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Summa Theologica
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Whether virtue is adequately divided into moral and intellectual?

Objection 1: It would seem that virtue is not adequately divided into moral and intellectual. For prudence seems to be a mean between moral and intellectual virtue, since it is reckoned among the intellectual virtues (Ethic. vi, 3,5); and again is placed by all among the four cardinal virtues, which are moral virtues, as we shall show further on (Q[61], A[1]). Therefore virtue is not adequately divided into intellectual and moral, as though there were no mean between them.

Objection 2: Further, contingency, perseverance, and patience are not reckoned to be intellectual virtues. Yet neither are they moral virtues; since they do not reduce the passions to a mean, and are consistent with an abundance of passion. Therefore virtue is not adequately divided into intellectual and moral.

Objection 3: Further, faith, hope, and charity are virtues. Yet they are not intellectual virtues: for there are only five of these, viz. science, wisdom, understanding, prudence, and art, as stated above (Q[57], AA[2] ,3,5). Neither are they moral virtues; since they are not about the passions, which are the chief concern of moral virtue. Therefore virtue is not adequately divided into intellectual and moral.

On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 1) that "virtue is twofold, intellectual and moral."

I answer that, Human virtue is a habit perfecting man in view of his doing good deeds. Now, in man there are but two principles of human actions, viz. the intellect or reason and the appetite: for these are the two principles of movement in man as stated in De Anima iii, text. 48. Consequently every human virtue must needs be a perfection of one of these principles. Accordingly if it perfects man's speculative or practical intellect in order that his deed may be good, it will be an intellectual virtue: whereas if it perfects his appetite, it will be a moral virtue. It follows therefore that every human virtue is either intellectual or moral.

Reply to Objection 1: Prudence is essentially an intellectual virtue. But considered on the part of its matter, it has something in common with the moral virtues: for it is right reason about things to be done, as stated above (Q[57], A[4]). It is in this sense that it is reckoned with the moral virtues.

Reply to Objection 2: Contingency and perseverance are not perfections of the sensitive appetite. This is clear from the fact that passions abound in the continent and persevering man, which would not be the case if his sensitive appetite were perfected by a habit making it conformable to reason. Contingency and perseverance are, however, perfections of the rational faculty, and withstand the passions lest reason be led astray. But they fall short of being virtues: since intellectual virtue, which makes reason to hold itself well in respect of moral matters, presupposes a right appetite of the end, so that it may hold itself aright in respect of principles, i.e. the ends, on which it builds its argument: and this is wanting in the continent and persevering man. Nor again can an action proceeding from two principles be perfect, unless each principle be perfected by the habit corresponding to that operation: thus, however perfect be the principal agent employing an instrument, it will produce an imperfect effect, if the instrument be not well disposed also. Hence if the sensitive faculty, which is moved by the rational faculty, is not perfect; however perfect the rational faculty may be, the resulting action will be imperfect: and consequently the principle of that action will not be a virtue. And for this reason, contingency, desisting from pleasures, and perseverance in the midst of pains, are not virtues, but something less than a virtue, as the Philosopher maintains (Ethic. vii, 1,9).

Reply to Objection 3: Faith, hope, and charity are superhuman virtues: for they are virtues of man as sharing in the grace of God.

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