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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[36] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE CAUSES OF SORROW OR PAIN (FOUR ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE CAUSES OF SORROW OR PAIN (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now consider the causes of sorrow: under which head there are
four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether sorrow is caused by the loss of a good or rather by the
presence of an evil?

(2) Whether desire is a cause of sorrow?

(3) Whether the craving for unity is a cause of sorrow?

(4) Whether an irresistible power is a cause of sorrow?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether sorrow is caused by the loss of good or by the presence of evil?
Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that sorrow is caused by the loss of a good rather
than by the presence of an evil. For Augustine says (De viii QQ. Dulcit.
qu. 1) that sorrow is caused by the loss of temporal goods. Therefore, in
like manner, every sorrow is caused by the loss of some good.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, it was said above (Q[35], A[4]) that the sorrow which
is contrary to a pleasure, has the same object as that pleasure. But the
object of pleasure is good, as stated above (Q[23], A[4]; Q[31], A[1];
Q[35], A[3]). Therefore sorrow is caused chiefly by the loss of good.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, according to Augustine (De Civ. Dei xiv, 7,9), love is
the cause of sorrow, as of the other emotions of the soul. But the object
of love is good. Therefore pain or sorrow is felt for the loss of good
rather than for an evil that is present.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 12) that "the dreaded
evil gives rise to fear, the present evil is the cause of sorrow."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[1] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, If privations, as considered by the mind, were what they
are in reality, this question would seem to be of no importance. For, as
stated in the FP, Q[14], A[10] and FP, Q[48], A[3], evil is the privation
of good: and privation is in reality nothing else than the lack of the
contrary habit; so that, in this respect, to sorrow for the loss of good,
would be the same as to sorrow for the presence of evil. But sorrow is a
movement of the appetite in consequence of an apprehension: and even a
privation, as apprehended, has the aspect of a being, wherefore it is
called "a being of reason." And in this way evil, being a privation, is
regarded as a "contrary." Accordingly, so far as the movement of the
appetite is concerned, it makes a difference which of the two it regards
chiefly, the present evil or the good which is lost.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[1] Body Para. 2/3

Again, since the movement of the animal appetite holds the same place in
the actions of the soul, as natural movement in natural things; the truth
of the matter is to be found by considering natural movements. For if, in
natural movements, we observe those of approach and withdrawal, approach
is of itself directed to something suitable to nature; while withdrawal
is of itself directed to something contrary to nature; thus a heavy body,
of itself, withdraws from a higher place, and approaches naturally to a
lower place. But if we consider the cause of both these movements, viz.
gravity, then gravity itself inclines towards the lower place more than it withdraws from the higher place, since withdrawal from the latter is
the reason for its downward tendency.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[1] Body Para. 3/3

Accordingly, since, in the movements of the appetite, sorrow is a kind
of flight or withdrawal, while pleasure is a kind of pursuit or approach;
just as pleasure regards first the good possessed, as its proper object,
so sorrow regards the evil that is present. On the other hand love, which
is the cause of pleasure and sorrow, regards good rather than evil: and
therefore, forasmuch as the object is the cause of a passion, the present
evil is more properly the cause of sorrow or pain, than the good which is
lost.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The loss itself of good is apprehended as an evil, just as
the loss of evil is apprehended as a good: and in this sense Augustine
says that pain results from the loss of temporal goods.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Pleasure and its contrary pain have the same object, but
under contrary aspects: because if the presence of a particular thin be
the object of pleasure, the absence of that same thing is the object of
sorrow. Now one contrary includes the privation of the other, as stated
in Metaph. x, 4: and consequently sorrow in respect of one contrary is,
in a way, directed to the same thing under a contrary aspect.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: When many movements arise from one cause, it does not
follow that they all regard chiefly that which the cause regards chiefly,
but only the first of them. And each of the others regards chiefly that
which is suitable to it according to its own nature.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether desire is a cause of sorrow?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that desire is not a cause of pain or sorrow.
Because sorrow of itself regards evil, as stated above (A[1]): whereas
desire is a movement of the appetite towards good. Now movement towards
one contrary is not a cause of movement towards the other contrary.
Therefore desire is not a cause of pain.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, pain, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 12), is
caused by something present; whereas the object of desire is something
future. Therefore desire is not a cause of pain.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, that which is pleasant in itself is not a cause of pain.
But desire is pleasant in itself, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. i, 11).
Therefore desire is not a cause of pain or sorrow.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (Enchiridion xxiv): "When ignorance of
things necessary to be done, and desire of things hurtful, found their
way in: error and pain stole an entrance in their company." But ignorance
is the cause of error. Therefore desire is a cause of sorrow.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[2] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Sorrow is a movement of the animal appetite. Now, as
stated above (A[1]), the appetitive movement is likened to the natural
appetite; a likeness, that may be assigned to a twofold cause; one, on
the part of the end, the other, on the part of the principle of movement.
Thus, on the part of the end, the cause of a heavy body's downward
movement is the lower place; while the principle of that movement is a
natural inclination resulting from gravity.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[2] Body Para. 2/2

