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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[27] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE CAUSE OF LOVE (FOUR ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE CAUSE OF LOVE (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now consider the cause of love: and under this head there are
four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether good is the only cause of love?

(2) Whether knowledge is a cause of love?

(3) Whether likeness is a cause of love?

(4) Whether any other passion of the soul is a cause of love?


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether good is the only cause of love?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that good is not the only cause of love. For good
does not cause love, except because it is loved. But it happens that evil
also is loved, according to Ps. 10:6: "He that loveth iniquity, hateth
his own soul": else, every love would be good. Therefore good is not the
only cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4) that "we love those
who acknowledge their evils." Therefore it seems that evil is the cause
of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that not "the good" only
but also "the beautiful is beloved by all."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. viii, 3): "Assuredly the good
alone is beloved." Therefore good alone is the cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (Q[26], A[1]), Love belongs to the
appetitive power which is a passive faculty. Wherefore its object stands
in relation to it as the cause of its movement or act. Therefore the
cause of love must needs be love's object. Now the proper object of love
is the good; because, as stated above (Q[26], AA[1],2), love implies a
certain connaturalness or complacency of the lover for the thing beloved,
and to everything, that thing is a good, which is akin and proportionate
to it. It follows, therefore, that good is the proper cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Evil is never loved except under the aspect of good, that
is to say, in so far as it is good in some respect, and is considered as
being good simply. And thus a certain love is evil, in so far as it tends
to that which is not simply a true good. It is in this way that man
"loves iniquity," inasmuch as, by means of iniquity, some good is gained;
pleasure, for instance, or money, or such like.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Those who acknowledge their evils, are beloved, not for
their evils, but because they acknowledge them, for it is a good thing to
acknowledge one's faults, in so far as it excludes insincerity or
hypocrisy.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The beautiful is the same as the good, and they differ in
aspect only. For since good is what all seek, the notion of good is that
which calms the desire; while the notion of the beautiful is that which
calms the desire, by being seen or known. Consequently those senses
chiefly regard the beautiful, which are the most cognitive, viz. sight
and hearing, as ministering to reason; for we speak of beautiful sights
and beautiful sounds. But in reference to the other objects of the other
senses, we do not use the expression "beautiful," for we do not speak of
beautiful tastes, and beautiful odors. Thus it is evident that beauty
adds to goodness a relation to the cognitive faculty: so that "good"
means that which simply pleases the appetite; while the "beautiful" is
something pleasant to apprehend.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether knowledge is a cause of love?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that knowledge is not a cause of love. For it is
due to love that a thing is sought. But some things are sought without
being known, for instance, the sciences; for since "to have them is the
same as to know them," as Augustine says (QQ[83], qu. 35), if we knew
them we should have them, and should not seek them. Therefore knowledge
is not the cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, to love what we know not seems like loving something
more than we know it. But some things are loved more than they are known:
thus in this life God can be loved in Himself, but cannot be known in
Himself. Therefore knowledge is not the cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, if knowledge were the cause of love, there would be no
love, where there is no knowledge. But in all things there is love, as
Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv); whereas there is not knowledge in all
things. Therefore knowledge is not the cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine proves (De Trin. x, 1,2) that "none can love
what he does not know."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[2] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (A[1]), good is the cause of love, as
being its object. But good is not the object of the appetite, except as
apprehended. And therefore love demands some apprehension of the good
that is loved. For this reason the Philosopher (Ethic. ix, 5,12) says
that bodily sight is the beginning of sensitive love: and in like manner
the contemplation of spiritual beauty or goodness is the beginning of
spiritual love. Accordingly knowledge is the cause of love for the same
reason as good is, which can be loved only if known.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: He who seeks science, is not entirely without knowledge
thereof: but knows something about it already in some respect, either in
a general way, or in some one of its effects, or from having heard it
commended, as Augustine says (De Trin. x, 1,2). But to have it is not to
know it thus, but to know it perfectly.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Something is required for the perfection of knowledge, that
is not requisite for the perfection of love. For knowledge belongs to the
reason, whose function it is to distinguish things which in reality are
united, and to unite together, after a fashion, things that are distinct,
by comparing one with another. Consequently the perfection of knowledge
requires that man should know distinctly all that is in a thing, such as
its parts, powers, and properties. On the other hand, love is in the
appetitive power, which regards a thing as it is in itself: wherefore it
suffices, for the perfection of love, that a thing be loved according as
it is known in itself. Hence it is, therefore, that a thing is loved more
than it is known; since it can be loved perfectly, even without being
perfectly known. This is most evident in regard to the sciences, which
some love through having a certain general knowledge of them: for
instance, they know that rhetoric is a science that enables man to
persuade others; and this is what they love in rhetoric. The same applies
to the love of God.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Even natural love, which is in all things, is caused by a
kind of knowledge, not indeed existing in natural things themselves, but
in Him Who created their nature, as stated above (Q[26], A[1]; cf. FP,
Q[6], A[1], ad 2).


