Secondly, indirectly; thus by the very fact that a lawgiver deprives a subject of some dignity, the latter passes into another order, so as to be under another law, as it were: thus if a soldier be turned out of the army, he becomes a subject of rural or of mercantile legislation. Accordingly under the Divine Lawgiver various creatures have various natural inclinations, so that what is, as it were, a law for one, is against the law for another: thus I might say that fierceness is, in a way, the law of a dog, but against the law of a sheep or another meek animal.
And so the law of man, which, by the Divine ordinance, is allotted to him, according to his proper natural condition, is that he should act in accordance with reason: and this law was so effective in the primitive state, that nothing either beside or against reason could take man unawares. But when man turned his back on God, he fell under the influence of his sensual impulses: in fact this happens to each one individually, the more he deviates from the path of reason, so that, after a fashion, he is likened to the beasts that are led by the impulse of sensuality, according to Ps.
So, then, this very inclination of sensuality which is called the "fomes," in other animals has simply the nature of a law yet only in so far as a law may be said to be in such things , by reason of a direct inclination. But in man, it has not the nature of law in this way, rather is it a deviation from the law of reason. But since, by the just sentence of God, man is destitute of original justice, and his reason bereft of its vigor, this impulse of sensuality, whereby he is led, in so far as it is a penalty following from the Divine law depriving man of his proper dignity, has the nature of a law.
It is not thus that it has the nature of a law, as stated above, but according as it results from the justice of the Divine law: it is as though we were to say that the law allows a nobleman to be condemned to hard labor for some misdeed. But the "fomes" is not a law in this respect, but by a kind of participation, as stated above.
And yet if the inclination of sensuality be considered as it is in other animals, thus it is ordained to the common good, namely, to the preservation of nature in the species or in the individual. And this is in man also, in so far as sensuality is subject to reason. But it is called "fomes" in so far as it strays from the order of reason. Therefore the law does not make men good. But the very fact that a man obeys a law is due to his being good. Therefore in man goodness is presupposed to the law. But some behave well in things regarding the community, who behave ill in things regarding themselves.
Therefore it is not the business of the law to make men good. But a tyrant does not intend the good of his subjects, but considers only his own profit. Therefore law does not make men good. On the contrary, The Philosopher says Ethic. I answer that, as stated above Q90, A1, ad 2; AA3,4 , a law is nothing else than a dictate of reason in the ruler by whom his subjects are governed. Now the virtue of any subordinate thing consists in its being well subordinated to that by which it is regulated: thus we see that the virtue of the irascible and concupiscible faculties consists in their being obedient to reason; and accordingly "the virtue of every subject consists in his being well subjected to his ruler," as the Philosopher says Polit.
But every law aims at being obeyed by those who are subject to it. Consequently it is evident that the proper effect of law is to lead its subjects to their proper virtue: and since virtue is "that which makes its subject good," it follows that the proper effect of law is to make those to whom it is given, good, either simply or in some particular respect. For if the intention of the lawgiver is fixed on true good, which is the common good regulated according to Divine justice, it follows that the effect of the law is to make men good simply. If, however, the intention of the lawgiver is fixed on that which is not simply good, but useful or pleasurable to himself, or in opposition to Divine justice; then the law does not make men good simply, but in respect to that particular government.
In this way good is found even in things that are bad of themselves: thus a man is called a good robber, because he works in a way that is adapted to his end. Now the fact of being accustomed to an action contributes to both, but in different ways; for it causes the acquired virtue; while it disposes to infused virtue, and preserves and fosters it when it already exists. And since law is given for the purpose of directing human acts; as far as human acts conduce to virtue, so far does law make men good.
Wherefore the Philosopher says in the second book of the Politics Ethic. Consequently the common good of the state cannot flourish, unless the citizens be virtuous, at least those whose business it is to govern. But it is enough for the good of the community, that the other citizens be so far virtuous that they obey the commands of their rulers.
Hence the Philosopher says Polit. For all it has in the nature of a law consists in its being an ordinance made by a superior to his subjects, and aims at being obeyed by them, which is to make them good, not simply, but with respect to that particular government. It would seem that the acts of law are not suitably assigned as consisting in "command," "prohibition," "permission" and "punishment.
But command and precept are the same. Therefore the other three are superfluous. But counsel aims at a higher good than a command does. Therefore it belongs to law to counsel rather than to command. Therefore if to punish is reckoned an effect of law, so also is to reward. But he that obeys the law, merely through fear of being punished, is not good: because "although a good deed may be done through servile fear, i. Therefore punishment is not a proper effect of law. I answer that, Just as an assertion is a dictate of reason asserting something, so is a law a dictate of reason, commanding something.
Now it is proper to reason to lead from one thing to another. Wherefore just as, in demonstrative sciences, the reason leads us from certain principles to assent to the conclusion, so it induces us by some means to assent to the precept of the law. Now the precepts of law are concerned with human acts, in which the law directs, as stated above Q90, AA1,2; Q91, A4.
Again there are three kinds of human acts: for, as stated above Q18, A8 , some acts are good generically, viz. Some acts are evil generically, viz. Some acts are generically indifferent, and in respect of these the law permits; and all acts that are either not distinctly good or not distinctly bad may be called indifferent. And it is the fear of punishment that law makes use of in order to ensure obedience: in which respect punishment is an effect of law. Wherefore too the Apostle, after giving a certain counsel 1 Cor.
Wherefore to reward is not reckoned an effect of law, but only to punish. Accordingly, law, even by punishing, leads men on to being good. QQ Of the sixth law which is the law of the "fomes," suffice what we have said when treating of original sin. But there are many types of things in the Divine mind; for Augustine says Qq. Therefore the eternal law is not the same as a Divine type.
Therefore truth is the eternal law. But the idea of truth is not the same as the idea of a type. Therefore the eternal law is not the same as the sovereign type. I answer that, Just as in every artificer there pre-exists a type of the things that are made by his art, so too in every governor there must pre-exist the type of the order of those things that are to be done by those who are subject to his government. And just as the type of the things yet to be made by an art is called the art or exemplar of the products of that art, so too the type in him who governs the acts of his subjects, bears the character of a law, provided the other conditions be present which we have mentioned above Q Now God, by His wisdom, is the Creator of all things in relation to which He stands as the artificer to the products of his art, as stated in the FP, Q14, A8.
Moreover He governs all the acts and movements that are to be found in each single creature, as was also stated in the FP, Q, A5. Wherefore as the type of the Divine Wisdom, inasmuch as by It all things are created, has the character of art, exemplar or idea; so the type of Divine Wisdom, as moving all things to their due end, bears the character of law. Accordingly the eternal law is nothing else than the type of Divine Wisdom, as directing all actions and movements.
But law is said to direct human acts by ordaining them to the common good, as stated above Q90, A2. And things, which are in themselves different, may be considered as one, according as they are ordained to one common thing. Wherefore the eternal law is one since it is the type of this order. For the spoken word is something uttered by the mouth of man, and expresses that which is signified by the human word.
The same applies to the human mental word, which is nothing else than something conceived by the mind, by which man expresses his thoughts mentally. So then in God the Word conceived by the intellect of the Father is the name of a Person: but all things that are in the Father's knowledge, whether they refer to the Essence or to the Persons, or to the works of God, are expressed by this Word, as Augustine declares De Trin. And among other things expressed by this Word, the eternal law itself is expressed thereby.
Nor does it follow that the eternal law is a Personal name in God: yet it is appropriated to the Son, on account of the kinship between type and word. For the human intellect is measured by things, so that a human concept is not true by reason of itself, but by reason of its being consonant with things, since "an opinion is true or false according as it answers to the reality. Consequently the Divine intellect is true in itself; and its type is truth itself. Therefore it is unknown to all save God alone.
Therefore all do not know the eternal law. I answer that, A thing may be known in two ways: first, in itself; secondly, in its effect, wherein some likeness of that thing is found: thus someone not seeing the sun in its substance, may know it by its rays. So then no one can know the eternal law, as it is in itself, except the blessed who see God in His Essence.
