St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
Translated by
Fathers of the English Dominican Province


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Ubi primo considerandum occurrit de ultimo fine humanae vitae; et deinde de his per quae homo ad hunc finem pervenire potest, vel ab eo deviare, ex fine enim oportet accipere rationes eorum quae ordinantur ad finem. Et quia ultimus finis humanae vitae ponitur esse beatitudo, oportet
  • primo considerare de ultimo fine in communi;
  • deinde de beatitudine.
   In this matter we shall consider first the last end of human life; and secondly, those things by means of which man may advance towards this end, or stray from the path: for the end is the rule of whatever is ordained to the end. And since the last end of human life is stated to be happiness, we must consider
  • (1) the last end in general;
  • (2) happiness.
Circa primum quaeruntur octo.    Under the first head there are eight points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum hominis sit agere propter finem.     (1) Whether it belongs to man to act for an end?
Secundo, utrum hoc sit proprium rationalis naturae.     (2) Whether this is proper to the rational nature?
Tertio, utrum actus hominis recipiant speciem a fine.     (3) Whether a man's actions are specified by their end?
Quarto, utrum sit aliquis ultimus finis humanae vitae.     (4) Whether there is any last end of human life?
Quinto, utrum unius hominis possint esse plures ultimi fines.     (5) Whether one man can have several last ends?
Sexto, utrum homo ordinet omnia in ultimum finem.     (6) Whether man ordains all to the last end?
Septimo, utrum idem sit finis ultimus omnium hominum.     (7) Whether all men have the same last end?
Octavo, utrum in illo ultimo fine omnes aliae creaturae conveniant.     (8) Whether all other creatures concur with man in that last end?


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Whether it belongs to man to act for an end?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod homini non conveniat agere propter finem. Causa enim naturaliter prior est. Sed finis habet rationem ultimi, ut ipsum nomen sonat. Ergo finis non habet rationem causae. Sed propter illud agit homo, quod est causa actionis, cum haec praepositio propter designet habitudinem causae. Ergo homini non convenit agere propter finem.   Objection 1: It would seem that it does not belong to man to act for an end. For a cause is naturally first. But an end, in its very name, implies something that is last. Therefore an end is not a cause. But that for which a man acts, is the cause of his action; since this preposition "for" indicates a relation of causality. Therefore it does not belong to man to act for an end.
Praeterea, illud quod est ultimus finis, non est propter finem. Sed in quibusdam actiones sunt ultimus finis; ut patet per philosophum in I Ethic. Ergo non omnia homo agit propter finem.   Objection 2: Further, that which is itself the last end is not for an end. But in some cases the last end is an action, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. i, 1). Therefore man does not do everything for an end.
Praeterea, tunc videtur homo agere propter finem, quando deliberat. Sed multa homo agit absque deliberatione, de quibus etiam quandoque nihil cogitat; sicut cum aliquis movet pedem vel manum aliis intentus, vel fricat barbam. Non ergo homo omnia agit propter finem.   Objection 3: Further, then does a man seem to act for an end, when he acts deliberately. But man does many things without deliberation, sometimes not even thinking of what he is doing; for instance when one moves one's foot or hand, or scratches one's beard, while intent on something else. Therefore man does not do everything for an end.
Sed contra, omnia quae sunt in aliquo genere, derivantur a principio illius generis. Sed finis est principium in operabilibus ab homine; ut patet per philosophum in II Physic. Ergo homini convenit omnia agere propter finem.   On the contrary, All things contained in a genus are derived from the principle of that genus. Now the end is the principle in human operations, as the Philosopher states (Phys. ii, 9). Therefore it belongs to man to do everything for an end.
Respondeo dicendum quod actionum quae ab homine aguntur, illae solae proprie dicuntur humanae, quae sunt propriae hominis inquantum est homo. Differt autem homo ab aliis irrationalibus creaturis in hoc, quod est suorum actuum dominus. Unde illae solae actiones vocantur proprie humanae, quarum homo est dominus. Est autem homo dominus suorum actuum per rationem et voluntatem, unde et liberum arbitrium esse dicitur facultas voluntatis et rationis. Illae ergo actiones proprie humanae dicuntur, quae ex voluntate deliberata procedunt. Si quae autem aliae actiones homini conveniant, possunt dici quidem hominis actiones; sed non proprie humanae, cum non sint hominis inquantum est homo. Manifestum est autem quod omnes actiones quae procedunt ab aliqua potentia, causantur ab ea secundum rationem sui obiecti. Obiectum autem voluntatis est finis et bonum. Unde oportet quod omnes actiones humanae propter finem sint.   I answer that, Of actions done by man those alone are properly called "human," which are proper to man as man. Now man differs from irrational animals in this, that he is master of his actions. Wherefore those actions alone are properly called human, of which man is master. Now man is master of his actions through his reason and will; whence, too, the free-will is defined as "the faculty and will of reason." Therefore those actions are properly called human which proceed from a deliberate will. And if any other actions are found in man, they can be called actions "of a man," but not properly "human" actions, since they are not proper to man as man. Now it is clear that whatever actions proceed from a power, are caused by that power in accordance with the nature of its object. But the object of the will is the end and the good. Therefore all human actions must be for an end.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod finis, etsi sit postremus in executione, est tamen primus in intentione agentis. Et hoc modo habet rationem causae.   Reply to Objection 1: Although the end be last in the order of execution, yet it is first in the order of the agent's intention. And it is this way that it is a cause.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, si qua actio humana sit ultimus finis, oportet eam esse voluntariam, alias non esset humana, ut dictum est. Actio autem aliqua dupliciter dicitur voluntaria, uno modo, quia imperatur a voluntate, sicut ambulare vel loqui; alio modo, quia elicitur a voluntate, sicut ipsum velle. Impossibile autem est quod ipse actus a voluntate elicitus sit ultimus finis. Nam obiectum voluntatis est finis, sicut obiectum visus est color, unde sicut impossibile est quod primum visibile sit ipsum videre, quia omne videre est alicuius obiecti visibilis; ita impossibile est quod primum appetibile, quod est finis, sit ipsum velle. Unde relinquitur quod, si qua actio humana sit ultimus finis, quod ipsa sit imperata a voluntate. Et ita ibi aliqua actio hominis, ad minus ipsum velle, est propter finem. Quidquid ergo homo faciat, verum est dicere quod homo agit propter finem, etiam agendo actionem quae est ultimus finis.   Reply to Objection 2: If any human action be the last end, it must be voluntary, else it would not be human, as stated above. Now an action is voluntary in one of two ways: first, because it is commanded by the will, e.g. to walk, or to speak; secondly, because it is elicited by the will, for instance the very act of willing. Now it is impossible for the very act elicited by the will to be the last end. For the object of the will is the end, just as the object of sight is color: wherefore just as the first visible cannot be the act of seeing, because every act of seeing is directed to a visible object; so the first appetible, i.e. the end, cannot be the very act of willing. Consequently it follows that if a human action be the last end, it must be an action commanded by the will: so that there, some action of man, at least the act of willing, is for the end. Therefore whatever a man does, it is true to say that man acts for an end, even when he does that action in which the last end consists.
Ad tertium dicendum quod huiusmodi actiones non sunt proprie humanae, quia non procedunt ex deliberatione rationis, quae est proprium principium humanorum actuum. Et ideo habent quidem finem imaginatum, non autem per rationem praestitutum.   Reply to Objection 3: Such like actions are not properly human actions; since they do not proceed from deliberation of the reason, which is the proper principle of human actions. Therefore they have indeed an imaginary end, but not one that is fixed by reason.


