Indeed, if the word all means whatever things pertain to the perfection of the universe, it is obvious from what has been said that those who see the divine substance do see all things, as the arguments that have just been advanced show. But this is proper to God only, as we showed in Book Two [15]. So, there is for man some knowledge of God which is higher than the knowledge of faith: either the man who proposes the faith sees the truth immediately, as is the case when we believe in Christ; or he takes it immediately from one who does see, as when we believe the Apostles and Prophets. Therefore, this vision cannot come to the created intellect except through God’s action. In the order of natural things, delight is for the sake of operation, and not conversely. And this way is different from the first. But from what we have said, it is obvious that every intellectual substance tends by natural desire toward that vision. So, this man is not the cause of a man, except in the sense that he is the cause of a human form coming to be in this matter. So, felicity should not be attributed to them. It is clear that in the ascending order of this list he placed Powers above Principalities, and the Virtues above these, and the Dominations over these. [1] Created things are made like unto God by the fact that they attain to divine goodness. Hence, from the generation of the habitual intellect one cannot conclude that man will understand separate substance at some time. 34]. [5] Furthermore, no object of comprehension exceeds the limitations of the one who comprehends. Now, the aforementioned pleasures consist in this fact: that man is, through his senses, united with some things that are his inferiors, that is, with certain. But, if the action be a changing of external matter, it is obvious that the mover intends to bring about some perfection in the thing that is moved. And we have shown in Book One [28, 41] that God is perfect goodness. [7] Besides, a thing has the greatest desire for its ultimate end. Hence, Dionysius says, in the same chapter, that the name Principality suggests “a certain leadership along with sacred order.” For this reason, mention is made of “Michael the Prince of the Jews,” and of “a Prince of the Persians and a Prince of the Greeks” (Dan. Chapter 80 Hence, it will not be necessary for the act of understanding -through the agent intellect to be the cause, for us, of our ,capacity to understand separate substances; otherwise, we would always understand them. —Similarly, delight is not the ultimate end. [2] For it does not seem possible for one action to proceed from two agents. Chapter 36 Chapter 64 But only intellectual creatures operate by themselves, in the sense that they are masters of their operations through free choice of their will. So, there is a natural desire of man to be established in felicity. So, the effect does tend to be like the agent, not only in its species, but also in this characteristic of being the cause of others. [4] Of course, someone could say that the ultimate end of an intellectual substance consists, in fact, in understanding the best intelligible object—not that the best object of understanding for this or that particular intellectual substance is absolutely the best intelligible object, but that, the higher an intellectual substance is, the higher will its best object of understanding be. Therefore, every operation of a thing is traced back to Him as to its cause. Now, if the intellect knows the substance of a thing through its accidents, in accordance with what is said in Book I of On the Soul [1: 402b 21], that “the accidents contribute a good deal to the knowing of that which is,” this is accidental, inasmuch as the intellect must attain to substance through the knowledge of sensible accidents. [6] Again, every agent is ordered through his operation to an ultimate end, for either the operation itself is the end, or the thing that is made, that is, the product of the operation. Therefore, man’s ultimate felicity does not lie in moral acts. [8] Since happiness is the proper good of an intellectual nature, happiness must pertain to an intellectual nature by reason of what is proper to that nature. That divine providence does not exclude contingency from things, Chapter 73. Therefore, it cannot be maintained, on the basis of Alexander’s opinion, that man understands separate substances. And this is plainly false. First, because the natural tendency in heavy and light things is determined to one place; hence, just as such a body naturally tends to this place, so does it go against nature in receding from it. [11] And Dionysius, in chapter four of On the Divine Names says that “evil is not an existing thing,” that is, in itself; “nor is it something among things that have existence,” but it is a sort of accident, something like whiteness or blackness. [8] Besides, there is the same general reason for avoiding evil that there is for seeking the good, just as there is the same general reason for moving downward and for moving upward. And, in addition to this, man uses all sense objects for the perfection of intellectual knowledge. So, it is not the same thing for any creature to be and to be good without qualification, although each of them is good in so far as it exists. Also, some of them say that a thing could not even cease to be unless God caused in it the accident of “cessation.”