Utrum corpora caelestia imponant necessitatem iis quae eorum actioni subduntur
Whether heavenly bodies impose necessity on things subject to their action?
Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod corpora caelestia imponant necessitatem iis quae eorum actioni subduntur. Causa enim sufficienti posita, necesse est effectum poni. Sed corpora caelestia sunt sufficiens causa suorum effectuum. Cum igitur corpora caelestia, cum suis motibus et dispositionibus, ponantur sicut ex necessitate entia; videtur quod effectus eorum ex necessitate consequantur.
Objection 1: It would seem that heavenly bodies impose necessity on things subject to their action. For given a sufficient cause, the effect follows of necessity. But heavenly bodies are a sufficient cause of their effects. Since, therefore, heavenly bodies, with their movements and dispositions, are necessary beings; it seems that their effects follow of necessity.
Praeterea, effectus agentis ex necessitate sequitur in materia, quando virtus agentis tanta fuerit quod possit sibi subiicere totaliter materiam. Sed tota materia inferiorum corporum subiicitur virtuti caelestium corporum, tanquam excellentiori. Ergo ex necessitate effectus caelestium corporum recipitur in materia corporali.
Obj. 2: Further, an agent’s effect results of necessity in matter, when the power of the agent is such that it can subject the matter to itself entirely. But the entire matter of inferior bodies is subject to the power of heavenly bodies, since this is a higher power than theirs. Therefore the effect of the heavenly bodies is of necessity received in corporeal matter.
Praeterea, si effectus caelestis corporis non ex necessitate proveniat, hoc est propter aliquam causam impedientem. Sed quamlibet causam corpoream quae impedire posset effectum caelestis corporis, necesse est reduci in aliquod caeleste principium, cum caelestia corpora sint causa omnium quae hic fiunt. Ergo, cum et illud caeleste principium sit necessarium, sequitur quod necesse sit impediri effectum alterius corporis caelestis. Et sic omnia quae hic contingunt, ex necessitate eveniunt.
Obj. 3: Further, if the effect of the heavenly body does not follow of necessity, this is due to some hindering cause. But any corporeal cause, that might possibly hinder the effect of a heavenly body, must of necessity be reducible to some heavenly principle: since the heavenly bodies are the causes of all that takes place here below. Therefore, since also that heavenly principle is necessary, it follows that the effect of the heavenly body is necessarily hindered. Consequently it would follow that all that takes place here below happens of necessity.
Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in libro de Somn. et Vigil., quod neque eorum quae in corporibus sunt signorum caelestium, velut aquarum et ventorum, inconveniens est multa non evenire. Sic ergo non omnes effectus caelestium corporum ex necessitate eveniunt.
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (De Somn. et Vigil.): It is not incongruous that many of the signs observed in bodies, of occurrences in the heavens, such as rain and wind, should not be fulfilled. Therefore not all the effects of heavenly bodies take place of necessity.
Respondeo dicendum quod ista quaestio partim quidem absoluta est, secundum praemissa; partim autem difficultatem habet. Ostensum enim est quod, quamvis ex impressione corporum caelestium fiant aliquae inclinationes in natura corporali, voluntas tamen non ex necessitate sequitur has inclinationes. Et ideo nihil prohibet per voluntariam actionem impediri effectum caelestium corporum, non solum in ipso homine, sed etiam in aliis rebus ad quas hominum operatio se extendit.
I answer that, This question is partly solved by what was said above (A. 4); and in part presents some difficulty. For it was shown that although the action of heavenly bodies produces certain inclinations in corporeal nature, the will nevertheless does not of necessity follow these inclinations. Therefore there is nothing to prevent the effect of heavenly bodies being hindered by the action of the will, not only in man himself, but also in other things to which human action extends.
