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Wanting something for someone: Aquinas on complex motions of appetite.

IN SUMMA THEOLOGIAE I-II, Q. 46, A. 2, Aquinas argues that the object of anger is double, consisting of something bad, namely the offender, and something good, namely the just retribution to be exacted. The argument is an important element in his account of anger, but it also touches on more general considerations concerning human relations, and it is these more general considerations that I would like to discuss.


The argument begins with a principle that runs deeply in Aquinas's thought, one that occurs, in various formulations, several times in his work. It is that appetite follows apprehension or cognition. He understands the term appetite broadly, as including blind inclinations to motion in unknowing natural things as well as conscious desires in animals and human beings. In the former case, appetite follows from cognition that is outside what has the appetite, in nature's creator and governor, but in the latter, appetite follows from sensitive or intellectual cognition within the same animal or human being as has the appetite. (1) The principle implies in animals and human beings a natural and necessary order between the two most important kinds of powers of soul: the apprehensive or knowing powers by which we are capable of awareness and the appetitive or "seeking" powers by which we are capable of wanting. According to this order the soul "takes things in" before it "goes out" towards them in its inclinations. Wanting, in short, presupposes awareness.

The commonplace character of the principle is suggested by Aquinas's appeal to it as axiomatic near the very outset of his career, towards the beginning of his early commentary on the Book of Sentences. There, with reference to enjoyment of the beatific vision, he maintains that enjoyment is an act of will, not intellect, but an objection argues as follows. The noblest act is the act of the noblest power; the highest power in man is intellect; therefore, since enjoyment of the vision of God, because it places man in his last end, is the most perfect or complete (perfectissimus) human act, it seems to be an act of intellect. (2) "Noblest," "highest," and "most perfect or complete," as well as "best" and "ultimate," are interchangeable terms in this discussion. Aquinas answers that appetite always follows cognition. Just as the lower part of the soul has sense-power and the appetite made up of irascible and concupiscible powers, so the highest part has intellect and the kind of appetite called will, of which intellect is higher with respect to origin, but will is higher secundum perfectionem, with respect to perfection or completion. He says that the same order obtains in the habits of these powers and in their respective acts of vision and love. He means the beatific vision and the correlative love of charity, but other kinds of seeing-and-loving illustrate the general point equally well, for in any such case the seeing stands out as the origin of the loving, and the loving as the completion of the seeing. The theme suggests erotic love and the phrase "love at first sight," which, even while speaking of near simultaneity of apprehending act and appetitive reaction, acknowledges that sight comes first, that there is a sequence from apprehension to appetite, from origin to perfection, from beginning to completion. Aquinas thinks that the best human activity, which is also the ultimate human happiness, is the highest case of seeing-and-loving. From the point of view of its origin it is an act of intellectual vision and from the point of view of its completion it is the act of will called enjoyment. (3)

In the article on anger's object Aquinas states the principle this way: motion of appetitive power follows an act of apprehensive power; motus appetitivae virtutis sequitur actum virtutis apprehensivae. "Acts"--that is, actualities or actuations--of apprehension are apparently quiescent, but they are followed by "motions"--that is, "emotions"--in appetite. As the major premise, this is the horizon within which the argument considers motions of appetite in general and the motion of anger in particular.

The minor premise derives from another scholastic commonplace, namely that intellect has two kinds of operation. Aquinas does not speak of intellect as such, however, referring instead to apprehensive power, a generic term that would seem to include sense-powers as well as intellect except for the fact that the only instances of apprehending he mentions here are acts of intellection or thinking. Apprehensive power, he says, can apprehend a thing in two ways: in the manner of something noncomplex (per modum incomplexi), as when we think of what a man is (cum intelligimus quid est homo), and in the manner of something complex (per modum complexi), as when we think that the color white is in a man (cum intelligimus album inesse homini). "In the manner of" is a literal but awkward translation of per modum, which might be rendered simply by "as," although in either case it is not clear whether what is being referred to is the manner of the act of apprehending, the manner of the object apprehended, or both. I take it that it is primarily the manner of the act, but also, by implication, the manner of the object. Objects of apprehension can be, that is, can be apprehended as, simple or complex, and they correspond to simple or complex acts of apprehending accordingly.

The origins of the scholastic distinction between two operations of intellect go back to Aristotle, who contrasts simple and complex objects of thought in several places, always citing the already hackneyed illustration of "white" combined with "man." In De anima 3.6.430a26-b6, he says that there is "intellection of indivisibles" with respect to things about which there is no falsity, and that where there is falsity and truth there is "composition of things that have been thought," and it is as if some one thing is made out of several. He makes a bizarre comparison between this unifying process and what Empedocles says about the origin of animals, namely that their parts first came into being as isolated disiecta membra, and that they were subsequently assembled by the force of Concord. So, too, in thought, says Aristotle, what is first separate is subsequently put together, for example "diameter" and "commensurate," or "diameter" and "incommensurate." Aquinas's discussion of this passage in his commentary on De anima, elaborates somewhat on Empedocles's cosmic principles of Concord or Friendship and Strife. (4) We will be reminded of Aristotle's comparison shortly, when we come to a sort of reversal of it in Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 2, where Aquinas suggests that the appetitive power's complex emotions of love and hatred are like the apprehensive power's complex act of apprehending that something is "in" something.

Aristotle goes on to say that if past or future is involved in what is being put together, then what is doing the putting together is also thinking of the relevant time; it is not just false or true that Cleon is white, but also that he was or will be. Falsity and truth always consist in a composition, and what does the unifying is in every case intellect. Aquinas comments that "the composition of a proposition" is a work not of nature, but of reason and intellect. (5) His introduction of the term "proposition" here suggests an extension of Aristotle's distinction of operations of intellect in the direction of language.

Aristotle himself makes such an extension in De interpretatione 1.16a9-16, where he says that just as in the soul there is sometimes thinking without true and false, but sometimes one of these is necessarily present, so also in speech. Nouns and verbs are like thought without composition, for example "man" or "white" without the addition of anything else, and where there is no composition there is no true or false. Commenting on other passages of De interpretatione, Aquinas says that the thing signified by the predicate is or is not "in" the thing signified by the subject, and that we use the verb "is" not just to signify existence, but also to signify that any form or act is "in" a subject. (6) These remarks shed light on the distinction in Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 2 between simple and complex modes of apprehension and on the example there of white being "in" a man, suggesting that the distinction and the example have linguistic dimensions. Speech expresses acts as well as objects of apprehension. It expresses noncomplex acts of apprehension in individual words, complex acts of apprehension in sentences, and the "being in" that is the object of complex apprehension by the relation of predicate to subject. (7)


From his two premises--that apprehension follows appetite and that apprehensive power apprehends in noncomplex and complex ways--Aquinas concludes that appetitive power can also tend to its object, namely good and bad, in both ways. Here "apprehensive power" is echoed by the equally generic "appetitive power," which, on the face of it, includes both the bodily powers of sense-appetite and the will or rational appetite. But as we have seen, "apprehensive power" seems to stand for intellect in the present article. Does "appetitive power" analogously stand for will?

Corresponding to the apprehensive power's act of apprehending is the appetitive power's motion of appetitus or wanting, that is, of tending towards what seems good or away from what seems bad. In order to let the word "wanting" carry the meaning of Aquinas's appetitus, it must be made to include every sort of appetitive motion or emotion. Thus it will mean something more general than the special emotion of desire in the narrow sense of finding something positively attractive. It will include wanting something not to happen. It will not imply that the object of wanting is not yet possessed, but will allow that wanting is still present with respect to what one already has and is enjoying, and also that one may want someone else to have what he already does have.

