De unitate intellectus contra Averroistas
ON THE UNIQUENESS OF INTELLECT AGAINST AVERROISTS
- Aristotle's position on the unity of the possible intellect
- The relation of the possible intellect to man, according to other Peripatetics
- Reasons in favor of the unity of the intellect
- Refutation of the opinion that all men have one intellect
- Answer to objections against the multiplicity of intellects
Sicut omnes homines naturaliter scire desiderant veritatem, ita naturale desiderium inest hominibus fugiendi errores, et eos cum facultas adfuerit confutandi. Inter alios autem errores indecentior videtur esse error quo circa intellectum erratur, per quem nati sumus devitatis erroribus cognoscere veritatem. Inolevit siquidem iam dudum circa intellectum error apud multos, ex dictis Averrois sumens originem, qui asserere nititur intellectum quem Aristoteles possibilem vocat, ipse autem inconvenienti nomine materialem, esse quamdam substantiam secundum esse a corpore separatam, nec aliquo modo uniri ei ut formam; et ulterius quod iste intellectus possibilis sit unus omnium hominum. Contra quae iam pridem plura conscripsimus; sed quia errantium impudentia non cessat veritati reniti, propositum nostrae intentionis est iterato contra eumdem errorem conscribere aliqua, quibus manifeste praedictus error confutetur.  All men by nature desire to know the truth; they also have a natural desire to avoid error and to refute it when the opportunity arises. Since we have been given an intellect in order to know truth and avoid error, it seems singularly inappropriate to be mistaken about it. For a long time now there has been widespread an error concerning intellect which originates in the writings of Averroes. He seeks to maintain that what Aristotle calls the possible, but he infelicitously calls the material, intellect is a substance which, existing separately from the body, is in no way united to it as its form, and furthermore that this possible intellect is one for all men. We have already written much in refutation of this, but because those mistaken on this matter continue impudently to oppose the truth, it is our intention once more to write against this error and in such a way that it is decisively refuted. Nec id nunc agendum est ut positionem praedictam in hoc ostendamus esse erroneam quia repugnat veritati fidei Christianae. Hoc enim satis in promptu cuique apparere potest. Subtracta enim ab hominibus diversitate intellectus, qui solus inter animae partes incorruptibilis et immortalis apparet, sequitur post mortem nihil de animabus hominum remanere nisi unicam intellectus substantiam; et sic tollitur retributio praemiorum et paenarum et diversitas eorumdem. Intendimus autem ostendere positionem praedictam non minus contra philosophiae principia esse, quam contra fidei documenta. Et quia quibusdam, ut dicunt, in hac materia verba Latinorum non sapiunt, sed Peripateticorum verba sectari se dicunt, quorum libros numquam in hac materia viderunt, nisi Aristotelis qui fuit sectae Peripateticae institutor; ostendemus primo positionem praedictam eius verbis et sententiae repugnare omnino.  There is no need now to show that the foregoing position is erroneous because repugnant to Christian faith: a moment’s reflection makes this clear to anyone. Take away from men diversity of intellect, which alone among the soul’s parts seems incorruptible and immortal, and it follows that nothing of the souls of men would remain after death except a unique intellectual substance, with the result that reward and punishment and their difference disappear. We intend to show that the foregoing position is opposed to the principles of philosophy every bit as much as it is to the teaching of faith. And, Latin writers on this matter not being to the taste of some, who tell us they prefer to follow the words of the Peripatetics, though of them they have seen only the works of Aristotle, the founder of the school, we will first show the foregoing position to be in every way repugnant to his words and judgments. Caput 1
De sententia Aristotelis circa unitatem intellectus possibilis
CHAPTER 1 Accipienda est igitur prima definitio animae quam Aristoteles in secundo de anima ponit, dicens quod anima est actus primus corporis physici organici. Et ne forte aliquis diceret hanc definitionem non omni animae competere, propter hoc quod supra sub conditione dixerat: si oportet aliquid commune in omni anima dicere, quod intelligunt sic dictum quasi hoc esse non possit, accipienda sunt verba eius sequentia. Dicit enim: universaliter quidem dictum est quid sit anima; substantia enim est quae est secundum rationem; hoc autem est quod quid erat esse huius corporis, i. e. forma substantialis corporis physici organici.  Let us then take up the first definition of soul Aristotle gives in Book Two of On the Soul (412b5): “the first act of a physically organized body.” And lest some should say this definition does not cover every soul, because of the earlier conditional remark, “If, then, we have to give a general formula applicable to all kinds of soul,” (412b4), which they take to mean that it cannot be done, the words which follow should be taken into account. For he writes, “We have now given a general answer to the question, What is soul? It is substance in the sense which corresponds to the account of a thing.” (412a8-12), that is, the substantial form of a physically organized body. Et ne forte dicatur ab hac universalitate partem intellectivam excludi, hoc removetur per id quod postea dicit: quod quidem igitur non sit anima separabilis a corpore, aut partes quaedam ipsius si partibilis apta nata est, non immanifestum est; quarumdam enim partium actus est ipsarum. At vero secundum quasdam nihil prohibet, propter id quod nullius corporis sunt actus. Quod non potest intelligi nisi de his quae ad partem intellectivam pertinent, puta intellectus et voluntas. Ex quo manifeste ostenditur illius animae, quam supra universaliter definiverat Aristoteles dicens eam esse corporis actum, quasdam partes esse quae sunt quarumdam partium corporis actus, quasdam autem nullius corporis actus esse. Aliud enim est animam esse actum corporis, et aliud partem eius esse corporis actum, ut infra manifestabitur. Unde et in hoc eodem capitulo manifestat animam esse actum corporis per hoc quod aliquae partes eius sunt corporis actus, cum dicit: considerare oportet in partibus quod dictum est, scil. in toto.  The sequel answers those who might say that the intellective part is excluded from the range of this definition. “From this it is clear that the soul is inseparable from its, or at any rate that certain parts of it are (if it has parts)—for the actuality of some of them is the actuality of the parts themselves,”(413a4-7), which can only be understood of those which belong to the intellective part, namely intellect and will. From this it is clear that some parts of the soul he has defined as being the act of the body are acts of some parts of the body, whereas others are not the acts of any body. It is one thing for the soul to be the act of body and another for some part of it to be the act of body, as will be argued below. In this same chapter he shows the soul to be the act of body because some of its parts are acts of body: “We must apply what has been said [of the whole] to the parts.”(412b17) Adhuc autem manifestius apparet ex sequentibus quod sub hac generalitate definitionis etiam intellectus includitur (per ea quae sequuntur). Nam cum satis probaverit animam esse actum corporis, quia separata anima non est vivens in actu, quia tamen aliquid potest dici actu tale ad praesentiam alicuius, non solum si sit forma sed etiam si sit motor, sicut combustibile ad praesentiam comburentis actu comburitur, et quodlibet mobile ad praesentiam moventis actu movetur; posset alicui venire in dubium utrum corpus sic vivat actu ad praesentiam animae, sicut mobile movetur actu ad praesentiam motoris, an sicut materia est in actu ad praesentiam formae; et praecipue quia Plato posuit animam non uniri corpori ut formam, sed magis ut motorem et rectorem, ut patet per Plotinum et Gregorium Nyssenum, (quos ideo induco quia non fuerunt Latini sed Graeci). Hanc igitur dubitationem insinuat philosophus cum post praemissa subiungit: amplius autem immanifestum si sit corporis actus anima sicut nauta navis.  From the sequel it is even clearer that the intellect is covered by this general definition. The fact that the body no longer actually lives when soul is separated from it is taken to be sufficient proof that soul is the act of body. However, because something could be said to be in act thanks to the presence of something other than form, of a mover, say, as the combustible actually burns when fire is present, and the moveable actually moves when the mover is present, one might wonder whether the body actually lives thanks to the presence of soul in the same way that the mobile moves at the presence of the mover, rather than as matter is in act thanks to the presence of form. The doubt can feed on the fact that Plato said soul is united to body not as form but rather as mover and director. This is clear from Plotinus and Gregory of Nyssa—whom I mention because they were Greeks not Latins. The Philosopher invites this doubt when, to what has been quoted, he adds “Further, we have no light on the problem whether the soul may not be the actuality of its body in the sense in which the sailor is the actuality of the ship.”(413a8-10). Quia igitur post praemissa adhuc hoc dubium remanebat, concludit: figuraliter quidem igitur sic determinetur et describatur de anima, quia scil. nondum ad liquidum demonstraverat veritatem.  It was because this doubt remained after what he said that he concludes, “This must suffice as our sketch or outline of the nature of soul” (413a11-13), because he has not yet shown the truth with full clarity. Ad hanc igitur dubitationem tollendam, consequenter procedit ad manifestandum id quod est secundum se et secundum rationem certius, per ea quae sunt minus certa secundum se sed magis certa quoad nos, i. e. per effectus animae, qui sunt actus ipsius. Unde statim distinguit opera animae, dicens quod animatum distinguitur ab inanimato in vivendo, et quod multa sunt quae pertinent ad vitam, scil. intellectus, sensus, motus et status secundum locum, et motus nutrimenti et augmenti, ita quod cuicumque inest aliquid horum, dicitur vivere. Et ostenso quomodo ista se habeant ad invicem, i. e. qualiter unum sine altero horum possit esse, concludit in hoc quod anima sit omnium praedictorum principium, et quod anima determinatur, sicut per suas partes, vegetativo, sensitivo, intellectivo, motu, et quod haec omnia contingit in uno et eodem inveniri, sicut in homine. Therefore, in order to remove this doubt, he proceeds to make manifest that which is more certain both in itself and in definition through what is less certain in itself but more certain for us, that is, through effects of the soul which are its acts. Thus he immediately distinguishes the works of the soul, saying that “what has soul in it differs from what has not in that the former displays life,”(413a21-25) and that there are many levels of life, namely, “intellect, sense, motion and rest according to place,” the motion of nourishing and growth, such that anything in which one of these is found is said to live. Having shown how these [levels] are interrelated, that is, how one of them might be found without the other, he concludes that the soul is the principle of them all both because the soul “is specified (as by its parts) vegetative, sensitive, intellective and motor,” (413b11-13) and because all these happen to be found in one and the same thing, for example, in man. Et Plato posuit diversas esse animas in homine, secundum quas diversae operationes vitae ei conveniant. Consequenter movet dubitationem: utrum unumquodque horum sit anima per se, vel sit aliqua pars animae; et si sint partes unius animae, utrum differant solum secundum rationem, aut etiam differant loco, i. e. organo. Et subiungit quod de quibusdam non difficile hoc videtur, sed quaedam sunt quae dubitationem habent. Ostendit enim consequenter quod manifestum est de his quae pertinent ad animam vegetabilem, et de his quae pertinent ad animam sensibilem, per hoc quod plantae et animalia quaedam decisa vivunt, et in qualibet parte omnes operationes animae, quae sunt in toto, apparent. Sed de quibus dubitationem habeat, ostendit subdens quod de intellectu et perspectiva potentia nihil adhuc manifestum est. Quod non dicit volens ostendere quod intellectus non sit anima, ut Commentator perverse exponit et sectatores ipsius; manifeste enim hic respondet ad id quod supra dixerat: quaedam enim dubitationem habent. Unde intelligendum est: nihil adhuc manifestum est, an intellectus sit anima vel pars animae; et si pars animae, utrum separata loco, vel ratione tantum.  Plato held that, insofar as these diverse operations pertain to man, there are diverse souls in him. Consequently he [Aristotle] asks “whether each of these is a soul” by itself or a part of soul, and, if they are parts of one soul, whether they differ in definition alone or also in place, that is, by organ. And, he adds, “of some it is not difficult” to see how it is, but there are others which give rise to doubt. (413b13-26) Consequently, he shows(413b16-21) that in this regard things are clear in vegetable and sensible soul because some plants and animals go on living when divided and all the operations that were in the whole appear in each part. When he adds that “We have no evidence as yet about mind and the power to think,” (413b24-25) he makes clear where the question arises. By saying this he doesn’t mean to show that intellect is not soul, as the Commentator and his followers perversely interpret him, for he clearly says this in response to what was said earlier, “but some present a difficulty” (413b16). This should be understood thus: It is not yet clear whether intellect is a soul or a part of soul, and if it is a part of the soul, whether it is separate in place or in definition only. Et quamvis dicat hoc adhuc non esse manifestum, tamen quid circa hoc prima fronte appareat manifestat subdens: sed videtur genus alterum animae esse. Quod non est intelligendum, sicut Commentator et sectatores eius perverse exponunt, ideo dictum esse quia intellectus aequivoce dicatur anima, vel quod praedicta definitio sibi aptari non possit; sed qualiter sit hoc intelligendum apparet ex eo quod subditur: et hoc solum contingere separari sicut perpetuum a corruptibili. In hoc ergo est alterum genus, quia intellectus videtur esse quoddam perpetuum, aliae autem partes animae corruptibiles. Et quia corruptibile et perpetuum non videntur in unam substantiam convenire posse, videtur quod hoc solum de partibus animae, scil. intellectus, contingat separari, non quidem a corpore, ut Commentator perverse exponit, sed ab aliis partibus animae, ne in unam substantiam animae conveniant.  Although he says it is not yet clear, nonetheless he indicates what at first blush appears to be the case by adding “It seems to be a widely different kind of soul” (413b25-26). This should not be understood as it perversely is by the Commentator and his followers: namely, that the intellect is equivocally called soul or that the foregoing definition cannot be adapted to it. How it ought to be understood is clear from what he adds, “It alone is capable of existence in isolation from all other psychic powers.” (413b26-27) Therefore it is of another kind in the sense that intellect appears to be something perpetual, whereas the other parts of the soul are corruptible. And because the perpetual and corruptible do not seem to characterize the same substance, apparently only this part of the soul, namely intellect, can be separated, not indeed from body, as the Commentator perversely interprets, but from other parts of the soul, lest they characterize the same substance, soul. Et quod sic sit intelligendum patet ex eo quod subditur: reliquae autem partes animae manifestum est ex his quod non separabiles sunt, scil., substantia animae vel loco. De hoc enim supra quaesitum est, et hoc ex supradictis probatum est. Et quod non intelligatur de separabilitate a corpore, sed de separabilitate potentiarum ab invicem, patet per hoc quod subditur: ratione autem quod alterae, scil. sunt ad invicem manifestum. Sensitivo enim esse et opinativo alterum. Et sic manifeste quod hic determinatur, respondet quaestioni supra motae. Supra enim quaesitum est, utrum una pars animae ab alia separata sit ratione solum, aut etiam loco. Hic dimissa quaestione illa quantum ad intellectum, de quo nihil hic determinat, de aliis partibus animae dicit manifestum esse quod non sunt separabiles, scil. loco, sed sunt alterae ratione.  That this is how it should be understood is clear from what he adds, “From these remarks it is clear that the other parts of the soul are not separable” (413b27-28), namely from the substance of the soul or by place. When this was asked earlier the question was resolved from what had just been said. That it is not to be understood as separability from body but as the separability of the powers from one another, is clear from what he adds: “that as understood they are distinguishable by definition,” namely from one another, “is clear,” for to sense and to have an opinion are different.”(413b29-30) Thus what is said here is manifestly in response to the question raised earlier when he asked whether one part of the soul is separated from another in understanding alone or in place. Having set aside this question about intellect, concerning which he determines nothing here, he says it is manifest with respect to the other parts of the soul that they are not separable, that is in place, but that they differ as understood. Hoc ergo habito quod anima determinatur vegetativo, sensitivo, intellectivo et motu, vult ostendere consequenter quod quantum ad omnes istas partes anima unitur corpori non sicut nauta navi, sed sicut forma. Et sic certificatum erit quid sit anima in communi, quod supra figuraliter tantum dictum est. Hoc autem probat per operationes animae sic. Manifestum est enim quod illud quo primo aliquid operatur est forma operantis, sicut dicimur scire anima, et scire scientia, per prius autem scientia quam anima, quia per animam non scimus nisi in quantum habet scientiam; et similiter sanari dicimur et corpore et sanitate, sed prius sanitate. Et sic patet scientiam esse formam animae, et sanitatem corporis.  It being established therefore that the soul is defined by the vegetative, sensitive, intellective and locomotive parts, he intends to show next that, with respect to each of these, the soul is united to body as form, not as a sailor to his boat. And thus what was previously established only in outline is made certain. He proves this through the operations of the soul in this way: It is manifest that that whereby something first operates is the act of the one operating. For example, we are said to know both through the soul and through science, but first of all through science rather than through the soul—we know through the soul only insofar as it has science; similarly we are said to be healed by the body and by health, but first of all by health. Thus it is clear that science is the form of soul and health of the body. Ex hoc procedit sic: anima est primum quo vivimus (quod dicit propter vegetativum), quo sentimus (propter sensitivum), et movemur (propter motivum), et intelligimus (propter intellectivum); et concludit: quare ratio quaedam utique erit et species, sed non ut materia et ut subiectum. Manifeste ergo quod supra dixerat, animam esse actum corporis physici, hic concludit non solum de vegetativo, sensitivo et motivo, sed etiam de intellectivo. Fuit ergo sententia Aristotelis quod id quo intelligimus sit forma corporis physici. Sed ne aliquis dicat, quod id quo intelligimus non dicit hic intellectum possibilem, sed aliquid aliud, manifeste hoc excluditur per id quod Aristoteles in tertio de anima dicit, de intellectu possibili loquens: dico autem intellectum, quo opinatur et intelligit anima.  He continues thus: “The soul is that whereby we first live,” referring to the vegetative, “that whereby we sense” referring to the sensitive, “and move” referring to the locomotive, “and understand,” referring to the intellective. He concludes “It follows that the soul must be an account and essence, not matter or a subject.” (414a12-14) Manifestly therefore he applies here what he said above, that the soul is the act of a physical body, not only to the sensitive, vegetative and motive but also to the intellective. It was Aristotle’s judgment, therefore, that that whereby we understand is the form of the physical body. Should someone say that that with which we understand does not here mean the possible intellect but something else, this is clearly excluded by what Aristotle says in Book Three of On the Soul speaking of the possible intellect: “I call intellect that whereby the soul thinks and understands.” (429a23) Sed antequam ad verba Aristotelis quae sunt in tertio de anima accedamus, adhuc amplius circa verba ipsius in secundo de anima immoremur, ut ex collatione verborum eius ad invicem appareat quae fuerit eius sententia de anima. Cum enim animam in communi definivisset, incipit distinguere potentias eius; et dicit quod potentiae animae sunt vegetativum, sensitivum, appetitivum, motivum secundum locum, intellectivum. Et quod intellectivum sit intellectus, patet per id quod postea subdit, divisionem explanans: alteris autem intellectivum et intellectus, ut hominibus. Vult ergo quod intellectus sit potentia animae, quae est actus corporis.  But before we turn to what Aristotle says in Book Three of On the Soul, let us linger on what he has said in Book Two so that his teaching on the soul may become apparent by comparing his statements. For, having defined the soul in general, he begins to distinguish its powers, and says that the powers of the soul are “the vegetative, sensitive, appetitive, locomotive, intellective.” (414a31-32) And that the intellective is the intellect is evident from what he afterwards adds in explanation of the division, “In others, the thinking faculty and intellect, as in men.” (414b18) He holds therefore that the intellect is a power of the soul which is the act of body. Et quod huius animae potentiam dixerit intellectum, et iterum quod supra posita definitio animae sit omnibus praedictis partibus communis, patet per id quod concludit: manifestum igitur est quoniam eodem modo una utique erit ratio animae et figurae: neque enim ibi figura est praeter triangulum et quae consequenter sunt; neque hic anima praeter praedictas est. Non est ergo quaerenda alia anima praeter praedictas, quibus communis est animae definitio supra posita. Neque plus de intellectu mentionem facit Aristoteles in hoc secundo, nisi quod postmodum subdit, quod ultimum et minimum (dicit esse) ratiocinationem et intellectum, quia scil. in paucioribus est, ut per sequentia apparet.  And that he calls the intellect a power of this soul and moreover that the definition of soul given above is common to all the aforesaid parts, is clear from his conclusion: “It is now evident that a single definition can be given of soul in the same way that one can be given of figure. For, as in that case there is no figure apart from triangle and those that follow in order, so here there is no soul apart from the forms of soul just enumerated.” (414b19-22) One ought not then seek any soul apart from those mentioned, to which the definition of soul given above is common. Aristotle makes no further mention of intellect in this second book except when he says that “reasoning and intellect” are “ultimately and rarely” (415a7) because they are in fewer things, as the sequel makes clear. Sed quia magna differentia est, quantum ad modum operandi, inter intellectum et imaginationem, subdit quod de speculativo intellectu altera ratio est. Reservat enim hoc inquirendum usque ad tertium. Et ne quis dicat, sicut Averroes perverse exponit quod ideo dicit Aristoteles, quod de intellectu speculativo est alia ratio, quia intellectus neque est anima, neque pars animae; statim hoc excludit in principio tertii, ubi resumit de intellectu tractatum. Dicit enim: de parte autem animae, qua cognoscit anima et sapit. Nec debet aliquis dicere, quod hoc dicatur solum secundum quod intellectus possibilis dividitur contra agentem, sicut aliqui somniant. Hoc enim dictum est antequam Aristoteles probet esse intellectum possibilem et agentem; unde intellectum dicit hic partem in communi, secundum quod continet et agentem et possibilem, sicut supra in secundo manifeste distinxit intellectum contra alias partes animae, ut iam dictum est.  Because there is a great difference between the ways intellect and imagination operate, he adds that “there is another account of speculative intellect” (415a11-12). This inquiry he reserves to the third book. And lest someone suggest, as Averroes perversely does, that Aristotle speaks of another account of speculative intellect because the intellect is “neither soul nor a part of soul”, this is immediately excluded at the beginning of Book Three where he takes up again the treatment of intellect. For he says, “Concerning the part of the soul whereby the soul knows and understands.” (429a10-11) Nor should anyone think that this is said only insofar as the possible intellect is divided against the agent intellect, as some imagine, for the remark occurs before Aristotle proves there is an agent and possible intellect. Hence he here means by intellect that part in general, insofar as it contains both agent and possible. In much the same way, early in the second book, he manifestly distinguished intellect from the other parts of the soul, as has already been pointed out. Est autem consideranda mirabilis diligentia et ordo in processu Aristotelis. Ab his enim incipit in tertio tractare de intellectu quae in secundo reliquerat indeterminata. Duo autem supra reliquerat indeterminata circa intellectum. Primo quidem, utrum intellectus ab aliis partibus animae separetur ratione solum, aut etiam loco: quod quidem indeterminatum dimisit cum dixit: de intellectu autem et perspectiva potentia nihil adhuc manifestum est. Et hanc quaestionem primo resumit, cum dicit: sive separabili existente (scil. ab aliis animae partibus), sive non separabili secundum magnitudinem, sed secundum rationem. Pro eodem enim accipit hic separabile secundum magnitudinem, pro quo supra dixerat separabile loco.  