THE VOLUNTARY. FORTITUDE AND TEMPERANCE
Spontaneous Action and the Involuntary
I. HE DEALS WITH ... THREE... PRINCIPLES OF VIRTUOUS ACTIONS.
A. He determines the voluntary and the involuntary.
A’ He shows that it pertains to the present discussion to consider the voluntary and the involuntary.
1. THE FIRST (REASON). — 382-384
Since virtue is concerned with passions and actions, and since praise and censures are apportioned for what is voluntary but pardon—or at times even pity—for what is involuntary, the study of the voluntary and the involuntary is required of those who intend to treat of virtue.
2. HE GIVES THE SECOND REASON. — 385
It is useful also for legislators in decreeing honors and punishments.
B’ He actually treats them.
1. HE TREATS THE INVOLUNTARY.
a. He divides the involuntary. — 386
Involuntary actions seem to be those that arise either from violence or from ignorance.
b. He treats one member of the division.
i. He discloses what the “compulsory action”... is.
x. HE MAKES KNOWN WHAT THE “PHYSICALLY FORCED ACTION” IS. — 387
The “compulsory action” (violentum) is one whose principle is from outside and to which the person involved or the recipient contributes nothing, for example, if he is driven somewhere by the wind, or if he is in the power other men.
y. ...WHAT THE “MORALLY FORCED” ACTION... IS
aa. He raises a doubt. — 388-389
Some things are done because of the fear of greater evils or because of the hope of some good. Thus a tyrant, having in his power the parents or children of a certain man commands him to do a disgraceful deed on condition that they will be spared if he does it but killed if he does not do it. Here a doubt arises whether his actions are voluntary or involuntary. A similar case is found in the decision to throw goods overboard during storms at sea. Absolutely speaking, no man would do so voluntarily, but if it means that his life and that of others are saved as a result, a sensible man will do it.
bb. He solves the doubt. — 390-391
Operations of this kind are mixed. However, they approach more closely to voluntary actions for they are voluntary at the time they are done, and the end of the action conforms to this particular time. An action then must be called voluntary or involuntary by reference to the time at which it was done. In our case he acts voluntarily because the principle moving his bodily members in these operations is within te man himself. Actions whose source is within man are in his power to do or not to do, and this belongs to the nature of the voluntary. But the actions may be called involuntary in the abstract (simp1iciter), for no one would choose to do such a thing in itself.
COMMENTARY OP ST. THOMAS
382. After the Philosopher has treated virtue in general, he treats here certain principles of virtuous acts. In defining virtue, he said (305) that virtue is a habit of correct choosing because virtue works by means of choice. Now he logically discusses choice together with the voluntary and “willing.” The voluntary is common to these three: for the voluntary is anything that is freely done, choice however concerns the things that are for the end, and willing considers the end itself. Hence this section falls into two parts. In the first part [I] he deals with the three previously mentioned principles of virtuous actions. In the second part, at “Since willing regards the end etc.” (B. 1113 b 3), he compares these principles with the acts of the virtues [Lect. 11]. His initial point calls for a threefold procedure. First [A] he determines the voluntary and the involuntary. Next [Lect. 5; B], at “After the treatise etc.” (B. 1111 b 4), he deals with choice. Last [Lect. 10; C], at “As was stated before etc.” (B.1113 a 15), he treats the act of willing. In regard to the first of these he does two things. Initially [A’] he shows that it pertains to the present discussion to consider the voluntary and the involuntary. Then [B’] at “Involuntary actions seem etc..” he actually treats them. Two reasons are advanced in proof of the first point.
383. The first of these reasons  is taken from what is peculiar to our present study which concerns the virtues. He concludes from his previous remarks that moral virtue, our present concern, deals with passions and actions in such a way that in the things which are voluntary in regard to actions and passions, praise is due anyone acting virtuously and blame for anyone acting viciously. But when someone involuntarily performs an action in accordance with virtue, he does not merit praise, On the other hand, if his action is contrary to virtue he deserves pardon because he acted involuntarily, and so is less blameworthy. Sometimes he even deserves pity, and should be entirely freed from blame.
384. Pardon can also be distinguished from pity in this way: we speak of pardon when censure, i.e., a penalty is lessened or entirely absolved as a consequence of the judgment of reason. Pity, on the other hand, arises as a consequence of an emotion. But praise and blame are peculiarly due to virtue and vice. Therefore, the voluntary and the involuntary, according to which the reason for praise and blame is diversified, ought to be treated by those who intend to study virtue.
385. At “It is useful”  he gives the second reason. This is taken from the viewpoint of political science to which the present study is ordered. It is useful for legislators, he says, to consider the voluntary and the involuntary that they may decree honors for the law-abiding and punishments for the law-breakers, for in regard to these the distinction of voluntary and involuntary is of importance.
386. Then [B’], at “Involuntary actions seem,” he deals with the voluntary and the involuntary. First [B’, I] he treats the involuntary, and second [Lect. 4], at “Since the involuntary etc.” (B. 1111 a 22), he treats the voluntary. The reason for this order is that the involuntary proceeds from a simple cause, as ignorance alone, or violence alone, but the voluntary has to take place by the concurrence of many factors. The explanation of the involuntary [B’, 1] is achieved in three stages. First [a] he divides the involuntary. Second [b], at “The ‘compulsory action’ is etc.,” he treats one member of the division. Third [Lect. 3; c], at “Every action done etc.” (B. 1110 b 18), he treats the other member. He says first that some involuntary actions seem to be of two kinds: those arising from violence, or those arising from ignorance. This division is made in order to indicate that the involuntary is a privation of the voluntary. But the voluntary implies a movement of the appetitive power presupposing a knowledge via sense or reason because a good perceived moves the appetitive power. A thing is involuntary on two accounts: one, because the movement of the appetitive power is excluded—this is the involuntary resulting from violence—the other, because a mental awareness is excluded-this is the involuntary resulting from ignorance.
387. Next [b], at “The compulsory action,” he deals with the involuntary resulting from violence. Here he proceeds in two ways: first [i] he discloses what the “compulsory action” (violentum) is. Next [Lect. 2; ii], at “If someone should say etc.” (B. 1110 b 9), he rejects an error about this. His initial point requires a triple consideration. First [i, x] he makes known what the “physically forced action” (simpliciter violentum) is, and second [i, y], at “Some things are done because of the fear,” what the “morally forced action” (violentum secundum quid) is. Third [Lect. 2; z], at “What sort of actions etc.” (B. 1110 b), he concludes with a summary. He says first that the forced action is one whose principle is from outside. It was just noted (385) that violence excludes the appetitive movement. Hence, since the appetitive faculty is an intrinsic principle, it is appropriate that the forced action arise from an extrinsic principle. However, not every action whose principle is from the outside is a forced action but only that action which is derived from an extrinsic principle in such a way that the interior appetitive faculty does not concur in it. This is what he means by his statement that a forced action must be such that a man contributes nothing to it by means of his own appetitive faculty. A man is here said to be an agent (operans) inasmuch as he does something because of violence and a patient inasmuch as he suffers something because of violence. Aristotle gives an example: if the air or wind drives a thing to some place by its violence, or if rulers having dominion and power exile someone against his will.
388. At “Some things” [i, y], he explains what a morally forced action is. Three steps clarify this conclusion. First [aa] he raises a doubt. Next [bb], at “Operations of this kind etc.,” he solves the doubt. Third [Lect. 2; cc], at “People doing such actions etc.” (B. 1110 a 19), he clarifies the solution. He says first that a man sometimes performs an action because he fears to incur greater evils or because he is afraid to lose some good. A tyrant, for instance, has under his dominion and power the parents or children of a certain man. This tyrant commands the man to do a disgraceful deed on condition that if he does it his relatives will be spared; if he refuses they will be killed.
389. There is then a doubt whether things done because of such fear should be called voluntary or involuntary. He gives another example of sailors who during storms at sea throw merchandise overboard. Absolutely speaking, no man does this voluntarily but what he and his shipmates do in order to save their lives, any sensible man in a similar situation does.
390. Then [bb], at “Operations of this kind,” he solves this doubt by concluding from his previous remarks (387) that the afore-mentioned actions done out of fear are mixed, i.e., have something both of the involuntary (inasmuch as no one absolutely wishes to throw his goods overboard) and of the voluntary (inasmuch as a sensible man wishes this for the safety of himself and others). However, these actions approach more closely to the voluntary than to the involuntary. The reason is that throwing merchandise overboard, or any action of this kind, can be considered in two ways: one, absolutely and in general (involuntary); the other, in the particular circumstances occurring at the time the action is to be done (voluntary). But, since actions are concerned with particulars, the nature of the action must be judged rather according to the considerations of particulars than according to the consideration of what is general. This is what he means in his statement that these actions were done voluntarily at the time they were performed (i.e., after having considered all the particular circumstances then occurring), and the end and completion of the action conform to this particular time.
391. Therefore, an action must be properly called voluntary or involuntary in view of the time at which the agent performed it. It is obvious that he acts voluntarily at the time. This is evident because in these actions the principle moving the bodily members to act is within the man himself. It would be different, however, if his members were not moved by himself but by a more powerful agent. The things done by an intrinsic principle are in the power of man to do or not to do, and this belongs to the nature of the voluntary. Obviously then actions of this kind are properly and truly voluntary. They are, however, involuntary simply, that is considering them in general, because no one as far as in him lies would choose to do a thing of this kind except out of fear, as was just stated (390).
What Voluntary Actions Merit
cc. He now clarifies the solution.
a’ He discloses in what way these actions merit praise and blame...
A. HE DISTINGUISHES THREE GRADES... FIRST. — 392-393
People doing such actions are at times praised for enduring something dishonorable pain to achieve great and good results. Bit when they do the opposite of this they are blamed, for only a perverse man suffers very dishonorable things in exchange for little or no good.
B. HE SETS DOWN THE SECOND GRADE. — 394
Some actions do not deserve praise but only pardon, for example, if a person does things that are wrong because he fears evils beyond human endurance which no one would undergo in any case.
C. HE TREATS THE THIRD GRADE. — 395
Yet it is probable that there are actions that a man cannot be forced to do and he ought to undergo death of the cruelest kind rather than do them. (The reasons that constrained Euripides’ Alcmaeon to kill his mother seem to be ridiculous.)
b’ He makes known the pending difficulties.
A. THE FIRST. — 396
Sometimes it is difficult to judge what is to be chosen for the price and what is to be endured for the gain.
B. THE SECOND DIFFICULTY. — 397
It is still more difficult to abide by our decisions. As often happens, the expected results are painful but the compulsory acts are disgraceful. Hence we receive praise and blame according as we yield or stand firm against the constraint.
z. HE CONCLUDES WITH A SUMMARY. — 398-399
What sort of actions then are to be called compulsory? Those actions are entirely (simpliciter) compulsory that have their cause from the outside, the person involved contributing nothing. Some actions that in themselves are involuntary become voluntary in particular circumstances. Although of themselves involuntary, if their principle is in the agent who seeks them at this time and in these circumstances, they are voluntary. They are then more like the voluntary because actions take place in particular cases that are voluntary. It is not easy to assign the sort of things we must choose in such circumstances, for particular cases admit of many differences.
ii. He rejects an error... for five reasons.
v. THE FIRST REASON. — 400-401
If someone should say that pleasurable and good things are the cause of violence (they are external to us and influence us), all our actions will then be compulsory because men perform all their actions for the sake of something pleasing and good.
w. THE SECOND REASON. — 402
Those who act by violence act involuntarily and with sadness, but those who act to attain something enjoyable act with pleasure.
x. THE THIRD REASON. — 403
It is ridiculous that a man blame external goods, and not accuse himself for being snared by such pleasures;
y. THE FOURTH REASON. — 404
while he takes to himself the credit for virtuous deeds, and lays the blame for his shameful deeds upon pleasure.
z. THE FIFTH REASON. — 405
It seems that the compulsory action is one whose origin is external in such a way that one who suffers violence contributes nothing to the action.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
392. After the Philosopher has solved the doubt raised about the actions done because of fear, showing that such actions are voluntary, he now clarifies the solution [cc] by explaining that praise and blame, honor and punishment are due to voluntary actions of this kind. On this point he does two things. First [a’] he discloses in what way these actions merit praise and blame, honor and punishment. Next [b’], at “Sometimes it is difficult etc.,” he makes known the pending difficulties about this. In regard to the first he distinguishes three grades of these actions performed by reason of fear, as far as they merit praise or blame.
393. Considering now the first grade [a’, A], he shows that regarding such actions, which he says are a mixture of the voluntary and the involuntary, some persons are praised for suffering something dishonorable—not indeed of a sinful nature but a kind of ignominy —or even saddening or grievous in order to persevere in certain great and good things, or example, virtuous actions. When the opposite happens they are blamed since it seems that only a perverse man suffers very dishonorable things, i.e., great disorders in exchange for little or no good. No one suffers any evil to preserve a good unless that good is of greater value in his estimation than the other goods to which the evil he suffers are opposed. It belongs to a disordered desire to prefer small goods to great ones that are destroyed by greater evils. Therefore, he says this pertains to a perverse man, i.e., one who has a disordered desire.
394. At “Some actions” [a’, B], he sets down the second grade, stating that some actions performed because of fear do not deserve praise but only pardon. A person should not be blamed very much for doing certain things he ought not do, such as actions unbefitting his state. These actions should not be considered seriously binding on account of the fear of evils beyond human endurance. No one would undergo such evils especially for the reason alleged, for example, if some one is threatened with punishment by fire unless he tells a jocose lie, or he performs some lowly menial tasks unbecoming his dignity.
395. At “Yet it is probable” [a’, c], he treats the third grade. He states that other actions are so evil that no amount of force can compel them to be done but a man ought to undergo death of the cruelest kind rather than do such things, as St. Lawrence endured the roasting on the gridiron to avoid sacrificing to idols. The Philosopher affirms this either because glory remains after death for one dying for the sake of virtue or because courageous perseverance in virtue is so great a good that continuance of life—which a man loses by death—cannot equal it. He says, therefore, that Alcmaeona or the poems about Alcmaeon written by Euripides seem to be satirical. These poems narrate the story of Alcmaeon who was forced to kill his mother by the command of his father. The father had ordered this when dying in the Theban war to which be had gone by the advice of his wife.
396. Then [b’], at “Sometimes it is,” he brings forward two difficulties which threaten the above-mentioned activities. The first of these pertains to the judgment of reason [b’, A]. Sometimes it is difficult, he says, to judge what is to be chosen so that one may avoid evil and what evil is to be endured so that one may not be lacking in some good.
397. The second difficulty [b, B], which he gives at “It is still more,” pertains to the stability of the affection. He says that it is even more difficult to be steadfast in a reasonable decision that has been made than to make a right judgment. He assigns the reason for the difficulty saying that—as often happens—the things that are expected are painful, i.e., afflicting or sorrowful, but those to which men are forced because of fear are disgraceful. It is difficult, however, for a man’s affections not to be moved by fear of pain. Since those actions to which one is forced by a motive of this kind are disgraceful, it is fitting that for those who are forced to do such things by fear of painful effects, blame should be forthcoming. Put those who cannot be forced to do them are worthy of praise.
398. Next [i], at “What sort of actions then,” he sums up in conclusion the things that have been said and assigns a reason for them. First he reviews the principal question, what sort of actions are to be called compulsory (violenta). Then, he sums up the answer so far as concerns the entirely (absolute) compulsory actions, the cause of which is from the outside so that the person involved contributes nothing because of violence. Third he gives a resumé of mixed actions. He says that those acttions that in themselves, i.e., abstractly (absolute) and universally considered, are involuntary become voluntary at a definite time and by reason of certain events. Although they are involuntary in themselves, their principle is in the agent. Therefore, they should be called voluntary at this time and for these reasons. Thus it is evident that these actions are more like the voluntary than the involuntary because they are voluntary when we consider the particular circumstances in which the actions are performed.
399. Last, he recapitulates what he had stated about the difficulty occurring in things of this kind. He says that it is not easy to assign the sort of thing we must choose in such circumstances. He assigns as the reason that many differences are found in singulars. Hence the judgment of them cannot be comprised under an exact rule but they are to be left to the evaluation of a prudent man.
400. At “If someone” [ii], he rejects an error of certain philosophers concerning actions done as a result of violence. Because man is what he is by reason, it seemed to some that man of himself, and as it were voluntarily, does only that which he performs according to reason. But when it happens that man acts contrary to reason either on account of the desire of some pleasure or greed for some external good, he acts in a violent manner. They say, therefore, that pleasurable and external goods like riches cause forced actions inasmuch as being external things they force man to act against his reason. Aristotle shows this to be false for five reasons.
401. The first reason is this [ii, v]. If external things, precisely as they are pleasurable and seemingly good, cause violence, it would follow that all actions we perform in human affairs are forced actions and none is voluntary. (All men do what they do for the sake of these things, i.e., for something that is pleasurable or good under a certain aspect.) But this is unreasonable. Therefore, the first (that these external things cause violence) is also untenable.
402. He sets down the second reason at “Those who act” [ii, w]. All who act as a result of violence, act involuntarily and with sadness. Hence in the fifth book of the Metaphysics (Ch. 5,1015 a 26 sq.; St. Th. Lect. 6, 829-831), it is well said that necessitation is saddening because it is opposed to the will. But those who act to acquire something enjoyable act with pleasure. They do not then act by violence and involuntarily.
403. He gives the third reason at “It is ridiculous” [ii, x]. He says it is ridiculous that a man plead as an excuse or blame external goods and not accuse himself that he was spared, i.e., permitted himself to be overcome by such pleasures. Our will is not of necessity moved by these desirable things but it can cling to them or desert them. None possesses the nature of a universal and perfect good, as happiness (which everyone necessarily wishes) does.
404. He assigns the fourth reason at “while he takes” [ii, y]. It is ridiculous, he says, that a person should call himself the cause of his good and virtuous works, and pleasurable things the cause of his shameful deeds inasmuch as they induce desire. Aristotle says it is ridiculous because directly opposed operations are referred back to the same power as a cause. Consequently it is necessary that as reason operating according to itself is the cause of virtuous action so also in following the passions it should be the cause of vicious action.
405. He gives the fifth reason at “It seems that” [ii, z], saying that the forced action is one whose source is from the outside in such a way that he who suffers by reason of it contributes nothing to the action. But the man who acts on account of external goods does contribute something to the action. Accordingly, although the principle inclining his will is from outside, his action is forced neither wholly (simpliciter) because he contributes something to the action, nor by some mixture because in mixed actions a thing is not rendered simply voluntary, as happens here. Therefore, a man acts in that case with sadness but not with pleasure, as has been stated (402).
The Involuntary Resulting from Ignorance
c. He now turns his attention to the involuntary resulting from ignorance.
i. He shows how there is an involuntary resulting from ignorance.
x. HE SETS DOWN THREE DIFFERENCES CONCERNING IGNORANCE. THE FIRST. — 406-408
Every action done because of ignorance is not voluntary; it is involuntary if sorrow and repentance follow. One who does something on account of ignorance and is not sorry about what he did, cannot be said to have acted voluntarily, for he was unaware of his action. But neither can he be said to have acted involuntarily if he is not sorry. A man who has acted from ignorance and regrets his action seems to have acted involuntarily. But if he does not regret it, his case is different; let us call him non-voluntary. Because of his differ, it is better that he have a distinctive name.
y. HE SETS DOWN THE SECOND DIFFERENCE. — 409-410
There seems to be a difference between acting on account of and acting in ignorance. A drunken or angry person does not act because of ignorance but because of one of the things mentioned (drunkenness or anger). Such a one however does not act knowingly but in ignorance. Therefore, every wicked person acts in ignorance of the things he ought to do and avoid. Men acting on account of an error of this kind become unjust and wicked generally.
x. HE ASSIGNS THE THIRD DIFFERENCE. — 411-413
When we speak of an action as involuntary we do not mean that a man is ignorant of what he ought to do. The ignorance that accompanies choice is not the cause of an involuntary but of sin. The same may be said of ignorance that is of a general nature because a person is blamed for such ignorance. But a person who is ignorant of particular conditions about which and on which human activity is exercised deserves mercy and pardon because he who is ignorant of any of these circumstances acts involuntarily.
ii. He explains some of his statements. (Circumstances the ignorance of which is a cause of an involuntary.)
x. HE POINTS OUT WHAT THESE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE. — 414-416
Perhaps it is not out of place to determine the nature and number of these circumstances: who, what, concerning what or in what one operates; sometimes, too, by what, for example, a tool; for the sake of which, for instance, safety; and in what manner, for example, quietly or violently.
y. IN WHAT WAY IGNORANCE OF THEM MAY BE PRESENT. — 417-421
No one but a madman will be ignorant of all these circumstances. It is obvious that no one can be ignorant of the agent. How can he be ignorant about himself? But someone can be ignorant of what he does, for instance, those speaking out of turn say it escaped them unawares or they did not know that certain things were not to be disclosed, like Aeschylus when he revealed the sacred mysteries; or someone wishing to show the working of a weapon discharges an arrow; or a man mistakes his son for an assailant, as Merope did; or he thinks a piked lance blunted, or a rock merely pumice; or he may kill someone by a blow meant to save him; or a trainer sparring with a boxer to teach him takes his life.
z. HE EXPLAINS HOW IGNORANCE OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IS THE CAUSE OF AN INVOLUNTARY.
aa. First... man seems to act unwillingly... who is ignorant of one (circumstance). — 422
Since ignorance can be concerned with every one of the circumstances occurring with the action, that man seems to act involuntarily who is ignorant of one of them. This applies especially to ignorance of the most important circumstances.
bb. The most important circumstances. — 423
These seem to be the circumstances of the action and its motives.
cc. Ignorance of these very things is not enough for an involuntary. — 424
For an action to be called involuntary in respect of such ignorance it must be painful to the agent and cause repentance.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
406. After the Philosopher has determined the involuntary resulting from violence, he now turns his attention to the involuntary resulting from ignorance [c]. Concerning it he does two things. First [i] he shows how’ there is an involuntary resulting from ignorance. Second [ii], at “Perhaps it is etc.,” he explains some of his statements. In regard to the initial point he sets down three differences concerning ignorance. The first of these [i, x] is considered insofar as what is done on account of ignorance is rclated to the will in different ways. Sometimes it is opposed to the will, and then it is properly called an involuntary. But other times it is not opposed to the will but is over and above the will precisely as it is unknown. In this sense it is not called involuntary but non-voluntary.
407. He says then that what is done on account of ignorance in such a way that ignorance is the cause, is not voluntary in any case because the act of the will is not moved to it. The act of the will cannot be moved to what is entirely unknown since the will’s object is the known good. But only then is that which is done out of ignorance called involuntary—as it were opposed to the will—when on becoming known, sorrow and repentance (which is sorrow over one’s past actions) follow. A thing is sorrowful because it is opposed to the will, as is stated in the fifth book of the Metaphysics (Ch. 5, 1015 a 26 sq.; St. Th. Lect. 6, 829-830).
408. One who does something on account of ignorance and is not sorry about what he did after he knows it, for instance, if he takes silver thinking he took tin, cannot be said to have voluntarily (willingly) taken silver since he did not know that it was silver. It cannot be said that he involuntarily (unwillingly), i.e., against his will, took silver since he is not sorry that he did take silver by reason of ignorance. He seems to have acted involuntarily who has sorrow or repents for the fact that he took silver by reason of ignorance, just as if someone had, on the contrary, taken in thinking he has taken silver. But because he who does not repent is different from the man who does repent (he is said to be unwilling) let the first be called non-willing. Since he really differs from the one who is unwilling, it is better that he have a proper and separate name.
409. He sets down the second difference at “There seems to be” [i, y]. This is taken according to the difference of what is done in ignorance; for ignorance sometimes is the cause of an action, but sometimes the act proceeds from another cause. He says that a person acting on account of ignorance seems to be different from a person acting in ignorance. Sometimes one acts in ignorance but not on account of ignorance. A drunken or angry person does not act on account of ignorance but on account of drunkenness or anger. Neither of these, however, acts knowingly because ignorance is caused at the same time as the action by drunkenness and anger. Thus ignorance is concomitant with the action and is not its cause.
410. From this he concludes that as an angry person acts in ignorance and not on account of ignorance but on account of anger, so every wicked person acts not indeed on account of ignorance but partly in ignorance of the good he ought to do and of the evil he ought to avoid, inasmuch as he thinks that at this moment he should do this evil and refrain from this good. For this reason he sins because he does what he ought not to do. Men who act in ignorance universally become unjust with respect to others and wicked with respect to themselves. From this it is evident that when someone acts in ignorance, and not on account of ignorance, he does not cause an involuntary. The reason is that no one, by reason of what he does involuntarily, is unjust or wicked.
