St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

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

 

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OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL VIRTUES (FIVE ARTICLES)

Deinde considerandum est de virtutibus moralibus.
  • Et primo, de distinctione earum a virtutibus intellectualibus;
  • secundo, de distinctione earum ab invicem, secundum propriam materiam;
  • tertio, de distinctione principalium, vel cardinalium, ab aliis.
   We must now consider moral virtues. We shall speak
  • (1) of the difference between them and intellectual virtues;
  • (2) of their distinction, one from another, in respect of their proper matter;
  • (3) of the difference between the chief or cardinal virtues and the others.
Circa primum quaeruntur quinque.    Under the first head there are five points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum omnis virtus sit virtus moralis.     (1) Whether every virtue is a moral virtue?
Secundo, utrum virtus moralis distinguatur ab intellectuali.     (2) Whether moral virtue differs from intellectual virtue?
Tertio, utrum sufficienter dividatur virtus per intellectualem et moralem.     (3) Whether virtue is adequately divided into moral and intellectual virtue?
Quarto, utrum moralis virtus possit esse sine intellectuali.     (4) Whether there can be moral without intellectual virtue?
Quinto, utrum e converso, intellectualis virtus possit esse sine morali.     (5) Whether, on the other hand, there can be intellectual without moral virtue?

 

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Whether every virtue is a moral virtue?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod omnis virtus sit moralis. Virtus enim moralis dicitur a more, idest consuetudine. Sed omnium virtutum actus consuescere possumus. Ergo omnis virtus est moralis.   Objection 1: It would seem that every virtue is a moral virtue. Because moral virtue is so called from the Latin "mos," i.e. custom. Now, we can accustom ourselves to the acts of all the virtues. Therefore every virtue is a moral virtue.
Praeterea, philosophus dicit, in II Ethic., quod virtus moralis est habitus electivus in medietate rationis consistens. Sed omnis virtus videtur esse habitus electivus, quia actus cuiuslibet virtutis possumus ex electione facere. Omnis etiam virtus aliqualiter in medio rationis consistit, ut infra patebit. Ergo omnis virtus est moralis.   Objection 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6) that moral virtue is "a habit of choosing the rational mean." But every virtue is a habit of choosing: since the acts of any virtue can be done from choice. And, moreover, every virtue consists in following the rational mean in some way, as we shall explain further on (Question [64], Articles [1],2,3). Therefore every virtue is a moral virtue.
Praeterea, Tullius dicit, in sua rhetorica, quod virtus est habitus in modum naturae, rationi consentaneus. Sed cum omnis virtus humana ordinetur ad bonum hominis, oportet quod sit consentanea rationi, cum bonum hominis sit secundum rationem esse, ut Dionysius dicit. Ergo omnis virtus est moralis.   Objection 3: Further, Cicero says (De Invent. Rhet. ii) that "virtue is a habit like a second nature, in accord with reason." But since every human virtue is directed to man's good, it must be in accord with reason: since man's good "consists in that which agrees with his reason," as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv). Therefore every virtue is a moral virtue.
Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in I Ethic., dicentes de moribus, non dicimus quoniam sapiens vel intelligens; sed quoniam mitis vel sobrius. Sic igitur sapientia et intellectus non sunt morales. Quae tamen sunt virtutes, sicut supra dictum est. Non ergo omnis virtus est moralis   On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. i, 13): "When we speak of a man's morals, we do not say that he is wise or intelligent, but that he is gentle or sober." Accordingly, then, wisdom and understanding are not moral virtues: and yet they are virtues, as stated above (Question [57], Article [2]). Therefore not every virtue is a moral virtue.
