Summa Th. I-II EN Qu.46 a.3
Objection: 1. It would seem that anger is in the concupiscible faculty. For Cicero says (De Quaest. Tusc. iv, 9) that anger is a kind of "desire." But desire is in the concupiscible faculty. Therefore anger is too.
2. Further, Augustine says in his Rule, that "anger grows into hatred": and Cicero says (De Quaest. Tusc. iv, 9) that "hatred is inveterate anger." But hatred, like love, is a concupiscible passion. Therefore anger is in the concupiscible faculty.
3. Further, Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 16) and Gregory of Nyssa [*Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxi.] say that "anger is made up of sorrow and desire." Both of these are in the concupiscible faculty. Therefore anger is a concupiscible passion.
On the contrary The concupiscible is distinct from the irascible faculty. If, therefore, anger were in the concupiscible power, the irascible would not take its name from it.
I answer that As stated above (Question , Article ), the passions of the irascible part differ from the passions of the concupiscible faculty, in that the objects of the concupiscible passions are good and evil absolutely considered, whereas the objects of the irascible passions are good and evil in a certain elevation or arduousness. Now it has been stated (Article ) that anger regards two objects: viz. the vengeance that it seeks; and the person on whom it seeks vengeance; and in respect of both, anger requires a certain arduousness: for the movement of anger does not arise, unless there be some magnitude about both these objects; since "we make no ado about things that are naught or very minute," as the Philosopher observes (Rhet. ii, 2). It is therefore evident that anger is not in the concupiscible, but in the irascible faculty.
Reply to Objection: 1. Cicero gives the name of desire to any kind of craving for a future good, without discriminating between that which is arduous and that which is not. Accordingly he reckons anger as a kind of desire, inasmuch as it is a desire of vengeance. In this sense, however, desire is common to the irascible and concupiscible faculties.
2. Anger is said to grow into hatred, not as though the same passion which at first was anger, afterwards becomes hatred by becoming inveterate; but by a process of causality. For anger when it lasts a long time engenders hatred.
3. Anger is said to be composed of sorrow and desire, not as though they were its parts, but because they are its causes: and it has been said above (Question , Article ) that the concupiscible passions are the causes of the irascible passions.
Objection: 1. It would seem that anger does not require an act of reason. For, since anger is a passion, it is in the sensitive appetite. But the sensitive appetite follows an apprehension, not of reason, but of the sensitive faculty. Therefore anger does not require an act of reason.
2. Further, dumb animals are devoid of reason: and yet they are seen to be angry. Therefore anger does not require an act of reason.
3. Further, drunkenness fetters the reason; whereas it is conducive to anger. Therefore anger does not require an act of reason.
On the contrary The Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 6) that "anger listens to reason somewhat."
I answer that As stated above (Article ), anger is a desire for vengeance. Now vengeance implies a comparison between the punishment to be inflicted and the hurt done; wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 6) that "anger, as if it had drawn the inference that it ought to quarrel with such a person, is therefore immediately exasperated." Now to compare and to draw an inference is an act of reason. Therefore anger, in a fashion, requires an act of reason.
Reply to Objection: 1. The movement of the appetitive power may follow an act of reason in two ways. In the first way, it follows the reason in so far as the reason commands: and thus the will follows reason, wherefore it is called the rational appetite. In another way, it follows reason in so far as the reason denounces, and thus anger follows reason. For the Philosopher says (De Problem. xxviii, 3) that "anger follows reason, not in obedience to reason's command, but as a result of reason's denouncing the injury." Because the sensitive appetite is subject to the reason, not immediately but through the will.
2. Dumb animals have a natural instinct imparted to them by the Divine Reason, in virtue of which they are gifted with movements, both internal and external, like unto rational movements, as stated above (Question , Article ).
3. As stated in Ethic. vii, 6, "anger listens somewhat to reason" in so far as reason denounces the injury inflicted, "but listens not perfectly," because it does not observe the rule of reason as to the measure of vengeance. Anger, therefore, requires an act of reason; and yet proves a hindrance to reason. Wherefore the Philosopher says (De Problem. iii, 2,27) that whose who are very drunk, so as to be incapable of the use of reason, do not get angry: but those who are slightly drunk, do get angry, through being still able, though hampered, to form a judgment of reason.
