Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIa/Q7

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Q6 Q8



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Iª-IIae q. 7 pr. Deinde considerandum est de circumstantiis humanorum actuum. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor. Primo, quid sit circumstantia. Secundo, utrum circumstantiae sint circa humanos actus attendendae a theologo. Tertio, quot sunt circumstantiae. Quarto, quae sunt in eis principaliores. Question 7. The circumstances of human acts
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod circumstantia non sit accidens actus humani. Dicit enim Tullius, in rhetoricis, quod circumstantia est per quam argumentationi auctoritatem et firmamentum adiungit oratio. Sed oratio dat firmamentum argumentationi praecipue ab his quae sunt de substantia rei, ut definitio, genus, species, et alia huiusmodi; a quibus etiam Tullius oratorem argumentari docet. Ergo circumstantia non est accidens humani actus. Objection 1. It would seem that a circumstance is not an accident of a human act. For Tully says (De Invent. Rhetor. i) that a circumstance is that from "which an orator adds authority and strength to his argument." But oratorical arguments are derived principally from things pertaining to the essence of a thing, such as the definition, the genus, the species, and the like, from which also Tully declares that an orator should draw his arguments. Therefore a circumstance is not an accident of a human act.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, accidentis proprium est inesse. Quod autem circumstat, non inest, sed magis est extra. Ergo circumstantiae non sunt accidentia humanorum actuum. Objection 2. Further, "to be in" is proper to an accident. But that which surrounds [circumstat] is rather out than in. Therefore the circumstances are not accidents of human acts.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, accidentis non est accidens. Sed ipsi humani actus sunt quaedam accidentia. Non ergo circumstantiae sunt accidentia actuum. Objection 3. Further, an accident has no accident. But human acts themselves are accidents. Therefore the circumstances are not accidents of acts.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra, particulares conditiones cuiuslibet rei singularis dicuntur accidentia individuantia ipsam. Sed philosophus, in III Ethic., circumstantias nominat particularia, idest particulares singulorum actuum conditiones. Ergo circumstantiae sunt accidentia individualia humanorum actuum. On the contrary, The particular conditions of any singular thing are called its individuating accidents. But the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 1) calls the circumstances particular things [ta kath' ekasta], i.e. the particular conditions of each act. Therefore the circumstances are individual accidents of human acts.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, quia nomina, secundum philosophum, sunt signa intellectuum, necesse est quod secundum processum intellectivae cognitionis, sit etiam nominationis processus. Procedit autem nostra cognitio intellectualis a notioribus ad minus nota. Et ideo apud nos a notioribus nomina transferuntur ad significandum res minus notas. Et inde est quod, sicut dicitur in X Metaphys., ab his quae sunt secundum locum, processit nomen distantiae ad omnia contraria, et similiter nominibus pertinentibus ad motum localem, utimur ad significandum alios motus, eo quod corpora, quae loco circumscribuntur, sunt maxime nobis nota. Et inde est quod nomen circumstantiae ab his quae in loco sunt, derivatur ad actus humanos. Dicitur autem in localibus aliquid circumstare, quod est quidem extrinsecum a re, tamen attingit ipsam, vel appropinquat ei secundum locum. Et ideo quaecumque conditiones sunt extra substantiam actus, et tamen attingunt aliquo modo actum humanum, circumstantiae dicuntur. Quod autem est extra substantiam rei ad rem ipsam pertinens, accidens eius dicitur. Unde circumstantiae actuum humanorum accidentia eorum dicenda sunt. I answer that, Since, according to the Philosopher (Peri Herm. i), "words are the signs of what we understand," it must needs be that in naming things we follow the process of intellectual knowledge. Now our intellectual knowledge proceeds from the better known to the less known. Accordingly with us, names of more obvious things are transferred so as to signify things less obvious: and hence it is that, as stated in Metaph. x, 4, "the notion of distance has been transferred from things that are apart locally, to all kinds of opposition": and in like manner words that signify local movement are employed to designate all other movements, because bodies which are circumscribed by place, are best known to us. And hence it is that the word "circumstance" has passed from located things to human acts. Now in things located, that is said to surround something, which is outside it, but touches it, or is placed near it. Accordingly, whatever conditions are outside the substance of an act, and yet in some way touch the human act, are called circumstances. Now what is outside a thing's substance, while it belongs to that thing, is called its accident. Wherefore the circumstances of human acts should be called their accidents.