But every rational creature knows it in its reflection, greater or less. For every knowledge of truth is a kind of reflection and participation of the eternal law, which is the unchangeable truth, as Augustine says De Vera Relig. Now all men know the truth to a certain extent, at least as to the common principles of the natural law: and as to the others, they partake of the knowledge of truth, some more, some less; and in this respect are more or less cognizant of the eternal law.
Therefore it does not follow that anyone who knows the eternal law in the way aforesaid, knows also the whole order of things, whereby they are most orderly. First, as when a cognitive power judges of its proper object, according to Job "Doth not the ear discern words, and the palate of him that eateth, the taste? In another way we speak of a superior judging of a subordinate by a kind of practical judgment, as to whether he should be such and such or not.
And thus none can judge of the eternal law. Therefore not even every good law is derived from the eternal law. On the contrary, Divine Wisdom says Prov. Therefore all laws proceed from the eternal law. I answer that, As stated above Q90, AA1,2 , the law denotes a kind of plan directing acts towards an end.
Now wherever there are movers ordained to one another, the power of the second mover must needs be derived from the power of the first mover; since the second mover does not move except in so far as it is moved by the first. Wherefore we observe the same in all those who govern, so that the plan of government is derived by secondary governors from the governor in chief; thus the plan of what is to be done in a state flows from the king's command to his inferior administrators: and again in things of art the plan of whatever is to be done by art flows from the chief craftsman to the under-crafts-men, who work with their hands.
Since then the eternal law is the plan of government in the Chief Governor, all the plans of government in the inferior governors must be derived from the eternal law. But these plans of inferior governors are all other laws besides the eternal law. Therefore all laws, in so far as they partake of right reason, are derived from the eternal law. Hence Augustine says De Lib. But in so far as it denotes a proneness to sin, it is contrary to the Divine law, and has not the nature of law, as stated above Q91, A6.
But in so far as it deviates from reason, it is called an unjust law, and has the nature, not of law but of violence. Nevertheless even an unjust law, in so far as it retains some appearance of law, through being framed by one who is in power, is derived from the eternal law; since all power is from the Lord God, according to Rm. And many things are directed by the Divine law, which human law is unable to direct, because more things are subject to a higher than to a lower cause. Hence the very fact that human law does not meddle with matters it cannot direct, comes under the ordination of the eternal law.
It would be different, were human law to sanction what the eternal law condemns. Consequently it does not follow that human law is not derived from the eternal law, but that it is not on a perfect equality with it. But the Divine will is reasonable, for it is just. Therefore it is subject to the Divine reason. But the eternal law is the Divine reason. Therefore God's will is subject to the eternal law. But God's will is eternal. Therefore eternal and necessary things are subject to the eternal law. Now the Son, according to 1 Cor. But many necessary things are subject to Divine providence: for instance, the stability of incorporeal substances and of the heavenly bodies.
Therefore even necessary things are subject to the eternal law. On the contrary, Things that are necessary cannot be otherwise, and consequently need no restraining. But laws are imposed on men, in order to restrain them from evil, as explained above Q92, A2. Therefore necessary things are not subject to the eternal law.
I answer that, As stated above A1 , the eternal law is the type of the Divine government. Consequently whatever is subject to the Divine government, is subject to the eternal law: while if anything is not subject to the Divine government, neither is it subject to the eternal law. The application of this distinction may be gathered by looking around us. For those things are subject to human government, which can be done by man; but what pertains to the nature of man is not subject to human government; for instance, that he should have a soul, hands, or feet.
Accordingly all that is in things created by God, whether it be contingent or necessary, is subject to the eternal law: while things pertaining to the Divine Nature or Essence are not subject to the eternal law, but are the eternal law itself. First, as to the will itself: and thus, since God's will is His very Essence, it is subject neither to the Divine government, nor to the eternal law, but is the same thing as the eternal law.
Secondly, we may speak of God's will, as to the things themselves that God wills about creatures; which things are subject to the eternal law, in so far as they are planned by Divine Wisdom. In reference to these things God's will is said to be reasonable [rationalis]: though regarded in itself it should rather be called their type [ratio]. Consequently He is not subject to Divine providence or to the eternal law: but rather is Himself the eternal law by a kind of appropriation, as Augustine explains De Vera Relig.
But He is said to be subject to the Father by reason of His human nature, in respect of which also the Father is said to be greater than He. And this is in itself a most effective restraint; for whatever is restrained, is said to be restrained in so far as it cannot do otherwise than it is allowed to. But a law cannot be promulgated except to rational creatures, to whom it is possible to make an announcement.
Therefore none but rational creatures are subject to the eternal law; and consequently natural contingents are not. But the eternal law, is the supreme type, as stated above A1. Since then natural contingents do not partake of reason in any way, but are altogether void of reason, it seems that they are not subject to the eternal law. But in natural contingents defects occur.
Therefore they are not subject to the eternal law. On the contrary, It is written Prov. I answer that, We must speak otherwise of the law of man, than of the eternal law which is the law of God. For the law of man extends only to rational creatures subject to man. The reason of this is because law directs the actions of those that are subject to the government of someone: wherefore, properly speaking, none imposes a law on his own actions. Now whatever is done regarding the use of irrational things subject to man, is done by the act of man himself moving those things, for these irrational creatures do not move themselves, but are moved by others, as stated above Q1, A2.
Consequently man cannot impose laws on irrational beings, however much they may be subject to him. But he can impose laws on rational beings subject to him, in so far as by his command or pronouncement of any kind, he imprints on their minds a rule which is a principle of action. Now just as man, by such pronouncement, impresses a kind of inward principle of action on the man that is subject to him, so God imprints on the whole of nature the principles of its proper actions. And so, in this way, God is said to command the whole of nature, according to Ps. Consequently irrational creatures are subject to the eternal law, through being moved by Divine providence; but not, as rational creatures are, through understanding the Divine commandment.
And as the members of the human body are moved at the command of reason, and yet do not partake of reason, since they have no apprehension subordinate to reason; so too irrational creatures are moved by God, without, on that account, being rational. And since the eternal law is the type of Divine providence, as stated above A1 , hence the defects of natural things are subject to the eternal law. Therefore all men are not subject to the eternal law which is the law of God.
Therefore they are not under the eternal law. On the contrary, Augustine says De Civ. Dei xix, 12 : "Nothing evades the laws of the most high Creator and Governor, for by Him the peace of the universe is administered. I answer that, There are two ways in which a thing is subject to the eternal law, as explained above A5 : first, by partaking of the eternal law by way of knowledge; secondly, by way of action and passion, i.
But since the rational nature, together with that which it has in common with all creatures, has something proper to itself inasmuch as it is rational, consequently it is subject to the eternal law in both ways; because while each rational creature has some knowledge of the eternal law, as stated above A2 , it also has a natural inclination to that which is in harmony with the eternal law; for "we are naturally adapted to be the recipients of virtue" Ethic. Both ways, however, are imperfect, and to a certain extent destroyed, in the wicked; because in them the natural inclination to virtue is corrupted by vicious habits, and, moreover, the natural knowledge of good is darkened by passions and habits of sin.
But in the good both ways are found to be more perfect: because in them, besides the natural knowledge of good, there is the added knowledge of faith and wisdom; and again, besides the natural inclination to good, there is the added motive of grace and virtue. Accordingly, the good are perfectly subject to the eternal law, as always acting according to it: whereas the wicked are subject to the eternal law, imperfectly as to their actions, indeed, since both their knowledge of good, and their inclination thereto, are imperfect; but this imperfection on the part of action is supplied on the part of passion, in so far as they suffer what the eternal law decrees concerning them, according as they fail to act in harmony with that law.
