Question Twenty-One: Good

Does good add anything to being?
Are being and good interchangeable as to their real subjects?
Is good in its essential character prior to the true?
Is everything good by the first goodness?
Is a created good good by its essence?
Does the good of a creature consist in measure, species, and order as Augustine says?


The question concerns good,

and in the first article we ask:

Does good add anything to being?

[Parallel readings: De ver., I, 1 c; I Sent., 8, 1, 3; 9, 5, 1 ad 2 & 3; De pot., 9, 7, ad 6; S.T., I, 5, 1 & 4.]


It seems that it does, for

1. Everything is a being essentially. But a creature is good not essentially but by participation. Good, therefore, really adds something to being.

2. Since good includes being in its very notion, and yet good is rationally distinct from being, the formal character of good must add something to that of being. But it cannot be said to add a negation to being, as does the one, which adds undividedness, because the whole character of good consists in something positive. Hence it adds something to being positively, and thus it seems to add to being in reality.

3. The answer was given that it adds a relation to an end.—On the contrary, in this case good would be nothing but related being. But related being pertains to a definite category of being, which is called itrelation” or “to something.” Good would therefore be in a definite category. But this is contrary to what the Philosopher says, placing good in all the categories.

4. As can be gathered from the words of Dionysius, good tends to pour out itself and existence. A thing is good, therefore, by the fact that it is diffusive. But to pour out or diffuse implies an action, and an action proceeds from the essence through the mediation of a power. A thing is therefore said to be good by reason of a power added to the essence, and so good really adds something to being.

5. The farther we get from the first being, which is one and simple, the more we find difference in things. But in God being and good are really one, being distinguished, only conceptually. In creatures, therefore, they are distinguished m ore than conceptually; and so, since there is no distinction beyond the conceptual except the real, they are distinguished really.

6. Accidentals really add something to the essence. But goodness is accidental to the creature; otherwise it could not be lost. Good therefore really adds something to being.

7. Whatever is predicated as informing something else really adds something to it, since nothing is informed by itself. Good, however, is predicated as informing, as is said in The Causes. It therefore adds something to being.

8. Nothing is determined by itself. But good determines being. It therefore adds something to being.

9. The answer was given that good determines being in conceptOn the contrary, corresponding to that concept there is either something in reality or nothing. If nothing, it follows that the concept is void and useless; but if there is something corresponding in reality, the point is established: good really adds something to being.

10. A relation is specified according to the term in respect to which it is predicated. But good implies a relation to a definite sort of being, an end. Good therefore implies a specified relation. Every specified being, however, really adds something to being in general. Hence good really adds something to being.

11. Good and being are interchangeable, like man and “capable of laughter.” But though “capable of laughter” is interchangeable with man, it nevertheless really adds something to man, namely, a property. But a property is classed as an accident. Similarly, therefore, good really adds something to being.

To the Contrary

1. Augustine says: “Inasmuch as God is good, we are; but inasmuch as we are, we are good.” It therefore seems that good does not add anything to being.

2.Whenever things are so related that one adds something to the other either really or conceptually, one can be understood without the other. But being cannot be understood without good. Hence good does not add anything to being either really or conceptually. Proof of the minor: God can make more than man can understand. But God cannot make a being that is not good, because by the very fact of its being from good it is good, as Boethius makes clear. Therefore neither can the intellect understand it.


Something can be added to something else in three ways. (1) It adds some reality which is outside the essence of the thing to which it is said to be added. For instance, white adds something to body, since the essence of whiteness is something beyond that of body. (2) One thing is added to the other as limiting and determining it. Man, for instance, adds something to animal—not indeed in such a way that there is in man some reality which is completely outside the essence of animal; otherwise it would be necessary to say that it is not the whole of man which is animal but only a part. Animal is limited by man because what is contained in the notion of man determinately and actually, is only implicitly and, as it were, potentially contained in the notion of animal. It belongs to the notion of man that he have a rational soul; to the notion of animal, that it have a soul, without its being determined to rational or nonrational. And yet that determination by reason of which man is said to add something to animal is founded in reality. (3) Something is said to add to something else in concept only. This occurs when something which is nothing in reality but only in thought, belongs to the notion of one thing and not to the notion of the other, whether that to which it is said to be added is limited by it or not. Thus blind adds something to man, i.e., blindness, which is not a being in nature but merely a being in the thought of one who knows privations. By it man is limited, for not every man is blind. But when we say “a blind mole,” no limitation is placed by what is added.

It is not possible, however, for something to add anything to being in general in the first way, though in that way there can be an addition to some particular sort of being; for there is no real being which is outside the essence of being in general, though some reality may be outside the essence of this being. But in the second way certain things arc fomid to add to being, since being is narrowed down in the ten categories, each of which adds something to being—not, of course, an accident or difference which is outside the essence of being, but a definite manner of being which is founded upon the very existence of the thing. It is not in this way, however, that good adds something to being, since good itself, like being, is divided into the ten categories, as is made clear in the Ethics.

Good must, accordingly, either add nothing to being or add something merely in concept. For if it added something real, being would have to be narrowed down by the character of good to a special genus. But since being is what is first conceived by the intellect, as Avicenna says,.every other noun must either be a synonym of being or add something at least conceptually. The former cannot be said of good, since it is not nonsense to call a being good. Thus good, by the fact of its not limiting being, must add to it something merely conceptual.

What is merely conceptual, however, can be of only two kinds: negation and a certain kind of relation. Every absolute positing signifies something existing in reality. Thus to being, the first intellectual conception, one adds what is merely conceptual—a negation; for it means undivided being. But true and good, being predicated positively, cannot add anything except a relation which is merely conceptual. A relation is merely conceptual, according to the Philosopher, when by it something is said to be related which is not dependent upon that to which it is referred, but vice versa; for a relation is a sort of dependence. An example is had in intellectual knowledge and its object, as also in sense and the sensible object. Knowledge depends upon its object, but not the other way about. The relation by which knowledge is referred to its object is accordingly real, but the relation by which the object is referred to the knowledge is only conceptual. According to the Philosopher, the object of knowledge is said to be related, not because it is itself referred, but because something else is referred to it. The same holds true of all other things which stand to one another as measure and thing measured or as perfective and perfectible.