Respondeo dicendum quod ad huius evidentiam, considerare oportet quid sit mos, sic enim scire poterimus quid sit moralis virtus. Mos autem duo significat. Quandoque enim significat consuetudinem, sicut dicitur Act. XV, nisi circumcidamini secundum morem Moysi, non poteritis salvi fieri. Quandoque vero significat inclinationem quandam naturalem, vel quasi naturalem, ad aliquid agendum, unde etiam et brutorum animalium dicuntur aliqui mores; unde dicitur II Machab. XI, quod leonum more irruentes in hostes, prostraverunt eos. Et sic accipitur mos in Psalmo LXVII, ubi dicitur, qui habitare facit unius moris in domo. Et hae quidem duae significationes in nullo distinguuntur, apud Latinos, quantum ad vocem. In Graeco autem distinguuntur, nam ethos, quod apud nos morem significat, quandoque habet primam longam, et scribitur per eta, Graecam litteram; quandoque habet primam correptam, et scribitur per epsilon.   I answer that, In order to answer this question clearly, we must consider the meaning of the Latin word "mos"; for thus we shall be able to discover what a "moral" virtue is. Now "mos" has a twofold meaning. For sometimes it means custom, in which sense we read (Acts 15:1): "Except you be circumcised after the manner (morem) of Moses, you cannot be saved." Sometimes it means a natural or quasi-natural inclination to do some particular action, in which sense the word is applied to dumb animals. Thus we read (2 Macc. 1:2) that "rushing violently upon the enemy, like lions [*Leonum more, i.e. as lions are in the habit of doing], they slew them": and the word is used in the same sense in Ps. 67:7, where we read: "Who maketh men of one manner [moris] to dwell in a house." For both these significations there is but one word in Latin; but in the Greek there is a distinct word for each, for the word "ethos" is written sometimes with a long, and sometimes a short "e".
Dicitur autem virtus moralis a more, secundum quod mos significat quandam inclinationem naturalem, vel quasi naturalem, ad aliquid agendum. Et huic significationi moris propinqua est alia significatio, qua significat consuetudinem, nam consuetudo quodammodo vertitur in naturam, et facit inclinationem similem naturali. Manifestum est autem quod inclinatio ad actum proprie convenit appetitivae virtuti, cuius est movere omnes potentias ad agendum, ut ex supradictis patet. Et ideo non omnis virtus dicitur moralis, sed solum illa quae est in vi appetitiva.    Now "moral" virtue is so called from "mos" in the sense of a natural or quasi-natural inclination to do some particular action. And the other meaning of "mos," i.e. "custom," is akin to this: because custom becomes a second nature, and produces an inclination similar to a natural one. But it is evident that inclination to an action belongs properly to the appetitive power, whose function it is to move all the powers to their acts, as explained above (Question [9], Article [1]). Therefore not every virtue is a moral virtue, but only those that are in the appetitive faculty.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod obiectio illa procedit de more, secundum quod significat consuetudinem.   Reply to Objection 1: This argument takes "mos" in the sense of "custom."
Ad secundum dicendum quod omnis actus virtutis potest ex electione agi, sed electionem rectam agit sola virtus quae est in appetitiva parte animae, dictum est enim supra quod eligere est actus appetitivae partis. Unde habitus electivus, qui scilicet est electionis principium, est solum ille qui perficit vim appetitivam, quamvis etiam aliorum habituum actus sub electione cadere possint.   Reply to Objection 2: Every act of virtue can be done from choice: but no virtue makes us choose aright, save that which is in the appetitive part of the soul: for it has been stated above that choice is an act of the appetitive faculty (Question [13], Article [1]). Wherefore a habit of choosing, i.e. a habit which is the principle whereby we choose, is that habit alone which perfects the appetitive faculty: although the acts of other habits also may be a matter of choice.
Ad tertium dicendum quod natura est principium motus, sicut dicitur in II Physic. Movere autem ad agendum proprium est appetitivae partis. Et ideo assimilari naturae in consentiendo rationi, est proprium virtutum quae sunt in vi appetitiva.   Reply to Objection 3: "Nature is the principle of movement" (Phys. ii, text. 3). Now to move the faculties to act is the proper function of the appetitive power. Consequently to become as a second nature by consenting to the reason, is proper to those virtues which are in the appetitive faculty.

