American University.

American University Bulletin Catalog Issue: College of Arts and Sciences Announcements (Volume 1941-1942) online

. (page 23 of 26)
Online LibraryAmerican UniversityAmerican University Bulletin Catalog Issue: College of Arts and Sciences Announcements (Volume 1941-1942) → online text (page 23 of 26)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

by his master (Matth. xxv. ; Luke xix.).

Reply Ohj. i. The Philosopher calls those evil who injure
their neighbour: and accordingly the fainthearted is said
not to be evil, because he injures no one, save accidentally,
by omitting to do what might be profitable to others. For
Gregory says {Pastoral, i.) that if they who demur to do good
to their neighbour in preaching he judged strictly, without
doubt their guilt is proportionate to the good they might have
done had they been less retiring.

Reply Ohj. 2. Nothing hinders a person who has a virtuous
habit from sinning venially and without losing the habit,
or mortally and with loss of the habit of gratuitous virtue.
Hence it is possible for a man, by reason of the virtue which
he has, to be worthy of doing certain great things that are
worthy of great honour, and yet through not trying to make

II. ii. 4 19

Q. 133. Art. i THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 290

use of his virtue, he sins sometimes venially, sometimes

Again it may be replied that the fainthearted is worthy
of great things in proportion to his ability for virtue, abiUty
which he derives either from a good natural disposition, or
from science, or from external fortune, and if he fails to use
those things for virtue, he becomes guilty of pusillanimity.

Reply Ohj. 3. Even pusillanimity may in some way be
the result of pride: when, to wit, a man clings too much to
his own opinion, whereby he thinks himself incompetent
for those things for which he is competent. Hence it is
written (Prov. xxvi. 16): The sluggard is wiser in his own
conceit than seven men that speak sentences. For nothing
hinders him from depreciating himself in some things, and
having a high opinion of himself in others. Wherefore
Gregory says [Pastor, i.) of Moses that perchance he would
have been proud, had he undertaken the leadership of a
numerous people without misgiving: and again he would have
been proud, had he refused to obey the command of his

Reply Obj. 4. Moses and Jeremias were worthy of the
office to which they were appointed by God, but their worthi-
ness was of Divine grace: yet they, considering the insuffi-
ciency of their own weakness, demurred; though not obsti-
nately lest they should fall into pride.

Second Article,
whether pusillanimity is opposed to magnanimity ?

We proceed thus to the Second Article : —

Objection i. It seems that pusillanimity is not opposed to
magnanimity. For the Philosopher says (Ethic, iv. 3) that
the fainthearted man knows not himself : for he would desire
the good things, of which he is worthy, if he knew himself.
Now ignorance of self seems opposed to prudence. There-
fore pusillanimity is opposed to prudence.

Obj. 2. Further, Our Lord calls the servant wicked and
slothful who through pusillanimity refused to make use

291 PUSILLANIMITY Q. 133. Art. 2

of the money. Moreover the Philosopher says [Ethic, iv.,
loc. cit.) that the fainthearted seem to be slothful. Now
sloth is opposed to solicitude, which is an act of prudence,
as stated above (Q. XLVIL, A. 9). Therefore pusillanimity
is not opposed to magnanimity.

Ohj. 3. Further, Pusillanimity seems to proceed from
inordinate fear : hence it is written (Isa. xxxv. 4) : Say to the
fainthearted : Take courage and fear not. It also seems to
proceed from inordinate anger, according to Coloss. iii. 21,
Fathers, provoke not your children to indignation, lest they he
discouraged. Now inordinate fear is opposed to fortitude,
and inordinate anger to meekness. Therefore pusillanimity
is not opposed to magnanimity.

Ohj. 4. Further, The vice that is in opposition to a par-
ticular virtue is the more grievous according as it is more
unlike that virtue. Now pusillanimity is more unhke
magnanimity than presumption is. Therefore if pusillani-
mity is opposed to magnanimity, it follows that it is a more
grievous sin than presumption: yet this is contrary to the
saying of Ecclus. xxxvii. 3, wicked presumption, whence
earnest thou ? Therefore pusillanimity is not opposed to

On the contrary, Pusillanimity and magnanimity differ
as greatness and littleness of soul, as their very names
denote. Now great and little are opposites. Therefore
pusillanimity is opposed to magnanimity.

