Monday, April 20, 2009

Q89 A5: Whether the habit of knowledge here acquired remains in the separated soul?

Yes. Knowledge acquired in the present life does not remain in the separated soul, as regards what belongs to the sensitive powers; but as regards what belongs to the intellect itself, it must remain; because it is evident that human knowledge is not corrupted through corruption of the subject, for the intellect is an incorruptible faculty; and neither can the intelligible species in the passive intellect be corrupted by their contrary, for there is no contrary to intelligible "intentions," above all as regards simple intelligence of "what a thing is."

Quantum ergo ad id quod aliquis praesentis scientiae habet in inferioribus viribus, non remanebit in anima separata, sed quantum ad id quod habet in ipso intellectu, necesse est ut remaneat; quia manifestum est quod per corruptionem subiecti, scientia quae est in intellectu humano, corrumpi non potest, cum intellectus sit incorruptibilis; similiter etiam nec per contrarium corrumpi possunt species intelligibiles quae sunt in intellectu possibili, quia intentioni intelligibili nihil est contrarium; et praecipue quantum ad simplicem intelligentiam, qua intelligitur quod quid est.

Since knowledge resides in the intellect, which is "the abode of species," as the Philosopher says (De Anima iii, 4), the habit of knowledge here acquired must be partly in the aforesaid sensitive powers and partly in the intellect. This can be seen by considering the very actions from which knowledge arises. For "habits are like the actions whereby they are acquired" (Ethic. ii, 1).

Sed quia scientia est in intellectu, qui est locus specierum, ut dicitur in III de anima; oportet quod habitus scientiae hic acquisitae partim sit in praedictis viribus sensitivis, et partim in ipso intellectu. Et hoc potest considerari ex ipsis actibus ex quibus habitus scientiae acquiritur, nam "habitus sunt similes actibus ex quibus acquiruntur", ut dicitur in II Ethic.

Now the actions of the intellect, by which knowledge is here acquired, are performed by the mind turning to the phantasms in the aforesaid sensitive powers. Hence through such acts the passive intellect acquires a certain facility in considering the species received: and the aforesaid sensitive powers acquire a certain aptitude in seconding the action of the intellect when it turns to them to consider the intelligible object.

Actus autem intellectus ex quibus in praesenti vita scientia acquiritur, sunt per conversionem intellectus ad phantasmata, quae sunt in praedictis viribus sensitivis. Unde per tales actus et ipsi intellectui possibili acquiritur facultas quaedam ad considerandum per species susceptas; et in praedictis inferioribus viribus acquiritur quaedam habilitas ut facilius per conversionem ad ipsas intellectus possit intelligibilia speculari.

But as the intellectual act resides chiefly and formally in the intellect itself, whilst it resides materially and dispositively in the inferior powers, the same distinction is to be applied to habit.

Sed sicut actus intellectus principaliter quidem et formaliter est in ipso intellectu, materialiter autem et dispositive in inferioribus viribus, idem etiam dicendum est de habitu.