheth temperance and prudence and justice and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life."

I answer that, Prudence is a virtue most necessary for human life. For a good life consists in good deeds. Now in order to do good deeds, it matters not only what a man does, but also how he does it; to wit, that he do it from right choice and not merely from impulse or passion. And, since choice is about things in reference to the end, rectitude of choice requires two things: namely, the due end, and something suitably ordered to that due end. Now man is suitably directed to his due end by a virtue which perfects the soul in the appetitive part, the object of which is the good and the end. And to that which is suitably ordained to the due end man needs to be rightly disposed by a habit in his reason, because counsel and choice, which are about things ordered to the end, are acts of the reason. Consequently an intellectual virtue is needed in the reason, to perfect the reason, and make it suitably affected towards things ordained to the end; and this virtue is prudence. Consequently prudence is a virtue necessary to lead a good life.

Reply Obj. 1: The good of an art is to be found, not in the craftsman, but in the product of the art, since art is right reason about things to be made: for since the making of a thing passes into external matter, it is a perfection not of the maker, but of the thing made, even as movement is the act of the thing moved: and art is concerned with the making of things. On the other hand, the good of prudence is in the active principle, whose activity is its perfection: for prudence is right reason about things to be done, as stated above (A4). Consequently art does not require of the craftsman that his act be a good act, but that his work be good. Rather would it be necessary for the thing made to act well (e.g. that a knife should carve well, or that a saw should cut well), if it were proper to such things to act, rather than to be acted on, because they have not dominion over their actions. Wherefore the craftsman needs art, not that he may live well, but that he may produce a good work of art, and have it in good keeping: whereas prudence is necessary to man, that he may lead a good life, and not merely that he may be a good man.

Reply Obj. 2: When a man does a good deed, not of his own counsel, but moved by that of another, his deed is not yet quite perfect, as regards his reason in directing him and his appetite in moving him. Wherefore, if he do a good deed, he does not do well simply; and yet this is required in order that he may lead a good life.

Reply Obj. 3: As stated in Ethic. vi, 2, truth is not the same for the practical as for the speculative intellect. Because the truth of the speculative intellect depends on conformity between the intellect and the thing. And since the intellect cannot be infallibly in conformity with things in contingent matters, but only in necessary matters, therefore no speculative habit about contingent things is an intellectual virtue, but only such as is about necessary things. On the other hand, the truth of the practical intellect depends on conformity with right appetite. This conformity has no place in necessary matters, which are not affected by the human will; but only in contingent matters which can be effected by us, whether they be matters of interior action, or the products of external work. Hence it is only about contingent matters that an intellectual virtue is assigned to the practical intellect, viz. art, as regards things to be made, and prudence, as regards things to be done.

^Q. 57


Art. 6: Whether "euboulia, synesis, and gnome" are virtues annexed to prudence?[edit]

It would seem that "euboulia, synesis, and gnome" are unfittingly assigned as virtues annexed to prudence.

Obj. 1: For euboulia is "a habit whereby we take good counsel" (Ethic. vi, 9). Now it "belongs to prudence to take good counsel," as stated (Ethic. vi, 9). Therefore euboulia is not a virtue annexed to prudence, but rather is prudence itself.

Obj. 2: Further, it belongs to the higher to judge the lower. The highest virtue would therefore seem to be the one whose act is judgment. Now synesis enables us to judge well. Therefore synesis is not a virtue annexed to prudence, but rather is a principal virtue.

Obj. 3: Further, just as there are various matters to pass judgment on, so are there different points on which one has to take counsel. But there is one virtue referring to all matters of counsel. Therefore, in order to judge well of what has to be done, there is no need, besides synesis of the virtue of gnome.

Obj. 4: Further, Cicero (De Invent. Rhet. iii) mentions three other parts of prudence; viz. "memory of the past, understanding of the present, and foresight of the future." Moreover, Macrobius (Super Somn. Scip. 1) mentions yet others: viz. "caution, docility," and the like. Therefore it seems that the above are not the only virtues annexed to prudence.

On the contrary, stands the authority of the Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 9,10,11), who assigns these three virtues as being annexed to prudence.

I answer that, Wherever several powers are subordinate to one another, that power is the highest which is ordained to the highest act. Now there are three acts of reason in respect of anything done by man: the first of these is counsel; the second, judgment; the third, command. The first two correspond to those acts of the speculative intellect, which are inquiry and judgment, for counsel is a kind of inquiry: but the third is proper to the practical intellect, in so far as this is ordained to operation; for reason does not have to command in things that man cannot do. Now it is evident that in things done by man, the chief act is that of command, to which all the rest are subordinate. Consequently, that virtue which perfects the command, viz. prudence, as obtaining the highest place, has other secondary virtues annexed to it, viz. eustochia, which perfects counsel; and synesis and gnome, which are parts of prudence in relation to judgment, and of whose distinction we shall speak further on (ad 3).

Reply Obj. 1: Prudence makes us be of good counsel, not as though its immediate act consisted in being of good counsel, but because it perfects the latter act by means of a subordinate virtue, viz. euboulia.

Reply Obj. 2: Judgment about what is to be done is directed to something further: for it may happen in some matter of action that a man's judgment is sound, while his execution is wrong. The matter does not attain to its final complement until the reason has commanded aright in the point of what has to be done.

Reply Obj. 3: Judgment of anything should be based on that thing's proper principles. But inquiry does not reach to the proper principles: because, if we were in possession of these, we should need no more to inquire, the truth would be already discovered. Hence only one virtue is directed to being of good counsel, whereas there are two virtues for good judgment: because difference is based not on common but on proper principles. Consequently, even in speculative matters, there is one science of dialectics, which inquires about all matters; whereas demonstrative sciences, which pronounce judgment, differ according to their different objects. Synesis and gnome differ in respect of the different rules on which judgment is based: for synesis judges of actions according to the common law; while gnome bases its judgment on the natural law, in those cases where the common law fails to apply, as we shall explain further on (SS, Q51, A4).

Reply Obj. 4: Memory, understanding and foresight, as also caution and docility and the like, are not virtues distinct from prudence: but are, as it were, integral parts thereof, in so far as they are all requisite for perfect prudence. There are, moreover, subjective parts or species of prudence, e.g. domestic and political economy, and the like. But the three first names are, in a fashion, potential parts of prudence; because they are subordinate thereto, as secondary virtues to a principal virtue: and we shall speak of them later (SS, Q48, seqq.).

^Q. 57


QUESTION 58: OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL VIRTUES[edit]

^TOC ^Of the Distinction of Virtue

We must now consider moral virtues. We shall speak

(1) of the difference between them and intellectual virtues [Q. 58];

(2) of their distinction, one from another, in respect of their proper matter [QQ. 59-60];

(3) of the difference between the chief or cardinal virtues and the others [Q. 61].


Under the first head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether every virtue is a moral virtue?

(2) Whether moral virtue differs from intellectual virtue?

(3) Whether virtue is adequately divided into moral and intellectual virtue?

(4) Whether there can be moral without intellectual virtue?

(5) Whether, on the other hand, there can be intellectual without moral virtue?


Art. 1: Whether every virtue is a moral virtue?[edit]

It would seem that every virtue is a moral virtue.

Obj. 1: Because moral virtue is so called from the Latin "mos," i.e. custom. Now, we can accustom ourselves to the acts of all the virtues. Therefore every virtue is a moral virtue.

Obj. 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6) that moral virtue is "a habit of choosing the rational mean." But every virtue is a habit of choosing: since the acts of any virtue can be done from choice. And, moreover, every virtue consists in following the rational mean in some way, as we shall explain further on (Q64, AA1,2,3). Therefore every virtue is a moral virtue.

Obj. 3: Further, Cicero says (De Invent. Rhet. ii) that "virtue is a habit like a second nature, in accord with reason." But since every human virtue is directed to man's good, it must be in accord with reason: since man's good "consists in that which agrees with his reason," as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv). Therefore every virtue is a moral virtue.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 13): "When we speak of a man's morals, we do not say that he is wise or intelligent, but that he is gentle or sober." Accordingly, then, wisdom and understanding are not moral virtues: and yet they are virtues, as stated above (Q57, A2). Therefore not every virtue is a moral virtue.

I answer that, In order to answer this question clearly, we must consider the meaning of the Latin word "mos"; for thus we shall be able to discover what a "moral" virtue is. Now "mos" has a twofold meaning. For sometimes it means custom, in which sense we read (Acts 15:1): "Except you be circumcised after the manner (morem) of Moses, you cannot be saved." Sometimes it means a natural or quasi-natural inclination to do some particular action, in which sense the word is applied to dumb animals. Thus we read (2 Macc. 1:2) that "rushing violently upon the enemy, like lions [*Leonum more, i.e. as lions are in the habit of doing], they slew them": and the word is used in the same sense in Ps. 67:7, where we read: "Who maketh men of one manner [moris] to dwell in a house." For both these significations there is but one word in Latin; but in the Greek there is a distinct word for each, for the word "ethos" is written sometimes with a long, and sometimes a short "e".

Now "moral" virtue is so called from "mos" in the sense of a natural or quasi-natural inclination to do some particular action. And the other meaning of "mos," i.e. "custom," is akin to this: because custom becomes a second nature, and produces an inclination similar to a natural one. But it is evident that inclination to an action belongs properly to the appetitive power, whose function it is to move all the powers to their acts, as explained above (Q9, A1). Therefore not every virtue is a moral virtue, but only those that are in the appetitive faculty.

Reply Obj. 1: This argument takes "mos" in the sense of "custom."

Reply Obj. 2: Every act of virtue can be done from choice: but no virtue makes us choose aright, save that which is in the appetitive part of the soul: for it has been stated above that choice is an act of the appetitive faculty (Q13, A1). Wherefore a habit of choosing, i.e. a habit which is the principle whereby we choose, is that habit alone which perfects the appetitive faculty: although the acts of other habits also may be a matter of choice.

Reply Obj. 3: "Nature is the principle of movement" (Phys. ii, text. 3). Now to move the faculties to act is the proper function of the appetitive power. Consequently to become as a second nature by consenting to the reason, is proper to those virtues which are in the appetitive faculty.

^Q. 58


Art. 2: Whether moral virtue differs from intellectual virtue?[edit]

It would seem that moral virtue does not differ from intellectual virtue.

Obj. 1: For Augustine says (De Civ. Dei iv, 21) "that virtue is the art of right conduct." But art is an intellectual virtue. Therefore moral and intellectual virtue do not differ.

Obj. 2: Further, some authors put science in the definition of virtues: thus some define perseverance as a "science or habit regarding those things to which we should hold or not hold"; and holiness as "a science which makes man to be faithful and to do his duty to God." Now science is an intellectual virtue. Therefore moral virtue should not be distinguished from intellectual virtue.

Obj. 3: Further, Augustine says (Soliloq. i, 6) that "virtue is the rectitude and perfection of reason." But this belongs to the intellectual virtues, as stated in Ethic. vi, 13. Therefore moral virtue does not differ from intellectual.

Obj. 4: Further, a thing does not differ from that which is included in its definition. But intellectual virtue is included in the definition of moral virtue: for the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6) that "moral virtue is a habit of choosing the mean appointed by reason as a prudent man would appoint it." Now this right reason that fixes the mean of moral virtue, belongs to an intellectual virtue, as stated in Ethic. vi, 13. Therefore moral virtue does not differ from intellectual.

On the contrary, It is stated in Ethic. i, 13 that "there are two kinds of virtue: some we call intellectual; some moral."

I answer that, Reason is the first principle of all human acts; and whatever other principles of human acts may be found, they obey reason somewhat, but in various ways. For some obey reason blindly and without any contradiction whatever: such are the limbs of the body, provided they be in a healthy condition, for as soon as reason commands, the hand or the foot proceeds to action. Hence the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 3) that "the soul rules the body like a despot," i.e. as a master rules his slave, who has no right to rebel. Accordingly some held that all the active principles in man are subordinate to reason in this way. If this were true, for man to act well it would suffice that his reason be perfect. Consequently, since virtue is a habit perfecting man in view of his doing good actions, it would follow that it is only in the reason, so that there would be none but intellectual virtues. This was the opinion of Socrates, who said "every virtue is a kind of prudence," as stated in Ethic. vi, 13. Hence he maintained that as long as man is in possession of knowledge, he cannot sin; and that every one who sins, does so through ignorance.

Now this is based on a false supposition. Because the appetitive faculty obeys the reason, not blindly, but with a certain power of opposition; wherefore the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 3) that "reason commands the appetitive faculty by a politic power," whereby a man rules over subjects that are free, having a certain right of opposition. Hence Augustine says on Ps. 118 (Serm. 8) that "sometimes we understand [what is right] while desire is slow, or follows not at all," in so far as the habits or passions of the appetitive faculty cause the use of reason to be impeded in some particular action. And in this way, there is some truth in the saying of Socrates that so long as a man is in possession of knowledge he does not sin: provided, however, that this knowledge is made to include the use of reason in this individual act of choice.

Accordingly for a man to do a good deed, it is requisite not only that his reason be well disposed by means of a habit of intellectual virtue; but also that his appetite be well disposed by means of a habit of moral virtue. And so moral differs from intellectual virtue, even as the appetite differs from the reason. Hence just as the appetite is the principle of human acts, in so far as it partakes of reason, so are moral habits to be considered virtues in so far as they are in conformity with reason.

Reply Obj. 1: Augustine usually applies the term "art" to any form of right reason; in which sense art includes prudence which is the right reason about things to be done, even as art is the right reason about things to be made. Accordingly, when he says that "virtue is the art of right conduct," this applies to prudence essentially; but to other virtues, by participation, for as much as they are directed by prudence.

Reply Obj. 2: All such definitions, by whomsoever given, were based on the Socratic theory, and should be explained according to what we have said about art (ad 1).

The same applies to the Third Objection.

Reply Obj. 4: Right reason which is in accord with prudence is included in the definition of moral virtue, not as part of its essence, but as something belonging by way of participation to all the moral virtues, in so far as they are all under the direction of prudence.

^Q. 58


Art. 3: Whether virtue is adequately divided into moral and intellectual?[edit]

It would seem that virtue is not adequately divided into moral and intellectual.

Obj. 1: For prudence seems to be a mean between moral and intellectual virtue, since it is reckoned among the intellectual virtues (Ethic. vi, 3,5); and again is placed by all among the four cardinal virtues, which are moral virtues, as we shall show further on (Q61, A1). Therefore virtue is not adequately divided into intellectual and moral, as though there were no mean between them.

Obj. 2: Further, continency, perseverance, and patience are not reckoned to be intellectual virtues. Yet neither are they moral virtues; since they do not reduce the passions to a mean, and are consistent with an abundance of passion. Therefore virtue is not adequately divided into intellectual and moral.

Obj. 3: Further, faith, hope, and charity are virtues. Yet they are not intellectual virtues: for there are only five of these, viz. science, wisdom, understanding, prudence, and art, as stated above (Q57, AA2,3,5). Neither are they moral virtues; since they are not about the passions, which are the chief concern of moral virtue. Therefore virtue is not adequately divided into intellectual and moral.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 1) that "virtue is twofold, intellectual and moral."

I answer that, Human virtue is a habit perfecting man in view of his doing good deeds. Now, in man there are but two principles of human actions, viz. the intellect or reason and the appetite: for these are the two principles of movement in man as stated in De Anima iii, text. 48. Consequently every human virtue must needs be a perfection of one of these principles. Accordingly if it perfects man's speculative or practical intellect in order that his deed may be good, it will be an intellectual virtue: whereas if it perfects his appetite, it will be a moral virtue. It follows therefore that every human virtue is either intellectual or moral.

Reply Obj. 1: Prudence is essentially an intellectual virtue. But considered on the part of its matter, it has something in common with the moral virtues: for it is right reason about things to be done, as stated above (Q57, A4). It is in this sense that it is reckoned with the moral virtues.

Reply Obj. 2: Continency and perseverance are not perfections of the sensitive appetite. This is clear from the fact that passions abound in the continent and persevering man, which would not be the case if his sensitive appetite were perfected by a habit making it conformable to reason. Continency and perseverance are, however, perfections of the rational faculty, and withstand the passions lest reason be led astray. But they fall short of being virtues: since intellectual virtue, which makes reason to hold itself well in respect of moral matters, presupposes a right appetite of the end, so that it may hold itself aright in respect of principles, i.e. the ends, on which it builds its argument: and this is wanting in the continent and persevering man. Nor again can an action proceeding from two principles be perfect, unless each principle be perfected by the habit corresponding to that operation: thus, however perfect be the principal agent employing an instrument, it will produce an imperfect effect, if the instrument be not well disposed also. Hence if the sensitive faculty, which is moved by the rational faculty, is not perfect; however perfect the rational faculty may be, the resulting action will be imperfect: and consequently the principle of that action will not be a virtue. And for this reason, continency, desisting from pleasures, and perseverance in the midst of pains, are not virtues, but something less than a virtue, as the Philosopher maintains (Ethic. vii, 1,9).

Reply Obj. 3: Faith, hope, and charity are superhuman virtues: for they are virtues of man as sharing in the grace of God.

^Q. 58


Art. 4: Whether there can be moral without intellectual virtue?[edit]

It would seem that moral can be without intellectual virtue.

Obj. 1: Because moral virtue, as Cicero says (De Invent. Rhet. ii) is "a habit like a second nature in accord with reason." Now though nature may be in accord with some sovereign reason that moves it, there is no need for that reason to be united to nature in the same subject, as is evident of natural things devoid of knowledge. Therefore in a man there may be a moral virtue like a second nature, inclining him to consent to his reason, without his reason being perfected by an intellectual virtue.

Obj. 2: Further, by means of intellectual virtue man obtains perfect use of reason. But it happens at times that men are virtuous and acceptable to God, without being vigorous in the use of reason. Therefore it seems that moral virtue can be without intellectual.

Obj. 3: Further moral virtue makes us inclined to do good works. But some, without depending on the judgment of reason, have a natural inclination to do good works. Therefore moral virtues can be without intellectual virtues.

On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. xxii) that "the other virtues, unless we do prudently what we desire to do, cannot be real virtues." But prudence is an intellectual virtue, as stated above (Q57, A5). Therefore moral virtues cannot be without intellectual virtues.

I answer that, Moral virtue can be without some of the intellectual virtues, viz. wisdom, science, and art; but not without understanding and prudence. Moral virtue cannot be without prudence, because it is a habit of choosing, i.e. making us choose well. Now in order that a choice be good, two things are required. First, that the intention be directed to a due end; and this is done by moral virtue, which inclines the appetitive faculty to the good that is in accord with reason, which is a due end. Secondly, that man take rightly those things which have reference to the end: and this he cannot do unless his reason counsel, judge and command aright, which is the function of prudence and the virtues annexed to it, as stated above (Q57, AA5,6). Wherefore there can be no moral virtue without prudence: and consequently neither can there be without understanding. For it is by the virtue of understanding that we know self-evident principles both in speculative and in practical matters. Consequently just as right reason in speculative matters, in so far as it proceeds from naturally known principles, presupposes the understanding of those principles, so also does prudence, which is the right reason about things to be done.

Reply Obj. 1: The inclination of nature in things devoid of reason is without choice: wherefore such an inclination does not of necessity require reason. But the inclination of moral virtue is with choice: and consequently in order that it may be perfect it requires that reason be perfected by intellectual virtue.

Reply Obj. 2: A man may be virtuous without having full use of reason as to everything, provided he have it with regard to those things which have to be done virtuously. In this way all virtuous men have full use of reason. Hence those who seem to be simple, through lack of worldly cunning, may possibly be prudent, according to Mt. 10:16: "Be ye therefore prudent [Douay: 'wise'] as serpents, and simple as doves."

Reply Obj. 3: The natural inclination to a good of virtue is a kind of beginning of virtue, but is not perfect virtue. For the stronger this inclination is, the more perilous may it prove to be, unless it be accompanied by right reason, which rectifies the choice of fitting means towards the due end. Thus if a running horse be blind, the faster it runs the more heavily will it fall, and the more grievously will it be hurt. And consequently, although moral virtue be not right reason, as Socrates held, yet not only is it "according to right reason," in so far as it inclines man to that which is, according to right reason, as the Platonists maintained [*Cf. Plato, Meno xli.]; but also it needs to be "joined with right reason," as Aristotle declares (Ethic. vi, 13).

^Q. 58


Art. 5: Whether there can be intellectual without moral virtue?[edit]

It would seem that there can be intellectual without moral virtue.

Obj. 1: Because perfection of what precedes does not depend on the perfection of what follows. Now reason precedes and moves the sensitive appetite. Therefore intellectual virtue, which is a perfection of the reason, does not depend on moral virtue, which is a perfection of the appetitive faculty; and can be without it.

Obj. 2: Further, morals are the matter of prudence, even as things makeable are the matter of art. Now art can be without its proper matter, as a smith without iron. Therefore prudence can be without the moral virtue, although of all the intellectual virtues, it seems most akin to the moral virtues.

Obj. 3: Further, prudence is "a virtue whereby we are of good counsel" (Ethic. vi, 9). Now many are of good counsel without having the moral virtues. Therefore prudence can be without a moral virtue.

On the contrary, To wish to do evil is directly opposed to moral virtue; and yet it is not opposed to anything that can be without moral virtue. Now it is contrary to prudence "to sin willingly" (Ethic. vi, 5). Therefore prudence cannot be without moral virtue.

I answer that, Other intellectual virtues can, but prudence cannot, be without moral virtue. The reason for this is that prudence is the right reason about things to be done (and this, not merely in general, but also in particular); about which things actions are. Now right reason demands principles from which reason proceeds to argue. And when reason argues about particular cases, it needs not only universal but also particular principles. As to universal principles of action, man is rightly disposed by the natural understanding of principles, whereby he understands that he should do no evil; or again by some practical science. But this is not enough in order that man may reason aright about particular cases. For it happens sometimes that the aforesaid universal principle, known by means of understanding or science, is destroyed in a particular case by a passion: thus to one who is swayed by concupiscence, when he is overcome thereby, the object of his desire seems good, although it is opposed to the universal judgment of his reason. Consequently, as by the habit of natural understanding or of science, man is made to be rightly disposed in regard to the universal principles of action; so, in order that he be rightly disposed with regard to the particular principles of action, viz. the ends, he needs to be perfected by certain habits, whereby it becomes connatural, as it were, to man to judge aright to the end. This is done by moral virtue: for the virtuous man judges aright of the end of virtue, because "such a man is, such does the end seem to him" (Ethic. iii, 5). Consequently the right reason about things to be done, viz. prudence, requires man to have moral virtue.

Reply Obj. 1: Reason, as apprehending the end, precedes the appetite for the end: but appetite for the end precedes the reason, as arguing about the choice of the means, which is the concern of prudence. Even so, in speculative matters the understanding of principles is the foundation on which the syllogism of the reason is based.

Reply Obj. 2: It does not depend on the disposition of our appetite whether we judge well or ill of the principles of art, as it does, when we judge of the end which is the principle in moral matters: in the former case our judgment depends on reason alone. Hence art does not require a virtue perfecting the appetite, as prudence does.

Reply Obj. 3: Prudence not only helps us to be of good counsel, but also to judge and command well. This is not possible unless the impediment of the passions, destroying the judgment and command of prudence, be removed; and this is done by moral virtue.

^Q. 58


QUESTION 59: OF MORAL VIRTUE IN RELATION TO THE PASSIONS[edit]

^TOC ^Of the Distinction of Virtue

We must now consider the difference of one moral virtue from another. And since those moral virtues which are about the passions, differ accordingly to the difference of passions, we must consider

(1) the relation of virtue to passion [Q. 59];

(2) the different kinds of moral virtue in relation to the passions [Q. 60].


Under the first head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether moral virtue is a passion?

(2) Whether there can be moral virtue with passion?

(3) Whether sorrow is compatible with moral virtue?

(4) Whether every moral virtue is about a passion?

(5) Whether there can be moral virtue without passion?


Art. 1: Whether moral virtue is a passion?[edit]

It would seem that moral virtue is a passion.

Obj. 1: Because the mean is of the same genus as the extremes. But moral virtue is a mean between two passions. Therefore moral virtue is a passion.

Obj. 2: Further, virtue and vice, being contrary to one another, are in the same genus. But some passions are reckoned to be vices, such as envy and anger. Therefore some passions are virtues.

Obj. 3: Further, pity is a passion, since it is sorrow for another's ills, as stated above (Q. 35, A. 8). Now "Cicero the renowned orator did not hesitate to call pity a virtue," as Augustine states in De Civ. Dei ix, 5. Therefore a passion may be a moral virtue.

On the contrary, It is stated in Ethic. ii, 5 that "passions are neither virtues nor vices."

I answer that, Moral virtue cannot be a passion. This is clear for three reasons. First, because a passion is a movement of the sensitive appetite, as stated above (Q. 22, A. 3): whereas moral virtue is not a movement, but rather a principle of the movement of the appetite, being a kind of habit. Secondly, because passions are not in themselves good or evil. For man's good or evil is something in reference to reason: wherefore the passions, considered in themselves, are referable both to good and evil, for as much as they may accord or disaccord with reason. Now nothing of this sort can be a virtue: since virtue is referable to good alone, as stated above (Q. 55, A. 3). Thirdly, because, granted that some passions are, in some way, referable to good only, or to evil only; even then the movement of passion, as passion, begins in the appetite, and ends in the reason, since the appetite tends to conformity with reason. On the other hand, the movement of virtue is the reverse, for it begins in the reason and ends in the appetite, inasmuch as the latter is moved by reason. Hence the definition of moral virtue (Ethic. ii, 6) states that it is "a habit of choosing the mean appointed by reason as a prudent man would appoint it."

Reply Obj. 1: Virtue is a mean between passions, not by reason of its essence, but on account of its effect; because, to wit, it establishes the mean between passions.

Reply Obj. 2: If by vice we understand a habit of doing evil deeds, it is evident that no passion is a vice. But if vice is taken to mean sin which is a vicious act, nothing hinders a passion from being a vice, or, on the other hand, from concurring in an act of virtue; in so far as a passion is either opposed to reason or in accordance with reason.

Reply Obj. 3: Pity is said to be a virtue, i.e. an act of virtue, in so far as "that movement of the soul is obedient to reason"; viz. "when pity is bestowed without violating right, as when the poor are relieved, or the penitent forgiven," as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei ix, 5). But if by pity we understand a habit perfecting man so that he bestows pity reasonably, nothing hinders pity, in this sense, from being a virtue. The same applies to similar passions.

^Q. 59


Art. 2: Whether there can be moral virtue with passion?[edit]

It would seem that moral virtue cannot be with passion.

Obj. 1: For the Philosopher says (Topic. iv) that "a gentle man is one who is not passionate; but a patient man is one who is passionate but does not give way." The same applies to all the moral virtues. Therefore all moral virtues are without passion.

Obj. 2: Further, virtue is a right affection of the soul, as health is to the body, as stated Phys. vii, text. 17: wherefore "virtue is a kind of health of the soul," as Cicero says (Quaest. Tusc. iv). But the soul's passions are "the soul's diseases," as he says in the same book. Now health is incompatible with disease. Therefore neither is passion compatible with virtue.

Obj. 3: Further, moral virtue requires perfect use of reason even in particular matters. But the passions are an obstacle to this: for the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 5) that "pleasures destroy the judgment of prudence": and Sallust says (Catilin.) that "when they," i.e. the soul's passions, "interfere, it is not easy for the mind to grasp the truth." Therefore passion is incompatible with moral virtue.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 6): "If the will is perverse, these movements," viz. the passions, "are perverse also: but if it is upright, they are not only blameless, but even praiseworthy." But nothing praiseworthy is incompatible with moral virtue. Therefore moral virtue does not exclude the passions, but is consistent with them.

I answer that, The Stoics and Peripatetics disagreed on this point, as Augustine relates (De Civ. Dei ix, 4). For the Stoics held that the soul's passions cannot be in a wise or virtuous man: whereas the Peripatetics, who were founded by Aristotle, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei ix, 4), maintained that the passions are compatible with moral virtue, if they be reduced to the mean.

This difference, as Augustine observes (De Civ. Dei ix, 4), was one of words rather than of opinions. Because the Stoics, through not discriminating between the intellective appetite, i.e. the will, and the sensitive appetite, which is divided into irascible and concupiscible, did not, as the Peripatetics did, distinguish the passions from the other affections of the human soul, in the point of their being movements of the sensitive appetite, whereas the other emotions of the soul, which are not passions, are movements of the intellective appetite or will; but only in the point of the passions being, as they maintained, any emotions in disaccord with reason.

These emotions could not be in a wise or virtuous man if they arose deliberately: while it would be possible for them to be in a wise man, if they arose suddenly: because, in the words of Aulus Gellius [*Noct. Attic. xix, 1], quoted by Augustine (De Civ. Dei ix, 4), "it is not in our power to call up the visions of the soul, known as its fancies; and when they arise from awesome things, they must needs disturb the mind of a wise man, so that he is slightly startled by fear, or depressed with sorrow," in so far as "these passions forestall the use of reason without his approving of such things or consenting thereto."

Accordingly, if the passions be taken for inordinate emotions, they cannot be in a virtuous man, so that he consent to them deliberately; as the Stoics maintained. But if the passions be taken for any movements of the sensitive appetite, they can be in a virtuous man, in so far as they are subordinate to reason. Hence Aristotle says (Ethic. ii, 3) that "some describe virtue as being a kind of freedom from passion and disturbance; this is incorrect, because the assertion should be qualified": they should have said virtue is freedom from those passions "that are not as they should be as to manner and time."

Reply Obj. 1: The Philosopher quotes this, as well as many other examples in his books on Logic, in order to illustrate, not his own mind, but that of others. It was the opinion of the Stoics that the passions of the soul were incompatible with virtue: and the Philosopher rejects this opinion (Ethic. ii, 3), when he says that virtue is not freedom from passion. It may be said, however, that when he says "a gentle man is not passionate," we are to understand this of inordinate passion.

Reply Obj. 2: This and all similar arguments which Tully brings forward in De Tusc. Quaest. iv take the passions in the execution of reason's command.

Reply Obj. 3: When a passion forestalls the judgment of reason, so as to prevail on the mind to give its consent, it hinders counsel and the judgment of reason. But when it follows that judgment, as through being commanded by reason, it helps towards the execution of reason's command.

^Q. 59


Art. 3: Whether sorrow is compatible with moral virtue?[edit]

It would seem that sorrow is incompatible with virtue.

Obj. 1: Because the virtues are effects of wisdom, according to Wis. 8:7: "She," i.e. Divine wisdom, "teacheth temperance, and prudence, and justice, and fortitude." Now the "conversation" of wisdom "hath no bitterness," as we read further on (verse 16). Therefore sorrow is incompatible with virtue also.

Obj. 2: Further, sorrow is a hindrance to work, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. vii, 13; x, 5). But a hindrance to good works is incompatible with virtue. Therefore sorrow is incompatible with virtue.

