St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

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

 

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OF CONCUPISCENCE (FOUR ARTICLES)

Deinde considerandum est de concupiscentia. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor.    We have now to consider concupiscence: under which head there are four points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum concupiscentia sit in appetitu sensitivo tantum.     (1) Whether concupiscence is in the sensitive appetite only?
Secundo, utrum concupiscentia sit passio specialis.     (2) Whether concupiscence is a specific passion?
Tertio, utrum sint aliquae concupiscentiae naturales, et aliquae non naturales.     (3) Whether some concupiscences are natural, and some not natural?
Quarto, utrum concupiscentia sit infinita     (4) Whether concupiscence is infinite?

 

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Whether concupiscence is in the sensitive appetite only?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod concupiscentia non solum sit in appetitu sensitivo. Est enim quaedam concupiscentia sapientiae, ut dicitur Sap. VI, concupiscentia sapientiae deducit ad regnum perpetuum. Sed appetitus sensitivus non potest ferri in sapientiam. Ergo concupiscentia non est in solo appetitu sensitivo.   Objection 1: It would seem that concupiscence is not only in the sensitive appetite. For there is a concupiscence of wisdom, according to Wis. 6:21: "The concupiscence [Douay: 'desire'] of wisdom bringeth to the everlasting kingdom." But the sensitive appetite can have no tendency to wisdom. Therefore concupiscence is not only in the sensitive appetite.
Praeterea, desiderium mandatorum Dei non est in appetitu sensitivo, immo apostolus dicit, Rom. VII, non habitat in me, hoc est in carne mea, bonum. Sed desiderium mandatorum Dei sub concupiscentia cadit, secundum illud Psalmi CXVIII, concupivit anima mea desiderare iustificationes tuas. Ergo concupiscentia non est solum in appetitu sensitivo.   Objection 2: Further, the desire for the commandments of God is not in the sensitive appetite: in fact the Apostle says (Rm. 7:18): "There dwelleth not in me, that is to say, in my flesh, that which is good." But desire for God's commandments is an act of concupiscence, according to Ps. 118:20: "My soul hath coveted [concupivit] to long for thy justifications." Therefore concupiscence is not only in the sensitive appetite.
Praeterea, cuilibet potentiae est concupiscibile proprium bonum. Ergo concupiscentia est in qualibet potentia animae, et non solum in appetitu sensitivo.   Objection 3: Further, to each power, its proper good is a matter of concupiscence. Therefore concupiscence is in each power of the soul, and not only in the sensitive appetite.
Sed contra est quod Damascenus dicit, quod irrationale obediens et persuasibile rationi, dividitur in concupiscentiam et iram. Haec autem est irrationalis pars animae, passiva et appetitiva. Ergo concupiscentia est in appetitu sensitivo.   On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 12) that "the irrational part which is subject and amenable to reason, is divided into the faculties of concupiscence and anger. This is the irrational part of the soul, passive and appetitive." Therefore concupiscence is in the sensitive appetite.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut philosophus dicit in I Rhetoric., concupiscentia est appetitus delectabilis. Est autem duplex delectatio, ut infra dicetur, una quae est in bono intelligibili, quod est bonum rationis; alia quae est in bono secundum sensum. Prima quidem delectatio videtur esse animae tantum. Secunda autem est animae et corporis, quia sensus est virtus in organo corporeo; unde et bonum secundum sensum est bonum totius coniuncti. Talis autem delectationis appetitus videtur esse concupiscentia, quae simul pertineat et ad animam et ad corpus, ut ipsum nomen concupiscentiae sonat. Unde concupiscentia, proprie loquendo, est in appetitu sensitivo; et in vi concupiscibili, quae ab ea denominatur.   I answer that, As the Philosopher says (Rhet. i, 11), "concupiscence is a craving for that which is pleasant." Now pleasure is twofold, as we shall state later on (Question [31], Articles [3],4): one is in the intelligible good, which is the good of reason; the other is in good perceptible to the senses. The former pleasure seems to belong to soul alone: whereas the latter belongs to both soul and body: because the sense is a power seated in a bodily organ: wherefore sensible good is the good of the whole composite. Now concupiscence seems to be the craving for this latter pleasure, since it belongs to the united soul and body, as is implied by the Latin word "concupiscentia." Therefore, properly speaking, concupiscence is in the sensitive appetite, and in the concupiscible faculty, which takes its name from it.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod appetitus sapientiae, vel aliorum spiritualium bonorum, interdum concupiscentia nominatur, vel propter similitudinem quandam, vel propter intensionem appetitus superioris partis, ex quo fit redundantia in inferiorem appetitum, ut simul etiam ipse inferior appetitus suo modo tendat in spirituale bonum consequens appetitum superiorem, et etiam ipsum corpus spiritualibus deserviat; sicut in Psalmo LXXXIII, dicitur, cor meum et caro mea exultaverunt in Deum vivum.   Reply to Objection 1: The craving for wisdom, or other spiritual goods, is sometimes called concupiscence; either by reason of a certain likeness; or on account of the craving in the higher part of the soul being so vehement that it overflows into the lower appetite, so that the latter also, in its own way, tends to the spiritual good, following the lead of the higher appetite, the result being that the body itself renders its service in spiritual matters, according to Ps. 83:3: "My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God."
Ad secundum dicendum quod desiderium magis pertinere potest, proprie loquendo, non solum ad inferiorem appetitum, sed etiam ad superiorem. Non enim importat aliquam consociationem in cupiendo, sicut concupiscentia; sed simplicem motum in rem desideratam.   Reply to Objection 2: Properly speaking, desire may be not only in the lower, but also in the higher appetite. For it does not imply fellowship in craving, as concupiscence does; but simply movement towards the thing desired.
Ad tertium dicendum quod unicuique potentiae animae competit appetere proprium bonum appetitu naturali, qui non sequitur apprehensionem. Sed appetere bonum appetitu animali, qui sequitur apprehensionem, pertinet solum ad vim appetitivam. Appetere autem aliquid sub ratione boni delectabilis secundum sensum, quod proprie est concupiscere, pertinet ad vim concupiscibilem.   Reply to Objection 3: It belongs to each power of the soul to seek its proper good by the natural appetite, which does not arise from apprehension. But the craving for good, by the animal appetite, which arises from apprehension, belongs to the appetitive power alone. And to crave a thing under the aspect of something delightful to the senses, wherein concupiscence properly consists, belongs to the concupiscible power.