The true and the good must therefore add to the concept of being, a relationship of that which perfects. But in any being there are ttwo aspects to be considered, the formal character of its species and the act of being by which it subsists in that species. And so a being can be perfective in two ways. (1) It can be so just according to its specific character. In this way the intellect is perfected by a being, for it perceives the formal character of the being. But the being is still not in it according to its natural existence. It is this mode of perfecting which the true adds to being. For the true is in the mind, as the Philosopher says; and every being is called true inasmuch as it is conformed or conformable to intellect. For this reason all who correctly define true put intellect in its definition. (2) A being is perfective of another not only according to its specific character but also according to the existence which it has in reality. In this fashion the good is perfective; for the good is in things, as the Philosopher says. Inasmuch as one being by reason of its act of existing is such as to perfect and complete another, it stands to that other as an end. And hence it is that all who rightly define good put in its notion something about its status as an end. The Philosopher accordingly says that they excellently defined good who said that it is “that which all things desire.”

First of all and principally, therefore, a being capable of perfecting another after the manner of an end is called good; but secondarily something is called good which leads to an end (as the useful is said to be good), or which naturally follows upon an end (as not only; that which has health is called healthy, but also anything which causes, preserves, or signifies health).

Answers to Difficulties

1. Since being is predicated absolutely and good adds to it the status of a final cause, the essence of a thing considered absolutely suffices for the thing to be called a being on its account, but not thereby to be called good, just as in the case of the other kinds of causes the status of a secondary cause depends upon that of the primary cause, but that of the primary cause depends upon no other; so also in the case of final causes secondary ends share in the status of final cause from their relation to the last end, but the last end has this status of itself.

And so it is that the essence of God, who is the last end of creatures, suffices for God to be called good by reason of it; but when the essence of a creature is given, the thing is not yet called good except from the relation to God by reason of which it has the character of a final cause. In this sense it is said that a creature is not good essentially but by participation. For from one point of view this is so inasmuch as the essence itself, in our understanding of it, is considered as something other than that relation to God by which it is constituted a final cause and is directed to God as its end. But from another point of view a creature can be called essentially good inasmuch as the essence of a creature does not exist without a relation to God’s goodness. This is Boethius’ meaning.

2. It is not only negation that expresses what is merely conceptual but also a certain type of relation, as has been said.

3. Every real relation is in a definite category, but non-real relations can run through all being.

4. Though, according to the proper use of the word, to pour out seems to imply the operation of an efficient cause, yet taken broadly it can imply the status of any cause, as do to infiuence, to make, etc. When good is said to be of its very notion diffusive, however, diffusion is not to be understood as implying the operation of an efficient cause but rather the status of a final cause. Nor is such diffusion brought about through the mediation of any added power. Good expresses the diffusion of a final cause and not that of an agent, both because the latter, as efficient, is not the measure and perfection of the thing caused but rather its beginning, and also because the effect participates in the efficient cause only in an assimilation of its form, whereas a thing is dependent upon its end in its whole existence. It is in this that the character of good was held to consist.

5. Things can be really one in God in two ways. (1) Their unity may be merely from that in which they are, and not from their own formal characters. In this way knowledge and power are one; for knowledge is not really the same as power by reason of its being knowledge, but by reason of its being divine. Now things which are really one in God in this way are found to differ really in creatures. (2) The things which are said to be really one in God may be so by their very formal characters. In this way good and being are really one in God, because it is of the very notion of good that it does not differ in reality from being. Hence, wherever good and being are found, they are really identical.

6. Just as there is,essential being and accidental being, so also there is essential good and accidental good; and a thing loses its goodness in just the sdme way as it loses its substantial or accidental act of being.

7. From the relationship mentioned above it comes about that good is said to inform or determine being conceptually.

8. The answer is clear from what has just been said.

9. To that concept something does correspond in reality (a real dependence of that which is a means to an end upon the end itself), as there also does in other conceptual relations.

10. Although good expresses a special status, that of an end, nevertheless that status belongs to any being whatsoever and does not put anything real into being. Hence the conclusion does not follow.

11. “Capable of laughter,” though interchanged with man, still adds to man a distinct reality which is over and above man’s essence. But nothing can be added to being in this way, as has been said.

Answers to Contrary Difficulties

1. We grant this, because good as such does not really add anything to being.

2. This argues that nothing is added even conceptually. To this it must be said that a thing can be understood without another in two ways. (1) This occurs by way of enunciating, when one thing is understood to be without the other. Whatever the intellect can understand without another in this sense, God can make without the other. But being cannot be so understood without good, i.e., so that the intellect understands that something is a being and is not good. (2) Something can be understood without another by way of defining, so that the intellect understands one without at the same time understanding the other. Thus animal is understood without man or any of the other species. In this sense being can be understood without good. Yet it does not follow that God can make a being without good, because the very notion of making is to bring into existence.


Q. 21: Good


In the second article we ask:

Are being and good interchangeable as to their real subjects?

[Parallel readings: I Sent., 8,1, 3; In De hebdom., 2; S.T., III, 20; S.T., I, 5, 3.]


It seems that they are not, for

1. Opposites are capable of occurring in regard to the same thing. But good and evil are opposites. Now evil is not capable of being in all things; for, as Avicenna says, beyond the sphere of the moon there is no evil. It seems, then, that neither is good found in all beings. And so good is not interchangeable with being.

2. Predicates such that one extends to more things than another are not interchangeable with one another. But, as Maximus the commentator says, good extends to more things than being; for it extends to non-beings, which are called into being by good. Therefore good and bcing are not interchangeable.

3. Good is a perfection of which the apprehension is enjoyable, as Algazel says. But not every being has perfection, for prime matter has none. Not every being, therefore, is good.

4. In mathematics being is found but not good, as appears from what the Philosopher says.Being and good are therefore not interchangeable.

5. In The Causes it is said that the first of created things is the act of being. But according to the Philosopher “the prior is that from which there is a sequence which cannot be reversed.” The sequence from being to good therefore cannot be reversed; and so good and being are not interchangeable.

6. What is divided is not interchangeablewith any one of the things into which it is divided, as animal is not interchangeable with rational. But being is divided into good and evil, since many beings are called evil. Therefore good and being are not interchangeable.

7. Even a privation, according to the Philosopher, is called a being in a certain sense. But it cannot in any sense be called good; otherwise evil, consisting essentially in a privation, would be good. Good and being are therefore not interchangeable.

8. According to Boethius, all things are said to be good by reason of the fact that they are from the good, namely God. But God’s goodness is His very wisdom and justice. By the same reasoning, then, all things which are from God would be wise and just. But this is false. So too, then, is the first, viz., that all things are good.