Objection: 1. It would seem that anger is not more natural than desire. Because it is proper to man to be by nature a gentle animal. But "gentleness is contrary to anger," as the Philosopher states (Rhet. ii, 3). Therefore anger is no more natural than desire, in fact it seems to be altogether unnatural to man.
2. Further, reason is contrasted with nature: since those things that act according to reason, are not said to act according to nature. Now "anger requires an act of reason, but desire does not," as stated in Ethic. vii, 6. Therefore desire is more natural than anger.
3. Further, anger is a craving for vengeance: while desire is a craving for those things especially which are pleasant to the touch, viz. for pleasures of the table and for sexual pleasures. But these things are more natural to man than vengeance. Therefore desire is more natural than anger.
On the contrary The Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 6) that "anger is more natural than desire."
I answer that By "natural" we mean that which is caused by nature, as stated in Phys. ii, 1. Consequently the question as to whether a particular passion is more or less natural cannot be decided without reference to the cause of that passion. Now the cause of a passion, as stated above (Question , Article ), may be considered in two ways: first, on the part of the object; secondly, on the part of the subject. If then we consider the cause of anger and of desire, on the part of the object, thus desire, especially of pleasures of the table, and of sexual pleasures, is more natural than anger; in so far as these pleasures are more natural to man than vengeance.If, however, we consider the cause of anger on the part of the subject, thus anger, in a manner, is more natural; and, in a manner, desire is more natural. Because the nature of an individual man may be considered either as to the generic, or as to the specific nature, or again as to the particular temperament of the individual. If then we consider the generic nature, i.e. the nature of this man considered as an animal; thus desire is more natural than anger; because it is from this very generic nature that man is inclined to desire those things which tend to preserve in him the life both of the species and of the individual. If, however, we consider the specific nature, i.e. the nature of this man as a rational being; then anger is more natural to man than desire, in so far as anger follows reason more than desire does. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 5) that "revenge" which pertains to anger "is more natural to man than meekness": for it is natural to everything to rise up against things contrary and hurtful. And if we consider the nature of the individual, in respect of his particular temperament, thus anger is more natural than desire; for the reason that anger is prone to ensue from the natural tendency to anger, more than desire, or any other passion, is to ensue from a natural tendency to desire, which tendencies result from a man's individual temperament. Because disposition to anger is due to a bilious temperament; and of all the humors, the bile moves quickest; for it is like fire. Consequently he that is temperamentally disposed to anger is sooner incensed with anger, than he that is temperamentally disposed to desire, is inflamed with desire: and for this reason the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 6) that a disposition to anger is more liable to be transmitted from parent to child, than a disposition to desire.
Reply to Objection: 1. We may consider in man both the natural temperament on the part of the body, and the reason. On the part of the bodily temperament, a man, considered specifically, does not naturally excel others either in anger or in any other passion, on account of the moderation of his temperament. But other animals, for as much as their temperament recedes from this moderation and approaches to an extreme disposition, are naturally disposed to some excess of passion, such as the lion in daring, the hound in anger, the hare in fear, and so forth. On the part of reason, however, it is natural to man, both to be angry and to be gentle: in so far as reason somewhat causes anger, by denouncing the injury which causes anger; and somewhat appeases anger, in so far as the angry man "does not listen perfectly to the command of reason," as stated above (Article , ad 3).
2. Reason itself belongs to the nature of man: wherefore from the very fact that anger requires an act of reason, it follows that it is, in a manner, natural to man.
3. This argument regards anger and desire on the part of the object.
Objection: 1. It would seem that anger is more grievous than hatred. For it is written (Pr 27,4) that "anger hath no mercy, nor fury when it breaketh forth." But hatred sometimes has mercy. Therefore anger is more grievous than hatred.
2. Further, it is worse to suffer evil and to grieve for it, than merely to suffer it. But when a man hates, he is contented if the object of his hatred suffer evil: whereas the angry man is not satisfied unless the object of his anger know it and be aggrieved thereby, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4). Therefore, anger is more grievous than hatred.
3. Further, a thing seems to be so much the more firm according as more things concur to set it up: thus a habit is all the more settled through being caused by several acts. But anger is caused by the concurrence of several passions, as stated above (Article ): whereas hatred is not. Therefore anger is more settled and more grievous than hatred.
On the contrary Augustine, in his Rule, compares hatred to "a beam," but anger to "a mote."
