QUESTION 23: HOW THE PASSIONS DIFFER FROM ONE ANOTHER
We must now consider how the passions differ from one another: and under
this head there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether the passions of the concupiscible part are different from
those of the irascible part?
(2) Whether the contrariety of passions in the irascible part is based
on the contrariety of good and evil?
(3) Whether there is any passion that has no contrary?
(4) Whether, in the same power, there are any passions, differing in
species, but not contrary to one another?
Article 1: Whether the passions of the concupiscible part are different from those of the irascible part?
Objection 1: It would seem that the same passions are in the irascible and
concupiscible parts. For the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 5) that the
passions of the soul are those emotions "which are followed by joy or
sorrow." But joy and sorrow are in the concupiscible part. Therefore all
the passions are in the concupiscible part, and not some in the
irascible, others in the concupiscible part.
Objection 2: Further, on the words of Mt. 13:33, "The kingdom of heaven is
like to leaven," etc., Jerome's gloss says: "We should have prudence in
the reason; hatred of vice in the irascible faculty; desire of virtue, in
the concupiscible part." But hatred is in the concupiscible faculty, as
also is love, of which it is the contrary, as is stated in Topic. ii, 7.
Therefore the same passion is in the concupiscible and irascible
Objection 3: Further, passions and actions differ specifically according to
their objects. But the objects of the irascible and concupiscible
passions are the same, viz. good and evil. Therefore the same passions
are in the irascible and concupiscible faculties.
On the contrary, The acts of the different powers differ in species; for
instance, to see, and to hear. But the irascible and the concupiscible
are two powers into which the sensitive appetite is divided, as stated in
the FP, Question , Article . Therefore, since the passions are movements of the
sensitive appetite, as stated above (Question , Article ), the passions of the
irascible faculty are specifically distinct from those of the
I answer that, The passions of the irascible part differ in species from
those of the concupiscible faculty. For since different powers have
different objects, as stated in the FP, Question , Article , the passions of
different powers must of necessity be referred to different objects. Much
more, therefore, do the passions of different faculties differ in
species; since a greater difference in the object is required to
diversify the species of the powers, than to diversify the species of
passions or actions. For just as in the physical order, diversity of
genus arises from diversity in the potentiality of matter, while
diversity of species arises from diversity of form in the same matter; so
in the acts of the soul, those that belong to different powers, differ
not only in species but also in genus, while acts and passions regarding
different specific objects, included under the one common object of a
single power, differ as the species of that genus.
In order, therefore, to discern which passions are in the irascible, and
which in the concupiscible, we must take the object of each of these
powers. For we have stated in the FP, Question , Article , that the object of the
concupiscible power is sensible good or evil, simply apprehended as such,
which causes pleasure or pain. But, since the soul must, of necessity,
experience difficulty or struggle at times, in acquiring some such good,
or in avoiding some such evil, in so far as such good or evil is more
than our animal nature can easily acquire or avoid; therefore this very
good or evil, inasmuch as it is of an arduous or difficult nature, is the
object of the irascible faculty. Therefore whatever passions regard good
or evil absolutely, belong to the concupiscible power; for instance, joy,
sorrow, love, hatred, and such like: whereas those passions which regard
good or bad as arduous, through being difficult to obtain or avoid,
belong to the irascible faculty; such are daring, fear, hope and the like.
Reply to Objection 1: As stated in the FP, Question , Article , the irascible faculty is
bestowed on animals, in order to remove the obstacles that hinder the
concupiscible power from tending towards its object, either by making
some good difficult to obtain, or by making some evil hard to avoid. The
result is that all the irascible passions terminate in the concupiscible
passions: and thus it is that even the passions which are in the
irascible faculty are followed by joy and sadness which are in the
Reply to Objection 2: Jerome ascribes hatred of vice to the irascible faculty,
not by reason of hatred, which is properly a concupiscible passion; but
on account of the struggle, which belongs to the irascible power.
Reply to Objection 3: Good, inasmuch as it is delightful, moves the concupiscible
power. But if it prove difficult to obtain, from this very fact it has a
certain contrariety to the concupiscible power: and hence the need of
another power tending to that good. The same applies to evil. And this
power is the irascible faculty. Consequently the concupiscible passions
are specifically different from the irascible passions.
Article 2: Whether the contrariety of the irascible passions is based on the contrariety of good and evil?
Objection 1: It would seem that the contrariety of the irascible passions is
based on no other contrariety than that of good and evil. For the
irascible passions are ordained to the concupiscible passions, as stated
above (Article , ad 1). But the contrariety of the concupiscible passions is
no other than that of good and evil; take, for instance, love and hatred,
joy and sorrow. Therefore the same applies to the irascible passions.