To the Contrary

1. Nothing tends except to what is like itself. But, as Boethius says, “every being tends to good.” Then every being is good, and nothing can be good unless it in some way is. Consequently good and being are interchangeable,

2. Only what is good can be from the good. But every being proceeds from the divine goodness. Therefore every being is good; and so the conclusion must be the same as above.


Since the essence of good consists in this, that something perfects another as an end, whatever is found to have the character of an end also has that of good. Now two things are essential to an end: it must be sought or desired by things which have not yet attained the end, and it must be loved by the things which share the end, and be, as it were, enjoyable to them. For it is essentially the same to tend to an end and in some sense to repose in that end. Thus by the same natural tendency a stone moves towards the center [of the world] and comes to rest there.

These two properties are found to belong to the act of being. For whatever does not yet participate in the act of being tends toward it by a certain natural appetite. In this way matter tends to form, according to the Philosopher. But everything which already has being naturally loves its being and with all its strength preserves it. Boethius accordingly says: “Divine providence has given to the things created by it this greatest of reasons for remaining, namely, that they naturally desire to remain to the best of their ability. Therefore you cannot in the least doubt that all beings naturally seek permanence in perduring and avoid destruction.”

Existence itself, therefore, has the essential note of goodness. Just as it is impossible, then, for anything to be a being which does not have existence, so too it is necessary that every being be good by the very fact of its having existence, even though in many beings many other aspects of goodness are added over and above the act of existing by which they subsist.

Since, moreover, good includes the note of being, as is clear from what has been said, it is impossible for anything to be good which is not a being. Thus we are left with the conclusion that good and being are interchangeable.

Answers to Difficulties

1. Good and evil are opposed as privation and possession or habit. But privation does not have to be in every being in which habit is found; and so evil does not have to be in everything in which there is good. Furthermore, in the case of contraries as long as one is really in a certain thing, the other is not capable of being in the same thing, as the Philosopher says. Good, however, is really in every being whatever, since it is called good from its own real act of existing.

2. Good extends to non-beings not attributively but causally, inasmuch as non-beings tend to good. And so we can call non-beings things which are in potency and not in act. But the act of being does not have causality except perhaps after the manner of an exemplary cause. This sort of causality, however, extends only to the things which actually participate in being.

3 just as prime matter is a being in potency and not in act, so it is perfect in potency and not in act and good potentially and not actually.

4. The things which a mathematician studies are good according to the existence which they have in reality. The very existence of, a line or of a number, for instance, is good. But the mathematician does not study them according to their existence but only according to their specific formal character. For he studies them abstractly, though they are not abstract in their existence but only in their notion. It was said above that good is not consequent upon the specific character except according to the existence which it has in some real thing. And so the note of goodness does not belong to a line or number as they fall within the purview of the mathematician, even though a line and a number are good.

5. Being is not called prior to good in the sense of prior employed in the objection, but in another sense, as the absolute is prior to the relative.

6. A thing can be called good both from its act of existing and from some added property or state. Thus a man is said to be good both as existing and as being just and chaste or destined for beatitude. By reason of the first goodness being is interchanged with good, and conversely. But by reason of the second, good is a division of being.

7. Privation is not called a reality but only a conceptual being. In this sense it is a good for reason, for to know a privation or anything of the sort is good. Even knowledge of evil, as Boethius points out, cannot be lacking in good.

8. According to Boethius, a thing is called good from its very existence, but is called just by reason of some action of its own. Existence, however, is communicated to everything that comes forth from God. But not all things share in that activity to which justice is referred. For although in God to act and to be are the same thing, and thus His justice is His goodness, nevertheless in creatures to act and to be are distinct. Hence existence can be communicated to something to which activity is not; and even in those beings to which both are communicated, to act is not the same as to be. Hence also men who are good and just are indeed good because they exist, but not just because they exist, but rather because they have a certain habit directed to action. And the same can be said of wisdom and other things of the sort.

Or a different answer can be taken from the same Boethius: The just and the wise and other things of this kind are special goods since they are special perfections; but good designates something perfect in an unqualified sense. From the perfect God, therefore, things come forth perfect, but not with the same degree of perfection with which God is perfect, because what is made does not exist in the manner of the agent but in that of the product. Nor do all things which receive perfection from God receive it in the same measure. And so, just as it is common to God and all creatures to be perfect in an absolute sense, but not to be perfect in this or that particular way, so also does it belong to God and to all creatures to be good; but the particular goodness which is wisdom or that which is justice does not have to be common to all. Some goods belong to God alone, as eternity and omnipotence; but some others, to certain creatures as well as to God, as wisdom and justice and the like.


Q. 21: Good


In the third article we ask:

Is good in its essential character prior to the true?

[Parallel readings: In Hebr., c. 11, lect. 1 (P 13: 756b); S.T., I, 16, 4.]


It seems that it is, for

1. What is in things is prior to what is only in apprehension, because our apprehension is caused and measured by things. But according to the Philosopher” good is in things, the true in the mind. Good is therefore in its essential character prior to the true.

2. What is perfect in itself is prior in character to that which perfects another. Now a thing is called good inasmuch as it is perfect in itself, but true inasmuch as it can perfect another. Hence good is prior to the true.

3. Good is predicated with reference to the final cause, the true with reference to the formal cause. But the final cause is prior to the formal because the end is the cause of causes. Good is therefore prior in essential character to the true.

4. A particular good is posterior to the universal good. But the true is a particular good, for it is the good of the intellect, as the Philosopher says. Therefore good is naturally prior in character to the true.

5. Good has the character of an end. But the end is first in intention. Therefore the intention of good is prior to that of the true.

To the Contrary

1. Good perfects the will; the true, the intellect. The intellect, however, naturally precedes the will. Then the true likewise precedes good.

2. The more immaterial anything is, the more it is prior. But the true is more immaterial than good, for good is found even in material beings, whereas the true is found only in an immaterial mind. The true is therefore by nature prior to good.


Both the true and good have the essential character of that which perfects or of perfections, as has been said.The order among perfections, however, can be considered in two ways: (1) from the viewpoint of the perfections themselves, and (2) from that of the beings perfected.