Sed nullum tale principium invenitur in rebus naturalibus, quod habeat libertatem sequendi vel non sequendi impressiones caelestes. Unde videtur quod in talibus, ad minus, omnia ex necessitate proveniant, secundum antiquam quorundam rationem, qui, supponentes omne quod est causam habere, et quod, posita causa, ex necessitate ponitur effectus, concludebant, quod omnia ex necessitate contingant. Quam quidem opinionem repellit Aristoteles in VI Metaphys., secundum duo quae ipsi supponunt.
But in natural things there is no such principle, endowed with freedom to follow or not to follow the impressions produced by heavenly agents. Wherefore it seems that in such things at least, everything happens of necessity; according to the reasoning of some of the ancients who, supposing that everything that is, has a cause; and that, given the cause, the effect follows of necessity; concluded that all things happen of necessity. This opinion is refuted by Aristotle (Metaph. vi, Did. v, 3) as to this double supposition.
Primo enim, non est verum quod, posita quacumque causa, necesse sit effectum poni. Sunt enim quaedam causae quae ordinantur ad suos effectus non ex necessitate, sed ut in pluribus, quae quandoque deficiunt in minori parte. Sed quia huiusmodi causae non deficiunt in minori parte, nisi propter aliquam causam impedientem, videtur adhuc praedictum inconveniens non vitari, quia et ipsum impedimentum talis causae ex necessitate contingit.
For in the first place it is not true that, given any cause whatever, the effect must follow of necessity. For some causes are so ordered to their effects, as to produce them, not of necessity, but in the majority of cases, and in the minority to fail in producing them. But that such causes do fail in the minority of cases is due to some hindering cause; consequently the above-mentioned difficulty seems not to be avoided, since the cause in question is hindered of necessity.
Et ideo, secundo, oportet dicere quod omne quod est per se, habet causam, quod autem est per accidens, non habet causam, quia non est vere ens, cum non sit vere unum. Album enim causam habet, similiter et musicum; sed album musicum non habet causam, quia non est vere ens, neque vere unum. Manifestum est autem quod causa impediens actionem alicuius causae ordinatae ad suum effectum ut in pluribus, concurrit ei interdum per accidens, unde talis concursus non habet causam, inquantum est per accidens. Et propter hoc, id quod ex tali concursu sequitur, non reducitur in aliquam causam praeexistentem, ex qua ex necessitate sequatur. Sicut quod aliquod corpus terrestre ignitum in superiori parte aeris generetur et deorsum cadat, habet causam aliquam virtutem caelestem, et similiter etiam quod in superficie terrae sit aliqua materia combustibilis, potest reduci in aliquod caeleste principium. Sed quod ignis cadens huic materiae occurrat et comburat eam, non habet causam aliquod caeleste corpus, sed est per accidens. Et sic patet quod non omnes effectus caelestium corporum sunt ex necessitate.
Therefore we must say, in the second place, that everything that is a being per se, has a cause; but what is accidentally, has not a cause, because it is not truly a being, since it is not truly one. For (that a thing is) white has a cause, likewise (that a man is) musical has a cause, but (that a being is) white-musical has not a cause, because it is not truly a being, nor truly one. Now it is manifest that a cause which hinders the action of a cause so ordered to its effect as to produce it in the majority of cases, clashes sometimes with this cause by accident: and the clashing of these two causes, inasmuch as it is accidental, has no cause. Consequently what results from this clashing of causes is not to be reduced to a further pre-existing cause, from which it follows of necessity. For instance, that some terrestrial body take fire in the higher regions of the air and fall to the earth, is caused by some heavenly power: again, that there be on the surface of the earth some combustible matter, is reducible to some heavenly principle. But that the burning body should alight on this matter and set fire to it, is not caused by a heavenly body, but is accidental. Consequently not all the effects of heavenly bodies result of necessity.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod corpora caelestia sunt causa inferiorum effectuum mediantibus causis particularibus inferioribus, quae deficere possunt in minori parte.
Reply Obj. 1: The heavenly bodies are causes of effects that take place here below, through the means of particular inferior causes, which can fail in their effects in the minority of cases.
