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Home > Summa Theologiae > Second Part of the Second Part

Second Part of the Second Part (Secunda Secundæ Partis)

After the general treatise of virtues and vices, and other things connected with the matter of morals, we must now consider each of these things in particular. For there is less use in speaking about moral matters in general, since actions are about particular things. Now moral matters can be considered in particular from two points of view. First, from the point of view of the moral matter itself, for instance by considering a particular virtue or a particular vice. Secondly, from the point of view of the special states of man, for instance by considering subjects and superiors, active life and contemplative life, or any other differences among men. Accordingly, we shall treat first in a special way of those matters which pertain to all the states of man; secondly, in a special way, of those matters which pertain to particular states (Question 171).

As to the first, we must observe that if we were to treat of each virtue, gift, vice, and precept separately, we should have to say the same thing over and over again. For if one wished to treat adequately of this precept: Thou shalt not commit adultery, one would have to inquire about adultery which is a sin, the knowledge of which depends on one's knowledge of the opposite virtue. The shorter and quicker way, therefore, will be if we include the consideration of each virtue, together with its corresponding gift, opposite vice, and affirmative and negative precepts, in the same treatise. Moreover this way of treatment will be suitable to the vices according to their proper species. For it has been shown above (I-II:72) that vices and sins differ in species according to the matter or object, and not according to other differences of sins, for instance, in respect of being sins of thought, word, and deed, or committed through weakness, ignorance, or malice, and other like differences. Now the matter about which a virtue works what is right, and about which the opposite vice deviates from the right, is the same.

Accordingly we may reduce the whole of moral matters to the consideration of the virtues, which themselves may be reduced to seven in number. Three of these are theological, and of these we must treat first, while the other four are the cardinal virtues, of which we shall treat afterwards (Question 47). Of the intellectual virtues there is one, prudence, which is included and numbered among the cardinal virtues. Art, however, does not pertain to moral science, which is concerned with things to be done, for art is right reason about things to be made, as stated above (I-II:57). The other three intellectual virtues, namely wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, agree, even in name, with some of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Therefore we shall consider them while considering the gifts corresponding to those virtues. The other moral virtues are all in some way reducible to the cardinal virtues, as was explained above (I-II:61:3). Hence in treating about each cardinal virtue we shall treat also of all the virtues which, in any way whatever, belong to that virtue, as also of the opposite vices. In this way no matter pertaining to morals will be overlooked.


FAITH ITSELF: The object of faith (1). The act of faith (2), especially the outward act of faith (3). The virtue of faith (4) itself. Those (5) who have faith. The cause (6) and effects (7) of faith.
GIFTS: The corresponding gifts of understanding (8) and knowledge (9).
VICES: Unbelief in general (10), heresy (11), apostasy (12), blasphemy in general (13) and against the Holy Ghost (14). The vices opposed to knowledge and understanding (15).
PRECEPTS: The precepts (16) of faith, knowledge and understanding.


GENERAL: Hope in itself (17). The subject (18) of hope. The gift of fear (19), and the opposing vices of despair (20) and presumption (21). The precepts (22) relating to hope and fear.


CHARITY ITSELF: Charity in itself (23), its subject (24), its object (25), and its order (26).
ACTS: The principal act of charity, which is to love (27). The interior acts of joy (28), peace (29), and mercy (30). The exterior effects of beneficence (31), almsdeeds (32), and fraternal correction (33).
VICES: Hatred (34), which is opposed to charity itself. Sloth (35) and envy (36), which are opposed, respectively, to our own joy and the joy of our neighbor. Vices opposed to peace: discord (37), contention (38), schism (39), war (40), strife (41) and sedition (42). Scandal (43), the vice opposed to beneficence.
PRECEPTS: The precepts (44) of charity.
GIFT: The corresponding gift of wisdom (45) and folly (46) which is opposed to wisdom.


PRUDENCE ITSELF: The virtue of prudence (47)

PARTS: The parts (48) of prudence. Each quasi-integral part (49) of prudence. The subjective parts (50) of prudence; especially the prudence with which a man rules himself (see 47), and that with which he rules others (50). The quasi-potential parts (51) of prudence, that is, the related virtues.
GIFT: The corresponding gift of prudence, which is counsel (52).
VICES: The vices opposed to prudence, some of which are obviously opposed such as imprudence (53) and negligence (54) which is opposed to solicitude; and others which bear a false resemblance (55) to prudence.
PRECEPTS: The precepts concerning prudence (56).


