Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q48

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Q47 Q49



Latin English
IIª-IIae q. 48 pr. Deinde considerandum est de partibus prudentiae. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor, primo, quae sint partes prudentiae; secundo, de partibus quasi integralibus eius; tertio, de partibus subiectivis eius; quarto, de partibus potentialibus. Question 48. The parts of prudence The three parts of prudence: integral, subjective, and potential
IIª-IIae q. 48 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter assignentur partes prudentiae. Tullius enim, in II Rhet., ponit tres partes prudentiae, scilicet memoriam, intelligentiam et providentiam. Macrobius autem, secundum sententiam Plotini, attribuit prudentiae sex, scilicet rationem, intellectum, circumspectionem, providentiam, docilitatem et cautionem. Aristoteles autem, in VI Ethic., dicit ad prudentiam pertinere eubuliam, synesim et gnomen. Facit etiam mentionem circa prudentiam de Eustochia et solertia, sensu et intellectu. Quidam autem alius philosophus Graecus dicit quod ad prudentiam decem pertinent, scilicet eubulia, solertia, providentia, regnativa, militaris, politica, oeconomica, dialectica, rhetorica, physica. Ergo videtur quod vel una assignatio sit superflua, vel alia diminuta. Objection 1. It would seem that the parts of prudence are assigned unfittingly. Tully (De Invent. Rhet. ii, 53) assigns three parts of prudence, namely, "memory," "understanding" and "foresight." Macrobius (In Somn. Scip. i) following the opinion of Plotinus ascribes to prudence six parts, namely, "reasoning," "understanding," "circumspection," "foresight," "docility" and "caution." Aristotle says (Ethic. vi, 9,10,11) that "good counsel," "synesis" and "gnome" belong to prudence. Again under the head of prudence he mentions "conjecture," "shrewdness," "sense" and "understanding." And another Greek philosopher [Andronicus; Cf. 80, Objection 4] says that ten things are connected with prudence, namely, "good counsel," "shrewdness," "foresight," "regnative [Regnativa]," "military," "political" and "domestic prudence," "dialectics," "rhetoric" and "physics." Therefore it seems that one or the other enumeration is either excessive or deficient.
IIª-IIae q. 48 arg. 2 Praeterea, prudentia dividitur contra scientiam. Sed politica, oeconomica, dialectica, rhetorica, physica sunt quaedam scientiae. Non ergo sunt partes prudentiae. Objection 2. Further, prudence is specifically distinct from science. But politics, economics, logic, rhetoric, physics are sciences. Therefore they are not parts of prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 48 arg. 3 Praeterea, partes non excedunt totum. Sed memoria intellectiva, vel intelligentia, ratio, sensus et docilitas non solum pertinent ad prudentiam, sed etiam ad omnes habitus cognoscitivos. Ergo non debent poni partes prudentiae. Objection 3. Further, the parts do not exceed the whole. Now the intellective memory or intelligence, reason, sense and docility, belong not only to prudence but also to all the cognitive habits. Therefore they should not be set down as parts of prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 48 arg. 4 Praeterea, sicut consiliari et iudicare et praecipere sunt actus rationis practicae, ita etiam et uti, sicut supra habitum est. Sicut ergo eubulia adiungitur prudentiae, quae pertinet ad consilium, et synesis et gnome, quae pertinent ad iudicium; ita etiam debuit poni aliquid pertinens ad usum. Objection 4. Further, just as counselling, judging and commanding are acts of the practical reason, so also is using, as stated above (I-II, 16, 1). Therefore, just as "eubulia" which refers to counsel, is connected with prudence, and "synesis" and "gnome" which refer to judgment, so also ought something to have been assigned corresponding to use.