—Now, all these views are clearly absurd. [3] Again, evil is a privation, as we have seen before. Nor, indeed, may it cease to see because of a removal of the object, for the object, which is God, is always existing in the same way; nor is He far removed from us, unless by virtue of our removal from Him. For He is not in potency to the possibility of obtaining something; rather, He is in perfect act simply, and as a result He is a source of enrichment. [4] However, certain words of Augustine do present a difficulty; for it appears from them that we can understand God Himself in this life. Again, since it is possible to come in some way to the proper knowledge of a thing by means of negations, as we said above, the more a person can know that a large number of closely related things are set apart from an object, the more does one approach toward a proper knowledge of it. Therefore, it is impossible for pleasure to be the ultimate end. His Summa contra Gentiles is remarkable as an attempt to demonstrate to nonbelievers the reasonableness of the Christian faith. Therefore, the reason for the things that have been made is so that the divine goodness might be diffused among things. For some of them that are composed of matter and form, the form fulfills the entire potentiality of the matter, so that there remains in their matter no potentiality for another form. And so, things tend toward the divine likeness by the fact that they are causes of others. [2] It has already been shown that the operation of providence, whereby God works in things, does not exclude secondary causes, but, rather, is fulfilled by them, in so far as they act by God’s power. Now, to see God through His divine essence is proper to the divine nature, for it is the special prerogative of any agent to perform its operation through its own form. Now, if an action does in fact terminate in some thing that is made, the inclination of the agent tend through the action toward the thing that is produced. This is so, in the kind of cause which is efficient, since a defect in the effect and in action results from a deficiency of power in the acting cause. This progress and movement toward the connection is accomplished through study in the speculative sciences, through which we acquire true objects of understanding, and also false opinions that are outside the orderly process of this movement are excluded, just as monstrosities are outside the order of natural operation. Similarly, evil cannot be the agent, since anything that acts does so according as it is in act and has form. Thus, we see in the case of the arts that one art, which is concerned with the end from which the plan for the entire artistic production is derived, directs and commands another art which makes the product, as the ‘art of navigation does in regard to shipbuilding. [5] Consequently, it is also evident that every working of nature is the work of an intelligent substance, because an effect is more fundamentally attributed to the prime mover, which aims at the end, than to the instruments which have been directed by it. In fact, demonstration shows that God is immutable, eternal, incorporeal, altogether simple, one, and other such things which we have shown about God in Book One[15-38]. For some of them, substance is their form and their act: this is so for the creature to whom, because of what it is essentially, it is appropriate to be, and to be good. [5] Moreover, every evil is the consequence of a good, as corruption is the result of an act of generation. 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 [49]. So, he naturally desires to know its cause, which is God alone, as we proved in Book Two [15]. Now, those that are nearest to God are quite immobile; namely, the separate substances which most closely approach the likeness of God, Who is completely immutable. For, the more perfect an ordering is, the more does it descend to small details; but the execution of small details is appropriate to a lower power, proportionate to such an effect. [5] 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. In fact, a motion is called natural, not simply because of its active principle, but also because of its passive one. Thus, a heavy body in some unusual position is in potency to its proper place. But the divine substance is something infinite in relation to every created intellect, since every created intellect is limited under a definite species. THAT EVIL IS AN ACCIDENTAL CAUSE Chapter 23 Now, not all intellectual substances are disposed with equal perfection to the end; some, in fact, are more virtuous and others less, and virtue is the road to felicity. 10:13, 20). But the occurrence of evil is not called fortuitous, a matter of chance, nor does it happen rarely, but always or in most cases. And this is in opposition to what was shown above. [2] 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. Therefore, they are capable of ruling the lower intellectual natures. [4] Besides, by the governance of every provident agent the things governed are led to a suitable end; hence, Gregory of Nyssa says of divine providence that it is the “will of God through which all things that exist receive a suitable end.” But the ultimate end of every creature is to attain the divine likeness, as we showed above. For, if you subtract half of a line two cubits long, and then half of the remainder, and if you go on in this way to infinity, something will always remain to be divided. Therefore, there will be the same act of understanding for two intelligent beings; and this is impossible. 