Obj. 3: Further, Tully calls sorrow a disease of the mind (De Tusc. Quaest. iv). But disease of the mind is incompatible with virtue, which is a good condition of the mind. Therefore sorrow is opposed to virtue and is incompatible with it.

On the contrary, Christ was perfect in virtue. But there was sorrow in Him, for He said (Matt. 26:38): "My soul is sorrowful even unto death." Therefore sorrow is compatible with virtue.

I answer that, As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 8), the Stoics held that in the mind of the wise man there are three eupatheiai, i.e. "three good passions," in place of the three disturbances: viz. instead of covetousness, "desire"; instead of mirth, "joy"; instead of fear, "caution." But they denied that anything corresponding to sorrow could be in the mind of a wise man, for two reasons.

First, because sorrow is for an evil that is already present. Now they held that no evil can happen to a wise man: for they thought that, just as man's only good is virtue, and bodily goods are no good to man; so man's only evil is vice, which cannot be in a virtuous man. But this is unreasonable. For, since man is composed of soul and body, whatever conduces to preserve the life of the body, is some good to man; yet not his supreme good, because he can abuse it.

Consequently the evil which is contrary to this good can be in a wise man, and can cause him moderate sorrow. Again, although a virtuous man can be without grave sin, yet no man is to be found to live without committing slight sins, according to 1 John 1:8: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves." A third reason is because a virtuous man, though not actually in a state of sin, may have been so in the past. And he is to be commended if he sorrow for that sin, according to 2 Cor. 7:10: "The sorrow that is according to God worketh penance steadfast unto salvation." Fourthly, because he may praiseworthily sorrow for another's sin. Therefore sorrow is compatible with moral virtue in the same way as the other passions are when moderated by reason.

Their second reason for holding this opinion was that sorrow is about evil present, whereas fear is for evil to come: even as pleasure is about a present good, while desire is for a future good. Now the enjoyment of a good possessed, or the desire to have good that one possesses not, may be consistent with virtue: but depression of the mind resulting from sorrow for a present evil, is altogether contrary to reason: wherefore it is incompatible with virtue. But this is unreasonable. For there is an evil which can be present to the virtuous man, as we have just stated; which evil is rejected by reason. Wherefore the sensitive appetite follows reason's rejection by sorrowing for that evil; yet moderately, according as reason dictates. Now it pertains to virtue that the sensitive appetite be conformed to reason, as stated above (A. 1, ad 2). Wherefore moderated sorrow for an object which ought to make us sorrowful, is a mark of virtue; as also the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6, 7). Moreover, this proves useful for avoiding evil: since, just as good is more readily sought for the sake of pleasure, so is evil more undauntedly shunned on account of sorrow.

Accordingly we must allow that sorrow for things pertaining to virtue is incompatible with virtue: since virtue rejoices in its own. On the other hand, virtue sorrows moderately for all that thwarts virtue, no matter how.

Reply Obj. 1: The passage quoted proves that the wise man is not made sorrowful by wisdom. Yet he sorrows for anything that hinders wisdom. Consequently there is no room for sorrow in the blessed, in whom there can be no hindrance to wisdom.

Reply Obj. 2: Sorrow hinders the work that makes us sorrowful: but it helps us to do more readily whatever banishes sorrow.

Reply Obj. 3: Immoderate sorrow is a disease of the mind: but moderate sorrow is the mark of a well-conditioned mind, according to the present state of life.

^Q. 59


Art. 4: Whether all the moral virtues are about the passions?[edit]

It would seem that all the moral virtues are about the passions.

Obj. 1: For the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 3) that "moral virtue is about objects of pleasure and sorrow." But pleasure and sorrow are passions, as stated above (Q. 23, A. 4; Q. 31, A. 1; Q. 35, AA. 1,2). Therefore all the moral virtues are about the passions.

Obj. 2: Further, the subject of the moral virtues is a faculty which is rational by participation, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. i, 13). But the passions are in this part of the soul, as stated above (Q. 22, A. 3). Therefore every moral virtue is about the passions.

Obj. 3: Further, some passion is to be found in every moral virtue: and so either all are about the passions, or none are. But some are about the passions, as fortitude and temperance, as stated in Ethic. iii, 6, 10. Therefore all the moral virtues are about the passions.

On the contrary, Justice, which is a moral virtue, is not about the passions; as stated in Ethic. v, 1, seqq.

I answer that, Moral virtue perfects the appetitive part of the soul by directing it to good as defined by reason. Now good as defined by reason is that which is moderated or directed by reason.

Consequently there are moral virtues about all matters that are subject to reason's direction and moderation. Now reason directs, not only the passions of the sensitive appetite, but also the operations of the intellective appetite, i.e. the will, which is not the subject of a passion, as stated above (Q. 22, A. 3). Therefore not all the moral virtues are about passions, but some are about passions, some about operations.

Reply Obj. 1: The moral virtues are not all about pleasures and sorrows, as being their proper matter; but as being something resulting from their proper acts. For every virtuous man rejoices in acts of virtue, and sorrows for the contrary. Hence the Philosopher, after the words quoted, adds, "if virtues are about actions and passions; now every action and passion is followed by pleasure or sorrow, so that in this way virtue is about pleasures and sorrows," viz. as about something that results from virtue.

Reply Obj. 2: Not only the sensitive appetite which is the subject of the passions, is rational by participation, but also the will, where there are no passions, as stated above.

Reply Obj. 3: Some virtues have passions as their proper matter, but some virtues not. Hence the comparison does not hold for all cases.

^Q. 59


Art. 5: Whether there can be moral virtue without passion?[edit]

It would seem that moral virtue can be without passion.

Obj. 1: For the more perfect moral virtue is, the more does it overcome the passions. Therefore at its highest point of perfection it is altogether without passion.

Obj. 2: Further, then is a thing perfect, when it is removed from its contrary and from whatever inclines to its contrary. Now the passions incline us to sin which is contrary to virtue: hence (Rom. 7:5) they are called "passions of sins." Therefore perfect virtue is altogether without passion.

Obj. 3: Further, it is by virtue that we are conformed to God, as Augustine declares (De Moribus Eccl. vi, xi, xiii). But God does all things without passion at all. Therefore the most perfect virtue is without any passion.

On the contrary, "No man is just who rejoices not in his deeds," as stated in Ethic. i, 8. But joy is a passion. Therefore justice cannot be without passion; and still less can the other virtues be.

I answer that, If we take the passions as being inordinate emotions, as the Stoics did, it is evident that in this sense perfect virtue is without the passions. But if by passions we understand any movement of the sensitive appetite, it is plain that moral virtues, which are about the passions as about their proper matter, cannot be without passions. The reason for this is that otherwise it would follow that moral virtue makes the sensitive appetite altogether idle: whereas it is not the function of virtue to deprive the powers subordinate to reason of their proper activities, but to make them execute the commands of reason, by exercising their proper acts.

Wherefore just as virtue directs the bodily limbs to their due external acts, so does it direct the sensitive appetite to its proper regulated movements.

Those moral virtues, however, which are not about the passions, but about operations, can be without passions. Such a virtue is justice: because it applies the will to its proper act, which is not a passion. Nevertheless, joy results from the act of justice; at least in the will, in which case it is not a passion. And if this joy be increased through the perfection of justice, it will overflow into the sensitive appetite; in so far as the lower powers follow the movement of the higher, as stated above (Q. 17, A. 7; Q. 24, A. 3). Wherefore by reason of this kind of overflow, the more perfect a virtue is, the more does it cause passion.

Reply Obj. 1: Virtue overcomes inordinate passion; it produces ordinate passion.

Reply Obj. 2: It is inordinate, not ordinate, passion that leads to sin.

Reply Obj. 3: The good of anything depends on the condition of its nature. Now there is no sensitive appetite in God and the angels, as there is in man. Consequently good operation in God and the angels is altogether without passion, as it is without a body: whereas the good operation of man is with passion, even as it is produced with the body's help.

^Q. 59


QUESTION 60: HOW THE MORAL VIRTUES DIFFER FROM ONE ANOTHER[edit]

^TOC ^Of the Distinction of Virtue

We must now consider how the moral virtues differ from one another: under which head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether there is only one moral virtue?

(2) Whether those moral virtues which are about operations, are distinct from those which are about passions?

(3) Whether there is but one moral virtue about operations?

(4) Whether there are different moral virtues about different passions?

(5) Whether the moral virtues differ in point of the various objects of the passions?


Art. 1: Whether there is only one moral virtue?[edit]

It would seem that there is only one moral virtue.

Obj. 1: Because just as the direction of moral actions belongs to reason which is the subject of the intellectual virtues; so does their inclination belong to the appetite which is the subject of moral virtues. But there is only one intellectual virtue to direct all moral acts, viz. prudence. Therefore there is also but one moral virtue to give all moral acts their respective inclinations.

Obj. 2: Further, habits differ, not in respect of their material objects, but according to the formal aspect of their objects. Now the formal aspect of the good to which moral virtue is directed, is one thing, viz. the mean defined by reason. Therefore, seemingly, there is but one moral virtue.

Obj. 3: Further, things pertaining to morals are specified by their end, as stated above (Q. 1, A. 3). Now there is but one common end of all moral virtues, viz. happiness, while the proper and proximate ends are infinite in number. But the moral virtues themselves are not infinite in number. Therefore it seems that there is but one.

On the contrary, One habit cannot be in several powers, as stated above (Q. 56, A. 2). But the subject of the moral virtues is the appetitive part of the soul, which is divided into several powers, as stated in the First Part (Q. 80, A. 2; Q. 81, A. 2). Therefore there cannot be only one moral virtue.

I answer that, As stated above (Q. 58, AA. 1, 2, 3), the moral virtues are habits of the appetitive faculty. Now habits differ specifically according to the specific differences of their objects, as stated above (Q. 54, A. 2). Again, the species of the object of appetite, as of any thing, depends on its specific form which it receives from the agent. But we must observe that the matter of the passive subject bears a twofold relation to the agent. For sometimes it receives the form of the agent, in the same kind specifically as the agent has that form, as happens with all univocal agents, so that if the agent be one specifically, the matter must of necessity receive a form specifically one: thus the univocal effect of fire is of necessity something in the species of fire. Sometimes, however, the matter receives the form from the agent, but not in the same kind specifically as the agent, as is the case with non-univocal causes of generation: thus an animal is generated by the sun. In this case the forms received into matter are not of one species, but vary according to the adaptability of the matter to receive the influx of the agent: for instance, we see that owing to the one action of the sun, animals of various species are produced by putrefaction according to the various adaptability of matter.

Now it is evident that in moral matters the reason holds the place of commander and mover, while the appetitive power is commanded and moved. But the appetite does not receive the direction of reason univocally so to say; because it is rational, not essentially, but by participation (Ethic. i, 13). Consequently objects made appetible by the direction of reason belong to various species, according to their various relations to reason: so that it follows that moral virtues are of various species and are not one only.

Reply Obj. 1: The object of the reason is truth. Now in all moral matters, which are contingent matters of action, there is but one kind of truth. Consequently, there is but one virtue to direct all such matters, viz. prudence. On the other hand, the object of the appetitive power is the appetible good, which varies in kind according to its various relations to reason, the directing power.

Reply Obj. 2: This formal element is one generically, on account of the unity of the agent: but it varies in species, on account of the various relations of the receiving matter, as explained above.

Reply Obj. 3: Moral matters do not receive their species from the last end, but from their proximate ends: and these, although they be infinite in number, are not infinite in species.

^Q. 60


Art. 2: Whether moral virtues about operations are different from those that are about passions?[edit]

It would seem that moral virtues are not divided into those which are about operations and those which are about passions.

Obj. 1: For the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 3) that moral virtue is "an operative habit whereby we do what is best in matters of pleasure or sorrow." Now pleasure and sorrow are passions, as stated above (Q. 31, A. 1; Q. 35, A. 1). Therefore the same virtue which is about passions is also about operations, since it is an operative habit.

Obj. 2: Further, the passions are principles of external action. If therefore some virtues regulate the passions, they must, as a consequence, regulate operations also. Therefore the same moral virtues are about both passions and operations.

Obj. 3: Further, the sensitive appetite is moved well or ill towards every external operation. Now movements of the sensitive appetite are passions. Therefore the same virtues that are about operations are also about passions.

On the contrary, The Philosopher reckons justice to be about operations; and temperance, fortitude and gentleness, about passions (Ethic. ii, 3, 7; v, 1, seqq.).

I answer that, Operation and passion stand in a twofold relation to virtue. First, as its effects; and in this way every moral virtue has some good operations as its product; and a certain pleasure or sorrow which are passions, as stated above (Q. 59, A. 4, ad 1).

Secondly, operation may be compared to moral virtue as the matter about which virtue is concerned: and in this sense those moral virtues which are about operations must needs differ from those which are about passions. The reason for this is that good and evil, in certain operations, are taken from the very nature of those operations, no matter how man may be affected towards them: viz. in so far as good and evil in them depend on their being commensurate with someone else. In operations of this kind there needs to be some power to regulate the operations in themselves: such are buying and selling, and all such operations in which there is an element of something due or undue to another. For this reason justice and its parts are properly about operations as their proper matter. On the other hand, in some operations, good and evil depend only on commensuration with the agent. Consequently good and evil in these operations depend on the way in which man is affected to them. And for this reason in such like operations virtue must needs be chiefly about internal emotions which are called the passions of the soul, as is evidently the case with temperance, fortitude and the like.

It happens, however, in operations which are directed to another, that the good of virtue is overlooked by reason of some inordinate passion of the soul. In such cases justice is destroyed in so far as the due measure of the external act is destroyed: while some other virtue is destroyed in so far as the internal passions exceed their due measure. Thus when through anger, one man strikes another, justice is destroyed in the undue blow; while gentleness is destroyed by the immoderate anger. The same may be clearly applied to other virtues.

This suffices for the Replies to the Objections. For the first considers operations as the effect of virtue, while the other two consider operation and passion as concurring in the same effect. But in some cases virtue is chiefly about operations, in others, about passions, for the reason given above.

^Q. 60


Art. 3: Whether there is only one moral virtue about operations?[edit]

It would seem that there is but one moral virtue about operations.

Obj. 1: Because the rectitude of all external operations seems to belong to justice. Now justice is but one virtue. Therefore there is but one virtue about operations.

Obj. 2: Further, those operations seem to differ most, which are directed on the one side to the good of the individual, and on the other to the good of the many. But this diversity does not cause diversity among the moral virtues: for the Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 1) that legal justice, which directs human acts to the common good, does not differ, save logically, from the virtue which directs a man's actions to one man only. Therefore diversity of operations does not cause a diversity of moral virtues.

Obj. 3: Further, if there are various moral virtues about various operations, diversity of moral virtues would needs follow diversity of operations. But this is clearly untrue: for it is the function of justice to establish rectitude in various kinds of commutations, and again in distributions, as is set down in Ethic. v, 2. Therefore there are not different virtues about different operations.

On the contrary, Religion is a moral virtue distinct from piety, both of which are about operations.

I answer that, All the moral virtues that are about operations agree in one general notion of justice, which is in respect of something due to another: but they differ in respect of various special notions. The reason for this is that in external operations, the order of reason is established, as we have stated (A. 2), not according as how man is affected towards such operations, but according to the becomingness of the thing itself; from which becomingness we derive the notion of something due which is the formal aspect of justice: for, seemingly, it pertains to justice that a man give another his due. Wherefore all such virtues as are about operations, bear, in some way, the character of justice. But the thing due is not of the same kind in all these virtues: for something is due to an equal in one way, to a superior, in another way, to an inferior, in yet another; and the nature of a debt differs according as it arises from a contract, a promise, or a favor already conferred. And corresponding to these various kinds of debt there are various virtues: e.g. Religion whereby we pay our debt to God; Piety, whereby we pay our debt to our parents or to our country; Gratitude, whereby we pay our debt to our benefactors, and so forth.

Reply Obj. 1: Justice properly so called is one special virtue, whose object is the perfect due, which can be paid in the equivalent. But the name of justice is extended also to all cases in which something due is rendered: in this sense it is not as a special virtue.

Reply Obj. 2: That justice which seeks the common good is another virtue from that which is directed to the private good of an individual: wherefore common right differs from private right; and Tully (De Inv. ii) reckons as a special virtue, piety which directs man to the good of his country. But that justice which directs man to the common good is a general virtue through its act of command: since it directs all the acts of the virtues to its own end, viz. the common good. And the virtues, in so far as they are commanded by that justice, receive the name of justice: so that virtue does not differ, save logically, from legal justice; just as there is only a logical difference between a virtue that is active of itself, and a virtue that is active through the command of another virtue.

Reply Obj. 3: There is the same kind of due in all the operations belonging to special justice. Consequently, there is the same virtue of justice, especially in regard to commutations. For it may be that distributive justice is of another species from commutative justice; but about this we shall inquire later on (II-II, Q. 61, A. 1).

^Q. 60


Art. 4: Whether there are different moral virtues about different passions?[edit]

It would seem that there are not different moral virtues about different passions.

Obj. 1: For there is but one habit about things that concur in their source and end: as is evident especially in the case of sciences. But the passions all concur in one source, viz. love; and they all terminate in the same end, viz. joy or sorrow, as we stated above (Q. 25, AA. 1, 2, 4; Q. 27, A. 4). Therefore there is but one moral virtue about all the passions.

Obj. 2: Further, if there were different moral virtues about different passions, it would follow that there are as many moral virtues as passions. But this clearly is not the case: since there is one moral virtue about contrary passions; namely, fortitude, about fear and daring; temperance, about pleasure and sorrow. Therefore there is no need for different moral virtues about different passions.

Obj. 3: Further, love, desire, and pleasure are passions of different species, as stated above (Q. 23, A. 4). Now there is but one virtue about all these three, viz. temperance. Therefore there are not different moral virtues about different passions.

On the contrary, Fortitude is about fear and daring; temperance about desire; meekness about anger; as stated in Ethic. iii, 6, 10; iv, 5.

I answer that, It cannot be said that there is only one moral virtue about all the passions: since some passions are not in the same power as other passions; for some belong to the irascible, others to the concupiscible faculty, as stated above (Q. 23, A. 1).

On the other hand, neither does every diversity of passions necessarily suffice for a diversity of moral virtues. First, because some passions are in contrary opposition to one another, such as joy and sorrow, fear and daring, and so on. About such passions as are thus in opposition to one another there must needs be one same virtue. Because, since moral virtue consists in a kind of mean, the mean in contrary passions stands in the same ratio to both, even as in the natural order there is but one mean between contraries, e.g. between black and white. Secondly, because there are different passions contradicting reason in the same manner, e.g. by impelling to that which is contrary to reason, or by withdrawing from that which is in accord with reason. Wherefore the different passions of the concupiscible faculty do not require different moral virtues, because their movements follow one another in a certain order, as being directed to the one same thing, viz. the attainment of some good or the avoidance of some evil: thus from love proceeds desire, and from desire we arrive at pleasure; and it is the same with the opposite passions, for hatred leads to avoidance or dislike, and this leads to sorrow. On the other hand, the irascible passions are not all of one order, but are directed to different things: for daring and fear are about some great danger; hope and despair are about some difficult good; while anger seeks to overcome something contrary which has wrought harm. Consequently there are different virtues about such like passions: e.g. temperance, about the concupiscible passions; fortitude, about fear and daring; magnanimity, about hope and despair; meekness, about anger.

Reply Obj. 1: All the passions concur in one common principle and end; but not in one proper principle or end: and so this does not suffice for the unity of moral virtue.

Reply Obj. 2: Just as in the natural order the same principle causes movement from one extreme and movement towards the other; and as in the intellectual order contraries have one common ratio; so too between contrary passions there is but one moral virtue, which, like a second nature, consents to reason's dictates.

Reply Obj. 3: Those three passions are directed to the same object in a certain order, as stated above: and so they belong to the same virtue.

^Q. 60


Art. 5: Whether the moral virtues differ in point of the various objects of the passions?[edit]

It would seem that the moral virtues do not differ according to the objects of the passions.

Obj. 1: For just as there are objects of passions, so are there objects of operations. Now those moral virtues that are about operations, do not differ according to the objects of those operations: for the buying and selling either of a house or of a horse belong to the one same virtue of justice. Therefore neither do those moral virtues that are about passions differ according to the objects of those passions.

Obj. 2: Further, the passions are acts or movements of the sensitive appetite. Now it needs a greater difference to differentiate habits than acts. Hence diverse objects which do not diversify the species of passions, do not diversify the species of moral virtue: so that there is but one moral virtue about all objects of pleasure, and the same applies to the other passions.

Obj. 3: Further, more or less do not change a species. Now various objects of pleasure differ only by reason of being more or less pleasurable. Therefore all objects of pleasure belong to one species of virtue: and for the same reason so do all fearful objects, and the same applies to others. Therefore moral virtue is not diversified according to the objects of the passions.

Obj. 4: Further, virtue hinders evil, even as it produces good. But there are various virtues about the desires for good things: thus temperance is about desires for the pleasure of touch, and eutrapelia about pleasures in games. Therefore there should be different virtues about fears of evils.

On the contrary, Chastity is about sexual pleasures, abstinence about pleasures of the table, and eutrapelia about pleasures in games.

I answer that, The perfection of a virtue depends on the reason; whereas the perfection of a passion depends on the sensitive appetite. Consequently virtues must needs be differentiated according to their relation to reason, but the passions according to their relation to the appetite. Hence the objects of the passions, according as they are variously related to the sensitive appetite, cause the different species of passions: while, according as they are related to reason, they cause the different species of virtues. Now the movement of reason is not the same as that of the sensitive appetite. Wherefore nothing hinders a difference of objects from causing diversity of passions, without causing diversity of virtues, as when one virtue is about several passions, as stated above (A. 4); and again, a difference of objects from causing different virtues, without causing a difference of passions, since several virtues are directed about one passion, e.g. pleasure.

And because diverse passions belonging to diverse powers, always belong to diverse virtues, as stated above (A. 4); therefore a difference of objects that corresponds to a difference of powers always causes a specific difference of virtues--for instance the difference between that which is good absolutely speaking, and that which is good and difficult to obtain. Moreover since the reason rules man's lower powers in a certain order, and even extends to outward things; hence, one single object of the passions, according as it is apprehended by sense, imagination, or reason, and again, according as it belongs to the soul, body, or external things, has various relations to reason, and consequently is of a nature to cause a difference of virtues. Consequently man's good which is the object of love, desire and pleasure, may be taken as referred either to a bodily sense, or to the inner apprehension of the mind: and this same good may be directed to man's good in himself, either in his body or in his soul, or to man's good in relation to other men. And every such difference, being differently related to reason, differentiates virtues.

Accordingly, if we take a good, and it be something discerned by the sense of touch, and something pertaining to the upkeep of human life either in the individual or in the species, such as the pleasures of the table or of sexual intercourse, it will belong to the virtue of temperance. As regards the pleasures of the other senses, they are not intense, and so do not present much difficulty to the reason: hence there is no virtue corresponding to them; for virtue, "like art, is about difficult things" (Ethic. ii, 3).

On the other hand, good discerned not by the senses, but by an inner power, and belonging to man in himself, is like money and honor; the former, by its very nature, being employable for the good of the body, while the latter is based on the apprehension of the mind. These goods again may be considered either absolutely, in which way they concern the concupiscible faculty, or as being difficult to obtain, in which way they belong to the irascible part: which distinction, however, has no place in pleasurable objects of touch; since such are of base condition, and are becoming to man in so far as he has something in common with irrational animals. Accordingly in reference to money considered as a good absolutely, as an object of desire, pleasure, or love, there is liberality: but if we consider this good as difficult to get, and as being the object of our hope, there is magnificence [*megaloprepeia]. With regard to that good which we call honor, taken absolutely, as the object of love, we have a virtue called philotimia, i.e. love of honor: while if we consider it as hard to attain, and as an object of hope, then we have magnanimity. Wherefore liberality and philotimia seem to be in the concupiscible part, while magnificence and magnanimity are in the irascible.

As regards man's good in relation to other men, it does not seem hard to obtain, but is considered absolutely, as the object of the concupiscible passions. This good may be pleasurable to a man in his behavior towards another either in some serious matter, in actions, to wit, that are directed by reason to a due end, or in playful actions, viz. that are done for mere pleasure, and which do not stand in the same relation to reason as the former. Now one man behaves towards another in serious matters, in two ways. First, as being pleasant in his regard, by becoming speech and deeds: and this belongs to a virtue which Aristotle (Ethic. ii, 7) calls "friendship" [*philia], and may be rendered "affability." Secondly, one man behaves towards another by being frank with him, in words and deeds: this belongs to another virtue which (Ethic. iv, 7) he calls "truthfulness" [*aletheia]. For frankness is more akin to the reason than pleasure, and serious matters than play. Hence there is another virtue about the pleasures of games, which the Philosopher calls eutrapelia (Ethic. iv, 8).

It is therefore evident that, according to Aristotle, there are ten moral virtues about the passions, viz. fortitude, temperance, liberality, magnificence, magnanimity, philotimia, gentleness, friendship, truthfulness, and eutrapelia, all of which differ in respect of their diverse matter, passions, or objects: so that if we add justice, which is about operations, there will be eleven in all.

Reply Obj. 1: All objects of the same specific operation have the same relation to reason: not so all the objects of the same specific passion; because operations do not thwart reason as the passions do.

Reply Obj. 2: Passions are not differentiated by the same rule as virtues are, as stated above.

Reply Obj. 3: More and less do not cause a difference of species, unless they bear different relations to reason.

Reply Obj. 4: Good is a more potent mover than evil: because evil does not cause movement save in virtue of good, as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv). Hence an evil does not prove an obstacle to reason, so as to require virtues unless that evil be great; there being, seemingly, one such evil corresponding to each kind of passion. Hence there is but one virtue, meekness, for every form of anger; and, again, but one virtue, fortitude, for all forms of daring. On the other hand, good involves difficulty, which requires virtue, even if it be not a great good in that particular kind of passion. Consequently there are various moral virtues about desires, as stated above.

^Q. 60


QUESTION 61: OF THE CARDINAL VIRTUES[edit]

^TOC ^Of the Distinction of Virtue

We must now consider the cardinal virtues: under which head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the moral virtues should be called cardinal or principal virtues?

(2) Of their number;

(3) Which are they?

(4) Whether they differ from one another?

(5) Whether they are fittingly divided into social, perfecting, perfect, and exemplar virtues?


Art. 1: Whether the moral virtues should be called cardinal or principal virtues?[edit]

It would seem that moral virtues should not be called cardinal or principal virtues.

Obj. 1: For "the opposite members of a division are by nature simultaneous" (Categor. x), so that one is not principal rather than another. Now all the virtues are opposite members of the division of the genus "virtue." Therefore none of them should be called principal.

Obj. 2: Further, the end is principal as compared to the means. But the theological virtues are about the end; while the moral virtues are about the means. Therefore the theological virtues, rather than the moral virtues, should be called principal or cardinal.

Obj. 3: Further, that which is essentially so is principal in comparison with that which is so by participation. But the intellectual virtues belong to that which is essentially rational: whereas the moral virtues belong to that which is rational by participation, as stated above (Q. 58, A. 3). Therefore the intellectual virtues are principal, rather than the moral virtues.

On the contrary, Ambrose in explaining the words, "Blessed are the poor in spirit" (Luke 6:20) says: "We know that there are four cardinal virtues, viz. temperance, justice, prudence, and fortitude." But these are moral virtues. Therefore the moral virtues are cardinal virtues.

I answer that, When we speak of virtue simply, we are understood to speak of human virtue. Now human virtue, as stated above (Q. 56, A. 3), is one that answers to the perfect idea of virtue, which requires rectitude of the appetite: for such like virtue not only confers the faculty of doing well, but also causes the good deed done. On the other hand, the name virtue is applied to one that answers imperfectly to the idea of virtue, and does not require rectitude of the appetite: because it merely confers the faculty of doing well without causing the good deed to be done. Now it is evident that the perfect is principal as compared to the imperfect: and so those virtues which imply rectitude of the appetite are called principal virtues. Such are the moral virtues, and prudence alone, of the intellectual virtues, for it is also something of a moral virtue, as was clearly shown above (Q. 57, A. 4). Consequently, those virtues which are called principal or cardinal are fittingly placed among the moral virtues.

Reply Obj. 1: When a univocal genus is divided into its species, the members of the division are on a par in the point of the generic idea; although considered in their nature as things, one species may surpass another in rank and perfection, as man in respect of other animals. But when we divide an analogous term, which is applied to several things, but to one before it is applied to another, nothing hinders one from ranking before another, even in the point of the generic idea; as the notion of being is applied to substance principally in relation to accident. Such is the division of virtue into various kinds of virtue: since the good defined by reason is not found in the same way in all things.

Reply Obj. 2: The theological virtues are above man, as stated above (Q. 58, A. 3, ad 3). Hence they should properly be called not human, but "super-human" or godlike virtues.

Reply Obj. 3: Although the intellectual virtues, except in prudence, rank before the moral virtues, in the point of their subject, they do not rank before them as virtues; for a virtue, as such, regards good, which is the object of the appetite.

^Q. 61


Art. 2: Whether there are four cardinal virtues?[edit]

It would seem that there are not four cardinal virtues.

Obj. 1: For prudence is the directing principle of the other moral virtues, as is clear from what has been said above (Q. 58, A. 4). But that which directs other things ranks before them. Therefore prudence alone is a principal virtue.

Obj. 2: Further, the principal virtues are, in a way, moral virtues. Now we are directed to moral works both by the practical reason, and by a right appetite, as stated in Ethic. vi, 2. Therefore there are only two cardinal virtues.

Obj. 3: Further, even among the other virtues one ranks higher than another. But in order that a virtue be principal, it needs not to rank above all the others, but above some. Therefore it seems that there are many more principal virtues.

On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. ii): "The entire structure of good works is built on four virtues."

I answer that, Things may be numbered either in respect of their formal principles, or according to the subjects in which they are: and either way we find that there are four cardinal virtues.

For the formal principle of the virtue of which we speak now is good as defined by reason; which good is considered in two ways. First, as existing in the very act of reason: and thus we have one principal virtue, called "Prudence." Secondly, according as the reason puts its order into something else; either into operations, and then we have "Justice"; or into passions, and then we need two virtues. For the need of putting the order of reason into the passions is due to their thwarting reason: and this occurs in two ways. First, by the passions inciting to something against reason, and then the passions need a curb, which we call "Temperance." Secondly, by the passions withdrawing us from following the dictate of reason, e.g. through fear of danger or toil: and then man needs to be strengthened for that which reason dictates, lest he turn back; and to this end there is "Fortitude."

