Utrum virtus humana sit habitus
Whether human virtue is a habit?
Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod virtus humana non sit habitus. Virtus enim est ultimum potentiae, ut dicitur in I de caelo. Sed ultimum uniuscuiusque reducitur ad genus illud cuius est ultimum, sicut punctum ad genus lineae. Ergo virtus reducitur ad genus potentiae, et non ad genus habitus.
Objection 1: It would seem that human virtue is not a habit: For virtue is the limit of power (De Coelo i, text. 116). But the limit of anything is reducible to the genus of that of which it is the limit; as a point is reducible to the genus of line. Therefore virtue is reducible to the genus of power, and not to the genus of habit.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in II de libero Arbit., quod virtus est bonus usus liberi arbitrii. Sed usus liberi arbitrii est actus. Ergo virtus non est habitus, sed actus.
Obj. 2: Further, Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. ii) that virtue is good use of free-will. But use of free-will is an act. Therefore virtue is not a habit, but an act.
Praeterea, habitibus non meremur, sed actibus, alioquin homo mereretur continue, etiam dormiendo. Sed virtutibus meremur. Ergo virtutes non sunt habitus, sed actus.
Obj. 3: Further, we do not merit by our habits, but by our actions: otherwise a man would merit continually, even while asleep. But we do merit by our virtues. Therefore virtues are not habits, but acts.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in libro de moribus Eccles., quod virtus est ordo amoris. Et in libro octoginta trium quaest., dicit quod ordinatio quae virtus vocatur, est fruendis frui, et utendis uti. Ordo autem, seu ordinatio, nominat vel actum, vel relationem. Ergo virtus non est habitus, sed actus vel relatio.
Obj. 4: Further, Augustine says (De Moribus Eccl. xv) that virtue is the order of love, and (QQ. lxxxiii, qu. 30) that the ordering which is called virtue consists in enjoying what we ought to enjoy, and using what we ought to use. Now order, or ordering, denominates either an action or a relation. Therefore virtue is not a habit, but an action or a relation.
Praeterea, sicut inveniuntur virtutes humanae, ita et virtutes naturales. Sed virtutes naturales non sunt habitus, sed potentiae quaedam. Ergo etiam neque virtutes humanae.
Obj. 5: Further, just as there are human virtues, so are there natural virtues. But natural virtues are not habits, but powers. Neither therefore are human virtues habits.
Sed contra est quod philosophus, in libro Praedicament., scientiam et virtutem ponit esse habitus.
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Categor. vi) that science and virtue are habits.
Respondeo dicendum quod virtus nominat quandam potentiae perfectionem. Uniuscuiusque autem perfectio praecipue consideratur in ordine ad suum finem. Finis autem potentiae actus est. Unde potentia dicitur esse perfecta, secundum quod determinatur ad suum actum.
I answer that, Virtue denotes a certain perfection of a power. Now a thing’s perfection is considered chiefly in regard to its end. But the end of power is act. Wherefore power is said to be perfect, according as it is determinate to its act.
Sunt autem quaedam potentiae quae secundum seipsas sunt determinatae ad suos actus; sicut potentiae naturales activae. Et ideo huiusmodi potentiae naturales secundum seipsas dicuntur virtutes. Potentiae autem rationales, quae sunt propriae hominis, non sunt determinatae ad unum, sed se habent indeterminate ad multa, determinantur autem ad actus per habitus, sicut ex supradictis patet. Et ideo virtutes humanae habitus sunt.
Now there are some powers which of themselves are determinate to their acts; for instance, the active natural powers. And therefore these natural powers are in themselves called virtues. But the rational powers, which are proper to man, are not determinate to one particular action, but are inclined indifferently to many: and they are determinate to acts by means of habits, as is clear from what we have said above (Q49, A4). Therefore human virtues are habits.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod quandoque virtus dicitur id ad quod est virtus, scilicet vel obiectum virtutis, vel actus eius, sicut fides dicitur quandoque id quod creditur, quandoque vero ipsum credere, quandoque autem ipse habitus quo creditur. Unde quando dicitur quod virtus est ultimum potentiae, sumitur virtus pro obiecto virtutis. Id enim in quod ultimo potentia potest, est id ad quod dicitur virtus rei, sicut si aliquis potest ferre centum libras et non plus, virtus eius consideratur secundum centum libras, non autem secundum sexaginta. Obiectio autem procedebat ac si essentialiter virtus esset ultimum potentiae.
