QUESTION 26: OF THE PASSIONS OF THE SOUL IN PARTICULAR: AND FIRST, OF LOVE
We have now to consider the soul's passions in particular, and (1) the
passions of the concupiscible faculty; (2) the passions of the irascible
The first of these considerations will be threefold: since we shall
consider (1) Love and hatred; (2) Desire and aversion; (3) Pleasure and
Concerning love, three points must be considered: (1) Love itself; (2)
The cause of love; (3) The effects of love. Under the first head there
are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether love is in the concupiscible power?
(2) Whether love is a passion?
(3) Whether love is the same as dilection?
(4) Whether love is properly divided into love of friendship, and love
Article 1: Whether love is in the concupiscible power?
Objection 1: It would seem that love is not in the concupiscible power. For it
is written (Wis. 8:2): "Her," namely wisdom, "have I loved, and have
sought her out from my youth." But the concupiscible power, being a part
of the sensitive appetite, cannot tend to wisdom, which is not
apprehended by the senses. Therefore love is not in the concupiscible
Objection 2: Further, love seems to be identified with every passion: for
Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 7): "Love, yearning for the object
beloved, is desire; having and enjoying it, is joy; fleeing what is
contrary to it, is fear; and feeling what is contrary to it, is sadness."
But not every passion is in the concupiscible power; indeed, fear, which
is mentioned in this passage, is in the irascible power. Therefore we
must not say absolutely that love is in the concupiscible power.
Objection 3: Further, Dionysius (Div. Nom. iv) mentions a "natural love." But
natural love seems to pertain rather to the natural powers, which belong
to the vegetal soul. Therefore love is not simply in the concupiscible
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Topic. ii, 7) that "love is in
the concupiscible power."
I answer that, Love is something pertaining to the appetite; since good
is the object of both. Wherefore love differs according to the difference
of appetites. For there is an appetite which arises from an apprehension
existing, not in the subject of the appetite, but in some other: and this
is called the "natural appetite." Because natural things seek what is
suitable to them according to their nature, by reason of an apprehension
which is not in them, but in the Author of their nature, as stated in the
FP, Question , Article , ad 2; FP, Question , Article , ad 1,3. And there is another
appetite arising from an apprehension in the subject of the appetite, but
from necessity and not from free-will. Such is, in irrational animals,
the "sensitive appetite," which, however, in man, has a certain share of
liberty, in so far as it obeys reason. Again, there is another appetite
following freely from an apprehension in the subject of the appetite.
And this is the rational or intellectual appetite, which is called the
Now in each of these appetites, the name "love" is given to the
principle movement towards the end loved. In the natural appetite the
principle of this movement is the appetitive subject's connaturalness
with the thing to which it tends, and may be called "natural love": thus
the connaturalness of a heavy body for the centre, is by reason of its
weight and may be called "natural love." In like manner the aptitude of
the sensitive appetite or of the will to some good, that is to say, its
very complacency in good is called "sensitive love," or "intellectual" or
"rational love." So that sensitive love is in the sensitive appetite,
just as intellectual love is in the intellectual appetite. And it belongs
to the concupiscible power, because it regards good absolutely, and not
under the aspect of difficulty, which is the object of the irascible
Reply to Objection 1: The words quoted refer to intellectual or rational love.
Reply to Objection 2: Love is spoken of as being fear, joy, desire and sadness,
not essentially but causally.
Reply to Objection 3: Natural love is not only in the powers of the vegetal soul,
but in all the soul's powers, and also in all the parts of the body, and
universally in all things: because, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv),
"Beauty and goodness are beloved by all things"; since each single thing
has a connaturalness with that which is naturally suitable to it.
Article 2: Whether love is a passion?
Objection 1: It would seem that love is not a passion. For no power is a
passion. But every love is a power, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv).
Therefore love is not a passion.
Objection 2: Further, love is a kind of union or bond, as Augustine says (De
Trin. viii, 10). But a union or bond is not a passion, but rather a
relation. Therefore love is not a passion.
Objection 3: Further, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 22) that passion is a
movement. But love does not imply the movement of the appetite; for this
is desire, of which movement love is the principle. Therefore love is not
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. viii, 5) that "love is a
I answer that, Passion is the effect of the agent on the patient. Now a
natural agent produces a twofold effect on the patient: for in the first
place it gives it the form; and secondly it gives it the movement that
results from the form. Thus the generator gives the generated body both
weight and the movement resulting from weight: so that weight, from being
the principle of movement to the place, which is connatural to that body
by reason of its weight, can, in a way, be called "natural love." In the
same way the appetible object gives the appetite, first, a certain
adaptation to itself, which consists in complacency in that object; and
from this follows movement towards the appetible object. For "the
appetitive movement is circular," as stated in De Anima iii, 10; because
the appetible object moves the appetite, introducing itself, as it were,
into its intention; while the appetite moves towards the realization of
the appetible object, so that the movement ends where it began.
Accordingly, the first change wrought in the appetite by the appetible
object is called "love," and is nothing else than complacency in that
object; and from this complacency results a movement towards that same
object, and this movement is "desire"; and lastly, there is rest which is
"joy." Since, therefore, love consists in a change wrought in the
appetite by the appetible object, it is evident that love is a passion:
properly so called, according as it is in the concupiscible faculty; in a
wider and extended sense, according as it is in the will.
Reply to Objection 1: Since power denotes a principle of movement or action,
Dionysius calls love a power, in so far as it is a principle of movement
in the appetite.
Reply to Objection 2: Union belongs to love in so far as by reason of the
complacency of the appetite, the lover stands in relation to that which
he loves, as though it were himself or part of himself. Hence it is clear
that love is not the very relation of union, but that union is a result
of love. Hence, too, Dionysius says that "love is a unitive force" (Div.
