Friday, February 06, 2009

Q76 A5: Whether the intellectual soul is properly united to such a body?

Yes. It behooved the intellectual soul to be united to a body fitted to be a convenient organ of sense because the action of the senses is not performed without a corporeal instrument.

Oportuit animam intellectivam tali corpori uniri, quod possit esse conveniens organum sensus quia actio sensus non fit sine corporeo instrumento.

Now the intellectual soul, as we have seen above (Q55, A2) in the order of nature, holds the lowest place among intellectual substances; inasmuch as it is not naturally gifted with the knowledge of truth, as the angels are; but has to gather knowledge from individual things by way of the senses, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. vii).

Anima autem intellectiva, sicut supra habitum est, secundum naturae ordinem, infimum gradum in substantiis intellectualibus tenet; intantum quod non habet naturaliter sibi inditam notitiam veritatis, sicut Angeli, sed oportet quod eam colligat ex rebus divisibilibus per viam sensus, ut Dionysius dicit, VII cap. de Div. Nom.

But nature never fails in necessary things; therefore the intellectual soul had to be endowed not only with the power of understanding, but also with the power of feeling.

Natura autem nulli deest in necessariis; unde oportuit quod anima intellectiva non solum haberet virtutem intelligendi, sed etiam virtutem sentiendi.

A body is not necessary to the intellectual soul by reason of its intellectual operation considered as such; but on account of the sensitive power, which requires an organ of equable temperament. Therefore the intellectual soul had to be united to such a body, and not to a simple element, or to a mixed body, in which fire was in excess; because otherwise there could not be an equability of temperament. And this body of an equable temperament has a dignity of its own by reason of its being remote from contraries, thereby resembling in a way a heavenly body.

Animae intellectivae non debetur corpus propter ipsam intellectualem operationem secundum se; sed propter sensitivam virtutem, quae requirit organum aequaliter complexionatum. Et ideo oportuit animam intellectivam tali corpori uniri, et non simplici elemento, vel corpori mixto in quo excederet ignis secundum quantitatem, quia non posset esse aequalitas complexionis, propter excedentem ignis activam virtutem. Habet autem hoc corpus aequaliter complexionatum quandam dignitatem, per hoc quod est remotum a contrariis; in quo quodammodo assimilatur corpori caelesti.

Now all the other senses are based on the sense of touch. Therefore the more the organ of touch is reduced to an equable complexion, the more sensitive will be the touch.

Omnes autem alii sensus fundantur supra tactum. ... Unde quanto organum tactus fuerit magis reductum ad aequalitatem complexionis, tanto perceptibilior erit tactus.

Therefore the body to which the intellectual soul is united should be a mixed body, above others reduced to the most equable complexion.

Unde oportuit corpus cui unitur anima intellectiva, esse corpus mixtum, inter omnia alia magis reductum ad aequalitatem complexionis.

The intellectual soul as comprehending universals, has a power extending to the infinite; therefore it cannot be limited by nature to certain fixed natural notions, or even to certain fixed means whether of defence or of clothing, as is the case with other animals, the souls of which are endowed with knowledge and power in regard to fixed particular things.

Anima intellectiva, quia est universalium comprehensiva, habet virtutem ad infinita. Et ideo non potuerunt sibi determinari a natura vel determinatae existimationes naturales, vel etiam determinata auxilia vel defensionum vel tegumentorum, sicut aliis animalibus, quorum animae habent apprehensionem et virtutem ad aliqua particularia determinata.

Instead of all these, man has by nature his reason and his hands, which are "the organs of organs" (De Anima iii), since by their means man can make for himself instruments of an infinite variety, and for any number of purposes.

Sed loco horum omnium, homo habet naturaliter rationem, et manus, quae sunt "organa organorum", quia per eas homo potest sibi praeparare instrumenta infinitorum modorum, et ad infinitos effectus.

Before sin the human body was immortal not by nature, but by a gift of Divine grace; otherwise its immortality would not be forfeited through sin, as neither was the immortality of the devil.

Corpus hominis ante peccatum immortale fuit non per naturam, sed per gratiae divinae donum; alioquin immortalitas eius per peccatum sublata non esset, sicut nec immortalitas Daemonis.

So the intellectual soul requires a body of equable complexion, which, however, is corruptible by force of its matter. If, however, it be said that God could avoid this [necessity], we answer that in the formation of natural things we do not consider what God might do; but what is suitable to the nature of things, as Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. ii, 1). God, however, provided in this case by applying a remedy against death in the gift of grace.

Sic igitur et animae intellectivae debetur corpus quod sit aequalis complexionis, ex hoc autem de necessitate materiae sequitur quod sit corruptibile. Si quis vero dicat quod Deus potuit hanc necessitatem vitare, dicendum est quod in constitutione rerum naturalium non consideratur quid Deus facere possit, sed quid naturae rerum conveniat, ut Augustinus dicit, II super Gen. ad Litt. Providit tamen Deus adhibendo remedium contra mortem per gratiae donum.