I have been using "emotion" to refer to specific kinds of wanting such as desire, fear, and enjoyment. The word has the advantages of being cognate with Aquinas's term motus and of being able to share in the ambiguity with which motus is used in this article, an ambiguity that in fact pervades Aquinas's so-called "treatise on the passions of the soul" (Summa theologiae I-II, qq. 23-48). The ambiguity arises from the fact that the treatise seems to shift between three kinds of motion of appetite: (1) passions in the proper sense, that is, motions of sense-appetite that involve bodily disturbances and are common to animals and human beings; (2) passions in this proper sense, but only as occurring in human beings, and therefore as affected by the presence of reason; and (3) spiritual motions of will that follow directly from reason and that are analogous to, have the same names as, and are sometimes accompanied by passions in the proper sense. Using the term "emotion" to maintain the ambiguity, we might say that "emotion of desire," for example, may refer to an animal attraction based on sense-perception, the humanized version of this animal attraction, or an attraction based entirely on reason.

Appetitive power, Aquinas says, tends towards its object as something simple and noncomplex when its wanting simply pursues (sequitur) or adheres to (inhaeret) something good, or shrinks from (refugit) something bad, for instance in emotions such as desire, hope, pleasure, and pain. Appetitive power tends towards its object as something complex when its wanting is concerned with this: that something good or bad "be in" or "happen concerning" something else (alterum), whether the wanting inclines towards this situation or away from it (cum appetitus fertur in hoc quod aliquod bonum vel malum insit vel fiat circa alterum, vel tendendo in hoc vel refugiendo ab hoc). To paraphrase this intricate and crucial sentence: appetitive motion has a complex object when one wants something that is either good or bad either to happen or not to happen to something that is other than the good or bad thing.

"Something that is other than the good or bad thing:" I have just used this expression, as well as "something else," to translate alterum, which I take to be neuter. Aquinas's point seems to be that whereas the first kind of wanting is concerned with just one thing, good or bad, the second is concerned with the complexity of a good or bad thing existing in relation to something else. One might object that alterum is also the masculine form and that here it means someone else, the point being rather that whereas the first kind of wanting is self-regarding, the second is concerned with good or bad in relation to other persons, as Aquinas's subsequent comments on love, hatred, and anger apparently confirm. I grant that alterum is ambiguous here, and I think that both interpretations are consistent with the spirit of the argument, which seems to say that the second kind of wanting is complex both because its object is double, being something-for-something-else, and because it itself is other-regarding, being directed to something-for-someone-other-than-oneself. However, it is the object's doubleness that is more essential to the argument, and to take the sentence in question as asserting doubleness of object rather than otherness of person is more in keeping with both the object of complex apprehension that has already been mentioned (the color white being in a man) and the object of anger to which the argument is leading (vengeance being taken from an offender).

Aquinas next says that the complex wanting he is describing is evident in love and hatred, and at this point he introduces a special kind of wanting with the verb velle, which cannot refer to a motion of sense-appetite, but only to a motion of will or rational appetite. In other circumstances velle might be translated as "to want," but apart from the fact that we are reserving "wanting" as a translation of the generic appetitus, it does not satisfactorily convey the meaning of velle here. We might translate velle as "to wish" or "to will," but neither of these is quite satisfactory either. Consider the following statements, any of which might be said to translate volo bonum tibi:
 I want good for you
 I wish good for you
 I will good for you

The first statement offers no reason and does not imply that there is one, but the second suggests that I've given the matter some thought. The third also suggests thoughtfulness, but something else as well, in fact two more things, namely powerfulness in securing what is good and superiority over the "you." "To will" is the conventional English translation of velle as used by Aquinas, and it has the advantage of connoting what he understands to be the subject of this act, the power of voluntas or will, but in a sentence such as "I will good for you," it can easily suggest a domineering and irresistible juggernaut, which is too forceful for what he means by velle. "To wish," on the other hand, can easily suggest an ineffective and wistful velleity, which is not forceful enough, but it can also just mean wanting that is specifically human, rational wanting or intelligent desire, and I believe that taken in this sense it better conveys than "to will" what Aquinas means by velle both here and in another text I will discuss. With respect to the present article, I think that the identification of certain kinds of complex appetitus as acts of velle is better reflected in the gradual progression from "wanting" to "wishing" than in the more sudden jump from "wanting" to "willing."

Complex wanting, then, is said to be evident in love and hatred because we love someone inasmuch as we wish that some good be "in" him and we hate someone inasmuch as we wish that something bad be "in" him. Anger is complex in a similar way. Whoever is angry seeks to get vengeance from someone, so that the motion of anger tends towards two things: the vengeance, which he desires, hopes for, and already takes pleasure in as something good, and the one from whom (illum de quo) he seeks it, a person regarded as something contrary and harmful, that is, something bad. (8) Note the new preposition. A feature common to the descriptions of the object of complex apprehension, the object of complex wanting in general, and the objects of love and hatred in particular, has been mention of something being "in" something else, but with anger, it is rather a wanting something (vengeance) "from" someone that is specified. But taking vengeance from someone is also the bringing about of something (punishment) "in" him, and in any case both the "from" in the description of anger and the "in" in the descriptions of love and hatred represent links between the two parts of a double object. That is, the objects of anger, love, and hatred share a common form: they are composite, articulated objects, consisting of something good or bad connected by a motion of appetite with a person. The prepositions signify the connections, and the "from" in the object of anger is simply a special case of the relation of thing to person in objects of complex emotion.

But anger also differs from love and hatred with respect to its object, Aquinas says, in two ways. One is that anger always regards two objects, whereas love and hatred sometimes regard only one, as, for example, when someone is said to love or hate some such thing as wine. The other is that when love and hatred do regard two objects, the two objects are homogeneously either good or bad. One who loves wishes good for someone he regards as agreeable, that is, as something good, and one who hates wishes what is bad for someone he regards as disagreeable, that is, as something bad. Love and hatred want good for the good and bad for the bad respectively. But anger regards one object, the vengeance it desires, under the aspect of good, and the other object, the person from whom it wants the vengeance, under the aspect of bad. Aquinas concludes that anger itself is in a way a composite passion, that is, a passion composed of contrary passions. (9) As the wanting of something taken as good--that is, as good in itself or just--for someone taken as bad, anger seems to be the most complex wanting of all.


