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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[48] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE EFFECTS OF ANGER (FOUR ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE EFFECTS OF ANGER (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now consider the effects of anger: under which head there are
four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether anger causes pleasure?
(2) Whether above all it causes heat in the heart?

(3) Whether above all it hinders the use of reason?

(4) Whether it causes taciturnity?


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether anger causes pleasure?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that anger does not cause pleasure. Because sorrow
excludes pleasure. But anger is never without sorrow, since, as stated in
Ethic. vii, 6, "everyone that acts from anger, acts with pain." Therefore
anger does not cause pleasure.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 5) that "vengeance
makes anger to cease, because it substitutes pleasure for pain": whence
we may gather that the angry man derives pleasure from vengeance, and
that vengeance quells his anger. Therefore on the advent of pleasure,
anger departs: and consequently anger is not an effect united with
pleasure.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, no effect hinders its cause, since it is conformed to
its cause. But pleasure hinders anger as stated in Rhet. ii, 3. Therefore
pleasure is not an effect of anger.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 5) quotes the saying that
anger is "Sweet to the soul as honey to the taste" (Iliad, xviii, 109
[trl. Pope]).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 14), pleasures,
chiefly sensible and bodily pleasures, are remedies against sorrow: and
therefore the greater the sorrow or anxiety, the more sensible are we to
the pleasure which heals it, as is evident in the case of thirst which
increases the pleasure of drink. Now it is clear from what has been said
(Q[47], AA[1],3), that the movement of anger arises from a wrong done
that causes sorrow, for which sorrow vengeance is sought as a remedy.
Consequently as soon as vengeance is present, pleasure ensues, and so
much the greater according as the sorrow was greater. Therefore if
vengeance be really present, perfect pleasure ensues, entirely excluding
sorrow, so that the movement of anger ceases. But before vengeance is
really present, it becomes present to the angry man in two ways: in one
way, by hope; because none is angry except he hopes for vengeance, as
stated above (Q[46], A[1]); in another way, by thinking of it
continually, for to everyone that desires a thing it is pleasant to dwell
on the thought of what he desires; wherefore the imaginings of dreams are
pleasant. Accordingly an angry man takes pleasure in thinking much about
vengeance. This pleasure, however, is not perfect, so as to banish sorrow
and consequently anger.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The angry man does not grieve and rejoice at the same
thing; he grieves for the wrong done, while he takes pleasure in the
thought and hope of vengeance. Consequently sorrow is to anger as its
beginning; while pleasure is the effect or terminus of anger.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: This argument holds in regard to pleasure caused by the
real presence of vengeance, which banishes anger altogether.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Pleasure that precedes hinders sorrow from ensuing, and
consequently is a hindrance to anger. But pleasure felt in taking
vengeance follows from anger.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether anger above all causes fervor in the heart?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that heat is not above all the effect of anger. For
fervor, as stated above (Q[28], A[5]; Q[37], A[2]), belongs to love. But
love, as above stated, is the beginning and cause of all the passions.
Since then the cause is more powerful than its effect, it seems that
anger is not the chief cause of fervor.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, those things which, of themselves, arouse fervor,
increase as time goes on; thus love grows stronger the longer it lasts.
But in course of time anger grows weaker; for the Philosopher says (Rhet.
ii, 3) that "time puts an end to anger." Therefore fervor is not the
proper effect of anger.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, fervor added to fervor produces greater fervor. But "the
addition of a greater anger banishes already existing anger," as the
Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 3). Therefore anger does not cause fervor.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 16) that "anger is
fervor of the blood around the heart, resulting from an exhalation of the
bile."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[2] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (Q[44], A[1]), the bodily transmutation
that occurs in the passions of the soul is proportionate to the movement
of the appetite. Now it is evident that every appetite, even the natural
appetite, tends with greater force to repel that which is contrary to it,
if it be present: hence we see that hot water freezes harder, as though
the cold acted with greater force on the hot object. Since then the
appetitive movement of anger is caused by some injury inflicted, as by a
contrary that is present; it follows that the appetite tends with great
force to repel the injury by the desire of vengeance; and hence ensues
great vehemence and impetuosity in the movement of anger. And because the
movement of anger is not one of recoil, which corresponds to the action
of cold, but one of prosecution, which corresponds to the action of heat,
the result is that the movement of anger produces fervor of the blood and
vital spirits around the heart, which is the instrument of the soul's
passions. And hence it is that, on account of the heart being so
disturbed by anger, those chiefly who are angry betray signs thereof in
their outer members. For, as Gregory says (Moral. v, 30) "the heart that
is inflamed with the stings of its own anger beats quick, the body
trembles, the tongue stammers, the countenance takes fire, the eyes grow
fierce, they that are well known are not recognized. With the mouth
indeed he shapes a sound, but the understanding knows not what it says."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 1: "Love itself is not felt so keenly as in the absence of the
beloved," as Augustine observes (De Trin. x, 12). Consequently when a man
suffers from a hurt done to the excellence that he loves, he feels his
love thereof the more: the result being that his heart is moved with
greater heat to remove the hindrance to the object of his love; so that
anger increases the fervor of love and makes it to be felt more.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 2/2

