Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIa/Q13

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Q12 Q14



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Iª-IIae q. 13 pr. Consequenter considerandum est de actibus voluntatis qui sunt in comparatione ad ea quae sunt ad finem. Et sunt tres, eligere, consentire, et uti. Electionem autem praecedit consilium. Primo ergo considerandum est de electione; secundo, de consilio; tertio, de consensu; quarto, de usu. Circa electionem quaeruntur sex. Primo, cuius potentiae sit actus, utrum voluntatis vel rationis. Secundo, utrum electio conveniat brutis animalibus. Tertio, utrum electio sit solum eorum quae sunt ad finem, vel etiam quandoque finis. Quarto, utrum electio sit tantum eorum quae per nos aguntur. Quinto, utrum electio sit solum possibilium. Sexto, utrum homo ex necessitate eligat, vel libere. Question 13. Choice, which is an act of the will with regard to the means Of what power is it the act of the will or of the reason? Is choice to be found in irrational animals? Is choice only the means, or sometimes also of the end? Is choice only of things that we do ourselves? Is choice only of possible things? Does man choose of necessity or freely?
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod electio non sit actus voluntatis, sed rationis. Electio enim collationem quandam importat, qua unum alteri praefertur. Sed conferre est rationis. Ergo electio est rationis. Objection 1. It would seem that choice is an act, not of will but of reason. For choice implies comparison, whereby one is given preference to another. But to compare is an act of reason. Therefore choice is an act of reason.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, eiusdem est syllogizare et concludere. Sed syllogizare in operabilibus est rationis. Cum igitur electio sit quasi conclusio in operabilibus, ut dicitur in VII Ethic., videtur quod sit actus rationis. Objection 2. Further, it is for the same faculty to form a syllogism, and to draw the conclusion. But, in practical matters, it is the reason that forms syllogisms. Since therefore choice is a kind of conclusion in practical matters, as stated in Ethic. vii, 3, it seems that it is an act of reason.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, ignorantia non pertinet ad voluntatem, sed ad vim cognitivam. Est autem quaedam ignorantia electionis, ut dicitur in III Ethic. Ergo videtur quod electio non pertineat ad voluntatem, sed ad rationem. Objection 3. Further, ignorance does not belong to the will but to the cognitive power. Now there is an "ignorance of choice," as is stated in Ethic. iii, 1. Therefore it seems that choice does not belong to the will but to the reason.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in III Ethic., quod electio est desiderium eorum quae sunt in nobis. Desiderium autem est actus voluntatis. Ergo et electio. On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 3) that choice is "the desire of things in our power." But desire is an act of will. Therefore choice is too.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod in nomine electionis importatur aliquid pertinens ad rationem sive intellectum, et aliquid pertinens ad voluntatem, dicit enim philosophus, in VI Ethic., quod electio est appetitivus intellectus, vel appetitus intellectivus. Quandocumque autem duo concurrunt ad aliquid unum constituendum, unum eorum est ut formale respectu alterius. Unde Gregorius Nyssenus dicit quod electio neque est appetitus secundum seipsam, neque consilium solum, sed ex his aliquid compositum. Sicut enim dicimus animal ex anima et corpore compositum esse, neque vero corpus esse secundum seipsum, neque animam solam, sed utrumque; ita et electionem. Est autem considerandum in actibus animae, quod actus qui est essentialiter unius potentiae vel habitus, recipit formam et speciem a superiori potentia vel habitu, secundum quod ordinatur inferius a superiori, si enim aliquis actum fortitudinis exerceat propter Dei amorem, actus quidem ille materialiter est fortitudinis, formaliter vero caritatis. Manifestum est autem quod ratio quodammodo voluntatem praecedit, et ordinat actum eius, inquantum scilicet voluntas in suum obiectum tendit secundum ordinem rationis, eo quod vis apprehensiva appetitivae suum obiectum repraesentat. Sic igitur ille actus quo voluntas tendit in aliquid quod proponitur ut bonum, ex eo quod per rationem est ordinatum ad finem, materialiter quidem est voluntatis, formaliter autem rationis. In huiusmodi autem substantia actus materialiter se habet ad ordinem qui imponitur a superiori potentia. Et ideo electio substantialiter non est actus rationis, sed voluntatis, perficitur enim electio in motu quodam animae ad bonum quod eligitur. Unde manifeste actus est appetitivae potentiae. I answer that, The word choice implies something belonging to the reason or intellect, and something belonging to the will: for the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 2) that choice is either "intellect influenced by appetite or appetite influenced by intellect." Now whenever two things concur to make one, one of them