St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

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

 

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OF THE WILL, IN REGARD TO WHAT IT WILLS (THREE ARTICLES)

Deinde considerandum est de ipsis actibus voluntariis in speciali.
  • Et primo, de actibus qui sunt immediate ipsius voluntatis velut ab ipsa voluntate eliciti;
  • secundo de actibus imperatis a voluntate.
   We must now consider the different acts of the will;
  • and in the first place, those acts which belong to the will itself immediately, as being elicited by the will;
  • secondly, those acts which are commanded by the will.
Voluntas autem movetur et in finem, et in ea quae sunt ad finem.
  • Primo igitur considerandum est de actibus voluntatis quibus movetur in finem;
  • et deinde de actibus eius quibus movetur in ea quae sunt ad finem.
   Now the will is moved to the end, and to the means to the end; we must therefore consider:
  • (1) those acts of the will whereby it is moved to the end; and
  • (2) those whereby it is moved to the means.
Actus autem voluntatis in finem videntur esse tres, scilicet velle, frui et intendere.
  • Primo ergo considerabimus de voluntate;
  • secundo, de fruitione;
  • tertio, de intentione.
  And since it seems that there are three acts of the will in reference to the end; viz. "volition," "enjoyment," and "intention"; we must consider:
  • (1) volition;
  • (2) enjoyment;
  • (3) intention.
Circa primum consideranda sunt tria,
  • primo quidem, quorum voluntas sit;
  • secundo, a quo moveatur;
  • tertio, quomodo moveatur.
  Concerning the first, three things must be considered:
  • (1) Of what things is the will?
  • (2) By what is the will moved?
  • (3) How is it moved?
Circa primum quaeruntur tria.    Under the first head there are three points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum voluntas sit tantum boni.     (1) Whether the will is of good only?
Secundum, utrum sit tantum finis, an etiam eorum quae sunt ad finem.     (2) Whether it is of the end only, or also of the means?
Tertio, si est aliquo modo eorum quae sunt ad finem, utrum uno motu moveatur in finem et in ea quae sunt ad finem.     (3) If in any way it be of the means, whether it be moved to the end and to the means, by the same movement?

 