Notice the marvelous care and order of Aristotle’s procedure, beginning Book Three with the treatment of the questions concerning intellect left undetermined in the second. There were two. First, whether intellect is separated from other parts of the soul only as understood or in place too, which indeed he left undetermined when he said, “We have no evidence as yet about thought or the power of reflexion.” (413b24-25) First he takes up this question again when he says “Whether this is separable from the others,” namely from the other parts of the soul, “in definition only, or spatially as well.” (429a11-12) `Spatially separable’ here means the same as `separable in place’ above. Secundo, indeterminatum reliquerat de differentia intellectus ad alias animae partes, cum postmodum dixit: de speculativo autem intellectu altera ratio est. Et hoc statim quaerit, cum dicit: considerandum quam habet differentiam. Hanc autem differentiam talem intendit assignare, quae possit stare cum utroque praemissorum, scil. sive sit separabilis anima magnitudine seu loco ab aliis partibus, sive non: quod ipse modus loquendi satis indicat. Considerandum enim dicit, quam habet intellectus differentiam ad alias animae partes, sive sit separabilis ab eis magnitudine seu loco, i. e. subiecto, sive non, sed secundum rationem tantum. Unde manifestum est quod non intendit hanc differentiam ostendere, quod sit substantia a corpore separata secundum esse (hoc enim non posset salvari cum utroque praedictorum); sed intendit assignare differentiam quantum ad modum operandi; unde subdit: et quomodo sit quidem ipsum intelligere. Sic igitur per ea quae ex verbis Aristotelis accipere possumus usque huc, manifestum est quod ipse voluit intellectum esse partem animae quae est actus corporis physici.  Second, he left unanswered the question concerning intellect’s difference from the other parts of the soul when he said later, “Reflective thought presents a different problem.” (415a11-12) And he immediately begins to inquire into this when he says, “We have to inquire what differentiates this part...” (429a12) He intends to express this difference in such a way that it is compatible with both possibilities mentioned, that is, whether or not it is a soul separable in size or place from the other parts, as this way of speaking sufficiently indicates. For he says we ought to consider what the difference is between the intellect and the other parts of the soul, whether it is separable from them in size or place, that is in subject, or not, or only in understanding. Hence it is clear that he does not intend to give as the difference that it is a substance existing separately from the body, for this would not be compatible with the foregoing; rather, he intends to assign a difference according to the mode of operating. Hence he adds, “...and how thinking takes place.” (429a13) Therefore, from what we can learn from the words of Aristotle up to this point, he clearly held that intellect is a part of the soul which is the act of a physical body. Sed quia ex quibusdam verbis consequentibus, Averroistae accipere volunt intentionem Aristotelis fuisse, quod intellectus non sit anima quae est actus corporis, aut pars talis animae, ideo etiam diligentius eius verba sequentia consideranda sunt. Statim igitur post quaestionem motam de differentia intellectus et sensus, inquirit secundum quid intellectus sit similis sensui, et secundum quid ab eo differat. Duo enim supra de sensu determinaverat, scil. quod sensus est in potentia ad sensibilia, et quod sensus patitur et corrumpitur ab excellentiis sensibilium. Hoc ergo est quod quaerit Aristoteles dicens: si igitur est intelligere sicut sentire, aut pati aliquid utique erit ab intelligibili, ut scil. sic corrumpatur intellectus ab excellenti intelligibili, sicut sensus ab excellenti sensibili, aut aliquid huiusmodi alterum; i. e. aut intelligere est aliquid huiusmodi simile, scil. ei quod est sentire, alterum tamen quantum ad hoc quod non sit passibile.  But because from some words following on these the Averroists wish to take Aristotle’s intention to be that the intellect is not the soul which is the act of the body, or a part of such a soul, we must even more carefully consider what he goes on to say. Immediately after he raised the question about the difference between intellect and sense, he asked in what intellect is like sense and how the two differ. Earlier he established two things about sense, namely that sense is in potency to sensible objects and that sense is affected and corrupted by excessive sensible objects. That is what Aristotle has in mind when he says, “If thinking is like perceiving, it must be either a process in which the soul is acted upon by what is capable of being thought” (429a13-15) in such a way that the intellect would be corrupted by something excessively intelligible as sense is by an excessive sensible object, “or a process different from but analogous to that.” That is, understanding is something similar to sensing, but different in this that it is not affected. Huic igitur quaestioni statim respondet et concludit, non ex praecedentibus, sed ex sequentibus, quae tamen ex praecedentibus manifestantur, quod hanc partem animae oportet esse impassibilem, ut non corrumpatur sicut sensus; (est tamen quaedam alia passio eius, secundum quod intelligere communi modo pati dicitur). In hoc ergo differt a sensu. Sed consequenter ostendit in quo cum sensu conveniat, quia scilicet oportet huiusmodi partem esse susceptivam speciei intelligibilis, et quod sit in potentia ad huiusmodi speciem, et quod non sit hoc in actu secundum suam naturam; sicut et de sensu supra dictum est, quod est in potentia ad sensibilia et non in actu. Et ex hoc concludit, quod oportet sic se habere sicut sensitivum ad sensibilia sic intellectum ad intelligibilia.  He responds to this question immediately, concluding—not from what went before but from what follows, which however is manifested from what went before—that this part of the soul “must be impassible,”(429a15) in order that it not be corrupted like the senses. There is however another way of being acted upon characteristic of understanding according to which it can be said to suffer in a general sense of the term. In this then it is different from the senses. He goes on to show in what it is like the senses, namely, that this part of the soul must be “capable of receiving the form of the object”(429a15-16) and that it be in potency to this kind of form, not actually being it in its own nature; so too earlier it was said of sense that it is potentially, not actually, sensibles. From this he concludes that “Thought must be related to what is thinkable, as sense is to what is sensible.” (429a16-18) Hoc autem induxit ad excludendum opinionem Empedoclis et aliorum antiquorum, qui posuerunt quod cognoscens est de natura cogniti, utpote quod terram terra cognoscimus, aquam aqua. Aristoteles autem supra ostendit hoc non esse verum in sensu, quia sensitivum non est actu, sed potentia, ea quae sentit; et idem hic dicit de intellectu.  He brought this out to exclude the opinion of Empedocles (see 404b8-405b30) and other ancients who held that the knower is of the nature of the known, as if we knew earth through earth and water through water. Aristotle showed earlier (417a2-9) that this is not true of sense, because the sensitive power is potentially not actually the things it senses, and he says the same here of intellect. Est autem differentia inter sensum et intellectum, quia sensus non est cognoscitivus omnium, sed visus colorum tantum, auditus sonorum, et sic de aliis; intellectus autem est simpliciter omnium cognoscitivus. Dicebant autem antiqui philosophi, existimantes quod cognoscens debet habere naturam cogniti, quod animam, ad hoc quod cognoscat omnia, necesse est ex principiis omnium esse commixtam. Quia vero Aristoteles iam probavit de intellectu, per similitudinem sensus, quod non est actu id quod cognoscit sed in potentia tantum, concludit e contrario, quod necesse est intellectum, quia cognoscit omnia, quod sit immixtus, i. e. non compositus ex omnibus, sicut Empedocles ponebat. There is however this difference between sense and intellect that sense is not capable of knowing everything (sight is of colors alone, hearing of sounds, and thus with the others), whereas the intellect is capable of knowing all things whatsoever. Ancient philosophers,(see 405b10-17) thinking that the knower must have the nature of the known, said that in order for the soul to know all things it was necessary that the principles of all things be mingled in it. Aristotle, having proved by analogy with sense that intellect is not actually but potentially what it knows, concludes on the contrary that “intellect, because it knows all things, must be unmixed” (429a18); that is, not composed of all things, as Empedocles held. Et ad hoc inducit testimonium Anaxagorae, non tamen de hoc eodem intellectu loquentis, sed de intellectu qui movet omnia. Sicut ergo Anaxagoras dixit illum intellectum esse immixtum, ut imperet movendo et segregando, hoc nos possumus dicere de intellectu humano, quod oportet eum esse immixtum ad hoc ut cognoscat omnia; et hoc probat consequenter, et habetur sic sequens littera in Graeco: intus apparens enim prohibebit extraneum et obstruet. Quod potest intelligi ex simili in visu: si enim esset aliquis color intrinsecus pupillae, ille color interior prohiberet videri extraneum colorem, et quodammodo obstrueret oculum ne alia videret.  In support of this he invokes the testimony of Anaxagoras, (429a19) who is not however speaking of the same intellect, but rather of the intellect that moves all things. It was in order that it might command by moving and separating that Anaxagoras said the latter intellect is unmixed. His subsequent proof of this is found in the Greek text: “For the co-presence of what is alien to its nature is a hindrance and a block” (429a20) This can be understood from what is similar in sight, for if there were some intrinsic color of the pupil, this interior color would prevent an outer color from being seen and in that way would prevent the eye from seeing others. Similiter, si aliqua natura rerum, quas intellectus cognoscit, puta terra aut aqua, calidum aut frigidum, aut aliquid huiusmodi, esset intrinseca intellectui, illa natura intrinseca impediret ipsum et quodammodo obstrueret, ne alia cognosceret.  Similarly, if one of the natures of the things the intellect knows—earth or water, hot or cold, or some such thing—were intrinsic to intellect, that intrinsic nature would impede it and in a way obstruct it from knowing others. Quia ergo omnia cognoscit, concludit quod non contingit ipsum habere aliquam naturam determinatam ex naturis sensibilibus quas cognoscit; sed hanc solam naturam habet quod sit possibilis, i. e. in potentia ad ea quae intelligit, quantum est ex sua natura; sed fit actu illa dum ea intelligit in actu, sicut sensus in actu fit sensibile in actu, ut supra in secundo dixerat. Concludit ergo quod intellectus antequam intelligat in actu nihil est actu eorum quae sunt; quod est contrarium his quae antiqui dicebant, scil. quod est actu omnia. Because it knows all things, therefore, he concludes that “it can have no nature of its own, other than that of having a certain capacity” (429a21-22). That is, its own nature is to be potentially those things it understands; but it actually becomes them when it actually knows them, just as sense in act actually becomes the sensible, as was said above in the second book. Intellect before it actually understands, he therefore concludes, “is not actually any real thing” (429a24), which is the opposite of what the ancients said, namely, that it actually is all things. Et quia fecerat mentionem de dicto Anaxagorae loquentis de intellectu qui imperat omnibus, ne crederetur de illo intellectu hoc conclusisse, utitur tali modo loquendi: vocatus itaque animae intellectus dico autem intellectum quo opinatur et intelligit anima nihil est actu et cetera. Ex quo duo apparent: primo quidem, quod non loquitur hic de intellectu qui sit aliqua substantia separata, sed de intellectu quem supra dixit potentiam et partem animae, quo anima intelligit; secundo, quod per supra dicta probavit, scil. quod intellectus non habet naturam in actu.  Because he mentioned what Anaxagoras said in speaking of the intellect which commands all things, lest he be taken to be saying this of that intellect, he uses this manner of speaking: “That in the soul which is called intellect (by intellect I mean that whereby the soul thinks and judges) is before it thinks, not actually any real thing...” (429a22-24) From which two things are clear: first, that he is not speaking here of an intellect which is a separated substance, but of the intellect he earlier called a power and part of the soul whereby the soul understands; second, that he proved from what was said above that the intellect actually has no a nature. Nondum autem probavit quod non sit virtus in corpore, ut Averroes dicit; sed hoc statim concludit ex praemissis; nam sequitur: unde neque misceri est rationabile ipsum corpori. Et hoc secundum probat per primum quod supra probavit, scil. quod intellectus non habet aliquam in actu de naturis rerum sensibilium. Ex quo patet quod non miscetur corpori: quia si misceretur corpori, haberet aliquam de naturis corporeis; et hoc est quod subdit: qualis enim utique aliquis fiet, aut calidus aut frigidus, si organum aliquod erit sicut sensitivo. Sensus enim proportionatur suo organo et trahitur quodammodo ad suam naturam; unde etiam secundum immutationem organi immutatur operatio sensus. Sic ergo intelligitur illud non misceri corpori, quia non habet organum sicut sensus.  He has not yet proved, however, that it is not a power in the body, as Averroes says, but immediately concludes this from the foregoing: “For this reason it cannot reasonably be regarded as blended with the body.” (429a25) This second conclusion he derives from the first, which he proved above, namely, that intellect does not actually have any of the natures of sensible things. It follows from this that it is not mixed with body, because if it were mixed with body, it would have some corporeal nature. This is what he adds: “If so, it would acquire some quality, e.g. warmth or cold, or even have an organ like the sensitive faculty.” (429a25-27) Sense is proportioned to its organ and is in a way akin to it in nature, hence with the immutation of the organ the operation of sense too is changed. It is thus then that the phrase, “is not mixed with body,” should be understood: intellect does not have an organ as sense does. Et quod intellectus animae non habet organum, manifestat per dictum quorundam qui dixerunt quod anima est locus specierum, large accipientes locum pro omni receptivo, more Platonico; nisi quod esse locum specierum non convenit toti animae, sed solum intellectivae. Sensitiva enim pars non recipit in se species, sed in organo; pars autem intellectiva non recipit eas in organo, sed in se ipsa; item non sic est locus specierum quod habeat eas in actu, sed in potentia tantum.  And that the soul’s intellect has no organ he manifests through the saying of those who said that “soul is the place of the forms,” (429a27-29) understanding place broadly for any receiver, in the Platonist manner, except that being the place of forms is not true of the whole soul but only of intellect. For the sensitive part does not receive species in itself, but in the organ; whereas the intellective does not receive them in an organ, but in itself. Again it is not the place of the forms as having them actually, but only in potency. Quia ergo iam ostendit quid conveniat intellectui ex similitudine sensus, redit ad primum quod dixerat, quod oportet partem intellectivam esse impassibilem, et sic admirabili subtilitate ex ipsa similitudine sensus, concludit dissimilitudinem. Ostendit ergo consequenter quod non similiter sit impassibilis sensus et intellectus, per hoc quod sensus corrumpitur ab excellenti sensibili, non autem intellectus ab excellenti intelligibili. Et huius causam assignat ex supra probatis, quia sensitivum non est sine corpore, sed intellectus est separatus. Since he has now shown what belongs to intellect from its similarity with sense, he returns to what he said first, that “the intellective part must be impassible,” (429a15) and thus with wonderful subtlety concludes from its very similarity to sense its dissimilarity, going on to show that “sense and intellect are not impassible in the same way” (429a29-b5) because sense is destroyed by an excessive sensible but intellect is not destroyed by the excessively intelligible. He gives as reason for this what was proved above: “the reason is that while the faculty of sensation is dependent upon the body, thought is separable from it.” Hoc autem ultimum verbum maxime assumunt ad sui erroris fulcimentum, volentes per hoc habere quod intellectus neque sit anima neque pars animae, sed quaedam substantia separata. Sed cito obliviscuntur eius quod paulo supra Aristoteles dixit. Sic enim hic dicitur quod sensitivum non est sine corpore et intellectus est separatus, sicut supra dixit quod intellectus fieret qualis, aut calidus aut frigidus, si aliquod organum erit ei, sicut sensitivo. Ea igitur ratione hic dicitur quod sensitivum non est sine corpore, intellectus autem est separatus, quia sensus habet organum, non autem intellectus. Manifestissime igitur apparet absque omni dubitatione ex verbis Aristotelis hanc fuisse eius sententiam de intellectu possibili, quod intellectus sit aliquid animae quae est actus corporis; ita tamen quod intellectus animae non habeat aliquod organum corporale, sicut habent ceterae potentiae animae.  This is the favorite prop of those who want to hold the error that intellect is neither soul nor part of the soul, but a separated substance. But they too quickly forget what Aristotle said only a little earlier: for just as here he says that “the sensitive is not without body and intellect is separate” so above he said that intellect would “acquire some quality, e.g. warmth or cold, or even have an organ like the sensitive faculty.” (429a25-26) This is the reason, therefore, that he here says that the sensitive is not without body but the intellect is separate: because sense has an organ but intellect does not. Quite obviously, therefore, and without any doubt so far as the text of Aristotle is concerned, it is clear that his view is that possible intellect belongs to the soul which is the act of body, such that the soul’s intellect has no bodily organ as the other powers of the soul certainly have. Quomodo autem hoc esse possit, quod anima sit forma corporis et aliqua virtus animae non sit corporis virtus, non difficile est intelligere, si quis etiam in aliis rebus consideret. Videmus enim in multis quod aliqua forma est quidem actus corporis ex elementis commixti, et tamen habet aliquam virtutem quae non est virtus alicuius elementi, sed competit tali formae ex altiori principio, puta corpore caelesti; sicut quod magnes habet virtutem attrahendi ferrum, et iaspis restringendi sanguinem. Et paulatim videmus, secundum quod formae sunt nobiliores, quod habent aliquas virtutes magis ac magis supergredientes materiam. Unde ultima formarum, quae est anima humana, habet virtutem totaliter supergredientem materiam corporalem, scil. intellectum. Sic ergo intellectus separatus est, quia non est virtus in corpore, sed est virtus in anima; anima autem est actus corporis.  It is not difficult to understand how the soul can be the form of a body yet some power of the soul not be a power of body if one takes into account other things as well. For in many things we see that a form is indeed the act of a body of mixed elements and yet has a power which is not the power of any element, but belongs to that form because of a higher principle, namely a celestial body, e.g. the magnet has the power to attract iron and jasper of coagulating blood. And presently we shall see that insofar as forms are nobler they have powers which more and more surpass matter. Hence the ultimate form, the human soul, has a power, namely intellect, which wholly surpasses corporeal matter. Thus the intellect is separate because it isn’t a power in the body but in the soul, and soul is the act of the body. Nec dicimus quod anima, in qua est intellectus, sic excedat materiam corporalem quod non habeat esse in corpore; sed quod intellectus, quem Aristoteles dicit potentiam animae, non est actus corporis. Neque enim anima est actus corporis mediantibus suis potentiis, sed anima per se ipsam est actus corporis dans corpori esse specificum. Aliquae autem potentiae eius sunt actus partium quarumdam corporis, perficientes ipsas ad aliquas operationes; sic autem potentia quae est intellectus, nullius corporis actus est, quia eius operatio non fit per organum corporale.  Nor do we say that the soul, in which the intellect is, so exceeds corporeal matter that it does not exist in the body, but rather that intellect, which Aristotle calls a power of the soul, is not the act of the body. For the soul is not the act of body through the mediation of its powers but is through itself (per se) the act of body, giving to body its specific existence. Some of its powers are acts of certain parts of body, perfecting them for definite operations, but the power which is intellect is not the act of any body, because its operation does not take place by means of a bodily organ. Et ne alicui videatur quod hoc ex nostro sensu dicamus praeter Aristotelis intentionem, inducenda sunt verba Aristotelis expresse hoc dicentis. Quaerit enim in secundo Physic., usque ad quantum oporteat cognoscere speciem et quod quid est; non enim omnem formam considerare pertinet ad physicum. Et solvit subdens: aut quemadmodum medicum nervum et fabrum aes, usquequo? I. e. usque ad aliquem terminum. Et usque ad quem terminum ostendit subdens: cuius enim causa unumquodque; quasi dicat: in tantum medicus considerat nervum, in quantum pertinet ad sanitatem, propter quam medicus nervum considerat, et similiter faber aes propter artificium. Et quia physicus considerat formam in quantum est in materia (sic enim est forma corporis mobilis), similiter accipiendum quod naturalis in tantum considerat formam, in quantum est in materia.  And lest it seem to anyone that we give this as our own reading, not Aristotle’s meaning, the words of Aristotle expressly stating this must be cited. For in Book Two of the Physics he asks “to what degree it is necessary to know the species and quiddity”, for it is not the natural philosopher’s task to consider every form. And he solves this, adding, “to the degree that the doctor must know sinew and the smith bronze,” that is, up to a point. And up to what point he shows, adding, “until he understands the cause of each,” as if to say, the doctor considers the nerve insofar as it pertains to health, and so too the artisan bronze for the sake of the artifact. And because the natural philosopher considers form insofar as it is in matter, for such is the form of mobile body, so too it should be understood that the naturalist considers form insofar as it is in matter. Terminus ergo considerationis physici de formis, est in formis quae sunt in materia quodammodo, et alio modo non in materia. Istae enim formae sunt in confinio formarum separatarum et materialium. Unde subdit: et circa haec (scil. terminatur consideratio naturalis de formis) quae sunt separatae quidem species, in materia autem. Quae autem sint istae formae, ostendit subdens: homo enim hominem generat ex materia, et sol. Forma ergo hominis est in materia, et separata: in materia quidem, secundum esse quod dat corpori (sic enim est terminus generationis); separata autem secundum virtutem quae est propria homini, scil. secundum intellectum. Non est ergo impossibile, quod aliqua forma sit in materia, et virtus eius sit separata, sicut expositum est de intellectu.  The term of the physicist’s consideration of form is of forms which are in some way in matter and in another way not in matter, for these forms are on the border of material and separated forms. Hence he adds, “and concerning these,” namely, those forms which terminate the natural philosopher’s consideration, “which are separable but which do not exist apart from matter...” What these forms are, he goes on to show: “For man is generated by man and by the sun as well.” Man’s form therefore is in matter and separate: in matter indeed insofar as it gives existence to body, for thus it is the term of generation, separate however because of the power which is proper to man, namely intellect. Therefore, It is not impossible for a form to be in matter yet its power be separate, as was shown concerning intellect. Adhuc autem alio modo procedunt ad ostendendum quod Aristotelis sententia fuit quod intellectus non sit anima nec pars animae quae unitur corpori ut forma. Dicit enim Aristoteles in pluribus locis, intellectum esse perpetuum et incorruptibilem, sicut patet in secundo de anima, ubi dixit: hoc solum contingere separari, sicut perpetuum a corruptibili; et in primo, ubi dixit quod intellectus videtur esse substantia quaedam, et non corrumpi; et in tertio, ubi dixit: separatus autem est solum hoc, quod vere est, et hoc solum immortale et perpetuum est (quamvis hoc ultimum quidam non exponant de intellectu possibili, sed de intellectu agente). Ex quibus omnibus verbis apparet, quod Aristoteles voluit intellectum esse aliquid incorruptibile.  There is yet another way in which they go about showing that Aristotle taught that the intellect is not a soul nor a part of the soul united to body as its form. For Aristotle says in several places that the intellect is perpetual and incorruptible, as is clear in Book Two of the On the Soul (413b26-27), where he says, “...differing as what is eternal from what is perishable; it alone is capable of being separated.” And in Book One where he says that intellect seems to be a substance “incapable of being destroyed” (408b17-18). And in Book Three, he says, “This alone is truly separate and it alone is immortal and perpetual,”(430a22-23) although some do not understand this last to be about the possible intellect, but about the agent intellect. From all these texts it is clear that Aristotle means that intellect is something incorruptible. Videtur autem quod nihil incorruptibile possit esse forma corporis corruptibilis. Non enim est accidentale formae, sed per se ei convenit esse in materia; alioquin ex materia et forma fieret unum per accidens. Nihil autem potest esse sine eo, quod inest ei per se. Ergo forma corporis non potest esse sine corpore. Si ergo corpus sit corruptibile, sequitur formam corporis corruptibilem esse. Praeterea, formae separatae a materia, et formae quae sunt in materia, non sunt eaedem specie, ut probatur in septimo Metaph. Multo ergo minus una et eadem forma numero potest nunc esse in corpore nunc autem sine corpore. Destructo ergo corpore, vel destruitur forma corporis, vel transit ad aliud corpus. Si ergo intellectus est forma corporis, videtur ex necessitate sequi quod intellectus sit corruptibilis.  