The Philosophy and Psychology of Pietro Pomponazzi/Chapter II
THE ARABIANS AND ST THOMAS
The powerful influence of the Arab philosophers upon the Western schools from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century makes it highly important to trace the sources of their doctrines, and especially to investigate the character of their interpretation of Aristotle. The rise of the Mohammedan so-called "Peripatetic" school in Bagdad and Damascus, Africa, and Spain, between the tenth and twelfth centuries may be rightly described by Renan as an incident in the history of Oriental thought; but it became also a factor of the first consequence in the development of the European mind.
It is not to be supposed however that the translation into Latin of the Aristotelian writings of the Arabians and of their versions of the master constituted a genuine introduction of the Western mind to the original philosophy of Aristotle. The Arabians had from the first, in their reading of Aristotle, been subject to strong influences proceeding from Alexandria, and had besides given to Alexandrian Peripateticism a further bent characteristic of themselves. The peculiar direction of their thought may be traced back to the time when a Platonic interpretation was put upon Aristotle's doctrine of the νοϋς by Alexander, or when that doctrine was associated with a Neo-Platonic hypostasis by Plotinus, and when each combined with those foreign elements an Aristotelian logic and (up to a certain point) an Aristotelian doctrine of the soul.
The acquaintance of the Mohammedans with Greek philosophy dates from their contact with Persian culture under the Abbasides from the eighth to the tenth centuries. The ruling family, who had long been exiled in Persia, and their famous Persian ministers, the Barmecides, looked with favour upon foreign learning. Almansour, Haroun-al-Raschid, and Mahmound are all mentioned by various authorities as having fostered not only Greek but Persian and Indian philosophy. The translation of Aristotle into Arabic soon began; and the
chief agents in the work were Nestorian Christians, many of whom the caliphs had about their court as mathematicians and astronomers. Their translations were in some cases though by no means in all made from Syriac versions; such translations seem also sometimes to have been revised, not much later, from the Greek originals; and those who have seen the translations in the Arabic pronounce them much more correct than the garbled translations into Latin through a Hebrew intermediary which afterwards were current as the Arabian versions of Aristotle. Very many of such translations were made in the ninth century, their authors being always of Persian origin and generally Nestorians in religion.
It is equally to our present purpose to notice that the labours of the Persian translators included the Alexandrian commentators on Aristotle Porphyry, Alexander, Themistius, John Philoponus.
Munk asked the question why the Arabians should have preferred Aristotle to Plato, and supposed an affinity between the former and the Arab mind; but the truth is, as Renan has pointed out, that they had no choice. Nominally, although not in its true spirit, the Peripatetic mode of thought had been adopted by the schools of Alexandria; while, on the other hand, the suggestion of an affinity between the Arabians and Aristotle rather loses its point when we observe how far from the original meaning of Aristotle was the system which they received in his name. The logic of Aristotle doubtless had a value to the Persians, in relation to their scientific and practical interest in nature; but in the so-called Aristotelianism of that late day there were also other elements claiming kinship with an altogether different side of the Eastern mind namely, with its mysticism. It was, however, nominally Aristotelianism that the
Persians received, as at that time the dominant philosophy of the Greek schools.
The influence of the Alexandrian commentators in general and of Neo-Platonists in particular upon the Arabian Peripatetic school can be traced from the beginning to the end of its history. From first to last it was concerned with the problem of "union" or "conjunction" with the "active intellect" ; and from first to last "active intelligence" was conceived as a separate and intermediary real Being.
It is true that there were not found among the Arabians any professed followers of Plato on the one hand or of Plotinus or Proclus on the other. Indeed the works of Plotinus were never translated for them, and his very name seems to have been unknown, or was even possibly confounded with that of Plato. But Munk has established the existence of a large body of pseudonymous writings, attributed to various ancient philosophers, but of a uniformly Neo-Platonic cast, which circulated among the Arabians in the early days of Greek influence. These compositions, of which the Theologia Aristotelis was only one, have been traced by him generally to an Alexandrian origin, and were in truth simply Neo-Platonic compilations. They bore the names of Empedocles, Pythagoras, Plato and Aristotle; but Munk has abundantly proved the Neo-Platonic affinities of these apocryphal writings, including the Theologia Aristotelis. It is true that they were superseded in the esteem of the learned East by the more genuine Aristotelianism of Alfarabi and Avicenna; but it is still remarkable that a book of the character of the Theologia Aristotelis should so long have passed for a work of Aristotle; and the persistency of the influence of pure Neo-Platonism in the Arab schools is also vividly brought to light in the instance of the Jew Avicebron (flor. 1054), who was professedly a Peripatetic, and whose Fans Vitae exercised a powerful influence on thirteenth century scholasticism, but whose doctrines are substantially those of Proclus.