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Whether it is proper to the rational nature to act for an end?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod agere propter finem sit proprium rationalis naturae. Homo enim, cuius est agere propter finem, nunquam agit propter finem ignotum. Sed multa sunt quae non cognoscunt finem, vel quia omnino carent cognitione, sicut creaturae insensibiles; vel quia non apprehendunt rationem finis, sicut bruta animalia. Videtur ergo proprium esse rationalis naturae agere propter finem.   Objection 1: It would seem that it is proper to the rational nature to act for an end. For man, to whom it belongs to act for an end, never acts for an unknown end. On the other hand, there are many things that have no knowledge of an end; either because they are altogether without knowledge, as insensible creatures: or because they do not apprehend the idea of an end as such, as irrational animals. Therefore it seems proper to the rational nature to act for an end.
Praeterea, agere propter finem est ordinare suam actionem ad finem. Sed hoc est rationis opus. Ergo non convenit his quae ratione carent.   Objection 2: Further, to act for an end is to order one's action to an end. But this is the work of reason. Therefore it does not belong to things that lack reason.
Praeterea, bonum et finis est obiectum voluntatis. Sed voluntas in ratione est, ut dicitur in III de anima. Ergo agere propter finem non est nisi rationalis naturae.   Objection 3: Further, the good and the end is the object of the will. But "the will is in the reason" (De Anima iii, 9). Therefore to act for an end belongs to none but a rational nature.
Sed contra est quod philosophus probat in II Physic., quod non solum intellectus, sed etiam natura agit propter finem.   On the contrary, The Philosopher proves (Phys. ii, 5) that "not only mind but also nature acts for an end."
Respondeo dicendum quod omnia agentia necesse est agere propter finem. Causarum enim ad invicem ordinatarum, si prima subtrahatur, necesse est alias subtrahi. Prima autem inter omnes causas est causa finalis. Cuius ratio est, quia materia non consequitur formam nisi secundum quod movetur ab agente, nihil enim reducit se de potentia in actum. Agens autem non movet nisi ex intentione finis. Si enim agens non esset determinatum ad aliquem effectum, non magis ageret hoc quam illud, ad hoc ergo quod determinatum effectum producat, necesse est quod determinetur ad aliquid certum, quod habet rationem finis. Haec autem determinatio, sicut in rationali natura fit per rationalem appetitum, qui dicitur voluntas; ita in aliis fit per inclinationem naturalem, quae dicitur appetitus naturalis.   I answer that, Every agent, of necessity, acts for an end. For if, in a number of causes ordained to one another, the first be removed, the others must, of necessity, be removed also. Now the first of all causes is the final cause. The reason of which is that matter does not receive form, save in so far as it is moved by an agent; for nothing reduces itself from potentiality to act. But an agent does not move except out of intention for an end. For if the agent were not determinate to some particular effect, it would not do one thing rather than another: consequently in order that it produce a determinate effect, it must, of necessity, be determined to some certain one, which has the nature of an end. And just as this determination is effected, in the rational nature, by the "rational appetite," which is called the will; so, in other things, it is caused by their natural inclination, which is called the "natural appetite."
Tamen considerandum est quod aliquid sua actione vel motu tendit ad finem dupliciter, uno modo, sicut seipsum ad finem movens, ut homo; alio modo, sicut ab alio motum ad finem, sicut sagitta tendit ad determinatum finem ex hoc quod movetur a sagittante, qui suam actionem dirigit in finem. Illa ergo quae rationem habent, seipsa movent ad finem, quia habent dominium suorum actuum per liberum arbitrium, quod est facultas voluntatis et rationis. Illa vero quae ratione carent, tendunt in finem per naturalem inclinationem, quasi ab alio mota, non autem a seipsis, cum non cognoscant rationem finis, et ideo nihil in finem ordinare possunt, sed solum in finem ab alio ordinantur. Nam tota irrationalis natura comparatur ad Deum sicut instrumentum ad agens principale, ut supra habitum est. Et ideo proprium est naturae rationalis ut tendat in finem quasi se agens vel ducens ad finem, naturae vero irrationalis, quasi ab alio acta vel ducta, sive in finem apprehensum, sicut bruta animalia, sive in finem non apprehensum, sicut ea quae omnino cognitione carent.    Nevertheless it must be observed that a thing tends to an end, by its action or movement, in two ways: first, as a thing, moving itself to the end, as man; secondly, as a thing moved by another to the end, as an arrow tends to a determinate end through being moved by the archer who directs his action to the end. Therefore those things that are possessed of reason, move themselves to an end; because they have dominion over their actions through their free-will, which is the "faculty of will and reason." But those things that lack reason tend to an end, by natural inclination, as being moved by another and not by themselves; since they do not know the nature of an end as such, and consequently cannot ordain anything to an end, but can be ordained to an end only by another. For the entire irrational nature is in comparison to God as an instrument to the principal agent, as stated above (FP, Question [22], Article [2], ad 4; FP, Question [103], Article [1], ad 3). Consequently it is proper to the rational nature to tend to an end, as directing [agens] and leading itself to the end: whereas it is proper to the irrational nature to tend to an end, as directed or led by another, whether it apprehend the end, as do irrational animals, or do not apprehend it, as is the case of those things which are altogether void of knowledge.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod homo, quando per seipsum agit propter finem, cognoscit finem, sed quando ab alio agitur vel ducitur, puta cum agit ad imperium alterius, vel cum movetur altero impellente, non est necessarium quod cognoscat finem. Et ita est in creaturis irrationalibus.   Reply to Objection 1: When a man of himself acts for an end, he knows the end: but when he is directed or led by another, for instance, when he acts at another's command, or when he is moved under another's compulsion, it is not necessary that he should know the end. And it is thus with irrational creatures.
Ad secundum dicendum quod ordinare in finem est eius quod seipsum agit in finem. Eius vero quod ab alio in finem agitur, est ordinari in finem. Quod potest esse irrationalis naturae, sed ab aliquo rationem habente.   Reply to Objection 2: To ordain towards an end belongs to that which directs itself to an end: whereas to be ordained to an end belongs to that which is directed by another to an end. And this can belong to an irrational nature, but owing to some one possessed of reason.
Ad tertium dicendum quod obiectum voluntatis est finis et bonum in universali. Unde non potest esse voluntas in his quae carent ratione et intellectu, cum non possint apprehendere universale, sed est in eis appetitus naturalis vel sensitivus, determinatus ad aliquod bonum particulare. Manifestum autem est quod particulares causae moventur a causa universali, sicut rector civitatis, qui intendit bonum commune, movet suo imperio omnia particularia officia civitatis. Et ideo necesse est quod omnia quae carent ratione, moveantur in fines particulares ab aliqua voluntate rationali, quae se extendit in bonum universale, scilicet a voluntate divina.   Reply to Objection 3: The object of the will is the end and the good in universal. Consequently there can be no will in those things that lack reason and intellect, since they cannot apprehend the universal; but they have a natural appetite or a sensitive appetite, determinate to some particular good. Now it is clear that particular causes are moved by a universal cause: thus the governor of a city, who intends the common good, moves, by his command, all the particular departments of the city. Consequently all things that lack reason are, of necessity, moved to their particular ends by some rational will which extends to the universal good, namely by the Divine will.