First, so that a man is said to be under the law, through being pinned down thereby, against his will, as by a load. Hence, on the same passage a gloss says that "he is under the law, who refrains from evil deeds, through fear of punishment threatened by the law, and not from love of virtue. Secondly, it can be understood as meaning that the works of a man, who is led by the Holy Ghost, are the works of the Holy Ghost rather than his own. Therefore, since the Holy Ghost is not under the law, as neither is the Son, as stated above A4, ad 2 ; it follows that such works, in so far as they are of the Holy Ghost, are not under the law.
The Apostle witnesses to this when he says 2 Cor. Nevertheless in no man does the prudence of the flesh dominate so far as to destroy the whole good of his nature: and consequently there remains in man the inclination to act in accordance with the eternal law. For we have seen above Q85, A2 that sin does not destroy entirely the good of nature. We therefore reply that as it is according to the eternal law that some deserve happiness, others unhappiness, so is it by the eternal law that some are maintained in a happy state, others in an unhappy state.
Accordingly both the blessed and the damned are under the eternal law. The Eternal Law. Therefore the natural law is a habit. But the "synderesis" is a habit, as was shown in the FP, Q79, A But man's reason, which the law regards, does not always think about the natural law. Therefore the natural law is not an act, but a habit.
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On the contrary , Augustine says De Bono Conjug. Therefore the natural law is not a habit. I answer that, A thing may be called a habit in two ways. First, properly and essentially: and thus the natural law is not a habit. For it has been stated above Q90, A1, ad 2 that the natural law is something appointed by reason, just as a proposition is a work of reason. Now that which a man does is not the same as that whereby he does it: for he makes a becoming speech by the habit of grammar. Since then a habit is that by which we act, a law cannot be a habit properly and essentially.
Secondly, the term habit may be applied to that which we hold by a habit: thus faith may mean that which we hold by faith. And accordingly, since the precepts of the natural law are sometimes considered by reason actually, while sometimes they are in the reason only habitually, in this way the natural law may be called a habit. Thus, in speculative matters, the indemonstrable principles are not the habit itself whereby we hold those principles, but are the principles the habit of which we possess. But there are other things in the soul besides these three: there are acts; thus "to will" is in the one that wills; again, things known are in the knower; moreover its own natural properties are in the soul, such as immortality and the like.
To the argument advanced in the contrary sense we reply that sometimes a man is unable to make use of that which is in him habitually, on account of some impediment: thus, on account of sleep, a man is unable to use the habit of science. In like manner, through the deficiency of his age, a child cannot use the habit of understanding of principles, or the natural law, which is in him habitually. If therefore there were many precepts of the natural law, it would follow that there are also many natural laws.
But human nature, as a whole, is one; though, as to its parts, it is manifold. Therefore, either there is but one precept of the law of nature, on account of the unity of nature as a whole; or there are many, by reason of the number of parts of human nature. The result would be that even things relating to the inclination of the concupiscible faculty belong to the natural law. Now reason is but one in man. Therefore there is only one precept of the natural law. On the contrary , The precepts of the natural law in man stand in relation to practical matters, as the first principles to matters of demonstration.
But there are several first indemonstrable principles. Therefore there are also several precepts of the natural law. I answer that, As stated above Q91, A3 , the precepts of the natural law are to the practical reason, what the first principles of demonstrations are to the speculative reason; because both are self-evident principles.
Now a thing is said to be self-evident in two ways: first, in itself; secondly, in relation to us.
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Any proposition is said to be self-evident in itself, if its predicate is contained in the notion of the subject: although, to one who knows not the definition of the subject, it happens that such a proposition is not self-evident. For instance, this proposition, "Man is a rational being," is, in its very nature, self-evident, since who says "man," says "a rational being": and yet to one who knows not what a man is, this proposition is not self-evident.
Hence it is that, as Boethius says De Hebdom. Now a certain order is to be found in those things that are apprehended universally. For that which, before aught else, falls under apprehension, is "being," the notion of which is included in all things whatsoever a man apprehends. Wherefore the first indemonstrable principle is that "the same thing cannot be affirmed and denied at the same time," which is based on the notion of "being" and "not-being": and on this principle all others are based, as is stated in Metaph.
Now as "being" is the first thing that falls under the apprehension simply, so "good" is the first thing that falls under the apprehension of the practical reason, which is directed to action: since every agent acts for an end under the aspect of good. Consequently the first principle of practical reason is one founded on the notion of good, viz.
Since, however, good has the nature of an end, and evil, the nature of a contrary, hence it is that all those things to which man has a natural inclination, are naturally apprehended by reason as being good, and consequently as objects of pursuit, and their contraries as evil, and objects of avoidance. Wherefore according to the order of natural inclinations, is the order of the precepts of the natural law.
Because in man there is first of all an inclination to good in accordance with the nature which he has in common with all substances: inasmuch as every substance seeks the preservation of its own being, according to its nature: and by reason of this inclination, whatever is a means of preserving human life, and of warding off its obstacles, belongs to the natural law. I, tit. Thirdly, there is in man an inclination to good, according to the nature of his reason, which nature is proper to him: thus man has a natural inclination to know the truth about God, and to live in society: and in this respect, whatever pertains to this inclination belongs to the natural law; for instance, to shun ignorance, to avoid offending those among whom one has to live, and other such things regarding the above inclination.
But some acts of virtue are ordained to the private good of the individual, as is evident especially in regards to acts of temperance. Therefore not all acts of virtue are the subject of natural law. If therefore all acts of virtue are prescribed by the natural law, it seems to follow that all sins are against nature: whereas this applies to certain special sins. But acts of virtue are not common to all: since a thing is virtuous in one, and vicious in another.
Therefore not all acts of virtue are prescribed by the natural law. On the contrary , Damascene says De Fide Orth. I answer that, We may speak of virtuous acts in two ways: first, under the aspect of virtuous; secondly, as such and such acts considered in their proper species.
If then we speak of acts of virtue, considered as virtuous, thus all virtuous acts belong to the natural law. For it has been stated A2 that to the natural law belongs everything to which a man is inclined according to his nature. Now each thing is inclined naturally to an operation that is suitable to it according to its form: thus fire is inclined to give heat.
Wherefore, since the rational soul is the proper form of man, there is in every man a natural inclination to act according to reason: and this is to act according to virtue. Consequently, considered thus, all acts of virtue are prescribed by the natural law: since each one's reason naturally dictates to him to act virtuously. But if we speak of virtuous acts, considered in themselves, i. For it is owing to the various conditions of men, that certain acts are virtuous for some, as being proportionate and becoming to them, while they are vicious for others, as being out of proportion to them.
But it is stated in the same book that nothing is so universally just as not to be subject to change in regard to some men. Therefore even the natural law is not the same in all men. Now different men are naturally inclined to different things; some to the desire of pleasures, others to the desire of honors, and other men to other things. Therefore there is not one natural law for all. I answer that, As stated above AA2,3 , to the natural law belongs those things to which a man is inclined naturally: and among these it is proper to man to be inclined to act according to reason.
Now the process of reason is from the common to the proper, as stated in Phys. The speculative reason, however, is differently situated in this matter, from the practical reason. For, since the speculative reason is busied chiefly with the necessary things, which cannot be otherwise than they are, its proper conclusions, like the universal principles, contain the truth without fail.
The practical reason, on the other hand, is busied with contingent matters, about which human actions are concerned: and consequently, although there is necessity in the general principles, the more we descend to matters of detail, the more frequently we encounter defects. Accordingly then in speculative matters truth is the same in all men, both as to principles and as to conclusions: although the truth is not known to all as regards the conclusions, but only as regards the principles which are called common notions. But in matters of action, truth or practical rectitude is not the same for all, as to matters of detail, but only as to the general principles: and where there is the same rectitude in matters of detail, it is not equally known to all.
It is therefore evident that, as regards the general principles whether of speculative or of practical reason, truth or rectitude is the same for all, and is equally known by all. As to the proper conclusions of the speculative reason, the truth is the same for all, but is not equally known to all: thus it is true for all that the three angles of a triangle are together equal to two right angles, although it is not known to all. But as to the proper conclusions of the practical reason, neither is the truth or rectitude the same for all, nor, where it is the same, is it equally known by all. Thus it is right and true for all to act according to reason: and from this principle it follows as a proper conclusion, that goods entrusted to another should be restored to their owner.