These facts prepare us to find that even the Peripateticism
of the leading Arab masters, while more faithful to the letter of Aristotle, contained elements foreign to his system and breathed a spirit very different from his.
Renan is doubtless right also in discovering in the genius of the Arabian philosophy the influence of Oriental mysticism, and especially of Persian Sufism, which readily combined with the influences of Alexandria to determine the doctrine of Unio.
It has frequently been remarked that the Arabian philosophy, throughout the three centuries of its history, remained substantially consistent with itself, and presents on the whole a singular uniformity of outline. All its representatives are at one in considering the human act of thought in the light of union or conjunction with a superior Intelligence (intellectus agens). It is not possible here to compare the successive modifications which this general idea received among them, or the scheme of mental discipline by which they sought to guide the soul into union with intelligence for example, in Ibn-Badja's (Avempace) Discipline of a Solitary, or the PhilosopJius autodidactus of Ibn- Tofail (Abubacer). It is sufficient to say that in general they conceived Unio to be effected by the proper exercise of intelligence in man, and through study, education, and speculative science rather than through mystic ecstasy. Consequently the notion of complete absorption, which was the crown of their system as of every dualistic theory of human reason, had with them a peculiar shade of meaning.
The one-ness of all true intelligence had become the commonplace of the later Greek schools, and was certainly a fixed point with the Arabians. In the earliest of their writers of whose
views we have any certain knowledge, Alfarabi (ob. 950), the active intelligence occupies the same place as in all later developments of the school; and he approaches the further deduction from the unity of intelligence, which was afterwards drawn by Avempace and Averroes, namely the unity of intellectual souls. Avicenna (980-1037), on many points the most sober Aristotelian of them all, yet held most definitely the view of νοϋς ποιητικός characteristic of his school; and while he made the concession to orthodoxy how far in good faith is perhaps doubtful that the human soul was an individual substance, and immortal, this did not of course affect the unity of intelligence or reason which was distinguished from the soul; in all exercise of intelligence the soul depended upon an assistance from, a union with, intelligence as outside and above itself. Avempace, a Spanish Arab-philosopher of the early twelfth century (ob. 1138), taught the doctrine of the unity of intellectual souls usually associated with the name of Averroes.
Several of the Arab philosophers wrote treatises expressly "On the possibility of union" between the soul and intelligence.
The universal Intelligence acting in human thought was, to the Arabians, one of a hierarchy of intermediate beings, between God and the world of matter. We have already seen how the Neo-Platonists, distinguishing after their manner the Divine Reason from the Divine Being, differed from Alexander in conceiving of the "universal" assisting Reason as an intermediate being; and the Arabians developed this conception further, in connection with their doctrine of the Intelligences of the
spheres. In their hands the passage about the stars, in the Twelfth Book (A) of Aristotle's Metaphysics, had grown into an elaborate cosmology. They invented reasons to prove that each of the celestial spheres (that is, the spheres of the seven planets, the sphere of the fixed stars, and the circumambient sphere) was the seat of a particular Intelligence; their circular motion, it was said, implied directing intelligence, and purposive will, while the differences among them revealed a separate agent in each, distinct from the one First Mover, the Supreme Intelligence; and this First Intelligence was himself distinguished from God. The last of these "separate Intelligences," that namely which presided over the sphere next to us, the sphere of the moon, was usually identified with the intellectus agens operative in human thought.