Ad secundum dicendum quod virtus corporis caelestis non est infinita. Unde requirit determinatam dispositionem in materia ad inducendum suum effectum, et quantum ad distantiam loci, et quantum ad alias conditiones. Et ideo sicut distantia loci impedit effectum caelestis corporis (non enim sol eundem caloris effectum habet in Dacia, quem habet in Aethiopia); ita et grossities materiae, vel frigiditas aut caliditas, aut alia huiusmodi dispositio, impedire potest effectum corporis caelestis.
Reply Obj. 2: The power of a heavenly body is not infinite. Wherefore it requires a determinate disposition in matter, both as to local distance and as to other conditions, in order to produce its effect. Therefore as local distance hinders the effect of a heavenly body (for the sun has not the same effect in heat in Dacia as in Ethiopia); so the grossness of matter, its low or high temperature or other such disposition, can hinder the effect of a heavenly body.
Ad tertium dicendum quod licet causa impediens effectum alterius causae, reducatur in aliquod caeleste corpus sicut in causam; tamen concursus duarum causarum, cum sit per accidens, non reducitur in causam caelestem, ut dictum est.
Reply Obj. 3: Although the cause that hinders the effect of another cause can be reduced to a heavenly body as its cause; nevertheless the clashing of two causes, being accidental, is not reduced to the causality of a heavenly body, as stated above.
Deinde considerandum est de fato. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor.
We come now to the consideration of fate. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:
Primo, an fatum sit.
(1) Is there such a thing as fate?
Secundo, in quo sit.
(2) Where is it?
Tertio, utrum sit immobile.
(3) Is it unchangeable?
Quarto, utrum omnia subsint fato.
(4) Are all things subject to fate?
Utrum fatum nihil sit
Whether fate exists?
Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod fatum nihil sit. Dicit enim Gregorius, in homilia Epiphaniae, absit a fidelium cordibus ut fatum esse aliquid dicant.
Objection 1: It would seem that fate is nothing. For Gregory says in a homily for the Epiphany (Hom. x in Evang.): Far be it from the hearts of the faithful to think that fate is anything real.
Praeterea, ea quae fato aguntur, non sunt improvisa, quia, ut Augustinus dicit V de Civ. Dei, fatum a fando dictum intelligimus, idest a loquendo; ut ea fato fieri dicantur, quae ab aliquo determinante sunt ante praelocuta. Quae autem sunt provisa, non sunt fortuita neque casualia. Si igitur res fato aguntur, excludetur casus et fortuna a rebus.
Obj. 2: Further, what happens by fate is not unforeseen, for as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei v, 4), fate is understood to be derived from the verb ‘fari’ which means to speak; as though things were said to happen by fate, which are fore-spoken by one who decrees them to happen. Now what is foreseen is neither lucky nor chance-like. If therefore things happen by fate, there will be neither luck nor chance in the world.
Sed contra quod non est, non definitur. Sed Boetius, in IV de Consol., definit fatum, dicens quod fatum est inhaerens rebus mobilibus dispositio, per quam providentia suis quaeque nectit ordinibus. Ergo fatum aliquid est.
On the contrary, What does not exist cannot be defined. But Boethius (De Consol. iv) defines fate thus: Fate is a disposition inherent to changeable things, by which Providence connects each one with its proper order.
Respondeo dicendum quod in rebus inferioribus videntur quaedam a fortuna vel casu provenire. Contingit autem quandoque quod aliquid, ad inferiores causas relatum, est fortuitum vel casuale, quod tamen, relatum ad causam aliquam superiorem, invenitur esse per se intentum. Sicut si duo servi alicuius domini mittantur ab eo ad eundem locum, uno de altero ignorante; concursus duorum servorum, si ad ipsos servos referatur, casualis est, quia accidit praeter utriusque intentionem; si autem referatur ad dominum, qui hoc praeordinavit, non est casuale, sed per se intentum.