I answer that, Pusillanimity may be considered in three
ways. First, in itself; and thus it is evident that by its
very nature it is opposed to magnanimity, from which it
differs as great and little differ in connexion with the same
subject. For just as the magnanimous man tends to great
things out of greatness of soul, so the pusillanimous man
shrinks from great things out of littleness of soul. Secondly,
it may be considered in reference to its cause, which on the
part of the intellect is ignorance of one's own quaUfication,
and on the part of the appetite is the fear of failure in what
one falsely deems to exceed one's ability. Thirdly, it may be
considered in reference to its effect, which is to shrink from

Q. 133. Art. 2 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 292

the great things of which one is worthy. But, as stated
above (Q. CXXXIL, A. 2, ad 3), opposition between vice
and virtue depends rather on their respective species than
on their cause or effect. Hence pusillanimity is directly
opposed to magnanimity.

Reply Obj. i. This argument considers pusillanimity as
proceeding from a cause in the intellect. Yet it cannot
be said properly that it is opposed to prudence, even in
respect of its cause : because ignorance of this kind does not
proceed from indiscretion but from laziness in considering
one's own ability, according to Ethic, iv. 3, or in accomplish-
ing what is within one's power.

Reply Obj. 2. This argument considers pusillanimity from
the point of view of its effect.

Reply Obj. 3. This argument considers the point of view
of cause. Nor is the fear that causes pusillanimity always
a fear of the dangers of death: wherefore it does not
follow from this standpoint that pusillanimity is opposed to
fortitude. As regards anger, if we consider it under the
aspect of its proper movement, whereby a man is roused to
take vengeance, it does not cause pusillanimity, which dis-
heartens the soul; on the contrary, it takes it away. If,
however, we consider the causes of anger, which are injuries
inflicted whereby the soul of the man who suffers them is
disheartened, it conduces to pusillanimity.

Reply Obj. 4. According to its proper species pusillanimity
is a graver sin than presumption, since thereby a man with-
draws from good things, which is a very great evil according
to Ethic, iv. Presumption, however, is stated to be wicked
on account of pride whence it proceeds.



[In Four Articles.)

We must now consider magnificence and the vices opposed
to it. With regard to magnificence there are four points of
inquiry : (i) Whether magnificence is a virtue ? (2) Whether
it is a special virtue ? (3) What is its matter ? (4) Whether
it is a part of fortitude ?

First Article,
whether magnificence is a virtue ?

We proceed thus to the First Article : —

Objection i. It seems that magnificence is not a virtue.
For whoever has one virtue has all the virtues, as stated
above (I.-IL, Q. LXV., A. i). But one may have the other
virtues without having magnificence: because the Philo-
sopher says [Ethic, iv. 2) that not every liberal man is magni-
ficent. Therefore magnificence is not a virtue.

Obj. 2. Further, Moral virtue observes the mean, accord-
ing to Ethic, ii. 6. But magnificence does not seemingly
observe the mean, for it exceeds liberaHty in greatness.
Now great and little are opposed to one another as extremes,
the mean of which is equal, as stated in Met. x. Hence
magnificence observes not the mean, but the extreme.
Therefore it is not a virtue.

Obj. 3. Further, No virtue is opposed to a natural inclina-
tion, but on the contrary perfects it, as stated above
(Q. CVIIL, A. 2: Q. CXVIL, A. i, Obj. i). Now according
to the Philosopher [Ethic, iv. 2) the magnificent man is not


Q. 134. Art. i THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 294

lavish towards himself : and this is opposed to the natural
inclination one has to look after oneself. Therefore magni-
ficence is not a virtue.

Ohj. 4. Further, According to the Philosopher [Ethic, vi. 4)
act is right reason about things to he made. Now magnificence
is about things to be made, as its very name denotes.*
Therefore it is an act rather than a virtue.

On the contrary, Human virtue is a participation of Divine
power. But magnificence (virtutis) belongs to Divine
power, according to Ps. Ixvii. 35: His magnificence and
His power is in the clouds. Therefore magnificence is a

/ answer that, According to De Ccelo i. 16, we speak of
virtue in relation to the extreme limit of a thing s power, not
as regards the limit of deficiency, but as regards the limit
of excess, the very nature of which denotes something great.
Wherefore to do something great, whence magnificence
takes its name, belongs properly to the very notion of virtue.
Hence magnificence denotes a virtue.

Reply Ohj. i. Not every liberal man is magnificent as
regards his actions, because he lacks the wherewithal to
perform magnificent deeds. Nevertheless every liberal
man has the habit of magnificence, either actually or in
respect of a proximate disposition thereto, as explained
above (Q. CXXIX., A. 3, ad 2), as also (I.-IL, Q. LXV., A. i)
when we were treating of the connexion of virtues.

