Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q51

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Q50 Q52



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IIª-IIae q. 51 pr. Deinde considerandum est de virtutibus adiunctis prudentiae, quae sunt quasi partes potentiales ipsius. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor. Primo, utrum eubulia sit virtus. Secundo, utrum sit specialis virtus a prudentia distincta. Tertio, utrum synesis sit specialis virtus. Quarto, utrum gnome sit specialis virtus. Question 51. The virtues which are connected with prudence Is euboulia a virtue? Is it a special virtue, distinct from prudence? Is synesis a special virtue? Is gnome a special virtue?
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod eubulia non sit virtus. Quia secundum Augustinum, in libro de Lib. Arb., virtutibus nullus male utitur. Sed eubulia, quae est bene consiliativa, aliqui male utuntur, vel quia astuta consilia excogitant ad malos fines consequendos; aut quia etiam ad bonos fines consequendos aliqua peccata ordinant, puta qui furatur ut eleemosynam det. Ergo eubulia non est virtus. Objection 1. It would seem that euboulia (deliberating well) is not a virtue. For, according to Augustine (De Lib. Arb. ii, 18,19) "no man makes evil use of virtue." Now some make evil use of euboulia (deliberating well) or good counsel, either through devising crafty counsels in order to achieve evil ends, or through committing sin in order that they may achieve good ends, as those who rob that they may give alms. Therefore euboulia (deliberating well) is not a virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, virtus perfectio quaedam est, ut dicitur in VII Phys. Sed eubulia circa consilium consistit, quod importat dubitationem et inquisitionem, quae imperfectionis sunt. Ergo eubulia non est virtus. Objection 2. Further, virtue is a perfection, according to Phys. vii. But euboulia (deliberating well) is concerned with counsel, which implies doubt and research, and these are marks of imperfection. Therefore euboulia (deliberating well) is not a virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, virtutes sunt connexae ad invicem, ut supra habitum est. Sed eubulia non est connexa aliis virtutibus multi enim peccatores sunt bene consiliativi, et multi iusti sunt in consiliis tardi. Ergo eubulia non est virtus. Objection 3. Further, virtues are connected with one another, as stated above (I-II, 65). Now euboulia (deliberating well) is not connected with the other virtues, since many sinners take good-counsel, and many godly men are slow in taking counsel. Therefore euboulia (deliberating well) is not a virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod eubulia est rectitudo consilii, ut philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic. Sed recta ratio perficit rationem virtutis. Ergo eubulia est virtus. On the contrary, According to the Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 9) euboulia (deliberating well) "is a right counselling." Now the perfection of virtue consists in right reason. Therefore euboulia (deliberating well) is a virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, de ratione virtutis humanae est quod faciat actum hominis bonum. Inter ceteros autem actus hominis proprium est ei consiliari, quia hoc importat quandam rationis inquisitionem circa agenda, in quibus consistit vita humana; nam vita speculativa est supra hominem, ut dicitur in X Ethic. Eubulia autem importat bonitatem consilii, dicitur enim ab eu, quod est bonum, et boule, quod est consilium, quasi bona consiliatio, vel potius bene consiliativa. Unde manifestum est quod eubulia est virtus humana. I answer that, As stated above (Question 47, Article 4) the nature of a human virtue consists in making a human act good. Now among the acts of man, it is proper to him to take counsel, since this denotes a research of the reason about the actions he has to perform and whereof human life consists, for the speculative life is above man, as stated in Ethic. x. But euboulia (deliberating well) signifies goodness of counsel, for it is derived from the eu, good, and boule, counsel, being "a good counsel" or rather "a disposition to take good counsel." Hence it is evident that euboulia (deliberating well) is a human virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod non est bonum consilium sive aliquis malum finem sibi in consiliando praestituat, sive etiam ad bonum finem malas vias adinveniat. Sicut etiam in speculativis non est bona ratiocinatio sive aliquis falsum concludat, sive etiam concludat verum ex falsis, quia non utitur convenienti medio. Et ideo utrumque praedictorum est contra rationem eubuliae, ut philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic. Reply to Objection 1. There is no good counsel either in deliberating for an evil end, or in discovering evil means for attaining a good end, even as in speculative matters, there is no good reasoning either in coming to a false conclusion, or in coming to a true conclusion from false premisses through employing an unsuitable middle term. Hence both the aforesaid processes are contrary to euboulia (deliberating well), as the Philosopher declares (Ethic. vi, 9).
