Front Page Titles (by Subject) QUESTION XIII.: OF ELECTION, OR CHOICE OF MEANS. - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 1 (Summa Theologica - Prima Secundae, Secunda Secundae Pt.1)
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QUESTION XIII.: OF ELECTION, OR CHOICE OF MEANS. - St. Thomas Aquinas, Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 1 (Summa Theologica - Prima Secundae, Secunda Secundae Pt.1) 
Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas. A Translation of the Principal Portions of the Second part of the Summa Theologica, with Notes by Joseph Rickaby, S.J. (London: Burns and Oates, 1892).
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OF ELECTION, OR CHOICE OF MEANS.
Article III.—Is election only of the means to the end, or sometimes also of the end itself?
R. That falls under election which stands as the conclusion in a practical syllogism. But the end in practical matters stands as a principle, and not as a conclusion. Therefore the end as such falls not under election. But as in matters of speculation the principle of one demonstration or science may be the conclusion of another, and yet a first principle is indemonstrable and cannot be the conclusion of any demonstration or science; so what in one operation is the end may be directed to something further as to an end, and thus fall under election. Thus in a surgeon’s operation health is the end: hence health falls not under the election of the surgeon, but he supposes it as a principle. But the health of the body is directed to the health of the soul, hence with him who has care of his soul’s health it may fall under election whether he will be in health or sickness,1 for the Apostle says: “When I am weak, then am I powerful.”1 But the last end in no way falls under election.
Article IV.—Is election only of our own actions?
R. As intention is of the end, so election is of the means.2 Now the end is either an action or a thing. When the end is a thing, some human action must intervene, either producing that thing, as the physician produces health, which is his end, or using or enjoying that thing, as in the case of the miser’s end, which is money. And of the means in the same way; the means must be either an action or a thing, in which latter case some action intervenes, producing or using it. Thus election is always of human acts.
[1 ]At least under election in his prayers Compare the story of King Alfred’s malady Knight’s Life of King Alfred (Quarterly Series), p. 31. (Trl.)
[1 ]2 Cor. xii 10.
[2 ]Aristotle calls intention βούλησις (wish), and election προαίρεσις (choice). He says (Ethics, III ii 9) “Wish is rather of the end, but choice of the means Thus we wish for health, and choose the means thereto, and we wish to be happy and say that we are, but we choose to say: ‘This does not suit’ In a word, choice seems to be of the things that are in our power” (Trl.)