Nevertheless, the fervor arising from heat differs according as it is to
be referred to love or to anger. Because the fervor of love has a certain
sweetness and gentleness; for it tends to the good that one loves: whence
it is likened to the warmth of the air and of the blood. For this reason
sanguine temperaments are more inclined to love; and hence the saying
that "love springs from the liver," because of the blood being formed
there. On the other hand, the fervor of anger has a certain bitterness
with a tendency to destroy, for it seeks to be avenged on the contrary
evil: whence it is likened to the heat of fire and of the bile, and for
this reason Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 16) that it "results from
an exhalation of the bile whence it takes its name {chole}."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 2: Time, of necessity, weakens all those things, the causes of
which are impaired by time. Now it is evident that memory is weakened by
time; for things which happened long ago easily slip from our memory. But
anger is caused by the memory of a wrong done. Consequently the cause of
anger is impaired little by little as time goes on, until at length it
vanishes altogether. Moreover a wrong seems greater when it is first
felt; and our estimate thereof is gradually lessened the further the
sense of present wrong recedes into the past. The same applies to love,
so long as the cause of love is in the memory alone; wherefore the
Philosopher says (Ethic. viii, 5) that "if a friend's absence lasts long,
it seems to make men forget their friendship." But in the presence of a
friend, the cause of friendship is continually being multiplied by time:
wherefore the friendship increases: and the same would apply to anger,
were its cause continually multiplied.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 2/2