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod etsi virtus sit essentialiter perfectio quaedam, non tamen oportet quod omne illud quod est materia virtutis perfectionem importet. Oportet enim circa omnia humana perfici per virtutes, et non solum circa actus rationis, inter quos est consilium; sed etiam circa passiones appetitus sensitivi, quae adhuc sunt multo imperfectiores. Vel potest dici quod virtus humana est perfectio secundum modum hominis, qui non potest per certitudinem comprehendere veritatem rerum simplici intuitu; et praecipue in agibilibus, quae sunt contingentia. Reply to Objection 2. Although virtue is essentially a perfection, it does not follow that whatever is the matter of a virtue implies perfection. For man needs to be perfected by virtues in all his parts, and this not only as regards the acts of reason, of which counsel is one, but also as regards the passions of the sensitive appetite, which are still more imperfect. It may also be replied that human virtue is a perfection according to the mode of man, who is unable by simple insight to comprehend with certainty the truth of things, especially in matters of action which are contingent.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod in nullo peccatore, inquantum huiusmodi, invenitur eubulia. Omne enim peccatum est contra bonam consiliationem. Requiritur enim ad bene consiliandum non solum adinventio vel excogitatio eorum quae sunt opportuna ad finem, sed etiam aliae circumstantiae, scilicet tempus congruum, ut nec nimis tardus nec nimis velox sit in consiliis; et modus consiliandi, ut scilicet sit firmus in suo consilio; et aliae huiusmodi debitae circumstantiae, quae peccator peccando non observat. Quilibet autem virtuosus est bene consiliativus in his quae ordinantur ad finem virtutis, licet forte in aliquibus particularibus negotiis non sit bene consiliativus, puta in mercationibus vel in rebus bellicis vel in aliquo huiusmodi. Reply to Objection 3. In no sinner as such is euboulia (deliberating well) to be found: since all sin is contrary to taking good counsel. For good counsel requires not only the discovery or devising of fit means for the end, but also other circumstances. Such are suitable time, so that one be neither too slow nor too quick in taking counsel, and the mode of taking counsel, so that one be firm in the counsel taken, and other like due circumstances, which sinners fail to observe when they sin. On the other hand, every virtuous man takes good counsel in those things which are directed to the end of virtue, although perhaps he does not take good counsel in other particular matters, for instance in matters of trade, or warfare, or the like.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod eubulia non sit virtus distincta a prudentia. Quia ut philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic., videtur prudentis esse bene consiliari. Sed hoc pertinet ad eubuliam, ut dictum est. Ergo eubulia non distinguitur a prudentia. Objection 1. It would seem that euboulia (deliberating well) is not a distinct virtue from prudence. For, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 5), the "prudent man is, seemingly, one who takes good counsel." Now this belongs to euboulia (deliberating well) as stated above. Therefore euboulia (deliberating well) is not distinct from prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, humani actus, ad quos ordinantur humanae virtutes, praecipue specificantur ex fine, ut supra habitum est. Sed ad eundem finem ordinantur eubulia et prudentia, ut dicitur VI Ethic., idest non ad quendam particularem finem, sed ad communem finem totius vitae. Ergo eubulia non est virtus distincta a prudentia. Objection 2. Further, human acts to which human virtues are directed, are specified chiefly by their end, as stated above (I-II, 01, 3; I-II, 18, 4,6). Now euboulia (deliberating well) and prudence are directed to the same end, as stated in Ethic. vi, 9, not indeed to some particular end, but to the common end of all life. Therefore euboulia (deliberating well) is not a distinct virtue from prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, in scientiis speculativis ad eandem scientiam pertinet inquirere et determinare. Ergo pari ratione in operativis hoc pertinet ad eandem virtutem. Sed inquirere pertinet ad eubuliam, determinare autem ad prudentiam. Ergo eubulia non est alia virtus a prudentia. Objection 3. Further, in speculative sciences, research and decision belong to the same science. Therefore in like manner these belong to the same virtue in practical matters. Now research belongs to euboulia (deliberating well), while decision belongs to prudence. There euboulia (deliberating well) is not a distinct virtue from prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra, prudentia est praeceptiva, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. Hoc autem non convenit eubuliae. Ergo eubulia est alia virtus a prudentia. On the contrary, Prudence is preceptive, according to Ethic. vi, 10. But this does not apply to euboulia (deliberating well). Therefore euboulia (deliberating well) is a distinct virtue from prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est supra, virtus proprie ordinatur ad actum, quem reddit bonum. Et ideo oportet secundum differentiam actuum esse diversas virtutes, et maxime quando non est eadem ratio bonitatis in actibus. Si enim esset eadem ratio bonitatis in eis, tunc ad eandem virtutem pertinerent diversi actus, sicut ex eodem dependet bonitas amoris, desiderii et gaudii, et ideo omnia ista pertinent ad eandem virtutem caritatis. Actus autem rationis ordinati ad opus sunt diversi, nec habent eandem rationem bonitatis, ex alia enim efficitur homo bene consiliativus, et bene iudicativus, et bene praeceptivus; quod patet ex hoc quod ista aliquando ab invicem separantur. Et ideo oportet aliam esse virtutem eubuliam, per quam homo est bene consiliativus; et aliam prudentiam, per quam homo est bene praeceptivus. Et sicut consiliari ordinatur ad praecipere tanquam ad principalius, ita etiam eubulia ordinatur ad prudentiam tanquam ad principaliorem virtutem; sine qua nec virtus esset, sicut nec morales virtutes sine prudentia, nec ceterae virtutes sine caritate. I answer that, As stated above (Article 1), virtue is properly directed to an act which it renders good; and consequently virtues must differ according to different acts, especially when there is a different kind of goodness in the acts. For, if various acts contained the same kind of goodness, they would belong to the same virtue: thus the goodness of love, desire and joy depends on the same, wherefore all these belong to the same virtue of charity. Now acts of the reason that are ordained to action are diverse, nor have they the same kind of goodness: since it is owing to different causes that a man acquires good counsel, good judgment, or good command, inasmuch as these are sometimes separated from one another. Consequently euboulia (deliberating well) which makes man take good counsel must needs be a distinct virtue from prudence, which makes man command well. And since counsel is directed to command as to that which is principal, so euboulia (deliberating well) is directed to prudence as to a principal virtue, without which it would be no virtue at all, even as neither are the moral virtues without prudence, nor the other virtues without charity.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ad prudentiam pertinet bene consiliari imperative, ad eubuliam autem elicitive. Reply to Objection 1. It belongs to prudence to take good counsel by commanding it, to euboulia (deliberating well) by eliciting it.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ad unum finem ultimum, quod est bene vivere totum, ordinantur diversi actus secundum quendam gradum, nam praecedit consilium, sequitur iudicium, et ultimum est praeceptum, quod immediate se habet ad finem ultimum, alii autem duo actus remote se habent. Qui tamen habent quosdam proximos fines, consilium quidem inventionem eorum quae sunt agenda; iudicium autem certitudinem. Unde ex hoc non sequitur quod eubulia et prudentia non sint diversae virtutes, sed quod eubulia ordinetur ad prudentiam sicut virtus secundaria ad principalem. Reply to Objection 2. Different acts are directed in different degrees to the one end which is "a good life in general" [Ethic. vi, 5: for counsel comes first, judgment follows, and command comes last. The last named has an immediate relation to the last end: whereas the other two acts are related thereto remotely. Nevertheless these have certain proximate ends of their own, the end of counsel being the discovery of what has to be done, and the end of judgment, certainty. Hence this proves not that euboulia (deliberating well) is not a distinct virtue from prudence, but that it is subordinate thereto, as a secondary to a principal virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod etiam in speculativis alia rationalis scientia est dialectica, quae ordinatur ad inquisitionem inventivam; et alia scientia demonstrativa, quae est veritatis determinativa. Reply to Objection 3. Even in speculative matters the rational science of dialectics, which is directed to research and discovery, is distinct from demonstrative science, which decides the truth.