Question Sixteen: Synderesis

  1. Primo utrum synderesis sit potentia, vel habitus.
  2. Secundo utrum synderesis possit peccare.
  3. Tertio utrum synderesis in aliquibus extinguatur.
  1. Is synderesis a power or a habit?
  2. Can synderesis err (peccare)?
  3. Are there some in whom synderesis is extinguished?


The question treats of synderesis
and in the first place we ask:
Is synderesis a power or a habit?

[ARTICLE II Sent., 24, 2, 3; S.T., I, 79, 12.]

Quaestio est de synderesi. Et quaeritur utrum synderesis sit potentia, vel habitus Difficulties
Et videtur quod sit potentia. It seems to be a power, for
Ea enim quae veniunt in eamdem divisionem, sunt eiusdem generis. Sed synderesis dividitur contra rationabilem, irascibilem et concupiscibilem in Glossa Hieronymi Ezech. I 9. Cum igitur irascibilis et concupiscibilis et rationalis sint potentiae, synderesis potentia erit. 1. Parts resulting from the same division belong to the same genus. But, as Jerome says, synderesis is differentiated from reason, the concupiscent, and the irascible. Therefore, since the irascible, the concupiscent, and reason are powers, synderesis will also be a power.
Sed dicebat, quod non significat potentiam absolute, sed potentiam cum habitu.- Sed contra, subiectum cum accidente non dividitur contra subiectum absolute sumptum: non enim esset conveniens divisio qua diceretur animalium aliud homo, aliud homo albus. Ergo cum habitus comparetur ad potentiam sicut accidens ad subiectum, videtur quod non possit convenienter dividi id quod dicit potentiam tantum, ut rationabilis et concupiscibilis et irascibilis, contra id quod nominat potentiam cum habitu. 2. It was said that synderesis does not denote a power alone, but an habituated power.—On the contrary, a subject with an accident is not divided from a subject alone. For a division of animals into man and white man would be improper. Therefore, since a habit is related to a power as an accident to its subject, it does not seem that that which denotes a power alone, as reason, the irascible, and the concupiscent, can be fittingly divided from that which denotes an habituated power.
Praeterea, unius potentiae contingit esse diversos habitus. Si ergo ratione habitus una potentia contra aliam distingueretur, quot sunt habitus potentiarum, tot membra esse deberent illius divisionis qua partes animae ad invicem distinguuntur. 3. The same power may have different habits. Therefore, if one power is distinguished from another by reason of a habit, the division in which the parts of the soul are distinguished from each other ought to have as many members as there are habits of the powers.
Praeterea, nihil unum et idem potest esse regulans et regulatum. Sed potentia per habitum regulatur. Ergo non potest potentia et habitus in idem coincidere, ut unum nomen potentiam et habitum designet simul. 4 One and the same thing cannot be regulator and that which is regulated. But a power is regulated by its habit. Therefore, a power and a habit cannot so blend into one thing that one name will at the same time denote the power and the habit.
Praeterea, habitui non inscribitur aliquid, sed potentiae tantum. Sed universalia principia iuris dicuntur inscribi synderesi. Ergo ipsa potentiam nominat absolute. 5. Nothing is inscribed in a habit, but only in a power. But the general principles of law are said to be inscribed in synderesis. Therefore, it denotes a power without qualification.
Praeterea, ex duobus non potest unum fieri nisi eorum altero transmutato. Sed habitus ille naturalis quem significare dicitur nomen synderesis, non mutatur, quia naturalia oportet manere; nec iterum potentiae animae transmutantur. Et ita videtur quod ex habitu et potentia non potest unum fieri, ut utrumque uno nomine nominari possit. 6. One thing cannot arise from two things unless one of the two is changed. But the natural habit which the name synderesis is said to represent is not changed, since what is natural must be permanent. Neither are the faculties of the soul changed. Therefore, it seems that one thing cannot result from a habit and a faculty so that both can be given the one name.
Praeterea, sensualitas synderesi opponitur, quia sicut sensualitas inclinat semper ad malum, ita synderesis semper ad bonum. Sed sensualitas est absolute potentia sine habitu. Ergo et synderesis potentiam nominat absolute. 7. Synderesis is opposed to sensuality, for, as sensuality always inclines to evil, so synderesis always inclines to good. But sensuality is simply a faculty without a habit. Therefore synderesis denotes simply a faculty.
Praeterea, ut dicitur in IV Metaphys., ratio quam significat nomen, est definitio. Ergo illud quod non est hoc modo unum quo definibile est, uno nomine nominari non potest; sed aggregatum ex subiecto et accidente, ut hoc quod dico: homo albus, definiri non potest, ut probatur VII Metaph. Et sic etiam nec aggregatum ex potentia et habitu; ergo non potest potentia cum habitu uno nomine significari. 8. As is said in the Metaphysics, the nature which the name signifies is the definition. Therefore, that which is not one in such a way that it can be defined, cannot be signified by one name. Rather, it is a combination made up of a subject and an accident. Thus, when I say “white man,” it cannot be defined, as is proved in the Metaphysics. The same is true of the combination of a power and a habit. Consequently, a power together with a habit cannot be denoted by one name.
Praeterea, superior ratio potentiam nominat absolute. Sed synderesis est idem quod superior ratio, ut videtur: ut enim dicit Augustinus in Lib. de libero arbitrio: in naturali iudicatorio, quod nos synderesim dicimus, adsunt quaedam regulae et lumina virtutum, et vera et incommutabilia. Incommutabilibus autem rationibus adhaerere, secundum Augustinum, XII de Trinitate, est superioris rationis. Ergo synderesis est potentia absolute. 9. Higher reason is the name of a power alone. But synderesis seems to be the same thing as higher reason. For, as Augustine says, in the seat of natural judgment, which we call synderesis, “there are certain rules and lights of the virtues, and things true and things unchangeable.” However, it belongs to higher reason, according to Augustine, to grasp unchangeable natures. Therefore, synderesis is simply a power.
Praeterea, secundum philosophum in II Ethic., omne quod est in anima, est potentia, aut habitus, aut passio. Ergo vel divisio philosophi est insufficiens, vel non est aliquid in anima quod sit simul potentia et habitus. 10. According to the Philosopher, everything that is in the soul is either a power, a habit, or a passion. Therefore, either the division of the Philosopher is inadequate or there is nothing in the soul which is at once a power and a habit.
Praeterea, contraria non possunt esse in eodem. Sed nobis est fomes innatus, qui semper inclinat ad malum. Ergo in nobis non potest esse aliquis habitus semper inclinans ad bonum: et ita synderesis, quae semper inclinat ad bonum, non est habitus, vel potentia cum habitu, sed potentia absolute. 11. Opposites cannot exist in the same thing. But we have an innate tendency (fomes) which always inclines to evil. Therefore, there cannot be in us a habit which always inclines to good. Thus, synderesis, which always inclines to good, is not a habit, nor an habituated power, but simply a power.
