Utrum magnanimitas sit circa honores
Whether magnanimity is about honors?
Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod magnanimitas non sit circa honores. Magnanimitas enim est in irascibili. Quod ex ipso nomine patet, nam magnanimitas dicitur quasi magnitudo animi; animus autem pro vi irascibili ponitur, ut patet in III de anima, ubi philosophus dicit quod in sensitivo appetitu est desiderium et animus, idest concupiscibilis et irascibilis. Sed honor est quoddam bonum concupiscibile, cum sit praemium virtutis. Ergo videtur quod magnanimitas non sit circa honores.
Objection 1: It seems that magnanimity is not about honors. For magnanimity is in the irascible faculty, as its very name shows, since magnanimity signifies greatness of mind, and mind denotes the irascible part, as appears from De Anima iii, 42, where the Philosopher says that in the sensitive appetite are desire and mind, i.e., the concupiscible and irascible parts. But honor is a concupiscible good since it is the reward of virtue. Therefore it seems that magnanimity is not about honors.
Praeterea, magnanimitas, cum sit virtus moralis, oportet quod sit circa passiones vel operationes. Non est autem circa operationes, quia sic esset pars iustitiae. Et sic relinquitur quod sit circa passiones. Honor autem non est passio. Ergo magnanimitas non est circa honores.
Obj. 2: Further, since magnanimity is a moral virtue, it must needs be about either passions or operations. Now it is not about operations, for then it would be a part of justice: whence it follows that it is about passions. But honor is not a passion. Therefore magnanimity is not about honors.
Praeterea, magnanimitas videtur pertinere magis ad prosecutionem quam ad fugam, dicitur enim magnanimus quia ad magna tendit. Sed virtuosi non laudantur ex hoc quod cupiunt honores, sed magis ex hoc quod eos fugiunt. Ergo magnanimitas non est circa honores.
Obj. 3: Further, the nature of magnanimity seems to regard pursuit rather than avoidance, for a man is said to be magnanimous because he tends to great things. But the virtuous are praised not for desiring honors, but for shunning them. Therefore magnanimity is not about honors.
Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in IV Ethic., quod magnanimus est circa honores et inhonorationes.
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 3) that magnanimity is about honor and dishonor.
Respondeo dicendum quod magnanimitas ex suo nomine importat quandam extensionem animi ad magna. Consideratur autem habitudo virtutis ad duo, uno quidem modo, ad materiam circa quam operatur; alio modo, ad actum proprium, qui consistit in debito usu talis materiae. Et quia habitus virtutis principaliter ex actu determinatur, ex hoc principaliter dicitur aliquis magnanimus quod animum habet ad aliquem magnum actum. Aliquis autem actus potest dici dupliciter magnus, uno modo, secundum proportionem; alio modo, absolute. Magnus quidem potest dici actus secundum proportionem etiam qui consistit in usu alicuius rei parvae vel mediocris, puta si aliquis illa re optime utatur. Sed simpliciter et absolute magnus actus est qui consistit in optimo usu rei maximae.
I answer that, Magnanimity by its very name denotes stretching forth of the mind to great things. Now virtue bears a relationship to two things, first to the matter about which is the field of its activity, second to its proper act, which consists in the right use of such matter. And since a virtuous habit is denominated chiefly from its act, a man is said to be magnanimous chiefly because he is minded to do some great act. Now an act may be called great in two ways: in one way proportionately, in another absolutely. An act may be called great proportionately, even if it consist in the use of some small or ordinary thing, if, for instance, one make a very good use of it: but an act is simply and absolutely great when it consists in the best use of the greatest thing.
Res autem quae in usum hominis veniunt sunt res exteriores. Inter quae simpliciter maximum est honor, tum quia propinquissimum est virtuti, utpote testificatio quaedam existens de virtute alicuius, ut supra habitum est; tum etiam quia Deo et optimis exhibetur; tum etiam quia homines propter honorem consequendum et vituperium vitandum omnia alia postponunt. Sic autem dicitur aliquis magnanimus ex his quae sunt magna simpliciter et absolute, sicut dicitur aliquis fortis ex his quae sunt simpliciter difficilia. Et ideo consequens est quod magnanimitas consistat circa honores.
