Saturday, February 15, 2014

Next meeting: March 1, 2014

Thomas Aquinas Study Circle 
A Living Thomism for the Third Millennium 

The Thomas Aquinas Study Circle (TASC) meets three times a year:
i.e., once every academic semester.

The TASC Statutes were written by Jacques Maritain

Our SPRING 2014 seminar topic is: 

What Is Justice? 

Saturday, March 1, 2014, 10 a.m. 
Meet at Faculty Room, Saint Mark’s/Corpus Christi College,
5935 Iona Drive, Vancouver 

FREE ADMISSION – ALL WELCOME 

Dr. David Klassen, Corpus Christi College 
"Justice as Love: Greek and Christian Origins of
Aquinas’s Conception of Justice and Its Relevance in Late Modernity"

Dr. C.S. Morrissey, Redeemer Pacific College 
"Is Natural Justice Changeable?
Considerations from Aristotle, Aquinas, and Anglo-American Democracy"

PRESS COVERAGE: “What is Justice?



Sunday, June 19, 2011

1a 2ae q62 a2: Whether the theological virtues are distinct from the intellectual and moral virtues? Yes.

Virtutes theologicae specie distinguuntur a moralibus et intellectualibus quia habitus specie distinguuntur secundum formalem differentiam obiectorum.

The theological virtues are specifically distinct from the moral and intellectual virtues because habits are specifically distinct from one another in respect of the formal difference of their objects.

Obiectum autem theologicarum virtutum est ipse Deus, qui est ultimus rerum finis, prout nostrae rationis cognitionem excedit. Obiectum autem virtutum intellectualium et moralium est aliquid quod humana ratione comprehendi potest.

Now the object of the theological virtues is God Himself, Who is the last end of all, as surpassing the knowledge of our reason. On the other hand, the object of the intellectual and moral virtues is something comprehensible to human reason.

Licet caritas sit amor, non tamen omnis amor est caritas. Cum ergo dicitur quod omnis virtus est ordo amoris, potest intelligi vel de amore communiter dicto; vel de amore caritatis.

Though charity is love, yet love is not always charity. When, then, it is stated that every virtue is the order of love, this can be understood either of love in the general sense, or of the love of charity.

Si de amore communiter dicto, sic dicitur quaelibet virtus esse ordo amoris, inquantum ad quamlibet cardinalium virtutum requiritur ordinata affectio, omnis autem affectionis radix et principium est amor, ut supra dictum est.

If it be understood of love, commonly so called, then each virtue is stated to be the order of love, insofar as each cardinal virtue requires ordinate emotions; and love is the root and cause of every emotion, as stated above (q27, a4; q28, a6, ad 2; q41, a2, ad 1).

Si autem intelligatur de amore caritatis, non datur per hoc intelligi quod quaelibet alia virtus essentialiter sit caritas, sed quod omnes aliae virtutes aliqualiter a caritate dependeant, ut infra patebit.

If, however, it be understood of the love of charity, it does not mean that every other virtue is charity essentially: but that all other virtues depend on charity in some way, as we shall show further on (q65, a2,a5; II-II, q23, a7).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

1a 2ae q62 a1: Whether there are any theological virtues? Yes.

Fides, spes et caritas sunt theologicae virtutes in Deum ordinantes quia oportet quod superaddantur homini divinitus aliqua principia, per quae ita ordinetur ad beatitudinem supernaturalem, sicut per principia naturalia ordinatur ad finem connaturalem, non tamen absque adiutorio divino.

Faith, hope, and charity are theological virtues directing us to God because it is necessary for man to receive from God some additional principles, whereby he may be directed to supernatural happiness, even as he is directed to his connatural end, by means of his natural principles, albeit not without Divine assistance.

Et huiusmodi principia virtutes dicuntur theologicae: tum quia habent Deum pro obiecto, inquantum per eas recte ordinamur in Deum; tum quia a solo Deo nobis infunduntur; tum quia sola divina revelatione, in sacra Scriptura, huiusmodi virtutes traduntur.

Such like principles are called "theological virtues": first, because their object is God, inasmuch as they direct us aright to God; secondly, because they are infused in us by God alone; thirdly, because these virtues are not made known to us, save by Divine revelation, contained in Holy Writ.

Ad Deum naturaliter ratio et voluntas ordinatur, prout est naturae principium et finis, secundum tamen proportionem naturae. Sed ad ipsum secundum quod est obiectum beatitudinis supernaturalis, ratio et voluntas, secundum suam naturam, non ordinantur sufficienter.