Praeterea, ad operandum sufficit potentia et habitus. Si ergo synderesis sit potentia cum habitu innato, cum synderesis inclinet ad bonum, homo sufficiens erit ex puris naturalibus ad bene operandum; quod videtur esse Pelagii haeresis. 12. A power and a habit suffice for activity. Therefore, if synderesis is a power with an innate habit, since synderesis inclines to good, man will be capable of performing good actions by reason of purely natural gifts. But this seems to be the heresy of Pelagius.
Praeterea, si synderesis sit potentia cum habitu, non erit potentia passiva, sed activa, cum habeat operationem aliquam. Sicut autem potentia passiva fundatur supra materiam, ita activa supra formam. In anima autem humana est duplex forma: una per quam cum Angelis convenit in quantum spiritus est, quae est superior; alia inferior per quam corpus vivificat in quantum anima est. Oportet igitur quod synderesis fundetur vel supra formam superiorem vel supra formam inferiorem. Si supra formam superiorem, est superior ratio; si supra inferiorem, est ratio inferior. Sed tam ratio superior quam inferior potentiam nominat absolute. Ergo synderesis absolute potentia est. 13. If synderesis is an habituated power, it will not be a passive power but an active one, since it will have some activity. Moreover, just as a passive power is rooted in matter, so an active power is rooted in a form. But in the human soul there is a twofold form: one through which it corresponds to the angels, in so far as it is a spirit, and this is the higher form; and another, the lower form, through which it gives life to the body, in so far as it is a soul. Therefore, synderesis must be based on the higher or the lower form. If on the higher, it is higher reason; if on the lower, it is lower reason. But both higher and lower reason designate simply a power. Therefore, synderesis is simply a power.
Praeterea, si synderesis nominat potentiam cum habitu, hoc non est nisi cum habitu innato; si enim cum habitu acquisito vel infuso, possibile esse synderesim amittere. Sed synderesis non nominat habitum innatum. Ergo nominat potentiam absolute. Probatio mediae. Omnis habitus qui praesupponit aliquem actum temporalem, non est habitus innatus. Sed synderesis praesupponit actum temporalem: est enim synderesis remurmurare malo, et instigare ad bonum; quod esse non potest, nisi prius actualiter cognoscatur bonum et malum. Ergo synderesis praeexigit actum temporalem. 14. If synderesis denotes an habituated power, the habit must be innate. For, if it were an acquired or an infused habit, it would be possible to lose synderesis. But synderesis does not denote an innate habit. Therefore, it signifies simply a power. We prove the minor in this way. Every habit which presupposes an act [prior] in time is not an innate habit. But synderesis presupposes an act [prior] in time, for it belongs to synderesis to speak out against evil and stir on to good. And this could not take place unless good and evil are actually known beforehand. Therefore, synderesis requires an act [prior] in time.
Praeterea, officium synderesis videtur esse iudicare; unde et naturale iudicatorium dicitur. Sed liberum arbitrium a iudicando nomen accepit. Ergo synderesis est idem quod liberum arbitrium. Sed liberum arbitrium est potentia absolute. Ergo et synderesis. 15. The function of synderesis seems to be to make judgments. Hence it is called the natural seat of judgment. But free choice takes its name from judging. Therefore, free choice is the same as synderesis. But free choice is simply a power. Therefore, so is synderesis.
Praeterea, si synderesis sit potentia cum habitu, quasi composita ex utroque; hoc non erit compositione logica qua species ex genere et differentia componitur: quia potentia non se habet ad habitum ut genus ad differentiam; sic enim quilibet habitus potentiae superinductus specialem potentiam constitueret. Ergo est compositio naturalis. Sed in naturali compositione compositum est aliud a componentibus, ut probatur VII Metaphys. Ergo synderesis nec erit potentia nec habitus, sed aliquid praeter haec; quod esse non potest. Relinquitur igitur quod sit potentia absolute. 16. If synderesis is an habituated power, a kind of composite of the two, it will not be such by logical composition, by which a species is composed of genus and difference, for a power is not related to a habit as genus to difference. For, thus, any habit added to a power would constitute a distinct power. Therefore, it is natural composition. But in natural composition the compound is different from the elements that make it up, as is proved in the Metaphysics. Therefore, synderesis is neither a power nor a habit, but something else. But this cannot be. Therefore, it remains that it is simply a power.
Sed contra. To the Contrary
Si synderesis sit potentia, oportet quod sit potentia rationalis. Rationales autem potentiae se habent ad opposita. Ergo synderesis ad opposita se habebit; quod patet esse falsum, quia semper instigat ad bonum, et nunquam ad malum. 1. If synderesis is a power, it must be a power of reason. But the powers of reason are directed to opposites. Therefore, synderesis will be directed to opposites, which is clearly false, because it always urges to good and never to evil.
Praeterea, si synderesis sit potentia, aut est eadem cum ratione, aut alia. Sed non est eadem, quia contra rationem dividitur in Glossa Ieronymi, Ezech. I prius inducta. Nec etiam potest dici quod sit alia potentia a ratione: specialis enim potentia specialem actum requirit; nullus actus autem synderesi attribuitur quem ratio facere non possit; ratio enim ipsa et instigat ad bonum, et remurmurat malo. Ergo synderesis nullo modo est potentia. 2. If synderesis is a power, it is either the same as reason, or it is different from it. But it is not the same, because it is distinguished from reason in the comment of Jerome, as noted above. And we cannot say that it is different from reason, for a special power requires a special activity. And there is no act ascribed to synderesis which cannot be performed by reason. For reason itself urges to good and speaks out against evil. Therefore, synderesis is in no way a power.
Praeterea, fomes semper inclinat ad malum, synderesis autem semper ad bonum. Ergo ista duo directe opponuntur. Sed fomes est habitus, vel per modum habitus se habens: ipsa enim concupiscentia, quae in pueris habitualis est, secundum Augustinum, in adultis vero actualis, fomes esse dicitur. Ergo et synderesis est habitus. 3. The tendency to evil (fomes) always inclines to evil, and synderesis always to good. Therefore, these two are directly opposed. But the tendency to evil is a habit, or acts like habit, for concupiscence, which, according to Augustine, is habitual in children and actual in adults, is called the tendency to evil. Therefore, synderesis, also, is a habit.
Praeterea, si synderesis est potentia, aut est cognitiva, aut motiva. Sed constat quod non est cognitiva absolute, ex hoc quod actus eius est inclinare ad bonum, et remurmurare malo. Ergo si sit potentia, erit motiva. Hoc autem apparet esse falsum, quia potentiae motivae, sufficienter dividuntur per irascibilem, concupiscibilem et rationabilem, contra quas dividitur synderesis, ut prius, argum. 1, dictum est. Ergo synderesis nullo modo est potentia. 4. If synderesis is a power, it is either cognitive or tends to action. But it is clear that it is not simply cognitive from the fact that its act is to incline us to good and warn us against evil. Therefore, if it is a power, it will tend to action. But this is obviously false, for the powers which tend to action are adequately divided into the irascible, the concupiscent, and the rational. And synderesis is distinguished from these, as has been said. Therefore, synderesis is in no way a power.