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Whether the will is of good only?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod voluntas non tantum sit boni. Eadem enim est potentia oppositorum, sicut visus albi et nigri. Sed bonum et malum sunt opposita. Ergo voluntas non solum est boni, sed etiam mali.   Objection 1: It would seem that the will is not of good only. For the same power regards opposites; for instance, sight regards white and black. But good and evil are opposites. Therefore the will is not only of good, but also of evil.
Praeterea, potentiae rationales se habent ad opposita prosequenda, secundum philosophum. Sed voluntas est potentia rationalis, est enim in ratione, ut dicitur in III de anima. Ergo voluntas se habet ad opposita. Non ergo tantum ad volendum bonum, sed etiam ad volendum malum.   Objection 2: Further, rational powers can be directed to opposite purposes, according to the Philosopher (Metaph. ix, 2). But the will is a rational power, since it is "in the reason," as is stated in De Anima iii, 9. Therefore the will can be directed to opposites; and consequently its volition is not confined to good, but extends to evil.
Praeterea, bonum et ens convertuntur. Sed voluntas non solum est entium, sed etiam non entium, volumus enim quandoque non ambulare et non loqui. Volumus etiam interdum quaedam futura, quae non sunt entia in actu. Ergo voluntas non tantum est boni.   Objection 3: Further, good and being are convertible. But volition is directed not only to beings, but also to non-beings. For sometimes we wish "not to walk," or "not to speak"; and again at times we wish for future things, which are not actual beings. Therefore the will is not of good only.
Sed contra est quod Dionysius dicit, IV cap. de Div. Nom., quod malum est praeter voluntatem, et quod omnia bonum appetunt.   On the contrary, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that "evil is outside the scope of the will," and that "all things desire good."
Respondeo dicendum quod voluntas est appetitus quidam rationalis. Omnis autem appetitus non est nisi boni. Cuius ratio est quia appetitus nihil aliud est quam inclinatio appetentis in aliquid. Nihil autem inclinatur nisi in aliquid simile et conveniens. Cum igitur omnis res, inquantum est ens et substantia, sit quoddam bonum, necesse est ut omnis inclinatio sit in bonum. Et inde est quod philosophus dicit, in I Ethic., quod bonum est quod omnia appetunt.   I answer that, The will is a rational appetite. Now every appetite is only of something good. The reason of this is that the appetite is nothing else than an inclination of a person desirous of a thing towards that thing. Now every inclination is to something like and suitable to the thing inclined. Since, therefore, everything, inasmuch as it is being and substance, is a good, it must needs be that every inclination is to something good. And hence it is that the Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 1) that "the good is that which all desire."
Sed considerandum est quod, cum omnis inclinatio consequatur aliquam formam, appetitus naturalis consequitur formam in natura existentem, appetitus autem sensitivus, vel etiam intellectivus seu rationalis, qui dicitur voluntas, sequitur formam apprehensam. Sicut igitur id in quod tendit appetitus naturalis, est bonum existens in re; ita id in quod tendit appetitus animalis vel voluntarius, est bonum apprehensum. Ad hoc igitur quod voluntas in aliquid tendat, non requiritur quod sit bonum in rei veritate, sed quod apprehendatur in ratione boni. Et propter hoc philosophus dicit, in II Physic., quod finis est bonum, vel apparens bonum.    But it must be noted that, since every inclination results from a form, the natural appetite results from a form existing in the nature of things: while the sensitive appetite, as also the intellective or rational appetite, which we call the will, follows from an apprehended form. Therefore, just as the natural appetite tends to good existing in a thing; so the animal or voluntary appetite tends to a good which is apprehended. Consequently, in order that the will tend to anything, it is requisite, not that this be good in very truth, but that it be apprehended as good. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Phys. ii, 3) that "the end is a good, or an apparent good."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod eadem potentia est oppositorum, sed non eodem modo se habet ad utrumque. Voluntas igitur se habet et ad bonum et ad malum, sed ad bonum, appetendo ipsum; ad malum vero, fugiendo illud. Ipse ergo actualis appetitus boni vocatur voluntas, secundum quod nominat actum voluntatis, sic enim nunc loquimur de voluntate. Fuga autem mali magis dicitur noluntas. Unde sicut voluntas est boni, ita noluntas est mali.   Reply to Objection 1: The same power regards opposites, but it is not referred to them in the same way. Accordingly, the will is referred both to good and evil: but to good by desiring it: to evil, by shunning it. Wherefore the actual desire of good is called "volition" [*In Latin, 'voluntas'. To avoid confusion with "voluntas" (the will) St. Thomas adds a word of explanation, which in the translation may appear superfluous], meaning thereby the act of the will; for it is in this sense that we are now speaking of the will. On the other hand, the shunning of evil is better described as "nolition": wherefore, just as volition is of good, so nolition is of evil.
Ad secundum dicendum quod potentia rationalis non se habet ad quaelibet opposita prosequenda, sed ad ea quae sub suo obiecto convenienti continentur, nam nulla potentia prosequitur nisi suum conveniens obiectum. Obiectum autem voluntatis est bonum. Unde ad illa opposita prosequenda se habet voluntas, quae sub bono comprehenduntur, sicut moveri et quiescere, loqui et tacere, et alia huiusmodi, in utrumque enim horum fertur voluntas sub ratione boni.   Reply to Objection 2: A rational power is not to be directed to all opposite purposes, but to those which are contained under its proper object; for no power seeks other than its proper object. Now, the object of the will is good. Wherefore the will can be directed to such opposite purposes as are contained under good, such as to be moved or to be at rest, to speak or to be silent, and such like: for the will can be directed to either under the aspect of good.
Ad tertium dicendum quod illud quod non est ens in rerum natura, accipitur ut ens in ratione, unde negationes et privationes dicuntur entia rationis. Per quem etiam modum futura, prout apprehenduntur, sunt entia. Inquantum igitur sunt huiusmodi entia, apprehenduntur sub ratione boni, et sic voluntas in ea tendit. Unde philosophus dicit, in V Ethic., quod carere malo habet rationem boni.   Reply to Objection 3: That which is not a being in nature, is considered as a being in the reason, wherefore negations and privations are said to be "beings of reason." In this way, too, future things, in so far as they are apprehended, are beings. Accordingly, in so far as such like are beings, they are apprehended under the aspect of good; and it is thus that the will is directed to them. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 1) that "to lack evil is considered as a good."

