Summa Th. I EN Qu.82 a.3
Objection: 1. It would seem that the will is a higher power than the intellect. For the object of the will is good and the end. But the end is the first and highest cause. Therefore the will is the first and highest power.
2. Further, in the order of natural things we observe a progress from imperfect things to perfect. And this also appears in the powers of the soul: for sense precedes the intellect, which is more noble. Now the act of the will, in the natural order, follows the act of the intellect. Therefore the will is a more noble and perfect power than the intellect.
3. Further, habits are proportioned to their powers, as perfections to what they make perfect. But the habit which perfects the will---namely, charity---is more noble than the habits which perfect the intellect: for it is written (1Co 13,2): "If I should know all mysteries, and if I should have all faith, and have not charity, I am nothing." Therefore the will is a higher power than the intellect.
On the contrary The Philosopher holds the intellect to be the higher power than the intellect.
I answer that The superiority of one thing over another can be considered in two ways: "absolutely" and "relatively." Now a thing is considered to be such absolutely which is considered such in itself: but relatively as it is such with regard to something else. If therefore the intellect and will be considered with regard to themselves, then the intellect is the higher power. And this is clear if we compare their respective objects to one another. For the object of the intellect is more simple and more absolute than the object of the will; since the object of the intellect is the very idea of appetible good; and the appetible good, the idea of which is in the intellect, is the object of the will. Now the more simple and the more abstract a thing is, the nobler and higher it is in itself; and therefore the object of the intellect is higher than the object of the will. Therefore, since the proper nature of a power is in its order to its object, it follows that the intellect in itself and absolutely is higher and nobler than the will. But relatively and by comparison with something else, we find that the will is sometimes higher than the intellect, from the fact that the object of the will occurs in something higher than that in which occurs the object of the intellect. Thus, for instance, I might say that hearing is relatively nobler than sight, inasmuch as something in which there is sound is nobler than something in which there is color, though color is nobler and simpler than sound. For as we have said above (Question , Article ; Question , Article ), the action of the intellect consists in this---that the idea of the thing understood is in the one who understands; while the act of the will consists in this---that the will is inclined to the thing itself as existing in itself. And therefore the Philosopher says in Metaph. vi (Did. v, 2) that "good and evil," which are objects of the will, "are in things," but "truth and error," which are objects of the intellect, "are in the mind." When, therefore, the thing in which there is good is nobler than the soul itself, in which is the idea understood; by comparison with such a thing, the will is higher than the intellect. But when the thing which is good is less noble than the soul, then even in comparison with that thing the intellect is higher than the will. Wherefore the love of God is better than the knowledge of God; but, on the contrary, the knowledge of corporeal things is better than the love thereof. Absolutely, however, the intellect is nobler than the will.
Reply to Objection: 1. The aspect of causality is perceived by comparing one thing to another, and in such a comparison the idea of good is found to be nobler: but truth signifies something more absolute, and extends to the idea of good itself: wherefore even good is something true. But, again, truth is something good: forasmuch as the intellect is a thing, and truth its end. And among other ends this is the most excellent: as also is the intellect among the other powers.
2. What precedes in order of generation and time is less perfect: for in one and in the same thing potentiality precedes act, and imperfection precedes perfection. But what precedes absolutely and in the order of nature is more perfect: for thus act precedes potentiality. And in this way the intellect precedes the will, as the motive power precedes the thing movable, and as the active precedes the passive; for good which is understood moves the will.
3. This reason is verified of the will as compared with what is above the soul. For charity is the virtue by which we love God.
Objection: 1. It would seem that the will does not move the intellect. For what moves excels and precedes what is moved, because what moves is an agent, and "the agent is nobler than the patient," as Augustine says (Gn ad lit. xii, 16), and the Philosopher (De Anima iii, 5). But the intellect excels and precedes the will, as we have said above (Article ). Therefore the will does not move the intellect.
2. Further, what moves is not moved by what is moved, except perhaps accidentally. But the intellect moves the will, because the good apprehended by the intellect moves without being moved; whereas the appetite moves and is moved. Therefore the intellect is not moved by the will.