The first part of the argument may be summarized as follows. The distinction in apprehension between the act of grasping simply what something is and the act of grasping the complexity of something's being "in" something else is followed by a distinction in appetite between a simple motion of appetite concerning something taken to be good or bad, and a complex motion of wanting that something taken to be good or bad be or not be "in" something else, namely a person who is himself taken to be good or bad. The parallel is between this distinction in cognition:
 apprehending what A is
 apprehending that B "is in" A

and--letting X stand not just for a good or bad thing, but also for absence, privation, or nonpossession of a good or bad thing--this distinction in appetite:
 wanting X
 wanting X to "be in" or "happen concerning" Y

The first members of the two distinctions both involve a fixing of attention on a single object taken in abstraction from all else. Both the thinking of an essence and the appetitive motion of simply wanting with regard to something show the soul's ability to isolate objects. Consideration of what a human being is, for example, and desire to take a walk both involve picking out a figure from the background of the world, giving it sharp definition, and keeping it before the mind. The second members of the distinctions, on the other hand, show the soul's powers of combination. The descriptions of both kinds of combination turn on the term "being-in," which is given transferred meanings that go far beyond the notion of spatial interiority. The apprehended being of the color white "in" a man is the being of an accident "in" a substance, and it is expressed, as we have seen, by the being of a predicate "in" its subject. The wanted being or not-being of something good or bad "in" someone good or bad evokes a still more unusual sense of interiority. (10)

Aquinas evidently means the term "being-in" to express something common to the object of complex apprehension and the object of complex appetite, but perhaps in the case of the latter he offers the alternative "happen concerning" (fiat circa) as a more natural way of saying what he means. The natural English way of saying what he means, in any case, is "wanting something good or bad to happen to someone," or "wanting something good or bad for someone." Thus the distinction in motions of appetite may be represented more simply as follows:
 wanting X
 wanting X for Y

oor, more simply still:
 wanting for

The preposition "for" has the advantage of being able to combine with "wishing" as well as "wanting." (11) "To," the more usual preposition in English translations of the Latin dative, goes only with "wishing," in phrases such as "I wish good things to you" that express rather than merely describe complex wanting and are therefore useful as, for example, New Year's greetings. Yet another preposition, "on," might also introduce a dative of wishing, as in "I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy," though this too suggests declaration, and even prayer, rather than simple description. (12) "For" seems to be the best preposition for the job of description, although it must of course be deprived of any positive connotation. What is wanted for someone need not be wanted as his good, and in this respect "for" is like the grammarians' "dative of advantage," which indicates the person for whose advantage or disadvantage a thing is done.

The advance from the first to the second form of wanting introduces persons into the object of wanting, persons taken to be good as well as persons taken to be bad, but persons in any case recognized as persons. Persons may be objects of the simple form of wanting inasmuch as they are, say, desired, enjoyed, or painfully endured, but as such immediate targets of appetitive motion they are unrecognized as persons, undistinguished from inanimate things that also may be desired, enjoyed, or painfully endured. In the second form of wanting, persons are recognized as persons, that is, ones for whom what is good or bad may be wanted, and they are thereby made part of a society that the second kind of wanting constitutes, a society that consists of the one who is wanting something and the one for whom he is wanting it. Thus the second kind of wanting shows our appetitive powers to be powers of relationship, powers of establishing ourselves in relations of love, hatred, and anger. In view of what love, hatred, and anger can and usually do lead to, it is clear that these are powers of momentous significance for human happiness and misery.


The distinction in Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 2 between simple and complex forms of wanting is apparently a generalization of the standard thirteenth-century distinction between "love of concupiscence" and "love of benevolence or friendship." This distinction arose in theological discussions in the early part of the century concerning the angels' natural love of God, against a background formed by the scriptural command to love God above all things, Augustine's distinction between enjoyment and use, and Aristotle's distinction between love of lifeless things and love of a friend. (13) The terminology of the contrast, which Aquinas adopted, is quite misleading. "Love of concupiscence" refers not to disorderly sensual desire nor even to sensual desire in general, but to any desire whatsoever, and "love of benevolence or friendship" is more than mere benevolence but less than friendship, inasmuch as it implies love of a person for his own sake but not the mutuality of friendship. Despite the nomenclature, the contrast is between self-regarding love of goods to be used or enjoyed, and other-regarding love of persons. Aquinas developed the distinction in different ways in different contexts, thereby causing trouble for scholars who have attempted to give a comprehensive and coherent survey of his views on the matter. Sometimes, following tradition, he makes love of concupiscence self-regarding and love of friendship other-regarding, but sometimes, in an apparent inconsistency, he presents the two loves as directed to goods and persons respectively, allowing both love of concupiscence for goods desired for others and love of friendship for oneself. (14)

Summa theologiae I-II, q. 26, a. 4, which is about the suitability of the distinction between two kinds of love, is a clear statement of his mature understanding of the distinction. He begins with a quotation of Aristotle's remark in Rhetoric 2.4.1380b35 that "to love is to wish good for someone," amare est velle alicui bonum, from which he infers that the motion of love tends to two things, namely the good one wishes for someone, whether oneself or someone else, and that for which (illud cui) one wishes the good. One has love of concupiscence for the good one wishes for the something that is other than the good (alteri), and love of friendship for that for which (illud cui) one wishes the good. (15) Aquinas makes the point in much the same terms earlier in the Summa, at I, q. 20, a. 1, ad 3, but without reference to the Rhetoric: the operation of love, he says there, always tends to two things, the good one wishes for someone (alicui) and the one for whom (eum cui) one wishes it, for to love someone, properly speaking, is to wish good for him, and thus in loving oneself one wishes good for oneself. (16)

In I-II, q. 26, a. 4, grammatical gender is again ambiguous. I have taken the dative alteri, as I did the accusative alterum in q. 46, a. 2, to be neuter, that is, as meaning "the something in the object that is other than the good," but with more compelling evidence here, where the grammatically possible masculine alternative--"someone other than the one who is loving"--is logically excluded by the statement, confirmed by I, q. 20, a. 1, ad 3, that the good is wished for either someone else or oneself. The dative alicui in the quoted remark is likewise ambiguous, but in this case, to the contrary, I have taken the masculine, personal alternative rather than the neuter as more likely what is intended and as supported by the diction of I, q. 20, a. 1, ad 3 (eum cui, "the one for whom"), although I concede that one might maintain Aquinas meant the remark to say that "to love is to wish good for something," as long as this is understood not to deny the personal character of the object of "for," but to affirm that it is an object and is other than the good in question. In fact, the latter interpretation is supported by the replacement, twice, of the Aristotelian alicui by the unambiguously neuter illud cui, "that for which," in the explanation of the objects of the two kinds of love in I-II, q. 26, a. 4. (17)

Within this thicket of small but cumulatively important problems concerning gender and translation, the important point is that, however strange and even contradictory it may sound to post-Kantian ears, Aquinas thinks that the object of wishing-good-for can be represented by both masculine and neuter pronouns, that is, as both a person and a thing. The combination of velle and a dative in Latin, like the combination of "wish" and "for" in English, can only point to a person, but the dative, which corresponds to the object of "for" in English, can take either a masculine or a neuter form. The dative is both person and thing because to love is to wish good for someone, that is, a person, but within the composite object of love this person is something other than the good wished for him. But only a person, whether represented as masculine or as neuter, can be an object of wishing good-for, or even simply of wishing-for. Only a person can be a dative of wishing, and only by being taken as a dative of wishing can a person as a person be made an object.

Aquinas goes on to say in I-II, q. 26, a. 4 that the distinction of two kinds of love is a distinction between prior and posterior. What is loved with love of friendship is loved simply speaking and for itself; what is loved with love of concupiscence is loved not simply speaking and for itself, but for the sake of something else. This distinction is like the difference between substance and accident. What is simply speaking a being (ens), is what has existence (esse); what is a being (ens) only in a certain respect is what exists in (est in) something else. It is also like the difference between substantial and accidental goods. What is a good thing simply speaking--in the sense that the term "a good thing" (bonum) is interchangeable ("convertible") with the term "a being" (ens)--is what itself has goodness, but a good belonging to something else is a good only in a certain respect. Accordingly, Aquinas concludes, the love by which something is loved with a view to there being good for it is love simply speaking, and the love by which something is loved with a view to its being a good of something else is love only in a certain respect, love that is qualified. Is The whole of this account, both the distinction between the two kinds of love and the ordering of them, is presented as a sort of gloss on the Rhetoric's remark that to love is to wish good for someone.