is formal in regard to the other. Hence Gregory of Nyssa [Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxxiii.] says that choice "is neither desire only, nor counsel only, but a combination of the two. For just as we say that an animal is composed of soul and body, and that it is neither a mere body, nor a mere soul, but both; so is it with choice." Now we must observe, as regards the acts of the soul, that an act belonging essentially to some power or habit, receives a form or species from a higher power or habit, according as an inferior is ordained by a superior: for if a man were to perform an act of fortitude for the love of God, that act is materially an act of fortitude, but formally, an act of charity. Now it is evident that, in a sense, reason precedes the will and ordains its act: in so far as the will tends to its object, according to the order of reason, since the apprehensive power presents the object to the appetite. Accordingly, that act whereby the will tends to something proposed to it as being good, through being ordained to the end by the reason, is materially an act of the will, but formally an act of the reason. Now in such like matters the substance of the act is as the matter in comparison to the order imposed by the higher power. Wherefore choice is substantially not an act of the reason but of the will: for choice is accomplished in a certain movement of the soul towards the good which is chosen. Consequently it is evidently an act of the appetitive power.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod electio importat collationem quandam praecedentem, non quod essentialiter sit ipsa collatio. Reply to Objection 1. Choice implies a previous comparison; not that it consists in the comparison itself.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod conclusio etiam syllogismi qui fit in operabilibus, ad rationem pertinet; et dicitur sententia vel iudicium, quam sequitur electio. Et ob hoc ipsa conclusio pertinere videtur ad electionem, tanquam ad consequens. Reply to Objection 2. It is quite true that it is for the reason to draw the conclusion of a practical syllogism; and it is called "a decision" or "judgment," to be followed by "choice." And for this reason the conclusion seems to belong to the act of choice, as to that which results from it.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ignorantia dicitur esse electionis, non quod ipsa electio sit scientia, sed quia ignoratur quid sit eligendum. Reply to Objection 3. In speaking "of ignorance of choice," we do not mean that choice is a sort of knowledge, but that there is ignorance of what ought to be chosen.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod electio brutis animalibus conveniat. Electio enim est appetitus aliquorum propter finem, ut dicitur in III Ethic. Sed bruta animalia appetunt aliquid propter finem, agunt enim propter finem, et ex appetitu. Ergo in brutis animalibus est electio. Objection 1. It would seem that irrational animals are able to choose. For choice "is the desire of certain things on account of an end," as stated in Ethic. iii, 2,3. But irrational animals desire something on account of an end: since they act for an end, and from desire. Therefore choice is in irrational animals.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, ipsum nomen electionis significare videtur quod aliquid prae aliis accipiatur. Sed bruta animalia accipiunt aliquid prae aliis, sicut manifeste apparet quod ovis unam herbam comedit, et aliam refutat. Ergo in brutis animalibus est electio. Objection 2. Further, the very word "electio" [choice] seems to signify the taking of something in preference to others. But irrational animals take something in preference to others: thus we can easily see for ourselves that a sheep will eat one grass and refuse another. Therefore choice is in irrational animals.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, ut dicitur in VI Ethic., ad prudentiam pertinet quod aliquis bene eligat ea quae sunt ad finem. Sed prudentia convenit brutis animalibus, unde dicitur in principio Metaphys., quod prudentia sunt sine disciplina quaecumque sonos audire non potentia sunt, ut apes. Et hoc etiam sensui manifestum videtur, apparent enim mirabiles sagacitates in operibus animalium, ut apum et aranearum et canum. Canis enim insequens cervum, si ad trivium venerit, odoratu quidem explorat an cervus per primam vel secundam viam transiverit, quod si invenerit non transisse, iam securus per tertiam viam incedit non explorando, quasi utens syllogismo divisivo, quo concludi posset cervum per illam viam incedere, ex quo non incedit per alias duas, cum non sint plures. Ergo videtur quod electio brutis animalibus conveniat. Objection 3. Further, according to Ethic. vi, 12, "it is from prudence that a man makes a good choice of means." But prudence is found in irrational animals: hence it is said in the beginning of Metaph. i, 1 that "those animals which, like bees, cannot hear sounds, are prudent by instinct." We see this plainly, in wonderful cases of sagacity manifested in the works of various animals, such as bees, spiders, and dogs. For a hound in following a stag, on coming to a crossroad, tries by scent whether the stag has passed by the first or the second road: and if he find that the stag has not passed there, being thus assured, takes to the third road without trying the scent; as though he were reasoning by way of exclusion, arguing that the stag must have passed by this way, since he did not pass by the others, and there is no other road. Therefore it seems that irrational animals are able to choose.