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St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

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  • SECOND PART
    • Aquin.: SMT FS Prologue Para. 1/1 - FIRST PART OF THE SECOND PART (FS) (QQ[1]-114)
      • Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE ACTS COMMANDED BY THE WILL (NINE ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE ACTS COMMANDED BY THE WILL (NINE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the acts commanded by the will; under which head
there are nine points of inquiry:

(1) Whether command is an act of the will or of the reason?

(2) Whether command belongs to irrational animals?

(3) Of the order between command and use

(4) Whether command and the commanded act are one act or distinct?

(5) Whether the act of the will is commanded?

(6) Whether the act of the reason is commanded?

(7) Whether the act of the sensitive appetite is commanded?

(8) Whether the act of the vegetal soul is commanded?

(9) Whether the acts of the external members are commanded?


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether command is an act of the reason or of the will?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that command is not an act of the reason but of the
will. For command is a kind of motion; because Avicenna says that there
are four ways of moving, "by perfecting, by disposing, by commanding, and
by counselling." But it belongs to the will to move all the other powers
of the soul, as stated above (Q[9], A[1]). Therefore command is an act of
the will.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, just as to be commanded belongs to that which is
subject, so, seemingly, to command belongs to that which is most free.
But the root of liberty is especially in the will. Therefore to command
belongs to the will.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, command is followed at once by act. But the act of the
reason is not followed at once by act: for he who judges that a thing
should be done, does not do it at once. Therefore command is not an act
of the reason, but of the will.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory of Nyssa [*Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xvi.] and the
Philosopher (Ethic. i, 13) say that "the appetite obeys reason."
Therefore command is an act of the reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[1] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Command is an act of the reason presupposing, however, an
act of the will. In proof of this, we must take note that, since the acts
of the reason and of the will can be brought to bear on one another, in
so far as the reason reasons about willing, and the will wills to reason,
the result is that the act of the reason precedes the act of the will,
and conversely. And since the power of the preceding act continues in the
act that follows, it happens sometimes that there is an act of the will
in so far as it retains in itself something of an act of the reason, as
we have stated in reference to use and choice; and conversely, that there
is an act of the reason in so far as it retains in itself something of an
act of the will.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[1] Body Para. 2/2