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. [4] Besides, from a defect in a cause there follows a defect in the effect. Now, the perfection of anything is its good. Now, whenever two things are united in one subject, one of them is like the form of the other. Therefore, whatever pertains to perfection is to be preserved by providence rather than what pertains to imperfection and deficiency. Even we are able to reach this knowledge of God, in some sense; for we know through His effects, that God is, and that He is the cause of other beings, that He is supereminent over other things and set apart from all. [3] Again, the form proper to any being does not come to be in another being unless the first being is the agent of this event, for an agent makes something like itself by communicating its form to another thing. [2] From this it is also clear that evil and good are contraries according to the way they are understood in the area of moral matters, but they are not when taken without qualification, as the second argument suggested. [14] Besides, the right order of things is in agreement with the order of nature, for natural things are ordered to their end without error. Therefore, even the natural agent is neither moved, nor does it move, for the sake of an end, except in so far as the end is a good; for the end is determined for the natural agent by some appetite. From this the answer to the third argument is evident. Now, to be the first cause of all must be appropriate to the first being, that is, to God, as was shown above. Now, the ultimate end of the divine will is His goodness, and the nearest thing to this latter, among created things, is the good of the order of the whole universe, since every particular good of this or that thing is ordered to it as to an end (just as the less perfect is ordered to what is more perfect); and so, each part is found to be for the sake of its whole. But divine substance cannot be understood in this way, as we showed above. And so, when all potential objects of understanding have been made actual within us, the agent intellect is perfectly united with us as a form, and then we will understand perfectly through it, just as we now understand perfectly through the habitual intellect. So, the less it is in potency to this good, the less will it be a good. So, the perfection of providence is better manifested by the first order. Hence, if honor is not the highest good, much less is glory. [8] How frivolous this argument is, is quite apparent. Therefore, every agent tends toward some determinate effect, and this is called his end. [6] By this conclusion we refute the error of those who have said that the human soul, no matter how much it be elevated, cannot attain equality with the higher intellects. But every evil is caused by a good, as we have shown. So, there must be an ordering of their motions by some providence, and, consequently, of the motions and workings of all lower things that are controlled by their motions. For every being is ordered to its end through its action. Philosophy is the love of wisdom. Now, it is obvious that providence belongs to the area of practical knowledge, for its function is to order things to their end. [2] Again, every operation that results from a certain power is attributed causally to the thing which has given the power. WHETHER FELICITY CONSISTS IN A WILL ACT [2] The ultimate end of all is such that He is, nonetheless, prior to all things in existing being. But it seems incompatible with the view of the faith, in regard to this: it says that not all particulars are immediately subject to divine providence. Therefore, the good of the body is not man’s highest good. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. So, things generally desire to become like God in this respect, by being the causes of other things. 3:20-21). [8] Furthermore, divine substance is its own existing being, as we showed in Book One [22]. [6] It is also evident that, though a natural thing produces its proper effect, it is not superfluous for God to produce it, since the natural thing does not produce it except by divine power. Indeed, the same conclusion follows if it be granted that a created intellect is endowed with such a vision from the start of its creation. For he says there that “the difficulty of understanding these things comes from us not from them, for our intellect is to the most evident things, as the eye of the owl is to the light of the sun.” Hence, since separate substances cannot be understood through material things that are understood, as was shown above, it follows that our possible intellect can in no way understand separate substances. [10] Now, since a lower nature only touches with its highest part the lowest part of the next higher nature, this knowledge must be more eminent in separate substances than in us. Therefore, according to the aforesaid theory, it would be impossible to attribute to man either the action of the possible intellect as it understands or the action of the agent intellect as it understands separate substances or as it makes things actually understood. [2] Now, since it is in potency toward all forms, matter is indeed originated to have all of them; however, a certain one of them is not necessarily due it, since without this certain one it can be actually perfect. THAT IN THIS LIFE WE CANNOT SEE GOD THROUGH HIS ESSENCE [7] Again, whatever possesses an essence is either a form itself, or has a form. And things endowed with sensory knowledge have, in addition, sense appetite, under which irascible and concupiscible powers are included. [7] Now, these statements are unreasonable. And the Lord says “I dispose to you, as My Father has disposed to me... my table, that you may eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom” (Luke 22:29-30). [9] So, if the motion of the heavens is ordered to generation, and if the whole of generation is ordered to man as a last end within this genus, it is clear that the end of celestial motion is ordered to man, as to an