 

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Whether volition is of the end only, or also of the means?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod voluntas non sit eorum quae sunt ad finem, sed tantum finis. Dicit enim philosophus, in III Ethic., quod voluntas est finis, electio autem eorum quae sunt ad finem.   Objection 1: It would seem that volition is not of the means, but of the end only. For the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 2) that "volition is of the end, while choice is of the means."
Praeterea, ad ea quae sunt diversa genere, diversae potentiae animae ordinantur, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. Sed finis et ea quae sunt ad finem sunt in diverso genere boni, nam finis, qui est bonum honestum vel delectabile, est in genere qualitatis, vel actionis aut passionis; bonum autem quod dicitur utile, quod est ad finem, est in ad aliquid, ut dicitur in I Ethic. Ergo, si voluntas est finis, non erit eorum quae sunt ad finem.   Objection 2: Further, "For objects differing in genus there are corresponding different powers of the soul" (Ethic. vi, 1). Now, the end and the means are in different genera of good: because the end, which is a good either of rectitude or of pleasure, is in the genus "quality," or "action," or "passion"; whereas the good which is useful, and is directed to and end, is in the genus "relation" (Ethic. i, 6). Therefore, if volition is of the end, it is not of the means.
Praeterea, habitus proportionantur potentis, cum sint earum perfectiones. Sed in habitibus qui dicuntur artes operativae, ad aliud pertinet finis, et ad aliud quod est ad finem, sicut ad gubernatorem pertinet usus navis, qui est finis eius; ad navifactivam vero constructio navis, quae est propter finem. Ergo, cum voluntas sit finis, non erit eorum quae sunt ad finem.   Objection 3: Further, habits are proportionate to powers, since they are perfections thereof. But in those habits which are called practical arts, the end belongs to one, and the means to another art; thus the use of a ship, which is its end, belongs to the (art of the) helmsman; whereas the building of the ship, which is directed to the end, belongs to the art of the shipwright. Therefore, since volition is of the end, it is not of the means.
Sed contra est, quia in rebus naturalibus per eandem potentiam aliquid pertransit media, et pertingit ad terminum. Sed ea quae sunt ad finem, sunt quaedam media per quae pervenitur ad finem sicut ad terminum. Ergo, si voluntas est finis, ipsa etiam est eorum quae sunt ad finem.   On the contrary, In natural things, it is by the same power that a thing passes through the middle space, and arrives at the terminus. But the means are a kind of middle space, through which one arrives at the end or terminus. Therefore, if volition is of the end, it is also of the means.
Respondeo dicendum quod voluntas quandoque dicitur ipsa potentia qua volumus; quandoque autem ipse voluntatis actus. Si ergo loquamur de voluntate secundum quod nominat potentiam, sic se extendit et ad finem, et ad ea quae sunt ad finem. Ad ea enim se extendit unaquaeque potentia, in quibus inveniri potest quocumque modo ratio sui obiecti, sicut visus se extendit ad omnia quaecumque participant quocumque modo colorem. Ratio autem boni, quod est obiectum potentiae voluntatis, invenitur non solum in fine, sed etiam in his quae sunt ad finem.   I answer that, The word "voluntas" sometimes designates the power of the will, sometimes its act [*See note: above Article [1], Reply Objection [1]]. Accordingly, if we speak of the will as a power, thus it extends both to the end and to the means. For every power extends to those things in which may be considered the aspect of the object of that power in any way whatever: thus the sight extends to all things whatsoever that are in any way colored. Now the aspect of good, which is the object of the power of the will, may be found not only in the end, but also in the means.