411. He assigns the third difference at “When we speak” [i, z]. This is taken from the object of the person’s ignorance. Here we must consider that ignorance can be of two kinds. According to one, a person is ignorant of what he ought to do or avoid. He says this is ignorance of what is fitting—of what he ought to be doing. This ignorance does not cause an involuntary because ignorance of this kind cannot happen to a man with the use of reason except from negligence. The reason is that everyone is bound to be solicitous about knowing what he is obliged to do and to avoid. Hence if a man does not wish to avoid (as he is bound) ignorance that is considered voluntary, it follows that what is done through this ignorance should not be judged involuntary. This is the meaning of the saying that one does not wish an involuntary (i.e., what is by nature an involuntary) if he is ignorant of what he does, that is, of what is suitable under the circumstances. Of this someone can be ignorant in two ways:
412. One is in a particular choice. For instance, because of sensual desire a person thinks he should commit fornication at this time. The other way is in general, as is evident in one who is of the opinion that fornication is always lawful. Both kinds of ignorance concern what is done. Hence neither causes an involuntary. This is what is meant by saying that that ignorance accompanying choice (by which a person thinks he should do this evil at this time) is not the cause of an involuntary but is rather the cause of vice or sin. Neither is the ignorance that is of a general nature the cause of an involuntary since a person is blamed on account of ignorance of this kind. But no one is censured because of an involuntary, as was said previously (410).
413. The other ignorance (the first is in 411) is of singular conditions, for instance, that this woman is married, that this man is a parent, that this place is holy. It is about these conditions and on them that human activity is exercised; by reason of a justifiable ignorance of such conditions that a person deserves mercy and pardon because he who is ignorant of one of these conditions acts involuntarily. Therefore, it is obvious that ignorance of particular circumstances of this kind—not however ignorance of what one should do—is the cause of an involuntary.
414. Then [ii], at “Perhaps it is not,” he explains what he had referred to: those circumstances the ignorance of which is a cause of an involuntary. In regard to this he does three things. First [ii, x] he points out what these circumstances are. Next [ii, y], at “No one but etc.,” he shows in what way ignorance of them may be present. Last [ii, z], at “Since ignorance can be etc.,” he explains how ignorance of these circumstances is the cause of an involuntary. On the first point we must consider that circumstances are nothing else but certain particular conditions of a human act. These can be taken either on the part of the causes of the act or on the part of the act itself. The cause of the act is efficient or final. The efficient cause is either the principal or the instrumental agent. On the part of the act three things can be understood: the genus of the act, the matter or the object itself, and the mode of acting. In agreement with this the Philosopher here places six circumstances. He says that it is not out of place-indeed it is very appropriate-to determine what and how many are these particular circumstances, the ignorance of which is the cause of an involuntary. He uses an adverb (forsitan) indicating doubt, as in many other places of this book because of the uncertainty in moral matters.
415. Enumerating then these particular things he names “who,” which refers to the person of the principal agent; “what is done,” which refers to the genus of the act; and “concerning what,” which refers to the matter or the object. But he adds also “concerning this”—which refers to the measure of the act—as belonging to the agent, i.e., place or time, since he says “or in what he operates.” The reason is that all external things seem to have relation to the human act. Cicero includes what we call “concerning what” under “what.” What is here called “in what” he divides into two circumstances: time and place.
416. So far as concerns the instrumental agent Aristotle adds: sometimes also “by what” (quo), for instance an instrument, since not every action is performed through an instrument, for example, understanding and willing. In place of this some put “by what means” (helps), for one to whom help is given uses help as an instrument. Referring to the end he says “for the sake of which,” for instance, a doctor cuts for the sake of health. Referring to the mode of acting he says “and in what manner,” for example, quietly, or violently, that is, strongly.
417. Next [ii, y], at “No one but,” he shows in what way there may be ignorance about the preceding circumstances. He says that only a totally insane person is ignorant of all these circumstances. Among the other circumstances it is obvious that a man cannot be ignorant of what is meant by the one acting, because in this case he would be ignorant about himself (which is impossible). But someone can be ignorant of what he does, as those who disclose things that should not be disclosed say in excusing themselves that it slipped their mind or they never knew that such things were secret, i.e., were not to be spoken. Thus were revealed the sacred mysteries or secrets by Aeschylus, a certain poet. He who speaks such things is ignorant of what he does because he does not know this is a revelation of secrets.
418. He gives another example so far as concerns what is done, for instance, an archer wishing to teach a pupil how archery is practised shoots an arrow into something. Such a one does not know what he does because he does not know he is shooting an arrow. Then he exemplifies ignorance “concerning what” (circa quid), thus if a man should mistake his son for an enemy besieging his home, and kill him, just as a certain woman named Merope killed her son. So it is obvious that in a case of this kind a man knows what he does because he knows he kills, but he does not know the “concerning what” of his act because he does not know he kills his son.
419. Then he gives an example of ignorance of the instrument, thus if a lancer should use a piked lance that he thought was blunted or if a thrower of rocks thinks what he throws are pumice stones.
420. Farther on he gives an example of ignorance of the end. He says that a doctor or a blood-letter lancing a patient to make him better, or a teacher striking a pupil to correct him, may take a life. These have ignorance of the end, not indeed of what they intended but of what followed from their action. They were ignorant that their action would lead to such an end.
421. Last, he illustrates ignorance of the manner of the action, for instance, a man thinks he is tapping with his fist to show how to hit like boxers do but he strikes with force. Such a man strikes with force in ignorance or unknowingly.
422. At “Since ignorance can be” [ii, z], he shows how ignorance of the previously named things is a cause of the voluntary. First [aa] he says that since ignorance can be concerned with any one of the five afore-mentioned that concur with the action, that man seems to act unwillingly or involuntarily who is ignorant of one of the preceding. This does not apply in equal measure to all but it does apply especially if the ignorance concerns the most important circumstances.
423. Next [bb], at “These seem to be,” he shows what he considers the most important circumstances. He says that the principal circumstances seem to be those on which the act takes place, i.e., the object or the matter of the act, and that “for the sake of which” or the end, because acts are specified by their objects. just as the matter is the object of the external act so the end is the object of the internal act of the will.
424. Last [cc], at “For an action,” he says that ignorance of these very things is not enough for an involuntary. He states that although an action may be called involuntary according to the preceding ignorance, a further requirement is that the action be connected with sadness and repentance, as was pointed out before (408).
Definition of the Voluntary
I. HE SHOWS WHAT THE VOLUNTARY IS. — 425
Since the involuntary comes about on account of force and ignorance, the voluntary seems to originate within the agent who has knowledge of the circumstances of the action.
II. HE DISMISSES AN ERRONEOUS VIEW OF IT.
A. First he explains (the error). — 426
Perhaps it is not accurate to call involuntary the things that are done on account of anger or sensual desire.
B. Second he rejects this opinion for five reasons.
a. The first. — 427
(1) The main reason is that neither animals nor children would then act voluntarily.
b. The second. — 428
(2) Are none of the things done by reason of sensual desire or anger done voluntarily? Are the noble actions done voluntarily but the evil involuntarily? The latter views seems ridiculous since there is one cause of all our actions. Likewise it seems unreasonable to call involuntary the things we ought to seek. We ought to be angry under certain circumstances, and we ought to desire certain things, for example, health and learning.
c. The third reason. — 429
(3) Involuntary things seemingly are accompanied by sadness. But what is done in agreement with sensual desire seems to be done with pleasure.
d. The fourth reason. — 430
(4) Further what difference is there from the viewpoint of involuntariness between sins committed after reflection and sins committed on account b of anger? It is our duty to avoid both.
e. The fifth reason. — 431
(5) The irrational passions seem to be truly human. So too then are the actions of man proceeding from anger and sensual desire. It is unreasonable, therefore, to regard these as involuntary.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
425. After the Philosopher has considered the involuntary, he next turns his attention to the voluntary. First [I] he shows what the voluntary is. Then [II], at “Perhaps it is not accurate etc.,” he dismisses an erroneous view of it. On the first point we must consider that although the term involuntary seems to indicate the removal of the voluntary, nevertheless the causes lead us to understand that a thing is called voluntary by reason of the removal of the things causing an involuntary, such as violence and ignorance. Because every single thing is known through its cause, he gives the definition of the voluntary by taking away the cause of the involuntary. He says that since the involuntary comes about through physical compulsion and ignorance, as has been determined previously (386), the voluntary seems to be: that which the agent himself originates (thus violence is excluded) in such a way that the agent knows the individual circumstances that concur with the action. Thus ignorance as the cause of the involuntary is excluded.
426. Then [II], at “Perhaps it is,” he rejects an error. First [A] he explains it. Certain people were of the opinion that not everything, which the agent originates through a knowledge of circumstances, is a voluntary. It can happen that that principle which is from within is not the rational appetitive faculty called the will (voluntas), whence the voluntary receives its name, but a passion of the sensitive appetitive faculty, for instance, anger, sensual desire, or something else of this kind. This, the Philosopher says, is not an accurate statement. It should be noted that because the passions of the sensitive appetitive faculty are aroused by external things grasped by means of an external sense, this error seems to be of the same nature as the one he discarded previously (400-405), according to which it was indicated that external things bring about violence. It was imperative to state that in that context it was a question of violence, whose origin is external. But this must be treated here where it is a question of the voluntary, the principle of which is intrinsic, for the passions are within us.
427. Second [B], at “The main reason is,” he rejects this opinion for five reasons. Here is his primary reason [a]. Whatever irrational animals and children do, they do in conformity with the affections of the sensitive faculty, and not in conformity with the rational faculty because they lack the use of reason. If then the things that are done through anger, sensual desire, and the other affections of the sensitive faculty were involuntary it would follow that neither animals nor children would act voluntarily. But agents are said to act voluntarily, not because they operate under the impulse of the will, but because they operate of their own accord by their proper movement in such a way that they are not moved by any external thing. It follows then that things done by reason of anger or sensual desire are voluntary.
428. He gives the second reason at “Are none” [b]. If the things that are done because of anger or sensual desire are not voluntary, either this is universally true or it is true of evil actions, not of good actions, so that the good actions that a person does by reason of passion he does voluntarily but the evil actions involuntarily. The proponents of this view were probably influenced by the fact that good actions conform to and evil actions are opposed to reason. But this second supposition seems unacceptable since the one cause of all human actions, both good and bad, is the will. A man does not rush to do whatsoever is rendered desirable by anger or sensual desire without the consent of the rational appetitive faculty. Likewise, the first supposition seems unreasonable, namely, that someone should call not-voluntary the good things that he ought to seek even according to passion, for the reason by means of the will incites to the things we ought to seek. We ought to be angry under certain conditions, for instance, to curb sin. Likewise we ought to desire certain things, for example, health and learning. It remains false then to hold that the things done on account of passion are not voluntary.
429. He assigns the third reason at “Involuntary things” [c]. It is this. Actions resulting from violence are accompanied by sadness, but those which are done in agreement with sensual desire are done with pleasure. Consequently they are not involuntary.
430. The fourth reason given at “Further, what” [d], is this. As has been pointed out before (383, 393), voluntary faults are to be censured and avoided. This cannot be said of the involuntary because a man is neither able to avoid these nor is he censured on account of them. But as sins that are committed after reflection, that is, with deliberation, are to be avoided and are blameworthy so also sins that are committed on account of anger or another passion. A man can, by means of his will, resist passion. Hence if he does a disgraceful act because of passion he is blamed. Therefore, they do not differ from things done by deliberation so far as they are voluntary.
431. He assigns the fifth reason at “The irrational passions” [e]. Irrational passions, i.e., of the sensitive appetitive faculty, seem to be human insofar as the sensitive appetitive faculty can obey reason, as was stated before (272). Therefore, the actions proceeding from anger, sensual desire, and the other passions are human. But no involuntary operation is human, for neither praise nor blame are imputed to a man who acts involuntarily. Therefore, it is unreasonable to say that things done out of passion are involuntary.
I. HE GIVES AN EXPLANATION OF CHOICE ITSELF.
A. He shows that it belongs, to our present study to consider choice. — 432-433
After the treatise on the voluntary and the involuntary, we naturally proceed to a consideration of choice. Such a study is especially proper to virtue, for moral practices are judged by choice rather than by actions.
B. He investigates the nature of choice.
A’ He investigates its genus. — 434-436
Choice certainly is something voluntary, but choice and voluntary are not identical, for the voluntary is more extensive in range. Children and all the brutes participate in voluntariety but not in choice. Then too the things done on the spur of the moment are called voluntary but they are not said to be done by choice.
B’ (He investigates) its different aspects.
1. HE EXPLAINS HIS INTENT. — 437
Those who say that choice is sensual desire, or anger, or wish, or opinion of some sort do not speak accurately.
2. HE PROVES IT.
a. He shows first that choice is not sensual desire.
i. He gives four reasons. The first. — 438
Choice does not belong to the brutes while sensual desire and anger are common both to men and brutes.
ii. Second reason. — 439
The incontinent man acts in conformity with sensual desire but not in conformity with choice. But the continent man on the contrary acts from choice and not from sensual desire.
iii. Third reason. — 440
Sensual desire is opposed to choice, but one desire is not contrary to an other.
iv. Fourth reason. — 441
Sensual desire is accompanied by pleasure or sorrow, but choice is not necessarily associated with sorrow or pleasure.
b. (He shows) that... (choice) is not anger. — 442
There is less argument in favor of choice being anger, for the things done on account of anger do not seem to be done by choice.
c. (He shows) that... (choice) is not wishing.
i. First he sets forth his proposition. — 443
Choice is not identical with wishing although it is closely connected with it.
ii. Then he proves it.
x. BY THREE REASONS, OF WHICH THE FIRST IS THIS. — 444
Choice is not concerned with impossibles, and if a person should say that he does choose the impossible, he will appear foolish. Wishing on the other hand can be directed to the impossible, for instance, to live forever.
y. SECOND REASON. — 445
Wishing can be concerned with things not done by oneself, for instance, that a man pretending to be an athlete may win, or even that a man who is really an athlete may win. No one, however, chooses these things but only those that he thinks he can do himself.
z. THIRD REASON. — 446
Moreover, wishing is directed rather to the end, and choice to the means. Thus we wish health but we choose the remedies that restore us to health. Likewise, we wish to be happy and we do say this. Yet it is not suitable to say that we elect or choose to be happy.
iii. He deduces the origin of the difference between choice and wishing. — 447
In general, choice seems to be directed to the things which are within our power.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
432. After the Philosopher has treated the voluntary and the involuntary, he here makes a study of choice. First he gives an explanation of choice itself [I], and then [Lect. 7, II] of counsel (which is placed in the definition of choice) at “Should men take counsel about all things etc.” (B. 1112 a 19). Regarding the initial point he does two things. First [A] he shows that it belongs to our present study to consider choice. Next [B], at “Choice certainly is something,” he investigates the nature of choice. He says first that, after the treatise (382-431) on the voluntary and the involuntary, he will undertake a passing consideration of choice. Here then he proposes briefly the things necessary to study choice. He proves here that it belongs to our science to consider choice because choice seems especially proper to virtue, which is our principal concern at present.
433. Its appropriateness is clearly shown by the fact that although both inner choice and outward action flow from the habit of virtue, virtuous or vicious practices are judged rather by choice than by outward works. Every virtuous man chooses good but sometimes he does not do it because of some external hindrances. On the other hand the vicious man sometimes performs a virtuous deed not out of virtuous choice but out of fear or for some unbecoming motive, for instance, vainglory or something else of this kind. Hence it obviously pertains to our present purpose to consider choice.
434. Then [B], at “Choice certainly” he shows what choice is. First [A’] he investigates its genus, and next [B’] its different aspects, at “Those who say that choice etc.” Last [Lect. 6, C’], at “What, then, is its genus etc.” (B. 1112 a 13), he concludes the definition. The voluntary is the genus of choice because it is universally predicated of choice and of other things besides. Hence first he says that every choice is voluntary, but choice and the voluntary are not identical, for the voluntary is more extensive. He proves this in twofold fashion:
435. The first proof he gives by the words “... participate in voluntariety etc.” It is this. Children and the various brutes participate in voluntariety inasmuch as of their own accord they do things by their own movement, as has been noted above (427). But they do not communicate in choice because they do not act with deliberation, which is required for choice. Therefore, the voluntary is more extensive than choice.
436. He assigns a second reason by the words “Then too the things done on the spur of the moment etc.” It is this. The things we do on the spur of the moment are called voluntary because their origin is within us. However, they are not said to be according to choice because they are not done with deliberation. Therefore, the voluntary is more extensive than choice.
437. Next [B’], at “Those who say,” he investigates the different aspects of choice, proving that choice differs from things with which it appears to agree. On this question he does two things. First  he explains his intent. Then , at “Choice does not belong etc.,” he proves it. He says first that some philosophers have held that choice is sensual desire because both imply a movement of the appetitive faculty toward good. Others maintained that choice is anger, perhaps because in both there is a certain use of reason. The angry person uses reason inasmuch as he judges that an injury received deserves punishment. Still others who consider that choice is without passion ascribe choice to the rational part, either so far as concerns the appetitive faculty (saying it is wishing) or so far as it concerns perception (saying it is opinion). In these four states all the principles of human actions are included in a simple way: reason to which opinion belongs; the rational appetitive faculty that is the will; the sensitive appetitive faculty divided into irascible to which belong anger, and concupiscible to which belong sensual desire. The Philosopher says, however, that those who hold that choice is one of these do not speak accurately.
438. At “Choice does not” , he proves his proposition. He shows first [a] that choice is not sensual desire; next [b], at “There is less argument etc.,” that it is not anger; third [c], at “Choice is not identical etc.,” that it is not wishing; last [Lect. 6, d], that it is not opinion, at “Choice is not opinion etc.” (B. 1111 b 31). Regarding the first he gives four reasons. The first of these [a, i], common to sensual desire and anger, is this. Sensual desire and anger are found both among men and brutes. But choice is not met with among the brutes as has been said (435). Therefore, choice is neither sensual desire nor anger.
439. He gives the second reason at “The incontinent man” [a, ii]. It is this. If choice were sensual desire, whoever acts with choice would act with sensual desire. This, however, is false because the incontinent man acts in conformity with sensual desire but not in conformity with choice, for he does not reasonably direct his choice because of his sensual desire. But the continent man on the contrary acts from choice and not from sensual desire, which he resists by choice, as will be made evident in the seventh book (1143)Therefore, choice is not the same as sensual desire.
440. He assigns the third reason at “Sensual desire is opposed” [a, iii]. It is this. Sensual desire is opposed to choice in one who is continent or incontinent. One chooses according to reason the opposite of that which the other desires according to the sensitive appetitive faculty. But the sensual desire in the one is not opposed to the sensual desire in the other, because the whole sensual desire of each one tends to the same thing, the pleasure of the senses. But this must not be understood in the sense that one desire may not be opposed to another. We do find desires of contraries, for instance, one man desires to move and another to remain in repose. Therefore it is evident that choice is not identical with sensual desire.
441. The fourth reason, given at “Sensual desire is accompanied” [a, iv], is this. Sensual desire is always accompanied by pleasure because of the presence of the thing desired, or by sorrow because of the absence of that thing. Every passion is followed by pleasure or sorrow, as has been pointed out in the second book (296). But choice is not necessarily associated with pleasure or sorrow, for it can occur without any passion by the judgment of reason alone. Therefore, choice is not sensual desire.
442. Then [b], at “There is less argument,” he shows that choice is not the same as anger. As to this, he says that there is less argument in favor of choice being anger than sensual desire. The reason is that even according to appearances the things done from anger do not seem to be done by choice because, by reason of the swiftness of the movement of wrath, the actions done through anger are very sudden. Although in anger there is some use of reason, insofar as the angry person begins to attend to his reason as it judges that an injury ought to be avenged, nevertheless he does not perfectly heed reason in determining the manner and the order of the vengeance. Hence anger especially excludes deliberation, which is necessary for choice. But sensual desire does not act so suddenly. Hence things done in conformity with sensual desire do not seem to be remote from choice as the things done out of anger.
443. Next [c], at “Choice is not identical,” he explains the difference between choice and wish. First [c’ I] he sets forth his proposition. Then [c, ii], at “Choice is not concerned etc.,” he proves it. Last [c, iii], at “In general, choice,” he deduces the origin of the difference between choice and wishing. He says first that choice is not even wishing although it seems to be closely connected with wishing. Both belong to the one power, the rational appetitive faculty or the will. Wishing designates an act of this power related to good absolutely. But choice designates an act of the same power related to good according as it belongs to an act by which we are ordered to some good.
444. At “Choice is not concerned” [c, ii], he proves the statement by three reasons, of which the first is this [x]. Because choice refers to our activity, it is said that choice is not concerned with impossible things. If a person should say that he chooses something impossible he will appear foolish. But wishing can be directed to any good even the impossible because it regards good absolutely. Thus a man can wish to be immortal, an impossible thing according to the condition of this perishable life. Therefore, choice and wish are not the same.
445. He gives the second reason at “Wishing can be” [y]. The wishing of someone can be concerned with things not done by himself. Thus he who is a spectator at a duel can wish that a pretender playing an assumed role may win (for example, a man who comes into the ring as a boxer when he is not a boxer) or even that one who is really an athlete may win. No one, however, chooses these things that are done by another but only those that he thinks he can do himself. Therefore, choice differs from wishing.
446. He assigns the third reason at “Moreover, wishing.” He says that wishing is directed rather to the end than to the means because we wish the means on account of the end. But that for the sake of which something exists is itself greater. But choice concerns only the means and not the end itself because the end as already predetermined is presupposed. The means, however, are sought by us as things to be ordered to the end. Thus we wish health principally since it is the end of healing. But we choose the remedies by which we are restored to health. Likewise we wish to be happy—happiness is our ultimate end—and we say we wish this. Yet it is not suitable to say that we elect or choose to be happy. Therefore, choice is not the same as wish.
447. Then [c, iii], at “In general, choice,” he gives the root of the whole difference to which all the previous differences in general are referred. He says that choice seems to be directed to the things that are within our power. This is the reason why it does not concern impossibles, things done by others, nor the end that, for the most part, is prearranged for us by nature.
Choice and Opinion
d. He shows that choice is not the same as opinion.
i. Choice is not the same as opinion in general.
y. HE PROVES THE STATEMENT BY TWO REASONS.... FIRST. — 448
Choice is not opinion, for opinion can concern everything—no less eternal and impossible things than things lying within our power.
z. SECOND REASON. — 449
Then, too, opinion is divided into false and true but not into good and bad, as is the case with choice. Perhaps there is no one who maintains that choice is generally identical with opinion.
ii. Choice is not the same as... particular opinion.
v. HE PROVES THIS BY (FIVE) REASONS. THE FIRST. — — 450-451
Nor is choice identical with a particular opinion. In choosing good or bad things we are said to be good or bad but this is not the case in forming opinions about them.
w. SECOND REASON. — 452
We choose to accept or reject this or anything pertaining to our actions. But we have an opinion as to what a thing is or what effect it has or how it is to be used. However, accepting or rejecting something is hardly a matter of opinion.
x. THIRD REASON. — 453
Choice is rather praised because it chooses what it ought—as it were—in the right way, while opinion is praised because it has the truth about something.
y. FOURTH REASON. — 454
We choose those things that we especially know are good. But we have an opinion about things we are not sure of.
z. FIFTH REASON. — 455
And it is not necessarily the same people who make the best choices and form true opinions. Some men form a true opinion of what is better but on account of bad will they do not make the right choice.
iii. He raises a doubt. — 456
Whether opinion should be said to precede choice or follow it, does not matter, for we do not intend to determine this but whether choice is identical with a particular opinion.
C’ He concludes the definition. — 457
What then is its genus, what its specific difference, since it is none of the things previously mentioned? Seemingly it is a voluntary. However, not every voluntary—but certainly the deliberately intentional voluntary—is a thing chosen, for choice must be accompanied by reason and intellect. Even the name seems to imply that one thing be preferred to others.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
448. After the Philosopher has shown that choice is not the same as sensual desire; nor anger, which belongs to the sensitive appetitive faculty; nor wishing, which belongs to the rational appetitive faculty, he here shows [d] that choice is not the same as opinion, which pertains to reason itself. He illustrates this point by a threefold consideration. First [i] he shows that choice is not the same as opinion in general. Next [ii], at “Nor is choice etc.,” he shows that choice is not the same as that particular opinion that concerns itself with the things we do. Last [iii], at “Whether opinion should be,” he raises a doubt (which he leaves unsolved). He says first—this is apparent from the premises—that choice is not the same as opinion in general. He proves the statement by two reasons, the first of which is this [i, y]. Opinion can concern everything—no less eternal and impossible things than things lying within our power. But choice concerns these things only within our capacity, as was just noted (447). Therefore, choice is not the same as opinion.
449. He gives the second reason at “Then, too, opinion is divided etc.” [i, z]. It is this. The things that are distinguished by various reasons are said to differ and not to be the same. Opinion, however, is divided into true and false since it pertains to the faculty of knowledge, the object of which is the truth. Opinion is not divided into good and bad as is the case with choice which belongs to the appetitive faculty, the object of which is the good. He concludes from this that choice is not the same as opinion in general. This is so obvious that no one affirms the contrary.
450. Then [ii], at “Nor is choice,” he shows that choice is not identical with that opinion which deals with the things we do. He proves this by (five) reasons, the first of which is this [ii, v]. From the fact that we choose good or bad things we are said to be such, that is, good or bad. But from the fact that we have an opinion about good or bad things, or about true or false things, we are not said to be good or bad. Therefore choice is not identical with opinion, which refers to eligible things.
451. The reason for this difference is that a man is not called good or bad on account of his capabilities but on account of his actions (as noted in the ninth book of the Metaphysics: Ch. 9, 1051 a 4-15; St. Th. Lect. 10, 1883-1885), that is, not because he is able to act well but because he does in fact act well. When a man understands perfectly he becomes able to act well but he does not yet act well. Thus one who has the habit of grammar is able by that very fact to speak correctly, but that he actually speak correctly he must will it. The reason is that a habit is that quality by which a person acts when he wishes, as the Commentator says on the third book De Anima. It is obvious then that good will makes a man act well according to every capability or habit obedient to reason. Therefore a man is called good simply because he has a good will. However, from the fact that he has a good intellect he is not called good simply but relatively good, for example, a good grammarian or a good musician. Therefore, since choice pertains to the will but opinion to the intellect, we are called good or bad by reason of choice but not by reason of opinion.
