Summa Th. I-II EN Qu.31 a.5

Whether bodily and sensible pleasures are greater than spiritual and intellectual pleasures?

Objection: 1. It would seem that bodily and sensible pleasures are greater than spiritual and intelligible pleasures. For all men seek some pleasure, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. x, 2,4). But more seek sensible pleasures, than intelligible spiritual pleasures. Therefore bodily pleasures are greater.
2. Further, the greatness of a cause is known by its effect. But bodily pleasures have greater effects; since "they alter the state of the body, and in some they cause madness" (Ethic. vii, 3). Therefore bodily pleasures are greater.
3. Further, bodily pleasures need to be tempered and checked, by reason of their vehemence: whereas there is no need to check spiritual pleasures. Therefore bodily pleasures are greater.

On the contrary It is written (Ps 118,103): "How sweet are Thy words to my palate; more than honey to my mouth!" And the Philosopher says (Ethic. x, 7) that "the greatest pleasure is derived from the operation of wisdom."
I answer that As stated above (Article [1]), pleasure arises from union with a suitable object perceived or known. Now, in the operations of the soul, especially of the sensitive and intellectual soul, it must be noted that, since they do not pass into outward matter, they are acts or perfections of the agent, e.g. to understand, to feel, to will and the like: because actions which pass into outward matter, are actions and perfections rather of the matter transformed; for "movement is the act produced by the mover in the thing moved" (Phys. iii, 3). Accordingly the aforesaid actions of the sensitive and intellectual soul, are themselves a certain good of the agent, and are known by sense and intellect. Wherefore from them also does pleasure arise, and not only from their objects.If therefore we compare intellectual pleasures with sensible pleasures, according as we delight in the very actions, for instance in sensitive and in intellectual knowledge; without doubt intellectual pleasures are much greater than sensible pleasures. For man takes much more delight in knowing something, by understanding it, than in knowing something by perceiving it with his sense. Because intellectual knowledge is more perfect; and because it is better known, since the intellect reflects on its own act more than sense does. Moreover intellectual knowledge is more beloved: for there is no one who would not forfeit his bodily sight rather than his intellectual vision, as beasts or fools are deprived thereof, as Augustine says in De Civ. Dei (De Trin. xiv, 14).If, however, intellectual spiritual pleasures be compared with sensible bodily pleasures, then, in themselves and absolutely speaking, spiritual pleasures are greater. And this appears from the consideration of the three things needed for pleasure, viz. the good which is brought into conjunction, that to which it is conjoined, and the conjunction itself. For spiritual good is both greater and more beloved than bodily good: a sign whereof is that men abstain from even the greatest bodily pleasures, rather than suffer loss of honor which is an intellectual good. Likewise the intellectual faculty is much more noble and more knowing than the sensitive faculty. Also the conjunction is more intimate, more perfect and more firm. More intimate, because the senses stop at the outward accidents of a thing, whereas the intellect penetrates to the essence; for the object of the intellect is "what a thing is." More perfect, because the conjunction of the sensible to the sense implies movement, which is an imperfect act: wherefore sensible pleasures are not perceived all at once, but some part of them is passing away, while some other part is looked forward to as yet to be realized, as is manifest in pleasures of the table and in sexual pleasures: whereas intelligible things are without movement: hence pleasures of this kind are realized all at once. More firm; because the objects of bodily pleasure are corruptible, and soon pass away; whereas spiritual goods are incorruptible.On the other hand, in relation to us, bodily pleasures are more vehement, for three reasons. First, because sensible things are more known to us, than intelligible things. Secondly, because sensible pleasures, through being passions of the sensitive appetite, are accompanied by some alteration in the body: whereas this does not occur in spiritual pleasures, save by reason of a certain reaction of the superior appetite on the lower. Thirdly, because bodily pleasures are sought as remedies for bodily defects or troubles, whence various griefs arise. Wherefore bodily pleasures, by reason of their succeeding griefs of this kind, are felt the more, and consequently are welcomed more than spiritual pleasures, which have no contrary griefs, as we shall state farther on (Question [35], Article [5]).

Reply to Objection: 1. The reason why more seek bodily pleasures is because sensible goods are known better and more generally: and, again, because men need pleasures as remedies for many kinds of sorrow and sadness: and since the majority cannot attain spiritual pleasures, which are proper to the virtuous, hence it is that they turn aside to seek those of the body.
2. Bodily transmutation arises more from bodily pleasures, inasmuch as they are passions of the sensitive appetite.
3. Bodily pleasures are realized in the sensitive faculty which is governed by reason: wherefore they need to be tempered and checked by reason. But spiritual pleasures are in the mind, which is itself the rule: wherefore they are in themselves both sober and moderate.