I answer that The species and nature of a passion are taken from its object. Now the object of anger is the same in substance as the object of hatred; since, just as the hater wishes evil to him whom he hates, so does the angry man wish evil to him with whom he is angry. But there is a difference of aspect: for the hater wishes evil to his enemy, as evil, whereas the angry man wishes evil to him with whom he is angry, not as evil but in so far as it has an aspect of good, that is, in so far as he reckons it as just, since it is a means of vengeance. Wherefore also it has been said above (Article ) that hatred implies application of evil to evil, whereas anger denotes application of good to evil. Now it is evident that to seek evil under the aspect of justice, is a lesser evil, than simply to seek evil to someone. Because to wish evil to someone under the aspect of justice, may be according to the virtue of justice, if it be in conformity with the order of reason; and anger fails only in this, that it does not obey the precept of reason in taking vengeance. Consequently it is evident that hatred is far worse and graver than anger.
Reply to Objection: 1. In anger and hatred two points may be considered: namely, the thing desired, and the intensity of the desire. As to the thing desired, anger has more mercy than hatred has. For since hatred desires another's evil for evil's sake, it is satisfied with no particular measure of evil: because those things that are desired for their own sake, are desired without measure, as the Philosopher states (Polit. i, 3), instancing a miser with regard to riches. Hence it is written (Si 12,16): "An enemy . . . if he find an opportunity, will not be satisfied with blood." Anger, on the other hand, seeks evil only under the aspect of a just means of vengeance. Consequently when the evil inflicted goes beyond the measure of justice according to the estimate of the angry man, then he has mercy. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4) that "the angry man is appeased if many evils befall, whereas the hater is never appeased."As to the intensity of the desire, anger excludes mercy more than hatred does; because the movement of anger is more impetuous, through the heating of the bile. Hence the passage quoted continues: "Who can bear the violence of one provoked?"
2. As stated above, an angry man wishes evil to someone, in so far as this evil is a means of just vengeance. Now vengeance is wrought by the infliction of a punishment: and the nature of punishment consists in being contrary to the will, painful, and inflicted for some fault. Consequently an angry man desires this, that the person whom he is hurting, may feel it and be in pain, and know that this has befallen him on account of the harm he has done the other. The hater, on the other hand, cares not for all this, since he desires another's evil as such. It is not true, however, that an evil is worse through giving pain: because "injustice and imprudence, although evil," yet, being voluntary, "do not grieve those in whom they are," as the Philosopher observes (Rhet. ii, 4).
3. That which proceeds from several causes, is more settled when these causes are of one kind: but it may be that one cause prevails over many others. Now hatred ensues from a more lasting cause than anger does. Because anger arises from an emotion of the soul due to the wrong inflicted; whereas hatred ensues from a disposition in a man, by reason of which he considers that which he hates to be contrary and hurtful to him. Consequently, as passion is more transitory than disposition or habit, so anger is less lasting than hatred; although hatred itself is a passion ensuing from this disposition. Hence the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4) that "hatred is more incurable than anger."
Objection: 1. It would seem that anger is not only towards those to whom one has an obligation of justice. For there is no justice between man and irrational beings. And yet sometimes one is angry with irrational beings; thus, out of anger, a writer throws away his pen, or a rider strikes his horse. Therefore anger is not only towards those to whom one has an obligation of justice.
2. Further, "there is no justice towards oneself . . . nor is there justice towards one's own" (Ethic. v, 6). But sometimes a man is angry with himself; for instance, a penitent, on account of his sin; hence it is written (Ps 4,5): "Be ye angry and sin not." Therefore anger is not only towards those with whom one has a relation of justice.
3. Further, justice and injustice can be of one man towards an entire class, or a whole community: for instance, when the state injures an individual. But anger is not towards a class but only towards an individual, as the Philosopher states (Rhet. ii, 4). Therefore properly speaking, anger is not towards those with whom one is in relation of justice or injustice.
On the contrary The contrary, however, may be gathered from the Philosopher (Rhet. ii, 2,3).
I answer that As stated above (Article ), anger desires evil as being a means of just vengeance. Consequently, anger is towards those to whom we are just or unjust: since vengeance is an act of justice, and wrong-doing is an act of injustice. Therefore both on the part of the cause, viz. the harm done by another, and on the part of the vengeance sought by the angry man, it is evident that anger concerns those to whom one is just or unjust.
