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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[60] Out. Para. 1/1 - HOW THE MORAL VIRTUES DIFFER FROM ONE ANOTHER (FIVE ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] Out. Para. 1/1 - HOW THE MORAL VIRTUES DIFFER FROM ONE ANOTHER (FIVE ARTICLES)

We must now consider how the moral virtues differ from one another:
under which head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether there is only one moral virtue?

(2) Whether those moral virtues which are about operations, are distinct
from those which are about passions?

(3) Whether there is but one moral virtue about operations?

(4) Whether there are different moral virtues about different passions?

(5) Whether the moral virtues differ in point of the various objects of
the passions?


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether there is only one moral virtue?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that there is only one moral virtue. Because just
as the direction of moral actions belongs to reason which is the subject
of the intellectual virtues; so does their inclination belong to the
appetite which is the subject of moral virtues. But there is only one
intellectual virtue to direct all moral acts, viz. prudence. Therefore
there is also but one moral virtue to give all moral acts their
respective inclinations.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, habits differ, not in respect of their material objects,
but according to the formal aspect of their objects. Now the formal
aspect of the good to which moral virtue is directed, is one thing, viz.
the mean defined by reason. Therefore, seemingly, there is but one moral
virtue.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, things pertaining to morals are specified by their end,
as stated above (Q[1], A[3]). Now there is but one common end of all
moral virtues, viz. happiness, while the proper and proximate ends are
infinite in number. But the moral virtues themselves are not infinite in
number. Therefore it seems that there is but one.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, One habit cannot be in several powers, as stated above
(Q[56], A[2]). But the subject of the moral virtues is the appetitive
part of the soul, which is divided into several powers, as stated in the
FP, Q[80], A[2]; FP, Q[81], A[2]. Therefore there cannot be only one
moral virtue.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[1] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, As stated above (Q[58], AA[1],2,3), the moral virtues are
habits of the appetitive faculty. Now habits differ specifically
according to the specific differences of their objects, as stated above
(Q[54], A[2]). Again, the species of the object of appetite, as of any
thing, depends on its specific form which it receives from the agent. But
we must observe that the matter of the passive subject bears a twofold
relation to the agent. For sometimes it receives the form of the agent,
in the same kind specifically as the agent has that form, as happens with
all univocal agents, so that if the agent be one specifically, the matter
must of necessity receive a form specifically one: thus the univocal
effect of fire is of necessity something in the species of fire.
Sometimes, however, the matter receives the form from the agent, but not
in the same kind specifically as the agent, as is the case with
non-univocal causes of generation: thus an animal is generated by the
sun. In this case the forms received into matter are not of one species,
but vary according to the adaptability of the matter to receive the
influx of the agent: for instance, we see that owing to the one action of
the sun, animals of various species are produced by putrefaction
according to the various adaptability of matter.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[1] Body Para. 2/2

Now it is evident that in moral matters the reason holds the place of
commander and mover, while the appetitive power is commanded and moved.
But the appetite does not receive the direction of reason univocally so
to say; because it is rational, not essentially, but by participation
(Ethic. i, 13). Consequently objects made appetible by the direction of
reason belong to various species, according to their various relations to
reason: so that it follows that moral virtues are of various species and
are not one only.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The object of the reason is truth. Now in all moral
matters, which are contingent matters of action, there is but one kind of
truth. Consequently, there is but one virtue to direct all such matters,
viz. prudence. On the other hand, the object of the appetitive power is
the appetible good, which varies in kind according to its various
relations to reason, the directing power.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: This formal element is one generically, on account of the
unity of the agent: but it varies in species, on account of the various
relations of the receiving matter, as explained above.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Moral matters do not receive their species from the last
end, but from their proximate ends: and these, although they be infinite
in number, are not infinite in species.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether moral virtues about operations are different from those that are
about passions?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that moral virtues are not divided into those which
are about operations and those which are about passions. For the
Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 3) that moral virtue is "an operative habit
whereby we do what is best in matters of pleasure or sorrow." Now
pleasure and sorrow are passions, as stated above (Q[31], A[1]; Q[35],
A[1]). Therefore the same virtue which is about passions is also about
operations, since it is an operative habit.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the passions are principles of external action. If
therefore some virtues regulate the passions, they must, as a
consequence, regulate operations also. Therefore the same moral virtues
are about both passions and operations.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the sensitive appetite is moved well or ill towards
every external operation. Now movements of the sensitive appetite are
passions. Therefore the same virtues that are about operations are also
about passions.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Philosopher reckons justice to be about operations;
and temperance, fortitude and gentleness, about passions (Ethic. ii, 3,7;
v, 1, seqq.).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[2] Body Para. 1/4