Praeterea, sicut in parte operativa animae synderesis nunquam errat, ita in parte speculativa intellectus principiorum nunquam errat. Sed intellectus principiorum est habitus quidam; ut patet per philosophum in VI Ethic. Ergo et synderesis quidam habitus est. 5. just as in the operative part of the soul synderesis never errs, so in the speculative part understanding of principles never errs. But understanding of principles is a habit, as is clear from the Philosopher. Therefore, synderesis is a habit.
Responsio. Dicendum, quod circa hanc quaestionem diversae inveniuntur opiniones. Quidam namque dicunt, quod synderesis absolute potentiam nominat, et potentiam aliam a ratione, ea superiorem. Alii vero dicunt, esse quidem synderesim potentiam absolute sed esse rationi eamdem secundum rem, sed consideratione diversam. Consideratur enim ratio ut ratio, id est in quantum ratiocinatur et confert, et sic nominatur vis rationalis; et ut natura, id est in quantum aliquid naturaliter cognoscit, et sic dicitur synderesis. Alii vero dicunt, synderesim nominare ipsam potentiam rationis cum aliquo habitu naturali. Quid autem horum verius sit, sic videri potest. There are various opinions on this question. For some say that synderesis designates simply a power, different from, and higher than, reason. Others say that it is, indeed, simply a power which is really identical with reason, but is considered as different from it. For reason is considered as reason, that is, in so far as it reasons and compares, and as such is called the reasoning power; it is also considered as a nature, that is, in so far as one knows something naturally, and thus it is called synderesis. Still others say that synderesis denotes the power of reason with a natural habit. We can see which of these is more true from what follows.
Sicut enim dicit Dionysius in VII cap. de Divin. Nomin., divina sapientia coniungit fines primorum principiis secundorum; naturae enim ordinatae ad invicem sic se habent sicut corpora contiguata, quorum inferius in sui supremo tangit superius in sui infimo: unde et natura inferior attingit in sui supremo ad aliquid quod est proprium superioris naturae, imperfecte illud participans. As Dionysius says, divine wisdom “joins the ends of nobler things with the beginnings of lesser things.” For natures which are ordained to one another are related to each other as contiguous bodies, the upper limit of the lower body being in contact with the lower limit of the higher one. Hence, at its highest point a lower nature attains to something which is proper to the higher nature and shares in it imperfectly.
Natura autem humanae animae est infra naturam angelicam, si consideremus naturalem modum cognoscendi utriusque. Naturalis enim modus cognoscendi et proprius naturae angelicae est, ut veritatem cognoscat sine inquisitione et discursu; humanae vero animae proprium est ut ad veritatem cognoscendam perveniat inquirendo, et ab uno in aliud discurrendo. Now, the nature of the human soul is lower than the angelic nature, if we consider the natural manner in which each knows. For the natural and proper manner of knowing for an angelic nature is to know truth without investigation or movement of reason. But it is proper to human nature to reach the knowledge of truth by investigating and moving from one thing to another.
Unde et anima humana, quantum ad id quod in ipsa supremum est, aliquid attingit de eo quod proprium est angelicae naturae; scilicet ut aliquorum cognitionem habeat subito et sine inquisitione quamvis etiam quantum ad hoc inveniatur Angelo inferior, in quantum in his etiam veritatem cognoscere non potest nisi a sensu accipiendo. Hence, the human soul, according to that which is highest in it, attains to that which is proper to angelic nature, so that it knows some things at once and without investigation, although it is lower than angels in this, that it can know the truth in these things only by receiving something from sense.
Invenitur autem in natura angelica duplex cognitio: speculativa, qua ipsam rerum veritatem simpliciter et absolute intuetur; et practica, tam secundum philosophos, qui ponunt Angelos motores orbium, et omnes formas naturales praeexistere in eorum praeconceptione, quam etiam secundum theologos, qui ponunt Angelos Deo in spiritualibus officiis ministrare, secundum quae ordines distinguuntur. However, there is a double knowledge in the angelic nature: one, speculative, by which angels see the truth of things simply and independently; and the other, practical. This second type of knowledge is posited both by the philosophers, who hold that the angels are the movers of the heavens and that all natural forms pre-exist in their foreknowledge, and by the theologians, who hold that the angels serve God in spiritual duties, according to which the orders of angels are distinguished.
Unde et in natura humana, in quantum attingit angelicam, oportet esse cognitionem veritatis sine inquisitione et in speculativis et in practicis; et hanc quidem cognitionem oportet esse principium totius cognitionis sequentis, sive practicae sive speculativae, cum principia oporteat esse certiora et stabiliora. Unde et hanc cognitionem oportet homini naturaliter inesse, cum haec quidem cognitio sit quasi seminarium quoddam totius cognitionis sequentis; et in omnibus naturis sequentium operationum et effectuum quaedam naturalia semina praeexistant. Hence it is that human nature, in so far as it comes in contact with the angelic nature, must both in speculative and practical matters know truth without investigation. And this knowledge must be the principle of all the knowledge which follows, whether speculative or practical, since principles must be more stable and certain. Therefore, this knowledge must be in man naturally, since it is a kind of seed plot containing in germ all the knowledge which follows, and since there pre-exist in all natures certain natural seeds of the activities and effects which follow. Furthermore, this knowledge must be habitual so that it will be ready for use when needed.
Oportet etiam hanc cognitionem habitualem esse, ut in promptu existat ea uti cum fuerit necesse. Sicut igitur humanae animae est quidam habitus naturalis quo principia speculativarum scientiarum cognoscit, quem vocamus intellectum principiorum; ita etiam in ea est quidam habitus naturalis primorum principiorum operabilium, quae sunt universalia principia iuris naturalis; qui quidem habitus ad synderesim pertinet. Hic autem habitus non in alia potentia existit, quam ratio; nisi forte ponamus intellectum esse potentiam a ratione distinctam, cuius contrarium supra, dictum est. Thus, just as there is a natural habit of the human soul through which it knows principles of the speculative sciences, which we call understanding of principles, so, too, there is in the soul a natural habit of first principles of action, which are the universal principles of the natural law. This habit pertains to synderesis. This habit exists in no other power than reason, unless, perhaps, we make understanding a power distinct from reason. But we have shown the opposite above.