Objection 2: Further, passions differ according to their objects; just as
movements differ according to their termini. But there is no other
contrariety of movements, except that of the termini, as is stated in
Phys. v, 3. Therefore there is no other contrariety of passions, save
that of the objects. Now the object of the appetite is good or evil.
Therefore in no appetitive power can there be contrariety of passions
other than that of good and evil.
Objection 3: Further, "every passion of the soul is by way of approach and
withdrawal," as Avicenna declares in his sixth book of Physics. Now
approach results from the apprehension of good; withdrawal, from the
apprehension of evil: since just as "good is what all desire" (Ethic. i,
1), so evil is what all shun. Therefore, in the passions of the soul,
there can be no other contrariety than that of good and evil.
On the contrary, Fear and daring are contrary to one another, as stated
in Ethic. iii, 7. But fear and daring do not differ in respect of good
and evil: because each regards some kind of evil. Therefore not every
contrariety of the irascible passions is that of good and evil.
I answer that, Passion is a kind of movement, as stated in Phys. iii, 3.
Therefore contrariety of passions is based on contrariety of movements or
changes. Now there is a twofold contrariety in changes and movements, as
stated in Phys. v, 5. One is according to approach and withdrawal in
respect of the same term: and this contrariety belongs properly to
changes, i.e. to generation, which is a change "to being," and to
corruption, which is a change "from being." The other contrariety is
according to opposition of termini, and belongs properly to movements:
thus whitening, which is movement from black to white, is contrary to
blackening, which is movement from white to black.
Accordingly there is a twofold contrariety in the passions of the soul:
one, according to contrariety of objects, i.e. of good and evil; the
other, according to approach and withdrawal in respect of the same term.
In the concupiscible passions the former contrariety alone is to be
found; viz. that which is based on the objects: whereas in the irascible
passions, we find both forms of contrariety. The reason of this is that
the object of the concupiscible faculty, as stated above (Article ), is
sensible good or evil considered absolutely. Now good, as such, cannot
be a term wherefrom, but only a term whereto, since nothing shuns good as
such; on the contrary, all things desire it. In like manner, nothing
desires evil, as such; but all things shun it: wherefore evil cannot have
the aspect of a term whereto, but only of a term wherefrom. Accordingly
every concupiscible passion in respect of good, tends to it, as love,
desire and joy; while every concupiscible passion in respect of evil,
tends from it, as hatred, avoidance or dislike, and sorrow. Wherefore, in
the concupiscible passions, there can be no contrariety of approach and
withdrawal in respect of the same object.
On the other hand, the object of the irascible faculty is sensible good
or evil, considered not absolutely, but under the aspect of difficulty or
arduousness. Now the good which is difficult or arduous, considered as
good, is of such a nature as to produce in us a tendency to it, which
tendency pertains to the passion of "hope"; whereas, considered as
arduous or difficult, it makes us turn from it; and this pertains to the
passion of "despair." In like manner the arduous evil, considered as an
evil, has the aspect of something to be shunned; and this belongs to the
passion of "fear": but it also contains a reason for tending to it, as
attempting something arduous, whereby to escape being subject to evil;
and this tendency is called "daring." Consequently, in the irascible
passions we find contrariety in respect of good and evil (as between hope
and fear): and also contrariety according to approach and withdrawal in
respect of the same term (as between daring and fear).
From what has been said the replies to the objections are evident.
Article 3: Whether any passion of the soul has no contrariety?
Objection 1: It would seem that every passion of the soul has a contrary. For
every passion of the soul is either in the irascible or in the
concupiscible faculty, as stated above (Article ). But both kinds of passion
have their respective modes of contrariety. Therefore every passion of
the soul has its contrary.
Objection 2: Further, every passion of the soul has either good or evil for
its object; for these are the common objects of the appetitive part. But
a passion having good for its object, is contrary to a passion having
evil for its object. Therefore every passion has a contrary.
Objection 3: Further, every passion of the soul is in respect of approach or
withdrawal, as stated above (Article ). But every approach has a
corresponding contrary withdrawal, and vice versa. Therefore every
passion of the soul has a contrary.
On the contrary, Anger is a passion of the soul. But no passion is set
down as being contrary to anger, as stated in Ethic. iv, 5. Therefore
not every passion has a contrary.
I answer that, The passion of anger is peculiar in this, that it cannot
have a contrary, either according to approach and withdrawal, or
according to the contrariety of good and evil. For anger is caused by a
difficult evil already present: and when such an evil is present, the
appetite must needs either succumb, so that it does not go beyond the
limits of "sadness," which is a concupiscible passion; or else it has a
movement of attack on the hurtful evil, which movement is that of
"anger." But it cannot have a movement of withdrawal: because the evil is
supposed to be already present or past. Thus no passion is contrary to
anger according to contrariety of approach and withdrawal.