In like manner, we find the same number if we consider the subjects of virtue. For there are four subjects of the virtue we speak of now: viz. the power which is rational in its essence, and this is perfected by "Prudence"; and that which is rational by participation, and is threefold, the will, subject of "Justice," the concupiscible faculty, subject of "Temperance," and the irascible faculty, subject of "Fortitude."

Reply Obj. 1: Prudence is the principal of all the virtues simply. The others are principal, each in its own genus.

Reply Obj. 2: That part of the soul which is rational by participation is threefold, as stated above.

Reply Obj. 3: All the other virtues among which one ranks before another, are reducible to the above four, both as to the subject and as to the formal principle.

^Q. 61


Art. 3: Whether any other virtues should be called principal rather than these?[edit]

It would seem that other virtues should be called principal rather than these.

Obj. 1: For, seemingly, the greatest is the principal in any genus. Now "magnanimity has a great influence on all the virtues" (Ethic. iv, 3). Therefore magnanimity should more than any be called a principal virtue.

Obj. 2: Further, that which strengthens the other virtues should above all be called a principal virtue. But such is humility: for Gregory says (Hom. iv in Ev.) that "he who gathers the other virtues without humility is as one who carries straw against the wind." Therefore humility seems above all to be a principal virtue.

Obj. 3: Further, that which is most perfect seems to be principal. But this applies to patience, according to James 1:4: "Patience hath a perfect work." Therefore patience should be reckoned a principal virtue.

On the contrary, Cicero reduces all other virtues to these four (De Invent. Rhet. ii).

I answer that, As stated above (A. 2), these four are reckoned as cardinal virtues, in respect of the four formal principles of virtue as we understand it now. These principles are found chiefly in certain acts and passions. Thus the good which exists in the act of reason, is found chiefly in reason's command, but not in its counsel or its judgment, as stated above (Q. 57, A. 6). Again, good as defined by reason and put into our operations as something right and due, is found chiefly in commutations and distributions in respect of another person, and on a basis of equality. The good of curbing the passions is found chiefly in those passions which are most difficult to curb, viz. in the pleasures of touch. The good of being firm in holding to the good defined by reason, against the impulse of passion, is found chiefly in perils of death, which are most difficult to withstand.

Accordingly the above four virtues may be considered in two ways. First, in respect of their common formal principles. In this way they are called principal, being general, as it were, in comparison with all the virtues: so that, for instance, any virtue that causes good in reason's act of consideration, may be called prudence; every virtue that causes the good of right and due in operation, be called justice; every virtue that curbs and represses the passions, be called temperance; and every virtue that strengthens the mind against any passions whatever, be called fortitude. Many, both holy doctors, as also philosophers, speak about these virtues in this sense: and in this way the other virtues are contained under them. Wherefore all the objections fail.

Secondly, they may be considered in point of their being denominated, each one from that which is foremost in its respective matter, and thus they are specific virtues, condivided with the others. Yet they are called principal in comparison with the other virtues, on account of the importance of their matter: so that prudence is the virtue which commands; justice, the virtue which is about due actions between equals; temperance, the virtue which suppresses desires for the pleasures of touch; and fortitude, the virtue which strengthens against dangers of death. Thus again do the objections fail: because the other virtues may be principal in some other way, but these are called principal by reason of their matter, as stated above.

^Q. 61


Art. 4: Whether the four cardinal virtues differ from one another?[edit]

It would seem that the above four virtues are not diverse and distinct from one another.

Obj. 1: For Gregory says (Moral. xxii, 1): "There is no true prudence, unless it be just, temperate and brave; no perfect temperance, that is not brave, just and prudent; no sound fortitude, that is not prudent, temperate and just; no real justice, without prudence, fortitude and temperance." But this would not be so, if the above virtues were distinct from one another: since the different species of one genus do not qualify one another. Therefore the aforesaid virtues are not distinct from one another.

Obj. 2: Further, among things distinct from one another the function of one is not attributed to another. But the function of temperance is attributed to fortitude: for Ambrose says (De Offic. xxxvi): "Rightly do we call it fortitude, when a man conquers himself, and is not weakened and bent by any enticement." And of temperance he says (De Offic. xliii, xlv) that it "safeguards the manner and order in all things that we decide to do and say." Therefore it seems that these virtues are not distinct from one another.

Obj. 3: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 4) that the necessary conditions of virtue are first of all "that a man should have knowledge; secondly, that he should exercise choice for a particular end; thirdly, that he should possess the habit and act with firmness and steadfastness." But the first of these seems to belong to prudence which is rectitude of reason in things to be done; the second, i.e. choice, belongs to temperance, whereby a man, holding his passions on the curb, acts, not from passion but from choice; the third, that a man should act for the sake of a due end, implies a certain rectitude, which seemingly belongs to justice; while the last, viz. firmness and steadfastness, belongs to fortitude. Therefore each of these virtues is general in comparison to other virtues. Therefore they are not distinct from one another.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Moribus Eccl. xi) that "there are four virtues, corresponding to the various emotions of love," and he applies this to the four virtues mentioned above. Therefore the same four virtues are distinct from one another.

I answer that, As stated above (A. 3), these four virtues are understood differently by various writers. For some take them as signifying certain general conditions of the human mind, to be found in all the virtues: so that, to wit, prudence is merely a certain rectitude of discretion in any actions or matters whatever; justice, a certain rectitude of the mind, whereby a man does what he ought in any matters; temperance, a disposition of the mind, moderating any passions or operations, so as to keep them within bounds; and fortitude, a disposition whereby the soul is strengthened for that which is in accord with reason, against any assaults of the passions, or the toil involved by any operations. To distinguish these four virtues in this way does not imply that justice, temperance and fortitude are distinct virtuous habits: because it is fitting that every moral virtue, from the fact that it is a habit, should be accompanied by a certain firmness so as not to be moved by its contrary: and this, we have said, belongs to fortitude. Moreover, inasmuch as it is a virtue, it is directed to good which involves the notion of right and due; and this, we have said, belongs to justice. Again, owing to the fact that it is a moral virtue partaking of reason, it observes the mode of reason in all things, and does not exceed its bounds, which has been stated to belong to temperance. It is only in the point of having discretion, which we ascribed to prudence, that there seems to be a distinction from the other three, inasmuch as discretion belongs essentially to reason; whereas the other three imply a certain share of reason by way of a kind of application (of reason) to passions or operations. According to the above explanation, then, prudence would be distinct from the other three virtues: but these would not be distinct from one another; for it is evident that one and the same virtue is both habit, and virtue, and moral virtue.

Others, however, with better reason, take these four virtues, according as they have their special determinate matter; each of its own matter, in which special commendation is given to that general condition from which the virtue's name is taken as stated above (A. 3). In this way it is clear that the aforesaid virtues are distinct habits, differentiated in respect of their diverse objects.

Reply Obj. 1: Gregory is speaking of these four virtues in the first sense given above. It may also be said that these four virtues qualify one another by a kind of overflow. For the qualities of prudence overflow on to the other virtues in so far as they are directed by prudence. And each of the others overflows on to the rest, for the reason that whoever can do what is harder, can do what is less difficult. Wherefore whoever can curb his desires for the pleasures of touch, so that they keep within bounds, which is a very hard thing to do, for this very reason is more able to check his daring in dangers of death, so as not to go too far, which is much easier; and in this sense fortitude is said to be temperate. Again, temperance is said to be brave, by reason of fortitude overflowing into temperance: in so far, to wit, as he whose mind is strengthened by fortitude against dangers of death, which is a matter of very great difficulty, is more able to remain firm against the onslaught of pleasures; for as Cicero says (De Offic. i), "it would be inconsistent for a man to be unbroken by fear, and yet vanquished by cupidity; or that he should be conquered by lust, after showing himself to be unconquered by toil."

From this the Reply to the Second Objection is clear. For temperance observes the mean in all things, and fortitude keeps the mind unbent by the enticements of pleasures, either in so far as these virtues are taken to denote certain general conditions of virtue, or in the sense that they overflow on to one another, as explained above.

Reply Obj. 3: These four general conditions of virtue set down by the Philosopher, are not proper to the aforesaid virtues. They may, however, be appropriated to them, in the way above stated.

^Q. 61


Art. 5: Whether the cardinal virtues are fittingly divided into social virtues, perfecting, perfect, and exemplar virtues?[edit]

It would seem that these four virtues are unfittingly divided into exemplar virtues, perfecting virtues, perfect virtues, and social virtues.

Obj. 1: For as Macrobius says (Super Somn. Scip. 1), the "exemplar virtues are such as exist in the mind of God." Now the Philosopher says (Ethic. x, 8) that "it is absurd to ascribe justice, fortitude, temperance, and prudence to God." Therefore these virtues cannot be exemplar.

Obj. 2: Further, the perfect virtues are those which are without any passion: for Macrobius says (Super Somn. Scip. 1) that "in a soul that is cleansed, temperance has not to check worldly desires, for it has forgotten all about them: fortitude knows nothing about the passions; it does not have to conquer them." Now it was stated above (Q. 59, A. 5) that the aforesaid virtues cannot be without passions. Therefore there is no such thing as perfect virtue.

Obj. 3: Further, he says (Macrobius: Super Somn. Scip. 1) that the "perfecting" virtues are those of the man "who flies from human affairs and devotes himself exclusively to the things of God." But it seems wrong to do this, for Cicero says (De Offic. i): "I reckon that it is not only unworthy of praise, but wicked for a man to say that he despises what most men admire, viz. power and office." Therefore there are no "perfecting" virtues.

Obj. 4: Further, he says (Macrobius: Super Somn. Scip. 1) that the "social" virtues are those "whereby good men work for the good of their country and for the safety of the city." But it is only legal justice that is directed to the common weal, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. v, 1). Therefore other virtues should not be called "social."

On the contrary, Macrobius says (Super Somn. Scip. 1): "Plotinus, together with Plato foremost among teachers of philosophy, says: 'The four kinds of virtue are fourfold: In the first place there are social* virtues; secondly, there are perfecting virtues [*Virtutes purgatoriae: literally meaning, cleansing virtues]; thirdly, there are perfect [*Virtutes purgati animi: literally, virtues of the clean soul] virtues; and fourthly, there are exemplar virtues.'" [*Cf. Chrysostom's fifteenth homily on St. Matthew, where he says: "The gentle, the modest, the merciful, the just man does not shut up his good deeds within himself . . . He that is clean of heart and peaceful, and suffers persecution for the sake of the truth, lives for the common weal."]

I answer that, As Augustine says (De Moribus Eccl. vi), "the soul needs to follow something in order to give birth to virtue: this something is God: if we follow Him we shall live aright."

Consequently the exemplar of human virtue must needs pre-exist in God, just as in Him pre-exist the types of all things. Accordingly virtue may be considered as existing originally in God, and thus we speak of "exemplar" virtues: so that in God the Divine Mind itself may be called prudence; while temperance is the turning of God's gaze on Himself, even as in us it is that which conforms the appetite to reason. God's fortitude is His unchangeableness; His justice is the observance of the Eternal Law in His works, as Plotinus states (Cf. Macrobius, Super Somn. Scip. 1).

Again, since man by his nature is a social [*See above note on Chrysostom] animal, these virtues, in so far as they are in him according to the condition of his nature, are called "social" virtues; since it is by reason of them that man behaves himself well in the conduct of human affairs. It is in this sense that we have been speaking of these virtues until now.

But since it behooves a man to do his utmost to strive onward even to Divine things, as even the Philosopher declares in Ethic. x, 7, and as Scripture often admonishes us--for instance: "Be ye . . . perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matt. 5:48), we must needs place some virtues between the social or human virtues, and the exemplar virtues which are Divine. Now these virtues differ by reason of a difference of movement and term: so that some are virtues of men who are on their way and tending towards the Divine similitude; and these are called "perfecting" virtues. Thus prudence, by contemplating the things of God, counts as nothing all things of the world, and directs all the thoughts of the soul to God alone: temperance, so far as nature allows, neglects the needs of the body; fortitude prevents the soul from being afraid of neglecting the body and rising to heavenly things; and justice consists in the soul giving a whole-hearted consent to follow the way thus proposed. Besides these there are the virtues of those who have already attained to the Divine similitude: these are called the "perfect virtues." Thus prudence sees nought else but the things of God; temperance knows no earthly desires; fortitude has no knowledge of passion; and justice, by imitating the Divine Mind, is united thereto by an everlasting covenant. Such as the virtues attributed to the Blessed, or, in this life, to some who are at the summit of perfection.

Reply Obj. 1: The Philosopher is speaking of these virtues according as they relate to human affairs; for instance, justice, about buying and selling; fortitude, about fear; temperance, about desires; for in this sense it is absurd to attribute them to God.

Reply Obj. 2: Human virtues, that is to say, virtues of men living together in this world, are about the passions. But the virtues of those who have attained to perfect bliss are without passions. Hence Plotinus says (Cf. Macrobius, Super Somn. Scip. 1) that "the social virtues check the passions," i.e. they bring them to the relative mean; "the second kind," viz. the perfecting virtues, "uproot them"; "the third kind," viz. the perfect virtues, "forget them; while it is impious to mention them in connection with virtues of the fourth kind," viz. the exemplar virtues. It may also be said that here he is speaking of passions as denoting inordinate emotions.

Reply Obj. 3: To neglect human affairs when necessity forbids is wicked; otherwise it is virtuous. Hence Cicero says a little earlier: "Perhaps one should make allowances for those who by reason of their exceptional talents have devoted themselves to learning; as also to those who have retired from public life on account of failing health, or for some other yet weightier motive; when such men yielded to others the power and renown of authority." This agrees with what Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xix, 19): "The love of truth demands a hallowed leisure; charity necessitates good works. If no one lays this burden on us we may devote ourselves to the study and contemplation of truth; but if the burden is laid on us it is to be taken up under the pressure of charity."

Reply Obj. 4: Legal justice alone regards the common weal directly: but by commanding the other virtues it draws them all into the service of the common weal, as the Philosopher declares (Ethic. v, 1). For we must take note that it concerns the human virtues, as we understand them here, to do well not only towards the community, but also towards the parts of the community, viz. towards the household, or even towards one individual.

^Q. 61


QUESTION 62: OF THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES[edit]

^TOC ^Of the Distinction of Virtue

We must now consider the Theological Virtues: under which head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether there are any theological virtues?

(2) Whether the theological virtues are distinct from the intellectual and moral virtues?

(3) How many, and which are they?

(4) Of their order.


Art. 1: Whether there are any theological virtues?[edit]

It would seem that there are not any theological virtues.

Obj. 1: For according to Phys. vii, text. 17, "virtue is the disposition of a perfect thing to that which is best: and by perfect, I mean that which is disposed according to nature." But that which is Divine is above man's nature. Therefore the theological virtues are not virtues of a man.

Obj. 2: Further, theological virtues are quasi-Divine virtues. But the Divine virtues are exemplars, as stated above (Q. 61, A. 5), which are not in us but in God. Therefore the theological virtues are not virtues of man.

Obj. 3: Further, the theological virtues are so called because they direct us to God, Who is the first beginning and last end of all things. But by the very nature of his reason and will, man is directed to his first beginning and last end. Therefore there is no need for any habits of theological virtue, to direct the reason and will to God.

On the contrary, The precepts of the Law are about acts of virtue. Now the Divine Law contains precepts about the acts of faith, hope, and charity: for it is written (Ecclus. 2:8, seqq.): "Ye that fear the Lord believe Him," and again, "hope in Him," and again, "love Him." Therefore faith, hope, and charity are virtues directing us to God. Therefore they are theological virtues.

I answer that, Man is perfected by virtue, for those actions whereby he is directed to happiness, as was explained above (Q. 5, A. 7). Now man's happiness is twofold, as was also stated above (Q. 5, A. 5). One is proportionate to human nature, a happiness, to wit, which man can obtain by means of his natural principles. The other is a happiness surpassing man's nature, and which man can obtain by the power of God alone, by a kind of participation of the Godhead, about which it is written (2 Pet. 1:4) that by Christ we are made "partakers of the Divine nature." And because such happiness surpasses the capacity of human nature, man's natural principles which enable him to act well according to his capacity, do not suffice to direct man to this same happiness. Hence it is necessary for man to receive from God some additional principles, whereby he may be directed to supernatural happiness, even as he is directed to his connatural end, by means of his natural principles, albeit not without Divine assistance. Such like principles are called "theological virtues": first, because their object is God, inasmuch as they direct us aright to God: secondly, because they are infused in us by God alone: thirdly, because these virtues are not made known to us, save by Divine revelation, contained in Holy Writ.

Reply Obj. 1: A certain nature may be ascribed to a certain thing in two ways. First, essentially: and thus these theological virtues surpass the nature of man. Secondly, by participation, as kindled wood partakes of the nature of fire: and thus, after a fashion, man becomes a partaker of the Divine Nature, as stated above: so that these virtues are proportionate to man in respect of the Nature of which he is made a partaker.

Reply Obj. 2: These virtues are called Divine, not as though God were virtuous by reason of them, but because of them God makes us virtuous, and directs us to Himself. Hence they are not exemplar but exemplate virtues.

Reply Obj. 3: The reason and will are naturally directed to God, inasmuch as He is the beginning and end of nature, but in proportion to nature. But the reason and will, according to their nature, are not sufficiently directed to Him in so far as He is the object of supernatural happiness.

^Q. 62


Art. 2: Whether the theological virtues are distinct from the intellectual and moral virtues?[edit]

It would seem that the theological virtues are not distinct from the moral and intellectual virtues.

Obj. 1: For the theological virtues, if they be in a human soul, must needs perfect it, either as to the intellective, or as to the appetitive part. Now the virtues which perfect the intellective part are called intellectual; and the virtues which perfect the appetitive part, are called moral. Therefore, the theological virtues are not distinct from the moral and intellectual virtues.

Obj. 2: Further, the theological virtues are those which direct us to God. Now, among the intellectual virtues there is one which directs us to God: this is wisdom, which is about Divine things, since it considers the highest cause. Therefore the theological virtues are not distinct from the intellectual virtues.

Obj. 3: Further, Augustine (De Moribus Eccl. xv) shows how the four cardinal virtues are the "order of love." Now love is charity, which is a theological virtue. Therefore the moral virtues are not distinct from the theological.

On the contrary, That which is above man's nature is distinct from that which is according to his nature. But the theological virtues are above man's nature; while the intellectual and moral virtues are in proportion to his nature, as clearly shown above (Q. 58, A. 3). Therefore they are distinct from one another.

I answer that, As stated above (Q. 54, A. 2, ad 1), habits are specifically distinct from one another in respect of the formal difference of their objects. Now the object of the theological virtues is God Himself, Who is the last end of all, as surpassing the knowledge of our reason. On the other hand, the object of the intellectual and moral virtues is something comprehensible to human reason. Wherefore the theological virtues are specifically distinct from the moral and intellectual virtues.

Reply Obj. 1: The intellectual and moral virtues perfect man's intellect and appetite according to the capacity of human nature; the theological virtues, supernaturally.

Reply Obj. 2: The wisdom which the Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 3, 7) reckons as an intellectual virtue, considers Divine things so far as they are open to the research of human reason. Theological virtue, on the other hand, is about those same things so far as they surpass human reason.

Reply Obj. 3: Though charity is love, yet love is not always charity. When, then, it is stated that every virtue is the order of love, this can be understood either of love in the general sense, or of the love of charity. If it be understood of love, commonly so called, then each virtue is stated to be the order of love, in so far as each cardinal virtue requires ordinate emotions; and love is the root and cause of every emotion, as stated above (Q. 27, A. 4; Q. 28, A. 6, ad 2; Q. 41, A. 2, ad 1). If, however, it be understood of the love of charity, it does not mean that every other virtue is charity essentially: but that all other virtues depend on charity in some way, as we shall show further on (Q. 65, AA. 2, 5; II-II, Q. 23, A. 7).

^Q. 62


Art. 3: Whether faith, hope, and charity are fittingly reckoned as theological virtues?[edit]

It would seem that faith, hope, and charity are not fittingly reckoned as three theological virtues.

Obj. 1: For the theological virtues are in relation to Divine happiness, what the natural inclination is in relation to the connatural end. Now among the virtues directed to the connatural end there is but one natural virtue, viz. the understanding of principles. Therefore there should be but one theological virtue.

Obj. 2: Further, the theological virtues are more perfect than the intellectual and moral virtues. Now faith is not reckoned among the intellectual virtues, but is something less than a virtue, since it is imperfect knowledge. Likewise hope is not reckoned among the moral virtues, but is something less than a virtue, since it is a passion. Much less therefore should they be reckoned as theological virtues.

Obj. 3: Further, the theological virtues direct man's soul to God. Now man's soul cannot be directed to God, save through the intellective part, wherein are the intellect and will. Therefore there should be only two theological virtues, one perfecting the intellect, the other, the will.

On the contrary, The Apostle says (1 Cor. 13:13): "Now there remain faith, hope, charity, these three."

I answer that, As stated above (A. 1), the theological virtues direct man to supernatural happiness in the same way as by the natural inclination man is directed to his connatural end. Now the latter happens in respect of two things. First, in respect of the reason or intellect, in so far as it contains the first universal principles which are known to us by the natural light of the intellect, and which are reason's starting-point, both in speculative and in practical matters. Secondly, through the rectitude of the will which tends naturally to good as defined by reason.

But these two fall short of the order of supernatural happiness, according to 1 Cor. 2:9: "The eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him." Consequently in respect of both the above things man needed to receive in addition something supernatural to direct him to a supernatural end. First, as regards the intellect, man receives certain supernatural principles, which are held by means of a Divine light: these are the articles of faith, about which is faith. Secondly, the will is directed to this end, both as to that end as something attainable--and this pertains to hope--and as to a certain spiritual union, whereby the will is, so to speak, transformed into that end--and this belongs to charity. For the appetite of a thing is moved and tends towards its connatural end naturally; and this movement is due to a certain conformity of the thing with its end.

Reply Obj. 1: The intellect requires intelligible species whereby to understand: consequently there is need of a natural habit in addition to the power. But the very nature of the will suffices for it to be directed naturally to the end, both as to the intention of the end and as to its conformity with the end. But the nature of the power is insufficient in either of these respects, for the will to be directed to things that are above its nature. Consequently there was need for an additional supernatural habit in both respects.

Reply Obj. 2: Faith and hope imply a certain imperfection: since faith is of things unseen, and hope, of things not possessed. Hence faith and hope, in things that are subject to human power, fall short of the notion of virtue. But faith and hope in things which are above the capacity of human nature surpass all virtue that is in proportion to man, according to 1 Cor. 1:25: "The weakness of God is stronger than men."

Reply Obj. 3: Two things pertain to the appetite, viz. movement to the end, and conformity with the end by means of love. Hence there must needs be two theological virtues in the human appetite, namely, hope and charity.

^Q. 62


Art. 4: Whether faith precedes hope, and hope charity?[edit]

It would seem that the order of the theological virtues is not that faith precedes hope, and hope charity.

Obj. 1: For the root precedes that which grows from it. Now charity is the root of all the virtues, according to Eph. 3:17: "Being rooted and founded in charity." Therefore charity precedes the others.

Obj. 2: Further, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i): "A man cannot love what he does not believe to exist. But if he believes and loves, by doing good works he ends in hoping." Therefore it seems that faith precedes charity, and charity hope.

Obj. 3: Further, love is the principle of all our emotions, as stated above (A. 2, ad 3). Now hope is a kind of emotion, since it is a passion, as stated above (Q. 25, A. 2). Therefore charity, which is love, precedes hope.

On the contrary, The Apostle enumerates them thus (1 Cor. 13:13): "Now there remain faith, hope, charity."

I answer that, Order is twofold: order of generation, and order of perfection. By order of generation, in respect of which matter precedes form, and the imperfect precedes the perfect, in one same subject faith precedes hope, and hope charity, as to their acts: because habits are all infused together. For the movement of the appetite cannot tend to anything, either by hoping or loving, unless that thing be apprehended by the sense or by the intellect. Now it is by faith that the intellect apprehends the object of hope and love. Hence in the order of generation, faith precedes hope and charity. In like manner a man loves a thing because he apprehends it as his good. Now from the very fact that a man hopes to be able to obtain some good through someone, he looks on the man in whom he hopes as a good of his own. Hence for the very reason that a man hopes in someone, he proceeds to love him: so that in the order of generation, hope precedes charity as regards their respective acts.

But in the order of perfection, charity precedes faith and hope: because both faith and hope are quickened by charity, and receive from charity their full complement as virtues. For thus charity is the mother and the root of all the virtues, inasmuch as it is the form of them all, as we shall state further on (II-II, Q. 23, A. 8).

This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.

Reply Obj. 2: Augustine is speaking of that hope whereby a man hopes to obtain bliss through the merits which he has already: this belongs to hope quickened by and following charity. But it is possible for a man before having charity, to hope through merits not already possessed, but which he hopes to possess.

Reply Obj. 3: As stated above (Q. 40, A. 7), in treating of the passions, hope regards two things. One as its principal object, viz. the good hoped for. With regard to this, love always precedes hope: for good is never hoped for unless it be desired and loved. Hope also regards the person from whom a man hopes to be able to obtain some good. With regard to this, hope precedes love at first; though afterwards hope is increased by love. Because from the fact that a man thinks that he can obtain a good through someone, he begins to love him: and from the fact that he loves him, he then hopes all the more in him.

^Q. 62


QUESTION 63: OF THE CAUSE OF VIRTUES[edit]

^TOC ^Good Habits—That Is, Virtues ^^3. Of the Distinction of Virtues

We must now consider the cause of virtues; and under this head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether virtue is in us by nature?

(2) Whether any virtue is caused in us by habituation?

(3) Whether any moral virtues are in us by infusion?

(4) Whether virtue acquired by habituation, is of the same species as infused virtue?


Art. 1: Whether virtue is in us by nature?[edit]

It would seem that virtue is in us by nature.

Obj. 1: For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 14): "Virtues are natural to us and are equally in all of us." And Antony says in his sermon to the monks: "If the will contradicts nature it is perverse, if it follow nature it is virtuous." Moreover, a gloss on Matt. 4:23, "Jesus went about," etc., says: "He taught them natural virtues, i.e. chastity, justice, humility, which man possesses naturally."

Obj. 2: Further, the virtuous good consists in accord with reason, as was clearly shown above (Q. 55, A. 4, ad 2). But that which accords with reason is natural to man; since reason is part of man's nature. Therefore virtue is in man by nature.

Obj. 3: Further, that which is in us from birth is said to be natural to us. Now virtues are in some from birth: for it is written (Job 31:18): "From my infancy mercy grew up with me; and it came out with me from my mother's womb." Therefore virtue is in man by nature.

On the contrary, Whatever is in man by nature is common to all men, and is not taken away by sin, since even in the demons natural gifts remain, as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv). But virtue is not in all men; and is cast out by sin. Therefore it is not in man by nature.

I answer that, With regard to corporeal forms, it has been maintained by some that they are wholly from within, by those, for instance, who upheld the theory of "latent forms" [*Anaxagoras; Cf. I, Q. 45, A. 8; Q. 65, A. 4]. Others held that forms are entirely from without, those, for instance, who thought that corporeal forms originated from some separate cause. Others, however, esteemed that they are partly from within, in so far as they pre-exist potentially in matter; and partly from without, in so far as they are brought into act by the agent.

In like manner with regard to sciences and virtues, some held that they are wholly from within, so that all virtues and sciences would pre-exist in the soul naturally, but that the hindrances to science and virtue, which are due to the soul being weighed down by the body, are removed by study and practice, even as iron is made bright by being polished. This was the opinion of the Platonists. Others said that they are wholly from without, being due to the inflow of the active intellect, as Avicenna maintained. Others said that sciences and virtues are within us by nature, so far as we are adapted to them, but not in their perfection: this is the teaching of the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 1), and is nearer the truth.

To make this clear, it must be observed that there are two ways in which something is said to be natural to a man; one is according to his specific nature, the other according to his individual nature. And, since each thing derives its species from its form, and its individuation from matter, and, again, since man's form is his rational soul, while his matter is his body, whatever belongs to him in respect of his rational soul, is natural to him in respect of his specific nature; while whatever belongs to him in respect of the particular temperament of his body, is natural to him in respect of his individual nature. For whatever is natural to man in respect of his body, considered as part of his species, is to be referred, in a way, to the soul, in so far as this particular body is adapted to this particular soul.

In both these ways virtue is natural to man inchoatively. This is so in respect of the specific nature, in so far as in man's reason are to be found instilled by nature certain naturally known principles of both knowledge and action, which are the nurseries of intellectual and moral virtues, and in so far as there is in the will a natural appetite for good in accordance with reason. Again, this is so in respect of the individual nature, in so far as by reason of a disposition in the body, some are disposed either well or ill to certain virtues: because, to wit, certain sensitive powers are acts of certain parts of the body, according to the disposition of which these powers are helped or hindered in the exercise of their acts, and, in consequence, the rational powers also, which the aforesaid sensitive powers assist. In this way one man has a natural aptitude for science, another for fortitude, another for temperance: and in these ways, both intellectual and moral virtues are in us by way of a natural aptitude, inchoatively, but not perfectly, since nature is determined to one, while the perfection of these virtues does not depend on one particular mode of action, but on various modes, in respect of the various matters, which constitute the sphere of virtue's action, and according to various circumstances.

It is therefore evident that all virtues are in us by nature, according to aptitude and inchoation, but not according to perfection, except the theological virtues, which are entirely from without.

This suffices for the Replies to the Objections. For the first two argue about the nurseries of virtue which are in us by nature, inasmuch as we are rational beings. The third objection must be taken in the sense that, owing to the natural disposition which the body has from birth, one has an aptitude for pity, another for living temperately, another for some other virtue.

^Q. 63


Art. 2: Whether any virtue is caused in us by habituation?[edit]

It would seem that virtues can not be caused in us by habituation.

Obj. 1: Because a gloss of Augustine [*Cf. Lib. Sentent. Prosperi cvi.] commenting on Rom. 14:23, "All that is not of faith is sin," says: "The whole life of an unbeliever is a sin: and there is no good without the Sovereign Good. Where knowledge of the truth is lacking, virtue is a mockery even in the best behaved people." Now faith cannot be acquired by means of works, but is caused in us by God, according to Eph. 2:8: "By grace you are saved through faith." Therefore no acquired virtue can be in us by habituation.

Obj. 2: Further, sin and virtue are contraries, so that they are incompatible. Now man cannot avoid sin except by the grace of God, according to Wis. 8:21: "I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it." Therefore neither can any virtues be caused in us by habituation, but only by the gift of God.

Obj. 3: Further, actions which lead toward virtue, lack the perfection of virtue. But an effect cannot be more perfect than its cause. Therefore a virtue cannot be caused by actions that precede it.

On the contrary, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that good is more efficacious than evil. But vicious habits are caused by evil acts. Much more, therefore, can virtuous habits be caused by good acts.

