02 May 2012

Outline of a Commentary on ST 1a 2ae q.41 a.4

  1. In the first objection, there are three points to consider:  
    1. first, how St. John Damascene divides the passion of fear in his treatise On the Orthodox Catholic Faith;
    2. second, the relation between fear and sorrow in Aristotle’s Rhetoric;
    3. third, the four species of sorrow and the basis of their distinction.

  1. Having concluded our examination of the first objection, we proceed to the second.  Here the objector concerns himself with laziness, shamefacedness and shame in particular as species of fear, and we must consider three points:  
    1. first, that the act of an agent falls under the agent’s ability;
    2. second, that what an agent is able to do cannot exceed his ability;
    3. third, that laziness, shamefacedness and shame have as their objects acts performed by the agent.

  1. Having concluded our examination of the second objection, we proceed to the third.  Here the objector is concerned with shame in particular as a species of fear, and we must consider two points:
    1. first, that sorrow concerning present evil is not properly called fear;
    2. second, that shame concerns a present evil.

  1. Having concluded our examination of the third objection, we proceed to the fourth.  Here the objector concerns himself with amazement and stupor in particular as species of fear, and we must consider two points:
    1. first, that fear concerns only evil;
    2. second, that amazement and stupor have as their objects not only evil but also sometimes the good.

  1. Having concluded our examination of the fourth objection, we proceed to the fifth.  Here the objector is concerned with amazement in particular as a species of fear, and we must consider three points:
    1. that, according to Aristotle in Metaphysics Book I, ch.1, philosophy begins with wonder (i.e. amazement [admiratio]);
    2. that fear repulses the fearful;
    3. that philosophy is the result of attraction to the object of wonder.

  1. Having examined the five objections, we proceed to St. Thomas’s own treatment of the matter, beginning with the sed contra.  For the sed contra, St. Thomas references the authority of St. John Damascene and St. Gregory of Nyssa.  Here it is to be noted as was previously in the discussion of the second objection, that the text cited is not a genuine work of St. Gregory of Nyssa.  In this matter there are two points to consider:
    1. whether the agreement of two fathers is weightier than the opinion of one;
    2. whether the authority of a text later found to be misattributed or forged is lessened and to what extent.



  1. Having concluded our discussion of the sed contra, we proceed to the corpus.  Here there are five points to consider:
    1. first, the nature of human evil;
    2. second, the modes of evil which are the object of fear;
    3. third, their division into internal and external;
    4. fourth, the species of fear resulting from evil considered in one’s own act;
    5. fifth, that the gift of fear is allied to this class;
    6. sixth, the species of fear resulting from evil considered in exterior matters.

  1. Having concluded our discussion of the corpus, we proceed to St. Thomas’s replies to the objections in particular.  We proceed to the first reply.  Here there are three points to consider:
    1. first, that the species of a passion may be distinguished either by object or by effect;
    2. second, that the species of sorrow are distinguished by effect;
    3. third, that the species of fear are distinguished by object.

  1. Having concluded our examination of the first reply, we proceed to the second.  Here there are three points to discuss:  
    1. first, that one can consider an act which, though possible, exceeds one power;
    2. second, that such an act may exceed one’s power in some, but not all of its features;
    3. third, that this is the case with laziness, shamefacedness and shame.

  1. Having concluded our examination of the second reply, we proceed to the third.  Here there are two points to consider:
    1. first, that the shame which is a species of fear is distinct from distress, a species of sorrow;
    2. second, that shame includes only future disgrace.
  2. Having concluded our examination of the third reply, we proceed to the fourth.  Here St. Thomas gives a twofold reply, and there are four points: 
    1. first, that a kind of amazement has evil as its object;
    2. second, that a kind of stupor has evil as its object;
    3. third, that amazement and stupor can have evil as their object secondarily, even when properly they arise in response to the good;
    4. fourth, that in this last case they are nonetheless really distinct from laziness.

  1. Having concluded our examination of the fourth reply, we proceed to the fifth.  Here there are three points to consider:
    1. first, what sense of amazement is used by Aristotle [i.e., cf.11c]
    2. second, that in this sense the amazed man shrinks from judgment lest he should err;
    3. third, that amazement is compatible with a desire for knowledge
    4. fourth, that amazement is an excellent precursor to philosophy.