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod Gregorius Nyssenus dicit, quod pueri et irrationalia voluntarie quidem faciunt, non tamen eligentia. Ergo in brutis animalibus non est electio. On the contrary, Gregory of Nyssa [Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxxiii.] says that "children and irrational animals act willingly but not from choice." Therefore choice is not in irrational animals.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, cum electio sit praeacceptio unius respectu alterius, necesse est quod electio sit respectu plurium quae eligi possunt. Et ideo in his quae sunt penitus determinata ad unum, electio locum non habet. Est autem differentia inter appetitum sensitivum et voluntatem, quia, ut ex praedictis patet, appetitus sensitivus est determinatus ad unum aliquid particulare secundum ordinem naturae; voluntas autem est quidem, secundum naturae ordinem, determinata ad unum commune, quod est bonum, sed indeterminate se habet respectu particularium bonorum. Et ideo proprie voluntatis est eligere, non autem appetitus sensitivi, qui solus est in brutis animalibus. Et propter hoc brutis animalibus electio non convenit. I answer that, Since choice is the taking of one thing in preference to another it must of necessity be in respect of several things that can be chosen. Consequently in those things which are altogether determinate to one there is no place for choice. Now the difference between the sensitive appetite and the will is that, as stated above (1, 2, ad 3), the sensitive appetite is determinate to one particular thing, according to the order of nature; whereas the will, although determinate to one thing in general, viz. the good, according to the order of nature, is nevertheless indeterminate in respect of particular goods. Consequently choice belongs properly to the will, and not to the sensitive appetite which is all that irrational animals have. Wherefore irrational animals are not competent to choose.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod non omnis appetitus alicuius propter finem, vocatur electio, sed cum quadam discretione unius ab altero. Quae locum habere non potest, nisi ubi appetitus potest ferri ad plura. Reply to Objection 1. Not every desire of one thing on account of an end is called choice: there must be a certain discrimination of one thing from another. And this cannot be except when the appetite can be moved to several things.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod brutum animal accipit unum prae alio, quia appetitus eius est naturaliter determinatus ad ipsum. Unde statim quando per sensum vel per imaginationem repraesentatur sibi aliquid ad quod naturaliter inclinatur eius appetitus, absque electione in illud solum movetur. Sicut etiam absque electione ignis movetur sursum, et non deorsum. Reply to Objection 2. An irrational animal takes one thing in preference to another, because its appetite is naturally determinate to that thing. Wherefore as soon as an animal, whether by its sense or by its imagination, is offered something to which its appetite is naturally inclined, it is moved to that alone, without making any choice. Just as fire is moved upwards and not downwards, without its making any choice.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut dicitur in III Physic., motus est actus mobilis a movente. Et ideo virtus moventis apparet in motu mobilis. Et propter hoc in omnibus quae moventur a ratione, apparet ordo rationis moventis, licet ipsa rationem non habeant, sic enim sagitta directe tendit ad signum ex motione sagittantis, ac si ipsa rationem haberet dirigentem. Et idem apparet in motibus horologiorum, et omnium ingeniorum humanorum, quae arte fiunt. Sicut autem comparantur artificialia ad artem humanam, ita comparantur omnia naturalia ad artem divinam. Et ideo ordo apparet in his quae moventur secundum naturam, sicut et in his quae moventur per rationem, ut dicitur in II Physic. Et ex hoc contingit quod in operibus brutorum animalium apparent quaedam sagacitates, inquantum habent inclinationem naturalem ad quosdam ordinatissimos processus, utpote a summa arte ordinatos. Et propter hoc etiam quaedam animalia dicuntur prudentia vel sagacia, non quod in eis sit aliqua ratio vel electio. Quod ex hoc apparet, quod omnia quae sunt unius naturae, similiter operantur. Reply to Objection 3. As stated in Phys. iii, 3 "movement is the act of the movable, caused by a mover." Wherefore the power of the mover appears in the movement of that which it moves. Accordingly, in all things moved by reason, the order of reason which moves them is evident, although the things themselves