The reason and will are naturally directed to God, inasmuch as He is the beginning and end of nature, but in proportion to nature. But the reason and will, according to their nature, are not sufficiently directed to Him insofar as He is the object of supernatural happiness.

1a 2ae q62: The theological virtues

  1. Are there any theological virtues?
  2. Are the theological virtues distinct from the intellectual and moral virtues?
  3. How many, and which are they?
  4. Their order

Sunday, May 08, 2011

1a 2ae q61 a5: Whether the cardinal virtues are fittingly divided into social virtues, perfecting, perfect, and exemplar virtues? Yes.

Plotinus, inter philosophiae professores cum Platone princeps, quatuor sunt, inquit, quaternarum genera virtutum: ex his primae politicae vocantur; secundae, purgatoriae; tertiae autem, iam purgati animi; quartae, exemplares, quia deserere res humanas ubi necessitas imponitur, vitiosum est; alias est virtuosum.

"Plotinus, together with Plato foremost among teachers of philosophy, says: 'The four kinds of virtue are fourfold: in the first place there are social virtues; secondly, there are cleansing virtues; thirdly, there are "clean soul" virtues; and fourthly, there are exemplar virtues.'," because to neglect human affairs when necessity forbids is wicked; otherwise it is virtuous.

Augustinus dicit in libro de moribus Eccles., oportet quod "anima aliquid sequatur, ad hoc quod ei possit virtus innasci, et hoc Deus est, quem si sequimur, bene vivimus." Oportet igitur quod exemplar humanae virtutis in Deo praeexistat, sicut et in eo praeexistunt omnium rerum rationes. Sic igitur virtus potest considerari vel prout est exemplariter in Deo, et sic dicuntur virtutes exemplares. Ita scilicet quod ipsa divina mens in Deo dicatur prudentia; temperantia vero, conversio divinae intentionis ad seipsum, sicut in nobis temperantia dicitur per hoc quod concupiscibilis conformatur rationi; fortitudo autem Dei est eius immutabilitas; iustitia vero Dei est observatio legis aeternae in suis operibus, sicut Plotinus dixit.

As Augustine says (De Moribus Eccl. vi), "the soul needs to follow something in order to give birth to virtue: this something is God: if we follow Him we shall live aright." Consequently the exemplar of human virtue must needs pre-exist in God, just as in Him pre-exist the formal aspects of all things. Accordingly virtue may be considered as existing foremost in God, and thus we speak of "exemplar" virtues: so that in God the Divine Mind itself may be called prudence; while temperance is the turning of God's gaze on Himself, even as in us it is that which conforms the appetite to reason. God's fortitude is His unchangeableness; His justice is the observance of the Eternal Law in His works, as Plotinus states (Cf. Macrobius, Super Somn. Scip. 1).

Et quia homo secundum suam naturam est animal politicum, virtutes huiusmodi, prout in homine existunt secundum conditionem suae naturae, politicae vocantur, prout scilicet homo secundum has virtutes recte se habet in rebus humanis gerendis. Secundum quem modum hactenus de his virtutibus locuti sumus.

Again, since man by his nature is a social animal, these virtues, insofar as they are in him according to the condition of his nature, are called "social" virtues; since it is by reason of them that man behaves himself well in the conduct of human affairs. It is in this sense that we have been speaking of these virtues until now.

Sed quia ad hominem pertinet ut etiam ad divina se trahat quantum potest, ut etiam philosophus dicit, in X Ethic.; et hoc nobis in sacra Scriptura multipliciter commendatur, ut est illud Matth. V, "estote perfecti, sicut et pater vester caelestis perfectus est", necesse est ponere quasdam virtutes medias inter politicas, quae sunt virtutes humanae, et exemplares, quae sunt virtutes divinae.

But since it behooves a man to do his utmost to strive onward even to Divine things, as even the Philosopher declares in Ethic. x, 7, and as Scripture often admonishes us--for instance: "Be ye perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48), we must needs place some virtues between the social or human virtues, and the exemplar virtues which are Divine.