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod oratio quidem dat firmamentum argumentationi, primo ex substantia actus, secundario vero, ex his quae circumstant actum. Sicut primo accusabilis redditur aliquis ex hoc quod homicidium fecit, secundario vero, ex hoc quod dolo fecit, vel propter lucrum, vel in tempore aut loco sacro, aut aliquid aliud huiusmodi. Et ideo signanter dicit quod per circumstantiam oratio argumentationi firmamentum adiungit, quasi secundario. Reply to Objection 1. The orator gives strength to his argument, in the first place, from the substance of the act; and secondly, from the circumstances of the act. Thus a man becomes indictable, first, through being guilty of murder; secondly, through having done it fraudulently, or from motives of greed or at a holy time or place, and so forth. And so in the passage quoted, it is said pointedly that the orator "adds strength to his argument," as though this were something secondary.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod aliquid dicitur accidens alicuius dupliciter. Uno modo, quia inest ei, sicut album dicitur accidens Socratis. Alio modo quia est simul cum eo in eodem subiecto, sicut dicitur quod album accidit musico, inquantum conveniunt, et quodammodo se contingunt, in uno subiecto. Et per hunc modum dicuntur circumstantiae accidentia actuum. Reply to Objection 2. A thing is said to be an accident of something in two ways. First, from being in that thing: thus, whiteness is said to be an accident of Socrates. Secondly, because it is together with that thing in the same subject: thus, whiteness is an accident of the art of music, inasmuch as they meet in the same subject, so as to touch one another, as it were. And in this sense circumstances are said to be the accidents of human acts.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, accidens dicitur accidenti accidere propter convenientiam in subiecto. Sed hoc contingit dupliciter. Uno modo, secundum quod duo accidentia comparantur ad unum subiectum absque aliquo ordine, sicut album et musicum ad Socratem. Alio modo, cum aliquo ordine, puta quia subiectum recipit unum accidens alio mediante, sicut corpus recipit colorem mediante superficie. Et sic unum accidens dicitur etiam alteri inesse, dicimus enim colorem esse in superficie. Utroque autem modo circumstantiae se habent ad actus. Nam aliquae circumstantiae ordinatae ad actum, pertinent ad agentem non mediante actu, puta locus et conditio personae, aliquae vero mediante ipso actu, sicut modus agendi. Reply to Objection 3. As stated above (ad 2), an accident is said to be the accident of an accident, from the fact that they meet in the same subject. But this happens in two ways. First, in so far as two accidents are both related to the same subject, without any relation to one another; as whiteness and the art of music in Socrates. Secondly, when such accidents are related to one another; as when the subject receives one accident by means of the other; for instance, a body receives color by means of its surface. And thus also is one accident said to be in another; for we speak of color as being in the surface. Accordingly, circumstances are related to acts in both these ways. For some circumstances that have a relation to acts, belong to the agent otherwise than through the act; as place and condition of person; whereas others belong to the agent by reason of the act, as the manner in which the act is done.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod circumstantiae humanorum actuum non sint considerandae a theologo. Non enim considerantur a theologo actus humani, nisi secundum quod sunt aliquales, idest boni vel mali. Sed circumstantiae non videntur posse facere actus aliquales, quia nihil qualificatur, formaliter loquendo, ab eo quod est extra ipsum, sed ab eo quod in ipso est. Ergo circumstantiae actuum non sunt a theologo considerandae. Objection 1. It would seem that theologians should not take note of the circumstances of human acts. Because theologians do not consider human acts otherwise than according to their quality of good or evil. But it seems that circumstances cannot give quality to human acts; for a thing is never qualified, formally speaking, by that which is outside it; but by that which is in it. Therefore theologians should not take note of the circumstances of acts.