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Texts without Comment for Chapter Two

by Jacques Maritain

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Texts without comment for Chapter Two of Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry.

Larger Work

Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry

Publisher & Date

Bollingen Foundation Inc., 1953

I

1. Thomas Aquinas, Comm. in Metaphys. (lib. II, cap. 1; lect. 2):

Finis practicae est opus, quia etsi "practici," hoc est operativi, intendant cognoscere veritatem, quomodo se habeat in aliquibus rebus, non tamen quaerunt eam tanquam ultimum finem. Non enim considerant causam veritatis secundum se et propter se, sed ordinando ad finem operations, sive applicando ad aliquod determinatum par­ticulare, et ad aliquod determinatum tempus.

2. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (VI, 3; 1140 a 1-5):

In the variable (contingent) are included both things made and things done; making and acting are different . . . so that the reasoned state of capacity to act is different from the reasoned state of capacity to make.a

3.Thomas Aquinas, Comm. in Ethic. ad Nicom. (lib. VI, lect. 3):

Actio manens in ipso agente operatio dicitur, ut videre, intelligere et velle. Sed factio est operatio transiens in exteriorem materiam ad aliquod formandum ex ea, sicut aedificare et secare. Quia enim habit's ["state of capacity," in W. D.Ross' translation] distinguuntur secundum objectum, consequens est quod habitus qui est activum cum ra­tione, quae est prudentia, sit alius ab habitu qui est factivus cum ratione, qui est ars.

4. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (VI, 3; 1140 a 11—20):

All art is concerned with coming into being, i.e., with contriving and considering how something may come into being which is capable of either being or not being, and whose origin is in the maker and not in the thing made. . . . Making and acting being different, art must be a matter of making, not of acting. And in a sense chance and art are concerned with the same objects; as Agathon says, "art loves chance and chance loves art."

5. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theol. (I-II,q. 93, a. 1):

In quolibet artifice praeexistit ratio eorum quae constituuntur per artem.

6. Poussin (paraphrasing Domenichino):b

De la main d'un peintre ne doit sortir aucune ligne qui n'ait ete formée auparavant dans son esprit.

7. Eric Gill, in The Priesthood of Craftsmanship:c

Art as a virtue of the practical intelligence is the well-making of what is needed—whether it be drainpipes or paintings and sculptures and musical symphonies of the highest religious import—and science is that which enables us to deal faithfully with technique. . . .

What is a work of art? A word made flesh. . . . A word, that which emanates from the mind. Made flesh; a thing, a flag seen, a thing known, the immeasurable translated into terms of the measurable. From the highest to the lowest that is the substance of works of art.

II

8. Thomas Aquinas, Comm. in Ethic. ad Nicom. (lib. VI, lect. 2); Summa theol. q. 57, a. 5, ad 3):

Rectitudo appetitus per respectum ad finem est mensura veritatis in ratione practica. . . .

Verum intellectus practici accipitur per conformitatem ad appetitum rectum. Quae quidem conformitas in necessariis locum non habet, quae voluntate humana non fiunt: sed solum in contingentibus quae possunt a nobis fieri, sive sint agibilia interiora, sive factibilia exteriora. Et ideo circa sola contingentia ponitur virtus intellectus practici: circa factibilia quidem, ars; circa agibilia vero, prudentia.

9. Cajetan, In Summam theol. (q. 57, a. 5, ad 3):

Tails est autem intellectus practicus, ut sic: quoniam ejus perfectio ac veritas in actu diri endi consistit, quae directio infallibiliter est vera circa contingentia, si consona sit appetitui recto praecedenti.

10. John of St. Thomas, Cursus theolog. (t. VI, q. 62, disp. 16, a. 4):

Proprie enim intellectus practicus est mensurativus opens faciendi, et regulativus. Et sic ejus veritas non est penes esse, sed penes id quod deberet esse juxta regulam et mensuram tails rei regulandae.

 III

11. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theol. (q. 47, a. 2, ad 3):

Omnis applicatio rationis rectae ad aliquid factibile pertinet ad artem. Sed ad prudentiam non pertinet nisi applicatio rationis rectae ad ea de quibus est consilium; et hujusmodi sunt in quibus non sunt viae determinatae perveniendi ad finem.

[In art, on the other hand, as opposed to prudence] proceditur secundum certas et determinatas vias.

12. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theol. ( q. 57, a. 3):

Dicendum est quod ars nihil aliud est quam ratio recta aliquorum operum faciendorum: Quorum tamen bonum non consistit in eo quod appetitus humanus aliquo modo se habet; sed in eo quod ipsum opus quod fit, in se bonum est. Non enim pertinet ad laudem artificis, in-quantum artifex est, qua voluntate opus facit; sed quale sit opus quod facit. Sic igitur ars, proprie loquendo, habitus operativus est.

Et tamen in aliquo convent cum habitibus speculativis. Quia etiam ad ipsos habitus speculativos pertinet, qualiter se habeat res quam considerant; non autem qualiter se habeat appetitus humanus ad illam. Dummodo enim verum geometra demonstret, non refert qual­iter se habeat secundum appetitivam partem: utrum sit laetus vel iratus; sicut nec in artifice refert, ut dictum est. Et ideo eo modo ars habet rationem virtutis, sicut et habitus speculativi: inquantum scilicet nec ars, nec habitus speculativus faciunt bonum opus quantum ad usum [with respect to the very use of free will], quod est proprium virtutis perficientis appetitum; sed solum quantum ad facultatem bene agendi.

13. Thomas Aquinas, De Virtutibus in communi (a. 7; a. 7, ad 5):

Ars non perficit hominem ex hoc quod bene velit operari secundum artem, sed solummodo ad hoc quod sciat et possit. . . .

Et inde est quod Philosophus dicit [VI Ethic., cap. 5] quod qui peccat voluntarius in agibilibus, est minus prudens; licet e con trario sit in scientia et arte. Nam Grammaticus qui involuntari soloecizat, apparet esse minus sciens Grammaticam.

14. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theol. (q. 57, a. 4):

Bonum autem artificialium non est bonum appetitus human, se bonum ipsorum operum artificialium. Et ideo ars non praesupponitappetitum rectum [with respect to the good of man].

IV

15. Yeats, The Choice:d

The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.

When all that story's finished, what's the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
Or the day's vanity, the night's remorse.

Notes

a. Trans. W. D. Ross (New York: Random House, 1941).

b. Cf. André Gide, "L'Enseigne­ment de Poussin," in Poussin (Coll. 'Les Demi-Dieux," Paris: Divan 1945).

c. Blackfriars Magazine, December, 1940.—Artists on Art, p. 457.

d. In Collected Poems (2nd ed.; New York: Macmillan, 1950).


Chapter II. Art as a Virtue of the Practical Intellect

Chapter Three – The Preconscious Life of the Intellect

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