I answer that, Operation and passion stand in a twofold relation to
virtue. First, as its effects; and in this way every moral virtue has
some good operations as its product; and a certain pleasure or sorrow
which are passions, as stated above (Q[59], A[4], ad 1).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[2] Body Para. 2/4

Secondly, operation may be compared to moral virtue as the matter about
which virtue is concerned: and in this sense those moral virtues which
are about operations must needs differ from those which are about
passions. The reason for this is that good and evil, in certain
operations, are taken from the very nature of those operations, no matter
how man may be affected towards them: viz. in so far as good and evil in
them depend on their being commensurate with someone else. In operations
of this kind there needs to be some power to regulate the operations in
themselves: such are buying and selling, and all such operations in which
there is an element of something due or undue to another. For this reason
justice and its parts are properly about operations as their proper
matter. On the other hand, in some operations, good and evil depend only
on commensuration with the agent. Consequently good and evil in these
operations depend on the way in which man is affected to them. And for
this reason in such like operations virtue must needs be chiefly about
internal emotions which are called the passions of the soul, as is
evidently the case with temperance, fortitude and the like.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[2] Body Para. 3/4

It happens, however, in operations which are directed to another, that
the good of virtue is overlooked by reason of some inordinate passion of
the soul. In such cases justice is destroyed in so far as the due measure
of the external act is destroyed: while some other virtue is destroyed in
so far as the internal passions exceed their due measure. Thus when
through anger, one man strikes another, justice is destroyed in the undue
blow; while gentleness is destroyed by the immoderate anger. The same may
be clearly applied to other virtues.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[2] Body Para. 4/4

This suffices for the Replies to the Objections. For the first considers
operations as the effect of virtue, while the other two consider
operation and passion as concurring in the same effect. But in some cases
virtue is chiefly about operations, in others, about passions, for the
reason given above.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether there is only one moral virtue about operations?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that there is but one moral virtue about
operations. Because the rectitude of all external operations seems to
belong to justice. Now justice is but one virtue. Therefore there is but
one virtue about operations.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, those operations seem to differ most, which are directed
on the one side to the good of the individual, and on the other to the
good of the many. But this diversity does not cause diversity among the
moral virtues: for the Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 1) that legal justice,
which directs human acts to the common good, does not differ, save
logically, from the virtue which directs a man's actions to one man only.
Therefore diversity of operations does not cause a diversity of moral
virtues.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, if there are various moral virtues about various
operations, diversity of moral virtues would needs follow diversity of
operations. But this is clearly untrue: for it is the function of justice
to establish rectitude in various kinds of commutations, and again in
distributions, as is set down in Ethic. v, 2. Therefore there are not
different virtues about different operations.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Religion is a moral virtue distinct from piety, both
of which are about operations.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, All the moral virtues that are about operations agree in
one general notion of justice, which is in respect of something due to
another: but they differ in respect of various special notions. The
reason for this is that in external operations, the order of reason is
established, as we have stated (A[2]), not according as how man is
affected towards such operations, but according to the becomingness of
the thing itself; from which becomingness we derive the notion of
something due which is the formal aspect of justice: for, seemingly, it
pertains to justice that a man give another his due. Wherefore all such
virtues as are about operations, bear, in some way, the character of
justice. But the thing due is not of the same kind in all these virtues:
for something is due to an equal in one way, to a superior, in another
way, to an inferior, in yet another; and the nature of a debt differs
according as it arises from a contract, a promise, or a favor already
conferred. And corresponding to these various kinds of debt there are
various virtues: e.g. "Religion" whereby we pay our debt to God; "Piety,"
whereby we pay our debt to our parents or to our country; "Gratitude,"
whereby we pay our debt to our benefactors, and so forth.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Justice properly so called is one special virtue, whose
object is the perfect due, which can be paid in the equivalent. But the
name of justice is extended also to all cases in which something due is
rendered: in this sense it is not as a special virtue.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: That justice which seeks the common good is another virtue
from that which is directed to the private good of an individual:
wherefore common right differs from private right; and Tully (De Inv. ii)
reckons as a special virtue, piety which directs man to the good of his
country. But that justice which directs man to the common good is a
general virtue through its act of command: since it directs all the acts
of the virtues to its own end, viz. the common good. And the virtues, in
so far as they are commanded by that justice, receive the name of
justice: so that virtue does not differ, save logically, from legal
justice; just as there is only a logical difference between a virtue that
is active of itself, and a virtue that is active through the command of
another virtue.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: There is the same kind of due in all the operations
belonging to special justice. Consequently, there is the same virtue of
justice, especially in regard to commutations. For it may be that
distributive justice is of another species from commutative justice; but
about this we shall inquire later on (SS, Q[61], A[1]).