 

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Whether concupiscence is a specific passion?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod concupiscentia non sit passio specialis potentiae concupiscibilis. Passiones enim distinguuntur secundum obiecta. Sed obiectum concupiscibilis est delectabile secundum sensum; quod etiam est obiectum concupiscentiae, secundum philosophum, in I Rhetoric. Ergo concupiscentia non est passio specialis in concupiscibili.   Objection 1: It would seem that concupiscence is not a specific passion of the concupiscible power. For passions are distinguished by their objects. But the object of the concupiscible power is something delightful to the senses; and this is also the object of concupiscence, as the Philosopher declares (Rhet. i, 11). Therefore concupiscence is not a specific passion of the concupiscible faculty.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in libro octoginta trium quaest., quod cupiditas est amor rerum transeuntium, et sic ab amore non distinguitur. Omnes autem passiones speciales ab invicem distinguuntur. Ergo concupiscentia non est passio specialis in concupiscibili.   Objection 2: Further, Augustine says (Questions. 83, qu. 33) that "covetousness is the love of transitory things": so that it is not distinct from love. But all specific passions are distinct from one another. Therefore concupiscence is not a specific passion in the concupiscible faculty.
Praeterea, cuilibet passioni concupiscibilis opponitur aliqua passio specialis in concupiscibili, ut supra dictum est. Sed concupiscentiae non opponitur aliqua passio specialis in concupiscibili. Dicit enim Damascenus quod expectatum bonum concupiscentiam constituit, praesens vero laetitiam, similiter expectatum malum timorem, praesens vero tristitiam, ex quo videtur quod, sicut tristitia contrariatur laetitiae, ita timor contrariatur concupiscentiae. Timor autem non est in concupiscibili, sed in irascibili. Non ergo concupiscentia est specialis passio in concupiscibili.   Objection 3: Further, to each passion of the concupiscible faculty there is a specific contrary passion in that faculty, as stated above (Question [23], Article [4]). But no specific passion of the concupiscible faculty is contrary to concupiscence. For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 12) that "good when desired gives rise to concupiscence; when present, it gives joy: in like manner, the evil we apprehend makes us fear, the evil that is present makes us sad": from which we gather that as sadness is contrary to joy, so is fear contrary to concupiscence. But fear is not in the concupiscible, but in the irascible part. Therefore concupiscence is not a specific passion of the concupiscible faculty.
Sed contra est quod concupiscentia causatur ab amore, et tendit in delectationem, quae sunt passiones concupiscibilis. Et sic distinguitur ab aliis passionibus concupiscibilis, tanquam passio specialis.   On the contrary, Concupiscence is caused by love, and tends to pleasure, both of which are passions of the concupiscible faculty. Hence it is distinguished from the other concupiscible passions, as a specific passion.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, bonum delectabile secundum sensum est communiter obiectum concupiscibilis. Unde secundum eius differentias, diversae passiones concupiscibilis distinguuntur. Diversitas autem obiecti potest attendi vel secundum naturam ipsius obiecti, vel secundum diversitatem in virtute agendi. Diversitas quidem obiecti activi quae est secundum rei naturam, facit materialem differentiam passionum. Sed diversitas quae est secundum virtutem activam, facit formalem differentiam passionum, secundum quam passiones specie differunt.   I answer that, As stated above (Article [1]; Question [23], Article [1]), the good which gives pleasure to the senses is the common object of the concupiscible faculty. Hence the various concupiscible passions are distinguished according to the differences of that good. Now the diversity of this object can arise from the very nature of the object, or from a diversity in its active power. The diversity, derived from the nature of the active object, causes a material difference of passions: while the difference in regard to its active power causes a formal diversity of passions, in respect of which the passions differ specifically.