452. He gives the second reason at “We choose to accept” [ii, w]. Choice has to do especially with our actions. We choose to accept or reject this thing, or whatever else there is that pertains to our actions. But opinion principally refers to things. We have an opinion as to what this thing is (for instance, what bread is) or what effect it has or how one must use it. Opinion, however, does not principally concern our actions, for example, that we are of an opinion about accepting or rejecting something. The reason is that our actions are particular contingent things and quickly passing. Hence a knowledge or opinion of them is not often sought for the sake of the truth in them but only because of something done. Therefore choice is not identical with opinion.
453. He assigns a third reason at “Choice is” [ii, x]. It is this. The good of choice consists in a kind of rectitude, that is, the appetitive faculty rightly orders something to an end. This is what he means saying that choice is rather praised because it chooses what it ought, as it were in the right way, while opinion is praised because it has the truth about something. Thus the good and perfection of choice is rectitude but the perfection of opinion consists in truth. Things which have different perfections are themselves different. Therefore choice is not opinion.
454. The fourth reason, given at “We choose those things” [ii, y], is this. Choice is accompanied by certitude, for we choose those things which we especially know are good. But opinion lacks certitude, for we have an opinion about the things we are not sure are true. Therefore choice and opinion are not identical.
455. He assigns the fifth reason at “And it is not necessarily” [ii, z]. if opinion and choice were identical, those who make the best choices and those who have true opinions about them would necessarily be identified. This is obviously false, however, for some men form a true opinion in general of what is better but on account of bad will they do not choose what is better but what is worse. Therefore choice and opinion are not identical.
456. At “Whether opinion” [iii] he raises a doubt whether opinion should be said to precede choice or follow it. He states that it does not matter for the present because we do not intend to determine the order of these things but only whether choice is identical with a particular opinion. Nevertheless, we must know that opinion, since it pertains to the faculty of knowledge, strictly speaking, precedes choice pertaining to the appetitive faculty, which is moved by the cognoscitive power. However, it sometimes happens accidentally that opinion follows choice, for instance, when a person on account of the affection for things he loves changes the opinion he formerly held.
457. Then [C’], at “What then,” he shows what choice is. He says that, since it is none of the four things previously mentioned, we must consider what it is according to its genus and what according to its specific difference. As to its genus, seemingly it is a voluntary. However, not every voluntary is a thing chosen (as has been pointed out before, 434-436), but only the deliberately intentional voluntary. That this difference should be given attention is clear from the fact that counsel is an act of the reason, and choice itself must be accompanied by an act of reason and intellect. The very name—meaning that one be accepted rather than another—seems to imply or signify this in a hidden way. It pertains to deliberative reason to prefer one to others.
II. HE TAKES UP THE QUESTION OF COUNSEL.
A. He treats counsel in itself.
A’. He shows the things about which counsel ought to be taken.
1. HE PUTS FORWARD HIS PROPOSITION.
a. He proposes the question he intends to treat. — 458
Do men take counsel about all things in such a way that everything is worthy of deliberation, or are some things not objects of counsel?
b. He explains the proposed question. — 459
A thing must not be called worthy of deliberation because some foolish or insane person takes counsel about it but because men of good sense do so.
2. HE EXECUTES IT.
a. He shows where counsel should function, first by distinguishing things according to their own causes.
i. He shows where counsel is unnecessary.
v. HE SAYS THAT NO ONE SHOULD TAKE COUNSEL ABOUT ETERNAL THINGS. — 460
No one takes counsel about: (1) eternal things, for instance, about the whole universe or the incommensurability of the diagonal and the side of a square;
w. NO ONE TAKES COUNSEL ABOUT THINGS IN MOTION... UNIFORM. — 461
(2) things that are in motion provided their motion is always uniform either by necessity or from nature or on account of some other cause, for instance, the solstices and the risings of the sun;
x. DELIBERATION IS UNNECESSARY ABOUT THINGS IN MOTION FOLLOWING THE SAME PATTERN. — 462
(3) things that sometimes happen otherwise, for instance, droughts and rains;
y. COUNSEL IS NOT TAKEN ABOUT THINGS THAT HAPPEN BY CHANCE. — 463
(4) things that happen by chance, for example, the finding of a treasure;
Z. MEN DO NOT TAKE COUNSEL... ABOUT ALL HUMAN THINGS.464
(5) all human things, for instance, the Spartans do not take counsel about how the Scythians ought best to live their lives. None of these things will take place by our efforts.
ii. He infers the areas with which counsel does deal. — 465
We do take counsel about practicable things within our power.
iii. He shows that the conclusion follows from the premises. — 466
There is actually no other class of things left. Seemingly the causes are nature, necessity, and chance, to which must be added the intellect and anything else causing what is done by man. Each man takes counsel about those practicable matters which can be done by him.
b. (He shows where counsel should function) by distinguishing things according to every cause.
i. He shows in the arts where counsel is taken. — 467
About certain self-sufficient branches of instruction counsel is not taken, for instance, about writing the letters of the alphabet, for there is no doubt about how the letters must be formed. But counsel is taken about whatever is determined by us.
ii. In these matters counsel is not taken in the same way. — 468
In these matters counsel is not always taken in the same way, for instance, in regard to things pertaining to the art of medicine, to business and to navigation. In all these—inasmuch as they are less certain—we take more counsel than in gymnastics. The same is to be understood of other arts.
iii. He shows the difference relative to the necessity of counsel. — 469
It is more necessary to take counsel in the arts than in the sciences, for more doubts arise in the arts.
c. (He shows where counsel should function) by distinguishing things according to the qualities of the things themselves.
i. Counsel has to do with things that occur more frequently. — 470
Counsel has to concern things occurring more frequently.
ii. Counsel must attend to those situations in which no determination has been made. — 471
It must concern uncertain things where it has not been determined in what way they will come to pass.
iii. We take others into our confidence for advice in things of importance. — 472
We invite counsellors in matters of importance not trusting ourselves as capable of coining to a decision.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
458. After the Philosopher has finished the treatise on choice, he here [II] takes up the question of counsel. First [A] he treats counsel in itself; and then [Lect. 9; B], at “The objects of counsel etc.” (B. 1113 a 3), he treats it in comparison with choice. On the initial point he does two things. First [A’] he shows the things about which counsel ought to be taken. Next [Lect. 8; B’], at “We do not take counsel about ends etc.” (B.1112 b 13), he treats the method and order of taking counsel. He handles the first consideration in two steps. First  he puts forward his proposition; and then , he executes it at “... about: (1) eternal things etc.” In regard to this first he also does two things. Initially [1, a] he proposes the question he intends to treat. The question is: should men take counsel about all things in such a way that everything is worthy of deliberation, or are some things not objects of counsel?
459. Next [1, b], at “A thing must not,” he explains the proposed question with the observation that a thing is not said to be worthy of deliberation from the fact that sometimes counsel is taken in the matter by some foolish person who perversely uses his reason, or by an insane person entirely lacking the use of reason. But something is deemed worthy of deliberation inasmuch as men with good sense do deliberate about it. Men of this type take counsel only about things that of their nature require careful consideration and that are properly said to be worthy of deliberation. Foolish people sometimes deliberate even about things wherein no counsel is required.
460. Then , at “... about: (1) eternal things,” he shows where counsel should function, first [2, a] by distinguishing things according to their own causes; next [2, b], at “About certain etc.,” by distinguishing things according to every cause; and last [2, c], at “Counsel has to concern etc.,” by distinguishing things according to the qualities of the things themselves. On the first point he does (three) things. First [a, i] he shows where counsel is unnecessary. Then [a, ii], at “But we do take counsel etc.,” he infers the areas with which counsel does deal. Last [a, iii], at “There is actually etc.,” he shows that the conclusion follows from the premises. In regard to the first, five considerations require his attention. First [i, v] he says that no one takes counsel about eternal things, that is, about things existing always and without motion. Examples of this sort are either those, the substances of which are not subject to motion (as separated substances and the whole universe itself), or those which, even though they exist in movable matter, nevertheless according to reason are separated from such matter, as mathematical entities. Hence he gives the example of the diagonal of a square and its rib or side—no one takes counsel about the commensurability of such things.
461. Next [i, w], at “things that are in motion,” he says that no one takes counsel even about things that are in action provided their motion is always uniform. This uniformity of motion may be either of necessity and not by reason of any other cause (as are those things which are of themselves necessary) or from the nature of movable bodies or through the agency of some separated cause as immaterial substances, movers of the heavenly bodies, about which he speaks here. Hence he takes an example from the revolutions or circular motions of the sun and its risings, and so forth.
462. Third [i, x], at “things that sometimes,” he says that deliberation is unnecessary about things in motion and usually following the same pattern, even though sometimes in a minor number of cases they happen otherwise. Such are the droughts that generally occur in summer and the rains that commonly fall in, winter; although this may at times vary.
463. Fourth [i, y], at “things that happen,” he says that counsel is not taken about things that happen by chance as the finding of a treasure. just as the things spoken of above (461-462) do not depend on our action, so things happening by chance cannot depend upon our forethought because they are unforeseen and beyond our control.
464. Fifth [i, z], at “all human things,” he says, as men do not take counsel about necessary, natural, and fortuitous things, so neither do they take counsel about all human things. Thus the Spartans do not take counsel about how the Scythians—who dwell a long way from them—ought best to live their lives. He then subjoins a common reason valid in all the afore-mentioned cases when he says “None of these things will take place etc.,” because none of these things that are necessary or natural or fortuitous or done by other men take place by reason of our efforts.
465. Then [a, ii], at “But we do take counsel,” he concludes as it were from the premises about the Proper field for counsel. He says that men take counsel about practicable things within us, that is, in our power. Counsel is ordered to action.
466. Next [a, iii], at “There is actually,” he shows that this follows from the premises because, besides the things just mentioned about which it has been indicated that counsel does not apply, there remain these situations within us on whose behalf counsel is required. He proves his contention by separating the causes. Seemingly there are four causes of things: nature, which is the principle of motion either in the case of things always moved in the same way or of things for the most part preserving uniform motion; necessity, which is the cause of things existing always in the same way without motion; fortune, an accidental cause outside the intention of the agent, under which is also included chance. Besides these causes there is the intellect and whatever else is man’s agent, as the will, the senses, and other principles of this kind. This cause is different in different men so that each takes counsel about those practicable matters which can be done by him. From this it follows that counsel is not taken about things done by other causes, as already noted (464).
467. At “About certain” [2, b] he shows about what subjects counsel can be taken in the creative arts according to which we do what is within our power. On this point he does (three) things. First [b, i] he shows in the arts where counsel is taken and where it is unnecessary. He says that those creative arts which have a fixed mode of procedure and are self-sufficient to the extent that what is done rests on nothing, extrinsic do not require counsel, as writing the letters of the alphabet. The reason for this is that we deliberate only about doubtful matters. And there is no doubt about how a letter should be formed because there is a fixed method of writing which is not doubtful and the written work depends only on the art and hand of the scribe. But counsel is taken about those situations in which we must fix for ourselves in advance how to proceed since they are not certain and determined in themselves.
468. Next [b, ii], at “In these matters,” he shows that in these matters counsel is not taken in the same way but that some cases require more deliberation and others less. First he explains this difference among the creative arts themselves. He states that in those cases in which we have the final say, we do not always take counsel in the same way, that is, with equal deliberation. We deliberate more about some things which are less certain and in which we must take into consideration more external things: in the art of medicine we must be mindful of the natural strength of the sick person; in business we must assess the needs of men and the supply of goods; and in navigation we must take into account the winds. In all these, we take more counsel than in gymnastics, i.e., the arts of wrestling and exercising that have more fixed and determined methods. According as the previously mentioned arts are less settled, by so much must we take more counsel in them. The same must be understood of other arts.
469. Last [b, iii], at “It is more necessary,” he shows the difference relative to the necessity of counsel in the creative arts and in the speculative sciences. He indicates that counsel is more necessary in the arts (the practicable) than in the sciences (the speculative). In the latter, deliberation occurs not in regard to their subject matter, for these exist necessarily or by nature, but as regards the use of these things, for example, how and in what order we are to proceed in the sciences. In this, however, counsel is less mandatory than in the practical sciences about which we have more doubts because of the great variety occurring in these skills.
470. Then [2, c], at “Counsel has to,” he shows about which things counsel ought to be taken, by considering the qualities of the things themselves. On this point he puts forward three qualities of things with which counsel deals. First [c, i] he says that counsel has to do with things which occur more frequently. However, because they can happen otherwise it is uncertain in what way they may take place. If a man should wish to deliberate about things that rarely happen, for instance, about the possible collapse of a stone bridge over which he must pass, he will never get anything done.
471. Second [c, ii], at “It must concern,” he says that counsel must attend to those situations in which no determination has yet been made of their outcome. A judge does not take counsel about how he ought to pass sentence on the cases stated in the law but rather about cases in which something is not determined in the law.
472. Third [c, iii], at “We invite counsellors,” he says that we take others into our confidence for advice in things of importance, as if we did not acknowledge our own capability of deciding what we ought to do. Thus it is obvious that counsel ought not to be taken about trifling things of every kind but only about things of importance.
Method and Order of Taking Counsel
B’ He treats the method and order of taking counsel.
1. HE SHOWS THE METHOD OF DELIBERATIVE INQUIRY.
a. He proposes a method of deliberation.
i. He shows what is taken for granted. — 473-474
We do not take counsel about ends, only about means. A doctor does not deliberate whether he will cure a patient; an orator does not deliberate whether he will persuade people; a statesman does not deliberate whether he will achieve peace. Neither does any other agent take counsel about his end.
ii. He shows what is the objective. — 475
But having taken the end for granted, they will deliberate how and by what means it may be achieved; when the end is attainable in several ways, by which of these it can be most effectively and most easily attained; when the end is attainable by one means only, how it will be attained through this means; and how this means itself will be attained until they arrive at the first cause, which will be the last in the order of discovery.
b. He explains his statement. — 476
One who takes counsel seems to inquire and to resolve by the method mentioned, as by a diagram. It seems that not every inquiry is a taking of counsel, for instance, a mathematical inquiry, but every taking of counsel is a kind of inquiry. What is last in resolution or Analysis is first in the order of production.
2. HE SHOWS (THE METHOD’S) EFFECT.
a. He exposes his proposition. — 477
If those taking counsel find the thing to be done is impossible, they give up the project, for instance, if they need money which cannot be provided. But if the thing to be done seems practicable, they begin to act. Things are called possible that can be done by us; what our friends do is done in some way by us, for the origin of their action lies in ourselves.
b. He explains certain things that were said. — 478
At times we inquire about what instruments may be used, and at times about the way we ought to use them. It is the same in the other cases, for sometimes we investigate the means of doing a thing, sometimes we inquire how or why it is to be done.
3. HE DETERMINES THE LIMIT OF THIS INQUIRY.
a. on the part of the agent himself. — 479
As has been previously stated, it would seem that man originates his own actions, and counsel is taken about the things which can be done by him.
b. on the part of the end. — 480
Actions are performed for the sake of other things. Counsel, therefore, is not taken about the end but the means to the end.
c. on the part of particular instruments. — 481-482
We do not deliberate about particular things, for instance, whether this thing is bread, or whether the bread is properly prepared or properly baked. This belongs to sense perception. If a man goes on deliberating forever he will never come to an end.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
473. After the Philosopher has shown about what things counsel is taken, he here he treats the method and order of taking counsel. Because counsel is a kind of inquiry, he does three things concerning it. First  he shows the method of deliberative inquiry; next , at “if those taking counsel etc.,” he shows its effect; last , at “As has been previously stated etc.,” he determines the limit of this inquiry. On the initial point he does two things. First [i, a] he proposes a method of deliberation. Second [i, b], at “One who takes counsel etc.,” he explains his statement. Counsel is a practical deliberation about things to be done. Hence as in a speculative inquiry, where principles are necessarily taken for granted and certain other things are sought, so also should it be with counsel. Therefore, he shows first [a, i] what is taken for granted regarding counsel. Second [a, ii], at “But having taken etc.,” he shows what is the objective in taking counsel.
474. We must consider that in practicable things the end holds the place of the principle because the necessity of practicable things depends on the end, as has been mentioned in the second book of the Physics (Ch. 9, 200 a 15 sq.; St. Th. Lect. 15, 273-274). On this account we must take the end for granted. This is what he means when he says that we do not take counsel about ends but about the means to the end. Thus in speculative matters we do not inquire about the principles but about the conclusions. He clarifies what he has said by examples: a doctor does not deliberate whether he ought to cure a patient but this is taken f or granted as an end; an orator does not deliberate whether he ought to persuade people, for he intends this as an end; a statesman or a ruler of the state does not deliberate whether he ought to achieve peace which is compared to the state as health to the human body (health consists in the harmony of the humors as peace consists in the harmony of wills). Neither does any other agent take counsel about the end in this way.
475. Then [a, ii], at “But having take, the end for granted,” he shows about what and how deliberative inquiry should be made. He introduces three things concerning this. The first of these is that, having taken the end for granted, the primary intention of the one taking counsel is how (i.e., by what motion or action) he can attain that end, and by what means he must move or work toward the end, as by horse or ship. His next intention is—when he can attain some end by several things, either instruments or actions—to know by which of these he can better and more easily achieve his goal. This pertains to judgment in finding ways to the end in which some men are at times deficient. His last intention is—if it should happen that the end can be attained by one means or motion alone, or most aptly by a particular means—that the end be procured in such a way that it is reached through this means. For this, perseverance and care are necessary. If the means for attaining the end should not be at hand, we must inquire how it can be gained and so on until we arrive at a cause which holds first place in operating (this will be last in the order of discovery).
476. Next [i, b], at “One who,” he further clarifies his statement by its likeness to speculative inquiry. He says that the cause that is first in operation is the last in the order of discovery because one who deliberates seems to inquire (as was just pointed out in 473) by some analytic method, just as he who wishes to prove a conclusion by a diagram or a geometrical explanation must resolve the conclusion into principles until he reaches the first indemonstrable principles. All counsel is an investigation, i.e., a kind of inquiry, although not every investigation or inquiry is counsel, for example, an inquiry in mathematics. Only an inquiry about practicable things is counsel. Because the man who takes counsel inquires in an analytic manner, his inquiry must lead to that which is the principle in operation. The reason is that what is last in analysis is first in production or activity.
477. At “If those taking counsel”  he shows the effect of counsel. First [2, a] he exposes his proposition. Second [2, b] he explains certain things that were said by the words “At times we inquire etc.” He says first that if those taking counsel, on reaching the point in the deliberative inquiry where the first operation must be done, find this impossible they give up, i.e., dismiss the whole matter as if without hope of success. For example, if in order to carry out a business venture, a man needs money to pay certain persons and he cannot pay it, he must abandon the project. But if it is apparent that what was discovered by means of counsel is possible, operation begins immediately because, as was just mentioned (476), the point at which the analytic inquiry of counsel ends must be the beginning of operation. A thing is said to be possible to an agent not only through his own power but also through the power of others. Hence things done by friends are enumerated by him among possibles because what our friends do is done in some way by us, inasmuch as the principle of the work is found in us, for they themselves do this in consideration of us.
478. Then [2, b], when he says “At times we inquire,” he explains his previous statement, namely, the kinds of things that upon investigation we sometimes find possible and sometimes impossible. At times, he says, by counsel we inquire about instruments, for instance, a horse or a sword, and at times we inquire about the need or suitability of the instruments, that is, how we ought to use them. It is the same in the other arts: sometimes we seek the means of doing a thing, sometimes we inquire how or why (these belong to the end just mentioned).
479. Next , at “As has been previously stated,” he determines the limit or status of the deliberative inquiry. He does this under three headings. First [3, a] on the part of the agent himself. Hence he says, as has been previously stated (292), that man is the principle of his activity. Every individual takes counsel about the things which can be done by him. For this reason when he arrives, in the deliberative inquiry, at what he himself can achieve, at that point counsel ceases.
48o. Second [3, b], at “Actions are,” he shows that counsel has a limit or condition on the part of the end. All operations, he says, are performed for the sake of other things, that is, ends. Hence counsel is not taken about the end but about the means to the end. Evidently then there is a limit in deliberative inquiry (both on the part of the end and on the part of the agent) as in demonstrations (both from above and below) as it were on the part of either extreme.
481. Third [3, c], at “We do not,” he shows the status of deliberative inquiry on the part of particular instruments which we use in our operations as available means for arriving at the end. He says that we do not deliberate about particular things, such as whether what is set before us is bread, whether it is properly prepared, i.e., baked or made as it should be. This belongs to sense perception.
482. That the status of counsel-as also of demonstration-is according to these three considerations is proved by an argument leading to an impossible conclusion. If a man would always be taking counsel, he would be reaching to infinity, which does not fall under the consideration of the reason and consequently not under counsel, which is a kind of inquiry belonging to reason, as has been pointed out (476).
A Comparison Between Counsel and Choice
B. He now treats counsel in comparison with choice.
1. HE COMPARES COUNSEL WITH CHOICE.
a. He introduces his proposition. — 483
The objects of counsel and of choice are the same, but the object of choice has already been determined by counsel.
b. He proves it.
i. He explains what he has said, by a reason. — 484
What was previously judged by means of counsel is an object of choice. Every individual inquiring how he is going to act ceases from counsel when he reduces the principle back to himself and this into what is to be done first. It is this which is chosen.
ii. By example. — 485
Our point is also brought out by the ancient political procedure delineated by Homer who presents the Greek kings as proclaiming their decisions to the people.
2. HE CONCLUDES FROM THIS WHAT CHOICE IS. — 486-487
Since the object of choice is one of the things considered by counsel as desirable and within our power, choice will be a desire (arising by reason of counsel) for the things which are in our power. When we have formed a judgment by taking counsel we desire a thing in accordance with our deliberation.
Choice has now been defined according to type and in a general way and not as is customary according to a full explanation. It has been stated of what nature the things are with which choice deals and that choice is concerned with things which are ordered to end.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
483. After the Philosopher has considered counsel in itself, he now [B] treats counsel in comparison with choice. A twofold procedure clarifies this point. First  he compares counsel with choice. Second , at “Since the object of choice” , he concludes from this what choice is. In regard to the initial point he does two things. First [a] he introduces his proposition; second [b], at “What was previously judged etc.,” he proves it. First he compares counsel with choice in two ways. In one way relative to the object or matter of each where they are in agreement. Touching on this he says that an object of counsel and an object of choice are the same because both counsel and choice deal with things that act for an end. The other way is relative to the order of each. Touching on this he says that when something has already been decided by means of counsel then it is first chosen, counsel preceding choice as it were.
484. Then [b], at “What was,” he explains what he has said, by a reason [b, i] taken from his previous observations (473-484) about counsel. The decision of counsel, he says, precedes choice because after the inquiry of counsel a judgment concerning the things discovered must follow. Then what was previously judged is first chosen. He shows clearly that the judgment of the reason should follow the investigation of counsel, by the fact that every individual who inquires by taking counsel how he ought to act ceases from deliberation when, by analysing his investigation, he is led to what he himself can do. If he can do several things, then, when he reduces them to the preceding, that is, to what he considers should be done first, this is what is chosen, namely, what presents itself to be done first. Hence it remains that choice presupposes the decision of counsel.
485. Second [b, ii], at “Our point is also brought out,” he proves his view by an example. That choice ought to follow the decision of counsel is brought out by the regal procedure of old, i.e., by the custom of ancient states according to which kings did not possess dictatorial power over the multitude so that they could do whatever they wished but were guides of the citizens to whom it belonged to choose the things decided by the kings in counsel. For that reason he says that the kings of old declared to the people the things they themselves had chosen by the decision of their counsel so that the people might choose what had been determined. Homer followed this by presenting the Greek rulers as proclaiming to the people what they had decided in counsel.
486. Next , at “Since the object,” he shows from the premises what choice is. He says that, since an object of choice is simply one of the number of the things within our power and which is considered by means of counsel, it follows that choice is only a desire (arising by reason of counsel) for things in our power. Choice is an act of the rational appetitive faculty called the will. On this account he said that choice is a deliberating desire inasmuch as, via counsel, a man arrives at a judgment regarding the things which were discovered by means of counsel. This desire is choice.
487. Last , at “Choice has now,” he shows of what nature this definition of choice is. He says that choice has now been defined by type, that is, in outline, and not as he customarily determines a thing through a full explanation, i.e., giving a definition and then investigating each element of it. But the definition of choice has been given in a general way. It has been stated (486) of what nature the things are with which choice deals, i.e., things in our power. Also it has been said that choice is concerned with things that are ordered to ends—about these, too, counsel treats.
The Object of Willing
C. He begins the study of willing.
1. HE TAKES NOTE OF WHAT IS OBVIOUS ABOUT WILLING. 488
As was stated before, willing is concerned with the end.