Restat igitur ut hoc nomen synderesis vel nominet absolute habitum naturalem similem habitui principiorum, vel nominet ipsam potentiam rationis cum tali habitu. Et quodcumque horum fuerit, non multum differt; quia hoc non facit dubitationem nisi circa nominis significationem. Quod autem ipsa potentia rationis, prout naturaliter cognoscit, synderesis dicatur, absque omni habitu esse non potest; quia naturalis cognitio rationi convenit secundum habitum aliquem naturalem, ut de intellectu principiorum patet. It remains, therefore, that the name synderesis designates a natural habit simply, one similar to the habit of principles, or it means some power of reason with such a habit. And whatever it is makes little difference, for it raises a doubt only about the meaning of the name. However, if the power of reason itself, in so far as it knows naturally, is called synderesis, it cannot be so considered apart from every habit, for natural knowledge belongs to reason by reason of a natural habit, as is clear of the understanding of principles.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod aliqua possunt in eamdem divisionem venire secundum quod in aliquo communi conveniunt, quidquid sit illud commune, sive sit genus, sive sit accidens. In illa igitur divisione quadrimembri qua synderesis contra tres potentias distinguitur, non distinguuntur ad invicem membra divisionis secundum quod conveniunt in hoc communi quod est potentia; sed secundum quod conveniunt in hoc communi quod est principium motivum. Unde non sequitur quod synderesis sit potentia sed quod sit quoddam principium motivum. 1. Things can be parts of the same division in so far as both share in something common, whatever that common thing be, whether genus or accident. Accordingly, in the fourfold division in which synderesis is distinguished from the three powers, the members of the division are not distinguished from each other because all are powers, but because all are principles of action. Therefore, it does not follow that synderesis is a power, but that it is a principle of action.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod quando ex accidente supervenit subiecto aliquid speciale praeter id quod competit sibi ex sua natura, tunc nihil prohibet accidens dividi contra subiectum, vel subiectum cum accidente contra subiectum absolute sumptum; sicut si dividerem superficiem coloratam contra superficiem absolute sumptam. In quantum superficies absolute sumpta, est quid mathematicum; per hoc vero quod dicitur colorata, trahitur ad genus naturae. Ita etiam et ratio nominat cognitionem secundum modum humanum; sed per habitum naturalem trahitur ad alterius generis conditionem, ut ex dictis, in corp. art., patet. Unde nihil prohibet vel ipsum habitum dividi contra potentiam in divisione qua dividitur principium motivum; vel ipsam potentiam habitualem dividi contra potentiam absolute sumptam. 2. Whenever something special, over and above that which belongs to a subject by its nature, is added to it by an accident, nothing prevents the accident from being distinguished from the subject, or the subject with the accident from being distinguished from the subject taken simply, as if I were to distinguish a colored surface from surface taken simply. For, in so far as surface is taken simply, it is something mathematical, but, if it is considered as colored, it is classified as part of physical reality. So, reason, also, designates knowledge on the human level, but knowledge through a natural habit is on a generically different level, as is clear from what has been said. Consequently, there is nothing to prevent the habit itself from being distinguished from the power in the division in which motive principles are distinguished, nor to prevent the power endowed with that habit from being distinguished from the power taken simply.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod alii habitus qui insunt potentiae rationali, eodem modo movent, per illum modum qui est proprius rationi in quantum est ratio; et ideo illi habitus distingui non possunt contra rationem, sicut habitus naturalis, a quo synderesis nominatur. 3. The other habits which inhere in the power of reason cause movement in the same way, according to the manner which is proper to reason as reason. Therefore, those habits cannot be distinguished from reason as is the natural habit from which synderesis takes its name.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod synderesis non dicitur significare potentiam et habitum quasi eadem res sit potentia et habitus; sed quia uno nomine significatur ipsa potentia cum habitu cui substernitur. 4. We do not say that synderesis means a power and a habit, as though the power and the habit were one thing, but because the power together with the habit which it underlies is designated by one name.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod scribi aliquid in alio intelligitur dupliciter. Uno modo sicut in subiecto: et sic in anima non potest aliquid scribi nisi quantum ad potentiam. Vel sicut in continente: et sic nihil prohibet etiam habitui aliquid inscribi, secundum quod dicimus, singula quae ad geometriam pertinent, ipsi geometriae inscribi. 5. That something is inscribed in another is understood in two ways. In one way, as in a subject, and in this sense something can be inscribed in a soul only with reference to a power. In another way, as in a container, and in this sense there is no reason why something cannot be inscribed even in a habit. It is in this sense that we say the single elements pertinent to geometry are inscribed in geometry itself.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod ratio illa procedit quando aliquid fit unum ex duobus per modum mixtionis. Sic autem non fit unum ex habitu et potentia; sed sicut ex accidente et subiecto. 6. This difficulty proceeds correctly when one thing results from two because of a mixture. But one thing does not thus result from a habit and a power which is like the union of an accident and its subject.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod hoc quod sensualitas inclinat semper ad malum, habet ex corruptione fomitis; quae quidem corruptio inest ei per modum cuiusdam habitus. Et sic etiam synderesis ex habitu aliquo naturali habet quod semper ad bonum inclinet. 7. Sensuality always inclines to evil by reason of the corruption of the tendency to evil, and this corruption is in it after the manner of a habit. It is thus, too, that synderesis, by reason of a natural habit, always inclines to good.
Ad octavum dicendum, quod homo albus non potest definiri definitione proprie dicta, qualis est definitio substantiarum quae significat unum per se; sed potest definiri definitione quadam secundum quid, in quantum ex accidente et subiecto fit unum secundum quid. Et talis unitas sufficit ad hoc quod unum nomen possit imponi; unde etiam ibidem philosophus, dicit, quod subiectum cum accidente uno nomine nominari potest. 8. White man cannot be defined with a strict definition, such as the definition of substances, which denotes something that is essentially one, but it can be defined by a definition in a loose sense, in so far as something that is loosely one results from an accident and its subject. This kind of unity is enough to give it one name. Hence, the Philosopher says” that a subject and its accident can be indicated by one name.
Ad nonum dicendum, quod synderesis neque nominat superiorem rationem neque inferiorem, sed aliquid communiter se habens ad utramque. In ipso enim habitu universalium principiorum iuris continentur quaedam quae pertinent ad rationes aeternas, ut hoc quod est Deo esse obediendum; quaedam vero quae pertinent ad rationes inferiores, utpote secundum rationem esse vivendum. Aliter autem synderesis dicitur incommutabilibus intendere et aliter ratio superior. Dicitur enim aliquid incommutabile per incommutabilitatem naturae; et sic divina incommutabilia sunt. Et hoc modo ratio superior incommutabilibus dicitur inhaerere. Dicitur etiam aliquid immutabile per necessitatem veritatis, quamvis etiam sit circa res secundum naturam mutabiles, sicut ista veritas: omne totum maius est sua parte, incommutabilis est etiam in mutabilibus rebus. Et hoc modo synderesis incommutabilibus inhaerere dicitur. 9. Synderesis does not denote higher or lower reason, but something that refers commonly to both. For in the very habit of the universal principles of law there are contained certain things which pertain to the eternal norms of conduct, such as, that God must be obeyed; and there are some that pertain to lower norms, such as, that we must live according to reason. However, synderesis is said to refer to these unchangeable things in one way, and higher reason in another. For something is called unchangeable because of an immutability of its nature, and it is thus that divine things are unchangeable. Higher reason is said to deal with unchangeable things in this way. A thing is also said to be unchangeable because of the necessity of a truth, although the truth may concern things which according to their nature can change. Thus the truth: every whole is greater than its part, is unchangeably true even in changeable things. Synderesis is said to refer to unchangeable things in this way.
Ad decimum dicendum, quod quamvis omne quod est in anima, sit solum habitus, vel solum potentia, vel solum passio; tamen non omne quod in anima nominatur, est alterum horum tantum: ea enim quae secundum rem distincta sunt, potest intellectus coniungere, et uno nomine nominare. 10. Although everything, in the soul is only habit, or only power, or only passion, not everything which is given a name in the soul is one of these alone. For things which are distinct in reality can be joined and given one name by our understanding.
