Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Q77 A2: Whether there are several powers of the soul?

Yes. The human soul abounds in a variety of powers because it is on the confines of spiritual and corporeal creatures and therefore the powers of both meet together in the soul.

Anima humana abundat diversitate potentiarum, videlicet quia est in confinio spiritualium et corporalium creaturarum, et ideo concurrunt in ipsa virtutes utrarumque creaturarum.

The intellectual soul approaches to the Divine likeness, more than inferior creatures, in being able to acquire perfect goodness; although by many and various means; and in this it falls short of more perfect creatures.

In hoc ipso magis ad similitudinem Dei accedit anima intellectiva quam creaturae inferiores, quod perfectam bonitatem consequi potest; licet per multa et diversa; in quo deficit a superioribus.

We conclude, therefore, that things which are below man acquire a certain limited goodness; and so they have a few determinate operations and powers. But man can acquire universal and perfect goodness, because he can acquire beatitude. Yet he is in the last degree, according to his nature, of those to whom beatitude is possible; therefore the human soul requires many and various operations and powers.

Dicendum est ergo quod res quae sunt infra hominem, quaedam particularia bona consequuntur, et ideo quasdam paucas et determinatas operationes habent et virtutes. Homo autem potest consequi universalem et perfectam bonitatem, quia potest adipisci beatitudinem. Est tamen in ultimo gradu, secundum naturam, eorum quibus competit beatitudo, et ideo multis et diversis operationibus et virtutibus indiget anima humana.

But to angels a smaller variety of powers is sufficient. In God there is no power or action beyond His own Essence.

Angelis vero minor diversitas potentiarum competit. In Deo vero non est aliqua potentia vel actio, praeter eius essentiam.

As the Philosopher says (De Coelo ii, 12), the lowest order of things cannot acquire perfect goodness, but they acquire a certain imperfect goodness, by few movements; and those which belong to a higher order acquire perfect goodness by many movements; and those yet higher acquire perfect goodness by few movements; and the highest perfection is found in those things which acquire perfect goodness without any movement whatever.

Sicut philosophus dicit in II de caelo, quae sunt in rebus infima, non possunt consequi perfectam bonitatem, sed aliquam imperfectam consequuntur paucis motibus; superiora vero his adipiscuntur perfectam bonitatem motibus multis; his autem superiora sunt quae adipiscuntur perfectam bonitatem motibus paucis; summa vero perfectio invenitur in his quae absque motu perfectam possident bonitatem.

Thus he is least of all disposed of health, who can only acquire imperfect health by means of a few remedies; better disposed is he who can acquire perfect health by means of many remedies; and better still, he who can by few remedies; best of all is he who has perfect health without any remedies.

Sicut infime est ad sanitatem dispositus qui non potest perfectam consequi sanitatem, sed aliquam modicam consequitur paucis remediis; melius autem dispositus est qui potest perfectam consequi sanitatem, sed remediis multis; et adhuc melius, qui remediis paucis; optime autem, qui absque remedio perfectam sanitatem habet.

A unified power is superior if it extends to equal things: but a multiform power is superior to it, if it is over many things.

Virtus unita est superior, si ad aequalia se extendat. Sed virtus multiplicata est superior, si plura ei subiiciantur.

One thing has one substantial existence, but may have several operations. So there is one essence of the soul, with several powers.

Unius rei est unum esse substantiale, sed possunt esse operationes plures. Et ideo est una essentia animae, sed potentiae plures.