I answer that, In this world some things seem to happen by luck or chance. Now it happens sometimes that something is lucky or chance-like as compared to inferior causes, which, if compared to some higher cause, is directly intended. For instance, if two servants are sent by their master to the same place; the meeting of the two servants in regard to themselves is by chance; but as compared to the master, who had ordered it, it is directly intended.
Fuerunt igitur aliqui qui huiusmodi casualia et fortuita, quae in his inferioribus accidunt, in nullam superiorem causam reducere voluerunt. Et hi fatum et providentiam negaverunt; ut de Tullio Augustinus recitat in V de Civ. Dei. Quod est contra ea quae superius de providentia dicta sunt.
So there were some who refused to refer to a higher cause such events which by luck or chance take place here below. These denied the existence of fate and Providence, as Augustine relates of Tully (De Civ. Dei v, 9). And this is contrary to what we have said above about Providence (Q. 22, A. 2).
Quidam vero omnia fortuita et casualia quae in istis inferioribus accidunt, sive in rebus naturalibus sive in rebus humanis, reducere voluerunt in superiorem causam, idest in caelestia corpora. Et secundum hos, fatum nihil aliud est quam dispositio siderum in qua quisque conceptus est vel natus. Sed hoc stare non potest, propter duo. Primo quidem, quantum ad res humanas. Quia iam ostensum est quod humani actus non subduntur actioni caelestium corporum, nisi per accidens et indirecte. Causa autem fatalis, cum habeat ordinationem super ea quae fato aguntur, necesse est quod sit directe et per se causa eius quod agitur. Secundo, quantum ad omnia quae per accidens aguntur. Dictum est enim supra quod id quod est per accidens, non est proprie ens neque unum. Omnis autem naturae actio terminatur ad aliquid unum. Unde impossibile est quod id quod est per accidens, sit effectus per se alicuius naturalis principii agentis. Nulla ergo natura per se hoc facere potest, quod intendens fodere sepulcrum, inveniat thesaurum. Manifestum est autem quod corpus caeleste agit per modum naturalis principii, unde et effectus eius in hoc mundo sunt naturales. Impossibile est ergo quod aliqua virtus activa caelestis corporis sit causa eorum quae hic aguntur per accidens, sive a casu sive a fortuna.
On the other hand, some have considered that everything that takes place here below by luck or by chance, whether in natural things or in human affairs, is to be reduced to a superior cause, namely, the heavenly bodies. According to these fate is nothing else than a disposition of the stars under which each one is begotten or born. But this will not hold. First, as to human affairs: because we have proved above (Q. 115, A. 4) that human actions are not subject to the action of heavenly bodies, save accidentally and indirectly. Now the cause of fate, since it has the ordering of things that happen by fate, must of necessity be directly and of itself the cause of what takes place. Second, as to all things that happen accidentally: for it has been said (Q. 115, A. 6) that what is accidental, is properly speaking neither a being, nor a unity. But every action of nature terminates in some one thing. Wherefore it is impossible for that which is accidental to be the proper effect of an active natural principle. No natural cause can therefore have for its proper effect that a man intending to dig a grave finds a treasure. Now it is manifest that a heavenly body acts after the manner of a natural principle: wherefore its effects in this world are natural. It is therefore impossible that any active power of a heavenly body be the cause of what happens by accident here below, whether by luck or by chance.
Et ideo dicendum est quod ea quae hic per accidens aguntur, sive in rebus naturalibus sive in rebus humanis, reducuntur in aliquam causam praeordinantem, quae est providentia divina. Quia nihil prohibet id quod est per accidens, accipi ut unum ab aliquo intellectu, alioquin intellectus formare non posset hanc propositionem, fodiens sepulcrum invenit thesaurum. Et sicut hoc potest intellectus apprehendere, ita potest efficere, sicut si aliquis sciens in quo loco sit thesaurus absconditus, instiget aliquem rusticum hoc ignorantem, ut ibi fodiat sepulcrum. Et sic nihil prohibet ea quae hic per accidens aguntur, ut fortuita vel casualia, reduci in aliquam causam ordinantem, quae per intellectum agat; et praecipue intellectum divinum. Nam solus Deus potest voluntatem immutare, ut supra habitum est. Et per consequens ordinatio humanorum actuum, quorum principium est voluntas, soli Deo attribui debet.