However, it seems that nothing incorruptible could be the form of a corruptible body. It is not accidental to form but belongs to it per se that it be in matter, otherwise what comes to be from matter and form would be accidentally one; but nothing can exist without that which belongs to it as such; therefore the form of body cannot be without body. If then the body is corruptible, it follows that the form of body is corruptible. Moreover, forms separate from matter and forms that exist in matter are not of the same kind, as is proved in Book Seven of the Metaphysics. Much less can numerically one form be now in body and now apart from body. With the destruction of the body, therefore, either the form of body is destroyed or it passes to another body. If then intellect is the form of body, it seems necessarily to follow that intellect is corruptible. Est autem sciendum, quod ratio haec Platonicos movit. Nam Gregorius Nyssenus, imponit Aristoteli, e contrario, quod quia posuit animam esse formam, quod posuerit eam esse corruptibilem. Quidam vero posuerunt propter hoc, animam transire de corpore in corpus. Quidam etiam posuerunt, quod anima haberet corpus quoddam incorruptibile, a quo nunquam separaretur. Et ideo ostendendum est per verba Aristotelis, quod sic posuit intellectivam animam esse formam quod tamen posuit eam incorruptibilem.  It should be known that this argument convinces many: thus Gregory of Nyssa, making the reverse point, understood Aristotle to teach that the soul is corruptible because he made the soul a form. Some maintain because of this that soul passes from body to body. Others held that soul has a certain incorruptible body from which it is never separate. It must be shown, therefore, from Aristotle’s words, that he held that the intellective soul is form and nonetheless held it to be incorruptible. In undecimo enim Metaph., postquam ostenderat quod formae non sunt ante materias, quia quando sanatur homo tunc est sanitas, et figura aeneae sphaerae simul est cum sphaera aenea; consequenter inquirit utrum aliqua forma remaneat post materiam, et dicit sic, secundum translationem Boetii: si vero aliquid posterius remaneat (scil. post materiam) considerandum est. In quibusdam enim nihil prohibet, ut si anima huiusmodi est, non omnis sed intellectus; omnem enim impossibile est fortasse. Patet ergo quod animam, quae est forma quantum ad intellectivam partem, dicit nihil prohibere remanere post corpus, et tamen ante corpus non fuisse. Cum enim absolute dixisset, quod causae moventes sunt ante, non autem causae formales, non quaesivit utrum aliqua forma esset ante materiam, sed utrum aliqua forma remaneat post materiam; et dicit hoc nihil prohibere de forma quae est anima, quantum ad intellectivam partem.  In Book Eleven of the Metaphysics, after he had shown that forms do not exist before their matters, because “when man is healed then health exists, and the shape of the bronze sphere at the same time as the bronze sphere,” he then asks whether any form remains after matter. In Boethius’s translation, “It should be considered whether anything remains afterward” namely, after matter, “for nothing stands in the way of this in some things, as if the soul were of this kind, not all but intellect, or perhaps it is impossible for them all.” What he clearly says, therefore, is that nothing prevents the soul, which is a form, from remaining after the body thanks to its intellective part although it did not exist prior to body. For when he said absolutely that moving causes are prior but not formal causes, he did not ask whether any form were prior to matter, and he says that nothing prevents this in the case of the form which is soul with respect to its intellective part. Cum igitur, secundum praemissa Aristotelis verba, haec forma quae est anima, post corpus remaneat, non tota, sed intellectus; considerandum restat quare magis anima secundum partem intellectivam post corpus remaneat, quam secundum alias partes, et quam aliae formae post suas materias. Cuius quidem rationem ex ipsis Aristotelis verbis assumere oportet. Dicit enim: separatum autem est solum hoc quod vere est; et hoc solum immortale et perpetuum est. Hanc igitur rationem assignare videtur quare hoc solum immortale et perpetuum esse videtur: quia hoc solum est separatum.  When then, in accordance with the foregoing words of Aristotle, this form which is the soul remains after the body, not the whole but intellect, we must yet ask why the soul remains after the body with respect to its intellective part rather than its other parts, and why other forms don’t remain after their matters. The reason is to be found in the text of Aristotle. He says “This alone is truly separate and this alone immortal and perpetual.”(430a22-23) Thus the reason he gives that it alone seems to be immortal and perpetual is that it alone is separate. Sed de quo hic loquatur, dubium esse potest, quibusdam dicentibus, quod loquitur de intellectu possibili; quibusdam, quod de agente: quorum utrumque apparet esse falsum, si diligenter verba Aristotelis considerentur. Nam de utroque Aristoteles dixerat ipsum esse separatum. Restat igitur quod intelligatur de tota intellectiva parte, quae quidem separata dicitur, quia non est ei aliquod organum, sicut ex verbis Aristotelis patet.  But a question arises as to what he is here speaking of, for some say he means possible intellect and others that he means the agent intellect. But both of these are seen to be false when Aristotle’s words are carefully considered, for Aristotle says both are separate. That it is the whole intellective part which is said to be separate because it has no organ is clear from the words of Aristotle. Dixerat autem Aristoteles in principio libri de anima, quod si est aliquid animae operum aut passionum proprium, continget utique ipsam separari; si vero nullum est proprium ipsius, non utique erit separabilis. Cuius quidem consequentiae ratio talis est: quia unumquodque operatur in quantum est ens, eo igitur modo unicuique competit operari quo sibi competit esse. Formae igitur quae nullam operationem habent sine communicatione suae materiae, ipsae non operantur, sed compositum est quod operatur per formam. Unde huiusmodi formae ipsae quidem proprie loquendo non sunt, sed eis aliquid est. Sicut enim calor non calefacit, sed calidum; ita etiam calor non est proprie loquendo, sed calidum est per calorem; propter quod Aristoteles dicit in undecimo Metaph., quod de accidentibus non vere dicitur, quod sunt entia, sed magis quod sunt entis.  In the beginning of On the Soul, Aristotle said that “If there is any way of acting or being acted upon proper to soul, soul will be capable of separate existence.” (403a10-12) The reason for the consequence is this: since anything acts according to the kind of being it is, activity will belong to anything in the same way in which it exists. Forms therefore which have no activity without the participation of their matter, do not themselves operate, but the composite acts through the form. Hence forms of this kind do not themselves exist, but something exists because of them. Heat does not warm, but rather the hot thing; so too heat does not exist properly speaking, but the thing is warm thanks to heat. Because of this Aristotle says in Book Eleven of the Metaphysics that one does not truly say of accidents that they are beings but that they are of beings. Et similis ratio est de formis substantialibus, quae nullam operationem habent absque communicatione materiae, hoc excepto quod huiusmodi formae sunt principium essendi substantialiter. Forma igitur quae habet operationem secundum aliquam sui potentiam vel virtutem absque communicatione suae materiae, ipsa est quae habet esse, nec est per esse compositi tantum, sicut aliae formae, sed magis compositum est per esse eius. Et ideo destructo composito destruitur illa forma, quae est per esse compositi; non autem oportet quod destruatur, ad destructionem compositi, illa forma per cuius esse compositum est et non ipsa per esse compositi.  The same reasoning applies to substantial forms having no operation in which matter does not take part, except that such forms are principles of being. Therefore a form which has an activity thanks to one of its powers or faculties in which its matter does not participate has existence of itself. It does not exist simply because its composite does, as is the case with other forms, but rather the composite exists thanks to it. Therefore, the composite being destroyed, a form which exists thanks to the existence of the composite is destroyed, whereas a form through whose existence the composite exists, not vice versa, need not be destroyed when the composite is destroyed. Si quis autem contra hoc obiiciat, quod Aristoteles dicit in primo de anima, quod intelligere et amare et odire non sunt illius passiones (i. e. animae), sed huius habentis illud, secundum quod illud habet; quare et hoc corrupto neque memoratur neque amat: non enim illius erant, sed communis, quod quidem destructum est; patet responsio per dictum Themistii hoc exponentis, qui dicit: nunc dubitanti magis quam docenti assimilatur Aristoteles. Nondum enim destruxerat opinionem dicentium non differre intellectum et sensum.  Against this might be objected what Aristotle says in Book One of On the Soul, “Thinking, loving, and hating are affections not of thought, but of that which has thought, so far as it has it. That is why, when this vehicle decays, memory and love cease; they were activities not of thought, but of the composite which has perished.” (408b25-29) The answer is clear from Themistius who, in explaining this text, says that Aristotle “now is more in the mode of the doubter than the teacher.” For he has not yet destroyed the opinion of those saying that intellect and sense do not differ. Unde in toto illo capitulo loquitur de intellectu sicut de sensu. Quod patet praecipue ubi probat intellectum incorruptibilem per exemplum sensus, qui non corrumpitur ex senectute. Unde et per totum sub conditione et sub dubio loquitur sicut inquirens, semper coniungens ea, quae sunt intellectus, his quae sunt sensus: quod praecipue apparet ex eo quod in principio solutionis dicit: si enim et quam maxime dolere et gaudere et intelligere et cetera. Si quis autem pertinaciter dicere vellet quod Aristoteles ibi loquitur determinando; adhuc restat responsio, quia intelligere dicitur esse actus coniuncti non per se, sed per accidens, in quantum scil. eius obiectum, quod est phantasma, est in organo corporali, non quod iste actus per organum corporale exerceatur.  Hence in that whole chapter he speaks of intellect in the same way he does of sense. This is especially evident where he proves the intellect to be incorruptible using the example of sense, which is not corrupted by age. Hence throughout he speaks conditionally and problematically as one inquiring, always conflating intellect and sense. This is chiefly apparent from this that, in the beginning of the solution, he says “We may admit to the full that being pained or please, or thinking, are movements, etc.” (408b5-6) Were anyone adamantly to insist that Aristotle speaks decisively here, another response remains. Understanding is said to be the act of the composite, not essentially but accidentally, insofar as its object, the phantasm, is in a bodily organ and not because this activity is exercised through a bodily organ. Si quis autem quaerat ulterius: si intellectus sine phantasmate non intelligit, quomodo ergo anima habebit operationem intellectualem, postquam fuerit a corpore separata? Scire debet qui hoc obiicit, quod istam quaestionem solvere non pertinet ad naturalem. Unde Aristoteles in secundo Physic. dicit, de anima loquens: quomodo autem separabile hoc se habeat et quid sit, philosophiae primae opus est determinare. Aestimandum est enim quod alium modum intelligendi habebit separata, quam habeat coniuncta, similem scil. aliis substantiis separatis. Unde non sine causa Aristoteles quaerit in tertio de anima, utrum intellectus non separatus a magnitudine intelligat aliquid separatum.  A further question might be asked: If intellect does not understand without the phantasm, how can the soul have an intellectual operation after it is separated from body? The questioner ought to know that it is not the natural philosopher’s task to solve this question. That is why Aristotle, speaking of soul in Book Two of the Physics, writes, “It is the business of First Philosophy to resolve how this is separable and what it is..” For it should be seen that the soul when separated has a different way of understanding than it does when conjoined, a way similar to that of separate substances. Hence it is not surprising that Aristotle should say, in Book Three of On the Soul, “Whether it is possible for it while not existing separate from spatial conditions to think anything that is separate, or not, we must consider later.” (431b17-19) This suggests that it can understand something in a separated state that it cannot when unseparated. Per quod dat intelligere quod aliquid poterit intelligere separatus, quod non potest non separatus. In quibus etiam verbis valde notandum est, quod cum superius utrumque intellectum (scil. possibilem et agentem), dixerit separatum, hic tamen dicit eum non separatum. Est enim separatus, in quantum non est actus organi; non separatus vero, in quantum est pars sive potentia animae quae est actus corporis, sicut supra dictum est. Huiusmodi autem quaestiones certissime colligi potest, Aristotelem solvisse in his quae patet eum scripsisse de substantiis separatis, ex his quae dicit in principio duodecimi Metaph., quos etiam libros vidi numero X, licet nondum in lingua nostra translatos.  What is especially to be noticed in these words is that, while he said earlier that both intellects, namely the possible and agent, are separate, here he says intellect is not separate. For the separate is such insofar as it is not the act of an organ and the non-separate that which is a part or power of the soul which is the act of body, as has been said. Aristotle’s resolution of such questions can be more certainly gathered from what he wrote of separate substances at the beginning of Book Twelve of the Metaphysics, ten books of which I have seen though they are not yet translated into our language. Secundum hoc igitur patet quod rationes inductae in contrarium necessitatem non habent. Essentiale enim est animae quod corpori uniatur; sed hoc impeditur per accidens, non ex parte sua sed ex parte corporis quod corrumpitur; sicut per se competit levi sursum esse, et hoc est levi esse ut sit sursum, ut Aristoteles dicit in octavo Physic.; contingit tamen per aliquod impedimentum quod non sit sursum.  Given this, therefore, it is clear that there are no necessary arguments for the opposed position. For it is essential to the soul that it be united to body and this is accidentally impeded, not on its part, but on the part of the body which corrupts. In the same way it pertains as such to what is light that it be above. “This is the essence of what is light that it be above,” as Aristotle says in Book Eight of the Physics, “but it can come about through some impediment that it is not above.” Ex hoc etiam patet solutio alterius rationis. Sicut enim quod habet naturam ut sit sursum, et quod non habet naturam ut sit sursum, specie differunt; et tamen idem et specie et numero est quod habet naturam ut sit sursum, licet quandoque sit sursum et quandoque non sit sursum propter aliquod impedimentum: ita differunt specie duae formae, quarum una habet naturam ut uniatur corpori, alia vero non habet; sed tamen unum et idem specie et numero esse potest, habens naturam ut uniatur corpori, licet quandoque sit actu unitum, quandoque non actu unitum propter aliquod impedimentum. The response to the second argument is clear from this. Although there is a specific difference between that whose nature it is to be above and that whose nature it is not to be above, yet the thing whose nature it is to be above, although it sometimes is and sometimes is not, due to an impediment, is specifically and numerically the same nature. In much the same way, a form whose nature it is to be united to body is specifically different from one whose nature it is not to be united to body, yet a form specifically and numerically the same can be such that its nature is to be united to body although sometimes it actually is and sometimes it is not because of an impediment. Adhuc autem ad sui erroris fulcimentum assumunt quod Aristoteles dicit in libro de generatione animalium, scil. intellectum solum de foris advenire et divinum esse solum. Nulla autem forma quae est actus materiae, advenit de foris, sed educitur de potentia materiae. Intellectus igitur non est forma corporis.  They seek yet another basis for this error in what Aristotle says in the book On the generation of Animals, namely, “intellect comes only from without and it alone is divine.” But no form which is the act of matter comes to it from without, but is educed from the potency of matter. Therefore the intellect is not the form of body. Obiiciunt etiam, quod omnis forma corporis mixti causatur ex elementis; unde si intellectus esset forma corporis humani, non esset ab extrinseco, sed esset ex elementis causatus. They object too that every form of a mixed body is caused by the elements; hence if the intellect were the form of the human body, it would not be caused by something else, but would be caused by the elements. Obiiciunt etiam ulterius circa hoc, quia sequeretur quod etiam vegetativum et sensitivum esset ab extrinseco; quod est contra Aristotelem, praecipue si esset una substantia animae, cuius potentiae essent vegetativum, sensitivum et intellectivum; cum intellectus sit ab extrinseco, secundum Aristotelem. They further object on this score that it would follow that the vegetative and sensitive too would be from something else, which is contrary to Aristotle. This would be especially true when there is a soul one in substance whose powers are vegetative, sensitive and intellective. But, according to Aristotle, the intellective is from without. Horum autem solutio in promptu apparet secundum praemissa. Cum enim dicitur quod omnis forma educitur de potentia materiae, considerandum videtur, quid sit formam de potentia materiae educi. Si enim hoc nihil aliud sit quam materiam praeexistere in potentia ad formam, nihil prohibet sic dicere materiam corporalem praeextitisse in potentia ad animam intellectivam; unde Aristoteles dicit in libro de generatione animalium: primum quidem omnia visa sunt vivere talia (scil. separata fetuum) plantae vita. Consequenter autem palam quia et de sensitiva dicendum anima et de activa et de intellectiva; omnes enim necessarium potentia prius habere quam actu.  The solution of these difficulties readily appears from the foregoing, for when it is said that every form is educed from the potency of matter, it seems that what this means ought to be understood. For if this is only matter’s first existing in potency to the form, nothing prevents our saying that corporeal matter first exists in potency to the intellective soul. Hence Aristotle says in the book On the Generation of Animals, “For at first all such embryos seem to live the life of a plant. And it is clear that we must be guided by this in speaking of the active and sensitive and rational soul. For all three kinds of soul must be possessed potentially before they are possessed actually.” Sed quia potentia dicitur ad actum, necesse est ut unumquodque secundum eam rationem sit in potentia, secundum quam rationem convenit sibi esse actu. Iam autem ostensum est quod aliis formis, quae non habent operationem absque communicatione materiae, convenit sic esse actu, ut magis ipsae sint quibus composita sunt, et quodammodo compositis coexistentes, quam quod ipsae suum esse habeant; unde sicut totum esse earum est in concretione ad materiam, ita totaliter educi dicuntur de potentia materiae. Anima autem intellectiva, cum habeat operationem sine corpore, non est esse suum solum in concretione ad materiam; unde non potest dici quod educatur de materia, sed magis quod est a principio extrinseco. Et hoc ex verbis Aristotelis apparet: relinquitur autem intellectum solum de foris advenire, et divinum esse solum; et causam assignat subdens: nihil enim ipsius operationi communicat corporalis operatio.  Because potency is a correlative of act, a thing must be in potency in the same respect that being actual belongs to it. It has already been shown that those forms which have no activities that do not involve matter are such that composites exist through them and they themselves as it were coexist with composites rather than exist themselves. Hence just as their whole existence is in concretion with matter, so they are said to be totally educed from the potency of matter. The intellective soul, however, since it has an operation without body, does not exist solely in concretion with matter, hence it cannot be said to be educed from matter, but it is rather from an extrinsic principle. And this is obvious from Aristotle’s words: “It remains, then, for the reason alone so to enter and alone to be divine,” and he gives the explanation when he adds, “for no bodily activity has any connection with its activity.” Miror autem unde secunda obiectio processerit, quod si anima intellectiva esset forma corporis mixti, quod causaretur ex commixtione elementorum, cum nulla anima ex commixtione elementorum causetur. Dicit enim Aristoteles immediate post verba praemissa: omnis quidem igitur animae virtus altero corpore visa est participare et diviniore vocatis elementis; ut autem differunt honorabilitate animae et vilitate invicem, sic et talis differt natura. Omnium quidem enim in spermate existit quod facit generativa esse spermata, vocatum calidum; hoc autem non ignis neque talis virtus est, sed interceptus in spermate et in spumoso spiritus aliquis, et in spiritu natura proportionalis existens astrorum ordinationi. Ergo, ex mixtione elementorum necdum intellectus, sed nec anima vegetativa producitur.  I wonder whence comes this second objection, namely, that if the intellective soul were the form of a mixed body it would be caused by the mingling of the elements. No soul is caused by the mingling of elements. Right after the words just quoted we read: “Now it is true that the faculty of all kinds of soul seems to have a connexion with a matter different from and more divine than the so-called elements; but as one soul differs from another in honor and utility, so differs also the nature of the corresponding matter. All have in their semen that which causes it to be productive; I mean what is called a vital heat. This is not fire nor any such force, but it is the breath included in the semen and the foam-like, and the natural principle in the breath, being analogous to the element of the stars.” Therefore not even the vegetable soul, let alone intellect, is produced from the mingling of elements. Quod vero tertio obiicitur, quod sequeretur vegetativum et sensitivum esse ab extrinseco, non est ad propositum. Iam enim patet ex verbis Aristotelis, quod ipse hoc indeterminatum relinquit, utrum intellectus differat ab aliis partibus animae subiecto et loco, ut Plato dixit, vel ratione tantum. Si vero detur quod sint idem subiecto, sicut verius est, nec adhuc inconveniens sequitur. Dicit enim Aristoteles in secundo de anima, quod similiter se habent ei quod de figuris, et quae secundum animam sunt. Semper enim in eo quod est consequenter, est potentia quod prius est, in figuris et in animatis; ut in tetragono quidem trigonum est, in sensitivo autem vegetativum.  The third objection, that it would follow that the sensitive and vegetative too would be from an extrinsic principle, is not relevant. For it is already evident from the words of Aristotle that he leaves indeterminate whether intellect differs from the other parts of the soul in subject and place, as Plato said, or by understanding alone. Even if it were given that they are the same in subject, as is truer, still nothing absurd would follow. For Aristotle says in Book Two of On the Soul, “The cases of figure and soul are exactly parallel; for the particulars subsumed under the common name in both cases—figures and living things—constitute a series, each successive term of which potentially contains its predecessor, e.g. the square the triangle, the sensory power the self-nutritive.” (414b28-32) Si autem idem subiecto est etiam intellectivum (quod ipse sub dubio relinquit), similiter dicendum esset quod vegetativum et sensitivum sunt in intellectivo, ut trigonum et tetragonum in pentagono. Est autem tetragonum quidem a trigono simpliciter alia figura specie, non autem a trigono quod est potentia in ipso; sicut nec quaternarius a ternario qui est pars ipsius, sed a ternario qui est seorsum existens. Et si contingeret diversas figuras a diversis agentibus produci, trigonum quidem seorsum a tetragono existens haberet aliam causam producentem quam tetragonum, sicut et habet aliam speciem; sed trigonum quod est in tetragono, haberet eamdem causam producentem. Sic igitur vegetativum quidem seorsum a sensitivo existens, alia species animae est, et aliam causam productivam habet; eadem tamen causa productiva est sensitivi, et vegetativi quod inest sensitivo. Si ergo sic dicatur, quod vegetativum et sensitivum quod inest intellectivo, est a causa extrinseca a qua est intellectivum, nullum inconveniens sequitur. Non enim inconveniens est, effectum superioris agentis habere virtutem quam habet effectus inferioris agentis, et adhuc amplius; unde et anima intellectiva, quamvis sit ab exteriori agente, habet tamen virtutes quas habent anima vegetativa et sensitiva, quae sunt ab inferioribus agentibus.  If however the intellective too is in the same subject, which he leaves in doubt, it would similarly have to be said that the vegetative and sensitive are in the intellective as triangle and square are in the pentagon. For the square is indeed a figure specifically different from the triangle, but not from the triangle potentially in it, no more than four is from the three which is its part, but only from the three existing apart. And if it should happen that different shapes are produced by different agents, the triangle considered as apart and differing from the square would have a different cause from the square, just as it has another species, but the triangle which is in the square has the same producing cause. Similarly the vegetative existing apart from the sensitive is another species of soul and has a different productive cause, but there is the same productive cause of the sensitive and of the vegetative within the sensitive. If then it is said of the vegetative and sensitive which are in the intellective that they are from the extrinsic cause which produces the intellective, nothing unacceptable follows. For there is nothing absurd about the effect of a higher agent having the power that the effect of a lesser agent has, even more so. Hence the intellective soul, although it is from an external agent, nonetheless has the powers had by the vegetative and sensitive souls which are produced by inferior agents. Sic igitur, diligenter consideratis fere omnibus verbis Aristotelis quae de intellectu humano dixit, apparet eum huius fuisse sententiae quod anima humana sit actus corporis, et quod eius pars sive potentia sit intellectus possibilis.  So it is that those who carefully consider everything Aristotle has to say of the human intellect see clearly that his teaching was that the human soul is the act of the body and that its part or faculty is the possible intellect.