Reply Obj. 1: Sometimes we give the name of a virtue to that to which the virtue is directed, namely, either to its object, or to its act: for instance, we give the name Faith, to that which we believe, or to the act of believing, as also to the habit by which we believe. When therefore we say that virtue is the limit of power, virtue is taken for the object of virtue. For the furthest point to which a power can reach, is said to be its virtue; for instance, if a man can carry a hundredweight and not more, his virtue is put at a hundredweight, and not at sixty. But the objection takes virtue as being essentially the limit of power.
Ad secundum dicendum quod bonus usus liberi arbitrii dicitur esse virtus, secundum eandem rationem, quia scilicet est id ad quod ordinatur virtus sicut ad proprium actum. Nihil est enim aliud actus virtutis quam bonus usus liberi arbitrii.
Reply Obj. 2: Good use of free-will is said to be a virtue, in the same sense as above (ad 1); that is to say, because it is that to which virtue is directed as to its proper act. For the act of virtue is nothing else than the good use of free-will.
Ad tertium dicendum quod aliquo dicimur mereri dupliciter. Uno modo, sicut ipso merito, eo modo quo dicimur currere cursu, et hoc modo meremur actibus. Alio modo dicimur mereri aliquo sicut principio merendi, sicut dicimur currere potentia motiva, et sic dicimur mereri virtutibus et habitibus.
Reply Obj. 3: We are said to merit by something in two ways. First, as by merit itself, just as we are said to run by running; and thus we merit by acts. Second, we are said to merit by something as by the principle whereby we merit, as we are said to run by the motive power; and thus are we said to merit by virtues and habits.
Ad quartum dicendum quod virtus dicitur ordo vel ordinatio amoris, sicut id ad quod est virtus, per virtutem enim ordinatur amor in nobis.
Reply Obj. 4: When we say that virtue is the order or ordering of love, we refer to the end to which virtue is ordered: because in us love is set in order by virtue.
Ad quintum dicendum quod potentiae naturales sunt de se determinatae ad unum, non autem potentiae rationales. Et ideo non est simile, ut dictum est.
Reply Obj. 5: Natural powers are of themselves determinate to one act: not so the rational powers. And so there is no comparison, as we have said.
Utrum sit de ratione virtutis humanae quod sit habitus operativus
Whether it is essential to human virtue to be an operative habit?
Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sit de ratione virtutis humanae quod sit habitus operativus. Dicit enim Tullius, in IV de Tuscul. quaest., quod sicut est sanitas et pulchritudo corporis, ita est virtus animae. Sed sanitas et pulchritudo non sunt habitus operativi. Ergo neque etiam virtus.
Objection 1: It would seem that it is not essential to human virtue to be an operative habit. For Tully says (Tuscul. iv) that as health and beauty belong to the body, so virtue belongs to the soul. But health and beauty are not operative habits. Therefore neither is virtue.
Praeterea, in rebus naturalibus invenitur virtus non solum ad agere, sed etiam ad esse, ut patet per philosophum, in I de caelo, quod quaedam habent virtutem ut sint semper, quaedam vero non ad hoc quod sint semper, sed aliquo tempore determinato. Sed sicut se habet virtus naturalis in rebus naturalibus, ita se habet virtus humana in rationalibus. Ergo etiam virtus humana non solum est ad agere, sed etiam ad esse.
Obj. 2: Further, in natural things we find virtue not only in reference to act, but also in reference to being: as is clear from the Philosopher (De Coelo i), since some have a virtue to be always, while some have a virtue to be not always, but at some definite time. Now as natural virtue is in natural things, so is human virtue in rational beings. Therefore also human virtue is referred not only to act, but also to being.
Praeterea, philosophus dicit, in VII Physic., quod virtus est dispositio perfecti ad optimum. Optimum autem ad quod hominem oportet disponi per virtutem, est ipse Deus, ut probat Augustinus in libro II de moribus Eccles.; ad quem disponitur anima per assimilationem ad ipsum. Ergo videtur quod virtus dicatur qualitas quaedam animae in ordine ad Deum, tanquam assimilativa ad ipsum, non autem in ordine ad operationem. Non igitur est habitus operativus.
Obj. 3: Further, the Philosopher says (Phys. vii, text. 17) that virtue is the disposition of a perfect thing to that which is best. Now the best thing to which man needs to be disposed by virtue is God Himself, as Augustine proves (De Moribus Eccl. 3,6, 14) to Whom the soul is disposed by being made like to Him. Therefore it seems that virtue is a quality of the soul in reference to God, likening it, as it were, to Him; and not in reference to operation. It is not, therefore, an operative habit.
Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in II Ethic., quod virtus uniuscuiusque rei est quae opus eius bonum reddit.
On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 6) says that virtue of a thing is that which makes its work good.
Respondeo dicendum quod virtus, ex ipsa ratione nominis, importat quandam perfectionem potentiae, ut supra dictum est. Unde, cum duplex sit potentia, scilicet potentia ad esse et potentia ad agere, utriusque potentiae perfectio virtus vocatur. Sed potentia ad esse se tenet ex parte materiae, quae est ens in potentia, potentia autem ad agere se tenet ex parte formae, quae est principium agendi, eo quod unumquodque agit inquantum est actu.
I answer that, Virtue, from the very nature of the word, implies some perfection of power, as we have said above (A1). Wherefore, since power is of two kinds, namely, power in reference to being, and power in reference to act; the perfection of each of these is called virtue. But power in reference to being is on the part of matter, which is potential being, whereas power in reference to act, is on the part of the form, which is the principle of action, since everything acts insofar as it is in act.
In constitutione autem hominis, corpus se habet sicut materia, anima vero sicut forma. Et quantum quidem ad corpus, homo communicat cum aliis animalibus; et similiter quantum ad vires quae sunt animae et corpori communes; solae autem illae vires quae sunt propriae animae, scilicet rationales, sunt hominis tantum. Et ideo virtus humana, de qua loquimur, non potest pertinere ad corpus; sed pertinet tantum ad id quod est proprium animae. Unde virtus humana non importat ordinem ad esse, sed magis ad agere. Et ideo de ratione virtutis humanae est quod sit habitus operativus.
Now man is so constituted that the body holds the place of matter, the soul that of form. The body, indeed, man has in common with other animals; and the same is to be said of the forces which are common to the soul and body: and only those forces which are proper to the soul, namely, the rational forces, belong to man alone. And therefore, human virtue, of which we are speaking now, cannot belong to the body, but belongs only to that which is proper to the soul. Wherefore human virtue does not imply reference to being, but rather to act. Consequently it is essential to human virtue to be an operative habit.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod modus actionis sequitur dispositionem agentis, unumquodque enim quale est, talia operatur. Et ideo, cum virtus sit principium aliqualis operationis, oportet quod in operante praeexistat secundum virtutem aliqua conformis dispositio. Facit autem virtus operationem ordinatam. Et ideo ipsa virtus est quaedam dispositio ordinata in anima, secundum scilicet quod potentiae animae ordinantur aliqualiter ad invicem, et ad id quod est extra. Et ideo virtus, inquantum est conveniens dispositio animae, assimilatur sanitati et pulchritudini, quae sunt debitae dispositiones corporis. Sed per hoc non excluditur quin virtus etiam sit operationis principium.
Reply Obj. 1: Mode of action follows on the disposition of the agent: for such as a thing is, such is its act. And therefore, since virtue is the principle of some kind of operation, there must needs pre-exist in the operator in respect of virtue some corresponding disposition. Now virtue causes an ordered operation. Therefore virtue itself is an ordered disposition of the soul, insofar as, to wit, the powers of the soul are in some way ordered to one another, and to that which is outside. Hence virtue, inasmuch as it is a suitable disposition of the soul, is like health and beauty, which are suitable dispositions of the body. But this does not hinder virtue from being a principle of operation.
Ad secundum dicendum quod virtus quae est ad esse, non est propria hominis, sed solum virtus quae est ad opera rationis, quae sunt propria hominis.
Reply Obj. 2: Virtue which is referred to being is not proper to man; but only that virtue which is referred to works of reason, which are proper to man.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, cum Dei substantia sit eius actio, summa assimilatio hominis ad Deum est secundum aliquam operationem. Unde, sicut supra dictum est, felicitas sive beatitudo, per quam homo maxime Deo conformatur, quae est finis humanae vitae, in operatione consistit.
Reply Obj. 3: As God’s substance is His act, the highest likeness of man to God is in respect of some operation. Wherefore, as we have said above (Q3, A2), happiness or bliss by which man is made most perfectly conformed to God, and which is the end of human life, consists in an operation.
Utrum sit de ratione virtutis quod sit habitus bonus
Whether is essential to human virtue to be a good habit?
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sit de ratione virtutis quod sit habitus bonus. Peccatum enim in malo semper sumitur. Sed etiam peccati est aliqua virtus; secundum illud I ad Cor. XV, virtus peccati lex. Ergo virtus non semper est habitus bonus.
