Saturday, October 22, 2005

Human Faculties

Some notes to myself (from yet another old notebook when I was preparing my Getting Started talk this spring - I doubt these will make much sense to anyone else):

Human Faculties:


Intellect - Knowledge, Understanding, Critical Thinking

Will - Perseverance, Diligence

Conscience - Natural Law, Basic Moral Order, Knowledge of Catholic Teaching

Memory - Strengthened with Use, Important Tool of Conscience and Intellect

Imagination - Underlies everything, Sensitive in Early Years

The Soul's Appetitive Power

a habit may be called a virtue in a limited way
(Part I of the 2nd part Q57A1)

the virtues of the speculative intellect are those which perfect the speculative intellect for the consideration of truth

Three Habits of the Speculative Intellect -
Wisdom, Science and Understanding

St. Thomas Aquinas would say that Wisdom and Understanding are habits/virtues of the intellect (as well as gifts of the Holy Spirit).

Recipe for success - grace, example, teaching, develop habits

Intellect -

corrupted by muddled or agenda-driven teaching,
gets lazy from little use
limited by natural abilities and lack of challenge

Will - hard hit by fallen nature
virtues - perseverance, diligence
should look to well-informed conscience for direction
Habits, Virtues, Sacrifices play big here

Conscience - starts with natural law
is part of the intellect
developed by example and teaching
application of conscience is in the will
corrupted by external influences

Memory - important tool for everything
needs exercise
closely related to imagination

Imagination - hard hit by fallen nature
undelries everything
particularly sensitive in early years
corrupted by external influences - even against one's will

The soul understands through the intellect


Goals -

LONG TERM - Know Christ

SHORT TERMER - (habits) think clearly, read carefully, make important distinctions

SHORTER TERM - (knowledge) base of important knowledge, especially conscience


virtues in a restricted sense:

prudence - both moral and intellectual

Supernatural Virtues

Faith - infused virtue by which the will assents firmly to the truths of Revelation
can be sparked and strengthened by reason (check this)

Hope - allows the will to work toward its supernatural end as a good that is possible to attain

Charity - the theological virtue by which we love God because of his goodness and love; and love our neighbor because of God

The faculty of choice...

The will is affected by:

fallen nature
habit-good or bad
natural consequences
experience - direct or indirect

The will determines actions and decisions

Virtues that come into play: Faith, Hope and Charity (as mentioned above)
patience, temperence, diligence, perserverance, neatness/order, justice, fortitude

Strengthening the Will -

punishments or rewards (best rewards are intangible)

Conscience - Practical Intellect

Application of Principles -

affected by temperment, natural abilites, habits, environment

Different people have natural aptitudes for different virtues.


Summa Theologica
Catechism of the Catholic Church
1911 Catholic Encyclopedia

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