Nom. iv), and the Philosopher says (Polit. ii, 1) that union is the work
Reply to Objection 3: Although love does not denote the movement of the appetite
in tending towards the appetible object, yet it denotes that movement
whereby the appetite is changed by the appetible object, so as to have
Article 3: Whether love is the same as dilection?
Objection 1: It would seem that love is the same as dilection. For Dionysius
says (Div. Nom. iv) that love is to dilection, "as four is to twice two,
and as a rectilinear figure is to one composed of straight lines." But
these have the same meaning. Therefore love and dilection denote the same
Objection 2: Further, the movements of the appetite differ by reason of their
objects. But the objects of dilection and love are the same. Therefore
these are the same.
Objection 3: Further, if dilection and love differ, it seems that it is
chiefly in the fact that "dilection refers to good things, love to evil
things, as some have maintained," according to Augustine (De Civ. Dei
xiv, 7). But they do not differ thus; because as Augustine says (De Civ.
Dei xiv, 7) the holy Scripture uses both words in reference to either
good or bad things. Therefore love and dilection do not differ: thus
indeed Augustine concludes (De Civ. Dei xiv, 7) that "it is not one thing
to speak of love, and another to speak of dilection."
On the contrary, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that "some holy men have
held that love means something more Godlike than dilection does."
I answer that, We find four words referring in a way, to the same thing:
viz. love, dilection, charity and friendship. They differ, however, in
this, that "friendship," according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 5),
"is like a habit," whereas "love" and "dilection" are expressed by way of
act or passion; and "charity" can be taken either way.
Moreover these three express act in different ways. For love has a wider
signification than the others, since every dilection or charity is love,
but not vice versa. Because dilection implies, in addition to love, a
choice [electionem] made beforehand, as the very word denotes: and
therefore dilection is not in the concupiscible power, but only in the
will, and only in the rational nature. Charity denotes, in addition to
love, a certain perfection of love, in so far as that which is loved is
held to be of great price, as the word itself implies [*Referring to the
Latin "carus" (dear)].
Reply to Objection 1: Dionysius is speaking of love and dilection, in so far as
they are in the intellectual appetite; for thus love is the same as
Reply to Objection 2: The object of love is more general than the object of
dilection: because love extends to more than dilection does, as stated
Reply to Objection 3: Love and dilection differ, not in respect of good and evil,
but as stated. Yet in the intellectual faculty love is the same as
dilection. And it is in this sense that Augustine speaks of love in the
passage quoted: hence a little further on he adds that "a right will is
well-directed love, and a wrong will is ill-directed love." However, the
fact that love, which is concupiscible passion, inclines many to evil, is
the reason why some assigned the difference spoken of.
Reply to Objection 4: The reason why some held that, even when applied to the
will itself, the word "love" signifies something more Godlike than
"dilection," was because love denotes a passion, especially in so far as
it is in the sensitive appetite; whereas dilection presupposes the
judgment of reason. But it is possible for man to tend to God by love,
being as it were passively drawn by Him, more than he can possibly be
drawn thereto by his reason, which pertains to the nature of dilection,
as stated above. And consequently love is more Godlike than dilection.
Article 4: Whether love is properly divided into love of friendship and love of concupiscence?
Objection 1: It would seem that love is not properly divided into love of
friendship and love of concupiscence. For "love is a passion, while
friendship is a habit," according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 5).
But habit cannot be the member of a division of passions. Therefore love
is not properly divided into love of concupiscence and love of friendship.
Objection 2: Further, a thing cannot be divided by another member of the same
division; for man is not a member of the same division as "animal." But
concupiscence is a member of the same division as love, as a passion
distinct from love. Therefore concupiscence is not a division of love.
Objection 3: Further, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 3) friendship
is threefold, that which is founded on "usefulness," that which is
founded on "pleasure," and that which is founded on "goodness." But
useful and pleasant friendship are not without concupiscence. Therefore
concupiscence should not be contrasted with friendship.
On the contrary, We are said to love certain things, because we desire
them: thus "a man is said to love wine, on account of its sweetness which
he desires"; as stated in Topic. ii, 3. But we have no friendship for
wine and suchlike things, as stated in Ethic. viii, 2. Therefore love of
concupiscence is distinct from love of friendship.
I answer that, As the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 4), "to love is to
wish good to someone." Hence the movement of love has a twofold tendency:
towards the good which a man wishes to someone (to himself or to another)
and towards that to which he wishes some good. Accordingly, man has love
of concupiscence towards the good that he wishes to another, and love of
friendship towards him to whom he wishes good.
Now the members of this division are related as primary and secondary: since that which is loved with the love of friendship is loved simply and for itself; whereas that which is loved with the love of concupiscence, is loved, not simply and for itself, but for something else. For just as that which has existence, is a being simply, while that which exists in another is a relative being; so, because good is convertible with being, the good, which itself has goodness, is good simply; but that which is another's good, is a relative good. Consequently the love with which a thing is loved, that it may have some good, is love simply; while the love, with which a thing is loved, that it may be another's good, is relative love.
Reply to Objection 1: Love is not divided into friendship and concupiscence, but
into love of friendship, and love of concupiscence. For a friend is,
properly speaking, one to whom we wish good: while we are said to desire,
what we wish for ourselves.
Hence the Reply to the Second Objection.
Reply to Objection 3: When friendship is based on usefulness or pleasure, a man
does indeed wish his friend some good: and in this respect the character
of friendship is preserved. But since he refers this good further to his
own pleasure or use, the result is that friendship of the useful or
pleasant, in so far as it is connected with love of concupiscence, loses
the character to true friendship.