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Question: 1  [<< | >>]
Article: 3  [<< | >>]

Whether human acts are specified by their end?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod actus humani non recipiant speciem a fine. Finis enim est causa extrinseca. Sed unumquodque habet speciem ab aliquo principio intrinseco. Ergo actus humani non recipiunt speciem a fine.   Objection 1: It would seem that human acts are not specified by their end. For the end is an extrinsic cause. But everything is specified by an intrinsic principle. Therefore human acts are not specified by their end.
Praeterea, illud quod dat speciem, oportet esse prius. Sed finis est posterior in esse. Ergo actus humanus non habet speciem a fine.   Objection 2: Further, that which gives a thing its species should exist before it. But the end comes into existence afterwards. Therefore a human act does not derive its species from the end.
Praeterea, idem non potest esse nisi in una specie. Sed eundem numero actum contingit ordinari ad diversos fines. Ergo finis non dat speciem actibus humanis.   Objection 3: Further, one thing cannot be in more than one species. But one and the same act may happen to be ordained to various ends. Therefore the end does not give the species to human acts.
Sed contra est quod dicit Augustinus, in libro de moribus Ecclesiae et Manichaeorum, secundum quod finis est culpabilis vel laudabilis, secundum hoc sunt opera nostra culpabilia vel laudabilia.   On the contrary, Augustine says (De Mor. Eccl. et Manich. ii, 13): "According as their end is worthy of blame or praise so are our deeds worthy of blame or praise."
Respondeo dicendum quod unumquodque sortitur speciem secundum actum, et non secundum potentiam, unde ea quae sunt composita ex materia et forma, constituuntur in suis speciebus per proprias formas. Et hoc etiam considerandum est in motibus propriis. Cum enim motus quodammodo distinguatur per actionem et passionem, utrumque horum ab actu speciem sortitur, actio quidem ab actu qui est principium agendi; passio vero ab actu qui est terminus motus. Unde calefactio actio nihil aliud est quam motio quaedam a calore procedens, calefactio vero passio nihil aliud est quam motus ad calorem, definitio autem manifestat rationem speciei. Et utroque modo actus humani, sive considerentur per modum actionum, sive per modum passionum, a fine speciem sortiuntur. Utroque enim modo possunt considerari actus humani, eo quod homo movet seipsum, et movetur a seipso. Dictum est autem supra quod actus dicuntur humani, inquantum procedunt a voluntate deliberata. Obiectum autem voluntatis est bonum et finis. Et ideo manifestum est quod principium humanorum actuum, inquantum sunt humani, est finis. Et similiter est terminus eorundem, nam id ad quod terminatur actus humanus, est id quod voluntas intendit tanquam finem; sicut in agentibus naturalibus forma generati est conformis formae generantis. Et quia, ut Ambrosius dicit, super Lucam, mores proprie dicuntur humani, actus morales proprie speciem sortiuntur ex fine, nam idem sunt actus morales et actus humani.    I answer that Each thing receives its species in respect of an act and not in respect of potentiality; wherefore things composed of matter and form are established in their respective species by their own forms. And this is also to be observed in proper movements. For since movements are, in a way, divided into action and passion, each of these receives its species from an act; action indeed from the act which is the principle of acting, and passion from the act which is the terminus of the movement. Wherefore heating, as an action, is nothing else than a certain movement proceeding from heat, while heating as a passion is nothing else than a movement towards heat: and it is the definition that shows the specific nature. And either way, human acts, whether they be considered as actions, or as passions, receive their species from the end. For human acts can be considered in both ways, since man moves himself, and is moved by himself. Now it has been stated above (Article [1]) that acts are called human, inasmuch as they proceed from a deliberate will. Now the object of the will is the good and the end. And hence it is clear that the principle of human acts, in so far as they are human, is the end. In like manner it is their terminus: for the human act terminates at that which the will intends as the end; thus in natural agents the form of the thing generated is conformed to the form of the generator. And since, as Ambrose says (Prolog. super Luc.) "morality is said properly of man," moral acts properly speaking receive their species from the end, for moral acts are the same as human acts.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod finis non est omnino aliquid extrinsecum ab actu, quia comparatur ad actum ut principium vel terminus; et hoc ipsum est de ratione actus, ut scilicet sit ab aliquo, quantum ad actionem, et ut sit ad aliquid, quantum ad passionem.   Reply to Objection 1: The end is not altogether extrinsic to the act, because it is related to the act as principle or terminus; and thus it just this that is essential to an act, viz. to proceed from something, considered as action, and to proceed towards something, considered as passion.
Ad secundum dicendum quod finis secundum quod est prior in intentione, ut dictum est, secundum hoc pertinet ad voluntatem. Et hoc modo dat speciem actui humano sive morali.   Reply to Objection 2: The end, in so far as it pre-exists in the intention, pertains to the will, as stated above (Article [1], ad 1). And it is thus that it gives the species to the human or moral act.
Ad tertium dicendum quod idem actus numero, secundum quod semel egreditur ab agente, non ordinatur nisi ad unum finem proximum, a quo habet speciem, sed potest ordinari ad plures fines remotos, quorum unus est finis alterius. Possibile tamen est quod unus actus secundum speciem naturae, ordinetur ad diversos fines voluntatis, sicut hoc ipsum quod est occidere hominem, quod est idem secundum speciem naturae, potest ordinari sicut in finem ad conservationem iustitiae, et ad satisfaciendum irae. Et ex hoc erunt diversi actus secundum speciem moris, quia uno modo erit actus virtutis, alio modo erit actus vitii. Non enim motus recipit speciem ab eo quod est terminus per accidens, sed solum ab eo quod est terminus per se. Fines autem morales accidunt rei naturali; et e converso ratio naturalis finis accidit morali. Et ideo nihil prohibet actus qui sunt iidem secundum speciem naturae, esse diversos secundum speciem moris, et e converso.   Reply to Objection 3: One and the same act, in so far as it proceeds once from the agent, is ordained to but one proximate end, from which it has its species: but it can be ordained to several remote ends, of which one is the end of the other. It is possible, however, that an act which is one in respect of its natural species, be ordained to several ends of the will: thus this act "to kill a man," which is but one act in respect of its natural species, can be ordained, as to an end, to the safeguarding of justice, and to the satisfying of anger: the result being that there would be several acts in different species of morality: since in one way there will be an act of virtue, in another, an act of vice. For a movement does not receive its species from that which is its terminus accidentally, but only from that which is its "per se" terminus. Now moral ends are accidental to a natural thing, and conversely the relation to a natural end is accidental to morality. Consequently there is no reason why acts which are the same considered in their natural species, should not be diverse, considered in their moral species, and conversely.