Thus originated the perplexing terminology of the schools with reference to the various intellectus. Alexander had distinguished three uses of the word νοϋς; νοϋς ____ or potential reason; νοϋς ποιητικός which was not a power of our soul at all; and νοϋς ____ ____ or ______ which was thought exercised by us through the assistance of νοϋς ποιητικός. The Latin equivalents of the names, by which the Arabians represented these distinctions, were (1) intellectus materialis (kylicus) or passivus; (2) intellectus agens, activus, or actualis; and (3) intellectus in actu or habittialis. Two remarks should be added. First, intelligence in exercise in the human mind (habitualis, in actu) is frequently referred to as intellectus agens: and this is in strict accordance with the theory of the real agency in human thought and the unity of intelligence. Secondly, the Arabians introduced a further distinction: when thought in man (in actu) attains its perfection it becomes acquisitus or adeptus\ and the words reflect perfectly the governing conception of the nature of knowledge in the human soul, as the soul's participation in, possession of,
and possession by, a metaphysical principle of reason outside of itself.
The distinction of "intelligence" from the "soul," and the conception of an "action" by intelligence on the soul, thus dominated this whole school of speculation; and these thoughts were brought to their clearest expression, and carried out to their logical issue, by Averroes. His famous doctrine was the final denial of intelligence to man as an individual, and the absolute metaphysical separation of reason from the natural soul.
The formula in which the view of Averroes was expressed by himself, and discussed by the succeeding age, was that of "the unity of the passive intellect"; and this meant the denial of any exercise of intelligence in the individual human being which was not the work of the common Intelligence.
Averroes defined his own position, as eventually determined by him, in a criticism on the one hand of Alexander, and on the other of more orthodox commentators like Theophrastus and Themistius. It was the well-known doctrine of Alexander that the potential or passive intellect alone belonged to human nature, the active or actual intelligence being Divine, and outside of the soul of man. The abstract distinction made by Aristotle between potential and actual intelligence, although expressly said by him to be a distinction within the soul of man, was used by Alexander to express a metaphysical distinction between the human soul and the Divine Intelligence. He conceived of the process of thought, and supposed Aristotle to have conceived of it, as the action of Divine Intelligence operating in the non- rational human soul. Consequently there was in man as man only a disposition for, or capability of, intelligence; the bringing of that potentiality to realisation was the work of Divine Intelligence; and real Intelligence there was none, save and until the active Intelligence, not a power of human nature, operated on that nature from without. Averroes accepts this doctrine very much in its original sense. His mediaeval predecessors
had corrupted it: after their manner of translating logical terms into metaphysical entities, they had made the "potential intellect" a real existence, just as "active intellect" was another. But this was not the original meaning of Alexander; and Averroes apprehended the difference.
The commentators who followed more closely Aristotle's original meaning, attributing active and actualised intelligence to each man as a thinking being, claimed that a capability of reason in man implied a reasonable nature in him. They pointed out that a capability or disposition must be the capability or disposition of some subject ; but obviously the lower or non-rational faculties of the soul, or the soul as possessed of those faculties, cannot be the subject of a capability of rational thought; therefore reason itself "active intelligence" must be the subject of that capability in each man. Averroes accepts this argument also, but he accepts it in a sense of his own; for him the required "subject" of the potential thought in each soul is not the soul itself but a common thinking principle (his intellectiis agens).
In this way Averroes goes back to what he recognises as the original meaning of Alexander, namely that the intellectual power does not belong to the nature of man at all. For a "mere disposition" is in itself equal to nothing; and the "potential intellect" is of itself nothing real, being a mere abstraction.
He admits the force of the contention that a capability for rational thought means a rational subject of that capability, and therefore cannot be attributed to the soul in so far as it is non-rational. In particular he lays stress on thought's consciousness of itself; the apprehension of the objects of knowledge might be regarded as a faculty to apprehend them, in the sense of
a mere potentiality of knowledge; that which is conscious of the apprehending power as well as, and in distinction from, the objects must itself be more than a mere capability; it is a subject.
But what is that subject? Not, he says, the individual soul as such, in any sense. He denies the inference of the commentators, that there is a principle of rational thought in the individual. No, he says and undoubtedly he can claim the authority of Alexander the subject of all rational thought is intellectus agens.
Alexander was the real father of the Arab notion of a separate Intelligence. And now, in a stricter interpretation of Alexander, Averroes can carry the doctrine of "separation" a stage further. He has grasped the purely logical and abstract character of Aristotle's distinction; "passive intellect," he says, in itself is no real thing. Therefore, he concludes, the individual soul, in this mere potentiality, possesses, in the way of intelligence, nothing; intelligence cannot be attributed to the soul in any sense, or to any part of it, as its subjectum.