Whether the pleasures of touch are greater than the pleasures afforded by the other senses?

Objection: 1. It would seem that the pleasures of touch are not greater than the pleasures afforded by the other senses. Because the greatest pleasure seems to be that without which all joy is at an end. But such is the pleasure afforded by the sight, according to the words of Tb 5,12: "What manner of joy shall be to me, who sit in darkness, and see not the light of heaven?" Therefore the pleasure afforded by the sight is the greatest of sensible pleasures.
2. Further, "every one finds treasure in what he loves," as the Philosopher says (Rhet. i, 11). But "of all the senses the sight is loved most" [*Metaph. i, 1]. Therefore the greatest pleasure seems to be afforded by sight.
3. Further, the beginning of friendship which is for the sake of the pleasant is principally sight. But pleasure is the cause of such friendship. Therefore the greatest pleasure seems to be afforded by sight.

On the contrary The Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 10), that the greatest pleasures are those which are afforded by the touch.
I answer that As stated above (Question [25], Article [2], ad 1; Question [27], Article [4], ad 1), everything gives pleasure according as it is loved. Now, as stated in Metaph. i, 1, the senses are loved for two reasons: for the purpose of knowledge, and on account of their usefulness. Wherefore the senses afford pleasure in both these ways. But because it is proper to man to apprehend knowledge itself as something good, it follows that the former pleasures of the senses, i.e. those which arise from knowledge, are proper to man: whereas pleasures of the senses, as loved for their usefulness, are common to all animals.If therefore we speak of that sensible pleasure by which reason of knowledge, it is evident that the sight affords greater pleasure than any other sense. On the other hand, if we speak of that sensible pleasure which is by reason of usefulness, then the greatest pleasure is afforded by the touch. For the usefulness of sensible things is gauged by their relation to the preservation of the animal's nature. Now the sensible objects of touch bear the closest relation to this usefulness: for the touch takes cognizance of those things which are vital to an animal, namely, of things hot and cold and the like. Wherefore in this respect, the pleasures of touch are greater as being more closely related to the end. For this reason, too, other animals which do not experience sensible pleasure save by reason of usefulness, derive no pleasure from the other senses except as subordinated to the sensible objects of the touch: "for dogs do not take delight in the smell of hares, but in eating them; . . . nor does the lion feel pleasure in the lowing of an ox, but in devouring it" (Ethic. iii, 10).Since then the pleasure afforded by touch is the greatest in respect of usefulness, and the pleasure afforded by sight the greatest in respect of knowledge; if anyone wish to compare these two, he will find that the pleasure of touch is, absolutely speaking, greater than the pleasure of sight, so far as the latter remains within the limits of sensible pleasure. Because it is evident that in everything, that which is natural is most powerful: and it is to these pleasures of the touch that the natural concupiscences, such as those of food, sexual union, and the like, are ordained. If, however, we consider the pleasures of sight, inasmuch sight is the handmaid of the mind, then the pleasures of sight are greater, forasmuch as intellectual pleasures are greater than sensible.

Reply to Objection: 1. Joy, as stated above (Article [3]), denotes pleasure of the soul; and this belongs principally to the sight. But natural pleasure belongs principally to the touch.
2. The sight is loved most, "on account of knowledge, because it helps us to distinguish many things," as is stated in the same passage (Metaph. i, 1).
3. Pleasure causes carnal love in one way; the sight, in another. For pleasure, especially that which is afforded by the touch, is the final cause of the friendship which is for the sake of the pleasant: whereas the sight is a cause like that from which a movement has its beginning, inasmuch as the beholder on seeing the lovable object receives an impression of its image, which entices him to love it and to seek its delight.

Whether any pleasure is not natural?

Objection: 1. It would seem that no pleasure is not natural. For pleasure is to the emotions of the soul what repose is to bodies. But the appetite of a natural body does not repose save in a connatural place. Neither, therefore, can the repose of the animal appetite, which is pleasure, be elsewhere than in something connatural. Therefore no pleasure is non-natural.
2. Further, what is against nature is violent. But "whatever is violent causes grief" (Metaph. v, 5). Therefore nothing which is unnatural can give pleasure.
3. Further, the fact of being established in one's own nature, if perceived, gives rise to pleasure, as is evident from the Philosopher's definition quoted above (Article [1]). But it is natural to every thing to be established in its nature; because natural movement tends to a natural end. Therefore every pleasure is natural.