Reply Ohj. 2. It is true that magnificence observes the
extreme, if we consider the quantity of the thing done : yet
it observes the mean, if we consider the rule of reason, which
it neither falls short of nor exceeds, as we have also said of
magnanimity (Q. CXXIX., A. 3, ad i).

Reply Ohj. 3. It belongs to magnificence to do something
great. But that which regards a man's person is little in
comparison with that which regards Divine things, or even
the affairs of the community at large. Wherefore the
magnificent man does not intend principally to be lavish
towards himself, not that he does not seek his own good, but
* Magnificence = mag^zo^ facere — i.e. to make great things.

295 MAGNIFICENCE Q. 134. Art. 2

because to do so is not something great. Yet if anything
regarding himself admits of greatness, the magnificent man
accompUshes it magnificently: for instance, things that are
done once, such as a wedding, or the like; or things that are
of a lasting nature; thus it belongs to a magnificent man to
provide himself with a suitable dwelling, as stated in Ethic, iv.
Reply Ohj. 4. As the Philosopher says {Ethic, vi. 5) there
must needs he a virtue of act, i.e. a moral virtue, whereby the
appetite is inchned to make good use of the rule of act : and
this is what magnificence does. Hence it is not an act but
a virtue.

Second Article,
whether magnificence is a special virtue ?

We proceed thus to the Second Article : —

Objection i. It seems that magnificence is not a special
virtue. For magnificence would seem to consist in doing
something great. But it may belong to any virtue to do
something great, if the virtue be great : as in the case of one
who has a great virtue of temperance, for he does a great
work of temperance. Therefore, magnificence is not a
special virtue, but denotes a perfect degree of any virtue.

Obj. 2. Further, Seemingly that which tends to a thing
is the same as that which does it. But it belongs to mag-
nanimity to tend to something great, as stated above
(Q. CXXIX., A A. I, 2). Therefore it belongs to magna-
nimity likewise to do something great. Therefore magnifi-
cence is not a special virtue distinct from magnanimity.

Obj. 3. Further, Magnificence seems to belong to holiness,
for it is written (Exod. xv. 11): Magnificent (Douay, —
Glorious) in holiness, and (Ps. xcv. 6) : Holiness and magni-
ficence (Douay, — Majesty) in His sanctuary. Now holiness
is the same as religion, as stated above (Q. LXXXL, A. 8).
Therefore magnificence is apparently the same as religion.
Therefore it is not a special virtue, distinct from the others.

On the contrary, The Philosopher reckons it with other
special virtues {Ethic, ii. 7; iv. 2).

/ answer that, It belongs to magnificence to do {facere)

Q. 134. Art. 2 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 296

something great, as its name implies. Now facere may be
taken in two ways, in a strict sense, and in a broad sense.
Strictly facere means to work something in external matter,
for instance to make a house, or something of the kind; in
a broad sense facere is employed to denote any action,
whether it passes into external matter, as to burn or cut,
or remain in the agent, as to understand or will.

Accordingly if magnificence be taken to denote the doing
of something great, the doing {f actio) being understood in
the strict sense, it is then a special virtue. For the work done
is produced by act: in the use of which it is possible to
consider a special aspect of goodness, namely that the work
produced (factum) by the act is something great, namely in
quantity, value, or dignity, and this is what magnificence
does. In this way magnificence is a special virtue.

If, on the other hand, magnificence take its name from
doing something great, the doing [facere) being understood
in a broad sense, it is not a special virtue.

Reply Obj. i. It belongs to every perfect virtue to do
something great in the genus of that virtue, if doing (facere)
be taken in the broad sense, but not if it be taken strictly,
for this is proper to magnificence.

Reply Obj. 2. It belongs to magnanimity not only to tend
to something great, but also to do great works in all the
virtues, either by making (faciendo), or by any kind of
action, as stated in Ethic, iv. 3: yet so that magnanimity, in
this respect, regards the sole aspect of great, while the other
virtues which, if they be perfect, do something great, direct
their principal intention, not to somethmg great, but to that
which is proper to each virtue : and the greatness of the thing
done is sometimes consequent upon the greatness of the

On the other hand, it belongs to magnificence not only to
do something great, doing (facere) being taken in the strict
sense, but also to tend with the mind to the doing of great
things. Hence Tully says (De Inv. Rhet. ii.) that magni-
ficence is the discussing and administering of great and lofty
undertakings, with a certain broad and noble purpose of mind,

297 MAGNIFICENCE Q. 134- Art. 3

discussion referring to the inward intention, and adminis-
tration to the outward accompHshment. Wherefore just
as magnanimity intends something great in every matter,
it follows that magnificence does the same in every work that
can be produced in external matter {factiUli).