If the true and good are considered in themselves, then the true is prior in meaning to good since the true perfects something specifically, whereas good perfects not only specifically but also according to the existence which the thing has in reality. Thus the character of good includes more notes than that of the true and is constituted by a sort of addition to the character of the true. Thus good presupposes the true, but the true in turn presupposes the one, since the notion of the true is fulfilled by an apprehension on the part of the intellect, and a thing is intelligible in so far as it is one; for whoever does not understand a unit understands nothing, as the Philosopher says.The order of these transcendent names, accordingly, if they are considered in themselves, is as follows: after being comes the one, after the one comes the true; and then after the true comes good.

If, however, the order between the true and good is viewed from the standpoint of the beings perfected, then the converse holds: good is naturally prior tothe true, and that for two reasons.

(1) The perfection of good has greater extension than that of the true. By the true only those things can be perfected which can receive a being into themselves or have it within themselves according to its formal character but not according to the existence which that being has in itself. Of this sort are only those things which can receive something immaterially and have the power of cognition. For the species of a stone is in the soul but not according to the act of existing which it has in the stone. But even things which receive something according to the material act of being are capable of being perfected by good, since the essence of good consists in being perfective both specifically and existentially, as has been said. All things, accordingly, seek good, but not all know the true. In both the tendency to good and the knowledge of truth, however, there is verified the relation of the perfectible to a perfection, which is good or the true.

(2) The things capable of being perfected by both the true and good, moreover, are perfected by good before they are by the true. For by the mere fact that they share in the act of being they are perfected by good, as has been said;6 but by the fact that they know something they are perfected by the true. Knowledge, however, is subsequent to existence. Hence in this consideration from the viewpoint of the beings which are perfectible good precedes the true.

Answers to Difficulties

1. The argument is taken from the order of the true and good from the viewpoint of the perfectible beings, not from that of the true and good in themselves. For only the mind is perfectible by the true, but every real being is perfectible by good.

2. Like the true, good has not only the character of the perfect but also that of the perfective, as was said above. Hence the argument does not hold.

3. The end’comes before any of the other causes in the line of causation. And so the argument is based upon the relation of the perfectible to its perfection. In this relationship good is prior. But if the form and the end are considered absolutely, then, since the form itself is the end, the form considered in itself is prior to its aspect as the end of something else. But the essential character of the true arises from the species itself in so far as it is understood as it is.

4. The true is said to be a good inasmuch as it has existence in some special being capable of being perfected. Thus this objection too is concerned with the relation of the perfectible to its perfection.

5. The end is said to be prior in intention to the means, but not to the other causes except in so far as they are means to the end. Thus the solution is the same as that given to the third difficulty. It should nevertheless be noted that when the end is called prior in intention, intention is taken as the act of the mind which is to intend. But when we compare the intention of good with that of the true, intention is taken as the essential character which is signified by a definition. Hence the term is used equivocally in the two contexts.

Answers to Contrary Difficulties

1. A thing is capable of being perfected by good not only through the mediation of the will but also in so far as it has the act of existing. Hence, although the intellect comes before the will, it does not follow that anything is perfected by the true before being perfected by good.

2. That argument is based upon the true and good considered in themselves. It is therefore to be granted.


Q. 21: Good


In the fourth article we ask:

Is everything good by the first goodness?

[Parallel readings: I Sent., 19, 5, 2 ad 3; C.G., I, 40; S.T., 19 6, 4.]


It seems that it is, for

1. According to Boethius, if by an impossible supposition we were to understand that God existed without His goodness, it would follow that all other things would be beings but not good; but if we understand goodness to be in God, then it follows that all things are good as well as beings. Everything, therefore, is called good by reason of the first goodness.

2. The answer was given that the reason why it happens that when we do not understand goodness in God there is no goodness in His creatures, is that the goodness of the creature is caused by the goodness of God, and not that the thing is formally denominated good by the goodness of God.—On the contrary, whenever anything is denominated in a given way merely from its relation to something else, it is not so denominated from something inhering in it formally but from something outside it to which it is referred. Thus urine is called healthy because it is a sign of the health of an animal. It is not so denominated from any health inherent in it but from the animal’s health which it signifies. But a creature is called good in reference to the first goodness because everything is called good from the fact of its flowing from the first good, as Boethius says. Hence the creature is not denominated good from any formal goodness found in it but from the divine goodness.

3. Augustine says: “This is good and that is good. Remove this and that and, if possible, see the good itself. Thus you will see God, not as good by some other good, but as the good of every good.” But by reason of that good which is the good of every good all things are called good. Therefore, by reason of the divine goodness of which Augustine speaks, everything is said to be good.

4. Since every creature is good, it is good either by some inherent goodness or only by the first goodness. If it is good by some goodness inherent to it, then, since that goodness is also a creature, it too will be good either by being goodness itself or by some other goodness. But if it is good by being goodness itself, then it will be the first goodness; for it is of the essence of the first good that it be good of itself, as appears from the passage of St. Augustine just cited. And thus the point is established—a creature is good by the first goodness. If, however, that goodness is good by some other goodness, the same problem remains in regard to the latter. We must, therefore, proceed to infinity—which is impossible—or arrive at some goodness giving its name to created goodness, which is good of itself; and this will be the first goodness. Hence, from every point of view creatures must be good by the first goodness.

5. Everything true is true by the first truth according to Anselm. But the first goodness stands to good things in the same way as the first truth to true things. Everything is therefore good by the first goodness.

6. What is incapable of the lesser is incapable of the greater. But to be is something less than to be good. A creature, however, has no power over the act of being, since all being is from God. Neither, then, has it power over being good. The goodness by which anything is called good is therefore not created goodness.

7. To be, according to Hilary, is “proper to God.” But whatever is proper belongs to only one. There is therefore no other act of being besides God Himself. But all things are good in so far as they have the act of being. All things, therefore, are good by the very divine act of being which constitutes God’s goodness.

8. The first goodness has nothing added to goodness; otherwise it would be composite. But it is true that everything is good by goodness. It is consequently also true that everything is good by the first goodness.

9. The answer was given that to goodness taken absolutely something may be added conceptually though not really.—On the contrary, a notion to which there corresponds nothing in reality is empty and useless. But the notion by which we understand the first goodncss is not useless. If, therefore, anything is added in our notion, it will also be added in reality. But this is impossible. Neither, then, will anything be added conceptually. Everything, as a consequence, will be callcd good by the first goodness just as by goodness taken absolutely.

To the Contrary

1. Everything is good in so far as it is a being, because, according to Augustine, “inasmuch as we are, we are good.” But not everything is called a being formally by reason of the first essence but by reason of a created essence. Consequently, neither is everything formally good by the first goodness but by a created goodness.