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, circumstantiae sunt accidentia actuum. Sed uni infinita accidunt, et ideo, ut dicitur in VI Metaphys., nulla ars vel scientia est circa ens per accidens, nisi sola sophistica. Ergo theologos non habet considerare circumstantias humanorum actuum. Objection 2. Further, circumstances are the accidents of acts. But one thing may be subject to an infinity of accidents; hence the Philosopher says (Metaph. vi, 2) that "no art or science considers accidental being, except only the art of sophistry." Therefore the theologian has not to consider circumstances.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, circumstantiarum consideratio pertinet ad rhetorem. Rhetorica autem non est pars theologiae. Ergo consideratio circumstantiarum non pertinet ad theologum. Objection 3. Further, the consideration of circumstances belongs to the orator. But oratory is not a part of theology. Therefore it is not a theologian's business to consider circumstances.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra, ignorantia circumstantiarum causat involuntarium, ut Damascenus et Gregorius Nyssenus dicunt. Sed involuntarium excusat a culpa, cuius consideratio pertinet ad theologum. Ergo et consideratio circumstantiarum ad theologum pertinet. On the contrary, Ignorance of circumstances causes an act to be involuntary, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 24) and Gregory of Nyssa [Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxxi.]. But involuntariness excuses from sin, the consideration of which belongs to the theologian. Therefore circumstances also should be considered by the theologian.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod circumstantiae pertinent ad considerationem theologi triplici ratione. Primo quidem, quia theologus considerat actus humanos secundum quod per eos homo ad beatitudinem ordinatur. Omne autem quod ordinatur ad finem, oportet esse proportionatum fini. Actus autem proportionantur fini secundum commensurationem quandam, quae fit per debitas circumstantias. Unde consideratio circumstantiarum ad theologum pertinet. Secundo, quia theologus considerat actus humanos secundum quod in eis invenitur bonum et malum, et melius et peius, et hoc diversificatur secundum circumstantias, ut infra patebit. Tertio, quia theologus considerat actus humanos secundum quod sunt meritorii vel demeritorii, quod convenit actibus humanis; ad quod requiritur quod sint voluntarii. Actus autem humanus iudicatur voluntarius vel involuntarius, secundum cognitionem vel ignorantiam circumstantiarum, ut dictum est. Et ideo consideratio circumstantiarum pertinet ad theologum. I answer that, Circumstances come under the consideration of the theologian, for a threefold reason. First, because the theologian considers human acts, inasmuch as man is thereby directed to Happiness. Now, everything that is directed to an end should be proportionate to that end. But acts are made proportionate to an end by means of a certain commensurateness, which results from the due circumstances. Hence the theologian has to consider the circumstances. Secondly, because the theologian considers human acts according as they are found to be good or evil, better or worse: and this diversity depends on circumstances, as we shall see further on (18, A10,11; 73, 7). Thirdly, because the theologian considers human acts under the aspect of merit and demerit, which is proper to human acts; and for this it is requisite that they be voluntary. Now a human act is deemed to be voluntary or involuntary, according to knowledge or ignorance of circumstances, as stated above (Question 6, Article 8). Therefore the theologian has to consider circumstances.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod bonum ordinatum ad finem dicitur utile, quod importat relationem quandam, unde philosophus dicit, in I Ethic., quod in ad aliquid bonum est utile. In his autem quae ad aliquid dicuntur, denominatur aliquid non solum ab eo quod inest, sed etiam ab eo quod extrinsecus adiacet, ut patet in dextro et sinistro, aequali et inaequali, et similibus. Et ideo, cum bonitas actuum sit inquantum sunt utiles ad finem, nihil prohibet eos bonos vel malos dici secundum proportionem ad aliqua quae exterius adiacent. Reply to Objection 1. Good directed to the end is said to be useful; and this implies some kind of relation: wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 6) that "the good in the genus 'relation' is the useful." Now, in the genus "relation" a thing is denominated not only according to that which is inherent in the thing, but also according to that which is extrinsic to it: as may be seen in the expressions "right" and "left," "equal" and "unequal," and such like. Accordingly, since the goodness of acts consists in their utility to the end, nothing hinders their being called good or bad according to their proportion to extrinsic things that are adjacent to them.