De veritate EN 185



The will can be understood to be changed by something in two ways. (1) This is referred to its object. In this sense the will is changed by the appetible thing. But nothing which changes the will in this way is in question here; for that was treated above, where it was shown that a certain good does move the will with necessity (in the way in which the object moves it), though the will is not forced. (2) The will can be taken to be moved by something in the manner of an efficient cause. In this sense we say that not only can no creature by acting upon the will force it (for even God could not do this), but also it cannot even act upon the will directly so as to change it will necessity or in any way to incline it (which God can do). But indirectly a creature can in some way incline the will though not change it will necessity. The reason for this is that, since the act of the will mediates as it were between the power and its object, a change in the act can be considered either from the point of view of the will or from that of the object.

From the point of view of the will only what works inside the will can change the act of the will. This is the will itself and that which is the cause of the being of the will, which according to the faith is God alone. Consequently only God can transfer the act of the will which He has made, from one thing to another as He wishes. But ac cording to those who hold that the soul was created by intelligences (which is in fact contrary to the faith), the angel or intelligence it- self has an effect intrinsic to the will, since it causes the act of being which is intrinsic to the will. Avicenna accordingly maintains that our wills are changed by the will of the heavenly souls just as our bodies are changed by the heavenly bodies. This is, however, thoroughly heretical.

But if the act of will is considered from the point of view of the object, the object of the will is found to be twofold. There is one to which the natural inclination of the will is determined will necessity. This object is implanted in the will and proposed to it by the Creator, who gave it its natural inclination to this. Consequently no one can change the will necessarily by means of such an object except God alone. But there is another object of the will capable of inclining the will inasmuch as there is in it some likeness or ordination will regard to the last end which is naturally desired. And yet the will is not changed necessarily by this object, as was said above, be cause there is not found in it alone an ordination to the naturally de sired last end. Now by means of this object a creature can incline the will to some extent but not change it in a necessary way. This is the case when someone persuades another to do something by pro posing to him its usefulness or nobility. It nonetheless remains within the power of the will to accept it or not, seeing that it is not deter mined to it by nature.

It is accordingly apparent that no creature can directly change the will as if by acting within the will itself; but by proposing something w the will extrinsically it can in some way induce it, though not change it necessarily.

1. The will can change itself in regard to certain things even directly, since it is master of its acts. And when we say that it cannot be changed directly by a creature, we mean by another creature. Still it cannot force itself, because to say that anything is forced by itself implies a contradiction, since that is violent in which the patient con tributes nothing; but the one who exerts force does Contribute some thing. And so the will cannot force itself, because in applying the force it would thus be contributing something inasmuch as it would force itself, and contributing nothing inasmuch as it would be forced. And this is impossible. It is in this way that the Philosopher proves that no one suffers anything unjust from himself, because anyone who suffers something unjust suffers against his will; but if he does some thing unjust, that is according to his will.

2. Heavenly bodies cannot will necessity change the will either of one man or of a crowd, but they can change their bodies. And by means of the body the will is in some way inclined, though not necessarily Since it can resist. Choleric persons, for example are inclined by their natural        to wrath; yet a choleric person can resist that inclination by his will. But only the will resist bodily inclinations. and they are few in comparison will the foolish, because according to Ecclesiastes (1:15) "the number of fools is infinite." Consequently it is said that heavenly bodies change a crowd inasmuch as the crowd follows bodily inclinations; but they do not change this or that individual who will prudence resists the inclination mentioned

3. An incontinent person is not said to be bound by his passions as if the bodily passions forced or necessitated his will; othenvise an in continent person should not be punished, because punishment is not deserved for what is involuntary. Now the incontinent man is not said to act involuntarily, according to the Philosopher but he is said to be bound by his passions inasmuch as he voluntarily yields to their urge.

4. Angels influence the intellect by acting upon it interiorly but only from the viewpoint of the object, because they propose the intelligible object by which our intellect is actuated and won over to assent. But the object of the will proposed by an angel does not change the will of necessity, as has been said. Thus there is no parallel.