2. The changeable is not informed by the unchangeable, since they are opposites. But every creature is changeable, whereas the first goodness is unchangeable. A creature is therefore not called good formally by the first goodness.

3. Every form is proportioned to the thing which it perfects. But the first goodness, being infinite, is not proportioned to a creature, which is finite. A creature is therefore not said to be good formally by reason of the first goodness.

4. All created things “are good by participation in the good,” as Augustine says..But participation in the good is not the first goodness itself, for this is total and perfect goodness. Not everything, therefore, is good formally by the first goodness.

5. A creature is said to have a vestige of the Trinity inasmuch as it is one, true, and good. Thus good belongs to the vestige. But the vestige and its parts are something created. Therefore a creature is good by a created goodness.

6. The first goodness is perfectly simple. It is therefore neither composite in itself nor compoundable with anything else. Thus it cannot be the form of anything, since a form enters into composition with that which it informs. But the goodness by which certain things are said to be’good is a form, since every act of being comes from a form; Creatures are therefore not good formally by the first goodness.


There have been various positions concerning this question. Some, induced by trivial reasons, were so foolish as to state that God is a substantial part of all things. Some of these, e.g., David of Dinant, taught that He is the same as prime matter. Some others said that He is the form of all things. Now the falsity of this erroneous opinion is immediately made apparent. For when they speak of God, all men understand that He is the effective principle of all things, since all being must flow from a single first being. The efficient cause, however, according to the teaching of the Philosopher, does not coincide with the material cause, since they have contrary characters. For a thing is an agent inasmuch as it is in act; but the characteristic of matter is to be in potency. The efficient cause and the form of the effect are the same in species inasmuch as every agent effects something similar to itself; but they are not numerically the same, because the maker and the thing made cannot be identical. It is apparent from this that the divine essence is neither the matter of any creature nor is it its form in such a way that by it the creature can be said to be good formally as by an intrinsic form. But every form is a certain likeness of God.

The Platonists therefore said that all things are formally good by the first goodness, not as by a conjoint form, but as by a separated form. For an understanding of this point it should be noted that Plato held that all things that can be separated in thought are separated in reality. Thus, just as man can be understood apart from Socrates and Plato, he taught that man exists apart from Socrates and Plato. This he called “man-in-himself” or “the idea of man,” and said that by participation in this man Socrates and Plato are called men. Moreover, just as he found man common to Socrates and Plato and all others like them, in the same way he found good to be common to all good things and to be capable of being understood independently of any understanding of this or that good. Hence he asserted that good is separate from all particular goods, and he called it “good-in-itself” or “the idea of good.” By participation in it, he said, all things are called good. This is set forth by the Philosopher.

There is this difference between the idea of good and that of man as Plato explained them: the idea of man does not extend to everything, whereas that of good does, even to the other ideas. For even the very idea of good is a particular good. And so it was necessary to say that the very good-in-itself is the universal principle of all things; and this principle is God. It therefore followed, according to this position, that all things are denominated good by the first goodness, which is God, just as, according to Plato, Socrates and Plato are called men by participation in separated man, not by any humanity inherent in them.

This Platonic position was in a sense followed by the Porretans. They said that we predicate good of a creature either simply, as when we say, “Man is good,” or with some qualification, as when we say, “Socrates is a good man.” A creature is called good simply, they said, not by any inherent goodness but by the first goodness—as if good taken absolutely and in general were the divine goodness; but when it creature is called a good something-or-other, it is so denominated from a created goodness, because particular created goodnesses are like particular ideas for Plato. But this opinion is refuted by the Philosopher in a number of ways. He argues that the quiddities, and forms of things are in particular things themselves and not separated from them, and he shows this in various ways. He also argues more specifically that, granting that there are ideas, that position does not apply to good, since good is not predicated univocally of goods; and where the predication was not univocal, Plato did not assign a single idea. This is how the Philosopher proceeds against him in the Ethics.

In particular for the point at issue the falsity of the above-mentioned position appears from the fact that every agent is found to effect something like itself. If, therefore, the first goodness is the effective cause of all goods, it must imprint its likeness upon the things produced; and so each thing will be called good by reason of an inherent form because of the likeness of the highest good implanted in it, and also because of the first goodness taken as the exemplar and effective cause of all created goodness. In this respect the opinion of Plato can be held.

We say, therefore, following the common opinion, that all things are good by a created goodness formally as by an inherent form, but by the uncreated goodness as by an exemplary form.

Answers to Difficulties

1. As has been touched upon above, the reason why creatures would not be good unless goodness were understood in God is this: the goodness of the creature is modeled upon the divine goodness. Hence it does not follow that the creature is called good by the uncreated goodness except as by an exemplary form.

2. A thing is denominated with reference to something else intwo ways. (1) This occurs when the very reference itself is the meaning of the denomination. Thus urine is called healthy with respect to the health of an animal. For the meaning of healthy as predicated of urine is “serving as a sign of the health of an animal.” In such cases what is thus relatively denominated does not get its name from a form inherent in it but from something extrinsic to which it is referred. (2) A thing is denominated by reference to something else when the reference is not the meaning of the denomination but its cause. For instance, air is said to be bright from the sun, not because the very fact that the air is referred to the sun is the brightness of the air, but because the placing of the air directly before the sun is the cause of its being bright. It is in this way that the creature is called good with reference to God. Consequently the argument is not valid.

3. In many points Augustine follows the opinion of Plato, but just as far as the truth of the faith allows. His words are, consequently, to be interpreted in this way: the divine goodness is called the good of every good in the sense that it is the first efficient and exemplary cause of every good, without excluding a created goodness by which creatures are denominated good as from an inherent form.

4. The case of general forms is different from that of special forms. Where there is question of special forms, as is clear from Dionysius, the concrete cannot be predicated of the abstract so that we should say: whiteness is white, or heat is hot. But when there is question of general forms, such predication is permitted. We say that an essence is a being, goodness is good, oneness is one, and so forth.

The reason for this is that what is first apprehended by the intellect is being. Hence the intellect must attribute this (being) to whatever is apprehended by it. And so when it apprehends the essence of any being, it says that that essence is a being. The same is true of any general or special form; e.g., goodness is a being, whiteness is a being, and so on. And because certain things are inseparably connected with the notion of being, as the one, good, etc., these also must, for the same reason as being, be predicated of anything apprehended. Thus we say that an essence is one and good, and likewise that oneness is one and good; and the same is true of goodness and whiteness and any other general or special form.

