Saturday, February 07, 2009

Q76 A6: Whether the intellectual soul is united to the body through the medium of accidental dispositions?

No. It is impossible for any accidental disposition to come between the body and the soul, or between any substantial form whatever and its matter because since matter is in potentiality to all manner of acts in a certain order, what is absolutely first among the acts must be understood as being first in matter.

Impossibile est quod aliqua dispositio accidentalis cadat media inter corpus et animam, vel inter quamcumque formam substantialem et materiam suam. Et huius ratio est quia, cum materia sit in potentia ad omnes actus ordine quodam, oportet quod id quod est primum simpliciter in actibus, primo in materia intelligatur.

Now the first among all acts is existence. Therefore, it is impossible for matter to be apprehended as hot, or as having quantity, before it is actual.

Primum autem inter omnes actus est esse. Impossibile est ergo intelligere materiam prius esse calidam vel quantam, quam esse in actu.

But matter has actual existence by the substantial form, which makes it to exist absolutely, as we have said above (Q76 A4). Wherefore it is impossible for any accidental dispositions to pre-exist in matter before the substantial form, and consequently before the soul.

Esse autem in actu habet per formam substantialem, quae facit esse simpliciter, ut iam dictum est. Unde impossibile est quod quaecumque dispositiones accidentales praeexistant in materia ante formam substantialem; et per consequens neque ante animam.

A spiritual substance which is united to a body as its motor only, is united thereto by power or virtue. But the intellectual soul is united by its very being to the body as a form; and yet it guides and moves the body by its power and virtue.

Substantia spiritualis quae unitur corpori solum ut motor, unitur ei per potentiam vel virtutem. Sed anima intellectiva corpori unitur ut forma per suum esse. Administrat tamen ipsum et movet per suam potentiam et virtutem.

As appears from what has been already said (Q76 A4), the more perfect form virtually contains whatever belongs to the inferior forms; therefore while remaining one and the same, it perfects matter according to the various degrees of perfection. For the same essential form makes man an actual being, a body, a living being, an animal, and a man.

Sicut ex praedictis patet, forma perfectior virtute continet quidquid est inferiorum formarum. Et ideo una et eadem existens, perficit materiam secundum diversos perfectionis gradus. Una enim et eadem forma est per essentiam, per quam homo est ens actu, et per quam est corpus, et per quam est vivum, et per quam est animal, et per quam est homo.

Now it is clear that to every "genus" follow its own proper accidents. Therefore as matter is apprehended as perfected in its existence (before it is understood as corporeal, and so on), so those accidents which belong to existence are understood to exist before corporeity. And thus dispositions are understood in matter before the form, not as regards all its effects, but as regards the subsequent effect.

Manifestum est autem quod unumquodque genus consequuntur propria accidentia. Sicut ergo materia praeintelligitur perfecta secundum esse (ante intellectum corporeitatis, et sic de aliis), ita praeintelliguntur accidentia quae sunt propria entis, ante corporeitatem. Et sic praeintelliguntur dispositiones in materia ante formam, non quantum ad omnem eius effectum, sed quantum ad posteriorem.

Dimensions of quantity are accidents consequent to the corporeity which belongs to the whole matter. Wherefore matter, once understood as corporeal and measurable, can be understood as distinct in its various parts, and as receptive of different forms according to the further degrees of perfection.

Dimensiones quantitativae sunt accidentia consequentia corporeitatem, quae toti materiae convenit. Unde materia iam intellecta sub corporeitate et dimensionibus, potest intelligi ut distincta in diversas partes, ut sic accipiat diversas formas secundum ulteriores perfectionis gradus.

For although it is essentially the same form which gives matter the various degrees of perfection, as we have said (RO1), yet it is considered as different when brought under the observation of reason.

Quamvis enim eadem forma sit secundum essentiam quae diversos perfectionis gradus materiae attribuit, ut dictum est; tamen secundum considerationem rationis differt.

Accident is posterior to substance, both in the order of time and in the order of reason, as the Philosopher says, Metaph. vii (Did. vi, 1).

Accidens est posterius substantia et tempore et ratione, ut dicitur in VII Metaphys.