The Heart: An Analysis on Sensitive Affectivity and Spiritual Affectivity in the Psychology of Aquinas


Martín Federico Echavarría


Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 65, Issue 151 (January-June), 2016, pages 41-72




Haecker and Hildebrand refer to “feeling” or “heart” as a new faculty different from will, whose existence should ensue from the existence of a spiritual affectivity. Neither the ancient pagan philosophy nor Christian thought, including saint Augustine and saint Thomas would have succeeded in recognizing this faculty. This paper seeks to show the fault of these statements with respect to Aquinas. Thus, it is noticed the linkage between the notions of affection and appetite elicited; the notion of passion is differentiated from that of affection; it is demonstrated the existence -in Thomas Aquinas-, of a spiritual affection and even the use of the word “heart” to refer to it. It is shown the close and complex relationship between spiritual and sensitive affection in Thomas Aquinas, who by the concept of “redundantia” makes “one heart” from both species of affection.

Key words:

Thomas Aquinas, affectivity, feelings, Philosophy of emotions, heart, will.




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