De relatione intellectus possibilis ad hominem secundum alios Peripateticos
Nunc autem considerare oportet quid alii Peripatetici de hoc ipso senserunt. Et accipiamus primo verba Themistii in commento de anima, ubi sic dicit: intellectus iste quem dicimus in potentia (...) magis est animae connaturalis (scil. quam agens); dico autem non omni animae, sed solum humanae. Et sicut lumen potentia visui et potentia coloribus adveniens, actu quidem visum fecit et actu colores, ita et intellectus iste qui actu (...) non solum ipsum actu intellectum fecit, sed et potentia intelligibilia actu intelligibilia ipse instituit. Et post pauca concludit: quam igitur rationem habet ars ad materiam, hanc et intellectus factivus ad eum qui in potentia (...) propter quod et in nobis est intelligere quando volumus. Non enim est ars materiae exterioris (...) sed investitur toti potentia intellectui qui factivus; ac si utique aedificator lignis et aerarius aeri non ab extrinseco existeret, per totum autem ipsum penetrare potens erit. Sic enim et qui secundum actum intellectus intellectui potentia superveniens, unum fit cum ipso.  Now we should consider what the other Peripatetics had to say about all this. We will first take up the words of Themistius in his Commentary On the Soul. When he says: “This intellect that we say is in potency is more connatural to the soul,”—he means, than the agent intellect—“I don’t mean to every soul, however, but only to the human. And just as light coming to potential seeing and to colors in potency makes them actual, so when this intellect is in act it not only makes intellect to be in act, but also constitutes potential intelligibles as actual intelligibles.” And a little later: “As art is to matter so is the factive intellect to that which is in potency. That is why we understand when we wish to. For it is not an art exterior to matter, but a power invested in the whole intellect which is making, just as, if the builder did not exist exterior to the wood or the brazier to the bronze, they would be able to penetrate through and through. Thus it is that the intellect in act supervenes on intellect in potency, becoming one with it.” Et post pauca concludit: non igitur sumus aut qui potentia intellectus, aut qui actu. Si quidem igitur in compositis omnibus ex eo quod potentia et ex eo quod actu, aliud est hoc et aliud est esse huic, aliud utique erit ego et mihi esse. Et ego quidem est compositus intellectus ex potentia et actu, mihi autem esse ex eo quod actu est. Quare et quae meditor et quae scribo, scribit quidem intellectus compositus ex potentia et actu, scribit autem non qua potentia sed qua actu; operari enim inde sibi derivatur. Et post pauca adhuc manifestius: sicut igitur aliud est animal et aliud animali esse, animali autem esse est ab anima animalis, sic et aliud quidem ego, aliud autem mihi esse. Esse igitur mihi ab anima, et hac non omni. Non enim a sensitiva, materia enim erat phantasiae. Neque rursum a phantastica, materia enim erat potentia intellectus. Neque eius qui potentia intellectus, materia enim est factivi. A solo igitur factivo est mihi esse. Et post pauca subdit: et usque ad hunc progressa natura cessavit, tanquam nihil habens alterum honoratius, cui faceret ipsum subiectum. Nos itaque sumus activus intellectus.  And, a little later, he concludes, “Therefore we are either the intellect in potency or the intellect in act. And if in everything composed of what is in potency and what is in act, it is one thing and what it is for it to exist is another, then I too and what it is for me to exist differ. And I am an intellect composed of potency and act, but what it is for me to be comes from that which is in act. Wherefore what I think and write, an intellect composed of potency and act writes, but it writes not as in potency but as in act; from it derives its activity.” And a little further on yet more clearly: “Just as animal and what it is for animal to exist differ, the latter being due to the animal’s soul, so too I and what it is for me to exist differ. What it is for me to exist comes from soul but not from every part, not from the sensitive, which is matter to the imaginative, nor indeed from the imaginative, for it is matter to possible intellect, nor from that which is intellect potentially, for it is as matter to the agent intellect. From agent intellect alone, therefore, comes what it is for me to be.” And he adds a little later, “And having progressed to this nature stops, there being nothing more honorable which could serve as subject to it. We are therefore the agent intellect.” Et postea reprobans quorundam opinionem dicit: cum praedixisset (scil. Aristoteles) in omni natura hoc quidem materiam esse, hoc autem quod materiam movet aut perficit, necesse ait et in anima existere has differentias, et esse aliquem hunc talem intellectum in omnia fieri, hunc talem in omnia facere. In anima enim ait esse talem intellectum et animae humanae velut quamdam partem honoratissimam. Et post pauca dicit: ex eadem etiam littera hoc contingit confirmare, quod putat (scil. Aristoteles) aut nostri aliquid esse activum intellectum, aut nos.  And after rejecting the opinion of some others, he says, “Since Aristotle said that in every nature there is that which is matter and that which moves and perfects matter, he says that these differences must also exist in soul, and that there must be an intellect that becomes all things and another that makes it all things. For he says there is in the soul such an intellect and it is the most noble part of the human intellect.” A bit afterward adding, “This same text confirms that he, Aristotle, thinks that either we are the agent intellect or it is a part of us.” Patet igitur ex praemissis verbis Themistii, quod non solum intellectum possibilem, sed etiam agentem partem animae humanae esse dicit, et Aristotelem ait hoc sensisse; et iterum, quod homo est id quod est, non ex anima sensitiva, ut quidam mentiuntur, sed ex parte intellectiva et principaliori. From the foregoing words of Themistius it is clear that he not only holds that the possible intellect is a part of the human soul, but the agent as well, and he says that Aristotle taught this; and further that man is what he is not because of the sensitive soul, as some falsely said, but from the principal part, the intellective. Et Theophrasti quidem libros non vidi, sed eius verba introducit Themistius in commento, quae sunt talia, sic dicens: melius est autem et dicta Theophrasti proponere de intellectu potentia et de eo qui actu. De eo igitur qui potentia haec ait: intellectus autem qualiter a foris existens et tanquam superpositus, tamen connaturalis? Et quae natura ipsius? Hoc quidem enim nihil esse secundum actum, potentia autem omnia bene, sicut et sensus. Non enim sic accipiendum est ut neque sit ipse, litigiosum est enim, sed ut subiectam quamdam potentiam, sicut et in materialibus. Sed hoc a foris igitur, non ut adiectum, sed ut in prima generatione comprehendens ponendum.  I have not seen the books of Theophrastus, but Themistius cites him in his commentary, writing, “However it is better to set forth the sayings of Theophrastus concerning the intellect that is in potency and that which is in act. Of that which is in potency he asks: How could intellect exist from outside and as imposed and yet be connatural? And what is its nature? For it is actually nothing yet everything potentially, just like sense. Nor should this be taken to mean that it itself is not, which is carping, but it is as a kind of potential subject as is found in material things. But this ought not to said to be from without, therefore, or something conjoined, but is included from the first coming into being.” (p. 242, II, 54-62) Sic igitur Theophrastus, cum quaesivisset duo: primo quidem, quomodo intellectus possibilis sit ab extrinseco, et tamen nobis connaturalis; et secundo, quae sit natura intellectus possibilis; respondet primo ad secundum: quod est in potentia omnia, non quidem sicut nihil existens, sed sicut sensus ad sensibilia. Et ex hoc concludit responsionem primae quaestionis, quod non intelligitur sic esse ab extrinseco, quasi aliquid adiectum accidentaliter vel tempore praecedente, sed a prima generatione, sicut continens et comprehendens naturam humanam.  So Theophrastus asks two things: first, how is the possible intellect from an extrinsic principle yet connatural to us, and second, what is the nature of the possible intellect. He answers the second question first, saying that it is potentially all things, not indeed existing as nothing, but in the way sense is related to sensibles. His answer to the first question follows from this, that it ought not so to be understood to be from outside as if it were something accidentally conjoined or temporally prior, but is there in the first coming into being, as containing and comprehending human nature. Quod autem Alexander intellectum possibilem posuerit esse formam corporis, etiam ipse Averroes confitetur, quamvis, ut arbitror, perverse verba Alexandri acceperit, sicut et verba Themistii praeter eius intellectum assumit. Nam quod dicit, Alexandrum dixisse intellectum possibilem non esse aliud quam praeparationem, quae est in natura humana, ad intellectum agentem et ad intelligibilia: hanc praeparationem nihil aliud intellexit, quam potentiam intellectivam quae est in anima ad intelligibilia. Et ideo dixit eam non esse virtutem in corpore, quia talis potentia non habet organum corporale, et non ex ea ratione, ut Averroes impugnat, secundum quod nulla praeparatio est virtus in corpore.  That Alexander held the possible intellect to be the form of the body, Averroes himself admits, although, as I think, he perversely understands Alexander’s words just as he uses the words of Themistius beyond the meaning they bear. For he claims that Alexander said the possible intellect was precisely the preparation in human nature for agent intellect and intelligibles, he understands this preparation to be nothing other than the soul’s intellective potency to intelligible things. Therefore he said that it is not a power in body because such a power does not have a bodily organ. And not for the reason Averroes attributes to him, that no preparation is a power in body. Et ut a Graecis ad Arabes transeamus, primo manifestum est quod Avicenna posuit intellectum virtutem animae quae est forma corporis. Dicit enim sic in suo libro de anima: intellectus activus (i. e. practicus) eget corpore et virtutibus corporalibus ad omnes actiones suas. Contemplativus autem intellectus eget corpore et virtutibus eius, sed nec semper nec omnino. Sufficit enim ipse sibi per seipsum. Nihil autem horum est anima humana; sed anima est id quod habet has virtutes et, sicut postea declarabimus, est substantia solitaria, i. e. per se, quae habet aptitudinem ad actiones, quarum quaedam sunt quae non perficiuntur nisi per instrumenta et per usum eorum ullo modo; quaedam vero sunt, quibus non sunt necessaria instrumenta aliquo modo.  To turn from the Greeks to the Arabs, it is clear first of all that Avicenna held intellect to be a power of soul which is the form of body. For he says in his book On the Soul, “The active, that is, practical intellect, needs the body and bodily powers for its own actions, but the contemplative intellect does not always and completely need the body and its powers: for it is sufficient unto itself. None of these is the human soul, but the soul is what has these powers and, as we shall maintain later, is a solitary substance, that is, is in itself, and has aptitude for activities some of which are perfected only through instruments and some use of them, while others do not need instruments in any way.” Item, in prima parte dicit quod anima humana est perfectio prima corporis naturalis instrumentalis, secundum quod attribuitur ei agere actiones electione deliberationis, et adinvenire meditando, et secundum hoc quod apprehendit universalia. Sed verum est quod postea dicit et probat quod anima humana, secundum id quod est sibi proprium, i. e. secundum vim intellectivam, non sic se habet ad corpus ut forma, nec eget ut sibi praeparetur organum. Again, in the first part he says that “the human soul is the first perfection of a natural body with organs, insofar as the ability to performs acts of deliberate choice, to discover by inquiry. and to grasp universals are attributed to it.” But it is true that later he says and proves that the human soul, because of that which is proper to it, that is, according to its intellective power, “is not related to body as form nor require that an organ be supplied it.” Deinde subiungenda sunt verba Algazelis sic dicentis: cum commixtio elementorum fuerit pulchrioris et perfectioris aequalitatis, qua nihil possit inveniri subtilius et pulchrius (...) tunc fiet apta ad recipiendum a datore formarum formam pulchriorem formis aliis, quae est anima hominis. Huius vero animae humanae duae sunt virtutes: una operans et altera sciens, quam vocat intellectum, ut ex consequentibus patet. Et tamen postea multis argumentis probat, quod operatio intellectus non fit per organum corporale.  Next these words of Algazel should be added: “When the mingling of the elements will have been of a most beautiful and perfect equality, than which nothing more subtle and beautiful can be found, then it became apt to receive from the giver of forms a form more beautiful than other form, which is the soul of man. There are two virtues of this human soul: one operative, the other knowing,” which, as is clear from what follows, means intellect. Afterwards he proves with many arguments that the operation of the intellect does not take place through a bodily organ. Haec autem praemisimus, non quasi volentes ex philosophorum auctoritatibus reprobare suprapositum errorem, sed ut ostendamus, quod non soli Latini, quorum verba quibusdam non sapiunt, sed etiam Graeci et Arabes hoc senserunt, quod intellectus sit pars vel potentia seu virtus animae quae est corporis forma. Unde miror ex quibus Peripateticis hunc errorem se assumpsisse glorientur, nisi forte quia minus volunt cum ceteris Peripateticis recte sapere, quam cum Averroe oberrare, qui non tam fuit Peripateticus, quam philosophiae Peripateticae depravator.  We have set forth these things, not wishing to refute the above mentioned error by the authority of philosophers, but in order to show that not only Latin writers, whose language some do not savor, but also Greeks and Arabs, thought that intellect is a part or power or faculty of the soul which is the form of body. So I wonder from what Peripatetics they boast to have derived this error, unless perhaps they have less desire to think correctly with other Peripatetics than to err with Averroes, who was not a Peripatetic but the perverter of Peripatetic philosophy.