Now this is true for the majority of cases: but it may happen in a particular case that it would be injurious, and therefore unreasonable, to restore goods held in trust; for instance, if they are claimed for the purpose of fighting against one's country. And this principle will be found to fail the more, according as we descend further into detail, e. Consequently we must say that the natural law, as to general principles, is the same for all, both as to rectitude and as to knowledge. But as to certain matters of detail, which are conclusions, as it were, of those general principles, it is the same for all in the majority of cases, both as to rectitude and as to knowledge; and yet in some few cases it may fail, both as to rectitude, by reason of certain obstacles just as natures subject to generation and corruption fail in some few cases on account of some obstacle , and as to knowledge, since in some the reason is perverted by passion, or evil habit, or an evil disposition of nature; thus formerly, theft, although it is expressly contrary to the natural law, was not considered wrong among the Germans, as Julius Caesar relates De Bello Gall.
Wherefore Gratian, after saying that "the natural law is what is contained in the Law and the Gospel," adds at once, by way of example, "by which everyone is commanded to do to others as he would be done by. Wherefore it is universally right for all men, that all their inclinations should be directed according to reason.
Therefore the natural law can be changed. But we find these things changed by God: as when God commanded Abraham to slay his innocent son Gn. Therefore it seems that the natural law is subject to change. On the contrary , It is said in the Decretals Dist. It does not vary according to time, but remains unchangeable. I answer that, A change in the natural law may be understood in two ways.
First, by way of addition. In this sense nothing hinders the natural law from being changed: since many things for the benefit of human life have been added over and above the natural law, both by the Divine law and by human laws. Secondly, a change in the natural law may be understood by way of subtraction, so that what previously was according to the natural law, ceases to be so. In this sense, the natural law is altogether unchangeable in its first principles: but in its secondary principles, which, as we have said A4 , are certain detailed proximate conclusions drawn from the first principles, the natural law is not changed so that what it prescribes be not right in most cases.
But it may be changed in some particular cases of rare occurrence, through some special causes hindering the observance of such precepts, as stated above A4. In like manner adultery is intercourse with another's wife; who is allotted to him by the law emanating from God. Consequently intercourse with any woman, by the command of God, is neither adultery nor fornication. The same applies to theft, which is the taking of another's property.
For whatever is taken by the command of God, to Whom all things belong, is not taken against the will of its owner, whereas it is in this that theft consists. Nor is it only in human things, that whatever is commanded by God is right; but also in natural things, whatever is done by God, is, in some way, natural, as stated in the FP, Q, A6, ad 1. First, because nature inclines thereto: e. Secondly, because nature did not bring in the contrary: thus we might say that for man to be naked is of the natural law, because nature did not give him clothes, but art invented them.
In this sense, "the possession of all things in common and universal freedom" are said to be of the natural law, because, to wit, the distinction of possessions and slavery were not brought in by nature, but devised by human reason for the benefit of human life. Accordingly the law of nature was not changed in this respect, except by addition.
Therefore the law of nature can be blotted out. But the law of grace is blotted out by sin. Much more therefore can the law of nature be blotted out. But many things are enacted by men, which are contrary to the law of nature. Therefore the law of nature can be abolished from the heart of man. On the contrary , Augustine says Confess.
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Therefore the natural law cannot be blotted out. I answer that, As stated above AA4,5 , there belong to the natural law, first, certain most general precepts, that are known to all; and secondly, certain secondary and more detailed precepts, which are, as it were, conclusions following closely from first principles.
As to those general principles, the natural law, in the abstract, can nowise be blotted out from men's hearts. But it is blotted out in the case of a particular action, in so far as reason is hindered from applying the general principle to a particular point of practice, on account of concupiscence or some other passion, as stated above Q77, A2.
But as to the other, i. The Natural Law. But men are more to be induced to be good willingly by means of admonitions, than against their will, by means of laws. Therefore there was no need to frame laws. Therefore it would have been better for the execution of justice to be entrusted to the decision of judges, than to frame laws in addition. But since human actions are about singulars, which are infinite in number, matter pertaining to the direction of human actions cannot be taken into sufficient consideration except by a wise man, who looks into each one of them.
Therefore it would have been better for human acts to be directed by the judgment of wise men, than by the framing of laws. Therefore there was no need of human laws. Therefore it was necessary that human laws should be made. I answer that, As stated above Q63, A1; Q94, A3 , man has a natural aptitude for virtue; but the perfection of virtue must be acquired by man by means of some kind of training.
Thus we observe that man is helped by industry in his necessities, for instance, in food and clothing. Certain beginnings of these he has from nature, viz. Now it is difficult to see how man could suffice for himself in the matter of this training: since the perfection of virtue consists chiefly in withdrawing man from undue pleasures, to which above all man is inclined, and especially the young, who are more capable of being trained. Consequently a man needs to receive this training from another, whereby to arrive at the perfection of virtue.
And as to those young people who are inclined to acts of virtue, by their good natural disposition, or by custom, or rather by the gift of God, paternal training suffices, which is by admonitions. But since some are found to be depraved, and prone to vice, and not easily amenable to words, it was necessary for such to be restrained from evil by force and fear, in order that, at least, they might desist from evil-doing, and leave others in peace, and that they themselves, by being habituated in this way, might be brought to do willingly what hitherto they did from fear, and thus become virtuous.
Now this kind of training, which compels through fear of punishment, is the discipline of laws. Therefore in order that man might have peace and virtue, it was necessary for laws to be framed: for, as the Philosopher says Polit. First, because it is easier to find a few wise men competent to frame right laws, than to find the many who would be necessary to judge aright of each single case. Secondly, because those who make laws consider long beforehand what laws to make; whereas judgment on each single case has to be pronounced as soon as it arises: and it is easier for man to see what is right, by taking many instances into consideration, than by considering one solitary fact.
Thirdly, because lawgivers judge in the abstract and of future events; whereas those who sit in judgment of things present, towards which they are affected by love, hatred, or some kind of cupidity; wherefore their judgment is perverted. Since then the animated justice of the judge is not found in every man, and since it can be deflected, therefore it was necessary, whenever possible, for the law to determine how to judge, and for very few matters to be left to the decision of men. Therefore the enactments of human laws are not derived from the natural law.
But those things which flow as conclusions from the general principles of the natural law belong to the natural law, as stated above Q94, A4. Therefore that which is established by human law does not belong to the natural law. Therefore not all human laws are derived from the natural law. On the contrary, Tully says Rhet. I answer that, As Augustine says De Lib.
Now in human affairs a thing is said to be just, from being right, according to the rule of reason. But the first rule of reason is the law of nature, as is clear from what has been stated above Q91, A2, ad 2. Consequently every human law has just so much of the nature of law, as it is derived from the law of nature. But if in any point it deflects from the law of nature, it is no longer a law but a perversion of law. But it must be noted that something may be derived from the natural law in two ways: first, as a conclusion from premises, secondly, by way of determination of certain generalities.
The first way is like to that by which, in sciences, demonstrated conclusions are drawn from the principles: while the second mode is likened to that whereby, in the arts, general forms are particularized as to details: thus the craftsman needs to determine the general form of a house to some particular shape. Some things are therefore derived from the general principles of the natural law, by way of conclusions; e. Accordingly both modes of derivation are found in the human law. But those things which are derived in the first way, are contained in human law not as emanating therefrom exclusively, but have some force from the natural law also.
But those things which are derived in the second way, have no other force than that of human law. Hence the Philosopher says Ethic. It would seem that Isidore's description of the quality of positive law is not appropriate, when he says Etym. Therefore after saying "honest" it was superfluous to add "just. Therefore it should not be stated in the definition of law that it is "according to the custom of the country. It may be necessary simply, because it cannot be otherwise: and that which is necessary in this way, is not subject to human judgment, wherefore human law is not concerned with necessity of this kind.