are without reason: for an arrow through the motion of the archer goes straight towards the target, as though it were endowed with reason to direct its course. The same may be seen in the movements of clocks and all engines put together by the art of man. Now as artificial things are in comparison to human art, so are all natural things in comparison to the Divine art. And accordingly order is to be seen in things moved by nature, just as in things moved by reason, as is stated in Phys. ii. And thus it is that in the works of irrational animals we notice certain marks of sagacity, in so far as they have a natural inclination to set about their actions in a most orderly manner through being ordained by the Supreme art. For which reason, too, certain animals are called prudent or sagacious; and not because they reason or exercise any choice about things. This is clear from the fact that all that share in one nature, invariably act in the same way.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod electio non sit tantum eorum quae sunt ad finem. Dicit enim philosophus, in VI Ethic., quod electionem rectam facit virtus, quaecumque autem illius gratia nata sunt fieri, non sunt virtutis, sed alterius potentiae. Illud autem cuius gratia fit aliquid, est finis. Ergo electio est finis. Objection 1. It would seem that choice is not only of the means. For the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 12) that "virtue makes us choose aright; but it is not the part of virtue, but of some other power to direct aright those things which are to be done for its sake." But that for the sake of which something is done is the end. Therefore choice is of the end.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, electio importat praeacceptionem unius respectu alterius. Sed sicut eorum quae sunt ad finem unum potest praeaccipi alteri, ita etiam et diversorum finium. Ergo electio potest esse finis, sicut et eorum quae sunt ad finem. Objection 2. Further, choice implies preference of one thing to another. But just as there can be preference of means, so can there be preference of ends. Therefore choice can be of ends, just as it can be of means.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in III Ethic., quod voluntas est finis, electio autem eorum quae sunt ad finem. On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 2) that "volition is of the end, but choice of the means."
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut iam dictum est, electio consequitur sententiam vel iudicium, quod est sicut conclusio syllogismi operativi. Unde illud cadit sub electione, quod se habet ut conclusio in syllogismo operabilium. Finis autem in operabilibus se habet ut principium, et non ut conclusio, ut philosophus dicit in II Physic. Unde finis, inquantum est huiusmodi, non cadit sub electione. Sed sicut in speculativis nihil prohibet id quod est unius demonstrationis vel scientiae principium, esse conclusionem alterius demonstrationis vel scientiae; primum tamen principium indemonstrabile non potest esse conclusio alicuius demonstrationis vel scientiae; ita etiam contingit id quod est in una operatione ut finis, ordinari ad aliquid ut ad finem. Et hoc modo sub electione cadit. Sicut in operatione medici, sanitas se habet ut finis, unde hoc non cadit sub electione medici, sed hoc supponit tanquam principium. Sed sanitas corporis ordinatur ad bonum animae, unde apud eum qui habet curam de animae salute, potest sub electione cadere esse sanum vel esse infirmum; nam apostolus dicit, II ad Cor. XII, cum enim infirmor, tunc potens sum. Sed ultimus finis nullo modo sub electione cadit. I answer that, As already stated (01, ad 2), choice results from the decision or judgment which is, as it were, the conclusion of a practical syllogism. Hence that which is the conclusion of a practical syllogism, is the matter of choice. Now in practical things the end stands in the position of a principle, not of a conclusion, as the Philosopher says (Phys. ii, 9). Wherefore the end, as such, is not a matter of choice. But just as in speculative knowledge nothing hinders the principle of one demonstration or of one science, from being the conclusion of another demonstration or science; while the first indemonstrable principle cannot be the conclusion of any demonstration or science; so too that which is the end in one operation, may be ordained to something as an end. And in this way it is a matter of choice. Thus in the work of a physician health is the end: wherefore it is not a matter of choice for a physician, but a matter of principle. Now the health of the body is ordained to the good of the soul, consequently with one who has charge of the soul's health, health or sickness may be a matter of choice; for the Apostle says (2 Corinthians 12:10): "For when I am weak, then am I powerful." But the last end is nowise a matter of choice.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod fines proprii virtutum ordinantur ad beatitudinem sicut ad ultimum finem. Et hoc modo potest esse eorum electio. Reply to Objection 1. The proper ends of virtues are ordained to Happiness as to their last end. And thus it is that they can be a matter of choice.