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Article: 4  [<< | >>]

Whether there is one last end of human life?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sit aliquis ultimus finis humanae vitae, sed procedatur in finibus in infinitum. Bonum enim, secundum suam rationem, est diffusivum sui; ut patet per Dionysium, IV cap. de Div. Nom. Si ergo quod procedit ex bono, ipsum etiam est bonum, oportet quod illud bonum diffundat aliud bonum, et sic processus boni est in infinitum. Sed bonum habet rationem finis. Ergo in finibus est processus in infinitum.   Objection 1: It would seem that there is no last end of human life, but that we proceed to infinity. For good is essentially diffusive, as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv). Consequently if that which proceeds from good is itself good, the latter must needs diffuse some other good: so that the diffusion of good goes on indefinitely. But good has the nature of an end. Therefore there is an indefinite series of ends.
Praeterea, ea quae sunt rationis, in infinitum multiplicari possunt, unde et mathematicae quantitates in infinitum augentur. Species etiam numerorum propter hoc sunt infinitae, quia, dato quolibet numero, ratio alium maiorem excogitare potest. Sed desiderium finis sequitur apprehensionem rationis. Ergo videtur quod etiam in finibus procedatur in infinitum.   Objection 2: Further, things pertaining to the reason can be multiplied to infinity: thus mathematical quantities have no limit. For the same reason the species of numbers are infinite, since, given any number, the reason can think of one yet greater. But desire of the end is consequent on the apprehension of the reason. Therefore it seems that there is also an infinite series of ends.
Praeterea, bonum et finis est obiectum voluntatis. Sed voluntas infinities potest reflecti supra seipsam, possum enim velle aliquid, et velle me velle illud, et sic in infinitum. Ergo in finibus humanae voluntatis proceditur in infinitum, et non est aliquis ultimus finis humanae voluntatis.   Objection 3: Further, the good and the end is the object of the will. But the will can react on itself an infinite number of times: for I can will something, and will to will it, and so on indefinitely. Therefore there is an infinite series of ends of the human will, and there is no last end of the human will.
Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, II Metaphys., quod qui infinitum faciunt, auferunt naturam boni. Sed bonum est quod habet rationem finis. Ergo contra rationem finis est quod procedatur in infinitum. Necesse est ergo ponere unum ultimum finem.   On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Metaph. ii, 2) that "to suppose a thing to be indefinite is to deny that it is good." But the good is that which has the nature of an end. Therefore it is contrary to the nature of an end to proceed indefinitely. Therefore it is necessary to fix one last end.
Respondeo dicendum quod, per se loquendo, impossibile est in finibus procedere in infinitum, ex quacumque parte. In omnibus enim quae per se habent ordinem ad invicem, oportet quod, remoto primo, removeantur ea quae sunt ad primum. Unde philosophus probat, in VIII Physic., quod non est possibile in causis moventibus procedere in infinitum, quia iam non esset primum movens, quo subtracto alia movere non possunt, cum non moveant nisi per hoc quod moventur a primo movente. In finibus autem invenitur duplex ordo, scilicet ordo intentionis, et ordo executionis, et in utroque ordine oportet esse aliquid primum. Id enim quod est primum in ordine intentionis est quasi principium movens appetitum, unde, subtracto principio, appetitus a nullo moveretur. Id autem quod est principium in executione, est unde incipit operatio, unde, isto principio subtracto, nullus inciperet aliquid operari. Principium autem intentionis est ultimus finis, principium autem executionis est primum eorum quae sunt ad finem. Sic ergo ex neutra parte possibile est in infinitum procedere, quia si non esset ultimus finis, nihil appeteretur, nec aliqua actio terminaretur, nec etiam quiesceret intentio agentis; si autem non esset primum in his quae sunt ad finem, nullus inciperet aliquid operari, nec terminaretur consilium, sed in infinitum procederet.   