Again a thing may be necessary for an end: and this necessity is the same as usefulness. Therefore it is superfluous to say both "necessary" and "useful. I answer that, Whenever a thing is for an end, its form must be determined proportionately to that end; as the form of a saw is such as to be suitable for cutting Phys. Again, everything that is ruled and measured must have a form proportionate to its rule and measure. Now both these conditions are verified of human law: since it is both something ordained to an end; and is a rule or measure ruled or measured by a higher measure.
And this higher measure is twofold, viz. Wherefore Isidore in determining the nature of law, lays down, at first, three conditions; viz. All the other conditions mentioned by him are reduced to these three. For it is called honest because it fosters religion.
And when he goes on to say that it should be "just, possible to nature, according to the customs of the country, adapted to place and time," he implies that it should be helpful to discipline. For human discipline depends on first on the order of reason, to which he refers by saying "just": secondly, it depends on the ability of the agent; because discipline should be adapted to each one according to his ability, taking also into account the ability of nature for the same burdens should be not laid on children as adults ; and should be according to human customs; since man cannot live alone in society, paying no heed to others: thirdly, it depends on certain circumstances, in respect of which he says, "adapted to place and time.
And since, as stated above Q90, A2 , law is ordained to the common good, this is expressed in the last part of the description. But "statutes, decrees of the commonalty, senatorial decrees," and the like which he mentions Etym. Therefore they do not differ, except materially. But art takes no notice of such a distinction: since it may go on to infinity. Therefore this division of human laws is not appropriate. Therefore it seems that, as this division includes "military law," and "public law," referring to priests and magistrates; so also it should include other laws pertaining to other offices of the state.
But it is accidental to law that it be framed by this or that man. Therefore it is unreasonable to divide laws according to the names of lawgivers, so that one be called the "Cornelian" law, another the "Falcidian" law, etc. I answer that, A thing can of itself be divided in respect of something contained in the notion of that thing.
Thus a soul either rational or irrational is contained in the notion of animal: and therefore animal is divided properly and of itself in respect of its being rational or irrational; but not in the point of its being white or black, which are entirely beside the notion of animal. Now, in the notion of human law, many things are contained, in respect of any of which human law can be divided properly and of itself. For in the first place it belongs to the notion of human law, to be derived from the law of nature, as explained above A2. In this respect positive law is divided into the "law of nations" and "civil law," according to the two ways in which something may be derived from the law of nature, as stated above A2.
Because, to the law of nations belong those things which are derived from the law of nature, as conclusions from premises, e. But those things which are derived from the law of nature by way of particular determination, belong to the civil law, according as each state decides on what is best for itself. Secondly, it belongs to the notion of human law, to be ordained to the common good of the state. In this respect human law may be divided according to the different kinds of men who work in a special way for the common good: e. Wherefore certain special kinds of law are adapted to these men.
Thirdly, it belongs to the notion of human law, to be framed by that one who governs the community of the state, as shown above Q90, A3. In this respect, there are various human laws according to the various forms of government. Of these, according to the Philosopher Polit. Another form is "oligarchy," i. Another form of government is that of the people, which is called "democracy," and there we have "Decrees of the commonalty" [Plebiscita].
There is also tyrannical government, which is altogether corrupt, which, therefore, has no corresponding law. Finally, there is a form of government made up of all these, and which is the best: and in this respect we have law sanctioned by the "Lords and Commons," as stated by Isidore Etym. Fourthly, it belongs to the notion of human law to direct human actions. In this respect, according to the various matters of which the law treats, there are various kinds of laws, which are sometimes named after their authors: thus we have the "Lex Julia" about adultery, the "Lex Cornelia" concerning assassins, and so on, differentiated in this way, not on account of the authors, but on account of the matters to which they refer.
Wherefore men easily agreed thereto. Nevertheless it is distinct from the natural law, especially it is distinct from the natural law which is common to all animals. The Human Law. It would seem that human law should be framed not for the community, but rather for the individual. Therefore law is framed not only for the community, but also for the individual. But human acts are about individual matters. Therefore human laws should be framed, not for the community, but rather for the individual. But a measure should be most certain, as stated in Metaph. Since therefore in human acts no general proposition can be so certain as not to fail in some individual cases, it seems that laws should be framed not in general but for individual cases.
On the contrary, The jurist says Pandect. I answer that, Whatever is for an end should be proportionate to that end. Now the end of law is the common good; because, as Isidore says Etym. Now the common good comprises many things. Wherefore law should take account of many things, as to persons, as to matters, and as to times. Because the community of the state is composed of many persons; and its good is procured by many actions; nor is it established to endure for only a short time, but to last for all time by the citizens succeeding one another, as Augustine says De Civ.
Dei ii, 21; xxii, 6. For some things are laid down simply in a general way: and these are the general laws. Of these he says that "the legal is that which originally was a matter of indifference, but which, when enacted, is so no longer": as the fixing of the ransom of a captive. Some things affect the community in one respect, and individuals in another. These are called "privileges," i.
For if there were as many rules or measures as there are things measured or ruled, they would cease to be of use, since their use consists in being applicable to many things. Hence law would be of no use, if it did not extend further than to one single act. Because the decrees of prudent men are made for the purpose of directing individual actions; whereas law is a general precept, as stated above Q92, A2, Obj.
Consequently in contingent matters, such as natural and human things, it is enough for a thing to be certain, as being true in the greater number of instances, though at times and less frequently it fail. Therefore human laws should repress all evils. But a man cannot be virtuous unless he forbear from all kinds of vice. Therefore it belongs to human law to repress all vices. But all vices are contrary to the law of nature. Therefore human law should repress all vices. On the contrary, We read in De Lib. Therefore human law rightly allows some vices, by not repressing them.
I answer that, As stated above Q90, AA1,2 , law is framed as a rule or measure of human acts. Now a measure should be homogeneous with that which it measures, as stated in Metaph. Wherefore laws imposed on men should also be in keeping with their condition, for, as Isidore says Etym. Thus the same is not possible to a child as to a full-grown man: for which reason the law for children is not the same as for adults, since many things are permitted to children, which in an adult are punished by law or at any rate are open to blame.
In like manner many things are permissible to men not perfect in virtue, which would be intolerable in a virtuous man. Now human law is framed for a number of human beings, the majority of whom are not perfect in virtue. Wherefore human laws do not forbid all vices, from which the virtuous abstain, but only the more grievous vices, from which it is possible for the majority to abstain; and chiefly those that are to the hurt of others, without the prohibition of which human society could not be maintained: thus human law prohibits murder, theft and such like.
Consequently it belongs to those sins chiefly whereby one's neighbor is injured: and these sins are forbidden by human law, as stated. Wherefore it does not lay upon the multitude of imperfect men the burdens of those who are already virtuous, viz. Otherwise these imperfect ones, being unable to bear such precepts, would break out into yet greater evils: thus it is written Ps. Now Augustine says De Lib. Nor, if this law does not attempt to do everything, is this a reason why it should be blamed for what it does.
But human law does not prohibit all vices, as stated above A2. Therefore neither does it prescribe all acts of virtue. But virtue is the end of law; so that whatever is from a virtue, cannot come under a precept of law. Since it is clearly impossible to get around in the world without this, Spinoza concedes that it is "in this way [that] I know almost all the things that are useful in life" TIE That being said, Spinoza consistently opposes imagination to intellect and views it as providing no more than confused perception.
To use his preferred terminology, the ideas of the imagination are inadequate. They may be essential for getting around in the world, but they give us a distorted and incomplete picture of the things in it. To understand why, it is useful to begin with sense perception. This is the most important form of imaginative perception, and it is from this form that all others derive.
On Spinoza's account, sense perception has its origin in the action of an external body upon one or another of the sensory organs of one's own body. As the mind is the idea of the body, it will represent these changes. This, Spinoza contends, is what constitutes sense perception. Because of this, the mind's representation of that state will express something more than the nature of one's own body.