Aquinas quotes the remark, which he takes to be a definition, elsewhere in the Summa and in other works, always in the concise form he does here, not in the fuller and more accurate version he would have found in the Moerbeke translation that he apparently began to readjust before starting to write the second part of the Summa in 1271. Perhaps he learned the shorter version from a florilegium of Aristotelian dicta, and it remained fixed in his memory. (19) The sentiment and language of "wishing good for someone" are plain and simple, and the phrase resembles others he would have encountered in other sources. (20) Sometimes, as in the passage of Summa theologiae I, q. 20, a. 1, ad 3 mentioned above, he cites the remark without attribution, as an adage, but in De malo and the second part of Summa theologiae--texts in which he shows increasing familiarity with the Rhetoric in the Moerbeke translation--he takes the trouble to attribute it to the Rhetoric, even while persisting in quoting it in the abbreviated version. The attributions are perhaps symptomatic of a new importance he was attaching to the Rhetoric, but he seems to have continued to value the short version of the remark for the aphoristic density with which it manages, as he implies in Summa theologiae I-II, q. 26, a. 4, to capture both the distinction and the order between the two kinds of love in the three simple words velle alicui bonum.

Later in the Summa, in an article on whether the love that is the act of charity is the same as benevolence or good will (II-II, q. 27, a. 2), he says that the Rhetoric's definition is incomplete. An objection claims that the definition makes love the same as benevolence, which means wishing someone well, so that the love of charity must be benevolence. Aquinas answers that Aristotle does not give the complete ratio of love in the definition, but only the feature in which the operation of love is most obvious. (21) In the body of the article he explains that benevolence is not love, because it lacks both the impulsiveness (impetus inclinationis) of sensual love and the affective union (unio affectus) of intellectual love. (22) It is intellectual love that the Rhetoric defines incompletely, neglecting the affective union that distinguishes it from mere benevolence, but highlighting its most prominent feature, which it shares with benevolence, the wishing of good for someone.

The correspondences between Summa theologiae I-II, q. 26, a. 4, in which Aquinas elaborates the distinction between the two kinds of love on the basis of the Rhetoric's definition, and I-II, q. 46, a. 2, in which he explains anger's object, are perhaps evident at this point. In the latter text the definition is echoed in the remark that we love someone inasmuch as we wish that some good be in him. It is transposed in the parallel remark that we hate someone inasmuch as we wish that something bad be in him. And it is generalized in the description of appetite being brought to the point of concern with something good or bad being in or coming about in relation to something else, whether the wanting tends towards this state of affairs or away from it. The starting point of the exegesis of Aristotle's definition in the former text is that the motion of love tends to two things (motus amoris in duo tendit); the conclusion of the latter text is that the motion of anger tends to two things (motus irae tendit in duo). These correspondences suggest that the question of anger's object in the Summa theologiae was for Aquinas an occasion to extend his account of love to other motions of appetite. In I-II, q. 26, a. 4, he had fused the Rhetoric's definition of love with the early thirteenth-century theologians' distinction between two kinds of love, producing a formal analysis of love's complexity in terms of a double object. In I-II, q. 46, a. 2, he enlarged this formal analysis to take in hatred and anger, which also have the structure of wishing X for Y, that is, of wishing something (good or bad) for someone (good or bad). Thus Aristotle's "definition" of love, in its truncated version, seems to have prompted and served as a model for Aquinas's general account of complex wanting.


In distinguishing simple and complex motions of appetite in Summa theologiae, I-II, q. 46, a. 2, Aquinas indicates that desire, hope, pleasure, pain, and "other such things" are simple motions of wanting; that love and hatred may be either simple motions of wanting or complex motions of wishing something for someone; and that anger is necessarily a complex motion of wanting something from someone. (He says nothing about four other emotions he mentions elsewhere, namely aversion [fuga vel abominatio], despair, fear, and daring; presumably he includes them among the simple motions under "other such things.") This sorting of motions of appetite raises a couple of questions. Do the so-called simple motions not involve wanting something at least for oneself, and if so, does the distinction between simple and complex motions not collapse? On the other hand, can motions of appetite such as desire, hope, pleasure, and pain not arise with reference to others, as when we hope for the success of those we love or take pleasure in their delight?

One way of answering the first question is to take a cue from a response to the apparent inconsistency in Aquinas's varying accounts of the two kinds of love. The response is to frankly acknowledge that the inconsistency is real and that his readers must therefore beware. In his most original and thoughtful uses of the distinction he presents love of friendship as love of a person and love of concupiscence as love of a good for the sake of a person, but occasionally he lapses into the traditional way of distinguishing love of friendship as love of another person for his own sake and love of concupiscence as love of a good for oneself. Readers should realize that these ways of presenting the distinction are incompatible and that it is the former, not the latter way that is deeper and more important in Aquinas's thought. (23) Adapting this explanation, we might suggest that the inconsistency reaches into the discussion of anger's object in Summa theologiae III, q. 46, a. 2. There Aquinas recorded his discovery that love's complex object could serve as a model for describing the objects of anger, hatred, and the general form of wanting that something good or bad "be in" or "happen concerning" something else. But in saying that love or hatred may be simple as well as complex, that in addition to the complexity of wanting something for someone in love or hatred, one may also simply love or hate such things as wine, he fell back into the earlier understanding according to which love of friendship is always other-directed, and he forgot his own point that love is always love of something for someone, whether someone else or oneself. In fact, he compounded the mistake by failing to note that hatred of a thing, too, always has reference to someone, if only oneself. He should have seen that, like the love of Aristotle's definition, hatred is always a wishing of something for someone, a wishing on my part, for example, that bad wine not be tasted by me, or a wishing that it be tasted by someone I dislike. But caught up as he was in his discovery of a general form of complex wanting, he failed to remember that wanting-good-for may be for oneself and he failed to notice that all wanting is wanting-for.

Another response to our first question, one more respectful of the argument of Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 2, is suggested by Cajetan's commentary on the article, which indicates that the distinction between noncomplex and complex motions of appetite is understood by Aquinas "formally and explicitly," as follows. There is complexity in desire and hope if their objects are considered with respect to what is implicit in them, for no one desires anything except goods for oneself or someone else, and no one hopes for a good that is not a good of someone. There is noncomplexity in these emotions, however, if their objects are considered with respect to what is explicit in them, according to which desire is simply of an absent good and hope of a future good. But to love is to wish good for someone, as the Rhetoric says in a remark in which there explicitly appears "application" of something to something else on the side of the object. Aquinas's meaning, according to Cajetan, is that there are some emotions whose objects explicitly consist in application of something to something else and some whose objects do not. Emotions such as desire, hope, and simple love or hatred do not explicitly signify application of something to something else in the object (non explicite important applicationem huius ad hoc in obiecto), application of the sort that is explicitly signified when a friend is loved, when we are angry at someone, or when we hate someone with "hatred of enmity" (which is to "hatred of aversion" as love of friendship is to love of concupiscence). Cajetan concludes by saying that only in these three passions is there explicit application of something to something else. (24)

In fact this commentary suggests answers to both our questions. (1) The motions of appetite Aquinas identifies as simple are simple with respect to what is explicit in their object, which is simply something good or bad, but these objects always implicitly include a person for whom the good or bad is wished. (2) The motion of desire, simple with respect to what is explicit in it, is said to be implicitly desire for a good for oneself or someone else, which seems to suggest that hope, pleasure, pain, and other such motions of appetite may likewise be other-directed.