Now, command is essentially indeed an act of the reason: for the
commander orders the one commanded to do something, by way of intimation
or declaration; and to order thus by intimating or declaring is an act of
the reason. Now the reason can intimate or declare something in two ways.
First, absolutely: and this intimation is expressed by a verb in the
indicative mood, as when one person says to another: "This is what you
should do." Sometimes, however, the reason intimates something to a man
by moving him thereto; and this intimation is expressed by a verb in the
imperative mood; as when it is said to someone: "Do this." Now the first
mover, among the powers of the soul, to the doing of an act is the will,
as stated above (Q[9], A[1]). Since therefore the second mover does not
move, save in virtue of the first mover, it follows that the very fact
that the reason moves by commanding, is due to the power of the will.
Consequently it follows that command is an act of the reason,
presupposing an act of the will, in virtue of which the reason, by its
command, moves (the power) to the execution of the act.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: To command is to move, not anyhow, but by intimating and
declaring to another; and this is an act of the reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The root of liberty is the will as the subject thereof; but
it is the reason as its cause. For the will can tend freely towards
various objects, precisely because the reason can have various
perceptions of good. Hence philosophers define the free-will as being "a
free judgment arising from reason," implying that reason is the root of
liberty.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: This argument proves that command is an act of reason not
absolutely, but with a kind of motion as stated above.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether command belongs to irrational animals?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that command belongs to irrational animals.
Because, according to Avicenna, "the power that commands movement is the
appetite; and the power that executes movement is in the muscles and
nerves." But both powers are in irrational animals. Therefore command is
to be found in irrational animals.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the condition of a slave is that of one who receives
commands. But the body is compared to the soul as a slave to his master,
as the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 2). Therefore the body is commanded by
the soul, even in irrational animals, since they are composed of soul and
body.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, by commanding, man has an impulse towards an action.
But impulse to action is to be found in irrational animals, as Damascene
says (De Fide Orth. ii, 22). Therefore command is to be found in
irrational animals.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Command is an act of reason, as stated above (A[1]).
But in irrational animals there is no reason. Neither, therefore, is
there command.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[2] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, To command is nothing else than to direct someone to do
something, by a certain motion of intimation. Now to direct is the proper
act of reason. Wherefore it is impossible that irrational animals should
command in any way, since they are devoid of reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The appetitive power is said to command movement, in so far
as it moves the commanding reason. But this is only in man. In irrational
animals the appetitive power is not, properly speaking, a commanding
faculty, unless command be taken loosely for motion.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The body of the irrational animal is competent to obey; but
its soul is not competent to command, because it is not competent to
direct. Consequently there is no ratio there of commander and commanded;
but only of mover and moved.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Impulse to action is in irrational animals otherwise than
in man. For the impulse of man to action arises from the directing
reason; wherefore his impulse is one of command. On the other hand, the
impulse of the irrational animal arises from natural instinct; because as
soon as they apprehend the fitting or the unfitting, their appetite is
moved naturally to pursue or to avoid. Wherefore they are directed by
another to act; and they themselves do not direct themselves to act.
Consequently in them is impulse but not command.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether use precedes command?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that use precedes command. For command is an act of
the reason presupposing an act of the will, as stated above (A[1]). But,
as we have already shown (Q[16], A[1]), use is an act of the will.
Therefore use precedes command.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, command is one of those things that are ordained to the
end. But use is of those things that are ordained to the end. Therefore
it seems that use precedes command.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, every act of a power moved by the will is called use;
because the will uses the other powers, as stated above (Q[16], A[1]).
But command is an act of the reason as moved by the will, as stated above
(A[1]). Therefore command is a kind of use. Now the common precedes the
proper. Therefore use precedes command.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 22) that impulse to
action precedes use. But impulse to operation is given by command.
Therefore command precedes use.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, use of that which is directed to the end, in so far as it
is in the reason referring this to the end, precedes choice, as stated
above (Q[16], A[4]). Wherefore still more does it precede command. On the
other hand, use of that which is directed to the end, in so far as it is
subject to the executive power, follows command; because use in the user
is united to the act of the thing used; for one does not use a stick
before doing something with the stick. But command is not simultaneous
with the act of the thing to which the command is given: for it naturally
precedes its fulfilment, sometimes, indeed, by priority of time.
Consequently it is evident that command precedes use.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Not every act of the will precedes this act of the reason
which is command; but an act of the will precedes, viz. choice; and an
act of the will follows, viz. use. Because after counsel's decision,
which is reason's judgment, the will chooses; and after choice, the
reason commands that power which has to do what was chosen; and then,
last of all, someone's will begins to use, by executing the command of
reason; sometimes it is another's will, when one commands another;
sometimes the will of the one that commands, when he commands himself to
do something.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Just as act ranks before power, so does the object rank
before the act. Now the object of use is that which is directed to the
end. Consequently, from the fact that command precedes, rather than that
it follows use.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Just as the act of the will in using the reason for the
purpose of command, precedes the command; so also we may say that this
act whereby the will uses the reason, is preceded by a command of reason;
since the acts of these powers react on one another.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether command and the commanded act are one act, or distinct?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the commanded act is not one with the command
itself. For the acts of different powers are themselves distinct. But the
commanded act belongs to one power, and the command to another; since one
is the power that commands, and the other is the power that receives the
command. Therefore the commanded act is not one with the command.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, whatever things can be separate from one another, are
distinct: for nothing is severed from itself. But sometimes the commanded
act is separate from the command: for sometimes the command is given, and
the commanded act follows not. Therefore command is a distinct act from
the act commanded.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, whatever things are related to one another as precedent
and consequent, are distinct. But command naturally precedes the
commanded act. Therefore they are distinct.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Topic. iii, 2) that "where one
thing is by reason of another, there is but one." But there is no
commanded act unless by reason of the command. Therefore they are one.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[4] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Nothing prevents certain things being distinct in one
respect, and one in another respect. Indeed, every multitude is one in
some respect, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. xiii). But a difference is to
be observed in this, that some are simply many, and one in a particular
aspect: while with others it is the reverse. Now "one" is predicated in
the same way as "being." And substance is being simply, whereas accident
or being "of reason" is a being only in a certain respect. Wherefore
those things that are one in substance are one simply, though many in a
certain respect. Thus, in the genus substance, the whole composed of its
integral or essential parts, is one simply: because the whole is being
and substance simply, and the parts are being and substances in the
whole. But those things which are distinct in substance, and one
according to an accident, are distinct simply, and one in a certain
respect: thus many men are one people, and many stones are one heap;
which is unity of composition or order. In like manner also many
individuals that are one in genus or species are many simply, and one in
a certain respect: since to be one in genus or species is to be one
according to the consideration of the reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[4] Body Para. 2/2