Ad undecimum dicendum, quod habitus ille inclinans ad malum innatus pertinet ad inferiorem partem animae, qua corpori coniungitur; habitus vero naturaliter inclinans ad bonum pertinet ad superiorem partem. Et ideo hi duo contrarii habitus non sunt eiusdem secundum idem. 11. The innate habit which inclines to evil belongs to the lower part of the soul, by which it is joined to the body. But the habit which naturally inclines to good belongs to the higher part of the soul. Therefore, these two opposite habits do not belong to the same thing in the same way.
Ad duodecimum dicendum, quod habitus cum potentia sufficit ad actum qui est illius habitus. Actus autem huius habitus naturalis, quem synderesis nominat, est remurmurare malo, et inclinare ad bonum: et ideo ad hunc actum homo naturaliter potest. Non autem ex hoc sequitur quod in opus meritorium peragendum homo ex puris naturalibus possit. Haec enim naturali facultati solummodo deputare, Pelagianae impietatis est. 12. A habit together with a power is enough for the act of that habit. But the act of the natural habit called synderesis is to warn against evil and to incline to good. Therefore, men are naturally capable of this act. However, it does not follow from this that a man with purely natural gifts can perform a meritorious act. To impute this to natural capability alone is the Pelagian impiety.
Ad decimumtertium dicendum, quod synderesis secundum quod potentiam nominat, magis videtur nominare potentiam passivam quam activam. Non enim distinguitur potentia activa a passiva ex hoc quod habet operationem: quia, cum cuiuslibet potentiae animae tam activae quam passivae sit operatio aliqua, quaelibet potentia animae esset activa. 13. In so far as synderesis means a power, it seems to indicate a passive rather than an active power. For an active power is not distinguished from a passive power because it has an activity, for since every power of the soul, active as well as passive, has some activity, every power would be active.
Cognoscitur autem earum distinctio per comparationem potentiae ad obiectum. Si enim obiectum se habeat ad potentiam ut patiens et transmutatum, sic erit potentia activa; si autem e converso se habeat ut agens et movens, sic est potentia passiva. Et inde est quod omnes potentiae vegetabilis animae sunt activae, quia alimentum transmutatur per animae potentiam tam in nutriendo quam in augendo et etiam quam in generando; sed potentiae sensitivae omnes sunt passivae, quia per sensibilia obiecta moventur et fiunt in actu. Circa intellectum vero aliqua potentia est activa et aliqua passiva, eo quod per intellectum fit intelligibile potentia intelligibile actu, quod est intellectus agentis; et sic intellectus agens est potentia activa. Ipsum etiam intelligibile in actu facit intellectum in potentia esse intellectum in actu; et sic intellectus possibilis est potentia passiva. Non autem ponitur quod intellectus agens sit subiectum habituum, sed magis intellectus possibilis: unde et ipsa potentia quae habitui naturali subiicitur, magis videtur esse potentia passiva quam activa. We learn the distinction between the two by comparing the power to its object. For, if the object relates to the power as that which undergoes and is changed, the power will be active. If, on the other hand, it relates as agent and mover, the power is passive. Hence it is that all the powers of the vegetative soul are active, because in nutrition, growth, and generation food is changed through the power of the soul. On the other hand, all the sensitive powers are passive, because they are set in motion and come into act through sensible objects. In our understanding, however, there is an active and a passive power, because through intellect the intelligible in potency becomes intelligible in act. This is the activity of the agent intellect, and our understanding is, thus, an active power. The thing actually intelligible also makes the understanding in potency understanding in act, and in this way the possible intellect is a passive power. The agent intellect, however, is not said to be the subject of habits. Rather, the possible intellect plays this role. Consequently, the power to which the natural habit is joined seems to be a passive rather than an active power.
Dato autem quod sit potentia activa, ulterius non recte procedit: non enim in anima sunt duae formae, sed una tantum, quae est eius essentia, quia per essentiam suam spiritus est, et per essentiam suam forma corporis est, non per aliquid superadditum. Unde ratio superior et inferior non fundantur super duas formas, sed super unam essentiam animae. Nec etiam verum est quod ratio inferior fundetur super essentiam animae secundum illam habitudinem qua est forma corporis; sic enim fundantur in essentia animae solummodo illae potentiae quae sunt organis affixae, qualis non est ratio inferior. Dato etiam quod illa potentia quam nominat synderesis, sit idem quod ratio superior vel inferior, nihil prohibet nomine rationis nominari illam potentiam absolute, nomine autem synderesis nominari eamdem cum habitu sibi inhaerente. But, granted that it is an active power, the reasoning is incorrect when it proceeds farther. For there are not two forms in the soul, but only one, which is its essence. For by its essence it is spirit, and by its essence it is the form of the body. It is not this by reason of anything else. As a result, higher and lower reason are not rooted in two forms, but in the one essence of the soul. Nor is it true that lower reason is rooted in the essence of the soul according to the relation by which it is the form of the body. For only the powers which are attached to organs are thus rooted in the essence of the soul, and lower reason does not belong to this class. Granted, too, that the power which synderesis denotes is the same thing as higher or lower reason, nothing prevents us from calling reason, the power simply, and synderesis, the same power with a habit inhering in it.
Ad decimumquartum dicendum, quod actus cognitionis non praeexigitur ad potentiam vel habitum synderesis, sed ad actum ipsius. Unde per hoc non excluditur quin habitus synderesis sit innatus. 14. An act of knowing is not prerequisite for the power or habit of synderesis, but only for its act. Hence, this does not prevent the habit of synderesis from being innate.
Ad decimumquintum dicendum, quod iudicium est duplex, scilicet in universali, et hoc pertinet ad synderesim; et in particulari operabili, et est hoc iudicium electionis, et hoc pertinet ad liberum arbitrium, unde non sequitur quod sint idem. 15. Judgment is twofold: of universal [principles], which belongs to synderesis; and of particular activities, which is the judgment of choice and belongs to free choice. Consequently, it does not follow that they are the same.
Ad decimumsextum dicendum, quod compositio physica et naturalis est multiplex. Est enim compositio mixti ex elementis; et in hac compositione loquitur philosophus quod oportet formam mixti esse aliud omnino ab ipsis elementis. Est etiam compositio formae substantialis et materiae, ex qua resultat tertium, scilicet forma speciei: quae quidem non est aliud omnino a materia et forma, sed se habet ad eas ut totum ad partes. Est etiam compositio subiecti et accidentis in qua non resultat aliquid tertium ex utroque: et talis est compositio potentiae et habitus. 16. Natural composition is manifold. One kind is the composition of a compound from elements. The Philosopher says that in this composition the form of the compound must be something entirely different from the elements. There is also the composition of a substantial form and matter, from which a third thing arises, the specific form, which is not altogether different from the matter and the form, but relates to them as a whole to its parts. There is also the composition of subject and accident, in which no third thing results from the two. The composition of a power and a habit is of this sort.

Q. 16: Synderesis


Secondly, we ask:
Can synderesis err [peccare]?

[ARTICLE II Sent., 24, 3, 3; 39, 3, ; S.T., 1, 79, 12.]