Rationes ad probandum unitatem intellectus possibilis
CHAPTER III Ostenso igitur ex verbis Aristotelis et aliorum sequentium ipsum, quod intellectus est potentia animae quae est corporis forma, licet ipsa potentia, quae est intellectus, non sit alicuius organi actus, quia nihil ipsius operationi communicat corporalis operatio, ut Aristoteles dicit; inquirendum est per rationes quid circa hoc sentire sit necesse. Et quia, secundum doctrinam Aristotelis, oportet ex actibus principia actuum considerare, ex ipso actu proprio intellectus qui est intelligere, primo hoc considerandum videtur.  Having shown from the words of Aristotle and those who followed him that the intellect is a potency of the soul which is the form of the body although that potency which is intellect is not the act of any organ, “because its operation is not shared by any bodily operation,” as Aristotle says, we must now inquire by way of arguments what ought to be made of all this. And since, according to the teaching of Aristotle, it is from acts that their principles are known, our consideration must begin with the proper act of intellect, namely, understanding. In quo nullam firmiorem rationem habere possumus ea quam Aristoteles ponit, et sic argumentatur: anima est primum quo vivimus et intelligimus; ergo est ratio quaedam et species corporis cuiusdam. Et adeo huic rationi innititur, quod eam dicit esse demonstrationem; nam in principio capituli sic dicit: non solum quod quid est oportet definitivam rationem ostendere, sicut plures terminorum dicunt, sed et causam inesse et demonstrare; et ponit exemplum: sicut demonstratur quid est tetragonismus, i. e. quadratum per inventionem mediae lineae proportionalis.  Concerning which there is no stronger argument than that given by Aristotle when he argues thus: “The soul is that whereby we first live and understand, therefore it is a certain form and species” of some body. (414a12-14) He relies on this argument, therefore, characterizing it as a demonstration, for in the beginning of the chapter he says, “For it is not enough for a definitive formula to express as most now do the mere fact; it must include and exhibit the ground also.” (413a13-20) By way of example, he says that what a tetragon or square is demonstrated through the discovery of the proportional mean. Virtus autem huius demonstrationis et insolubilitas apparet, quia quicumque ab hac via divertere voluerint, necesse habent inconveniens dicere. Manifestum est enim quod hic homo singularis intelligit: nunquam enim de intellectu quaeremus, nisi intelligeremus; nec cum quaerimus de intellectu, de alio principio quaerimus, quam de eo quo nos intelligimus. Unde et Aristoteles dicit: dico autem intellectum quo intelligit anima. Concludit autem sic Aristoteles: quod si aliquid est primum principium quo intelligimus, oportet illud esse formam corporis; quia ipse prius manifestavit, quod illud quo primo aliquid operatur, est forma. Et patet hoc per rationem, quia unumquodque agit in quantum est actu; est autem unumquodque actu per formam; unde oportet illud, quo primo aliquid agit, esse formam.  The power and irrefutability of this demonstration is clear from the fact that whoever wishes to differ with it necessarily says what is absurd. That this singular man understands is manifest, for we would never ask about intellect unless we understood, nor when we ask about intellect are we asking about anything other than that whereby we understand. Thus Aristotle says, “”I mean the intellect whereby the soul understands,” (429a23) and concludes accordingly that if something is the first principle whereby we understand, it must be the form of the body, because he earlier showed that that whereby we first do anything is the form. And this is clear from argument: anything acts insofar as it is in act; anything is in act through its form; therefore that through which something first acts must be form. Si autem dicas quod principium huius actus, qui est intelligere, quod nominamus intellectum, non sit forma, oportet te invenire modum quo actio illius principii sit actio huius hominis. Quod diversimode quidam conati sunt dicere. Quorum unus, Averroes, ponens huiusmodi principium intelligendi quod dicitur intellectus possibilis, non esse animam nec partem animae, nisi aequivoce, sed potius quod sit substantia quaedam separata, dixit quod intelligere illius substantiae separatae est intelligere mei vel illius, in quantum intellectus ille possibilis copulatur mihi vel tibi per phantasmata quae sunt in me et in te. Quod sic fieri dicebat. Species enim intelligibilis, quae fit unum cum intellectu possibili, cum sit forma et actus eius, habet duo subiecta: unum ipsa phantasmata, aliud intellectum possibilem. Sic ergo intellectus possibilis continuatur nobiscum per formam suam mediantibus phantasmatibus; et sic, dum intellectus possibilis intelligit, hic homo intelligit.  If however you should say that the first principle of the act which is understanding, what we call intellect, is not form, then you must find a way in which the act of this principle can be an action of this man. There are those who have tried in various ways to do this. One of them, Averroes, held that the principle of understanding which is called the possible intellect is not a soul or a part of the soul, except equivocally; rather, it is a separated substance. He said that the separate substance’s understanding is mine or yours insofar as possible intellect is joined to me or you through the phantasms which are in me and you. He says that comes about in this way: the intelligible species which becomes one with the possible intellect as its form and act has two subjects, one those phantasms, the other the possible intellect. Therefore the possible intellect is continuous with us through its form by way of phantasms, and thus when the possible intellect understands, this man understands. Quod autem hoc nihil sit, patet tripliciter. Primo quidem, quia sic continuatio intellectus ad hominem non esset secundum primam eius generationem, ut Theophrastus dicit et Aristoteles innuit in secundo Physic., ubi dicit quod terminus naturalis considerationis de formis est ad formam, secundum quam homo generatur ab homine et a sole. Manifestum est autem quod terminus considerationis naturalis est in intellectu. Secundum autem dictum Averrois, intellectus non continuaretur homini secundum suam generationem, sed secundum operationem sensus, in quantum est sentiens in actu. Phantasia enim est motus a sensu secundum actum, ut dicitur in libro de anima.  There are three ways of showing that this amounts to nothing. First, because then the union of intellect and man would not come into being when he does, as Theophrastus maintains and Aristotle indicates in Book Two of the Physics where he says that the goal of the naturalist’s consideration of forms is the form according to which man is generated by man and the sun. Intellect is obviously the goal of the naturalist’s consideration, yet, according to what Averroes says, intellect is not united with man from his generation, but through the operation of sense insofar as he is actually sensing: imagination is “a movement resulting from an actual exercise of a power of sense,” as is said in On the Soul. (429a1-2) Secundo vero, quia ista coniunctio non esset secundum aliquid unum, sed secundum diversa. Manifestum est enim quod species intelligibilis, secundum quod est in phantasmatibus, est intellecta in potentia; in intellectu autem possibili est secundum quod est intellecta in actu, abstracta a phantasmatibus. Si ergo species intelligibilis non est forma intellectus possibilis nisi secundum quod est abstracta a phantasmatibus, sequitur quod per speciem intelligibilem non continuatur phantasmatibus, sed magis ab eis est separatus. Nisi forte dicatur quod intellectus possibilis continuatur phantasmatibus, sicut speculum continuatur homini cuius species resultat in speculo. Talis autem continuatio manifestum est quod non sufficit ad continuationem actus; manifestum est enim quod actio speculi, quae est repraesentare, non propter hoc potest attribui homini: unde nec actio intellectus possibilis propter praedictam copulationem posset attribui huic homini qui est Socrates, ut hic homo intelligeret.  Second, because this union would have not one but diverse causes. For clearly the intelligible species as it exists in the phantasm is understood only potentially, but abstracted from phantasms, in the possible intellect, it is actually understood. If then the intelligible species is the form of possible intellect only insofar as it is abstracted from phantasms, it follows that [possible intellect] is not united with phantasms through the intelligible species but rather is separated from them. Unless perhaps it is said that the possible intellect is one with phantasms in the way in which the mirror is one with the man whose image is reflected in the mirror; but such a union manifestly does not suffice for the union of the act. For it is obvious that the act of the mirror, which is to represent, is not on this account attributed to the man. No more could the action of possible intellect on the basis of the foregoing conjunction be attributed to this man Socrates in order that this man might understand. Tertio, quia dato quod una et eadem species numero esset forma intellectus possibilis, et esset simul in phantasmatibus: nec adhuc talis copulatio sufficeret ad hoc, quod hic homo intelligeret. Manifestum est enim, quod per speciem intelligibilem aliquid intelligitur, sed per potentiam intellectivam aliquid intelligit; sicut etiam per speciem sensibilem aliquid sentitur, per potentiam autem sensitivam aliquid sentit. Unde paries, in quo est color, cuius species sensibilis in actu est in visu, videtur, non videt, animal autem habens potentiam visivam, in qua est talis species, videt. Talis autem est praedicta copulatio intellectus possibilis ad hominem, in quo sunt phantasmata quorum species sunt in intellectu possibili, qualis est copulatio parietis in quo est color, ad visum in quo est species sui coloris. Sicut igitur paries non videt, sed videtur eius color; ita sequeretur quod homo non intelligeret, sed quod eius phantasmata intelligerentur ab intellectu possibili. Impossibile est ergo salvari quod hic homo intelligat, secundum positionem Averrois.  Third, even granted that numerically one and the same species were the form of the possible intellect and at the same time in phantasms, such a conjunction would not suffice to explain that this man understands. For it is obvious that just as something is sensed through a sensible species but one senses something through the sensitive power, so something is understood through the intelligible species, but one understands something through the intellective power. Hence the wall in which the color is, whose sensible species is actually in sight, is seen, and does not see; it is the animal having the power of sight, in which such a species is, that sees. The aforesaid union of the possible intellect with man, in whom exist the phantasms whose species are in the possible intellect, is like the union of the wall, in which the color is, with sight in which the species of its color is. The wall does not see, but its color is seen; thus it would follow that man does not understand, but his phantasms are understood, by the possible intellect. It is impossible, therefore, on the basis of Averroes’s position, to show that this man understands. Quidam vero videntes quod secundum viam Averrois sustineri non potest quod hic homo intelligat, in aliam diverterunt viam, et dicunt quod intellectus unitur corpori ut motor; et sic, in quantum ex corpore et intellectu fit unum, ut ex movente et moto, intellectus est pars huius hominis; et ideo operatio intellectus attribuitur huic homini, sicut operatio oculi, quae est videre, attribuitur huic homini. Quaerendum est autem ab eo qui hoc ponit, primo, quid sit hoc singulare quod est Socrates: utrum Socrates sit solus intellectus, qui est motor; aut sit motum ab ipso, quod est corpus animatum anima vegetativa et sensitiva; aut sit compositum ex utroque. Et quantum ex sua positione videtur, hoc tertium accipiet: quod Socrates sit aliquid compositum ex utroque.  Some, seeing that, on Averroes’s position, it cannot be sustained that this man understands, take another path and say that intellect is united to body as its mover, and thus, insofar as body and intellect become one as mover and moved, the intellect is part of this man, and therefore the operation of intellect is attributed to this man in the same way that the operation of the eye, seeing, is attributed to this man. He who says this must be asked, first, what this singular thing Socrates is. Is he only intellect which is a mover? Or is he what is moved by it—a body animated by vegetative and sensitive soul? Or is he composed of both? So far as his position can be discerned, it appears that he adopts the third possibility, namely, that Socrates is composed of both. Procedamus ergo contra eos per rationem Aristotelis in Metaph.: quid est igitur quod facit unum hominem? Omnium enim quae plures partes habent et non sunt quasi coacervatio totum, sed est aliquod totum praeter partes, est aliqua ratio unum essendi: sicut in quibusdam tactus, in quibusdam viscositas, aut aliquid aliud huiusmodi (...) palam autem quia si sic transformant, ut consueverunt definire et dicere, non contingit reddere et solvere dubitationem. Si autem est ut dicimus: hic quidem materia, illud vero forma, et hoc quidem potestate, illud vero actu, non adhuc dubitatio videbitur esse.  Let us then proceed against them making use of Aristotle’s argument in Book Eight of the Metaphysics, “What then it is that makes man one?” (1045a14) “In the case of all things which have several parts and in which the whole is not, as it were, a mere heap, but the totality is something besides the parts, there is a cause of unity; for as regards material things contact is the cause in some cases, and in others viscocity or some other such quality.” (1045a8-12) “Clearly, then, if people proceed thus in their usual manner of definition and speech, they cannot explain and solve the difficulty. But if, as we say, one element is matter and another is form, and one potentially and the other actually, the question will no longer be thought a difficulty.” (1045a20-25) Sed si tu dicas, quod Socrates non est unum quid simpliciter, sed unum quid aggregatione motoris et moti, sequuntur multa inconvenientia. Primo quidem, quia cum unumquodque sit similiter unum et ens, sequitur quod Socrates non sit aliquod ens, et quod non sit in specie nec in genere; et ulterius, quod non habeat aliquam actionem, quia actio non est nisi entis. Unde non dicimus quod intelligere nautae sit intelligere huius totius quod est nauta et navis, sed nautae tantum; et similiter intelligere non erit actus Socratis, sed intellectus tantum utentis corpore Socratis. In solo enim toto quod est aliquid unum et ens, actio partis est actio totius; et si quis aliter loquatur, improprie loquitur.  But if you should say that Socrates is not some one thing absolutely, but one by the coming together of mover and moved, many incoherencies follow. First, indeed, that since anything is one in the manner in which it exists, it would follow that Socrates is not a being and does not belong in a species or genus; and further, that he would have no action, because only beings act. Hence we do not say that understanding the sailor is the grasp of the whole made up of sailor and boat, but of sailor alone; similarly, understanding would not be Socrates’ activity, but only that of the intellect using the body of Socrates. The action of a part is the action of the whole only when the whole is one being. Anyone who says otherwise speaks improperly. Et si tu dicas, quod hoc modo caelum intelligit per motorem suum, est assumptio difficilioris. Per intellectum enim humanum oportet nos devenire ad cognoscendum intellectus superiores, et non e converso.  And if you should say that in this way the heaven understands through its motor, this is to appeal to the more difficult case. We must go by way of the human intellect to grasp the higher intellects, not vice versa. Si vero dicatur quod hoc individuum, quod est Socrates, est corpus animatum anima vegetativa et sensitiva, ut videtur sequi secundum eos qui ponunt quod hic homo non constituitur in specie per intellectum, sed per animam sensitivam nobilitatam ex aliqua illustratione seu copulatione intellectus possibilis: tunc intellectus non se habet ad Socratem, nisi sicut movens ad motum. Sed secundum hoc actio intellectus quae est intelligere, nullo modo poterit attribui Socrati. Quod multipliciter apparet. If it be said that this individual, Socrates, is a body animated by the vegetative and sensitive soul—which seems to follow for those who hold that this man is not placed in a species because of intellect, but because of the sensitive soul ennobled by an illumination or conjunction with possible intellect—then intellect relates to Socrates as mover to moved. But then the action of intellect which is understanding can in no wise be attributed to Socrates. There are many ways in which this consequence is seen to be obvious. Primo quidem per hoc quod dicit philosophus in nono Metaph., quod quorum diversum erit aliquid praeter usum quod fit, horum actus in facto est, ut aedificatio in aedificato, et contextio in contexto; similiter autem et in aliis, et totaliter motus in moto. Quorum vero non est aliud aliquod opus praeter actionem, in eis existit actio, ut visio in vidente et speculatio in speculante. Sic ergo, etsi intellectus ponatur uniri Socrati ut movens, nihil proficit ad hoc quod intelligere sit in Socrate, nedum quod Socrates intelligat: quia intelligere est actio quae est in intellectu tantum. Ex quo etiam patet falsum esse quod dicunt, quod intellectus non est actus corporis, sed ipsum intelligere. Non enim potest esse alicuius actus intelligere, cuius non sit actus intellectus: quia intelligere non est nisi in intellectu, sicut nec visio nisi in visu; unde nec visio potest esse alicuius, nisi illius cuius actus est visus.  First, because of what the Philosopher says in Book Nine of the Metaphysics, “Where, then, the result is something apart from the exercise, the actuality is in the thing that is being made, e.g. the act of building is in the thing that is being built and that of weaving in the thing that is being woven, and similarly in all other cases, and in general the movement is in the thing that is being moved; but when there is no product apart from the actuality, the actuality is in the agents, e.g. the act of seeing is in the seeing subject and that of theorizing in the theorizing subject.” (1050a30-36) So then, although intellect is said to be united with Socrates as mover, this is of no help in locating understanding in Socrates nor in grounding the claim that Socrates understands, for understanding is an action which is in intellect alone. From this too it is clear that they speak falsely who say that understanding itself, not intellect, is the act of body: there can be no act of understanding that is not the act of intellect, because understanding is in intellect alone just as seeing is in sight alone. Seeing can only belong to that whose act is sight. Secundo, quia actio moventis propria non attribuitur instrumento aut moto, sed magis e converso, actio instrumenti attribuitur principali moventi: non enim potest dici quod serra disponat de artificio; potest tamen dici quod artifex secat, quod est opus serrae. Propria autem operatio ipsius intellectus est intelligere; unde, dato etiam quod intelligere esset actio transiens in alterum sicut movere, non sequitur quod intelligere conveniret Socrati, si intellectus uniatur ei solum ut motor.  Second, because the proper act of the mover is attributed neither to the instrument nor to the moved. On the contrary, the action of the instrument is attributed to the principal mover. It cannot be said that the saw makes the artifact, although the artisan can be said to saw, which is the work of the saw. Understanding is the proper activity of intellect; hence even granting that understanding is an action passing on to another like moving, it does not follow that understanding belongs to Socrates if intellect us united to him only as a mover. Tertio, quia in his quorum actiones in alterum transeunt, opposito modo attribuuntur actiones moventibus et motis. Secundum aedificationem enim aedificator dicitur aedificare, aedificium vero aedificari. Si ergo intelligere esset actio in alterum transiens sicut movere, adhuc non esset dicendum quod Socrates intelligeret, ad hoc quod intellectus uniretur ei ut motor, sed magis quod intellectus intelligeret, et Socrates intelligeretur; aut forte quod intellectus intelligendo moveret Socratem, et Socrates moveretur.  Third, because in those things whose activities are transitive, passing over into other things, actions are attributed in opposite ways to movers and moved. Thanks to building the builder is said to build and the building to be built. If then understanding were a transitive action like motion, it still ought not be said that Socrates understands because intellect is united to him as a mover, but rather that intellect understands and Socrates is understood. Or perhaps that intellect by understanding moves Socrates and Socrates is moved. Contingit tamen quandoque, quod actio moventis traducitur in rem motam, puta cum ipsum motum movet ex eo quod movetur, et calefactum calefacit. Posset ergo aliquis sic dicere, quod motum ab intellectu, qui intelligendo movet, ex hoc ipso quod movetur, intelligit. Huic autem dicto Aristoteles resistit in secundo de anima, unde principium huius rationis assumpsimus. Cum enim dixisset quod id quo primo scimus et sanamur est forma, scil. scientia et sanitas, subiungit: videtur enim in patiente et disposito, activorum inesse actus. Quod exponens Themistius dicit: nam etsi ab aliis aliquando scientia et sanitas est, puta a docente et medico; tamen in patiente et disposito facientium inexistere actus ostendimus prius, in his quae de natura. Est ergo intentio Aristotelis, et evidenter est verum, quod quando motum movet et habet actionem moventis, oportet quod insit ei actus aliquis a movente, quo huiusmodi actionem habeat; et hoc est primum quo agit, et est actus et forma eius, sicut si aliquid est calefactum, calefacit per calorem qui inest ei a calefaciente.  Sometimes it happens that the action of the mover passes into the thing moved, as when that which is moved moves because it is moved, e.g. when the heated heats. In this way someone might say that that which is moved by the intellect, which in understanding moves, understands by the very fact that it is moved. Aristotle, from whom we take the principle of this argument, resists this claim in Book Two of On the Soul. For when he said that that whereby we first know or are healed is a form, namely science and health, he adds, “For the activity of that which is capable of originating change seems to take place in that which is changed or altered.” (414a11-12) In explaining this Themistius says, “Although knowledge or health are sometimes from others, as from a a teacher or a physician, nonetheless we have shown that, in things that are from nature, the activity of that which is capable of originating change is in what is changed or altered.” It is Aristotle’s meaning, therefore, and evidently true as well, that when the moved moves and has the action of a mover, there must be in it some act from the mover whereby it performs an action of this kind; it is thanks to this that it primarily acts, and this is its act and form. For example, when something heated heats from the heat which is in it from the heater. Detur ergo quod intellectus moveat animam Socratis, vel illustrando vel quocumque modo: hoc quod est relictum ab impressione intellectus in Socrate, est primum quo Socrates intelligit. Id autem quo primo Socrates intelligit, sicut sensu sentit, Aristoteles probavit esse in potentia omnia, et per hoc non habere naturam determinatam, nisi hanc quod sit possibilis; et per consequens, quod non misceatur corpori, sed sit separatus. Dato ergo, quod sit aliquis intellectus separatus movens Socratem, tamen adhuc oportet quod iste intellectus possibilis, de quo Aristoteles loquitur, sit in anima Socratis, sicut et sensus, qui est in potentia ad omnia sensibilia, quo Socrates sentit.  Given that the intellect moves Socrates, whether by illumining or in some other way, then the impression made on Socrates by the intellect is that whereby Socrates primarily understands. However, Aristotle has proved (429a9-b5) that that whereby Socrates primarily understands, as he senses by sense, is potentially all things and for this reason has no determinate nature other than to be possible. Consequently it is not mixed with body but separate. Granting then that there is some separate intellect moving Socrates, it would still be necessary that the possible intellect of which Aristotle speaks is in the soul of Socrates just as sense, which is that whereby Socrates senses and is potentially all sensible things, is. Si autem dicatur quod hoc individuum, quod est Socrates, neque est aliquid compositum ex intellectu et corpore animato, neque est corpus animatum tantum, sed est solum intellectus; haec iam erit opinio Platonis, qui, ut Gregorius Nyssenus refert, propter hanc difficultatem non vult hominem ex anima et corpore esse, sed animam corpore utentem et velut indutam corpore. Sed et Plotinus, ut Macrobius refert, ipsam animam hominem esse testatur, sic dicens: ergo qui videtur, non ipse verus homo est, sed ille a quo regitur quod videtur. Sic, cum morte animalis discedit animatio, cadit corpus a regente viduatum; et hoc est quod videtur in homine mortale. Anima vero, quae verus homo est, ab omni mortalitatis conditione aliena est. Qui quidem Plotinus, unus de magnis commentatoribus, ponitur inter commentatores Aristotelis, ut Simplicius refert in commento praedicamentorum.  Should it be said, however, that this individual, Socrates, is neither composed of intellect and an animated body, nor an animated body alone, but only intellect, well, this was the view of Plato who, as Gregory of Nyssa says, “because of this difficulty did not want man to be of body and soul, but to be a soul using and as it were clothed with a body.” But Plotinus, as Macrobius reports, claimed that the soul itself is man, saying, “Therefore the true man is not what is seen, but that which rules what is seen. Thus when at death animation departs from the animal, the body falls widowed from the ruler and it is this which is seen in man and is mortal. Every mark of mortality is alien to the soul which is truly man.” Yet Simplicius, in his commentary on the Categories, numbers Plotinus among the greatest commentators on Aristotle. Haec autem sententia nec a verbis Aristotelis multum aliena videtur. Dicit enim in nono Ethic., quod boni hominis est bonum elaborare et sui ipsius gratia: intellectivi enim gratia quod unusquisque esse videtur. Quod quidem non dicit propter hoc quod homo sit solus intellectus, sed quia id quod est in homine principalius est intellectus; unde in consequentibus dicit, quod quemadmodum civitas principalissimum maxime esse videtur, et omnis alia constitutio, sic et homo; unde subiungit, quod unusquisque homo vel est hoc, scil. intellectus, vel maxime. Et per hunc modum arbitror et Themistium in verbis supra positis, et Plotinum in verbis nunc inductis, dixisse quod homo est anima vel intellectus.  