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod accidentia quae omnino per accidens se habent, relinquuntur ab omni arte, propter eorum incertitudinem et infinitatem. Sed talia accidentia non habent rationem circumstantiae, quia, ut dictum est, sic circumstantiae sunt extra actum, quod tamen actum aliquo modo contingunt, ordinatae ad ipsum. Accidentia autem per se cadunt sub arte. Reply to Objection 2. Accidents which are altogether accidental are neglected by every art, by reason of their uncertainty and infinity. But such like accidents are not what we call circumstances; because circumstances although, as stated above (Article 1), they are extrinsic to the act, nevertheless are in a kind of contact with it, by being related to it. Proper accidents, however, come under the consideration of art.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod consideratio circumstantiarum pertinet ad moralem, et politicum, et ad rhetorem. Ad moralem quidem, prout secundum eas invenitur vel praetermittitur medium virtutis in humanis actibus et passionibus. Ad politicum autem et rhetorem, secundum quod ex circumstantiis actus redduntur laudabiles vel vituperabiles, excusabiles vel accusabiles. Diversimode tamen, nam quod rhetor persuadet, politicus diiudicat. Ad theologum autem, cui omnes aliae artes deserviunt, pertinent omnibus modis praedictis, nam ipse habet considerationem de actibus virtuosis et vitiosis, cum morali; et considerat actus secundum quod merentur poenam vel praemium, cum rhetore et politico. Reply to Objection 3. The consideration of circumstances belongs to the moralist, the politician, and the orator. To the moralist, in so far as with respect to circumstances we find or lose the mean of virtue in human acts and passions. To the politician and to the orator, in so far as circumstances make acts to be worthy of praise or blame, of excuse or indictment. In different ways, however: because where the orator persuades, the politician judges. To the theologian this consideration belongs, in all the aforesaid ways: since to him all the other arts are subservient: for he has to consider virtuous and vicious acts, just as the moralist does; and with the orator and politician he considers acts according as they are deserving of reward or punishment.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter circumstantiae numerentur in III Ethic. Circumstantia enim actus dicitur quod exterius se habet ad actum. Huiusmodi autem sunt tempus et locus. Ergo solae duae sunt circumstantiae, scilicet quando et ubi. Objection 1. It would seem that the circumstances are not properly set forth in Ethic. iii, 1. For a circumstance of an act is described as something outside the act. Now time and place answer to this description. Therefore there are only two circumstances, to wit, "when" and "where."
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, ex circumstantiis accipitur quid bene vel male fiat. Sed hoc pertinet ad modum actus. Ergo omnes circumstantiae concluduntur sub una, quae est modus agendi. Objection 2. Further, we judge from the circumstances whether a thing is well or ill done. But this belongs to the mode of an act. Therefore all the circumstances are included under one, which is the "mode of acting."
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, circumstantiae non sunt de substantia actus. Sed ad substantiam actus pertinere videntur causae ipsius actus. Ergo nulla circumstantia debet sumi ex causa ipsius actus. Sic ergo neque quis, neque propter quid, neque circa quid, sunt circumstantiae, nam quis pertinet ad causam efficientem, propter quid ad finalem, circa quid ad materialem. Objection 3. Further, circumstances are not part of the substance of an act. But the causes of an act seem to belong to its substance. Therefore no circumstance should be taken from the cause of the act itself. Accordingly, neither "who," nor "why," nor "about what," are circumstances: since "who" refers to the efficient cause, "why" to the final cause, and "about what" to the material cause.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est auctoritas philosophi in III Ethicorum. On the contrary is the authority of the Philosopher in Ethic. iii, 1.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod Tullius, in sua rhetorica, assignat septem circumstantias, quae hoc versu continentur, quis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando. Considerandum est enim in actibus quis fecit, quibus auxiliis vel instrumentis fecerit, quid fecerit, ubi fecerit, cur fecerit, quomodo fecerit, et quando fecerit. Sed Aristoteles, in III Ethic., addit aliam, scilicet circa quid, quae a Tullio comprehenditur sub quid. Et ratio huius annumerationis sic accipi potest. Nam circumstantia dicitur quod, extra substantiam actus existens, aliquo modo attingit ipsum. Contingit autem hoc fieri tripliciter, uno modo, inquantum attingit ipsum actum; alio modo, inquantum attingit causam actus; tertio modo, inquantum attingit effectum. Ipsum autem actum attingit, vel