It will express the nature of the external body as well:. It is this feature of the mind's act of representation - that it expresses the nature of an external body — that explains how such an act constitutes sense perception. In view of this it is not difficult to see why Spinoza judges sense perception to be inadequate. Since this goes for all imaginative ideas, the problem with them all is the same:. It is because of this that Spinoza refers to the ideas of the imagination as confused. The vision they give of external bodies is unavoidably colored, so to speak, by the lens of one's own body.
Confusion, however, is just one aspect of the inadequacy of imaginative ideas. Such ideas are also mutilated. The reason for this lies in IA4, which states that the knowledge of an effect depends upon and involves the knowledge of its causes. This is a condition that imaginative ideas can never satisfy. The mind may contain the idea of an external body, but it cannot contain ideas of all of the causes of that body. These, being infinite, fall outside of its scope and are fully contained only in God's infinite intellect.
They are cut off from those ideas that are necessary in order to render them adequate. Although imaginative ideas of external bodies are the most important examples of inadequate ideas, they are not the only examples. Spinoza goes on to show that the mind's ideas of the body, its duration, and its parts are all inadequate.
So too is the mind's idea of itself. Even so, he remains optimistic about the possibility of adequate ideas. This optimism becomes evident as Spinoza shifts his attention from imaginative ideas of singular things to intellectual ideas of common things. These common things are things that are either common to all bodies or common to the human body and certain bodies by which the human body is regularly affected. Spinoza tells us little else about these common things, except to say that they are fully present in the whole and in each of the parts of every body in which they are present.
Nevertheless, it is fairly certain that the class of things common to all bodies includes the attribute of extension and the infinite and eternal mode of motion and rest. What is included in the class of things common to the human body and those bodies by which the human body is regularly affected is not so certain. Whatever they turn out to be, however, Spinoza assures us that our ideas of them can only be adequate. To see why, consider some thing, A, that is common to the human body and some body by which the human body is affected.
A, Spinoza contends, will be fully present in the affection that arises in the human body as a result of the action of the external body, just as it is in the two bodies themselves. As a result, the mind, in possessing the idea of that affection, not only will have the idea of A, but its idea will be neither confused nor mutilated. The mind's idea of A will be adequate. This result is of utmost importance. Because any idea that follows from an adequate idea is itself adequate, these ideas, appropriately called common notions, can serve as axioms in a deductive system.
When working out this system, the mind engages in a fundamentally different kind of cognition than when it engages in any of the various forms of imaginative perception. In all forms of imaginative perception the order of ideas mirrors the order of bodily affections, and this order, depending as it does upon the chance encounters of the body with external bodies, is entirely fortuitous. By contrast, the derivation of adequate ideas from common notions within a deductive system follows a wholly different order.
This Spinoza calls the order of reason. The paradigm case is geometry. With this distinction between adequate and inadequate perception in place, Spinoza introduces a set of further distinctions. He begins with inadequate perception, which he now calls knowledge of the first kind, and divides it into two parts. The first consists of knowledge from random experience experientia vaga.
This is knowledge "from singular things which have been represented to us through the senses in a way which is mutilated, confused, and without order for the intellect" P40S2. The second consists of knowledge from signs ex signis , "for example, from the fact that, having heard or read certain words, we recollect things, and form certain ideas of them, like those through which we imagine the things" P40S2.
What links both of these forms of knowledge is that they lack a rational order. It is obvious that knowledge from random experience follows the order of the affections of the human body, but so does knowledge from signs. A Roman who hears the word ' pomum ', for instance, will think of an apple, not because there is any rational connection between the word and the object, but only because they have been associated in his or her experience.
When we reach what Spinoza calls the second kind of knowledge, reason ratio , we have ascended from an inadequate to an adequate perception of things. This type of knowledge is gained "from the fact that we have common notions and adequate ideas of the properties of things" P40S2. What Spinoza has in mind here is what was just indicated, namely, the formation of adequate ideas of the common properties of things and the movement by way of deductive inference to the formation of adequate ideas of other common properties.
Unlike in the case of knowledge of the first kind, this order of ideas is rational. We might think that in attaining this second kind of knowledge we have attained all that is available to us. However, Spinoza adds a third type, which he regards as superior. He calls this intuitive knowledge scientia intuitiva and tells us that it "proceeds from an adequate idea of the formal essence of certain attributes of God to the adequate knowledge of the [formal] essence of things" P40S2. Unfortunately, Spinoza is once again obscure at a crucial junction, and it is difficult to know what he has in mind here.
He seems to be envisioning a type of knowledge that gives insight into the essence of some singular thing together with an understanding of how that essence follows of necessity from the essence of God. Furthermore, the characterization of this kind of knowledge as intuitive indicates that the connection between the individual essence and the essence of God is grasped in a single act of apprehension and is not arrived at by any kind of deductive process.
How this is possible is never explained. Problems of obscurity aside, we can still see something of the ideal at which Spinoza is aiming. Inadequate ideas are incomplete. Through them we perceive things without perceiving the causes that determine them to be, and it is for this reason that we imagine them to be contingent. What Spinoza is offering with the third kind of knowledge is a way of correcting this. It is important to note, however, that he is not proposing that we can have this knowledge with respect to the durational existence of any particular item.
As we have already seen, this would require having ideas of all of the temporal causes of a thing, which are infinite. Rather, he is proposing that we can have it with respect to the essence of a singular thing as it follows from the essence of God. To have this kind of knowledge is to understand the thing as necessary rather than contingent.
One of the most interesting but understudied areas of Spinoza's thought is his psychology, the centerpiece of which is his theory of the affects. Spinoza, of course, was not the first philosopher to take an interest in the affects. He had only to look to the work of Descartes and Hobbes in the previous generation and to the work of the Stoics before them to find sustained discussions of the topic. His own work shows that he learned much from these thinkers. Despite his debts, Spinoza expressed deep dissatisfaction with the views of those who had preceded him.
His dissatisfaction reflects the naturalistic orientation that he wished to bring to the subject:. Most of those who have written about the affects, and men's way of living, seem to treat, not of natural things, which follow the common laws of Nature, but of things which are outside Nature. Indeed they seem to conceive man in Nature as a dominion within a dominion. For they believe that man disturbs, rather than follows, the order of Nature, that he has absolute power over his actions, and that he is determined only by himself.
III Preface. In opposition to what he saw as a tendency on the part of previous philosophers to treat humans as exceptions to the natural order, Spinoza proposes to treat them as subject to the same laws and causal determinants as everything else. What emerges can best be described as a mechanistic theory of the affects. In working out this new perspective, the first thing on Spinoza's agenda is to clear away what he sees as the most pervasive confusion that we as humans have about ourselves.
This is the belief in free-will. Spinoza has nothing but scorn for this belief and treats it as a delusion that arises from the fact that the ideas we have of our actions are inadequate. If we were to acquire adequate ideas of our actions, since these would carry with them knowledge of their causes, we would immediately see this belief as the delusion that it is. Spinoza's position on this matter is quite obviously dictated by the determinism of his metaphysics.
The mind, as a finite mode, is fully determined to be and to act by other finite modes. To posit a faculty of will by which it is made autonomous and independent of external causal determinants is to remove it from nature. Spinoza will have none of this. As it is fully part of nature, the mind must be understood according to the same principles that govern all modes. The correct interpretation of this principle is far from clear, but it appears to posit a kind of existential inertia within modes.
Each mode, to the extent of its power, so acts as to resist the destruction or diminution of its being. Spinoza expresses this by saying that each mode has an innate striving conatus to persevere in being. This striving is so central to what a mode is that he identifies it as a mode's very essence:. Though a bit mysterious as to what it means to say that the striving of a mode is its essence, this identification will play a key role in Spinoza's ethical theory. Among other things, it will provide the basis upon which he can determine what is involved in living by the guidance of reason.