On the contrary The Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 5,6) that some things are pleasant "not from nature but from disease."
I answer that We speak of that as being natural, which is in accord with nature, as stated in Phys. ii, 1. Now, in man, nature can be taken in two ways. First, inasmuch as intellect and reason is the principal part of man's nature, since in respect thereof he has his own specific nature. And in this sense, those pleasures may be called natural to man, which are derived from things pertaining to man in respect of his reason: for instance, it is natural to man to take pleasure in contemplating the truth and in doing works of virtue. Secondly, nature in man may be taken as contrasted with reason, and as denoting that which is common to man and other animals, especially that part of man which does not obey reason. And in this sense, that which pertains to the preservation of the body, either as regards the individual, as food, drink, sleep, and the like, or as regards the species, as sexual intercourse, are said to afford man natural pleasure. Under each kind of pleasures, we find some that are "not natural" speaking absolutely, and yet "connatural" in some respect. For it happens in an individual that some one of the natural principles of the species is corrupted, so that something which is contrary to the specific nature, becomes accidentally natural to this individual: thus it is natural to this hot water to give heat. Consequently it happens that something which is not natural to man, either in regard to reason, or in regard to the preservation of the body, becomes connatural to this individual man, on account of there being some corruption of nature in him. And this corruption may be either on the part of the body---from some ailment; thus to a man suffering from fever, sweet things seem bitter, and vice versa---or from an evil temperament; thus some take pleasure in eating earth and coals and the like; or on the part of the soul; thus from custom some take pleasure in cannibalism or in the unnatural intercourse of man and beast, or other such things, which are not in accord with human nature.

This suffices for the answers to the objections.

Whether one pleasure can be contrary to another?

Objection: 1. It would seem that one pleasure cannot be contrary to another. Because the passions of the soul derive their species and contrariety from their objects. Now the object of pleasure is the good. Since therefore good is not contrary to good, but "good is contrary to evil, and evil to good," as stated in Praedic. viii; it seems that one pleasure is not contrary to another.
2. Further, to one thing there is one contrary, as is proved in Metaph. x, 4. But sadness is contrary to pleasure. Therefore pleasure is not contrary to pleasure.
3. Further, if one pleasure is contrary to another, this is only on account of the contrariety of the things which give pleasure. But this difference is material: whereas contrariety is a difference of form, as stated in Metaph. x, 4. Therefore there is no contrariety between one pleasure and another.

On the contrary Things of the same genus that impede one another are contraries, as the Philosopher states (Phys. viii, 8). But some pleasures impede one another, as stated in Ethic. x, 5. Therefore some pleasures are contrary to one another.
I answer that Pleasure, in the emotions of the soul, is likened to repose in natural bodies, as stated above (Question [23], Article [4]). Now one repose is said to be contrary to another when they are in contrary termini; thus, "repose in a high place is contrary to repose in a low place" (Phys. v, 6). Wherefore it happens in the emotions of the soul that one pleasure is contrary to another.

Reply to Objection: 1. This saying of the Philosopher is to be understood of good and evil as applied to virtues and vices: because one vice may be contrary to another vice, whereas no virtue can be contrary to another virtue. But in other things nothing prevents one good from being contrary to another, such as hot and cold, of which the former is good in relation to fire, the latter, in relation to water. And in this way one pleasure can be contrary to another. That this is impossible with regard to the good of virtue, is due to the fact that virtue's good depends on fittingness in relation to some one thing---i.e. the reason.
2. Pleasure, in the emotions of the soul, is likened to natural repose in bodies: because its object is something suitable and connatural, so to speak. But sadness is like a violent repose; because its object is disagreeable to the animal appetite, just as the place of violent repose is disagreeable to the natural appetite. Now natural repose is contrary both to violent repose of the same body, and to the natural repose of another, as stated in Phys. v, 6. Wherefore pleasure is contrary to both to another pleasure and to sadness.
3. The things in which we take pleasure, since they are the objects of pleasure, cause not only a material, but also a formal difference, if the formality of pleasurableness be different. Because difference in the formal object causes a specific difference in acts and passions, as stated above (Question [23], Articles [1],4; Question [30], Article [2]).


We must now consider the causes of pleasure: and under this head there are eight points of inquiry:

(1) Whether operation is the proper cause of pleasure?

(2) Whether movement is a cause of pleasure?