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether there are different moral virtues about different passions?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that there are not different moral virtues about
different passions. For there is but one habit about things that concur
in their source and end: as is evident especially in the case of
sciences. But the passions all concur in one source, viz. love; and they
all terminate in the same end, viz. joy or sorrow, as we stated above
(Q[25], AA[1],2,4; Q[27], A[4]). Therefore there is but one moral virtue
about all the passions.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, if there were different moral virtues about different
passions, it would follow that there are as many moral virtues as
passions. But this clearly is not the case: since there is one moral
virtue about contrary passions; namely, fortitude, about fear and daring;
temperance, about pleasure and sorrow. Therefore there is no need for
different moral virtues about different passions.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, love, desire, and pleasure are passions of different
species, as stated above (Q[23], A[4]). Now there is but one virtue about
all these three, viz. temperance. Therefore there are not different moral
virtues about different passions.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Fortitude is about fear and daring; temperance about
desire; meekness about anger; as stated in Ethic. iii, 6,10; iv, 5.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[4] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, It cannot be said that there is only one moral virtue
about all the passions: since some passions are not in the same power as
other passions; for some belong to the irascible, others to the
concupiscible faculty, as stated above (Q[23], A[1]).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[4] Body Para. 2/2

On the other hand, neither does every diversity of passions necessarily
suffice for a diversity of moral virtues. First, because some passions
are in contrary opposition to one another, such as joy and sorrow, fear
and daring, and so on. About such passions as are thus in opposition to
one another there must needs be one same virtue. Because, since moral
virtue consists in a kind of mean, the mean in contrary passions stands
in the same ratio to both, even as in the natural order there is but one
mean between contraries, e.g. between black and white. Secondly, because
there are different passions contradicting reason in the same manner,
e.g. by impelling to that which is contrary to reason, or by withdrawing
from that which is in accord with reason. Wherefore the different
passions of the concupiscible faculty do not require different moral
virtues, because their movements follow one another in a certain order,
as being directed to the one same thing, viz. the attainment of some good
or the avoidance of some evil: thus from love proceeds desire, and from
desire we arrive at pleasure; and it is the same with the opposite
passions, for hatred leads to avoidance or dislike, and this leads to
sorrow. On the other hand, the irascible passions are not all of one
order, but are directed to different things: for daring and fear are
about some great danger; hope and despair are about some difficult good;
while anger seeks to overcome something contrary which has wrought harm.
Consequently there are different virtues about such like passions: e.g.
temperance, about the concupiscible passions; fortitude, about fear and
daring; magnanimity, about hope and despair; meekness, about anger.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: All the passions concur in one common principle and end;
but not in one proper principle or end: and so this does not suffice for
the unity of moral virtue.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Just as in the natural order the same principle causes
movement from one extreme and movement towards the other; and as in the
intellectual order contraries have one common ratio; so too between
contrary passions there is but one moral virtue, which, like a second
nature, consents to reason's dictates.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Those three passions are directed to the same object in a
certain order, as stated above: and so they belong to the same virtue.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the moral virtues differ in point of the various objects of the
passions?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the moral virtues do not differ according to
the objects of the passions. For just as there are objects of passions,
so are there objects of operations. Now those moral virtues that are
about operations, do not differ according to the objects of those
operations: for the buying and selling either of a house or of a horse
belong to the one same virtue of justice. Therefore neither do those
moral virtues that are about passions differ according to the objects of
those passions.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the passions are acts or movements of the sensitive
appetite. Now it needs a greater difference to differentiate habits than
acts. Hence diverse objects which do not diversify the species of
passions, do not diversify the species of moral virtue: so that there is
but one moral virtue about all objects of pleasure, and the same applies
to the other passions.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, more or less do not change a species. Now various
objects of pleasure differ only by reason of being more or less
pleasurable. Therefore all objects of pleasure belong to one species of
virtue: and for the same reason so do all fearful objects, and the same
applies to others. Therefore moral virtue is not diversified according to
the objects of the passions.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, virtue hinders evil, even as it produces good. But there
are various virtues about the desires for good things: thus temperance is
about desires for the pleasure of touch, and "eutrapelia" [*{eutrapelia}]
about pleasures in games. Therefore there should be different virtues
about fears of evils.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Chastity is about sexual pleasures, abstinence about
pleasures of the table, and "eutrapelia" about pleasures in games.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] Body Para. 1/6

I answer that, The perfection of a virtue depends on the reason; whereas
the perfection of a passion depends on the sensitive appetite.
Consequently virtues must needs be differentiated according to their
relation to reason, but the passions according to their relation to the
appetite. Hence the objects of the passions, according as they are
variously related to the sensitive appetite, cause the different species
of passions: while, according as they are related to reason, they cause
the different species of virtues. Now the movement of reason is not the
same as that of the sensitive appetite. Wherefore nothing hinders a
difference of objects from causing diversity of passions, without causing
diversity of virtues, as when one virtue is about several passions, as
stated above (A[4]); and again, a difference of objects from causing
different virtues, without causing a difference of passions, since
several virtues are directed about one passion, e.g. pleasure.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] Body Para. 2/6