I answer that, Absolutely speaking, it is not possible to proceed indefinitely in the matter of ends, from any point of view. For in whatsoever things there is an essential order of one to another, if the first be removed, those that are ordained to the first, must of necessity be removed also. Wherefore the Philosopher proves (Phys. viii, 5) that we cannot proceed to infinitude in causes of movement, because then there would be no first mover, without which neither can the others move, since they move only through being moved by the first mover. Now there is to be observed a twofold order in ends—the order of intention and the order of execution: and in either of these orders there must be something first. For that which is first in the order of intention, is the principle, as it were, moving the appetite; consequently, if you remove this principle, there will be nothing to move the appetite. On the other hand, the principle in execution is that wherein operation has its beginning; and if this principle be taken away, no one will begin to work. Now the principle in the intention is the last end; while the principle in execution is the first of the things which are ordained to the end. Consequently, on neither side is it possible to go to infinity since if there were no last end, nothing would be desired, nor would any action have its term, nor would the intention of the agent be at rest; while if there is no first thing among those that are ordained to the end, none would begin to work at anything, and counsel would have no term, but would continue indefinitely.
Ea vero quae non habent ordinem per se, sed per accidens sibi invicem coniunguntur, nihil prohibet infinitatem habere, causae enim per accidens indeterminatae sunt. Et hoc etiam modo contingit esse infinitatem per accidens in finibus, et in his quae sunt ad finem.    On the other hand, nothing hinders infinity from being in things that are ordained to one another not essentially but accidentally; for accidental causes are indeterminate. And in this way it happens that there is an accidental infinity of ends, and of things ordained to the end.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod de ratione boni est quod aliquid ab ipso effluat, non tamen quod ipsum ab alio procedat. Et ideo, cum bonum habeat rationem finis, et primum bonum sit ultimus finis, ratio ista non probat quod non sit ultimus finis; sed quod a fine primo supposito procedatur in infinitum inferius versus ea quae sunt ad finem. Et hoc quidem competeret, si consideraretur sola virtus primi boni, quae est infinita. Sed quia primum bonum habet diffusionem secundum intellectum, cuius est secundum aliquam certam formam profluere in causata; aliquis certus modus adhibetur bonorum effluxui a primo bono, a quo omnia alia bona participant virtutem diffusivam. Et ideo diffusio bonorum non procedit in infinitum, sed, sicut dicitur Sap. XI, Deus omnia disposuit in numero, pondere et mensura.   Reply to Objection 1: The very nature of good is that something flows from it, but not that it flows from something else. Since, therefore, good has the nature of end, and the first good is the last end, this argument does not prove that there is no last end; but that from the end, already supposed, we may proceed downwards indefinitely towards those things that are ordained to the end. And this would be true if we considered but the power of the First Good, which is infinite. But, since the First Good diffuses itself according to the intellect, to which it is proper to flow forth into its effects according to a certain fixed form; it follows that there is a certain measure to the flow of good things from the First Good from Which all other goods share the power of diffusion. Consequently the diffusion of goods does not proceed indefinitely but, as it is written (Wis. 11:21), God disposes all things "in number, weight and measure."
Ad secundum dicendum quod in his quae sunt per se, ratio incipit a principiis naturaliter notis, et ad aliquem terminum progreditur. Unde philosophus probat, in I Poster., quod in demonstrationibus non est processus in infinitum, quia in demonstrationibus attenditur ordo aliquorum per se ad invicem connexorum, et non per accidens. In his autem quae per accidens connectuntur, nihil prohibet rationem in infinitum procedere. Accidit autem quantitati aut numero praeexistenti, inquantum huiusmodi, quod ei addatur quantitas aut unitas. Unde in huiusmodi nihil prohibet rationem procedere in infinitum.   Reply to Objection 2: In things which are of themselves, reason begins from principles that are known naturally, and advances to some term. Wherefore the Philosopher proves (Poster. i, 3) that there is no infinite process in demonstrations, because there we find a process of things having an essential, not an accidental, connection with one another. But in those things which are accidentally connected, nothing hinders the reason from proceeding indefinitely. Now it is accidental to a stated quantity or number, as such, that quantity or unity be added to it. Wherefore in such like things nothing hinders the reason from an indefinite process.
Ad tertium dicendum quod illa multiplicatio actuum voluntatis reflexae supra seipsam, per accidens se habet ad ordinem finium. Quod patet ex hoc, quod circa unum et eundem finem indifferenter semel vel pluries supra seipsam voluntas reflectitur.   Reply to Objection 3: This multiplication of acts of the will reacting on itself, is accidental to the order of ends. This is clear from the fact that in regard to one and the same end, the will reacts on itself indifferently once or several times.


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Whether one man can have several last ends?