The things which come into man’s use are external things, and among these honor is the greatest simply, both because it is the most akin to virtue, since it is an attestation to a person’s virtue, as stated above (Q. 103, AA. 1, 2); and because it is offered to God and to the best; and again because, in order to obtain honor even as to avoid shame, men set aside all other things. Now a man is said to be magnanimous in respect of things that are great absolutely and simply, just as a man is said to be brave in respect of things that are difficult simply. It follows therefore that magnanimity is about honors.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod bonum vel malum, absolute quidem considerata, pertinent ad concupiscibilem, sed inquantum additur ratio ardui, sic pertinet ad irascibilem. Et hoc modo honorem respicit magnanimitas, inquantum scilicet habet rationem magni vel ardui.
Reply Obj. 1: Good and evil absolutely considered regard the concupiscible faculty, but insofar as the aspect of difficult is added, they belong to the irascible. Thus it is that magnanimity regards honor, inasmuch, to wit, as honor has the aspect of something great or difficult.
Ad secundum dicendum quod honor, etsi non sit passio vel operatio, est tamen alicuius passionis obiectum, scilicet spei, quae tendit in bonum arduum. Et ideo magnanimitas est quidem immediate circa passionem spei, mediate autem circa honorem, sicut circa obiectum spei, sicut et de fortitudine supra dictum est quod est circa pericula mortis inquantum sunt obiectum timoris et audaciae.
Reply Obj. 2: Although honor is neither a passion nor an operation, yet it is the object of a passion, namely hope, which tends to a difficult good. Wherefore magnanimity is immediately about the passions of hope, and mediately about honor as the object of hope: even so, we have stated (Q. 123, AA. 4, 5) with regard to fortitude that it is about dangers of death insofar as they are the object of fear and daring.
Ad tertium dicendum quod illi qui contemnunt honores hoc modo quod pro eis adipiscendis nihil inconveniens faciunt, nec eos nimis appretiantur, laudabiles sunt. Si quis autem hoc modo contemneret honores quod non curaret facere ea quae sunt digna honore, hoc vituperabile esset. Et hoc modo magnanimitas est circa honorem, ut videlicet studeat facere ea quae sunt honore digna, non tamen sic ut pro magno aestimet humanum honorem.
Reply Obj. 3: Those are worthy of praise who despise riches in such a way as to do nothing unbecoming in order to obtain them, nor have too great a desire for them. If, however, one were to despise honors so as not to care to do what is worthy of honor, this would be deserving of blame. Accordingly magnanimity is about honors in the sense that a man strives to do what is deserving of honor, yet not so as to think much of the honor accorded by man.
Utrum magnanimitas de sui ratione habeat quod sit circa magnum honorem
Whether magnanimity is essentially about great honors?
Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod magnanimitas de sui ratione non habeat quod sit circa magnum honorem. Propria enim materia magnanimitatis est honor, ut dictum est. Sed magnum et parvum accidunt honori. Ergo de ratione magnanimitatis non est quod sit circa magnum honorem.
Objection 1: It seems that magnanimity is not essentially about great honors. For the proper matter of magnanimity is honor, as stated above (A. 1). But great and little are accidental to honor. Therefore it is not essential to magnanimity to be about great honors.
Praeterea, sicut magnanimitas est circa honores, ita mansuetudo est circa iras. Sed non est de ratione mansuetudinis quod sit circa magnas iras, vel circa parvas. Ergo etiam non est de ratione magnanimitatis quod sit circa magnos honores.
Obj. 2: Further, just as magnanimity is about honor, so is meekness about anger. But it is not essential to meekness to be about either great or little anger. Therefore neither is it essential to magnanimity to be about great honor.