(3) Whether hope and memory cause pleasure?

(4) Whether sadness causes pleasure?

(5) Whether the actions of others are a cause of pleasure to us?

(6) Whether doing good to another is a cause of pleasure?

(7) Whether likeness is a cause of pleasure?

(8) Whether wonder is a cause of pleasure?

Whether operation is the proper cause of pleasure?

Objection: 1. It would seem that operation is not the proper and first cause of pleasure. For, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. i, 11), "pleasure consists in a perception of the senses," since knowledge is requisite for pleasure, as stated above (Question [31], Article [1]). But the objects of operations are knowable before the operations themselves. Therefore operation is not the proper cause of pleasure.
2. Further, pleasure consists especially in an end gained: since it is this that is chiefly desired. But the end is not always an operation, but is sometimes the effect of the operation. Therefore operation is not the proper and direct cause of pleasure.
3. Further, leisure and rest consist in cessation from work: and they are objects of pleasure (Rhet. i, 11). Therefore operation is not the proper cause of pleasure.

On the contrary The Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 12,13; x, 4) that "pleasure is a connatural and uninterrupted operation."
I answer that As stated above (Question [31], Article [1]), two things are requisite for pleasure: namely, the attainment of the suitable good, and knowledge of this attainment. Now each of these consists in a kind of operation: because actual knowledge is an operation; and the attainment of the suitable good is by means of an operation. Moreover, the proper operation itself is a suitable good. Wherefore every pleasure must needs be the result of some operation.

Reply to Objection: 1. The objects of operations are not pleasurable save inasmuch as they are united to us; either by knowledge alone, as when we take pleasure in thinking of or looking at certain things; or in some other way in addition to knowledge; as when a man takes pleasure in knowing that he has something good--riches, honor, or the like; which would not be pleasurable unless they were apprehended as possessed. For as the Philosopher observes (Polit. ii, 2) "we take great pleasure in looking upon a thing as our own, by reason of the natural love we have for ourselves." Now to have such like things is nothing else but to use them or to be able to use them: and this is through some operation. Wherefore it is evident that every pleasure is traced to some operation as its cause.
2. Even when it is not an operation, but the effect of an operation, that is the end, this effect is pleasant in so far as possessed or effected: and this implies use or operation.
3. Operations are pleasant, in so far as they are proportionate and connatural to the agent. Now, since human power is finite, operation is proportionate thereto according to a certain measure. Wherefore if it exceed that measure, it will be no longer proportionate or pleasant, but, on the contrary, painful and irksome. And in this sense, leisure and play and other things pertaining to repose, are pleasant, inasmuch as they banish sadness which results from labor.

Whether movement is a cause of pleasure?

Objection: 1. It would seem that movement is not a cause of pleasure. Because, as stated above (Question [31], Article [1]), the good which is obtained and is actually possessed, is the cause of pleasure: wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 12) that pleasure is not compared with generation, but with the operation of a thing already in existence. Now that which is being moved towards something has it not as yet; but, so to speak, is being generated in its regard, forasmuch as generation or corruption are united to every movement, as stated in Phys. viii, 3. Therefore movement is not a cause of pleasure.
2. Further, movement is the chief cause of toil and fatigue in our works. But operations through being toilsome and fatiguing are not pleasant but disagreeable. Therefore movement is not a cause of pleasure.
3. Further, movement implies a certain innovation, which is the opposite of custom. But things "which we are accustomed to, are pleasant," as the Philosopher says (Rhet. i, 11). Therefore movement is not a cause of pleasure.

On the contrary Augustine says (Confess. viii, 3): "What means this, O Lord my God, whereas Thou art everlasting joy to Thyself, and some things around Thee evermore rejoice in Thee? What means this, that this portion of things ebbs and flows alternately displeased and reconciled?" From these words we gather that man rejoices and takes pleasure in some kind of alterations: and therefore movement seems to cause pleasure.
I answer that Three things are requisite for pleasure; two, i.e. the one that is pleased and the pleasurable object conjoined to him; and a third, which is knowledge of this conjunction: and in respect of these three, movement is pleasant, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 14 and Rhetor. i, 11). For as far as we who feel pleasure are concerned, change is pleasant to us because our nature is changeable: for which reason that which is suitable to us at one time is not suitable at another; thus to warm himself at a fire is suitable to man in winter but not in summer. Again, on the part of the pleasing good which is united to us, change is pleasant. Because the continued action of an agent increases its effect: thus the longer a person remains near the fire, the more he is warmed and dried. Now the natural mode of being consists in a certain measure; and therefore when the continued presence of a pleasant object exceeds the measure of one's natural mode of being, the removal of that object becomes pleasant. On the part of the knowledge itself (change becomes pleasant), because man desires to know something whole and perfect: when therefore a thing cannot be apprehended all at once as a whole, change in such a thing is pleasant, so that one part may pass and another succeed, and thus the whole be perceived. Hence Augustine says (Confess. iv, 11): "Thou wouldst not have the syllables stay, but fly away, that others may come, and thou hear the whole. And so whenever any one thing is made up of many, all of which do not exist together, all would please collectively more than they do severally, if all could be perceived collectively."If therefore there be any thing, whose nature is unchangeable; the natural mode of whose being cannot be exceeded by the continuation of any pleasing object; and which can behold the whole object of its delight at once---to such a one change will afford no delight. And the more any pleasures approach to this, the more are they capable of being continual.

