Utrum prudentia solum pertineat ad rationem practicam, an etiam ad speculativam
Whether prudence belongs to the practical reason alone or also to the speculative reason?
Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod prudentia non solum pertineat ad rationem practicam, sed etiam ad speculativam. Dicitur enim Prov. X, sapientia est viro prudentia. Sed sapientia principalius consistit in contemplatione. Ergo et prudentia.
Objection 1: It would seem that prudence belongs not only to the practical, but also to the speculative reason. For it is written (Prov 10:23): Wisdom is prudence to a man. Now wisdom consists chiefly in contemplation. Therefore prudence does also.
Praeterea, Ambrosius dicit, in I de officiis, prudentia in veri investigatione versatur, et scientiae plenioris infundit cupiditatem. Sed hoc pertinet ad rationem speculativam. Ergo prudentia consistit etiam in ratione speculativa.
Obj. 2: Further, Ambrose says (De Offic. i, 24): Prudence is concerned with the quest of truth, and fills us with the desire of fuller knowledge. Now this belongs to the speculative reason. Therefore prudence resides also in the speculative reason.
Praeterea, in eadem parte animae ponitur a Philosopho ars et prudentia; ut patet in VI Ethic. Sed ars non solum invenitur practica, sed etiam speculativa, ut patet in artibus liberalibus. Ergo etiam prudentia invenitur et practica et speculativa.
Obj. 3: Further, the Philosopher assigns art and prudence to the same part of the soul (Ethic. vi, 1). Now art may be not only practical but also speculative, as in the case of the liberal arts. Therefore prudence also is both practical and speculative.
Sed contra est quod Philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic., quod prudentia est recta ratio agibilium. Sed hoc non pertinet nisi ad rationem practicam. Ergo prudentia non est nisi in ratione practica.
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 5) that prudence is right reason applied to action. Now this belongs to none but the practical reason. Therefore prudence is in the practical reason only.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut Philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic., prudentis est bene posse consiliari. Consilium autem est de his quae sunt per nos agenda in ordine ad finem aliquem. Ratio autem eorum quae sunt agenda propter finem est ratio practica. Unde manifestum est quod prudentia non consistit nisi in ratione practica.
I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 5) a prudent man is one who is capable of taking good counsel. Now counsel is about things that we have to do in relation to some end: and the reason that deals with things to be done for an end is the practical reason. Hence it is evident that prudence resides only in the practical reason.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, sapientia considerat causam altissimam simpliciter. Unde consideratio causae altissimae in quolibet genere pertinet ad sapientiam in illo genere. In genere autem humanorum actuum causa altissima est finis communis toti vitae humanae. Et hunc finem intendit prudentia, dicit enim Philosophus, in VI Ethic., quod sicut ille qui ratiocinatur bene ad aliquem finem particularem, puta ad victoriam, dicitur esse prudens non simpliciter, sed in hoc genere, scilicet in rebus bellicis; ita ille qui bene ratiocinatur ad totum bene vivere dicitur prudens simpliciter. Unde manifestum est quod prudentia est sapientia in rebus humanis, non autem sapientia simpliciter, quia non est circa causam altissimam simpliciter; est enim circa bonum humanum, homo autem non est optimum eorum quae sunt. Et ideo signanter dicitur quod prudentia est sapientia viro, non autem sapientia simpliciter.
Reply Obj. 1: As stated above (Q. 45, AA. 1, 3), wisdom considers the absolutely highest cause: so that the consideration of the highest cause in any particular genus belongs to wisdom in that genus. Now in the genus of human acts the highest cause is the common end of all human life, and it is this end that prudence intends. For the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 5) that just as he who reasons well for the realization of a particular end, such as victory, is said to be prudent, not absolutely, but in a particular genus, namely warfare, so he that reasons well with regard to right conduct as a whole, is said to be prudent absolutely. Wherefore it is clear that prudence is wisdom about human affairs: but not wisdom absolutely, because it is not about the absolutely highest cause, for it is about human good, and this is not the best thing of all. And so it is stated significantly that prudence is wisdom for man, but not wisdom absolutely.
Ad secundum dicendum quod Ambrosius et etiam Tullius nomen prudentiae largius sumunt pro qualibet cognitione humana tam speculativa quam practica. Quamvis dici possit quod ipse actus speculativae rationis, secundum quod est voluntarius, cadit sub electione et consilio quantum ad suum exercitium, et per consequens cadit sub ordinatione prudentiae. Sed quantum ad suam speciem, prout comparatur ad obiectum, quod est verum necessarium, non cadit sub consilio nec sub prudentia.