I answer that, We have spoken above (Q. 51, AA. 2, 3) in a general way about the production of habits from acts; and speaking now in a special way of this matter in relation to virtue, we must take note that, as stated above (Q. 55, AA. 3, 4), man's virtue perfects him in relation to good. Now since the notion of good consists in "mode, species, and order," as Augustine states (De Nat. Boni. iii) or in "number, weight, and measure," as expressed in Wis. 11:21, man's good must needs be appraised with respect to some rule. Now this rule is twofold, as stated above (Q. 19, AA. 3, 4), viz. human reason and Divine Law. And since Divine Law is the higher rule, it extends to more things, so that whatever is ruled by human reason, is ruled by the Divine Law too; but the converse does not hold.

It follows that human virtue directed to the good which is defined according to the rule of human reason can be caused by human acts: inasmuch as such acts proceed from reason, by whose power and rule the aforesaid good is established. On the other hand, virtue which directs man to good as defined by the Divine Law, and not by human reason, cannot be caused by human acts, the principle of which is reason, but is produced in us by the Divine operation alone. Hence Augustine in giving the definition of the latter virtue inserts the words, "which God works in us without us" (Super Ps. 118, Serm. xxvi). It is also of these virtues that the First Objection holds good.

Reply Obj. 2: Mortal sin is incompatible with divinely infused virtue, especially if this be considered in its perfect state. But actual sin, even mortal, is compatible with humanly acquired virtue; because the use of a habit in us is subject to our will, as stated above (Q. 49, A. 3): and one sinful act does not destroy a habit of acquired virtue, since it is not an act but a habit, that is directly contrary to a habit. Wherefore, though man cannot avoid mortal sin without grace, so as never to sin mortally, yet he is not hindered from acquiring a habit of virtue, whereby he may abstain from evil in the majority of cases, and chiefly in matters most opposed to reason. There are also certain mortal sins which man can nowise avoid without grace, those, namely, which are directly opposed to the theological virtues, which are in us through the gift of grace. This, however, will be more fully explained later (Q. 109, A. 4).

Reply Obj. 3: As stated above (A. 1; Q. 51, A. 1), certain seeds or principles of acquired virtue pre-exist in us by nature. These principles are more excellent than the virtues acquired through them: thus the understanding of speculative principles is more excellent than the science of conclusions, and the natural rectitude of the reason is more excellent than the rectification of the appetite which results through the appetite partaking of reason, which rectification belongs to moral virtue. Accordingly human acts, in so far as they proceed from higher principles, can cause acquired human virtues.

^Q. 63


Art. 3: Whether any moral virtues are in us by infusion?[edit]

It would seem that no virtues besides the theological virtues are infused in us by God.

Obj. 1: Because God does not do by Himself, save perhaps sometimes miraculously, those things that can be done by second causes; for, as Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. iv), "it is God's rule to bring about extremes through the mean." Now intellectual and moral virtues can be caused in us by our acts, as stated above (A. 2). Therefore it is not reasonable that they should be caused in us by infusion.

Obj. 2: Further, much less superfluity is found in God's works than in the works of nature. Now the theological virtues suffice to direct us to supernatural good. Therefore there are no other supernatural virtues needing to be caused in us by God.

Obj. 3: Further, nature does not employ two means where one suffices: much less does God. But God sowed the seeds of virtue in our souls, according to a gloss on Heb. 1 [*Cf. Jerome on Gal. 1: 15, 16]. Therefore it is unfitting for Him to cause in us other virtues by means of infusion.

On the contrary, It is written (Wis. 8:7): "She teacheth temperance and prudence and justice and fortitude."

I answer that, Effects must needs be proportionate to their causesand principles. Now all virtues, intellectual and moral, that are acquired by our actions, arise from certain natural principles pre-existing in us, as above stated (A. 1; Q. 51, A. 1): instead of which natural principles, God bestows on us the theological virtues, whereby we are directed to a supernatural end, as stated (Q. 62, A. 1). Wherefore we need to receive from God other habits corresponding, in due proportion, to the theological virtues, which habits are to the theological virtues, what the moral and intellectual virtues are to the natural principles of virtue.

Reply Obj. 1: Some moral and intellectual virtues can indeed be caused in us by our actions: but such are not proportionate to the theological virtues. Therefore it was necessary for us to receive, from God immediately, others that are proportionate to these virtues.

Reply Obj. 2: The theological virtues direct us sufficiently to our supernatural end, inchoatively: i.e. to God Himself immediately. But the soul needs further to be perfected by infused virtues in regard to other things, yet in relation to God.

Reply Obj. 3: The power of those naturally instilled principles does not extend beyond the capacity of nature. Consequently man needs in addition to be perfected by other principles in relation to his supernatural end.

^Q. 63


Art. 4: Whether virtue by habituation belongs to the same species as infused virtue?[edit]

It would seem that infused virtue does not differ in species from acquired virtue.

Obj. 1: Because acquired and infused virtues, according to what has been said (A. 3), do not differ seemingly, save in relation to the last end. Now human habits and acts are specified, not by their last, but by their proximate end. Therefore the infused moral or intellectual virtue does not differ from the acquired virtue.

Obj. 2: Further, habits are known by their acts. But the act of infused and acquired temperance is the same, viz. to moderate desires of touch. Therefore they do not differ in species.

Obj. 3: Further, acquired and infused virtue differ as that which is wrought by God immediately, from that which is wrought by a creature. But the man whom God made, is of the same species as a man begotten naturally; and the eye which He gave to the man born blind, as one produced by the power of generation. Therefore it seems that acquired and infused virtue belong to the same species.

On the contrary, Any change introduced into the difference expressed in a definition involves a difference of species. But the definition of infused virtue contains the words, "which God works in us without us," as stated above (Q. 55, A. 4). Therefore acquired virtue, to which these words cannot apply, is not of the same species as infused virtue.

I answer that, There is a twofold specific difference among habits. The first, as stated above (Q. 54, A. 2; Q. 56, A. 2; Q. 60, A. 1), is taken from the specific and formal aspects of their objects. Now the object of every virtue is a good considered as in that virtue's proper matter: thus the object of temperance is a good in respect of the pleasures connected with the concupiscence of touch. The formal aspect of this object is from reason which fixes the mean in these concupiscences: while the material element is something on the part of the concupiscences. Now it is evident that the mean that is appointed in such like concupiscences according to the rule of human reason, is seen under a different aspect from the mean which is fixed according to Divine rule. For instance, in the consumption of food, the mean fixed by human reason, is that food should not harm the health of the body, nor hinder the use of reason: whereas, according to the Divine rule, it behooves man to "chastise his body, and bring it into subjection" (1 Cor. 9:27), by abstinence in food, drink and the like. It is therefore evident that infused and acquired temperance differ in species; and the same applies to the other virtues.

The other specific difference among habits is taken from the things to which they are directed: for a man's health and a horse's are not of the same species, on account of the difference between the natures to which their respective healths are directed. In the same sense, the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 3) that citizens have diverse virtues according as they are well directed to diverse forms of government. In the same way, too, those infused moral virtues, whereby men behave well in respect of their being "fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household [Douay: 'domestics'] of God" (Eph. 2:19), differ from the acquired virtues, whereby man behaves well in respect of human affairs.

Reply Obj. 1: Infused and acquired virtue differ not only in relation to the ultimate end, but also in relation to their proper objects, as stated.

Reply Obj. 2: Both acquired and infused temperance moderate desires for pleasures of touch, but for different reasons, as stated: wherefore their respective acts are not identical.

Reply Obj. 3: God gave the man born blind an eye for the same act as the act for which other eyes are formed naturally: consequently it was of the same species. It would be the same if God wished to give a man miraculously virtues, such as those that are acquired by acts. But the case is not so in the question before us, as stated.

^Q. 63


OF CERTAIN PROPERTIES OF VIRTUES[edit]

^TOC ^Good Habits—That Is, Virtues ^^4. Of the Cause of Virtues

We must now consider the properties of virtues: and

(1) the mean of virtue [Q. 64],

(2) the connection between virtues [Q. 65],

(3) equality of virtues [Q. 66],

(4) the duration of virtues [Q. 67].

QUESTION 64: OF THE MEAN OF VIRTUE[edit]

^TOC ^Of Certain Properties of Virtues

Under the first head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether moral virtue observes the mean?

(2) Whether the mean of moral virtue is the real mean or the rational mean?

(3) Whether the intellectual virtues observe the mean?

(4) Whether the theological virtues do?


Art. 1: Whether moral virtues observe the mean?[edit]

It would seem that moral virtue does not observe the mean.

Obj. 1: For the nature of a mean is incompatible with that which is extreme. Now the nature of virtue is to be something extreme; for it is stated in De Coelo i that "virtue is the limit of power." Therefore moral virtue does not observe the mean.

Obj. 2: Further, the maximum is not a mean. Now some moral virtues tend to a maximum: for instance, magnanimity to very great honors, and magnificence to very large expenditure, as stated in Ethic. iv, 2, 3. Therefore not every moral virtue observes the mean.

Obj. 3: Further, if it is essential to a moral virtue to observe the mean, it follows that a moral virtue is not perfected, but the contrary corrupted, through tending to something extreme. Now some moral virtues are perfected by tending to something extreme; thus virginity, which abstains from all sexual pleasure, observes the extreme, and is the most perfect chastity: and to give all to the poor is the most perfect mercy or liberality. Therefore it seems that it is not essential to moral virtue that it should observe the mean.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6) that "moral virtue is a habit of choosing the mean."

I answer that, As already explained (Q. 55, A. 3), the nature of virtue is that it should direct man to good. Now moral virtue is properly a perfection of the appetitive part of the soul in regard to some determinate matter: and the measure or rule of the appetitive movement in respect of appetible objects is the reason. But the good of that which is measured or ruled consists in its conformity with its rule: thus the good things made by art is that they follow the rule of art. Consequently, in things of this sort, evil consists in discordance from their rule or measure. Now this may happen either by their exceeding the measure or by their falling short of it; as is clearly the case in all things ruled or measured. Hence it is evident that the good of moral virtue consists in conformity with the rule of reason. Now it is clear that between excess and deficiency the mean is equality or conformity. Therefore it is evident that moral virtue observes the mean.

Reply Obj. 1: Moral virtue derives goodness from the rule of reason, while its matter consists in passions or operations. If therefore we compare moral virtue to reason, then, if we look at that which it has of reason, it holds the position of one extreme, viz. conformity; while excess and defect take the position of the other extreme, viz. deformity. But if we consider moral virtue in respect of its matter, then it holds the position of mean, in so far as it makes the passion conform to the rule of reason. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6) that "virtue, as to its essence, is a mean state," in so far as the rule of virtue is imposed on its proper matter: "but it is an extreme in reference to the 'best' and the 'excellent,'" viz. as to its conformity with reason.

Reply Obj. 2: In actions and passions the mean and the extremes depend on various circumstances: hence nothing hinders something from being extreme in a particular virtue as to one circumstance, while the same thing is a mean in respect of other circumstances, through being in conformity with reason. This is the case with magnanimity and magnificence. For if we look at the absolute quantity of the respective objects of these virtues, we shall call it an extreme and a maximum: but if we consider the quantity in relation to other circumstances, then it has the character of a mean: since these virtues tend to this maximum in accordance with the rule of reason, i.e. where it is right, when it is right, and for an end that is right. There will be excess, if one tends to this maximum when it is not right, or where it is not right, or for an undue end; and there will be deficiency if one fails to tend thereto where one ought, and when one ought. This agrees with the saying of the Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 3) that the "magnanimous man observes the extreme in quantity, but the mean in the right mode of his action."

Reply Obj. 3: The same is to be said of virginity and poverty as of magnanimity. For virginity abstains from all sexual matters, and poverty from all wealth, for a right end, and in a right manner, i.e. according to God's word, and for the sake of eternal life. But if this be done in an undue manner, i.e. out of unlawful superstition, or again for vainglory, it will be in excess. And if it be not done when it ought to be done, or as it ought to be done, it is a vice by deficiency: for instance, in those who break their vows of virginity or poverty.

^Q. 64


Art. 2: Whether the mean of moral virtue is the real mean, or the rational mean?[edit]

It would seem that the mean of moral virtue is not the rational mean, but the real mean.

Obj. 1: For the good of moral virtue consists in its observing the mean. Now, good, as stated in Metaph. ii, text. 8, is in things themselves. Therefore the mean of moral virtue is a real mean.

Obj. 2: Further, the reason is a power of apprehension. But moral virtue does not observe a mean between apprehensions, but rather a mean between operations or passions. Therefore the mean of moral virtue is not the rational, but the real mean.

Obj. 3: Further, a mean that is observed according to arithmetical or geometrical proportion is a real mean. Now such is the mean of justice, as stated in Ethic. v, 3. Therefore the mean of moral virtue is not the rational, but the real mean.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6) that "moral virtue observes the mean fixed, in our regard, by reason."

I answer that, The rational mean can be understood in two ways. First, according as the mean is observed in the act itself of reason, as though the very act of reason were made to observe the mean: in this sense, since moral virtue perfects not the act of reason, but the act of the appetitive power, the mean of moral virtue is not the rational mean. Secondly, the mean of reason may be considered as that which the reason puts into some particular matter. In this sense every mean of moral virtue is a rational mean, since, as above stated (A. 1), moral virtue is said to observe the mean, through conformity with right reason.

But it happens sometimes that the rational mean is also the real mean: in which case the mean of moral virtue is the real mean, for instance, in justice. On the other hand, sometimes the rational mean is not the real mean, but is considered in relation to us: and such is the mean in all the other moral virtues. The reason for this is that justice is about operations, which deal with external things, wherein the right has to be established simply and absolutely, as stated above (Q. 60, A. 2): wherefore the rational mean in justice is the same as the real mean, in so far, to wit as justice gives to each one his due, neither more nor less. But the other moral virtues deal with interior passions wherein the right cannot be established in the same way, since men are variously situated in relation to their passions; hence the rectitude of reason has to be established in the passions, with due regard to us, who are moved in respect of the passions.

This suffices for the Replies to the Objections. For the first two arguments take the rational mean as being in the very act of reason, while the third argues from the mean of justice.

^Q. 64


Art. 3: Whether the intellectual virtues observe the mean?[edit]

Obj. 1: It would seem that the intellectual virtues do not observe the mean. Because moral virtue observes the mean by conforming to the rule of reason. But the intellectual virtues are in reason itself, so that they seem to have no higher rule. Therefore the intellectual virtues do not observe the mean.

Obj. 2: Further, the mean of moral virtue is fixed by an intellectual virtue: for it is stated in Ethic. ii, 6, that "virtue observes the mean appointed by reason, as a prudent man would appoint it." If therefore intellectual virtue also observe the mean, this mean will have to be appointed for them by another virtue, so that there would be an indefinite series of virtues.

Obj. 3: Further, a mean is, properly speaking, between contraries, as the Philosopher explains (Metaph. x, text. 22, 23). But there seems to be no contrariety in the intellect; since contraries themselves, as they are in the intellect, are not in opposition to one another, but are understood together, as white and black, healthy and sick. Therefore there is no mean in the intellectual virtues.

On the contrary, Art is an intellectual virtue; and yet there is a mean in art (Ethic. ii, 6). Therefore also intellectual virtue observes the mean.

I answer that, The good of anything consists in its observing the mean, by conforming with a rule or measure in respect of which it may happen to be excessive or deficient, as stated above (A. 1). Now intellectual virtue, like moral virtue, is directed to the good, as stated above (Q. 56, A. 3). Hence the good of an intellectual virtue consists in observing the mean, in so far as it is subject to a measure. Now the good of intellectual virtue is the true; in the case of contemplative virtue, it is the true taken absolutely (Ethic. vi, 2); in the case of practical virtue, it is the true in conformity with a right appetite.

Now truth apprehended by our intellect, if we consider it absolutely, is measured by things; since things are the measure of our intellect, as stated in Metaph. x, text. 5; because there is truth in what we think or say, according as the thing is so or not. Accordingly the good of speculative intellectual virtue consists in a certain mean, by way of conformity with things themselves, in so far as the intellect expresses them as being what they are, or as not being what they are not: and it is in this that the nature of truth consists. There will be excess if something false is affirmed, as though something were, which in reality it is not: and there will be deficiency if something is falsely denied, and declared not to be, whereas in reality it is.

The truth of practical intellectual virtue, if we consider it in relation to things, is by way of that which is measured; so that both in practical and in speculative intellectual virtues, the mean consists in conformity with things. But if we consider it in relation to the appetite, it has the character of a rule and measure. Consequently the rectitude of reason is the mean of moral virtue, and also the mean of prudence--of prudence as ruling and measuring, of moral virtue, as ruled and measured by that mean. In like manner the difference between excess and deficiency is to be applied in both cases.

Reply Obj. 1: Intellectual virtues also have their measure, as stated, and they observe the mean according as they conform to that measure.

Reply Obj. 2: There is no need for an indefinite series of virtues: because the measure and rule of intellectual virtue is not another kind of virtue, but things themselves.

Reply Obj. 3: The things themselves that are contrary have no contrariety in the mind, because one is the reason for knowing the other: nevertheless there is in the intellect contrariety of affirmation and negation, which are contraries, as stated at the end of Peri Hermen[e]ias. For though "to be" and "not to be" are not in contrary, but in contradictory opposition to one another, so long as we consider their signification in things themselves, for on the one hand we have "being" and on the other we have simply "non-being"; yet if we refer them to the act of the mind, there is something positive in both cases. Hence "to be" and "not to be" are contradictory: but the opinion stating that "good is good" is contrary to the opinion stating that "good is not good": and between two such contraries intellectual virtue observes the mean.

^Q. 64


Art. 4: Whether the theological virtues observe the mean?[edit]

It would seem that theological virtue observes the mean.

Obj. 1: For the good of other virtues consists in their observing the mean. Now the theological virtues surpass the others in goodness. Therefore much more does theological virtue observe the mean.

Obj. 2: Further, the mean of moral virtue depends on the appetite being ruled by reason; while the mean of intellectual virtue consists in the intellect being measured by things. Now theological virtue perfects both intellect and appetite, as stated above (Q. 62, A. 3). Therefore theological virtue also observes the mean.

Obj. 3: Further, hope, which is a theological virtue, is a mean between despair and presumption. Likewise faith holds a middle course between contrary heresies, as Boethius states (De Duab. Natur. vii): thus, by confessing one Person and two natures in Christ, we observe the mean between the heresy of Nestorius, who maintained the existence of two persons and two natures, and the heresy of Eutyches, who held to one person and one nature. Therefore theological virtue observes the mean.

On the contrary, Wherever virtue observes the mean it is possible to sin by excess as well as by deficiency. But there is no sinning by excess against God, Who is the object of theological virtue: for it is written (Ecclus. 43:33): "Blessing the Lord, exalt Him as much as you can: for He is above all praise." Therefore theological virtue does not observe the mean.

I answer that, As stated above (A. 1), the mean of virtue depends on conformity with virtue's rule or measure, in so far as one may exceed or fall short of that rule. Now the measure of theological virtue may be twofold. One is taken from the very nature of virtue, and thus the measure and rule of theological virtue is God Himself: because our faith is ruled according to Divine truth; charity, according to His goodness; hope, according to the immensity of His omnipotence and loving kindness. This measure surpasses all human power: so that never can we love God as much as He ought to be loved, nor believe and hope in Him as much as we should. Much less therefore can there be excess in such things. Accordingly the good of such virtues does not consist in a mean, but increases the more we approach to the summit.

The other rule or measure of theological virtue is by comparison with us: for although we cannot be borne towards God as much as we ought, yet we should approach to Him by believing, hoping and loving, according to the measure of our condition. Consequently it is possible to find a mean and extremes in theological virtue, accidentally and in reference to us.

Reply Obj. 1: The good of intellectual and moral virtues consists in a mean of reason by conformity with a measure that may be exceeded: whereas this is not so in the case of theological virtue, considered in itself, as stated above.

Reply Obj. 2: Moral and intellectual virtues perfect our intellect and appetite in relation to a created measure and rule; whereas the theological virtues perfect them in relation to an uncreated rule and measure. Wherefore the comparison fails.

Reply Obj. 3: Hope observes the mean between presumption and despair, in relation to us, in so far, to wit, as a man is said to be presumptuous, through hoping to receive from God a good in excess of his condition; or to despair through failing to hope for that which according to his condition he might hope for. But there can be no excess of hope in comparison with God, Whose goodness is infinite. In like manner faith holds a middle course between contrary heresies, not by comparison with its object, which is God, in Whom we cannot believe too much; but in so far as human opinion itself takes a middle position between contrary opinions, as was explained above.

^Q. 64


QUESTION 65: OF THE CONNECTION OF VIRTUES[edit]

^TOC ^Of Certain Properties of Virtues

We must now consider the connection of virtues: under which head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the moral virtues are connected with one another?

(2) Whether the moral virtues can be without charity?

(3) Whether charity can be without them?

(4) Whether faith and hope can be without charity?

(5) Whether charity can be without them?


Art. 1: Whether the moral virtues are connected with one another?[edit]

It would seem that the moral virtues are not connected with one another.

Obj. 1: Because moral virtues are sometimes caused by the exercise of acts, as is proved in Ethic. ii, 1, 2. But man can exercise himself in the acts of one virtue, without exercising himself in the acts of some other virtue. Therefore it is possible to have one moral virtue without another.

Obj. 2: Further, magnificence and magnanimity are moral virtues. Now a man may have other moral virtues without having magnificence or magnanimity: for the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 2, 3) that "a poor man cannot be magnificent," and yet he may have other virtues; and (Ethic. iv) that "he who is worthy of small things, and so accounts his worth, is modest, but not magnanimous." Therefore the moral virtues are not connected with one another.

Obj. 3: Further, as the moral virtues perfect the appetitive part of the soul, so do the intellectual virtues perfect the intellective part. But the intellectual virtues are not mutually connected: since we may have one science, without having another. Neither, therefore, are the moral virtues connected with one another.

Obj. 4: Further, if the moral virtues are mutually connected, this can only be because they are united together in prudence. But this does not suffice to connect the moral virtues together. For, seemingly, one may be prudent about things to be done in relation to one virtue, without being prudent in those that concern another virtue: even as one may have the art of making certain things, without the art of making certain others. Now prudence is right reason about things to be done. Therefore the moral virtues are not necessarily connected with one another.

On the contrary, Ambrose says on Luke 6:20: "The virtues are connected and linked together, so that whoever has one, is seen to have several": and Augustine says (De Trin. vi, 4) that "the virtues that reside in the human mind are quite inseparable from one another": and Gregory says (Moral. xxii, 1) that "one virtue without the other is either of no account whatever, or very imperfect": and Cicero says (Quaest. Tusc. ii): "If you confess to not having one particular virtue, it must needs be that you have none at all."

I answer that, Moral virtue may be considered either as perfect or as imperfect. An imperfect moral virtue, temperance for instance, or fortitude, is nothing but an inclination in us to do some kind of good deed, whether such inclination be in us by nature or by habituation. If we take the moral virtues in this way, they are not connected: since we find men who, by natural temperament or by being accustomed, are prompt in doing deeds of liberality, but are not prompt in doing deeds of chastity.

But the perfect moral virtue is a habit that inclines us to do a good deed well; and if we take moral virtues in this way, we must say that they are connected, as nearly as all are agreed in saying. For this two reasons are given, corresponding to the different ways of assigning the distinction of the cardinal virtues. For, as we stated above (Q. 61, AA. 3, 4), some distinguish them according to certain general properties of the virtues: for instance, by saying that discretion belongs to prudence, rectitude to justice, moderation to temperance, and strength of mind to fortitude, in whatever matter we consider these properties to be. In this way the reason for the connection is evident: for strength of mind is not commended as virtuous, if it be without moderation or rectitude or discretion: and so forth. This, too, is the reason assigned for the connection by Gregory, who says (Moral. xxii, 1) that "a virtue cannot be perfect" as a virtue, "if isolated from the others: for there can be no true prudence without temperance, justice and fortitude": and he continues to speak in like manner of the other virtues (cf. Q. 61, A. 4, Obj. 1). Augustine also gives the same reason (De Trin. vi, 4).

Others, however, differentiate these virtues in respect of their matters, and it is in this way that Aristotle assigns the reason for their connection (Ethic. vi, 13). Because, as stated above (Q. 58, A. 4), no moral virtue can be without prudence; since it is proper to moral virtue to make a right choice, for it is an elective habit. Now right choice requires not only the inclination to a due end, which inclination is the direct outcome of moral virtue, but also correct choice of things conducive to the end, which choice is made by prudence, that counsels, judges, and commands in those things that are directed to the end. In like manner one cannot have prudence unless one has the moral virtues: since prudence is "right reason about things to be done," and the starting point of reason is the end of the thing to be done, to which end man is rightly disposed by moral virtue. Hence, just as we cannot have speculative science unless we have the understanding of the principles, so neither can we have prudence without the moral virtues: and from this it follows clearly that the moral virtues are connected with one another.

Reply Obj. 1: Some moral virtues perfect man as regards his general state, in other words, with regard to those things which have to be done in every kind of human life. Hence man needs to exercise himself at the same time in the matters of all moral virtues. And if he exercise himself, by good deeds, in all such matters, he will acquire the habits of all the moral virtues. But if he exercise himself by good deeds in regard to one matter, but not in regard to another, for instance, by behaving well in matters of anger, but not in matters of concupiscence; he will indeed acquire a certain habit of restraining his anger; but this habit will lack the nature of virtue, through the absence of prudence, which is wanting in matters of concupiscence. In the same way, natural inclinations fail to have the complete character of virtue, if prudence be lacking.

But there are some moral virtues which perfect man with regard to some eminent state, such as magnificence and magnanimity; and since it does not happen to all in common to be exercised in the matter of such virtues, it is possible for a man to have the other moral virtues, without actually having the habits of these virtues—provided we speak of acquired virtue. Nevertheless, when once a man has acquired those other virtues he possesses these in proximate potentiality. Because when, by practice, a man has acquired liberality in small gifts and expenditure, if he were to come in for a large sum of money, he would acquire the habit of magnificence with but little practice: even as a geometrician, by dint of little study, acquires scientific knowledge about some conclusion which had never been presented to his mind before. Now we speak of having a thing when we are on the point of having it, according to the saying of the Philosopher (Phys. ii, text. 56): "That which is scarcely lacking is not lacking at all."

This suffices for the Reply to the Second Objection.

Reply Obj. 3: The intellectual virtues are about divers matters having no relation to one another, as is clearly the case with the various sciences and arts. Hence we do not observe in them the connection that is to be found among the moral virtues, which are about passions and operations, that are clearly related to one another. For all the passions have their rise in certain initial passions, viz. love and hatred, and terminate in certain others, viz. pleasure and sorrow. In like manner all the operations that are the matter of moral virtue are related to one another, and to the passions. Hence the whole matter of moral virtues falls under the one rule of prudence.

Nevertheless, all intelligible things are related to first principles. And in this way, all the intellectual virtues depend on the understanding of principles; even as prudence depends on the moral virtues, as stated. On the other hand, the universal principles which are the object of the virtue of understanding of principles, do not depend on the conclusions, which are the objects of the other intellectual virtues, as do the moral virtues depend on prudence, because the appetite, in a fashion, moves the reason, and the reason the appetite, as stated above (Q. 9, A. 1; Q. 58, A. 5, ad 1).

Reply Obj. 4: Those things to which the moral virtues incline, are as the principles of prudence: whereas the products of art are not the principles, but the matter of art. Now it is evident that, though reason may be right in one part of the matter, and not in another, yet in no way can it be called right reason, if it be deficient in any principle whatever. Thus, if a man be wrong about the principle, "A whole is greater than its part," he cannot acquire the science of geometry, because he must necessarily wander from the truth in his conclusion. Moreover, things done are related to one another, but not things made, as stated above (ad 3). Consequently the lack of prudence in one department of things to be done, would result in a deficiency affecting other things to be done: whereas this does not occur in things to be made.

^Q. 65


Art. 2: Whether moral virtues can be without charity?[edit]

Obj. 1: It would seem that moral virtues can be without charity. For it is stated in the Liber Sentent. Prosperi vii, that "every virtue save charity may be common to the good and bad." But "charity can be in none except the good," as stated in the same book. Therefore the other virtues can be had without charity.

Obj. 2: Further, moral virtues can be acquired by means of human acts, as stated in Ethic. ii, 1, 2, whereas charity cannot be had otherwise than by infusion, according to Rom. 5:5: "The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost Who is given to us." Therefore it is possible to have the other virtues without charity.

Obj. 3: Further, the moral virtues are connected together, through depending on prudence. But charity does not depend on prudence; indeed, it surpasses prudence, according to Eph. 3:19: "The charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge." Therefore the moral virtues are not connected with charity, and can be without it.

On the contrary, It is written (1 John 3:14): "He that loveth not, abideth in death." Now the spiritual life is perfected by the virtues, since it is "by them" that "we lead a good life," as Augustine states (De Lib. Arb. ii, 17, 19). Therefore they cannot be without the love of charity.

I answer that, As stated above (Q. 63, A. 2), it is possible by means of human works to acquire moral virtues, in so far as they produce good works that are directed to an end not surpassing the natural power of man: and when they are acquired thus, they can be without charity, even as they were in many of the Gentiles. But in so far as they produce good works in proportion to a supernatural last end, thus they have the character of virtue, truly and perfectly; and cannot be acquired by human acts, but are infused by God. Such like moral virtues cannot be without charity. For it has been stated above (A. 1; Q. 58, AA. 4, 5) that the other moral virtues cannot be without prudence; and that prudence cannot be without the moral virtues, because these latter make man well disposed to certain ends, which are the starting-point of the procedure of prudence. Now for prudence to proceed aright, it is much more necessary that man be well disposed towards his ultimate end, which is the effect of charity, than that he be well disposed in respect of other ends, which is the effect of moral virtue: just as in speculative matters right reason has greatest need of the first indemonstrable principle, that "contradictories cannot both be true at the same time." It is therefore evident that neither can infused prudence be without charity; nor, consequently, the other moral virtues, since they cannot be without prudence.

It is therefore clear from what has been said that only the infused virtues are perfect, and deserve to be called virtues simply: since they direct man well to the ultimate end. But the other virtues, those, namely, that are acquired, are virtues in a restricted sense, but not simply: for they direct man well in respect of the last end in some particular genus of action, but not in respect of the last end simply. Hence a gloss of Augustine [*Cf. Lib. Sentent. Prosperi cvi.] on the words, "All that is not of faith is sin" (Rom. 14:23), says: "He that fails to acknowledge the truth, has no true virtue, even if his conduct be good."

Reply Obj. 1: Virtue, in the words quoted, denotes imperfect virtue. Else if we take moral virtue in its perfect state, "it makes its possessor good," and consequently cannot be in the wicked.

Reply Obj. 2: This argument holds good of virtue in the sense of acquired virtue.

Reply Obj. 3: Though charity surpasses science and prudence, yet prudence depends on charity, as stated: and consequently so do all the infused moral virtues.