And because diverse passions belonging to diverse powers, always belong
to diverse virtues, as stated above (A[4]); therefore a difference of
objects that corresponds to a difference of powers always causes a
specific difference of virtues - for instance the difference between that
which is good absolutely speaking, and that which is good and difficult
to obtain. Moreover since the reason rules man's lower powers in a
certain order, and even extends to outward things; hence, one single
object of the passions, according as it is apprehended by sense,
imagination, or reason, and again, according as it belongs to the soul,
body, or external things, has various relations to reason, and
consequently is of a nature to cause a difference of virtues.
Consequently man's good which is the object of love, desire and pleasure,
may be taken as referred either to a bodily sense, or to the inner
apprehension of the mind: and this same good may be directed to man's
good in himself, either in his body or in his soul, or to man's good in
relation to other men. And every such difference, being differently
related to reason, differentiates virtues.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] Body Para. 3/6

Accordingly, if we take a good, and it be something discerned by the
sense of touch, and something pertaining to the upkeep of human life
either in the individual or in the species, such as the pleasures of the
table or of sexual intercourse, it will belong to the virtue of
"temperance." As regards the pleasures of the other senses, they are not
intense, and so do not present much difficulty to the reason: hence there
is no virtue corresponding to them; for virtue, "like art, is about
difficult things" (Ethic. ii, 3).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] Body Para. 4/6

On the other hand, good discerned not by the senses, but by an inner
power, and belonging to man in himself, is like money and honor; the
former, by its very nature, being employable for the good of the body, while the latter is based on the apprehension of the mind. These goods
again may be considered either absolutely, in which way they concern the
concupiscible faculty, or as being difficult to obtain, in which way they
belong to the irascible part: which distinction, however, has no place in
pleasurable objects of touch; since such are of base condition, and are
becoming to man in so far as he has something in common with irrational
animals. Accordingly in reference to money considered as a good
absolutely, as an object of desire, pleasure, or love, there is
"liberality": but if we consider this good as difficult to get, and as
being the object of our hope, there is "magnificence" [*{megaloprepeia}].
With regard to that good which we call honor, taken absolutely, as the
object of love, we have a virtue called "philotimia" [*{philotimia}],
i.e. "love of honor": while if we consider it as hard to attain, and as
an object of hope, then we have "magnanimity." Wherefore liberality and
"philotimia" seem to be in the concupiscible part, while magnificence and
magnanimity are in the irascible.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] Body Para. 5/6

As regards man's good in relation to other men, it does not seem hard to
obtain, but is considered absolutely, as the object of the concupiscible
passions. This good may be pleasurable to a man in his behavior towards
another either in some serious matter, in actions, to wit, that are
directed by reason to a due end, or in playful actions, viz. that are
done for mere pleasure, and which do not stand in the same relation to
reason as the former. Now one man behaves towards another in serious
matters, in two ways. First, as being pleasant in his regard, by becoming
speech and deeds: and this belongs to a virtue which Aristotle (Ethic.
ii, 7) calls "friendship" [*{philia}], and may be rendered "affability."
Secondly, one man behaves towards another by being frank with him, in
words and deeds: this belongs to another virtue which (Ethic. iv, 7) he
calls "truthfulness" [*{aletheia}]. For frankness is more akin to the
reason than pleasure, and serious matters than play. Hence there is
another virtue about the pleasures of games, which the Philosopher
"eutrapelia" [*{eutrapelia}] (Ethic. iv, 8).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] Body Para. 6/6

It is therefore evident that, according to Aristotle, there are ten
moral virtues about the passions, viz. fortitude, temperance, liberality,
magnificence, magnanimity, "philotimia," gentleness, friendship,
truthfulness, and "eutrapelia," all of which differ in respect of their
diverse matter, passions, or objects: so that if we add "justice," which
is about operations, there will be eleven in all.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: All objects of the same specific operation have the same
relation to reason: not so all the objects of the same specific passion;
because operations do not thwart reason as the passions do.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Passions are not differentiated by the same rule as virtues
are, as stated above.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: More and less do not cause a difference of species, unless
they bear different relations to reason.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[60] A[5] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: Good is a more potent mover than evil: because evil does
not cause movement save in virtue of good, as Dionysius states (Div. Nom.
iv). Hence an evil does not prove an obstacle to reason, so as to require
virtues unless that evil be great; there being, seemingly, one such evil
corresponding to each kind of passion. Hence there is but one virtue,
meekness, for every form of anger; and, again, but one virtue, fortitude,
for all forms of daring. On the other hand, good involves difficulty,
which requires virtue, even if it be not a great good in that particular
kind of passion. Consequently there are various moral virtues about
desires, as stated above.





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