This doctrine does not seem far distant from the words of Aristotle, who says in Book Nine of the Nicomachean Ethics, “For it is characteristic of the good man to exert himself for the good, and he does so for his own sake, that is, for the sake of the intellectual element in him.” Of course, he says this, not because man is intellect alone, but because intellect is the chief thing in man. Hence in the sequel he says that “just as the state and every other organized whole seems to be that which is the chief thing in it, so too man,” and adds that “any man either is this, namely intellect, or it especially.” It is in this sense that I appraise Themistius’ words earlier and Plotinus’s now when they say that man is soul or intellect. Quod enim homo non sit intellectus tantum, vel anima tantum, multipliciter probatur. Primo quidem, ab ipso Gregorio Nysseno, qui inducta opinione Platonis subdit: habet autem hic sermo difficile vel indissolubile quid. Qualiter enim unum esse potest cum indumento anima? Non enim unum est tunica cum induto. Secundo, quia Aristoteles in septimo Metaph. probat quod homo et equus et similia non sunt solum forma, sed totum quoddam ex materia et forma ut universaliter; singulare vero ex ultima materia ut Socrates iam est, et in aliis similiter. Et hoc probavit per hoc, quod nulla pars corporis potest definiri sine parte aliqua animae; et recedente anima, nec oculus nec caro dicitur nisi aequivoce: quod non esset, si homo aut Socrates esset tantum intellectus aut anima. Tertio, sequeretur quod, cum intellectus non moveat nisi per voluntatem, ut probatur in tertio de anima, hoc esset de rebus subiectis voluntati, quod retineret homo corpus cum vellet, et abiiceret cum vellet: quod manifeste patet esse falsum.  That man is not intellect alone nor soul alone is proved in many ways. First, by Gregory of Nyssa who, having mentioned Plato’s view, adds, “This saying is puzzling and difficult: how can the soul be one with its garment? For a tunic and its wearer are not one thing.” Second, because Aristotle in Book Seven of the Metaphysics proves that “man and horse and the like” are not form alone, “but terms which are thus applied to individuals, but universally, are not substance but something composed of this particular formula and this particular matter treated as universal, but when we come to the individual, Socrates is composed of ultimate individual matter; and similarly in all other cases.” The proof of this is that no part of the body can be defined independently of some part of soul and, the soul being gone, flesh and eye are such only equivocally, which would not be the case if Socrates were intellect or soul alone. Third, it would follow that, since intellect moves only through the will, as is proved in Book Three of On the Soul, (433a22) this would be among the things subject to will that man could keep his body or shuffle it off when he wished, which is manifestly false. Sic igitur patet quod intellectus non unitur Socrati solum ut motor; et quod, etiam si hoc esset, nihil proficeret ad hoc quod Socrates intelligeret. Qui ergo hanc positionem defendere volunt, aut confiteantur se nihil intelligere, et indignos esse cum quibus aliqui disputent, aut confiteantur quod Aristoteles concludit: quod id quo primo intelligimus est species et forma.  It is therefore evident that the intellect is not joined to Socrates as a mover; but, even if it were, it would not advance the claim that Socrates understands. Those who wish to defend this position, therefore, must either admit that they themselves understand nothing and are unworthy participants in the debate, or admit what Aristotle concludes: that that with which we first understand is species and form. Potest etiam hoc concludi ex hoc, quod hic homo in aliqua specie collocatur. Speciem autem sortitur unumquodque ex forma. Id igitur per quod hic homo speciem sortitur, forma est. Unumquodque autem ab eo speciem sortitur, quod est principium propriae operationis speciei. Propria autem operatio hominis, in quantum est homo, est intelligere; per hoc enim differt ab aliis animalibus: et ideo in hac operatione Aristoteles felicitatem ultimam constituit. Principium autem quo intelligimus est intellectus, ut Aristoteles dicit. Oportet igitur ipsum uniri corpori ut formam, non quidem ita quod ipsa intellectiva potentia sit alicuius organi actus, sed quia est virtus animae, quae est actus corporis physici organici.  This can also be concluded from the fact that this man is placed in some species. The species is derived from form; therefore that through which this man has a species is form. But each thing has its species from that which is the principle of the proper activity of the species; the proper operation of man as man is understanding: it is in this that he differs from the other animals and that is why Aristotle locates ultimate happiness in this activity. But the principle thanks to which we understand is the intellect, as Aristotle says; therefore it must be united to the body as form, not indeed in such a way that the intellective power is the act of some organ, but because it is a power of the soul which is the act of a physically organized body. Adhuc, secundum istorum positionem, destruuntur moralis philosophiae principia: subtrahitur enim quod est in nobis. Non enim est aliquid in nobis nisi per voluntatem; unde et hoc ipsum voluntarium dicitur, quod in nobis est. Voluntas autem in intellectu est, ut patet per dictum Aristotelis in tertio de anima; et per hoc quod in substantiis separatis est intellectus et voluntas; et per hoc etiam, quod contingit per voluntatem aliquid in universali amare vel odire, sicut odimus latronum genus, ut Aristoteles dicit in sua rhetorica.  Moreover, the position under discussion would destroy the principles of moral philosophy, for it would take away what is in our power. Something is in our power thanks to will, which is why the voluntary is defined as that which is in our power. But will is in intellect, as is evident from Aristotle in Book Three of On the Soul (432b5) and from the fact that intellect and will are found in separate substances as well as from the fact that something is loved or hated universally. We hate the genus of robbers, as Aristotle says in the Rhetoric. Si igitur intellectus non est aliquid huius hominis ut sit vere unum cum eo, sed unitur ei solum per phantasmata, vel sicut motor, non erit in hoc homine voluntas, sed in intellectu separato. Et ita hic homo non erit dominus sui actus, nec aliquis eius actus erit laudabilis vel vituperabilis: quod est divellere principia moralis philosophiae. Quod cum sit absurdum, et vitae humanae contrarium (non enim esset necesse consiliari, nec leges ferre), sequitur quod intellectus sic uniatur nobis ut vere ex eo et nobis fiat unum; quod vere non potest esse nisi eo modo quo dictum est, ut sit scil. potentia animae quae unitur nobis ut forma. Relinquitur igitur hoc absque omni dubitatione tenendum, non propter revelationem fidei, ut ipsi dicunt, sed quia hoc subtrahere est niti contra manifeste apparentia.  If then intellect is not something of this man such that it is truly one with him, but is united to him only through phantasms or as a mover, will would not be in man, but in the separated intellect. And thus a man would not have dominion over his acts, nor could anyone be praised or blamed for his acts, which is to destroy the principles of moral philosophy. And since that is absurd and out of keeping with human life—it would be unnecessary to take counsel or to pass laws —it follows that intellect is united to us in such a way that we are truly one with it, which can only be in the way suggested, namely, that it be a power of the soul which is united to us as our form. It follows then that this must be held without any doubt, not because of the revelation of faith, as our opponents say, but because to deny it is go against things manifestly obvious. Rationes vero quas in contrarium adducunt, non difficile est solvere. Dicunt enim quod ex hac positione sequitur quod intellectus sit forma materialis, et non sit denudata ab omnibus naturis rerum sensibilium; et quod per consequens quidquid recipitur in intellectu, recipietur sicut in materia individualiter et non universaliter. Et ulterius, quod si est forma materialis, quod non est intellecta in actu; et ita intellectus non poterit se intelligere, quod est manifeste falsum: nulla enim forma materialis est intellecta in actu sed in potentia tantum; fit autem intellecta in actu per abstractionem.  It is an easy matter to refute the arguments put forward on behalf of the opposite view. For they say that it follows from their position that intellect is a material form, and is not free of every sensible nature, with the consequence that whatever is received in intellect is received as in matter, individually and not universally. And further that if it is a material form, that it is not understood in act, and thus intellect is incapable of understanding itself, which is manifestly false. No material form is understood in act, but only in potency: it becomes understood in act through abstraction. Horum autem solutio apparet ex his quae praemissa sunt. Non enim dicimus animam humanam esse formam corporis secundum intellectivam potentiam, quae, secundum doctrinam Aristotelis, nullius organi actus est: unde remanet quod anima, quantum ad intellectivam potentiam, sit immaterialis, et immaterialiter recipiens, et se ipsam intelligens. Unde et Aristoteles signanter dicit quod anima est locus specierum, non tota, sed intellectus. The answer is obvious from what has been said earlier. For we do not say that the human soul is the form of body according to the intellective power, which according to Aristotle’s teaching is not the act of any organ. (429a27-28) The soul, with respect to the intellective power, is immaterial and receives immaterially and understands itself. Hence Aristotle significantly says that soul is the place of forms “not the whole soul, but the intellect.” (429a28-29) Si autem contra hoc obiiciatur, quod potentia animae non potest esse immaterialior aut simplicior quam eius essentia: optime quidem procederet ratio si essentia humanae animae sic esset forma materiae, quod non per esse suum esset, sed per esse compositi, sicut est de aliis formis, quae secundum se nec esse nec operationem habent praeter communicationem materiae, quae propter hoc materiae immersae dicuntur. Anima autem humana, quia secundum suum esse est, cui aliqualiter communicat materia non totaliter comprehendens ipsam, eo quod maior est dignitas huius formae quam capacitas materiae; nihil prohibet quin habeat aliquam operationem vel virtutem ad quam materia non attingit.  If it be objected to this that a power of the soul cannot be more immaterial or simpler than its essence—well, that would be a good argument if the essence of the human soul were the form of matter in such a way that it did not exist of itself but only in dependence on the existence of the composite. Other forms have no existence or operations of themselves without a sharing in matter, and are therefore said to be immersed in matter. The human soul exists in its own right and is to a degree united with a matter that does not wholly capture it—this form is greater in dignity than to be a capacity for matter. Nothing prevents its having some operation or power to which matter does not attain. Consideret autem qui hoc dicit, quod si hoc intellectivum principium, quo nos intelligimus, esset secundum esse separatum et distinctum ab anima quae est corporis nostri forma, esset secundum se intelligens et intellectum; et non quandoque intelligeret, quandoque non; neque etiam indigeret ut se ipsum cognosceret per intelligibilia et per actus, sed per essentiam suam, sicut aliae substantiae separatae. Neque etiam esset conveniens quod ad intelligendum indigeret phantasmatibus nostris: non enim invenitur in rerum ordine quod superiores substantiae ad suas principales perfectiones indigeant inferioribus substantiis, sicut nec corpora caelestia formantur aut perficiuntur ad suas operationes ex corporibus inferioribus.  Let him who says this consider that if this intellective principle whereby we understand existed separate and distinct from the soul which is the form of our body, it would be of itself understanding and understood and not sometimes understanding, sometimes not. Nor would it need to understand itself by way of intelligibles and acts, but would do so through its own essence like other separated substances and it would not be fitting that it need our phantasms in order to understand. The order of things is not such that higher substances require lower substances for their own principal perfection, no more than celestial bodies are formed or perfected in their operations by lower bodies. Magnam igitur improbabilitatem continet sermo dicentis quod intellectus sit quoddam principium secundum substantiam separatum, et tamen quod per species a phantasmatibus acceptas perficiatur et fiat actu intelligens. The claim that the intellect is some principle separated in substance and yet is perfected and comes actually to understand through species taken from phantasms is, therefore, improbable in the extreme.
Reprobatur sententia ponentium unum intellectum in omnibus hominibus
CHAPTER IV His igitur consideratis, quantum ad id quod ponunt intellectum non esse animam quae est nostri corporis forma, neque partem ipsius, sed aliquid secundum substantiam separatum; considerandum restat de hoc quod dicunt intellectum possibilem esse unum in omnibus. Forte enim de agente hoc dicere, aliquam rationem haberet, et multi philosophi hoc posuerunt. Nihil enim inconveniens videtur sequi, si ab uno agente multa perficiantur, quemadmodum ab uno sole perficiuntur omnes potentiae visivae animalium ad videndum; quamvis etiam hoc non sit secundum intentionem Aristotelis, qui posuit intellectum agentem esse aliquid in anima, unde comparavit ipsum lumini. Plato autem ponens intellectum unum separatum, comparavit ipsum soli, ut Themistius dicit. Est enim unus sol, sed plura lumina diffusa a sole ad videndum. Sed quidquid sit de intellectu agente, dicere intellectum possibilem esse unum omnium hominum, multipliciter impossibile apparet.  So much for the contention that intellect is not the soul which is the form of our body nor a part of it but some kind of separate substance. There remains to discuss the claim that there is one possible intellect for everybody. There would perhaps be some reason for saying this of agent intellect, and many philosophers do say it, for nothing absurd seems to follow from several things being perfected by one agent, as by one sun the visual powers of all animals are able to see. Although this is not Aristotle’s intention—he holds that the agent intellect is in the soul—he nonetheless compares it to a light, and Plato, holding that the intellect is one separate thing, likened it to the sun, as Themistius tells us, for there is one sun but many lights diffused from it for the sake of seeing. But, however it be with the agent intellect, to say that the possible intellect is one for all men appears impossible in many ways. Primo quidem, quia si intellectus possibilis est quo intelligimus, necesse est dicere quod homo singularis intelligens vel sit ipse intellectus, vel intellectus formaliter ei inhaereat, non quidem ita quod sit forma corporis, sed quia est virtus animae quae est forma corporis. Si quis autem dicat quod homo singularis est ipse intellectus, consequens est quod hic homo singularis non sit alius ab illo homine singulari, et quod omnes homines sint unus homo, non quidem participatione speciei, sed secundum unum individuum. Si vero intellectus inest nobis formaliter, sicut iam dictum est, sequitur quod diversorum corporum sint diversae animae. Sicuti enim homo est ex corpore et anima, ita hic homo, ut Callias aut Socrates, ex hoc corpore et ex hac anima. Si autem animae sunt diversae, et intellectus possibilis est virtus animae qua anima intelligit, oportet quod differat numero; quia nec fingere possibile est quod diversarum rerum sit una numero virtus. Si quis autem dicat quod homo intelligit per intellectum possibilem sicut per aliquid sui, quod tamen est pars eius, non ut forma sed sicut motor; iam ostensum est supra quod hac positione facta, nullo modo potest dici quod Socrates intelligat.  First, because if the possible intellect is that whereby we understand, of an individual man who understands it must be said either that he is intellect itself or that intellect formally inheres in him, not indeed in such a way that it be the form of the body but rather a power of the soul which is the form of the body. Should anyone say that the singular man is intellect itself, it would follow that this singular man would not differ from another singular man and that all men are one man, not by sharing in the same species, but as one individual. But if intellect is in us formally, it would follow, as has already been said, that there are different forms of different bodies. For just as man is composed of body and soul, so this man, Callias or Socrates, is composed of this body and this soul. If souls differ, however, and the possible intellect is the power of the soul whereby the soul understands, they must differ numerically, for it is impossible to imagine numerically one power of different things. Should someone say that man understands through possible intellect as by something of his own, which however is not a part of him as a form but rather as a mover, it has already been shown above  that on this view it can in no wise be said that Socrates understands. Sed demus quod Socrates intelligat per hoc quod intellectus intelligit, licet intellectus sit solum motor, sicut homo videt per hoc quod oculus videt; et, ut similitudinem sequamur, ponatur quod omnium hominum sit unus oculus numero: inquirendum restat, utrum omnes homines sint unus videns vel multi videntes. Ad cuius veritatis inquisitionem considerare oportet quod aliter se habet de primo movente, et aliter de instrumento. Si enim multi homines utantur uno et eodem instrumento numero, dicentur multi operantes; puta, cum multi utuntur una machina ad lapidis proiectionem vel elevationem. Si vero principale agens sit unum, quod utatur multis ut instrumentis, nihilominus operans est unum, sed forte operationes diversae propter diversa instrumenta; aliquando autem et operatio una, etsi ad eam multa instrumenta requirantur. Sic igitur unitas operantis attenditur non secundum instrumenta, sed secundum principale quod utitur instrumentis.  But let us grant that Socrates understands because the intellect understands although intellect is only a mover, as a man sees because the eye sees. And, to keep to the analogy, let us posit that there is numerically one eye for all men. Now we ask whether all men are one seeing entity or many. To discover the truth of the matter, it should be noted that the first mover differs from the instrument, for if many men use numerically one instrument we say there are many agents, for example, when many use one machine for the throwing of stones or for elevation. If however the chief agent is one, but uses many instruments, there is nonetheless one agent even though many instruments are needed for it, though perhaps a diversity of operations because of the diversity of instruments. Sometimes however there is one operation although many instruments are required for it. The unity of the one acting is read not from the instruments but from the chief agent who uses the instruments. Praedicta ergo positione facta, si oculus esset principale in homine, qui uteretur omnibus potentiis animae et partibus corporis quasi instrumentis, multi habentes unum oculum essent unus videns. Si vero oculus non sit principale hominis, sed aliquid sit eo principalius quod utitur oculo, quod diversificaretur in diversis, essent quidem multi videntes sed uno oculo. Thus on the position described earlier, if the eye were what is principal in a man and it would uses all powers of the soul and parts of the body as instruments, many having one eye would be one seeing thing. But if the eye were not what is principal in man, but something higher that uses the eye and is diversified in diverse men, there would indeed be many seeing but with one eye. Manifestum est autem quod intellectus est id quod est principale in homine, et quod utitur omnibus potentiis animae et membris corporis tanquam organis; et propter hoc Aristoteles subtiliter dixit quod homo est intellectus vel maxime. Si igitur sit unus intellectus omnium, ex necessitate sequitur quod sit unus intelligens, et per consequens unus volens, et unus utens pro suae voluntatis arbitrio omnibus illis secundum quae homines diversificantur ad invicem. Et ex hoc ulterius sequitur quod nulla differentia sit inter homines quantum ad liberam voluntatis electionem, sed eadem sit omnium, si intellectus, apud quem solum residet principalitas et dominium utendi omnibus aliis, est unus et indivisus in omnibus: quod est manifeste falsum et impossibile. Repugnat enim his quae apparent, et destruit totam scientiam moralem et omnia quae pertinent ad conversationem civilem, quae est hominibus naturalis, ut Aristoteles dicit.  But obviously it is intellect that is principal in man and uses all the powers of the soul and bodily members as organs. Hence Aristotle’s careful remark that man is intellect “or especially it.” If then there were one intellect for all, it would necessarily follow that there is only one who understands and consequently only one who wills and of his own free will uses all those things thanks to which men are diverse from one another. From which it follows further that there would be no difference between men as to the free choice of will but it would be the same for all, if indeed intellect, in which resides the principality and dominion of using all the others, is one and undivided in all. But this is clearly false, impossible and repugnant to what is obvious; it destroys the whole of moral science and all those things which pertain to civil interchange, which is natural to man, as Aristotle says. Adhuc, si omnes homines intelligunt uno intellectu, qualitercumque eis uniatur, sive ut forma sive ut motor, de necessitate sequitur quod omnium hominum sit unum numero ipsum intelligere quod est simul et respectu unius intelligibilis: puta, si ego intelligo lapidem et tu similiter, oportebit quod una et eadem sit intellectualis operatio et mei et tui. Non enim potest esse eiusdem activi principii, sive sit forma sive motor, respectu eiusdem obiecti, nisi una numero operatio eiusdem speciei in eodem tempore; quod manifestum est ex his quae philosophus declarat in quinto Physic. Unde si essent multi homines habentes unum oculum, omnium visio non esset nisi una respectu eiusdem obiecti in eodem tempore.  Again, if all men understand by one intellect, however it be united to them, whether as form or as mover, it necessarily follows that of all men there would be numerically one act of understanding which is both simultaneous and of one intelligible object. For example, if I understand a stone and you do likewise, it would be necessary that my intellectual activity and yours be one and the same. The operation of the same active principle, be it form or mover, with respect to the same object at the same time, must be numerically one, as is clear from what the Philosopher says in Book Five of the Physics. So, if there were many men having one eye, the seeing of all with respect to the same object at the same time could only be one. Similiter ergo, si intellectus sit unus omnium, sequitur quod omnium hominum idem intelligentium eodem tempore, sit una actio intellectualis tantum; et praecipue cum nihil eorum, secundum quae ponuntur homines differre ab invicem, communicet in operatione intellectuali. Phantasmata enim praeambula sunt actioni intellectus, sicut colores actioni visus: unde per eorum diversitatem non diversificaretur actio intellectus, maxime respectu unius intelligibilis, secundum quae tamen ponunt diversificari scientiam huius a scientia alterius, in quantum hic intelligit ea quorum phantasmata habet, et ille alia quorum phantasmata habet. Sed in duobus qui idem sciunt et intelligunt, ipsa operatio intellectualis per diversitatem phantasmatum nullatenus diversificari potest.  So too if there were one intellect for all, it would follow that there is but one intellectual operation of all men understanding the same thing at the same time, especially since nothing in terms of which men differ from one another would share in the intellectual operation. For phantasms are preambles to the action of intellect, as colors are to the act of vision, hence the action of intellect would not be diversified because of their differences, especially with regard to one intelligible. They distinguish the knowledge of this one from the knowledge of that one because the one understands those things of which he has phantasms and the other those of which he has phantasms. But when two know and understand the same thing, intellectual activity itself can in no way be diversified by the diversity of phantasms. Adhuc autem ostendendum est quod haec positio manifeste repugnat dictis Aristotelis. Cum enim dixisset de intellectu possibili, quod est separatus et quod est in potentia omnia, subiungit quod cum sic singula fiat (scil. in actu), ut sciens dicitur qui secundum actum, i. e. hoc modo sicut scientia est actus, et sicut sciens dicitur esse in actu in quantum habet habitum. Unde subdit: hoc autem confestim accidit cum possit operari per seipsum. Est quidem igitur et tunc potentia quodammodo, non tamen similiter sicut ante addiscere aut invenire. Et postea, cum quaesivisset si intellectus simplex est et impassibile et nulli nihil habet commune, sicut dixit Anaxagoras, quomodo intelliget, si intelligere pati aliquid est? Et ad hoc solvendum respondet dicens quod potentia quodammodo est intelligibilia intellectus, sed actu nihil antequam intelligat. Oportet autem sic sicut in tabula nihil est actu scriptum; quod quidem accidit in intellectu. Est ergo sententia Aristotelis quod intellectus possibilis ante addiscere aut invenire est in potentia, sicut tabula in qua nihil est actu scriptum; sed post addiscere et invenire est actu secundum habitum scientiae, quo potest per seipsum operari, quamvis et tunc sit in potentia ad considerare in actu.  