At different points in his remarks Cajetan suggests that the distinction between explicit and implicit is found in objects of emotion, in emotions themselves, and in language such as Aristotle's definition of love, language in which, Cajetan says, there explicitly appears application of something to something. The linguistic dimension seems especially important, inasmuch as the distinction between explicit and implicit primarily refers to language, and inasmuch as language both manifests reason's application of one thing to another in speakers and effects such application in hearers. Perhaps Cajetan regards the definition as not just Aristotle's statement of the complex truth about love, but also the voice, so to speak, of nature, that is, as what one must say, explicitly, at least to oneself, about one's friend, "I wish good for him." So, too, one who hates must explicitly say of his enemy, "I wish bad for him," and one who is angry at someone must explicitly say, "I want vengeance from him"--not necessarily in so many English words, of course, but in some such articulate way that combines the I, the wanting, the good or bad thing, and the person the thing is wanted for.

Cajetan's claim that only love, hatred, and anger contain explicit application of something to something can hardly mean that desire, for example, is restricted to saying "I desire X," with no possibility of mentioning the person X is desired for. His point seems to be that one can simply say "I desire X," thereby implying I desire it "for myself," and that it is only when desire is other-directed that the one for whom the good is desired need be made explicit. The same might be said of hope, pleasure, pain, and fear, namely that the dative can be left implicit when they are self-directed, but needs to be stated when they are other-directed. The point might help explain why the distinction between simple and complex motions of appetite in Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 2 appears as a difference between the self-directed and the other-directed. People do speak, or at least think, of being hopeful and fearful of what might happen to others, and of being pleased and pained by what does happen to others, whether the others are friends, enemies, or strangers, but these motions of appetite derive from an original "love of friendship" or "hatred of enmity" that is necessarily explicit in its identification of a dative. Anger is a special case, also necessarily explicit in its identification of a dative, but irreducible to love or hatred of the dative. When the motions of appetite Aquinas identifies as simple--desire, hope, pleasure, pain--are directed to oneself, they are linguistically simple in their expressions, for example, "I'm hoping for X," or "Y hurts." When they are other-directed, they share in the complex speech of love, hatred, and anger, in statements such as "I hope P gets Q," or "I'm pained that R has S." This seems to account for Cajetan's reduction of all complex motions of appetite to love of, hatred of, and anger towards persons.

With respect to these three most basic kinds of complex wanting and the contrast between self-regarding and other-regarding in them, Aquinas holds both that everyone naturally and necessarily loves himself with love of friendship, and that love is the only one of these three emotions that can, in the proper sense, be turned back on oneself. (25) It is only in secondary and derivative senses that we can speak of self-hatred or anger at oneself.

In an article on whether one can hate oneself (Summa theologiae I-II, q. 29, a. 6), Aquinas says that everything naturally seeks good, and that no one can seek anything for himself except under the aspect of good, for what is bad is "beyond the will (praeter voluntatem)." (26) Therefore, since to love someone is to wish good for him, one necessarily loves oneself, and one cannot hate oneself per se loquendo. But one can hate oneself per accidens, and there are two ways of doing so, in keeping with the double object of complex wanting. One can accidentally hate oneself with respect to the good one wishes for oneself or with respect to the self for whom one wishes it. With respect to the good, sometimes what one wants as good in a certain respect is simply speaking bad, and thus one wishes what is bad for oneself, which is to hate oneself. (Consider desire for the harmful pleasures.) With respect to the self, the argument is this. Each thing is most of all what is most important in it, which is why a city is said to do what its king does, the king being, as it were, the whole of the city. What man is most of all is clearly his mind, but it can happen that people consider themselves to be most of all what they are with respect to their bodily nature and senses, and so they love themselves with respect to what they consider themselves to be, although they hate what they truly are in wishing what is contrary to reason. (One might, for example, regard oneself as primarily an eater and drinker, with the paradox that one by means of reason takes oneself to be less than rational.) Aquinas comments that someone who loves iniquity hates not just his soul, but himself, in both ways of self-hatred. (27) Still, because the former way is a taking of what is bad as good and the latter a taking of what is lower in one's nature as one's self, the complex motion of appetite remains, properly speaking, love of self, however infected it may be by ruinous, albeit accidental, self-hatred.

If self-hatred is hatred only accidentally, anger at oneself seems to be anger in an even weaker sense, namely metaphorically. Aquinas makes this point in an article whose question, suggested to him by Aristotle's Rhetoric, is whether anger is only towards those with whom we have relations of justice. (28) He argues for the affirmative, both from the point of view of anger's cause, which is unjust injury inflicted by someone else, and from the point of view of the just vengeance that the angry person wants. (29) An objection argues that there is, as Aristotle says in the Ethics, no such thing as justice towards oneself, yet someone who repents of sin is said to be angry at himself; therefore anger is not only towards those with whom we have relations of justice. Aquinas answers that Aristotle does speak in the Ethics of metaphorical justice and injustice towards oneself in the sense that reason governs the irascible and concupiscible parts of the soul, and that in the same way, that is, metaphorically, someone who repents can be said to exact vengeance from himself, and consequently to be angry at himself, although properly speaking and per se, no one gets angry at himself. (30)

In relation to oneself, then, one can, with respect to complex wanting, only love, properly speaking, but in relation to others the possibilities open up to include hatred and anger as well as love. It may seem odd, perverse even, to emphasize what love, hatred, and anger have in common while suppressing any consideration of moral differences between them, but it is clarifying simply to see that our appetitive powers are not just brute inclinations, but powers of engagement with others, before inquiring into the moral qualities of the different sorts of engagement. The range of other uses of the word "engagement," from the marital and amorous to the martial and hostile, seems to make it particularly suitable for referring generically to all complex motions of appetite that extend to others.


In Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 2, Aquinas suggests that complex wanting is like the complex cognition it follows, both being acts in which the two parts of a double object are combined by the being, whether apprehended or wanted, of one part "in" the other. But complex wanting seems to require a cognition of its own, one that this general comparison between complex apprehension and complex wanting hints at but does not describe. Complex wanting certainly involves what Cajetan calls the explicit application of something to something, and what Aquinas himself calls the ordering of one thing to another that is a proper activity of reason, another recurrent axiom in his work being rationis est ordinare. (31) The rational ordering or application implied by complex wanting is what is called in phenomenology a "categorial form," that is, a form of thought that "deals with the combinatorics of human intentionality" and that "introduces an explicit, formal part-whole structure into what we intend." (32) In fact, a categorial form very close to the complex wanting Aquinas speaks of in I-II, q. 46, a. 2 has recently been described in a phenomenological account of friendship. According to this account, perfect friendship involves the special categoriality of taking someone else's good as one's own good. Friendship in the full sense requires that this categoriality be mutually shared by two persons, but all right moral action has a touch of friendship about it inasmuch as it participates in the categoriality of friendship by taking what is good for someone else as one's own good. Conversely, morally bad action involves the categoriality of taking what is bad for someone else as one's own good. "Benevolence and malevolence are at the center of moral actions; they are what make the actions moral." (33)

Here is a more fine-grained description of the complex cognition presupposed by wanting something for someone else than Aquinas provides. If we compare the "taking" of the description with this "wanting"
 taking someone else's good or bad as my good wanting something good
 or bad for someone else