Est autem alia ratio virtutis motivae ipsius finis vel boni, secundum quod est realiter praesens, et secundum quod est absens, nam secundum quod est praesens, facit in seipso quiescere; secundum autem quod est absens, facit ad seipsum moveri. Unde ipsum delectabile secundum sensum, inquantum appetitum sibi adaptat quodammodo et conformat, causat amorem; inquantum vero absens attrahit ad seipsum, causat concupiscentiam; inquantum vero praesens quietat in seipso, causat delectationem. Sic ergo concupiscentia est passio differens specie et ab amore et a delectatione. Sed concupiscere hoc delectabile vel illud, facit concupiscentias diversas numero.    Now the nature of the motive power of the end or of the good, differs according as it is really present, or absent: because, according as it is present, it causes the faculty to find rest in it; whereas, according as it is absent, it causes the faculty to be moved towards it. Wherefore the object of sensible pleasure causes love, inasmuch as, so to speak, it attunes and conforms the appetite to itself; it causes concupiscence, inasmuch as, when absent, it draws the faculty to itself; and it causes pleasure, inasmuch as, when present, it makes the faculty to find rest in itself. Accordingly, concupiscence is a passion differing "in species" from both love and pleasure. But concupiscences of this or that pleasurable object differ "in number."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod bonum delectabile non est absolute obiectum concupiscentiae, sed sub ratione absentis, sicut et sensibile sub ratione praeteriti, est obiectum memoriae. Huiusmodi enim particulares conditiones diversificant speciem passionum, vel etiam potentiarum sensitivae partis, quae respicit particularia.   Reply to Objection 1: Pleasurable good is the object of concupiscence, not absolutely, but considered as absent: just as the sensible, considered as past, is the object of memory. For these particular conditions diversify the species of passions, and even of the powers of the sensitive part, which regards particular things.
Ad secundum dicendum quod illa praedicatio est per causam, non per essentiam, non enim cupiditas est per se amor, sed amoris effectus, vel aliter dicendum, quod Augustinus accipit cupiditatem large pro quolibet motu appetitus qui potest esse respectu boni futuri. Unde comprehendit sub se et amorem et spem.   Reply to Objection 2: In the passage quoted we have causal, not essential predication: for covetousness is not essentially love, but an effect of love. We may also say that Augustine is taking covetousness in a wide sense, for any movement of the appetite in respect of good to come: so that it includes both love and hope.
Ad tertium dicendum quod passio quae directe opponitur concupiscentiae, innominata est, quae ita se habet ad malum, sicut concupiscentia ad bonum. Sed quia est mali absentis sicut et timor, quandoque loco eius ponitur timor, sicut et quandoque cupiditas loco spei. Quod enim est parvum bonum vel malum, quasi non reputatur, et ideo pro omni motu appetitus in bonum vel in malum futurum, ponitur spes et timor, quae respiciunt bonum vel malum arduum.   Reply to Objection 3: The passion which is directly contrary to concupiscence has no name, and stands in relation to evil, as concupiscence in regard to good. But since, like fear, it regards the absent evil; sometimes it goes by the name of fear, just as hope is sometimes called covetousness. For a small good or evil is reckoned as though it were nothing: and consequently every movement of the appetite in future good or evil is called hope or fear, which regard good and evil as arduous.