3. Further, we can will nothing but what we understand. If, therefore, in order to understand, the will moves by willing to understand, that act of the will must be preceded by another act of the intellect, and this act of the intellect by another act of the will, and so on indefinitely, which is impossible. Therefore the will does not move the intellect.
On the contrary Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 26): "It is in our power to learn an art or not, as we list." But a thing is in our power by the will, and we learn art by the intellect. Therefore the will moves the intellect.
I answer that A thing is said to move in two ways: First, as an end; for instance, when we say that the end moves the agent. In this way the intellect moves the will, because the good understood is the object of the will, and moves it as an end. Secondly, a thing is said to move as an agent, as what alters moves what is altered, and what impels moves what is impelled. In this way the will moves the intellect and all the powers of the soul, as Anselm says (Eadmer, De Similitudinibus). The reason is, because wherever we have order among a number of active powers, that power which regards the universal end moves the powers which regard particular ends. And we may observe this both in nature and in things politic. For the heaven, which aims at the universal preservation of things subject to generation and corruption, moves all inferior bodies, each of which aims at the preservation of its own species or of the individual. The king also, who aims at the common good of the whole kingdom, by his rule moves all the governors of cities, each of whom rules over his own particular city. Now the object of the will is good and the end in general, and each power is directed to some suitable good proper to it, as sight is directed to the perception of color, and the intellect to the knowledge of truth. Therefore the will as agent moves all the powers of the soul to their respective acts, except the natural powers of the vegetative part, which are not subject to our will.
Reply to Objection: 1. The intellect may be considered in two ways: as apprehensive of universal being and truth, and as a thing and a particular power having a determinate act. In like manner also the will may be considered in two ways: according to the common nature of its object---that is to say, as appetitive of universal good---and as a determinate power of the soul having a determinate act. If, therefore, the intellect and the will be compared with one another according to the universality of their respective objects, then, as we have said above (Article ), the intellect is simply higher and nobler than the will. If, however, we take the intellect as regards the common nature of its object and the will as a determinate power, then again the intellect is higher and nobler than the will, because under the notion of being and truth is contained both the will itself, and its act, and its object. Wherefore the intellect understands the will, and its act, and its object, just as it understands other species of things, as stone or wood, which are contained in the common notion of being and truth. But if we consider the will as regards the common nature of its object, which is good, and the intellect as a thing and a special power; then the intellect itself, and its act, and its object, which is truth, each of which is some species of good, are contained under the common notion of good. And in this way the will is higher than the intellect, and can move it. From this we can easily understand why these powers include one another in their acts, because the intellect understands that the will wills, and the will wills the intellect to understand. In the same way good is contained in truth, inasmuch as it is an understood truth, and truth in good, inasmuch as it is a desired good.
2. The intellect moves the will in one sense, and the will moves the intellect in another, as we have said above.
3. There is no need to go on indefinitely, but we must stop at the intellect as preceding all the rest. For every movement of the will must be preceded by apprehension, whereas every apprehension is not preceded by an act of the will; but the principle of counselling and understanding is an intellectual principle higher than our intellect ---namely, God---as also Aristotle says (Eth. Eudemic. vii, 14), and in this way he explains that there is no need to proceed indefinitely.
Objection: 1. It would seem that we ought to distinguish irascible and concupiscible parts in the superior appetite, which is the will. For the concupiscible power is so called from "concupiscere" [to desire], and the irascible part from "irasci" [to be angry]. But there is a concupiscence which cannot belong to the sensitive appetite, but only to the intellectual, which is the will; as the concupiscence of wisdom, of which it is said (Ws. 6:21): "The concupiscence of wisdom bringeth to the eternal kingdom." There is also a certain anger which cannot belong to the sensitive appetite, but only to the intellectual; as when our anger is directed against vice. Wherefore Jerome commenting on Mt 13,33 warns us "to have the hatred of vice in the irascible part." Therefore we should distinguish irascible and concupiscible parts of the intellectual soul as well as in the sensitive.
2. Further, as is commonly said, charity is in the concupiscible, and hope in the irascible part. But they cannot be in the sensitive appetite, because their objects are not sensible, but intellectual. Therefore we must assign an irascible and concupiscible power to the intellectual part.
