Monday, June 21, 2010

1a 2ae q37 a1: Whether pain deprives one of the power to learn? Yes.

Si sit dolor intensus, impeditur homo ne tunc aliquid addiscere possit (et tantum potest intendi, quod nec etiam, instante dolore, potest homo aliquid considerare etiam quod prius scivit) quia omnes potentiae animae in una essentia animae radicantur: necesse est quod, quando intentio animae vehementer trahitur ad operationem unius potentiae, retrahatur ab operatione alterius, unius enim animae non potest esse nisi una intentio.

If the pain be acute, man is prevented at the time from learning anything (indeed it can be so acute, that, as long as it lasts, a man is unable to give his attention even to that which he knew already) because all the powers of the soul are rooted in the one essence of the soul: it must needs happen, when the intention of the soul is strongly drawn towards the action of one power, that it is withdrawn from the action of another power, because the soul, being one, can only have one intention.

Et propter hoc, si aliquid ad se trahat totam intentionem animae, vel magnam partem ipsius, non compatitur secum aliquid aliud quod magnam attentionem requirat.

The result is that if one thing draws upon itself the entire intention of the soul, or a great portion thereof, anything else requiring considerable attention is incompatible therewith.

In hoc tamen attenditur diversitas secundum diversitatem amoris quem homo habet ad addiscendum vel considerandum, qui quanto maior fuerit, magis retinet intentionem animi, ne omnino feratur ad dolorem.

However a difference is to be observed according to the difference of love that a man has for learning or for considering, because the greater his love, the more will he retain the intention of his mind so as to prevent it from turning entirely to the pain.

Tam delectatio quam dolor, inquantum ad se trahunt animae intentionem, impediunt considerationem rationis, unde in VII Ethic. dicitur quod "impossibile est in ipsa delectatione venereorum, aliquid intelligere". Sed tamen dolor magis trahit ad se intentionem animae quam delectatio.

Both pleasure and pain, insofar as they draw upon themselves the soul's intention, hinder the reason from the act of consideration, wherefore it is stated in Ethic. vii, 11 that "in the moment of sexual pleasure, a man cannot understand anything." Nevertheless pain attracts the soul's intention more than pleasure does.

Si ergo dolor seu tristitia fuerit moderata, per accidens potest conferre ad addiscendum, inquantum aufert superabundantiam delectationum. Sed per se impedit, et si intendatur, totaliter aufert.

If therefore pain or sorrow be moderate, it can conduce accidentally to the facility of learning, insofar as it takes away an excess of pleasure. But, of itself, it is a hindrance; and if it be intense, it prevents it altogether.

Augustinus dicit, in I Soliloq., "quanquam acerrimo dolore dentium his diebus torquerer, non quidem sinebar animo volvere nisi ea quae iam forte didiceram. A discendo autem penitus impediebar, ad quod mihi tota intentione animi opus erat."

Augustine says (Soliloq. i, 12): "Although during those days I was tormented with a violent tooth-ache, I was not able to turn over in my mind other things than those I had already learnt; and as to learning anything, I was quite unequal to it, because it required undivided attention."