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod synesis non sit virtus. Virtutes enim non insunt nobis a natura, ut dicitur in II Ethic. Sed synesis inest aliquibus a natura, ut dicit philosophus, in VI Ethic. Ergo synesis non est virtus. Objection 1. It would seem that synesis is not a virtue. Virtues are not in us by nature, according to Ethic. ii, 1. But synesis (judging well according to common law) is natural to some, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. vi, 11). Therefore synesis (judging well according to common law) is not a virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, synesis, ut in eodem libro dicitur, est solum iudicativa. Sed iudicium solum, sine praecepto, potest esse etiam in malis. Cum ergo virtus sit solum in bonis, videtur quod synesis non sit virtus. Objection 2. Further, as stated in the same book (10), synesis (judging well according to common law) is nothing but "a faculty of judging." But judgment without command can be even in the wicked. Since then virtue is only in the good, it seems that synesis (judging well according to common law) is not a virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, nunquam est defectus in praecipiendo nisi sit aliquis defectus in iudicando, saltem in particulari operabili, in quo omnis malus errat. Si ergo synesis ponitur virtus ad bene iudicandum, videtur quod non sit necessaria alia virtus ad bene praecipiendum. Et ideo prudentia erit superflua, quod est inconveniens. Non ergo synesis est virtus. Objection 3. Further, there is never a defective command, unless there be a defective judgment, at least in a particular matter of action; for it is in this that every wicked man errs. If therefore synesis (judging well according to common law) be reckoned a virtue directed to good judgment, it seems that there is no need for any other virtue directed to good command: and consequently prudence would be superfluous, which is not reasonable. Therefore synesis (judging well according to common law) is not a virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra, iudicium est perfectius quam consilium. Sed eubulia, quae est bene consiliativa, est virtus. Ergo multo magis synesis, quae est bene iudicativa, est virtus. On the contrary, Judgment is more perfect than counsel. But euboulia, or good counsel, is a virtue. Much more, therefore, is synesis (judging well according to common law) a virtue, as being good judgment.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod synesis importat iudicium rectum non quidem circa speculabilia, sed circa particularia operabilia, circa quae etiam est prudentia. Unde secundum synesim dicuntur in Graeco aliqui syneti, idest sensati, vel eusyneti, idest homines boni sensus, sicut e contrario qui carent hac virtute dicuntur asyneti, idest insensati. Oportet autem quod secundum differentiam actuum qui non reducuntur in eandem causam sit etiam diversitas virtutum. Manifestum est autem quod bonitas consilii et bonitas iudicii non reducuntur in eandem causam, multi enim sunt bene consiliativi qui tamen non sunt bene sensati, quasi recte iudicantes. Sicut etiam in speculativis aliqui sunt bene inquirentes, propter hoc quod ratio eorum prompta est ad discurrendum per diversa, quod videtur provenire ex dispositione imaginativae virtutis, quae de facili potest formare diversa phantasmata, et tamen huiusmodi quandoque non sunt boni iudicii, quod est propter defectum intellectus, qui maxime contingit ex mala dispositione communis sensus non bene iudicantis. Et ideo oportet praeter eubuliam esse aliam virtutem quae est bene iudicativa. Et haec dicitur synesis. I answer that, synesis (judging well according to common law) signifies a right judgment, not indeed about speculative matters, but about particular practical matters, about which also is prudence. Hence in Greek some, in respect of synesis (judging well according to common law) are said to be synetoi, i.e. "persons of sense," or eusynetoi, i.e. "men of good sense," just as on the other hand, those who lack this virtue are called asynetoi, i.e. "senseless." Now, different acts which cannot be ascribed to the same cause, must correspond to different virtues. And it is evident that goodness of counsel and goodness of judgment are not reducible to the same cause, for many can take good counsel, without having good sense so as to judge well. Even so, in speculative matters some are good at research, through their reason being quick at arguing from one thing to another (which seems to be due to a disposition of their power of imagination, which has a facility in forming phantasms), and yet such persons sometimes lack good judgment (and this is due to a defect in the intellect arising chiefly from a defective disposition of the common sense which fails to judge aright). Hence there is need, besides euboulia (deliberating well), for another virtue, which judges well, and this is called synesis (judging well according to common law).