Now just as in the genus of natural things, a whole is composed of
matter and form (e.g. man, who is one natural being, though he has many
parts, is composed of soul and body); so, in human acts, the act of a
lower power is in the position of matter in regard to the act of a higher
power, in so far as the lower power acts in virtue of the higher power
moving it: for thus also the act of the first mover is as the form in
regard to the act of its instrument. Hence it is evident that command and
the commanded act are one human act, just as a whole is one, yet in its
parts, many.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: If the distinct powers are not ordained to one another,
their acts are diverse simply. But when one power is the mover of the
other, then their acts are, in a way, one: since "the act of the mover
and the act of the thing moved are one act" (Phys. iii, 3).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The fact that command and the commanded act can be
separated from one another shows that they are different parts. Because
the parts of a man can be separated from one another, and yet they form
one whole.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: In those things that are many in parts, but one as a whole,
nothing hinders one part from preceding another. Thus the soul, in a way,
precedes the body; and the heart, the other members.



Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the act of the will is commanded?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the act of the will is not commanded. For
Augustine says (Confess. viii, 9): "The mind commands the mind to will,
and yet it does not." But to will is the act of the will. Therefore the
act of the will is not commanded.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, to receive a command belongs to one who can understand
the command. But the will cannot understand the command; for the will
differs from the intellect, to which it belongs to understand. Therefore
the act of the will is not commanded.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, if one act of the will is commanded, for the same reason
all are commanded. But if all the acts of the will are commanded, we must
needs proceed to infinity; because the act of the will precedes the act
of reason commanding, as stated above (A[1]); for if that act of the will
be also commanded, this command will be precedes by another act of the
reason, and so on to infinity. But to proceed to infinity is not
possible. Therefore the act of the will is not commanded.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[5] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Whatever is in our power, is subject to our command.
But the acts of the will, most of all, are in our power; since all our
acts are said to be in our power, in so far as they are voluntary.
Therefore the acts of the will are commanded by us.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[5] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (A[1]), command is nothing else than the
act of the reason directing, with a certain motion, something to act. Now
it is evident that the reason can direct the act of the will: for just as
it can judge it to be good to will something, so it can direct by
commanding man to will. From this it is evident that an act of the will
can be commanded.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: As Augustine says (Confess. viii, 9) when the mind commands
itself perfectly to will, then already it wills: but that sometimes it
commands and wills not, is due to the fact that it commands imperfectly.
Now imperfect command arises from the fact that the reason is moved by
opposite motives to command or not to command: wherefore it fluctuates
between the two, and fails to command perfectly.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Just as each of the members of the body works not for
itself alone but for the whole body; thus it is for the whole body that
the eye sees; so is it with the powers of the soul. For the intellect
understands, not for itself alone, but for all the powers; and the will
wills not only for itself, but for all the powers too. Wherefore man, in
so far as he is endowed with intellect and will, commands the act of the
will for himself.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Since command is an act of reason, that act is commanded
which is subject to reason. Now the first act of the will is not due to
the direction of the reason but to the instigation of nature, or of a
higher cause, as stated above (Q[9], A[4]). Therefore there is no need
to proceed to infinity.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[6] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the act of the reason is commanded?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[6] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the act of the reason cannot be commanded. For
it seems impossible for a thing to command itself. But it is the reason
that commands, as stated above (A[1]). Therefore the act of the reason is
not commanded.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[6] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, that which is essential is different from that which is
by participation. But the power whose act is commanded by reason, is
rational by participation, as stated in Ethic. i, 13. Therefore the act
of that power, which is essentially rational, is not commanded.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[6] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, that act is commanded, which is in our power. But to
know and judge the truth, which is the act of reason, is not always in
our power. Therefore the act of the reason cannot be commanded.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[6] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, That which we do of our free-will, can be done by our
command. But the acts of the reason are accomplished through the
free-will: for Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 22) that "by his
free-will man inquires, considers, judges, approves." Therefore the acts
of the reason can be commanded.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[6] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Since the reason reacts on itself, just as it directs the
acts of other powers, so can it direct its own act. Consequently its act
can be commanded.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[6] Body Para. 2/2