Praeterea, parvus honor minus distat a magno honore quam exhonoratio. Sed magnanimus bene se habet circa exhonorationes. Ergo etiam et circa parvos honores. Non ergo est solum circa honores magnos.
Obj. 3: Further, small honor is less aloof from great honor than is dishonor. But magnanimity is well ordered in relation to dishonor, and consequently in relation to small honors also. Therefore it is not only about great honors.
Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in II Ethic., quod magnanimitas est circa magnos honores.
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 7) that magnanimity is about great honors.
Respondeo dicendum quod, secundum philosophum, in VII Physic., virtus est perfectio quaedam. Et intelligitur esse perfectio potentiae, ad cuius ultimum pertinet, ut patet in I de caelo. Perfectio autem potentiae non attenditur in qualicumque operatione, sed in operatione quae habet aliquam magnitudinem aut difficultatem, quaelibet enim potentia, quantumcumque imperfecta, potest in aliquam operationem modicam et debilem. Et ideo ad rationem virtutis pertinet ut sic circa difficile et bonum, ut dicitur in II Ethic.
I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Phys. vii, 17, 18), virtue is a perfection, and by this we are to understand the perfection of a power, and that it regards the extreme limit of that power, as stated in De Caelo i, 116. Now the perfection of a power is not perceived in every operation of that power, but in such operations as are great or difficult: for every power, however imperfect, can extend to ordinary and trifling operations. Hence it is essential to a virtue to be about the difficult and the good, as stated in Ethic. ii, 3.
Difficile autem et magnum, quae ad idem pertinent, in actu virtutis potest attendi dupliciter. Uno modo, ex parte rationis, inquantum scilicet difficile est medium rationis adinvenire et in aliqua materia statuere. Et ista difficultas sola invenitur in actu virtutum intellectualium, et etiam in actu iustitiae. Alia autem est difficultas ex parte materiae, quae de se repugnantiam habere potest ad modum rationis qui est circa eam ponendus. Et ista difficultas praecipue attenditur in aliis virtutibus moralibus, quae sunt circa passiones, quia passiones pugnant contra rationem, ut Dionysius dicit, IV cap. de Div. Nom.
Now the difficult and the good (which amount to the same) in an act of virtue may be considered from two points of view. First, from the point of view of reason, insofar as it is difficult to find and establish the rational means in some particular matter: and this difficulty is found only in the act of intellectual virtues, and also of justice. The other difficulty is on the part of the matter, which may involve a certain opposition to the moderation of reason, which moderation has to be applied thereto: and this difficulty regards chiefly the other moral virtues, which are about the passions, because the passions resist reason as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv, 4).
Circa quas considerandum est quod quaedam passiones sunt quae habent magnam vim resistendi rationi principaliter ex parte passionis, quaedam vero principaliter ex parte rerum quae sunt obiecta passionum. Passiones autem non habent magnam vim repugnandi rationi nisi fuerint vehementes, eo quod appetitus sensitivus, in quo sunt passiones, naturaliter subditur rationi. Et ideo virtutes quae sunt circa huiusmodi passiones non ponuntur nisi circa id quod est magnum in ipsis passionibus, sicut fortitudo est circa maximos timores et audacias, temperantia est circa maximarum delectationum concupiscentias, et similiter mansuetudo est circa maximas iras. Passiones autem quaedam habent magnam vim repugnandi rationi ex ipsis rebus exterioribus quae sunt passionum obiecta, sicut amor vel cupiditas pecuniae seu honoris. Et in istis oportet esse virtutem non solum circa id quod est maximum in eis, sed etiam circa mediocria vel minora, quia res exterius existentes, etiam si sint parvae, sunt multum appetibiles, utpote necessariae ad hominis vitam. Et ideo circa appetitum pecuniarum sunt duae virtutes, una quidem circa mediocres et moderatas, scilicet liberalitas; alia autem circa magnas pecunias, scilicet magnificentia.
