Utrum praecipere sit principalis actus prudentiae
Whether command is the chief act of prudence?
Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod praecipere non sit principalis actus prudentiae. Praecipere enim pertinet ad bona quae sunt fienda. Sed Augustinus, XIV de Trin., ponit actum prudentiae praecavere insidias. Ergo praecipere non est principalis actus prudentiae.
Objection 1: It would seem that command is not the chief act of prudence. For command regards the good to be ensued. Now Augustine (De Trin. xiv, 9) states that it is an act of prudence to avoid ambushes. Therefore command is not the chief act of prudence.
Praeterea, Philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic., quod prudentis videtur esse bene consiliari. Sed alius actus videtur esse consiliari et praecipere, ut ex supradictis patet. Ergo prudentiae principalis actus non est praecipere.
Obj. 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 5) that the prudent man takes good counsel. Now to take counsel and to command seem to be different acts, as appears from what has been said above (I-II, Q. 57, A. 6). Therefore command is not the chief act of prudence.
Praeterea, praecipere, vel imperare, videtur pertinere ad voluntatem, cuius obiectum est finis et quae movet alias potentias animae. Sed prudentia non est in voluntate, sed in ratione. Ergo prudentiae actus non est praecipere.
Obj. 3: Further, it seems to belong to the will to command and to rule, since the will has the end for its object, and moves the other powers of the soul. Now prudence is not in the will, but in the reason. Therefore command is not an act of prudence.
Sed contra est quod Philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic., quod prudentia praeceptiva est.
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 10) that prudence commands.
Respondeo dicendum quod prudentia est recta ratio agibilium, ut supra dictum est. Unde oportet quod ille sit praecipuus actus prudentiae qui est praecipuus actus rationis agibilium. Cuius quidem sunt tres actus. Quorum primus est consiliari, quod pertinet ad inventionem, nam consiliari est quaerere, ut supra habitum est. Secundus actus est iudicare de inventis, et hic sistit speculativa ratio. Sed practica ratio, quae ordinatur ad opus, procedit ulterius et est tertius actus eius praecipere, qui quidem actus consistit in applicatione consiliatorum et iudicatorum ad operandum. Et quia iste actus est propinquior fini rationis practicae, inde est quod iste est principalis actus rationis practicae, et per consequens prudentiae.
I answer that, Prudence is right reason applied to action, as stated above (A. 2). Hence that which is the chief act of reason in regard to action must needs be the chief act of prudence. Now there are three such acts. The first is to take counsel, which belongs to discovery, for counsel is an act of inquiry, as stated above (I-II, Q. 14, A. 1). The second act is to judge of what one has discovered, and this is an act of the speculative reason. But the practical reason, which is directed to action, goes further, and its third act is to command, which act consists in applying to action the things counselled and judged. And since this act approaches nearer to the end of the practical reason, it follows that it is the chief act of the practical reason, and consequently of prudence.
Et huius signum est quod perfectio artis consistit in iudicando, non autem in praecipiendo. Ideo reputatur melior artifex qui volens peccat in arte, quasi habens rectum iudicium, quam qui peccat nolens, quod videtur esse ex defectu iudicii. Sed in prudentia est e converso, ut dicitur in VI Ethic., imprudentior enim est qui volens peccat, quasi deficiens in principali actu prudentiae, qui est praecipere, quam qui peccat nolens.
In confirmation of this we find that the perfection of art consists in judging and not in commanding: wherefore he who sins voluntarily against his craft is reputed a better craftsman than he who does so involuntarily, because the former seems to do so from right judgment, and the latter from a defective judgment. On the other hand it is the reverse in prudence, as stated in Ethic. vi, 5, for it is more imprudent to sin voluntarily, since this is to be lacking in the chief act of prudence, viz. command, than to sin involuntarily.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod actus praecipiendi se extendit et ad bona prosequenda et ad mala cavenda. Et tamen praecavere insidias non attribuit Augustinus prudentiae quasi principalem actum ipsius, sed quia iste actus prudentiae non manet in patria.
Reply Obj. 1: The act of command extends both to the ensuing of good and to the avoidance of evil. Nevertheless Augustine ascribes the avoidance of ambushes to prudence, not as its chief act, but as an act of prudence that does not continue in heaven.
