9 n. 3,  Contra Gentiles, lib. The Summa contra Gentiles is one of the best-known treatises by St Thomas Aquinas, written as four books between 1259 and 1265.  But, if it is carefully considered, the fact that something is known in itself does not have the same meaning as that it is known in its cause. So, if there be an incorporeal being possessed of infinite power, it must be everywhere.  From this it is also apparent that man’s ultimate felicity does not lie in an act of prudence. Ea igitur quae ex revelatione divina per fidem tenentur, non possunt naturali cognitioni esse contraria. So, it is pertinent to the perfection of intellectual substance to know the natures of all species and their powers and proper accidents. So, His providence applies to all singulars immediately.  Moreover, it belongs to the dignity of a ruler to have many ministers and a variety of executors of his rule, for, the more subjects he has, on different levels, the higher and greater is his dominion shown to be. For, though these substances might never be understood by us, they are nonetheless understood by themselves.  Contra Gentiles, lib. However, non-being is not present in a being contrary to it, as in a subject. And since he who gives counsel rules the man who takes counsel, and in a sense governs him, it is said in Proverbs (17:2): “a wise servant shall rule over foolish sons.” Therefore, evil must be in some subject. Of course, it is not possible for man in the present state of life to be entirely free from evils, not only from corporeal ones, such as hunger, thirst, heat and cold, and other things of this kind, but also from evils of the soul.  Moreover, that which is naturally moved toward something, as to the end of its motion, may not be removed from it without violence, as in the case of a weight when it is thrown upward. Chapter 52 Therefore, moral evil is both a genus and a difference, not by the fact that it is a privation of the rational good whence it is termed evil, but by the nature of the action or habit ordered to some end that is opposed to the proper rational end.  Contra Gentiles, lib. Primus autem auctor et motor universi est intellectus, ut infra ostendetur.  Contra Gentiles, lib. Therefore, we cannot understand separate substances through it. So, if operations are not the ultimate end, the pleasures that result from them are not the ultimate end, either; nor are they concomitant with the ultimate end.  Now, if we are not able to understand other separate substances in this life, because of the natural affinity of our intellect for phantasms, still less are we able in this life to see the divine essence which transcends all separate substances. But man is better than riches, for they are but things subordinated to man’s use.  Because Alexander [of Aphrodisias] claimed that the possible intellect is capable of being generated and corrupted, in the sense that it is “a perfection of human nature resulting from a mixture of the elements,” as we saw in Book Two, and since it is not possible for such a power to transcend material conditions, he maintained that our possible intellect can never reach an understanding of separate substances. 1 cap. Therefore, it is impossible for the being of a thing to continue except through divine operation. The more a person knows, the more is be moved by the desire to know. Therefore, since every diminution and privation pertains to the formal character of evil, and every perfection and fulfillment to the formal character of good, it appears to be always so between contraries, that one is included under the good and the other approaches the notion of evil.  Besides, good and evil are spoken of by Aristotle in the Categories [8: 14a 24] as “genera of contraries.” Now, there is an essence and a definite nature for each kind of genus.  That every agent acts for an end has been made clear from the fact that every agent tends toward something definite. So, the one that introduces the form commands the one that prepares the matter. Of course, to each thing composed of matter some sort of form is due, for water cannot exist unless it have the form of water, nor can fire be unless it possess the form of fire. Ex quibus omnibus apparet quod de rebus nobilissimis quantumcumque imperfecta cognitio maximam perfectionem animae confert. Therefore evil must alwavs have some cause, either directly of itself, or accidentally. Now, every evil is present in something good. 8 n. 2 Utile tamen est ut in huiusmodi rationibus, quantumcumque debilibus, se mens humana exerceat, dummodo desit comprehendendi vel demonstrandi praesumptio: quia de rebus altissimis etiam parva et debili consideratione aliquid posse inspicere iucundissimum est, ut ex dictis apparet. For instance, in the natural order of things, lower bodies act through the power of the celestial bodies; and, again, in the order of voluntary things, all lower artisans work in accord with the direction of the top craftsman. From this it follows that He is the Lord of the things that He has made, for we are masters of the things that are subject to our will. But there is this difference between these two modes of proper knowledge: through affirmations, when we have a proper knowledge of a thing, we know what the thing is, and bow it is separated from others; but through negations, when we have a proper knowledge of a thing, we know that it is distinct from other things, yet what it is remains unknown. 