Reply to Objection: 1. As stated above (Article , ad 2), anger, though it follows an act of reason, can nevertheless be in dumb animals that are devoid of reason, in so far as through their natural instinct they are moved by their imagination to something like rational action. Since then in man there is both reason and imagination, the movement of anger can be aroused in man in two ways. First, when only his imagination denounces the injury: and, in this way, man is aroused to a movement of anger even against irrational and inanimate beings, which movement is like that which occurs in animals against anything that injures them. Secondly, by the reason denouncing the injury: and thus, according to the Philosopher (Rhet. ii, 3), "it is impossible to be angry with insensible things, or with the dead": both because they feel no pain, which is, above all, what the angry man seeks in those with whom he is angry: and because there is no question of vengeance on them, since they can do us no harm.
2. As the Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 11), "metaphorically speaking there is a certain justice and injustice between a man and himself," in so far as the reason rules the irascible and concupiscible parts of the soul. And in this sense a man is said to be avenged on himself, and consequently, to be angry with himself. But properly, and in accordance with the nature of things, a man is never angry with himself.
3. The Philosopher (Rhet. ii, 4) assigns as one difference between hatred and anger, that "hatred may be felt towards a class, as we hate the entire class of thieves; whereas anger is directed only towards an individual." The reason is that hatred arises from our considering a quality as disagreeing with our disposition; and this may refer to a thing in general or in particular. Anger, on the other hand, ensues from someone having injured us by his action. Now all actions are the deeds of individuals: and consequently anger is always pointed at an individual. When the whole state hurts us, the whole state is reckoned as one individual [*Cf. Question , Article ].
Objection: 1. It would seem that Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 16) unsuitably assigns three species of anger---"wrath," "ill-will" and "rancor." For no genus derives its specific differences from accidents. But these three are diversified in respect of an accident: because "the beginning of the movement of anger is called wrath (cholos), if anger continue it is called ill-will (menis); while rancor (kotos) is anger waiting for an opportunity of vengeance." Therefore these are not different species of anger.
2. Further, Cicero says (De Quaest. Tusc. iv, 9) that "excandescentia [irascibility] is what the Greeks call (thymosis), and is a kind of anger that arises and subsides intermittently"; while according to Damascene (thymosis), is the same as the Greek (kotos) [rancor]. Therefore (kotos) does not bide its time for taking vengeance, but in course of time spends itself.
3. Further, Gregory (Moral. xxi, 4) gives three degrees of anger, namely, "anger without utterance, anger with utterance, and anger with perfection of speech," corresponding to the three degrees mentioned by Our Lord (Mt 5,22): "Whosoever is angry with his brother" [thus implying "anger without utterance"], and then, "whosoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca'" [implying "anger with utterance yet without full expression"], and lastly, "whosoever shall say 'Thou fool'" [where we have "perfection of speech"]. Therefore Damascene's division is imperfect, since it takes no account of utterance.
On the contrary stands the authority of Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 16) and Gregory of Nyssa [*Nemesius, De Nat. Hom. xxi.].
I answer that The species of anger given by Damascene and Gregory of Nyssa are taken from those things which give increase to anger. This happens in three ways. First from facility of the movement itself, and he calls this kind of anger (cholos) [bile] because it quickly aroused. Secondly, on the part of the grief that causes anger, and which dwells some time in the memory; this belongs to (menis) [ill-will] which is derived from (menein) [to dwell]. Thirdly, on the part of that which the angry man seeks, viz. vengeance; and this pertains to (kotos) [rancor] which never rests until it is avenged [*Ep 4,31: "Let all bitterness and anger and indignation . . . be put away from you."]. Hence the Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 5) calls some angry persons (akrocholoi) [choleric], because they are easily angered; some he calls (pikroi) [bitter], because they retain their anger for a long time; and some he calls (chalepoi) [ill-tempered], because they never rest until they have retaliated [*Cf. II-II 158,5].
Reply to Objection: 1. All those things which give anger some kind of perfection are not altogether accidental to anger; and consequently nothing prevents them from causing a certain specific difference thereof.
2. Irascibility, which Cicero mentions, seems to pertain to the first species of anger, which consists in a certain quickness of temper, rather than to rancor [furor]. And there is no reason why the Greek (thymosis), which is denoted by the Latin "furor," should not signify both quickness to anger, and firmness of purpose in being avenged.