The white, however, being special, does not inseparably accompany the notion of being. The form of whiteness can therefore be apprehended without having white attributed to it. Hence we are not forced to say that whiteness is white. White is predicated in a single sense; but being and the one and good and other such attributes which inust necessarily be said of everything apprehended, are predicated in many senses. One thing is called a being because it subsists in itself; another, because it is a principle of subsisting, as a form; another, because it is a disposition of a subsisting being, as a quality; another, because it is the privation of a disposition of a subsisting being, as blindness. When, therefore, we say, “An essence is a being,” if we go on thus: “Therefore it is a being by something, either by itself or by another,” the inference is wrong, because being was not predicated in the sense in which something subsisting with its own existence is a being, but in the sense of that by which something is. Hence what we should ask is not how an essence is by something else, but how something else is by that essence.

In the same way, when goodness is said to be good, it is not called good in the sense that it is subsisting in goodness, but in the sense in which we call good that by which something is good. There is, accordingly, no point in inquiring whether goodness is good by its own goodness or by some other, but rather whether by that goodness anything is good which is distinct from that goodness (as occurs in creatures) or which is identical with that goodness (as is true of God).

5. A similar distinction must be made in regard to truth, namely, that all things are true by the first truth as their first exemplar, even though they are still true by a created truth as their inherent form. There is, nevertheless, a difference between truth and goodness. The essence of truth consists in a certain equation or commensuration. But a thing is designated as measured or commensurate from something extrinsic, as cloth from a forearm or cubit. This is what Anselm meant in saying that all things arc true by the first truth; 1.e., they are true inasmuch as each is made commensurate to the divine intellect by fulfilling the destiny set for it by divine providence or the foreknowledge had of it. The essence of goodness, however, does not consist in commensuration. Hence there is no parallel here.

6. A creature does not have power over the act of being in the sense that it has being of itself; and yet in some respects it does have power over it, since the creature may be a formal principle of existing. In this way any form has power over the act of being. It is in this way too that created goodness has power over the act of being good as its formal principle.

7. When to be is said to be proper to God, we are not to understand that there is no other act of being than the uncreated one, but only that that act of being is properly said to be inasmuch as, by reason of its immutability, it admits of no has been or will be. But the act of being of a creature is so called by a certain likeness to that first to be, although it has in it an admixture of will be or has been by reason of the mutability of the creature.

Or it can be said that to be is proper to God because only God is His act of being, although others have an act of being, which is, indeed, distinct from the divine act of being.

8. The first goodness does not add anything in reality to goodness taken absolutely, but it does add something conceptually.

9. Pure goodness in itself is made individual and set apart from all other things by the fact that it receives no addition, as the comment in The Causes explains. It does not, however, belong to the notion of goodness taken absolutely to receive an addition or not to receive it. For if it were in its notion to receive an addition, then every goodness would receive an addition, and there would be no pure goodness. Similarly, if it were in its notion not to receive an addition, then no goodness would receive it, and every goodness would be pure goodness. The case is parallel to that of animal, in whose notion is found neither rational nor irrational. The very fact of its being unable to receive an addition, therefore, restricts absolute goodness and distinguishes the first goodness, which is pure goodness, from other goodnesses. But the fact of not receiving an addition, being a negation, is a conceptual being, yet founded upon the simplicity of the first goodness. It does not follow, therefore, that this notion is empty and useless.


Q. 21: Good


In the fifth article we ask:

Is a created good good by its essence?

[Parallel readings: De ver., 21, 1 ad 1; In De bebdom., 3; C.G.., I, 38 & 70; III, 10; S.T., I, 6, 3; Comp. theol., I, 109.]


It seems that it is, for

1. That without which a thing cannot be seems to be essential to it. But a creature cannot be without goodness, because nothing can be created by God which is not good. A creature is therefore good by its essence.

2. To be and to be good are had by the creature from the same source, because from the mere fact of having being it is good, as has previously been shown. But a creature has being by its essence. By its essence, therefore, it is also good.

3 Whatever belongs to something under the qualification “as such” is essential to it. But good belongs to a creature as existing, because, as Augustine says, “inasmuch as we are, we are good.” Hence a creature is good by its own essence.

4. Since goodness is a created form inhering in the creature, as has been shown, it will be either the substantial form or an accidental form. If accidental, the creature will be able sometimes to be without it. But this cannot be said of a creature. It remains, then, that it is the substantial form. But every such form is either the essence of the thing or a part of the essence. A creature is therefore good by its essence.

5. According to Boethius, creatures are good inasmuch as they have emanated from the first good. But they have emanated from the first good essentially. Therefore creatures are essentially good.

6. That which gives its name is always simpler than that which receives the name, or equally simple. But no form added to the essence is simpler than the essence or equally simple. Therefore no other form added to the essence gives its name to the essence; for we cannot say that the essence is white. But the very essence of a thing is named from goodness, for every essence is good. Goodness is therefore not a form added to the essence, and accordingly any creature is essentially good.

7. Just as the one is interchangeable with being, so too is good. But oneness, from which the one which is interchanged with being is designated, does not express a form added to the essence of a thing, as the Commentator says; but everything is one by its essence. So too, then, is everything good by its essence.

8. If a creature is good by a goodness added to its essence, since everything which is, is good, that goodness too, being something real, will be good. But it will not be good by some other goodness—for that would involve an infinite regress—but by its own essence. By the same reasoning, then, it can be asserted that the creature itself is good by its own essence.

To the Contrary

1. Nothing which is said of a thing by participation belongs to that thing by its essence. But a creature is called good by participation, as is clear from Augustine. A creature is therefore not good essentially.

2. Everything that is good by its own essence is a substantial good. But creatures are not substantial goods, as is clear from Boethius. Creatures, therefore, are not good by their essence.

3. Whatever has something predicated of it essentially, cannot have its opposite predicated of it. But evil, the opposite of good, is predicated of some creatures. A creature is therefore not good essentially.


With three authorities we must say that creatures are not good by their essence but by participation. These are Augustine, Boethius, and the author of The Causes, who says that only God is pure goodness. They were, however, brought to the same position by different considerations.