In like manner neither can there be according to contrariety of good and
evil. Because the opposite of present evil is good obtained, which can be
no longer have the aspect of arduousness or difficulty. Nor, when once
good is obtained, does there remain any other movement, except the
appetite's repose in the good obtained; which repose belongs to joy,
which is a passion of the concupiscible faculty.
Accordingly no movement of the soul can be contrary to the movement of
anger, and nothing else than cessation from its movement is contrary
thereto; thus the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 3) that "calm is contrary
to anger," by opposition not of contrariety but of negation or privation.
From what has been said the replies to the objections are evident.
Article 4: Whether in the same power, there are any passions, specifically different, but not contrary to one another?
Objection 1: It would seem that there cannot be, in the same power,
specifically different passions that are not contrary to one another. For
the passions of the soul differ according to their objects. Now the
objects of the soul's passions are good and evil; and on this distinction
is based the contrariety of the passions. Therefore no passions of the
same power, that are not contrary to one another, differ specifically.
Objection 2: Further, difference of species implies a difference of form. But
every difference of form is in respect of some contrariety, as stated in
Metaph. x, 8. Therefore passions of the same power, that are not contrary
to one another, do not differ specifically.
Objection 3: Further, since every passion of the soul consists in approach or
withdrawal in respect of good or evil, it seems that every difference in
the passions of the soul must needs arise from the difference of good and
evil; or from the difference of approach and withdrawal; or from degrees
in approach or withdrawal. Now the first two differences cause
contrariety in the passions of the soul, as stated above (Article ): whereas
the third difference does not diversify the species; else the species of
the soul's passions would be infinite. Therefore it is not possible for
passions of the same power to differ in species, without being contrary
to one another.
On the contrary, Love and joy differ in species, and are in the
concupiscible power; and yet they are not contrary to one another;
rather, in fact, one causes the other. Therefore in the same power there
are passions that differ in species without being contrary to one another.
I answer that, Passions differ in accordance with their active causes,
which, in the case of the passions of the soul, are their objects. Now,
the difference in active causes may be considered in two ways: first,
from the point of view of their species or nature, as fire differs from
water; secondly, from the point of view of the difference in their active
power. In the passions of the soul we can treat the difference of their
active or motive causes in respect of their motive power, as if they were
natural agents. For every mover, in a fashion, either draws the patient
to itself, or repels it from itself. Now in drawing it to itself, it does
three things in the patient. Because, in the first place, it gives the
patient an inclination or aptitude to tend to the mover: thus a light
body, which is above, bestows lightness on the body generated, so that it
has an inclination or aptitude to be above. Secondly, if the generated
body be outside its proper place, the mover gives it movement towards
that place. Thirdly, it makes it to rest, when it shall have come to its
proper place: since to the same cause are due, both rest in a place, and
the movement to that place. The same applies to the cause of repulsion.
Now, in the movements of the appetitive faculty, good has, as it were, a
force of attraction, while evil has a force of repulsion. In the first
place, therefore, good causes, in the appetitive power, a certain
inclination, aptitude or connaturalness in respect of good: and this
belongs to the passion of "love": the corresponding contrary of which is
"hatred" in respect of evil. Secondly, if the good be not yet possessed,
it causes in the appetite a movement towards the attainment of the good
beloved: and this belongs to the passion of "desire" or "concupiscence":
and contrary to it, in respect of evil, is the passion of "aversion" or
"dislike." Thirdly, when the good is obtained, it causes the appetite to
rest, as it were, in the good obtained: and this belongs to the passion
of "delight" or "joy"; the contrary of which, in respect of evil, is
"sorrow" or "sadness."
On the other hand, in the irascible passions, the aptitude, or
inclination to seek good, or to shun evil, is presupposed as arising from
the concupiscible faculty, which regards good or evil absolutely. And in
respect of good not yet obtained, we have "hope" and "despair." In
respect of evil not yet present we have "fear" and "daring." But in
respect of good obtained there is no irascible passion: because it is no
longer considered in the light of something arduous, as stated above
(Article ). But evil already present gives rise to the passion of "anger."
Accordingly it is clear that in the concupiscible faculty there are
three couples of passions; viz. love and hatred, desire and aversion, joy
and sadness. In like manner there are three groups in the irascible
faculty; viz. hope and despair, fear and daring, and anger which has not
Consequently there are altogether eleven passions differing
specifically; six in the concupiscible faculty, and five in the
irascible; and under these all the passions of the soul are contained.
From this the replies to the objections are evident.