IIª-IIae q. 48 arg. 5 Praeterea, sollicitudo ad prudentiam pertinet, sicut supra habitum est. Ergo etiam inter partes prudentiae sollicitudo poni debuit. Objection 5. Further, solicitude pertains to prudence, as stated above (Question 47, Article 09). Therefore solicitude also should have been mentioned among the parts of prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 48 co. Respondeo dicendum quod triplex est pars, scilicet integralis, ut paries, tectum et fundamentum sunt partes domus; subiectiva, sicut bos et leo sunt partes animalis; et potentialis, sicut nutritivum et sensitivum sunt partes animae. Tribus ergo modis possunt assignari partes alicui virtuti. Uno modo, ad similitudinem partium integralium, ut scilicet illa dicantur esse partes virtutis alicuius quae necesse est concurrere ad perfectum actum virtutis illius. Et sic ex omnibus enumeratis possunt accipi octo partes prudentiae, scilicet sex quas enumerat Macrobius; quibus addenda est septima, scilicet memoria, quam ponit Tullius; et Eustochia sive solertia, quam ponit Aristoteles (nam sensus prudentiae etiam intellectus dicitur, unde philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic., horum igitur oportet habere sensum, hic autem est intellectus). Quorum octo quinque pertinent ad prudentiam secundum id quod est cognoscitiva, scilicet memoria, ratio, intellectus, docilitas et solertia, tria vero alia pertinent ad eam secundum quod est praeceptiva, applicando cognitionem ad opus, scilicet providentia, circumspectio et cautio. Quorum diversitatis ratio patet ex hoc quod circa cognitionem tria sunt consideranda. Primo quidem, ipsa cognitio. Quae si sit praeteritorum, est memoria, si autem praesentium, sive contingentium sive necessariorum, vocatur intellectus sive intelligentia. Secundo, ipsa cognitionis acquisitio. Quae fit vel per disciplinam, et ad hoc pertinet docilitas, vel per inventionem, et ad hoc pertinet Eustochia, quae est bona coniecturatio. Huius autem pars, ut dicitur in VI Ethic., est solertia, quae est velox coniecturatio medii, ut dicitur in I Poster. Tertio considerandus est usus cognitionis, secundum scilicet quod ex cognitis aliquis procedit ad alia cognoscenda vel iudicanda. Et hoc pertinet ad rationem. Ratio autem, ad hoc quod recte praecipiat, tria debet habere. Primo quidem, ut ordinet aliquid accommodum ad finem, et hoc pertinet ad providentiam. Secundo, ut attendat circumstantias negotii, quod pertinet ad circumspectionem. Tertio, ut vitet impedimenta, quod pertinet ad cautionem. Partes autem subiectivae virtutis dicuntur species eius diversae. Et hoc modo partes prudentiae, secundum quod proprie sumuntur, sunt prudentia per quam aliquis regit seipsum, et prudentia per quam aliquis regit multitudinem, quae differunt specie, ut dictum est, et iterum prudentia quae est multitudinis regitiva dividitur in diversas species secundum diversas species multitudinis. Est autem quaedam multitudo adunata ad aliquod speciale negotium, sicut exercitus congregatur ad pugnandum, cuius regitiva est prudentia militaris. Quaedam vero multitudo est adunata ad totam vitam, sicut multitudo unius domus vel familiae, cuius regitiva est prudentia oeconomica; et multitudo unius civitatis vel regni, cuius quidem directiva est in principe regnativa, in subditis autem politica simpliciter dicta. Si vero prudentia sumatur large, secundum quod includit etiam scientiam speculativam, ut supra dictum est; tunc etiam partes eius ponuntur dialectica, rhetorica et physica, secundum tres modos procedendi in scientiis. Quorum unus est per demonstrationem ad scientiam causandam, quod pertinet ad physicam; ut sub physica intelligantur omnes scientiae demonstrativae. Alius modus est ex probabilibus ad opinionem faciendam, quod pertinet ad dialecticam. Tertius modus est ex quibusdam coniecturis ad suspicionem inducendam, vel ad aliqualiter persuadendum, quod pertinet ad rhetoricam. Potest tamen dici quod haec tria pertinent ad prudentiam etiam proprie dictam, quae ratiocinatur interdum quidem ex necessariis, interdum ex probabilibus, interdum autem ex quibusdam coniecturis. Partes autem potentiales alicuius virtutis dicuntur virtutes adiunctae quae ordinantur ad aliquos secundarios actus vel materias, quasi non habentes totam potentiam principalis virtutis. Et secundum hoc ponuntur partes prudentiae eubulia, quae est circa consilium; et synesis, quae est circa iudicium eorum quae communiter accidunt; et gnome, quae est circa iudicium eorum in quibus oportet quandoque a communi lege recedere. Prudentia vero est circa principalem actum, qui est praecipere. I answer that, Parts are of three kinds, namely, "integral," as wall, roof, and foundations are parts of a house; "subjective," as ox and lion are parts of animal; and "potential," as the nutritive and sensitive powers are parts of the soul. Accordingly, parts can be assigned to a virtue in three ways. First, in likeness to integral parts, so that the things which need to concur for the perfect act of a virtue, are called the parts of that virtue. On this way, out of all the things mentioned above, eight may be taken as parts of prudence, namely, the six assigned by Macrobius; with the addition of a seventh, viz. "memory" mentioned by Tully; and eustochia or "shrewdness" mentioned by Aristotle. For the "sense" of prudence is also called "understanding": wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 11): "Of such things one needs to have the sense, and this is understanding." Of these eight, five belong to prudence as a cognitive virtue, namely, "memory," "reasoning," "understanding," "docility" and "shrewdness": while the three others belong thereto, as commanding and applying knowledge to action, namely, "foresight," "circumspection" and "caution." The reason of their difference is seen from the fact that three things may be observed in reference to knowledge. On the first place, knowledge itself, which, if it be of the past, is called "memory," if of the present, whether contingent or necessary, is called "understanding" or "intelligence." Secondly, the acquiring of knowledge, which is caused either by teaching, to which pertains "docility," or by "discovery," and to this belongs to eustochia, i.e. "a happy conjecture," of which "shrewdness" is a part, which is a "quick conjecture of the middle term," as stated in Poster. i, 9. Thirdly, the use of knowledge, in as much as we proceed from things known to knowledge or judgment of other things, and this belongs to "reasoning." And the reason, in order to command aright, requires to have three conditions. First, to order that which is befitting the end, and this belongs to "foresight"; secondly, to attend to the circumstances of the matter in hand, and this belongs to "circumspection"; thirdly, to avoid obstacles, and this belongs to "caution." The subjective parts of a virtue are its various species. On this way the parts of prudence, if we take them properly, are the prudence whereby a man rules himself, and the prudence whereby a man governs a multitude, which differ specifically as stated above (Question 47, Article 11). Again, the prudence whereby a multitude is governed, is divided into various species according to the various kinds of multitude. There is the multitude which is united together for some particular purpose; thus an army is gathered together to fight, and the prudence that governs this is called "military." There is also the multitude that is united together for the whole of life; such is the multitude of a home or family, and this is ruled by "domestic prudence": and such again is the multitude of a city or kingdom, the ruling principle of which is "regnative prudence" in the ruler, and "political prudence," simply so called, in the subjects. If, however, prudence be taken in a wide sense, as including also speculative knowledge, as stated above (47, 2, ad 2) then its parts include "dialectics," "rhetoric" and "physics," according to three methods of prudence in the sciences. The first of these is the attaining of science by demonstration, which belongs to "physics" (if physics be understood to comprise all demonstrative sciences). The second method is to arrive at an opinion through probable premises, and this belongs to "dialectics." The third method is to employ conjectures in order to induce a certain suspicion, or to persuade somewhat, and this belongs to "rhetoric." It may be said, however, that these three belong also to prudence properly so called, since it argues sometimes from necessary premises, sometimes from probabilities, and sometimes from conjectures. The potential parts of a virtue are the virtues connected with it, which are directed to certain secondary acts or matters, not having, as it were, the whole power of the principal virtue. On this way the parts of prudence are "good counsel," which concerns counsel, "synesis," which concerns judgment in matters of ordinary occurrence, and "gnome," which concerns judgment in matters of exception to the law: while "prudence" is about the chief act, viz. that of commanding.
IIª-IIae q. 48 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod diversae assignationes differunt secundum quod diversa genera partium ponuntur; vel secundum quod sub una parte unius assignationis includuntur multae partes alterius assignationis. Sicut Tullius sub providentia includit cautionem et circumspectionem; sub intelligentia autem rationem, docilitatem et solertiam. Reply to Objection 1. The various enumerations differ, either because different kinds of parts are assigned, or because that which is mentioned in one enumeration includes several mentioned in another enumeration. Thus Tully includes "caution" and "circumspection" under "foresight," and "reasoning," "docility" and "shrewdness" under "understanding."
IIª-IIae q. 48 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod oeconomica et politica non accipiuntur hic secundum quod sunt scientiae; sed secundum quod sunt prudentiae quaedam. De aliis autem tribus patet responsio ex dictis. Reply to Objection 2. Here domestic and civic prudence are not to be taken as sciences, but as kinds of prudence. As to the other three, the reply may be gathered from what has been said.
IIª-IIae q. 48 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod omnia illa ponuntur partes prudentiae non secundum suam communitatem; sed secundum quod se habent ad ea quae pertinent ad prudentiam. Reply to Objection 3. All these things are reckoned parts of prudence, not by taking them altogether, but in so far as they are connected with things pertaining to prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 48 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod recte praecipere et recte uti semper se comitantur, quia ad praeceptum rationis sequitur obedientia inferiorum virium, quae pertinent ad usum. Reply to Objection 4. Right command and right use always go together, because the reason's command is followed by obedience on the part of the lower powers, which pertain to use.
IIª-IIae q. 48 ad 5 Ad quintum dicendum quod sollicitudo includitur in ratione providentiae. Reply to Objection 5. Solicitude is included under foresight.

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