^Q. 65


Art. 3: Whether charity can be without moral virtue?[edit]

Obj. 1: It would seem possible to have charity without the moral virtues. For when one thing suffices for a certain purpose, it is superfluous to employ others. Now charity alone suffices for the fulfilment of all the works of virtue, as is clear from 1 Cor. 13:4, seqq.: "Charity is patient, is kind," etc. Therefore it seems that if one has charity, other virtues are superfluous.

Obj. 2: Further, he that has a habit of virtue easily performs the works of that virtue, and those works are pleasing to him for their own sake: hence "pleasure taken in a work is a sign of habit" (Ethic. ii, 3). Now many have charity, being free from mortal sin, and yet they find it difficult to do works of virtue; nor are these works pleasing to them for their own sake, but only for the sake of charity. Therefore many have charity without the other virtues.

Obj. 3: Further, charity is to be found in every saint: and yet there are some saints who are without certain virtues. For Bede says (on Luke 17:10) that the saints are more humbled on account of their not having certain virtues, than rejoiced at the virtues they have. Therefore, if a man has charity, it does not follow of necessity that he has all the moral virtues.

On the contrary, The whole Law is fulfilled through charity, for it is written (Rom. 13:8): "He that loveth his neighbor, hath fulfilled the Law." Now it is not possible to fulfil the whole Law, without having all the moral virtues: since the law contains precepts about all acts of virtue, as stated in Ethic. v, 1, 2. Therefore he that has charity, has all the moral virtues. Moreover, Augustine says in a letter (Epis. clxvii) [*Cf. Serm. xxxix and xlvi de Temp.] that charity contains all the cardinal virtues.

I answer that, All the moral virtues are infused together with charity. The reason for this is that God operates no less perfectly in works of grace than in works of nature. Now, in the works of nature, we find that whenever a thing contains a principle of certain works, it has also whatever is necessary for their execution: thus animals are provided with organs whereby to perform the actions that their souls empower them to do. Now it is evident that charity, inasmuch as it directs man to his last end, is the principle of all the good works that are referable to his last end. Wherefore all the moral virtues must needs be infused together with charity, since it is through them that man performs each different kind of good work.

It is therefore clear that the infused moral virtues are connected, not only through prudence, but also on account of charity: and, again, that whoever loses charity through mortal sin, forfeits all the infused moral virtues.

Reply Obj. 1: In order that the act of a lower power be perfect, not only must there be perfection in the higher, but also in the lower power: for if the principal agent were well disposed, perfect action would not follow, if the instrument also were not well disposed. Consequently, in order that man work well in things referred to the end, he needs not only a virtue disposing him well to the end, but also those virtues which dispose him well to whatever is referred to the end: for the virtue which regards the end is the chief and moving principle in respect of those things that are referred to the end. Therefore it is necessary to have the moral virtues together with charity.

Reply Obj. 2: It happens sometimes that a man who has a habit, finds it difficult to act in accordance with the habit, and consequently feels no pleasure and complacency in the act, on account of some impediment supervening from without: thus a man who has a habit of science, finds it difficult to understand, through being sleepy or unwell. In like manner sometimes the habits of moral virtue experience difficulty in their works, by reason of certain ordinary dispositions remaining from previous acts. This difficulty does not occur in respect of acquired moral virtue: because the repeated acts by which they are acquired, remove also the contrary dispositions.

Reply Obj. 3: Certain saints are said not to have certain virtues, in so far as they experience difficulty in the acts of those virtues, for the reason stated; although they have the habits of all the virtues.

^Q. 65


Art. 4: Whether faith and hope can be without charity?[edit]

Obj. 1: It would seem that faith and hope are never without charity. Because, since they are theological virtues, they seem to be more excellent than even the infused moral virtues. But the infused moral virtues cannot be without charity. Neither therefore can faith and hope be without charity.

Obj. 2: Further, "no man believes unwillingly" as Augustine says (Tract. xxvi in Joan.). But charity is in the will as a perfection thereof, as stated above (Q. 62, A. 3). Therefore faith cannot be without charity.

Obj. 3: Further, Augustine says (Enchiridion viii) that "there can be no hope without love." But love is charity: for it is of this love that he speaks. Therefore hope cannot be without charity.

On the contrary, A gloss on Matt. 1:2 says that "faith begets hope, and hope, charity." Now the begetter precedes the begotten, and can be without it. Therefore faith can be without hope; and hope, without charity.

I answer that, Faith and hope, like the moral virtues, can be considered in two ways; first in an inchoate state; secondly, as complete virtues. For since virtue is directed to the doing of good works, perfect virtue is that which gives the faculty of doing a perfectly good work, and this consists in not only doing what is good, but also in doing it well. Else, if what is done is good, but not well done, it will not be perfectly good; wherefore neither will the habit that is the principle of such an act, have the perfect character of virtue. For instance, if a man do what is just, what he does is good: but it will not be the work of a perfect virtue unless he do it well, i.e. by choosing rightly, which is the result of prudence; for which reason justice cannot be a perfect virtue without prudence.

Accordingly faith and hope can exist indeed in a fashion without charity: but they have not the perfect character of virtue without charity. For, since the act of faith is to believe in God; and since to believe is to assent to someone of one's own free will: to will not as one ought, will not be a perfect act of faith. To will as one ought is the outcome of charity which perfects the will: since every right movement of the will proceeds from a right love, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 9). Hence faith may be without charity, but not as a perfect virtue: just as temperance and fortitude can be without prudence. The same applies to hope. Because the act of hope consists in looking to God for future bliss. This act is perfect, if it is based on the merits which we have; and this cannot be without charity. But to expect future bliss through merits which one has not yet, but which one proposes to acquire at some future time, will be an imperfect act; and this is possible without charity. Consequently, faith and hope can be without charity; yet, without charity, they are not virtues properly so-called; because the nature of virtue requires that by it, we should not only do what is good, but also that we should do it well (Ethic. ii, 6).

Reply Obj. 1: Moral virtue depends on prudence: and not even infused prudence has the character of prudence without charity; for this involves the absence of due order to the first principle, viz. the ultimate end. On the other hand faith and hope, as such, do not depend either on prudence or charity; so that they can be without charity, although they are not virtues without charity, as stated.

Reply Obj. 2: This argument is true of faith considered as a perfect virtue.

Reply Obj. 3: Augustine is speaking here of that hope whereby we look to gain future bliss through merits which we have already; and this is not without charity.

^Q. 65


Art. 5: Whether charity can be without faith and hope?[edit]

It would seem that charity can be without faith and hope.

Obj. 1: For charity is the love of God. But it is possible for us to love God naturally, without already having faith, or hope in future bliss. Therefore charity can be without faith and hope.

Obj. 2: Further, charity is the root of all the virtues, according to Eph. 3:17: "Rooted and founded in charity." Now the root is sometimes without branches. Therefore charity can sometimes be without faith and hope, and the other virtues.

Obj. 3: Further, there was perfect charity in Christ. And yet He had neither faith nor hope: because He was a perfect comprehensor, as we shall explain further on (III, Q. 7, AA. 3, 4). Therefore charity can be without faith and hope.

On the contrary, The Apostle says (Heb. 11:6): "Without faith it is impossible to please God"; and this evidently belongs most to charity, according to Prov. 8:17: "I love them that love me." Again, it is by hope that we are brought to charity, as stated above (Q. 62, A. 4). Therefore it is not possible to have charity without faith and hope.

I answer that, Charity signifies not only the love of God, but also a certain friendship with Him; which implies, besides love, a certain mutual return of love, together with mutual communion, as stated in Ethic. viii, 2. That this belongs to charity is evident from 1 John 4:16: "He that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him," and from 1 Cor. 1:9, where it is written: "God is faithful, by Whom you are called unto the fellowship of His Son." Now this fellowship of man with God, which consists in a certain familiar colloquy with Him, is begun here, in this life, by grace, but will be perfected in the future life, by glory; each of which things we hold by faith and hope. Wherefore just as friendship with a person would be impossible, if one disbelieved in, or despaired of, the possibility of their fellowship or familiar colloquy; so too, friendship with God, which is charity, is impossible without faith, so as to believe in this fellowship and colloquy with God, and to hope to attain to this fellowship. Therefore charity is quite impossible without faith and hope.

Reply Obj. 1: Charity is not any kind of love of God, but that love of God, by which He is loved as the object of bliss, to which object we are directed by faith and hope.

Reply Obj. 2: Charity is the root of faith and hope, in so far as it gives them the perfection of virtue. But faith and hope as such are the precursors of charity, as stated above (Q. 62, A. 4), and so charity is impossible without them.

Reply Obj. 3: In Christ there was neither faith nor hope, on account of their implying an imperfection. But instead of faith, He had manifest vision, and instead of hope, full comprehension [*See above, Q. 4, A. 3]: so that in Him was perfect charity.

^Q. 65


QUESTION 66: OF EQUALITY AMONG THE VIRTUES[edit]

^TOC ^Of Certain Properties of Virtues

We must now consider equality among the virtues: under which head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether one virtue can be greater or less than another?

(2) Whether all the virtues existing together in one subject are equal?

(3) Of moral virtue in comparison with intellectual virtue;

(4) Of the moral virtues as compared with one another;

(5) Of the intellectual virtues in comparison with one another;

(6) Of the theological virtues in comparison with one another.


Art. 1: Whether one virtue can be greater or less than another?[edit]

It would seem that one virtue cannot be greater or less than another.

Obj. 1: For it is written (Apoc. 21:16) that the sides of the city of Jerusalem are equal; and a gloss says that the sides denote the virtues. Therefore all virtues are equal; and consequently one cannot be greater than another.

Obj. 2: Further, a thing that, by its nature, consists in a maximum, cannot be more or less. Now the nature of virtue consists in a maximum, for virtue is "the limit of power," as the Philosopher states (De Coelo i, text. 116); and Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. ii, 19) that "virtues are very great boons, and no one can use them to evil purpose." Therefore it seems that one virtue cannot be greater or less than another.

Obj. 3: Further, the quantity of an effect is measured by the power of the agent. But perfect, viz. infused virtues, are from God Whose power is uniform and infinite. Therefore it seems that one virtue cannot be greater than another.

On the contrary, Wherever there can be increase and greater abundance, there can be inequality. Now virtues admit of greater abundance and increase: for it is written (Matt. 5:20): "Unless your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven": and (Prov. 15:5): "In abundant justice there is the greatest strength (virtus)." Therefore it seems that a virtue can be greater or less than another.

I answer that, When it is asked whether one virtue can be greater than another, the question can be taken in two senses. First, as applying to virtues of different species. In this sense it is clear that one virtue is greater than another; since a cause is always more excellent than its effect; and among effects, those nearest to the cause are the most excellent. Now it is clear from what has been said (Q. 18, A. 5; Q. 61, A. 2) that the cause and root of human good is the reason. Hence prudence which perfects the reason, surpasses in goodness the other moral virtues which perfect the appetitive power, in so far as it partakes of reason. And among these, one is better than another, according as it approaches nearer to the reason. Consequently justice, which is in the will, excels the remaining moral virtues; and fortitude, which is in the irascible part, stands before temperance, which is in the concupiscible, which has a smaller share of reason, as stated in Ethic. vii, 6.

The question can be taken in another way, as referring to virtues of the same species. In this way, according to what was said above (Q. 52, A. 1), when we were treating of the intensity of habits, virtue may be said to be greater or less in two ways: first, in itself; secondly with regard to the subject that partakes of it. If we consider it in itself, we shall call it great or little, according to the things to which it extends. Now whosoever has a virtue, e.g. temperance, has it in respect of whatever temperance extends to. But this does not apply to science and art: for every grammarian does not know everything relating to grammar. And in this sense the Stoics said rightly, as Simplicius states in his Commentary on the Predicaments, that virtue cannot be more or less, as science and art can; because the nature of virtue consists in a maximum.

If, however, we consider virtue on the part of the subject, it may then be greater or less, either in relation to different times, or in different men. Because one man is better disposed than another to attain to the mean of virtue which is defined by right reason; and this, on account of either greater habituation, or a better natural disposition, or a more discerning judgment of reason, or again a greater gift of grace, which is given to each one "according to the measure of the giving of Christ," as stated in Eph. 4:9. And here the Stoics erred, for they held that no man should be deemed virtuous, unless he were, in the highest degree, disposed to virtue. Because the nature of virtue does not require that man should reach the mean of right reason as though it were an indivisible point, as the Stoics thought; but it is enough that he should approach the mean, as stated in Ethic. ii, 6. Moreover, one same indivisible mark is reached more nearly and more readily by one than by another: as may be seen when several archers aim at a fixed target.

Reply Obj. 1: This equality is not one of absolute quantity, but of proportion: because all virtues grow in a man proportionately, as we shall see further on (A. 2).

Reply Obj. 2: This "limit" which belongs to virtue, can have the character of something more or less good, in the ways explained above: since, as stated, it is not an indivisible limit.

Reply Obj. 3: God does not work by necessity of nature, but according to the order of His wisdom, whereby He bestows on men various measures of virtue, according to Eph. 4:7: "To every one of you [Vulg.: 'us'] is given grace according to the measure of the giving of Christ."

^Q. 66


Art. 2: Whether all the virtues that are together in one man, are equal?[edit]

It would seem that the virtues in one same man are not all equally intense.

Obj. 1: For the Apostle says (1 Cor. 7:7): "Everyone hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that." Now one gift would not be more proper than another to a man, if God infused all the virtues equally into each man. Therefore it seems that the virtues are not all equal in one and the same man.

Obj. 2: Further, if all the virtues were equally intense in one and the same man, it would follow that whoever surpasses another in one virtue, would surpass him in all the others. But this is clearly not the case: since various saints are specially praised for different virtues; e.g. Abraham for faith (Rom. 4), Moses for his meekness (Num. 7:3), Job for his patience (Tob. 2:12). This is why of each Confessor the Church sings: "There was not found his like in keeping the law of the most High," [*See Lesson in the Mass Statuit (Dominican Missal)], since each one was remarkable for some virtue or other. Therefore the virtues are not all equal in one and the same man.

Obj. 3: Further, the more intense a habit is, the greater one's pleasure and readiness in making use of it. Now experience shows that a man is more pleased and ready to make use of one virtue than of another. Therefore the virtues are not all equal in one and the same man.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vi, 4) that "those who are equal in fortitude are equal in prudence and temperance," and so on. Now it would not be so, unless all the virtues in one man were equal. Therefore all virtues are equal in one man.

I answer that, As explained above (A. 1), the comparative greatness of virtues can be understood in two ways. First, as referring to their specific nature: and in this way there is no doubt that in a man one virtue is greater than another, for example, charity, than faith and hope. Secondly, it may be taken as referring to the degree of participation by the subject, according as a virtue becomes intense or remiss in its subject. In this sense all the virtues in one man are equal with an equality of proportion, in so far as their growth in man is equal: thus the fingers are unequal in size, but equal in proportion, since they grow in proportion to one another.

Now the nature of this equality is to be explained in the same way as the connection of virtues; for equality among virtues is their connection as to greatness. Now it has been stated above (Q. 65, A. 1) that a twofold connection of virtues may be assigned. The first is according to the opinion of those who understood these four virtues to be four general properties of virtues, each of which is found together with the other in any matter. In this way virtues cannot be said to be equal in any matter unless they have all these properties equal. Augustine alludes to this kind of equality (De Trin. vi, 4) when he says: "If you say these men are equal in fortitude, but that one is more prudent than the other; it follows that the fortitude of the latter is less prudent. Consequently they are not really equal in fortitude, since the former's fortitude is more prudent. You will find that this applies to the other virtues if you run over them all in the same way."

The other kind of connection among virtues followed the opinion of those who hold these virtues to have their own proper respective matters (Q. 65, AA. 1, 2). In this way the connection among moral virtues results from prudence, and, as to the infused virtues, from charity, and not from the inclination, which is on the part of the subject, as stated above (Q. 65, A. 1). Accordingly the nature of the equality among virtues can also be considered on the part of prudence, in regard to that which is formal in all the moral virtues: for in one and the same man, so long as his reason has the same degree of perfection, the mean will be proportionately defined according to right reason in each matter of virtue.

But in regard to that which is material in the moral virtues, viz. the inclination to the virtuous act, one may be readier to perform the act of one virtue, than the act of another virtue, and this either from nature, or from habituation, or again by the grace of God.

Reply Obj. 1: This saying of the Apostle may be taken to refer to the gifts of gratuitous grace, which are not common to all, nor are all of them equal in the one same subject. We might also say that it refers to the measure of sanctifying grace, by reason of which one man has all the virtues in greater abundance than another man, on account of his greater abundance of prudence, or also of charity, in which all the infused virtues are connected.

Reply Obj. 2: One saint is praised chiefly for one virtue, another saint for another virtue, on account of his more admirable readiness for the act of one virtue than for the act of another virtue.

This suffices for the Reply to the Third Objection.

^Q. 66


Art. 3: Whether the moral virtues are better than the intellectual virtues?[edit]

It would seem that the moral virtues are better than the intellectual.

Obj. 1: Because that which is more necessary, and more lasting, is better. Now the moral virtues are "more lasting even than the sciences" (Ethic. i) which are intellectual virtues: and, moreover, they are more necessary for human life. Therefore they are preferable to the intellectual virtues.

Obj. 2: Further, virtue is defined as "that which makes its possessor good." Now man is said to be good in respect of moral virtue, and art in respect of intellectual virtue, except perhaps in respect of prudence alone. Therefore moral is better than intellectual virtue.

Obj. 3: Further, the end is more excellent than the means. But according to Ethic. vi, 12, "moral virtue gives right intention of the end; whereas prudence gives right choice of the means." Therefore moral virtue is more excellent than prudence, which is the intellectual virtue that regards moral matters.

On the contrary, Moral virtue is in that part of the soul which is rational by participation; while intellectual virtue is in the essentially rational part, as stated in Ethic. i, 13. Now rational by essence is more excellent than rational by participation. Therefore intellectual virtue is better than moral virtue.

I answer that, A thing may be said to be greater or less in two ways: first, simply; secondly, relatively. For nothing hinders something from being better simply, e.g. "learning than riches," and yet not better relatively, i.e. "for one who is in want" [*Aristotle, Topic. iii.]. Now to consider a thing simply is to consider it in its proper specific nature. Accordingly, a virtue takes its species from its object, as explained above (Q. 54, A. 2; Q. 60, A. 1). Hence, speaking simply, that virtue is more excellent, which has the more excellent object. Now it is evident that the object of the reason is more excellent than the object of the appetite: since the reason apprehends things in the universal, while the appetite tends to things themselves, whose being is restricted to the particular. Consequently, speaking simply, the intellectual virtues, which perfect the reason, are more excellent than the moral virtues, which perfect the appetite.

But if we consider virtue in its relation to act, then moral virtue, which perfects the appetite, whose function it is to move the other powers to act, as stated above (Q. 9, A. 1), is more excellent. And since virtue is so called from its being a principle of action, for it is the perfection of a power, it follows again that the nature of virtue agrees more with moral than with intellectual virtue, though the intellectual virtues are more excellent habits, simply speaking.

Reply Obj. 1: The moral virtues are more lasting than the intellectual virtues, because they are practised in matters pertaining to the life of the community. Yet it is evident that the objects of the sciences, which are necessary and invariable, are more lasting than the objects of moral virtue, which are certain particular matters of action. That the moral virtues are more necessary for human life, proves that they are more excellent, not simply, but relatively. Indeed, the speculative intellectual virtues, from the very fact that they are not referred to something else, as a useful thing is referred to an end, are more excellent. The reason for this is that in them we have a kind of beginning of that happiness which consists in the knowledge of truth, as stated above (Q. 3, A. 6).

Reply Obj. 2: The reason why man is said to be good simply, in respect of moral virtue, but not in respect of intellectual virtue, is because the appetite moves the other powers to their acts, as stated above (Q. 56, A. 3). Wherefore this argument, too, proves merely that moral virtue is better relatively.

Reply Obj. 3: Prudence directs the moral virtues not only in the choice of the means, but also in appointing the end. Now the end of each moral virtue is to attain the mean in the matter proper to that virtue; which mean is appointed according to the right ruling of prudence, as stated in Ethic. ii, 6; vi, 13.

^Q. 66


Art. 4: Whether justice is the chief of the moral virtues?[edit]

It would seem that justice is not the chief of the moral virtues.

Obj. 1: For it is better to give of one's own than to pay what is due. Now the former belongs to liberality, the latter to justice. Therefore liberality is apparently a greater virtue than justice.

Obj. 2: Further, the chief quality of a thing is, seemingly, that in which it is most perfect. Now, according to Jam. 1:4, "Patience hath a perfect work." Therefore it would seem that patience is greater than justice.

Obj. 3: Further, "Magnanimity has a great influence on every virtue," as stated in Ethic. iv, 3. Therefore it magnifies even justice. Therefore it is greater than justice.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 1) that "justice is the most excellent of the virtues."

I answer that, A virtue considered in its species may be greater or less, either simply or relatively. A virtue is said to be greater simply, whereby a greater rational good shines forth, as stated above (A. 1). In this way justice is the most excellent of all the moral virtues, as being most akin to reason. This is made evident by considering its subject and its object: its subject, because this is the will, and the will is the rational appetite, as stated above (Q. 8, A. 1; Q. 26, A. 1): its object or matter, because it is about operations, whereby man is set in order not only in himself, but also in regard to another. Hence "justice is the most excellent of virtues" (Ethic. v, 1). Among the other moral virtues, which are about the passions, the more excellent the matter in which the appetitive movement is subjected to reason, so much the more does the rational good shine forth in each. Now in things touching man, the chief of all is life, on which all other things depend. Consequently fortitude which subjects the appetitive movement to reason in matters of life and death, holds the first place among those moral virtues that are about the passions, but is subordinate to justice. Hence the Philosopher says (Rhet. 1) that "those virtues must needs be greatest which receive the most praise: since virtue is a power of doing good. Hence the brave man and the just man are honored more than others; because the former," i.e. fortitude, "is useful in war, and the latter," i.e. justice, "both in war and in peace." After fortitude comes temperance, which subjects the appetite to reason in matters directly relating to life, in the one individual, or in the one species, viz. in matters of food and of sex. And so these three virtues, together with prudence, are called principal virtues, in excellence also.

A virtue is said to be greater relatively, by reason of its helping or adorning a principal virtue: even as substance is more excellent simply than accident: and yet relatively some particular accident is more excellent than substance in so far as it perfects substance in some accidental mode of being.

Reply Obj. 1: The act of liberality needs to be founded on an act of justice, for "a man is not liberal in giving, unless he gives of his own" (Polit. ii, 3). Hence there could be no liberality apart from justice, which discerns between "meum" and "tuum": whereas justice can be without liberality. Hence justice is simply greater than liberality, as being more universal, and as being its foundation: while liberality is greater relatively since it is an ornament and an addition to justice.

Reply Obj. 2: Patience is said to have "a perfect work," by enduring evils, wherein it excludes not only unjust revenge, which is also excluded by justice; not only hatred, which is also suppressed by charity; nor only anger, which is calmed by gentleness; but also inordinate sorrow, which is the root of all the above. Wherefore it is more perfect and excellent through plucking up the root in this matter. It is not, however, more perfect than all the other virtues simply. Because fortitude not only endures trouble without being disturbed, but also fights against it if necessary. Hence whoever is brave is patient; but the converse does not hold, for patience is a part of fortitude.

Reply Obj. 3: There can be no magnanimity without the other virtues, as stated in Ethic. iv, 3. Hence it is compared to them as their ornament, so that relatively it is greater than all the others, but not simply.

^Q. 66


Art. 5: Whether wisdom is the greatest of the intellectual virtues?[edit]

It would seem that wisdom is not the greatest of the intellectual virtues.

Obj. 1: Because the commander is greater than the one commanded. Now prudence seems to command wisdom, for it is stated in Ethic. i, 2 that political science, which belongs to prudence (Ethic. vi, 8), "orders that sciences should be cultivated in states, and to which of these each individual should devote himself, and to what extent." Since, then, wisdom is one of the sciences, it seems that prudence is greater than wisdom.

Obj. 2: Further, it belongs to the nature of virtue to direct man to happiness: because virtue is "the disposition of a perfect thing to that which is best," as stated in Phys. vii, text. 17. Now prudence is "right reason about things to be done," whereby man is brought to happiness: whereas wisdom takes no notice of human acts, whereby man attains happiness. Therefore prudence is a greater virtue than wisdom.

Obj. 3: Further, the more perfect knowledge is, the greater it seems to be. Now we can have more perfect knowledge of human affairs, which are the subject of science, than of Divine things, which are the object of wisdom, which is the distinction given by Augustine (De Trin. xii, 14): because Divine things are incomprehensible, according to Job 26:26: "Behold God is great, exceeding our knowledge." Therefore science is a greater virtue than wisdom.

Obj. 4: Further, knowledge of principles is more excellent than knowledge of conclusions. But wisdom draws conclusions from indemonstrable principles which are the object of the virtue of understanding, even as other sciences do. Therefore understanding is a greater virtue than wisdom.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 7) that wisdom is "the head" among "the intellectual virtues."

I answer that, As stated above (A. 3), the greatness of a virtue, as to its species, is taken from its object. Now the object of wisdom surpasses the objects of all the intellectual virtues: because wisdom considers the Supreme Cause, which is God, as stated at the beginning of the Metaphysics. And since it is by the cause that we judge of an effect, and by the higher cause that we judge of the lower effects; hence it is that wisdom exercises judgment over all the other intellectual virtues, directs them all, and is the architect of them all.

Reply Obj. 1: Since prudence is about human affairs, and wisdom about the Supreme Cause, it is impossible for prudence to be a greater virtue than wisdom, "unless," as stated in Ethic. vi, 7, "man were the greatest thing in the world." Wherefore we must say, as stated in the same book (Ethic. vi), that prudence does not command wisdom, but vice versa: because "the spiritual man judgeth all things; and he himself is judged by no man" (1 Cor. 2:15). For prudence has no business with supreme matters which are the object of wisdom: but its command covers things directed to wisdom, viz. how men are to obtain wisdom. Wherefore prudence, or political science, is, in this way, the servant of wisdom; for it leads to wisdom, preparing the way for her, as the doorkeeper for the king.

Reply Obj. 2: Prudence considers the means of acquiring happiness, but wisdom considers the very object of happiness, viz. the Supreme Intelligible. And if indeed the consideration of wisdom were perfect in respect of its object, there would be perfect happiness in the act of wisdom: but as, in this life, the act of wisdom is imperfect in respect of its principal object, which is God, it follows that the act of wisdom is a beginning or participation of future happiness, so that wisdom is nearer than prudence to happiness.

Reply Obj. 3: As the Philosopher says (De Anima i, text. 1), "one knowledge is preferable to another, either because it is about a higher object, or because it is more certain." Hence if the objects be equally good and sublime, that virtue will be greater which possesses more certain knowledge. But a virtue which is less certain about a higher and better object, is preferable to that which is more certain about an object of inferior degree. Wherefore the Philosopher says (De Coelo ii, text. 60) that "it is a great thing to be able to know something about celestial beings, though it be based on weak and probable reasoning"; and again (De Part. Animal. i, 5) that "it is better to know a little about sublime things, than much about mean things." Accordingly wisdom, to which knowledge about God pertains, is beyond the reach of man, especially in this life, so as to be his possession: for this "belongs to God alone" (Metaph. i, 2): and yet this little knowledge about God which we can have through wisdom is preferable to all other knowledge.

Reply Obj. 4: The truth and knowledge of indemonstrable principles depends on the meaning of the terms: for as soon as we know what is a whole, and what is a part, we know at once that every whole is greater than its part. Now to know the meaning of being and non-being, of whole and part, and of other things consequent to being, which are the terms whereof indemonstrable principles are constituted, is the function of wisdom: since universal being is the proper effect of the Supreme Cause, which is God. And so wisdom makes use of indemonstrable principles which are the object of understanding, not only by drawing conclusions from them, as other sciences do, but also by passing its judgment on them, and by vindicating them against those who deny them. Hence it follows that wisdom is a greater virtue than understanding.

^Q. 66


Art. 6: Whether charity is the greatest of the theological virtues?[edit]

It would seem that charity is not the greatest of the theological virtues.

Obj. 1: Because, since faith is in the intellect, while hope and charity are in the appetitive power, it seems that faith is compared to hope and charity, as intellectual to moral virtue. Now intellectual virtue is greater than moral virtue, as was made evident above (Q. 62, A. 3). Therefore faith is greater than hope and charity.

Obj. 2: Further, when two things are added together, the result is greater than either one. Now hope results from something added to charity; for it presupposes love, as Augustine says (Enchiridion viii), and it adds a certain movement of stretching forward to the beloved. Therefore hope is greater than charity.

Obj. 3: Further, a cause is more noble than its effect. Now faith and hope are the cause of charity: for a gloss on Matt. 1:3 says that "faith begets hope, and hope charity." Therefore faith and hope are greater than charity.

On the contrary, The Apostle says (1 Cor. 13:13): "Now there remain faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

I answer that, As stated above (A. 3), the greatness of a virtue, as to its species, is taken from its object. Now, since the three theological virtues look at God as their proper object, it cannot be said that any one of them is greater than another by reason of its having a greater object, but only from the fact that it approaches nearer than another to that object; and in this way charity is greater than the others. Because the others, in their very nature, imply a certain distance from the object: since faith is of what is not seen, and hope is of what is not possessed. But the love of charity is of that which is already possessed: since the beloved is, in a manner, in the lover, and, again, the lover is drawn by desire to union with the beloved; hence it is written (1 John 4:16): "He that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him."

Reply Obj. 1: Faith and hope are not related to charity in the same way as prudence to moral virtue; and for two reasons. First, because the theological virtues have an object surpassing the human soul: whereas prudence and the moral virtues are about things beneath man. Now in things that are above man, to love them is more excellent than to know them. Because knowledge is perfected by the known being in the knower: whereas love is perfected by the lover being drawn to the beloved. Now that which is above man is more excellent in itself than in man: since a thing is contained according to the mode of the container. But it is the other way about in things beneath man. Secondly, because prudence moderates the appetitive movements pertaining to the moral virtues, whereas faith does not moderate the appetitive movement tending to God, which movement belongs to the theological virtues: it only shows the object. And this appetitive movement towards its object surpasses human knowledge, according to Eph. 3:19: "The charity of Christ which surpasseth all knowledge."

Reply Obj. 2: Hope presupposes love of that which a man hopes to obtain; and such love is love of concupiscence, whereby he who desires good, loves himself rather than something else. On the other hand, charity implies love of friendship, to which we are led by hope, as stated above (Q. 62, A. 4).

Reply Obj. 3: An efficient cause is more noble than its effect: but not a disposing cause. For otherwise the heat of fire would be more noble than the soul, to which the heat disposes the matter. It is in this way that faith begets hope, and hope charity: in the sense, to wit, that one is a disposition to the other.