ultimate end in the genus of generable and mobile beings. [10] Furthermore, in the relation of things to their end, an order appears, such that accidents exist for the sake of substances, in order that substances may be perfected by them; on the other hand, within substances matter is for the sake of form, for it participates in divine goodness through form, and that is why all things were made, as we showed above. So, felicity is not to be located in these pleasures. THAT DIVINE PROVIDENCE DOES NOT EXCLUDE FREEDOM OF CHOICE Hence, it clearly does not lie in the act of any moral virtue, nor of prudence or art, though these are intellectual virtues. Thus, since man’s ultimate felicity in this life seems mainly to consist in speculation, whereby the knowledge of the truth is sought, as Aristotle himself proves in Ethics X [7: 1177a 18], it is impossible to say that man achieves his ultimate end in this life. Hence, the light whereby the created intellect is perfected for the vision of the divine substance must be supernatural. Now, things are found to be more perfectly ordered the nearer they are to God. Now, riches are chiefly valuable because they can be expended, for this is their use. Yet, it cannot be a direct cause in itself, for a thing is not a cause by the fact that it is defective but rather by the fact that it is a being. [2] Now, they tried to support this error by arguments pointing out that no form, substantial or accidental, can be brought into being except by way of creation. Moreover, if that quiddity also has a quiddity, it will in turn be possible to abstract the quiddity of this quiddity. [12] Now, in moral actions we find four principles arranged in a definite order. Therefore, man’s highest good does not lie in the senses. [2] Indeed, evil cannot exist by itself, since it has no essence, as we have demonstrated. So, if perfect operation is the ultimate end, it appears that the ultimate end is more in accord with an operation of the will than of the intellect. [4] Furthermore, if this light is created, then nothing prevents it from being created connatural with some creature; hence, there could be a created intellect which, by its own connatural light, would see the divine substance. [7] In fact, some people derive an argument for this from the weakness of natural bodies in regard to acting. [3] Besides, the light of glory elevates to the divine vision due to the fact that it is a certain likeness of the divine intellect, as we have already stated. Similarly, it cannot be a thing that is made, for the termination of every process of generation is a form, and a good thing. [4] Besides, the attainment of felicity is accomplished through virtue. summary. Now, the proportion is like this: as the highest creatures are under God and are governed by Him, so the lower creatures are under the higher ones and are ruled by them. Thus it is that he says: “For the sea is His,” and so on. Therefore, it is impossible for an agent to begin to produce something that presupposes an infinite number of actions. So, He gives them either universal regulations and laws or particular ones. Indeed, each thing acts according as it is in act. [2] Now, as the higher intellectual substances are more universal in their power, they are also more perfectly receptive of divine control from Him, in the sense that they know the plan of this order down to its singular details because they receive it from God. THAT HUMAN FELICITY DOES NOT LIE IN THE SENSES 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. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate how our soul understands itself through itself. And in regard to nature: for it is more simple and unified, since it is not divided into beginning, middle, and end; rather, the whole motion is like a middle. Because of this He is spoken of in Sacred Scripture also as being in the heavens in a particular way; in the text of Isaiah toward the end (66:1): “Heaven is My throne,” and in the Psalm (113: 16): “The heaven of heaven is the Lord’s,” and so on.—But from the fact that, apart from the order of nature, God performs some operation in even the lowest of bodies which cannot be, caused by the power of a celestial body it is clearly shown that God is immediately present, not only in the celestial body, but also in the lowest things. [3] Again, of two contraries, each is a definite nature, for, if one contrary were supposed to be nothing, then it would be either a privation or a pure negation. So, the conclusion remains that man’s ultimate felicity consists in the contemplation of wisdom, based on the considering of divine matters. In fact, the generating agent intends as its ultimate end, not the form of the product generated, which is the end of the process of generation, but the likeness of divine being in the perpetuation of the species and in the diffusion of its goodness, through the act of handing on its specific form to others, and of being the cause of others. For God Himself understands His own substance through His own essence; and this is His felicity. The value of desiring a certain delight arises from the thing which delight accompanies. And this is clearly false, for many men have held the opinion that the soul is this or that body, and some have thought it a number or a harmony. [6] Again, there must be a proportion between the understander and the thing understood. Now, privation is an accidental principle in beings subject to motion, just as matter and form are essential principles. It must be, then, that the action itself is the end, or that the end of the action is also the end of the agent. 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