Thursday, January 06, 2011

1a 2ae q56 a6: Whether the will can be the subject of virtue? Yes.

Virtus est in voluntate sicut in subiecto quia cum per habitum perficiatur potentia ad agendum, ibi indiget potentia habitu perficiente ad bene agendum, qui quidem habitus est virtus, ubi ad hoc non sufficit propria ratio potentiae.

Virtue is subjected in the will because since the habit perfects the power in reference to act, then does the power need a habit perfecting it unto doing well, which habit is a virtue, when the power's own proper formal aspect does not suffice for the purpose.

Omnis autem potentiae propria ratio attenditur in ordine ad obiectum. Unde cum, sicut dictum est, obiectum voluntati sit bonum rationis voluntati proportionatum, quantum ad hoc non indiget voluntas virtute perficiente.

Now the proper formal aspect of a power is seen in its relation to its object. Since, therefore, as we have said above (q19 a3), the object of the will is the good of reason proportionate to the will, in respect of this the will does not need a virtue perfecting it.

Sed si quod bonum immineat homini volendum, quod excedat proportionem volentis, sive quantum ad totam speciem humanam, sicut bonum divinum, quod transcendit limites humanae naturae, sive quantum ad individuum, sicut bonum proximi, ibi voluntas indiget virtute. Et ideo huiusmodi virtutes quae ordinant affectum hominis in Deum vel in proximum, sunt in voluntate sicut in subiecto: ut caritas, iustitia et huiusmodi.

But if man's will is confronted with a good that exceeds its capacity, whether as regards the whole human species, such as Divine good, which transcends the limits of human nature, or as regards the individual, such as the good of one's neighbor, then does the will need virtue. And therefore such virtues as those which direct man's affections to God or to his neighbor are subjected in the will: i.e., charity, justice, and such like.

Quaedam virtutes ordinantur ad bonum passionis moderatae, quod est proprium huius vel illius hominis: et in talibus non est necessarium quod sit aliqua virtus in voluntate, cum ad hoc sufficiat natura potentiae, ut dictum est. Sed hoc solum necessarium est in illis virtutibus quae ordinantur ad aliquod bonum extrinsecum.

Some virtues are directed to the good of moderated passion, which is the proper good of this or that man: and in these cases there is no need for virtue in the will, for the nature of the power suffices for the purpose, as we have said. This need exists only in the case of virtues which are directed to some extrinsic good.

Rationale per participationem non solum est irascibilis et concupiscibilis, sed "omnino, idest universaliter, appetitivum", ut dicitur in I Ethic. Sub appetitivo autem comprehenditur voluntas. Et ideo, si qua virtus est in voluntate, erit moralis, nisi sit theologica, ut infra patebit.

Not only the irascible and concupiscible powers are rational by participation but "the appetitive power altogether," i.e. in its entirety (Ethic. i, 13). Now the will is included in the appetitive power. And therefore whatever virtue is in the will must be a moral virtue, unless it be theological, as we shall see later on (q62 a3).