Reply to Objection: 1. Although the subject of movement has not yet perfectly that to which it is moved, nevertheless it is beginning to have something thereof: and in this respect movement itself has something of pleasure. But it falls short of the perfection of pleasure; because the more perfect pleasures regard things that are unchangeable. Moreover movement becomes the cause of pleasure, in so far as thereby something which previously was unsuitable, becomes suitable or ceases to be, as stated above.
2. Movement causes toil and fatigue, when it exceeds our natural aptitude. It is not thus that it causes pleasure, but by removing the obstacles to our natural aptitude.
3. What is customary becomes pleasant, in so far as it becomes natural: because custom is like a second nature. But the movement which gives pleasure is not that which departs from custom, but rather that which prevents the corruption of the natural mode of being, that might result from continued operation. And thus from the same cause of connaturalness, both custom and movement become pleasant.

Whether hope and memory causes pleasure?

Objection: 1. It would seem that memory and hope do not cause pleasure. Because pleasure is caused by present good, as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 12). But hope and memory regard what is absent: since memory is of the past, and hope of the future. Therefore memory and hope do not cause pleasure.
2. Further, the same thing is not the cause of contraries. But hope causes affliction, according to Pr 13,12: "Hope that is deferred afflicteth the soul." Therefore hope does not cause pleasure.
3. Further, just as hope agrees with pleasure in regarding good, so also do desire and love. Therefore hope should not be assigned as a cause of pleasure, any more than desire or love.

On the contrary It is written (Rm 12,12): "Rejoicing in hope"; and (Ps 76,4): "I remembered God, and was delighted."
I answer that Pleasure is caused by the presence of suitable good, in so far as it is felt, or perceived in any way. Now a thing is present to us in two ways. First, in knowledge---i.e. according as the thing known is in the knower by its likeness; secondly, in reality---i.e. according as one thing is in real conjunction of any kind with another, either actually or potentially. And since real conjunction is greater than conjunction by likeness, which is the conjunction of knowledge; and again, since actual is greater than potential conjunction: therefore the greatest pleasure is that which arises from sensation which requires the presence of the sensible object. The second place belongs to the pleasure of hope, wherein there is pleasurable conjunction, not only in respect of apprehension, but also in respect of the faculty or power of obtaining the pleasurable object. The third place belongs to the pleasure of memory, which has only the conjunction of apprehension.

Reply to Objection: 1. Hope and memory are indeed of things which, absolutely speaking, are absent: and yet those are, after a fashion, present, i.e. either according to apprehension only; or according to apprehension and possibility, at least supposed, of attainment.
2. Nothing prevents the same thing, in different ways, being the cause of contraries. And so hope, inasmuch as it implies a present appraising of a future good, causes pleasure; whereas, inasmuch as it implies absence of that good, it causes affliction.
3. Love and concupiscence also cause pleasure. For everything that is loved becomes pleasing to the lover, since love is a kind of union or connaturalness of lover and beloved. In like manner every object of desire is pleasing to the one that desires, since desire is chiefly a craving for pleasure. However hope, as implying a certainty of the real presence of the pleasing good, that is not implied either by love or by concupiscence, is reckoned in preference to them as causing pleasure; and also in preference to memory, which is of that which has already passed away.

Whether sadness causes pleasure?

Objection: 1. It would seem that sadness does not cause pleasure. For nothing causes its own contrary. But sadness is contrary to pleasure. Therefore it does not cause it.
2. Further, contraries have contrary effects. But pleasures, when called to mind, cause pleasure. Therefore sad things, when remembered, cause sorrow and not pleasure.
3. Further, as sadness is to pleasure, so is hatred to love. But hatred does not cause love, but rather the other way about, as stated above (Question [29], Article [2]). Therefore sadness does not cause pleasure.