5. That cleansing which the angels undergo applies to the intellect, for it is a cleansing from ignorance, as Dionysius says. But even if it did apply to the affections, it would be used in the sense of persuading.

6. What is inferior to the will, as the body or sense appetite, does not change the will by acting upon it directly but only from the point of view of its object. For the object of the will is the apprehended good. But the good apprehended by universal reason moves the will only through the mediation of a particular apprehension, as is said in The Soul, since acts are performed in individual cases. Now by the passion of the sense appetite, the cause of which can sometimes be the bodily make-up or anything undergone by the body from the fact that sense appetite uses an organ, the particular apprehension it self is impeded and sometimes entirely inhibited so that what higher reason dictates in a universal way is not actually applied to this particular case. And so in its appetitive tendency the will is moved to that good which the particular apprehension reports to it, passing up the good which universal reason reports. In this way such passions incline the will; yet they do not change it will necessity, because it remains within the power of the will to restrain such passions so that the use of reason is not prevented, in accordance will the words of Genesis (4:7): "But the lust thereof shah be under thee," namely, that of sin.

7. The compelling there mentioned is not that of force but that of efficacious persuasion either by harsh or by gentle means.


Parallel readings: Sum. Theol., I, 8o, I; 82, 3.


It seems that they are, for

1. Powers are distinguished on the basis of their objects. Now the object of the intellect is the true, that of the will, the good. Since the good and the true are identical as to their real subject and differ in formal character, it therefore seems that the intellect and the will are really identical and differ only in formal character.

2. According to the Philosopher the will is in reason. It is there fore either the same as reason or a part of reason. But reason is the same power as the intellect. Then so is the will.

3. The faculties of the soul are commonly divided into the rational, the concupiscible, and the irascible. But the will is distinguished from the irascible and the concupiscible. It is therefore contained will in the rational.

4. Wherever there is found an object which is the same in reality and in formal character, there is a single power. But the object of the will and of the practical intellect is the same in reality and in formal character, for the object of both is the good. Therefore the practical intellect is not a power different from the will. But the speculative intellect is not a power different from the practical because, according to the Philosopher, by extension the speculative intellect becomes practical. Therefore the will and the intellect (taken simply) are a single power.

5. To know the difference of two things from one another it is necessary for the same person to know both of the things differentiated. Similarly it must be the same person who knows and wills. But for the knowing of the difference between any two things, as "between white and sweet," it must be the same power which knows both. From this the Philosopher proves the existence of the central sense. By the same reasoning, then, it must be a single power which knows and wills; and so the intellect and the will are a single power, so it seems.

To the Contrary:

1'. The appetitive genus of powers of the soul is different from the intellective according to the Philosopher.4 But the will is listed under the appetitive. The will is therefore a power different from the intellect.

2’. The intellect can be forced, according to the Philosopher. But the will cannot be forced, as has been said. The intellect and the will are therefore not one and the same power.



The will and the intellect are distinct powers, even belonging to different genera of powers. That this may be clearly understood it should be noted that, since the distinction of powers is taken from the acts and objects, not just any difference at all among the objects reveals the distinctness of the powers but a difference in the objects Precisely inasmuch as they are objects; and this will not be an accidental difference mean one which merely happens to be connected will the object taken specifically as object. It merely happens to the object of sense, for instance, inasmuch as it is sensible, to be animate or inanimate, though these differences are essential for the things which are sensed. It is accordingly not from these differences that the sense powers are diversified, but according as their objects are audible, visible, or tangible (for these are differences in the sensible inasmuch as it is sensible); that is to say, according to whether the objects are sensible through a medium or without a medium.