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod rectum iudicium in hoc consistit quod vis cognoscitiva apprehendat rem aliquam secundum quod in se est. Quod quidem provenit ex recta dispositione virtutis apprehensivae, sicut in speculo, si fuerit bene dispositum, imprimuntur formae corporum secundum quod sunt; si vero fuerit speculum male dispositum, apparent ibi imagines distortae et prave se habentes. Quod autem virtus cognoscitiva sit bene disposita ad recipiendum res secundum quod sunt, contingit quidem radicaliter ex natura, consummative autem ex exercitio vel ex munere gratiae. Et hoc dupliciter. Uno modo, directe ex parte ipsius cognoscitivae virtutis, puta quia non est imbuta pravis conceptionibus, sed veris et rectis, et hoc pertinet ad synesim secundum quod est specialis virtus. Alio modo, indirecte, ex bona dispositione appetitivae virtutis, ex qua sequitur quod homo bene iudicet de appetibilibus. Et sic bonum virtutis iudicium consequitur habitus virtutum moralium, sed circa fines, synesis autem est magis circa ea quae sunt ad finem. Reply to Objection 1. Right judgment consists in the cognitive power apprehending a thing just as it is in reality, and this is due to the right disposition of the apprehensive power. Thus if a mirror be well disposed the forms of bodies are reflected in it just as they are, whereas if it be ill disposed, the images therein appear distorted and misshapen. Now that the cognitive power be well disposed to receive things just as they are in reality, is radically due to nature, but, as to its consummation, is due to practice or to a gift of grace, and this in two ways. First directly, on the part of the cognitive power itself, for instance, because it is imbued, not with distorted, but with true and correct ideas: this belongs to synesis (judging well according to common law) which in this respect is a special virtue. Secondly indirectly, through the good disposition of the appetitive power, the result being that one judges well of the objects of appetite: and thus a good judgment of virtue results from the habits of moral virtue; but this judgment is about the ends, whereas synesis (judging well according to common law) is rather about the means.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod in malis potest quidem iudicium rectum esse in universali, sed in particulari agibili semper eorum iudicium corrumpitur, ut supra habitum est. Reply to Objection 2. In wicked men there may be right judgment of a universal principle, but their judgment is always corrupt in the particular matter of action, as stated above (Question 47, Article 13).
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod contingit quandoque id quod bene iudicatum est differri, vel negligenter agi aut inordinate. Et ideo post virtutem quae est bene iudicativa necessaria est finalis virtus principalis quae sit bene praeceptiva, scilicet prudentia. Reply to Objection 3. Sometimes after judging aright we delay to execute or execute negligently or inordinately. Hence after the virtue which judges aright there is a further need of a final and principal virtue, which commands aright, and this is prudence.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod gnome non sit specialis virtus a synesi distincta. Quia secundum synesim dicitur aliquis bene iudicativus. Sed nullus potest dici bene iudicativus nisi in omnibus bene iudicet. Ergo synesis se extendit ad omnia diiudicanda. Non est ergo aliqua alia virtus bene iudicativa quae gnome vocatur. Objection 1. It would seem that gnome (judging well according to general law) is not a special virtue distinct from synesis (judging well according to common law). For a man is said, in respect of synesis (judging well according to common law), to have good judgment. Now no man can be said to have good judgment, unless he judge aright in all things. Therefore synesis (judging well according to common law) extends to all matters of judgment, and consequently there is no other virtue of good judgment called gnome (judging well according to general law).
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, iudicium medium est inter consilium et praeceptum. Sed una tantum virtus est bene consiliativa, scilicet eubulia; et una tantum virtus est bene praeceptiva, scilicet prudentia. Ergo una tantum est virtus bene iudicativa, scilicet synesis. Objection 2. Further, judgment is midway between counsel and precept. Now there is only one virtue of good counsel, viz. euboulia (deliberating well) and only one virtue of good command, viz. prudence. Therefore there is only one virtue of good judgment, viz. synesis (judging well according to common law).