Reply Ohj. 3. The intention of magnificence is the produc-
tion of a great work. Now works done by men are directed
to an end: and no end of human works is so great as the
honour of God: wherefore magnificence does a great work
especially in reference to the Divine honour. Wherefore the
Philosopher says (Ethic, iv. 2) that the most commendable
expenditure is that which is directed to Divine sacrifices: and
this is the chief object of magnificence. For this reason
magnificence is connected with holiness, since its chief
effect is directed to religion or holiness.

Third Article.

whether the matter of magnificence is great
expenditure ?

We proceed thus to the Third Article : —

Objection i. It seems that the matter of magnificence is
not great expenditure. For there are not two virtues about
the same matter. But liberality is about expenditure, as
stated above (Q. CXVIL, A. 2). Therefore magnificence
is not about expenditure.

Obj. 2. Further, Every magnificent man is liberal [Ethic.
iv. 2). But liberality is about gifts rather than about
expenditure. Therefore magnificence also is not chiefly
about expenditure, but about gifts.

Obj. 3. Further, It belongs to magnificence to produce
an external work. But not even great expenditure is
always the means of producing an external work, for instance
when one spends much in sending presents. Therefore
expenditure is not the proper matter of magnificence.

Obj. 4. Further, Only the rich are capable of great expen-
diture. But the poor are able to possess all the virtues,
since the virtues do not necessarily require external fortune,

Q. 134. Art. 3 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 298

hut are sufficient for themselves, as Seneca says (De Ira i. :
De vita heata xvi.). Therefore magnificence is not about
great expenditure.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says [Ethic, iv. 2) that
magnificence does not extend, like liberality, to all transactions
in money, hut only to expensive ones, wherein it exceeds
liberality in scale. Therefore it is only about great expen-

I answer that, As stated above (A. 2), it belongs to mag-
nificence to intend doing some great work. Now for the
doing of a great work, proportionate expenditure is necessary,
for great works cannot be produced without great expendi-
ture. Hence it belongs to magnificence to spend much in
order that some great work may be accomplished in becoming
manner. Wherefore the Philosopher says [Ethic, iv. loc. cit. )
that a magnificent man will produce a more magnificent work
with equal, i.e. proportionate, expenditure. Now expendi-
ture is the outlay of a sum of money; and a man may be
hindered from making that outlay if he love money too
much. Hence the matter of magnificence may be said to
be both this expenditure itself, which the magnificent man
uses to produce a great work, and also the very money
which he employs in going to great expense, and as well as
the love of money, which love the magnificent man mode-
rates, lest he be hindered from spending much.

Reply Obj. i. As stated above (Q. CXXIX., A. 2), those
virtues that are about external things experience a certain
difficulty arising from the genus itself of the thing about
which the virtue is concerned, and another difficulty besides
arising from the greatness of that same thing. Hence the
need for two virtues, concerned about money and its use;
namely, liberaHty, which regards the use of money in general,
and magnificence, which regards that which is great in the
use of money.

Reply Obj. 2. The use of money regards the liberal man
in one way and the magnificent man in another. For it
regards the liberal man, inasmuch as it proceeds from an
ordinate affection in respect of money; wherefore all due

299 MAGNIFICENCE Q. 134. Art. 3

use of money (such as gifts and expenditure), the obstacles
to which are removed by a moderate love of money, belongs
to liberality. But the use of money regards the magnificent
man in relation to some great work which has to be produced,
and this use is impossible without expenditure or outlay.

Reply Ohj. 3. The magnificent man also makes gifts of
presents, as stated in Ethic, iv. 2, but not under the aspect
of gift, but rather under the aspect of expenditure directed
to the production of some work, for instance in order to
honour someone, or in order to do something which will
reflect honour on the whole state: as when he brings to
effect what the whole state is striving for.

Reply Ohj. 4. The chief act of virtue is the inward choice,
and a virtue may have this without outward fortune: so
that even a poor man may be magnificent. But goods of
fortune are requisite as instruments to the external acts of
virtue: and in this way a poor man cannot accomplish the
outward act of magnificence in things that are great simply.
Perhaps, however, he may be able to do so in things that are
great by comparison to some particular work; which, though
little in itself, can nevertheless be done magnificently in
proportion to its genus: for little and great are relative
terms, as the Philosopher says {De Prcedic. Cap. Ad aliquid).