Spinoza begins his account of the affects with those that result from the action of external causes upon the mind. These are the passive affects, or passions. He identifies three as primary - joy, sadness, and desire — and characterizes all others as involving a combination of one or more of these together with some kind of cognitive state. Love and hate, for example, are joy and sadness coupled with an awareness of their respective causes. Longing, for example, is desire coupled with a memory of the desired object and an awareness of its absence.
All remaining passions are characterized in a similar fashion. Although joy, sadness, and desire are primitive, they are each defined in relation to the mind's striving for perseverance. Joy is that affect by which the mind passes to a greater perfection, understood as an increased power of striving. Sadness is that affect by which the mind passes to a lesser perfection, understood as a decreased power of striving. And desire is the striving for perseverance itself insofar as the mind is conscious of it.
Because all passions are derived from these primary affects, the entire passional life of the mind is thus defined in relation to the striving for perseverance. This may seem paradoxical. Insofar as the mind strives to persevere in being it would appear to be active rather than passive. This is true, but we must realize that the mind strives both insofar as it has adequate ideas and insofar as it has inadequate ideas.
The passions are defined only in relation to the mind's striving insofar as it has inadequate ideas. In fact, the passions are themselves a species of inadequate ideas. And since all inadequate ideas are caused from without, so too are the passions. It is in this respect that they must be considered to be passive rather than active. This, however, is not the case with those affects that are defined in relation to the mind's striving insofar as it has adequate ideas. All such affects, being themselves a species of adequate ideas, are active.
Mirroring his analysis of the passions, Spinoza takes two of these as primitive - active joy and active desire — and treats the remainder as derivative. He does not acknowledge the possibility of an active form of sadness, since the diminishment of the mind's perfection, which is what is involved in sadness, can only occur through the action of external causes.
In doing so, he posits an element within the affective life that is not only active, but, because it is grounded in the mind's striving insofar as it has adequate ideas, is fully rational. It is a central concern of Spinoza's ethical program to maximize this element. That Spinoza would wish to maximize the active affects is understandable in light of his characterization of life led under the sway of the passions. Such a life is one in which the individual exercises little effective self-control and is buffeted by external circumstances in ways that are largely random.
Life under the sway of the passions is a life of bondage.
Unfortunately, the extent to which we can extricate ourselves from the sway of the passions is limited. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the mind is a mode of limited power, yet it is inserted into an order of nature in which there exists an infinite number of modes whose power surpasses its own.
To think that the mind can exist unaffected within this order is to assume, falsely, that it is endowed with infinite power or that nothing in nature acts upon it. The second, which is a specification of the first, is that an affect is not restrained merely because it is opposed by reason. It must be opposed by an affect that is stronger than it. The trouble is that reason often lacks this affective power. This is because the strength of the active affects, which pertain to reason, is a function of the strength of the mind alone, whereas the strength of the passive affects, the passions, is a function of the strength of their external causes, which in many cases is greater.
In such cases reason is unable to overrule passion and is impotent as a guide. Such is the life of bondage. It is from this rather pessimistic diagnosis of the human condition that Spinoza's ethical theory takes off. In view of this, it is not at all surprising that his ethics is largely one of liberation, a liberation that is directly tied to the cultivation of reason.
In this respect, Spinoza's ethical orientation is much more akin to that of the ancients than to that of his fellow moderns. Like the ancients, he sought not so much to analyze the nature and source of moral duty as to describe the ideal human life. This is the life that is lived by the so-called 'free-man'.
It is a life of one who lives by the guidance of reason rather than under the sway of the passions. In the opening propositions of Book Five, Spinoza lists a number of respects in which the mind, despite its condition of bondage, is able to weaken the hold that the passions have over it. Generally speaking, it is able to do this insofar as it acquires adequate ideas. This, Spinoza tells us, is due to the fact that "the power of the mind is defined by knowledge alone, whereas lack of power, or passion, is judged solely by the privation of knowledge, that is, by that through which ideas are called inadequate" VP20S.
Two examples illustrate this liberating power of adequate ideas. First, Spinoza claims that the mind is able to form adequate ideas of its affects. It can thus form adequate ideas of the passions, which are themselves inadequate ideas. Since there is no real distinction between an idea and the idea of that idea, those passions of which the mind forms adequate ideas are thereby dissolved. Second, the effect of a thing upon the mind is lessened to the extent that it is understood to be necessary rather than contingent.
We tend, for example, to be saddened less by the loss of a good when we understand that its loss was inevitable. Similarly, we tend to be angered less by another person's actions when we understand that he or she could not have done otherwise. Since adequate ideas present things as necessary rather than as contingent, the acquisition of such ideas thereby lessens their effect upon the mind.
As these examples illustrate, the mind's power over the passions is a function of the adequate ideas that it possess. Liberation lies in the acquisition of knowledge, which empowers the mind and renders it less susceptible to external circumstances. In taking this position, Spinoza places himself in a long tradition that stretches back to the Stoics and ultimately to Socrates.
Spinoza tells us that the model human life - the life lived by the 'free-man' — is one that is lived by the guidance of reason rather than under the sway of the passions.
Spinoza, Benedict De | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
This tells us very little, however, unless we know what it is that reason prescribes. In order to make this determination, Spinoza falls back upon the mind's striving for perseverance:. Since reason demands nothing contrary to Nature, it demands that everyone love himself, seek his own advantage, what is really useful to him, want what will really lead a man to greater perfection, and absolutely, that everyone should strive to preserve his own being as far as he can.
This, indeed, is as necessarily true as that the whole is greater than its part. Reason's prescription is egoistic. We are to act in accordance with our nature. But since our nature is identical to our striving to persevere in being, reason prescribes that we do whatever is to our advantage and seek whatever aids us in our striving. To act this way, Spinoza insists, is to act virtuously.
This does not mean that in living by the guidance of reason we necessarily place ourselves at odds with others. Reason prescribes that individuals seek whatever aids in the striving for perseverance. But since the goods that are necessary in order to persevere in being are attainable only within the context of social life, reason dictates that we act in ways that are conducive to the stability and harmony of society. Spinoza goes so far as to say that in a society in which everyone lives by the guidance of reason, there would be no need of political authority to restrict action.
It is only insofar as individuals live under the sway of the passions that they come into conflict with one another and are in need of political authority. Those who live by the guidance of reason understand this and recognize that authority as legitimate. Spinoza's contention that those who live by the guidance of reason will naturally live in harmony with one another receives some support from his view of the highest good for a human.
This is the knowledge of God. Since this knowledge can be possessed equally by all who seek it, it can be sought by all without drawing any into conflict. To establish that the knowledge of God is the highest good, Spinoza again appeals to the fact that the mind's striving is its essence. Since what follows from the mind's essence alone are adequate ideas, this allows him to construe the mind's striving as a striving for adequate ideas. It is a striving for understanding:. From here it is but an easy step to show that the knowledge of God is the mind's greatest good.
As an infinite substance, God is the greatest thing that can be conceived. Moreover, since everything other than God is a mode of God, and since modes can neither be nor be conceived without the substance of which they are modes, nothing else can be or be conceived apart from God. Spinoza concludes:.
In elaborating this thesis, Spinoza specifies this knowledge as knowledge of the third kind. This is the knowledge that proceeds from the adequate idea of one or another of God's attributes to the adequate idea of the formal essence of some singular thing that follows from that attribute. When we possess knowledge of the third kind, we possess adequate perception of God's essence considered not only in itself, but as the immanent causal power of the particular modifications to which it is subject.
Knowledge of the first kind, because it is inadequate, and knowledge of the second kind, because it is restricted to the common properties of things, both fail to give us this. In attaining the third kind of knowledge the mind passes to the highest state of perfection that is available to it. As a result, it experiences active joy to the greatest possible degree. More importantly, since it is by this kind of knowledge that the mind understands God to be the cause of its own perfection, it gives rise to an active love for God as well.