Secundo quaeritur utrum synderesis possit peccare Difficulties
Et videtur quod sic. It seems that it can, for
Quia dicitur in Glossa Ieronymi post mentionem de synderesi factam Ezech. I, 9: hanc interdum praecipitari videmus. Sed praecipitatio in operabilibus nihil est aliud quam peccatum. Ergo synderesis peccare potest. 1. After discussing synderesis, Jerome remarks: “We sometimes see this fall down.” But, in matters of action, to fall down is nothing else than error. Therefore, synderesis can err.
Praeterea, cum peccare non sit habitus, proprie loquendo, neque potentiae, sed hominis, quia actus singularium sunt; dicitur tamen aliquis habitus vel potentia peccare, secundum quod per actum alicuius habitus vel potentiae homo inducitur ad peccandum. Sed per actum synderesis homo inducitur ad peccandum quandoque: quia dicitur Ioan. XVI, vers. 2: venit hora ut omnis qui interficit vos, arbitretur se obsequium praestare Deo; et sic ad occisionem apostolorum aliqui inclinabantur ex hoc arbitrio quo iudicabant esse obsequendum Deo, quod iudicium ad synderesim certum est pertinere. Ergo synderesis peccat. 2. Although error, properly speaking, belongs not to a habit or a power, but to the man, since acts belong to individuals, a habit or a power is said to err in so far as through the act of some habit or power a man is led into error. But a man is sometimes led into error through the act of synderesis. For in the Gospel of St. John (16:2) it is said: “Yea, the hour cometh, when whosoever kills you, will think that he doth a service to God.” Thus, from the judgment that worship must be offered to God, which judgment certainly pertains to synderesis, some were disposed to kill the Apostles. Therefore, synderesis errs.
Praeterea, Hierem. III, 16, dicitur filii Mempheos constupraverunt te usque ad verticem. Vertex autem est superior pars animae, ut dicit Glossa, super illud Ps. VII, 17: in verticem ipsius iniquitas eius descendet; et sic ad synderesim pertinet, quae est supremum in anima. Ergo synderesis etiam a Daemonibus per peccatum constupratur. 3. Jeremiah (2:16) says: “The children, also, of Memphis, and of Taphnes have deflowered thee, even to the crown of your head.” But the crown is the higher part of the soul, as the Gloss on Psalms (7:17) says: “His iniquity shall come down on his crown. Thus, it belongs to synderesis, which is the highest thing in the soul. Therefore, synderesis is deflowered through sin by demons.
Praeterea, potentia rationalis se habet ad opposita, secundum philosophum. Sed synderesis est rationalis potentia. Ergo se habet ad opposita: ergo potest bonum facere, et peccare. 4. According to the Philosopher, the power of reason is related to opposites. But synderesis is a power of reason. Therefore, it is related to opposites, and so can do good and commit sin.
Praeterea, contraria nata sunt fieri circa idem. Sed virtus et peccatum sunt contraria. Cum igitur in synderesi sit actus virtutis, quia instigat ad bonum, erit etiam in ea actus peccati. 5. Opposites are naturally produced in connection with the same thing. But virtue and sin arc opposed to each other. Since, therefore, the act of virtue is in synderesis, because it urges on to good, the act of sin will also be in it.
Praeterea, sicut se habet intellectus principiorum in speculativis, ita synderesis in operativis. Sed omnis operatio rationis speculativae ex principiis primis oritur. Ergo et omnis operatio practicae rationis ex synderesi initium sumit. Ergo sicut synderesi attribuitur operatio rationis practicae quae est secundum virtutem, ita attribuetur ei operatio rationis quae est secundum peccatum. 6. Synderesis takes the place in matters of action which the understanding of principles does in speculative matters. But all the activity of our reason arises from first principles. Therefore, all the activity of practical reason has its beginning from synderesis. Therefore, just as the activity of practical reason which is virtuous is ascribed to synderesis, so the activity of reason which is sinful is also attributed to it.
Praeterea, poena respondet culpae. Sed anima tota punietur in damnatis, etiam secundum synderesim. Ergo etiam synderesis peccat. 7. The punishment corresponds to the crime. But the whole soul of the damned, including synderesis, will be punished. Therefore, synderesis also sins.
Sed contra. To the Contrary
Bonum potest esse magis purum quam malum: quia aliquod bonum est cui non admiscetur aliquid de malo; nihil autem est adeo malum, quod non habeat aliquid de bono permixtum. Sed in nobis est aliquid quod semper inclinat ad malum, scilicet fomes. Ergo et aliquid erit quod semper inclinat ad bonum. Hoc nihil videtur esse nisi synderesis. Et sic synderesis numquam peccat. 1. Good can be more pure than evil, for there is some good in which there is no admixture of evil, but there is nothing so bad that it does not have some admixture of good. But in us there is something which always inclines to evil, namely, the tendency to sin [fomes]. Therefore, there will be something which always inclines to good. But this seems to be only synderesis. Therefore, synderesis never sins.
Praeterea, quod naturaliter inest, semper inest. Sed naturale est synderesi quod remurmuret malo. Ergo ipsa nunquam in malum consentit; ergo non peccat. 2. What is naturally present is always present. But it is natural for synderesis to warn against evil. Therefore, it never consents to evil, and so never sins.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod natura in omnibus suis operibus bonum intendit, et conservationem eorum quae per operationem naturae fiunt; et ideo in omnibus naturae operibus semper principia sunt permanentia et immutabilia, et rectitudinem conservantia: principia enim manere oportet, ut dicitur in I Phys. Non enim posset esse aliqua firmitas vel certitudo in his quae sunt a principiis, nisi ipsa principia essent firmiter stabilita. In all its activities nature intends what is good and the conservation of the things which are produced through the activity of nature. Therefore, in all the works of nature, the principles are always permanent and unchangeable and preservative of right order. For, as is said in the Physics: “Principles should be permanent.” For it would not be possible to have any stability or certainty in things which flow from principles if the principles themselves were not firmly established.
Et inde est quod omnia mutabilia reducuntur ad aliquid primum immobile. Inde etiam est quod omnis speculativa cognitio derivatur ab aliqua certissima cognitione circa quam error esse non potest, quae est cognitio primorum principiorum universalium, ad quae omnia illa cognita examinantur, et ex quibus omne verum approbatur, et omne falsum respuitur. In quibus si aliquis error posset accidere nulla certitudo in tota cognitione sequenti inveniretur. Consequently, all changeable things are reduced to some first unchangeable thing. Hence, too, it is that all speculative knowledge is derived from some most certain knowledge concerning which there can be no error. This is the knowledge of the first general principles, in reference to which everything else which is known is examined and by reason of which every truth is approved and every falsehood rejected. If any error could take place in these, there would be no certainty in the whole of the knowledge which follows.