3. Further, it is said (De Spiritu et Anima) that "the soul has these powers"---namely, the irascible, concupiscible, and rational---"before it is united to the body." But no power of the sensitive part belongs to the soul alone, but to the soul and body united, as we have said above (Question , Articles ,8). Therefore the irascible and concupiscible powers are in the will, which is the intellectual appetite.
On the contrary Gregory of Nyssa (Nemesius, De Nat. Hom.) says "that the irrational" part of the soul is divided into the desiderative and irascible, and Damascene says the same (De Fide Orth. ii, 12). And the Philosopher says (De Anima iii, 9) "that the will is in reason, while in the irrational part of the soul are concupiscence and anger," or "desire and animus."
I answer that The irascible and concupiscible are not parts of the intellectual appetite, which is called the will. Because, as was said above (Question , Article ; Question , Article ), a power which is directed to an object according to some common notion is not differentiated by special differences which are contained under that common notion. For instance, because sight regards the visible thing under the common notion of something colored, the visual power is not multiplied according to the different kinds of color: but if there were a power regarding white as white, and not as something colored, it would be distinct from a power regarding black as black.
Now the sensitive appetite does not consider the common notion of good, because neither do the senses apprehend the universal. And therefore the parts of the sensitive appetite are differentiated by the different notions of particular good: for the concupiscible regards as proper to it the notion of good, as something pleasant to the senses and suitable to nature: whereas the irascible regards the notion of good as something that wards off and repels what is hurtful. But the will regards good according to the common notion of good, and therefore in the will, which is the intellectual appetite, there is no differentiation of appetitive powers, so that there be in the intellectual appetite an irascible power distinct from a concupiscible power: just as neither on the part of the intellect are the apprehensive powers multiplied, although they are on the part of the senses.
Reply to Objection: 1. Love, concupiscence, and the like can be understood in two ways. Sometimes they are taken as passions---arising, that is, with a certain commotion of the soul. And thus they are commonly understood, and in this sense they are only in the sensitive appetite. They may, however, be taken in another way, as far as they are simple affections without passion or commotion of the soul, and thus they are acts of the will. And in this sense, too, they are attributed to the angels and to God. But if taken in this sense, they do not belong to different powers, but only to one power, which is called the will.
2. The will itself may be said to irascible, as far as it wills to repel evil, not from any sudden movement of a passion, but from a judgment of the reason. And in the same way the will may be said to be concupiscible on account of its desire for good. And thus in the irascible and concupiscible are charity and hope---that is, in the will as ordered to such acts. And in this way, too, we may understand the words quoted (De Spiritu et Anima); that the irascible and concupiscible powers are in the soul before it is united to the body (as long as we understand priority of nature, and not of time), although there is no need to have faith in what that book says. Whence the answer to the third objection is clear.
We now inquire concerning free-will. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether man has free-will?
(2) What is free-will---a power, an act, or a habit?
(3) If it is a power, is it appetitive or cognitive?
(4) If it is appetitive, is it the same power as the will, or distinct?
Objection: 1. It would seem that man has not free-will. For whoever has free-will does what he wills. But man does not what he wills; for it is written (Rm 7,19): "For the good which I will I do not, but the evil which I will not, that I do." Therefore man has not free-will.
2. Further, whoever has free-will has in his power to will or not to will, to do or not to do. But this is not in man's power: for it is written (Rm 9,16): "It is not of him that willeth"---namely, to will---"nor of him that runneth"---namely, to run. Therefore man has not free-will.
3. Further, what is "free is cause of itself," as the Philosopher says (Metaph. i, 2). Therefore what is moved by another is not free. But God moves the will, for it is written (Pr 21,1): "The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord; whithersoever He will He shall turn it" and (Ph 2,13): "It is God Who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish." Therefore man has not free-will.
4. Further, whoever has free-will is master of his own actions. But man is not master of his own actions: for it is written (Jr 10,23): "The way of a man is not his: neither is it in a man to walk." Therefore man has not free-will.
5. Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 5): "According as each one is, such does the end seem to him." But it is not in our power to be of one quality or another; for this comes to us from nature. Therefore it is natural to us to follow some particular end, and therefore we are not free in so doing.
On the contrary It is written (Si 15,14): "God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel"; and the gloss adds: "That is of his free-will."