Reply Obj. 2: Ambrose, and Tully also (De Invent. ii, 53) take the word prudence in a broad sense for any human knowledge, whether speculative or practical. And yet it may also be replied that the act itself of the speculative reason, insofar as it is voluntary, is a matter of choice and counsel as to its exercise; and consequently comes under the direction of prudence. On the other hand, as regards its specification in relation to its object which is the necessary true, it comes under neither counsel nor prudence.
Ad tertium dicendum quod omnis applicatio rationis rectae ad aliquid factibile pertinet ad artem. Sed ad prudentiam non pertinet nisi applicatio rationis rectae ad ea de quibus est consilium. Et huiusmodi sunt in quibus non sunt viae determinatae perveniendi ad finem; ut dicitur in III Ethic. Quia igitur ratio speculativa quaedam facit, puta syllogismum, propositionem et alia huiusmodi, in quibus proceditur secundum certas et determinatas vias; inde est quod respectu horum potest salvari ratio artis, non autem ratio prudentiae. Et ideo invenitur aliqua ars speculativa, non autem aliqua prudentia.
Reply Obj. 3: Every application of right reason in the work of production belongs to art: but to prudence belongs only the application of right reason in matters of counsel, which are those wherein there is no fixed way of obtaining the end, as stated in Ethic. iii, 3. Since then, the speculative reason makes things such as syllogisms, propositions and the like, wherein the process follows certain and fixed rules, consequently in respect of such things it is possible to have the essentials of art, but not of prudence; and so we find such a thing as a speculative art, but not a speculative prudence.
Utrum prudentia sit cognoscitiva singularium
Whether prudence takes cognizance of singulars?
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod prudentia non sit cognoscitiva singularium. Prudentia enim est in ratione, ut dictum est. Sed ratio est universalium, ut dicitur in I Physic. Ergo prudentia non est cognoscitiva nisi universalium.
Objection 1: It would seem that prudence does not take cognizance of singulars. For prudence is in the reason, as stated above (AA. 1, 2). But reason deals with universals, according to Phys. i, 5. Therefore prudence does not take cognizance except of universals.
Praeterea, singularia sunt infinita. Sed infinita non possunt comprehendi a ratione. Ergo prudentia, quae est ratio recta, non est singularium.
Obj. 2: Further, singulars are infinite in number. But the reason cannot comprehend an infinite number of things. Therefore prudence which is right reason, is not about singulars.
Praeterea, particularia per sensum cognoscuntur. Sed prudentia non est in sensu, multi enim habentes sensus exteriores perspicaces non sunt prudentes. Ergo prudentia non est singularium.
Obj. 3: Further, particulars are known by the senses. But prudence is not in a sense, for many persons who have keen outward senses are devoid of prudence. Therefore prudence does not take cognizance of singulars.
Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic., quod prudentia non est universalium solum, sed oportet et singularia cognoscere.
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 7) that prudence does not deal with universals only, but needs to take cognizance of singulars also.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, ad prudentiam pertinet non solum consideratio rationis, sed etiam applicatio ad opus, quae est finis practicae rationis. Nullus autem potest convenienter aliquid alteri applicare nisi utrumque cognoscat, scilicet et id quod applicandum est et id cui applicandum est. Operationes autem sunt in singularibus. Et ideo necesse est quod prudens et cognoscat universalia principia rationis, et cognoscat singularia, circa quae sunt operationes.
I answer that, As stated above (A. 1, ad 3), to prudence belongs not only the consideration of the reason, but also the application to action, which is the end of the practical reason. But no man can conveniently apply one thing to another, unless he knows both the thing to be applied, and the thing to which it has to be applied. Now actions are in singular matters: and so it is necessary for the prudent man to know both the universal principles of reason, and the singulars about which actions are concerned.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ratio primo quidem et principaliter est universalium, potest tamen universales rationes ad particularia applicare (unde syllogismorum conclusiones non solum sunt universales, sed etiam particulares); quia intellectus per quandam reflexionem se ad materiam extendit, ut dicitur in III de anima.
Reply Obj. 1: Reason first and chiefly is concerned with universals, and yet it is able to apply universal rules to particular cases: hence the conclusions of syllogisms are not only universal, but also particular, because the intellect by a kind of reflection extends to matter, as stated in De Anima iii.