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut supra habitum est, ultimus finis est unus tantum. Unde ubicumque occurrunt plures fines, inter eos potest esse electio, secundum quod ordinantur ad ulteriorem finem. Reply to Objection 2. As stated above (Question 1, Article 5), there is but one last end. Accordingly wherever there are several ends, they can be the subject of choice, in so far as they are ordained to a further end.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod electio non sit solum respectu humanorum actuum. Electio enim est eorum quae sunt ad finem. Sed ea quae sunt ad finem non solum sunt actus, sed etiam organa, ut dicitur in II Physic. Ergo electiones non sunt tantum humanorum actuum. Objection 1. It would seem that choice is not only in respect of human acts. For choice regards the means. Now, not only acts, but also the organs, are means (Phys. ii, 3). Therefore choice is not only concerned with human acts.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, actio a contemplatione distinguitur. Sed electio etiam in contemplatione locum habet; prout scilicet una opinio alteri praeeligitur. Ergo electio non est solum humanorum actuum. Objection 2. Further, action is distinct from contemplation. But choice has a place even in contemplation; in so far as one opinion is preferred to another. Therefore choice is not concerned with human acts alone.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, eliguntur homines ad aliqua officia, vel saecularia vel ecclesiastica, ab his qui nihil erga eos agunt. Ergo electio non solum est humanorum actuum. Objection 3. Further, men are chosen for certain posts, whether secular or ecclesiastical, by those who exercise no action in their regard. Therefore choice is not concerned with human acts alone.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in III Ethic., quod nullus eligit nisi ea quae existimat fieri per ipsum. On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 2) that "no man chooses save what he can do himself."
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut intentio est finis, ita electio est eorum quae sunt ad finem. Finis autem vel est actio, vel res aliqua. Et cum res aliqua fuerit finis, necesse est quod aliqua humana actio interveniat, vel inquantum homo facit rem illam quae est finis, sicut medicus facit sanitatem, quae est finis eius (unde et facere sanitatem dicitur finis medici); vel inquantum homo aliquo modo utitur vel fruitur re quae est finis, sicut avaro est finis pecunia, vel possessio pecuniae. Et eodem modo dicendum est de eo quod est ad finem. Quia necesse est ut id quod est ad finem, vel sit actio; vel res aliqua, interveniente aliqua actione, per quam facit id quod est ad finem, vel utitur eo. Et per hunc modum electio semper est humanorum actuum. I answer that, Just as intention regards the end, so does choice regard the means. Now the end is either an action or a thing. And when the end is a thing, some human action must intervene; either in so far as man produces the thing which is the end, as the physician produces health (wherefore the production of health is said to be the end of the physician); or in so far as man, in some fashion, uses or enjoys the thing which is the end; thus for the miser, money or the possession of money is the end. The same is to be said of the means. For the means must needs be either an action; or a thing, with some action intervening whereby man either makes the thing which is the means, or puts it to some use. And thus it is that choice is always in regard to human acts.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod organa ordinantur ad finem, inquantum homo utitur eis propter finem. Reply to Objection 1. The organs are ordained to the end, inasmuch as man makes use of them for the sake of the end.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod in ipsa contemplatione est aliquis actus intellectus assentientis huic opinioni vel illi. Actio vero exterior est quae contra contemplationem dividitur. Reply to Objection 2. In contemplation itself there is the act of the intellect assenting to this or that opinion. It is exterior action that is put in contradistinction to contemplation.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod homo qui eligit episcopum vel principem civitatis, eligit nominare ipsum in talem dignitatem. Alioquin, si nulla esset eius actio ad constitutionem episcopi vel principis, non competeret ei electio. Et similiter dicendum est quod quandocumque dicitur aliqua res praeeligi alteri, adiungitur ibi aliqua operatio eligentis. Reply to Objection 3. When a man chooses someone for a bishopric or some high position in the state, he chooses to name that man to that post. Else, if he had no right to act in the appointment of the bishop or official, he would have no right to choose. Likewise, whenever we speak of one thing being chosen in preference to another, it is in conjunction with some action of the chooser.