Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1a 2ae q58 a2: Whether moral virtue differs from intellectual virtue? Yes.

Sicut igitur appetitus distinguitur a ratione, ita virtus moralis distinguitur ab intellectuali, quia ad hoc quod homo bene agat, per habitum virtutis intellectualis, requiritur quod non solum ratio sit bene dispositased etiam quod vis appetitiva sit bene disposita per habitum virtutis moralis.

Moral differs from intellectual virtue, even as the appetite differs from the reason, because for a man to do a good deed, it is requisite not only that his reason be well disposed by means of a habit of intellectual virtue, but also that his appetite be well disposed by means of a habit of moral virtue.

Unde sicut appetitus est principium humani actus secundum quod participat aliqualiter rationem, ita habitus moralis habet rationem virtutis humanae, inquantum rationi conformatur.

Hence just as the appetite is the principle of human acts, insofar as it partakes of reason, so are moral habits to be considered virtues insofar as they are in conformity with reason.

Recta ratio, quae est secundum prudentiam, ponitur in definitione virtutis moralis, non tanquam pars essentiae eius, sed sicut quiddam participatum in omnibus virtutibus moralibus, inquantum prudentia dirigit omnes virtutes morales.

Right reason which is in accord with prudence is included in the definition of moral virtue, not as part of its essence, but as something belonging by way of participation to all the moral virtues, insofar as they are all under the direction of prudence.

Omnium humanorum operum principium primum ratio est, et quaecumque alia principia humanorum operum inveniantur, quodammodo rationi obediunt, diversimode tamen.

Reason is the first principle of all human acts, and whatever other principles of human acts may be found, they obey reason somewhat, but diversely, i.e., in various ways.

Nam quaedam rationi obediunt omnino ad nutum, absque omni contradictione: sicut corporis membra, si fuerint in sua natura consistentia; statim enim ad imperium rationis, manus aut pes movetur ad opus. Unde philosophus dicit, in I Polit., quod anima regit corpus despotico principatu, idest sicut dominus servum, qui ius contradicendi non habet.

For some obey reason blindly and without any contradiction whatever: such are the limbs of the body, provided they be in a healthy condition, for as soon as reason commands, the hand or the foot proceeds to action. Hence the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 3) that "the soul rules the body like a despot," i.e. as a master rules his slave, who has no right to rebel.

Posuerunt igitur quidam quod omnia principia activa quae sunt in homine, hoc modo se habent ad rationem. Quod quidem si verum esset, sufficeret quod ratio esset perfecta, ad bene agendum. Unde, cum virtus sit habitus quo perficimur ad bene agendum, sequeretur quod in sola ratione esset, et sic nulla virtus esset nisi intellectualis.

Accordingly some held that all the active principles in man are subordinate to reason in this way. If this were true, for man to act well it would suffice that his reason be perfect. Consequently, since virtue is a habit perfecting man in view of his doing good actions, it would follow that it is only in the reason, so that there would be none but intellectual virtues.

Et haec fuit opinio Socratis, qui dixit omnes virtutes esse prudentias, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. Unde ponebat quod homo, scientia in eo existente, peccare non poterat; sed quicumque peccabat, peccabat propter ignorantiam.

This was the opinion of Socrates, who said "every virtue is a kind of prudence," as stated in Ethic. vi, 13. Hence he maintained that as long as man is in possession of knowledge, he cannot sin; and that everyone who sins, does so through ignorance.

Hoc autem procedit ex suppositione falsi. Pars enim appetitiva obedit rationi non omnino ad nutum, sed cum aliqua contradictione; unde philosophus dicit, in I Polit., quod ratio imperat appetitivae principatu politico, quo scilicet aliquis praeest liberis, qui habent ius in aliquo contradicendi.

Now this is based on a false supposition. Because the appetitive faculty obeys the reason, not blindly, but with a certain power of opposition; wherefore the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 3) that "reason commands the appetitive faculty by a politic power," whereby a man rules over subjects that are free, having a certain right of opposition.

Unde Augustinus dicit, super Psalm., quod interdum praecedit intellectus, et sequitur tardus aut nullus affectus, intantum quod quandoque passionibus vel habitibus appetitivae partis hoc agitur, ut usus rationis in particulari impediatur.

Hence Augustine says on Psalm 118 (Serm. 8) that "sometimes we understand [what is right] while desire is slow, or follows not at all," insofar as the habits or passions of the appetitive faculty cause the use of reason to be impeded in some particular action.

Et secundum hoc, aliqualiter verum est quod Socrates dixit, quod scientia praesente, non peccatur: si tamen hoc extendatur usque ad usum rationis in particulari eligibili.

And in this way, there is some truth in the saying of Socrates that so long as a man is in possession of knowledge he does not sin: provided, however, that this knowledge is made to include the use of reason in this individual act of choice.