Saturday, March 14, 2009

Q82 A3: Whether the will is a higher power than the intellect?

No. The intellect is nobler than the will because good which is understood moves the will.

Intellectus est nobilior quam voluntas quia bonum intellectum movet voluntatem.

What precedes in order of generation and time is less perfect: for in one and in the same thing potentiality precedes act, and imperfection precedes perfection. But what precedes absolutely and in the order of nature is more perfect: for thus act precedes potentiality. And in this way the intellect precedes the will, as the motive power precedes the thing movable, and as the active precedes the passive.

Illud quod est prius generatione et tempore, est imperfectius, quia in uno et eodem potentia tempore praecedit actum, et imperfectio perfectionem. Sed illud quod est prius simpliciter et secundum naturae ordinem, est perfectius, sic enim actus est prior potentia. Et hoc modo intellectus est prior voluntate, sicut motivum mobili, et activum passivo.

If therefore the intellect and will be considered with regard to themselves, then the intellect is the higher power. And this is clear if we compare their respective objects to one another. For the object of the intellect is more simple and more absolute than the object of the will; since the object of the intellect is the very idea of appetible good; and the appetible good, the idea of which is in the intellect, is the object of the will. Now the more simple and the more abstract a thing is, the nobler and higher it is in itself; and therefore the object of the intellect is higher than the object of the will. Therefore, since the proper nature of a power is in its order to its object, it follows that the intellect in itself and absolutely is higher and nobler than the will.

Si ergo intellectus et voluntas considerentur secundum se, sic intellectus eminentior invenitur. Et hoc apparet ex comparatione obiectorum ad invicem. Obiectum enim intellectus est simplicius et magis absolutum quam obiectum voluntatis, nam obiectum intellectus est ipsa ratio boni appetibilis; bonum autem appetibile, cuius ratio est in intellectu, est obiectum voluntatis. Quanto autem aliquid est simplicius et abstractius, tanto secundum se est nobilius et altius. Et ideo obiectum intellectus est altius quam obiectum voluntatis. Cum ergo propria ratio potentiae sit secundum ordinem ad obiectum, sequitur quod secundum se et simpliciter intellectus sit altior et nobilior voluntate.