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 5 arg. 1 Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod electio non sit solum possibilium. Electio enim est actus voluntatis, ut dictum est. Sed voluntas est impossibilium, ut dicitur in III Ethic. Ergo et electio. Objection 1. It would seem that choice in not only of possible things. For choice is an act of the will, as stated above (Article 1). Now there is "a willing of impossibilities" (Ethic. iii, 2). Therefore there is also a choice of impossibilities.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 5 arg. 2 Praeterea, electio est eorum quae per nos aguntur, sicut dictum est. Nihil ergo refert, quantum ad electionem, utrum eligatur id quod est impossibile simpliciter, vel id quod est impossibile eligenti. Sed frequenter ea quae eligimus, perficere non possumus, et sic sunt impossibilia nobis. Ergo electio est impossibilium. Objection 2. Further, choice is of things done by us, as stated above (Article 4). Therefore it matters not, as far as the act of choosing is concerned, whether one choose that which is impossible in itself, or that which is impossible to the chooser. Now it often happens that we are unable to accomplish what we choose: so that this proves to be impossible to us. Therefore choice is of the impossible.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 5 arg. 3 Praeterea, nihil homo tentat agere nisi eligendo. Sed beatus Benedictus dicit quod, si praelatus aliquid impossibile praeceperit, tentandum est. Ergo electio potest esse impossibilium. Objection 3. Further, to try to do a thing is to choose to do it. But the Blessed Benedict says (Regula lxviii) that if the superior command what is impossible, it should be attempted. Therefore choice can be of the impossible.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 5 s. c. Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in III Ethic., quod electio non est impossibilium. On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 2) that "there is no choice of impossibilities."
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 5 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, electiones nostrae referuntur semper ad nostras actiones. Ea autem quae per nos aguntur, sunt nobis possibilia. Unde necesse est dicere quod electio non sit nisi possibilium. Similiter etiam ratio eligendi aliquid est ex hoc quod ducit ad finem. Per id autem quod est impossibile, non potest aliquis consequi finem. Cuius signum est quia, cum in consiliando perveniunt homines ad id quod est eis impossibile, discedunt, quasi non valentes ulterius procedere. Apparet etiam hoc manifeste ex processu rationis praecedente. Sic enim se habet id quod est ad finem, de quo electio est, ad finem, sicut conclusio ad principium. Manifestum est autem quod conclusio impossibilis non sequitur ex principio possibili. Unde non potest esse quod finis sit possibilis, nisi id quod est ad finem fuerit possibile. Ad id autem quod est impossibile, nullus movetur. Unde nullus tenderet in finem, nisi per hoc quod apparet id quod est ad finem esse possibile. Unde id quod est impossibile sub electione non cadit. I answer that, As stated above (Article 4), our choice is always concerned with our actions. Now whatever is done by us, is possible to us. Therefore we must needs say that choice is only of possible things. Moreover, the reason for choosing a thing is that it conduces to an end. But what is impossible cannot conduce to an end. A sign of this is that when men in taking counsel together come to something that is impossible to them, they depart, as being unable to proceed with the business. Again, this is evident if we examine the previous process of the reason. For the means, which are the object of choice, are to the end, as the conclusion is to the principle. Now it is clear that an impossible conclusion does not follow from a possible principle. Wherefore an end cannot be possible, unless the means be possible. Now no one is moved to the impossible. Consequently no one would tend to the end, save for the fact that the means appear to be possible. Therefore the impossible is not the object of choice.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 5 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod voluntas media est inter intellectum et exteriorem operationem, nam intellectus proponit voluntati suum obiectum, et ipsa voluntas causat exteriorem actionem. Sic igitur principium motus voluntatis consideratur ex parte intellectus, qui apprehendit aliquid ut bonum in universali, sed terminatio, seu perfectio actus voluntatis attenditur secundum ordinem ad operationem, per quam aliquis tendit ad consecutionem rei; nam motus voluntatis est ab anima ad rem. Et ideo perfectio actus voluntatis attenditur secundum hoc quod est aliquid bonum alicui ad agendum. Hoc autem est possibile. Et ideo voluntas completa non est nisi de possibili, quod est bonum volenti. Sed voluntas incompleta est de impossibili, quae secundum quosdam velleitas dicitur, quia scilicet aliquis vellet illud, si esset possibile. Electio autem nominat actum voluntatis iam determinatum ad id quod est huic agendum. Et ideo nullo modo est nisi possibilium. Reply to Objection 1. The will