Ad secundum dicendum quod quia infinitas singularium non potest ratione humana comprehendi, inde est quod sunt incertae providentiae nostrae, ut dicitur Sap. IX. Tamen per experientiam singularia infinita reducuntur ad aliqua finita quae ut in pluribus accidunt, quorum cognitio sufficit ad prudentiam humanam.
Reply Obj. 2: It is because the infinite number of singulars cannot be comprehended by human reason, that our counsels are uncertain (Wis 9:14). Nevertheless experience reduces the infinity of singulars to a certain finite number which occur as a general rule, and the knowledge of these suffices for human prudence.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic., prudentia non consistit in sensu exteriori, quo cognoscimus sensibilia propria, sed in sensu interiori, qui perficitur per memoriam et experimentum ad prompte iudicandum de particularibus expertis. Non tamen ita quod prudentia sit in sensu interiori sicut in subiecto principali, sed principaliter quidem est in ratione, per quandam autem applicationem pertingit ad huiusmodi sensum.
Reply Obj. 3: As the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 8), prudence does not reside in the external senses whereby we know sensible objects, but in the interior sense, which is perfected by memory and experience so as to judge promptly of particular cases. This does not mean however that prudence is in the interior sense as in its principle subject, for it is chiefly in the reason, yet by a kind of application it extends to this sense.
Utrum prudentia sit virtus
Whether prudence is a virtue?
Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod prudentia non sit virtus. Dicit enim Augustinus, in I de Lib. Arb., quod prudentia est appetendarum et vitandarum rerum scientia. Sed scientia contra virtutem dividitur; ut patet in praedicamentis. Ergo prudentia non est virtus.
Objection 1: It would seem that prudence is not a virtue. For Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. i, 13) that prudence is the science of what to desire and what to avoid. Now science is condivided with virtue, as appears in the Predicaments (vi). Therefore prudence is not a virtue.
Praeterea, virtutis non est virtus. Sed artis est virtus; ut Philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic. Ergo ars non est virtus. Sed in arte est prudentia, dicitur enim II Paral. II de Hiram quod sciebat caelare omnem sculpturam, et adinvenire prudenter quodcumque in opere necessarium est. Ergo prudentia non est virtus.
Obj. 2: Further, there is no virtue of a virtue: but there is a virtue of art, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. vi, 5): wherefore art is not a virtue. Now there is prudence in art, for it is written (2 Chr 2:14) concerning Hiram, that he knew to grave all sort of graving, and to devise ingeniously (prudenter) all that there may be need of in the work. Therefore prudence is not a virtue.
Praeterea, nulla virtus potest esse immoderata. Sed prudentia est immoderata, alioquin frustra diceretur in Prov. XXIII, prudentiae tuae pone modum. Ergo prudentia non est virtus.
Obj. 3: Further, no virtue can be immoderate. But prudence is immoderate, else it would be useless to say (Prov 23:4): Set bounds to thy prudence. Therefore prudence is not a virtue.
Sed contra est quod Gregorius, in II Moral., prudentiam, temperantiam, fortitudinem et iustitiam dicit esse quatuor virtutes.
On the contrary, Gregory states (Moral. ii, 49) that prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice are four virtues.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est cum de virtutibus in communi ageretur, virtus est quae bonum facit habentem et opus eius bonum reddit. Bonum autem potest dici dupliciter, uno modo, materialiter, pro eo quod est bonum; alio modo, formaliter, secundum rationem boni. Bonum autem, inquantum huiusmodi, est obiectum appetitivae virtutis. Et ideo si qui habitus sunt qui faciant rectam considerationem rationis non habito respectu ad rectitudinem appetitus, minus habent de ratione virtutis, tanquam ordinantes ad bonum materialiter, idest ad id quod est bonum non sub ratione boni, plus autem habent de ratione virtutis habitus illi qui respiciunt rectitudinem appetitus, quia respiciunt bonum non solum materialiter, sed etiam formaliter, idest id quod est bonum sub ratione boni.
I answer that, As stated above (I-II, Q. 55, A. 3; Q. 56, A. 1) when we were treating of virtues in general, virtue is that which makes its possessor good, and his work good likewise. Now good may be understood in a twofold sense: first, materially, for the thing that is good, second, formally, under the aspect of good. Good, under the aspect of good, is the object of the appetitive power. Hence if any habits rectify the consideration of reason, without regarding the rectitude of the appetite, they have less of the nature of a virtue since they direct man to good materially, that is to say, to the thing which is good, but without considering it under the aspect of good. On the other hand those virtues which regard the rectitude of the appetite, have more of the nature of virtue, because they consider the good not only materially, but also formally, in other words, they consider that which is good under the aspect of good.
