Tuesday, January 04, 2011

1a 2ae q56 a4: Whether the irascible and concupiscible powers are the subject of virtue? Yes.

Irascibilis vel concupiscibilis potest esse subiectum virtutis humanae, quia est principium humani actus, inquantum participat rationem. Et in his potentiis necesse est ponere virtutes.

The irascible or concupiscible power can be the subject of human virtue because insofar as it participates in the reason, it is the principle of a human act. And to these powers we must needs assign virtues.

Irascibilis et concupiscibilis non ad nutum obediunt rationi, sed habent proprios motus suos, quibus interdum rationi repugnant, unde in eodem libro philosophus dicit quod "ratio regit irascibilem et concupiscibilem principatu politico", quo scilicet reguntur liberi, qui habent in aliquibus propriam voluntatem. Et propter hoc etiam oportet in irascibili et concupiscibili esse aliquas virtutes, quibus bene disponantur ad actum.

The irascible and concupiscible powers do not obey the reason blindly; on the contrary, they have their own proper movements, by which, at times, they go against reason, whence the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 3) that the "reason rules the irascible and concupiscible powers by a political command" such as that by which free men are ruled, who have in some respects a will of their own. And for this reason also must there be some virtues in the irascible and concupiscible powers, by which these powers are well disposed to act.

Irascibilis et concupiscibilis secundum se consideratae, prout sunt partes appetitus sensitivi, communes sunt nobis et brutis. Sed secundum quod sunt rationales per participationem, ut obedientes rationi, sic sunt propriae hominis. Et hoc modo possunt esse subiectum virtutis humanae.

The irascible and concupiscible powers considered in themselves, as parts of the sensitive appetite, are common to us and dumb animals. But insofar as they are rational by participation, and are obedient to the reason, they are proper to man. And in this way they can be the subject of human virtue.

In electione duo sunt, scilicet intentio finis, quae pertinet ad virtutem moralem; et praeacceptio eius quod est ad finem, quod pertinet ad prudentiam; ut dicitur in VI Ethic. Quod autem habeat rectam intentionem finis circa passiones animae, hoc contingit ex bona dispositione irascibilis et concupiscibilis. Et ideo virtutes morales circa passiones, sunt in irascibili et concupiscibili, sed prudentia est in ratione.

In choice there are two things, namely, the intention of the end, and this belongs to the moral virtue; and the preferential choice of that which is unto the end, and this belongs to prudence (Ethic. vi, 2,5). But that the irascible and concupiscible powers have a right intention of the end in regard to the passions of the soul, is due to the good disposition of these powers. And therefore those moral virtues which are concerned with the passions are in the irascible and concupiscible powers, but prudence is in the reason.