stands between the intellect and the external action: for the intellect proposes to the will its object, and the will causes the external action. Hence the principle of the movement in the will is to be found in the intellect, which apprehends something under the universal notion of good: but the term or perfection of the will's act is to be observed in its relation to the action whereby a man tends to the attainment of a thing; for the movement of the will is from the soul to the thing. Consequently the perfect act of the will is in respect of something that is good for one to do. Now this cannot be something impossible. Wherefore the complete act of the will is only in respect of what is possible and good for him that wills. But the incomplete act of the will is in respect of the impossible; and by some is called "velleity," because, to wit, one would will [vellet] such a thing, were it possible. But choice is an act of the will, fixed on something to be done by the chooser. And therefore it is by no means of anything but what is possible.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 5 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, cum obiectum voluntatis sit bonum apprehensum, hoc modo iudicandum est de obiecto voluntatis, secundum quod cadit sub apprehensione. Et ideo sicut quandoque voluntas est alicuius quod apprehenditur ut bonum, et tamen non est vere bonum; ita quandoque est electio eius quod apprehenditur ut possibile eligenti, quod tamen non est ei possibile. Reply to Objection 2. Since the object of the will is the apprehended good, we must judge of the object of the will according as it is apprehended. And so, just as sometimes the will tends to something which is apprehended as good, and yet is not really good; so is choice sometimes made of something apprehended as possible to the chooser, and yet impossible to him.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 5 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod hoc ideo dicitur, quia an aliquid sit possibile, subditus non debet suo iudicio definire; sed in unoquoque, iudicio superioris stare. Reply to Objection 3. The reason for this is that the subject should not rely on his own judgment to decide whether a certain thing is possible; but in each case should stand by his superior's judgment.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 6 arg. 1 Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod homo ex necessitate eligat. Sic enim se habet finis ad eligibilia, ut principia ad ea quae ex principiis consequuntur, ut patet in VII Ethic. Sed ex principiis ex necessitate deducuntur conclusiones. Ergo ex fine de necessitate movetur aliquis ad eligendum. Objection 1. It would seem that man chooses of necessity. For the end stands in relation to the object of choice, as the principle of that which follows from the principles, as declared in Ethic. vii, 8. But conclusions follow of necessity from their principles. Therefore man is moved of necessity from (willing) the end of the choice (of the means).
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 6 arg. 2 Praeterea, sicut dictum est, electio consequitur iudicium rationis de agendis. Sed ratio ex necessitate iudicat de aliquibus, propter necessitatem praemissarum. Ergo videtur quod etiam electio ex necessitate sequatur. Objection 2. Further, as stated above (01, ad 2), choice follows the reason's judgment of what is to be done. But reason judges of necessity about some things: on account of the necessity of the premises. Therefore it seems that choice also follows of necessity.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 6 arg. 3 Praeterea, si aliqua duo sunt penitus aequalia, non magis movetur homo ad unum quam ad aliud, sicut famelicus, si habet cibum aequaliter appetibilem in diversis partibus, et secundum aequalem distantiam, non magis movetur ad unum quam ad alterum, ut Plato dixit, assignans rationem quietis terrae in medio, sicut dicitur in II de caelo. Sed multo minus potest eligi quod accipitur ut minus, quam quod accipitur ut aequale. Ergo si proponantur duo vel plura, inter quae unum maius appareat, impossibile est aliquod aliorum eligere. Ergo ex necessitate eligitur illud quod eminentius apparet. Sed omnis electio est de omni eo quod videtur aliquo modo melius. Ergo omnis electio est ex necessitate. Objection 3. Further, if two things are absolutely equal, man is not moved to one more than to the other; thus if a hungry man, as Plato says (Cf. De Coelo ii, 13), be confronted on either side with two portions of food equally appetizing and at an equal distance, he is not moved towards one more than to the other; and he finds the reason of this in the immobility of the earth in the middle of the world. Now, if that which is equally (eligible) with something else cannot be chosen, much less can that be chosen which appears as less (eligible). Therefore if two or more things are available, of which one appears to be more (eligible), it is impossible to choose any of the others. Therefore that which appears to hold the first place is chosen of necessity. But every act of choosing is in regard to something that seems in some way better. Therefore every choice is made necessarily.