 

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Whether some concupiscences are natural, and some not natural?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod concupiscentiarum non sint quaedam naturales, et quaedam non naturales. Concupiscentia enim pertinet ad appetitum animalem, ut dictum est. Sed appetitus naturalis dividitur contra animalem. Ergo nulla concupiscentia est naturalis.   Objection 1: It would seem that concupiscences are not divided into those which are natural and those which are not. For concupiscence belongs to the animal appetite, as stated above (Article [1], ad 3). But the natural appetite is contrasted with the animal appetite. Therefore no concupiscence is natural.
Praeterea, diversitas materialis non facit diversitatem secundum speciem, sed solum secundum numerum, quae quidem diversitas sub arte non cadit. Sed si quae sint concupiscentiae naturales et non naturales, non differunt nisi secundum diversa concupiscibilia, quod facit materialem differentiam, et secundum numerum tantum. Non ergo dividendae sunt concupiscentiae per naturales et non naturales.   Objection 2: Further, material differences makes no difference of species, but only numerical difference; a difference which is outside the purview of science. But if some concupiscences are natural, and some not, they differ only in respect of their objects; which amounts to a material difference, which is one of number only. Therefore concupiscences should not be divided into those that are natural and those that are not.
Praeterea, ratio contra naturam dividitur, ut patet in II Physic. Si igitur in homine est aliqua concupiscentia non naturalis, oportet quod sit rationalis. Sed hoc esse non potest, quia concupiscentia cum sit passio quaedam, pertinet ad appetitum sensitivum, non autem ad voluntatem, quae est appetitus rationis. Non ergo sunt concupiscentiae aliquae non naturales.   Objection 3: Further, reason is contrasted with nature, as stated in Phys. ii, 5. If therefore in man there is a concupiscence which is not natural, it must needs be rational. But this is impossible: because, since concupiscence is a passion, it belongs to the sensitive appetite, and not to the will, which is the rational appetite. Therefore there are no concupiscences which are not natural.
Sed contra est quod philosophus, in III Ethic. et in I Rhetoric., ponit quasdam concupiscentias naturales, et quasdam non naturales.   On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 11 and Rhetor. i, 11) distinguishes natural concupiscences from those that are not natural.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, concupiscentia est appetitus boni delectabilis. Dupliciter autem aliquid est delectabile. Uno modo, quia est conveniens naturae animalis, sicut cibus, potus, et alia huiusmodi. Et huiusmodi concupiscentia delectabilis dicitur naturalis. Alio modo aliquid est delectabile, quia est conveniens animali secundum apprehensionem, sicut cum aliquis apprehendit aliquid ut bonum et conveniens, et per consequens delectatur in ipso. Et huiusmodi delectabilis concupiscentia dicitur non naturalis, et solet magis dici cupiditas.   I answer that, As stated above (Article [1]), concupiscence is the craving for pleasurable good. Now a thing is pleasurable in two ways. First, because it is suitable to the nature of the animal; for example, food, drink, and the like: and concupiscence of such pleasurable things is said to be natural. Secondly, a thing is pleasurable because it is apprehended as suitable to the animal: as when one apprehends something as good and suitable, and consequently takes pleasure in it: and concupiscence of such pleasurable things is said to be not natural, and is more wont to be called "cupidity."