Now when essential differences of objects as objects are taken as dividing some specific object of the soul of themselves, by this fact powers are diversified but not genera of powers. Thus the sensible designates, not the object of the soul without qualification, but an object which of itself is divided by the aforesaid differences. Hence sight, hearing, and touch are distinct specific powers belonging to the same genus of powers of the soul, 1.e., to sense. But when the differences considered divide the object taken in general, then from such a difference distinct genera of powers become known.

Something is said to be an object of the soul according as it has some relation to the soul. Hence, where we find different aspects of relatedness to the soul, there we find an essential difference in the object of the soul, and this indicates a distinct genus of the soul’s powers. Now a thing is found to have a twofold relationship to the soul: one by which the thing itself is in the soul in the soul’s manner and not in its own, the other by which the soul is referred to the thing in its own existence. Thus something is an object of the soul in two ways. (1) It is so inasmuch as it is capable of being in the soul, not according to its own act of being, but according to the manner of the soul —spiritually. This is the essential constituent of the knowable in so far as it is knowable. (2) Something is the object of the soul ac cording as the soul is inclined and oriented to it after the manner of the thing itself as it is in itself. This is the essential constituent of the appetible in so far as it is appetible.

The cognitive and appetitive principles in the soul accordingly constitute distinct genera of powers. Hence, since the intellect is included in the cognitive, and the will in the appetitive, the will and the intellect must be powers that are distinct even generically.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. The distinction of powers is not manifested by the objects taken according to their reality but according to their formal aspect, be cause the formal aspects of the objects specify the operations of the powers. And so where there is a different formal aspect of the object, there we find a different power, even though it is the same thing which has the two formal aspects, as is the case will good and the true. This is also verified in material things. Air is modified by fire inasmuch as fire is hot, in view of the fact that air is potentially hot. But inasmuch as fire is luminous, air is modified by it in view of the fact that air is transparent. Nor is it the same potency in air by which it is called transparent and by which it is called potentially hot, even though it is the same fire which acts upon both potencies.

2. A power can be considered in o ways: either in reference to the object or in reference to the essence of the soul in which it is rooted. If the will is considered in reference to its object, it then belongs to a different genus from intellect. In this way will is distinguished from reason and intellect, as has been said. But if the will is considered according to that in which it is rooted, then since the will, like the intellect, does not have a bodily organ, the will and the intellect are reduced to the same part of the soul. In this way the intellect or reason is sometimes taken as including both within it, and then the will is said to be in reason. On this basis the rational part, including both the intellect and the will, is distinguished from the irascible and the concupiscible

3. From the above answer this also is clear.

4. The object of the practical intellect is not the good, but the true which is related to operation.

5. To will and to know are not acts of the same formal character, and so they cannot belong to the same power as can knowledge of what is sweet and what is white. Hence there is no parallel.


Parallel readings: Il Sentences 25, a. 2 ad /// Sentences 27, I, 4; Contra Gentiles 1H, 26; Sum. Theol., I, 82,3; 4 ad x; II-II, 23,6 ad 1; De cant., 3 ad 12 & 13.


It seems that the intellect is the nobler and higher, for

1. The nobility of the soul consists in its being made to the image of God. But the soul is made to the image of God in virtue of reason or intelligence. Hence Augustine says: "Let us understand that man is made to the image of God in that particular in which he excels irrational animals; but that is reason, mind, or intelligence, or whatever it may more appropriately be called." Therefore the most excellent power of the soul is the intellect.

2. The answer was given that the image is in the will as well as in the intellect, since according to Augustine the image is seen in memory, intelligence, and will.—On the contrary, when the nobility of the soul is considered from the standpoint of the image, that in which the notion of image is most properly verified must be the most excellent part of the soul. Now even if the image is in both the will and the intellect, it is more properly in the intellect than in the will. Hence the Master of the Sentences says that the image is in the knowledge of truth and merely a likeness in the love of good. Therefore the intellect must still be nobler than the will.