3. These degrees are distinguished according to various effects of anger; and not according to degrees of perfection in the very movement of anger.
[*There is no further mention of these remedies in the text, except in Article .]
We must now consider the cause that provokes anger, and its remedies. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether the motive of anger is always something done against the one who is angry?
(2) Whether slight or contempt is the sole motive of anger?
(3) Of the cause of anger on the part of the angry person;
(4) Of the cause of anger on the part of the person with whom one is angry.
Objection: 1. It would seem that the motive of anger is not always something done against the one who is angry. Because man, by sinning, can do nothing against God; since it is written (Jb 35,6): "If thy iniquities be multiplied, what shalt thou do against Him?" And yet God is spoken of as being angry with man on account of sin, according to Ps 105,40: "The Lord was exceedingly angry with His people." Therefore it is not always on account of something done against him, that a man is angry.
2. Further, anger is a desire for vengeance. But one may desire vengeance for things done against others. Therefore we are not always angry on account of something done against us.
3. Further, as the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 2) man is angry especially with those "who despise what he takes a great interest in; thus men who study philosophy are angry with those who despise philosophy," and so forth. But contempt of philosophy does not harm the philosopher. Therefore it is not always a harm done to us that makes us angry.
4. Further, he that holds his tongue when another insults him, provokes him to greater anger, as Chrysostom observes (Hom. xxii, in Ep ad Rom.). But by holding his tongue he does the other no harm. Therefore a man is not always provoked to anger by something done against him.
On the contrary The Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4) that "anger is always due to something done to oneself: whereas hatred may arise without anything being done to us, for we hate a man simply because we think him such."
I answer that As stated above (Question , Article ), anger is the desire to hurt another for the purpose of just vengeance. Now unless some injury has been done, there is no question of vengeance: nor does any injury provoke one to vengeance, but only that which is done to the person who seeks vengeance: for just as everything naturally seeks its own good, so does it naturally repel its own evil. But injury done by anyone does not affect a man unless in some way it be something done against him. Consequently the motive of a man's anger is always something done against him.
Reply to Objection: 1. We speak of anger in God, not as of a passion of the soul but as of judgment of justice, inasmuch as He wills to take vengeance on sin. Because the sinner, by sinning, cannot do God any actual harm: but so far as he himself is concerned, he acts against God in two ways. First, in so far as he despises God in His commandments. Secondly, in so far as he harms himself or another; which injury redounds to God, inasmuch as the person injured is an object of God's providence and protection.
2. If we are angry with those who harm others, and seek to be avenged on them, it is because those who are injured belong in some way to us: either by some kinship or friendship, or at least because of the nature we have in common.
3. When we take a very great interest in a thing, we look upon it as our own good; so that if anyone despise it, it seems as though we ourselves were despised and injured.
4. Silence provokes the insulter to anger when he thinks it is due to contempt, as though his anger were slighted: and a slight is an action.
Objection: 1. It would seem that slight or contempt is not the sole motive of anger. For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 16) that we are angry "when we suffer, or think that we are suffering, an injury." But one may suffer an injury without being despised or slighted. Therefore a slight is not the only motive of anger.
2. Further, desire for honor and grief for a slight belong to the same subject. But dumb animals do not desire honor. Therefore they are not grieved by being slighted. And yet "they are roused to anger, when wounded," as the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 8). Therefore a slight is not the sole motive of anger.
3. Further, the Philosopher (Rhet. ii, 2) gives many other causes of anger, for instance, "being forgotten by others; that others should rejoice in our misfortunes; that they should make known our evils; being hindered from doing as we like." Therefore being slighted is not the only motive for being angry.
On the contrary The Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 2) that anger is "a desire, with sorrow, for vengeance, on account of a seeming slight done unbecomingly."
