News:

Love consumes us only in the measure of our self-surrender. —St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Main Menu

Intellect and Will

Started by Kephapaulos, June 03, 2016, 10:49:05 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Kephapaulos

Now St. Thomas teaches that the intellect precedes the will. Is it true that St. Augustine and Bl. John Duns Scotus taught that the will precedes the intellect though?

Geremia

The 21st Thomistic thesis:
QuoteIntellectum sequitur, non praecedit, voluntas, quae necessario appetit id quod sibi praesentatur tamquam bonum ex omni parte explens appetitum, sed inter plura bona, quae iudicio mutabili appetenda proponuntur, libere eligit. Sequitur proinde electio iudicium practicum ultimum; at quod sit ultimum, voluntas efficit.

The will follows, does not precede, the intellect; it necessarily desires that which is offered to it as a good which entirely satisfies the appetite; it freely chooses among several good things that are proposed as desirable by the wavering judgment. Election, then, follows the last practical judgment; still, it is the will which determines it to be the last.
Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., explains this very well in Reality: A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought ch. 29 "The Faculties of the Soul":
QuoteAgainst Suarez, Thomists pronounce thus: It is impossible that God, even by His absolute power, could necessitate the will to choose an object which reason proposes as indifferent. Why? Because it is self-contradictory, that the will should necessarily will an object which reason says is in some way not good, and which therefore is absolutely disproportioned to the only object which can necessitate the will. [670].

Here enters the twenty-first of the twenty-four theses. [671] "The will follows, it does not precede the intellect. And the will necessarily wills only that object which is presented to it as good from every angle, leaving nothing to be desired. But the will chooses freely between good things presented by mutable judgment. Hence choice follows indeed the last practical judgment, but it is the will which makes that judgment to be the last."

How does the will make the last practical judgment to be the last? It does this by accepting it as last, instead of turning to a new consideration which would result in an opposed practical judgment. Intellect and will are thus reciprocally related, with a kind of matrimonial relation, since voluntary consent, ending deliberation, accepts the judgment here and now present as last. Intellectual direction is indispensable, since the will is of itself blind: nothing can be willed unless foreknown as good.

Suarez, [672] on the contrary, following Scotus, maintains that voluntary choice is not necessarily preceded by a practical judgment immediately directive. The will, when faced with two good objects, equally or unequally good, can, he says, freely choose either of them, even though the intellect does not propose that one as here and now the better. Using their principle as measuring-stick, Thomists reply: Nothing can be preferred here and now, unless foreknown as here and now better. That something not really better can here and now be judged better depends, of course, on the evil disposition of man's appetites, intellectual and sensitive. [673].

We have elsewhere examined at great length this problem: [674] the special antinomies relative to freedom; the reciprocal influence of the last practical judgment and free choice; comparison of Thomist doctrine with the psychological determinism of Leibnitz, on the one hand, and on the other, with the voluntarism of Scotus, followed partly by Suarez.

In a brief word, the essential thing for St. Thomas is that the intellect and will are not coordinated, but mutually subordinated. The last practical judgment is free when its object (good from one viewpoint, not good from another) does not necessitate it. Freedom of will, to speak properly, is to be found in the indifference of judgment.
Quote from: Notes670 De ver.: q. 22, a. 5
671 [See the Latin above.]
672 Disp. met.: XIX. 6673 Qualis unusquisque est talis finis videtur ei conveniens
674 Dieu, son existence et sa nature, 6th ed.: pp. 590-657

Geremia

Quote from: Geremia on June 04, 2016, 10:12:53 AMFr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., explains this very well in Reality: A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought ch. 29 "The Faculties of the Soul":
QuoteIn a brief word, the essential thing for St. Thomas is that the intellect and will are not coordinated, but mutually subordinated. The last practical judgment is free when its object (good from one viewpoint, not good from another) does not necessitate it. Freedom of will, to speak properly, is to be found in the indifference of judgment.
It's interesting Fr. G.-L. says "mutually subordinated," since I've heard this in reference to Ephesians 5 (wives, be subject to husbands; husbands, love your wives).

Kephapaulos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZcWKCwuF9w



What could be said in response to this video of an episode of Off the Menu with Charles Coulombe?

Geremia

Quote from: Kephapaulos on May 03, 2017, 10:00:21 PMWhat could be said in response to this video of an episode of Off the Menu with Charles Coulombe?
What specifically?

Kephapaulos

Between a few seconds after 5:20 and some time after 7:00 is when Charles Coulombe says the will precedes intellect. He said that if the intellect preceded the will, they would do the right thing as soon as they learn how to do it. But does not our knowledge and understanding of something at first come before actually willing an action, whether it be good or evil?

Geremia

#6
Quote from: Kephapaulos on June 11, 2017, 09:30:02 PMBut does not our knowledge and understanding of something at first come before actually willing an action, whether it be good or evil?
This is exactly the Thomist position. The intellect (whose object is truth) presents, under the aspect of the good, an object to the will (whose object is the good).

A famous quote from Avicenna says: "Sic volo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas. [I will it thus, I order it thus; let my will stand in the place of reason.]" St. Albert the Great says "Hæc enim est perversitas recti ordinis [This is a perversity of right order.]."

Kephapaulos

So Charles Coulombe is partly wrong then? His reasoning I think has to with his view on baptism of desire and put St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure on equal status by citing Leo XIII's the Aeterni Patris. Both would have believed in baptism of desire though. I had even found an explicit quote of St. Bonaventure on baptism of water, baptism of desire, and baptism of blood. in a book.

Geremia

Quote from: Kephapaulos on June 14, 2017, 12:16:40 AMSo Charles Coulombe is partly wrong then?
I don't know exactly what he was saying,
Here's how P. Lumbreras, O.P., explains Thesis 21:
Thesis XXI.
Intellectum sequitur, non praecedit, voluntas, quae necessario appetit id quod sibi praesentatur tamquam bonum ex omni parte explens appetitum, sed inter plura bona, quae iudicio mutabili appetenda proponuntur, libere eligit. Sequitur proinde electio iudicium practicum ultimum; at quod sit ultimum, voluntas efficit.

The will follows, does not precede, the intellect; it necessarily desires that which is offered to it as a good which entirely satisfies the appetite; it freely chooses among several good things that are proposed as desirable by the wavering judgment. Election, then, follows the last practical judgment; still, it is the will which determines it to be the last.

Commentary: Will is not prior but posterior to the intellect, in dignity, in origin, in acting. The posteriority in acting is chiefly intended here. Every act of the will is preceded by an act of the intellect; for the act of the will is a rational inclination, and while inclination follows a form, rational inclination follows the intellectually apprehended form. The intellect, in presenting to the will some apprehended good, moves it as to the specification of its act. If the presented good is the absolute or universal good, the will desires it of necessity. If it is good mixed with evil, relative or particular good, it is partially attractive and partially repulsive. The will may desire it, or may not. Once the intellect has settled on the practical excellency of some particular good, the will must accept such an object. Yet, it is the will, which freely committed itself to the determination of the intellect; it is the will, which freely sustained the intellect in its unilateral consideration; and it is the will, which freely wants the process not to be submitted to a further revision. [Summa Theologiae, Iª q. 82 et q. 83; Contra Gentiles, lib. 2 cap. 72 ff.; De veritate, q. 22 a. 5; De malo, q. 11]