^Q. 66


QUESTION 67: OF THE DURATION OF VIRTUES AFTER THIS LIFE[edit]

^TOC ^Of Certain Properties of Virtues

We must now consider the duration of virtues after this life, under which head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the moral virtues remain after this life?

(2) Whether the intellectual virtues remain?

(3) Whether faith remains?

(4) Whether hope remains?

(5) Whether anything remains of faith or hope?

(6) Whether charity remains?


Art. 1: Whether the moral virtues remain after this life?[edit]

It would seem that the moral virtues do not remain after this life.

Obj. 1: For in the future state of glory men will be like angels, according to Matt. 22:30. But it is absurd to put moral virtues in the angels [*"Whatever relates to moral action is petty, and unworthy of the gods" (Ethic. x, 8)], as stated in Ethic. x, 8. Therefore neither in man will there be moral virtues after this life.

Obj. 2: Further, moral virtues perfect man in the active life. But the active life does not remain after this life: for Gregory says (Moral. iv, 18): "The works of the active life pass away from the body." Therefore moral virtues do not remain after this life.

Obj. 3: Further, temperance and fortitude, which are moral virtues, are in the irrational parts of the soul, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. iii, 10). Now the irrational parts of the soul are corrupted, when the body is corrupted: since they are acts of bodily organs. Therefore it seems that the moral virtues do not remain after this life.

On the contrary, It is written (Wis. 1:15) that "justice is perpetual and immortal."

I answer that, As Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 9), Cicero held that the cardinal virtues do not remain after this life; and that, as Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 9), "in the other life men are made happy by the mere knowledge of that nature, than which nothing is better or more lovable, that Nature, to wit, which created all others." Afterwards he concludes that these four virtues remain in the future life, but after a different manner.

In order to make this evident, we must note that in these virtues there is a formal element, and a quasi-material element. The material element in these virtues is a certain inclination of the appetitive part to the passions and operations according to a certain mode: and since this mode is fixed by reason, the formal element is precisely this order of reason.

Accordingly we must say that these moral virtues do not remain in the future life, as regards their material element. For in the future life there will be no concupiscences and pleasures in matters of food and sex; nor fear and daring about dangers of death; nor distributions and commutations of things employed in this present life. But, as regards the formal element, they will remain most perfect, after this life, in the Blessed, in as much as each one's reason will have most perfect rectitude in regard to things concerning him in respect of that state of life: and his appetitive power will be moved entirely according to the order of reason, in things pertaining to that same state. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 9) that "prudence will be there without any danger of error; fortitude, without the anxiety of bearing with evil; temperance, without the rebellion of the desires: so that prudence will neither prefer nor equal any good to God; fortitude will adhere to Him most steadfastly; and temperance will delight in Him Who knows no imperfection." As to justice, it is yet more evident what will be its act in that life, viz. "to be subject to God": because even in this life subjection to a superior is part of justice.

Reply Obj. 1: The Philosopher is speaking there of these moral virtues, as to their material element; thus he speaks of justice, as regards "commutations and distributions"; of fortitude, as to "matters of terror and danger"; of temperance, in respect of "lewd desires."

The same applies to the Second Objection. For those things that concern the active life, belong to the material element of the virtues.

Reply Obj. 3: There is a twofold state after this life; one before the resurrection, during which the soul will be separate from the body; the other, after the resurrection, when the souls will be reunited to their bodies. In this state of resurrection, the irrational powers will be in the bodily organs, just as they now are. Hence it will be possible for fortitude to be in the irascible, and temperance in the concupiscible part, in so far as each power will be perfectly disposed to obey the reason. But in the state preceding the resurrection, the irrational parts will not be in the soul actually, but only radically in its essence, as stated in the First Part (Q. 77, A. 8). Wherefore neither will these virtues be actually, but only in their root, i.e. in the reason and will, wherein are certain nurseries of these virtues, as stated above (Q. 63, A. 1). Justice, however, will remain because it is in the will. Hence of justice it is specially said that it is "perpetual and immortal"; both by reason of its subject, since the will is incorruptible; and because its act will not change, as stated.

^Q. 67


Art. 2: Whether the intellectual virtues remain after this life?[edit]

It would seem that the intellectual virtues do not remain after this life.

Obj. 1: For the Apostle says (1 Cor. 13:8, 9) that "knowledge shall be destroyed," and he states the reason to be because "we know in part." Now just as the knowledge of science is in part, i.e. imperfect; so also is the knowledge of the other intellectual virtues, as long as this life lasts. Therefore all the intellectual virtues will cease after this life.

Obj. 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Categor. vi) that since science is a habit, it is a quality difficult to remove: for it is not easily lost, except by reason of some great change or sickness. But no bodily change is so great as that of death. Therefore science and the other intellectual virtues do not remain after death.

Obj. 3: Further, the intellectual virtues perfect the intellect so that it may perform its proper act well. Now there seems to be no act of the intellect after this life, since "the soul understands nothing without a phantasm" (De Anima iii, text. 30); and, after this life, the phantasms do not remain, since their only subject is an organ of the body. Therefore the intellectual virtues do not remain after this life.

On the contrary, The knowledge of what is universal and necessary is more constant than that of particular and contingent things. Now the knowledge of contingent particulars remains in man after this life; for instance, the knowledge of what one has done or suffered, according to Luke 16:25: "Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy life-time, and likewise Lazarus evil things." Much more, therefore, does the knowledge of universal and necessary things remain, which belong to science and the other intellectual virtues.

I answer that, As stated in the First Part (Q. 79, A. 6) some have held that the intelligible species do not remain in the passive intellect except when it actually understands; and that so long as actual consideration ceases, the species are not preserved save in the sensitive powers which are acts of bodily organs, viz. in the powers of imagination and memory. Now these powers cease when the body is corrupted: and consequently, according to this opinion, neither science nor any other intellectual virtue will remain after this life when once the body is corrupted.

But this opinion is contrary to the mind of Aristotle, who states (De Anima iii, text. 8) that "the possible intellect is in act when it is identified with each thing as knowing it; and yet, even then, it is in potentiality to consider it actually." It is also contrary to reason, because intelligible species are contained by the "possible" intellect immovably, according to the mode of their container. Hence the "possible" intellect is called "the abode of the species" (De Anima iii) because it preserves the intelligible species.

And yet the phantasms, by turning to which man understands in this life, by applying the intelligible species to them as stated in the First Part (Q. 84, A. 7; Q. 85, A. 1, ad 5), cease as soon as the body is corrupted. Hence, so far as the phantasms are concerned, which are the quasi-material element in the intellectual virtues, these latter cease when the body is destroyed: but as regards the intelligible species, which are in the "possible" intellect, the intellectual virtues remain. Now the species are the quasi-formal element of the intellectual virtues. Therefore these remain after this life, as regards their formal element, just as we have stated concerning the moral virtues (A. 1).

Reply Obj. 1: The saying of the Apostle is to be understood as referring to the material element in science, and to the mode of understanding; because, to it, neither do the phantasms remain, when the body is destroyed; nor will science be applied by turning to the phantasms.

Reply Obj. 2: Sickness destroys the habit of science as to its material element, viz. the phantasms, but not as to the intelligible species, which are in the "possible" intellect.

Reply Obj. 3: As stated in the First Part (Q. 89, A. 1), the separated soul has a mode of understanding, other than by turning to the phantasms. Consequently science remains, yet not as to the same mode of operation; as we have stated concerning the moral virtues (A. 1).

^Q. 67


Art. 3: Whether faith remains after this life?[edit]

It would seem that faith remains after this life.

Obj. 1: Because faith is more excellent than science. Now science remains after this life, as stated above (A. 2). Therefore faith remains also.

Obj. 2: Further, it is written (1 Cor. 3:11): "Other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus," i.e. faith in Jesus Christ. Now if the foundation is removed, that which is built upon it remains no more. Therefore, if faith remains not after this life, no other virtue remains.

Obj. 3: Further, the knowledge of faith and the knowledge of glory differ as perfect from imperfect. Now imperfect knowledge is compatible with perfect knowledge: thus in an angel there can be "evening" and "morning" knowledge [*Cf. I, Q. 58, A. 6]; and a man can have science through a demonstrative syllogism, together with opinion through a probable syllogism, about one same conclusion. Therefore after this life faith also is compatible with the knowledge of glory.

On the contrary, The Apostle says (2 Cor. 5:6, 7): "While we are in the body, we are absent from the Lord: for we walk by faith and not by sight." But those who are in glory are not absent from the Lord, but present to Him. Therefore after this life faith does not remain in the life of glory.

I answer that, Opposition is of itself the proper cause of one thing being excluded from another, in so far, to wit, as wherever two things are opposite to one another, we find opposition of affirmation and negation. Now in some things we find opposition in respect of contrary forms; thus in colors we find white and black. In others we find opposition in respect of perfection and imperfection: wherefore in alterations, more and less are considered to be contraries, as when a thing from being less hot is made more hot (Phys. v, text. 19). And since perfect and imperfect are opposite to one another, it is impossible for perfection and imperfection to affect the same thing at the same time.

Now we must take note that sometimes imperfection belongs to a thing's very nature, and belongs to its species: even as lack of reason belongs to the very specific nature of a horse and an ox. And since a thing, so long as it remains the same identically, cannot pass from one species to another, it follows that if such an imperfection be removed, the species of that thing is changed: even as it would no longer be an ox or a horse, were it to be rational. Sometimes, however, the imperfection does not belong to the specific nature, but is accidental to the individual by reason of something else; even as sometimes lack of reason is accidental to a man, because he is asleep, or because he is drunk, or for some like reason; and it is evident, that if such an imperfection be removed, the thing remains substantially.

Now it is clear that imperfect knowledge belongs to the very nature of faith: for it is included in its definition; faith being defined as "the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not" (Heb. 11:1). Wherefore Augustine says (Tract. xl in Joan.): "What is faith? Believing without seeing." But it is an imperfect knowledge that is of things unapparent or unseen. Consequently imperfect knowledge belongs to the very nature of faith: therefore it is clear that the knowledge of faith cannot be perfect and remain identically the same.

But we must also consider whether it is compatible with perfect knowledge: for there is nothing to prevent some kind of imperfect knowledge from being sometimes with perfect knowledge. Accordingly we must observe that knowledge can be imperfect in three ways: first, on the part of the knowable object; secondly, on the part of the medium; thirdly, on the part of the subject. The difference of perfect and imperfect knowledge on the part of the knowable object is seen in the "morning" and "evening" knowledge of the angels: for the "morning" knowledge is about things according to the being which they have in the Word, while the "evening" knowledge is about things according as they have being in their own natures, which being is imperfect in comparison with the First Being. On the part of the medium, perfect and imperfect knowledge are exemplified in the knowledge of a conclusion through a demonstrative medium, and through a probable medium. On the part of the subject the difference of perfect and imperfect knowledge applies to opinion, faith, and science. For it is essential to opinion that we assent to one of two opposite assertions with fear of the other, so that our adhesion is not firm: to science it is essential to have firm adhesion with intellectual vision, for science possesses certitude which results from the understanding of principles: while faith holds a middle place, for it surpasses opinion in so far as its adhesion is firm, but falls short of science in so far as it lacks vision.

Now it is evident that a thing cannot be perfect and imperfect in the same respect; yet the things which differ as perfect and imperfect can be together in the same respect in one and the same other thing. Accordingly, knowledge which is perfect on the part of the object is quite incompatible with imperfect knowledge about the same object; but they are compatible with one another in respect of the same medium or the same subject: for nothing hinders a man from having at one and the same time, through one and the same medium, perfect and imperfect knowledge about two things, one perfect, the other imperfect, e.g. about health and sickness, good and evil. In like manner knowledge that is perfect on the part of the medium is incompatible with imperfect knowledge through one and the same medium: but nothing hinders them being about the same subject or in the same subject: for one man can know the same conclusions through a probable and through a demonstrative medium. Again, knowledge that is perfect on the part of the subject is incompatible with imperfect knowledge in the same subject. Now faith, of its very nature, contains an imperfection on the part of the subject, viz. that the believer sees not what he believes: whereas bliss, of its very nature, implies perfection on the part of the subject, viz. that the Blessed see that which makes them happy, as stated above (Q. 3, A. 8). Hence it is manifest that faith and bliss are incompatible in one and the same subject.

Reply Obj. 1: Faith is more excellent than science, on the part of the object, because its object is the First Truth. Yet science has a more perfect mode of knowing its object, which is not incompatible with vision which is the perfection of happiness, as the mode of faith is incompatible.

Reply Obj. 2: Faith is the foundation in as much as it is knowledge: consequently when this knowledge is perfected, the foundation will be perfected also.

The Reply to the Third Objection is clear from what has been said.

^Q. 67


Art. 4: Whether hope remains after death, in the state of glory?[edit]

Obj. 1: It would seem that hope remains after death, in the state of glory. Because hope perfects the human appetite in a more excellent manner than the moral virtues. But the moral virtues remain after this life, as Augustine clearly states (De Trin. xiv, 9). Much more then does hope remain.

Obj. 2: Further, fear is opposed to hope. But fear remains after this life: in the Blessed, filial fear, which abides for ever—in the lost, the fear of punishment. Therefore, in a like manner, hope can remain.

Obj. 3: Further, just as hope is of future good, so is desire. Now in the Blessed there is desire for future good; both for the glory of the body, which the souls of the Blessed desire, as Augustine declares (Gen. ad lit. xii, 35); and for the glory of the soul, according to Ecclus. 24:29: "They that eat me, shall yet hunger, and they that drink me, shall yet thirst," and 1 Pet. 1:12: "On Whom the angels desire to look." Therefore it seems that there can be hope in the Blessed after this life is past.

On the contrary, The Apostle says (Rom. 8:24): "What a man seeth, why doth he hope for?" But the Blessed see that which is the object of hope, viz. God. Therefore they do not hope.

I answer that, As stated above (A. 3), that which, in its very nature, implies imperfection of its subject, is incompatible with the opposite perfection in that subject. Thus it is evident that movement of its very nature implies imperfection of its subject, since it is "the act of that which is in potentiality as such" (Phys. iii): so that as soon as this potentiality is brought into act, the movement ceases; for a thing does not continue to become white, when once it is made white. Now hope denotes a movement towards that which is not possessed, as is clear from what we have said above about the passion of hope (Q. 40, AA. 1, 2). Therefore when we possess that which we hope for, viz. the enjoyment of God, it will no longer be possible to have hope.

Reply Obj. 1: Hope surpasses the moral virtues as to its object, which is God. But the acts of the moral virtues are not incompatible with the perfection of happiness, as the act of hope is; except perhaps, as regards their matter, in respect of which they do not remain. For moral virtue perfects the appetite, not only in respect of what is not yet possessed, but also as regards something which is in our actual possession.

Reply Obj. 2: Fear is twofold, servile and filial, as we shall state further on (II-II, Q. 19, A. 2). Servile fear regards punishment, and will be impossible in the life of glory, since there will no longer be possibility of being punished. Filial fear has two acts: one is an act of reverence to God, and with regard to this act, it remains: the other is an act of fear lest we be separated from God, and as regards this act, it does not remain. Because separation from God is in the nature of an evil: and no evil will be feared there, according to Prov. 1:33: "He . . . shall enjoy abundance without fear of evils." Now fear is opposed to hope by opposition of good and evil, as stated above (Q. 23, A. 2; Q. 40, A. 1), and therefore the fear which will remain in glory is not opposed to hope. In the lost there can be fear of punishment, rather than hope of glory in the Blessed. Because in the lost there will be a succession of punishments, so that the notion of something future remains there, which is the object of fear: but the glory of the saints has no succession, by reason of its being a kind of participation of eternity, wherein there is neither past nor future, but only the present. And yet, properly speaking, neither in the lost is there fear. For, as stated above (Q. 42, A. 2), fear is never without some hope of escape: and the lost have no such hope. Consequently neither will there be fear in them; except speaking in a general way, in so far as any expectation of future evil is called fear.

Reply Obj. 3: As to the glory of the soul, there can be no desire in the Blessed, in so far as desire looks for something future, for the reason already given (ad 2). Yet hunger and thirst are said to be in them because they never weary, and for the same reason desire is said to be in the angels. With regard to the glory of the body, there can be desire in the souls of the saints, but not hope, properly speaking; neither as a theological virtue, for thus its object is God, and not a created good; nor in its general signification. Because the object of hope is something difficult, as stated above (Q. 40, A. 1): while a good whose unerring cause we already possess, is not compared to us as something difficult. Hence he that has money is not, properly speaking, said to hope for what he can buy at once. In like manner those who have the glory of the soul are not, properly speaking, said to hope for the glory of the body, but only to desire it.

^Q. 67


Art. 5: Whether anything of faith or hope remains in glory?[edit]

It would seem that something of faith and hope remains in glory.

Obj. 1: For when that which is proper to a thing is removed, there remains what is common; thus it is stated in De Causis that "if you take away rational, there remains living, and when you remove living, there remains being." Now in faith there is something that it has in common with beatitude, viz. knowledge: and there is something proper to it, viz. darkness, for faith is knowledge in a dark manner. Therefore, the darkness of faith removed, the knowledge of faith still remains.

Obj. 2: Further, faith is a spiritual light of the soul, according to Eph. 1:17, 18: "The eyes of your heart enlightened . . . in the knowledge of God"; yet this light is imperfect in comparison with the light of glory, of which it is written (Ps. 35:10): "In Thy light we shall see light." Now an imperfect light remains when a perfect light supervenes: for a candle is not extinguished when the sun's rays appear. Therefore it seems that the light of faith itself remains with the light of glory.

Obj. 3: Further, the substance of a habit does not cease through the withdrawal of its matter: for a man may retain the habit of liberality, though he have lost his money: yet he cannot exercise the act. Now the object of faith is the First Truth as unseen. Therefore when this ceases through being seen, the habit of faith can still remain.

On the contrary, Faith is a simple habit. Now a simple thing is either withdrawn entirely, or remains entirely. Since therefore faith does not remain entirely, but is taken away as stated above (A. 3), it seems that it is withdrawn entirely.

I answer that, Some have held that hope is taken away entirely: but that faith is taken away in part, viz. as to its obscurity, and remains in part, viz. as to the substance of its knowledge. And if this be understood to mean that it remains the same, not identically but generically, it is absolutely true; since faith is of the same genus, viz. knowledge, as the beatific vision. On the other hand, hope is not of the same genus as heavenly bliss: because it is compared to the enjoyment of bliss, as movement is to rest in the term of movement.

But if it be understood to mean that in heaven the knowledge of faith remains identically the same, this is absolutely impossible. Because when you remove a specific difference, the substance of the genus does not remain identically the same: thus if you remove the difference constituting whiteness, the substance of color does not remain identically the same, as though the identical color were at one time whiteness, and, at another, blackness. The reason is that genus is not related to difference as matter to form, so that the substance of the genus remains identically the same, when the difference is removed, as the substance of matter remains identically the same, when the form is changed: for genus and difference are not the parts of a species, else they would not be predicated of the species. But even as the species denotes the whole, i.e. the compound of matter and form in material things, so does the difference, and likewise the genus; the genus denotes the whole by signifying that which is material; the difference, by signifying that which is formal; the species, by signifying both. Thus, in man, the sensitive nature is as matter to the intellectual nature, and animal is predicated of that which has a sensitive nature, rational of that which has an intellectual nature, and man of that which has both. So that the one same whole is denoted by these three, but not under the same aspect.

It is therefore evident that, since the signification of the difference is confined to the genus if the difference be removed, the substance of the genus cannot remain the same: for the same animal nature does not remain, if another kind of soul constitute the animal. Hence it is impossible for the identical knowledge, which was previously obscure, to become clear vision. It is therefore evident that, in heaven, nothing remains of faith, either identically or specifically the same, but only generically.

Reply Obj. 1: If "rational" be withdrawn, the remaining "living" thing is the same, not identically, but generically, as stated.

Reply Obj. 2: The imperfection of candlelight is not opposed to the perfection of sunlight, since they do not regard the same subject: whereas the imperfection of faith and the perfection of glory are opposed to one another and regard the same subject. Consequently they are incompatible with one another, just as light and darkness in the air.

Reply Obj. 3: He that loses his money does not therefore lose the possibility of having money, and therefore it is reasonable for the habit of liberality to remain. But in the state of glory not only is the object of faith, which is the unseen, removed actually, but even its possibility, by reason of the unchangeableness of heavenly bliss: and so such a habit would remain to no purpose.

^Q. 67


Art. 6: Whether charity remains after this life, in glory?[edit]

Obj. 1: It would seem that charity does not remain after this life, in glory. Because according to 1 Cor. 13:10, "when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part," i.e. that which is imperfect, "shall be done away." Now the charity of the wayfarer is imperfect. Therefore it will be done away when the perfection of glory is attained.

Obj. 2: Further, habits and acts are differentiated by their objects. But the object of love is good apprehended. Since therefore the apprehension of the present life differs from the apprehension of the life to come, it seems that charity is not the same in both cases.

Obj. 3: Further, things of the same kind can advance from imperfection to perfection by continuous increase. But the charity of the wayfarer can never attain to equality with the charity of heaven, however much it be increased. Therefore it seems that the charity of the wayfarer does not remain in heaven.

On the contrary, The Apostle says (1 Cor. 13:8): "Charity never falleth away."

I answer that, As stated above (A. 3), when the imperfection of a thing does not belong to its specific nature, there is nothing to hinder the identical thing passing from imperfection to perfection, even as man is perfected by growth, and whiteness by intensity. Now charity is love, the nature of which does not include imperfection, since it may relate to an object either possessed or not possessed, either seen or not seen. Therefore charity is not done away by the perfection of glory, but remains identically the same.

Reply Obj. 1: The imperfection of charity is accidental to it; because imperfection is not included in the nature of love. Now although that which is accidental to a thing be withdrawn, the substance remains. Hence the imperfection of charity being done away, charity itself is not done away.

Reply Obj. 2: The object of charity is not knowledge itself; if it were, the charity of the wayfarer would not be the same as the charity of heaven: its object is the thing known, which remains the same, viz. God Himself.

Reply Obj. 3: The reason why charity of the wayfarer cannot attain to the perfection of the charity of heaven, is a difference on the part of the cause: for vision is a cause of love, as stated in Ethic. ix, 5: and the more perfectly we know God, the more perfectly we love Him.

^Q. 67


OF OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED WITH VIRTUES[edit]

^TOC ^Good Habits—That Is, Virtues ^^5. Of Certain Properties of Virtues

[Q. 68: Of the Gifts]

[Q. 69: Of the Beatitudes]

[Q. 70: Of the Fruits of the Holy Ghost]

QUESTION 68: OF THE GIFTS[edit]

^TOC ^Of Other Matters Connected with Virtues

We now come to consider the Gifts; under which head there are eight points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the Gifts differ from the virtues?

(2) Of the necessity of the Gifts?

(3) Whether the Gifts are habits?

(4) Which, and how many are they?

(5) Whether the Gifts are connected?

(6) Whether they remain in heaven?

(7) Of their comparison with one another;

(8) Of their comparison with the virtues.


Art. 1: Whether the gifts differ from the virtues?[edit]

It would seem that the gifts do not differ from the virtues.

Obj. 1: For Gregory commenting on Job 1:2, "There were born to him seven sons," says (Moral. i, 12): "Seven sons were born to us, when through the conception of heavenly thought, the seven virtues of the Holy Ghost take birth in us": and he quotes the words of Isa. 11:2,3: "And the Spirit . . . of understanding . . . shall rest upon him," etc. where the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are enumerated. Therefore the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are virtues.

Obj. 2: Further, Augustine commenting on Matt. 12:45, "Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits," etc., says (De Quaest. Evang. i, qu. 8): "The seven vices are opposed to the seven virtues of the Holy Ghost," i.e. to the seven gifts. Now the seven vices are opposed to the seven virtues, commonly so called. Therefore the gifts do not differ from the virtues commonly so called.

Obj. 3: Further, things whose definitions are the same, are themselves the same. But the definition of virtue applies to the gifts; for each gift is "a good quality of the mind, whereby we lead a good life," etc. [*Cf. Q. 55, A. 4]. Likewise the definition of a gift can apply to the infused virtues: for a gift is "an unreturnable giving," according to the Philosopher (Topic. iv, 4). Therefore the virtues and gifts do not differ from one another.

Obj. 4: Several of the things mentioned among the gifts, are virtues: for, as stated above (Q. 57, A. 2), wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are intellectual virtues, counsel pertains to prudence, piety to a kind of justice, and fortitude is a moral virtue. Therefore it seems that the gifts do not differ from the virtues.

On the contrary, Gregory (Moral. i, 12) distinguishes seven gifts, which he states to be denoted by the seven sons of Job, from the three theological virtues, which, he says, are signified by Job's three daughters. He also distinguishes (Moral. ii, 26) the same seven gifts from the four cardinal virtues, which he says were signified by the four corners of the house.

I answer that, If we speak of gift and virtue with regard to the notion conveyed by the words themselves, there is no opposition between them. Because the word "virtue" conveys the notion that it perfects man in relation to well-doing, while the word "gift" refers to the cause from which it proceeds. Now there is no reason why that which proceeds from one as a gift should not perfect another in well-doing: especially as we have already stated (Q. 63, A. 3) that some virtues are infused into us by God. Wherefore in this respect we cannot differentiate gifts from virtues. Consequently some have held that the gifts are not to be distinguished from the virtues. But there remains no less a difficulty for them to solve; for they must explain why some virtues are called gifts and some not; and why among the gifts there are some, fear, for instance, that are not reckoned virtues.

Hence it is that others have said that the gifts should be held as being distinct from the virtues; yet they have not assigned a suitable reason for this distinction, a reason, to wit, which would apply either to all the virtues, and to none of the gifts, or vice versa. For, seeing that of the seven gifts, four belong to the reason, viz. wisdom, knowledge, understanding and counsel, and three to the appetite, viz. fortitude, piety and fear; they held that the gifts perfect the free-will according as it is a faculty of the reason, while the virtues perfect it as a faculty of the will: since they observed only two virtues in the reason or intellect, viz. faith and prudence, the others being in the appetitive power or the affections. If this distinction were true, all the virtues would have to be in the appetite, and all the gifts in the reason.

Others observing that Gregory says (Moral. ii, 26) that "the gift of the Holy Ghost, by coming into the soul endows it with prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude, and at the same time strengthens it against every kind of temptation by His sevenfold gift," said that the virtues are given us that we may do good works, and the gifts, that we may resist temptation. But neither is this distinction sufficient. Because the virtues also resist those temptations which lead to the sins that are contrary to the virtues; for everything naturally resists its contrary: which is especially clear with regard to charity, of which it is written (Cant. 8:7): "Many waters cannot quench charity."

Others again, seeing that these gifts are set down in Holy Writ as having been in Christ, according to Isa. 11:2, 3, said that the virtues are given simply that we may do good works, but the gifts, in order to conform us to Christ, chiefly with regard to His Passion, for it was then that these gifts shone with the greatest splendor. Yet neither does this appear to be a satisfactory distinction. Because Our Lord Himself wished us to be conformed to Him, chiefly in humility and meekness, according to Matt. 11:29: "Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart," and in charity, according to John 15:12: "Love one another, as I have loved you." Moreover, these virtues were especially resplendent in Christ's Passion.

Accordingly, in order to differentiate the gifts from the virtues, we must be guided by the way in which Scripture expresses itself, for we find there that the term employed is "spirit" rather than "gift." For thus it is written (Isa. 11:2, 3): "The spirit . . . of wisdom and of understanding . . . shall rest upon him," etc.: from which words we are clearly given to understand that these seven are there set down as being in us by Divine inspiration. Now inspiration denotes motion from without. For it must be noted that in man there is a twofold principle of movement, one within him, viz. the reason; the other extrinsic to him, viz. God, as stated above (Q. 9, AA. 4, 6): moreover the Philosopher says this in the chapter On Good Fortune (Ethic. Eudem. vii, 8).

Now it is evident that whatever is moved must be proportionate to its mover: and the perfection of the mobile as such, consists in a disposition whereby it is disposed to be well moved by its mover. Hence the more exalted the mover, the more perfect must be the disposition whereby the mobile is made proportionate to its mover: thus we see that a disciple needs a more perfect disposition in order to receive a higher teaching from his master. Now it is manifest that human virtues perfect man according as it is natural for him to be moved by his reason in his interior and exterior actions. Consequently man needs yet higher perfections, whereby to be disposed to be moved by God. These perfections are called gifts, not only because they are infused by God, but also because by them man is disposed to become amenable to the Divine inspiration, according to Isa. 50:5: "The Lord . . . hath opened my ear, and I do not resist; I have not gone back." Even the Philosopher says in the chapter On Good Fortune (Ethic. Eudem., vii, 8) that for those who are moved by Divine instinct, there is no need to take counsel according to human reason, but only to follow their inner promptings, since they are moved by a principle higher than human reason. This then is what some say, viz. that the gifts perfect man for acts which are higher than acts of virtue.

Reply Obj. 1: Sometimes these gifts are called virtues, in the broad sense of the word. Nevertheless, they have something over and above the virtues understood in this broad way, in so far as they are Divine virtues, perfecting man as moved by God. Hence the Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 1) above virtue commonly so called, places a kind of "heroic" or "divine virtue [*arete heroike kai theia]," in respect of which some men are called "divine."

Reply Obj. 2: The vices are opposed to the virtues, in so far as they are opposed to the good as appointed by reason; but they are opposed to the gifts, in as much as they are opposed to the Divine instinct. For the same thing is opposed both to God and to reason, whose light flows from God.

Reply Obj. 3: This definition applies to virtue taken in its general sense. Consequently, if we wish to restrict it to virtue as distinguished from the gifts, we must explain the words, "whereby we lead a good life" as referring to the rectitude of life which is measured by the rule of reason. Likewise the gifts, as distinct from infused virtue, may be defined as something given by God in relation to His motion; something, to wit, that makes man to follow well the promptings of God.

Reply Obj. 4: Wisdom is called an intellectual virtue, so far as it proceeds from the judgment of reason: but it is called a gift, according as its work proceeds from the Divine prompting. The same applies to the other virtues.

^Q. 68


Art. 2: Whether the gifts are necessary to man for salvation?[edit]

It would seem that the gifts are not necessary to man for salvation.

Obj. 1: Because the gifts are ordained to a perfection surpassing the ordinary perfection of virtue. Now it is not necessary for man's salvation that he should attain to a perfection surpassing the ordinary standard of virtue; because such perfection falls, not under the precept, but under a counsel. Therefore the gifts are not necessary to man for salvation.

Obj. 2: Further, it is enough, for man's salvation, that he behave well in matters concerning God and matters concerning man. Now man's behavior to God is sufficiently directed by the theological virtues; and his behavior towards men, by the moral virtues. Therefore gifts are not necessary to man for salvation.

