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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[41] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF FEAR, IN ITSELF (FOUR ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF FEAR, IN ITSELF (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now consider, in the first place, fear; and, secondly, daring.
With regard to fear, four things must be considered: (1) Fear, in itself;
(2) Its object; (3) Its cause; (4) Its effect. Under the first head there
are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether fear is a passion of the soul?

(2) Whether fear is a special passion?

(3) Whether there is a natural fear?

(4) Of the species of fear.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether fear is a passion of the soul?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that fear is not a passion of the soul. For
Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 23) that "fear is a power, by way of
{systole}" - i.e. of contraction - "desirous of vindicating nature." But
no virtue is a passion, as is proved in Ethic. ii, 5. Therefore fear is
not a passion.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, every passion is an effect due to the presence of an
agent. But fear is not of something present, but of something future, as
Damascene declares (De Fide Orth. ii, 12). Therefore fear is not a
passion.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, every passion of the soul is a movement of the sensitive
appetite, in consequence of an apprehension of the senses. But sense
apprehends, not the future but the present. Since, then, fear is of
future evil, it seems that it is not a passion of the soul.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine (De Civ. Dei xiv, 5, seqq.) reckons fear
among the other passions of the soul.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Among the other passions of the soul, after sorrow, fear
chiefly has the character of passion. For as we have stated above (Q[22]
), the notion of passion implies first of all a movement of a passive
power - i.e. of a power whose object is compared to it as its active
principle: since passion is the effect of an agent. In this way, both "to
feel" and "to understand" are passions. Secondly, more properly speaking,
passion is a movement of the appetitive power; and more properly still,
it is a movement of an appetitive power that has a bodily organ, such
movement being accompanied by a bodily transmutation. And, again, most
properly those movements are called passions, which imply some
deterioration. Now it is evident that fear, since it regards evil,
belongs to the appetitive power, which of itself regards good and evil.
Moreover, it belongs to the sensitive appetite: for it is accompanied by
a certain transmutation - i.e. contraction - as Damascene says (Cf. OBJ
1). Again, it implies relation to evil as overcoming, so to speak, some
particular good. Wherefore it has most properly the character of passion;
less, however, than sorrow, which regards the present evil: because fear
regards future evil, which is not so strong a motive as present evil.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Virtue denotes a principle of action: wherefore, in so far
as the interior movements of the appetitive faculty are principles of
external action, they are called virtues. But the Philosopher denies that
passion is a virtue by way of habit.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Just as the passion of a natural body is due to the bodily
presence of an agent, so is the passion of the soul due to the agent
being present to the soul, although neither corporally nor really
present: that is to say, in so far as the evil which is really future, is
present in the apprehension of the soul.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The senses do not apprehend the future: but from
apprehending the present, an animal is moved by natural instinct to hope
for a future good, or to fear a future evil.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether fear is a special passion?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that fear is not a special passion. For Augustine
says (QQ. 83, qu. 33) that "the man who is not distraught by fear, is
neither harassed by desire, nor wounded by sickness" - i.e. sorrow - "nor
tossed about in transports of empty joys." Wherefore it seems that, if
fear be set aside, all the other passions are removed. Therefore fear is
not a special but a general passion.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 2) that "pursuit and
avoidance in the appetite are what affirmation and denial are in the
intellect." But denial is nothing special in the intellect, as neither is
affirmation, but something common to many. Therefore neither is avoidance
anything special in the appetite. But fear is nothing but a kind of
avoidance of evil. Therefore it is not a special passion.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, if fear were a special passion, it would be chiefly in
the irascible part. But fear is also in the concupiscible: since the
Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5) that "fear is a kind of sorrow"; and
Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 23) that fear is "a power of desire":
and both sorrow and desire are in the concupiscible faculty, as stated
above (Q[23], A[4]). Therefore fear is not a special passion, since it
belongs to different powers.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Fear is condivided with the other passions of the soul,
as is clear from Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 12,15).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[2] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, The passions of the soul derive their species from their
objects: hence that is a special passion, which has a special object. Now
fear has a special object, as hope has. For just as the object of hope is
a future good, difficult but possible to obtain; so the object of fear is
a future evil, difficult and irresistible. Consequently fear is a special
passion of the soul.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: All the passions of the soul arise from one source, viz.
love, wherein they are connected with one another. By reason of this
connection, when fear is put aside, the other passions of the soul are
dispersed; not, however, as though it were a general passion.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Not every avoidance in the appetite is fear, but avoidance
of a special object, as stated. Wherefore, though avoidance be something
common, yet fear is a special passion.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Fear is nowise in the concupiscible: for it regards evil,
not absolutely, but as difficult or arduous, so as to be almost
unavoidable. But since the irascible passions arise from the passions of
the concupiscible faculty, and terminate therein, as stated above (Q[25],
A[1]); hence it is that what belongs to the concupiscible is ascribed to
fear. For fear is called sorrow, in so far as the object of fear causes
sorrow when present: wherefore the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5) that
fear arises "from the representation of a future evil which is either
corruptive or painful." In like manner desire is ascribed by Damascene to
fear, because just as hope arises from the desire of good, so fear arises
from avoidance of evil; while avoidance of evil arises from the desire of
good, as is evident from what has been said above (Q[25], A[2]; Q[29],
A[2]; Q[36], A[2]).