Nevertheless the very fact that anger soon spends itself proves the
strength of its fervor: for as a great fire is soon spent having burnt
up all the fuel; so too anger, by reason of its vehemence, soon dies away.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Every power that is divided in itself is weakened.
Consequently if a man being already angry with one, becomes angry with
another, by this very fact his anger with the former is weakened.
Especially is this so if his anger in the second case be greater: because
the wrong done which aroused his former anger, will, in comparison with
the second wrong, which is reckoned greater, seem to be of little or no
account.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether anger above all hinders the use of reason?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that anger does not hinder the use of reason.
Because that which presupposes an act of reason, does not seem to hinder
the use of reason. But "anger listens to reason," as stated in Ethic.
vii, 6. Therefore anger does not hinder reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the more the reason is hindered, the less does a man
show his thoughts. But the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 6) that "an
angry man is not cunning but is open." Therefore anger does not seem to
hinder the use of reason, as desire does; for desire is cunning, as he
also states (Ethic. vii, 6.).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the judgment of reason becomes more evident by
juxtaposition of the contrary: because contraries stand out more clearly
when placed beside one another. But this also increases anger: for the
Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 2) that "men are more angry if they receive
unwonted treatment; for instance, honorable men, if they be dishonored":
and so forth. Therefore the same cause increases anger, and facilitates
the judgment of reason. Therefore anger does not hinder the judgment of
reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. v, 30) that anger "withdraws the
light of understanding, while by agitating it troubles the mind."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Although the mind or reason makes no use of a bodily
organ in its proper act, yet, since it needs certain sensitive powers for
the execution of its act, the acts of which powers are hindered when the
body is disturbed, it follows of necessity that any disturbance in the
body hinders even the judgment of reason; as is clear in the case of
drunkenness or sleep. Now it has been stated (A[2]) that anger, above
all, causes a bodily disturbance in the region of the heart, so much as
to effect even the outward members. Consequently, of all the passions,
anger is the most manifest obstacle to the judgment of reason, according
to Ps. 30:10: "My eye is troubled with wrath."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The beginning of anger is in the reason, as regards the
appetitive movement, which is the formal element of anger. But the
passion of anger forestalls the perfect judgment of reason, as though it
listened but imperfectly to reason, on account of the commotion of the
heat urging to instant action, which commotion is the material element of
anger. In this respect it hinders the judgment of reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: An angry man is said to be open, not because it is clear to
him what he ought to do, but because he acts openly, without thought of
hiding himself. This is due partly to the reason being hindered, so as
not to discern what should be hidden and what done openly, nor to devise
the means of hiding; and partly to the dilatation of the heart which
pertains to magnanimity which is an effect of anger: wherefore the
Philosopher says of the magnanimous man (Ethic. iv, 3) that "he is open
in his hatreds and his friendships . . . and speaks and acts openly."
Desire, on the other hand, is said to lie low and to be cunning, because,
in many cases, the pleasurable things that are desired, savor of shame
and voluptuousness, wherein man wishes not to be seen. But in those
things that savor of manliness and excellence, such as matters of
vengeance, man seeks to be in the open.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: As stated above (ad 1), the movement of anger begins in the
reason, wherefore the juxtaposition of one contrary with another
facilitates the judgment of reason, on the same grounds as it increases
anger. For when a man who is possessed of honor or wealth, suffers a loss
therein, the loss seems all the greater, both on account of the contrast,
and because it was unforeseen. Consequently it causes greater grief: just
as a great good, through being received unexpectedly, causes greater
delight. And in proportion to the increase of the grief that precedes,
anger is increased also.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether anger above all causes taciturnity?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that anger does not cause taciturnity. Because
taciturnity is opposed to speech. But increase in anger conduces to
speech; as is evident from the degrees of anger laid down by Our Lord
(Mt. 5:22): where He says: "Whosoever is angry with his brother"; and " .
. . whosoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca'"; and " . . . whosoever
shall say to his brother, 'Thou fool.'" Therefore anger does not cause
taciturnity.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, through failing to obey reason, man sometimes breaks out
into unbecoming words: hence it is written (Prov. 25:28): "As a city that
lieth open and is not compassed with walls, so is a man that cannot
refrain his own spirit in speaking." But anger, above all, hinders the
judgment of reason, as stated above (A[3]). Consequently above all it
makes one break out into unbecoming words. Therefore it does not cause
taciturnity.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, it is written (Mt. 12:34): "Out of the abundance of the
heart the mouth speaketh." But anger, above all, causes a disturbance in
the heart, as stated above (A[2]). Therefore above all it conduces to
speech. Therefore it does not cause taciturnity.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. v, 30) that "when anger does not
vent itself outwardly by the lips, inwardly it burns the more fiercely."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[4] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (A[3]; Q[46], A[4]), anger both follows
an act of reason, and hinders the reason: and in both respects it may
cause taciturnity. On the part of the reason, when the judgment of reason
prevails so far, that although it does not curb the appetite in its
inordinate desire for vengeance, yet it curbs the tongue from unbridled
speech. Wherefore Gregory says (Moral. v, 30): "Sometimes when the mind
is disturbed, anger, as if in judgment, commands silence." On the part of
the impediment to reason because, as stated above (A[2]), the disturbance
of anger reaches to the outward members, and chiefly to those members
which reflect more distinctly the emotions of the heart, such as the
eyes, face and tongue; wherefore, as observed above (A[2]), "the tongue
stammers, the countenance takes fire, the eyes grow fierce." Consequently
anger may cause such a disturbance, that the tongue is altogether
deprived of speech; and taciturnity is the result.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 1: Anger sometimes goes so far as to hinder the reason from
curbing the tongue: but sometimes it goes yet farther, so as to paralyze
the tongue and other outward members.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 2/2

And this suffices for the Reply to the Second Objection.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[48] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The disturbance of the heart may sometimes superabound to
the extend that the movements of the outward members are hindered by the
inordinate movement of the heart. Thence ensue taciturnity and immobility
of the outward members; and sometimes even death. If, however, the
disturbance be not so great, then "out of the abundance of the heart"
thus disturbed, the mouth proceeds to speak.





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