The act of the mind heeding, attending to, or taking note of something. The term is used by moralists to signify actual attention given by an agent to what he is doing or to some morally significant circumstance. Thus a man who is habitually aware of his obligation to abstain from meat on Friday may eat meat without adverting to the fact that it is Friday. Advertence admits of varying degrees of clarity and of distinctness. Inadvertence is a kind of actual ignorance, and the general principles governing its effect upon the morality of human action are the same as those that determine the influence of ignorance.
See Also: ignorance.
Bibliography: thomas aquinas, Summa Theologiae 1a2ae, 6.8. h. davis, Moral and Pastoral Theology, 4 v. (rev. ed. New York 1958) v.1. b. h. merkelbach, Summa theologiae moralis, 3 v. (8th ed. Paris 1949) 1:351–352, 355–356, 435–438.
[f. d. nealy]