The extreme absurdity of this conclusion was disguised by the Averroist from himself through the attribution to the natural soul of man of various mental powers to which a "rational" character was not allowed imagination, memory, vis cogitativa of all, in a word, that came short of the power of forming a pure abstract notion. Such was the psychology of the schools. But it is to be remembered that when intellectus was denied to the soul as such, the soul was understood to be deprived of everything that characteristically distinguishes man from the brutes.
On the hypothesis that intellectual agency resides outside of
man, man must eventually be deprived of every shred of reason. To this conclusion Averroes was forced, when he recognised the logical nature of the distinction of actual and potential thought. What was this intellectus passivust It was no longer a semi-rational attribute allowed to man; it was in reality nothing. When the thinking principle came into "conjunction" with the soul as potentially disposed to thought, in that conjunction lay "potential intellect." In so far as separate, intelligence was active; in that conjunction, passive. For Averroes, active and passive intelligence were one and identical; as active, intelligence created intelligible forms; as passive, it received them.
Averroes doctrine, then, of the unity of "passive intelligence" was the logical completion of the idea of an external and "assisting" reason. Such was his use of Alexander's doctrine; and such was his application of the argument for a subjectum. The subject of the activity of thought, he said, is the thinking principle and not the individual.
This doctrine presents two aspects. On one side it was the extreme development of the dualistic view of human nature of anima and intellectus, of man as a natural being and as possessed of reason whose history we have been tracing. In another aspect, it was the last step towards the abolition of that dualism.
Certainly Averroes absolutely distinguished Reason from the soul, as the metaphysical principle from the natural being. He denied the possession of reason to the individual soul save as joined to the metaphysical entity, "intelligence." And he emphasised his intention of doing so by laying it down that the conjunction of the real or "active intelligence" with the capability or potentiality of intelligence in the individual was only per accidens. Lest it should be supposed that reason was in any sense the attribute of the individual soul as such, he made it clear that the relation of the soul to reason was neither essential nor permanent. The orthodox commentators might believe in a multiplicity of rational souls, holding as they did that a rational principle in each individual was the subject
of rational thought in him. To Alexander individual souls were many, but did not participate in true and eternal Reason. Averroes followed Alexander with respect to the soul; and his doctrine of conjunction implied no individual reason or individual immortality; for man as man, human intelligence as human intelligence, was no spiritual being; but a spiritual being (intellectus activus) was joined to man and that not in a necessary unity, but in a casual and external and temporary conjunction (per accidens).
This analysis of human thought and human nature, which not only erects the thinking principle in man into a separate entity, but absolutely distinguishes it from the individual soul in which it is manifested, and of whose phenomena it was originally intended as the explanation, might well seem the very extravagance of metaphysical abstraction. Yet this extreme development prepared for a transition to an exactly opposite mode of thought, and marked the conclusion of the dualism of which it was the final expression.
In words, Averroes affirmed that universal reason was the only reason, denying to the natural being man any share therein, and assigning all the operation of thought in man to a superhuman principle of thought. In effect, this amounted to the identification of all actual human thought with reason as such. For there could be, on these terms, no operation of thought in man which was not Reason in the full sense of the word.
Thus, in its extreme development, dualism had destroyed itself. Logically it had already passed away; and even practically, it had prepared the way for its own abolition. So soon as a fresh mind should take up the problem, Averroes separation of intelligence and the soul would drop out of sight, while his identification of human thought with universal reason would stand, and find acceptance.
This is what happened in Pomponazzi. Approaching the problem of human nature from an empirical standpoint, he easily dismissed Averroes metaphysical distinction of intelligence from the individual soul, with its corollary of the unity of individual minds; but he made full use of Averroes
doctrine of human thought as rational—identifying it with the original doctrine of Aristotle.
In a real sense Averroes had returned to Aristotle. He had denied the fiction of an intellectus passivus really existing over against intellectus activus; and if his object in doing so had been only more absolutely to separate between reason and the individual soul, yet none the less the effect of his identification of active and passive intellect was to assign to reason the operation of thought in the individual soul. For him, indeed, reason, even while in "conjunction" with the individual soul, acted in entire independence of it so far as the metaphysical substratum of the being of each was concerned. For Pomponazzi, beginning anew with a positive analysis, and pursuing the simple Aristotelian conception of the soul animal or intellectual as the "form" of body, Averroes doctrine meant the identity of intellectus in anima intellectiva with intellectus as such. We shall find Pomponazzi using the very language of Averroes, but with this changed application, and in support of a philosophy far removed from Averroism!
