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St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

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  • SECOND PART
    • Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] Out. Para. 1/4 - SECOND PART OF THE SECOND PART (SS) (QQ[1]-189)
      • Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF STUDIOUSNESS (TWO ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF STUDIOUSNESS (TWO ARTICLES)

We must next consider studiousness and its opposite, curiosity.
Concerning studiousness there are two points of inquiry:

(1) What is the matter of studiousness?

(2) Whether it is a part of temperance?


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the proper matter of studiousness is knowledge?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that knowledge is not the proper matter of
studiousness. For a person is said to be studious because he applies
study to certain things. Now a man ought to apply study to every matter,
in order to do aright what has to be done. Therefore seemingly knowledge
is not the special matter of studiousness.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, studiousness is opposed to curiosity. Now curiosity,
which is derived from "cura" [care], may also refer to elegance of
apparel and other such things, which regard the body; wherefore the
Apostle says (Rm. 13:14): "Make not provision [curam] for the flesh in
its concupiscences."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further it is written (Jer. 6:13): "From the least of them even
to the greatest, all study [Douay: 'are given to'] covetousness." Now
covetousness is not properly about knowledge, but rather about the
possession of wealth, as stated above (Q[118], A[2]). Therefore
studiousness, which is derived from "study," is not properly about
knowledge.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is written (Prov. 27:11): "Study wisdom, my son, and
make my heart joyful, that thou mayest give an answer to him that
reproacheth." Now study, which is commended as a virtue, is the same as
that to which the Law urges. Therefore studiousness is properly about
"knowledge."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Properly speaking, study denotes keen application of the
mind to something. Now the mind is not applied to a thing except by
knowing that thing. Wherefore the mind's application to knowledge
precedes its application to those things to which man is directed by his
knowledge. Hence study regards knowledge in the first place, and as a
result it regards any other things the working of which requires to be
directed by knowledge. Now the virtues lay claim to that matter about
which they are first and foremost; thus fortitude is concerned about
dangers of death, and temperance about pleasures of touch. Therefore
studiousness is properly ascribed to knowledge.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Nothing can be done aright as regards other matters, except
in so far as is previously directed by the knowing reason. Hence
studiousness, to whatever matter it be applied, has a prior regard for
knowledge.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Man's mind is drawn, on account of his affections, towards
the things for which he has an affection, according to Mt. 6:21, "Where
thy treasure is, there is thy heart also." And since man has special
affection for those things which foster the flesh, it follows that man's
thoughts are concerned about things that foster his flesh, so that man
seeks to know how he may best sustain his body. Accordingly curiosity is
accounted to be about things pertaining to the body by reason of things
pertaining to knowledge.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Covetousness craves the acquisition of gain, and for this
it is very necessary to be skilled in earthly things. Accordingly
studiousness is ascribed to things pertaining to covetousness.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether studiousness is a part of temperance?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that studiousness is not a part of temperance. For
a man is said to be studious by reason of his studiousness. Now all
virtuous persons without exception are called studious according to the
Philosopher, who frequently employs the term "studious" ({spoudaios}) in
this sense (Ethic. ix, 4,8,9). [*In the same sense Aristotle says in
Ethic. iii, 2, that "every vicious person is ignorant of what he ought to
do."] Therefore studiousness is a general virtue, and not a part of
temperance.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, studiousness, as stated (A[1]), pertains to knowledge.
But knowledge has no connection with the moral virtues which are in the
appetitive part of the soul, and pertains rather to the intellectual
virtues which are in the cognitive part: wherefore solicitude is an act
of prudence as stated above (Q[47], A[9]). Therefore studiousness is not
a part of temperance.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, a virtue that is ascribed as part of a principal virtue
resembles the latter as to mode. Now studiousness does not resemble
temperance as to mode, because temperance takes its name from being a
kind of restraint, wherefore it is more opposed to the vice that is in
excess: whereas studiousness is denominated from being the application of
the mind to something, so that it would seem to be opposed to the vice
that is in default, namely, neglect of study, rather than to the vice
which is in excess, namely curiosity. wherefore, on account of its
resemblance to the latter, Isidore says (Etym. x) that "a studious man is
one who is curious to study." Therefore studiousness is not a part of
temperance.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Morib. Eccl. 21): "We are forbidden
to be curious: and this is a great gift that temperance bestows." Now
curiosity is prevented by moderate studiousness. Therefore studiousness
is a part of temperance.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[2] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, As stated above (Q[141], AA[3],4,5), it belongs to
temperance to moderate the movement of the appetite, lest it tend
excessively to that which is desired naturally. Now just as in respect of
his corporeal nature man naturally desires the pleasures of food and sex,
so, in respect of his soul, he naturally desires to know something; thus
the Philosopher observes at the beginning of his Metaphysics i, 1: "All
men have a natural desire for knowledge."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[2] Body Para. 2/2

The moderation of this desire pertains to the virtue of studiousness;
wherefore it follows that studiousness is a potential part of temperance,
as a subordinate virtue annexed to a principal virtue. Moreover, it is
comprised under modesty for the reason given above (Q[160], A[2]).

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Prudence is the complement of all the moral virtues, as
stated in Ethic. vi, 13. Consequently, in so far as the knowledge of
prudence pertains to all the virtues, the term "studiousness," which
properly regards knowledge, is applied to all the virtues.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The act of a cognitive power is commanded by the appetitive
power, which moves all the powers, as stated above (FS, Q[9], A[1]).
Wherefore knowledge regards a twofold good. One is connected with the act
of knowledge itself; and this good pertains to the intellectual virtues,
and consists in man having a true estimate about each thing. The other
good pertains to the act of the appetitive power, and consists in man's
appetite being directed aright in applying the cognitive power in this or
that way to this or that thing. And this belongs to the virtue of
seriousness. Wherefore it is reckoned among the moral virtues.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[166] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: As the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 93) in order to be
virtuous we must avoid those things to which we are most naturally
inclined. Hence it is that, since nature inclines us. chiefly to fear
dangers of death, and to seek pleasures of the flesh, fortitude is
chiefly commended for a certain steadfast perseverance against such
dangers, and temperance for a certain restraint from pleasures of the
flesh. But as regards knowledge, man has contrary inclinations. For on
the part of the soul, he is inclined to desire knowledge of things; and
so it behooves him to exercise a praiseworthy restraint on this desire,
lest he seek knowledge immoderately: whereas on the part of his bodily
nature, man is inclined to avoid the trouble of seeking knowledge.
Accordingly, as regards the first inclination studiousness is a kind of
restraint, and it is in this sense that it is reckoned a part of
temperance. But as to the second inclination, this virtue derives its
praise from a certain keenness of interest in seeking knowledge of
things; and from this it takes its name. The former is more essential to
this virtue than the latter: since the desire to know directly regards
knowledge, to which studiousness is directed, whereas the trouble of
learning is an obstacle to knowledge, wherefore it is regarded by this
virtue indirectly, as by that which removes an obstacle.





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