Monday, January 26, 2009

Q75 A1: Whether the soul is a body?

No. The soul, which is the first principle of life, is not a body, but the act of a body because a body is competent to be a living thing or even a principle of life, as "such" a body. Now that it is actually such a body, it owes to some principle which is called its act.

Anima igitur, quae est primum principium vitae, non est corpus, sed corporis actus, quod convenit igitur alicui corpori quod sit vivens, vel etiam principium vitae, per hoc quod est tale corpus. Quod autem est actu tale, habet hoc ab aliquo principio quod dicitur actus eius.

It is manifest that not every principle of vital action is a soul, for then the eye would be a soul, as it is a principle of vision; and the same might be applied to the other instruments of the soul: but it is the "first" principle of life, which we call the soul.

Manifestum est enim quod non quodcumque vitalis operationis principium est anima, sic enim oculus esset anima, cum sit quoddam principium visionis; et idem esset dicendum de aliis animae instrumentis. Sed primum principium vitae dicimus esse animam.

Now, though a body may be a principle of life, or to be a living thing, as the heart is a principle of life in an animal, yet nothing corporeal can be the first principle of life. For it is clear that to be a principle of life, or to be a living thing, does not belong to a body as such; since, if that were the case, every body would be a living thing, or a principle of life.

Quamvis autem aliquod corpus possit esse quoddam principium vitae, sicut cor est principium vitae in animali; tamen non potest esse primum principium vitae aliquod corpus. Manifestum est enim quod esse principium vitae, vel vivens, non convenit corpori ex hoc quod est corpus, alioquin omne corpus esset vivens, aut principium vitae.

The soul is defined as the first principle of life of those things which live: for we call living things "animate," [i.e. having a soul], and those things which have no life, "inanimate." Now life is shown principally by two actions, knowledge and movement.

Anima dicitur esse primum principium vitae in his quae apud nos vivunt animata enim viventia dicimus, res vero inanimatas vita carentes. Vita autem maxime manifestatur duplici opere, scilicet cognitionis et motus.

The philosophers of old, not being able to rise above their imagination, supposed that the principle of these actions was something corporeal: for they asserted that only bodies were real things; and that what is not corporeal is nothing: hence they maintained that the soul is something corporeal.

Horum autem principium antiqui philosophi, imaginationem transcendere non valentes, aliquod corpus ponebant; sola corpora res esse dicentes, et quod non est corpus, nihil esse. Et secundum hoc, animam aliquod corpus esse dicebant.

But, as is shown in Phys. viii, 6, there is a mover which is altogether immovable, and not moved either essentially, or accidentally; and such a mover can cause an invariable movement. There is, however, another kind of mover, which, though not moved essentially, is moved accidentally; and for this reason it does not cause an invariable movement; such a mover, is the soul.

Sed sicut ostenditur in VIII Physic., est quoddam movens penitus immobile, quod nec per se nec per accidens movetur, et tale movens potest movere motum semper uniformem. Est autem aliud movens, quod non movetur per se, sed movetur per accidens, et propter hoc non movet motum semper uniformem. Et tale movens est anima.

There is, again, another mover, which is moved essentially--namely, the body. And because the philosophers of old believed that nothing existed but bodies, they maintained that every mover is moved; and that the soul is moved directly, and is a body.

Est autem aliud movens, quod per se movetur, scilicet corpus. Et quia antiqui naturales nihil esse credebant nisi corpora, posuerunt quod omne movens movetur, et quod anima per se movetur, et est corpus.

But the ancient philosophers omitted to distinguish between actuality and potentiality; and so they held that the soul must be a body in order to have knowledge of a body; and that it must be composed of the principles of which all bodies are formed in order to know all bodies.

Sed quia antiqui naturales nesciebant distinguere inter actum et potentiam, ponebant animam esse corpus, ad hoc quod cognosceret corpus; et ad hoc quod cognosceret omnia corpora, quod esset composita ex principiis omnium corporum.

Augustine says (De Trin. vi, 6) that the soul "is simple in comparison with the body, inasmuch as it does not occupy space by its bulk."

Augustinus dicit, VI de Trin., quod "anima simplex dicitur respectu corporis, quia mole non diffunditur per spatium loci."