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 6 s. c. Sed contra est quod electio est actus potentiae rationalis; quae se habet ad opposita, secundum philosophum. On the contrary, Choice is an act of a rational power; which according to the Philosopher (Metaph. ix, 2) stands in relation to opposites.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 6 co. Respondeo dicendum quod homo non ex necessitate eligit. Et hoc ideo, quia quod possibile est non esse, non necesse est esse. Quod autem possibile sit non eligere vel eligere, huius ratio ex duplici hominis potestate accipi potest. Potest enim homo velle et non velle, agere et non agere, potest etiam velle hoc aut illud, et agere hoc aut illud. Cuius ratio ex ipsa virtute rationis accipitur. Quidquid enim ratio potest apprehendere ut bonum, in hoc voluntas tendere potest. Potest autem ratio apprehendere ut bonum non solum hoc quod est velle aut agere; sed hoc etiam quod est non velle et non agere. Et rursum in omnibus particularibus bonis potest considerare rationem boni alicuius, et defectum alicuius boni, quod habet rationem mali, et secundum hoc, potest unumquodque huiusmodi bonorum apprehendere ut eligibile, vel fugibile. Solum autem perfectum bonum, quod est beatitudo, non potest ratio apprehendere sub ratione mali, aut alicuius defectus. Et ideo ex necessitate beatitudinem homo vult, nec potest velle non esse beatus, aut miser. Electio autem, cum non sit de fine, sed de his quae sunt ad finem, ut iam dictum est; non est perfecti boni, quod est beatitudo, sed aliorum particularium bonorum. Et ideo homo non ex necessitate, sed libere eligit. I answer that, Man does not choose of necessity. And this is because that which is possible not to be, is not of necessity. Now the reason why it is possible not to choose, or to choose, may be gathered from a twofold power in man. For man can will and not will, act and not act; again, he can will this or that, and do this or that. The reason of this is seated in the very power of the reason. For the will can tend to whatever the reason can apprehend as good. Now the reason can apprehend as good, not only this, viz. "to will" or "to act," but also this, viz. "not to will" or "not to act." Again, in all particular goods, the reason can consider an aspect of some good, and the lack of some good, which has the aspect of evil: and in this respect, it can apprehend any single one of such goods as to be chosen or to be avoided. The perfect good alone, which is Happiness, cannot be apprehended by the reason as an evil, or as lacking in any way. Consequently man wills Happiness of necessity, nor can he will not to be happy, or to be unhappy. Now since choice is not of the end, but of the means, as stated above (Article 3); it is not of the perfect good, which is Happiness, but of other particular goods. Therefore man chooses not of necessity, but freely.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 6 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod non semper ex principiis ex necessitate procedit conclusio, sed tunc solum quando principia non possunt esse vera si conclusio non sit vera. Et similiter non oportet quod semper ex fine insit homini necessitas ad eligendum ea quae sunt ad finem, quia non omne quod est ad finem, tale est ut sine eo finis haberi non possit; aut, si tale sit, non semper sub tali ratione consideratur. Reply to Objection 1. The conclusion does not always of necessity follow from the principles, but only when the principles cannot be true if the conclusion is not true. In like manner, the end does not always necessitate in man the choosing of the means, because the means are not always such that the end cannot be gained without them; or, if they be such, they are not always considered in that light.
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 6 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod sententia sive iudicium rationis de rebus agendis est circa contingentia, quae a nobis fieri possunt, in quibus conclusiones non ex necessitate sequuntur ex principiis necessariis absoluta necessitate, sed necessariis solum ex conditione, ut, si currit, movetur. Reply to Objection 2. The reason's decision or judgment of what is to be done is about things that are contingent and possible to us. In such matters the conclusions do not follow of necessity from principles that are absolutely necessary, but from such as are so conditionally; as, for instance, "If he runs, he is in motion."
Iª-IIae q. 13 a. 6 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod nihil prohibet, si aliqua duo aequalia proponantur secundum unam considerationem, quin circa alterum consideretur aliqua conditio per quam emineat, et magis flectatur voluntas in ipsum quam in aliud. Reply to Objection 3. If two things be proposed as equal under one aspect, nothing hinders us from considering in one of them some particular point of superiority, so that the will has a bent towards that one rather than towards the other.

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