2. HE RAISES A DOUBT.
a. He sets forth contrary opinions. — 489
To some it seems that willing has for its object what is of itself good, but to others what is apparently good.
b. He disproves the first opinion. — 490
For those who say the object of willing is what is good of itself, it follows that that thing is not an object of willing which a person does not rightly will. If something were an object of willing, it would be good but what is to prevent a man from wishing some thing evil.
c. He disproves the second opinion. — 491
On the other hand, for those who say the object of willing is apparent good, there is no such thing as a natural object of willing but only what appears so to each man. But different and sometimes contrary things seem to be objects of willing for different men.
3. HE SOLVES THE DOUBT.
a. First he gives a solution according to a certain distinction. — 492
If these conclusions are not acceptable, it must be said, therefore, that in an absolute or true sense it is the good that is the object of willing, but for each man it is the apparent good.
b. He shows with whom both parts of this distinction agree. — 493
For the good man that thing is an object of willing which is truly good; for the vicious man that thing is an object of willing which seems pleasing to him. Thus when men are in good bodily health those things are healthful which are such in reality, but for men who are ill, it is otherwise. The same applies to bitter, sweet, warm, and heavy things and to others of this kind.
c. He explains what he said.
i. First as it affects virtuous men. — 494
The virtuous person correctly passes judgment on each individual thing and in each case what appears to him is truly good. Those things which are proper to each habit seem pleasurable to it. The good man perhaps is much different in his capacity to see what is truly good in individual matters, being as it were a norm and measure of these things.
ii. Next... as it affects vicious men. — 495
Many men are apparently deceived because of pleasure. What is not good seems good, so they desire as good the pleasurable and seek to avoid the painful as evil.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
488. After the Philosopher has finished the treatise on the voluntary and on choice, he here begins the study of willing [C]. He initiates his discussion by three stages. First  he takes notes of what is obvious about willing. Next , at “To some it seems etc.,” he raises a doubt. Last , at “If these conclusions etc.,” he solves the doubt. First he restates what he has previously insisted on (466) that willing is concerned with the end itself. He speaks here of willing (voluntas) as it denotes the act of the faculty of the will. The act of any faculty is named from the faculty itself and regards that to which the faculty primarily and of itself tends. Thus the act of the visive faculty is called vision in relation to visible things. In this manner understanding (intellectus) is named in relation to first principles that of themselves are referred primarily to the intellective faculty. Hence also willing is properly said to concern ends themselves which, as certain principles, the faculty of the will primarily and of itself regards.
489. Then , at “To some it seems,” he raises a doubt. Regarding it he does three things. First [2, a] he sets forth contrary opinions about willing. He says that to some it seems that willing has for its object what is of itself good, but to others what is apparently good.
49o. Next [2, b], at “For those who say,” he disproves the first opinion stating that for those who say that only the good in itself is the object of willing (i.e., to which the will tends), it follows that that thing which a person does not rightly will is not an object of willing. The reason is that, according to their opinion, it would follow that if something were an object of willing, it would be good, but it happens sometimes that it is evil. Therefore willing does not always have real good as its object.
491. Last [2, c], at “On the other hand,” he disproves the second opinion, stating that for those who say the object of willing is apparent good, it follows that there is no natural object of willing but for each one the object of willing is what seems so to him. But for different men different and sometimes contrary things seem to be the object of willing. Thus if color were not visible but only what seemed to be color were visible, it would follow that nothing would be by nature visible. This, however, would not be fitting for every natural faculty has some object determined by its nature. Therefore it is not true that the object of willing is apparent good.
492. At “If these conclusions” , he solves the afore-mentioned doubt. First [3, a] he gives a solution according to a certain distinction. He says that if these disagreeable conclusions following from both these opinions are unacceptable, we must answer with a distinction that what seems good to a man is desirable either without qualification or under some aspect, i.e., in relation to this or that.
493. Second [3, b], at “For the good man,” he shows with whom both parts of this distinction agree. He says that for the good man that thing is an object of willing which is truly worthy of being willed, i.e., good in itself. But for the wicked or vicious man that thing is the object of willing which attracts him, i.e., whatever seems pleasing to himself. He exemplifies this in things of the body. We see that for men whose bodies are in good health those things are healthful that are really so. But for the sick, certain other things are healthful, namely, those that moderate their diseased condition. Likewise things really bitter and sweet seem bitter and sweet to those who have a healthy taste, things really warm seem warm to those who have a normal sense of touch. Those who have normal bodily strength properly estimate the weight of objects; those who are weak think light objects heavy.
494. Third [3, c], at “The virtuous person,” he explains what he said, first 1c, i] as it affects virtuous men. He says that the virtuous person correctly passes judgment on individual things that pertain to human activity. In each case that which is really good seems to him to be good. This happens because things seem naturally pleasurable to each habit that are proper to it, that is, agree with it. Those things are agreeable to the habit of virtue that are in fact good because the habit of moral virtue is defined by what is in accord with right reason. Thus the things in accord with right reason, things of themselves good, seem good to it. Here the good man differs very much indeed from others, for he sees what is truly good in individual practicable matters, being as it were the norm and measure of all that is to be done because in these cases a thing must be judged good or bad according as it seems to him.
495. Next [c, ii], at “Many men,” he explains what he said as it affects vicious men. He says that for many, the vicious, deception in the distinction between good and evil occurs especially because of pleasure. As a consequence of this it happens that they desire as good the pleasurable, which is not good, and seek to avoid as evil what is for them painful but in itself good. The explanation is that they do not follow reason but the senses.
Virtue and Vice Are Within Our Power
I. HE DETERMINES THE TRUTH.
A. He shows that virtue is within us. — 496
Since willing regards the end but counsel and choice the means to the end, the actions concerning these means will be in accordance with choice and voluntary. But virtuous actions deal with the means. Virtue then is within our power.
B. He shows the same about vice. — 497-498
For a similar reason vice is voluntary. If it is in our power to act, it is also in our power not to act; and contrariwise. Therefore if to do good is in our power, then not to do evil will also be in our power. If not to do good is in our power, then to do evil will also be in our power.
C. He shows the reason for this necessary consequence. — 499
If it is in our power to do and likewise not to do good or evil actions (by reason of this men become good or evil), it will be within our power to be virtuous or vicious.
II. HE REJECTS AN ERROR.
A. First he removes the error itself.
A’ He explains his rejection of the error. — 500
It is said that no one is voluntarily evil and that no one is unwillingly happy. The first statement is really false and the second true. In fact no person will be happy unwillingly. Vice, on the other hand, is a voluntary thing.
B’ He raises a doubt over this. — 501
Must we dispute even about what has now been said and hold that man is not the principle and begetter of his actions as he is father of his children?
C’ He determines the truth.
1. HE CONFIRMS THE TRUTH FIRST BY REASON. — 502
If these things (counsel, choice and willing) seem to be principles of our actions and we cannot reduce them 20 into principles other than those within our power, then also our actions the principles of which are under our control will themselves be in our power and voluntary.
2. (HE CONFIRMS THE TRUTH) BY SIGNS.
a. He explains his proposition... first in the things that are clearly voluntary. — 503-504
This view seems to be supported by the testimony of private individuals and of legislators themselves for legislators punish and chastise evildoers, unless these do evil by compulsion or on account of ignorance of which they themselves were not the cause. Likewise legislators decree honors for those who do good, thus encouraging them as it were but restraining the others. No one persuades a man to do whatever things are not in his power and not voluntary because before it takes place it is of no use to persuade a man not to become hot, or afflicted, or hungry, or anything whatsoever of this kind. We will suffer these things nonetheless.
b. In the things that seem to have something of the involuntary. — 505-506
A man who is ignorant will be punished if he is the cause of his ignorance. A drunken man, for instance, is worthy of double punishment. The beginning is within him because he has it in his power not to get drunk. And his intoxication is the cause of his ignorance. Legislators punish those who are ignorant of things stated in the law that they should have known, but not those who are ignorant of the difficult things. Likewise in other cases we punish people whenever it seems that their ignorance was due to negligence because it is in their power not to be ignorant. They have it in their power to inform themselves.
COMMENTARY OF ST.THOMAS
496. After the Philosopher has treated the voluntary, choice, counsel, and willing that are principles of human acts, he here applies what has been said to vices and virtues. Concerning this question he does three things. First [I] he determines the truth. Then [II], at “It is said that no one etc.,” he rejects an error. Last [Lect. 13; III], at “We have discussed virtues etc.” (B. 1114 b 26), he concludes with a summary of what has been said about virtue. On the first point he does three things. First [I, A], on the basis of his previous discussion, he shows that virtue is within us, i.e., in our power. Next [I, B], at “For a similar reason etc.,” he shows the same about vice. Last [I, C], at “If it is in our power etc.,” he shows the reason for this necessary consequence. He says first that since willing regards the end but counsel and choice the means to the end, it follows that actions concerning this (i.e., the means to the end) are in accordance with choice and are consequently voluntary. The reason is that choice is a voluntary as was indicated before (434-436, 457). But virtuous actions deal with the afore-mentioned (means) and are voluntary. Consequently, virtue itself must be voluntary and within us, that is, in our power.
497. Then [I, B], at “For a similar reason,” he shows the same thing about badness, i.e., about vice as opposed to virtue. He says that badness is likewise voluntary and within us because its operations are of this kind. He proves this in the following way: if the capacity to act is within us, the capacity not to act must also be in our power. If the capacity not to act were not in our power, it would be impossible that we would not act. Therefore, it would be necessary that we act, and so the capacity to act would not come from us but from necessity.
498. As a consequence we must conclude that wherever affirmation is within our power, negation is also; and conversely. Virtuous and vicious actions differ according to affirmation and negation. For instance, if honoring parents is good and an act of virtue, then not to honor one’s parents is evil and pertains to vice. If not to steal pertains to virtue, to steal pertains to vice. Hence it follows that if the operation of virtue is within us, as has been proved (496), then the operation of vice also is within us. So consequently vice itself is within us, that is, in our power.
499. Next [I, C], at “If it is,” he assigns the reason for this necessary inference: if the operations are within us, the habits too are within us. He says that if it is in our power to do or not to do good or evil actions, as has now been shown (497-498), while by reason of the fact that man works or does not work good or evil he becomes good or evil as was pointed out in the second book (250-253), it follows that it is within our power to be virtuous, i.e., good in conformity with the habit of virtue, and vicious in conformity with the habit of vice.
500. At “It is said” [II], he rejects an error about the afore-mentioned teaching. First [II, A] he removes the error itself. Second [Lect. 12; II, B], at “Perhaps such a person etc.” (B. 1114 a 3], he removes its roots. On the first point his division is threefold. First [A’] he explains his rejection of the error. Next [B’], at “Must we dispute even about what etc.,” he raises a doubt over this. Last [C’], at “If these things etc.,” he determines the truth. In regard to the first we must consider that some have held that no one is voluntarily evil, nor is anyone unwillingly happy or good. They say this because the will of itself tends to good. Good is what all desire and consequently the will of itself seeks to avoid evil. He says, therefore, that one of these statements is in all likelihood false, namely, that no one is willingly evil since vice is something voluntary. The other seems to be true, that no one is unwillingly good and happy.
501. Then [B’], at “Must we dispute,” he raises a doubt about things said before. If it is true that virtuous and vicious actions (and consequently virtue and vice) are voluntary, obviously what has presently been said is true. But is there anyone who believes there should be a doubt about what has been said, so that he might say that a man is not the principle and begetter of his actions as a father is the principle of his children? He as much as says: that anyone would say this, is to be wondered at.
502. Next [C’], at “If these things,” he confirms the truth first [i] by reason; and then , at “This view seems etc.,” by signs. He says first that if counsel, choice, and willing—which are in our power—are seen as principles of our actions and we cannot reduce our actions to principles other than those that are in our power (i.e., counsel and choice) it follows that our good and bad actions are within our power. Because their principles are in our power, they themselves are in our power and hence are voluntary.
503. At “This view seems” , he explains his proposition by means of signs: first [2, a] in the things that are clearly voluntary; and then [2, b], at “A man who is ignorant etc.,” in the things that seem to have something of the involuntary. He says first that the particular things that are done by individual private persons seem to bear witness to what has been said, i.e., that virtuous and vicious actions are within our power. Any father of a family punishes a child or a servant who does wrong. Likewise the things that are done by legislators, who care for the welfare of the state, bear witness. They give sometimes a light, other times a heavy sentence to criminals, provided however the wrongdoers do not act under coercion or through ignorance (of which they are not the cause); if they acted by compulsion or ignorance, their acts would not be voluntary, as is evident from what was said before (400-405). Hence it is clear that they were punished as acting voluntarily.
504. Likewise legislators decree honors for those who voluntarily do good: as it were encouraging the virtuous to good deeds by means of honors, and restraining the vicious from evil by means of punishments. No one encourages a man to do the things that are not in his power and not voluntary because in such matters encouragement before the act is entirely useless. It is useless, for instance, to urge a man in summer not to be hot, or in sickness not to be afflicted or not to be hungry when there is no food. or to do anything beyond his power. The reason is that he would suffer these things notwithstanding encouragement. If, therefore, we are not urged to do the things that are not within our power, but are urged to do good and avoid evil, such things are in our power.
505. Then [2, b], at “A man who is,” he manifests the same truth in those things which seem to have something of the involuntary. Ignorance causes an involuntary, as was explained before (4o6-424). If, however, we are the cause of the ignorance, the ignorance will be voluntary and we will be punished for it. A man can be the cause of his own ignorance in two ways. in one way directly, by doing something, as is evident in those who get drunk and for this reason are rendered ignorant. These should be doubly blamed. First because they drank too much, and next because they committed a sinful deed in their drunkenness. The principle of drunkenness is in the man himself because he has the power to remain sober and his drunkenness is the cause of his ignorance. Accordingly in this way a man is the cause of ignorance.
506. In the other way a man is the cause of ignorance indirectly by reason of the fact that he does not do what he ought to do. On account of this, ignorance of the things a man can and is bound to know is considered voluntary and therefore he is punished for it. This is why he says that legislators punish those who are ignorant of laws everyone ought to know (as that which forbids stealing), but not those who are ignorant of laws which are difficult to know and which not all are bound to know (because it is not possible). The same is true of those things which men do not know apparently by reason of negligence, because they could have learned. They are masters of themselves and they can be diligent and not negligent.
Refutation of the opinion: No One Is Voluntarily Evil
(II)B. He removes the root of this error.
A’ In regard to the internal disposition.
1. HE PROPOSES THAT WHICH ONE CAN DEPEND ON IN SUPPORT OF THE PRECEDING ERROR. — 507
Perhaps such a person is naturally not diligent.
2. HE DISPROVES THIS.
a. He shows that habits of the soul... are voluntary.
i. With respect to their formation.
x. HE BRINGS FORWARD HIS PROPOSITION. — 508-510
But men make themselves negligent by having carelessly, and unjust and incontinent by doing evil to others and spending their time in drinking and such things.
y. HE PROVES IT.
aa. By means of a likeness. — 511
A man’s outlook depends on the way he exercises his powers. This is clearly manifest in the case of those who devote their attention to some exercise or activity. They perfect themselves by constant practice. It seems then that only a man lacking understanding would be ignorant that habits are produced by individual actions.
bb. By a reason taken from the relation of an act to a habit. — 512
Moreover, it is unreasonable to assert that a man who does unjust actions does not wish to be unjust, or who perpetrates seductions does not wish to be incontinent. If one knowingly does those things from which it follows that he is unjust, he will be voluntarily unjust.
ii. He shows they (i.e., habits) are not voluntary after their formation. — 513
Because a person becomes unjust voluntarily, it does not follow that he will cease to be unjust and become just whenever he wishes. One who is sick does not become well in this way. So too it is with a man who voluntarily becomes sick by living immoderately and disregarding the doctor’s advice. Before, it was within his power not to become sick, but having placed the cause the effect is no longer within his power, just as one who throws a stone has not the power to take back the throwing. Nevertheless it is within a man’s power to cast or throw a stone because the original act was under his control. So it is also with the unjust and the incontinent who in the beginning had the power not to be come like this. For this reason they are voluntarily unjust and incontinent although after they have become such it is no longer within their power not to be such.
b. He indicates that even bodily defects... are voluntary. — 514
Not only vices of the soul are voluntary but also defects of the body in certain men whom we justly reproach. No one reproaches those who are born ugly but only those who are so because of slothfulness and carelessness. The same is true with weakness, disgrace, and blindness. No one justly taunts a man who is blind from birth or disease or a wound but he is rather shown sympathy. But everyone does reproach a man blind because of excessive drinking of wine or other incontinence. Men are reproached for those vices and bodily defects that are within our power; but not for those beyond our control. This being so, in other things (pertaining to the soul) the vices we are blamed for must be within our power.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
507. After the Philosopher has rejected the error of those who hold that no one is voluntarily evil, he now [B] removes the roots of this error: first [A’] in regard to the internal disposition by reason of which (contrary to his own will) someone can tend to evil. Then [Lect. 13; B’], at “Someone may say” (B.1114 a 32), in the matter of the faculty of knowledge by which a thing is judged good or bad. He handles the first point in two steps. First  he proposes that which one can depend on in support of the preceding error. Then , at “But men make themselves,” he disproves this. The Philosopher has stated (506) that it is in the power of man to be diligent or negligent about something. But someone could deny this, saying that some person is naturally not diligent. Thus we see that men with phlegmatic temperaments are naturally lazy, men with choleric temperaments are naturally irascible, men with melancholic temperaments are naturally sad and men with sanguine temperaments are naturally joyful. According to this, it is not within man’s power to be diligent.
508. Then , at “But men make,” he rules out what was just said. To understand this we must consider that a man can be said to be of a particular bent in two ways. In one way according to bodily disposition following either the temperament of the body or the influence of the heavenly bodies. By reason of this disposition there can be no direct change of the intellect or will, which are faculties altogether incorporeal not using a bodily organ, as is made clear by the Philosopher in the third book De Anima (Ch. 4, 429 a 29-429 b 4; St. Th. Lect. 7, 687-699). But by this type of disposition some change can follow in the sensitive appetitive faculty, which does use a bodily organ, the movements of which are the passions of the soul. Accordingly, from such a disposition there is no more movement of the reason and will (which are principles of human acts) than is had from the passions of the soul, and concerning these it was likewise pointed out in the first book (241) that they are susceptible of persuasion by the reason. The other disposition is on the part of the soul. This is a habit by means of which the will or reason is inclined in operation.
509. On this account the Philosopher, having passed over the dispositions or qualities of the body, treats only the disposition of habits. On this point he does two things. First [2, a] he shows that habits of the soul according to which a man is negligent or unjust are voluntary from the fact that he is censured on account of them. Second [2, b], at “Not only vices of the soul etc.,” he indicates that even bodily defects which are blameworthy are voluntary. Regarding the first he does two things. First [a, i] he indicates that habits of the soul are voluntary with respect to their formation. Then [a, ii] he shows that they are not voluntary after their formation has already been completed. Touching on the first he does two things. First [i, x] he brings forward his proposition; and next [i, y], at “A man’s outlook etc.,” he proves it.
510. We must consider that evil habits differ as evil acts do. Some habits are evil from the fact that they withdraw a man from doing good. With respect to habits of this kind he says that men are the cause of their own evil lives for they are not diligent in doing good; they live carelessly without attempting good works. Other habits are evil because through them a man is inclined to do evil, whether this brings about the injury of others or one’s own disordered condition. With respect to these he says men by their own volition are the reason why they are unjust inasmuch as they do evil to others, and incontinent inasmuch as they live their lives in unnecessary drinking and in other things of this kind which pertain to the pleasures of touch.
511. Next [i, y], at “A man’s outlook,” he proves the proposition first [y, aa] by means of a likeness in other things. We see that things done in individual actions make men of that particular stamp, i.e., disposed to do similar things. This is clearly manifest in the case of those who are diligent in and take pains with an exercise (like wrestling or soldiering) or any activity whatsoever. Everyone, from the fact that he does the action many times, becomes so adept that he can do similar things perfectly. Since then we see this happen in all cases, it seems that only a man lacking understanding would be ignorant that habits are produced by operations.
512. Then [y, bb], at “Moreover, it is,” he shows the same thing by a reason taken from the relation of an act to a habit. If a man wills some cause from which he knows a particular effect results, it follows that he wills that effect. Although perhaps he does not intend that effect in itself, nevertheless he rather wishes that the effect exist than that the cause not exist. Thus if someone wishes to walk when it is hot, knowing beforehand he will work up a sweat, it follows that he wishes to perspire. Although he does not wish this in itself, nevertheless he wishes rather to perspire than to forego the walk. Nothing hinders a thing from being non-voluntary in itself, although it may be voluntary on account of something else, as a bitter potion taken for health. It would be otherwise if a man were ignorant that such an effect would follow from such a cause, e.g., a voluntary is not effected when a man who walks along the road falls among robbers because he did not know this beforehand. Obviously then men who do unjust actions become unjust and those committing seduction become incontinent. Therefore, it is unreasonable for a man to will to do unjust actions and nevertheless not intend to be unjust or to will to perpetrate seductions and not will to be incontinent. Thus obviously if a man who is aware of his action does voluntarily those things which make him unjust, he will be voluntarily unjust.
513. At “Because a person becomes unjust” [a, ii], he shows that evil habits are not subject to the will after they have been formed. He says that because a person becomes unjust voluntarily, it does not follow that he ceases to be unjust and becomes just whenever he may will. He proves this by means of a likeness in the dispositions of the body. A man who in good health willingly falls into sickness by living incontinently i.e., by eating and drinking to excess and not following the doctor’s advice, had it in his power in the beginning not to become sick. But after he has performed the act, having eaten unnecessary or harmful food, it is no longer in his power not to be sick. Thus he who throws a stone is able not to throw it; however once he has thrown the stone he has not the power to take back the throwing. Nevertheless we do say that it is within a man’s power to cast or throw a stone because it was from a principle under his control. So it is also with the habits of vice; that a man not become unjust or incontinent arises from a principle under his control. Hence we say that men are voluntarily unjust and incontinent, although, after they have become such, it is no longer within their power to cease being unjust or incontinent immediately, but great effort and practice are required.
514. Then [2, b], at “Not only,” he shows by means of a likeness to bodily defects that vicious habits are voluntary. He says that not only vices of the soul are voluntary but also defects of the body in certain men. Such men we justly reproach. No one reproaches those who are born ugly but only those who are ugly by reason of some negligence in proper care. The same is true with weaknesses and blindness. No one justly taunts a man who is blind from birth or disease or a wound which is not voluntary. But on account of those things sympathy rather is shown to the victim. Thus it is evident that we are reproached for those vices and bodily defects which are within our power. Hence obviously in other things, i.e., those things which pertain to the soul, the vices or vicious habits are in our power.
Refutation of the Opinion: We Have No Faculty Cognoscitive of Good
B’ He excludes another fundamental principle on the part of the cognoscitive power.
1. HE EXPLAINS THIS FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE. — 515-516
Someone may say that every man desires what appears good to him for we are not in command of our imagination, but according to the character of each man, so does the end seem to him.
2. HE REJECTS IT.
a. He gives the reason repudiating these allegations. — 517-520
Since, therefore, everyone is in some measure the cause of his habits, he is to some extent the cause of the manner in which his imagination reacts.
b. He adds an answer that seems to counter this. — 521-523
Perhaps no one is himself the cause of the evil he does, but each acts because of ignorance of the end under the impression that something very good will follow by means of his action. It ensues then that the end is not an object desired by a man’s free will but must be innate as though a man had some (moral) sight to judge correctly and to desire what is really good. He is well-born who has this good judgment from birth. For he will possess the greatest and best of gifts, one which can never be received or learned from others, but kept just as nature gave it, and to be well and nobly endowed with this will be a perfect and true and propitious heritage.
c. He disproves the counter-argument. — 524-525
If this is true how is virtue more voluntary than vice? For both alike, i.e., the good and the wicked, the end appears and is fixed by nature or howsoever it may be. In referring everything else to this end, men do whatever they do. Whether the end then, whatever it may be, does not so present itself by nature, but also depends on him, or whether the end is natural, and the good man using the means is voluntarily virtuous, in either case virtue as well as vice will be voluntary. For voluntariety exists in the evil man also since it influences him both in his actions and in his view of the end. If then, as is affirmed, virtues are voluntary (for indeed we ourselves are partly responsible for the way our habits dispose us and by living in a certain way we fix our end accordingly) it follows that vices also are voluntary because a similar reason is present.
III. HE SUMS UP IN CONCLUSION THE MATERIAL PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED.
A. He shows what has already been said about virtues. — 526
We have discussed virtues in general and the outline of their genus. We have shown that each is a mean and a habit. We have explained that habits produce the same actions by which the habits themselves are caused. We have said that habits are in our power and voluntary, that they follow right reason and that voluntary operations are otherwise than habits because we have control over our operations from the beginning to the end when we know the particular circumstances. We are masters only of the beginning of our habits, but the individual steps by which they grow are not known to us, as in sicknesses. But because it was in our power to act or not to act in this way, the habits are called voluntary.
B. He shows what remains to be treated. — 527
Taking up again the consideration of virtues, we will discuss what each virtue is with what matter it deals and in what way it operates. At the same time we will clearly see also how many virtues there are. First we will treat the virtue of fortitude.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
95. After the Philosopher has overthrown the fundamental principle of those who hold that vice is not voluntary on the part of the disposition inclining the appetitive faculty, he here [B’] excludes another fundamental principle on the part of the cognoscitive power. On this point he does two things. First  he explains this fundamental principle; and second , at “Since, therefore, etc.,” he rejects it. In regard to the first we must consider that good precisely as it is perceived moves the desire. As the natural desire or inclination follows the form naturally inherent, so the animal desire follows the perceived form. In order then that a thing be desired,.it is first required that it be perceived as good. Hence everyone desires what appears good to him.