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether there is a natural fear?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that there is a natural fear. For Damascene says
(De Fide Orth. iii, 23) that "there is a natural fear, through the soul
refusing to be severed from the body."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, fear arises from love, as stated above (A[2], ad 1). But
there is a natural love, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv). Therefore
there is also a natural fear.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, fear is opposed to hope, as stated above (Q[40], A[4],
ad 1). But there is a hope of nature, as is evident from Rm. 4:18, where
it is said of Abraham that "against hope" of nature, "he believed in
hope" of grace. Therefore there is also a fear of nature.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, That which is natural is common to things animate and
inanimate. But fear is not in things inanimate. Therefore there is no
natural fear.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[3] Body Para. 1/4

I answer that, A movement is said to be natural, because nature inclines
thereto. Now this happens in two ways. First, so that it is entirely
accomplished by nature, without any operation of the apprehensive
faculty: thus to have an upward movement is natural to fire, and to grow
is the natural movement of animals and plants. Secondly, a movement is
said to be natural, if nature inclines thereto, though it be accomplished
by the apprehensive faculty alone: since, as stated above (Q[10], A[1]),
the movements of the cognitive and appetitive faculties are reducible to
nature as to their first principle. In this way, even the acts of the
apprehensive power, such as understanding, feeling, and remembering, as
well as the movements of the animal appetite, are sometimes said to be
natural.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[3] Body Para. 2/4

And in this sense we may say that there is a natural fear; and it is
distinguished from non-natural fear, by reason of the diversity of its
object. For, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 5), there is a fear of
"corruptive evil," which nature shrinks from on account of its natural
desire to exist; and such fear is said to be natural. Again, there is a
fear of "painful evil," which is repugnant not to nature, but to the
desire of the appetite; and such fear is not natural. In this sense we
have stated above (Q[26], A[1]; Q[30], A[3]; Q[31], A[7]) that love,
desire, and pleasure are divisible into natural and non-natural.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[3] Body Para. 3/4

But in the first sense of the word "natural," we must observe that
certain passions of the soul are sometimes said to be natural, as love,
desire, and hope; whereas the others cannot be called natural. The reason
of this is because love and hatred, desire and avoidance, imply a certain
inclination to pursue what is good or to avoid what is evil; which
inclination is to be found in the natural appetite also. Consequently
there is a natural love; while we may also speak of desire and hope as
being even in natural things devoid of knowledge. On the other hand the
other passions of the soul denote certain movements, whereto the natural
inclination is nowise sufficient. This is due either to the fact that
perception or knowledge is essential to these passions (thus we have
said, Q[31], AA[1],3; Q[35], A[1], that apprehension is a necessary
condition of pleasure and sorrow), wherefore things devoid of knowledge
cannot be said to take pleasure or to be sorrowful: or else it is because
such like movements are contrary to the very nature of natural
inclination: for instance, despair flies from good on account of some
difficulty; and fear shrinks from repelling a contrary evil; both of
which are contrary to the inclination of nature. Wherefore such like
passions are in no way ascribed to inanimate beings.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[3] Body Para. 4/4