. Since we judge of the powers from their acts, that power must be the nobler whose act is the nobler. But to understand is nobler than to will. Therefore the intellect is nobler than the will. Proof of the minor: Since acts are specified by their terms, that act must be nobler whose term is nobler. But the act of the intellect involves a motion to the soul; that of the will, from the soul to things. Since the soul is nobler than external things, to understand is therefore nobler than to will.

4. Among all things arranged in an order the more distant anything is from the lowest member, the higher it is. But the lowest among the powers of the soul is sense, and the will stands closer to sense than does the intellect. For the will shares will the sense powers the condition of its object, because the will is concerned will particulars just as is sense. We will for a particular health and not health as some thing universal. But the intellect is concerned will universals. The intellect is therefore a higher power than the will.

5. That which rules is nobler than the thing ruled. But the intellect rules the will. Therefore it is nobler than the will.

6. That from which something comes has authority over it and is greater than it if it is distinct in essence. But intelligence is from memory as the Son from the Father, and will is from memory and intelligence as the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son. Intelligence therefore has authority in regard to the will and is greater and stronger than it.

7. The simpler and more immaterial an act is, the nobler it is. But the act of the intellect is simpler and more immaterial than that of the will, because the intellect abstracts from matter, but not the will. The act of the intellect is therefore nobler than that of the will.

8. The intellect bears to the soul the same relation as brightness to material things, and the will or affective power, that of warmth, as appears from the sayings of the saints. But brightness is nobler than warmth, Since it is the quality of a nobler body. The intellect is there fore also nobler than the will.

9. According to the Philosopher that which is proper to man as man is nobler than that which is shared by man and the other animals. But to understand is proper to man, whereas to will belongs to the other animals also. The Philosopher accordingly says, "Children and brutes share in what is voluntary." The intellect is therefore nobler than the will.

10. The nearer a thing is to its end, the nobler it is, Since the good ness of means is from the end. But the intellect seems to be nearer to the end than the will, for a man first attains the end by his intellect by knowing it before he does so by his will by desiring it. The intellect is therefore nobler than the will.

11. Gregory says, "The contemplative life is...of greater merit than the active." But the contemplative life pertains to the intellect; the active, to the will. Then the intellect is also nobler than the will.

2. The Philosopher says that the intellect is the most excellent of the things which are in us. It is therefore nobler than the will.

To the Contrary

1'. The habit of a more perfect power is more perfect. But the habit by which the will is perfected, charity, is nobler than faith and knowledge, by which the intellect is perfected, as is evident from what the Apostle says in the first Epistle to the Corinthians (13:2). The will is therefore nobler than the intellect.

2’. What is free is nobler than what is not. But the intellect is not free since it eau be forced, but the will is free since it cannot be forced The will is therefore nobler than the intellect.

3’. The order of the powers follow the order of their objects. But good, which is the object of the will, is nobler than the true, which is the object of the intellect. The will is therefore also nobler than the intellect.

4'. According to Dionysius9 the more common any one of the divine participations is, the nobler it is. But the will is more common than the intellect because some things participate in will which do not participate in intellect, as was said above. The will is therefore nobler than the intellect.

5'. The nearer to God anything is, the nobler it is. But the will comes closer to God than the intellect, because, as Hugh of St. Victor says, love enters in where knowledge remains outside, for we love God more than we are able to know of Him. Therefore the will is nobler than the intellect.



A thing can be said to be more eminent than another either simply or in a certain respect. For something to be shown to be simply better than another the comparison must be made on the basis of what is essential to them and not on that of accidentals. In the latter case one thing would be shown to stand out over another merely in a certain respect. Thus if a man were to be compared to a lion on the basis of essential differences, he would be found to be simply nobler inasmuch as the man is a rational animal, the lion irrational. But if a lion is compared to a man on the basis of physical strength, he surpasses the man. But this is to be nobler only in a certain respect. To see, then, which of these two powers, the will or the intellect, is better without qualification, we must consider the matter from their essential differences.