Si autem loquamur de voluntate secundum quod nominat proprie actum, sic, proprie loquendo, est finis tantum. Omnis enim actus denominatus a potentia, nominat simplicem actum illius potentiae, sicut intelligere nominat simplicem actum intellectus. Simplex autem actus potentiae est in id quod est secundum se obiectum potentiae. Id autem quod est propter se bonum et volitum, est finis. Unde voluntas proprie est ipsius finis. Ea vero quae sunt ad finem, non sunt bona vel volita propter seipsa, sed ex ordine ad finem. Unde voluntas in ea non fertur, nisi quatenus fertur in finem, unde hoc ipsum quod in eis vult, est finis. Sicut et intelligere proprie est eorum quae secundum se cognoscuntur, scilicet principiorum, eorum autem quae cognoscuntur per principia, non dicitur esse intelligentia, nisi inquantum in eis ipsa principia considerantur, sic enim se habet finis in appetibilibus, sicut se habet principium in intelligibilibus, ut dicitur in VII Ethic.    If, however, we speak of the will in regard to its act, then, properly speaking, volition is of the end only. Because every act denominated from a power, designates the simple act of that power: thus "to understand" designates the simple act of the understanding. Now the simple act of a power is referred to that which is in itself the object of that power. But that which is good and willed in itself is the end. Wherefore volition, properly speaking, is of the end itself. On the other hand, the means are good and willed, not in themselves, but as referred to the end. Wherefore the will is directed to them, only in so far as it is directed to the end: so that what it wills in them, is the end. Thus, to understand, is properly directed to things that are known in themselves, i.e. first principles: but we do not speak of understanding with regard to things known through first principles, except in so far as we see the principles in those things. For in morals the end is what principles are in speculative science (Ethic. viii, 8).
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod philosophus loquitur de voluntate, secundum quod proprie nominat simplicem actum voluntatis, non autem secundum quod nominat potentiam.   Reply to Objection 1: The Philosopher is speaking of the will in reference to the simple act of the will; not in reference to the power of the will.
Ad secundum dicendum quod ad ea quae sunt diversa genere ex aequo se habentia, ordinantur diversae potentiae, sicut sonus et color sunt diversa genera sensibilium, ad quae ordinantur auditus et visus. Sed utile et honestum non ex aequo se habent, sed sicut quod est secundum se et secundum alterum. Huiusmodi autem semper referuntur ad eandem potentiam, sicut per potentiam visivam sentitur et color, et lux, per quam color videtur.   Reply to Objection 2: There are different powers for objects that differ in genus and are on an equality; for instance, sound and color are different genera of sensibles, to which are referred hearing and sight. But the useful and the righteous are not on an equality, but are as that which is of itself, and that which is in relation to another. Now such like objects are always referred to the same power; for instance, the power of sight perceives both color and light by which color is seen.
Ad tertium dicendum quod non quidquid diversificat habitum, diversificat potentiam, habitus enim sunt quaedam determinationes potentiarum ad aliquos speciales actus. Et tamen quaelibet ars operativa considerat et finem et id quod est ad finem. Nam ars gubernativa considerat quidem finem, ut quem operatur, id autem quod est ad finem, ut quod imperat. E contra vero navifactiva considerat id quod est ad finem, ut quod operatur, id vero quod est finis, ut ad quod ordinat id quod operatur. Et iterum in unaquaque arte operativa est aliquis finis proprius, et aliquid quod est ad finem, quod proprie ad illam artem pertinet.   Reply to Objection 3: Not everything that diversifies habits, diversifies the powers: since habits are certain determinations of powers to certain special acts. Moreover, every practical art considers both the end and the means. For the art of the helmsman does indeed consider the end, as that which it effects; and the means, as that which it commands. On the other hand, the ship-building art considers the means as that which it effects; but it considers that which is the end, as that to which it refers what it effects. And again, in every practical art there is an end proper to it and means that belong properly to that art.

