Front Page Titles (by Subject) QUESTION CXLV.: OF PROPRIETY. - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2)
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QUESTION CXLV.: OF PROPRIETY. - St. Thomas Aquinas, Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2) 
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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Article III.—Does propriety differ from utility and pleasurableness?
R. Propriety is found in the same subject with utility and pleasurableness, but differs from them in the way we look at things. For a thing is said to be proper as having a certain beauty according to the ordering of reason. But what is ordered according to reason is naturally suited to man; and every being takes a natural pleasure in what suits it; and therefore propriety is naturally pleasurable to man. Still not everything that is pleasurable is proper: because a thing may be suitable in point of sense and not in point of reason. Such a pleasurable thing is in disregard of the reason in man that perfects his nature. Virtue also itself, being in itself proper, is referred to something else as to an end, namely, to happiness. And thus propriety and utility and pleasurableness are the same in subject. But they differ according to the way that we look at them: for a thing is called proper, as having a certain excellence worthy of honour on the score of spiritual beauty;1 it is called pleasurable as setting desire at rest; it is called useful as being referred to something else. Nevertheless the pleasurable is of wider extension than the useful and the proper: for everything that is useful and proper is in some sort pleasurable, but not everything pleasurable is useful and proper.
[1 ]In the previous article, St. Thomas says that “propriety is the same as spiritual beauty.” This sense of proper appears in the English Bible and in Shakespeare, e.g. (Hebrews xi. 23): “Moses was a proper child,” where the Rheims version has “comely babe.” And we still speak of “a proper man of his hands.” The value of this article is apparent in the question of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is simply a denial of the element of beauty as anything distinct from utility. (Trl.)