--we see at once that the former characterizes very well the awareness behind the latter. Only if I take the good or bad of someone else as my good can I desire it. Wanting of course always involves a "taking as my good," which is precisely the categorial form of wanting. But by making "taking as my good" explicit in the case of what concerns someone else, the phenomenological account of friendship shows that complex wanting in relation to others is even more complex than Aquinas says it is, for its object includes not just the two elements of the good or bad thing and the personal dative, but also a third element, namely "my good." True, my good is implicitly in play whenever I am wanting, and it usually doesn't need to be mentioned, but the phenomenological spelling out of the appropriation of what is good or bad for someone else as my good alerts us to the strange identifications, alienations, and oppositions between persons that occur in the forms of awareness proper to love, hatred, and anger respectively. The phenomenological description enriches what Aquinas says about complex wanting by bringing out an essential element that his account had left merely implicit. (34)

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(1) See Summa theologiae I-II, q. 26, a. 1, c. (Rome: Leonine Commission, 1891), vol. 6, p. 188: "Est enim quidam appetitus non consequens apprehensionem ipsius appetentis, sed alterius: et huiusmodi dicitur appetitus naturalis. Res enim naturales appetunt quod eis convenit secundum suam naturam, non per apprehensionem propriam, sed per apprehensionem instituentis naturam.... Alius autem est appetitus consequens apprehensionem ispius appetentis, sed ex necessitate, non ex iudicio libero. Et talis est appetitus sensitivus in brutis.... Alius autem est appetitus consequens apprehensionem appetentis secundum liberum iudicium. Et talis est appetitus rationalis sive intellectivus, qui dicitur voluntas." Hereafter, all references to the Leonine edition (Leon.) will be given by volume, page, and line numbers (where applicable).

(2) Seriptum super libros Sententiarum I, d. 1, q. 1, a. 1, obj. 1, ed. Pierre Mandonnet, vol. 1 (Paris, 1929), p. 32: "Videtur quod frui sit actus intellectus. Nobilissimus enim actus est nobilissimae potentiae. Altissima autem potentia in homine est intellectus. Ergo, cum frui sit perfectissimus actus hominis, quia ponit hominem in suo fine ultimo, videtur quod sit actus intellectus."

(3) Ibid., ad 1, Mandonnet 1:34: "Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod appetitus semper sequitur cognitionem. Unde, sicut inferior pars habet sensum et appetitum, qui dividitur in irascibilem et concupiscibilem, ita suprema pars habet intellectum et voluntatem, quorum intellectus est altior secundum originem, et voluntas secundum perfectionem. Et similis ordo est in habitibus, et etiam in actibus, scilicet visionis et amoris. Fruitio autem nominat altissimam operationem quantum ad sui perfectionem." Ibid., corpus: "Ad unionem autem maxime convenientis sequitur delectatio summa; et in hoc perficitur nostra felicitas, quam fruitio nominat ex parte sui complementi, magis quam ex parte principii, cum in se includat quamdam delectationem."

(4) Sentencia libri De anima 3.5, Leon. 45.1:225.17-35.

(5) Ibid., 225.81-226.86: "Considerandum autem est quod compositio propositionis non est opus nature, set opus rationis et intellectus, et ideo subiungit quod illud quod facit <unum> unumquodque intelligibilium, componendo ex intelligibilibus propositiones, hoc est intellectus." (Italics in original to indicate quoted Aristotelian text.)

(6) Expositio libri Peryermenias 1.5, Leon. 1.1:31.400-3 (on 16b23-5): "... cum uolumus significare quamcunque formam uel actum inesse alicui subiecto, significamus illud per hoc uerbum 'est'...." (emphasis added); 1.9, Leon. 1.1:47.63-8 (on 17a26-8): "Non est autem intelligendum quod per hoc quod dixit: <<quod est>> et <<quod non est, sit referendum ad solam existenciam uel non existenciam subiecti, set ad hoc quod res significata per predicatum insit uei non insit rei significate per subiectum...." (emphasis added)


(7) Other Aristotelian passages on the two operations of intellect occur in Metaphysics 6.4.1027b17-1028a6 and 9.10.1051a34-1052all. For Aquinas's commentary on these passages, see In duodecim libros Metaphysicorum Aristotelis Expositio 6.4 (Turin-Rome, 1950), pp. 309-12, nn. 1223-44, and 9.11, pp. 456-8, nn. 1895-1919. For a concise and illuminating history of the distinction between two operations of intellect from Aristotle through Boethius and Avicenna to Peter of Spain, as well as a survey of the relevant texts of Aquinas, see Benoit Garceau, Judicium: Vocabulaire, sources, doctrine de saint Thomas d'Aquin (Montreal-Paris, 1968), ch. 3, "Jugement et deuxieme operation de l'intellect," 101-51. Garceau (103) points out that the terminology of two "operations" of intellect is not Aristotelian, and apparently originates with the Latin translation of Averroes's De anima commentary. One of Aquinas's texts on the two operations of intellect that is of particular importance for understanding his metaphysical thought is Super librum Boethii De Trinitate q. 5, a. 3, Leon. 50:146.86-147.118. See John F. Wippel, The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas: From Uncreated to Created Being, (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2000), 23-44.

(8) Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 2, Leon. 6:293: "Respondeo dicendum quod motus appetitivae virtutis sequitur actum virtutis apprehensivae. Vis autem apprehensiva dupliciter aliquid apprehendit: uno modo, per modum incomplexi, sicut cum intelligimus quid est homo; alio modo, per modum complexi, sicut cum intelligimus album inesse homini. Unde utroque modo vis appetitiva potest tendere in bonum et malum. Per modum quidem simplicis et incomplexi, cure appetitus simpliciter sequitur vel inhaeret bono, vel refugit malum. Et tales motus sunt desiderium et spes, delectatio et tristitia, et alia huiusmodi.--Per modum autem complexi, sicut cum appetitus fertur in hoc quod aliquod bonum vel malum insit vel fiat circa alterum, vel tendendo in hoc, vel refugiendo ab hoc. Sicut manifeste apparet in amore et odio: amamus enim aliquem, inquantum volumus ei inesse aliquod bonum; odimus autem aliquem, inquantum volumus ei inesse aliquod malum. Et similiter est in ira: quicumque enim irascitur, quaerit vindicari de aliquo. Et sic motus irae tendit in duo: scilicet in ipsam vindictam, quam appetit et sperat sicut quoddam bonum, unde et de ipsa delectatur: tendit etiam in illum de quo quaerit vindictam, sicut in contrarium et nocivum, quod pertinet ad rationem mali."

(9) Ibid.: "Est tamen duplex differentia attendenda circa hoc, irae ad odium et ad amorem. Quarum prima est, quod ira semper respicit duo obiecta: amor vero et odium quandoque respiciunt unum obiectum tantum, sicut cum dicitur aliquis amare vinum vel aliquid huiusmodi, aut etiam odire.--Secunda est, quia utrumque obiectorum quod respicit amor, est bonum: vult enim amans bonum alicui, tanquam sibi convenienti. Utrumque vero eorum quae respicit odium, habet rationem mali, vult enim odiens malum alicui, tanquam cuidam inconvenienti. Sed ira respicit unum obiectum secundum rationem boni, scilicet vindictam, quam appetit: et aliud secundum rationem mali, scilicet hominem nocivum, de quo vult vindicari. Et ideo est passio quodammodo composita ex contrariis passionibus."

(10) On the being-in of accident in relation to substance, see Categories 2.1a24-5. The being-in that is the concern of complex wanting seems to match none of the eight senses of being-in distinguished in Physics 4.3.210a14-24. The difference between complex apprehension and complex appetite is brought out by their expressions in, respectively, the indicative mood ("A is B") and the optative mood or subjunctive of desire ("Would that A were B"). See Aquinas, Expositio libri Peryermenias 1.7, Leon. 1.1:37.68-88.