 

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Whether moral virtue differs from intellectual virtue?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod virtus moralis ab intellectuali non distinguatur. Dicit enim Augustinus, in libro de Civ. Dei, quod virtus est ars recte vivendi. Sed ars est virtus intellectualis. Ergo virtus moralis ab intellectuali non differt.   Objection 1: It would seem that moral virtue does not differ from intellectual virtue. For Augustine says (De Civ. Dei iv, 21) "that virtue is the art of right conduct." But art is an intellectual virtue. Therefore moral and intellectual virtue do not differ.
Praeterea, plerique in definitione virtutum moralium ponunt scientiam, sicut quidam definiunt quod perseverantia est scientia vel habitus eorum quibus est immanendum vel non immanendum; et sanctitas est scientia faciens fideles et servantes quae ad Deum iusta. Scientia autem est virtus intellectualis. Ergo virtus moralis non debet distingui ab intellectuali.   Objection 2: Further, some authors put science in the definition of virtues: thus some define perseverance as a "science or habit regarding those things to which we should hold or not hold"; and holiness as "a science which makes man to be faithful and to do his duty to God." Now science is an intellectual virtue. Therefore moral virtue should not be distinguished from intellectual virtue.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in I Soliloq., quod virtus est recta et perfecta ratio. Sed hoc pertinet ad virtutem intellectualem, ut patet in VI Ethic. ergo virtus moralis non est distincta ab intellectuali.   Objection 3: Further, Augustine says (Soliloq. i, 6) that "virtue is the rectitude and perfection of reason." But this belongs to the intellectual virtues, as stated in Ethic. vi, 13. Therefore moral virtue does not differ from intellectual.
Praeterea, nihil distinguitur ab eo quod in eius definitione ponitur. Sed virtus intellectualis ponitur in definitione virtutis moralis, dicit enim philosophus, in II Ethic., quod virtus moralis est habitus electivus existens in medietate determinata ratione, prout sapiens determinabit. Huiusmodi autem recta ratio determinans medium virtutis moralis, pertinet ad virtutem intellectualem, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. Ergo virtus moralis non distinguitur ab intellectuali.   Objection 4: Further, a thing does not differ from that which is included in its definition. But intellectual virtue is included in the definition of moral virtue: for the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6) that "moral virtue is a habit of choosing the mean appointed by reason as a prudent man would appoint it." Now this right reason that fixes the mean of moral virtue, belongs to an intellectual virtue, as stated in Ethic. vi, 13. Therefore moral virtue does not differ from intellectual.
Sed contra est quod dicitur in I Ethic., determinatur virtus secundum differentiam hanc, dicimus enim harum has quidem intellectuales, has vero morales.   On the contrary, It is stated in Ethic. i, 13 that "there are two kinds of virtue: some we call intellectual; some moral."
Respondeo dicendum quod omnium humanorum operum principium primum ratio est, et quaecumque alia principia humanorum operum inveniantur, quodammodo rationi obediunt; diversimode tamen. Nam quaedam rationi obediunt omnino ad nutum, absque omni contradictione, sicut corporis membra, si fuerint in sua natura consistentia; statim enim ad imperium rationis, manus aut pes movetur ad opus. Unde philosophus dicit, in I Polit., quod anima regit corpus despotico principatu, idest sicut dominus servum, qui ius contradicendi non habet. Posuerunt igitur quidam quod omnia principia activa quae sunt in homine, hoc modo se habent ad rationem. Quod quidem si verum esset, sufficeret quod ratio esset perfecta, ad bene agendum. Unde, cum virtus sit habitus quo perficimur ad bene agendum, sequeretur quod in sola ratione esset, et sic nulla virtus esset nisi intellectualis. Et haec fuit opinio Socratis, qui dixit omnes virtutes esse prudentias, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. Unde ponebat quod homo, scientia in eo existente, peccare non poterat; sed quicumque peccabat, peccabat propter ignorantiam.   I answer that, Reason is the first principle of all human acts; and whatever other principles of human acts may be found, they obey reason somewhat, but in various ways. For some obey reason blindly and without any contradiction whatever: such are the limbs of the body, provided they be in a healthy condition, for as soon as reason commands, the hand or the foot proceeds to action. Hence the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 3) that "the soul rules the body like a despot," i.e. as a master rules his slave, who has no right to rebel. Accordingly some held that all the active principles in man are subordinate to reason in this way. If this were true, for man to act well it would suffice that his reason be perfect. Consequently, since virtue is a habit perfecting man in view of his doing good actions, it would follow that it is only in the reason, so that there would be none but intellectual virtues. This was the opinion of Socrates, who said "every virtue is a kind of prudence," as stated in Ethic. vi, 13. Hence he maintained that as long as man is in possession of knowledge, he cannot sin; and that every one who sins, does so through ignorance.