Ad secundum dicendum quod bonitas consilii requiritur ut ea quae sunt bene inventa applicentur ad opus. Et ideo praecipere pertinet ad prudentiam, quae est bene consiliativa.
Reply Obj. 2: Good counsel is required in order that the good things discovered may be applied to action: wherefore command belongs to prudence which takes good counsel.
Ad tertium dicendum quod movere absolute pertinet ad voluntatem. Sed praecipere importat motionem cum quadam ordinatione. Et ideo est actus rationis, ut supra dictum est.
Reply Obj. 3: Simply to move belongs to the will: but command denotes motion together with a kind of ordering, wherefore it is an act of the reason, as stated above (I-II, Q. 17, A. 1).
Utrum sollicitudo pertineat ad prudentiam
Whether solicitude belongs to prudence?
Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sollicitudo non pertineat ad prudentiam. Sollicitudo enim inquietudinem quandam importat, dicit enim Isidorus, in libro Etymol., quod sollicitus dicitur qui est inquietus. Sed motio maxime pertinet ad vim appetitivam. Ergo et sollicitudo. Sed prudentia non est in vi appetitiva, sed in ratione, ut supra habitum est. Ergo sollicitudo non pertinet ad prudentiam.
Objection 1: It would seem that solicitude does not belong to prudence. For solicitude implies disquiet, wherefore Isidore says (Etym. x) that a solicitous man is a restless man. Now motion belongs chiefly to the appetitive power: wherefore solicitude does also. But prudence is not in the appetitive power, but in the reason, as stated above (A. 1). Therefore solicitude does not belong to prudence.
Praeterea, sollicitudini videtur opponi certitudo veritatis, unde dicitur I Reg. IX quod Samuel dixit ad Saul, de asinis quas nudiustertius perdidisti ne sollicitus sis, quia inventae sunt. Sed certitudo veritatis pertinet ad prudentiam, cum sit virtus intellectualis. Ergo sollicitudo opponitur prudentiae, magis quam ad eam pertineat.
Obj. 2: Further, the certainty of truth seems opposed to solicitude, wherefore it is related (1 Kgs 9:20) that Samuel said to Saul: As for the asses which were lost three days ago, be not solicitous, because they are found. Now the certainty of truth belongs to prudence, since it is an intellectual virtue. Therefore solicitude is in opposition to prudence rather than belonging to it.
Praeterea, philosophus dicit, in IV Ethic., quod ad magnanimum pertinet pigrum esse et otiosum. Pigritiae autem opponitur sollicitudo. Cum ergo prudentia non opponatur magnanimitati, quia bonum non est bono contrarium, ut dicitur in Praedic.; videtur quod sollicitudo non pertineat ad prudentiam.
Obj. 3: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 3) the magnanimous man is slow and leisurely. Now slowness is contrary to solicitude. Since then prudence is not opposed to magnanimity, for good is not opposed to good, as stated in the Predicaments (viii) it would seem that solicitude does not belong to prudence.
Sed contra est quod dicitur I Pet. IV, estote prudentes, et vigilate in orationibus. Sed vigilantia est idem sollicitudini. Ergo sollicitudo pertinet ad prudentiam.
On the contrary, It is written (1 Pet 4:7): Be prudent . . . and watch in prayers. But watchfulness is the same as solicitude. Therefore solicitude belongs to prudence.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dicit Isidorus, in libro Etymol., sollicitus dicitur quasi solers citus, inquantum scilicet aliquis ex quadam solertia animi velox est ad prosequendum ea quae sunt agenda. Hoc autem pertinet ad prudentiam, cuius praecipuus actus est circa agenda praecipere de praeconsiliatis et iudicatis. Unde philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic., quod oportet operari quidem velociter consiliata, consiliari autem tarde. Et inde est quod sollicitudo proprie ad prudentiam pertinet. Et propter hoc Augustinus dicit, in libro de moribus Eccles., quod prudentiae sunt excubiae atque diligentissima vigilantia ne, subrepente paulatim mala suasione, fallamur.