Now as regards the passions it is to be observed that the greatness of this power of resistance to reason arises chiefly in some cases from the passions themselves, and in others from the things that are the objects of the passions. The passions themselves have no great power of resistance, unless they be violent, because the sensitive appetite, which is the seat of the passions, is naturally subject to reason. Hence the resisting virtues that are about these passions regard only that which is great in such passions: thus fortitude is about very great fear and daring; temperance about the concupiscence of the greatest pleasures, and likewise meekness about the greatest anger. On the other hand, some passions have great power of resistance to reason arising from the external things themselves that are the objects of those passions: such are the love or desire of money or of honor. And for these it is necessary to have a virtue not only regarding that which is greatest in those passions, but also about that which is ordinary or little: because things external, though they be little, are very desirable, as being necessary for human life. Hence with regard to the desire of money there are two virtues, one about ordinary or little sums of money, namely liberality, and another about large sums of money, namely magnificence.
Similiter etiam et circa honores sunt duae virtutes. Una quidem circa mediocres honores, quae innominata est, nominatur tamen ex suis extremis, quae sunt philotimia, idest amor honoris, et aphilotimia, idest sine amore honoris; laudatur enim quandoque qui amat honorem, quandoque autem qui non curat de honore, prout scilicet utrumque moderate fieri potest. Circa magnos autem honores est magnanimitas. Et ideo dicendum est quod propria materia magnanimitatis est magnus honor, et ad ea tendit magnanimus quae sunt magno honore digna.
In like manner there are two virtues about honors, one about ordinary honors. This virtue has no name, but is denominated by its extremes, which are philotimia, i.e., love of honor, and aphilotimia, i.e., without love of honor: for sometimes a man is commended for loving honor, and sometimes for not caring about it, in so far, to wit, as both these things may be done in moderation. But with regard to great honors there is magnanimity. Wherefore we must conclude that the proper matter of magnanimity is great honor, and that a magnanimous man tends to such things as are deserving of honor.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod magnum et parvum per accidens se habent ad honorem secundum se consideratum, sed magnam differentiam faciunt secundum quod comparantur ad rationem, cuius modum in usu honoris observari oportet, qui multo difficilius observatur in magnis honoribus quam in parvis.
Reply Obj. 1: Great and little are accidental to honor considered in itself: but they make a great difference in their relation to reason, the mode of which has to be observed in the use of honor, for it is much more difficult to observe it in great than in little honors.
Ad secundum dicendum quod in ira et in aliis materiis non habet difficultatem notabilem nisi illud quod est maximum, circa quod solum oportet esse virtutem. Alia autem ratio est de divitiis et honoribus, quae sunt res extra animam existentes.
Reply Obj. 2: In anger and other matters only that which is greatest presents any notable difficulty, and about this alone is there any need of a virtue. It is different with riches and honors which are things existing outside the soul.
Ad tertium dicendum quod ille qui bene utitur magnis, multo magis potest bene uti parvis. Magnanimitas ergo attendit magnos honores sicut quibus est dignus, vel etiam sicut minores his quibus est dignus, quia scilicet virtus non potest sufficienter honorari ab homine, cui debetur honor a Deo. Et ideo non extollitur ex magnis honoribus, quia non reputat eos supra se, sed magis eos contemnit. Et multo magis moderatos aut parvos. Et similiter etiam dehonorationibus non frangitur, sed eas contemnit, utpote quas reputat sibi indigne afferri.
Reply Obj. 3: He that makes good use of great things is much more able to make good use of little things. Accordingly the magnanimous man looks upon great honors as a thing of which he is worthy, or even little honors as something he deserves, because, to wit, man cannot sufficiently honor virtue which deserves to be honored by God. Hence he is not uplifted by great honors, because he does not deem them above him; rather does he despise them, and much more such as are ordinary or little. In like manner he is not cast down by dishonor, but despises it, since he recognizes that he does not deserve it.