The perfection and dignity of the intellect consists in this, that the species of the thing which is understood is in the intellect itself, since in this way it actually understands, and from this its whole dignity is seen. The nobility of the will and of its act, however, consists in this, that the soul is directed to some noble thing in the very existence which that thing has in itself. Now it is more perfect, simply and absolutely speaking, to have within oneself the nobility of another thing than to be related to a noble thing outside oneself. Hence, if the will and the intellect are considered absolutely, and not will reference to this or that particular thing, they have this order, that the intellect is simply more excellent than the will.

But it may happen that to be related in some way to some noble thing is more excellent than to have its nobility within oneself. This is the case, for instance, when the nobility of that thing is possessed in a way much inferior to that in which the thing has it within itself. But if the nobility of one thing is in another just as nobly or more nobly than it is in the thing to which it belongs, then without doubt that which has the nobility of that thing within itself is nobler than that which is related in any way whatsoever to that noble thing. Now the intellect takes on the forms of things superior to the soul in a way inferior to that which they have in the things themselves; for the intellect receives things after its own fashion, as is said in The Causes. And for the same reason the forms of things inferior to the soul, such as corporeal things, are more noble in the soul than in the things themselves

The intellect can accordingly be compared to the will in three ways: Absolutely and in general, without any reference to this or that particular thing. In this way the intellect is more excellent than the will, just as it is more perfect to possess what there is of dignity in a thing than merely to be related to its nobility. With regard to material and sensible things. In this way again the intellect is simply nobler than the will. For example, to know a stone intellectually is nobler than to will it, because the form of the stone is in the intellect, inasmuch as it is known by the intellect, in a nobler way than it is in itself as desired by the will. With reference to divine things, which are superior to the soul. In this way to will is more excellent than to understand, as to will God or to love Him is more excellent than to know Him. This is because the divine goodness itself is more perfectly in God Himself as He is desired by the will than the participated goodness is in us as known by the intellect.

Answers to Difficulties:

Augustine takes reason and intelligence for the whole intellective part, which includes both the apprehension of the intellect and the appetite of the will; and so the will is not excluded from the image.

2. The Master appropriates to reason the fact of being an image because it is prior; and to love, likeness, because will reference to God knowledge is completed by love, just as a picture is achieved and beautified by Colors and similar means, by which it is made like the original.

3. That argument is based upon things Surpassed in nobility by the soul. But by the same reasoning can be shown the pre-eminence of the will in reference to things nobler than the soul.

4. The will has its object in common will the senses only in so far as it is directed to sensible things, which are inferior to the soul. But far as it is directed to intelligible and divine things, it is more distant from the senses than is the intellect, since the intellect can grasp less of divine things than the affective power desires and loves.

5. The intellect rules the will, not by inclining it to that to which it tends, but by showing it that to which it should tend. When, therefore, the intellect is less capable of exhibiting something noble than the inclination of the will is of being directed to it, the will surpasses the intellect.

6. The will does not proceed from intelligence directly but from the essence of the soul, intelligence being presupposed. From this, then, the order of dignity is not revealed, but only the order of origin, by which the intellect is naturally prior to the will.

7. The intellect abstracts from matter only when it knows sensible and material things; but when it knows things which are above it, it does not abstract; rather it receives things in a way that is less simple than the things are in themselves. Hence, the act of the will, which is directed to the things as they are in themselves, remains simpler and nobler.

8. Those expressions by which the intellect is compared to bright ness and the will to warmth are metaphorical; and from such expressions no argument is to be drawn, as the Master says. Dionysius also says that symbolical theology is not argumentative.

9. Willing belongs to man alone as well as understanding, though tending appetitively belongs to other things besides man.

10. Although the soul is referred to God by the intellect before it is by the affections, nevertheless the affections attain Him more perfectly than does the intellect, as has been said.

11. The will is not excluded from contemplation. Gregory says that the contemplative life is to love God and one’s neighbour. Hence the pre-eminence of the contemplative life over the active is not prejudicial to the will.