I answer that, According to Isidore (Etym. x), a man is said to be solicitous through being shrewd (solers) and alert (citus), insofar as a man through a certain shrewdness of mind is on the alert to do whatever has to be done. Now this belongs to prudence, whose chief act is a command about what has been already counselled and judged in matters of action. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 9) that one should be quick in carrying out the counsel taken, but slow in taking counsel. Hence it is that solicitude belongs properly to prudence, and for this reason Augustine says (De Morib. Eccl. xxiv) that prudence keeps most careful watch and ward, lest by degrees we be deceived unawares by evil counsel.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod motus pertinet quidem ad vim appetitivam sicut ad principium movens, tamen secundum directionem et praeceptum rationis, in quo consistit ratio sollicitudinis.
Reply Obj. 1: Movement belongs to the appetitive power as to the principle of movement, in accordance however, with the direction and command of reason, wherein solicitude consists.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, secundum philosophum, in I Ethic., certitudo non est similiter quaerenda in omnibus, sed in unaquaque materia secundum proprium modum. Quia vero materiae prudentiae sunt singularia contingentia, circa quae sunt operationes humanae, non potest certitudo prudentiae tanta esse quod omnino sollicitudo tollatur.
Reply Obj. 2: According to the Philosopher (Ethic. i, 3), equal certainty should not be sought in all things, but in each matter according to its proper mode. And since the matter of prudence is the contingent singulars about which are human actions, the certainty of prudence cannot be so great as to be devoid of all solicitude.
Ad tertium dicendum quod magnanimus dicitur esse piger et otiosus, non quia de nullo sit sollicitus, sed quia non est superflue sollicitus de multis, sed confidit in his de quibus confidendum est, et circa illa non superflue sollicitatur. Superfluitas enim timoris et diffidentiae facit superfluitatem sollicitudinis, quia timor facit consiliativos, ut supra dictum est cum de passione timoris ageretur.
Reply Obj. 3: The magnanimous man is said to be slow and leisurely not because he is solicitous about nothing, but because he is not over-solicitous about many things, and is trustful in matters where he ought to have trust, and is not over-solicitous about them: for over-much fear and distrust are the cause of over-solicitude, since fear makes us take counsel, as stated above (I-II, Q. 44, A. 2) when we were treating of the passion of fear.
Utrum prudentia se extendat ad regimen multitudinis
Whether prudence extends to the governing of many?
Ad decimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod prudentia non se extendat ad regimen multitudinis, sed solum ad regimen sui ipsius. Dicit enim philosophus, in V Ethic., quod virtus relata ad bonum commune est iustitia. Sed prudentia differt a iustitia. Ergo prudentia non refertur ad bonum commune.
Objection 1: It would seem that prudence does not extend to the governing of many, but only to the government of oneself. For the Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 1) that virtue directed to the common good is justice. But prudence differs from justice. Therefore prudence is not directed to the common good.
Praeterea, ille videtur esse prudens qui sibi ipsi bonum quaerit et operatur. Sed frequenter illi qui quaerunt bona communia negligunt sua. Ergo non sunt prudentes.
Obj. 2: Further, he seems to be prudent, who seeks and does good for himself. Now those who seek the common good often neglect their own. Therefore they are not prudent.
Praeterea, prudentia dividitur contra temperantiam et fortitudinem. Sed temperantia et fortitudo videntur dici solum per comparationem ad bonum proprium. Ergo etiam et prudentia.
Obj. 3: Further, prudence is specifically distinct from temperance and fortitude. But temperance and fortitude seem to be related only to a man’s own good. Therefore the same applies to prudence.
Sed contra est quod dominus dicit, Matth. XXIV, quis, putas, est fidelis servus et prudens, quem constituit dominus super familiam suam?
On the contrary, Our Lord said (Matt 24:45): Who, thinkest thou, is a faithful and prudent servant whom his lord hath appointed over his family?
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut philosophus dicit, in VI Ethic., quidam posuerunt quod prudentia non se extendit ad bonum commune, sed solum ad bonum proprium. Et hoc ideo quia existimabant quod non oportet hominem quaerere nisi bonum proprium. Sed haec aestimatio repugnat caritati, quae non quaerit quae sua sunt, ut dicitur I ad Cor. XIII. Unde et apostolus de seipso dicit, I ad Cor. X, non quaerens quod mihi utile sit, sed quod multis, ut salvi fiant. Repugnat etiam rationi rectae, quae hoc iudicat, quod bonum commune sit melius quam bonum unius.