Unde et in operibus humanis, ad hoc quod aliqua rectitudo in eis esse possit, oportet esse aliquod principium permanens, quod rectitudinem immutabilem habeat, ad quod omnia humana opera examinentur; ita quod illud principium permanens omni malo resistat, et omni bono assentiat. Et haec est synderesis, cuius officium est remurmurare malo, et inclinare ad bonum; et ideo concedimus quod in ea peccatum esse non potest. As a result, for probity to be possible in human actions, there must be some permanent principle which has unwavering integrity, in reference to which all human works are examined, so that that permanent principle will resist all evil and assent to all good. This is synderesis, whose task it is to warn against evil and incline to good. Therefore, we agree that there can be no error in it.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod synderesis nunquam praecipitatur in universali. Sed in ipsa applicatione universalis principii ad aliquod particulare potest accidere error, propter falsam deductionem, vel alicuius falsi assumptionem. Et ideo non dixit quod synderesis simpliciter praecipitetur; sed quod conscientia praecipitatur, quae universale iudicium synderesis ad particularia opera applicat. 1. Synderesis never falls down in a general principle, but error can happen in some application of a general principle to some particular case because of a false deduction, or because of a false assumption. Therefore, it does not say that synderesis simply falls headlong, but that conscience does, which applies the general judgment of synderesis to particular matters.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod quando in aliquo syllogismo conclusio falsa inducitur ex duabus propositionibus quarum una est vera et alia falsa, peccatum conclusionis non attribuitur propositioni verae, sed falsae. Et ideo in illo arbitrio quo occisores apostolorum arbitrabantur se obsequium praestare Deo, peccatum non proveniebat ex universali iudicio synderesis, quod est Deo esse obsequendum, sed ex falso iudicio rationis superioris, quae arbitrabatur occisionem apostolorum esse beneplacitam Deo. Et ideo non oportet concedere quod per actum synderesis ad peccandum inclinarentur. 2. When in a syllogism one arrives at a false conclusion from two propositions, one of which is true and the other false, the mistaken conclusion is not attributed to the true, but to the false, proposition. Therefore, in that choice by which the murderers of the Apostles thought they were offering worship to God, the error did not come from the universal judgment of synderesis, that worship should be offered to God, but from the false judgment of higher reason, which considered the killing of the Apostles as pleasing to God. Therefore, we need not concede that they were inclined to sin through an act of synderesis.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod vertex sicut est suprema pars corporis, ita vertex animae dicitur suprema pars animae; unde secundum diversas distinctiones partium animae vertex animae diversimode accipitur. Distinguendo partem intellectivam a sensitiva, tota intellectiva pars vertex animae dici potest. Ulterius distinguendo intellectivam partem in rationem superiorem et inferiorem, ratio superior vertex dicetur. Ulterius distinguendo rationem in naturale iudicium et rationis deliberationem, naturale iudicium dicetur esse vertex. Cum igitur anima dicitur usque ad verticem constuprari, intelligendum est secundum quod vertex nominat superiorem rationem, non autem prout nominat synderesim. 3. As the crown of the body is the highest part of the body, so the crown of the soul is the highest part of the soul. Hence~ the crown of the soul is understood to mean different things according to the different distinctions of the parts of the soul. If we distinguish the intellectual part from the sensitive part, the whole intellective part of the soul can be called the crown. If we distinguish the intellective part further into higher and lower reason, higher reason is called the crown. If we distinguish reason further into natural judgment and deliberation of reason, natural judgment is called the crown. Therefore, when the soul is said to be deflowered even to its crown, crown is to sbe taken as denoting higher reason and not synderesis.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod potentia rationalis, quae de se se habet ad opposita, per habitum quandoque determinatur ad unum; et maxime si sit habitus completus. Synderesis autem non nominat potentiam rationalem absolute, sed perfectam per habitum certissimum. 4. The power of reason, which of itself is related to opposites, is sometimes limited to one thing through a habit, especially if the habit is completely formed. Moreover, synderesis does not mean the rational power simply, but as perfected by a completely determined habit.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod actus synderesis non est actus virtutis simpliciter, sed praeambulum ad actum virtutis, sicut naturalia sunt praeambula virtutibus gratuitis et acquisitis. 5. The act of synderesis is not strictly an act of virtue, but a kind of prelude to the act of virtue, just as natural endowments are preludes to freely given and acquired virtues.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod sicut in speculativis ratio falsa, quamvis originem sumat a principiis, non tamen a principiis primis falsitatem habet sed ex malo usu principiorum, ita etiam et in operativis accidit, unde ratio non sequitur. 6. just as in speculative matters, although a mistaken reason starts from principles, it does not derive its falsity from first principles, but from wrong use of the principles, so the same thing also happens in practical matters. Therefore, the conclusion does not follow.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod Augustinus, XII de Trinit., ostendit hoc argumentum non valere. Dicit enim, quod pro peccato solius inferioris rationis totus homo damnatur, et hoc ideo quia ad unam personam pertinet utraque ratio, cuius est proprie peccare. Et ideo poena respondet directe personae, et non potentiae, nisi in quantum potentia est personae: pro peccato enim quod homo una sui parte commisit, ipsa persona hominis poenam meretur quantum ad omnia quae in persona continentur. Unde etiam et in iudicio saeculari, pro homicidio, quod homo manu committit, non sola manus punitur. 7. Augustine shows that this argument does not hold. For he says that “the whole man is damned” for the sin of lower reason alone, and this because both reasons belong to the “one person,” to whom sinning properly belongs. Therefore, the punishment looks directly to the person and not the power, except in so far as the power belongs to the person. For the person of man deserves punishment in all the parts of his person for a sin which he commits by one part of himself. Hence, also, in a civil trial the hand alone is not punished for the murder which a man commits with his hand.

Q. 16: Synderesis


In the third article we ask:
Are there some in whom synderesis is extinguished?

[ARTICLE II Sent., 24, 2, 3, ad 5; 39, 3, 1.]
Tertio quaeritur utrum synderesis in aliquibus extinguatur Difficulties
Et videtur quod sic. It seems that there are, for
In Psalm. super illud: corrupti sunt, et abominabiles facti sunt. Dicit Glossa: corrupti, id est omni lumine rationis privati. Sed lumen synderesis est lumen rationis. Ergo synderesis in aliquibus extinguitur. 1. On Psalms (5 2:2), “They are corrupted and become abominable,” the Gloss has: “Corrupted, that is, deprived of all light of reason.” But the light of synderesis is the light of reason. Therefore, in some men synderesis is extinguished.
Praeterea, haeretici non habent aliquem remorsum de sua infidelitate quandoque; infidelitas autem peccatum est. Cum igitur officium synderesis sit remurmurare peccato, videtur quod ipsa in eis sit extincta. 2. Heretics sometimes have no remorse of conscience for their infidelity. But infidelity is a sin. Accordingly, since the function of synderesis is to protest against sin, it seems that it is extinguished in them.
Praeterea, secundum philosophum in VII Ethic. ille qui habet habitum vitii est corruptus circa principia operabilium. Sed principia operabilium pertinent ad synderesim. Ergo in omni habente habitum vitii alicuius synderesis extincta est. 3. According to the Philosopher, one who has a habit of vice loses the principles of action. But principles of action belong to synderesis. Therefore, in everyone who has the habit of some vice synderesis is extinguished.