(11) This, obviously, is the "for" that indicates a dative or indirect object. "For" combined with "wish" (or "hope") without any dative, as in "I wish (or hope) for success," indicates the direct object of a simple motion of appetite. Colloquially, the "dative" is often expressed by a genitive, as in "I wish (or hope) for your success."

(12) Note the benediction "Good for you," and its non-American equivalent, "Good on you."

(13) Deuteronomy 6:5; Augustine, De doctrina Christiana 1.7-96; and Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 8.2.1155b27-31. See the discussion of William of Auxerre and Philip the Chancellor by Guy Mansini in "Duplex Amor and the Structure of Love in Aquinas," in Thomistica, ed Eugene Manning, Recherches de theologie ancienne et medievale. Supplementa 1 (Leuven: Peeters, 1995), 137-96, at 138-51. Rene-Antoine Gauthier suggests that William simply borrowed the distinction from Aristotle; see Aquinas, Quodlibet 1, q. 4, a. 3, Leon. 25.2:187.39, note.

(14) For a survey of and reflection on Aquinas's statements concerning the two loves, see Mansini, "Duplex Amor," 151-96; the most important passages prior to the Summa theologiae occur in Aquinas's Parisian commentary on the Book of Sentences and his commentary on the Divine Names of Pseudo Dionysius. For discussion of Aquinas's mature understanding of the distinction between the two kinds of love, see David M. Gallagher, "Desire for Beatitude and Love of Friendship in Thomas Aquinas," Mediaeval Studies 58 (1996): 1-47, at 13-18. For a review and correction of scholarly misinterpretations of Aquinas's understanding of the distinction, see Christopher Malloy, "Love of God for His Own Sake and Love of Beatitude: Heavenly Charity According to Thomas Aquinas" (Ph.D. dissertation, The Catholic University of America, 2001), 137-64. On the importance of Mansini's, Gallagher's, and Molloy's researches on the topic, see Peter A. Kwasniewski, "The Ecstasy of Love in Thomas Aquinas" (Ph.D. dissertation, The Catholic University of America, 2002), 70. On the development of Aquinas's theory of love in general, see Michael S. Sherwin, By Knowledge and By Love: Charity and Knowledge in the Moral Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2005), 64-81.

(15) Summa theologiae I-II, q. 26, a. 4, Leon. 6:190: "Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut Philosophus dicit in II Rhetoric., amare est velle alicui bonum. Sic ergo motus amoris in duo tendit: scilicet in bonum quod quis vult alicui, vel sibi, vel alii; et in illud cui vult bonum. Ad illud ergo bonum quod quis vult alteri, habetur amor concupiscentiae: ad illud autem cui aliquis vult bonum, habetur amor amicitiae."

(16) Summa theologiae I, q. 20, a. 1, ad 3, Leon. 4:253: "Ad tertium dicendum quod actus amoris semper tendit in duo: scilicet in bonum quod quis vult alicui; et in eum cui vult bonum. Hoc enim est proprie amare aliquem, velle ei bonum. Unde in eo quod aliquis amat se, vult bonum sibi...."

(17) When discussing such minutiae of the text of the Summa theologiae one should remember that there is no critical edition of this work, and that assertions concerning the letter of the text remain provisional until there is one.

(18) Summa theologiae I-II, q. 26, a. 4, Leon. 6:190: "Haec autem divisio est seundum prius et posterius. Nam id quod amatur amore amicitiae, simpliciter et per se amatur: quod autem amatur amore concupiscentiae, non simpliciter et secundum se amatur, sed amatur alteri. Sicut enim ens simpliciter est quod habet esse, ens autem secundum quid quod est in alio; ita et bonum, quod convertitur cum ente, simpliciter quidem est quod ipsum habet bonitatem; quod autem est bonum alterius, est bonum secundum quid. Et per consequens amor quo amatur aliquid ut ei sit bonum, est amor simpliciter: amor autem quo amatur aliquid ut sit bonum alterius, est amor secundum quid."

(19) In the Moerbeke translation, which faithfully reflects the Greek, to love is said to be "to wish for someone what one thinks is good, for his sake, not one's own, and to be, as far as possible, productive of this good" (Sit itaque amare velle alicui que putat bona, illius gratia, sed non sui, et secundum posse activum esse horum) (1380b35-1381al). Rhetorica. Translatio Anonyma sive Vetus et Translatio Guillelmi de Moerbeka, ed. Bernhardus Schneider (Leiden: Brill, 1978) (Aristoteles Latinus 31.1-2), p. 228, 11. 1113. The text in the vetus translatio, which Aquinas does not seem to have known, reads as follows: Sit autem amare in volendo cuidam ea que opinatur bona, illius causa, sed non sui, et secundum potentiam operativum esse horum. Ibid., p. 72, ll. 17-19. Between these two translations another, based on an Arabic version and interspersed with selections from Al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, was produced by Hermannus Alemannus. This translation is unedited, and I have been unable to consult the manuscript witnesses. On Aquinas's knowledge of this translation and his discovery, apparently in late 1270, of the Moerbeke version, see Rene-Antoine Gauthier, "Introduction" to Somme contre les Gentils (Paris, Editions Universitaires, 1993), 77-80.

(20) William of Auxerre, for example, says that the love called friendship is that by which we love anything whose good we wish, that is, whose goods we rejoice in (Dilectio que dicitur amicitia est qua diligimus omne illud cuius bonum volumus, id est cuius bonis congratulamur). Summa Aurea II, 1, 4, quoted by Mansini ("Duplex Amor," 144). Gauthier ("introduction," 77, n. 23) describes the definition cited by Aquinas as "banal" and refers to similar phrases in Nicomachean Ethics.

(21) Summa theologiae II-II, q. 27, a. 2, obj. 1 and ad 1, Leon. 8:225-6: "Videtur quod amare, secundum quod est actus caritatis, nihil aliud sit quam benevolentia. Dicit enim Philosophus in II Rhet. quod amare est velle alicui bona. Sed hoc est benevolentia. Ergo nihil aliud est actus caritatis quam benevolentia.... Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Philosophus ibi definit amare non ponens totam rationem ispius, sed aliquid ad rationem eius pertinens in quo maxime manifestatur dilectionis actus." The problem arises from Latin translations of Aristotle. The definition of love in the Greek text of the Rhetoric does indicate a wishing with respect to good things (TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII), but the Greek original of benevolentia, for example in Nicomachean Ethics 9.5, is (TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII), which means thinking well of rather than wishing well to.

(22) Ibid., c.: "Et ideo Philosophus, in IX Ethic., ostendens differentiam inter benevolentiam et amorem qui est passio, dicit quod benevolentia non habet distensionem et appetitum, idest aliquem impetum inclinationis, sed ex solo iudicio rationis homo vult bonum alicui.... Sed amor qui est in appetitu intellectivo etiam differt a benevolentia. Importat enim quandam unionem secundum affectus amantis ad amatum: inquantum scilicet amans aestimat amatum quodammodo ut unum sibi, vel ad se pertinens, et sic movetur in ipsum. Sed benevolentia est simplex actus voluntatis quo volumus alicui bonum, etiam non praesupposita praedicta unione affectus ad ipsum."

(23) See Kwasniewski, The Ecstasy of Love, 71, n. 50.