For the clarification of this point it should be noted that, as appears from what has been said, goodness is divided into substantial and accidental, just as is the act of being. There is, however, this difference: a thing is called a being in an absolute sense because of its substantial act of existing; but because of its accidental act of existing it is not said to be absolutely. Since generation is a motion toward existcnce, when someone receives substantial existence, he is said to be generated without qualification; but when he receives accidental existence, he is said to be generated in a certain sense. The same also holds for corruption, which is the loss of existence. But just the opposite is true of good. From the point of view of its substantial goodness a thing is said to be good in a certain sense, but from that of its accidental goodness it is said to be good without qualification. Thus we do not call an unjust man good simply, but only in a certain senseinasmuch as he is a man. But a just man we call good without further restriction.

The reason for this difference is this. A thing is called a being inasinuch as it is considered absolutely, but good, as has already been made clear, in relation to other things. Now it is by its essential principles that a thing is fully constituted in itself so that it subsists; but it is not so perfectly constituted as to stand as it should in relation to everything outside itself except by means of accidents added to the cssence, because the operations by which one thing is in some sense joined to another proceed from the essence through powers distinct from it. Consequently nothing achieves goodness absolutely unless it is complete in both its essential and its accidental principles.

Any perfection which a creature has from its essential and accidental principles combined, God has in its entirety by His one simple act of being. His essence is His wisdom, His justice, His power, and so forth—all of which in us are distinct from our essence. In God, accordingly, absolute goodness is itself also the same as His essence; but in tis it is taken with reference to things that are added to our essence. Consequently, complete or absolute goodness increases and diminishes and disappears entirely in us, but not in God. Our substantial goodness, however, always remains. It is in this sense, it seems, that Augustine says that God is good essentially, but we, by participation.

Still another difference is found between God’s goodness and ours. Goodness is not taken as essential when a nature is considered absolutely but when it is taken in its act of existence. Humanity, for instance, does not have the note of good or goodness except by its having existence. The divine nature or essence, however, is itself its act of being, whereas the nature or essence of any created thing is not its act of being but participates in being from another. In God, accordingly, the act of being is pure, because God is His own subsistent act of being; but in the creature the act of being is received or participated. Even granted, therefore, that absolute goodness were attributed to a creature because of its substantial existence, nevertheless the fact would still remain that it has goodness by participation, just as it has a participated existence. But God is goodness essentially inasmuch as His essence is His existence. This seems to be the meaning of the philosopher in The Causes when he says that only the divine goodness is pure goodness.

A still further difference is discovered between the divine goodness and that of creatures. Goodness has the character of a final cause. But God has this, since He is the ultimate end of all beings just as He is their first principle. From this it follows that any other end has the status or character of an end only in relation to the first cause, because a secondary cause does not influence the effect unless the influence of the first cause is presupposed, as is made clear in The Causes. Hence too, good, having the character of an end, cannot be said of a creature unless we presuppose the relation of Creator to creature.

Granted, therefore, that a creature were its own act of being, as God is, the act of being of the creature would still.not have the character of good except on the supposition of its relation to its Creator; and it would, by that fact , still be called good by participation and not absolutely in its essential constitution. But the divine act of being, which has the character of good even if nothing else is presupposed, has this character of itself. This is what Boethius seems to have meant.

Answers to Difficulties

1. A creature cannot fail to be good with essential goodness, which is goodness in a qualified sense; yet it can fail to be good with accidental goodness, which is absolute and unqualified goodness. That goodness, moreover, which is referred to from the viewpoint of the substantial act of being is not the very essence of the thing but is a participated act of being. This is true even if the relation to the first act of being subsisting by itself is presupposed.

2. A thing has from the same source being and goodness in a qualified sense, 1.e., in its substantial existence; but it does not formally have from the same source being without qualification and goodness without qualification, as is clear from what has been said. For this reason the conclusion does not follow.

3-4. The same answer applies.

5. A creature is from God not only in its essence but also in its act of existing, which constitutes the chief characteristic of substantial goodness; and also in its additional perfections, which constitute its absolute goodness. These are not the essence of the thing. And furthermore, even the relation by which the essence of the thing is referred to God as its source is distinct from the essence.

6. An essence is denominated good in the same way as it is denominated a being. It is good by participation, then, just as it has existence by participation. Existence and good taken in general are simpler than essence because more general, since these are said not only of essence but also of what subsists by reason of the essence and even, too, of accidents.

7. The predication of the one which is interchanged with being is based upon the note of negation which it adds to being. But good does not add to being a negation but essentially consists in something positive. There is consequently no parallel.

8. The existence of a thing is called a being, not because it has some existence other than itself, but because by that existence the thing is said to be. In just the same way goodness is called good because by it a thing is said to be good. From the fact that the existence of a thing is not called a being because of an existence distinct from itself it does not follow that the substance of the thing is not said to be by an existence which is distinct from it. In just the same way that conclusion does not follow in regard to goodness. It does, however, apply to oneness (in regard to which the Commentator adduces the argument) because it makes no difference to the one whether it be referred to essence or to existence. Hence the essence of a thing is one of itself, not because of its act of existing; and so it is not one by any participation, though it is a being and good in this way.


Q. 21: Good


In the sixth article we ask:

Does the good of a creature consist in measure, species, and order as Augustine says?

[Parallel readings: S.T., I, 5, 5; 1-11, 85, 4.]


It seems that it does not, for

1. Good, according to the Philosopher has the character of an end. But the whole character of an end consists in order. The whole character of good, therefore, consists in order; and the other two are superfluous.

2. Being, good, and one differ in meaning. But the notion of being consists in species; that of one, in measure. That of good, therefore, does not consist in species and measure.

3. Species designates a formal cause. But in this respect, according to some, good differs from the true, because the true expresses the notion of a formal cause whereas good expresses that of a final cause. Species therefore does not pertain to the notion of good.

4. Evil and good, being opposites, are applied to the same thing. But as Augustine says, “evil is discovered to consist entirely in the privation of species.” The whole notion of good, therefore, consists in the positive presence of species; and so measure and order seem superfluous.

5. Measure pertains to the properties of a thing; but a certain goodness belongs to its essence. Measure is therefore not an essential note of good.

6. What God can do through one thing He does not do through several. But God could have made a creature good through one of those three notes, because each one has some aspect of goodness. All three are not, therefore, to be considered necessary for the formal character of good.

7. If those three notes are essential to goodness, then in every good the three must be found. But each of the three is itself good. In each of them, then, there are all three; and so they should not be distinguished from one another.

8. If those three notes are good, they must have measure, species, and order. There will therefore be a measure of the measure, a species of the species, and so on to infinity.