 

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Whether the will is moved by the same act to the end and to the means?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod eodem actu voluntas feratur in finem, et in id quod est ad finem. Quia secundum philosophum, ubi est unum propter alterum, ibi est unum tantum. Sed voluntas non vult id quod est ad finem, nisi propter finem. Ergo eodem actu movetur in utrumque.   Objection 1: It would seem that the will is moved by the same act, to the end and to the means. Because according to the Philosopher (Topic. iii, 2) "where one thing is on account of another there is only one." But the will does not will the means save on account of the end. Therefore it is moved to both by the same act.
Praeterea, finis est ratio volendi ea quae sunt ad finem, sicut lumen est ratio visionis colorum. Sed eodem actu videtur lumen et color. Ergo idem est motus voluntatis quo vult finem, et ea quae sunt ad finem.   Objection 2: Further, the end is the reason for willing the means, just as light is the reason of seeing colors. But light and colors are seen by the same act. Therefore it is the same movement of the will, whereby it wills the end and the means.
Praeterea, idem numero motus naturalis est qui per media tendit ad ultimum. Sed ea quae sunt ad finem, comparantur ad finem sicut media ad ultimum. Ergo idem motus voluntatis est quo voluntas fertur in finem, et in ea quae sunt ad finem.   Objection 3: Further, it is one and the same natural movement which tends through the middle space to the terminus. But the means are in comparison to the end, as the middle space is to the terminus. Therefore it is the same movement of the will whereby it is directed to the end and to the means.
Sed contra, actus diversificantur secundum obiecta. Sed diversae species boni sunt finis, et id quod est ad finem, quod dicitur utile. Ergo non eodem actu voluntas fertur in utrumque.   On the contrary, Acts are diversified according to their objects. But the end is a different species of good from the means, which are a useful good. Therefore the will is not moved to both by the same act.
Respondeo dicendum quod, cum finis sit secundum se volitus, id autem quod est ad finem, inquantum huiusmodi, non sit volitum nisi propter finem; manifestum est quod voluntas potest ferri in finem sine hoc quod feratur in ea quae sunt ad finem; sed in ea quae sunt ad finem, inquantum huiusmodi, non potest ferri, nisi feratur in ipsum finem. Sic ergo voluntas in ipsum finem dupliciter fertur, uno modo, absolute secundum se; alio modo, sicut in rationem volendi ea quae sunt ad finem. Manifestum est ergo quod unus et idem motus voluntatis est quo fertur in finem, secundum quod est ratio volendi ea quae sunt ad finem, et in ipsa quae sunt ad finem. Sed alius actus est quod fertur in ipsum finem absolute. Et quandoque praecedit tempore, sicut cum aliquis primo vult sanitatem, et postea, deliberans quomodo possit sanari, vult conducere medicum ut sanetur. Sicut etiam et circa intellectum accidit, nam primo aliquis intelligit ipsa principia secundum se; postmodum autem intelligit ea in ipsis conclusionibus, secundum quod assentit conclusionibus propter principia.   I answer that, Since the end is willed in itself, whereas the means, as such, are only willed for the end, it is evident that the will can be moved to the end, without being moved to the means; whereas it cannot be moved to the means, as such, unless it is moved to the end. Accordingly the will is moved to the end in two ways: first, to the end absolutely and in itself; secondly, as the reason for willing the means. Hence it is evident that the will is moved by one and the same movement, to the end, as the reason for willing the means; and to the means themselves. But it is another act whereby the will is moved to the end absolutely. And sometimes this act precedes the other in time; for example when a man first wills to have health, and afterwards deliberating by what means to be healed, wills to send for the doctor to heal him. The same happens in regard to the intellect: for at first a man understands the principles in themselves; but afterwards he understands them in the conclusions, inasmuch as he assents to the conclusions on account of the principles.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ratio illa procedit secundum quod voluntas fertur in finem, ut est ratio volendi ea quae sunt ad finem.   Reply to Objection 1: This argument holds in respect of the will being moved to the end as the reason for willing the means.
Ad secundum dicendum quod quandocumque videtur color, eodem actu videtur lumen, potest tamen videri lumen sine hoc quod videatur color. Et similiter quandocumque quis vult ea quae sunt ad finem, vult eodem actu finem, non tamen e converso.   Reply to Objection 2: Whenever color is seen, by the same act the light is seen; but the light can be seen without the color being seen. In like manner whenever a man wills the means, by the same act he wills the end; but not the conversely.
Ad tertium dicendum quod in executione operis, ea quae sunt ad finem se habent ut media, et finis ut terminus. Unde sicut motus naturalis interdum sistit in medio, et non pertingit ad terminum; ita quandoque operatur aliquis id quod est ad finem, et tamen non consequitur finem. Sed in volendo est e converso, nam voluntas per finem devenit ad volendum ea quae sunt ad finem; sicut et intellectus devenit in conclusiones per principia, quae media dicuntur. Unde intellectus aliquando intelligit medium, et ex eo non procedit ad conclusionem. Et similiter voluntas aliquando vult finem, et tamen non procedit ad volendum id quod est ad finem.   Reply to Objection 3: In the execution of a work, the means are as the middle space, and the end, as the terminus. Wherefore just as natural movement sometimes stops in the middle and does not reach the terminus; so sometimes one is busy with the means, without gaining the end. But in willing it is the reverse: the will through (willing) the end comes to will the means; just as the intellect arrives at the conclusions through the principles which are called "means." Hence it is that sometimes the intellect understands a mean, and does not proceed thence to the conclusion. And in like manner the will sometimes wills the end, and yet does not proceed to will the means.
Ad illud vero quod in contrarium obiicitur, patet solutio per ea quae supra dicta sunt. Nam utile et honestum non sunt species boni ex aequo divisae, sed se habent sicut propter se et propter alterum. Unde actus voluntatis in unum potest ferri sine hoc quod feratur in alterum, sed non e converso.    The solution to the argument in the contrary sense is clear from what has been said above (Article [2], ad 2). For the useful and the righteous are not species of good in an equal degree, but are as that which is for its own sake and that which is for the sake of something else: wherefore the act of the will can be directed to one and not to the other; but not conversely.

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