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod possibile sit voluntatem unius hominis in plura ferri simul, sicut in ultimos fines. Dicit enim Augustinus, XIX de Civ. Dei, quod quidam ultimum hominis finem posuerunt in quatuor, scilicet in voluptate, in quiete, in primis naturae, et in virtute. Haec autem manifeste sunt plura. Ergo unus homo potest constituere ultimum finem suae voluntatis in multis.   Objection 1: It would seem possible for one man's will to be directed at the same time to several things, as last ends. For Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xix, 1) that some held man's last end to consist in four things, viz. "in pleasure, repose, the gifts of nature, and virtue." But these are clearly more than one thing. Therefore one man can place the last end of his will in many things.
Praeterea, ea quae non opponuntur ad invicem, se invicem non excludunt. Sed multa inveniuntur in rebus quae sibi invicem non opponuntur. Ergo si unum ponatur ultimus finis voluntatis, non propter hoc alia excluduntur.   Objection 2: Further, things not in opposition to one another do not exclude one another. Now there are many things which are not in opposition to one another. Therefore the supposition that one thing is the last end of the will does not exclude others.
Praeterea, voluntas per hoc quod constituit ultimum finem in aliquo, suam liberam potentiam non amittit. Sed antequam constitueret ultimum finem suum in illo, puta in voluptate, poterat constituere finem suum ultimum in alio, puta in divitiis. Ergo etiam postquam constituit aliquis ultimum finem suae voluntatis in voluptate, potest simul constituere ultimum finem in divitiis. Ergo possibile est voluntatem unius hominis simul ferri in diversa, sicut in ultimos fines.   Objection 3: Further, by the fact that it places its last end in one thing, the will does not lose its freedom. But before it placed its last end in that thing, e.g. pleasure, it could place it in something else, e.g. riches. Therefore even after having placed his last end in pleasure, a man can at the same time place his last end in riches. Therefore it is possible for one man's will to be directed at the same time to several things, as last ends.
Sed contra, illud in quo quiescit aliquis sicut in ultimo fine, hominis affectui dominatur, quia ex eo totius vitae suae regulas accipit. Unde de gulosis dicitur Philipp. III, quorum Deus venter est, quia scilicet constituunt ultimum finem in deliciis ventris. Sed sicut dicitur Matth. VI, nemo potest duobus dominis servire, ad invicem scilicet non ordinatis. Ergo impossibile est esse plures ultimos fines unius hominis ad invicem non ordinatos.   On the contrary, That in which a man rests as in his last end, is master of his affections, since he takes therefrom his entire rule of life. Hence of gluttons it is written (Phil. 3:19): "Whose god is their belly": viz. because they place their last end in the pleasures of the belly. Now according to Mt. 6:24, "No man can serve two masters," such, namely, as are not ordained to one another. Therefore it is impossible for one man to have several last ends not ordained to one another.
Respondeo dicendum quod impossibile est quod voluntas unius hominis simul se habeat ad diversa, sicut ad ultimos fines. Cuius ratio potest triplex assignari. Prima est quia, cum unumquodque appetat suam perfectionem, illud appetit aliquis ut ultimum finem, quod appetit, ut bonum perfectum et completivum sui ipsius. Unde Augustinus dicit, XIX de Civ. Dei, finem boni nunc dicimus, non quod consumatur ut non sit, sed quod perficiatur ut plenum sit. Oportet igitur quod ultimus finis ita impleat totum hominis appetitum, quod nihil extra ipsum appetendum relinquatur. Quod esse non potest, si aliquid extraneum ad ipsius perfectionem requiratur. Unde non potest esse quod in duo sic tendat appetitus, ac si utrumque sit bonum perfectum ipsius.   I answer that, It is impossible for one man's will to be directed at the same time to diverse things, as last ends. Three reasons may be assigned for this. First, because, since everything desires its own perfection, a man desires for his ultimate end, that which he desires as his perfect and crowning good. Hence Augustine (De Civ. Dei xix, 1): "In speaking of the end of good we mean now, not that it passes away so as to be no more, but that it is perfected so as to be complete." It is therefore necessary for the last end so to fill man's appetite, that nothing is left besides it for man to desire. Which is not possible, if something else be required for his perfection. Consequently it is not possible for the appetite so to tend to two things, as though each were its perfect good.
Secunda ratio est quia, sicut in processu rationis principium est id quod naturaliter cognoscitur, ita in processu rationalis appetitus, qui est voluntas, oportet esse principium id quod naturaliter desideratur. Hoc autem oportet esse unum, quia natura non tendit nisi ad unum. Principium autem in processu rationalis appetitus est ultimus finis. Unde oportet id in quod tendit voluntas sub ratione ultimi finis, esse unum.    The second reason is because, just as in the process of reasoning, the principle is that which is naturally known, so in the process of the rational appetite, i.e. the will, the principle needs to be that which is naturally desired. Now this must needs be one: since nature tends to one thing only. But the principle in the process of the rational appetite is the last end. Therefore that to which the will tends, as to its last end, is one.
Tertia ratio est quia, cum actiones voluntarie ex fine speciem sortiantur, sicut supra habitum est, oportet quod a fine ultimo, qui est communis, sortiantur rationem generis, sicut et naturalia ponuntur in genere secundum formalem rationem communem. Cum igitur omnia appetibilia voluntatis, inquantum huiusmodi, sint unius generis, oportet ultimum finem esse unum. Et praecipue quia in quolibet genere est unum primum principium, ultimus autem finis habet rationem primi principii, ut dictum est. Sicut autem se habet ultimus finis hominis simpliciter ad totum humanum genus, ita se habet ultimus finis huius hominis ad hunc hominem. Unde oportet quod, sicut omnium hominum est naturaliter unus finis ultimus, ita huius hominis voluntas in uno ultimo fine statuatur.    The third reason is because, since voluntary actions receive their species from the end, as stated above (Article [3]), they must needs receive their genus from the last end, which is common to them all: just as natural things are placed in a genus according to a common form. Since, then, all things that can be desired by the will, belong, as such, to one genus, the last end must needs be one. And all the more because in every genus there is one first principle; and the last end has the nature of a first principle, as stated above. Now as the last end of man, simply as man, is to the whole human race, so is the last end of any individual man to that individual. Therefore, just as of all men there is naturally one last end, so the will of an individual man must be fixed on one last end.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod omnia illa plura accipiebantur in ratione unius boni perfecti ex his constituti, ab his qui in eis ultimum finem ponebant.   Reply to Objection 1: All these several objects were considered as one perfect good resulting therefrom, by those who placed in them the last end.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, etsi plura accipi possint quae ad invicem oppositionem non habeant, tamen bono perfecto opponitur quod sit aliquid de perfectione rei extra ipsum.   Reply to Objection 2: Although it is possible to find several things which are not in opposition to one another, yet it is contrary to a thing's perfect good, that anything besides be required for that thing's perfection.
Ad tertium dicendum quod potestas voluntatis non habet ut faciat opposita esse simul. Quod contingeret, si tenderet in plura disparata sicut in ultimos fines, ut ex dictis patet.   Reply to Objection 3: The power of the will does not extend to making opposites exist at the same time. Which would be the case were it to tend to several diverse objects as last ends, as has been shown above (ad 2).


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Whether man will all, whatsoever he wills, for the last end?

Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non omnia quaecumque homo vult, propter ultimum finem velit. Ea enim quae ad finem ultimum ordinantur, seriosa dicuntur, quasi utilia. Sed iocosa a seriis distinguuntur. Ergo ea quae homo iocose agit, non ordinat in ultimum finem.   Objection 1: It would seem that man does not will all, whatsoever he wills, for the last end. For things ordained to the last end are said to be serious matter, as being useful. But jests are foreign to serious matter. Therefore what man does in jest, he ordains not to the last end.
Praeterea, philosophus dicit, in principio Metaphys., quod scientiae speculativae propter seipsas quaeruntur. Nec tamen potest dici quod quaelibet earum sit ultimus finis. Ergo non omnia quae homo appetit, appetit propter ultimum finem.   Objection 2: Further, the Philosopher says at the beginning of his Metaphysics 1,[2] that speculative science is sought for its own sake. Now it cannot be said that each speculative science is the last end. Therefore man does not desire all, whatsoever he desires, for the last end.
Praeterea, quicumque ordinat aliquid in finem aliquem, cogitat de illo fine. Sed non semper homo cogitat de ultimo fine in omni eo quod appetit aut facit. Non ergo omnia homo appetit aut facit propter ultimum finem.   Objection 3: Further, whosoever ordains something to an end, thinks of that end. But man does not always think of the last end in all that he desires or does. Therefore man neither desires nor does all for the last end.
Sed contra est quod dicit Augustinus, XIX de Civ. Dei, illud est finis boni nostri, propter quod amantur cetera, illud autem propter seipsum.   On the contrary, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xix, 1): "That is the end of our good, for the sake of which we love other things, whereas we love it for its own sake."
Respondeo dicendum quod necesse est quod omnia quae homo appetit, appetat propter ultimum finem. Et hoc apparet duplici ratione. Primo quidem, quia quidquid homo appetit, appetit sub ratione boni. Quod quidem si non appetitur ut bonum perfectum, quod est ultimus finis, necesse est ut appetatur ut tendens in bonum perfectum, quia semper inchoatio alicuius ordinatur ad consummationem ipsius; sicut patet tam in his quae fiunt a natura, quam in his quae fiunt ab arte. Et ideo omnis inchoatio perfectionis ordinatur in perfectionem consummatam, quae est per ultimum finem. Secundo, quia ultimus finis hoc modo se habet in movendo appetitum, sicut se habet in aliis motionibus primum movens. Manifestum est autem quod causae secundae moventes non movent nisi secundum quod moventur a primo movente. Unde secunda appetibilia non movent appetitum nisi in ordine ad primum appetibile, quod est ultimus finis.   I answer that, Man must, of necessity, desire all, whatsoever he desires, for the last end. This is evident for two reasons. First, because whatever man desires, he desires it under the aspect of good. And if he desire it, not as his perfect good, which is the last end, he must, of necessity, desire it as tending to the perfect good, because the beginning of anything is always ordained to its completion; as is clearly the case in effects both of nature and of art. Wherefore every beginning of perfection is ordained to complete perfection which is achieved through the last end. Secondly, because the last end stands in the same relation in moving the appetite, as the first mover in other movements. Now it is clear that secondary moving causes do not move save inasmuch as they are moved by the first mover. Therefore secondary objects of the appetite do not move the appetite, except as ordained to the first object of the appetite, which is the last end.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod actiones ludicrae non ordinantur ad aliquem finem extrinsecum; sed tamen ordinantur ad bonum ipsius ludentis, prout sunt delectantes vel requiem praestantes. Bonum autem consummatum hominis est ultimus finis eius.   Reply to Objection 1: Actions done jestingly are not directed to any external end; but merely to the good of the jester, in so far as they afford him pleasure or relaxation. But man's consummate good is his last end.
Et similiter dicendum ad secundum, de scientia speculativa; quae appetitur ut bonum quoddam speculantis, quod comprehenditur sub bono completo et perfecto, quod est ultimus finis.   Reply to Objection 2: The same applies to speculative science; which is desired as the scientist's good, included in complete and perfect good, which is the ultimate end.
Ad tertium dicendum quod non oportet ut semper aliquis cogitet de ultimo fine, quandocumque aliquid appetit vel operatur, sed virtus primae intentionis, quae est respectu ultimi finis, manet in quolibet appetitu cuiuscumque rei, etiam si de ultimo fine actu non cogitetur. Sicut non oportet quod qui vadit per viam, in quolibet passu cogitet de fine.   Reply to Objection 3: One need not always be thinking of the last end, whenever one desires or does something: but the virtue of the first intention, which was in respect of the last end, remains in every desire directed to any object whatever, even though one's thoughts be not actually directed to the last end. Thus while walking along the road one needs not to be thinking of the end at every step.


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Whether all men have the same last end?

Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non omnium hominum sit unus finis ultimus. Maxime enim videtur hominis ultimus finis esse incommutabile bonum. Sed quidam avertuntur ab incommutabili bono, peccando. Non ergo omnium hominum est unus ultimus finis.   Objection 1: It would seem that all men have not the same last end. For before all else the unchangeable good seems to be the last end of man. But some turn away from the unchangeable good, by sinning. Therefore all men have not the same last end.
Praeterea, secundum ultimum finem tota vita hominis regulatur. Si igitur esset unus ultimus finis omnium hominum, sequeretur quod in hominibus non essent diversa studia vivendi. Quod patet esse falsum.   Objection 2: Further, man's entire life is ruled according to his last end. If, therefore, all men had the same last end, they would not have various pursuits in life. Which is evidently false.
Praeterea, finis est actionis terminus. Actiones autem sunt singularium. Homines autem, etsi conveniant in natura speciei, tamen differunt secundum ea quae ad individua pertinent. Non ergo omnium hominum est unus ultimus finis.   Objection 3: Further, the end is the term of action. But actions are of individuals. Now although men agree in their specific nature, yet they differ in things pertaining to individuals. Therefore all men have not the same last end.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, XIII de Trin., quod omnes homines conveniunt in appetendo ultimum finem, qui est beatitudo.   On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 3) that all men agree in desiring the last end, which is happiness.
Respondeo dicendum quod de ultimo fine possumus loqui dupliciter, uno modo, secundum rationem ultimi finis; alio modo, secundum id in quo finis ultimi ratio invenitur. Quantum igitur ad rationem ultimi finis, omnes conveniunt in appetitu finis ultimi, quia omnes appetunt suam perfectionem adimpleri, quae est ratio ultimi finis, ut dictum est. Sed quantum ad id in quo ista ratio invenitur, non omnes homines conveniunt in ultimo fine, nam quidam appetunt divitias tanquam consummatum bonum, quidam autem voluptatem, quidam vero quodcumque aliud. Sicut et omni gustui delectabile est dulce, sed quibusdam maxime delectabilis est dulcedo vini, quibusdam dulcedo mellis, aut alicuius talium. Illud tamen dulce oportet esse simpliciter melius delectabile, in quo maxime delectatur qui habet optimum gustum. Et similiter illud bonum oportet esse completissimum, quod tanquam ultimum finem appetit habens affectum bene dispositum.   I answer that, We can speak of the last end in two ways: first, considering only the aspect of last end; secondly, considering the thing in which the aspect of last end is realized. So, then, as to the aspect of last end, all agree in desiring the last end: since all desire the fulfilment of their perfection, and it is precisely this fulfilment in which the last end consists, as stated above (Article [5]). But as to the thing in which this aspect is realized, all men are not agreed as to their last end: since some desire riches as their consummate good; some, pleasure; others, something else. Thus to every taste the sweet is pleasant but to some, the sweetness of wine is most pleasant, to others, the sweetness of honey, or of something similar. Yet that sweet is absolutely the best of all pleasant things, in which he who has the best taste takes most pleasure. In like manner that good is most complete which the man with well disposed affections desires for his last end.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illi qui peccant, avertuntur ab eo in quo vere invenitur ratio ultimi finis, non autem ab ipsa ultimi finis intentione, quam quaerunt falso in aliis rebus.   Reply to Objection 1: Those who sin turn from that in which their last end really consists: but they do not turn away from the intention of the last end, which intention they mistakenly seek in other things.
Ad secundum dicendum quod diversa studia vivendi contingunt in hominibus propter diversas res in quibus quaeritur ratio summi boni.   Reply to Objection 2: Various pursuits in life are found among men by reason of the various things in which men seek to find their last end.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, etsi actiones sint singularium, tamen primum principium agendi in eis est natura, quae tendit ad unum, ut dictum est.   Reply to Objection 3: Although actions are of individuals, yet their first principle of action is nature, which tends to one thing, as stated above (Article [5]).


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Whether other creatures concur in that last end?

Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod in ultimo fine hominis etiam omnia alia conveniant. Finis enim respondet principio. Sed illud quod est principium hominum, scilicet Deus, est etiam principium omnium aliorum. Ergo in ultimo fine hominis omnia alia communicant.   Objection 1: It would seem that all other creatures concur in man's last end. For the end corresponds to the beginning. But man's beginning—i.e. God—is also the beginning of all else. Therefore all other things concur in man's last end.
Praeterea, Dionysius dicit, in libro de Div. Nom., quod Deus convertit omnia ad seipsum, tanquam ad ultimum finem. Sed ipse est etiam ultimus finis hominis, quia solo ipso fruendum est, ut Augustinus dicit. Ergo in fine ultimo hominis etiam alia conveniunt.   Objection 2: Further, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that "God turns all things to Himself as to their last end." But He is also man's last end; because He alone is to be enjoyed by man, as Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 5,22). Therefore other things, too, concur in man's last end.
Praeterea, finis ultimus hominis est obiectum voluntatis. Sed obiectum voluntatis est bonum universale, quod est finis omnium. Ergo necesse est quod in ultimo fine hominis omnia conveniant.   Objection 3: Further, man's last end is the object of the will. But the object of the will is the universal good, which is the end of all. Therefore other things, too, concur in man's last end.
Sed contra est quod ultimus finis hominum est beatitudo; quam omnes appetunt, ut Augustinus dicit. Sed non cadit in animalia rationis expertia ut beata sint, sicut Augustinus dicit in libro octoginta trium quaest. Non ergo in ultimo fine hominis alia conveniunt.   On the contrary, man's last end is happiness; which all men desire, as Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 3,4). But "happiness is not possible for animals bereft of reason," as Augustine says (Questions. 83, qu. 5). Therefore other things do not concur in man's last end.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut philosophus dicit in II Physic. et in V Metaphys., finis dupliciter dicitur, scilicet cuius, et quo, idest ipsa res in qua ratio boni invenitur, et usus sive adeptio illius rei. Sicut si dicamus quod motus corporis gravis finis est vel locus inferior ut res, vel hoc quod est esse in loco inferiori, ut usus, et finis avari est vel pecunia ut res, vel possessio pecuniae ut usus.   I answer that, As the Philosopher says (Phys. ii, 2), the end is twofold—the end "for which" and the end "by which"; viz. the thing itself in which is found the aspect of good, and the use or acquisition of that thing. Thus we say that the end of the movement of a weighty body is either a lower place as "thing," or to be in a lower place, as "use"; and the end of the miser is money as "thing," or possession of money as "use."
Si ergo loquamur de ultimo fine hominis quantum ad ipsam rem quae est finis, sic in ultimo fine hominis omnia alia conveniunt, quia Deus est ultimus finis hominis et omnium aliarum rerum. Si autem loquamur de ultimo fine hominis quantum ad consecutionem finis, sic in hoc fine hominis non communicant creaturae irrationales. Nam homo et aliae rationales creaturae consequuntur ultimum finem cognoscendo et amando Deum, quod non competit aliis creaturis, quae adipiscuntur ultimum finem inquantum participant aliquam similitudinem Dei, secundum quod sunt, vel vivunt, vel etiam cognoscunt.    If, therefore, we speak of man's last end as of the thing which is the end, thus all other things concur in man's last end, since God is the last end of man and of all other things. If, however, we speak of man's last end, as of the acquisition of the end, then irrational creatures do not concur with man in this end. For man and other rational creatures attain to their last end by knowing and loving God: this is not possible to other creatures, which acquire their last end, in so far as they share in the Divine likeness, inasmuch as they are, or live, or even know.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad obiecta.    Hence it is evident how the objections are solved: since happiness means the acquisition of the last end.

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