Hoc autem procedit ex suppositione falsi. Pars enim appetitiva obedit rationi non omnino ad nutum, sed cum aliqua contradictione, unde philosophus dicit, in I Polit., quod ratio imperat appetitivae principatu politico, quo scilicet aliquis praeest liberis, qui habent ius in aliquo contradicendi. Unde Augustinus dicit, super Psalm., quod interdum praecedit intellectus, et sequitur tardus aut nullus affectus, intantum quod quandoque passionibus vel habitibus appetitivae partis hoc agitur, ut usus rationis in particulari impediatur. Et secundum hoc, aliqualiter verum est quod Socrates dixit, quod scientia praesente, non peccatur, si tamen hoc extendatur usque ad usum rationis in particulari eligibili.    Now this is based on a false supposition. Because the appetitive faculty obeys the reason, not blindly, but with a certain power of opposition; wherefore the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 3) that "reason commands the appetitive faculty by a politic power," whereby a man rules over subjects that are free, having a certain right of opposition. Hence Augustine says on Ps. 118 (Serm. 8) that "sometimes we understand [what is right] while desire is slow, or follows not at all," in so far as the habits or passions of the appetitive faculty cause the use of reason to be impeded in some particular action. And in this way, there is some truth in the saying of Socrates that so long as a man is in possession of knowledge he does not sin: provided, however, that this knowledge is made to include the use of reason in this individual act of choice.
Sic igitur ad hoc quod homo bene agat, requiritur quod non solum ratio sit bene disposita per habitum virtutis intellectualis; sed etiam quod vis appetitiva sit bene disposita per habitum virtutis moralis. Sicut igitur appetitus distinguitur a ratione, ita virtus moralis distinguitur ab intellectuali. Unde sicut appetitus est principium humani actus secundum quod participat aliqualiter rationem, ita habitus moralis habet rationem virtutis humanae, inquantum rationi conformatur.    Accordingly for a man to do a good deed, it is requisite not only that his reason be well disposed by means of a habit of intellectual virtue; but also that his appetite be well disposed by means of a habit of moral virtue. And so moral differs from intellectual virtue, even as the appetite differs from the reason. Hence just as the appetite is the principle of human acts, in so far as it partakes of reason, so are moral habits to be considered virtues in so far as they are in conformity with reason.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Augustinus communiter accipit artem, pro qualibet recta ratione. Et sic sub arte includitur etiam prudentia, quae ita est recta ratio agibilium, sicut ars est recta ratio factibilium. Et secundum hoc, quod dicit quod virtus est ars recte vivendi, essentialiter convenit prudentiae, participative autem aliis virtutibus, prout secundum prudentiam diriguntur.   Reply to Objection 1: Augustine usually applies the term "art" to any form of right reason; in which sense art includes prudence which is the right reason about things to be done, even as art is the right reason about things to be made. Accordingly, when he says that "virtue is the art of right conduct," this applies to prudence essentially; but to other virtues, by participation, for as much as they are directed by prudence.
Ad secundum dicendum quod tales definitiones, a quibuscumque inveniantur datae, processerunt ex opinione Socratica, et sunt exponendae eo modo quo de arte praedictum est.   Reply to Objection 2: All such definitions, by whomsoever given, were based on the Socratic theory, and should be explained according to what we have said about art (ad 1).
Et similiter dicendum est ad tertium.    The same applies to the Third Objection.
Ad quartum dicendum quod recta ratio, quae est secundum prudentiam, ponitur in definitione virtutis moralis, non tanquam pars essentiae eius, sed sicut quiddam participatum in omnibus virtutibus moralibus, inquantum prudentia dirigit omnes virtutes morales.   Reply to Objection 4: Right reason which is in accord with prudence is included in the definition of moral virtue, not as part of its essence, but as something belonging by way of participation to all the moral virtues, in so far as they are all under the direction of prudence.