per modum mensurae, sicut tempus et locus; vel per modum qualitatis actus, sicut modus agendi. Ex parte autem effectus, ut cum consideratur quid aliquis fecerit. Ex parte vero causae actus, quantum ad causam finalem, accipitur propter quid; ex parte autem causae materialis, sive obiecti, accipitur circa quid; ex parte vero causae agentis principalis, accipitur quis egerit; ex parte vero causae agentis instrumentalis, accipitur quibus auxiliis. I answer that, Tully, in his Rhetoric (De Invent. Rhetor. i), gives seven circumstances, which are contained in this verse: Quis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando-- Who, what, where, by what aids, why, how, and when. For in acts we must take note of ""who"" did it, ""by what aids"" or ""instruments"" he did it, ""what"" he did, ""where"" he did it, ""why"" he did it, ""how"" and ""when"" he did it. But Aristotle in Ethic. iii, 1 adds yet another, to wit, ""about what,"" which Tully includes in the circumstance ""what."" The reason of this enumeration may be set down as follows. For a circumstance is described as something outside the substance of the act, and yet in a way touching it. Now this happens in three ways: first, inasmuch as it touches the act itself; secondly, inasmuch as it touches the cause of the act; thirdly, inasmuch as it touches the effect. It touches the act itself, either by way of measure, as ""time"" and ""place""; or by qualifying the act as the ""mode of acting."" It touches the effect when we consider ""what"" is done. It touches the cause of the act, as to the final cause, by the circumstance ""why""; as to the material cause, or object, in the circumstance ""about what""; as to the principal efficient cause, in the circumstance ""who""; and as to the instrumental efficient cause, in the circumstance ""by what aids.""
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod tempus et locus circumstant actum per modum mensurae, sed alia circumstant actum inquantum attingunt ipsum quocumque alio modo, extra substantiam eius existentia. Reply to Objection 1. Time and place surround [circumstant] the act by way of measure; but the others surround the act by touching it in any other way, while they are extrinsic to the substance of the act.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod iste modus qui est bene vel male, non ponitur circumstantia, sed consequens ad omnes circumstantias. Sed specialis circumstantia ponitur modus qui pertinet ad qualitatem actus, puta quod aliquis ambulet velociter vel tarde, et quod aliquis percutit fortiter vel remisse, et sic de aliis. Reply to Objection 2. This mode "well" or "ill" is not a circumstance, but results from all the circumstances. But the mode which refers to a quality of the act is a special circumstance; for instance, that a man walk fast or slowly; that he strike hard or gently, and so forth.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod illa conditio causae ex qua substantia actus dependet, non dicitur circumstantia; sed aliqua conditio adiuncta. Sicut in obiecto non dicitur circumstantia furti quod sit alienum, hoc enim pertinet ad substantiam furti; sed quod sit magnum vel parvum. Et similiter est de aliis circumstantiis quae accipiuntur ex parte aliarum causarum. Non enim finis qui dat speciem actus, est circumstantia; sed aliquis finis adiunctus. Sicut quod fortis fortiter agat propter bonum fortitudinis, non est circumstantia; sed si fortiter agat propter liberationem civitatis, vel populi Christiani, vel aliquid huiusmodi. Similiter etiam ex parte eius quod est quid, nam quod aliquis perfundens aliquem aqua, abluat ipsum, non est circumstantia ablutionis; sed quod abluendo infrigidet vel calefaciat, et sanet vel noceat, hoc est circumstantia. Reply to Objection 3. A condition of the cause, on which the substance of the act depends, is not a circumstance; it must be an additional condition. Thus, in regard to the object, it is not a circumstance of theft that the object is another's property, for this belongs to the substance of the act; but that it be great or small. And the same applies to the other circumstances which are considered in reference to the other causes. For the end that specifies the act is not a circumstance, but some additional end. Thus, that a valiant man act "valiantly for the sake of" the good of the virtue or fortitude, is not a circumstance; but if he act valiantly for the sake of the delivery of the state, or of Christendom, or some such purpose. The same is to be said with regard to the circumstance "what"; for that a man by pouring water on someone should happen to wash him, is not a circumstance of the washing; but that in doing so he give him a chill, or scald him; heal him or harm him, these are circumstances.