JUSTICE ITSELF: Right (57), justice (58), injustice (59) and judgment (60).
PARTS (GENERAL): The distinction between commutative and distributive justice (61). Restitution (62), which would seem to be an act of commutative justice.
VICES (DISTRIBUTIVE): Respect of persons (63), which is opposed to distributive justice.
VICES (INVOLUNTARY COMMUTATIONS): Injury of a neighbor against his will can be done by deedmurder (64), bodily injury (65) and theft and robbery (66)—or by word. Verbal injuries in judicial proceedings can be inflicted by the judge (67), the accuser (68), the defendant (69), the witnesses (70), or by the defending attorney (71). Verbal injuries inflicted extrajudicially include reviling (72), backbiting (73), tale-bearing (74), derision (75), and cursing (76).
VICES (VOLUNTARY COMMUTATIONS): Sins that are committed in relation to voluntary commutations include cheating (77) in buying and selling, and usury (78) in loans. In connection with the other voluntary commutations no special kind of sin is to be found distinct from rapine and theft.
PARTS (QUASI-INTEGRAL): The quasi-integral parts of justice—"do good" and "avoid evil" (79)—and the opposite vices.
CONNECTED VIRTUES (GENERAL): The quasi-potential parts of justice are the virtues connected with justice, in general (80) and specifically.
CONNECTED VIRTUES (RELIGION): Religion in itself (81). Its principal, interior acts which are devotion (82) and prayer (83). Its secondary, external acts of latria through bodily reverence (84). The offering of things to God such as sacrifices (85), oblations and first-fruits (86), tithes (87) and vows (88). The taking of things from God, such as sacraments (see the Third Part) and the taking of His Name by adjuration (90), in prayer (83) or praise (91), or in order to confirm an assertion (89). The vice of superstition (92), which is opposed by excess, and includes idolatry (94), divinations (95), observances (96), and undue worship (93) to the true God. The vice of irreligion, which is opposed by deficiency, and includes temptation of God (97), perjury (98), sacrilege (99) and simony (100).
CONNECTED VIRTUES (PIETY): Piety (101) and its opposite vices.
CONNECTED VIRTUES (OBSERVANCE): Observance itself (102). Dulia (103) and obedience (104), opposed by disobedience (105). Gratitude (106) opposed by ingratitude (107). Vengeance (108). Truth (109), which is opposed by lying (110), dissimulation and hypocrisy (111), boasting (112), and irony (113). Friendliness or affability (114), which is opposed by flattery (115) and quarreling (116). Liberality (117), which is opposed by covetousness (118) and prodigality (119).
CONNECTED VIRTUES (EPIKEIA): The virtue of epikeia (120) or equity.
GIFT: Piety (121), the corresponding gift.
PRECEPTS: The precepts (122) of justice.


FORTITUDE ITSELF: The virtue of fortitude (123) and martyrdom (124), its principle act.
VICES: The vices opposed to fortitude, which are fear (125), fearlessness (126), and daring (127).
PARTS: Its parts in general (128). Specifically, magnanimity (129) and its opposing vices of presumption (130), ambition (131) and vainglory (132)—which are all opposed by excess—and pusillanimity (133), which is opposed by deficiency. Magnificence (134) and its opposed vices (135). Patience (136) and its opposed vices. Perseverance (137) and its opposed vices (138).
GIFT: The corresponding gift (139) of fortitude.
PRECEPTS: The precepts (140) of fortitude.


TEMPERANCE ITSELF: The virtue of temperance (141) and its contrary vices (142).
PARTS (IN GENERAL): The parts of temperance in general (143).
PARTS (INTEGRAL): Shamefacedness (144) and honesty (145).
PARTS (SUBJECTIVE): Abstinence (146) from food and drink, and its act which is fasting (147), and its opposite vice which is gluttony (148). Sobriety (149) and its contrary vice, drunkenness (150). The virtue of chastity (151) and its part which is virginity (152), and its contrary vice which is lust (153). The parts of lust (154).
PARTS (POTENTIAL): Continence (155) and its opposite, incontinence (156). The virtues of clemency and meekness (157) and their contrary vices: anger (158) that is opposed to meekness and cruelty (159) that is opposed to clemency. Modesty (160) in general and its species: Humility (161) and its opposite, pride (162). Adam's sin which was pride: The sin itself (163), the punishments (164) of this first sin, and the temptation (165). Studiousness (166) and its opposite vice, curiosity (167). Modesty in words or deeds (168) and in outward attire (169).
PRECEPTS: The precepts (170) of temperance.

Acts Which Pertain Especially to Certain Men

GIFTS (KNOWLEDGE): Prophecy itself (171) and its cause (172), mode (173), and division (174). Rapture (175).
GIFTS (SPEECH): The grace of tongues (176) and the gratuitous grace consisting in words (177).
GIFTS (MIRACLES): The grace of miracles (178).
DIVERSITIES OF LIFE: The division of life into active and contemplative (179). The contemplative (180) and active (181) lives specifically. The contemplative and active lives compared (182).
STATES OF LIFE: Man's various duties and states in general (183). The state of perfection in general (184). The episcopal state (185). The religious state: its requirements (186), its proper realm (187), its variations (188) and the entrance into religious life (189).

The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas
Second and Revised Edition, 1920
Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province
Online Edition Copyright © 2017 by Kevin Knight
Nihil Obstat. F. Innocentius Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor. Theol.
Imprimatur. Edus. Canonicus Surmont, Vicarius Generalis. Westmonasterii.
Nihil Obstat. F. Raphael Moss, O.P., S.T.L. and F. Leo Moore, O.P., S.T.L.
Imprimatur. F. Beda Jarrett, O.P., S.T.L., A.M., Prior Provincialis Angliæ


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