Praeterea, Proverb. XVIII, 3: impius, cum in profundum peccatorum venerit, contemnet: quod cum accidit, synderesis suum locum non tenet, ut dicit Hieronymus in Glossa Ezech. I, 9. Ergo synderesis in quibusdam extinguitur. 4. Proverbs (18:3) says: “The wicked man when he is come into the depth of sins, contemns.” When this happens, “synderesis does not hold its ground,” as Jerome says. Therefore, in some men it is extinguished.
Praeterea, in beatis amovetur omnis inclinatio ad malum. Ergo in damnatis omnis inclinatio ad bonum e contrario removetur; sed synderesis inclinat ad bonum, igitur in eis ipsa extinguitur. 5. Every inclination to evil is taken away from the blessed. Conversely, therefore, every inclination to good is taken away from the damned. But synderesis inclines to good. Therefore, it is extinguished in them.
Sed contra, To the Contrary
Isaiae ult.: vermis eorum non morietur; et exponitur secundum Augustinum de verme conscientiae qui est conscientiae remorsus; sed remorsus conscientiae causatur ex hoc quod synderesis remurmurat malo. Ergo synderesis non extinguitur. l. Isaiah (66:24) says: “Their worm shall not die.” According to Augustine this refers to the worm of conscience, which is remorse of conscience. But remorse of conscience is caused by synderesis protesting against evil. Therefore, synderesis is not destroyed.
Praeterea, in peccatis profundissimum locum tenet desperatio, quae est peccatum in spiritum sanctum. Sed etiam in desperatis synderesis non extinguitur, ut patet per Hieronymum in Glossa super Ezech., qui dicit, quod synderesis nec etiam in Cain extincta est, quem tamen constat desperatum fuisse per hoc quod dixit Genes., IV, 13: maior est iniquitas mea, quam ut veniam merear. Ergo idem quod prius. 2. Despair, which is a sin against the Holy Spirit, is in the lowest depths of sin. But, even in those who despair, “synderesis is not extinguished,” as is plain from Jerome, who says of synderesis: “Not even in Cain was it suppressed.” Nevertheless, it is clear that he despaired, for he said: “My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon” (Genesis 4:13). We conclude as before.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum quod synderesim extingui, potest intelligi dupliciter. Uno modo quantum ad ipsum lumen habituale; et sic impossibile est quod synderesis extinguatur: sicut impossibile est quod anima hominis privetur lumine intellectus agentis, per quod principia prima et in speculativis et in operativis nobis innotescunt; hoc enim lumen est de natura ipsius animae, cum per hoc sit intellectualis; de quo dicitur in Psalm.: signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui, domine, quod scilicet nobis bona ostendit; hoc enim est responsio ad id quod dixerat: multi dicunt: quis ostendit nobis bona? That synderesis is extinguished can be understood in two ways. In one, it is considered in so far as it is an habitual light, and in this sense it is impossible for synderesis to be extinguished, just as it is impossible for the soul of a man to be deprived of the light of the agent intellect, through which first principles in speculative and practical matters are made known to us. For this light belongs to the nature of the soul, since by reason of ‘this the soul is intellectual. In Psalms (4:7) it is said of this: “The light of your countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us,” so that it shows good things to us. For this was the answer to the question: “Many say: Who shows us good things?” (Psalms 4:6).
Alio modo quantum ad actum; et hoc dupliciter. Uno modo ut dicatur actus synderesis extingui, in quantum actus synderesis omnino intercipitur. Et sic contingit actum synderesis extingui in non habentibus usum liberi arbitrii, neque aliquem usum rationis: et hoc propter impedimentum proveniens ex laesione organorum corporalium, a quibus ratio nostra accipere indiget. Alio modo per hoc quod actus synderesis ad contrarium deflectatur. Et sic impossibile est in universali iudicium synderesis extingui; in particulari autem operabili extinguitur quandocumque peccatur in eligendo. Vis enim concupiscentiae aut alterius passionis ita rationem absorbet, ut in eligendo universale synderesis iudicium ad particularem actum non applicetur. Sed hoc non est extingui synderesim simpliciter, sed secundum quid tantum. Unde simpliciter loquendo, concedimus quod synderesis nunquam extinguitur. In the other way, in so far as it is an act, it can be extinguished in two ways. In one, the act of synderesis is said to be extinguished inasmuch as it is completely interfered with. This happens in those who do not have the use of free choice or of reason because of an impediment due to an injury to the bodily organs from which our reason needs help. In the other way, the act of synderesis is deflected toward the contrary of synderesis. It is impossible for the universal judgment of synderesis to be destroyed in this way, but in a particular activity it is destroyed whenever one sins in choice. For the force of concupiscence, or of another passion, so absorbs reason that in choice the universal judgment of synderesis is not applied to the particular act. But this does not destroy synderesis altogether, but only in some respect, Hence, absolutely speaking, we concede that synderesis is never destroyed.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod dicuntur aliqui peccatores omni lumine rationis privati quantum ad actum electionis, in qua ratio errat, propter hoc quod absorbetur ab aliqua passione, vel deprimitur ab aliquo habitu, ut lumen synderesis non sequatur in eligendo. 1. Some sinners are said to be deprived of all light of reason in the act of choice, in which reason errs because it is engrossed by some passion, or oppressed by some habit so that it does not follow the light of synderesis in making its choice.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod in haereticis non remurmurat conscientia eorum infidelitati, propter errorem qui est in ratione eorum superiori, ex quo contingit ut synderesis iudicium huic particulari non applicetur. In universali enim iudicium synderesis in eis manet: iudicant enim malum esse non credere his quae a Deo dicuntur; in hoc autem errant secundum rationem superiorem, quod non credunt hoc esse a Deo dictum. 2. In heretics their conscience does not reprove their infidelity by reason of the error in their higher reason, because of which the judgment of synderesis is not applied to this particular case. For the universal judgment of synderesis remains in them, since they judge it to be evil not to believe what God has said. But they err in higher reason, because they do not believe that God has said this.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod ille qui habet habitum alicuius vitii, est quidem corruptus circa principia operabilium, non in universali, sed in particulari operabili; in quantum scilicet per habitum vitii deprimitur ratio, ne universale iudicium ad operabile particulare applicet eligendo. Et per hunc etiam modum impius in profundum peccatorum veniens contemnere dicitur. 3 One who has the habit of some vice does indeed lose the principles of activity, not as universal principles, but in their application to some particular case, in so far as through some vicious habit his reason is stifled in order to keep it from applying the universal judgment to its particular activity when making its choice. In this way, also, the wicked man who falls into the depths of sin is said to have contempt.
Unde patet solutio ad quartum. 4. The solution to the fourth difficulty is clear from the answer to the third.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod malum est praeter naturam, et ideo nihil prohibet inclinationem ad malum a beatis removeri. Sed bonum et inclinatio ad bonum consequitur ipsam naturam; unde manente natura, non potest inclinatio ad bonum tolli etiam a damnatis. 5. Evil is not part of a nature; therefore, there is nothing to prevent the removal of the inclination to evil from the blessed. But good and the inclination thereto result from the nature itself; hence, as long as the nature remains, the inclination to good cannot be taken even from the damned.