I answer that Man has free-will: otherwise counsels, exhortations, commands, prohibitions, rewards, and punishments would be in vain. In order to make this evident, we must observe that some things act without judgment; as a stone moves downwards; and in like manner all things which lack knowledge. And some act from judgment, but not a free judgment; as brute animals. For the sheep, seeing the wolf, judges it a thing to be shunned, from a natural and not a free judgment, because it judges, not from reason, but from natural instinct. And the same thing is to be said of any judgment of brute animals. But man acts from judgment, because by his apprehensive power he judges that something should be avoided or sought. But because this judgment, in the case of some particular act, is not from a natural instinct, but from some act of comparison in the reason, therefore he acts from free judgment and retains the power of being inclined to various things. For reason in contingent matters may follow opposite courses, as we see in dialectic syllogisms and rhetorical arguments. Now particular operations are contingent, and therefore in such matters the judgment of reason may follow opposite courses, and is not determinate to one. And forasmuch as man is rational is it necessary that man have a free-will.
Reply to Objection: 1. As we have said above (Question , Article , ad 2), the sensitive appetite, though it obeys the reason, yet in a given case can resist by desiring what the reason forbids. This is therefore the good which man does not when he wishes---namely, "not to desire against reason," as Augustine says.
2. Those words of the Apostle are not to be taken as though man does not wish or does not run of his free-will, but because the free-will is not sufficient thereto unless it be moved and helped by God.
3. Free-will is the cause of its own movement, because by his free-will man moves himself to act. But it does not of necessity belong to liberty that what is free should be the first cause of itself, as neither for one thing to be cause of another need it be the first cause. God, therefore, is the first cause, Who moves causes both natural and voluntary. And just as by moving natural causes He does not prevent their acts being natural, so by moving voluntary causes He does not deprive their actions of being voluntary: but rather is He the cause of this very thing in them; for He operates in each thing according to its own nature.
4. "Man's way" is said "not to be his" in the execution of his choice, wherein he may be impeded, whether he will or not. The choice itself, however, is in us, but presupposes the help of God.
5. Quality in man is of two kinds: natural and adventitious. Now the natural quality may be in the intellectual part, or in the body and its powers. From the very fact, therefore, that man is such by virtue of a natural quality which is in the intellectual part, he naturally desires his last end, which is happiness. Which desire, indeed, is a natural desire, and is not subject to free-will, as is clear from what we have said above (Question , Articles ,2). But on the part of the body and its powers man may be such by virtue of a natural quality, inasmuch as he is of such a temperament or disposition due to any impression whatever produced by corporeal causes, which cannot affect the intellectual part, since it is not the act of a corporeal organ. And such as a man is by virtue of a corporeal quality, such also does his end seem to him, because from such a disposition a man is inclined to choose or reject something. But these inclinations are subject to the judgment of reason, which the lower appetite obeys, as we have said (Question , Article ). Wherefore this is in no way prejudicial to free-will.
The adventitious qualities are habits and passions, by virtue of which a man is inclined to one thing rather than to another. And yet even these inclinations are subject to the judgment of reason. Such qualities, too, are subject to reason, as it is in our power either to acquire them, whether by causing them or disposing ourselves to them, or to reject them. And so there is nothing in this that is repugnant to free-will.
Objection: 1. It would seem that free-will is not a power. For free-will is nothing but a free judgment. But judgment denominates an act, not a power. Therefore free-will is not a power.
2. Further, free-will is defined as "the faculty of the will and reason." But faculty denominates a facility of power, which is due to a habit. Therefore free-will is a habit. Moreover Bernard says (De Gratia et Lib. Arb. 1,2) that free-will is "the soul's habit of disposing of itself." Therefore it is not a power.
3. Further, no natural power is forfeited through sin. But free-will is forfeited through sin; for Augustine says that "man, by abusing free-will, loses both it and himself." Therefore free-will is not a power.
On the contrary Nothing but a power, seemingly, is the subject of a habit. But free-will is the subject of grace, by the help of which it chooses what is good. Therefore free-will is a power.
