Sunday, November 29, 2009

1a 2ae q7 a4: Whether the most important circumstances are "why" and "in what the act consists"? Yes.

Principalissimae circumstantiae sunt cuius gratia agitur, et quid est quod agitur, quia actus proprie dicuntur humani, prout sunt voluntarii; sed voluntatis motivum et obiectum est finis.

The most important circumstances are "why it is done" and "what is done" because acts are properly called human, inasmuch as they are voluntary; but the motive and object of the will is the end.

Finis, etsi non sit de substantia actus, est tamen causa actus principalissima, inquantum movet ad agendum. Unde et maxime actus moralis speciem habet ex fine.

Although the end is not part of the substance of the act, yet it is the most important cause of the act, inasmuch as it moves the agent to act. Wherefore the moral act is specified chiefly by the end.

Et ideo principalissima est omnium circumstantiarum illa quae attingit actum ex parte finis, scilicet cuius gratia, secundaria vero, quae attingit ipsam substantiam actus, idest quid fecit.

Therefore that circumstance is the most important of all which touches the act on the part of the end, viz. the circumstance "why": and the second in importance, is that which touches the very substance of the act, viz. the circumstance "what he did."

Aliae vero circumstantiae sunt magis vel minus principales, secundum quod magis vel minus ad has appropinquant.

As to the other circumstances, they are more or less important, according as they more or less approach to these.