I answer that All the causes of anger are reduced to slight. For slight is of three kinds, as stated in Rhet. ii, 2, viz. "contempt," "despiteful treatment," i.e. hindering one from doing one's will, and "insolence": and all motives of anger are reduced to these three. Two reasons may be assigned for this. First, because anger seeks another's hurt as being a means of just vengeance: wherefore it seeks vengeance in so far as it seems just. Now just vengeance is taken only for that which is done unjustly; hence that which provokes anger is always something considered in the light of an injustice. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 3) that "men are not angry---if they think they have wronged some one and are suffering justly on that account; because there is no anger at what is just." Now injury is done to another in three ways: namely, through ignorance, through passion, and through choice. Then, most of all, a man does an injustice, when he does an injury from choice, on purpose, or from deliberate malice, as stated in Ethic. v, 8. Wherefore we are most of all angry with those who, in our opinion, have hurt us on purpose. For if we think that some one has done us an injury through ignorance or through passion, either we are not angry with them at all, or very much less: since to do anything through ignorance or through passion takes away from the notion of injury, and to a certain extent calls for mercy and forgiveness. Those, on the other hand, who do an injury on purpose, seem to sin from contempt; wherefore we are angry with them most of all. Hence the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 3) that "we are either not angry at all, or not very angry with those who have acted through anger, because they do not seem to have acted slightingly."The second reason is because a slight is opposed to a man's excellence: because "men think little of things that are not worth much ado" (Rhet. ii, 2). Now we seek for some kind of excellence from all our goods. Consequently whatever injury is inflicted on us, in so far as it is derogatory to our excellence, seems to savor of a slight.
Reply to Objection: 1. Any other cause, besides contempt, through which a man suffers an injury, takes away from the notion of injury: contempt or slight alone adds to the motive of anger, and consequently is of itself the cause of anger.
2. Although a dumb animal does not seek honor as such, yet it naturally seeks a certain superiority, and is angry with anything derogatory thereto.
3. Each of those causes amounts to some kind of slight. Thus forgetfulness is a clear sign of slight esteem, for the more we think of a thing the more is it fixed in our memory. Again if a man does not hesitate by his remarks to give pain to another, this seems to show that he thinks little of him: and those too who show signs of hilarity when another is in misfortune, seem to care little about his good or evil. Again he that hinders another from carrying out his will, without deriving thereby any profit to himself, seems not to care much for his friendship. Consequently all those things, in so far as they are signs of contempt, provoke anger.
Objection: 1. It would seem that a man's excellence is not the cause of his being more easily angry. For the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 2) that "some are angry especially when they are grieved, for instance, the sick, the poor, and those who are disappointed." But these things seem to pertain to defect. Therefore defect rather than excellence makes one prone to anger.
2. Further, the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 2) that "some are very much inclined to be angry when they are despised for some failing or weakness of the existence of which there are grounds for suspicion; but if they think they excel in those points, they do not trouble." But a suspicion of this kind is due to some defect. Therefore defect rather than excellence is a cause of a man being angry.
3. Further, whatever savors of excellence makes a man agreeable and hopeful. But the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 3) that "men are not angry when they play, make jokes, or take part in a feast, nor when they are prosperous or successful, nor in moderate pleasures and well-founded hope." Therefore excellence is not a cause of anger.
On the contrary The Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 9) that excellence makes men prone to anger.
I answer that The cause of anger, in the man who is angry, may be taken in two ways. First in respect of the motive of anger: and thus excellence is the cause of a man being easily angered. Because the motive of anger is an unjust slight, as stated above (Article ). Now it is evident that the more excellent a man is, the more unjust is a slight offered him in the matter in which he excels. Consequently those who excel in any matter, are most of all angry, if they be slighted in that matter; for instance, a wealthy man in his riches, or an orator in his eloquence, and so forth.Secondly, the cause of anger, in the man who is angry, may be considered on the part of the disposition produced in him by the motive aforesaid. Now it is evident that nothing moves a man to anger except a hurt that grieves him: while whatever savors of defect is above all a cause of grief; since men who suffer from some defect are more easily hurt. And this is why men who are weak, or subject to some other defect, are more easily angered, since they are more easily grieved.
Reply to Objection: 1. This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.
2. If a man be despised in a matter in which he evidently excels greatly, he does not consider himself the loser thereby, and therefore is not grieved: and in this respect he is less angered. But in another respect, in so far as he is more undeservedly despised, he has more reason for being angry: unless perhaps he thinks that he is envied or insulted not through contempt but through ignorance, or some other like cause.
3. All these things hinder anger in so far as they hinder sorrow. But in another respect they are naturally apt to provoke anger, because they make it more unseemly to insult anyone.
Summa Th. I-II EN Qu.46 a.3