96. Therefore someone can say it is not in our power that this thing should seem or appear good to us. The reason is that we are not in command of our imagination, i.e., over the way things appear or seem to us. But in accord with the disposition of a man, so does his end seem to him, that is, such as a thing seems to a person, it must be desired as good and an end. A thing is agreeable to each according to its proper form: as fire tends upward, and things of earth tend to the center. So also we see that among the animals each one strives after something as good and an end according to its own natural disposition. Hence different animals have different activities and operations, although all animals of one species have similar movements and operations. But in the human species individuals are found having different movements and operations. Hence some were of the opinion that this arose from a natural disposition on account of which this thing seems good to one person and that to another in such a way that the procedure was not subject to a man’s control.
517. Then , at “Since, therefore,” he excludes the afore-mentioned principle, and concerning it he does three things. First [a] he gives the reason repudiating these allegations (516). Next [b], at “Perhaps no one etc.,” he adds an answer which seems to counter this. Last [c], at “If this is true,” he disproves the counter-argument. On the first point we must consider that a thing can appear good to someone in two ways.
518. In one way in general, it is so by a kind of speculative consideration. Such a judgment about good follows not any particular disposition but the universal power of reason syllogizing about actions, as it does in the case of natural things. Since practicable things are contingent, reason is not forced to assent to this or that as it does when demonstration occurs. But man has the power to give assent to one or the other part of a contradiction, as happens in all practicable things especially when we have under consideration many objects, any one of which can be judged good.
519. In the other way a thing can appear good to someone, as it were by a practical knowledge, by reason of a comparison with what is to be done. The Philosopher here speaks of this type of judgment that can be made in two ways about some good. In one way, a thing may appear good to someone absolutely and in itself. This seems to be a good in conformity with the nature of the end. In the other way, a thing may appear to someone not absolutely in itself but judged by present considerations.
520. The appetitive faculty is inclined to an object on two accounts: one, by reason of a passion of the soul, the other by reason of habit. Under the impulse of passion it happens that a thing is judged good as it is at present. Thus to one who is afraid of drowning it appears good at the moment to throw his merchandise overboard; as does fornication to one filled with lust. But the judgment, by which a man accounts a thing good in itself and absolutely, arises from the inclination of habit. This we will discuss now. He, therefore, says that since a man in some measure is the. cause of his own evil habit by reason of his continual sinning—as has been pointed out (509-92)—it follows that he himself is also the cause of the imaginative reaction that follows such a habit, i.e., of the appearance by which this thing seems to be good in itself.
521. Next [b], at “Perhaps no one,” he gives the counter-argument of the adversary against the point that has just been made (518-520). He says that perhaps someone will maintain that nobody is himself the cause of his own evil acts but each individual does evil because of ignorance of the end, inasmuch as he thinks that something very good is to follow from what he does wrongly. That a person desires a proper end does not arise from his own free will but must belong to him from birth. As from birth a man has external sight by which he correctly distinguishes colors, so also from birth he should have a well-disposed internal vision by which he may judge well and desire what is really good. Thus he must be said to be of good birth in whom the previously mentioned judgment has been implanted from birth. When a man innately has in good and perfect fashion what is greatest and best for him, this is a perfect and truly good birth. For man cannot gain this through the help or guidance of another; rather it is proper for him to possess it in the manner that nature has endowed him with it. Therefore, that a man should have this from birth renders his birth doubly praiseworthy: in one way through the excellence of the good, in the other because of the impossibility of otherwise acquiring it.
522. We must consider that this seems to be the opinion of certain mathematicians who hold that man is disposed at his birth by the power of the heavenly bodies to do this or that. This opinion is attributed by Aristotle in his work De Anima (Bk. III, Ch. 3, 426 a 21 sq.; St. Th. Lect. 4, 616-623) to those who did not hold the distinction between sense and intellect. If anyone should say, as in fact it is said in that place (ibid.), that the human will is impelled by the father of men and gods, i.e., the heavens or the sun, it will follow that the will (and the reason in which the will resides) is something corporeal as the senses are. It is not possible that what is in itself incorporeal should be moved by a body. Thus the will and intellect will contain a bodily organ and they will differ in no way from the senses and the sensitive appetitive faculty. Wherefore he draws a comparison between the sense of sight and intellectual vision by which we judge a thing.
523. It must be said then that the heavenly bodies can cause in the human body a disposition inclining the sensitive appetitive faculty, the motion of which is a passion of the soul. Hence by reason of the influence of the heavenly bodies, a man does not have the inclination to judge that a thing is good absolutely and in itself (as through the habit of choice in virtue and vice) but to judge that a thing is good as it is at the moment, for example, in accordance with passion. The same observation must be made about the inclination that occurs from bodily temperament. In the present context, however, there is no question of a judgment by which we judge something good in accordance with passion, for the will is able to reject this—as was stated in (516)—but of a judgment by which we judge that something is good by means of habit. Therefore, this answer.,does not destroy the reason of Aristotle.
524. At “If this is” [c] he rejects this answer on the basis of the presuppositions of the adversary who took for granted that virtue is a voluntary but denied this of vice. Then returning to his earlier discussion (516)—which he had interrupted—he says that if this is true, namely, that the desire of the end exists in man by nature, there is no greater reason why virtue more than vice is voluntary. Reasoning in a similar fashion we say that, for both the virtuous and the vicious man, the goal must be innate no matter in what way it may seem to be perceived and actually desired. Although virtuous and vicious operation is concerned not only with the end but also with the means to the end, nevertheless men act by referring the remaining things (i.e., means to the end) to an end not from nature but howsoever it seems to them.
525. Therefore either it should be said that the end for every man does not seem to be such by nature but that it is relative to each man as it is in his power to cling to such or such an end, or even that the end is natural and by working on the means, man becomes voluntarily virtuous. Then virtue nonetheless will be voluntary. The same is true about vice because what is for the sake of the end in operations is attributable to the vicious man not less than to the virtuous, just as they are alike in regard to the end—as has been pointed out before (358-362). Therefore, if virtues are voluntary because of the fact that we are the causes of the habits by which we are disposed to fix an end of such a kind, it follows that vices also are voluntary because a similar reason holds for one as well as the other.
526. Then [III], at “We have discussed,” he sums up in conclusion the material previously discussed (224525). First [A] he shows what has already been said about virtues, and then [B] what remains to be treated. He states first that virtues in general have been treated (ibid.) and their genus has been clearly manifested in type, i.e., according to their general characteristics. Then it has been said (324-331) what the mean is (this belongs to the proximate genus) and what the habits are (this belongs to the remote genus under which the vices are also contained). It has been affirmed also (255-279) that habits produce the same actions by which the habits themselves were caused. It has been stated too (496-525) that habits are in our power, that they follow right reason and that voluntary operations are otherwise than habits because we have control over operations from the beginning to the end, provided we know the particular circumstances. Although we do have control of habits from the beginning, afterwards, when we are inattentive, something is added in the generation of habits by means of particular operations. Thus it happens in sicknesses brought on by voluntary actions, as has been noted (513). But because it was in our power from the beginning to act or not to act in this way, the habits themselves are called voluntary.
527. Next [B], at “Taking up again,” he shows what remains to be treated. He says we must take up again the consideration of the virtues in order to determine what each virtue is, its subject matter, and its mode of operation. Thus we will clearly see also how many virtues there are. First we will treat the virtue of fortitude.
I. HE TREATS THE MORAL VIRTUES THAT DEAL WITH THE PRINCIPAL PASSIONS TOUCHING THE VERY LIFE OF MAN.
A. He studies fortitude.
A’. He investigates the matter of fortitude.
1. HE REVIEWS WHAT WAS CLEARLY EVIDENT FROM THE PREMISES ABOUT THE MATTER OF FORTITUDE. — 528-529
We stated previously that fortitude is a mean dealing with fear and rashness.
2. HE INVESTIGATES THE OBJECTS OF THESE PASSIONS AS FORTITUDE IS CONCERNED WITH THEM.
a. He shows what the objects of fear are. — 530-531
Terrifying things are what we fear. They are the things which we universally call evil. For this reason philosophers define fear as the expectation of evil. We all fear certain evils, e.g., a bad reputation, poverty, sickness, enmity, and death.
b. He explains with what class of these objects fortitude deals.
i. He shows about what evils it is not concerned.
x. HE SETS FORTH HIS PROPOSITION. — 532
But fortitude does not seem to deal with all evils.
y. HE PROVES HIS PROPOSITION.
aa. Fortitude does not deal with the fear of a bad reputation. — 533
For, to fear some things is both proper and good, and not to fear others is base. For instance, in the matter of a bad reputation, he who fears this is said to be decent and modest; one who does not have this fear is called shameless. Such a person is said by some to be brave in a metaphorical sense, because he is like a brave man inasmuch as he is without fear.
bb. Fortitude does not deal with the fear of poverty. — 534
Poverty is not to be feared; neither is sickness, nor any of those things which are not caused by wickedness or man himself. But one who has no fear of these things is not called brave, except perhaps by way of similarity. Some are cowardly in the dangers of war, but generous, and courageous in the face of the loss of their fortune.
cc. Fortitude does not deal with... personal evils. — 535
No one is called cowardly because he fears injury to his children or his wife, or because he fears envy or any other thing of this kind. No one is called brave because he does not fear a flogging.
ii. He concludes about what evils it is concerned. — 536
About what kind of terrifying things is a brave man concerned? Is he concerned with the most terrifying? No one can sustain such perils more than he. Now the most frightening of all is death, for it is the end, and nothing either good or bad seems to exist any longer for the dead.
c. He shows in particular what kind of death fortitude envisages.
i. He shows with what kind of death fortitude deals.
x. HE SETS FORTH HIS PROPOSITION. — 537
It does not seem that fortitude is concerned with death, which occurs in every case, for instance, at sea or in sickness. In what circumstances then? In the most suitable, as when men die fighting for their country.
y. HE PROVES HIS PROPOSITION.
aa. By two reasons. The first. — 538
Such men lose their lives in the greatest and noblest dangers.
bb. Next. — 539
Honors are given to them both in the city-states and in the monarchies.
ii. He explains the relation of fortitude to all the kinds of death.
x. TO THE FEAR OF DEATH.
aa. He explains the death about which fortitude is principally concerned. — 540
A man is called brave principally because he is not afraid of death for a good cause nor of all emergencies that involve death. Such emergencies are to be met with most often in battle.
bb. Fear of other kinds of death. — 541
Moreover, brave men are unafraid both in shipwreck and in sickness. They differ from sailors, for these brave men despise this sort of death when there is no hope of rescue, while sailors may well hope to be saved by reason of their experience.
y. HE SHOWS ITS RELATION TO BOLDNESS. — 542
Likewise, brave men act manfully in danger where it is praiseworthy to be courageous and to give one’s life. But neither of these conditions exist in these other forms of death.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
528. After Aristotle has finished the treatise on virtues in general, he begins here a particularized study of the individual virtues. First he treats the virtues concerned with the interior passions. Next, he treats justice and injustice (concerned with external actions) in the fifth book (Lect. 1) at “We must give our attention to justice and injustice etc.” (B. 1129). The first section falls into two parts. In the first part [I] he treats the moral virtues dealing with the principal passions touching the very life of man. Next, he treats the moral virtues that are concerned with the secondary passions touching the external goods of man, in the fourth book (Lect. 1) at “Let us next discuss etc.” (1119 b 21). Concerning the first part he does two things. First [A] he studies fortitude, which deals with the passions touching things destructive of human life. Then [Lect. 19] he studies temperance, which deals with the passions touching things preservative of human life, i e., food and sex, at “Following this treatise (on fortitude) we must etc.” (B.1117 b 22). On the first point he does three things. First [A’] he investigates the matter of fortitude. Next, “The same thing is not terrifying etc,” [Lect. 15], he treats the method of its operation (B. 1115 b 7). Last, at “Although fortitude is concerned etc.” [Lect. 18], he determines certain properties of the virtue (B.1117 a 29). In regard to the first he does two things. First  he reviews what was clearly evident from the premises about the matter of fortitude, i.e., with what passions it deals. Next , at “Terrifying things are what etc.,” he investigates the objects of these passions as fortitude is concerned with them.
529. He says, as has already been explained in the second book (267, 341), that fortitude is a kind of mean dealing with fear and rashness. Fortitude denotes a firmness of soul by which it remains unmoved by the fear of dangers.
530. Then , at “Terrifying things,” he investigates the objects of the previously mentioned passions according as fortitude treats them, especially on the part of fear about which fortitude is principally concerned, as will be pointed out later (536). The objects of fear and rashness are identical, for what one man flees because of fear, another attacks in his rashness. On this point three considerations demand his attention. First [2, a] he shows what the objects of fear are. Next [2, b], at “But fortitude does not etc.,” he explains with what class of these objects fortitude deals, Since it is concerned with fear of death. Finally [2, c], at “It does not seem etc.,” he shows in particular what kind of death fortitude envisages.
531. He says first that terrifying things are those we are afraid of, objects of fear, so to speak. All evil things are universally of this kind. Hence philosophers in giving a definition of fear say that it is the expectation of evil. Expectation is here taken generally for any movement of the appetitive faculty toward some future things, although expectation properly speaking is directed only to good, as is hope. It is evident then that we all fear some evils, like a bad reputation and disgrace (which are contrary to respectability), destitution and poverty (which are contrary to the goods of external fortune), sickness, enmity, and death (which are contrary to personal goods).
532. Next [2, b], at “But fortitude does not,” he shows that fortitude deals with the fear of some particular evils. First [b, i] he shows about what evils it is not concerned. Second [b, ii], at “About what kind of terrifying things etc.,” he concludes about what evils it is concerned. on the first point he does two things. First [b, i, x] he sets forth his proposition that fortitude does not seem to deal with the fear of all evils.
533. Second [b, i, y], at “For, to fear some things,” he proves his proposition, the first part of which is that fortitude does not deal with the fear of a bad reputation [b, i, y, aa]. The brave man is praised because he does not fear. But there are certain things which we ought to fear in order to live a good life. It is good to fear these things inasmuch as fear is not only necessary for the preservation of respectability, but even fear itself is something honorable. There is a kind of disgrace attached to the person who does not fear evils of this sort. This is obvious from the fact that one who fears a bad reputation is praised as decent, i.e., morally good and modest. But one who does not fear evil of this kind is blamed as shameless. It is evident, therefore, that fortitude is not concerned with fear of these evils. Sometimes, it is true, a man who does not fear a bad reputation is called by some brave, in a metaphorical sense, because he has a likeness to a brave man inasmuch as he is without fear.
534. In the second part (of his proposition) at “Poverty is not to be feared” [b, i, y, bb], he shows that fortitude does not deal with the fear of poverty. He says that poverty is not to be feared in the way that a bad reputation is to be feared (533). Neither is sickness to be feared, nor indeed any of those things that do not pertain to wickedness of which man himself is the cause. It is useless for man to fear what he is unable to avoid. In regard to such things, therefore, a man ought to fear lest he fall into any of them by his own wickedness. The reason is that fear is useful to avoid these very things, but not otherwise. Although it is not necessary to fear things of this sort, nevertheless one who has no fear of them is not called brave except perhaps in a metaphorical sense. The reason is that not to fear poverty seems to belong to another virtue, liberality. Some are praised for the act of this virtue, inasmuch as they spend money freely. Yet they are called complete cowards in the greater dangers of war. Therefore, fortitude is not concerned with the fear of poverty.
535. In the third part, at “No one is” [b, i, y, cc], he shows that fortitude does not deal with any fear whatsoever of personal evils. He says that a man is not called cowardly because he fears injury or envy of himself, his children or his wife, or any other thing of this kind. A person is not said to be brave because he does not fear the lash but boldly endures it, since these things are not especially terrifying. But a person is brave without qualification from the fact that he is brave in the face of the most terrifying dangers. One who is undaunted in some other circumstances is not called absolutely brave, but brave in that particular category.
536. At “About what kind of” [b, ii] he shows that fortitude is concerned with the fear of certain evils, saying that man is called absolutely brave from the fact that he is fearless in the face of dangers which are most terrifying. Virtue is determined according to the maximum of the faculty, as is pointed out in the first book of De Coelo (Ch. II, 281 a 8; St. Th. Lect. 25, 249)Therefore, the virtue of fortitude must deal with the things that are most terrifying, so that no one endures greater dangers than the brave man. Among all dangers the most frightening is death. The reason is that death is the end of all present life, and after death there does not seem to be any good or evil equal to those things of this life that inflict death on us. Things belonging to the state of the soul after death are not visible to us, but that by which a man loses all his goods is appallingly frightening. Hence it seems that fortitude is properly concerned with fear of the dangers of death.
537. Then [2, c], at “It does not seem,” he shows that fortitude is concerned with the fear of a particular kind of death. On this point he does two things. First [c, i] he shows with what kind of death fortitude deals. Next [c, ii], at “A man is called brave etc.,” he explains the relation of fortitude to all the kinds of death. In regard to the first he does two things. First [c, i, x] he sets forth his proposition. Then [c, i, y I, at “Such men lose their lives etc.,” he proves his proposition. He says first that fortitude is not even concerned with death that a man suffers in some kind of accident or employment, as at sea or in sickness, but with death that he suffers from the best of causes, as happens when a man dies fighting in defense of his country. The same reason holds in the case of any other death that a person undergoes for the good of virtue. But he makes a special mention of death in battle because in that undertaking men more frequently suffer death for the sake of good.
538. Then [c, i, y], at “Such men lose,” he proves his proposition by two reasons. The first [c, i, y, aa] is that death in battle happens in the greatest danger since a man easily loses his life there. It happens also in the most noble of dangers since a man undergoes the danger in that case on account of the common good that is the greatest good, as has been noted in the beginning (30). But virtue is concerned with what is greatest and best. Therefore, the virtue of fortitude especially deals with death that takes place in battle.
539. Next [c, i, y, bb], at “Honors are given,” he proves the same thing from the fact that honors are given to those who die such a death or bravely expose themselves to the danger of a death of this kind. (This is the practice both in city-states that exist by association and in monarchies where kings alone rule.) The reason is that those who fight bravely in battle are honored both while they live and after death. But honor is the reward of virtue. Therefore, the virtue of fortitude is considered as dealing with death of this kind.
540. At “A man is called brave” [c, ii] he shows how fortitude has a relation to all the kinds of death. First [c, ii, x] he shows the way fortitude is related to the fear of death. Next [c, ii, y], at “Likewise, brave men etc.,” he shows its relation to boldness which is a reaction to dangers of this kind. On the first point he does two things. First [c, ii, x, aa] he explains the death about which fortitude is principally concerned. A man is called brave, he says, mainly because he is not afraid of death for a good cause, nor is he afraid of the threats—especially sudden threats—of death. The reason is that every virtue is ordered to good. Actions that must be done on the spur of the moment show in a special way that a person acts from habit. In other situations a man after careful deliberations can perform actions like those that proceed from the habit. Actions pertaining to good and the unexpected dangers in battle are especially of this kind. Hence the brave man who is not afraid is concerned principally with these actions.
541. Next [c, ii, x, bb], at “Moreover, brave men,” he shows how the brave man himself is without fear of other kinds of death. He says that as a consequence brave men are unafraid both in storms at sea and in sickness because they do not lose their heads and become upset because of fear of, such dangers. In storms, however, they differ from sailors. Even if the brave have no hope of rescue, they nevertheless despise death and are without fear. But sailors are unafraid of dangers from the sea by reason of their experience, for they have hope of being easily able to escape them.
542. Then [c, ii, y], at “Likewise, brave men,” he shows that fortitude is principally concerned not only with fear of death but also with boldness in dangers of this kind. He says that brave men likewise act manfully by meeting dangers in those circumstances where fortitude is praiseworthy and where it is noble to die, as in battle. It is good that a man endanger his life for the common welfare. But in the aforesaid modes of death, by shipwreck or by sickness, fortitude is not honorable nor does any good follow from death. Hence it does not belong to the virtue of fortitude to meet such dangers boldly.
The Act of Fortitude
I. HE DISTINGUISHES THE ACT OF FORTITUDE FROM THE ACTS OF THE OPPOSITE VICES.
A. He determines how acts can be differentiated in the matter presently investigated.
A’ He assigns the reason for differentiating acts in this matter. — 543-544
The same thing is not terrifying to all, but we do call that terrifying which is above the power of man to resist. The superhuman is frightening to every sensible person. However, what is within the power of man differs according to magnitude and degree. It is the same with daring undertakings.
B’ He shows how they are differentiated. — 545-546
The brave man does not lose his head but acts like a man. He will, there fore, fear such things, and he will undergo them as he ought, and as reason will judge, for the sake of good which is the end of virtue. But man sometimes fears dangers more or less; he fears things that are not terrifying as if they were terrifying. Man is at fault because he fears at times the wrong things, at other times in the wrong way or at the wrong time and so forth. The same observation may be made about what inspires confidence.
B. He shows what the proper act of fortitude is by comparison with the acts of the opposite vices.
1. HE EXPLAINS THE ACT OF VIRTUE AND OF THE VICES.
a. He defines the acts of the virtue and the vices relating to fear and rashness.
i. He defines the act of the virtuous man.
x. HE EXPOUNDS HIS PROPOSITION. — 547-548
One who endures and fears the right things, for the right motive, in the right manner, and at the right time is brave. Likewise the brave man acts daringly, for he endures and acts in conformity with what is worthy and according to reason.
y. HE MAKES CLEAR SOMETHING HE HAD SAID. — 549-550
The end of every action is conformity with its own habit. The good intended by the brave man is fortitude and this is also an end since every means is determined by its end. The brave man endures and works, for the sake of good, the things which are in conformity with fortitude.
ii. (He defines) the acts of the vicious man.
x. OF THE MAN DEFICIENT IN FEAR. — 551
Of those who go to excess, that man who fears nothing is unnamed. We mentioned before that many vices are unnamed but a person is a madman or insensible who fears nothing, neither earthquakes nor floods, as it is said of the Celts.
y. OF THE MAN EXCESSIVE IN DARING. — 552
He who is excessive in daring when dealing with frightening things is called reckless. The reckless man is thought to be vain but only feigns courage. As the brave man really is in face of danger, so the vain man wishes to appear (even imitating the actions of the brave man). Hence many who seem brave, are in fact cowards. They are daring in these circumstances (of little danger) but do not stand up when fearful things occur.
z. OF THE MAN EXCESSIVE IN FEARING. — 553
One who is excessive in fearing is a coward; he fears the things he ought not to fear, as he ought not (and similarly in the other circumstances). He is also deficient in daring but he is more conspicuous from the fact that he fears painful situations too much.
b. (He defines) those relating to hope and despair. — 554
The coward is a despairing man inasmuch as he fears everything. The brave man, on the contrary, has great hope inasmuch as he is courageous.
c. He concludes with a summary. — 555
The cowardly, the reckless, and the brave are all concerned with these passions but are disposed towards them in a different way. The reckless and the cowardly have excess and defect but the brave man holds a middle course as he ought.
2. HE COMPARES THE VIRTUE WITH CERTAIN THINGS THAT SEEM SIMILAR TO IT.
a. He shows the difference between the brave and the reckless man. — 556
The reckless are precipitate and rush to meet danger, but, when actually in it, they fall down. The brave however are vigorous while in action and calm beforehand.
b. Between the brave man and the man who undergoes death to escape misfortunes. — 557-558
As has been pointed out, fortitude is a mean concerned with situations that inspire confidence or terror about which we have spoken; it desires or, endures things because it is good to do so, or because it is base not to do so. But to suffer death in order to avoid poverty or a disappointed love or something painful is not characteristic of a brave man but rather of a coward. It is a kind of effeminacy not to endure these misfortunes, and besides, such a one suffers a death not for an honorable good but to escape evil. Such then is the nature of fortitude.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
543. After the Philosopher has investigated the matter of fortitude, he now treats its act. First [I] he distinguishes the act of fortitude from the acts of the opposite vices. Next [Lect. 16; II], at “Other kinds of fortitude are enumerated etc.,” he treats certain things that have an act similar to fortitude (B.1116 a 16). He discusses the first point under two aspects. First [A] he determines how acts can be differentiated in the matter presently investigated. Then [B], at “One who endures etc.,” he shows what the proper act of fortitude is by comparison with the acts of the opposite vices. He handles the first point in a twofold manner. First [A, A’] he assigns the reason for differentiating acts in this matter. Second [A, B’], at “The brave man does not lose etc.,” he shows how they are differentiated. He observes first that the same thing is not terrifying to all.
544. Since fear is in the irascible part-the object of which is the difficult-fear is concerned only with an evil which is in some way above the power of the one fearing. Hence a thing is terrifying to a child which is not terrifying to a mature man. There are evils that exceed human power to overcome, such as earthquakes, tidal waves, and other disasters of this sort. Hence evils of this kind are terrifying to every sensible man endowed with good judgment. But that terrifying thing which does not seem to exceed man’s power to resist may be viewed in a twofold way. One, according to the different magnitude of the thing, for example, it is more terrifying to have many enemies come together than to have only a few. The other, according to degree, for instance, that enemies have greater or less hatred, or that they are closer or farther away. What has been said about terrifying things must be said likewise about things inspiring courage because fear and boldness have the same object, as has been said previously (530).