On the contrary It is written (Ps 41,4): "My tears have been my bread day and night": where bread denotes the refreshment of pleasure. Therefore tears, which arise from sadness, can give pleasure.
I answer that Sadness may be considered in two ways: as existing actually, and as existing in the memory: and in both ways sadness can cause pleasure. Because sadness, as actually existing, causes pleasure, inasmuch as it brings to mind that which is loved, the absence of which causes sadness; and yet the mere thought of it gives pleasure. The recollection of sadness becomes a cause of pleasure, on account of the deliverance which ensued: because absence of evil is looked upon as something good; wherefore so far as a man thinks that he has been delivered from that which caused him sorrow and pain, so much reason has he to rejoice. Hence Augustine says in De Civ. Dei xxii, 31 [*Gregory, Moral. iv.] that "oftentimes in joy we call to mind sad things . . . and in the season of health we recall past pains without feeling pain . . . and in proportion are the more filled with joy and gladness": and again (Confess. viii, 3) he says that "the more peril there was in the battle, so much the more joy will there be in the triumph."

Reply to Objection: 1. Sometimes accidentally a thing is the cause of its contrary: thus "that which is cold sometimes causes heat," as stated in Phys. viii, 1. In like manner sadness is the accidental cause of pleasure, in so far as it gives rise to the apprehension of something pleasant.
2. Sad things, called to mind, cause pleasure, not in so far as they are sad and contrary to pleasant things; but in so far as man is delivered from them. In like manner the recollection of pleasant things, by reason of these being lost, may cause sadness.
3. Hatred also can be the accidental cause of love: i.e. so far as some love one another, inasmuch as they agree in hating one and the same thing.

Whether the actions of others are a cause of pleasure to us?

Objection: 1. It would seem that the actions of others are not a cause of pleasure to us. Because the cause of pleasure is our own good when conjoined to us. But the actions of others are not conjoined to us. Therefore they are not a cause of pleasure to us.
2. Further, the action is the agent's own good. If, therefore, the actions of others are a cause of pleasure to us, for the same reason all goods belonging to others will be pleasing to us: which is evidently untrue.
3. Further, action is pleasant through proceeding from an innate habit; hence it is stated in Ethic. ii, 3 that "we must reckon the pleasure which follows after action, as being the sign of a habit existing in us." But the actions of others do not proceed from habits existing in us, but, sometimes, from habits existing in the agents. Therefore the actions of others are not pleasing to us, but to the agents themselves.

On the contrary It is written in the second canonical epistle of John (verse 4): "I was exceeding glad that I found thy children walking in truth."
I answer that As stated above (Article [1]; Question [31], Article [1]), two things are requisite for pleasure, namely, the attainment of one's proper good, and the knowledge of having obtained it. Wherefore the action of another may cause pleasure to us in three ways. First, from the fact that we obtain some good through the action of another. And in this way, the actions of those who do some good to us, are pleasing to us: since it is pleasant to be benefited by another. Secondly, from the fact that another's action makes us to know or appreciate our own good: and for this reason men take pleasure in being praised or honored by others, because, to wit, they thus become aware of some good existing in themselves. And since this appreciation receives greater weight from the testimony of good and wise men, hence men take greater pleasure in being praised and honored by them. And because a flatterer appears to praise, therefore flattery is pleasing to some. And as love is for something good, while admiration is for something great, so it is pleasant to be loved and admired by others, inasmuch as a man thus becomes aware of his own goodness or greatness, through their giving pleasure to others. Thirdly, from the fact that another's actions, if they be good, are reckoned as one's own good, by reason of the power of love, which makes a man to regard his friend as one with himself. And on account of hatred, which makes one to reckon another's good as being in opposition to oneself, the evil action of an enemy becomes an object of pleasure: whence it is written (1Co 13,6) that charity "rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth."

Reply to Objection: 1. Another's action may be conjoined to me, either by its effect, as in the first way, or by knowledge, as in the second way; or by affection, as in the third way.
2. This argument avails for the third mode, but not for the first two.
3. Although the actions of another do not proceed from habits that are in me, yet they either produce in me something that gives pleasure; or they make me appreciate or know a habit of mind; or they proceed from the habit of one who is united to me by love.

Summa Th. I-II EN Qu.31 a.5