9. Measure, species, and order are decreased by sin, according to Augustine. But the substantial goodness of a thing is not decreased by sin. The formal character of good therefore does not consist universally in those three notes.

10. Whatever is essential to good does not have evil predicated of it. But measure, species, and order can have evil predicated of them, according to Augustine; for he speaks of “a bad measure,” “a bad species,” etc. The character of good therefore does not consist in those three notes.

11. Ambrose says: “The nature of light does not consist in number, weight, and dimension like any other creature.” But according to Augustine, species, measure, and order are constituted by these three. Since, therefore, light is good, the character of good does not include species, measure, and order.

12. According to Bernard, the measure of charity is not to have any measure; and yet charity is good. It does not, then, require the three notes mentioned.

To the Contrary

1. Augustine says: “Where these three are great, the good is great; where they are small, it is small; where they are not at all, it is not at all.” The essence of the good therefore consists in measure, species, and order.

2. Augustine says again: “Things are called good inasmuch as they are measured, specified, and ordered.”

3. A creature is called good from its relation to God, as Boethius maintains.But God bears to the creature the relation of a threefold cause: efficient, final, and exemplary formal. The creature is therefore said to be good according to its relation to God under the aspect of a threefold cause. Accordingly, because it is referred to God as its cfficient cause, it has the measure set for it by God. Referred to God as its exemplary cause, it has species. Referred to Him as its end, it has ordcr. The good of the creature therefore consists in measure, species, and order.

4. All creatures are oriented to God through the mediation of a rational creature, which alone is capable of beatitude. And this occurs inasmuch as God is known by the rational creature. Since, then, it creature is good from its orientation to God, three things are required for it to be good: that it be existing, that it be knowable, and that it be oriented. But it is existing by its measure, knowable by its species, and oriented by its order. In these three, therefore, the good of a creature consists.

5. It is said in Wisdom (1:2 1): “But thou hast ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight.” But according to Augustine, measure sets the limit of each thing; number gives its species; and weight gives order. In these three, then, limit or measure, species, and order, consists the goodness of a creature, since a creature is good in virtue of the disposition given it by God.


The essence of good consists in the above-mentioned three notes, as Augustine says. For the elucidation of this point it should be noted that a name can imply a relation in two ways. (1) The name is used to signify the relation itself, as father or son or even fatherhood. (2) Some names are said to imply a relation because they signify a thing of a given kind which is accompanied by a relation, although the name is not used to signify the relation itself. Thus the word knowledge is used to signify a certain quality which entails a relation, but not to signify the relation itself.

In this way the essence of good implies a relation, not because the name good itself signifies only a relation, but because it signifies something which has a relation along with the relation itself. The relation implied in the word good is the status of that which perfects. This follows from the fact that a thing is capable of perfecting not only according to its own specific character but also according to the act of being which it has in reality. In this way an end perfects the means to that end. But since creatures are not their own act of existing, they must have a received existence. Thus their existence is limited and determined according to the measure of the thing in which it is received.

Among the three notes which Augustine lays down, the last, order, is the relation which the name good implies; but the other two, species and measure, are causes of that relation. For species belongs to the very specific character which, having existence in a subject, is received in a determined measure, since everything which is in a subject is in it according to the measure of the subject. Thus every good, being perfective in accordance with both its specific character and its act of being, has measure, species, and order: species in its specific character, measure in its act of being, and order in its status as perfective.

Answers to Difficulties

1. That argument would hold if the name good were used to signify the relation itself; but this is false, as is apparent from what has been said. The reasoning is therefore not consequent.

2. Good does not differ from being and the one because the notions are opposed but because the notion of good includes those of being and the one and adds something to them.

3. According to the Philosopher, just as in regard to numbers the addition or subtraction of one changes the species of the number, so also in definitions the addition or subtraction of anything constitutes a different species. Thus from the species alone is constituted the essence of the true inasmuch as the true is perfective according to the specific character alone, as is clear from what has been said; but from the species plus the measure is constituted the essence of good, which is perfective not only in regard to species but also in regard to the act of being.

4 When Augustine says that evil is discovered to consist entirely in the privation of species, he does not exclude the other two because, as he himself says in the very same book, “where there is any species there is necessarily some measure.” Order also follows upon species and measure. But he names species alone because the other two are consequent upon species.

5. Wherever something has been received, there measure must be found, since what is received is limited in proportion to the recipient. Since a creature’s act of being, both accidental and essential, is received, measure is found not only in accidentals but also in substantials.

6. Since the essence of the good consists in species, measure, and order, even God could not bring it about that anything should be good without having species, measure, and order, just as it would be impossible for Him to make a man who was not a rational animal.

7. Measure, species, and order are each good, not in the sense in which something subsisting in goodness is called good, but in the sense in which the principle of goodness is said to be good. Hence it is not necessary that each of them have measure, species, and order, just as it is not necessary that a form have a form, although it is a being and every being is in virtue of a form. This is the explanation of some who say that, when we speak of all things having measure, species, and order, this applies to things created, not to those which are co-created.

8. The answer is clear from what has just been said.

9. Some say that the measure, species, and order which constitutee the good of a real being and those which are in the domain of moral good and are decreased by sin are really the same but differ in concept. One and the same will, for instance, can be considered from the point of view of being a certain reality and thus having in it a measure, species, and order which constitute it a good in the real order, and also from the point of view of being specifically a will with an ordination to grace, and thus having attributed to it a measure, species, and order able to be decreased through sin, which constitute it a moral good.

Or a better answer would be that, in view of the fact that good is consequent upon existence and is constituted by species, measure and order, just as substantial and accidental existence are distinct, so substantial and accidental form are obviously distinct; and each has its own measure and order.

10. Measure, species, and order, according to Augustine, are not called bad because they are bad in themselves but either because “they are less than they ought to be” or because “they are not adapted to the things to which they should be adapted.” It is accordingly from some privation in point of measure, species, or order that they are called bad, not of themselves.

11. Ambrose’s statement is not to be understood in the sense that light is entirely without measure, since it has a limited species and power, but in the sense that it is not determined as regards any particular corporeal beings because it extends to all things corporeal inasmuch as all of them are capable of being illuminated or of receiving the other effects of light, as Dionysius makes clear.

12.Charity has measure arising from the existence which it has in a subject. In this sense it is a creature. But as referred to an infimite object, God, it has no measure beyond which our charity should not go.