Friday, May 21, 2010

1a 2ae q31 a6: Whether the pleasures of touch are greater than the pleasures afforded by the other senses? Yes.

Delectatio tactus est maxima ratione utilitatis, delectatio autem visus ratione cognitionis; si quis utramque comparare velit, inveniet simpliciter delectationem tactus esse maiorem delectatione visus, secundum quod sistit infra limites sensibilis delectationis, quia manifestum est quod id quod est naturale in unoquoque, est potentissimum (huiusmodi autem delectationes tactus sunt ad quas ordinantur concupiscentiae naturales, sicut cibi, et venerea, et huiusmodi); sed si consideremus delectationes visus, secundum quod visus deservit intellectui, sic delectationes visus erunt potiores, ea ratione qua et intelligibiles delectationes sunt potiores sensibilibus.

The delight afforded by touch is the greatest according to the formal aspect of usefulness, and the delight afforded by sight the greatest according to the formal aspect of cognition; if anyone wish to compare these two, he will find that the delight of touch is, absolutely speaking, greater than the delight of sight, so far as the latter remains within the limits of sensible pleasure, because it is evident that in everything, that which is natural is most powerful (and it is to these delights of the touch that the natural desires, such as those of food, sexual union, and the like, are ordained); if, however, we consider the delights of sight, inasmuch as sight is the handmaid of the intellect, then the delights of sight will be more powerful, by that formal aspect by which intellectual delights are more powerful than sensible.

Utilitas enim sensibilium attenditur secundum ordinem ad conservationem naturae animalis. Ad hanc autem utilitatem propinquius se habent sensibilia tactus, est enim tactus cognoscitivus eorum ex quibus consistit animal, scilicet calidi et frigidi, et huiusmodi. Unde secundum hoc, delectationes quae sunt secundum tactum, sunt maiores, quasi fini propinquiores.

The usefulness of sensible things is gauged by their ordination to the preservation of the animal's nature. Now the sensible objects of touch bear the closest relation to this usefulness, for the touch takes cognizance of those things which are vital to an animal, namely, of things hot and cold and the like. Wherefore in this respect, the delights of touch are greater, as being more closely related to the end.

Et propter hoc etiam, alia animalia, quae non habent delectationem secundum sensum nisi ratione utilitatis, non delectantur secundum alios sensus, nisi in ordine ad sensibilia tactus: "neque enim odoribus leporum canes gaudent, sed cibatione; neque leo voce bovis, sed comestione", ut dicitur in III Ethic.

For this reason, too, other animals, which do not experience sensible delight save according to the formal aspect of usefulness, derive no delight from the other senses, except as subordinated to the sensible objects of the touch: "for dogs do not take delight in the smell of hares, but in eating them; . . . nor does the lion feel pleasure in the lowing of an ox, but in devouring it" (Ethic. iii, 10).

Philosophus dicit, in III Ethic., quod maximae delectationes sunt secundum tactum.

The Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 10), that the greatest pleasures are those which are afforded by the touch.

Alio modo delectatio est causa amoris carnalis, et alio modo visio. Nam delectatio, et maxime quae est secundum tactum, est causa amicitiae delectabilis per modum finis; visio autem est causa sicut unde est principium motus, inquantum per visum amabilis imprimitur species rei, quae allicit ad amandum et ad concupiscendum eius delectationem.

Delight causes carnal love in one way; the sight, in another. For delight, especially that which is afforded by the touch, is the final cause of the [type of] friendship which is for the sake of delight; whereas the sight is a cause like that from which a movement has its beginning, inasmuch as the beholder on seeing the lovable object receives an impression of the thing, which entices him to love it and to seek its delight.

Visus maxime diligitur propter cognitionem, eo quod multas rerum differentias nobis ostendit.

The sight is loved most, "on account of cognition, because it helps us to distinguish many things (Metaph. i, 1).

Sed delectatio naturalis maxime pertinet ad tactum.

But natural pleasure belongs principally to the touch.