Thus the Replies to the Objections are evident.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the species of fear is suitably assigned?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that six species of fear are unsuitably assigned by
Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 15); namely, "laziness, shamefacedness,
shame, amazement, stupor, and anxiety." Because, as the Philosopher says
(Rhet. ii, 5), "fear regards a saddening evil." Therefore the species of
fear should correspond to the species of sorrow. Now there are four
species of sorrow, as stated above (Q[35], A[8]). Therefore there should
only be four species of fear corresponding to them.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, that which consists in an action of our own is in our
power. But fear regards an evil that surpasses our power, as stated above
(A[2]). Therefore laziness, shamefacedness, and shame, which regard our
own actions, should not be reckoned as species of fear.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, fear is of the future, as stated above (AA[1], 2). But
"shame regards a disgraceful deed already done," as Gregory of Nyssa
[*Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xx.] says. Therefore shame is not a species of
fear.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, fear is only of evil. But amazement and stupor regard
great and unwonted things, whether good or evil. Therefore amazement and
stupor are not species of fear.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, Philosophers have been led by amazement to seek the
truth, as stated in the beginning of Metaphysics. But fear leads to
flight rather than to search. Therefore amazement is not a species of
fear.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary suffices the authority of Damascene and Gregory of Nyssa
[*Nemesius] (Cf. OBJ 1,3).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, As stated above (A[2]), fear regards a future evil which
surpasses the power of him that fears, so that it is irresistible. Now
man's evil, like his good, may be considered either in his action or in
external things. In his action he has a twofold evil to fear. First,
there is the toil that burdens his nature: and hence arises "laziness,"
as when a man shrinks from work for fear of too much toil. Secondly,
there is the disgrace which damages him in the opinion of others. And
thus, if disgrace is feared in a deed that is yet to be done, there is
"shamefacedness"; if, however, it be a deed already done, there is
"shame."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] Body Para. 2/2

On the other hand, the evil that consists in external things may surpass
man's faculty of resistance in three ways. First by reason of its
magnitude; when, that is to say, a man considers some great evil the
outcome of which he is unable to gauge: and then there is "amazement."
Secondly, by reason of its being unwonted; because, to wit, some unwonted
evil arises before us, and on that account is great in our estimation:
and then there is "stupor," which is caused by the representation of
something unwonted. Thirdly, by reason of its being unforeseen: thus
future misfortunes are feared, and fear of this kind is called "anxiety."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Those species of sorrow given above are not derived from
the diversity of objects, but from the diversity of effects, and for
certain special reasons. Consequently there is no need for those species
of sorrow to correspond with these species of fear, which are derived
from the proper division of the object of fear itself.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: A deed considered as being actually done, is in the power
of the doer. But it is possible to take into consideration something
connected with the deed, and surpassing the faculty of the doer, for
which reason he shrinks from the deed. It is in this sense that laziness,
shamefacedness, and shame are reckoned as species of fear.
Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The past deed may be the occasion of fear of future
reproach or disgrace: and in this sense shame is a species of fear.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: Not every amazement and stupor are species of fear, but
that amazement which is caused by a great evil, and that stupor which
arises from an unwonted evil. Or else we may say that, just as laziness
shrinks from the toil of external work, so amazement and stupor shrink
from the difficulty of considering a great and unwonted thing, whether
good or evil: so that amazement and stupor stand in relation to the act
of the intellect, as laziness does to external work.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[41] A[4] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: He who is amazed shrinks at present from forming a judgment
of that which amazes him, fearing to fall short of the truth, but
inquires afterwards: whereas he who is overcome by stupor fears both to
judge at present, and to inquire afterwards. Wherefore amazement is a
beginning of philosophical research: whereas stupor is a hindrance
thereto.





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