Ad prudentiam autem pertinet, sicut dictum est, applicatio rectae rationis ad opus, quod non fit sine appetitu recto. Et ideo prudentia non solum habet rationem virtutis quam habent aliae virtutes intellectuales; sed etiam habet rationem virtutis quam habent virtutes morales, quibus etiam connumeratur.
Now it belongs to prudence, as stated above (A. 1, ad 3; A. 3) to apply right reason to action, and this is not done without a right appetite. Hence prudence has the nature of virtue not only as the other intellectual virtues have it, but also as the moral virtues have it, among which virtues it is enumerated.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Augustinus ibi large accepit scientiam pro qualibet recta ratione.
Reply Obj. 1: Augustine there takes science in the broad sense for any kind of right reason.
Ad secundum dicendum quod philosophus dicit artis esse virtutem, quia non importat rectitudinem appetitus, et ideo ad hoc quod homo recte utatur arte, requiritur quod habeat virtutem, quae faciat rectitudinem appetitus. Prudentia autem non habet locum in his quae sunt artis, tum quia ars ordinatur ad aliquem particularem finem; tum quia ars habet determinata media per quae pervenitur ad finem. Dicitur tamen aliquis prudenter operari in his quae sunt artis per similitudinem quandam, in quibusdam enim artibus, propter incertitudinem eorum quibus pervenitur ad finem, necessarium est consilium, sicut in medicinali et in navigatoria, ut dicitur in III Ethic.
Reply Obj. 2: The Philosopher says that there is a virtue of art, because art does not require rectitude of the appetite; wherefore in order that a man may make right use of his art, he needs to have a virtue which will rectify his appetite. Prudence however has nothing to do with the matter of art, because art is both directed to a particular end, and has fixed means of obtaining that end. And yet, by a kind of comparison, a man may be said to act prudently in matters of art. Moreover in certain arts, on account of the uncertainty of the means for obtaining the end, there is need for counsel, as for instance in the arts of medicine and navigation, as stated in Ethic. iii, 3.
Ad tertium dicendum quod illud dictum sapientis non est sic intelligendum quasi ipsa prudentia sit moderanda, sed quia secundum prudentiam est aliis modus imponendus.
Reply Obj. 3: This saying of the wise man does not mean that prudence itself should be moderate, but that moderation must be imposed on other things according to prudence.
Utrum prudentia sit specialis virtus
Whether prudence is a special virtue?
Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod prudentia non sit specialis virtus. Nulla enim specialis virtus ponitur in communi definitione virtutis. Sed prudentia ponitur in communi definitione virtutis, quia in II Ethic. definitur virtus habitus electivus in medietate existens determinata ratione quoad nos, prout sapiens determinabit; recta autem ratio intelligitur secundum prudentiam, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. Ergo prudentia non est specialis virtus.
Objection 1: It would seem that prudence is not a special virtue. For no special virtue is included in the definition of virtue in general, since virtue is defined (Ethic. ii, 6) an elective habit that follows a mean appointed by reason in relation to ourselves, even as a wise man decides. Now right reason is reason in accordance with prudence, as stated in Ethic. vi, 13. Therefore prudence is not a special virtue.
Praeterea, philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic., quod virtus moralis recte facit operari finem, prudentia autem ea quae sunt ad finem. Sed in qualibet virtute sunt aliqua operanda propter finem. Ergo prudentia est in qualibet virtute. Non est ergo virtus specialis.
Obj. 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 13) that the effect of moral virtue is right action as regards the end, and that of prudence, right action as regards the means. Now in every virtue certain things have to be done as means to the end. Therefore prudence is in every virtue, and consequently is not a special virtue.
Praeterea, specialis virtus habet speciale obiectum. Sed prudentia non habet speciale obiectum, est enim recta ratio agibilium, ut dicitur in VI Ethic.; agibilia autem sunt omnia opera virtutum. Ergo prudentia non est specialis virtus.
Obj. 3: Further, a special virtue has a special object. But prudence has not a special object, for it is right reason applied to action (Ethic. vi, 5); and all works of virtue are actions. Therefore prudence is not a special virtue.