Objection 1: It would seem that it is not essential to virtue that it should be a good habit. For sin is always taken in a bad sense. But there is a virtue even of sin; according to 1 Cor. 15:56: The power of sin is the Law. Therefore virtue is not always a good habit.
Praeterea, virtus potentiae respondet. Sed potentia non solum se habet ad bonum, sed etiam ad malum; secundum illud Isaiae V, vae, qui potentes estis ad bibendum vinum, et viri fortes ad miscendam ebrietatem. Ergo etiam virtus se habet et ad bonum et ad malum.
Obj. 2: Further, Virtue corresponds to power. But power is not only referred to good, but also to evil: according to Is. 5: Woe to you that are mighty to drink wine, and stout men at drunkenness. Therefore virtue also is referred to good and evil.
Praeterea, secundum apostolum, II ad Cor. XII, virtus in infirmitate perficitur. Sed infirmitas est quoddam malum. Ergo virtus non solum se habet ad bonum, sed etiam ad malum.
Obj. 3: Further, according to the Apostle (2 Cor 12:9): Power is made perfect in infirmity. But infirmity is an evil. Therefore virtue is referred not only to good, but also to evil.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro de moribus Eccles., nemo autem dubitaverit quod virtus animam facit optimam. Et philosophus dicit, in II Ethic., quod virtus est quae bonum facit habentem, et opus eius bonum reddit.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Moribus Eccl. vi): No one can doubt that virtue makes the soul exceeding good: and the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6): Virtue is that which makes its possessor good, and his work good likewise.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, virtus importat perfectionem potentiae, unde virtus cuiuslibet rei determinatur ad ultimum in quod res potest, ut dicitur in I de caelo. Ultimum autem in quod unaquaeque potentia potest, oportet quod sit bonum, nam omne malum defectum quendam importat; unde Dionysius dicit, in IV cap. de Div. Nom., quod omne malum est infirmum. Et propter hoc oportet quod virtus cuiuslibet rei dicatur in ordine ad bonum. Unde virtus humana, quae est habitus operativus, est bonus habitus, et boni operativus.
I answer that, As we have said above (A1), virtue implies a perfection of power: wherefore the virtue of a thing is fixed by the limit of its power (De Coelo i). Now the limit of any power must needs be good: for all evil implies defect; wherefore Dionysius says (Div. Nom. ii) that every evil is a weakness. And for this reason the virtue of a thing must be regarded in reference to good. Therefore human virtue which is an operative habit, is a good habit, productive of good works.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod sicut perfectum, ita et bonum dicitur metaphorice in malis, dicitur enim et perfectus fur sive latro, et bonus fur sive latro; ut patet per philosophum, in V Metaphys. Secundum hoc ergo, etiam virtus metaphorice in malis dicitur. Et sic virtus peccati dicitur lex, inquantum scilicet per legem occasionaliter est peccatum augmentatum, et quasi ad maximum suum posse pervenit.
Reply Obj. 1: Just as bad things are said metaphorically to be perfect, so are they said to be good: for we speak of a perfect thief or robber; and of a good thief or robber, as the Philosopher explains (Metaph. v, text. 21). In this way therefore virtue is applied to evil things: so that the virtue of sin is said to be law, insofar as occasionally sin is aggravated through the law, so as to attain to the limit of its possibility.
Ad secundum dicendum quod malum ebrietatis et nimiae potationis, consistit in defectu ordinis rationis. Contingit autem, cum defectu rationis, esse aliquam potentiam inferiorem perfectam ad id quod est sui generis, etiam cum repugnantia vel cum defectu rationis. Perfectio autem talis potentiae, cum sit cum defectu rationis, non posset dici virtus humana.
Reply Obj. 2: The evil of drunkenness and excessive drink, consists in a falling away from the order of reason. Now it happens that, together with this falling away from reason, some lower power is perfect in reference to that which belongs to its own kind, even in direct opposition to reason, or with some falling away therefrom. But the perfection of that power, since it is compatible with a falling away from reason, cannot be called a human virtue.
Ad tertium dicendum quod tanto ratio perfectior esse ostenditur, quanto infirmitates corporis et inferiorum partium magis potest vincere seu tolerare. Et ideo virtus humana, quae rationi attribuitur, in infirmitate perfici dicitur, non quidem rationis, sed in infirmitate corporis et inferiorum partium.
Reply Obj. 3: Reason is shown to be so much the more perfect, according as it is able to overcome or endure more easily the weakness of the body and of the lower powers. And therefore human virtue, which is attributed to reason, is said to be made perfect in infirmity, not of the reason indeed, but of the body and of the lower powers.