Monday, March 22, 2010

1a 2ae q20 a1: Whether goodness or badness is first in the action of the will prior to the external action? Yes.

Bonum et malum morale per prius consistit in voluntate quia cum finis sit proprium obiectum voluntatis, manifestum est quod ista ratio (boni vel mali quam habet actus exterior ex ordine ad finem) per prius invenitur in actu voluntatis, et ex eo derivatur ad actum exteriorem.

Moral good and evil are first in the will because since the end is the will's proper object, it is evident that this formal aspect (i.e., of good or evil, which the external action derives from its relation to the end) is to be found first of all in the act of the will, whence it passes to the external action.

Bonitas autem vel malitia quam habet actus exterior secundum se (propter debitam materiam et debitas circumstantias) non derivatur a voluntate, sed magis a ratione.

On the other hand, the goodness or badness which the external action has of itself (i.e., on account of its being about due matter and its being attended by due circumstances) is not derived from the will, but rather from the aspectual apprehension.

Unde si consideretur bonitas exterioris actus secundum quod est in ordinatione et apprehensione rationis, prior est quam bonitas actus voluntatis, sed si consideretur secundum quod est in executione operis, sequitur bonitatem voluntatis, quae est principium eius.

Consequently, if we consider the goodness of the external action, insofar as it comes from the ordination and apprehension of aspect, it is prior to the goodness of the act of the will; but if we consider it insofar as it is in the execution of the action done, it is subsequent to the goodness of the will, which is its principle.

Actus exterior est obiectum voluntatis, inquantum proponitur voluntati a ratione ut quoddam bonum apprehensum et ordinatum per rationem; et sic est prius quam bonum actus voluntatis. Inquantum vero consistit in executione operis, est effectus voluntatis, et sequitur voluntatem.

The exterior action is the object of the will, inasmuch as it is proposed to the will by aspectual apprehension, as a certain good apprehended and ordained by the formal aspect; and thus it is prior to the good in the act of the will. But inasmuch as it is found in the execution of the action, it is an effect of the will, and is subsequent to the will.