10:13, 20). This is impossible, as we showed above. Now, because a thing is known from the point of view of what it is, that thing is also known in distinction from others; consequently, the definition which signifies what a thing is distinguishes the thing defined from all else.  Moreover, if to act is the result of a being which is in act, it is inappropriate for a more perfect act to be deprived of action.  Through this conclusion we are refuting the error of the Epicureans, who placed man’s felicity in these enjoyments. HOW THINGS ARE ORDERED TO THEIR ENDS IN VARIOUS WAYS So, if the soul knows itself through itself, in the sense of what it is, it will always actually understand what it is. In fact, the will, when it desires, loves or enjoys, is related in just the same way to its object, whatever it may be that is presented to it as a highest good, whether truly or falsely. For, divine goodness is simple, entirely gathered together, as it were, into one being. online courses We offer discussion-based online courses for students around the world, full or part time! 124: 1) And again: "Your eyes shall see Jerusalem, a rich habitation, a tabernacle that cannot be removed; neither shall the nails thereof be taken away for ever; neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken, because only there our Lord is magnificent" (Is. For instance, a bodily thing is in place in something according to the contact of dimensive quantity; while an incorporeal thing is said to be in something according to the contact of power, since it lacks dimensive quantity. So, all the forms that are in these lower substances, and all their motions, are derived from the intellectual forms which are in the intellect of some substance, or substances. Hence, corruption does not occur by chance, nor as something that happens in few cases; even though privation at times is not an unqualified evil, but is only so in relation to some definite thing, as has been said. Hence, it is necessary either to proceed through an endless series, or, if we are to come to a first object of understanding, it will not be the act of understanding but rather some intelligible thing. For it is of the very definition of evil that it be a privation of that which is to be in a subject by virtue of its natural origin, and which should be in it.  For there is in man, in so far as he is intellectual, one type of desire, concerned with the knowledge of truth; indeed, men seek to fulfill this desire by the effort of the contemplative life. It is clear, for example, that all the men in an army work to bring about victory, and they do this by virtue of being subordinated to the leader, whose proper product is victory. However, we must understand that contemplative actions are not for another end, but are themselves ends. And so, things tend toward the divine likeness by the fact that they are causes of others. For God, as a completely simple being, has no parts. This is evident from the difference between the objects of these visions. So, for instance, fire does not give heat, but God causes heat in the presence of fire, and they said like things about all other natural effects.  He proceeds, moreover, to show the same thing in another, similar way. Of course, they do not get this ability from the man who is in charge, or even its use. From the abundance of His perfection, He endows all existing things with being, so that He is fully established not only as the First Being but also as the original source of all existing things. But it could not see all of these unless it saw them at once, for it is impossible to pass through an infinity of things. But that which is the highest good is good of itself, because what is good of itself is better than what depends on something else. 1 cap. For, when men see that things in nature run according to a definite order, and that ordering does not occur without an orderer, they perceive in most cases that there is some orderer of the things that we sec. And, in this actual understanding, it becomes most like God by understanding God Himself, for God understands all things in the act of understanding Himself,’as we proved in Book One . 1 cap. This is the reason for infinite series in numbers and in mathematical lines. Now, the knowledge we have been talking about includes much uncertainty; the diversity of the sciences of divine matters among those who have tried to find out these things by way of demonstration shows this. Rather would felicity seem to be a good situated in reason itself.  Moreover, in the case of beings that act as a result of understanding or of some sort of sense judgment, intention is a consequence of apprehension, for the intention tends to what is apprehended as an end. 33:20). Nor can it lack the will to enjoy such a vision, because it perceives that its ultimate felicity lies in this vision, just as it cannot fail to will to be happy. And so, the motion of a celestial body, as far as its active principle is concerned, is not natural, but voluntary and intellectual; however, in relation to its passive principle, the motion is natural, for a celestial body has a natural aptitude for such motion. Similarly, it cannot be a thing that is made, for the termination of every process of generation is a form, and a good thing. 1 cap.  First of all, we showed above that the possible intellect is not some substance separated from us in its being. And since corporeal vision is not accomplished without light, those things whereby intellectual vision is perfected take on the name fight.  