12. The Philosopher is speaking of the intellect according as it is taken for the whole intellective part, which includes the will also.— Or it can be said that he is viewing the intellect and the other powers of the soul absolutely, not as referred to this or that particular object.

Answers to Contrary Difficulties:

1’. Charity is a habit perfecting the will with reference to God. In this reference the will is nobler than the intellect.

2’. The freedom of the will does not show that it is nobler simply, but that it is nobler in moving, as will appear more clearly from what follows.

3’. Since the true is a certain good (for it is the good of the intellect, as is made clear by the Philosopher good should not be called nobler than the true, just as animal is not nobler than man, since man includes the nobility of animal and adds to it. We are now speaking of the true and the good in so far as they are the objects of the will and of the intellect.

4’. Willing is not found more extensively than understanding al though tending appetitively is. It should, however, be observed that in this argument the passage from Dionysius is not used in his meaning for two reasons. Dionysius is speaking on the Supposition that one is included in the notion of the other, as being in living and living in understanding. He accordingly says that one is simpler than the other. Although a participation which is simpler is nobler, nevertheless, if it is taken together will the mode in which it is found in things lacking additional perfections, it will be less noble. Thus if to be, which is nobler than to live, is taken together will the mode in which inanimate things are, that mode of being will be less noble than the being of living things, which is to live. lit is accordingly not necessary that what is found more extensively should always be more noble; otherwise we should have to say that sense is nobler than intellect and the nutritive power nobler than the sensitive.

5’. That argument is concerned will the will in reference to God. In this sense it is granted to be more noble.


Parallel readings: C.Q., III, 6; Sum. Theol., 1, 82-4; I II, 9, 1 & 3; De malo, 6.


lit seems that it does not, for

1. The mover is naturally prior to the thing moved. But the will is Posterior to the intellect, for nothing is loved or desired unless it is known, according to Augustine. The will therefore does not move the intellect.

2. If the will moves the intellect to its act, then it follows that the intellect unde because the will wants it to understand But the will does not want anything unless it is understood. The intellect therefore first understands its understanding before the will wills it. But before the intellect could understand this, the will would have to be held to will it, because the intellect is held to be moved by the will. We should then have to go on to infinity. But this is impossible. Therefore the will does not move the intellect.

3. Every passive power is moved by its object. But the will is a passive power, for appetite is a mover which is moved, as is said in The Soul. Hence it is moved by its object. But its object is the understood or apprehended good, as is said in the same book. There fore the intellect or some other apprehensive power moves the will, and not the other way about.

4. One power is said w move another only because of the ability w command which it has over the other. But to command belongs to reason, as is said in the Ethics. It therefore belongs to reason to command the other powers and not to the will.

5. According to Augustine the mover and agent is nobler than the thing moved or made. But the intellect is nobler than the will, at least in regard w sensible things, as has been explained. At least in regard w these, then, it is not moved by the will.

To the Contrary:

1'. Anselm says that the will moves all the other powers of the soul.

2’. According to Augustine every motion proceeds from what is immovable. But among the powers of the soul the will is the only one which is immovable in the sense of not being able to be forced by anything. All the other powers of the soul are therefore moved by the will.

3’. According to the Philosopher every motion occurs for the sake of an end. But good and the end are the object of the will. The will, then, moves the other powers.

4’. According to Augustine, among spirits love does the same thing as weight among bodies. But weight moves bodies. Then the love of the will moves the spiritual powers of the soul.



In a way the intellect moves the will, and in a way the will moves the intellect and the other powers. For the clarification of this it should be noted that both an end and an efficient cause are said to move, but in different ways. Two things are w be taken into account in any action, the agent and the reason for acting. In heating, the agent is fire and the reason for acting is heat. Similarly in moving, the Truth end is said to move as the reason for moving, but the efficient cause, as the one producing the movement that is, the one which brings the subject of the motion from potency w act.