Utrum magnanimitas sit virtus
Whether magnanimity is a virtue?
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod magnanimitas non sit virtus. Omnis enim virtus moralis in medio consistit. Sed magnanimitas non consistit in medio, sed in maximo, quia maximis dignificat seipsum, ut dicitur in IV Ethic. Ergo magnanimitas non est virtus.
Objection 1: It seems that magnanimity is not a virtue. For every moral virtue observes the mean. But magnanimity observes not the mean but the greater extreme: because the magnanimous man deems himself worthy of the greatest things (Ethic. iv, 3). Therefore magnanimity is not a virtue.
Praeterea, qui habet unam virtutem, habet omnes, ut supra habitum est. Sed aliquis potest habere aliquam virtutem non habens magnanimitatem, dicit enim philosophus, in IV Ethic., quod qui est parvis dignus, et his dignificat seipsum, temperatus est, magnanimus autem non. Ergo magnanimitas non est virtus.
Obj. 2: Further, he that has one virtue has them all, as stated above (I-II, Q. 65, A. 1). But one may have a virtue without having magnanimity: since the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 3) that whosoever is worthy of little things and deems himself worthy of them, is temperate, but he is not magnanimous. Therefore magnanimity is not a virtue.
Praeterea, virtus est bona qualitas mentis, ut supra habitum est. Sed magnanimitas habet quasdam corporales dispositiones, dicit enim philosophus, in IV Ethic., quod motus lentus magnanimi videtur, et vox gravis, et locutio stabilis. Ergo magnanimitas non est virtus.
Obj. 3: Further, Virtue is a good quality of the mind, as stated above (I-II, Q. 55, A. 4). But magnanimity implies certain dispositions of the body: for the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 3) of a magnanimous man that his gait is slow, his voice deep, and his utterance calm. Therefore magnanimity is not a virtue.
Praeterea, nulla virtus opponitur alteri virtuti. Sed magnanimitas opponitur humilitati, nam magnanimus dignum se reputat magnis, et alios contemnit, ut dicitur in IV Ethic. Ergo magnanimitas non est virtus.
Obj. 4: Further, no virtue is opposed to another virtue. But magnanimity is opposed to humility, since the magnanimous deems himself worthy of great things, and despises others, according to Ethic. iv, 3. Therefore magnanimity is not a virtue.
Praeterea, cuiuslibet virtutis proprietates sunt laudabiles. Sed magnanimitas habet quasdam proprietates vituperabiles, primo quidem, quod non est memor benefactorum; secundo, quod est otiosus et tardus; tertio, quod utitur ironia ad multos; quarto, quod non potest alii convivere; quinto, quod magis possidet infructuosa quam fructuosa. Ergo magnanimitas non est virtus.
Obj. 5: Further, the properties of every virtue are praiseworthy. But magnanimity has certain properties that call for blame. For, in the first place, the magnanimous is unmindful of favors; second, he is remiss and slow of action; third, he employs irony towards many; fourth, he is unable to associate with others; fifth, because he holds to the barren things rather than to those that are fruitful. Therefore magnanimity is not a virtue.
Sed contra est quod in laudem quorundam dicitur, II Machab. XIV, Nicanor audiens virtutem comitum Iudae, et animi magnitudinem quam pro patriae certaminibus habebant, et cetera. Laudabilia autem sunt solum virtutum opera. Ergo magnanimitas, ad quam pertinet magnum animum habere, est virtus.
On the contrary, It is written in praise of certain men (2 Macc 15:18): Nicanor hearing of the valor of Judas’ companions, and the greatness of soul with which they fought for their country, was afraid to try the matter by the sword. Now, only deeds of virtue are worthy of praise. Therefore magnanimity which consists in greatness of courage is a virtue.