I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 8) some have held that prudence does not extend to the common good, but only to the good of the individual, and this because they thought that man is not bound to seek other than his own good. But this opinion is opposed to charity, which seeketh not her own (1 Cor 13:5): wherefore the Apostle says of himself (1 Cor 10:33): Not seeking that which is profitable to myself, but to many, that they may be saved. Moreover it is contrary to right reason, which judges the common good to be better than the good of the individual.
Quia igitur ad prudentiam pertinet recte consiliari, iudicare et praecipere de his per quae pervenitur ad debitum finem, manifestum est quod prudentia non solum se habet ad bonum privatum unius hominis, sed etiam ad bonum commune multitudinis.
Accordingly, since it belongs to prudence rightly to counsel, judge, and command concerning the means of obtaining a due end, it is evident that prudence regards not only the private good of the individual, but also the common good of the multitude.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod philosophus ibi loquitur de virtute morali. Sicut autem omnis virtus moralis relata ad bonum commune dicitur legalis iustitia, ita prudentia relata ad bonum commune vocatur politica, ut sic se habeat politica ad iustitiam legalem, sicut se habet prudentia simpliciter dicta ad virtutem moralem.
Reply Obj. 1: The Philosopher is speaking there of moral virtue. Now just as every moral virtue that is directed to the common good is called legal justice, so the prudence that is directed to the common good is called political prudence, for the latter stands in the same relation to legal justice, as prudence simply so called to moral virtue.
Ad secundum dicendum quod ille qui quaerit bonum commune multitudinis ex consequenti etiam quaerit bonum suum, propter duo. Primo quidem, quia bonum proprium non potest esse sine bono communi vel familiae vel civitatis aut regni. Unde et maximus Valerius dicit de antiquis Romanis quod malebant esse pauperes in divite imperio quam divites in paupere imperio. Secundo quia, cum homo sit pars domus et civitatis, oportet quod homo consideret quid sit sibi bonum ex hoc quod est prudens circa bonum multitudinis, bona enim dispositio partis accipitur secundum habitudinem ad totum; quia ut Augustinus dicit, in libro Confess., turpis est omnis pars suo toti non congruens.
Reply Obj. 2: He that seeks the good of the many, seeks in consequence his own good, for two reasons. First, because the individual good is impossible without the common good of the family, state, or kingdom. Hence Valerius Maximus says of the ancient Romans that they would rather be poor in a rich empire than rich in a poor empire. Second, because, since man is a part of the home and state, he must needs consider what is good for him by being prudent about the good of the many. For the good disposition of parts depends on their relation to the whole; thus Augustine says (Confess. iii, 8) that any part which does not harmonize with its whole, is offensive.
Ad tertium dicendum quod etiam temperantia et fortitudo possunt referri ad bonum commune, unde de actibus earum dantur praecepta legis, ut dicitur in V Ethic. Magis tamen prudentia et iustitia, quae pertinent ad partem rationalem, ad quam directe pertinent communia, sicut ad partem sensitivam pertinent singularia.
Reply Obj. 3: Even temperance and fortitude can be directed to the common good, hence there are precepts of law concerning them as stated in Ethic. v, 1: more so, however, prudence and justice, since these belong to the rational faculty which directly regards the universal, just as the sensitive part regards singulars.
Utrum prudentia quae est respectu boni proprii sit eadem specie cum ea quae se extendit ad bonum commune
Whether prudence about one’s own good is specifically the same as that which extends to the common good?
Ad undecimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod prudentia quae est respectu boni proprii sit eadem specie cum ea quae se extendit ad bonum commune. Dicit enim philosophus, in VI Ethic., quod politica et prudentia idem habitus est, esse autem non idem ipsis.
Objection 1: It seems that prudence about one’s own good is the same specifically as that which extends to the common good. For the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 8) that political prudence, and prudence are the same habit, yet their essence is not the same.
Praeterea, philosophus dicit, in III Polit., quod eadem est virtus boni viri et boni principis. Sed politica maxime est in principe, in quo est sicut architectonica. Cum ergo prudentia sit virtus boni viri, videtur quod sit idem habitus prudentia et politica.
Obj. 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 2) that virtue is the same in a good man and in a good ruler. Now political prudence is chiefly in the ruler, in whom it is architectonic, as it were. Since then prudence is a virtue of a good man, it seems that prudence and political prudence are the same habit.