This Spinoza refers to as the intellectual love of God. It is the affective correlate to the third kind of knowledge. The intellectual love of God turns out to have a great many unique properties. Among other things, it is entirely constant, it has no contraries, and it is the very love by which God loves himself. Most significantly, it constitutes the blessedness of the one who possesses it. When such a love dominates one's affective life, one attains the serenity and freedom from passion that is the mark of wisdom.
Spinoza thus writes of the person who has attained this love that he "is hardly troubled in spirit, but being, by a certain eternal necessity, conscious of himself, and of God, and of things, he never ceases to be, but always possess true peace of mind" VP42S. This is human blessedness. Spinoza's comment that a person who has attained the intellectual love of God "never ceases to be" is perplexing to say the least. It signals a commitment to the view that in some fashion or another the mind, or some part of it, survives the death of the body:.
At first sight, this appears to be in violation of Spinoza's anti-dualist contention that mind and body are one and the same thing conceived under two different attributes. On the basis of this contention, one would expect him to reject the survival of the mind in any fashion. That he asserts it instead has understandably been a source of great controversy among his commentators.
At least some of the problem can be cleared away by taking account of a crucial distinction that Spinoza makes between the existence of the body and its essence. The existence of the body is its actual duration through time. This involves its coming to be, the changes it undergoes within its environment, and its eventual destruction. By contrast, the essence of the body is non-durational. It is grounded in the timeless essence of God, specifically as one among the innumerable particular ways of being extended.
The importance of this distinction lies in the fact that, by appealing to the parallelism doctrine, Spinoza can conclude that there is a corresponding distinction with respect to the mind. There is an aspect of the mind that is the expression of the existence of the body, and there is an aspect of the mind that is the expression of the essence of the body. Spinoza readily concedes that the aspect of the mind that expresses the existence of the body cannot survive the destruction of the body.
It is destroyed with the destruction of the body. Such, however, is not the fate of the aspect of the mind that expresses the essence of the body. Like its object, this aspect of the mind is non-durational. Since only what is durational ceases to be, this aspect of the mind is unaffected by the destruction of the body. It is eternal. Here we must be careful not to misunderstand what Spinoza is saying. In particular, we should not take him to be offering anything approaching a full-blooded doctrine of personal immortality.
In fact, he dismisses the belief in personal immortality as arising from confusion: "If we attend to the common opinion of men, we shall see that they are indeed conscious of the eternity of their mind, but that they confuse it with duration, and attribute it to the imagination, or memory, which they believe remains after death" VP34S. Individuals have some awareness of the eternity of their own minds.
But they mistakenly believe that this eternity pertains to the durational aspect of the mind, the imagination. As it is the imagination, inclusive of memory, that constitutes one's unique identity as a person, the belief in personal immortality is similarly mistaken. None of this is to say that Spinoza's doctrine of the eternity of the mind has no relevance to ethics. Although the imagination is not eternal, the intellect is. And since the intellect is constituted by the mind's store of adequate ideas, the mind is eternal precisely to the extent that it has these ideas.
As a consequence, a person whose mind is constituted largely by adequate ideas participates more fully in eternity than a person whose mind is constituted largely by inadequate ideas. So, while Spinoza offers us no hope of personal immortality, we may take consolation in the fact that "death is less harmful to us, the greater the mind's clear and distinct knowledge, and hence, the more the mind loves God" VP38S. Spinoza does not pretend that any of this is easy. The acquisition of adequate ideas, especially those by which we attain knowledge of the third kind, is difficult, and we can never completely escape the influence of the passions.
Nevertheless, Spinoza holds out to those who make the effort the promise, not of personal immortality, but of participation in eternity within this life. If the way I have shown to lead to these things now seems very hard, still, it can be found. And of course, what is found so rarely must be hard. For if salvation were at hand, and could be found without great effort, how could nearly everyone neglect it?
But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare. Edited and translated by Edwin Curley. Princeton: Princeton University Press, Passages from the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect are cited according to paragraph number. Passages are cited according to volume and page number. Blake D. Life and Works Spinoza came into the world a Jew.
Substance Monism Spinoza builds his case for substance monism in a tightly reasoned argument that culminates in IP Preliminary Propositions Spinoza moves from these definitions to demonstrate a series of propositions concerning substance in general and God in particular on the basis of which he will demonstrate that God is the one and only substance.
Two Types of Mode Into this relatively simple picture, Spinoza introduces a complication. Causal Parallelism An obvious question to ask at this point is whether it is possible for finite modes falling under one attribute to act upon and determine finite modes falling under another attribute. Mind and Cognition It is at this point that Spinoza's metaphysics touches upon his theory of mind and yields some of its most profound consequences. Spinoza elaborates: [I]n proportion as a body is more capable than others of doing many things at once, or being acted on in many ways at once, so its mind is more capable than others of perceiving many things at once.
IIP13S Herein lies the explanation of the excellence of the human mind. Imagination A perceptual ability that is of particular interest to Spinoza is imagination. Sense Perception On Spinoza's account, sense perception has its origin in the action of an external body upon one or another of the sensory organs of one's own body. Inadequate Ideas In view of this it is not difficult to see why Spinoza judges sense perception to be inadequate. Adequate Ideas Although imaginative ideas of external bodies are the most important examples of inadequate ideas, they are not the only examples.
Three Kinds of Knowledge With this distinction between adequate and inadequate perception in place, Spinoza introduces a set of further distinctions. Psychology One of the most interesting but understudied areas of Spinoza's thought is his psychology, the centerpiece of which is his theory of the affects. His dissatisfaction reflects the naturalistic orientation that he wished to bring to the subject: Most of those who have written about the affects, and men's way of living, seem to treat, not of natural things, which follow the common laws of Nature, but of things which are outside Nature.
III Preface In opposition to what he saw as a tendency on the part of previous philosophers to treat humans as exceptions to the natural order, Spinoza proposes to treat them as subject to the same laws and causal determinants as everything else. Rejection of Free-Will In working out this new perspective, the first thing on Spinoza's agenda is to clear away what he sees as the most pervasive confusion that we as humans have about ourselves. The Affects Spinoza begins his account of the affects with those that result from the action of external causes upon the mind. Bondage That Spinoza would wish to maximize the active affects is understandable in light of his characterization of life led under the sway of the passions.
Ethics It is from this rather pessimistic diagnosis of the human condition that Spinoza's ethical theory takes off. Freedom from the Passions In the opening propositions of Book Five, Spinoza lists a number of respects in which the mind, despite its condition of bondage, is able to weaken the hold that the passions have over it. Conatus and the Guidance of Reason Spinoza tells us that the model human life - the life lived by the 'free-man' — is one that is lived by the guidance of reason rather than under the sway of the passions.
In order to make this determination, Spinoza falls back upon the mind's striving for perseverance: Since reason demands nothing contrary to Nature, it demands that everyone love himself, seek his own advantage, what is really useful to him, want what will really lead a man to greater perfection, and absolutely, that everyone should strive to preserve his own being as far as he can.
IVP18S Reason's prescription is egoistic. Knowledge of God as the Highest Good Spinoza's contention that those who live by the guidance of reason will naturally live in harmony with one another receives some support from his view of the highest good for a human. The knowledge of God is the fulfillment of the mind's striving to persevere in being. Intellectual Love of God and Human Blessedness In elaborating this thesis, Spinoza specifies this knowledge as knowledge of the third kind. Eternity of the Mind Spinoza's comment that a person who has attained the intellectual love of God "never ceases to be" is perplexing to say the least.
Conclusion Spinoza does not pretend that any of this is easy. VP42S 7. Texts and Translations of Spinoza Spinoza Opera. Edited by Carl Gebhart. Heidelberg: Carl Winter, Standard critical edition of Spinoza's writings and correspondence in Latin and Dutch.
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- Editions of Treatise on the Love of God by Francis de Sales;
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The Collected Works of Spinoza. Princeton University Press, First of two volumes the second is not yet complete in what, when complete, will become the standard translation into English of Spinoza's writings and correspondence. Also contains helpful selections from Spinoza's correspondence.