Sunday, September 06, 2009

1a 2ae q1 a1: Whether it belongs to man to act for an end? Yes.

Homini convenit omnia agere propter finem quia differt homo ab aliis irrationalibus creaturis in hoc, quod est suorum actuum dominus.

It belongs to man to do everything for an end because man differs from irrational animals in this, that he is master of his actions.

Unde illae solae actiones vocantur proprie humanae, quarum homo est dominus. Est autem homo dominus suorum actuum per rationem et voluntatem—unde et liberum arbitrium esse dicitur facultas voluntatis et rationis. Illae ergo actiones proprie humanae dicuntur, quae ex voluntate deliberata procedunt. Si quae autem aliae actiones homini conveniant, possunt dici quidem "hominis" actiones, sed non proprie "humanae", cum non sint hominis inquantum est homo.

Wherefore those actions alone are properly called human, of which man is master. Now man is master of his actions through his [formally aspectual] reason and will—whence, too, free choice is defined as "the faculty of will and reason". Therefore those actions are properly called human which proceed from a deliberate will. And if any other actions are found in man, they can be called actions "of a man", but not properly "human" actions, since they are not proper to man as man.

Manifestum est autem quod omnes actiones quae procedunt ab aliqua potentia, causantur ab ea secundum rationem sui obiecti. Obiectum autem voluntatis est finis et bonum. Unde oportet quod omnes actiones humanae propter finem sint.

Now it is clear that whatever actions proceed from a power, are caused by that power in accordance with the formal aspect of its object. But the object of the will is the end, i.e., the good. Therefore all human actions must be for an end.

Finis, etsi sit postremus in executione, est tamen primus in intentione agentis. Et hoc modo habet rationem causae.

Although the end be last in the order of execution, yet it is first in the order of the agent's intention. And it is in this way that it has the formal aspect of a cause.

Sed multa homo agit absque deliberatione, de quibus etiam quandoque nihil cogitat; sicut cum aliquis movet pedem vel manum, aliis intentus, vel fricat barbam.

But man does many things without deliberation, sometimes not even thinking of what he is doing; for instance when one moves one's foot or hand, or scratches one's beard, while intent on something else.

Huiusmodi actiones non sunt proprie humanae, quia non procedunt ex deliberatione rationis, quae est proprium principium humanorum actuum. Et ideo habent quidem finem imaginatum, non autem per rationem praestitutum.

Such like actions are not properly human actions; since they do not proceed from the deliberation of formal aspect, which is the proper principle of human actions. Therefore they have indeed an envisioned end, but not one that is fixed by formal aspect.