Primae ergo concupiscentiae, naturales, communes sunt et hominibus et aliis animalibus, quia utrisque est aliquid conveniens et delectabile secundum naturam. Et in his etiam omnes homines conveniunt, unde et philosophus, in III Ethic., vocat eas communes et necessarias. Sed secundae concupiscentiae sunt propriae hominum, quorum proprium est excogitare aliquid ut bonum et conveniens, praeter id quod natura requirit. Unde et in I Rhetoric., philosophus dicit primas concupiscentias esse irrationales, secundas vero cum ratione. Et quia diversi diversimode ratiocinantur, ideo etiam secundae dicuntur, in III Ethic., propriae et appositae, scilicet supra naturales.    Accordingly concupiscences of the first kind, or natural concupiscences, are common to men and other animals: because to both is there something suitable and pleasurable according to nature: and in these all men agree; wherefore the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 11) calls them "common" and "necessary." But concupiscences of the second kind are proper to men, to whom it is proper to devise something as good and suitable, beyond that which nature requires. Hence the Philosopher says (Rhet. i, 11) that the former concupiscences are "irrational," but the latter, "rational." And because different men reason differently, therefore the latter are also called (Ethic. iii, 11) "peculiar and acquired," i.e. in addition to those that are natural.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illud idem quod appetitur appetitu naturali, potest appeti appetitu animali cum fuerit apprehensum. Et secundum hoc cibi et potus et huiusmodi, quae appetuntur naturaliter, potest esse concupiscentia naturalis.   Reply to Objection 1: The same thing that is the object of the natural appetite, may be the object of the animal appetite, once it is apprehended. And in this way there may be an animal concupiscence of food, drink, and the like, which are objects of the natural appetite.
Ad secundum dicendum quod diversitas concupiscentiarum naturalium a non naturalibus, non est materialis tantum; sed etiam quodammodo formalis, inquantum procedit ex diversitate obiecti activi. Obiectum autem appetitus est bonum apprehensum. Unde ad diversitatem activi pertinet diversitas apprehensionis, prout scilicet apprehenditur aliquid ut conveniens absoluta apprehensione, ex qua causantur concupiscentiae naturales, quas philosophus in Rhetoric. vocat irrationales; et prout apprehenditur aliquid cum deliberatione, ex quo causantur concupiscentiae non naturales, quae propter hoc in Rhetoric. dicuntur cum ratione.   Reply to Objection 2: The difference between those concupiscences that are natural and those that are not, is not merely a material difference; it is also, in a way, formal, in so far as it arises from a difference in the active object. Now the object of the appetite is the apprehended good. Hence diversity of the active object follows from diversity of apprehension: according as a thing is apprehended as suitable, either by absolute apprehension, whence arise natural concupiscences, which the Philosopher calls "irrational" (Rhet. i, 11); or by apprehension together with deliberation, whence arise those concupiscences that are not natural, and which for this very reason the Philosopher calls "rational" (Rhet. i, 11).
Ad tertium dicendum quod in homine non solum est ratio universalis, quae pertinet ad partem intellectivam; sed etiam ratio particularis, quae pertinet ad partem sensitivam, ut in primo libro dictum est. Et secundum hoc, etiam concupiscentia quae est cum ratione, potest ad appetitum sensitivum pertinere. Et praeterea appetitus sensitivus potest etiam a ratione universali moveri, mediante imaginatione particulari.   Reply to Objection 3: Man has not only universal reason, pertaining to the intellectual faculty; but also particular reason pertaining to the sensitive faculty, as stated in the FP, Question [78], Article [4]; FP, Question [81], Article [3]: so that even rational concupiscence may pertain to the sensitive appetite. Moreover the sensitive appetite can be moved by the universal reason also, through the medium of the particular imagination.