Now, in moral actions we find four principles arranged in a definite order. Of itself, the mobile thing tends toward the good, but it may tend toward evil accidentally and apart from intention. Summa of Theology – Summa Theologiae (1266-73) English. Now, this appears false to the senses, for cooling does not result from putting something near a hot object, but only beating; nor does the generation of anything except a man result from the semen of man. In fact, water is more formal than earth, air than water, fire than air.  Besides, the stronger the power of an agent is, the farther does its operation extend to more remote effects.  At this point, then, the answer to the arguments against our view is clear from what we have said.  Furthermore, all men admit that felicity is a perfect good; otherwise, it could not satisfy desire. But the fact that a person lacks the aforesaid knowledge of God makes him appear very blameworthy. Consequently, it does not seem that Man attains his ultimate end through an act of understanding, but rather, through an act of will. This detracts from the perfection of the universe. Hence, Gregory says, in his fourth Dialogue: “in this visible world nothing can be ordered except through an invisible creature.” And the lower spirits are ordered through the higher ones.  Since everything that is moved directly and not merely accidentally by another being is directed by that being to the end of its motion, and since the celestial body is moved by an intellectual substance, and, moreover, the celestial body causes, through its own motion, all the motions in these lower things, the celestial body must be directed to the end of its motion by an intellectual substance, and so must all lower bodies be directed to their own ends. 1 cap. definition of God." A given action does not stem from merely any power but heating comes from heat, cooling from cold. Quaedam vero sunt ad quae etiam ratio naturalis pertingere potest, sicut est Deum esse, Deum esse unum, et alia huiusmodi; quae etiam philosophi demonstrative de Deo probaverunt, ducti naturalis lumine rationis. Therefore, God by His providence governs and rules all things that are moved toward their end, whether they be moved corporeally, or spiritually as one who desires is moved by an object of desire.  Nor, indeed, is it necessary that everything which has a form by participation should receive it immediately from that which is form essentially; rather, it may receive it immediately from another being that has a similar form, participated in the same way, and, of course, this being may act by the power of the separate form, if there be any such. But in this life this does not happen to anyone who is a mere man, nor could it happen, since we are not able to know in this life the separate substances, and they are most intelligible, as has been shown. Now, this is impossible, because evil has no essence, as we proved above. In fact, all other events that occur in connection with singulars are related to their preservation or corruption. 1 cap. But this is only so because it injures the good, for to injure the evil is a good thing, since the corruption of evil is good.  Furthermore, divine substance is its own existing being, as we showed in Book One . 1 cap. 7 n. 4 Adhuc. So, also, is He the cause of every end that is an end, since whatever is an end is such because it is a good.  Furthermore, nothing can be elevated to a higher operation unless because its power is strengthened.  Now, the preceding statements are not to be understood in the sense that there is a difference between divine goodness, divine essence, and divine knowledge as it contains the arrangement of things; rather, there is a different way of considering each one. Therefore, that which is in possession of the highest good cannot be evil.  Also, through this operation man is united by way of likeness with beings superior to him, since this alone of human operations is found also in God and in separate substances. 7 n. 1,  Contra Gentiles, lib. Therefore, the good is diminished by evil more as a result of the addition of its contrary than by the subtraction of some of its goodness. Indeed, the forms of things generated, and their properties, remain in them after generation until the end, since they become natural to them. Therefore, such glory is not the highest good for man. So, honor is not the highest good for man. Therefore, these singulars, and also their motions and operations, come under the scope of divine providence.  Hence, since some men have claimed that man’s ultimate end is in this life, because they know separate substances, we must consider whether man can know separate substances in this life. For instance, water does not tend upward unless it is moved by something else.  Contra Gentiles, lib. Chapter 62 For there is a common and confused knowledge of God which is found in practically all men; this is due either to the fact that it is self-evident that God exists, just as other principles of demonstration are—a view held by some people, as we said in Book One —or, what seems indeed to be true, that man can immediately reach some sort of knowledge of God by natural reason. Now, the function of a perfect image is to represent its prototype by likeness to it; this is why an image is made. Therefore, freedom of will is not taken away by divine providence. In fact, something may be the perfection of a thing in two ways: in one way, of a thing that already possesses its species; and in a second way, in order that the thing may acquire its species. Now, there is in everything something caused by creation: prime matter in the case of corporeal things, in incorporeal things their simple essences, as is evident from the things that we determined in Book Two [15ff]. So, he attributes this function to certain “daemons living in the region of the earth” who are caretakers for human actions, according to him. These examples could make a person think that there are some cases of acting without an end.  