Obj. 3: Further, Gregory says (Moral. ii, 26) that "the Holy Ghost gives wisdom against folly, understanding against dullness, counsel against rashness, fortitude against fears, knowledge against ignorance, piety against hardness of our heart, and fear against pride." But a sufficient remedy for all these things is to be found in the virtues. Therefore the gifts are not necessary to man for salvation.

On the contrary, Of all the gifts, wisdom seems to be the highest, and fear the lowest. Now each of these is necessary for salvation: since of wisdom it is written (Wis. 7:28): "God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom"; and of fear (Ecclus. 1:28): "He that is without fear cannot be justified." Therefore the other gifts that are placed between these are also necessary for salvation.

I answer that, As stated above (A. 1), the gifts are perfections of man, whereby he is disposed so as to be amenable to the promptings of God. Wherefore in those matters where the prompting of reason is not sufficient, and there is need for the prompting of the Holy Ghost, there is, in consequence, need for a gift.

Now man's reason is perfected by God in two ways: first, with its natural perfection, to wit, the natural light of reason; secondly, with a supernatural perfection, to wit, the theological virtues, as stated above (Q. 62, A. 1). And, though this latter perfection is greater than the former, yet the former is possessed by man in a more perfect manner than the latter: because man has the former in his full possession, whereas he possesses the latter imperfectly, since we love and know God imperfectly. Now it is evident that anything that has a nature or a form or a virtue perfectly, can of itself work according to them: not, however, excluding the operation of God, Who works inwardly in every nature and in every will. On the other hand, that which has a nature, or form, or virtue imperfectly, cannot of itself work, unless it be moved by another. Thus the sun which possesses light perfectly, can shine by itself; whereas the moon which has the nature of light imperfectly, sheds only a borrowed light. Again, a physician, who knows the medical art perfectly, can work by himself; but his pupil, who is not yet fully instructed, cannot work by himself, but needs to receive instructions from him.

Accordingly, in matters subject to human reason, and directed to man's connatural end, man can work through the judgment of his reason. If, however, even in these things man receive help in the shape of special promptings from God, this will be out of God's superabundant goodness: hence, according to the philosophers, not every one that had the acquired moral virtues, had also the heroic or divine virtues. But in matters directed to the supernatural end, to which man's reason moves him, according as it is, in a manner, and imperfectly, informed by the theological virtues, the motion of reason does not suffice, unless it receive in addition the prompting or motion of the Holy Ghost, according to Rom. 8:14,17: "Whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God . . . and if sons, heirs also": and Ps. 142:10: "Thy good Spirit shall lead me into the right land," because, to wit, none can receive the inheritance of that land of the Blessed, except he be moved and led thither by the Holy Ghost. Therefore, in order to accomplish this end, it is necessary for man to have the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Reply Obj. 1: The gifts surpass the ordinary perfection of the virtues, not as regards the kind of works (as the counsels surpass the commandments), but as regards the manner of working, in respect of man being moved by a higher principle.

Reply Obj. 2: By the theological and moral virtues, man is not so perfected in respect of his last end, as not to stand in continual need of being moved by the yet higher promptings of the Holy Ghost, for the reason already given.

Reply Obj. 3: Whether we consider human reason as perfected in its natural perfection, or as perfected by the theological virtues, it does not know all things, nor all possible things. Consequently it is unable to avoid folly and other like things mentioned in the objection. God, however, to Whose knowledge and power all things are subject, by His motion safeguards us from all folly, ignorance, dullness of mind and hardness of heart, and the rest. Consequently the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which make us amenable to His promptings, are said to be given as remedies to these defects.

^Q. 68


Art. 3: Whether the gifts of the Holy Ghost are habits?[edit]

It would seem that the gifts of the Holy Ghost are not habits.

Obj. 1: Because a habit is a quality abiding in man, being defined as "a quality difficult to remove," as stated in the Predicaments (Categor. vi). Now it is proper to Christ that the gifts of the Holy Ghost rest in Him, as stated in Isa. 11:2, 3: "He upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, He it is that baptizeth"; on which words Gregory comments as follows (Moral. ii, 27): "The Holy Ghost comes upon all the faithful; but, in a singular way, He dwells always in the Mediator." Therefore the gifts of the Holy Ghost are not habits.

Obj. 2: Further, the gifts of the Holy Ghost perfect man according as he is moved by the Spirit of God, as stated above (AA. 1, 2). But in so far as man is moved by the Spirit of God, he is somewhat like an instrument in His regard. Now to be perfected by a habit is befitting, not an instrument, but a principal agent. Therefore the gifts of the Holy Ghost are not habits.

Obj. 3: Further, as the gifts of the Holy Ghost are due to Divine inspiration, so is the gift of prophecy. Now prophecy is not a habit: for "the spirit of prophecy does not always reside in the prophets," as Gregory states (Hom. i in Ezechiel). Neither, therefore, are the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

On the contrary, Our Lord in speaking of the Holy Ghost said to His disciples (John 14:17): "He shall abide with you, and shall be in you." Now the Holy Ghost is not in a man without His gifts. Therefore His gifts abide in man. Therefore they are not merely acts or passions but abiding habits.

I answer that, As stated above (A. 1), the gifts are perfections of man, whereby he becomes amenable to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Now it is evident from what has been already said (Q. 56, A. 4; Q. 58, A. 2), that the moral virtues perfect the appetitive power according as it partakes somewhat of the reason, in so far, to wit, as it has a natural aptitude to be moved by the command of reason. Accordingly the gifts of the Holy Ghost, as compared with the Holy Ghost Himself, are related to man, even as the moral virtues, in comparison with the reason, are related to the appetitive power. Now the moral virtues are habits, whereby the powers of appetite are disposed to obey reason promptly. Therefore the gifts of the Holy Ghost are habits whereby man is perfected to obey readily the Holy Ghost.

Reply Obj. 1: Gregory solves this objection (Moral. ii, 27) by saying that "by those gifts without which one cannot obtain life, the Holy Ghost ever abides in all the elect, but not by His other gifts." Now the seven gifts are necessary for salvation, as stated above (A. 2). Therefore, with regard to them, the Holy Ghost ever abides in holy men.

Reply Obj. 2: This argument holds, in the case of an instrument which has no faculty of action, but only of being acted upon. But man is not an instrument of that kind; for he is so acted upon, by the Holy Ghost, that he also acts himself, in so far as he has a free-will. Therefore he needs a habit.

Reply Obj. 3: Prophecy is one of those gifts which are for the manifestation of the Spirit, not for the necessity of salvation: hence the comparison fails.

^Q. 68


Art. 4: Whether the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are suitably enumerated?[edit]

It would seem that seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are unsuitably enumerated.

Obj. 1: For in that enumeration four are set down corresponding to the intellectual virtues, viz. wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and counsel, which corresponds to prudence; whereas nothing is set down corresponding to art, which is the fifth intellectual virtue. Moreover, something is included corresponding to justice, viz. piety, and something corresponding to fortitude, viz. the gift of fortitude; while there is nothing to correspond to temperance. Therefore the gifts are enumerated insufficiently.

Obj. 2: Further, piety is a part of justice. But no part of fortitude is assigned to correspond thereto, but fortitude itself. Therefore justice itself, and not piety, ought to have been set down.

Obj. 3: Further, the theological virtues, more than any, direct us to God. Since, then, the gifts perfect man according as he is moved by God, it seems that some gifts, corresponding to the theological virtues, should have been included.

Obj. 4: Further, even as God is an object of fear, so is He of love, of hope, and of joy. Now love, hope, and joy are passions condivided with fear. Therefore, as fear is set down as a gift, so ought the other three.

Obj. 5: Further, wisdom is added in order to direct understanding; counsel, to direct fortitude; knowledge, to direct piety. Therefore, some gift should have been added for the purpose of directing fear. Therefore the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are unsuitably enumerated.

On the contrary, stands the authority of Holy Writ (Isa. 11:2, 3).

I answer that, As stated above (A. 3), the gifts are habits perfecting man so that he is ready to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, even as the moral virtues perfect the appetitive powers so that they obey the reason. Now just as it is natural for the appetitive powers to be moved by the command of reason, so it is natural for all the forces in man to be moved by the instinct of God, as by a superior power. Therefore whatever powers in man can be the principles of human actions, can also be the subjects of gifts, even as they are virtues; and such powers are the reason and appetite.

Now the reason is speculative and practical: and in both we find the apprehension of truth (which pertains to the discovery of truth), and judgment concerning the truth. Accordingly, for the apprehension of truth, the speculative reason is perfected by understanding; the practical reason, by counsel. In order to judge aright, the speculative reason is perfected by wisdom; the practical reason by knowledge. The appetitive power, in matters touching a man's relations to another, is perfected by piety; in matters touching himself, it is perfected by fortitude against the fear of dangers; and against inordinate lust for pleasures, by fear, according to Prov. 15:27: "By the fear of the Lord every one declineth from evil," and Ps. 118:120: "Pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear: for I am afraid of Thy judgments." Hence it is clear that these gifts extend to all those things to which the virtues, both intellectual and moral, extend.

Reply Obj. 1: The gifts of the Holy Ghost perfect man in matters concerning a good life: whereas art is not directed to such matters, but to external things that can be made, since art is the right reason, not about things to be done, but about things to be made (Ethic. vi, 4). However, we may say that, as regards the infusion of the gifts, the art is on the part of the Holy Ghost, Who is the principal mover, and not on the part of men, who are His organs when He moves them. The gift of fear corresponds, in a manner, to temperance: for just as it belongs to temperance, properly speaking, to restrain man from evil pleasures for the sake of the good appointed by reason, so does it belong to the gift of fear, to withdraw man from evil pleasures through fear of God.

Reply Obj. 2: Justice is so called from the rectitude of the reason, and so it is more suitably called a virtue than a gift. But the name of piety denotes the reverence which we give to our father and to our country. And since God is the Father of all, the worship of God is also called piety, as Augustine states (De Civ. Dei x, 1). Therefore the gift whereby a man, through reverence for God, works good to all, is fittingly called piety.

Reply Obj. 3: The mind of man is not moved by the Holy Ghost, unless in some way it be united to Him: even as the instrument is not moved by the craftsman, unless there by contact or some other kind of union between them. Now the primal union of man with God is by faith, hope and charity: and, consequently, these virtues are presupposed to the gifts, as being their roots. Therefore all the gifts correspond to these three virtues, as being derived therefrom.

Reply Obj. 4: Love, hope and joy have good for their object. Now God is the Sovereign Good: wherefore the names of these passions are transferred to the theological virtues which unite man to God. On the other hand, the object of fear is evil, which can nowise apply to God: hence fear does not denote union with God, but withdrawal from certain things through reverence for God. Hence it does not give its name to a theological virtue, but to a gift, which withdraws us from evil, for higher motives than moral virtue does.

Reply Obj. 5: Wisdom directs both the intellect and the affections of man. Hence two gifts are set down as corresponding to wisdom as their directing principle; on the part of the intellect, the gift of understanding; on the part of the affections, the gift of fear. Because the principal reason for fearing God is taken from a consideration of the Divine excellence, which wisdom considers.

^Q. 68


Art. 5: Whether the gifts of the Holy Ghost are connected?[edit]

It would seem that the gifts are not connected.

Obj. 1: For the Apostle says (1 Cor. 12:8): "To one . . . by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom, and to another, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit." Now wisdom and knowledge are reckoned among the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Therefore the gifts of the Holy Ghost are given to divers men, and are not connected together in the same man.

Obj. 2: Further, Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 1) that "many of the faithful have not knowledge, though they have faith." But some of the gifts, at least the gift of fear, accompany faith. Therefore it seems that the gifts are not necessarily connected together in one and the same man.

Obj. 3: Further, Gregory says (Moral. i) that wisdom "is of small account if it lack understanding, and understanding is wholly useless if it be not based upon wisdom . . . Counsel is worthless, when the strength of fortitude is lacking thereto . . . and fortitude is very weak if it be not supported by counsel . . . Knowledge is nought if it hath not the use of piety . . . and piety is very useless if it lack the discernment of knowledge . . . and assuredly, unless it has these virtues with it, fear itself rises up to the doing of no good action": from which it seems that it is possible to have one gift without another. Therefore the gifts of the Holy Ghost are not connected.

On the contrary, Gregory prefaces the passage above quoted, with the following remark: "It is worthy of note in this feast of Job's sons, that by turns they fed one another." Now the sons of Job, of whom he is speaking, denote the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Therefore the gifts of the Holy Ghost are connected together by strengthening one another.

I answer that, The true answer to this question is easily gathered from what has been already set down. For it has been stated (A. 3) that as the powers of the appetite are disposed by the moral virtues as regards the governance of reason, so all the powers of the soul are disposed by the gifts as regards the motion of the Holy Ghost. Now the Holy Ghost dwells in us by charity, according to Rom. 5:5: "The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Who is given to us," even as our reason is perfected by prudence. Wherefore, just as the moral virtues are united together in prudence, so the gifts of the Holy Ghost are connected together in charity: so that whoever has charity has all the gifts of the Holy Ghost, none of which can one possess without charity.

Reply Obj. 1: Wisdom and knowledge can be considered in one way as gratuitous graces, in so far, to wit, as man so far abounds in the knowledge of things Divine and human, that he is able both to instruct the believer and confound the unbeliever. It is in this sense that the Apostle speaks, in this passage, about wisdom and knowledge: hence he mentions pointedly the "word" of wisdom and the "word" of knowledge. They may be taken in another way for the gifts of the Holy Ghost: and thus wisdom and knowledge are nothing else but perfections of the human mind, rendering it amenable to the promptings of the Holy Ghost in the knowledge of things Divine and human. Consequently it is clear that these gifts are in all who are possessed of charity.

Reply Obj. 2: Augustine is speaking there of knowledge, while expounding the passage of the Apostle quoted above (Obj. 1): hence he is referring to knowledge, in the sense already explained, as a gratuitous grace. This is clear from the context which follows: "For it is one thing to know only what a man must believe in order to gain the blissful life, which is no other than eternal life; and another, to know how to impart this to godly souls, and to defend it against the ungodly, which latter the Apostle seems to have styled by the proper name of knowledge."

Reply Obj. 3: Just as the connection of the cardinal virtues is proved in one way from the fact that one is, in a manner, perfected by another, as stated above (Q. 65, A. 1); so Gregory wishes to prove the connection of the gifts, in the same way, from the fact that one cannot be perfect without the other. Hence he had already observed that "each particular virtue is to the last degree destitute, unless one virtue lend its support to another." We are therefore not to understand that one gift can be without another; but that if understanding were without wisdom, it would not be a gift; even as temperance, without justice, would not be a virtue.

^Q. 68


Art. 6: Whether the gifts of the Holy Ghost remain in heaven?[edit]

It would seem that the gifts of the Holy Ghost do not remain in heaven.

Obj. 1: For Gregory says (Moral. ii, 26) that by means of His sevenfold gift the "Holy Ghost instructs the mind against all temptations." Now there will be no temptations in heaven, according to Isa. 11:9: "They shall not hurt, nor shall they kill in all My holy mountain." Therefore there will be no gifts of the Holy Ghost in heaven.

Obj. 2: Further, the gifts of the Holy Ghost are habits, as stated above (A. 3). But habits are of no use, where their acts are impossible. Now the acts of some gifts are not possible in heaven; for Gregory says (Moral. i, 15) that "understanding . . . penetrates the truths heard . . . counsel . . . stays us from acting rashly . . . fortitude . . . has no fear of adversity . . . piety satisfies the inmost heart with deeds of mercy," all of which are incompatible with the heavenly state. Therefore these gifts will not remain in the state of glory.

Obj. 3: Further, some of the gifts perfect man in the contemplative life, e.g. wisdom and understanding: and some in the active life, e.g. piety and fortitude. Now the active life ends with this as Gregory states (Moral. vi). Therefore not all the gifts of the Holy Ghost will be in the state of glory.

On the contrary, Ambrose says (De Spiritu Sancto i, 20): "The city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem is not washed with the waters of an earthly river: it is the Holy Ghost, of Whose outpouring we but taste, Who, proceeding from the Fount of life, seems to flow more abundantly in those celestial spirits, a seething torrent of sevenfold heavenly virtue."

I answer that, We may speak of the gifts in two ways: first, as to their essence; and thus they will be most perfectly in heaven, as may be gathered from the passage of Ambrose, just quoted. The reason for this is that the gifts of the Holy Ghost render the human mind amenable to the motion of the Holy Ghost: which will be especially realized in heaven, where God will be "all in all" (1 Cor. 15:28), and man entirely subject unto Him. Secondly, they may be considered as regards the matter about which their operations are: and thus, in the present life they have an operation about a matter, in respect of which they will have no operation in the state of glory. Considered in this way, they will not remain in the state of glory; just as we have stated to be the case with regard to the cardinal virtues (Q. 67, A. 1).

Reply Obj. 1: Gregory is speaking there of the gifts according as they are compatible with the present state: for it is thus that they afford us protection against evil temptations. But in the state of glory, where all evil will have ceased, we shall be perfected in good by the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Reply Obj. 2: Gregory, in almost every gift, includes something that passes away with the present state, and something that remains in the future state. For he says that "wisdom strengthens the mind with the hope and certainty of eternal things"; of which two, hope passes, and certainty remains. Of understanding, he says "that it penetrates the truths heard, refreshing the heart and enlightening its darkness," of which, hearing passes away, since "they shall teach no more every man . . . his brother" (Jer. 31:3, 4); but the enlightening of the mind remains. Of counsel he says that it "prevents us from being impetuous," which is necessary in the present life; and also that "it makes the mind full of reason," which is necessary even in the future state. Of fortitude he says that it "fears not adversity," which is necessary in the present life; and further, that it "sets before us the viands of confidence," which remains also in the future life. With regard to knowledge he mentions only one thing, viz. that "she overcomes the void of ignorance," which refers to the present state. When, however, he adds "in the womb of the mind," this may refer figuratively to the fulness of knowledge, which belongs to the future state. Of piety he says that "it satisfies the inmost heart with deeds of mercy." These words taken literally refer only to the present state: yet the inward regard for our neighbor, signified by "the inmost heart," belongs also to the future state, when piety will achieve, not works of mercy, but fellowship of joy. Of fear he says that "it oppresses the mind, lest it pride itself in present things," which refers to the present state, and that "it strengthens it with the meat of hope for the future," which also belongs to the present state, as regards hope, but may also refer to the future state, as regards being "strengthened" for things we hope are here, and obtain there.

Reply Obj. 3: This argument considers the gifts as to their matter. For the matter of the gifts will not be the works of the active life; but all the gifts will have their respective acts about things pertaining to the contemplative life, which is the life of heavenly bliss.

^Q. 68


Art. 7: Whether the gifts are set down by Isaias in their order of dignity?[edit]

It would seem that the gifts are not set down by Isaias in their order of dignity.

Obj. 1: For the principal gift is, seemingly, that which, more than the others, God requires of man. Now God requires of man fear, more than the other gifts: for it is written (Deut. 10:12): "And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but that thou fear the Lord thy God?" and (Malachi 1:6): "If . . . I be a master, where is My fear?" Therefore it seems that fear, which is mentioned last, is not the lowest but the greatest of the gifts.

Obj. 2: Further, piety seems to be a kind of common good; since the Apostle says (1 Tim. 4:8): "Piety [Douay: 'Godliness'] is profitable to all things." Now a common good is preferable to particular goods. Therefore piety, which is given the last place but one, seems to be the most excellent gift.

Obj. 3: Further, knowledge perfects man's judgment, while counsel pertains to inquiry. But judgment is more excellent than inquiry. Therefore knowledge is a more excellent gift than counsel; and yet it is set down as being below it.

Obj. 4: Further, fortitude pertains to the appetitive power, while science belongs to reason. But reason is a more excellent power than the appetite. Therefore knowledge is a more excellent gift than fortitude; and yet the latter is given the precedence. Therefore the gifts are not set down in their order of dignity.

On the contrary, Augustine says [*De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 4]: "It seems to me that the sevenfold operation of the Holy Ghost, of which Isaias speaks, agrees in degrees and expression with these" (of which we read in Matt. 5:3): "but there is a difference of order, for there" (viz. in Isaias) "the enumeration begins with the more excellent gifts, here, with the lower gifts."

I answer that, The excellence of the gifts can be measured in two ways: first, simply, viz. by comparison to their proper acts as proceeding from their principles; secondly, relatively, viz. by comparison to their matter. If we consider the excellence of the gifts simply, they follow the same rule as the virtues, as to their comparison one with another; because the gifts perfect man for all the acts of the soul's powers, even as the virtues do, as stated above (A. 4). Hence, as the intellectual virtues have the precedence of the moral virtues, and among the intellectual virtues, the contemplative are preferable to the active, viz. wisdom, understanding and science to prudence and art (yet so that wisdom stands before understanding, and understanding before science, and prudence and synesis before eubulia): so also among the gifts, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and counsel are more excellent than piety, fortitude, and fear; and among the latter, piety excels fortitude, and fortitude fear, even as justice surpasses fortitude, and fortitude temperance. But in regard to their matter, fortitude and counsel precede knowledge and piety: because fortitude and counsel are concerned with difficult matters, whereas piety and knowledge regard ordinary matters. Consequently the excellence of the gifts corresponds with the order in which they are enumerated; but so far as wisdom and understanding are given the preference to the others, their excellence is considered simply, while, so far, as counsel and fortitude are preferred to knowledge and piety, it is considered with regard to their matter.

Reply Obj. 1: Fear is chiefly required as being the foundation, so to speak, of the perfection of the other gifts, for "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Ps. 110:10; Ecclus. 1:16), and not as though it were more excellent than the others. Because, in the order of generation, man departs from evil on account of fear (Prov. 16:16), before doing good works, and which result from the other gifts.

Reply Obj. 2: In the words quoted from the Apostle, piety is not compared with all God's gifts, but only with "bodily exercise," of which he had said it "is profitable to little."

Reply Obj. 3: Although knowledge stands before counsel by reason of its judgment, yet counsel is more excellent by reason of its matter: for counsel is only concerned with matters of difficulty (Ethic. iii, 3), whereas the judgment of knowledge embraces all matters.

Reply Obj. 4: The directive gifts which pertain to the reason are more excellent than the executive gifts, if we consider them in relation to their acts as proceeding from their powers, because reason transcends the appetite as a rule transcends the thing ruled. But on the part of the matter, counsel is united to fortitude as the directive power to the executive, and so is knowledge united to piety: because counsel and fortitude are concerned with matters of difficulty, while knowledge and piety are concerned with ordinary matters. Hence counsel together with fortitude, by reason of their matter, are given the preference to knowledge and piety.

^Q. 68


Art. 8: Whether the virtues are more excellent than the gifts?[edit]

It would seem that the virtues are more excellent than the gifts.

Obj. 1: For Augustine says (De Trin. xv, 18) while speaking of charity: "No gift of God is more excellent than this. It is this alone which divides the children of the eternal kingdom from the children of eternal damnation. Other gifts are bestowed by the Holy Ghost, but, without charity, they avail nothing." But charity is a virtue. Therefore a virtue is more excellent than the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 2: Further, that which is first naturally, seems to be more excellent. Now the virtues precede the gifts of the Holy Ghost; for Gregory says (Moral. ii, 26) that "the gift of the Holy Ghost in the mind it works on, forms first of all justice, prudence, fortitude, temperance . . . and doth afterwards give it a temper in the seven virtues" (viz. the gifts), so "as against folly to bestow wisdom; against dullness, understanding; against rashness, counsel; against fear, fortitude; against ignorance, knowledge; against hardness of heart, piety; against piety, fear." Therefore the virtues are more excellent than the gifts.

Obj. 3: Further, Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. ii, 19) that "the virtues cannot be used to evil purpose." But it is possible to make evil use of the gifts, for Gregory says (Moral. i, 18): "We offer up the sacrifice of prayer . . . lest wisdom may uplift; or understanding, while it runs nimbly, deviate from the right path; or counsel, while it multiplies itself, grow into confusion; that fortitude, while it gives confidence, may not make us rash; lest knowledge, while it knows and yet loves not, may swell the mind; lest piety, while it swerves from the right line, may become distorted; and lest fear, while it is unduly alarmed, may plunge us into the pit of despair." Therefore the virtues are more excellent than the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

On the contrary, The gifts are bestowed to assist the virtues and to remedy certain defects, as is shown in the passage quoted (Obj. 2), so that, seemingly, they accomplish what the virtues cannot. Therefore the gifts are more excellent than the virtues.

I answer that, As was shown above (Q. 58, A. 3; Q. 62, A. 1), there are three kinds of virtues: for some are theological, some intellectual, and some moral. The theological virtues are those whereby man's mind is united to God; the intellectual virtues are those whereby reason itself is perfected; and the moral virtues are those which perfect the powers of appetite in obedience to the reason. On the other hand the gifts of the Holy Ghost dispose all the powers of the soul to be amenable to the Divine motion.

Accordingly the gifts seem to be compared to the theological virtues, by which man is united to the Holy Ghost his Mover, in the same way as the moral virtues are compared to the intellectual virtues, which perfect the reason, the moving principle of the moral virtues. Wherefore as the intellectual virtues are more excellent than the moral virtues and control them, so the theological virtues are more excellent than the gifts of the Holy Ghost and regulate them. Hence Gregory says (Moral. i, 12) that "the seven sons," i.e. the seven gifts, "never attain the perfection of the number ten, unless all they do be done in faith, hope, and charity."

But if we compare the gifts to the other virtues, intellectual and moral, then the gifts have the precedence of the virtues. Because the gifts perfect the soul's powers in relation to the Holy Ghost their Mover; whereas the virtues perfect, either the reason itself, or the other powers in relation to reason: and it is evident that the more exalted the mover, the more excellent the disposition whereby the thing moved requires to be disposed. Therefore the gifts are more perfect than the virtues.

Reply Obj. 1: Charity is a theological virtue; and such we grant to be more perfect than the gifts.

Reply Obj. 2: There are two ways in which one thing precedes another. One is in order of perfection and dignity, as love of God precedes love of our neighbor: and in this way the gifts precede the intellectual and moral virtues, but follow the theological virtues. The other is the order of generation or disposition: thus love of one's neighbor precedes love of God, as regards the act: and in this way moral and intellectual virtues precede the gifts, since man, through being well subordinate to his own reason, is disposed to be rightly subordinate to God.

Reply Obj. 3: Wisdom and understanding and the like are gifts of the Holy Ghost, according as they are quickened by charity, which "dealeth not perversely" (1 Cor. 13:4). Consequently wisdom and understanding and the like cannot be used to evil purpose, in so far as they are gifts of the Holy Ghost. But, lest they depart from the perfection of charity, they assist one another. This is what Gregory means to say.

^Q. 68

QUESTION 69: OF THE BEATITUDES[edit]

^TOC ^Of Other Matters Connected with Virtues

We must now consider the beatitudes: under which head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the beatitudes differ from the gifts and virtues?

(2) Of the rewards of the beatitudes: whether they refer to this life?

(3) Of the number of the beatitudes;

(4) Of the fittingness of the rewards ascribed to the beatitudes.


Art. 1: Whether the beatitudes differ from the virtues and gifts?[edit]

It would seem that the beatitudes do not differ from the virtues and gifts.

Obj. 1: For Augustine (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 4) assigns the beatitudes recited by Matthew (v 3, seqq.) to the gifts of the Holy Ghost; and Ambrose in his commentary on Luke 6:20, seqq., ascribes the beatitudes mentioned there, to the four cardinal virtues. Therefore the beatitudes do not differ from the virtues and gifts.

Obj. 2: Further, there are but two rules of the human will: the reason and the eternal law, as stated above (Q. 19, A. 3; Q. 21, A. 1). Now the virtues perfect man in relation to reason; while the gifts perfect him in relation to the eternal law of the Holy Ghost, as is clear from what has been said (Q. 68, AA. 1, 3, seqq.). Therefore there cannot be anything else pertaining to the rectitude of the human will, besides the virtues and gifts. Therefore the beatitudes do not differ from them.

Obj. 3: Further, among the beatitudes are included meekness, justice, and mercy, which are said to be virtues. Therefore the beatitudes do not differ from the virtues and gifts.

On the contrary, Certain things are included among the beatitudes, that are neither virtues nor gifts, e.g. poverty, mourning, and peace. Therefore the beatitudes differ from the virtues and gifts.

I answer that, As stated above (Q. 2, A. 7; Q. 3, A. 1), happiness is the last end of human life. Now one is said to possess the end already, when one hopes to possess it; wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 9) that "children are said to be happy because they are full of hope"; and the Apostle says (Rom. 8:24): "We are saved by hope." Again, we hope to obtain an end, because we are suitably moved towards that end, and approach thereto; and this implies some action. And a man is moved towards, and approaches the happy end by works of virtue, and above all by the works of the gifts, if we speak of eternal happiness, for which our reason is not sufficient, since we need to be moved by the Holy Ghost, and to be perfected with His gifts that we may obey and follow him. Consequently the beatitudes differ from the virtues and gifts, not as habit from habit, but as act from habit.

Reply Obj. 1: Augustine and Ambrose assign the beatitudes to the gifts and virtues, as acts are ascribed to habits. But the gifts are more excellent than the cardinal virtues, as stated above (Q. 68, A. 8). Wherefore Ambrose, in explaining the beatitudes propounded to the throng, assigns them to the cardinal virtues, whereas Augustine, who is explaining the beatitudes delivered to the disciples on the mountain, and so to those who were more perfect, ascribes them to the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Reply Obj. 2: This argument proves that no other habits, besides the virtues and gifts, rectify human conduct.

Reply Obj. 3: Meekness is to be taken as denoting the act of meekness: and the same applies to justice and mercy. And though these might seem to be virtues, they are nevertheless ascribed to gifts, because the gifts perfect man in all matters wherein the virtues perfect him, as stated above (Q. 68, A. 2).

^Q. 69


Art. 2: Whether the rewards assigned to the beatitudes refer to this life?[edit]

It would seem that the rewards assigned to the beatitudes do not refer to this life.

Obj. 1: Because some are said to be happy because they hope for a reward, as stated above (A. 1). Now the object of hope is future happiness. Therefore these rewards refer to the life to come.

Obj. 2: Further, certain punishments are set down in opposition to the beatitudes, Luke 6:25, where we read: "Woe to you that are filled; for you shall hunger. Woe to you that now laugh, for you shall mourn and weep." Now these punishments do not refer to this life, because frequently men are not punished in this life, according to Job 21:13: "They spend their days in wealth." Therefore neither do the rewards of the beatitudes refer to this life.