Respondeo dicendum quod ad rationem virtutis humanae pertinet ut in rebus humanis bonum rationis servetur, quod est proprium hominis bonum. Inter ceteras autem res humanas exteriores, honores praecipuum locum tenent, sicut dictum est. Et inde magnanimitas, quae modum rationis ponit circa magnos honores, est virtus.
I answer that, The essence of human virtue consists in safeguarding the good of reason in human affairs, for this is man’s proper good. Now among external human things honors take precedence of all others, as stated above (A. 1; I-II, Q. 11, A. 2, Obj. 3). Therefore magnanimity, which observes the mode of reason in great honors, is a virtue.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut philosophus dicit, in IV Ethic., magnanimus est quidem magnitudine extremus, inquantum scilicet ad maxima tendit, eo autem quod ut oportet, medius, quia videlicet ad ea quae sunt maxima, secundum rationem tendit; eo enim quod secundum dignitatem seipsum dignificat, ut ibidem dicitur, quia scilicet se non extendit ad maiora quam dignus est.
Reply Obj. 1: As the Philosopher again says (Ethic. iv, 3), the magnanimous in point of quantity goes to extremes, insofar as he tends to what is greatest, but in the matter of becomingness, he follows the mean, because he tends to the greatest things according to reason, for he deems himself worthy in accordance with his worth (Ethic. iv, 3), since his aims do not surpass his deserts.
Ad secundum dicendum quod connexio virtutum non est intelligenda secundum actus, ut scilicet cuilibet competat habere actus omnium virtutum. Unde actus magnanimitatis non competit cuilibet virtuoso, sed solum magnis. Sed secundum principia virtutum, quae sunt prudentia et gratia, omnes virtutes sunt connexae secundum habitus simul in anima existentes, vel in actu vel in propinqua dispositione. Et sic potest aliquis cui non competit actus magnanimitatis, habere magnanimitatis habitum, per quem scilicet disponitur ad talem actum exequendum si sibi secundum statum suum competeret.
Reply Obj. 2: The mutual connection of the virtues does not apply to their acts, as though every one were competent to practice the acts of all the virtues. Wherefore the act of magnanimity is not becoming to every virtuous man, but only to great men. On the other hand, as regards the principles of virtue, namely prudence and grace, all virtues are connected together, since their habits reside together in the soul, either in act or by way of a proximate disposition thereto. Thus it is possible for one to whom the act of magnanimity is not competent, to have the habit of magnanimity, whereby he is disposed to practice that act if it were competent to him according to his state.
Ad tertium dicendum quod corporales motus diversificantur secundum diversas animae apprehensiones et affectiones. Et secundum hoc contingit quod ad magnanimitatem consequuntur quaedam determinata accidentia circa motus corporales. Velocitas enim motus provenit ex eo quod homo ad multa intendit, quae explere festinat, sed magnanimus intendit solum ad magna, quae pauca sunt, quae etiam indigent magna attentione; et ideo habet motum tardum. Similiter etiam acuitas vocis, et velocitas, praecipue competit his qui de quibuslibet contendere volunt, quod non pertinet ad magnanimos, qui non intromittunt se nisi de magnis. Et sicut praedictae dispositiones corporalium motuum conveniunt magnanimis secundum modum affectionis eorum, ita etiam in his qui sunt naturaliter dispositi ad magnanimitatem tales conditiones naturaliter inveniuntur.
Reply Obj. 3: The movements of the body are differentiated according to the different apprehensions and emotions of the soul. And so it happens that to magnanimity there accrue certain fixed accidents by way of bodily movements. For quickness of movement results from a man being intent on many things which he is in a hurry to accomplish, whereas the magnanimous is intent only on great things; these are few and require great attention, wherefore they call for slow movement. Likewise shrill and rapid speaking is chiefly competent to those who are quick to quarrel about anything, and this becomes not the magnanimous who are busy only about great things. And just as these dispositions of bodily movements are competent to the magnanimous man according to the mode of his emotions, so too in those who are naturally disposed to magnanimity these conditions are found naturally.