Now the cause of the appetitive movement, on the part of the end, is the
object of that movement. And thus, it has been said above (A[1]) that the
cause of pain or sorrow is a present evil. On the other hand, the cause, by way or principle, of that movement, is the inward inclination of the
appetite; which inclination regards, first of all, the good, and in
consequence, the rejection of a contrary evil. Hence the first principle
of this appetitive movement is love, which is the first inclination of
the appetite towards the possession of good: while the second principle
is hatred, which is the first inclination of the appetite towards the
avoidance of evil. But since concupiscence or desire is the first effect
of love, which gives rise to the greatest pleasure, as stated above
(Q[32], A[6]); hence it is that Augustine often speaks of desire or
concupiscence in the sense of love, as was also stated (Q[30], A[2], ad
2): and in this sense he says that desire is the universal cause of
sorrow. Sometimes, however, desire taken in its proper sense, is the
cause of sorrow. Because whatever hinders a movement from reaching its
end is contrary to that movement. Now that which is contrary to the
movement of the appetite, is a cause of sorrow. Consequently, desire
becomes a cause of sorrow, in so far as we sorrow for the delay of a
desired good, or for its entire removal. But it cannot be a universal
cause of sorrow: since we sorrow more for the loss of present good, in
which we have already taken pleasure, than for the withdrawal of future
good which we desire to have.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The inclination of the appetite to the possession of good
causes the inclination of the appetite to fly from evil, as stated above.
And hence it is that the appetitive movements that regard good, are
reckoned as causing the appetitive movements that regard evil.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: That which is desired, though really future, is,
nevertheless, in a way, present, inasmuch as it is hoped for. Or we may
say that although the desired good itself is future, yet the hindrance is
reckoned as present, and so gives rise to sorrow.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Desire gives pleasure, so long as there is hope of
obtaining that which is desired. But, when hope is removed through the
presence of an obstacle, desire causes sorrow.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the craving for unity is a cause of sorrow?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the craving for unity is not a cause of
sorrow. For the Philosopher says (Ethic. x, 3) that "this opinion," which
held repletion to be the cause of pleasure, and division [*Aristotle
wrote {endeian}, 'want'; St. Thomas, in the Latin version, read
'incisionem'; should he have read 'indigentiam'?], the cause of sorrow,
"seems to have originated in pains and pleasures connected with food."
But not every pleasure or sorrow is of this kind. Therefore the craving
for unity is not the universal cause of sorrow; since repletion pertains
to unity, and division is the cause of multitude.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, every separation is opposed to unity. If therefore
sorrow were caused by a craving for unity, no separation would be
pleasant: and this is clearly untrue as regards the separation of
whatever is superfluous.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, for the same reason we desire the conjunction of good
and the removal of evil. But as conjunction regards unity, since it is a
kind of union; so separation is contrary to unity. Therefore the craving
for unity should not be reckoned, rather than the craving for separation,
as causing sorrow.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. iii, 23), that "from the
pain that dumb animals feel, it is quite evident how their souls desire
unity, in ruling and quickening their bodies. For what else is pain but a
feeling of impatience of division or corruption?"