But we must take note that the act of the reason may be considered in
two ways. First, as to the exercise of the act. And considered thus, the
act of the reason can always be commanded: as when one is told to be
attentive, and to use one's reason. Secondly, as to the object; in
respect of which two acts of the reason have to be noticed. One is the
act whereby it apprehends the truth about something. This act is not in
our power: because it happens in virtue of a natural or supernatural
light. Consequently in this respect, the act of the reason is not in our
power, and cannot be commanded. The other act of the reason is that
whereby it assents to what it apprehends. If, therefore, that which the
reason apprehends is such that it naturally assents thereto, e.g. the
first principles, it is not in our power to assent or dissent to the
like: assent follows naturally, and consequently, properly speaking, is
not subject to our command. But some things which are apprehended do not
convince the intellect to such an extent as not to leave it free to
assent or dissent, or at least suspend its assent or dissent, on account
of some cause or other; and in such things assent or dissent is in our
power, and is subject to our command.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[6] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Reason commands itself, just as the will moves itself, as
stated above (Q[9], A[3]), that is to say, in so far as each power
reacts on its own acts, and from one thing tends to another.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 2: On account of the diversity of objects subject to the act
of the reason, nothing prevents the reason from participating in itself:
thus the knowledge of principles is participated in the knowledge of the
conclusions.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 2/2

The reply to the third object is evident from what has been said.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[7] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the act of the sensitive appetite is commanded?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[7] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the act of the sensitive appetite is not
commanded. For the Apostle says (Rm. 7:15): "For I do not that good which
I will": and a gloss explains this by saying that man lusts, although he
wills not to lust. But to lust is an act of the sensitive appetite.
Therefore the act of the sensitive appetite is not subject to our command.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[7] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, corporeal matter obeys God alone, to the effect of
formal transmutation, as was shown in the FP, Q[65], A[4]; FP, Q[91],
A[2]; FP, Q[110], A[2]. But the act of the sensitive appetite is
accompanied by a formal transmutation of the body, consisting in heat or
cold. Therefore the act of the sensitive appetite is not subject to man's
command.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[7] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the proper motive principle of the sensitive appetite is
something apprehended by sense or imagination. But it is not always in
our power to apprehend something by sense or imagination. Therefore the
act of the sensitive appetite is not subject to our command.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[7] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory of Nyssa [*Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xvi.] says:
"That which obeys reason is twofold, the concupiscible and the
irascible," which belong to the sensitive appetite. Therefore the act of
the sensitive appetite is subject to the command of reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[7] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, An act is subject to our command, in so far as it is in
our power, as stated above (A[5]). Consequently in order to understand in
what manner the act of the sensitive appetite is subject to the command
of reason, we must consider in what manner it is in our power. Now it
must be observed that the sensitive appetite differs from the
intellective appetite, which is called the will, in the fact that the
sensitive appetite is a power of a corporeal organ, whereas the will is
not. Again, every act of a power that uses a corporeal organ, depends not
only on a power of the soul, but also on the disposition of that
corporeal organ: thus the act of vision depends on the power of sight,
and on the condition of the eye, which condition is a help or a hindrance
to that act. Consequently the act of the sensitive appetite depends not
only on the appetitive power, but also on the disposition of the body.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[7] Body Para. 2/3