The reason for acting is the form of the agent by which it acts. It must accordingly be in the agent for it to act. It is not there, however, according to its perfect act of being; for when that is had the motion comes to rest. But it is in the agent by way of an intention, for the end is prior in intention but posterior in being. Thus the end pre-exists in the mover in a proper sense intellectually (for it belongs to intellect to receive something by way of an intention) and not ac cording to its real existence. Hence the intellect moves the will in the way in which an end is said to move—by conceiving beforehand the reason for acting and proposing it to the will.

To move in the manner of an efficient cause, however, belongs to the will and not to the intellect; for the will is referred to things as they are in themselves, whereas the intellect is referred w them as existing spiritually in the soul. Now to act and to move pertain to things according w their own act of being by which they subsist in themselves not according as they exist in the soul in the manner of an intention It is not heat in the soul which heats, but that which is in lire. Thus the will is referred to things as subject to motion, but not the intellect. Furthermore the act of the will is an inclination to some thing, but not that of the intellect. But an inclination is the disposition of something that moves other things as an efficient cause moves. It is accordingly evident that the will has the function of moving in the manner of an agent cause; not, however, the intellect.

The higher powers of the soul, because immaterial are capable of reflecting upon themselves. Both the will and the intellect, therefore, reflect upon themselves upon each other, upon the essence of the soul, and upon all its powers. The intellect understands itself and the will and the essence of the soul and all the soul’s powers. Similarly the will wills that it will, that the intellect understand, that the soul be, and so of the other powers. Now when one power is brought to bear upon another it is referred to that other according w what is proper to itself. When the intellect understands that the will is willing, it receives within itself the intelligible character of willing. When the will is brought to bear upon the other powers of the soul, it is directed to them as things to which motion and operation belong, and It inclines each w its own operation. Thus the will moves in the manner of an efficient cause not only external things but also the very Powers of the soul.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. Since there is in reflection a certain similarity to circular motion, in which what is last is the same as what was originally the beginning, we must so express ourselves in regard to reflection that what was originally prior then becomes posterior. And so, although the intellect is prior to the will when taken absolutely, it nonetheless becomes posterior to the will by reflection. Thus the will can move the intellect.

2. There is no necessity of going on to infinity, for we stop at the natural appetite by which the intellect is inclined to its act.

3. The argument shows that the intellect moves in the manner of an end, for this is the bearing of the apprehended good upon the will. Command belongs to both will and reason but in different respects. It belongs to the will in so far as a command implies an inclination; it belongs to reason in so far as this inclination is distributed and ordained to be carried out by this or that individual.

5. Any power surpasses another in what is proper to itself. Thus touch is referred to heat, which it senses in itself, in a more perfect way than sight, which sees it only by accident. Similarly the intellect is referred to truth more completely than the will; and conversely, the will is referred to the good in things more perfectly than the intellect. Hence, although the intellect is nobler than the will absolutely, at least in regard to some things, nevertheless under the aspect of moving, which belongs to the will by reason of the distinctive characteristic of its object, the will is found to be nobler.


Parallel readings: Il Sentences 38, 1, 3; Sum. Theol., I-II, 12, I.


Ix seems that it is not, for

1. In regard to the words of Luke (I1:34): "The light of thy body is thy eye," the Gloss explains: "That is, 'thy intention. "1 But the eye in the soul is reason or the intellect. Intention therefore pertains to reason or the intellect, not to the will.

2. The answer was given that it pertains to the will as subordinated to reason and in this respect is compared to an eye.—On the contrary, the act of a higher and prior power does not depend upon that of a posterior power. The will, however, is prior to the intellect in acting, because it moves the intellect, as has been said. Then the act of the will does not depend upon reason. If intention were an act of the will, it would therefore in no way pertain to reason.

3. The answer was given that the act of the will does depend upon reason in this respect, that knowledge of the thing willed is a prerequisite for willing; and so, although intention is an act of the will, it nevertheless does in some sense belong to reason. On the contrary, there is no act of the will for which knowledge is not a prerequisite. Consequently, according to the proposed solution no act should be attributed to the will simply, not even willing and loving, but to will and reason together. This, however, is false. Then so is the preceding contention that intention is an act of the will.