 

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Whether virtue is adequately divided into moral and intellectual?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod virtus humana non sufficienter dividatur per virtutem moralem et intellectualem. Prudentia enim videtur esse aliquid medium inter virtutem moralem et intellectualem, connumeratur enim virtutibus intellectualibus in VI Ethic.; et etiam ab omnibus communiter connumeratur inter quatuor virtutes cardinales, quae sunt morales, ut infra patebit. Non ergo sufficienter dividitur virtus per intellectualem et moralem, sicut per immediata.   Objection 1: It would seem that virtue is not adequately divided into moral and intellectual. For prudence seems to be a mean between moral and intellectual virtue, since it is reckoned among the intellectual virtues (Ethic. vi, 3,5); and again is placed by all among the four cardinal virtues, which are moral virtues, as we shall show further on (Question [61], Article [1]). Therefore virtue is not adequately divided into intellectual and moral, as though there were no mean between them.
Praeterea, continentia et perseverantia, et etiam patientia, non computantur inter virtutes intellectuales. Nec etiam sunt virtutes morales, quia non tenent medium in passionibus, sed abundant in eis passiones. Non ergo sufficienter dividitur virtus per intellectuales et morales.   Objection 2: Further, contingency, perseverance, and patience are not reckoned to be intellectual virtues. Yet neither are they moral virtues; since they do not reduce the passions to a mean, and are consistent with an abundance of passion. Therefore virtue is not adequately divided into intellectual and moral.
Praeterea, fides, spes et caritas quaedam virtutes sunt. Non tamen sunt virtutes intellectuales, hae enim solum sunt quinque, scilicet scientia, sapientia, intellectus, prudentia et ars, ut dictum est. Nec etiam sunt virtutes morales, quia non sunt circa passiones, circa quas maxime est moralis virtus. Ergo virtus non sufficienter dividitur per intellectuales et morales.   Objection 3: Further, faith, hope, and charity are virtues. Yet they are not intellectual virtues: for there are only five of these, viz. science, wisdom, understanding, prudence, and art, as stated above (Question [57], Articles [2],3,5). Neither are they moral virtues; since they are not about the passions, which are the chief concern of moral virtue. Therefore virtue is not adequately divided into intellectual and moral.
Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in II Ethic., duplicem esse virtutem, hanc quidem intellectualem, illam autem moralem.   On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 1) that "virtue is twofold, intellectual and moral."
Respondeo dicendum quod virtus humana est quidam habitus perficiens hominem ad bene operandum. Principium autem humanorum actuum in homine non est nisi duplex, scilicet intellectus sive ratio, et appetitus, haec enim sunt duo moventia in homine, ut dicitur in III de anima. Unde omnis virtus humana oportet quod sit perfectiva alicuius istorum principiorum. Si quidem igitur sit perfectiva intellectus speculativi vel practici ad bonum hominis actum, erit virtus intellectualis, si autem sit perfectiva appetitivae partis, erit virtus moralis. Unde relinquitur quod omnis virtus humana vel est intellectualis vel moralis.   I answer that, Human virtue is a habit perfecting man in view of his doing good deeds. Now, in man there are but two principles of human actions, viz. the intellect or reason and the appetite: for these are the two principles of movement in man as stated in De Anima iii, text. 48. Consequently every human virtue must needs be a perfection of one of these principles. Accordingly if it perfects man's speculative or practical intellect in order that his deed may be good, it will be an intellectual virtue: whereas if it perfects his appetite, it will be a moral virtue. It follows therefore that every human virtue is either intellectual or moral.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod prudentia, secundum essentiam suam, est intellectualis virtus. Sed secundum materiam, convenit cum virtutibus moralibus, est enim recta ratio agibilium, ut supra dictum est. Et secundum hoc, virtutibus moralibus connumeratur.   Reply to Objection 1: Prudence is essentially an intellectual virtue. But considered on the part of its matter, it has something in common with the moral virtues: for it is right reason about things to be done, as stated above (Question [57], Article [4]). It is in this sense that it is reckoned with the moral virtues.
Ad secundum dicendum quod continentia et perseverantia non sunt perfectiones appetitivae virtutis sensitivae. Quod ex hoc patet, quod in continente et perseverante superabundant inordinatae passiones, quod non esset, si appetitus sensitivus esset perfectus aliquo habitu conformante ipsum rationi. Est autem continentia, seu perseverantia, perfectio rationalis partis, quae se tenet contra passiones ne deducatur. Deficit tamen a ratione virtutis, quia virtus intellectiva quae facit rationem se bene habere circa moralia, praesupponit appetitum rectum finis, ut recte se habeat circa principia, idest fines, ex quibus ratiocinatur; quod continenti et perseveranti deest. Neque etiam potest esse perfecta operatio quae a duabus potentiis procedit, nisi utraque potentia perficiatur per debitum habitum, sicut non sequitur perfecta actio alicuius agentis per instrumentum, si instrumentum non sit bene dispositum, quantumcumque principale agens sit perfectum. Unde si appetitus sensitivus, quem movet rationalis pars, non sit perfectus; quantumcumque rationalis pars sit perfecta, actio consequens non erit perfecta. Unde nec principium actionis erit virtus. Et propter hoc, continentia a delectationibus, et perseverantia a tristitiis, non sunt virtutes, sed aliquid minus virtute, ut philosophus dicit, in VII Ethic.   Reply to Objection 2: Contingency and perseverance are not perfections of the sensitive appetite. This is clear from the fact that passions abound in the continent and persevering man, which would not be the case if his sensitive appetite were perfected by a habit making it conformable to reason. Contingency and perseverance are, however, perfections of the rational faculty, and withstand the passions lest reason be led astray. But they fall short of being virtues: since intellectual virtue, which makes reason to hold itself well in respect of moral matters, presupposes a right appetite of the end, so that it may hold itself aright in respect of principles, i.e. the ends, on which it builds its argument: and this is wanting in the continent and persevering man. Nor again can an action proceeding from two principles be perfect, unless each principle be perfected by the habit corresponding to that operation: thus, however perfect be the principal agent employing an instrument, it will produce an imperfect effect, if the instrument be not well disposed also. Hence if the sensitive faculty, which is moved by the rational faculty, is not perfect; however perfect the rational faculty may be, the resulting action will be imperfect: and consequently the principle of that action will not be a virtue. And for this reason, contingency, desisting from pleasures, and perseverance in the midst of pains, are not virtues, but something less than a virtue, as the Philosopher maintains (Ethic. vii, 1,9).
Ad tertium dicendum quod fides, spes et caritas sunt supra virtutes humanas, sunt enim virtutes hominis prout est factus particeps divinae gratiae.   Reply to Objection 3: Faith, hope, and charity are superhuman virtues: for they are virtues of man as sharing in the grace of God.