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Forasmuch as the desire or craving for good is reckoned
as a cause of sorrow, so must a craving for unity, and love, be accounted
as causing sorrow. Because the good of each thing consists in a certain
unity, inasmuch as each thing has, united in itself, the elements of
which its perfection consists: wherefore the Platonists held that "one"
is a principle, just as "good" is. Hence everything naturally desires
unity, just as it desires goodness: and therefore, just as love or desire
for good is a cause of sorrow, so also is the love or craving for unity.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Not every kind of union causes perfect goodness, but only
that on which the perfect being of a thing depends. Hence neither does
the desire of any kind of unity cause pain or sorrow, as some have
maintained: whose opinion is refuted by the Philosopher from the fact
that repletion is not always pleasant; for instance, when a man has eaten
to repletion, he takes no further pleasure in eating; because repletion
or union of this kind, is repugnant rather than conducive to perfect
being. Consequently sorrow is caused by the craving, not for any kind of
unity, but for that unity in which the perfection of nature consists.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Separation can be pleasant, either because it removes
something contrary to a thing's perfection, or because it has some union
connected with it, such as union of the sense to its object.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Separation from things hurtful and corruptive is desired,
in so far as they destroy the unity which is due. Wherefore the desire
for such like separation is not the first cause of sorrow, whereas the
craving for unity is.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether an irresistible power is a cause of sorrow?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that a greater power should not be reckoned a cause
of sorrow. For that which is in the power of the agent is not present but
future. But sorrow is for present evil. Therefore a greater power is not
a cause of sorrow.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, hurt inflicted is the cause of sorrow. But hurt can be
inflicted even by a lesser power. Therefore a greater power should not be
reckoned as a cause of sorrow.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the interior inclinations of the soul are the causes of
the movements of appetite. But a greater power is something external.
Therefore it should not be reckoned as a cause of sorrow.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Nat. Boni xx): "Sorrow in the soul
is caused by the will resisting a stronger power: while pain in the body
is caused by sense resisting a stronger body."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[4] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, As stated above (A[1]), a present evil, is cause of
sorrow or pain, by way of object. Therefore that which is the cause of
the evil being present, should be reckoned as causing pain or sorrow. Now
it is evident that it is contrary to the inclination of the appetite to
be united with a present evil: and whatever is contrary to a thing's
inclination does not happen to it save by the action of something
stronger. Wherefore Augustine reckons a greater power as being the cause
of sorrow.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[4] Body Para. 2/3

But it must be noted that if the stronger power goes so far as to
transform the contrary inclination into its own inclination there will be
no longer repugnance or violence: thus if a stronger agent, by its action
on a heavy body, deprives it of its downward tendency, its consequent
upward tendency is not violent but natural to it.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[4] Body Para. 3/3

Accordingly if some greater power prevail so far as to take away from
the will or the sensitive appetite, their respective inclinations, pain
or sorrow will not result therefrom; such is the result only when the
contrary inclination of the appetite remains. And hence Augustine says
(De Nat. Boni xx) that sorrow is caused by the will "resisting a stronger
power": for were it not to resist, but to yield by consenting, the result
would be not sorrow but pleasure.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: A greater power causes sorrow, as acting not potentially
but actually, i.e. by causing the actual presence of the corruptive evil.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Nothing hinders a power which is not simply greater, from
being greater in some respect: and accordingly it is able to inflict some
harm. But if it be nowise stronger, it can do no harm at all: wherefore
it cannot bring about that which causes sorrow.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[36] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: External agents can be the causes of appetitive movements,
in so far as they cause the presence of the object: and it is thus that a
greater power is reckoned to be the cause of sorrow.





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