Intellective Attitudes

Before looking directly at that possibility, I want to consider very briefly the general notion of intellective attitudes. If we consider just the examples Aquinas uses in 1.89, we can in every case usefully and easily distinguish between an attitude of the sensory appetite—for example, an emotional reaction—and a rational attitude, each of which deserves and ordinarily gets the name 'fear', say, or'anger'. Just imagine the difference between the fear of a house fire you'd feel if you woke up smelling smoke and the fear of a house fire that leads you to install a smoke alarm, or the difference between the anger you'd feel at being slapped in the face and the anger that leads you to vote against the party in power. I think all Aquinas's examples of passions have recognizable rational, un-emotional parallels, and I think he thinks so too: 'everything we long for by nature we can long for also in connection with the end p.231


© Copyright Oxford University Press, 2006. All Rights Reserved pleasure associated with reason, though not vice versa' (ST IaIIae.31.3c);

and 'just as a person avoids something bad in the future through the passion of fear, which occurs in the sensory appetite, so the intellective appetite performs the same operation without passion' (90.750). In some such cases, extending the use of the passion's name to the corresponding rational ii attitude sounds odd, as Aquinas acknowledges.

11 See e.g. ST Iallae 22.3, ad 3, where he quotes Augustine on this sort of extended application of the names of the passions; also QDV 26.7, ad 5.

All the same, these extensions do succeed; and the reason they succeed is, I think, that his examples are attitudinal passions, the basic analyses of which are developed in terms of (O) an object taken by a subject to be good, or bad, and (R) certain specific perceived relationships between that subject

and that object.

12 There are, of course, non-attitudinal passions for which rational parallels are non-existent or very rare, and for many of them, naturally, we have no good Anglo-Saxon names—e.g. Weltschmerz, ennui, Angst, malaise.

For such an analysis to be suited particularly to an attitudinal passion would require the addition of a third component, describing the associated bodily changes that mark the attitude as an emotional state. As long as we deal with only the first two components, as Aquinas typically does, we're employing an analysis that applies equally to attitudes of the sensory and the intellective appetites. Given Aquinas's general theory of appetite, he's bound to locate both sensory and intellective attitudes in appetitive faculties. Because the object is always described in evaluative terms and the subject-object relationship typically involves some disposition of the subject in relation to the object, it might be helpful to think of both the sensory and the intellective varieties as evaluative, motivational attitudes—or, perhaps, just motives, lower and higher. My present concern, however, is only with such intellective attitudes as can or must be attributed to God—person-specifying divine attitudes, the emotionless divine counterparts of emotions.

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