The truth is that, with a change of method, the centre of gravity in the system of thought came to be shifted. The theme of Averroes was intelligence (intellectus separates) as a metaphysical principle in a certain relation to the soul: that of Pomponazzi was the concrete process of thought (anima intellectiva).
Pomponazzi returned to the spirit and method of Aristotle, in that he pursued, not abstract speculations as to the nature of intelligence, but a positive analysis of the living and thinking
soul, and, in the result, attributed reason to the anima intellectiva, to man as man. The summary of his conclusions is that "Soul is the place of forms, not as a whole but as intellect."
Still even when attributing intelligence thus to the soul of man, in a theory that might be said to run directly counter to the fundamental doctrine of Averroes if it did not move on a different plane, he employed the language and the logic of the Averroist school. Thus he defined the quality of thought, as in the soul of man, by saying that it does not depend on matter as its subjectum; he adopted the argument of Averroes and his predecessors, that thought as such cannot inhere in matter, or in the non-rational powers of the soul. This illustrates the ultimate result of Averroes extreme dualism. His criticism of human rational thought was intended to remove reason altogether out of the field of human nature into the metaphysical region. But since after all it was actually human thought to which his argument referred, dualism in him over-reached itself; and Pomponazzi, adopting Averroes estimate of human thought, found "active intelligence" in the soul of man.
It only remains to mark the influence of the Arabian interpretation of Aristotle upon the orthodox Western schools.
By the time of Averroes the scene of chief intellectual activity among the Mohammedans had been removed to Spain a change of great moment to the history of European thought. The intellectual movement which took place in the East under the Abbasides early penetrated to the Arabs and Moors of Spain, where learning was fostered and free thought allowed by enlightened caliphs of the Ommiade dynasty. Frequent communication was maintained with the East; and, just as the Christian mediaeval doctors itinerated among the European schools, so the Arabs passed from East to West and West to East, and the Spanish Mussulman earned his degree as a sage
and teacher by visits to Egypt, Damascus and Bagdad. In the eleventh century Arab learning began to pass from Spain to Europe.
Toleration in Moorish Spain, under the Ommiades, had been almost complete. The Jews had long found in Spain "a second fatherland" ; and the Christian subjects of the Moors, tolerated in their own religion, profited by the learning and civilisation of their conquerors. Jews, Christians, and Moors, meanwhile, maintained friendly relations with the towns of Southern France, and occasionally emigrated thither; and the Jewish schools of that region of Europe played a great part in introducing to Christendom the learning of the East. Simultaneously many wandering Arab scholars found their way into Europe from Sicily and the other Mediterranean islands; the Norman counts of Sicily were known to patronise them. Thus it came to pass that, at the very time when the Spanish-Arabian philosophers were beginning to experience the violence of the theological fanaticism which eventually brought their labours to an untimely end, their works and those of their predecessors were being translated into Hebrew and into Latin. The earliest translations date from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and were at first mainly confined to medical and mathematical writings. But during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries there were in circulation many translations of the writings of Arabian philosophers and of parts of their versions of Aristotle, translations executed in some cases by Jews, in some cases by Christian ecclesiastics. As time went on, these translations did much to enlarge the schoolmen's acquaintance with Aristotle. But meanwhile the history of Arab Peripateticism was drawing to a close. The rule of the Ommiades was over; and as early as 1013 the usurper Almansour found it politic to yield to popular religious prejudice against the philosophers. The extreme obscurantism of the theological sect called Ascharites had already prevailed in the East and was soon to be victorious in Spain as well. When the Almohades first came to the throne (1150), a lull in the persecution of
rational thought permitted the appearance of the brightest ornaments of the Spanish schools—Avempace, Abubacer, Avenzoar, and Averroes; but Averroes himself experienced the fickleness of the third Almohade ruler, Yakoub Almansour (1184); and after him Mohammedanism relapsed into darkness, and a suggestive and hopeful movement of thought came to an abrupt conclusion just when it had reached an intensely interesting point in its development. The further history of the Arabian philosophy is to be sought in the Jewish and Christian schools.
