Sunday, February 08, 2009

Q76 A7: Whether the soul is united to the animal body by means of a body?

No. The soul is immediately united to the body as the form to matter because a thing is one, according as it is a being.

Anima immediate corpori unitur ut forma materiae quia sic dicitur aliquid unum, quomodo et ens.

The soul is indeed very distant from the body, if we consider the condition of each separately: so that if each had a separate existence, many means of connection would have to intervene. But inasmuch as the soul is the form of the body, it has not an existence apart from the existence of the body, but by its own existence is united to the body immediately.

Anima distat quidem a corpore plurimum, si utriusque conditiones seorsum considerentur, unde si utrumque ipsorum separatim esse haberet, oporteret quod multa media intervenirent. Sed inquantum anima est forma corporis, non habet esse seorsum ab esse corporis, sed per suum esse corpori unitur immediate.

This is the case with every form which, if considered as an act, is very distant from matter, which is a being only in potentiality.

Sic enim et quaelibet forma, si consideretur ut actus, habet magnam distantiam a materia, quae est ens in potentia tantum.

Now the form, through itself, makes a thing to be actual since it is itself essentially an act; nor does it give existence by means of something else. Wherefore the unity of a thing composed of matter and form, is by virtue of the form itself, which by reason of its very nature is united to matter as its act.

Forma autem per seipsam facit rem esse in actu, cum per essentiam suam sit actus; nec dat esse per aliquod medium. Unde unitas rei compositae ex materia et forma est per ipsam formam, quae secundum seipsam unitur materiae ut actus eius.

Nor is there any other cause of union except the agent, which causes matter to be in act, as the Philosopher says, Metaph. viii (Did. vii, 6).

Nec est aliquid aliud uniens nisi agens, quod facit materiam esse in actu, ut dicitur in VIII Metaphys.

The union of soul and body ceases at the cessation of breath, not because this is the means of union, but because of the removal of that disposition by which the body is disposed for such a union.

Ad secundum dicendum quod, subtracto spiritu, deficit unio animae ad corpus, non quia sit medium; sed quia tollitur dispositio per quam corpus est dispositum ad talem unionem.

The Philosopher says (De Anima ii, 1): "We need not ask if the soul and body are one, as neither do we ask if wax and its shape are one." But the shape is united to the wax without a body intervening. Therefore also the soul is thus united to the body.

Philosophus dicit, in II de anima, quod "non oportet quaerere si unum est anima et corpus, sicut neque ceram et figuram." Sed figura unitur cerae nullo corpore mediante. Ergo et anima corpori.