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether likeness is a cause of love?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that likeness is not a cause of love. For the same
thing is not the cause of contraries. But likeness is the cause of
hatred; for it is written (Prov. 13:10) that "among the proud there are
always contentions"; and the Philosopher says (Ethic. viii, 1) that
"potters quarrel with one another." Therefore likeness is not a cause of
love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Augustine says (Confess. iv, 14) that "a man loves in
another that which he would not be himself: thus he loves an actor, but
would not himself be an actor." But it would not be so, if likeness were
the proper cause of love; for in that case a man would love in another,
that which he possesses himself, or would like to possess. Therefore
likeness is not a cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, everyone loves that which he needs, even if he have it
not: thus a sick man loves health, and a poor man loves riches. But in so
far as he needs them and lacks them, he is unlike them. Therefore not
only likeness but also unlikeness is a cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4) that "we love those
who bestow money and health on us; and also those who retain their
friendship for the dead." But all are not such. Therefore likeness is not
a cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written (Ecclus. 13:19): "Every beast loveth its
like."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] Body Para. 1/4

I answer that, Likeness, properly speaking, is a cause of love. But it
must be observed that likeness between things is twofold. One kind of
likeness arises from each thing having the same quality actually: for
example, two things possessing the quality of whiteness are said to be
alike. Another kind of likeness arises from one thing having potentially
and by way of inclination, a quality which the other has actually: thus
we may say that a heavy body existing outside its proper place is like
another heavy body that exists in its proper place: or again, according
as potentiality bears a resemblance to its act; since act is contained,
in a manner, in the potentiality itself.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] Body Para. 2/4

Accordingly the first kind of likeness causes love of friendship or
well-being. For the very fact that two men are alike, having, as it were,
one form, makes them to be, in a manner, one in that form: thus two men
are one thing in the species of humanity, and two white men are one thing
in whiteness. Hence the affections of one tend to the other, as being one
with him; and he wishes good to him as to himself. But the second kind of
likeness causes love of concupiscence, or friendship founded on
usefulness or pleasure: because whatever is in potentiality, as such, has
the desire for its act; and it takes pleasure in its realization, if it
be a sentient and cognitive being.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] Body Para. 3/4

Now it has been stated above (Q[26], A[4]), that in the love of
concupiscence, the lover, properly speaking, loves himself, in willing
the good that he desires. But a man loves himself more than another:
because he is one with himself substantially, whereas with another he is
one only in the likeness of some form. Consequently, if this other's
likeness to him arising from the participation of a form, hinders him
from gaining the good that he loves, he becomes hateful to him, not for
being like him, but for hindering him from gaining his own good. This is
why "potters quarrel among themselves," because they hinder one another's
gain: and why "there are contentions among the proud," because they
hinder one another in attaining the position they covet.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] Body Para. 4/4

Hence the Reply to the First Objection is evident.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Even when a man loves in another what he loves not in
himself, there is a certain likeness of proportion: because as the latter
is to that which is loved in him, so is the former to that which he loves
in himself: for instance, if a good singer love a good writer, we can see
a likeness of proportion, inasmuch as each one has that which is becoming
to him in respect of his art.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: He that loves what he needs, bears a likeness to what he
loves, as potentiality bears a likeness to its act, as stated above.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[3] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: According to the same likeness of potentiality to its act,
the illiberal man loves the man who is liberal, in so far as he expects
from him something which he desires. The same applies to the man who is
constant in his friendship as compared to one who is inconstant. For in
either case friendship seems to be based on usefulness. We might also say
that although not all men have these virtues in the complete habit, yet
they have them according to certain seminal principles in the reason, in
force of which principles the man who is not virtuous loves the virtuous
man, as being in conformity with his own natural reason.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether any other passion of the soul is a cause of love?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that some other passion can be the cause of love.
For the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 3) says that some are loved for the
sake of the pleasure they give. But pleasure is a passion. Therefore
another passion is a cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, desire is a passion. But we love some because we desire
to receive something from them: as happens in every friendship based on
usefulness. Therefore another passion is a cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, Augustine says (De Trin. x, 1): "When we have no hope of
getting a thing, we love it but half-heartedly or not at all, even if we
see how beautiful it is." Therefore hope too is a cause of love.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, All the other emotions of the soul are caused by love,
as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 7,9).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[4] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, There is no other passion of the soul that does not
presuppose love of some kind. The reason is that every other passion of
the soul implies either movement towards something, or rest in something.
Now every movement towards something, or rest in something, arises from
some kinship or aptness to that thing; and in this does love consist.
Therefore it is not possible for any other passion of the soul to be
universally the cause of every love. But it may happen that some other
passion is the cause of some particular love: just as one good is the
cause of another.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: When a man loves a thing for the pleasure it affords, his
love is indeed caused by pleasure; but that very pleasure is caused, in
its turn, by another preceding love; for none takes pleasure save in that
which is loved in some way.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Desire for a thing always presupposes love for that thing.
But desire of one thing can be the cause of another thing's being loved;
thus he that desires money, for this reason loves him from whom he
receives it.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[27] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Hope causes or increases love; both by reason of pleasure,
because it causes pleasure; and by reason of desire, because hope
strengthens desire, since we do not desire so intensely that which we
have no hope of receiving. Nevertheless hope itself is of a good that is
loved.





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