Monday, February 02, 2009

Q76 A1: Whether the intellectual principle is united to the body as its form?

Yes. The intellect which is the principle of intellectual operation is the form of the human body because that whereby primarily anything acts is a form of the thing to which the act is to be attributed. Now the proper operation of man as man is to understand; because he thereby surpasses all other animals.

Intellectus, qui est intellectualis operationis principium, sit humani corporis forma. Illud enim quo primo aliquid operatur, est forma eius cui operatio attribuitur. Propria autem operatio hominis, inquantum est homo, est intelligere, per hanc enim omnia animalia transcendit.

Whence Aristotle concludes (Ethic. x, 7) that the ultimate happiness of man must consist in this operation as properly belonging to him. Man must therefore derive his species from that which is the principle of this operation. But the species of anything is derived from its form. It follows therefore that the intellectual principle is the proper form of man.

Unde et Aristoteles, in libro Ethic., in hac operatione, sicut in propria hominis, ultimam felicitatem constituit. Oportet ergo quod homo secundum illud speciem sortiatur, quod est huius operationis principium. Sortitur autem unumquodque speciem per propriam formam. Relinquitur ergo quod intellectivum principium sit propria hominis forma.

According to the Philosopher, Metaph. viii (Did. vii 2), difference is derived from the form. But the difference which constitutes man is "rational," which is applied to man on account of his intellectual principle. Therefore the intellectual principle is the form of man.

Secundum philosophum, in VIII Metaphys., differentia sumitur a forma rei. Sed differentia constitutiva hominis est rationale; quod dicitur de homine ratione intellectivi principii. Intellectivum ergo principium est forma hominis.

The reason is because nothing acts except so far as it is in act; wherefore a thing acts by that whereby it is in act. Now it is clear that the first thing by which the body lives is the soul. And as life appears through various operations in different degrees of living things, that whereby we primarily perform each of all these vital actions is the soul. For the soul is the primary principle of our nourishment, sensation, and local movement; and likewise of our understanding. Therefore this principle by which we primarily understand, whether it be called the intellect or the intellectual soul, is the form of the body. This is the demonstration used by Aristotle (De Anima ii, 2).

Et huius ratio est, quia nihil agit nisi secundum quod est actu, unde quo aliquid est actu, eo agit. Manifestum est autem quod primum quo corpus vivit, est anima. Et cum vita manifestetur secundum diversas operationes in diversis gradibus viventium, id quo primo operamur unumquodque horum operum vitae, est anima, anima enim est primum quo nutrimur, et sentimus, et movemur secundum locum; et similiter quo primo intelligimus. Hoc ergo principium quo primo intelligimus, sive dicatur intellectus sive anima intellectiva, est forma corporis. Et haec est demonstratio Aristotelis in II de anima.

It is one and the same man who is conscious both that he understands, and that he senses. But one cannot sense without a body: therefore the body must be some part of man.

Ipse idem homo est qui percipit se et intelligere et sentire, sentire autem non est sine corpore, unde oportet corpus aliquam esse hominis partem.

Some, however, tried to maintain that the intellect is united to the body as its motor; and hence that the intellect and body form one thing so that the act of the intellect could be attributed to the whole. This is, however, absurd for many reasons.

Quidam autem dicere voluerunt quod intellectus unitur corpori ut motor; et sic ex intellectu et corpore fit unum, ut actio intellectus toti attribui possit. Sed hoc est multipliciter vanum.

If, however, Socrates be a whole composed of a union of the intellect with whatever else belongs to Socrates, and still the intellect be united to those other things only as a motor, it follows that Socrates is not one absolutely, and consequently neither a being absolutely, for a thing is a being according as it is one. This is contrary to the teaching of the Philosopher, who holds that understanding is not possible through a corporeal instrument (De Anima iii, 4).

Si vero Socrates est totum quod componitur ex unione intellectus ad reliqua quae sunt Socratis, et tamen intellectus non unitur aliis quae sunt Socratis nisi sicut motor; sequitur quod Socrates non sit unum simpliciter, et per consequens nec ens simpliciter; sic enim aliquid est ens, quomodo et unum. Quod est contra philosophum, qui vult quod intelligere non sit per instrumentum corporeum.

There remains, therefore, no other explanation than that given by Aristotle--namely, that this particular man understands, because the intellectual principle is his form. Thus from the very operation of the intellect it is made clear that the intellectual principle is united to the body as its form.

Relinquitur ergo solus modus quem Aristoteles ponit, quod hic homo intelligit, quia principium intellectivum est forma ipsius. Sic ergo ex ipsa operatione intellectus apparet quod intellectivum principium unitur corpori ut forma.

Now the human soul is the highest and noblest of forms. Wherefore it excels corporeal matter in its power by the fact that it has an operation and a power in which corporeal matter has no share whatever. This power is called the intellect.

Anima autem humana est ultima in nobilitate formarum. Unde intantum sua virtute excedit materiam corporalem, quod habet aliquam operationem et virtutem in qua nullo modo communicat materia corporalis. Et haec virtus dicitur intellectus.

It is well to remark that if anyone holds that the soul is composed of matter and form, it would follow that in no way could the soul be the form of the body. For since the form is an act, and matter is only in potentiality, that which is composed of matter and form cannot be the form of another by virtue of itself as a whole.

Est autem attendendum quod, si quis poneret animam componi ex materia et forma, nullo modo posset dicere animam esse formam corporis. Cum enim forma sit actus, materia vero sit ens in potentia tantum; nullo modo id quod est ex materia et forma compositum, potest esse alterius forma secundum se totum.

The soul communicates that existence in which it subsists to the corporeal matter, out of which and the intellectual soul there results unity of existence; so that the existence of the whole composite is also the existence of the soul. This is not the case with other non-subsistent forms. For this reason the human soul retains its own existence after the dissolution of the body; whereas it is not so with other forms.

Anima illud esse in quo ipsa subsistit, communicat materiae corporali, ex qua et anima intellectiva fit unum, ita quod illud esse quod est totius compositi, est etiam ipsius animae. Quod non accidit in aliis formis, quae non sunt subsistentes. Et propter hoc anima humana remanet in suo esse, destructo corpore, non autem aliae formae.

The human soul retains its proper existence when separated from the body, having an aptitude and a natural inclination to be united to the body.

Ita anima humana manet in suo esse cum fuerit a corpore separata, habens aptitudinem et inclinationem naturalem ad corporis unionem.