Quae quidem virtutes distinguuntur secundum diversitatem motus et termini. Ita scilicet quod quaedam sunt virtutes transeuntium et in divinam similitudinem tendentium, et hae vocantur virtutes purgatoriae. Ita scilicet quod prudentia omnia mundana divinorum contemplatione despiciat, omnemque animae cogitationem in divina sola dirigat; temperantia vero relinquat, inquantum natura patitur, quae corporis usus requirit; fortitudinis autem est ut anima non terreatur propter excessum a corpore, et accessum ad superna; iustitia vero est ut tota anima consentiat ad huius propositi viam.

Now these virtues differ by reason of a difference of movement and term: so that some are virtues of men who are on their way and tending towards the Divine likeness; and these are called "cleansing" virtues. Thus prudence, by contemplating the things of God, counts as nothing all things of the world, and directs all the thoughts of the soul to God alone: temperance, so far as nature allows, neglects the needs of the body; fortitude prevents the soul from being afraid of neglecting the body and rising to heavenly things; and justice consists in the soul giving a whole-hearted consent to follow the way thus proposed.

Quaedam vero sunt virtutes iam assequentium divinam similitudinem, quae vocantur virtutes iam purgati animi. Ita scilicet quod prudentia sola divina intueatur; temperantia terrenas cupiditates nesciat; fortitudo passiones ignoret; iustitia cum divina mente perpetuo foedere societur, eam scilicet imitando. Quas quidem virtutes dicimus esse beatorum, vel aliquorum in hac vita perfectissimorum.

Besides these there are the virtues of those who have already attained to the Divine likeness: these are called the "clean soul virtues". Thus prudence sees nought else but the things of God; temperance knows no earthly desires; fortitude has no knowledge of passion; and justice, by imitating the Divine Mind, is united thereto by an everlasting covenant. Such are the virtues attributed to the Blessed, or, in this life, to some who are at the summit of perfection.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

1a 2ae q61 a4: Whether the four cardinal virtues differ from one another? Yes.

Has quatuor virtutes sunt diversi habitus, secundum diversitatem obiectorum distincti quia determinantur ad materias speciales; unaquaeque quidem illarum ad unam materiam, in qua principaliter laudatur illa generalis conditio a qua nomen virtutis accipitur, ut supra dictum est:

These four [cardinal] virtues are distinct habits, differentiated in respect of their diverse objects because they have their special determinate matter; indeed, each of these [virtues] is determined to its [own] one [special] matter, in which special commendation is given to that general condition from which the virtue's name is taken, as stated above (I-II, 61, 3; cf. II-II, 141, 2):

"istae virtutes denominantur ab eo quod est praecipuum in unaquaque materia. Et sic sunt speciales virtutes, contra alias divisae. Dicuntur tamen principales respectu aliarum, propter principalitatem materiae: puta quod prudentia dicatur quae praeceptiva est; iustitia, quae est circa actiones debitas inter aequales; temperantia, quae reprimit concupiscentias delectationum tactus; fortitudo, quae firmat contra pericula mortis."

"they may be considered in point of their being denominated, each one from that which is foremost in its respective matter. And thus they are specific virtues, condivided with the others. Yet they are called principal [i.e., cardinal] in comparison with the other virtues, on account of the importance of their matter: so that prudence is the virtue which commands; justice, the virtue which is about due actions between equals; temperance, the virtue which suppresses desires for the pleasures of touch; and fortitude, the virtue which strengthens against dangers of death."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

1a 2ae q61 a3: Whether any other virtues should be called principal rather than these? No.

Tullius, in sua rhetorica, ad has quatuor omnes alias reducit quia huiusmodi quatuor virtutes cardinales accipiuntur secundum quatuor formales rationes virtutis de qua loquimur.

Cicero reduces all other virtues to these four (De Invent. Rhet. ii) because these four are reckoned as cardinal virtues in respect of the four formal aspects of virtue about which we now shall speak:

Dicuntur principales, quasi generales ad omnes virtutes: utputa quod omnis virtus quae facit bonum in consideratione rationis, dicatur prudentia; et quod omnis virtus quae facit bonum debiti et recti in operationibus, dicatur iustitia; et omnis virtus quae cohibet passiones et deprimit, dicatur temperantia; et omnis virtus quae facit firmitatem animi contra quascumque passiones, dicatur fortitudo.

They are called the principal formal aspects, since they are general, as it were, in comparison with all the virtues: so that, for instance, any virtue that causes good in reason's act of consideration, may be called prudence; every virtue that causes the good of right and due in operation, be called justice; every virtue that curbs and represses the passions, be called temperance; and every virtue that strengthens the mind against any passions whatever, be called fortitude.