Further, it should be pointed out that this position manifestly conflicts with the teaching of Aristotle. For when he says of possible intellect that it is separate and potentially all things, he adds that “When thought has become each thing in the way in which a man who actually knows is said to do so,” that is, in the way that knowledge is an act and the knower is said to be in act insofar as he has the habit, he adds, “this happens when he is now able to exercise the power on his own initiative; its condition is still one of potentiality, but in a different sense from the potentiality which preceded the acquisition of knowledge by learning or discovery.” (429b5-9) Later he asks, “If intellect is simple and impassible and has nothing in common with anything else, as Anaxagoras says, how can it come to think at all if thinking involves a kind of passivity?” (429b23-25) And in reply says, “intellect is in a sense potentially whatever is thinkable, though actually it is nothing until it has thought. What it thinks must be in it just as characters are said to be on a writing-table on which as yet nothing actually stands written: this is exactly what happens with intellect.” (429b30-430a2) It is the teaching of Aristotle, therefore, that the possible intellect is in potency prior to learning or discovery, like a table on which nothing is yet written, but after learning and discovery it is in act by the habit of science, thanks to which it can actuate itself even though it is then in potency to actually considering. Ubi tria notanda sunt. Primum, quod habitus scientiae est actus primus ipsius intellectus possibilis, qui secundum hunc fit actu et potest per seipsum operari. Non autem scientia est solum secundum phantasmata illustrata, ut quidam dicunt, vel quaedam facultas quae nobis acquiritur ex frequenti meditatione et exercitio, ut continuemur cum intellectu possibili per nostra phantasmata. Secundo, notandum est quod ante nostrum addiscere et invenire ipse intellectus possibilis est in potentia, sicut tabula in qua nihil est scriptum. Tertio, quod per nostrum addiscere seu invenire, ipse intellectus possibilis fit actu.  Three things should be noted here. First, that the habit of science is the first act of the possible intellect which, thanks to it, comes to be in act and can operate on its own. Science is not only according to illumined phantasms, as some say, or a faculty which we acquire by frequent meditation and exercise, in order that we might be linked with possible intellect by way of our phantasms. Second, it should be noted that before we learn or discover, the possible intellect itself is in potency as a table on which nothing is written. Third, that through our learning or discovering the possible intellect becomes actual. Haec autem nullo modo possunt stare, si sit unus intellectus possibilis omnium qui sunt et erunt et fuerunt. Manifestum est enim quod species conservantur in intellectu est enim locus specierum, ut supra philosophus dixerat; et iterum scientia est habitus permanens. Si ergo per aliquem praecedentium hominum factus est in actu secundum aliquas species intelligibiles, et perfectus secundum habitum scientiae, ille habitus et illae species in eo remanent. Cum autem omne recipiens sit denudatum ab eo quod recipit, impossibile est quod per meum addiscere aut invenire, illae species acquirantur in intellectu possibili. Etsi enim aliquis dicat, quod per meum invenire intellectus possibilis secundum aliquid fiat in actu de novo, puta si ego aliquid intelligibilium invenio, quod a nullo praecedentium est inventum: tamen in addiscendo hoc contingere non potest; non enim possum addiscere nisi quod docens scivit. Frustra ergo dixit quod ante addiscere aut invenire intellectus erat in potentia.  None of these things could be if there were only one possible intellect for all who are, were or will be. It is obvious that species are conserved in the intellect, for it is the place of forms, as the Philosopher said above (On the Soul, III, 429127-28); moreover, science is a permanent habit. If then one of the foregoing men becomes actual with respect to some intelligible species and is perfected by the habit of science, that habit and those species remain in him. Since any recipient does not have what it receives, it will be impossible that through my learning or discovering those species be acquired by the possible intellect. For although someone might say that through my discovering the possible intellect can newly come to be in act with respect to something, for example if I should discover some knowable thing never before discovered, yet this could not come about through learning, for I can only learn what the teacher knew. It would therefore be pointless to say that the intellect was in potency prior to learning or discovering. Sed et si quis addat, homines semper fuisse secundum opinionem Aristotelis: sequitur quod non fuerit primus homo intelligens; et sic per phantasmata nullius species intelligibiles sunt acquisitae in intellectu possibili, sed sunt species intelligibiles intellectus possibilis aeternae. Frustra ergo Aristoteles posuit intellectum agentem, qui faceret intelligibilia in potentia intelligibilia actu. Frustra etiam posuit, quod phantasmata se habent ad intellectum possibilem sicut colores ad visum, si intellectus possibilis nihil a phantasmatibus accipit. Quamvis et hoc ipsum irrationabile videatur, quod substantia separata a phantasmatibus nostris accipiat, et quod non possit se intelligere nisi post nostrum addiscere aut intelligere; quia Aristoteles post verba praemissa subiungit: et ipse seipsum tunc potest intelligere, scil. post addiscere aut invenire. Substantia enim separata secundum seipsam est intelligibilis: unde per suam essentiam se intelligeret intellectus possibilis, si esset substantia separata; nec indigeret ad hoc speciebus intelligibilibus ei supervenientibus per nostrum intelligere aut invenire.  Were someone to add that, according to the opinion of Aristotle, there have always been men, it would follow that there was never a first man who understood and thus intelligible species are acquired by possible intellect through no one’s phantasms but are intelligible species of an eternal possible intellect. In vain therefore did Aristotle posit an agent intellect to make potentially intelligible things actually intelligible; in vain too did he posit that phantasms are to the possible intellect as colors are to sight, if the possible intellect receives nothing from phantasms. For this too seems irrational that a separated substance should receive from our phantasms and that it cannot understand itself save through our learning or understanding. But Aristotle added to the foregoing, “and it can then understand itself,” (429b9) namely, after learning or discovering. Si autem haec inconvenientia velint evadere, dicendo quod omnia praedicta Aristoteles dicit de intellectu possibili secundum quod continuatur nobis, et non secundum quod in se est: primo quidem dicendum est quod verba Aristotelis hoc non sapiunt; immo de ipso intellectu possibili loquitur secundum id quod est proprium sibi, et secundum quod distinguitur ab agente. Deinde si non fiat vis de verbis Aristotelis, ponamus, ut dicunt, quod intellectus possibilis ab aeterno habuerit species intelligibiles, per quas continuetur nobiscum secundum phantasmata quae sunt in nobis. Oportet enim quod species intelligibiles quae sunt in intellectu possibili, et phantasmata quae sunt in nobis, aliquo horum trium modorum se habeant: quorum unus est, quod species intelligibiles quae sunt in intellectu possibili, sint acceptae a phantasmatibus quae sunt in nobis, ut sonant verba Aristotelis; quod non potest esse secundum praedictam positionem, ut ostensum est. Secundus autem modus est, ut illae species non sint acceptae a phantasmatibus, sed sint irradiantes supra phantasmata nostra; puta, si species aliquae essent in oculo irradiantes super colores qui sunt in pariete. Tertius autem modus est, ut neque species intelligibiles, quae sunt in intellectu possibili, sint receptae a phantasmatibus, neque imprimant aliquid supra phantasmata.  Should they wish to evade these absurdities by claiming that Aristotle says all those things about the possible intellect insofar as it is made one with us and not as it is in itself, it must first be said that Aristotle’s words do not mean that. Indeed he speaks of the possible intellect in terms of what is proper to it and insofar as it is distinguished from the agent. Then, if no help is forthcoming from Aristotle’s words, let us posit, as they say, that the possible intellect eternally has intelligible species through which it is made one with us according to the phantasms which are in us. It is necessary that the intelligible species which are in the possible intellect and the phantasms that are in us be related in one of three ways. The first is that the intelligible species which are in the possible intellect are taken from the phantasms which are in us, as Aristotle’s words suggest. That this is ruled out by the position under consideration has been shown. The second way is that the species are not taken from phantasms but are shone upon our phantasms, for example, if there were species in the eye shining on the colors which are in the wall. The third way is that the intelligible species are neither received in the possible intellect from the phantasms nor imprint something on the phantasms. Si autem ponatur secundum, scil. quod species intelligibiles illustrent phantasmata et secundum hoc intelligantur: primo quidem sequitur quod phantasmata fiunt intelligibilia actu, non per intellectum agentem, sed per intellectum possibilem secundum suas species. Secundo, quod talis irradiatio phantasmatum non poterit facere quod phantasmata sint intelligibilia actu: non enim fiunt phantasmata intelligibilia actu nisi per abstractionem; hoc autem magis erit receptio quam abstractio. Et iterum, cum omnis receptio sit secundum naturam recepti, irradiatio specierum intelligibilium quae sunt in intellectu possibili, non erit in phantasmatibus quae sunt in nobis, intelligibiliter, sed sensibiliter et materialiter; et sic nos non poterimus intelligere universale per huiusmodi irradiationem. Si autem species intelligibiles intellectus possibilis neque accipiuntur a phantasmatibus, neque irradiant super ea, erunt omnino disparatae et nihil proportionales habentes, nec phantasmata aliquid facient ad intelligendum; quod manifeste repugnat. Sic igitur omnibus modis impossibile est quod intellectus possibilis sit unus tantum omnium hominum.  If the second way is taken, namely that the intelligible species illumine the phantasms and in this way are understood, it would follow, first, that the phantasms come to be intelligible in act not through the agent intellect but through the possible intellect and its species. Second, that such an illumination of phantasms could not make phantasms intelligible in act: phantasms do not become intelligible in act except through abstraction; but this would be more like a receiving than an abstracting. Again, since any reception is according to the nature of the receiver, the illumining of the intelligible species which are in the possible intellect will not be of phantasms which are in us in an intelligible mode, but sensibly and materially. Thus we could not understand the universal thanks to this kind of illumination. But if the intelligible species of the possible intellect are neither taken from phantasms nor shone upon them, they will be wholly disparate, having no similarity, and phantasms would have nothing to do with understanding, which flies in the face of the obvious. Thus there is no possible way in which the possible intellect could be one and the same for all men.
Solvuntur rationes contra pluralitatem intellectus
CHAPTER V Restat autem nunc solvere ea quibus pluralitatem intellectus possibilis nituntur excludere. Quorum primum est, quia omne quod multiplicatur secundum divisionem materiae, est forma materialis: unde substantiae separatae a materia non sunt plures in una specie. Si ergo plures intellectus essent in pluribus hominibus, qui dividuntur ad invicem numero per divisionem materiae, sequeretur ex necessitate quod intellectus esset forma materialis: quod est contra verba Aristotelis et probationem ipsius qua probat quod intellectus est separatus. Si ergo est separatus et non est forma materialis, nullo modo multiplicatur secundum multiplicationem corporum.  Arguments intended to exclude a plurality of possible intellects remain to be dealt with. The first is this: Whatever is multiplied by a division of matter is a material form, which is why substances separate from matter cannot be many members of the same species. If then there were a plurality of intellects in many men who are numerically distinguished from one another by the division of matter, it would necessarily follow that intellect is a material form. But that goes against the words of Aristotle and the argument in which he proves the intellect is separate. If then it is separate it is not a material form and can in no way be multiplied according to the multiplication of bodies. Huic autem rationi tantum innituntur, quod dicunt quod Deus non posset facere plures intellectus unius speciei in diversis hominibus. Dicunt enim quod hoc implicaret contradictionem: quia habere naturam ut numeraliter multiplicetur, est aliud a natura formae separatae. Procedunt autem ulterius, ex hoc concludere volentes quod nulla forma separata est una numero nec aliquid individuatum. Quod dicunt ex ipso vocabulo apparere: quia non est unum numero nisi quod est unum de numero; forma autem liberata a materia non est unum de numero, quia non habet in se causam numeri, eo quod causa numeri est a materia.  So attached are they to this argument that they say God could not make many intellects of the same species in diverse men, because, they say, this would imply a contradiction: to have a nature that can be numerically multiplied is other than the nature of separated form. They go beyond this, however, and want to conclude from this that no separate form is numerically one nor an individuated thing. They say this is apparent from the word itself, for only that is numerically one which is one of a number of things, but form freed from matter is not one of a number because it does not have within it the cause of number, which is matter. Sed ut a posterioribus incipiamus, videntur vocem propriam ignorare in hoc quod ultimo dictum est. Dicit enim Aristoteles in quarto Metaph., quod cuiusque substantia unum est non secundum accidens, et quod nihil est aliud unum praeter ens. Substantia ergo separata si est ens, secundum suam substantiam est una; praecipue cum Aristoteles dicat in octavo Metaph., quod ea quae non habent materiam, non habent causam ut sint unum et ens. Unum autem, in quinto Metaph., dicitur quadrupliciter, scil. numero, specie, genere, proportione. Nec est dicendum quod aliqua substantia separata sit unum tantum specie vel genere, quia hoc non est esse simpliciter unum. Relinquitur ergo quod quaelibet substantia separata sit unum numero. Nec dicitur aliquid unum numero, quia sit unum de numero: non enim numerus est causa unius, sed e converso, sed quia in numerando non dividitur; unum enim est id quod non dividitur.  To begin at the end, they seem not to understand their own words in what was just said. For Aristotle, in Book Four of the Metaphysics, says that “the essence of each thing is one in no merely accidental way” and that “similarly it is from its very nature something that is.” If separated substance is being, therefore, it must be one substance, especially since Aristotle says in Book Eight of the Metaphysics that things which have no matter have no cause of their being or of their being one. In Book Five of the Metaphysics, four kinds of unity are distinguished, namely, numeric, specific, generic and proportional. It cannot be said that any separate substance is one only specifically or generically, since this is not to be one simply speaking. There remains that a separate substance is numerically one. Nor is it said to be numerically one because it is one among numbers—number is not the cause of the one but vice versa—but because in numbering it is not divided: one is that which is undivided. Nec iterum hoc verum est, quod omnis numerus causetur ex materia: frustra enim Aristoteles quaesivisset numerum substantiarum separatarum. Ponit etiam Aristoteles in quinto Metaph. quod multum dicitur non solum numero, sed specie et genere. Nec etiam hoc verum est, quod substantia separata non sit singularis et individuum aliquid: alioquin non haberet aliquam operationem, cum actus sint solum singularium, ut philosophus dicit; unde contra Platonem argumentatur in septimo Metaph., quod si ideae sunt separatae, non praedicabitur de multis idea, nec poterit definiri, sicut nec alia individua quae sunt unica in sua specie, ut sol et luna. Non enim materia est principium individuationis in rebus materialibus, nisi in quantum materia non est participabilis a pluribus, cum sit primum subiectum non existens in alio. Unde et de idea Aristoteles dicit quod, si idea esset separata, esset quaedam, i. e. individua, quam impossibile esset praedicari de multis.  Nor is it true to say that every number is caused by matter, for then Aristotle would have inquired in vain after the number of separated substances. For Aristotle says in Book Five of the Metaphysics that “many” is said not only numerically but specifically and generically. Nor is it true that separate substance is not singular and individuated, otherwise it would have no operation, since acts belong only to singulars, as the Philosopher says; hence he argues against Plato in Book Seven of the Metaphysics that if the Idea is separate, it will not be predicated of many, nor will it be definable any more than other individuals which are unique in their species, like the sun and moon. Matter is the principle of individuation in material things insofar as matter is not shareable by many, since it is the first subject not existing in another. Hence Aristotle says that if the Idea were separate “it would be something, that is, an individual, which it would be impossible to predicate of many.” Individuae ergo sunt substantiae separatae et singulares; non autem individuantur ex materia, sed ex hoc ipso quod non sunt natae in alio esse, et per consequens nec participari a multis. Ex quo sequitur quod si aliqua forma nata est participari ab aliquo, ita quod sit actus alicuius materiae, illa potest individuari et multiplicari per comparationem ad materiam. Iam autem supra ostensum est, quod intellectus est virtus animae quae est actus corporis. In multis igitur corporibus sunt multae animae, et in multis animabus sunt multae virtutes intellectuales quae vocantur intellectus; nec propter hoc sequitur quod intellectus sit virtus materialis, ut supra ostensum est.  Separate substances, therefore, are individual and singular, but they are individuated not by matter but by this that it is not their nature to exist in another and consequently to be participated in by many. From which it follows that if any form is of a nature to be participated in by something, such that it be the act of some matter, it can be individuated and multiplied by comparison with matter. It has already been shown above that the intellect is a power of the soul which is the act of the body. Therefore in many bodies there are many souls and in many souls there are many intellectual powers, that is, intellects. Nor does it follow from this that the intellect is a material power, as has been shown. Si quis autem obiiciat quod, si multiplicantur secundum corpora, sequitur quod destructis corporibus, non remaneant multae animae, patet solutio per ea quae supra dicta sunt. Unumquodque enim sic est ens, sicut unum, ut dicitur in quarto Metaph. Sicut igitur esse animae est quidem in corpore in quantum est forma corporis, nec est ante corpus; tamen destructo corpore, adhuc remanet in suo esse: ita unaquaeque anima remanet in sua unitate, et per consequens multae animae in sua multitudine.  Should anyone object that, if the many souls are multiplied according to bodies, it follows that they will not remain when the bodies have been destroyed, the response is obvious from what has already been said. A thing is one in the way it is a being, as is said in Book Four of the Metaphysics; therefore, for the soul to be is to be in the body as its form, nor is it prior to body, nonetheless it remains in existence after the body is destroyed: thus each soul remains in its unity and consequently many souls in their manyness. Valde autem ruditer argumentantur ad ostendendum, quod hoc Deus facere non possit, quod sint multi intellectus, credentes hoc includere contradictionem. Dato enim quod non esset de natura intellectus quod multiplicaretur, non propter hoc oporteret quod intellectum multiplicari includeret contradictionem. Nihil enim prohibet aliquid non habere in sua natura causam alicuius, quod tamen habet illud ex alia causa: sicut grave non habet ex sua natura quod sit sursum, tamen grave esse sursum, non includit contradictionem; sed grave esse sursum secundum suam naturam contradictionem includeret. Sic ergo si intellectus naturaliter esset unus omnium, quia non haberet naturalem causam multiplicationis, posset tamen sortiri multiplicationem ex supernaturali causa, nec esset implicatio contradictionis. Quod dicimus non propter propositum, sed magis ne haec argumentandi forma ad alia extendatur; sic enim possent concludere quod Deus non potest facere quod mortui resurgant, et quod caeci ad visum reparentur.  They argue most crudely to show that God cannot bring it about that there should be many intellects, believing this to involve a contradiction. For even granting that it is not of the nature of intellect that it be multiplied, it does not follow from this that the multiplying of intellect involves a contradiction. Nothing prevents a thing’s getting from another something that it is not of its nature to have: it is not of the nature of the heavy to be above, yet for the heavy to be above does not involve a contradiction although for the heavy to be above by its very nature would involve a contradiction. Thus if the intellect were naturally one for all because it had no natural cause of multiplication, multiplication could nonetheless come about through a supernatural cause without involving any contradiction. We say this not because of the present question but lest this form of arguing be extended to other cases, for in this way one could conclude that God cannot bring it about that the dead should rise and the blind have their sight restored to them. Adhuc autem ad munimentum sui erroris aliam rationem inducunt. Quaerunt enim utrum intellectum in me et in te sit unum penitus, aut duo in numero et unum in specie. Si unum intellectum, tunc erit unus intellectus. Si duo in numero et unum in specie, sequitur quod intellecta habebunt rem intellectam: quaecumque enim sunt duo in numero et unum in specie, sunt unum intellectum, quia est una quidditas per quam intelligitur; et sic procedetur in infinitum, quod est impossibile. Ergo impossibile est quod sint duo intellecta in numero in me et in te; est ergo unum tantum, et unus intellectus numero tantum in omnibus.  To bolster their error they bring forth another argument. They ask whether what is understood in me and in you is completely one or numerically two but specifically one. If what is understood is one, there will be one intellect. If numerically two but specifically one, it follows that they will have as things understood the thing understood. Wherever there are numerically two but specifically one there is one thing understood, because there is one quiddity through which understanding takes place, and thus to infinity, which is impossible. Therefore it is impossible that there be numerically two things understood in me and you. There is one alone, then, and numerically only one intellect in all. Quaerendum est autem ab his qui tam subtiliter se argumentari putant, utrum quod sint duo intellecta in numero et unum in specie, sit contra rationem intellecti in quantum est intellectum, aut in quantum est intellectum ab homine. Et manifestum est, secundum rationem quam ponunt, quod hoc est contra rationem intellecti in quantum est intellectum. De ratione enim intellecti, in quantum huiusmodi, est quod non indigeat quod ab eo aliquid abstrahatur, ad hoc quod sit intellectum. Ergo secundum eorum rationem simpliciter concludere possumus quod sit unum intellectum tantum, et non solum unum intellectum ab omnibus hominibus. Et si est unum intellectum tantum, secundum eorum rationem, sequitur quod sit unus intellectus tantum in toto mundo, et non solum in hominibus. Ergo intellectus noster non solum est substantia separata, sed etiam est ipse Deus; et universaliter tollitur pluralitas substantiarum separatarum.  It ought to be asked by those who consider themselves to argue so subtly whether for things understood to be numerically two but specifically one is contrary to the notion of the understood insofar as it is understood, or insofar as it is understood by man. It is clear from the argument they formulate that it is contrary to the notion of the thing understood. For it is of the notion of the thing understood as such that nothing need be abstracted from it in order that it be understood. Therefore, on the basis of their argument, we can conclude, not just that there is only one thing understood by all men, but that there is simply one thing understood. And if there is but one thing understood, on their reasoning it follows that there is only one intellect in the whole world, not only for men. Therefore not only is our intellect a separate substance, it is also God Himself, and the plurality of separated substances is wholly swept away. Si quis autem vellet respondere quod intellectum ab una substantia separata et intellectum ab alia non est unum specie, quia intellectus differunt specie, seipsum deciperet; quia id quod intelligitur comparatur ad intelligere et ad intellectum, sicut obiectum ad actum et potentiam. Obiectum autem non recipit speciem ab actu neque a potentia, sed magis e converso. Est ergo simpliciter concedendum quod intellectum unius rei, puta lapidis, est unum tantum non solum in omnibus hominibus, sed etiam in omnibus intelligentibus.  