Again, the will is higher than sense appetite, for it moves itself, as we said above. Sed quia tales rationes ad secundam veritatem haberi non possunt, non debet esse ad hoc intentio ut adversarius rationibus convincatur: sed ut eius rationes, quas contra veritatem habet, solvantur; cum veritati fidei ratio naturalis contraria esse non possit, ut ostensum est.  It is evident from the foregoing explanation that, no matter how much evil be multiplied, it can never destroy the good wholly. And because there is some due order and harmony for every action, such privation in an action must stand as evil in the unqualified sense. Now, felicity is what is most desired and loved. But the divine essence is unlimited, comprehending within itself every perfection in the whole of existing being, as we showed in Book One [28, 43]. Therefore, all other creatures are ruled by means of rational creatures under divine providence. Otherwise, all possible grades of goodness would not be realized, nor would any creature be like God by virtue of holding a higher place than another.  Then, secondly, there is a distribution and multiplication in the form of diverse effects on the part of the agent and executor.  This is also evident from the relation of the possible intellect to the agent intellect. 4 n. 5 Tertium inconveniens est quod investigationi rationis humanae plerumque falsitas admiscetur, propter debilitatem intellectus nostri in iudicando, et phantasmatum permixtionem. Hence, no one should get the impression that the latter is moved violently, as is the case with heavy and light bodies that are moved by us through understanding. Omnium autem ordinatorum ad finem, gubernationis et ordinis regulam ex fine sumi necesse est: tunc enim unaquaeque res optime disponitur cum ad suum finem convenienter ordinatur; finis enim est bonum uniuscuiusque. Therefore, evil should not have been excluded from things by divine providence. This is accomplished through the order of Dominations, for it is the function of those who hold dominion to prescribe what the others execute. Chapter 2  Moreover, the ultimate in goodness and perfection among the things to which the power of a secondary agent extends is that which it can do by the power of the primary agent, for the perfection of the power of the secondary agent is due to the primary agent. Sublimius autem est quia per ipsum homo praecipue ad divinam similitudinem accedit, quae omnia in sapientia fecit: unde, quia similitudo causa est dilectionis, sapientiae studium praecipue Deo per amicitiam coniungit; propter quod Sap. Now, a thing is more closely united with God by the fact that it attains to His very substance in some manner, and this is accomplished when one knows something of the divine substance, rather than when one acquires some likeness of Him. Therefore, the essence of a separate substance is not an adequate medium whereby God could be seen essentially.  Indeed, in this operation handgets in touch with these higher beings by knowing them in some way. The highest beauty would be taken away from things, too, if the order of distinct and unequal things were removed.  Besides, it is impossible for an agent to do something evil, unless by virtue of the fact that the agent intends something good, as is evident from the foregoing. Therefore, God is not the end of things in the sense of being something set up as an ideal, but as a pre-existing being Who is to be attained. But, if ultimate felicity were possible in this life, it is certain that it would be lost, at least by death. Therefore, it is the same being that makes all blessed; yet they do not all grasp happiness therefrom in equal degree. Nor, indeed, are these singulars incapable of being governed, since we see them governed by the use of reason in the case of men, and by means of natural instinct in the case of bees and many brute animals that are governed by some sort of natural instinct.  Furthermore, “that which is of itself is the cause of that which is through another being.” But the divine intellect sees the divine substance through itself, for the divine intellect is the divine essence itself whereby the substance of God is seen, as was proved in Book One . Hence, Dionysius, speaking of the highest intellectual substances whom he calls the first hierarchy, that is, the sacred sovereignty, says: “they are not sanctified by other substances but they are immediately ranged about Himself by the Godhead and are conducted to the immaterial and invisible beauty, in so far as it is permitted, and to the knowable reasons for the divine workings.” And thus, through them, handsays, “those placed below in the ranks of the celestial essences are instructed.” In this way, then, the higher understandings receive a perfect knowledge from a higher source of knowledge. Therefore, the rational plan of divine providence demands that the other creatures be ruled by rational creatures. But more perfect beings tend to the good of the genus, while God, Who is most perfect in goodness, tends toward the good of being as a whole. As also the possible intellect to comprehend divine goodness to other beings, there is actually... 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