Obj. 3: Further, the kingdom of heaven which is set down as the reward of poverty is the happiness of heaven, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xix) [*Cf. De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 1]. Again, abundant fullness is not to be had save in the life to come, according to Ps. 16:15: "I shall be filled [Douay: 'satisfied'] when Thy glory shall appear." Again, it is only in the future life that we shall see God, and that our Divine sonship will be made manifest, according to 1 John 3:2: "We are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like to Him, because we shall see Him as He is." Therefore these rewards refer to the future life.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 4): "These promises can be fulfilled in this life, as we believe them to have been fulfilled in the apostles. For no words can express that complete change into the likeness even of an angel, which is promised to us after this life."

I answer that, Expounders of Holy Writ are not agreed in speaking of these rewards. For some, with Ambrose (Super Luc. v), hold that all these rewards refer to the life to come; while Augustine (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 4) holds them to refer to the present life; and Chrysostom in his homilies (In Matth. xv) says that some refer to the future, and some to the present life.

In order to make the matter clear we must take note that hope of future happiness may be in us for two reasons. First, by reason of our having a preparation for, or a disposition to future happiness; and this is by way of merit; secondly, by a kind of imperfect inchoation of future happiness in holy men, even in this life. For it is one thing to hope that the tree will bear fruit, when the leaves begin to appear, and another, when we see the first signs of the fruit.

Accordingly, those things which are set down as merits in the beatitudes, are a kind of preparation for, or disposition to happiness, either perfect or inchoate: while those that are assigned as rewards, may be either perfect happiness, so as to refer to the future life, or some beginning of happiness, such as is found in those who have attained perfection, in which case they refer to the present life. Because when a man begins to make progress in the acts of the virtues and gifts, it is to be hoped that he will arrive at perfection, both as a wayfarer, and as a citizen of the heavenly kingdom.

Reply Obj. 1: Hope regards future happiness as the last end: yet it may also regard the assistance of grace as that which leads to that end, according to Ps. 27:7: "In Him hath my heart hoped, and I have been helped."

Reply Obj. 2: Although sometimes the wicked do not undergo temporal punishment in this life, yet they suffer spiritual punishment. Hence Augustine says (Confess. i): "Thou hast decreed, and it is so, Lord—that the disordered mind should be its own punishment." The Philosopher, too, says of the wicked (Ethic. ix, 4) that "their soul is divided against itself . . . one part pulls this way, another that"; and afterwards he concludes, saying: "If wickedness makes a man so miserable, he should strain every nerve to avoid vice." In like manner, although, on the other hand, the good sometimes do not receive material rewards in this life, yet they never lack spiritual rewards, even in this life, according to Matt. 19:29, and Mk. 10:30: "Ye shall receive a hundred times as much" even "in this time."

Reply Obj. 3: All these rewards will be fully consummated in the life to come: but meanwhile they are, in a manner, begun, even in this life. Because the "kingdom of heaven," as Augustine says (loc. cit.), can denote the beginning of perfect wisdom, in so far as "the spirit" begins to reign in men. The "possession" of the land denotes the well-ordered affections of the soul that rests, by its desire, on the solid foundation of the eternal inheritance, signified by "the land." They are "comforted" in this life, by receiving the Holy Ghost, Who is called the "Paraclete," i.e. the Comforter. They "have their fill," even in this life, of that food of which Our Lord said (John 4:34): "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me." Again, in this life, men "obtain" God's "Mercy." Again, the eye being cleansed by the gift of understanding, we can, so to speak, "see God." Likewise, in this life, those who are the "peacemakers" of their own movements, approach to likeness to God, and are called "the children of God." Nevertheless these things will be more perfectly fulfilled in heaven.

^Q. 69


Art. 3: Whether the beatitudes are suitably enumerated?[edit]

It would seem that the beatitudes are unsuitably enumerated.

Obj. 1: For the beatitudes are assigned to the gifts, as stated above (A. 1, ad 1). Now some of the gifts, viz. wisdom and understanding, belong to the contemplative life: yet no beatitude is assigned to the act of contemplation, for all are assigned to matters connected with the active life. Therefore the beatitudes are insufficiently enumerated.

Obj. 2: Further, not only do the executive gifts belong to the active life, but also some of the directive gifts, e.g. knowledge and counsel: yet none of the beatitudes seems to be directly connected with the acts of knowledge or counsel. Therefore the beatitudes are insufficiently indicated.

Obj. 3: Further, among the executive gifts connected with the active life, fear is said to be connected with poverty, while piety seems to correspond to the beatitude of mercy: yet nothing is included directly connected with justice. Therefore the beatitudes are insufficiently enumerated.

Obj. 4: Further, many other beatitudes are mentioned in Holy Writ. Thus, it is written (Job 5:17): "Blessed is the man whom God correcteth"; and (Ps. i, 1): "Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly"; and (Prov. 3:13): "Blessed is the man that findeth wisdom." Therefore the beatitudes are insufficiently enumerated.

Obj. 5: On the other hand, it seems that too many are mentioned. For there are seven gifts of the Holy Ghost: whereas eight beatitudes are indicated.

Obj. 6: Further, only four beatitudes are indicated in the sixth chapter of Luke. Therefore the seven or eight mentioned in Matthew 5 are too many.

I answer that, These beatitudes are most suitably enumerated. To make this evident it must be observed that beatitude has been held to consist in one of three things: for some have ascribed it to a sensual life, some, to an active life, and some, to a contemplative life [*See Q. 3]. Now these three kinds of happiness stand in different relations to future beatitude, by hoping for which we are said to be happy. Because sensual happiness, being false and contrary to reason, is an obstacle to future beatitude; while happiness of the active life is a disposition of future beatitude; and contemplative happiness, if perfect, is the very essence of future beatitude, and, if imperfect, is a beginning thereof.

And so Our Lord, in the first place, indicated certain beatitudes as removing the obstacle of sensual happiness. For a life of pleasure consists of two things. First, in the affluence of external goods, whether riches or honors; from which man is withdrawn—by a virtue so that he uses them in moderation—and by a gift, in a more excellent way, so that he despises them altogether. Hence the first beatitude is: "Blessed are the poor in spirit," which may refer either to the contempt of riches, or to the contempt of honors, which results from humility. Secondly, the sensual life consists in following the bent of one's passions, whether irascible or concupiscible. From following the irascible passions man is withdrawn—by a virtue, so that they are kept within the bounds appointed by the ruling of reason—and by a gift, in a more excellent manner, so that man, according to God's will, is altogether undisturbed by them: hence the second beatitude is: "Blessed are the meek." From following the concupiscible passions, man is withdrawn—by a virtue, so that man uses these passions in moderation—and by a gift, so that, if necessary, he casts them aside altogether; nay more, so that, if need be, he makes a deliberate choice of sorrow [*Cf. Q. 35, A. 3]; hence the third beatitude is: "Blessed are they that mourn."

Active life consists chiefly in man's relations with his neighbor, either by way of duty or by way of spontaneous gratuity. To the former we are disposed—by a virtue, so that we do not refuse to do our duty to our neighbor, which pertains to justice—and by a gift, so that we do the same much more heartily, by accomplishing works of justice with an ardent desire, even as a hungry and thirsty man eats and drinks with eager appetite. Hence the fourth beatitude is: "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice." With regard to spontaneous favors we are perfected—by a virtue, so that we give where reason dictates we should give, e.g. to our friends or others united to us; which pertains to the virtue of liberality—and by a gift, so that, through reverence for God, we consider only the needs of those on whom we bestow our gratuitous bounty: hence it is written (Luke 14:12, 13): "When thou makest a dinner or supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren," etc . . . "but . . . call the poor, the maimed," etc.; which, properly, is to have mercy: hence the fifth beatitude is: "Blessed are the merciful."

Those things which concern the contemplative life, are either final beatitude itself, or some beginning thereof: wherefore they are included in the beatitudes, not as merits, but as rewards. Yet the effects of the active life, which dispose man for the contemplative life, are included in the beatitudes. Now the effect of the active life, as regards those virtues and gifts whereby man is perfected in himself, is the cleansing of man's heart, so that it is not defiled by the passions: hence the sixth beatitude is: "Blessed are the clean of heart." But as regards the virtues and gifts whereby man is perfected in relation to his neighbor, the effect of the active life is peace, according to Isa. 32:17: "The work of justice shall be peace": hence the seventh beatitude is "Blessed are the peacemakers."

Reply Obj. 1: The acts of the gifts which belong to the active life are indicated in the merits: but the acts of the gifts pertaining to the contemplative life are indicated in the rewards, for the reason given above. Because to "see God" corresponds to the gift of understanding; and to be like God by being adoptive "children of God," corresponds to the gift of wisdom.

Reply Obj. 2: In things pertaining to the active life, knowledge is not sought for its own sake, but for the sake of operation, as even the Philosopher states (Ethic. ii, 2). And therefore, since beatitude implies something ultimate, the beatitudes do not include the acts of those gifts which direct man in the active life, such acts, to wit, as are elicited by those gifts, as, e.g. to counsel is the act of counsel, and to judge, the act of knowledge: but, on the other hand, they include those operative acts of which the gifts have the direction, as, e.g. mourning in respect of knowledge, and mercy in respect of counsel.

Reply Obj. 3: In applying the beatitudes to the gifts we may consider two things. One is likeness of matter. In this way all the first five beatitudes may be assigned to knowledge and counsel as to their directing principles: whereas they must be distributed among the executive gifts: so that, to wit, hunger and thirst for justice, and mercy too, correspond to piety, which perfects man in his relations to others; meekness to fortitude, for Ambrose says on Luke 6:22: "It is the business of fortitude to conquer anger, and to curb indignation," fortitude being about the irascible passions: poverty and mourning to the gift of fear, whereby man withdraws from the lusts and pleasures of the world.

Secondly, we may consider the motives of the beatitudes: and, in this way, some of them will have to be assigned differently. Because the principal motive for meekness is reverence for God, which belongs to piety. The chief motive for mourning is knowledge, whereby man knows his failings and those of worldly things, according to Eccles. 1:18: "He that addeth knowledge, addeth also sorrow [Vulg: labor]." The principal motive for hungering after the works of justice is fortitude of the soul: and the chief motive for being merciful is God's counsel, according to Dan. 4:24: "Let my counsel be acceptable to the king [Vulg: to thee, O king]: and redeem thou thy sins with alms, and thy iniquities with works of mercy to the poor." It is thus that Augustine assigns them (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 4).

Reply Obj. 4: All the beatitudes mentioned in Holy Writ must be reduced to these, either as to the merits or as to the rewards: because they must all belong either to the active or to the contemplative life. Accordingly, when we read, "Blessed is the man whom the Lord correcteth," we must refer this to the beatitude of mourning: when we read, "Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly," we must refer it to cleanness of heart: and when we read, "Blessed is the man that findeth wisdom," this must be referred to the reward of the seventh beatitude. The same applies to all others that can be adduced.

Reply Obj. 5: The eighth beatitude is a confirmation and declaration of all those that precede. Because from the very fact that a man is confirmed in poverty of spirit, meekness, and the rest, it follows that no persecution will induce him to renounce them. Hence the eighth beatitude corresponds, in a way, to all the preceding seven.

Reply Obj. 6: Luke relates Our Lord's sermon as addressed to the multitude (Luke 6:17). Hence he sets down the beatitudes according to the capacity of the multitude, who know no other happiness than pleasure, temporal and earthly: wherefore by these four beatitudes Our Lord excludes four things which seem to belong to such happiness. The first of these is abundance of external goods, which he sets aside by saying: "Blessed are ye poor." The second is that man be well off as to his body, in food and drink, and so forth; this he excludes by saying in the second place: "Blessed are ye that hunger." The third is that it should be well with man as to joyfulness of heart, and this he puts aside by saying: "Blessed are ye that weep now." The fourth is the outward favor of man; and this he excludes, saying, fourthly: "Blessed shall you be, when men shall hate you." And as Ambrose says on Luke 6:20, "poverty corresponds to temperance, which is unmoved by delights; hunger, to justice, since who hungers is compassionate and, through compassion gives; mourning, to prudence, which deplores perishable things; endurance of men's hatred belongs to fortitude."

^Q. 69


Art. 4: Whether the rewards of the beatitudes are suitably enumerated?[edit]

It would seem that the rewards of the beatitudes are unsuitably enumerated.

Obj. 1: Because the kingdom of heaven, which is eternal life, contains all good things. Therefore, once given the kingdom of heaven, no other rewards should be mentioned.

Obj. 2: Further, the kingdom of heaven is assigned as the reward, both of the first and of the eighth beatitude. Therefore, on the same ground it should have been assigned to all.

Obj. 3: Further, the beatitudes are arranged in the ascending order, as Augustine remarks (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 4): whereas the rewards seem to be placed in the descending order, since to "possess the land" is less than to possess "the kingdom of heaven." Therefore these rewards are unsuitably enumerated.

On the contrary, stands the authority of Our Lord Who propounded these rewards.

I answer that, These rewards are most suitably assigned, considering the nature of the beatitudes in relation to the three kinds of happiness indicated above (A. 3). For the first three beatitudes concerned the withdrawal of man from those things in which sensual happiness consists: which happiness man desires by seeking the object of his natural desire, not where he should seek it, viz. in God, but in temporal and perishable things. Wherefore the rewards of the first three beatitudes correspond to these things which some men seek to find in earthly happiness. For men seek in external things, viz. riches and honors, a certain excellence and abundance, both of which are implied in the kingdom of heaven, whereby man attains to excellence and abundance of good things in God. Hence Our Lord promised the kingdom of heaven to the poor in spirit. Again, cruel and pitiless men seek by wrangling and fighting to destroy their enemies so as to gain security for themselves. Hence Our Lord promised the meek a secure and peaceful possession of the land of the living, whereby the solid reality of eternal goods is denoted. Again, men seek consolation for the toils of the present life, in the lusts and pleasures of the world. Hence Our Lord promises comfort to those that mourn.

Two other beatitudes belong to the works of active happiness, which are the works of virtues directing man in his relations to his neighbor: from which operations some men withdraw through inordinate love of their own good. Hence Our Lord assigns to these beatitudes rewards in correspondence with the motives for which men recede from them. For there are some who recede from acts of justice, and instead of rendering what is due, lay hands on what is not theirs, that they may abound in temporal goods. Wherefore Our Lord promised those who hunger after justice, that they shall have their fill. Some, again, recede from works of mercy, lest they be busied with other people's misery. Hence Our Lord promised the merciful that they should obtain mercy, and be delivered from all misery.

The last two beatitudes belong to contemplative happiness or beatitude: hence the rewards are assigned in correspondence with the dispositions included in the merit. For cleanness of the eye disposes one to see clearly: hence the clean of heart are promised that they shall see God. Again, to make peace either in oneself or among others, shows a man to be a follower of God, Who is the God of unity and peace. Hence, as a reward, he is promised the glory of the Divine sonship, consisting in perfect union with God through consummate wisdom.

Reply Obj. 1: As Chrysostom says (Hom. xv in Matth.), all these rewards are one in reality, viz. eternal happiness, which the human intellect cannot grasp. Hence it was necessary to describe it by means of various boons known to us, while observing due proportion to the merits to which those rewards are assigned.

Reply Obj. 2: Just as the eighth beatitude is a confirmation of all the beatitudes, so it deserves all the rewards of the beatitudes. Hence it returns to the first, that we may understand all the other rewards to be attributed to it in consequence. Or else, according to Ambrose (Super Luc. v), the kingdom of heaven is promised to the poor in spirit, as regards the glory of the soul; but to those who suffer persecution in their bodies, it is promised as regards the glory of the body.

Reply Obj. 3: The rewards are also arranged in ascending order. For it is more to possess the land of the heavenly kingdom than simply to have it: since we have many things without possessing them firmly and peacefully. Again, it is more to be comforted in the kingdom than to have and possess it, for there are many things the possession of which is accompanied by sorrow. Again, it is more to have one's fill than simply to be comforted, because fulness implies abundance of comfort. And mercy surpasses satiety, for thereby man receives more than he merited or was able to desire. And yet more is it to see God, even as he is a greater man who not only dines at court, but also sees the king's countenance. Lastly, the highest place in the royal palace belongs to the king's son.

^Q. 69

QUESTION 70: OF THE FRUITS OF THE HOLY GHOST[edit]

^TOC ^Of Other Matters Connected with Virtues

We must now consider the Fruits of the Holy Ghost: under which head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the fruits of the Holy Ghost are acts?

(2) Whether they differ from the beatitudes?

(3) Of their number?

(4) Of their opposition to the works of the flesh.


Art. 1: Whether the fruits of the Holy Ghost which the Apostle enumerates (Gal. 5) are acts?[edit]

It would seem that the fruits of the Holy Ghost, enumerated by the Apostle (Gal. 5:22, 23), are not acts.

Obj. 1: For that which bears fruit, should not itself be called a fruit, else we should go on indefinitely. But our actions bear fruit: for it is written (Wis. 3:15): "The fruit of good labor is glorious," and (John 4:36): "He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting." Therefore our actions are not to be called fruits.

Obj. 2: Further, as Augustine says (De Trin. x, 10), "we enjoy [*'Fruimur', from which verb we have the Latin 'fructus' and the English 'fruit'] the things we know, when the will rests by rejoicing in them." But our will should not rest in our actions for their own sake. Therefore our actions should not be called fruits.

Obj. 3: Further, among the fruits of the Holy Ghost, the Apostle numbers certain virtues, viz. charity, meekness, faith, and chastity. Now virtues are not actions but habits, as stated above (Q. 55, A. 1). Therefore the fruits are not actions.

On the contrary, It is written (Matt. 12:33): "By the fruit the tree is known"; that is to say, man is known by his works, as holy men explain the passage. Therefore human actions are called fruits.

I answer that, The word "fruit" has been transferred from the material to the spiritual world. Now fruit, among material things, is the product of a plant when it comes to perfection, and has a certain sweetness. This fruit has a twofold relation: to the tree that produces it, and to the man who gathers the fruit from the tree. Accordingly, in spiritual matters, we may take the word "fruit" in two ways: first, so that the fruit of man, who is likened to the tree, is that which he produces; secondly, so that man's fruit is what he gathers.

Yet not all that man gathers is fruit, but only that which is last and gives pleasure. For a man has both a field and a tree, and yet these are not called fruits; but that only which is last, to wit, that which man intends to derive from the field and from the tree. In this sense man's fruit is his last end which is intended for his enjoyment.

If, however, by man's fruit we understand a product of man, then human actions are called fruits: because operation is the second act of the operator, and gives pleasure if it is suitable to him. If then man's operation proceeds from man in virtue of his reason, it is said to be the fruit of his reason: but if it proceeds from him in respect of a higher power, which is the power of the Holy Ghost, then man's operation is said to be the fruit of the Holy Ghost, as of a Divine seed, for it is written (1 John 3:9): "Whosoever is born of God, committeth no sin, for His seed abideth in him."

Reply Obj. 1: Since fruit is something last and final, nothing hinders one fruit bearing another fruit, even as one end is subordinate to another. And so our works, in so far as they are produced by the Holy Ghost working in us, are fruits: but, in so far as they are referred to the end which is eternal life, they should rather be called flowers: hence it is written (Ecclus. 24:23): "My flowers are the fruits of honor and riches."

Reply Obj. 2: When the will is said to delight in a thing for its own sake, this may be understood in two ways. First, so that the expression "for the sake of" be taken to designate the final cause; and in this way, man delights in nothing for its own sake, except the last end. Secondly, so that it expresses the formal cause; and in this way, a man may delight in anything that is delightful by reason of its form. Thus it is clear that a sick man delights in health, for its own sake, as in an end; in a nice medicine, not as in an end, but as in something tasty; and in a nasty medicine, nowise for its own sake, but only for the sake of something else. Accordingly we must say that man must delight in God for His own sake, as being his last end, and in virtuous deeds, not as being his end, but for the sake of their inherent goodness which is delightful to the virtuous. Hence Ambrose says (De Parad. xiii) that virtuous deeds are called fruits because "they refresh those that have them, with a holy and genuine delight."

Reply Obj. 3: Sometimes the names of the virtues are applied to their actions: thus Augustine writes (Tract. xl in Joan.): "Faith is to believe what thou seest not"; and (De Doctr. Christ. iii, 10): "Charity is the movement of the soul in loving God and our neighbor." It is thus that the names of the virtues are used in reckoning the fruits.

^Q. 70


Art. 2: Whether the fruits differ from the beatitudes?[edit]

It would seem that the fruits do not differ from the beatitudes.

Obj. 1: For the beatitudes are assigned to the gifts, as stated above (Q. 69, A. 1, ad 1). But the gifts perfect man in so far as he is moved by the Holy Ghost. Therefore the beatitudes themselves are fruits of the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 2: Further, as the fruit of eternal life is to future beatitude which is that of actual possession, so are the fruits of the present life to the beatitudes of the present life, which are based on hope. Now the fruit of eternal life is identified with future beatitude. Therefore the fruits of the present life are the beatitudes.

Obj. 3: Further, fruit is essentially something ultimate and delightful. Now this is the very nature of beatitude, as stated above (Q. 3, A. 1; Q. 4, A. 1). Therefore fruit and beatitude have the same nature, and consequently should not be distinguished from one another.

On the contrary, Things divided into different species, differ from one another. But fruits and beatitudes are divided into different parts, as is clear from the way in which they are enumerated. Therefore the fruits differ from the beatitudes.

I answer that, More is required for a beatitude than for a fruit. Because it is sufficient for a fruit to be something ultimate and delightful; whereas for a beatitude, it must be something perfect and excellent. Hence all the beatitudes may be called fruits, but not vice versa. For the fruits are any virtuous deeds in which one delights: whereas the beatitudes are none but perfect works, and which, by reason of their perfection, are assigned to the gifts rather than to the virtues, as already stated (Q. 69, A. 1, ad 1).

Reply Obj. 1: This argument proves the beatitudes to be fruits, but not that all the fruits are beatitudes.

Reply Obj. 2: The fruit of eternal life is ultimate and perfect simply: hence it nowise differs from future beatitude. On the other hand the fruits of the present life are not simply ultimate and perfect; wherefore not all the fruits are beatitudes.

Reply Obj. 3: More is required for a beatitude than for a fruit, as stated.

^Q. 70


Art. 3: Whether the fruits are suitably enumerated by the Apostle?[edit]

It would seem that the fruits are unsuitably enumerated by the Apostle (Gal. 5:22, 23).

Obj. 1: Because, elsewhere, he says that there is only one fruit of the present life; according to Rom. 6:22: "You have your fruit unto sanctification." Moreover it is written (Isa. 27:9): "This is all the fruit . . . that the sin . . . be taken away." Therefore we should not reckon twelve fruits.

Obj. 2: Further, fruit is the product of spiritual seed, as stated (A. 1). But Our Lord mentions (Matt. 13:23) a threefold fruit as growing from a spiritual seed in a good ground, viz. "hundredfold, sixtyfold," and "thirtyfold." Therefore one should not reckon twelve fruits.

Obj. 3: Further, the very nature of fruit is to be something ultimate and delightful. But this does not apply to all the fruits mentioned by the Apostle: for patience and long-suffering seem to imply a painful object, while faith is not something ultimate, but rather something primary and fundamental. Therefore too many fruits are enumerated.

Obj. 4: On the other hand, It seems that they are enumerated insufficiently and incompletely. For it has been stated (A. 2) that all the beatitudes may be called fruits; yet not all are mentioned here. Nor is there anything corresponding to the acts of wisdom, and of many other virtues. Therefore it seems that the fruits are insufficiently enumerated.

I answer that, The number of the twelve fruits enumerated by the Apostle is suitable, and that there may be a reference to them in the twelve fruits of which it is written (Apoc. 22:2): "On both sides of the river was the tree bearing twelve fruits." Since, however, a fruit is something that proceeds from a source as from a seed or root, the difference between these fruits must be gathered from the various ways in which the Holy Ghost proceeds in us: which process consists in this, that the mind of man is set in order, first of all, in regard to itself; secondly, in regard to things that are near it; thirdly, in regard to things that are below it.

Accordingly man's mind is well disposed in regard to itself when it has a good disposition towards good things and towards evil things. Now the first disposition of the human mind towards the good is effected by love, which is the first of our emotions and the root of them all, as stated above (Q. 27, A. 4). Wherefore among the fruits of the Holy Ghost, we reckon "charity," wherein the Holy Ghost is given in a special manner, as in His own likeness, since He Himself is love. Hence it is written (Rom. 5:5): "The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Who is given to us." The necessary result of the love of charity is joy: because every lover rejoices at being united to the beloved. Now charity has always actual presence in God Whom it loves, according to 1 John 4:16: "He that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in Him": wherefore the sequel of charity is "joy." Now the perfection of joy is peace in two respects. First, as regards freedom from outward disturbance; for it is impossible to rejoice perfectly in the beloved good, if one is disturbed in the enjoyment thereof; and again, if a man's heart is perfectly set at peace in one object, he cannot be disquieted by any other, since he accounts all others as nothing; hence it is written (Ps. 118:165): "Much peace have they that love Thy Law, and to them there is no stumbling-block," because, to wit, external things do not disturb them in their enjoyment of God. Secondly, as regards the calm of the restless desire: for he does not perfectly rejoice, who is not satisfied with the object of his joy. Now peace implies these two things, namely, that we be not disturbed by external things, and that our desires rest altogether in one object. Wherefore after charity and joy, "peace" is given the third place. In evil things the mind has a good disposition, in respect of two things. First, by not being disturbed whenever evil threatens: which pertains to "patience"; secondly, by not being disturbed, whenever good things are delayed; which belongs to "long suffering," since "to lack good is a kind of evil" (Ethic. v, 3).

Man's mind is well disposed as regards what is near him, viz. his neighbor, first, as to the will to do good; and to this belongs goodness. Secondly, as to the execution of well-doing; and to this belongs benignity, for the benign are those in whom the salutary flame (bonus ignis) of love has enkindled the desire to be kind to their neighbor. Thirdly, as to his suffering with equanimity the evils his neighbor inflicts on him. To this belongs meekness, which curbs anger. Fourthly, in the point of our refraining from doing harm to our neighbor not only through anger, but also through fraud or deceit. To this pertains faith, if we take it as denoting fidelity. But if we take it for the faith whereby we believe in God, then man is directed thereby to that which is above him, so that he subject his intellect and, consequently, all that is his, to God.

Man is well disposed in respect of that which is below him, as regards external action, by modesty, whereby we observe the mode in all our words and deeds: as regards internal desires, by continency and chastity: whether these two differ because chastity withdraws man from unlawful desires, continency also from lawful desires: or because the continent man is subject to concupiscence, but is not led away; whereas the chaste man is neither subject to, nor led away from them.

Reply Obj. 1: Sanctification is effected by all the virtues, by which also sins are taken away. Consequently fruit is mentioned there in the singular, on account of its being generically one, though divided into many species which are spoken of as so many fruits.

Reply Obj. 2: The hundredfold, sixtyfold, and thirtyfold fruits do not differ as various species of virtuous acts, but as various degrees of perfection, even in the same virtue. Thus continency of the married state is said to be signified by the thirtyfold fruit; the continency of widowhood, by the sixtyfold; and virginal continency, by the hundredfold fruit. There are, moreover, other ways in which holy men distinguish three evangelical fruits according to the three degrees of virtue: and they speak of three degrees, because the perfection of anything is considered with respect to its beginning, its middle, and its end.

Reply Obj. 3: The fact of not being disturbed by painful things is something to delight in. And as to faith, if we consider it as the foundation, it has the aspect of being ultimate and delightful, in as much as it contains certainty: hence a gloss expounds thus: "Faith, which is certainty about the unseen."

Reply Obj. 4: As Augustine says on Gal. 5:22, 23, "the Apostle had no intention of teaching us how many (either works of the flesh, or fruits of the Spirit) there are; but to show how the former should be avoided, and the latter sought after." Hence either more or fewer fruits might have been mentioned. Nevertheless, all the acts of the gifts and virtues can be reduced to these by a certain kind of fittingness, in so far as all the virtues and gifts must needs direct the mind in one of the above-mentioned ways. Wherefore the acts of wisdom and of any gifts directing to good, are reduced to charity, joy and peace. The reason why he mentions these rather than others, is that these imply either enjoyment of good things, or relief from evils, which things seem to belong to the notion of fruit.

^Q. 70


Art. 4: Whether the fruits of the Holy Ghost are contrary to the works of the flesh?[edit]

Obj. 1: It would seem that the fruits of the Holy Ghost are not contrary to the works of the flesh, which the Apostle enumerates (Gal. 5:19, seqq.). Because contraries are in the same genus. But the works of the flesh are not called fruits. Therefore the fruits of the Spirit are not contrary to them.

Obj. 2: Further, one thing has a contrary. Now the Apostle mentions more works of the flesh than fruits of the Spirit. Therefore the fruits of the Spirit and the works of the flesh are not contrary to one another.

Obj. 3: Further, among the fruits of the Spirit, the first place is given to charity, joy, and peace: to which, fornication, uncleanness, and immodesty, which are the first of the works of the flesh, are not opposed. Therefore the fruits of the Spirit are not contrary to the works of the flesh.

On the contrary, The Apostle says (Gal. 5:17) that "the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh."

I answer that, The works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit may be taken in two ways. First, in general: and in this way the fruits of the Holy Ghost considered in general are contrary to the works of the flesh. Because the Holy Ghost moves the human mind to that which is in accord with reason, or rather to that which surpasses reason: whereas the fleshly, viz. the sensitive, appetite draws man to sensible goods which are beneath him. Wherefore, since upward and downward are contrary movements in the physical order, so in human actions the works of the flesh are contrary to the fruits of the Spirit.

Secondly, both fruits and fleshly works as enumerated may be considered singly, each according to its specific nature. And in this they are not of necessity contrary each to each: because, as stated above (A. 3, ad 4), the Apostle did not intend to enumerate all the works, whether spiritual or carnal. However, by a kind of adaptation, Augustine, commenting on Gal. 5:22, 23, contrasts the fruits with the carnal works, each to each. Thus "to fornication, which is the love of satisfying lust outside lawful wedlock, we may contrast charity, whereby the soul is wedded to God: wherein also is true chastity. By uncleanness we must understand whatever disturbances arise from fornication: and to these the joy of tranquillity is opposed. Idolatry, by reason of which war was waged against the Gospel of God, is opposed to peace. Against witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths and quarrels, there is longsuffering, which helps us to bear the evils inflicted on us by those among whom we dwell; while kindness helps us to cure those evils; and goodness, to forgive them. In contrast to heresy there is faith; to envy, mildness; to drunkenness and revellings, continency."

Reply Obj. 1: That which proceeds from a tree against the tree's nature, is not called its fruit, but rather its corruption. And since works of virtue are connatural to reason, while works of vice are contrary to nature, therefore it is that works of virtue are called fruits, but not so works of vice.

Reply Obj. 2: "Good happens in one way, evil in all manner of ways," as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv): so that to one virtue many vices are contrary. Consequently we must not be surprised if the works of the flesh are more numerous than the fruits of the spirit.

The Reply to the Third Objection is clear from what has been said.

^Q. 70