The Christian schoolmen readily acknowledged their debt to the Arabians; and Avicenna and Averroes especially were held in the highest esteem among them. Averroes was "the Commentator" par excellence; and he who came afterwards to be regarded as the very father of infidelity, and whom the painters used to paint in the lowest pit of hell, was seen by Dante among the noble heathen in the Elysian fields—
"great spirits, by whose sight I am exalted in my own esteem." (Inferno, IV.)
In this estimate Dante followed his master, St Thomas.
The great Dominicans, however, occupied themselves in confuting the Arabian doctrine of intelligence. Without an attempt to reproduce their argument, some illustrations of it may be given which will at the same time shew the reflection, in their own conceptions of the soul, of the doctrine which they disputed. St Thomas's treatise, De imitate intellectus contra Averroistas, may be taken as a compendious summary of the reasonings of Albert, Thomas, and their followers upon this subject. Here the doctrine of Averroes, of the unity of the "passive" or "potential" intellect, is distinctly understood to be a separation between "intelligence" and "the soul"; and St Thomas meets this conception in limine by insisting that intelligence as in man is the very fact to be explained. Consequently his criticism of Averroes hypothesis of an independent
intellectual principle which thinks in our thinkingis that this is irrelevant as an account of human knowledge. A scientific account of man must explain man as he is, that is, as a thinking being. To deny the possession of intelligence to the nature of man is to abandon the attempt at a scientific account of the man as he is; and Averroes, by introducing a metaphysical principle, outside the nature of man, to explain thought in man, passed beyond the bounds of scientia naturalis. Further, the action of the supposed intellectual principle is no explanation of the actual exercise of intelligence by any particular man. The individual's sense-presentations were supposed to be presented to the common Intelligence; and the "union" of the individual with intelligence was illustrated by the relation of an object (say a man) reflected in a mirror to the reflection there; but it was easy for St Thomas to reply that although a man be in a sense "united" with his reflection in a mirror, you do not therefore attribute to the man the property of the mirror, namely to reflect. Neither, in like manner, on the theory of "union" with intelligence, is intelligence attributable to the individual whose sense-experiences are the contents of thought; yet actually the thought in question is that man's thought. Once more, to say that the sense-experiences of a certain man are apprehended in thought, is not to say that that man thinks. A wall is seen, but it does not see; the animal possessing the power of vision sees the wall. But the relation (copidatio, unio) of the individual man whose sense-data are received in thought to the supposed thinking power is exactly that of the wall whose visible qualities, size, colour, and so forth are seen, to the visual power that sees. So again, it is not the man that thinks. Thus
St Thomas exposes the dualism of the Averroist theory, and its real irrelevance to the problem of intelligence in man.
On the contrary, he insists that intelligence in man must be taken as it really is in man that is, as constituting the true nature of his soul. Even if we suppose that an external power or principle does act in producing human intelligence, it holds true equally that that which is in the human soul, and belongs to it characteristically making it what it is is intelligence. Whatever we may think of the ultimate nature of intelligence or the ultimate relations and metaphysical basis of intelligence in man, the presence of intelligence in man, and in the human soul as such, is a psychological fact.
The denial of intelligence to the soul of man had involved Averroes in the affirmation of the unity of intelligence, in that absolute sense expressed by his formula of the "unity of potential intelligence." St Thomas, who attributes intelligence to individual souls, combats this position. He does so mainly by displaying its logical consequences, and the absurd extreme to
which it leads. Clearly distinguishing the Platonic, the Aristotelian, and the Averroist theories, he reminds us that, while the first laid down the unity of active intelligence, only the last supposed that unity of potential intelligence or denied a multiplicity of intellectual souls. Employing a figure, he says: the Platonists hold one sun but many eyes; the Aristotelians, many lights and many eyes; the Averroists, one sun, one visual power. Now certainly many agents can employ the same instrument, and remain many. But if the instrument (the "eye" as he calls it, following his illustration) be that which constitutes the nature of the agent, then "one instrument" implies "one agent." But intelligence is that which makes man what he is an intelligent soul; therefore the Averroist doctrine of the unity of intellectual powers leads to the intolerable extreme of identifying all mankind and contradicting the multiplicity of human personalities.