 

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Whether concupiscence is infinite?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod concupiscentia non sit infinita. Obiectum enim concupiscentiae est bonum; quod habet rationem finis. Qui autem ponit infinitum, excludit finem, ut dicitur in II Metaphys. Concupiscentia ergo non potest esse infinita.   Objection 1: It would seem that concupiscence is not infinite. For the object of concupiscence is good, which has the aspect of an end. But where there is infinity there is no end (Metaph. ii, 2). Therefore concupiscence cannot be infinite.
Praeterea, concupiscentia est boni convenientis, cum procedat ex amore. Sed infinitum, cum sit improportionatum, non potest esse conveniens. Ergo concupiscentia non potest esse infinita.   Objection 2: Further, concupiscence is of the fitting good, since it proceeds from love. But the infinite is without proportion, and therefore unfitting. Therefore concupiscence cannot be infinite.
Praeterea, infinita non est transire, et sic in eis non est pervenire ad ultimum. Sed concupiscenti fit delectatio per hoc quod attingit ad ultimum. Ergo si concupiscentia esset infinita, sequeretur quod nunquam fieret delectatio.   Objection 3: Further, there is no passing through infinite things: and thus there is no reaching an ultimate term in them. But the subject of concupiscence is not delighted until he attain the ultimate term. Therefore, if concupiscence were infinite, no delight would ever ensue.
Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in I Polit., quod, in infinitum concupiscentia existente homines infinita desiderant.   On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Polit. i, 3) that "since concupiscence is infinite, men desire an infinite number of things."
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, duplex est concupiscentia, una naturalis, et alia non naturalis. Naturalis quidem igitur concupiscentia non potest esse infinita in actu. Est enim eius quod natura requirit, natura vero semper intendit in aliquid finitum et certum. Unde nunquam homo concupiscit infinitum cibum, vel infinitum potum. Sed sicut in natura contingit esse infinitum in potentia per successionem, ita huiusmodi concupiscentiam contingit infinitam esse per successionem; ut scilicet, post adeptum cibum iterum alia vice desideret cibum, vel quodcumque aliud quod natura requirit, quia huiusmodi corporalia bona, cum adveniunt, non perpetuo manent, sed deficiunt. Unde dixit dominus Samaritanae, Ioan. IV, qui biberit ex hac aqua, sitiet iterum.   I answer that, As stated above (Article [3]), concupiscence is twofold; one is natural, the other is not natural. Natural concupiscence cannot be actually infinite: because it is of that which nature requires; and nature ever tends to something finite and fixed. Hence man never desires infinite meat, or infinite drink. But just as in nature there is potential successive infinity, so can this kind of concupiscence be infinite successively; so that, for instance, after getting food, a man may desire food yet again; and so of anything else that nature requires: because these bodily goods, when obtained, do not last for ever, but fail. Hence Our Lord said to the woman of Samaria (Jn. 4:13): "Whosever drinketh of this water, shall thirst again."
Sed concupiscentia non naturalis omnino est infinita. Sequitur enim rationem, ut dictum est, rationi autem competit in infinitum procedere. Unde qui concupiscit divitias, potest eas concupiscere, non ad aliquem certum terminum, sed simpliciter se divitem esse, quantumcumque potest.    But non-natural concupiscence is altogether infinite. Because, as stated above (Article [3]), it follows from the reason, and it belongs to the reason to proceed to infinity. Hence he that desires riches, may desire to be rich, not up to a certain limit, but to be simply as rich as possible.