I answer that, Although free-will [*Liberum arbitrium---i.e. free judgment] in its strict sense denotes an act, in the common manner of speaking we call free-will, that which is the principle of the act by which man judges freely. Now in us the principle of an act is both power and habit; for we say that we know something both by knowledge and by the intellectual power. Therefore free-will must be either a power or a habit, or a power with a habit. That it is neither a habit nor a power together with a habit, can be clearly proved in two ways. First of all, because, if it is a habit, it must be a natural habit; for it is natural to man to have a free-will. But there is not natural habit in us with respect to those things which come under free-will: for we are naturally inclined to those things of which we have natural habits---for instance, to assent to first principles: while those things which we are naturally inclined are not subject to free-will, as we have said of the desire of happiness (Question , Articles ,2). Wherefore it is against the very notion of free-will that it should be a natural habit. And that it should be a non-natural habit is against its nature. Therefore in no sense is it a habit.
Secondly, this is clear because habits are defined as that "by reason of which we are well or ill disposed with regard to actions and passions" (Ethic. ii, 5); for by temperance we are well-disposed as regards concupiscences, and by intemperance ill-disposed: and by knowledge we are well-disposed to the act of the intellect when we know the truth, and by the contrary ill-disposed. But the free-will is indifferent to good and evil choice: wherefore it is impossible for free-will to be a habit. Therefore it is a power.
Reply to Objection: 1. It is not unusual for a power to be named from its act. And so from this act, which is a free judgment, is named the power which is the principle of this act. Otherwise, if free-will denominated an act, it would not always remain in man.
2. Faculty sometimes denominates a power ready for operation, and in this sense faculty is used in the definition of free-will. But Bernard takes habit, not as divided against power, but as signifying a certain aptitude by which a man has some sort of relation to an act. And this may be both by a power and by a habit: for by a power man is, as it were, empowered to do the action, and by the habit he is apt to act well or ill.
3. Man is said to have lost free-will by falling into sin, not as to natural liberty, which is freedom from coercion, but as regards freedom from fault and unhappiness. Of this we shall treat later in the treatise on Morals in the second part of this work (I-II 85,0, seqq.; I-II 109,0).
Objection: 1. It would seem that free-will is not an appetitive, but a cognitive power. For Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 27) says that "free-will straightway accompanies the rational nature." But reason is a cognitive power. Therefore free-will is a cognitive power.
2. Further, free-will is so called as though it were a free judgment. But to judge is an act of a cognitive power. Therefore free-will is a cognitive power.
3. Further, the principal function of free-will is to choose. But choice seems to belong to knowledge, because it implies a certain comparison of one thing to another, which belongs to the cognitive power. Therefore free-will is a cognitive power.
On the contrary The Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 3) that choice is "the desire of those things which are in us." But desire is an act of the appetitive power: therefore choice is also. But free-will is that by which we choose. Therefore free-will is an appetitive power.
I answer that The proper act of free-will is choice: for we say that we have a free-will because we can take one thing while refusing another; and this is to choose. Therefore we must consider the nature of free-will, by considering the nature of choice. Now two things concur in choice: one on the part of the cognitive power, the other on the part of the appetitive power. On the part of the cognitive power, counsel is required, by which we judge one thing to be preferred to another: and on the part of the appetitive power, it is required that the appetite should accept the judgment of counsel. Therefore Aristotle (Ethic. vi, 2) leaves it in doubt whether choice belongs principally to the appetitive or the cognitive power: since he says that choice is either "an appetitive intellect or an intellectual appetite." But (Ethic. iii, 3) he inclines to its being an intellectual appetite when he describes choice as "a desire proceeding from counsel." And the reason of this is because the proper object of choice is the means to the end: and this, as such, is in the nature of that good which is called useful: wherefore since good, as such, is the object of the appetite, it follows that choice is principally an act of the appetitive power. And thus free-will is an appetitive power.
Reply to Objection: 1. The appetitive powers accompany the apprehensive, and in this sense Damascene says that free-will straightway accompanies the rational power.
2. Judgment, as it were, concludes and terminates counsel. Now counsel is terminated, first, by the judgment of reason; secondly, by the acceptation of the appetite: whence the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 3) says that, "having formed a judgment by counsel, we desire in accordance with that counsel." And in this sense choice itself is a judgment from which free-will takes its name.