 

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Whether there can be moral without intellectual virtue?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod virtus moralis possit esse sine intellectuali. Virtus enim moralis, ut dicit Tullius, est habitus in modum naturae, rationi consentaneus. Sed natura etsi consentiat alicui superiori rationi moventi, non tamen oportet quod illa ratio naturae coniungatur in eodem, sicut patet in rebus naturalibus cognitione carentibus. Ergo potest esse in homine virtus moralis in modum naturae, inclinans ad consentiendum rationi, quamvis illius hominis ratio non sit perfecta per virtutem intellectualem.   Objection 1: It would seem that moral can be without intellectual virtue. Because moral virtue, as Cicero says (De Invent. Rhet. ii) is "a habit like a second nature in accord with reason." Now though nature may be in accord with some sovereign reason that moves it, there is no need for that reason to be united to nature in the same subject, as is evident of natural things devoid of knowledge. Therefore in a man there may be a moral virtue like a second nature, inclining him to consent to his reason, without his reason being perfected by an intellectual virtue.
Praeterea, per virtutem intellectualem homo consequitur rationis usum perfectum. Sed quandoque contingit quod aliqui in quibus non multum viget usus rationis, sunt virtuosi et Deo accepti. Ergo videtur quod virtus moralis possit esse sine virtute intellectuali.   Objection 2: Further, by means of intellectual virtue man obtains perfect use of reason. But it happens at times that men are virtuous and acceptable to God, without being vigorous in the use of reason. Therefore it seems that moral virtue can be without intellectual.
Praeterea, virtus moralis facit inclinationem ad bene operandum. Sed quidam habent naturalem inclinationem ad bene operandum, etiam absque rationis iudicio. Ergo virtutes morales possunt esse sine intellectuali.   Objection 3: Further moral virtue makes us inclined to do good works. But some, without depending on the judgment of reason, have a natural inclination to do good works. Therefore moral virtues can be without intellectual virtues.
Sed contra est quod Gregorius dicit, in XXII Moral., quod ceterae virtutes, nisi ea quae appetunt, prudenter agant, virtutes esse nequaquam possunt. Sed prudentia est virtus intellectualis, ut supra dictum est. Ergo virtutes morales non possunt esse sine intellectualibus.   On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. xxii) that "the other virtues, unless we do prudently what we desire to do, cannot be real virtues." But prudence is an intellectual virtue, as stated above (Question [57], Article [5]). Therefore moral virtues cannot be without intellectual virtues.
Respondeo dicendum quod virtus moralis potest quidem esse sine quibusdam intellectualibus virtutibus, sicut sine sapientia, scientia et arte, non autem potest esse sine intellectu et prudentia. Sine prudentia quidem esse non potest moralis virtus, quia moralis virtus est habitus electivus, idest faciens bonam electionem. Ad hoc autem quod electio sit bona, duo requiruntur. Primo, ut sit debita intentio finis, et hoc fit per virtutem moralem, quae vim appetitivam inclinat ad bonum conveniens rationi, quod est finis debitus. Secundo, ut homo recte accipiat ea quae sunt ad finem, et hoc non potest esse nisi per rationem recte consiliantem, iudicantem et praecipientem; quod pertinet ad prudentiam et ad virtutes sibi annexas, ut supra dictum est. Unde virtus moralis sine prudentia esse non potest. Et per consequens nec sine intellectu. Per intellectum enim cognoscuntur principia naturaliter nota, tam in speculativis quam in operativis. Unde sicut recta ratio in speculativis, inquantum procedit ex principiis naturaliter cognitis, praesupponit intellectum principiorum; ita etiam prudentia, quae est recta ratio agibilium.   