Potest et alia ratio assignari, secundum philosophum in I Polit., quare quaedam concupiscentia sit finita, et quaedam infinita. Semper enim concupiscentia finis est infinita, finis enim per se concupiscitur, ut sanitas; unde maior sanitas magis concupiscitur, et sic in infinitum; sicut, si album per se disgregat, magis album magis disgregat. Concupiscentia vero eius quod est ad finem, non est infinita, sed secundum illam mensuram appetitur qua convenit fini. Unde qui finem ponunt in divitiis, habent concupiscentiam divitiarum in infinitum, qui autem divitias appetunt propter necessitatem vitae, concupiscunt divitias finitas, sufficientes ad necessitatem vitae, ut philosophus dicit ibidem. Et eadem est ratio de concupiscentia, quarumcumque aliarum rerum.    Another reason may be assigned, according to the Philosopher (Polit. i, 3), why a certain concupiscence is finite, and another infinite. Because concupiscence of the end is always infinite: since the end is desired for its own sake, e.g. health: and thus greater health is more desired, and so on to infinity; just as, if a white thing of itself dilates the sight, that which is more white dilates yet more. On the other hand, concupiscence of the means is not infinite, because the concupiscence of the means is in suitable proportion to the end. Consequently those who place their end in riches have an infinite concupiscence of riches; whereas those who desire riches, on account of the necessities of life, desire a finite measure of riches, sufficient for the necessities of life, as the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 3). The same applies to the concupiscence of any other things.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod omne quod concupiscitur, accipitur ut quoddam finitum, vel quia est finitum secundum rem, prout semel concupiscitur in actu; vel quia est finitum secundum quod cadit sub apprehensione. Non enim potest sub ratione infiniti apprehendi, quia infinitum est, cuius quantitatem accipientibus, semper est aliquid extra sumere, ut dicitur in III Physic.   Reply to Objection 1: Every object of concupiscence is taken as something finite: either because it is finite in reality, as being once actually desired; or because it is finite as apprehended. For it cannot be apprehended as infinite, since the infinite is that "from which, however much we may take, there always remains something to be taken" (Phys. iii, 6).
Ad secundum dicendum quod ratio quodammodo est virtutis infinitae inquantum potest in infinitum aliquid considerare, ut apparet in additione numerorum et linearum. Unde infinitum aliquo modo sumptum, est proportionatum rationi. Nam et universale, quod ratio apprehendit, est quodammodo infinitum, inquantum in potentia continet infinita singularia.   Reply to Objection 2: The reason is possessed of infinite power, in a certain sense, in so far as it can consider a thing infinitely, as appears in the addition of numbers and lines. Consequently, the infinite, taken in a certain way, is proportionate to reason. In fact the universal which the reason apprehends, is infinite in a sense, inasmuch as it contains potentially an infinite number of singulars.
Ad tertium dicendum quod ad hoc quod aliquis delectetur, non requiritur quod omnia consequatur quae concupiscit, sed in quolibet concupito quod consequitur, delectatur.   Reply to Objection 3: In order that a man be delighted, there is no need for him to realize all that he desires: for he delights in the realization of each object of his concupiscence.

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