545. Then [A, B’], at “The brave man,” he shows by the reason just given how acts are differentiated in this matter. When it is affirmed that the brave man does not lose his head because of fear, this must be understood as referring to a man of sound judgment. Such a one will fear the things which are above man. Hence the brave man too will fear them. However, in case of necessity or utility, he will undergo such things as he ought and as right reason, which is proper to man, will judge. In this way he will not forsake the judgment of reason on account of the fear of such things, but will endure terrifying things of this kind, no matter how great, on account of the good which is the end of virtue.
546. It happens at times that a man fears terrifying things that are above his power, or within his power more or less than reason judges. What is more, it happens that he fears the things which are not terrifying as if they were terrifying. Man’s sin consists principally in what is contrary to right reason. As sickness takes p1ace in the body by reason of a disorder of some humor, so too sin against reason takes place in the soul by reason of a disorder of some circumstance. Hence sometimes a person sins in the matter of fear from the fact that he fears what he ought not to fear, but other times from the fact that he fears when he ought not to fear. The same must be said about the other circumstances enumerated above (544). What has been affirmed about terrifying things is to be understood about things inspiring boldness where a similar reason is found, as has been said (544).
547. Next [B], at “One who,” he shows what the act of fortitude is by means of a comparison with the opposite vices. He treats this under two headings. First  he explains the act of the virtue and of the vices. Next , at “The reckless are etc.,” he compares the virtue with certain things that seem similar to it. He discusses the first point in a threefold manner. First [1, a] he defines the acts of the virtue and the vices relating to fear and rashness; and then [1, b], at “The coward is etc.,” those relating to hope and despair. Finally [1, c], at “The coward, the reckless etc.,” he concludes with a summary. He handles the first point from two aspects. First [a, i] he defines the act of the virtuous man; and then [a, ii], at “Of those who go etc.,” the acts of the vicious man. He considers the first point in a twofold way. First [i, x] he expounds his proposition. Next [i, y], at “The end etc.,” he makes clear something he had said.
548. He says first that one who endures the things he ought to endure and flees through fear the things he ought to avoid with the right motivation, in the right manner, and at the right time is called brave. Likewise, he who dares in the things he ought for the right motive and so forth is also brave. He assigns the reason for this when he says that a brave and virtuous man endures on account of fear and he acts by means of daring in conformity with what is fitting and as right reason indicates. Every moral virtue is in accord with right reason, as was stated previously (323, 326).
549. At “The end” [i, y] he makes clear something he had said, namely, the right motive for operating. He remarks that the end of every virtuous operation is in conformity with the nature of its own habit. A habit caused by custom operates after the manner of a nature because custom is a kind of nature, as is noted in the book De Memoria et Reminiscentia (Ch. 2, 452 a 28; St. Th. Lect. 6, 383). The ultimate end of an agent naturally operating is the good of the universe, a perfect good; but the proximate end is to imprint its likeness in another. Thus the end of a warm object is to make things warm by means of its activity. Likewise the ultimate end of operative virtue is happiness, a perfect good, as was said in the first book (45, 111, 112, 117-118, 201, 222). But the proximate and proper end is to impress a likeness of the habit on the act.
550. This is what he means in his statement that the good, which the brave man intends, is fortitude—not the habit of fortitude, for this already exists, but the likeness of it in the act. This also is the end since every means is determined by its proper end because the character of means to the end is derived from the end. For this reason the end of fortitude is something pertaining to the nature of fortitude. In this way the brave man endures and works for the sake of good, that is, inasmuch as he intends to perform the actions which are in conformity with fortitude.
551. Then [ii], at “Of those who go to excess,” he defines the acts of vicious men: first [ii, x] of the man deficient in fear; next [ii, y], of the man excessive in daring, at “He who is excessive in daring etc.” Last [ii, z], at “One who is excessive in fearing etc.,” he defines the acts of the man excessive in fearing. He says first that there is no special term for the man who abounds-speaking of the vices pertaining to excess in fearlessness, i.e. who fears nothing. It was said before (341) that many vices have no names. This particularly happens in things that rarely occur. And fearlessness of this sort rarely happens. It occurs only in the case of madmen and insensible persons who fear nothing—not even earthquakes, floods, or anything of this kind. This is said to happen among certain people called Celts (the name of a race). He speaks here of one who is insensible or without a sense of pain because the future things we fear and the things that cause us pain when present are the same.
552. Next [ii, y], at “He who,” he treats those who are excessive in daring. He says that the man who, dealing with terrifying things, abounds in daring by boldly attacking them beyond what reason suggests is called reckless. But there is also one who is apparently but not really reckless, the vain man who pretends to be brave. Hence as the brave or reckless man really is in regard to terrifying things, so the vain man seeks to appear. Because of this the vain man imitates the works of the brave or reckless man when he can do so without danger. Hence many of those who seem brave or reckless are cowardly. Many of those who are reckless in circumstances having little danger do not endure when truly frightening things occur.
553. At “One who” [ii, z], he treats of one who is excessive in fearing. The Philosopher says a man is a coward when he fears what he should not fear, in the way he should not fear, and so on. The man inordinate in fear is lacking in daring. The only reason why a person does not attack to destroy frightening things is fear. But the lack of fear can exist without the recklessness of attack. It does not follow then that everyone, who does not flee as he ought, attacks more than he ought. But whoever is deficient in attacking the right things is motivated only by fear. For this reason Aristotle separates the defect of fear from the excess of recklessness, but joins the excess of fear with the defect of recklessness. Although the coward is extreme in fearing and deficient in daring, nevertheless he is more conspicuous from the fact that he abounds in the fear of painful situations than from the fact that he is lacking in daring, because the defect is not so easily seen as the excess.
554. Then [i, b], at “The coward is,” he shows, how the previously named things are related to hope and despair. For an understanding of this we must consider that the object of recklessness and fear is evil. But the object of hope and despair is good. The appetitive faculty of itself tends towards the good, but incidentally flees the good by reason of some evil attached. Likewise, the appetitive faculty of itself flees the evil. But what is essential causes that which is incidental. For this reason, hope—whose characteristic is to tend towards good—causes recklessness that tends towards the evil it attacks. For the same reason fear, which flees evil, is the cause of despair, which withdraws from good. He says, therefore, that the coward is a despairing man inasmuch as he fears his deficiency in everything. On the contrary the brave man has great hope because he is courageous.
555. Next [i, c], at “The cowardly, the reckless,” he sums up what has been said, concluding from the premises that the cowardly, the reckless, and the brave man all are concerned with these passions but related to them in a different way. The reckless man exceeds in daring and is lacking in fear; the cowardly man exceeds in fear and is lacking in daring. But the brave man follows a middle course in these matters as he ought according to right reason.
556. At “The reckless”  he compares fortitude with things similar to it. First [2, a] he shows the difference between the brave and the reckless man. Next [2, b], at “As has been pointed out etc.,” he shows the difference between the brave man and the man who undergoes death to escape misfortunes. The coward seems to have nothing in common with the brave man, and for this reason Aristotle does not care to assign the difference between them. He remarks that the reckless are impetuous, rushing into danger, i.e., swiftly and spiritedly going out to meet it, because they are moved by a surge of passion beyond reason. When they are actually in the danger they are checked, for the movement of the preceding passion is overcome by the threatening danger. But when the brave are in the very midst of the dangers, they are vigorous because the judgment according to which they act is not overcome by any danger. But before they meet the difficulties, they are calm because they do not act from violence of passion but from deliberate reason.
557. Then [2, b], at “As has been pointed out,” he shows the difference between a brave man and the man who undergoes death to escape misfortune. He says, as has been noted (535-540), that fortitude is a mean in terrifying things, which are evils concerned with the dangers of death spoken of before (535-540); that fortitude tends to operate virtuously and sustains sufferings of this kind in order to bring about something good and honorable, or in order to flee something disgraceful and dishonorable. However, that one should die by laying hands on himself or by voluntarily suffering death inflicted by another (in order to escape poverty or a longing for a thing which he cannot possess or whatever else there is that causes sorrow) does not belong to a brave man but rather to a coward. This happens for two reasons. First, because a certain effeminacy of soul, contrary to fortitude, seems to exist when a person is unable to undergo hardships and sorrows. Second, because such a one does not suffer death for an honorable good, as the brave man does, but to escape a painful evil.
558. Finally, he concludes that we can know, from what was said, the nature of fortitude.
Acts of Civic and Military Fortitude
II. HE TREATS CERTAIN DISPOSITIONS HAVING AN ACT SIMILAR TO BUT LACKING REAL FORTITUDE.
(PRENOTES) — 559-560
A. He treats civic fortitude (three kinds).
1. THE FIRST BELONGS TO THOSE WHO UNDERGO DANGERS FOR THE SAKE OF HONOR.
a. He brings out this kind of fortitude. — 561-562
Other kinds of fortitude are enumerated according to five types. Among these, fortitude of the citizen holds first place, for it is most like real fortitude. Citizens apparently undergo dangers because of legal penalties and the disgrace of cowardice, and also for the sake of honor. For this reason men are found to be very brave in those states where the cowardly are censured and the brave accorded honors.
b. He gives examples taken from Homer. — 563
Homer mentions men of this kind, Diomede and Hector, for instance. Polydamas (says Hector) would be the first to reproach me [Iliad xxii. 100]. And Diomede: “Hector at some time or other when boasting to the Trojans will say: Tydides has fled from me” [Iliad viii. 148].
c. He clarifies what he has said. — 564
This fortitude is most like that we just discussed as being exercised on account of virtue. It is indeed practiced on account of shame and the desire of the honorable, for fortitude of this sort is for the sake of honor and the avoidance of the disgrace of opprobrium.
2. THE SECOND (BELONGS) TO THOSE WHO UNDERGO DANGERS BECAUSE OF FEAR OF PUNISHMENTS. — 565
Those who are under compulsion from their rulers will be included in the same type of fortitude. They are less worthy of the title, however, insofar as they do not act bravely because of shame but rather out of fear, for they flee not what is disgraceful, but what is painful. Masters coerce their subjects by threats as Hector did: “Anyone I find giving way to fear and not doing battle will not have a chance to escape the dogs” [Iliad ii. 191].
3. THE THIRD (BELONGS) TO THOSE WHO ATTACK AND EXPOSE THEMSELVES TO DANGEROUS SITUATIONS. — 566
Rulers do the same thing when they command their subjects not to give ground, and beat those who do. A similar judgment is to be passed on those who before battle construct walls, trenches, and other such obstacles to retreat. All such have coerced their subjects. But the virtuous man must be brave not because of constraint but because of the good of virtue.
B. (He treats) the fortitude of the soldier.
1. HE SHOWS WHAT LEADS SOLDIERS TO FIGHT BRAVELY. — 567-569
In particular cases experience seems to be a kind of fortitude. For this reason Socrates thought that fortitude was knowledge. As others are brave in other things from experience, so soldiers are brave in warfare. In war there are many operations without danger which soldiers know very well. Those engaged in these exercises seem brave to others who are ignorant of the nature of such things. Hence professional soldiers are especially able by reason of experience to attack their adversaries without harm to themselves: skilled in the use of arms, they are able to guard themselves from blows and to strike back. They possess other skills like those that enable them to inflict injury while they themselves are not injured. They fight against others like the armed against the unarmed, like well-trained athletes against inexperienced rustics. In athletic contests of this kind it is not the brave who can fight the most but rather those who are physically powerful and well-conditioned.
2. HE COMPARES THE FORTITUDE OF THE SOLDIER AND THE CITIZEN. — 570
Soldiers turn cowards when they see that the danger exceeds their skill and that they are inferior in numbers and military preparations. They are the first to run away, while those possessing the fortitude of the citizen, refusing to leave, give up their lives. This actually happened in the battle at the temple of Hermes. Citizens think it disgraceful to flee, and choose to die rather than to be saved under such circumstances. But soldiers expose themselves to danger because from the beginning they think themselves more powerful. When the truth dawns on them they take flight fearing death more than disgrace. Not so the brave man.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
559. After the Philosopher has ascertained how the act of real fortitude and of the opposite vices is constituted, he treats here certain dispositions having an act similar to but lacking real fortitude (II). This happens in five ways. Since real fortitude is a moral virtue (for which knowledge is required and because of this, choice), a person exercising an act of fortitude can fall short of real virtue in three ways. In one way because he does not operate with knowledge. This is the fifth type of counterfeit fortitude, according to which a person is said to be brave through ignorance. In another way because a person does not operate by choice but by passion (whether it is a passion urging one to undergo dangers as anger does, or a passion quieting fear of the mind as hope does). According to this consideration, there are two kinds of counterfeit fortitude.
560. The third way a person falls short of real fortitude is that he operates by choice, but he does not choose what the brave man chooses. In undergoing dangers he does not think it hazardous, because of his skill, to fight in battle, as is evident among soldiers; or he chooses to undergo the dangers not on account of the end that a brave man chooses but on account of honors or punishments decreed by rulers of states.
561. Accordingly, this portion falls into five parts. In the first part [A] he treats civic fortitude or fortitude of the citizen; in the second [B], the fortitude of the soldier at “In particular cases etc.”; in the third part [Lect.17, C], fortitude that operates through anger, at “People confuse rage etc.” (B.1116 b 23); in the fourth part [Lect. 17, D], fortitude that operates through hope, at “Likewise the confident etc.” (B.1117 a ii); in the fifth part [Lect. 17, E], fortitude that operates through ignorance, at “Those who operate in ignorance etc.” (B.1117 a 23). In regard to the first he indicates three kinds of civic fortitude. The first kind [A, 1] belongs to those who undergo dangers for the sake of honor. The second [A, 2], to those who undergo dangers because of the fear of punishments, at “Those who are under compulsion etc.” The third [A, 3], at “Rulers do the same etc.,” to those who attack and expose themselves to dangerous situations because of pressing compulsion. He discusses the first point under three headings.
562. First [i, a] he brings out this kind of fortitude. He says that over and above real fortitude, certain other kinds of fortitude are enumerated according to five types. Among these, civic fortitude or fortitude of the citizen holds first place because this type is very similar to real fortitude. Citizens undergo dangers to avoid penalties and disgrace which, according to the civil laws, are inflicted on the cowardly, and to acquire honors which by the same laws are bestowed on the brave. So in those states where blame is heaped on the cowardly and honors on the brave, men are found most brave according to this type of fortitude, and perhaps even according to the real virtue by reason of habit.
563- Second [i, b], at “Homer mentions,” he gives examples taken from Homer who, describing the Trojan War, introduces men brave for honor or fear of blame: Diomede among the Greeks and Hector for the Trojan side. He represents Hector as saying these words: “Polydamas, the Trojan leader, will be the first to reproach me (i.e., he will find fault first of all with me) if I do not fight manfully.” And Diomede exhorting himself to act bravely said: “Hector haranguing the Trojans will say in praise of himself and in vituperation of me that Tydides (a name given him from his father’s), alias Diomede, has fled from me and has been beaten.
564. Third [i, c], at “This fortitude,” he clarifies what he has said: that this kind of fortitude is very similar to the genuine virtue. He says that the citizen’s fortitude is much like the one of which we have spoken (562), since it is for the sake of virtue. This fortitude of the citizen is practiced through shame or fear of the disgraceful, inasmuch as someone flees disgrace, and through a desire of the good or honorable insofar as this fortitude seeks honor, which is the testimony of goodness. For this reason he adds in explanation that fortitude of this sort is motivated by honor and avoidance of opprobrium, which is the disgraceful. Since then honor is a thing near to an honorable good, and blame to the disgraceful, it follows that this fortitude is close to real fortitude, which seeks what is honorable and flees from what is shameful.
565. Then [A, 2], at “Those who,” he indicates the second kind of civic fortitude that is practiced on account of punishment. He says that those who are brave, because compelled by the fear of punishments inflicted by rulers of the state, can be assigned the same type of civic fortitude. They are, however, inferior to the previously mentioned insofar as they do not act bravely on account of the shame of disgrace but on account of fear of punishment. This is why he adds that they do not flee what is disgraceful or dishonorable but what is sorrowful, i.e., painful or injurious, from the fact that someone is made sad. In this way the masters compel their subjects to fight bravely. According to Homer, Hector threatened the Trojans in these words: “Anyone running away and not doing battle, i.e., without fighting bravely, I will handle so roughly that he will not have a chance to escape the dogs.”
566. Next [A, 3], at “Rulers do the same,” he presents the third kind of civic fortitude according as some are compelled by their rulers then and there and not only by fear of future punishment. This is why he says that rulers do the same thing by their actions when they command their subjects not to run away from battle, and beat those who do. A similar judgment is to be passed on those who, before battle, construct walls and trenches and other such obstacles to retreat so that their subjects cannot take to flight. All rulers who do things of this kind coerce their subjects to fight. And those who act under compulsion in this way are not really brave, because the virtuous man must be brave not on account of the constraint he suffers but because of the good of virtue.
567. At “In particular cases” [B] he treats the fortitude of the soldier. He explains this question in a twofold manner. First [B, 1] he shows what leads soldiers to fight bravely. Next [B, 2] he compares the fortitude of the soldier and the citizen, at “Soldiers turn cowards.” He says first that in individual cases experience seems to be a kind of fortitude. In any undertaking one who has knowledge from experience works boldly and without fear, as Vegetius says in his book on military affairs: “No one fears to do what he believes he has learned to do well.” For this reason Socrates thought fortitude was knowledge which is acquired by experience. He even thought all the virtues are kinds of knowledge. But this question will be studied later in the sixth book (1286). Therefore, since certain others are brave by experience in particular affairs, so soldiers are brave in warfare by reason of experience.
568. Two things follow from this. The first is that in war there are many great things like the clash of arms, the charge of the cavalry, and so on that strike the inexperienced with terror, although there is little or no danger in them. These things, as the professional soldiers know, are not really to be dreaded. Hence men seem brave when engaging, without fear, in exercises that appear dangerous to others who are inexperienced and ignorant of the nature of what is taking place. Second, it follows that by reason of experience professional soldiers in fighting can do hurt to their adversaries, and not suffer or be harmed in turn. They can guard themselves from blows and can strike back, for they are clever in the use of weapons, and they possess other skills effective in enabling them to inflict injury while they themselves are not injured. Hence it is obvious they fight against others as the armed against the unarmed. A man is in effect unarmed if he does not know how or is unable to use arms.
569. The same can be said of athletes, i.e., strong and well-trained boxers compared to simple and inexperienced farm boys. In such athletic contests it is not the brave who can fight the most but those who are: physically powerful and well- conditioned.
570. Then [B, 2] at “Soldiers turn,” he compares the fortitude of the soldier and the citizen. He says that soldiers fight bravely so long as they do not see danger threatening. But when the danger exceeds the skill they have in arms and when they lack numbers and adequate military preparations, they become cowardly. Then they are the first to run away; they were daring for no other reason than that they thought the danger was not imminent. Therefore, when they first see the danger, they take to their heels. But those who possess the fortitude of the citizen—refusing to leave the danger—lose their lives, as happened in a certain place where the citizens remained after the soldiers had fled. The reason is that citizens think it disgraceful to run away, and choose to die rather than save themselves by flight. But soldiers expose themselves to dangers because, from the beginning, they think themselves more powerful. But after they have recognized that the enemy is more powerful, they take to flight fearing death more than ignominious escape. It is not so with the brave man who fears disgrace more than death.
C. He proposes... a third kind operating by means of rage.
1. HE SHOWS HOW RAGE INCLINES TO THE ACT OF FORTITUDE. — 571-572
People confuse rage or wrath with fortitude. Indeed the enraged appear brave in the way that wild animals turn on those who have wounded them. The brave man does give the appearance of rage which acts most impetuously against danger. Hence Homer warns: “Put strength into thy wrath” [Iliad xiv. 151], and “arouse thy might and wrath” [Iliad v. 470]; and (in reference to a certain man) “he panted harsh courage through both nostrils” [Odyssey xxiv. 318], and “his blood boiled” [Theocritus xx. 15]. All such expressions seem to signify the stirring up and the impulse of rage.
2. HE SHOWS HOW THIS FORTITUDE DIFFERS FROM REAL FORTITUDE.
a. He shows what pertains to true fortitude. — 573
The brave are incited to valorous deeds by reason of honor with rage co-operating.
b. (He shows) what pertains to the rage of beasts. — 574-575
Wild animals attack danger because of pain from a wound or from fear; undisturbed in the woods and swamps they do not come out to attack. They are not truly brave because, aroused against danger by pain and rage, they do not foresee the risks involved. Otherwise hungry jackasses would be brave since they do not stop eating when beaten. (Adulterers too undertake many risks for their sensual desire.) Animals, therefore, who are incited against danger by pain and rage are not truly brave. That reaction which is prompted by passion seems to be a most natural one, and, if to it be added choice and a proper end it is fortitude.
c. (He shows) what pertains to human rage. — 576
Angry men are grieved (because of injury suffered) but delighted when taking vengeance. Those who acting this way perhaps are fighters, but hardly brave men, for they do not do what is honorable, nor are they led by reason but rather by passion. They do though possess something similar to real fortitude.
D. He mentions a fourth kind of fortitude.
1. HE EXPLAINS THIS TYPE OF FORTITUDE. — 577
Likewise the confident are not truly brave; they are hopeful because they have often conquered many enemies in the midst of dangers.
2. HE COMPARES THIS TYPE WITH TRUE FORTITUDE. — 578
However, such confident people are like the truly brave because both are daring. But the truly brave are daring in the fashion already indicated, while the confident dare because they think themselves better fighters and expect to suffer nothing. The intoxicated too act in this way, becoming abundantly hopeful, but when they fail to get what was expected, they give up. The brave man though will suffer evils that seem, and really are, terrifying to men—and this for the sake of what is honorable and to avoid disgrace.
3. HE DEDUCES A COROLLARY. — 579
Therefore, that man seems to be braver who does not fear more, and is not more disturbed by unexpected terrors than by those that were foreseen. He seems to act more by habit since he acts less from preparation. Someone can choose by reason and deliberation things that are foreseen, but in unexpected events habit asserts itself.
E. He introduces the fifth kind of counterfeit fortitude. — 580-582
Those who operate in ignorance of dangers seem to be brave. They do not differ greatly from people who are brave by reason of great hope. They are, however, inferior since they have no self-reliance unlike the confident who remain in the fight for some time. Those who are bold through ignorance take flight as soon as they know the situation is different from what they suspect. This happened to the Argives when they fell on the Spartans whom they thought Sicyonians [Xenophon, Hellenica, iv. 4, 10]. We have now discussed both the brave and those thought to be brave.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
571. After having disposed of two types of counterfeit fortitude, he proposes here [C] to treat a third kind operating by means of rage which urges to the act of fortitude. He treats this point in a twofold manner. First [C’ 1] he shows how rage inclines to the act of fortitude. Next [C, 2], at “The brave are etc.,” he shows how this fortitude differs from real fortitude. He observes first that men in common usage of speech confuse rage with fortitude when they attribute to fortitude things that enraged or angry people do. Indeed the enraged and angry do seem to be brave. So too do beasts who, when aroused to rage, attack men beating them. Fortitude has some likeness to rage inasmuch as rage incites against danger with a very strong impulse. But the brave strives against danger with strength of soul.
572. As an example he quotes the verses of Homer who warned someone in these words: “Put strength into your wrath” so that wrath may be directed by the virtue of the soul; “Arouse your might and wrath” that the virtue of your soul may be rendered more prompt by anger. Elsewhere he remarks that certain people “pant harsh courage through both nostrils;” in other words, wrath, because of the beating of the heart, makes breathing so heavy that sometimes “the blood boils up” through the nostrils from the force of rage. And the Philosopher observes that Homer’s statements here seem to indicate that anger is aroused and gives impetus to fortitude’s act.
573. Then [C, 2], at “The brave,” he explains the difference between this and genuine fortitude. He discusses this point from three aspects. First [2, a] he shows what pertains to true fortitude; next [2, b], at “Wild animals attack etc.,” what pertains to the rage of beasts; and finally [2, c], at “Angry men,” what pertains to human rage. He says that the brave are not incited to perform works of fortitude by the impulse of rage but by the intention of good. Rage, however, does operate secondarily in these acts in the manner of a co-operator.
574. Next [2, b], at “Wild animals,” he shows how the anger of beasts compares with the act of fortitude. He remarks that wild animals attack dangers out of pain from harmful things—which they are actually suffering when wounded, for instance—or because of the dread of the things they fear they are about to suffer, e.g., when incited to anger by fear of being wounded, they attack men. The reason is that if they were in the woods or swamps they would not be wounded nor fear to be wounded, so would not come out to attack men. Hence it is clear that real fortitude is not found in these animals because they are aroused against the dangers only by pain and rage, since they do not foresee dangers, as those who act bravely by choice. If beasts who act by passion were brave, then by the same argument hungry jackasses (who, because of the desire for food do not stop eating even when beaten) would be brave. Adulterers too undertake many risks for the sake of lust, but real fortitude is not found in them because they do not act by choice of good, but by reason of passion. So it is clear that animals who are incited against danger on account of pain do not have true fortitude.
575. However much is the likeness between desire and rage, nevertheless among all the passions fortitude out of rage seems to be more connatural to genuine fortitude, so that if rage be antecedently directed by choice and the motivation of a fitting end, real fortitude will be present. He expressly says “antecedently directed” because in true fortitude rage ought to follow rather than precede choice.