4. The very name intention implies a relation to an end. But it be longs to reason to refer anything to an end. Intention therefore be longs to reason and not to will.

5. It was maintained in answer that there is in intention not only a relation to an end but also an act of the will which is referred to the end, and that both are meant by the name intention. On the contrary, that act is made the substratum of the relation to an end as a material principle is made that of the formal. But a thing takes its name from its formal rather than its material principle. Intention accordingly takes its name rather from what belongs to reason than from what belongs to will, and so it should be held to be an act of reason rather than of will.

6. Reason directs the will just as the prime mover directs the whole of nature. But the intention in the things of nature is more properly attributed to the prime mover than to the things of nature themselves, since these are said to intend something only in so far as they are directed by the prime mover. Then among the powers of the soul too, intention should be attributed to reason rather than to the will.

7. Properly speaking there is an intention only in a knower. But the will is not a knower. Intention therefore does not belong to the will.

8. There cannot be a single act of things that are in no sense one. But the will and reason are in no sense one, since they even belong to different genera of powers of the soul: the will is in the appetitive genus and reason is in the intellective. Consequently reason and the will cannot have a single act; and so, if intention is in any sense an act of reason, it will not be an act of the will.

9. According to the Philosopher "willing has as its object only the end." But in a single order there is only a single end. The will in its act, then, is referred to only one thing. But where there is only one thing, there is no order. Since intention implies order, it therefore seems that it in no sense belongs w the will.

10. Intention seems to be nothing but the direction of the will to the last end. But it belongs to reason to direct the will. Intention therefore belongs to reason.

11. In the perversity of sin error belongs to reason, contempt to the irascible power, and the inordinacy of will to the concupiscible. In the reformation of the soul, on the other hand, faith belongs to reason, hope to the irascible power, and charity to the concupiscible. But according to Augustine it is faith which "directs the intention." Intention therefore belongs to reason.

12. According to the Philosopher the will is referred to both possibles and impossibles, but intention only w possibles. Intention does not, then, belong to the will.

13. What is not in the soul is not in the will. Now intention is not in the soul, because it is not a power (for then it would be natural, and there would be no merit in it), nor is it a habit (for then it would be in one asleep), nor is it a passion (for then it would pertain to the sensitive part, as is apparent from what the Philosopher says Since there are in the soul only these three, as is said in the Ethics, intention is not in the will.

14. To order is the function of reason, since this belongs to the will man, as is said in the Metaphysics. But intention is an ordination to an end. It therefore is the function of reason.

15. Intention is referred to what is distant from an end, since distance is implied in the [latin] preposition in [here used as a prefix]. But reason is more distant from the end than is the will, because reason merely points out the end, whereas the will clings to the end as its proper object. Intending, then, belongs to reason rather than to the will.

16. Every act of the will belongs to it either absolutely, or by a reference to higher powers, or by a reference to lower powers. Now intending is not an act of the will absolutely, because in that case it would be the same as willing or loving. Nor is intending its act by a reference to a higher power, reason, for in that reference its act is to choose. Nor is it so by a reference to lower powers, since its act in that reference is to command Intending is therefore in no will an act of the will.

To the Contrary:

1'. Intention is referred Only to the end. But the end and good are the object of the will. Intention therefore pertains to the will.

2’. Intending is a sort of pursuing. But pursuit and flight pertain to the will, not to reason. To reason it belongs only to say that some thing should be pursued or fled. Intention accordingly belongs to the will.

3’. All merit is situated in the will. But intention is meritorious, and chiefly on the basis of it merit and demerit are reckoned. Hence intention is a function of the will.

4’. Ambrose says: "Affection gives the name to your work." But an act is judged to be good or bad from the intention. The intention is therefore Contained in affection, and so it seems to belong to the will and not to reason.

De veritate EN 185