Friday, January 30, 2009

Q75 A5: Whether the soul is composed of matter and form?

No. The intellectual soul itself is an absolute form, and not something composed of matter and form, because the intellectual soul knows a thing in its nature absolutely.

Anima igitur intellectiva est forma absoluta, non autem aliquid compositum ex materia et forma. Anima autem intellectiva cognoscit rem aliquam in sua natura absolute.

For it is clear that whatever is received into something is received according to the condition of the recipient. Now a thing is known in as far as its form is in the knower.

Manifestum est enim quod omne quod recipitur in aliquo, recipitur in eo per modum recipientis. Sic autem cognoscitur unumquodque, sicut forma eius est in cognoscente.

For instance, [the intellectual soul] knows a stone absolutely as a stone; and therefore the form of a stone absolutely, as to its proper formal idea, is in the intellectual soul.

Puta lapidem inquantum est lapis absolute. Est igitur forma lapidis absolute, secundum propriam rationem formalem, in anima intellectiva.

For if the intellectual soul were composed of matter and form, the forms of things would be received into it as individuals, and so it would only know the individual: just as it happens with the sensitive powers which receive forms in a corporeal organ; since matter is the principle by which forms are individualized.

Si enim anima intellectiva esset composita ex materia et forma, formae rerum reciperentur in ea ut individuales, et sic non cognosceret nisi singulare, sicut accidit in potentiis sensitivis, quae recipiunt formas rerum in organo corporali, materia enim est principium individuationis formarum.

It follows, therefore, that the intellectual soul, and every intellectual substance which has knowledge of forms absolutely, is exempt from composition of matter and form.

Relinquitur ergo quod anima intellectiva, et omnis intellectualis substantia cognoscens formas absolute, caret compositione formae et materiae.

To be a subject and to be changed belong to matter by reason of its being in potentiality. As, therefore, the potentiality of the intelligence is one thing and the potentiality of primary matter another, so in each is there a different reason of subjection and change. For the intelligence is subject to knowledge, and is changed from ignorance to knowledge, by reason of its being in potentiality with regard to the intelligible species.

Subiici et transmutari convenit materiae secundum quod est in potentia. Sicut ergo est alia potentia intellectus, et alia potentia materiae primae, ita est alia ratio subiiciendi et transmutandi. Secundum hoc enim intellectus subiicitur scientiae, et transmutatur de ignorantia ad scientiam, secundum quod est in potentia ad species intelligibiles.

The soul in general has no matter because it belongs to the notion of a soul to be the form of a body.

In communi anima non habet materiam. Est enim de ratione animae, quod sit forma alicuius corporis.

Now, either it is a form by virtue of itself, in its entirety, or by virtue of some part of itself.

Aut igitur est forma secundum se totam; aut secundum aliquam partem sui.

If by virtue of itself in its entirety, then it is impossible that any part of it should be matter, if by matter we understand something purely potential: for a form, as such, is an act; and that which is purely potentiality cannot be part of an act, since potentiality is repugnant to actuality as being opposite thereto.

Si secundum se totam, impossibile est quod pars eius sit materia, si dicatur materia aliquod ens in potentia tantum, quia forma, inquantum forma, est actus; id autem quod est in potentia tantum, non potest esse pars actus, cum potentia repugnet actui, utpote contra actum divisa.

If, however, it be a form by virtue of a part of itself, then we call that part the soul: and that matter, which it actualizes first, we call the "primary animate."

Si autem sit forma secundum aliquam partem sui, illam partem, dicemus esse animam, et illam materiam cuius primo est actus, dicemus esse primum animatum.

Now the receptive potentiality in the intellectual soul is other than the receptive potentiality of first matter, as appears from the diversity of the things received by each. For primary matter receives individual forms; whereas the intelligence receives absolute forms. Hence the existence of such a potentiality in the intellectual soul does not prove that the soul is composed of matter and form.

Est autem alia potentia receptiva in anima intellectiva, a potentia receptiva materiae primae, ut patet ex diversitate receptorum, nam materia prima recipit formas individuales, intellectus autem recipit formas absolutas. Unde talis potentia in anima intellectiva existens, non ostendit quod anima sit composita ex materia et forma.

The First Act is the universal principle of all acts; because It is infinite, virtually "precontaining all things," as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. v). Wherefore things participate of It not as a part of themselves, but by diffusion of Its processions. Now as potentiality is receptive of act, it must be proportionate to act. But the acts received which proceed from the First Infinite Act, and are participations thereof, are diverse, so that there cannot be one potentiality which receives all acts, as there is one act, from which all participated acts are derived; for then the receptive potentiality would equal the active potentiality of the First Act.

Primus actus est universale principium omnium actuum, quia est infinitum, virtualiter in se omnia praehabens, ut dicit Dionysius. Unde participatur a rebus, non sicut pars, sed secundum diffusionem processionis ipsius. Potentia autem, cum sit receptiva actus, oportet quod actui proportionetur. Actus vero recepti, qui procedunt a primo actu infinito et sunt quaedam participationes eius, sunt diversi. Unde non potest esse potentia una quae recipiat omnes actus, sicut est unus actus influens omnes actus participatos, alioquin potentia receptiva adaequaret potentiam activam primi actus.

Everything participated is compared to the participator as its act. But whatever created form be supposed to subsist "per se," must have existence by participation; for "even life," or anything of that sort, "is a participator of existence," as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. v).

Omne participatum comparatur ad participans ut actus eius. Quaecumque autem forma creata per se subsistens ponatur, oportet quod participet esse, quia etiam ipsa vita, vel quidquid sic diceretur, participat ipsum esse, ut dicit Dionysius, V cap. de Div. Nom.

Now participated existence is limited by the capacity of the participator; so that God alone, Who is His own existence, is pure act and infinite.

Esse autem participatum finitur ad capacitatem participantis. Unde solus Deus, qui est ipsum suum esse, est actus purus et infinitus.

But in intellectual substances there is composition of actuality and potentiality, not, indeed, of matter and form, but of form and participated existence. Wherefore some say that they are composed of that "whereby they are" and that "which they are"; for existence itself is that by which a thing is.

In substantiis vero intellectualibus est compositio ex actu et potentia; non quidem ex materia et forma, sed ex forma et esse participato. Unde a quibusdam dicuntur componi ex quo est et quod est, ipsum enim esse est quo aliquid est.

The form causes matter to be, and so does the agent; wherefore the agent causes matter to be, so far as it actualizes it by transmuting it to the act of a form. A subsistent form, however, does not owe its existence to some formal principle, nor has it a cause transmuting it from potentiality to act.

Forma est causa essendi materiae, et agens, unde agens, inquantum reducit materiam in actum formae transmutando, est ei causa essendi. Si quid autem est forma subsistens, non habet esse per aliquod formale principium, nec habet causam transmutantem de potentia in actum.

Augustine (Gen. ad lit. vii, 7,8,9) proves that the soul was made neither of corporeal matter, nor of spiritual matter.

Augustinus probat, in VII super Gen. ad Litt., quod anima non est facta nec ex materia corporali, nec ex materia spirituali.