576. At “Angry men” [2, c] he shows what belongs to fortitude that operates by the anger of men who seem to act by choice and to intend some purpose—the punishment of the person with whom they are angry. For this reason he says that angry men are grieved over an injury received and as yet unavenged. But when they are taking vengeance they are delighted in the satisfaction of their desire. Those who work vigorously at this may perhaps be called pugnacious but hardly brave because they are not doing the right thing, nor are they led by reason but rather by passion for the sake of which they desire vengeance. However, they do possess something similar to genuine fortitude as is evident from the premises (571-572).
577. Then [D], at “Likewise the confident ‘ “ he mentions a fourth kind of fortitude according to which some are called brave by reason of hope. He develops this idea in a threefold fashion. First [D, i] he explains this type of fortitude. Next [D, 2], he compares this type with true fortitude at “However, such confident people etc.”
Finally [D, 3], he deduces a corollary from what has been said, at “Therefore, that man etc.” He says first that, as those who act bravely on account of anger are not truly brave, so neither are they who act bravely for the sole reason of their hope for victory. But they have a certain preeminence by which they differ from others. From the fact that they have very often conquered in the midst of danger, they are now confident of obtaining victory not by reason of any skill acquired through experience—this belongs to the second type of fortitude—but solely by reason of a confidence derived from their frequent victories in the past.
578. Next [D, 2], at “However, such confident people,” he compares this fortitude to real fortitude. He notes that those who have abundant confidence in this manner are like the truly brave because both are daring-resolute in meeting dangers-but not in the way that a reckless person is at fault. They differ however since the brave boldly attack in the fashion already indicated, i.e., by choice and on account of good. But those who have high hopes attack boldly because they think themselves more able fighters and are not going to suffer any reverse from others. They resemble drunkards who also become confident when their spirits are reinforced by wine. But when such persons fail to get what they expect, they do not persist; they run away. It is a mark of the brave man, however, to suffer—for the sake of what is honorable and to avoid disgrace—evils that are terrifying to men, real evils and not merely apparent ones.
579. At “Therefore, that man” [D, 3] he deduces a corollary from what has been said. Because the brave man characteristically endures terrifying things according to the inclination of a proper habit, that person seems to be braver who is not more afraid or disturbed by unexpected terrors than by those which were apparent beforehand. Such a one seems to act more from habit inasmuch as he apparently has had less opportunity to prepare himself to endure these evils. A man can choose by reason and deliberation (even contrary to the inclination of habit and passion) the things that are foreseen. In no case is the inclination of habit or passion so vehement that reason is unable to resist provided that the use of reason—which of itself has a relation to contraries—remains with man. But in unexpected events a man, cannot deliberate. Hence he seems to; operate by an interior inclination according to habit.
58o. Then [E], at “Those who operate,” he introduces the fifth kind of counterfeit fortitude. He says that those who are ignorant of dangers seem to be brave when they resolutely attack things equally dangerous, but which do not seem so dangerous to them. They do not differ much from people who are brave by reason of great confidence. Each thinks that dangers do not threaten him.
581. They differ, however, in that the ignorant do not consider the evils they attack to be dangers in themselves and without qualification. On the other hand those who have high hopes know the nature of the evils they assail but do not think that these constitute dangers for them. Those who are ignorant are the more inferior to those who have high hopes inasmuch as the ignorant have no self-reliance at all, but go out to meet dangers only because of the lack of knowledge. But those who have great hopes remain for some time—even after they recognize the dangers—until the greatness of the danger overwhelms their hope. Those who are brave through ignorance, however, take flight as soon as they know the situation is different from what they suspected. The Argives, Greek citizens, reacted in this way when thinking they were fighting against Sicyonians—citizens weaker than themselves—they in fact fell upon other stronger soldiers.
582, He concludes that those we have discussed (571-581) are called brave inasmuch as they are considered brave by a similitude and not because they are truly brave.
The Properties of Fortitude
1. HE DETAILS THE PROPERTIES OF FORTITUDE.
a. He shows how fortitude is related to fear and daring. — 583
Although fortitude is concerned with both daring and fear, it is not concerned with each in the same way. Its task rather is to manage terrifying things, for one who is not disturbed by these things, but conducts himself as he ought in regard to them, is braver than the man who behaves well in regard to daring.
b. (He shows) how fortitude is related to pain. — 584-585
As has been said, men are called brave because they endure distressing things. Consequently, fortitude is justly praised because it does not with draw on account of pain. It is more difficult to endure afflictions, as we have indicated, than to abstain from what is pleasant.
c. (He shows) how fortitude is related to pleasure.
i. He submits his proposition. — 586-587
Still the brave man seems to take b pleasure in attaining the end for the sake of fortitude but this pleasure vanishes on account of the accompanying discomforts, as we see happen in athletic contests. Boxers take pleasure in the end they strive for, the laurel wreath and the honors. But being flesh and blood they suffer pain from blows, and all the labor they undergo is disagreeable. Because these distressing things are many and the end insignificant, they do not seem to feel any pleasure. Such also is it with the act of fortitude, for death and wounds are painful to the brave man who endures them to attain the good of virtue and to avoid disgrace.
ii. He rejects an error.
x. HE PROVES THAT VERY INTENSE PAIN BEFALLS THE BRAVE MAN. — 588-590
As a man is more perfect in virtue and happier, so much the more is he saddened by death. The virtuous man most of all deserves to live and he is knowingly deprived of the most excellent goods.
y. BECAUSE OF THIS, HIS FORTITUDE IS NOT LESSENED BUT INCREASED. — 591
This is saddening but it does not lessen the virtue of the brave man. Rather a man is said to be brave because he prefers the good of fortitude in battle to those goods.
iii. He deduces a corollary. — 592
The pleasurable operation is not found in all virtues except as it attains to the end.
2. HE EXCLUDES (THESE PROPERTIES) FROM FORTITUDE OF THE SOLDIER. — 593
Nothing hinders men, who are not such as we have described, from being very good soldiers. But perhaps even those who are less brave and have no other good in view are good soldiers. They are prepared for dangers and barter their life for trifling gains.
3. HE SUMS UP... WHAT HAS BEEN SAID. — 594
So much then have we discussed the question of fortitude. From what has been said we can, without difficulty, understand the outline of the definition of fortitude.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
583. After the Philosopher has treated the matter and the act of fortitude, he considers here certain properties according as it is related to pleasure and pain. On this point he does two things. First  he details the properties of fortitude. Then  he excludes them from fortitude of the soldier, at “Nothing hinders etc.” He develops the first consideration in three ways. First [a] he shows how fortitude is related to fear and daring; next [b], how fortitude is related to pain, at “As has been said etc.”; last [c], how fortitude is related to pleasure, at “Still the brave man seems etc.” He says first that although fortitude is concerned with both daring and fear, it is not concerned with each in the same manner. But praise of this virtue consists rather in this, that a person behaves well with respect to terrifying things. One who is not disturbed by frightening evils but conducts himself as he ought in regard to them is more commended for bravery than one who conducts himself well in regard to daring. The reason is that fear is a threat to a man from someone stronger rising up against him. But daring originates from the fact that a man thinks that the one he attacks is not too powerful to overcome. It is more difficult to stand against a stronger man than to rise up against an equal or weaker one.
584. Then [b], at “As has been said,” he shows in what manner fortitude is concerned with pain. To understand this we must consider that the object of fear and pain is the same, evil. But they differ according to past and future. Future evil is something terrifying while evil threatening in the present is something afflicting. It pertains to the brave man not only to stand against the fear of future dangers but also to continue steadfastly in the midst of these very dangers, as was noted previously (548). For this reason he says that men are called brave particularly because they stout-heartedly endure distressing things, i.e., immediately threatening things like blows and wounds. So it is that fortitude has pain connected with it.
585. Consequently, fortitude is justly praised because it does not withdraw from the good of virtue to escape pain. On this account it is reasonable that fortitude is most praiseworthy, since the praise of virtue consists especially in the fact that a person deals courageously with troublesome matters. It is more difficult to endure distressing things (which pertains to fortitude) than to abstain from pleasurable things (which pertains to temperance). Therefore fortitude is more praiseworthy than temperance.
586, Next [c], at “Still the brave man, ‘ he shows in what manner fortitude is related to pleasure. He discusses this point from three aspects. First [i] he submits his proposition. Next [ii], he rejects an error, at “As a man is more perfect etc.” Last [iii], he deduces a corollary from what has been said, at “The pleasurable operation etc.” He says first that since fortitude consists in enduring distressing things, the brave man seems to take some pleasure in attaining the end for which he bravely struggles. But this pleasure is vapid, i.e., feebly felt on account of the accompanying griefs, as happens in athletic contests in which boxers fight with no protection.
587. Boxers take pleasure in the end they strive for, i.e., that they may receive the crown and be honored. But to take a beating is painful to them. To deny this is to deny that they have flesh and blood, because if they have sensitive flesh, hurtful things must cause them pain. Likewise, all the drudgery they suffer in fighting is disagreeable to them. Since there are many disagreeable and painful experiences they undergo, and since the good they possess as an end is something insignificant, they do not seem to be sensible of any pleasure because the pleasure is absorbed by the stronger pain. So it occurs too in the act of fortitude, for death and wounds are painful to the brave man, although he endures them to attain the good of virtue and to avoid disgrace—an end more important than that of boxers. Hence some pleasure abides rather by reason of the end.
588. At “As a man is more” [ii] he rejects the error of the Stoics who held that virtuous men feel no pain. He considers this point in a twofold manner. First [x] he proves that very intense pain befalls the brave man; and next y I that, because of this, his fortitude is not lessened but increased, at “This is saddening etc.” He argues in the first part from what the Stoics took for granted, that there was no human good except virtue. Therefore, they said that the virtuous man is not subject to grief because, by reason of his own good, he suffers no harm. On the contrary, the Philosopher says that as a man is more perfect in virtue and happier according to the happiness of the present life, so much more he is saddened (according to the consideration of the goods of this life) by the imminence of death.
589. A man’s sadness at the loss of any good can be increased by two circumstances. First if the loss is of a deserved good, and second if the loss is of something great. Both things are present in our case because the virtuous man most of all deserves to live. Likewise he is knowingly deprived of the most excellent good, i.e., the best life and the virtues which he loses so far as the use in the present life is concerned. This causes him distress, even granted that sorrow does not befall him in respect of any other evils whatsoever that are suffered without the loss of life.
590. We must consider, however’ that to some virtuous men death is desirable on account of the hope of a future life. But the Stoics did not discuss this, nor did it pertain to the Philosopher in this work to speak of those things that belong to the condition of another life.
591. Then [y], at “This is saddening,” he says that this sorrow, of which we were speaking, does not lessen fortitude. Rather someone is said to be brave from the fact that he chooses the good of fortitude—which is sought in battle—in preference to those goods that he loses by death, desiring more to do one great good than to preserve many lesser goods, as will be explained later in the ninth book of this work (1879-1880).
592. Next [iii], at “The pleasurable operation,” he concludes from the premises that, although it was stated in the first and second books (154-160, 267, 275-279) that virtuous operations are pleasurable, the pleasurable operation is not found in all virtues, except as it attains to the end. This is noted on account of fortitude, as is evident from what was just said (586-587).
593. At “Nothing hinders”  he excludes the previously mentioned properties from the fortitude of the soldier. He says that nothing hinders some men from being very good soldiers, who are not such as we have described the brave man to be. But perhaps those who are less brave and attend to no other good, not even the good of fortitude, are better soldiers. They are prepared for danger not by reason of any good of virtue, but in a measure they barter their life, which they expose to risk, for trifling gains of money and booty for instance.
594. Then , at “So much then,” he sums up in conclusion what has been said. He states that the definition of fortitude can be understood according to its general outlines, so that we may say that it is a virtue consisting in a mean according to right reason dealing with fear and daring on account of the good.
I. HE INDICATES WHAT HE INTENDS TO DO. — 595-597
Following this treatise (on fortitude) we must discuss temperance, for these virtues seem to pertain to the irrational parts of the soul.
II. HE CARRIES OUT HIS INTENTION.
A. He inquires what the matter of temperance is.
A’ He proposes the matter of temperance in general. — 598
Temperance is a mean dealing with pleasures, as we have said before. It is less concerned, and not in the same way, with sorrows. Intemperance too seems to deal with these things.
B’ He inquires about its special matter.
1. HE SAYS WHAT HE INTENDS TO DO. — 599
We must now determine with what kind of pleasures temperance has to do.
2. HE DISTINGUISHES THE KINDS OF PLEASURES. — 600
There are pleasures of the body and pleasures of the soul, such as the love of honor and learning. The lovers of each of these latter (i.e., of honor and learning) rejoice not as a result of any bodily passion but more as a result of mental activity.
3. HE SHOWS WITH WHAT KIND OF PLEASURES TEMPERANCE DEALS.
a. He shows that temperance is not concerned with pleasures of the soul.
i. That have an appearance of propriety. — 601
Men are not called temperate or intemperate on account of pleasures of the soul.
ii. With other pleasures that are not of the body. — 602
Likewise, temperance is not concerned with any other pleasures that are not of the body. Those who love to listen to and tell stories, and who waste the day making small talk are not called intemperate but garrulous.
iii. (With) a third class of pleasures of the soul that refer to external things. — 603
Those who are inordinately saddened by the loss of friends and money are not called intemperate, Therefore, temperance will be concerned with the pleasures of the body,
b. He shows that temperance is not concerned with all but with, some bodily pleasures.
i. Does not regard the pleasures of the three senses which perceive through a separate medium.
x. DOES NOT DEAL WITH THE PLEASURES OF THE THREE SENSES.
aa. Does not concern pleasures of sight. — 604-606
but not with all of them. Those who take delight in things seen: colors, figures and writing for instance, are not called temperate or intemperate, although it happens that men take pleasure in such things as they ought, and according to excess and defect.
bb. Does not have to do with pleasures proper to hearing. — 607
Temperance is related in a similar way to pleasures concerned with hearing. No one, who delights excessively or as he ought in songs or instrumental music will be called intemperate or temperate on this account.
cc. Does not have to do with the pleasures of smell. — 608-609
The same is to be said in respect to those who take pleasures, except incidentally, in odors. We do not call intemperate people who delight in the fragrance of apples or roses or incense, but rather those who take pleasure in the perfume of cosmetics or the aroma of tasty dishes. The intemperate enjoy these pleasures because in this way things they desire are recalled. One may see others too taking delight in the aroma of food when hungry. But it pertains to the intemperate man to rejoice in this aroma as representing what is desirable.
y. SUCH PLEASURES DO NOT BELONG TO THE BRUTES. — 610-611
Other animals do not take pleasure according to these senses except incidentally. Hounds do not delight in the scent of rabbits for itself but in the prospect of food, the sense of which they get through smell. The lion does not rejoice in the lowing of the ox, but in the meal that he senses is at hand because of the sound he apparently enjoys. Likewise, he does not take pleasure in the sight of the stag or the wild she-goat which he discovers, but in the hope of possessing food.
z. HE DRAWS A CONCLUSION. — 612
Temperance and intemperance then have to do with such pleasures as the other animals have in common with man. Hence gratifications of touch and taste seem to be servile and brutish.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
595. After the Philosopher has treated fortitude concerned with terrifying things which are destructive of man’s life, he now takes up the question of temperance concerned with pleasurable things which preserve human life, i.e., food and sex. On this point he does two things. First [I] he indicates what he intends to do. Next [II] he carries out his intention, at “Temperance is a mean etc.” He says first that, after the treatise on fortitude, we must speak about temperance. He finds the reason for this succession in the fact that these two virtues agree in subject. Both pertain to the irrational part, according as that part of the soul is called irrational which is designed by nature both to conform to, and to obey reason, as was stated in the beginning (239). Such is the sensitive appetite to which the passions of the soul belong.
596. Hence all the virtues dealing with the passions must be placed in the sensitive appetite. Fortitude is concerned with the passions of fear and daring, which reside in the irascible part, but temperance is concerned with pleasures and pains, which reside in the concupiscible part. Consequently, fortitude is placed in the irascible part, but temperance in the concupiscible Part.
597. We must consider that the pleasures of food and sex, with which temperance deals, are common to us and the brutes. Likewise, the fear of death, with which fortitude is concerned, is common to us and them. For this reason he notes particularly that these two virtues are of the irrational parts, because they belong to the irrational parts of the soul not only on account of the passions themselves but also because of the objects of the passions. There are some passions whose objects do not concern the brutes, like riches, honors and so on.
598. Then [II], at “Temperance is a mean,” he begins to define temperance. First [A] he inquires what the matter of temperance is. Second [Lect. 20, B], at “Some desires are,” he defines the act of temperance and of the opposite vices (B.1118 b 8). He considers the first point under two aspects.Tirst [A’] he proposes the matter of temperance in general. Next [B’], at “We must now determine etc.,” he inquires about its special matter. In regard to the first point he reviews three considerations which were discussed in the second book (342). The first is that temperance keeps a mean concerning pleasures. The second is that temperance deals also with sorrows that arise from the absence of pleasures. Temperance is less concerned, however, with sorrows than with pleasures because a thing acts more efficaciously by its presence than by its absence. The third is that intemperanct likewise deals with pleasures and sorrows because contraries are concerned about the same thing.
599. Next [B’], at “We must now determine,” he inquires about the special matter of temperance. Three aspects claim his attention. First  he says what he intends to do. Then , at “There are,” he distinguishes the kinds of pleasures. Last , at “Men are not called etc.,” he shows with what kind of pleasures temperance deals. He says first that, since temperance deals with pleasures, we must now determine with what kind of pleasures it deals, so that the nature of temperance in particular may be known.
600. At “There are”  he distinguishes the kinds of pleasure. He says that some of them are of the soul, others of the body. Pleasures of the body are those that are completed in some bodily affection of an external sense. Pleasures of the soul are those that are completed by interior apprehension alone. He gives an example of pleasures of the soul, beginning with the cause of pleasure—which is love. Every one takes pleasure from the fact that he possesses what he loves. In some men we find the love of honor; in others, the love of learning. This love is not perceived by an external sense but by an apprehension of the soul, which is interior. Therefore each of these, i.e., the man who loves honor or learning, rejoices on account of what he loves while he has it. This joy does not arise as the result of any bodily passion, but as a result of the mind’s awareness alone.
601. Then [a], at “Men are not called,” he shows that temperance is not concerned with pleasures of the soul. He indicates three classes of these pleasures. Some [a, i] that have an appearance of propriety like honor and learning, as we have just noted (600), are pleasurable to the soul. For this reason he says that men are not called temperate or intemperate on account of such pleasures, since temperance seems to refer to pleasures which have something of shame about them. Concerned with the pleasures of honor and learning there are, however, certain other means and extremes pertaining to other virtues, as will be clearly shown in the fourth book (792-799).
602. Second [a, ii], at “Likewise, temperance,” he now recalls other pleasures of the soul which consist in the sayings and deeds of men. He says that, as temperance is not concerned with pleasures of honor or learning, so also it is not concerned with other pleasures which are not of the body. Those who love to listen to and tell stories, and who waste the whole day talking about all kinds of contingent remarks and deeds (unnecessary and useless affairs) are said to be garrulous but we do not call them intemperate. The reason is that intemperance has not only a futility about it, but also a certain baseness.
603. Third [a, iii], at “Those who are,” he introduces a third class of pleasures of the soul which refer to
money and friends. Hence he says that those, who are in ordinately saddened by the loss of money and friends, are not called intemperate. But they can be called vicious from one aspect, because such sorrows do not show turpitude but only a disordered condition of the appetite. From this, that temperance is not concerned with any class of pleasures of the soul, he concludes that it does concern pleasures of the body.
604. Then [b], at “but not with all,” he shows that temperance is not concerned with all but with some bodily pleasures. First [b, i] he discloses that temperance does not regard the pleasures of the three senses which perceive through a separate (from the sense organ) medium. Next [Lect. 20; b, ii], at “Any use of taste etc.,” he explains in what manner temperance regards the pleasures of the other two senses which perceive through a contiguous (with the sense organ) medium (B.1118 a 26). He develops the first point [b, i] in three steps. First [i, x] he shows that temperance does not deal with the pleasures of the three previously mentioned senses. Next [i, y], at “Other animals do not etc.,” he shows that such pleasures do not belong to brutes. Last [i, z], at “Temperance and intemperance etc.,” he draws a conclusion from what has been said. Regarding the first he excludes the three senses. First [x, aa] he proves that temperance does not concern pleasures of sight.
605. He says that temperance is not concerned with all bodily pleasures which arise by means of the external external senses. Those who take delight in things seen are not on that account called temperate or intemperate. He gives examples of three classes of visible objects. Some are the proper sensibles of sight, as colors. Others are common sensibles, which however are known most particularly through sight, as figures, Still others are sensible incidentally, as writing, by reason of what is signified through the writing.
606. This does not mean that virtue and vice are not to be encountered here. It happens in such matters that a person may take pleasure as he oughtthis is the mean, or according to excess and defect, but this pertains to curiosity and not to intemperance which regards the more vehement pleasures.
607. Next [x, bb], at “Temperance is related,” he proves that temperance does not have to do with the pleasures proper to hearing. He says that temperance is related in a similar way to the pleasures concerned with hearing; neither it nor intemperance is involved. If someone delights too much, or as he ought, in melodies (i.e., harmonies of human voices) and symphony (that is, the imitation of the human voice achieved through instruments) he will not be called temperate or intemperate on this account because these are not very vehement pleasures either. But this matter can belong to another virtue or vice,
608. Third [x, cc], at “The same is to be said,” he proves that temperance does not have to do with the pleasures of smell. Regarding this we must consider that, as stated in the work De Sensu et Sensato (Ch. 5, 443 b 17 sq.; St. Th. Lect. 13, 177-186), the kinds of scents are distinguished in two ways. In one way in themselves. In the other way by a comparison with the species of savors. He says then that they are not called temperate and intemperate who take reasonable or excessive pleastire in odors considered in themselves but only when they take pleasure in odors incidentally, i.e., according as these odors coincide with the pleasures of taste and touch.
609. We do not call intemperate those who take pleasure in the fragrance of apples or roses or incense, which are species of odor in itself, but those who take pleasure in the aroma of foods or the perfume of cosmetics used by women. The intemperate delight in these pleasures on account of memory of certain things they long for. He clearly shows this by the example of the hungry who take pleasure in odors that do not interest them when they have eaten. So it is evident that these men do not take pleasure in odors as such but incidentally. In this way it pertains to the intemperate man—to whom the things represented by the odors are desirable—to take pleasure in those odors.
610. At “Other animals do not take” [i, y] he proves that pleasures arising from these senses belong only indirectly to other animals. He says that the brutes find pleasure via these three senses indirectly, i.e., by reference to taste and touch. He clearly shows this first in regard to the sense of smell. Hounds do not take pleasure in the scent of rabbits on account of the scent itself but on account of the expected food, the sensation of which they receive through smell. Second, he makes the same point in regard to the sense of hearing. He says that the lion takes pleasure in the lowing of an ox because the lion knows from the sound that a meal is near. Hence he seems to delight in the bellow of the bull, but this is incidental. Third, Aristotle manifests the same thing in regard to seeing. He says that the lion does not take pleasure even at the sight of the stag or roe (which he calls a wild she-goat) when he finds something of this kind, but he is delighted by the hope of getting a meal.
611. The reason for these things is that the appetite of the other animals is moved by the instinct of nature alone. On this account animals take pleasure only in the things referring to the preservation of nature; that is why senses of this kind were given them. But senses have been given to men for the perception of sensible things leading in turn to a knowledge of reason which moves the appetite of man. So it is that man takes pleasure in the very appropriateness of sensible things considered in themselves, even if they are not ordered to the conservation of nature.
612. Then [i, z], at “Temperance and intemperance,” he concludes from the premises that temperance has to do with such operations or pleasures as the other animals have in common with man. The same is true of intemperance. Hence pleasures of this kind seem to be servile and brutish because what we have in common with irrational animals is slavish and naturally subject to reason in us. Such are the pleasures of touch and taste which are the two senses besides the three mentioned before.
Temperance in Relation to Touch and Taste
ii. He shows what concerns the pleasures of taste and touch.
x. DOES NOT DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE PLEASURES OF TASTE BUT... TOUCH. — 613-614
Any use of taste made by temperance, or intemperance for that matter, is small or even non-existent. Taste here means the discernment of flavors, the occupation of wine-tasters and cooks sampling their own food. The intemperate do not take delight in these things or at least not much, but in the enjoyment by touch in the taking of food and drink and in the gratification of sex.
y. HE CLARIFIES... WHAT HE HAS AFFIRMED. — 615
On this account a certain man by the name of Philoxenus Erichius—a voracious eater—prayed for a gullet longer than a crane’s, so he could take more pleasure in the contact with his food.
z. HE DRAWS A CONCLUSION. — 616-617
Touch, with which intemperance deals, is the most widely shared of all the senses. Rightly then intemperance seems worthy of reproach, since it does not exist in man as belonging to what is proper to him, but to what he has in common with the animals. To take pleasure in things of this sort and to love them above everything else is brutish. We exclude those pleasures of touch which are especially liberal, for instance, those taken in gymnasia by massages and heat-treatment. But the pleasure of touch, which the intemperate man seeks, is not that of the whole body but of certain parts of the body.