I answer that, Moral virtue can be without some of the intellectual virtues, viz. wisdom, science, and art; but not without understanding and prudence. Moral virtue cannot be without prudence, because it is a habit of choosing, i.e. making us choose well. Now in order that a choice be good, two things are required. First, that the intention be directed to a due end; and this is done by moral virtue, which inclines the appetitive faculty to the good that is in accord with reason, which is a due end. Secondly, that man take rightly those things which have reference to the end: and this he cannot do unless his reason counsel, judge and command aright, which is the function of prudence and the virtues annexed to it, as stated above (Question [57], Articles [5],6). Wherefore there can be no moral virtue without prudence: and consequently neither can there be without understanding. For it is by the virtue of understanding that we know self-evident principles both in speculative and in practical matters. Consequently just as right reason in speculative matters, in so far as it proceeds from naturally known principles, presupposes the understanding of those principles, so also does prudence, which is the right reason about things to be done.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod inclinatio naturae in rebus carentibus ratione, est absque electione, et ideo talis inclinatio non requirit ex necessitate rationem. Sed inclinatio virtutis moralis est cum electione, et ideo ad suam perfectionem indiget quod sit ratio perfecta per virtutem intellectualem.   Reply to Objection 1: The inclination of nature in things devoid of reason is without choice: wherefore such an inclination does not of necessity require reason. But the inclination of moral virtue is with choice: and consequently in order that it may be perfect it requires that reason be perfected by intellectual virtue.
Ad secundum dicendum quod in virtuoso non oportet quod vigeat usus rationis quantum ad omnia, sed solum quantum ad ea quae sunt agenda secundum virtutem. Et sic usus rationis viget in omnibus virtuosis. Unde etiam qui videntur simplices, eo quod carent mundana astutia, possunt esse prudentes; secundum illud Matth. X, estote prudentes sicut serpentes, et simplices sicut columbae.   Reply to Objection 2: A man may be virtuous without having full use of reason as to everything, provided he have it with regard to those things which have to be done virtuously. In this way all virtuous men have full use of reason. Hence those who seem to be simple, through lack of worldly cunning, may possibly be prudent, according to Mt. 10:16: "Be ye therefore prudent [Douay: 'wise'] as serpents, and simple as doves."
Ad tertium dicendum quod naturalis inclinatio ad bonum virtutis, est quaedam inchoatio virtutis, non autem est virtus perfecta. Huiusmodi enim inclinatio, quanto est fortior, tanto potest esse periculosior, nisi recta ratio adiungatur, per quam fiat recta electio eorum quae conveniunt ad debitum finem, sicut equus currens, si sit caecus, tanto fortius impingit et laeditur, quanto fortius currit. Et ideo, etsi virtus moralis non sit ratio recta, ut Socrates dicebat; non tamen solum est secundum rationem rectam, inquantum inclinat ad id quod est secundum rationem rectam, ut Platonici posuerunt; sed etiam oportet quod sit cum ratione recta, ut Aristoteles dicit, in VI Ethic.   Reply to Objection 3: The natural inclination to a good of virtue is a kind of beginning of virtue, but is not perfect virtue. For the stronger this inclination is, the more perilous may it prove to be, unless it be accompanied by right reason, which rectifies the choice of fitting means towards the due end. Thus if a running horse be blind, the faster it runs the more heavily will it fall, and the more grievously will it be hurt. And consequently, although moral virtue be not right reason, as Socrates held, yet not only is it "according to right reason," in so far as it inclines man to that which is, according to right reason, as the Platonists maintained [*Cf. Plato, Meno xli.]; but also it needs to be "joined with right reason," as Aristotle declares (Ethic. vi, 13).

