On the Virtues

On the Virtues

John Capreolus
Kevin White
Romanus Cessario
with a Foreword by Servais Pinckaers
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 432
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt28500q
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  • Book Info
    On the Virtues
    Book Description:

    The selection from Capreolus's work represented in this translation shows him defending Aquinas's conclusions on faith, hope, charity, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the virtues against such adversaries.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-2033-8
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Foreword: Capreolus’s Defense of St. Thomas’s Teaching on the Virtues
    (pp. xi-xxvi)
    Servais Pinckaers

    When I agreed to write the Foreword for this English translation of these texts of John Capreolus, I was a bit apprehensive. I thought that to venture into his writings would get me into a scholastic maze. But happily, from the beginning I realized that Capreolus is no long-winded hair-splitter and that his work is no mere rehearsal of outmoded debates.

    One might almost think, without exaggeration, that Capreolus’s teaching on the virtues speaks directly to our time, from a distance of over five hundred years. Capreolus undertook to defend St. Thomas’s moral theology, which is based on the doctrine...

  4. Translators’ Introduction
    (pp. xxvii-xxxiv)

    At the start of the third millenium, it may be difficult for the student of theology or philosophy to fathom the depth of the influence connoted by the notion of a “school.” This is particularly true in regard to the Thomist school, whose contributions to the understanding and development of theological and philosophical issues are far-reaching. Arguably even those developments most antithetical to this tradition could scarcely have achieved self-consciousness, much less any balanced theoretic elaboration, without contradistinction from it. Nor is this tradition a mere historical artifact: rather, as the encyclical letter Fides et ratio confirms, it participates fully...

  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxxiv-xxxvi)
    Romanus Cessario and Kevin White
  6. ON THE VIRTUES: (Defensiones Theologiae Divi Thomae Aquinatis, Liber III, distinctiones 23–40)
    • Whether Habitual Virtues Are Necessary to Man Q.I (on d.23)
      (pp. 1-51)

      In relation to the twenty-third distinction of the third book of The Sentences, the question is raised: Whether habitual virtues are necessary to man.

      It is argued that they are not, as follows. No habit is necessary; but virtues are habits; therefore, they are not necessary. The minor premise is evident. The major premise is argued for as follows. “Habit” implies directedness to an act; but “power” sufficiently implies a principle of act, for even natural powers, which are without habits, are principles of acts; therefore, it is not necessary that there be habits.

      Argument is made for the opposite...

    • Whether Faith Is a Virtue Infused by God Q.II (on d.24)
      (pp. 52-81)

      In relation to the twenty-fourth distinction of the third book of The Sentences, the question is raised: Whether faith is a virtue infused by God.

      It is argued that it is not, as follows. An infused virtue is more perfect than an acquired one; but acquired faith, on account of its imperfection, is not counted among the acquired intellectual virtues, as is clear from THE PHILOSOPHER in Ethics 6; therefore, much less can it be counted as an infused virtue.

      Argument is made for the opposite conclusion as follows. It is said in Ephesians 2 that “by grace you are...

    • Whether Faith Is of Things Seen Q.III (on d.25)
      (pp. 82-122)

      In relation to the twenty-fifth distinction of the third book of The Sentences, the question is raised: Whether faith is of things seen.

      It is argued that it is, as follows. The light of faith is related to the articles of faith as the natural light of the mind is to naturally known principles; but the natural light of the mind causes one to see the principles which are known of themselves; therefore, too, the light of faith causes one to see the articles of faith.

      Argument is made for the opposite conclusion as follows. It is said in Hebrews...

    • Whether Hope Is a Theological Virtue Really Distinct from Faith and Charity Q.IV (on d.26)
      (pp. 123-161)

      In relation to the twenty-sixth distinction in the third book of The Sentences, the question is raised: Whether hope is a theological virtue really distinct from faith and charity.

      It is argued that it is not, as follows. Hope is not a theological virtue. Therefore, etc.

      The major premise is made clear as follows. A theological virtue is one that has God for its object. But hope has for its object not merely God, but also other goods, which we hope to obtain from God. Therefore hope is not a theological virtue. {338}

      Argument is made for the opposite conclusion...

    • Whether a Man Ought, out of Charity, to Love God More Than Himself Q.V (on dd.27–30)
      (pp. 162-212)

      In relation to the twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and thirtieth distinctions of the third book of The Sentences, the question is raised: Whether a man ought, out of charity, to love God more than himself.

      It is argued that he should not, as follows. THE PHILOSOPHER says, in Ethics 9, that feelings of love toward another come from feelings of love toward oneself. But what is first in any genus is most important. Therefore, the love that one has toward oneself {354} is more important than the love that one has toward another. Thus anyone loves himself more than he loves...

    • Whether Faith Remains in Heaven Q.VI (on dd.31–32)
      (pp. 213-245)

      In relation to the thirty-first and thirty-second distinctions of the third book of The Sentences, the question is raised: Whether faith remains in heaven.

      It is argued that it does, as follows. The cognition of faith and the cognition proper to the state of glory differ as perfect and imperfect. But perfect and imperfect cognition do co-exist. In an angel, for instance, matutinal cognition co-exists with vespertinal cognition; and a man can, with respect to the same conclusion, simultaneously have scientific knowledge by means of a demonstrative syllogism and opinion by means of a dialectical syllogism. Therefore, too, faith can,...

    • Whether by Human Acts Habits of Virtue Are Acquired Which Exist in the Sensitive Appetite, That Is, in the Concupiscible or Irascible Powers, as in Their Subject Q.VII (on d.33)
      (pp. 246-298)

      In relation to the thirty-third distinction of the third book of The Sentences, the question is raised: Whether by human acts habits of virtue are acquired which exist in the sensitive appetite, that is, in the concupiscible or irascible powers, as in their subject.

      It is argued that they may not, as follows. Contraries naturally come into being with respect to the same thing. But the contrary of virtue is mortal sin, which cannot be present in the sensitive appetite, that is, the sensuality. Therefore, the sensitive appetite cannot be a subject of virtue, and for this reason a habit...

    • Whether the Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are Habits Distinct from the Virtues Q.VIII (on dd.34–35)
      (pp. 299-324)

      In relation to the thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth distinctions, the question is raised: Whether the gifts of the Holy Spirit are habits distinct from the virtues.

      It is argued that they are not, as follows. Things that have the same definition are themselves the same. But the definition of virtue fits the gifts: for each gift is “a good quality of mind by which one lives rightly etc.” Similarly, the definition of a gift fits the infused virtues: for a gift is, according to THE PHILOSOPHER, “an unreturnable handing over.” Therefore virtues are not distinct from gifts.

      Argument is made for...

    • Whether the Cardinal Virtues Are Interconnected in Such a Way That He Who Possesses One Possesses All Q.IX (on dd.36–40)
      (pp. 325-376)

      In relation to the thirty-sixth distinction of the third book of The Sentences, and the four further following distinctions, up to the end of the third book, the question is raised: Whether the cardinal virtues are interconnected in such a way that he who possesses one possesses all.

      It is argued that they are not, as follows. BEDE says, commenting on Luke 17, that the saints are more humiliated by the virtues they do not possess than exalted by the ones they do. Therefore, they possess some and not others. Therefore, the virtues are not interconnected.

      Argument is made for...

  7. Notes on Opponents
    (pp. 377-380)
  8. Bibliographical Note
    (pp. 381-382)
  9. Indices
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 396-397)