Fourth Article,
whether magnificence is a part of fortitude ?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article : — •

Objection i. It seems that magnificence is not a part of
fortitude. For magnificence agrees in matter with liberality,
as stated above (A. 3). But liberality is a part, not of
fortitude, but of justice. Therefore magnificence is not a
part of fortitude.

Ohj. 2. Further, Fortitude is about fear and darings.
But magnificence seems to have nothing to do with fear,
but only with expenditure, which is a kind of action. There-
fore magnificence seems to pertain to justice, which is about
actions, rather than to fortitude.

Q. 134. Art. 4 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 300

Ohj. 3. Further, The Philosopher says {Ethic, iv. 2) that
the magnificent man is like the man of science. Now science
has more in common with prudence than with fortitude.
Therefore magnificence should not be reckoned a part of

On the contrary, Tully {De Inv. Rhet. ii.) and Macrobius
{De Somn. Scip. i.) and Andronicus reckon magnificence
to be a part of fortitude.

/ answer that, Magnificence, in so far as it is a special
virtue, cannot be reckoned a subjective part of fortitude,
since it does not agree with this virtue in the point of matter :
but it is reckoned a part thereof, as being annexed to it as
secondary to principal virtue.

In order for a virtue to be annexed to a principal virtue,
two things are necessary, as stated above (Q. LXXX.).
The one is that the secondary virtue agree with the prin-
cipal, and the other is that in some respect it be exceeded
thereby. Now magnificence agrees with fortitude in the
point that as fortitude tends to something arduous and
difficult, so also does magnificence: wherefore seemingly it
is seated, like fortitude, in the irascible. Yet magnificence
falls short of fortitude, in that the arduous thing to which
fortitude tends derives its difficulty from a danger that
threatens the person, whereas the arduous thing to which
magnificence tends derives its difficulty from the disposses-
sion of one's property, which is of much less account than
danger to one's person. Wherefore magnificence is accounted
a part of fortitude.

Reply Ohj. i. Justice regards operations in themselves,
as viewed under the aspect of something due : but liberality
and magnificence regard sumptuary operations as related
to the passions of the soul, albeit in different ways. For
liberality regards expenditure in reference to the love and
desire of money, which are passions of the concupiscible
faculty, and do not hinder the liberal man from giving and
spending: so that this virtue is in the concupiscible. On
the other hand, magnificence regards expenditure in refer-
ence to hope, by attaining to the difficulty, not simply, as

301 MAGNIFICENCE Q. 134. Art. 4

magnanimity does, but in a determinate matter, namely
expenditure: wherefore magnificence, like magnanimity, is
apparently in the irascible part.

Reply Obj. 2. Although magnificence does not agree with
fortitude in matter, it agrees with it as to the condition of
its matter : since it tends to something diificult in the matter
of expenditure, even as fortitude tends to something difficult
in the matter of fear.

Reply Obj. 3. Magnificence directs the use of art to some-
thing great, as stated above and in the preceding Article.
Now art is in the reason. Wherefore it belongs to the mag-
nificent man to use his reason by observing proportion of
expenditure to the work he has in hand. This is especially
necessary on account of the greatness of both those things,
since if he did not take careful thought, he would incur the
risk of a great loss.



{In Two Articles).

We must now consider the vices opposed to magnificence:
under which head there are two points of inquiry : (i) Whether
meanness is a vice ? (2) Of the vice opposed to it.

First Article
whether meanness is a vice ?

We proceed thus to the First Article : —

Objection i. It seems that meanness is not a vice. For
just as vice moderates great things, so does it moderate
Httle things : wherefore both the liberal and the magnificent
do little things. But magnificence is a virtue. Therefore
likewise meanness is a virtue rather than a vice.

Obj. 2. Further, The Philosopher says (Ethic, iv. 2) that
careful reckoning is mean. But careful reckoning is appa-
rently praiseworthy, since man's good is to be in accordance
with reason, as Dionysius states {Div. Norn. iv. 4). There-
fore meanness is not a vice.

Obj. 3. Further, The Philosopher says [Ethic, iv. 2) that
a mean man is loth to spend money. But this belongs to
covet ousness or illiberality. Therefore meanness is not a

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 23 25 26

Online LibraryAmerican UniversityAmerican University Bulletin Catalog Issue: College of Arts and Sciences Announcements (Volume 1941-1942) → online text (page 23 of 26)