STAGE 2. In this stage, Richard tries to show that perfect charity must be directed at another person. Here’s the quotation:
‘no one is properly said to have charity on the basis of his own private love of himself. And so it is necessary for love to be directed toward another for it to be charity’.
The idea here seems to be that charity is a disposition to love another (in a particular way, though I don’t know what that particular way is, so I’ll leave it undefined here). However, in order for charity to be perfect, it seems to require two things.
First, it must be manifested or realized in order to be perfect. That is, someone with a charitable disposition is not perfect unless they actually act charitably. So
(T4) For any person x, if x has a charitable disposition P, x is not perfect if x does not exercise P.
Second, a charitable disposition cannot be exercised perfectly unless one directs it to a distinct person. In other words, one cannot exercise charity on themselves and be perfect. So:
(T5) For any person x, if x has a charitable disposition P, x is not perfect if x does not exercise P on some person y, where x is not identical to y.
T4 and T5 identify two necessary conditions for charity to be perfectly realized: it must be exercised, and it must be exercised on another person. But these two conditionts are not sufficient for charity to be perfect. There’s still a third condition that must be satisfied too, but that comes up in the next post.