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sint principales circumstantiae propter quid, et ea in quibus est operatio, ut dicitur in III Ethic. Ea enim in quibus est operatio, videntur esse locus et tempus, quae non videntur esse principalia inter circumstantias, cum sint maxime extrinseca ab actu. Ea ergo in quibus est operatio non sunt principalissimae circumstantiarum. Objection 1. It would seem that these are not the most important circumstances, namely, "why" and those "in which the act is, [hen ois e praxis]" as stated in Ethic. iii, 1. For those in which the act is seem to be place and time: and these do not seem to be the most important of the circumstances, since, of them all, they are the most extrinsic to the act. Therefore those things in which the act is are not the most important circumstances.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, finis est extrinsecus rei. Non ergo videtur esse principalissima circumstantiarum. Objection 2. Further, the end of a thing is extrinsic to it. Therefore it is not the most important circumstance.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, principalissimum in unoquoque est causa eius et forma ipsius. Sed causa ipsius actus est persona agens; forma autem actus est modus ipsius. Ergo istae duae circumstantiae videntur esse principalissimae. Objection 3. Further, that which holds the foremost place in regard to each thing, is its cause and its form. But the cause of an act is the person that does it; while the form of an act is the manner in which it is done. Therefore these two circumstances seem to be of the greatest importance.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod Gregorius Nyssenus dicit, quod principalissimae circumstantiae sunt cuius gratia agitur, et quid est quod agitur. On the contrary, Gregory of Nyssa [Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxxi.] says that "the most important circumstances" are "why it is done" and "what is done."
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod actus proprie dicuntur humani, sicut supra dictum est, prout sunt voluntarii. Voluntatis autem motivum et obiectum est finis. Et ideo principalissima est omnium circumstantiarum illa quae attingit actum ex parte finis, scilicet cuius gratia, secundaria vero, quae attingit ipsam substantiam actus, idest quid fecit. Aliae vero circumstantiae sunt magis vel minus principales, secundum quod magis vel minus ad has appropinquant. I answer that, As stated above (Question 1, Article 1), acts are properly called human, inasmuch as they are voluntary. Now, the motive and object of the will is the end. Therefore that circumstance is the most important of all which touches the act on the part of the end, viz. the circumstance "why": and the second in importance, is that which touches the very substance of the act, viz. the circumstance "what he did." As to the other circumstances, they are more or less important, according as they more or less approach to these.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod per ea in quibus est operatio, philosophus non intelligit tempus et locum, sed ea quae adiunguntur ipsi actui. Unde Gregorius Nyssenus, quasi exponens dictum philosophi, loco eius quod philosophus dixit, in quibus est operatio, dicit quid agitur. Reply to Objection 1. By those things "in which the act is" the Philosopher does not mean time and place, but those circumstances that are affixed to the act itself. Wherefore Gregory of Nyssa [Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxx.], as though he were explaining the dictum of the Philosopher, instead of the latter's term--"in which the act is"--said, "what is done."
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod finis, etsi non sit de substantia actus, est tamen causa actus principalissima, inquantum movet ad agendum. Unde et maxime actus moralis speciem habet ex fine. Reply to Objection 2. Although the end is not part of the substance of the act, yet it is the most important cause of the act, inasmuch as it moves the agent to act. Wherefore the moral act is specified chiefly by the end.
Iª-IIae q. 7 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod persona agens causa est actus secundum quod movetur a fine; et secundum hoc principaliter ordinatur ad actum. Aliae vero conditiones personae non ita principaliter ordinantur ad actum. Modus etiam non est substantialis forma actus, hoc enim attenditur in actu secundum obiectum et terminum vel finem, sed est quasi quaedam qualitas accidentalis. Reply to Objection 3. The person that does the act is the cause of that act, inasmuch as he is moved thereto by the end; and it is chiefly in this respect that he is directed to the act; while other conditions of the person have not such an important relation to the act. As to the mode, it is not the substantial form of the act, for in an act the substantial form depends on the object and term or end; but it is, as it were, a certain accidental quality of the act.

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