Now whatever part the power of the soul takes in the act, follows
apprehension. And the apprehension of the imagination, being a particular
apprehension, is regulated by the apprehension of reason, which is
universal; just as a particular active power is regulated by a universal
active power. Consequently in this respect the act of the sensitive
appetite is subject to the command of reason. On the other hand,
condition or disposition of the body is not subject to the command of
reason: and consequently in this respect, the movement of the sensitive
appetite is hindered from being wholly subject to the command of reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[7] Body Para. 3/3

Moreover it happens sometimes that the movement of the sensitive
appetite is aroused suddenly in consequence of an apprehension of the
imagination of sense. And then such movement occurs without the command
of reason: although reason could have prevented it, had it foreseen.
Hence the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 2) that the reason governs the
irascible and concupiscible not by a "despotic supremacy," which is that
of a master over his slave; but by a "politic and royal supremacy,"
whereby the free are governed, who are not wholly subject to command.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[7] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: That man lusts, although he wills not to lust, is due to a
disposition of the body, whereby the sensitive appetite is hindered from
perfect compliance with the command of reason. Hence the Apostle adds
(Rm. 7:15): "I see another law in my members, fighting against the law of
my mind." This may also happen through a sudden movement of
concupiscence, as stated above.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[7] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The condition of the body stands in a twofold relation to
the act of the sensitive appetite. First, as preceding it: thus a man may
be disposed in one way or another, in respect of his body, to this or
that passion. Secondly, as consequent to it: thus a man becomes heated
through anger. Now the condition that precedes, is not subject to the
command of reason: since it is due either to nature, or to some previous
movement, which cannot cease at once. But the condition that is
consequent, follows the command of reason: since it results from the
local movement of the heart, which has various movements according to the
various acts of the sensitive appetite.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[7] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Since the external sensible is necessary for the
apprehension of the senses, it is not in our power to apprehend anything
by the senses, unless the sensible be present; which presence of the
sensible is not always in our power. For it is then that man can use his
senses if he will so to do; unless there be some obstacle on the part of
the organ. On the other hand, the apprehension of the imagination is
subject to the ordering of reason, in proportion to the strength or
weakness of the imaginative power. For that man is unable to imagine the
things that reason considers, is either because they cannot be imagined,
such as incorporeal things; or because of the weakness of the imaginative
power, due to some organic indisposition.



Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[8] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the act of the vegetal soul is commanded?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[8] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the acts of the vegetal soul are subject to
the command of reason. For the sensitive powers are of higher rank than
the vegetal powers. But the powers of the sensitive soul are subject to
the command of reason. Much more, therefore, are the powers of the
vegetal soul.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[8] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, man is called a "little world" [*Aristotle, Phys. viii.
2], because the soul is in the body, as God is in the world. But God is
in the world in such a way, that everything in the world obeys His
command. Therefore all that is in man, even the powers of the vegetal
soul, obey the command of reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[8] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, praise and blame are awarded only to such acts as are
subject to the command of reason. But in the acts of the nutritive and
generative power, there is room for praise and blame, virtue and vice: as
in the case of gluttony and lust, and their contrary virtues. Therefore
the acts of these powers are subject to the command of reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[8] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory of Nyssa [*Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxii.] sats
that "the nutritive and generative power is one over which the reason has
no control."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[8] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Some acts proceed from the natural appetite, others from
the animal, or from the intellectual appetite: for every agent desires an
end in some way. Now the natural appetite does not follow from some
apprehension, as to the animal and the intellectual appetite. But the
reason commands by way of apprehensive power. Wherefore those acts that
proceed from the intellective or the animal appetite, can be commanded by
reason: but not those acts that proceed from the natural appetite. And
such are the acts of the vegetal soul; wherefore Gregory of Nyssa
(Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxii) says "that generation and nutrition belong
to what are called natural powers." Consequently the acts of the vegetal
soul are not subject to the command of reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[8] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The more immaterial an act is, the more noble it is, and
the more is it subject to the command of reason. Hence the very fact that
the acts of the vegetal soul do not obey reason, shows that they rank
lowest.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[8] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The comparison holds in a certain respect: because, to wit,
as God moves the world, so the soul moves the body. But it does not hold
in every respect: for the soul did not create the body out of nothing, as
God created the world; for which reason the world is wholly subject to
His command.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[8] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Virtue and vice, praise and blame do not affect the acts
themselves of the nutritive and generative power, i.e. digestion, and
formation of the human body; but they affect the acts of the sensitive
part, that are ordained to the acts of generation and nutrition; for
example the desire for pleasure in the act of taking food or in the act
of generation, and the right or wrong use thereof.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[9] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the acts of the external members are commanded?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[9] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the members of the body do not obey reason as
to their acts. For it is evident that the members of the body are more
distant from the reason, than the powers of the vegetal soul. But the
powers of the vegetal soul do not obey reason, as stated above (A[8]).
Therefore much less do the members of the body obey.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[9] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the heart is the principle of animal movement. But the
movement of the heart is not subject to the command of reason: for
Gregory of Nyssa [*Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxii.] says that "the pulse is
not controlled by reason." Therefore the movement of the bodily members
is not subject to the command of reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[9] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 16) that "the movement
of the genital members is sometimes inopportune and not desired;
sometimes when sought it fails, and whereas the heart is warm with
desire, the body remains cold." Therefore the movements of the members
are not obedient to reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[9] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (Confess. viii, 9): "The mind commands a
movement of the hand, and so ready is the hand to obey, that scarcely can
one discern obedience from command."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[9] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, The members of the body are organs of the soul's powers.
Consequently according as the powers of the soul stand in respect of
obedience to reason, so do the members of the body stand in respect
thereof. Since then the sensitive powers are subject to the command of
reason, whereas the natural powers are not; therefore all movements of
members, that are moved by the sensitive powers, are subject to the
command of reason; whereas those movements of members, that arise from
the natural powers, are not subject to the command of reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[9] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The members do not move themselves, but are moved through
the powers of the soul; of which powers, some are in closer contact with
the reason than are the powers of the vegetal soul.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[9] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: In things pertaining to intellect and will, that which is
according to nature stands first, whence all other things are derived:
thus from the knowledge of principles that are naturally known, is
derived knowledge of the conclusions; and from volition of the end
naturally desired, is derived the choice of the means. So also in bodily
movements the principle is according to nature. Now the principle of
bodily movements begins with the movement of the heart. Consequently the
movement of the heart is according to nature, and not according to the
will: for like a proper accident, it results from life, which follows
from the union of soul and body. Thus the movement of heavy and light
things results from their substantial form: for which reason they are
said to be moved by their generator, as the Philosopher states (Phys.
viii, 4). Wherefore this movement is called "vital." For which reason
Gregory of Nyssa (Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxii) says that, just as the
movement of generation and nutrition does not obey reason, so neither
does the pulse which is a vital movement. By the pulse he means the
movement of the heart which is indicated by the pulse veins.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[9] R.O. 3 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 3: As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 17,20) it is in
punishment of sin that the movement of these members does not obey
reason: in this sense, that the soul is punished for its rebellion
against God, by the insubmission of that member whereby original sin is
transmitted to posterity.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[17] A[9] R.O. 3 Para. 2/2

But because, as we shall state later on, the effect of the sin of our
first parent was that his nature was left to itself, through the
withdrawal of the supernatural gift which God had bestowed on man, we
must consider the natural cause of this particular member's insubmission
to reason. This is stated by Aristotle (De Causis Mot. Animal.) who says
that "the movements of the heart and of the organs of generation are
involuntary," and that the reason of this is as follows. These members
are stirred at the occasion of some apprehension; in so far as the
intellect and imagination represent such things as arouse the passions of
the soul, of which passions these movements are a consequence. But they
are not moved at the command of the reason or intellect, because these
movements are conditioned by a certain natural change of heat and cold,
which change is not subject to the command of reason. This is the case
with these two organs in particular, because each is as it were a
separate animal being, in so far as it is a principle of life; and the
principle is virtually the whole. For the heart is the principle of the
senses; and from the organ of generation proceeds the seminal virtue,
which is virtually the entire animal. Consequently they have their proper
movements naturally: because principles must needs be natural, as stated
above (Reply OBJ 2).





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