We must therefore say that what happens here by accident, both in natural things and in human affairs, is reduced to a preordaining cause, which is Divine Providence. For nothing hinders that which happens by accident being considered as one by an intellect: otherwise the intellect could not form this proposition: The digger of a grave found a treasure. And just as an intellect can apprehend this so can it effect it; for instance, someone who knows a place where a treasure is hidden, might instigate a rustic, ignorant of this, to dig a grave there. Consequently, nothing hinders what happens here by accident, by luck or by chance, being reduced to some ordering cause which acts by the intellect, especially the Divine intellect. For God alone can change the will, as shown above (Q. 105, A. 4). Consequently the ordering of human actions, the principle of which is the will, must be ascribed to God alone.
Sic igitur inquantum omnia quae hic aguntur, divinae providentiae subduntur, tanquam per eam praeordinata et quasi praelocuta, fatum ponere possumus, licet hoc nomine sancti doctores uti recusaverint, propter eos qui ad vim positionis siderum hoc nomen retorquebant. Unde Augustinus dicit, in V de Civ. Dei, si propterea quisquam res humanas fato tribuit, quia ipsam Dei voluntatem vel potestatem fati nomine appellat, sententiam teneat, linguam corrigat. Et sic etiam Gregorius fatum esse negat.
So therefore inasmuch as all that happens here below is subject to Divine Providence, as being pre-ordained, and as it were fore-spoken, we can admit the existence of fate: although the holy doctors avoided the use of this word, on account of those who twisted its application to a certain force in the position of the stars. Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei v, 1): If anyone ascribes human affairs to fate, meaning thereby the will or power of God, let him keep to his opinion, but hold his tongue. For this reason Gregory denies the existence of fate.
Unde patet solutio ad primum.
Wherefore the first objection’s solution is manifest.
Ad secundum dicendum quod nihil prohibet aliqua esse fortuita vel casualia per comparationem ad causas proximas, non tamen per comparationem ad divinam providentiam, sic enim nihil temere fit in mundo, ut Augustinus dicit in libro Octoginta trium Quaest.
Reply Obj. 2: Nothing hinders certain things happening by luck or by chance, if compared to their proximate causes: but not if compared to Divine Providence, whereby nothing happens at random in the world, as Augustine says (83 Questions, Q. 24).
Utrum fatum sit in rebus creatis
Whether fate is in created things?
Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod fatum non sit in rebus creatis. Dicit enim Augustinus, V de Civ. Dei, quod ipsa Dei voluntas vel potestas fati nomine appellatur. Sed voluntas et potestas Dei non est in creaturis, sed in Deo. Ergo fatum non est in rebus creatis, sed in Deo.
Objection 1: It would seem that fate is not in created things. For Augustine says (De Civ. Dei v, 1) that the Divine will or power is called fate. But the Divine will or power is not in creatures, but in God. Therefore fate is not in creatures but in God.
Praeterea, fatum comparatur ad ea quae ex fato aguntur, ut causa; ut ipse modus loquendi ostendit. Sed causa universalis per se eorum quae hic per accidens aguntur, est solus Deus, ut supra dictum est. Ergo fatum est in Deo, et non in rebus creatis.
Obj. 2: Further, fate is compared to things that happen by fate, as their cause; as the very use of the word proves. But the universal cause that of itself effects what takes place by accident here below, is God alone, as stated above (A. 1). Therefore fate is in God, and not in creatures.