summa contra gentiles complete set
November 13th, 2020

But no creature can come closer to God than the one who sees His substance. [15] Moreover, pleasure seems to be simply the repose of the will in some appropriate good, as desire is the inclination of the will toward the attainment of some good. 1-83), Summa Contra Gentiles - Book III (Q. Now, to govern things is nothing but to impose order on them. Now, separate substances, which know God through themselves, are nearer effects and more definite bearers of the likeness of God than the effects through which we know God. On the Way in Which Divine Truth Is to Be Made Known, Chapter 4. [6] Moreover, in human affairs the lower overseers, through their own efforts, plan the order for those things whose direction has been given them by the chief executive. Therefore, it is not possible for it ever to lapse from this vision. And since corporeal vision is not accomplished without light, those things whereby intellectual vision is perfected take on the name fight. And so, such repose is not the end, but rather a concomitant of the end. [6] We also say that evil is in the world, not as possessing some essence, nor as a definitely existing thing, as the sixth argument suggested, but for the same reason that we may call something evil by virtue of its evil. Chapter 73 So, to detract from the perfection of creatures is to detract from the perfection of divine power. [13] So, too, the difficulty of some people is solved; namely, whether evil actions are from God. So, it is pertinent to the perfection of intellectual substance to know the natures of all species and their powers and proper accidents. [9] Secondly, let us consider it in regard to the reasons for the things that have been made: the intellect cannot know all of these unless it comprehend the divine goodness. Therefore, the ultimate felicity of man lies substantially in knowing God through his intellect, and not in an act of the will. If, then, man’s highest good lay in these things, man would not be the most excellent of animals; which is obviously false. Hence, in Ethics I, where he asks whether misfortunes take away happiness, having shown that felicity consists in the works of virtue which seem to be most enduring in this life, handconcludes that those men for whom such perfection in this life is possible are happy as men, as if they bad not attained felicity absolutely, but merely in human fashion. So, in so far as any mind knows anything whatever with certitude, the object is intuited in these principles, by means of which judgment is made concerning all things, by resolving them back into these principles; and so the mind is said to see all things in the divine truth, or in the eternal reasons, and is said to judge all things in accord with them. Indeed, they are all made for man’s use. In fact, the truth of the divine substance and the clarity of the divine intellect are equal, or, better, they are but one. And then, that which is the perfection of the thing, in so far as it already possesses its species, is its end: as habitation is the end of the house. THAT IN THIS LIFE WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND SEPARATE SUBSTANCES Hence, from an agent contingently indifferent to alternatives no effect follows, unless he be determined to one effect by something. [4] Moreover, the senses are treasured because of their usefulness, and also because of their knowledge. Now, formally speaking, it would not injure the good unless it were in the good; thus, blindness injures a man to the extent that it is in him. Now, the human intellect has a greater desire, and love, and pleasure, in knowing divine matters than it has in the perfect knowledge of the lowest things, even though it can grasp but little concerning divine things. Instruments, on the other hand, which do not know the plan at all, are simply ruled. [14] However, a difficulty seems to result from this investigation. CHAPTER 1 / Prologue / “The Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods” (Ps- 94:3) . Now, a person has not attained his ultimate end until natural desire comes to rest. This is why we say that “evil has no efficient, but only a deficient, cause,” for evil does not result from an agent cause, unless because it is deficient in power, and to that extent it is not efficient.—And it reduces to the same thing if the defect in the action and in the effect arise from a defect of the instrument or of anything else required for the agent’s action; for example, when the motor capacity produces lameness because of a curvature of the tibia. Rather, He is called infinite in the negative sense, like a self-subsistent form, not limited by matter receiving it. Still less will it consist in the aforementioned pleasures which are located in the sense appetite. Now, evil cannot be an agent, because whatever acts does so inasmuch as it is actually existent and perfect. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate how our soul understands itself through itself. [6] Furthermore, the will seems to be a higher power than the intellect, for the will moves the intellect to its act; indeed, the intellect actually considers, whenever it wills to, what it retains habitually. For, such a thing is not the necessary result of what is intended; rather, it is repugnant to what is intended, since the agent intends a perfect product of generation. Of course, we are in ignorance, except in regard to the lowest types of beings. Therefore, there will be the same act of understanding for two intelligent beings; and this is impossible. [2] It must be, then, that the species of things caused and intended by the intellectual agent exist beforehand in his intellect, as the forms of artifacts pre-exist in the intellect of the artist and are projected from there into their products. For, by the fact that they tend to their own perfection they tend to the good, since a thing is good to the extent that it is perfect. Chapter 47 So, the physician does not heal man as a universal, but, rather, this individual man, and the whole science of medicine is ordered to this result. Indeed, the forms of things generated, and their properties, remain in them after generation until the end, since they become natural to them. Now, that which possesses the formal character of an end, in the proper sense, is the good. In fact, he asserted that the possible intellect is incorruptible and separate in being from us, as is also the agent intellect. And the more important the power is considered to be, the more does it depend on large numbers of people, which fact also contributes to its frailty, since what depends on many can be destroyed in many ways. So, whatever a thing is, and whatever its mode of existing, it falls under His providence. The fact, then, that separate substances know that God is the cause of all things whose substances they see, does not mean that natural desire comes to rest in them, unless they also see the substance of God Himself. That in God There Are Contemplative Virtues, Chapter 96. [4] Moreover, a thing that one can use both for good and for evil cannot be man’s highest good, for that is better which no one can use in a bad way. Therefore, God Himself is the disposer of all things immediately by His providence, and whatever beings are called agents of providence under Him are executors of His providence. Therefore, if our intellect comprehends these material substances, it is naturally much more capable of understanding separate substances. WHETHER FELICITY CONSISTS IN A WILL ACT [7] Yet it is not improper, provided the truth be investigated to its limit. Now, evil is in a substance because something which it was originally to have, and which it ought to have, is lacking in it. Indeed, it has been stated in Book Two [96ff] that a separate substance, in knowing its own essence, knows both what is above and what is below itself, in a manner proper to its substance. Indeed, the intellect is naturally equipped to know any quiddity, in so far as it is quiddity, since the proper object of the intellect is what a thing is. [9] Of course, there are some actions that do not seem to be for an end. It is in this way that an equivocal agent seeks its proper good by an act of causation, as in the case of the heavens.

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