Front Page Titles (by Subject) QUESTION XXIII.: OF THE DIFFERENCE OF PASSIONS ONE FROM ANOTHER. - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 1 (Summa Theologica - Prima Secundae, Secunda Secundae Pt.1)
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QUESTION XXIII.: OF THE DIFFERENCE OF PASSIONS ONE FROM ANOTHER. - 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 THE DIFFERENCE OF PASSIONS ONE FROM ANOTHER.
Article I.—Are the passions in the concupiscible faculty different from those in the irascible faculty?1
R. To know which passions are in the irascible part and which in the concupiscible, we must take the object of each faculty. The object of the concupiscible faculty is sensible good and evil, absolutely apprehended as such, that is, pleasure and pain. But because it must happen sometimes that the soul feels a difficulty or a struggle in gaining some such good, or in shunning some such evil, inasmuch as the good or evil is in a manner raised above the ready ability of one’s animal being, therefore this same good and evil, inasmuch as it bears a character of arduousness or difficulty, is the object of the irascible faculty. Whatsoever passions therefore regard absolutely good or evil, belong to the concupiscible faculty, as joy, sadness, love, hatred, and the like: while whatever passions regard good or evil in the light of something arduous, inasmuch as it is attainable or avoidable with a certain difficulty, belong to the irascible faculty, as fiery daring and fear, hope, and the like.
§ 3. The delight of a good thing moves the concupiscible faculty. But any difficulty of attainment of the same goes against the concupiscible faculty. And therefore it was necessary that there should be another faculty to tend to such arduous good; and that is the irascible faculty.
Article II.—Is the contrariety of passions in the irascible faculty founded upon the contrariety of good and evil?
R. Passion is a kind of motion: hence we must take the contrariety of passions according to the contrariety of motions. Now there is a twofold contrariety of motion, one in the way of approach to and retirement from the same term, which is the contrariety of generation—that is, motion or change to being—and corruption—that is, motion or change from being; another in the way of contrariety of terms, as whitewashing, which is motion or change from black to white, is opposed to blackening, which is motion or change from white to black. So therefore in the passions of the soul a twofold contrariety is found—one founded on contrariety of objects, namely, of good and evil, another founded on approach to and retirement from the same term. In the passions of the concupiscible faculty we find the first contrariety only, namely, that founded on a difference of object: but in the passions of the irascible we find both contrarieties. The reason is, because the object of the concupiscible faculty is sensible good or evil taken absolutely: now good, as good, cannot be the term of motion from which, but only of motion to which, because no being shuns good as good, but all things seek it. In like manner no being seeks evil as such, but all things shun it: and therefore evil has not the character of a term to which, but only of a term from which. So therefore every passion of the concupiscible faculty in respect of good goes on the up line to it, as love, desire, joy; while every passion in respect of evil goes on the down line from it, as hatred, abhorrence (or abomination), sadness. Hence in the passions of the concupiscible faculty there cannot be contrariety in the way of approach to and retirement from the same object. But the object of the irascible faculty is sensible good or evil, not absolutely, but under the aspect of difficulty or arduousness. But arduous or difficult good offers a reason why we should tend to it, inasmuch as it is good, which tendency belongs to the passion of hope; and again, a reason why we should recede from it, inasmuch as it is arduous and difficult; and so to recede belongs to the passion of despair. In like manner arduous evil offers a reason why it should be avoided, inasmuch as it is evil, which avoidance belongs to the passion of fear. It likewise presents some reason why we should tend to it, as matter of an arduous effort, the means of escape from subjection to evil, and so to tend is the part of fiery daring. There is found therefore in the passions of the irascible faculty one contrariety founded upon the contrariety of good and evil, as that between hope and fear; and other contrariety founded on approach to and retirement from the same term, as that between fiery daring and fear.
Article III.—Is there any passion that has got no contrary?
R. It is the peculiarity of the passion of anger not to have any contrary, either in the way of approach and retirement, or according to the contrariety of good and evil. The motion of anger can have no motion contrary to it: its only opposite is cessation from motion.1
[1 ]“In the sensitive part there must be two appetitive faculties: one whereby the soul is absolutely inclined to take to whatever suits it in point of sense, and to shun what hurts it; and this is called the concupiscible faculty: another whereby the living creature resists assailants, that make assault upon what suits and pleases it, and threaten to do it hurt; and this is called the irascible faculty: hence its object is said to be arduous matter, because this faculty aims at overcoming and triumphing over opposition.” (St. Thomas, p. 1. q. 81. art. 2.) This distinction of τὸ ἐπιθυμητικόν and τὸ θυμοειδές was first laid down by Plato in his Republic, p. 440, and forms a leading feature in that work. It appears also in his Phaedrus. See Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 85, 86, n. 3. (Trl.)
[1 ]The practical corollary is that you cannot extinguish anger by exciting a contrary passion, and that the best thing to do with an angry man is to wait till he cools down. (Trl.)