B. He shows how the act of temperance and of the opposite vices is constituted.
A’ He explains his proposition.
1. HE TREATS INTEMPERANCE.
a. He shows how temperance is related to pleasures.
i. He makes a certain division of desires. — 618-619
Some desires are common, and others are proper and acquired.
ii. He explains the division.
x. HE POINTS OUT WHAT THE COMMON DESIRES ARE. — 620
The desire for food is natural, for everyone—when he is without it—desires food and drink (and sometimes both) just as, according to Homer [Iliad, xxiv. 130], the young and growing man longs for a bed.
y. HE POINTS OUT WHAT THE PROPER DESIRES ARE. — 621
Not all men, however, do want such and such a bed, or the same kinds of food. For this reason such desires seem to be peculiar to each of us, although they still have something of the natural. Different people enjoy different pleasures, and some persons take more pleasure in certain kinds of things than in chance objects.
iii. He shows in what manner intemperance deals with both desires.
x. IN THE NATURAL DESIRES WHICH ARE COMMON. — 622-623
In natural desires few men go astray and then only in one way, by excess. This happens when men eat or drink even to an immoderate fullness, which is an excess in the quantity of food nature requires. (Nature desires that its need be supplied.) These people are called “belly-mad” because they stuff their stomachs beyond need. Such persons become very brutish.
y. WITH PROPER DESIRES. — 624-625
But in regard to proper desires, many sin in numerous ways. Those who love such pleasures sin in delighting in things they ought not, or more than they ought, or as many of the foolish do, or not according to measure. The intemperate are excessive in all these ways because they enjoy certain odious things they ought not to enjoy. If pleasure may be taken, they delight in such things (as many do) more than they ought. Therefore, since intemperance is excess in regard to pleasures, it is despicable.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
613. After the Philosopher has proved that temperance and intemance do not deal with the pleasures of three senses but with the pleasures of two, i.e., taste and touch, he shows now [b, ii] what concerns the pleasures of taste and touch. He treats this from three aspects. First [ii, x] he shows that temperance does not deal directly with the pleasures of taste but with the pleasures of touch. Next [ii, y], at “On this account etc.,” he clarifies by an example what he has affirmed. Finally [ii, z], at “Touch, with which etc.,” he draws a conclusion from what has been said. He says first that temperance and intemperance seem to make little or no use of what is proper to taste, namely, the discernment of flavors. Those who test wine use taste in this way; likewise, those who season food and sample to see whether their dishes have a delicious taste.
614. The intemperate do not take much delight in this, and they are not deprived of much pleasure when they do not perfectly discern the flavors of food. But all their delight consists in the enjoyment of certain pleasurable things, for instance, in eating, drinking, and sex—all of which occur through touch. It is obvious, therefore, that the pleasure of the intemperate has to do directly with the sense of touch, and with taste only because flavors make the enjoyment of food delectable. For this reason he previously said (608-611i, 613) that intemperance has little use for taste, i.e., as it is ordered to touch, or no use, i.e., in respect to what belongs to taste in itself.
615. Then [ii, y], at “On this account,” he clarifies by an example what he had said. A certain man named Philoxenus Erichius who, since he ate his meals greedily, desired to have a throat longer than a crane’s so the food would remain a long while in his throat. From this it is evident that he did not take pleasure in taste (which is active in the tongue and not in the throat) but in touch alone.
616. Next [ii, z], at “Touch, with which,” he draws a corollary from what has been said. The sense of touch, which temperance deals with, is the most common of all the senses because all the animals share in it. On this account intemperance seems to be really despicable since it does not exist in man as belonging to what is proper to him, but to what he has in common with other animals. But to take pleasure in things of this sort and to love them as the highest goods seems to be especially animal-like. So it is that vices of intemperance possess the most disgusting shamefulness because they make man like the brutes. Therefore, by reason of such vices, man is rendered notoriously evil and blameworthy.
617. Someone might say that even in things pertaining to touch there is some properly human good that is not bestial. In order to answer this objection, he adds that we exclude from temperance those pleasures of touch that are especially liberal—appropriate for humans—and used according to reason. Such pleasures are found in gymnasia by massage and heat-treatment in view of the games (since some are going to wrestle or indulge in other sports). These pleasures of touch are not ordered to the desire of food or sex. The pleasure of touch which the intemperate man seeks is not that of the whole body but of certain parts of the body.
618. At “Some desires”  he shows how the act of temperance (in the previously mentioned matter) and of the opposite vices is constituted. Here he proceeds in twofold fashion. First [A] he explains his proposition. Next [Lect. 22, B’], at “Intemperance is more etc.” ( B. 1119 a 21 ), he cornpares the vices of intemperance with certain other vices. Regarding the first he has three considerations. First [i] he treats intemperance, showing in what manner it operates in the previously investigated matter. Next [Lect. 21, 2], at “It does nothappen etc.,” he treats insensibility (B. 1119 a 5). Last [Lect. 21, 3], at “The temperate man etc.,” he treats temperance (B. 1119 a 12). In regard to the first he does two things. First [a] he shows how temperance is related to pleasures. Then [Lect. 21, b], at “With regard to sorrows etc.,” how it is related to sorrow (B.1118 b 29). Fear and sorrow are ordered to the same thing—we noted this before (584)—because sorrow has to do with present evils, as fear with future ones. So also desire (which concerns future goods) and pleasure (which concerns present goods) are ordered to the same thing. Temperance is in the reason concerned with sensual desires and pleasures First [a, i] he makes a certain division of desires. Next [a, ii], at “The desire for food etc.,” he explains the division. Last [a, iii], at “In natural desires etc.,” he shows in what manner intemperance deals with both desires.
619. He says first that some desires are common and others are proper, being in addition to the common.
620. Then [a, ii], at “The desire for food,” he explains this division. First [a, ii, x] he points out what the common desires are, saying that the desire for food in general is natural, as following the whole nature of the species and genus. Hence every man desires dry nourishment called food or moist nourishment called drink—and sometimes both—in order to succor a natural need, just as according to Homer every man (the young as well as the growing, i.e., the adolescent) longs for a bed to rest in.
621. Next [a, ii, y], at “Not all men however,” he points out what the proper desires are, saying that not all men want this particular bed—say a couch strewn with feathers and costly covering. Likewise, not everyone craves such and such a food, an expensive dish for example, or one daintily prepared. All do not yearn for the same gratification, but in such matters some desire one thing, others another. Hence desires of this kind seem to be our very own because we are not inclined to them by nature but by our own devising. Here nothing hinders a thing from being natural as belonging to the nature of the individual, although it may not belong to the nature of the genus or species. We see that different people enjoy different pleasures according to their different temperaments. And because of natural temperament, some persons take more pleasure in certain kinds of things than in other commonplace objects.
622. At “In natural desires” [a, iii] he explains in what manner intemperance has to do with the desires just mentioned. He says that in the natural desires that are common [a, iii, x] few men go astray. Here transgression occurs only in one way, according as someone takes more than nature requires. This happens when someone eats or drinks what is given him in an immoderate amount, in which there is an excess in regard to the quantity of food nature needs. Nature desires only that the need be supplied. Therefore, that someone should take more than he needs is an excess above nature.
623. People of this type are called “belly-mad” (gastrimargoi: from gastir meaning belly and marges meaning a raving or madness) as if they had a raving or mad stomach, because they stuff nature beyond requirement. Such persons are very brutish because their only concern is to fill their bellies without discrimination like animals.
624. Next [a, iii, y], at “But in regard to proper desires,” he explains in what manner intemperance has to do willi proper desires or pleasures. He says that in regard to them, many sin in numerous ways, i.e., according to all the circumstances. Those who love such pleasures sin because they enjoy things they should not (like eating food which does not agree with them) or they sin by taking more enjoyment than they should (for instance, someone takes too much pleasure in eating agreeable dishes). Others sin by taking pleasure in foods without discernment—like most fools do—or finally they do not observe due measure in enjoyment, as they should. The intemperate are excessive in all these ways because they enjoy objects highly indecorous and blameworthy by nature, which they ought not to enjoy. Even when pleasure in certain things may be lawful, they commonly take more enjoyment than they ought without discrimination.
625. So he concludes that, since intemperance is excess in regard to pleasures of this kind, it is blameworthy like other excesses, as was explained in the second book (333-334).
How Sorrows, Pleasures, and Desires Affect the Temperate Man
b. He shows that the brave, the temperate... are affected in different ways by sorrow. — 626-627
With regard to sorrows, one is not—as in fortitude—called temperate because he faces them, nor intemperate because he does not undergo them. But the intemperate man grieves more than he ought because he does not attain the pleasures he desires. But his pleasure is what causes him grief. On the contrary, the temperate man does not grieve for absent things, and in abstention from pleasure.
c. He makes clear his assertion. — 628-629
The intemperate man then desires all pleasures and he especially desires exquisite pleasures. He is led by sensual desire to choose pleasurable things in preference to all others. For this reason the intemperate man is saddened when he does not get the pleasure he wants; his desire in fact brings sorrow. He is like the incontinent person who is also saddened by pleasure.
2. HE CONSIDERS THE VICE OPPOSITE TO TEMPERANCE WHICH FALLS SHORT IN REGARD TO PLEASURES. — 630-631
It does not happen too often that men become deficient in pleasure, taking less enjoyment than they ought. Insensibility of this kind is not in keeping with human nature because the other animals differentiate foods in this, that they take pleasure in some things, and in others they do not. If someone finds no joy in anything and does not prefer one thing to another, he is a long way from being human. As this rarely happens, there is no special name for it.
3. HE EXPLAINS IN WHAT WAY THE TEMPERATE MAN SHOULD CONDUCT HIMSELF IN REGARD TO THE MATTER PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED.
a. He shows from what things the temperate man should abstain. — 632
The temperate man follows the golden mean in these matters. He does not delight in those shameful things in which the intemperate man takes the keenest pleasure, but rather he is saddened if they occur. In no way does he rejoice in things more ardently than he ought. He is not unnecessarily saddened by the absence of pleasurable things. If he desires them, he does so in the right measure. He does not crave pleasures more than he ought, nor when he ought not, nor according to any other unreasonable circumstance.
b. He shows what things the temperate man should enjoy and in what manner. — 633-634
The temperate man desires whatever pleasures are useful to the health and well-being of the body, and he wants them according to right measure and as he ought. He desires other pleasures only if they are not a hindrance to health, nor opposed to what is honorable, nor beyond his means. One who is otherwise disposed takes more enjoyment than is reasonable. The temperate man is not of this nature but he acts according to right reason.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
626. After the Philosopher has defined in what way temperance is concerned with pleasures, he now explains how it is concerned with sorrows. On this point he does two things. First [(1) b] he shows that the brave, the temperate, and the intemperate are alfccted in different ways by sorrow. Then [(1) c], at “The intemperate mail then etc.,” he makes clear his assertion. He says first that the brave, the temperate, and the intemperate are not disposed toward sorrow in the same way. The brave man indeed suffers many sorrows, but he is praised for this very endurance which is done nobly. This has already been remarked (584, 596). The temperate man however is not praised because he undergoes sorrows. Nor is the intemperate man blamed for not undergoing them, although the cowardly man is blamed. But the intemperate man is censured for the f act that he grieves more than he should. His sorrow does not arise from any harmful thing threatening him—which is the cause of the coward’s sorrow—but he is sorry because he does not get the pleasures he wants. Thus it is by its very absence that pleasure causes him grief. On the contrary the temperate man is praised for not grieving and for undertaking to abstain from pleasures that he does not desire very much. An effect that follows from the presence of a cause is more important than an effect that follows from its absence.
627. For this very reason fortitude is primarily concerned with sorrows which follow from the presence of harmful things. Temperance, however, is secondarily concerned with sorrows that follow from the absence of pleasures but primarily with pleasures following from the presence of pleasurable things.
628. Then [(i) c], at “The intemperate man then” he makes evident his assertion, that pleasure is the occasion of sorrow for the intemperate man. This happens because the intemperate man desires all pleasurable things. He strives after pleasure itself. On this account he strives after everything giving pleasure and he strives after the thing pleasurable in the highest degree in comparison with which he cares less for other delightful things. Therefore his pleasure is not guided by reason, but led by sensual desire to choose pleasurable things—especially those which are most abundantly so—in preference to all other useful and honorable goods. The intemperate put aside what is useful and decent in order that they may obtain pleasure. For this reason the intemperate man is saddened when he does not get the pleasure he wants. Sensual desire brings sorrow when it does not gain the thing coveted.
629. Although, according to a superficial likelihood, it seems incongruous that anyone should be saddened by reason of pleasure, nevertheless’ it is true that the intemperate man is distressed by pleasure. He is saddened only by its absence, like a ship lost by the absence of its pilot.
630. Next , at “It does not happen,” he considers the vice opposite to temperance which falls short in regard to pleasures. He says it does not happen very often that men become deficient in pleasures (so that they take less enjoyment than they ought, i.e., than is required for the health and well-being of the body and for decent living with others) in which this vice consists and which we have called insensibility in the second book (262, 342). This defect is not in keeping with human nature because the other animals differentiate foods in this, that they take pleasure in some, and in others not. So it seems to belong to the common nature of the genus to take some pleasure.
631. Therefore, if there is anyone, who does not take pleasure in anything, he seems to be a long way from being human. Because this rarely happens, he who falls short in this manner does not have a special name, except that before (262, 342) we called him insensible. When men abstain from pleasures for a useful or honorable reason, as merchants for gain and soldiers for victory, we do not have instances of insensibility. This is not beyond what is reasonable, as is the case with the vice.
632. At “The temperate man follows” , he explains in what way the temperate man should conduct himself in regard to the matter previously mentioned. He clarifies this point in two stages. First [3, a] he shows from what things the temperate should abstain, Next [3, b], at “The temperate man desires etc.,” he shows what things the temperate man should enjoy and in what manner. He says first that the temperate man follows the golden mean regarding the preceding, i.e., pleasure, sorrow, and desire. First in regard to pleasure, he does not delight in those shameful things in which the intemperate take pleasure but rather is saddened if any such thing should occur. In general he does not rejoice in things he ought not, nor does he rejoice more ardently than he ought. Likewise he is not excessive according to any other circumstance. Next, in respect to sorrow he is not saddened beyond measure by the absence of pleasurable, things. Third, in respect to desire he does not long for absent pleasures, because he cares little for them, or he longs for them in the right measure which is not excessive; he does not crave pleasure more than he ought, nor when he ought not, nor according to any other circumstance exceeding the norm of reason.
633. Then [3, b], at “The temperate man desires,” he shows which pleasures the temperate man enjoys and in what way. He says that the temperate man desires whatever pleasures are useful to the health of the body or its well-being so that he may be prompt and unimpeded for the things of this kind which he has to do. He desires these pleasures, however, according to the right measure and as he ought. If there are other pleasures not necessary for the two reasons previously named, the temperate man desires them under the three following conditions.
634. First, that they are not hindrances to health and well-being, like superfluous food or drink. Second, that they are not contrary to good, i.e., opposed to decency, like the pleasure of fornication. Third, that they are not beyond his means, i.e., they do not exceed a man’s power to possess, as would be the case if a poor man desired to enjoy foods which are too costly. One who is so disposed that he longs for pleasures harmful to health and well-being, and contrary to decency, or exceeding his means takes more enjoyment than is reasonable. This does not pertain to the temperate man who loves these pleasures in conformity with right reason.
Intemperance Compared with Cowardice and the Sins of Children
B’ He compares the sin of intemperance with other sins.
1. HE COMPARES INTEMPERANCE WITH THE VICE OF COWARDICE.
a. He shows that intemperance has more of the voluntary than cowardice has.
i. He explains... (by two reasons).
x. FIRST. — 635-636
Intemperance is more like the voluntary than fear is, because the former is motivated by pleasure, and the latter by pain. One of these (pleasure) is to be chosen, the other (pain) is to be avoided.
y. SECOND. — 637
Pain stupefies and corrupts the nature of its possessor but pleasure does no such thing, and so is more voluntary.
ii. He infers a corollary from his discussion. — 638-639
For this reason intemperance is also more despicable; it is easy to become accustomed to the objects of temperance, for many occasions occur in a man’s life and the habits can be practiced without danger. With terrifying objects, however, the reverse is the case.
b. He shows that the voluntary in each vice is found in a different order.
i. He shows in what order the voluntary is found in cowardice. — 640
There does not appear to be a likeness in voluntariety between fear itself and individual cases of it. Fear itself seems to be painless, but particular cases stupefy men by reason of pain, so that they throw away their arms and do other disgraceful actions. On this account these things seem to be done under compulsion.
ii. In intemperance. — 641-642
In regard to intemperance the order is reversed. Particulars are voluntary because they are in accord with what a man strives for and desires, but the condition (intemperance) as a whole is less voluntary, for no one wants to be intemperate.
2. (HE COMPARES INTEMPERANCE) WITH THE SINS OF CHILDREN.
a. He states the agreement as to the name. — 643
We transfer the name intemperance to the sins of children, for they do have a certain resemblance. But which one is named from the other does not concern us now. It is clear, however, that the later is derived from the earlier.
b. He assigns the reason for the agreement.
i. In respect to the necessity of chastising or restraining. — 644-646
This transference does not seem to be unsuitable. He who strives after what is base and increases greatly in evil must be punished. In this, sensual desire and the child are alike. Children live in accord with sensual desire and they strive most of all after pleasure. Therefore, if it will not be properly obedient, sensual desire will come to rule and increase considerably. To a stupid person the desire for pleasure is insatiable and omnipresent; and the exercise of desire increases its natural power. For the appetites are strong and violent, going even to the extent of interrupting the act of reasoning.
ii. In respect to the manner of chastising and restraining. — 647-648
For this reason sensual desire and pleasure must be moderated, that is, sense pleasures must be few in number and in no way contrary to reason. Such a state is what we call obedient and disciplined. As a child must live according to the instructions of his tutor, so the concupiscent part must conform to reason; each, i.e., the tutor and reason aspires to the good. And the temperate man desires the right things at the right time as reason disposes. These then are the things we have to say about temperance.
COMMENTARY OF ST. THOMAS
635. After the Philosopher has treated the act of temperance and the opposite vices, he now compares the sin of intemperance with other sins [B’]. He makes two points here. First  he compares intemperance with the vice of cowardice; and then, with the sins of children, at “We transfer the name” . He clarifies the first point by a twofold distinction. First [1, a] he shows that intemperance has more of the voluntary than cowardice has. Next [1, b], at “There does not appear etc.,” he shows that the voluntary in each vice is found in a different order. In regard to the first he does two things. First [a, i] he explains that intemperance has more of the voluntary than cowardice has. Next [a, ii], at “For this reason intemperance etc.,” he infers a corollary from his discussion. He says first that intemperance is more like the voluntary than fear is, because intemperance has more of the voluntary. He proves this by two reasons.
636. The first of these is taken from what follows the voluntary and the involuntary as a property [i, x]. Everyone delights in what he does voluntarily, but is sad over what is contrary to his will. It is obvious that the intemperate man acts for the pleasure he desires. The coward, on the other hand, acts because of the pain which he flees. (Of course the operation of both is pleasing because not only is actual pleasure a matter for joy but even the hope of future pleasure.) But pain is a thing to be avoided and consequently is contrary to the will. So it is evident that intemperance is caused by what is of itself voluntary. Cowardice, however, is caused by something involuntary and repugnant. Therefore intemperance comes closer to the voluntary than cowardice.
637. He gives the second reason at “Pain stupefies” [i, y]. This is taken from the fact that ignorance causes an involuntary. Because pain follows from the presence of some contrary and harmful principle, it stupefies and corrupts the nature of its possessor. So it is that the mind of man is impeded by pain from proper knowledge. But pleasure is caused by the presence of an agreeable object that does not corrupt the nature. Hence pleasure does not stupefy nor corrupt the mind of the one who takes pleasure. From this it follows that intemperance, which operates on account of pleasure, has more of the voluntary than fear does -which is caused by pain.
638. Then [a, ii], at “For this reason intemperance,” he concludes that, since in voluntary acts praise is due to the good and blame to the evil, the vice of intemperance is more disgraceful than the vice of cowardice which has less of the voluntary. To this he adds also another reason taken from the fact that a vice is more worthy of reproach insofar as it is more easily avoidable.
639. Each vice can be avoided by the contrary habit. For two reasons it is easy to become accustomed to good actions in matters of temperance. First, because pleasures in food, drink, and so forth take place very often in man’s life. Hence there is no lack of opportunity to get used to virtuous actions in such matters. Second, becoming accustomed to good deeds of temperance does not constitute a danger. A person does not run any great risk in abstaining at times from some pleasure of touch. But quite the reverse is true in the vice of cowardice because the dangers from war happen rarely. Besides it is dangerous to get mixed up in wars. It follows then that the vice of intemperance is more worthy of reproach than the vice of cowardice.
640. Next [1, b], at “There does not appear” he shows that the voluntary in each vice is not found in the same order. First [1, b, i] he shows in what order the voluntary is found in cowardice; and second in intemperance, at “In regard to intemperance etc. [1, b, ii]. He says first that fear does not seem to be voluntary in the same way for the universal and for particular cases. Universals seem to be without pain, for example, anyone may go into battle and attack the enemy. But particular happenings, for instance, that a man is wounded or routed or suffers other misfortune, bring such great pain that men are stupefied on account of these things-so much so that they throw away their arms and do other disgraceful actions. Hence, since in reference to the universal these acts are voluntary, and in reference to the particular they become involuntary, they seem to be done under compulsion (inasmuch as a man is induced by an external principle to give up what he had previously wished).
641. At “In regard to intemperance” [1, b, ii ], he shows what the order is in regard to intemperance. He says that in this case the order is reversed, for singular things are voluntary in the highest degree because they occur in accordance with what a man strives for and desires. But the whole, considered in the abstract, is less voluntary-for instance, that anyone should commit adultery. No one desires to be intemperate in general. However particular things, by which a man becomes intemperate, are delightful.
642. The reason for this difference is taken from this: pain that causes fear pertains to the involuntary, as pleasure that causes intemperance pertains to the voluntary. Every inclination of the soul towards particular things is rather vehement. For this reason cowardice regarding particular things has more of the involuntary but intemperance more of the voluntary. Therefore in sins of intemperance it is exceedingly harmful to dwell upon the thought by which a man comes down to the particular that entices the will.
643. Then , at “We transfer the name,” he compares the vice of intemperance with the sins of children. First [2, a] he states the agreement as to the name. Next [2, b], at “This transference etc.,” he assigns the reason for the agreement. He says first that the name intemperance is transferred to the sins of children. This is more apparent in our language on the part of the virtue than on the part of the vice. We call chastity a species of temperance, as we say that disciplined children are chastened. And those who are not disciplined can be called unchastised. So too one who is not chaste is said to be “incestuosus” (in-castus). The reason for this transference is that sins of this kind have a certain likeness, as will be shown later (647). But which of these is named from the other does not concern us now. It is clear, however, that the thing given the name later was called after that which had the name earlier.
644. Next [2, b], at “This transference,” he assigns the reason for the previous transference in accordance with the likeness of the sin of intemperance to the sins of children. First [2, b, i] in respect to the necessity of chastising or restraining; and second 12, b, ii] in respect to the manner of chastising and restraining, at “For this reason sensual desire etc.” He says first that the transference of this name from one sin to another does not seem to be unsuitable because of the likeness according to which the transferences are made. It is necessary to punish, i.e., chastise and discipline, one who strives after improper things and whose evil inclination is greatly increasedpoints on which sensual desire and the child are in agreement.
645. This agreement seems to be reasonable because children live especially in accord with sensual desire, since they strive most of all after pleasure, which belongs to the nature of sensual desire. The reason why they strive after pleasure will be given in the seventh book (1531). Therefore, if the child and sensual desire are not rightly restrained by reason, they come to rule and increase so that the appetite for pleasure, i.e., sensual desire, will be lord and master.
646. The reason for this is that the desire of pleasure is insatiable; indeed the more pleasure is enjoyed, the more it is desired in that pleasure itself is desirable. Hence, just as with a child and a simpleton so with sensual desire-the proper operation increases what is innate, i.e., that which is like them. If a child and a simpleton should be allowed to work according to their folly, the folly increases more in them. When a man satisfies sensual desire, it increases more in him and becomes master. This is especially true if sensual desire or pleasure is great by reason of the object, that is, things very delightful and also vehement for the man who desires and takes pleasure. This man is so influenced by pleasures that they may impede his knowledge or reasoning. The power of thought remains more efficient, the less sensual desire can dominate.
647. Then [2, b, ii], at “For this reason sensual desire,” he shows the likeness between the two sins in respect to the manner of chastising or restraining. He says that, since sensual desire and pleasure are vehement, they grow by themselves. For this reason they must be moderated, i.e., not excessive in extent or in vehemence of inclination or in number. They must not be contrary to reason in any way, especially in regard to the species of sensual desire or pleasure taken on the part of the object. That which is so disposed in the matter of sensual desires and pleasures is said to be readily obedient and chastised, i.e., corrected by reason. As a child must live according to the instructions of his tutor, so the faculty of sensual desire must be in conformity with reason. Each, i.e., reason and the tutor, aspires to the good. The concupiscent part in the temperate man is so disposed that he desires the right things, in the right way, and at the right time—as reason directs.
648. He says in conclusion that these are the things we have discussed about temperance. With this the third book ends.