(24) Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 2, Commentaria Cardinalis Caietani, Leon. 6:293-4: "In articulo secundo eiusdem quaestionis quadragesimaesextae, scito quod distinctio facta in littera, quod motus appetitus fertur in obiectum per modum incomplexi, et per modum complexi, intelligitur formaliter et explicite: ut patet in numeratis passionibus per modum incomplexi. Desiderium enim et spes, si considerentur obiecta secundum implicita, complexionem habent: nullus enim desiderat nisi sibi vel alteri bonum, et similiter nullus sperat bonum nulli. Sed si secundum explicita obiecta considerentur, incomplexio invenitur: est enim desiderium absentis boni, et spes futuri. Amare autem est velle bonum alicui, ut in II Rhetoric. dicitur: ubi explicite patet applicatio huius ad hoc, ex parte obiecto. Intendit ergo Auctor quod quaedam passiones sunt quarum obiecta consistunt explicite in applicatione huius ad hoc, quaedam autem non.

"Et ex hoc solvuntur duae obiectiones. Prima est de spe et desiderio, quodmodo computentur inter eas quae per modum incomplexi sunt: cum respiciant bonum, et personam. Secunda est, quodmodo amor concupiscentiae quo amatur vinum, respicit unum obiectum tantum: cum sibi ametur vel alteri, ut superius etiam dictum fuit. Et similiter de odio abominationis.--Patet enim utriusque solutio: quia scilicet non explicite important applicationem huius ad hoc in obiecto, sicut cum amatur amicus, aut irascinmr ahcui, aut odio habemus aliquem odio inimicitiae. In his enim tribus solis explicita applicatio huius ad hoc in obiecto apparet, etc." Cajetan seems to be using the term passio to mean motions of sense-appetite or will. Note that Aquinas does not make the useful distinction between "hatred of aversion" (odium abominationis) and "hatred of enmity" (odium inimicitiae).

(25) See David M. Gallagher, "Thomas Aquinas on Self-Love as the Basis for Love of Others," Acta Philosophica 8 (1999): 23-44. On a related topic in Aquinas, see Thomas M. Osborne, Jr., Love of God and Love of Self in Thirteenth-Century Ethics (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), 69-112.

(26) That is, the will can only incline towards what appears to be good. See Summa theologiae I-II, q. 74, a. 1, ad 1, Leon. 7:35: "... malum dicitur esse praeter voluntatem, quia voluntas non tendit in ipsum sub ratione mali. Sed quia aliquod malum est apparens bonum, ideo voluntas aliquando appetit aliquod malum." Thus the happening of something bad to someone else that is wished by hatred appears as a good for the one wishing; see section VI below.

(27) Summa theologiae I-II, q. 29, a. 4, c., Leon. 6:206: "Respondeo dicendum quod impossibile est quod aliquis, per se loquendo, odiat seipsum. Naturaliter enim unumquodque appetit bonum, nec potest aliquis aliquid sibi appetere nisi sub ratione boni: nam malum est praeter voluntatem, ut Dionysius dicit, IV cap. de Div. Nora. Amare autem aliquem est velle ei bonum, ut supra dictum est. Unde necesse est quod aliquis amet seipsum; et impossibile est quod aliquis odiat seipsum, per se loquendo.

"Per accidens tamen contingit quod aliquis seipsum odio habeat. Et hoc dupliciter. Uno modo, ex parte boni quod sibi aliquis vult. Accidit enim quandoque illud quod appetitur ut secundum quid bonum, esse simpliciter malum: et secundum hoc, aliquis per accidens vult sibi malum, quod est odire.--Alio modo, ex parte sui ipsius, cui vult bonum. Unumquodque enim maxime est id quod est principalius in ipso: unde civitas dicitur facere quod rex facit, quasi rex sit tota civitas. Manifestum est ergo quod homo maxime est mens hominis. Contingit autem quod aliqui aestimant se esse maxime illud quod sunt secundum naturam corporalem et sensitivam. Unde amant se secundum id quod aestimant se esse, sed odiunt id quod vere sunt, dum volunt contraria rationi.--Et utroque modo, ille qui diligit iniquitatem, odit non solum animam suam, sed etiam seipsum."

(28) "Utrum ira solum sit ad illos ad quos est iustitia." Against the arguments on the negative side he says: "Sed contrarium accipi potest a Philosopho in II Rhetoric." Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 7, s.c., Leon. 6:298. The Leonine edition refers vaguely to "Cap. II, III", but the Ottawa edition specifies "II (1378a31); III (1380a5)"; see Summa theologiae (Ottawa: College Dominicain, 1941), 2:956a.

(29) Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 7, c., Leon. 6:298: "Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, ira appetit malum, inquantum habet rationem iusti vindicativi. Et ideo ad eosdem est ira, ad quos est iustitia et iniustitia. Nam inferre vindictam ad iustitiam pertinet: laedere autem aliquem pertinet ad iniustitiam. Unde tam ex parte causae, quae est laesio illata ab altero; quam etiam ex parte vindictae, quam appetit iratus; manifestum est quod ad eosdem pertinet ira, ad quos iustitia et iniustitia."

(30) Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 7, obj. 2 and ad 2, Leon. 6:298: "Praeterea, non est iustitia hominis ad seipsum, nec ad ea quae sui ipsius sunt, ut dicitur in V Ethic. <1134b12> Sed homo quandoque sibi ipsi irascitur, sicut poenitens propter peccatum: unde dicitur in Psalmo IV: Irascimini, et nolite peccare. Ergo ira non solum est ad quos est iustitia.... Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Philosophus dicit in V Ethic. <1138b5>: quaedam metaphorica iustitia et iniustitia est hominis ad seipsum, inquantum scilicet ratio regit irascibilem et concupiscibilem. Et secundum hoc etiam homo dicitur de seipso vindictam facere, et per consequens sibi ipsi irasci. Proprie autem et per se, non contingit aliquem sibi ipsi irasci." Behind the remarks of Aristotle quoted in this objection and reply is Plato's analogy between justice in the soul and justice in the city; see Republic 2.368d-e, 4.434d. Plato seems to imply that one can be angry at oneself in a nonmetaphorical way, or at least that the part of the soul he calls the (TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]--the "spirited" or, as Aquinas calls it, the "irascible" part--can be angry at the desiring part of the soul in a nonmetaphorical way; see Republic 4.439e-441c.

(31) For example, in Scriptum super libros Sententiarum IV, d. 15, q. 4, a. 1, qla. 1, ed. Marie Fabien Moos (Paris, 1947), 4:730: "Ad tertium dicendum quod ille qui petit aut imperat aut deprecatur, advocat aliquid ad consecutionem finis vel prosecutionem intenti. Hoc autem non est voluntatis, quia ipsa simpliciter et absolute fertur in suum obiectum, quod est finis; sed est rationis, cujus est ordinare unum ad aliud. Et ideo proprie accipiendo, imperium non est voluntatis" (emphasis added). One might wonder whether the discussion of complex wanting in Summa theologiae I-II, q. 46, a. 2 reflects a reconsideration of the view that will, in contrast to ordering reason, "is borne towards its object simply and without qualification" (simpliciter et absolute fertur in suum obiectum).

(32) Robert Sokolowski, "Phenomenology of Friendship," Review of Metaphysics 55 (2002): 451-70, at 454.

(33) Ibid., 464, and see 459-62. For related studies by Sokolowski, see Moral Action: A Phenomenological Study (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985); "Moral Thinking," in Pictures, Quotations, and Distinctions: Fourteen Essays in Phenomenology (Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press, 1992), 245-60; "What Is Moral Action?," ibid., 261-76; and "Friendship and Moral Action in Aristotle," Journal of Value Inquiry 35 (2001):355-69.

(34) I am grateful to Robert Sokolowski for his comments on a draft of this article.
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Author:White, Kevin
Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Date:Sep 1, 2007
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