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, ea quae raro accidunt, in quibus oportet a communibus legibus discedere, videntur praecipue casualia esse, quorum non est ratio, ut dicitur in II Phys. Omnes autem virtutes intellectuales pertinent ad rationem rectam. Ergo circa praedicta non est aliqua virtus intellectualis. Objection 3. Further, rare occurrences wherein there is need to depart from the common law, seem for the most part to happen by chance, and with such things reason is not concerned, as stated in Phys. ii, 5. Now all the intellectual virtues depend on right reason. Therefore there is no intellectual virtue about such matters.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod philosophus determinat, in VI Ethic., gnomen esse specialem virtutem. On the contrary, The Philosopher concludes (Ethic. vi, 11) that gnome (judging well according to general law) is a special virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod habitus cognoscitivi distinguuntur secundum altiora vel inferiora principia, sicut sapientia in speculativis altiora principia considerat quam scientia, et ideo ab ea distinguitur. Et ita etiam oportet esse in activis. Manifestum est autem quod illa quae sunt praeter ordinem inferioris principii sive causae reducuntur quandoque in ordinem altioris principii, sicut monstruosi partus animalium sunt praeter ordinem virtutis activae in semine, tamen cadunt sub ordine altioris principii, scilicet caelestis corporis, vel ulterius providentiae divinae. Unde ille qui consideraret virtutem activam in semine non posset iudicium certum ferre de huiusmodi monstris, de quibus tamen potest iudicari secundum considerationem divinae providentiae. Contingit autem quandoque aliquid esse faciendum praeter communes regulas agendorum, puta cum impugnatori patriae non est depositum reddendum, vel aliquid aliud huiusmodi. Et ideo oportet de huiusmodi iudicare secundum aliqua altiora principia quam sint regulae communes, secundum quas iudicat synesis. Et secundum illa altiora principia exigitur altior virtus iudicativa, quae vocatur gnome, quae importat quandam perspicacitatem iudicii. I answer that cognitive habits differ according to higher and lower principles: thus in speculative matters wisdom considers higher principles than science does, and consequently is distinguished from it; and so must it be also in practical matters. Now it is evident that what is beside the order of a lower principle or cause, is sometimes reducible to the order of a higher principle; thus monstrous births of animals are beside the order of the active seminal force, and yet they come under the order of a higher principle, namely, of a heavenly body, or higher still, of Divine Providence. Hence by considering the active seminal force one could not pronounce a sure judgment on such monstrosities, and yet this is possible if we consider Divine Providence. Now it happens sometimes that something has to be done which is not covered by the common rules of actions, for instance in the case of the enemy of one's country, when it would be wrong to give him back his deposit, or in other similar cases. Hence it is necessary to judge of such matters according to higher principles than the common laws, according to which synesis (judging according to common law) judges: and corresponding to such higher principles it is necessary to have a higher virtue of judgment, which is called gnome (judging according to general law), and which denotes a certain discrimination in judgment.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod synesis est vere iudicativa de omnibus quae secundum communes regulas fiunt. Sed praeter communes regulas sunt quaedam alia diiudicanda, ut iam dictum est. Reply to Objection 1. Synesis (judging well according to common law) judges rightly about all actions that are covered by the common rules: but certain things have to be judged beside these common rules, as stated above.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod iudicium debet sumi ex propriis principiis rei, inquisitio autem fit etiam per communia. Unde etiam in speculativis dialectica, quae est inquisitiva, procedit ex communibus, demonstrativa autem, quae est iudicativa, procedit ex propriis. Et ideo eubulia, ad quam pertinet inquisitio consilii, est una de omnibus, non autem synesis, quae est iudicativa. Praeceptum autem respicit in omnibus unam rationem boni. Et ideo etiam prudentia non est nisi una. Reply to Objection 2. Judgment about a thing should be formed from the proper principles thereof, whereas research is made by employing also common principles. Wherefore also in speculative matters, dialectics which aims at research proceeds from common principles; while demonstration which tends to judgment, proceeds from proper principles. Hence euboulia (deliberating well) to which the research of counsel belongs is one for all, but not so synesis (judging well according to common law) whose act is judicial. Command considers in all matters the one aspect of good, wherefore prudence also is only one.
IIª-IIae q. 51 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod omnia illa quae praeter communem cursum contingere possunt considerare pertinet ad solam providentiam divinam, sed inter homines ille qui est magis perspicax potest plura horum sua ratione diiudicare. Et ad hoc pertinet gnome, quae importat quandam perspicacitatem iudicii. Reply to Objection 3. It belongs to Divine Providence alone to consider all things that may happen beside the common course. On the other hand, among men, he who is most discerning can judge a greater number of such things by his reason: this belongs to gnome (judging well according to general law), which denotes a certain discrimination in judgment.

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