Friday, February 13, 2009

Q77 A4: Whether among the powers of the soul there is order?

Yes. Since the soul is one, and the powers are many; and since a number of things that proceed from one must proceed in a certain order; there must be some order among the powers of the soul.

Cum anima sit una, potentiae vero plures; ordine autem quodam ab uno in multitudinem procedatur; necesse est inter potentias animae ordinem esse.

This order among the powers of the soul is both on the part of the soul (which, though it be one according to its essence, has a certain aptitude to various acts in a certain order) and on the part of the objects, and furthermore on the part of the acts.

Ordo iste potentiarum animae est et ex parte animae (quae secundum ordinem quendam habet aptitudinem ad diversos actus, licet sit una secundum essentiam) et ex parte obiectorum, et etiam ex parte actuum.

Accordingly we may observe a triple order among them, two of which correspond to the dependence of one power on another; while the third is taken from the order of the objects.

Triplex autem ordo inter eas attenditur. Quorum duo considerantur secundum dependentiam unius potentiae ab altera, tertius autem accipitur secundum ordinem obiectorum.

Now the dependence of one power on another can be taken in two ways: (1) according to the order of nature [on the part of the essential potential of the soul], forasmuch as perfect things are by their nature prior to imperfect things; and (2) according to the order of generation and time [on the part of the empowered properties of objects]; forasmuch as from being imperfect, a thing comes to be perfect.

Dependentia autem unius potentiae ab altera dupliciter accipi potest: uno modo, secundum naturae ordinem, prout perfecta sunt naturaliter imperfectis priora; alio modo, secundum ordinem generationis et temporis, prout ex imperfecto ad perfectum venitur.

Thus, according to the first kind of order among the powers, the intellectual powers [of concept formation] are prior to the sensitive powers [(which include sensation and perception: the inner and outer senses)]; wherefore they direct them and command them. Likewise the sensitive powers [(which include sensation and perception: the inner and outer senses)] are prior in this order to the powers of the nutritive soul.

Secundum igitur primum potentiarum ordinem, potentiae intellectivae sunt priores potentiis sensitivis, unde dirigunt eas et imperant eis. Et similiter potentiae sensitivae hoc ordine sunt priores potentiis animae nutritivae.

In the second kind of order, it is the other way about. For the powers of the nutritive soul are prior by way of generation to the powers of the sensitive soul [(which include sensation and perception: the inner and outer senses)], for which, therefore, they prepare the body. The same is to be said of the sensitive powers [(which include sensation and perception: the inner and outer senses)] with regard to the intellectual [powers of concept formation].

Secundum vero ordinem secundum, e converso se habet. Nam potentiae animae nutritivae sunt priores, in via generationis, potentiis animae sensitivae, unde ad earum actiones praeparant corpus. Et similiter est de potentiis sensitivis respectu intellectivarum.

But (3) in the third kind of order [on the part of the incidental ("accidental") operation of acts], certain sensitive powers are ordered among themselves, namely, sight, hearing, and smelling. [For example, you may see something before you hear it; or vice versa.]

Secundum autem ordinem tertium, ordinantur quaedam vires sensitivae ad invicem, scilicet visus, auditus et olfactus.

But the action of one power of the soul does not depend on that of another: for sight can act independently of hearing, and conversely. This argument is verified as regards those powers among which order of the third kind exists. Those powers among which the two other kinds of order exist are such that the action of one depends on another.

Sed actus unius potentiae animae non dependet ab actu alterius: potest enim visus exire in actum absque auditu, et e converso. Ratio illa procedit de illis potentiis in quibus attenditur ordo solum secundum tertium modum. Illae autem potentiae quae ordinantur secundum alios duos modos, ita se habent quod actus unius dependet ab altera.