One who sought to respond that the thing understood by one separate substance and that understood by another are not specifically one because the intellects differ specifically, would deceive himself because that which is understood is related to understanding and to intellect as an object to act and potency. The object does not take its species from either the act or the power, but rather the other way around. Therefore it must simply be conceded that the understanding of one thing, say a stone, is one alone not only in all men but also in all intelligences. Sed inquirendum restat quid sit ipsum intellectum. Si enim dicant quod intellectum est una species immaterialis existens in intellectu, latet ipsos quod quodammodo transeunt in dogma Platonis, qui posuit quod de rebus sensibilibus nulla scientia potest haberi, sed omnis scientia habetur de forma una separata. Nihil enim refert ad propositum, utrum aliquis dicat quod scientia quae habetur de lapide, habetur de una forma lapidis separata, an de una forma lapidis quae est in intellectu: utrobique enim sequitur quod scientiae non sunt de rebus quae sunt hic, sed de rebus separatis solum. Sed quia Plato posuit huiusmodi formas immateriales per se subsistentes, poterat etiam cum hoc ponere plures intellectus, participantes ab una forma separata unius veritatis cognitionem. Isti autem quia ponunt huiusmodi formas immateriales (quas dicunt esse intellecta) in intellectu, necesse habent ponere quod sit unus intellectus tantum, non solum omnium hominum, sed etiam simpliciter.  But it remains to ask what is the understood itself. For if they say that the thing understood is one immaterial species existing in the intellect, in a way they unwittingly slide into the teaching of Plato who taught that there can be no science of sensible things, but every science is of one separated form. It is not relevant whether someone says that the knowledge of a rock is of one separated form of rock or of one form of rock that is in the intellect. In either case it follows that sciences are not of the things that are here, but only of separated things. Because Plato taught that immaterial forms of this kind are of themselves subsistent, he could maintain along with this that many intellects derive from one separate form knowledge of one truth. But those who posit immaterial forms of this kind—which they call the things understood—in the intellect, have to say that there is only one intellect, not only for all men, but absolutely speaking. Est ergo dicendum secundum sententiam Aristotelis quod intellectum, quod est unum, est ipsa natura vel quidditas rei. De rebus enim est scientia naturalis et aliae scientiae, non de speciebus intellectis. Si enim intellectum esset non ipsa natura lapidis quae est in rebus, sed species quae est in intellectu, sequeretur quod ego non intelligerem rem quae est lapis, sed solum intentionem quae est abstracta a lapide. Sed verum est quod natura lapidis prout est in singularibus, est intellecta in potentia; sed fit intellecta in actu per hoc quod species a rebus sensibilibus, mediantibus sensibus, usque ad phantasiam perveniunt, et per virtutem intellectus agentis species intelligibiles abstrahuntur, quae sunt in intellectu possibili. Hae autem species non se habent ad intellectum possibilem ut intellecta, sed sicut species quibus intellectus intelligit (sicut et species quae sunt in visu non sunt ipsa visa, sed ea quibus visus videt), nisi in quantum intellectus reflectitur supra seipsum, quod in sensu accidere non potest.  In keeping with the teaching of Aristotle, therefore, it ought to be said that the understood thing which is one is the very nature or quiddity of the thing: natural science and the other sciences are of things, not of understood species. For if the thing understood were not the very nature of rock which is in things, but the species which is in the intellect, it would follow that I do not understand the thing that is a stone, but only the intention which is abstracted from the stone. It is true that the nature of stone as it is in singulars is only potentially understood, but it comes to be actually understood because the species come from sensible things, through the mediation of the senses, to imagination, from which the intelligible species which are in the possible intellect are abstracted by the power of the agent intellect. These species, however, do not relate to possible intellect as what is understood, but as species through which the intellect understands, just as the species which are in sight are not the things seen, but that whereby sight sees, save insofar as the intellect reflects upon itself, which cannot happen in the case of sense. Si autem intelligere esset actio transiens in exteriorem materiam, sicut comburere et movere, sequeretur quod intelligere esset secundum modum quo natura rerum habet esse in singularibus, sicut combustio ignis est secundum modum combustibilis. Sed quia intelligere est actio in ipso intelligente manens, ut Aristoteles dicit in nono Metaph., sequitur quod intelligere sit secundum modum intelligentis, i. e. secundum exigentiam speciei qua intelligens intelligit. Haec autem, cum sit abstracta a principiis individualibus, non repraesentat rem secundum conditiones individuales, sed secundum naturam universalem tantum. Nihil enim prohibet, si aliqua duo coniunguntur in re, quin unum eorum repraesentari possit etiam in sensu sine altero: unde color mellis vel pomi videtur a visu sine eius sapore. Sic igitur intellectus intelligit naturam universalem per abstractionem ab individualibus principiis.  If however understanding were a transitive action passing into exterior matter, like burning and moving, it would follow that understanding exists in the way the nature of things exists in singulars just as the combustion of fire exists according to the manner of the combustible. But because understanding is an action which remains in the one understanding, as Aristotle says in Book Nine of the Metaphysics, it follows that understanding is according to the mode of the one understanding, that is, according to the demands of the species whereby the understander understands. But this, since it is abstracted from individual principles, does not represent the thing in its individual conditions but only according to the universal nature. If two are conjoined in a thing, nothing prevents one of them being represented in sense without the other: hence the color of honey or of the apple is seen by sight without its taste. Just so the intellect understands the universal nature by abstraction from individual principles. Est ergo unum quod intelligitur et a me et a te, sed alio intelligitur a me et alio a te, i. e. alia specie intelligibili; et aliud est intelligere meum, et aliud tuum; et alius est intellectus meus, et alius tuus. Unde et Aristoteles in praedicamentis dicit aliquam scientiam esse singularem quantum ad subiectum, ut quaedam grammatica in subiecto quidem est anima, de subiecto vero nullo dicitur. Unde et intellectus meus, quando intelligit se intelligere, intelligit quemdam singularem actum; quando autem intelligit intelligere simpliciter, intelligit aliquid universale. Non enim singularitas repugnat intelligibilitati, sed materialitas: unde, cum sint aliqua singularia immaterialia, sicut de substantiis separatis supra dictum est, nihil prohibet huiusmodi singularia intelligi.  Therefore there is one thing that is understood by me and you, but it is understood by means of one thing by me and by means of another by you, that is, by different intelligible species, and my understanding differs from yours and my intellect differs from yours. Hence Aristotle in the Categories says that knowledge is singular with respect to its subject, “the individual knowledge of grammar is in a subject, the soul, but is not said of any subject.” Hence when my intellect understands itself to understand, it understands some singular activity; when however it understands understanding simply, it understands something universal. It is not singularity that is repugnant to intelligibility, but materiality; thus, since they are immaterial singulars, as was said of separate substances above, nothing prevents such singulars from being understood. Ex hoc autem apparet quomodo sit eadem scientia in discipulo et doctore. Est enim eadem quantum ad rem scitam, non tamen quantum ad species intelligibiles quibus uterque intelligit; quantum enim ad hoc, individuatur scientia in me et in illo. Nec oportet quod scientia quae est in discipulo causetur a scientia quae est in magistro, sicut calor aquae a calore ignis; sed sicut sanitas quae est in infirmo, a sanitate quae est in anima medici. Sicut enim in infirmo est principium naturale sanitatis, cui medicus auxilia subministrat ad sanitatem perficiendam, ita in discipulo est principium naturale scientiae, scil. intellectus agens et prima principia per se nota; doctor autem subministrat quaedam adminicula, deducendo conclusiones ex principiis per se notis. Unde et medicus nititur eo modo sanare quo natura sanaret, scil. calefaciendo et infrigidando; et magister eodem modo inducit ad scientiam, quo inveniens per seipsum scientiam acquireret, procedendo scil. de notis ad ignota. Et sicut sanitas in infirmo fit non secundum potestatem medici, sed secundum facultatem naturae; ita et scientia causatur in discipulo non secundum virtutem magistri, sed secundum facultatem addiscentis.  Thus it is clear how there can be the same science in the learner and teacher. For it is the same with respect to the thing known, but not with respect to the intelligible species whereby each knows—in that respect, science is individuated in me and you. Nor is it necessary that the knowledge which is in the learner be caused by the knowledge that is in the teacher as the heat of water by the heat of fire, but as the health in matter is caused by the health that is in the mind of the physician. Just as in the patient there is a natural principle of health to which the physician supplies aids in order that health might be perfected, so in the learner there is a natural principle of knowledge, namely the agent intellect and the first self-evident principles. The teacher supplies certain aids, deducing conclusions from principles known in themselves. Thus the physician strives to heal in the way nature would heal, namely, by heating and chilling; similarly the master leads to science in the way in which one discovering it for himself would acquire it, proceeding, that is, from the known to the unknown. And just as health in the sick person does not come about by the power of the physician but by the capacity of nature, so too knowledge is not caused in the learner by the power of the master, but by the capacity of the learner. Quod autem ulterius obiiciunt, quod si remanerent plures substantiae intellectuales, destructis corporibus, sequeretur quod essent otiosae; sicut Aristoteles in undecimo Metaph. argumentatur, quod si essent substantiae separatae non moventes corpus, essent otiosae: si bene litteram Aristotelis considerassent, de facili possent dissolvere. Nam Aristoteles, antequam hanc rationem inducat, praemittit: quare et substantias et principia immobilia tot rationabile suscipere; necessarium enim dimittatur fortioribus dicere. Ex quo patet quod ipse probabilitatem quamdam sequitur, non necessitatem inducit.  As to the further objection that if, their bodies having been destroyed, many intellectual substances should remain, it would follow that they are otiose, since Aristotle in Book XI of the Metaphysics argued that if there were separated substances which did not move bodies, they would be otiose. But if one carefully considers the text of Aristotle, the difficulty is easily solved. For Aristotle, before giving this argument, says, “the unmovable substances and principles may reasonably be taken to be just so many; the assertion of necessity must be left to more powerful thinkers.” It is clear from this that he is pursuing a kind of probability and not claiming necessity. Deinde, cum otiosum sit quod non pertingit ad finem ad quem est, non potest dici etiam probabiliter quod substantiae separatae essent otiosae, si non moverent corpora; nisi forte dicatur, quod motiones corporum sint fines substantiarum separatarum, quod est omnino impossibile, cum finis sit potior his quae sunt ad finem. Unde nec Aristoteles hic inducit quod essent otiosae si non moverent corpora, sed quod omnem substantiam impassibilem secundum se optimum sortitam finem esse oportet existimare. Est enim perfectissimum uniuscuiusque rei ut non solum sit in se bonum, sed ut bonitatem in aliis causet. Non erat autem manifestum qualiter substantiae separatae causarent bonitatem in inferioribus, nisi per motum aliquorum corporum. Unde ex hoc Aristoteles quamdam probabilem rationem assumit, ad ostendendum quod non sunt aliquae substantiae separatae, nisi quae per motus caelestium corporum manifestantur, quamvis hoc necessitatem non habeat, ut ipsemet dicit.  Since that is otiose which does not attain the end for which it is designed, they cannot say even with probability that the separated substances are otiose if they do not move bodies, unless perhaps they mean that the motions of bodies are the ends of separated substances, which is completely impossible, since the end is higher than the things that are for the sake of the end. Nor does Aristotle here conclude that they would be otiose if they did not move bodies, but that “every being and every substance which is immune from change and in virtue of itself has attained to the best must be considered an end.” It is the most perfect state of any thing that it not only is good in itself, but also causes goodness in others. But it was not clear how separated substances would cause goodness in inferior bodies save by the motion of some bodies, hence Aristotle derived from this a probable argument to show that there are as many separate substances as are manifested by the heavenly bodies, although as he himself says this has no claim to necessity. Concedimus autem quod anima humana a corpore separata non habet ultimam perfectionem suae naturae, cum sit pars naturae humanae. Nulla enim pars habet omnimodam perfectionem si a toto separetur. Non autem propter hoc frustra est; non enim est animae humanae finis movere corpus, sed intelligere, in quo est sua felicitas, ut Aristoteles probat in decimo Ethic.  We concede that the human soul separated from body does not have the ultimate perfection of its nature, since it is a part of human nature: no part has complete perfection if it is separated from its whole. But it is not for this reason frustrated, for the end of the human soul is not to move the body, but to understand, in which its happiness consists, as Aristotle proves in Book Ten of the Ethics. Obiiciunt etiam ad sui erroris assertionem, quia si intellectus essent plures plurium hominum, cum intellectus sit incorruptibilis, sequeretur quod essent actu infiniti intellectus secundum positionem Aristotelis, qui posuit mundum aeternum et homines semper fuisse. Ad hanc autem obiectionem sic respondet Algazel in sua metaphysica: dicit enim quod in quocumque fuerit unum istorum sine alio, quantitas vel multitudo sine ordine, infinitas non removebitur ab eo, sicut a motu caeli. Et postea subdit: similiter et animas humanas, quae sunt separabiles a corporibus per mortem, concedimus esse infinitas numero, quamvis habeant esse simul, quoniam non est inter eas ordinatio naturalis, qua remota desinant esse animae: eo quod nullae earum sunt causae aliis, sed simul sunt, sine prius et posterius natura et situ. Non enim intelligitur in eis prius et posterius secundum naturam nisi secundum tempus creationis suae. In essentiis autem earum, secundum quod sunt essentiae, non est ordinatio ullo modo, sed sunt aequales in esse; e contrario spatiis et corporibus et causae et causato.  In advancing their error they also say that if there were many intellects for many men, since intellect is incorruptible, it would follow on Aristotle’s view, since he held the world to be eternal and men to have always existed, that there would be an actual infinity of intellects. Algazel responded to this in his Metaphysics saying that “in anything where there is one of these without the other,” that is, quantity or a multitude without order, “infinity will not be taken from it, as in the case of the movement of the heaven.” And later he adds, “Similarly we grant that human souls, which are separable from the body at death, are infinite in number, although they exist at the same time, since there is no natural ordering among them by the removal of which souls would cease to exist; none of them is the cause of the others, but in nature and position they are simultaneously without prior and posterior. There is no prior and posterior in them according to nature save according to the time of their creation. In their essences insofar as they are essences there is no ordering in any way, but they are equal in existence, unlike spaces and bodies and cause and effect.” Quomodo autem hoc Aristoteles solveret, a nobis sciri non potest, quia illam partem metaphysicae non habemus, quam fecit de substantiis separatis. Dicit enim philosophus in secundo Physic., quod de formis quae sunt separatae, in materia autem (in quantum sunt separabiles), considerare est opus philosophiae primae. Quidquid autem circa hoc dicatur, manifestum est quod ex hoc nullam angustiam Catholici patiuntur, qui ponunt mundum incepisse.  We cannot know what Aristotle’s solution to this might have been because we don’t possess that part of the Metaphysics in which he deals with separated substances. In Book Two of the Physics the Philosopher says that of the forms “the mode of existence of the separable” insofar as they are separable, “it is the business of first philosophy to define.” But it is obvious that whatever he says about this would cause no distress to Catholics, who hold that the world began. Patet autem falsum esse quod dicunt hoc fuisse principium apud omnes philosophantes, et Arabes et Peripateticos, quod intellectus non multiplicetur numeraliter, licet apud Latinos non. Algazel enim Latinus non fuit, sed Arabs. Avicenna etiam, qui Arabs fuit, in suo libro de anima sic dicit: prudentia et stultitia et alia huiusmodi similia, non sunt nisi in essentia animae (...) ergo anima non est una sed est multae numero, et eius species una est.  They speak falsehood who say that it was a principle with all those who philosophize, both Arabs and Peripatetics, if not for the Latins, that the intellect is not multiplied numerically. Algazel was an Arab, not a Latin. And Avicenna too, who was an Arab, speaks thus in his book On the Soul, “Prudence, stupidity, opinion can only inhere in the essence of the soul. Therefore the soul is not numerically one but many though of one species.” Et ut Graecos non omittamus, ponenda sunt circa hoc verba Themistii in commento. Cum enim quaesivisset de intellectu agente, utrum sit unus aut plures, subiungit solvens: aut primus quidem illustrans est unus, illustrati autem et illustrantes sunt plures. Sol quidem enim est unus, lumen autem dices modo aliquo partiri ad visus. Propter hoc enim non solem in comparatione posuit (scil. Aristoteles), sed lumen; Plato autem solem. Ergo patet per verba Themistii quod nec intellectus agens, de quo Aristoteles loquitur, est unus qui est illustrans, nec etiam possibilis qui est illustratus. Sed verum est quod principium illustrationis est unum, scil. aliqua substantia separata, vel Deus secundum Catholicos, vel intelligentia ultima secundum Avicennam. Unitatem autem huius separati principii probat Themistius per hoc, quod docens et addiscens idem intelligit, quod non esset nisi esset idem principium illustrans. Sed verum est quod postea dicit quosdam dubitasse de intellectu possibili, utrum sit unus.  And lest we omit the Greeks, we should cite the words of Themistius in his commentary. For when he asked of the agent intellect whether it was one or many, he answered: “Or the first illuminator is one but the illumined and illumining many: for the sun is one, but you will say that light is in some way imparted to sight. For this reason Aristotle proposes light rather than the sun in the comparison, but Plato proposes the sun.” It is clear from these words of Themistius that neither the agent intellect, of which Aristotle speaks, is the one who is illuminator, nor the possible that which is illumined. There is indeed one principle of illumination, namely a certain separated substance which is either God, according to Catholics, or the ultimate intelligence according to Avicenna. Themistius proves the unity of this separate principle by the fact that the teacher and learner understand the same thing, which would not be the case if there were not the same illuminating principle. What he says later, that some doubt whether the possible intellect is one, is certainly true. Nec circa hoc plus loquitur, quia non erat intentio eius tangere diversas opiniones philosophorum, sed exponere sententias Aristotelis, Platonis et Theophrasti; unde in fine concludit: sed quod quidem dixi pronunciare quidem de eo quod videtur philosophis, singularis est studii et sollicitudinis. Quod autem maxime aliquis utique ex verbis quae collegimus, accipiat de his sententiam Aristotelis et Theophrasti, magis autem et ipsius Platonis, hoc promptum est propalare. Ergo patet quod Aristoteles et Theophrastus et Themistius et ipse Plato non habuerunt pro principio, quod intellectus possibilis sit unus in omnibus. Patet etiam quod Averroes perverse refert sententiam Themistii et Theophrasti de intellectu possibili et agente. Unde merito supradiximus eum philosophiae Peripateticae perversorem. Unde mirum est quomodo aliqui, solum commentum Averrois videntes, pronuntiare praesumunt, quod ipse dicit, hoc sensisse omnes philosophos Graecos et Arabes, praeter Latinos.  But he says no more of this because his intention was not to discuss the diverse opinions of philosophers, but to explicate the teachings of Aristotle, Plato and Theophrastus. Hence at the end he concludes, “What I said to express what seemed to philosophers to be the case is of singular difficulty and concern. From what I have said one can gather the views of Aristotle and Theophrastus, and especially of Plato, about them.” It is evident, therefore, that Aristotle and Theophrastus and Themistius and Plato himself did not hold as a principle that the possible intellect is one for all. Averroes, it is clear, distorts in reporting it the thought of Themistius and Theophrastus concerning possible and agent intellects, so we rightly said above that he is the perverter of Peripatetic philosophy. How wonderful then that some, consulting only the commentary of Averroes, presume to pronounce that what he says is the common view of all philosophers, Greek and Arab, if not the Latins. Est etiam maiori admiratione vel etiam indignatione dignum, quod aliquis Christianum se profitens tam irreverenter de Christiana fide loqui praesumpserit; sicut cum dicit quod Latini pro principio hoc non recipiunt, scil. quod sit unus intellectus tantum, quia forte lex eorum est in contrarium. Ubi duo sunt mala: primo, quia dubitat an hoc sit contra fidem; secundo, quia se alienum innuit esse ab hac lege. Et quod postmodum dicit: haec est ratio per quam Catholici videntur habere suam positionem, ubi sententiam fidei positionem nominat. Nec minoris praesumptionis est quod postmodum asserere audet: Deum non posse facere quod sint multi intellectus, quia implicat contradictionem.  It is yet more wonderful, indeed worthy of indignation, that anyone professing himself to be a Christian should presume to speak so irreverently of the Christian faith as to say that, “The Latins do not accept this as a principle,” namely, that there is only one intellect, “perhaps because their law is contrary to it.” There are two evils in this. First, to doubt whether this is against the faith; second, to give the nod to what is alien to this law. Afterward he said, “This is the reason why Catholics seem to hold their position,” where the judgment of the faith is called a position! Nor is there less presumption in what he dares later to assert, namely that God cannot bring it about that there are many intellects, because this implies a contradiction. Adhuc autem gravius est quod postmodum dicit: per rationem concludo de necessitate, quod intellectus est unus numero; firmiter tamen teneo oppositum per fidem. Ergo sentit quod fides sit de aliquibus, quorum contraria de necessitate concludi possunt. Cum autem de necessitate concludi non possit nisi verum necessarium, cuius oppositum est falsum impossibile, sequitur secundum eius dictum quod fides sit de falso impossibili, quod etiam Deus facere non potest: quod fidelium aures ferre non possunt. Non caret etiam magna temeritate, quod de his quae ad philosophiam non pertinent, sed sunt purae fidei, disputare praesumit, sicut quod anima patiatur ab igne Inferni, et dicere sententias doctorum de hoc esse reprobandas. Pari enim ratione posset disputare de Trinitate, de incarnatione, et de aliis huiusmodi, de quibus nonnisi caecutiens loqueretur.  Even more serious is this subsequent remark: “Through reason I conclude necessarily that intellect is numerically one, but I firmly hold the opposite by faith.” Therefore he thinks faith is of things whose contrary can be necessarily concluded; since the only thing that can be necessarily concluded is a necessary truth whose opposite is false and impossible, it follows from this statement that faith is of the false and impossible, which not even God can bring about and the ears of the faithful cannot bear. He does not lack the high temerity to presume to discuss what does not pertain to philosophy but is purely of faith, such that the soul suffers from the fire of hell, and to say that the teaching of the doctors concerning these things should be reprobated. By equal right one could dispute concerning the Trinity, the Incarnation and the like, concerning which he speaks only in ignorance. Haec igitur sunt quae in destructionem praedicti erroris conscripsimus, non per documenta fidei, sed per ipsorum philosophorum rationes et dicta. Si quis autem gloriabundus de falsi nominis scientia, velit contra haec quae scripsimus aliquid dicere, non loquatur in angulis nec coram pueris qui nesciunt de tam arduis iudicare; sed contra hoc scriptum rescribat, si audet; et inveniet non solum me, qui aliorum sum minimus, sed multos alios veritatis zelatores, per quos eius errori resistetur, vel ignorantiae consuletur.  This then is what we have written to destroy the error mentioned, using the arguments and teachings of the philosophers themselves, not the documents of faith. If anyone glorying in the name of false science wishes to say anything in reply to what we have written, let him not speak in corners nor to boys who cannot judge of such arduous matters, but reply to this in writing, if he dares. He will find that not only I, who am the least of men, but many others zealous for the truth, will resist his error and correct his ignorance.