 

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Question: 58  [<< | >>]
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Whether there can be intellectual without moral virtue?

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod virtus intellectualis possit esse sine virtute morali. Perfectio enim prioris non dependet a perfectione posterioris. Sed ratio est prior appetitu sensitivo, et movens ipsum. Ergo virtus intellectualis quae est perfectio rationis, non dependet a virtute morali, quae est perfectio appetitivae partis. Potest ergo esse sine ea.   Objection 1: It would seem that there can be intellectual without moral virtue. Because perfection of what precedes does not depend on the perfection of what follows. Now reason precedes and moves the sensitive appetite. Therefore intellectual virtue, which is a perfection of the reason, does not depend on moral virtue, which is a perfection of the appetitive faculty; and can be without it.
Praeterea, moralia sunt materia prudentiae, sicut factibilia sunt materia artis. Sed ars potest esse sine propria materia, sicut faber sine ferro. Ergo et prudentia potest esse sine virtutibus moralibus, quae tamen inter omnes intellectuales virtutes, maxime moralibus coniuncta videtur.   Objection 2: Further, morals are the matter of prudence, even as things makeable are the matter of art. Now art can be without its proper matter, as a smith without iron. Therefore prudence can be without the moral virtue, although of all the intellectual virtues, it seems most akin to the moral virtues.
Praeterea, prudentia est virtus bene consiliativa, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. Sed multi bene consiliantur, quibus tamen virtutes morales desunt. Ergo prudentia potest esse sine virtute morali.   Objection 3: Further, prudence is "a virtue whereby we are of good counsel" (Ethic. vi, 9). Now many are of good counsel without having the moral virtues. Therefore prudence can be without a moral virtue.
Sed contra, velle malum facere opponitur directe virtuti morali; non autem opponitur alicui quod sine virtute morali esse potest. Opponitur autem prudentiae quod volens peccet, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. Non ergo prudentia potest esse sine virtute morali.   On the contrary, To wish to do evil is directly opposed to moral virtue; and yet it is not opposed to anything that can be without moral virtue. Now it is contrary to prudence "to sin willingly" (Ethic. vi, 5). Therefore prudence cannot be without moral virtue.
Respondeo dicendum quod aliae virtutes intellectuales sine virtute morali esse possunt, sed prudentia sine virtute morali esse non potest. Cuius ratio est, quia prudentia est recta ratio agibilium; non autem solum in universali, sed etiam in particulari, in quibus sunt actiones. Recta autem ratio praeexigit principia ex quibus ratio procedit. Oportet autem rationem circa particularia procedere non solum ex principiis universalibus, sed etiam ex principiis particularibus. Circa principia quidem universalia agibilium, homo recte se habet per naturalem intellectum principiorum, per quem homo cognoscit quod nullum malum est agendum; vel etiam per aliquam scientiam practicam. Sed hoc non sufficit ad recte ratiocinandum circa particularia. Contingit enim quandoque quod huiusmodi universale principium cognitum per intellectum vel scientiam, corrumpitur in particulari per aliquam passionem, sicut concupiscenti, quando concupiscentia vincit, videtur hoc esse bonum quod concupiscit, licet sit contra universale iudicium rationis. Et ideo, sicut homo disponitur ad recte se habendum circa principia universalia, per intellectum naturalem vel per habitum scientiae; ita ad hoc quod recte se habeat circa principia particularia agibilium, quae sunt fines, oportet quod perficiatur per aliquos habitus secundum quos fiat quodammodo homini connaturale recte iudicare de fine. Et hoc fit per virtutem moralem, virtuosus enim recte iudicat de fine virtutis, quia qualis unusquisque est, talis finis videtur ei, ut dicitur in III Ethic. Et ideo ad rectam rationem agibilium, quae est prudentia, requiritur quod homo habeat virtutem moralem.   I answer that, Other intellectual virtues can, but prudence cannot, be without moral virtue. The reason for this is that prudence is the right reason about things to be done (and this, not merely in general, but also in particular); about which things actions are. Now right reason demands principles from which reason proceeds to argue. And when reason argues about particular cases, it needs not only universal but also particular principles. As to universal principles of action, man is rightly disposed by the natural understanding of principles, whereby he understands that he should do no evil; or again by some practical science. But this is not enough in order that man may reason aright about particular cases. For it happens sometimes that the aforesaid universal principle, known by means of understanding or science, is destroyed in a particular case by a passion: thus to one who is swayed by concupiscence, when he is overcome thereby, the object of his desire seems good, although it is opposed to the universal judgment of his reason. Consequently, as by the habit of natural understanding or of science, man is made to be rightly disposed in regard to the universal principles of action; so, in order that he be rightly disposed with regard to the particular principles of action, viz. the ends, he needs to be perfected by certain habits, whereby it becomes connatural, as it were, to man to judge aright to the end. This is done by moral virtue: for the virtuous man judges aright of the end of virtue, because "such a man is, such does the end seem to him" (Ethic. iii, 5). Consequently the right reason about things to be done, viz. prudence, requires man to have moral virtue.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ratio, secundum quod est apprehensiva finis, praecedit appetitum finis, sed appetitus finis praecedit rationem ratiocinantem ad eligendum ea quae sunt ad finem, quod pertinet ad prudentiam. Sicut etiam in speculativis, intellectus principiorum est principium rationis syllogizantis.   Reply to Objection 1: Reason, as apprehending the end, precedes the appetite for the end: but appetite for the end precedes the reason, as arguing about the choice of the means, which is the concern of prudence. Even so, in speculative matters the understanding of principles is the foundation on which the syllogism of the reason is based.
Ad secundum dicendum quod principia artificialium non diiudicantur a nobis bene vel male secundum dispositionem appetitus nostri, sicut fines, qui sunt moralium principia, sed solum per considerationem rationis. Et ideo ars non requirit virtutem perficientem appetitum, sicut requirit prudentia.   Reply to Objection 2: It does not depend on the disposition of our appetite whether we judge well or ill of the principles of art, as it does, when we judge of the end which is the principle in moral matters: in the former case our judgment depends on reason alone. Hence art does not require a virtue perfecting the appetite, as prudence does.
Ad tertium dicendum quod prudentia non solum est bene consiliativa, sed etiam bene iudicativa et bene praeceptiva. Quod esse non potest, nisi removeatur impedimentum passionum corrumpentium iudicium et praeceptum prudentiae; et hoc per virtutem moralem.   Reply to Objection 3: Prudence not only helps us to be of good counsel, but also to judge and command well. This is not possible unless the impediment of the passions, destroying the judgment and command of prudence, be removed; and this is done by moral virtue.

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