Page:Eight chapters of Maimonides on ethics.djvu/64

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44

The Ethics of Maimonides

which the arts, such as architecture, agriculture, medicine, and navigation are acquired.[1] The intellectual power is that by which one, when he intends to do an act, reflects upon what he has premeditated, considers the possibility of performing it, and, if he thinks it possible, decides how it should be done.[2]

This is all we have deemed it necessary to say in this regard concerning the soul. Know, however, that the soul, whose faculties and parts we have described above, and which is a unit, may be compared to matter in that it likewise has a form, which is reason. If the form (reason) does not communicate its impression to the soul, then the disposition existing in the soul to receive that form is of no avail, and exists to no purpose, as Solomon says, “Also in the want of knowledge in the soul there is nothing good”.[3] This means that if a soul has not


    the range of science is by necessity, and therefore eternal—because all things are so which exist necessarily—and all eternal things are without beginning, and indestructible.”

  1. Cf. Millot ha-Higgayon, loc. cit.: והשם מלאכה אצל הקדומים שם משתף יפילו על כל חכמה עיונית ויפילוהו גם כן על כל המעשים המלאכתים, ויקראו כל חכמה מחכמת הפילוסופיא מלאכה עיונית, ויקראו כל אחת מהנגרות והחצבות ומה שדומה להן מלאכה מעשית‎. Cf., also, Eth. Nic. VI, 4, on “Art.”
  2. With M.’s definition of the rational faculty compare that of al-Farabi (התחלות הגמצאות‎, p. 2): והכח המדבר הוא אשר בו יאחוז האדם החכמות והמלאכות‎. See Rosin, Ethik, p. 47, n. 4; Kaufmann, Attributenlehre, p. 398, and note 60. On this faculty and its functions, see Scheyer, Psychol. Syst. d. Maim., pp. 14-29; Rosin, Ethik, pp. 49-51, and Wolff, Acht Capitel, p. 7, n. 1.

    The following scheme will elucidate the divisions of the functions of the rational faculty, according to M.

    Reason (הנפש המדברת, הכח הדבור, הכח השכלי‎; Ar. אלנאטק‎)
    Practical (מעשי‎; Ar. עמלי‎)
    Theoretical (מלאכה עיונית, עיוני‎; Ar. נטרי‎)
    Mechanical (מלאכת מחשבות מלאכת מעשית,‎; Ar. מהני‎)Intellectual (מחשבי‎; Ar. פכרי‎)Sciences (חכמות‎; Ar. עלום‎)
    Architecture, etc.
  3. Prov. XIX, 2.