3. This comparison which is implied in the choice belongs to the preceding counsel, which is an act of reason. For though the appetite does not make comparisons, yet forasmuch as it is moved by the apprehensive power which does compare, it has some likeness of comparison by choosing one in preference to another.
Objection: 1. It would seem that free-will is a power distinct from the will. For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 22) that (thelesis) is one thing and (boulesis) another. But (thelesis) is the will, while (boulesis) seems to be the free-will, because (boulesis), according to him, is will as concerning an object by way of comparison between two things. Therefore it seems that free-will is a distinct power from the will.
2. Further, powers are known by their acts. But choice, which is the act of free-will, is distinct from the act of willing, because "the act of the will regards the end, whereas choice regards the means to the end" (Ethic. iii, 2). Therefore free-will is a distinct power from the will.
3. Further, the will is the intellectual appetite. But in the intellect there are two powers---the active and the passive. Therefore, also on the part of the intellectual appetite, there must be another power besides the will. And this, seemingly, can only be free-will. Therefore free-will is a distinct power from the will.
On the contrary Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 14) free-will is nothing else than the will.
I answer that The appetitive powers must be proportionate to the apprehensive powers, as we have said above (Question , Article ). Now, as on the part of the intellectual apprehension we have intellect and reason, so on the part of the intellectual appetite we have will, and free-will which is nothing else but the power of choice. And this is clear from their relations to their respective objects and acts. For the act of "understanding" implies the simple acceptation of something; whence we say that we understand first principles, which are known of themselves without any comparison. But to "reason," properly speaking, is to come from one thing to the knowledge of another: wherefore, properly speaking, we reason about conclusions, which are known from the principles. In like manner on the part of the appetite to "will" implies the simple appetite for something: wherefore the will is said to regard the end, which is desired for itself. But to "choose" is to desire something for the sake of obtaining something else: wherefore, properly speaking, it regards the means to the end. Now, in matters of knowledge, the principles are related to the conclusion to which we assent on account of the principles: just as, in appetitive matters, the end is related to the means, which is desired on account of the end. Wherefore it is evident that as the intellect is to reason, so is the will to the power of choice, which is free-will. But it has been shown above (Question , Article ) that it belongs to the same power both to understand and to reason, even as it belongs to the same power to be at rest and to be in movement. Wherefore it belongs also to the same power to will and to choose: and on this account the will and the free-will are not two powers, but one.
Reply to Objection: 1. (Boulesis) is distinct from (thelesis) on account of a distinction, not of powers, but of acts.
2. Choice and will---that is, the act of willing ---are different acts: yet they belong to the same power, as also to understand and to reason, as we have said.
3. The intellect is compared to the will as moving the will. And therefore there is no need to distinguish in the will an active and a passive will.
We now have to consider the acts of the soul in regard to the intellectual and the appetitive powers: for the other powers of the soul do not come directly under the consideration of the theologian. Furthermore, the acts of the appetitive part of the soul come under the consideration of the science of morals; wherefore we shall treat of them in the second part of this work, to which the consideration of moral matters belongs. But of the acts of the intellectual part we shall treat now.
In treating of these acts we shall proceed in the following order: First, we shall inquire how the soul understands when united to the body; secondly, how it understands when separated therefrom.
The former of these inquiries will be threefold: (1) How the soul understands bodies which are beneath it; (2) How it understands itself and things contained in itself; (3) How it understands immaterial substances, which are above it.
In treating of the knowledge of corporeal things there are three points to be considered: (1) Through what does the soul know them? (2) How and in what order does it know them? (3) What does it know in them?
Under the first head there are eight points of inquiry:
(1) Whether the soul knows bodies through the intellect?
(2) Whether it understands them through its essence, or through any species?
(3) If through some species, whether the species of all things intelligible are naturally innate in the soul?
(4) Whether these species are derived by the soul from certain separate immaterial forms?
(5) Whether our soul sees in the eternal ideas all that it understands?
(6) Whether it acquires intellectual knowledge from the senses?
(7) Whether the intellect can, through the species of which it is possessed, actually understand, without turning to the phantasms?
(8) Whether the judgment of the intellect is hindered by an obstacle in the sensitive powers?
Summa Th. I EN Qu.82 a.3