The act of knowledge by which two men apprehend the same object at the same time is one and the same. For, so far as "intellectual" action is concerned, nothing belongs to the individual; and the fact that the sense-presentations involved differ for different individuals, as Averroes allowed, does not affect the identity of the act of knowledge; since, for Averroes, thought and sense are wholly separate.
St Thomas adds that this doctrine is inconsistent with individual freedom and responsibility, and logically destructive of morality.
It is easy for him to shew that to deny potential intellect to the individual and assign it to the race is in effect to contradict Aristotle's conception of potential intellect as a tabula rasa; for an intellectus possibilis that is common has been intellectus in actu from all eternity, and thus "potential intellect" is deprived of all its meaning as a term in Aristotle's analysis of knowledge.
Finally he returns to the point that those activities of a so-called separate intelligence, having no relation to the sense-presentations in our (sensitive) souls to which they are supposed to bring the unity of thought, are irrelevant as an explanation of intelligence in us and have no relation to our experience.
St Thomas's own view, which he holds to be also that of Aristotle, is that not only is the soul capable of true thought ("possessed of potential intellect"), but active intellect is a power of the soul of the soul which is the "form" of the body. The intellect is not, indeed, according to him, related to the body precisely as are the inferior powers of the soul; but intelligence is an attribute of the soul; and the soul is the form of the body. Such is the formula of St Thomas.
It is the great merit of Albert and St Thomas in relation to the questions about human reason and the human soul that they followed a psychological instead of a speculative and metaphysical mode of thought. We have already seen how the Aristotelian doctrine of soul and body as correlative aspects of one being had begun to make its way into the Christian schools, although in a confused and corrupted form. Simultaneously the schoolmen made acquaintance with a speculative system which had widely diverged from the primitive Peripatetic
standpoint, in the Arab commentaries, which were constantly in their hands. It was the Aristotelian psychology, in so far as they understood it and not, it must be confessed, without the admixture of a traditional and Neo-Platonic "spiritualism" that they employed against the metaphysical dualism of the Arabians.
We have just seen how St Thomas, by changing the venue of the discussion, and assuming the empirical and psychological point of view, swept away the speculative structure of Averroism.
The Dominicans of the thirteenth century followed Aristotle in considering the whole being of man as a unity. Corpus animatum was to them one concrete being, in which form and matter were mutually correlative. Analysing, with Aristotle, the human soul they found it to be at once "vegetative," "sensitive," and "intellectual "; but while these three powers (virtutes) were distinguishable in it, it remained for them one soul. It is true, however, that they did not carry out this method of thought with complete consistency; and, in attributing it to them, reservation must be made of their conception of the relation of virtus intellective to the body.
The metaphysical dualism of the Arabians was further super seded by a positive analysis of the various phases of human experience and a discovery of rational elements throughout it. Instead of abruptly distinguishing thought from sense-presenta tion, Albert and St Thomas traced the action of intelligence through all the activities of the mind in graduated stages which to them, characteristically, were stages of more and more complete abstraction. Thus "common sense" brought the data of sense to a first unity of presentation; next, imagination wrought upon sense-presentations; a preliminary act of generalisation followed,
known as cogitatio or compreJiensio, which was a comparison and a recognition of similarity (simile] without the formation of a logical notion (universale); finally, general notions were formed in an ascending scale of abstractness, up to pure "forms," intellecta speculate.
It was mainly, then, by a psychological method of enquiry in the Aristotelian sensethat the school of St Thomas reached their own doctrine of intelligence and of the intellectual soul in man. What, finally, was this doctrine?
In terms, the Dominicans adopted the Aristotelian formula, that the soul is the reality or essential being of body (forma corporis). And, up to a certain point, the Aristotelian conception was firmly grasped and cordially endorsed; the body could not be without the soul, nor the soul in so far as it is the form of the body apart from the body.
But this was not the whole of their doctrine. The soul was more than the form of the body. Or it was a "form" in an altogether singular and unique sense in short, a "separate" form. Here evidently was a conception foreign to the spirit of Aristotle, and arrived at by some method other than that of empirical analysis.
In similar terms Albert had taught that intelligence was essentially constitutive of the soul; the soul again was the
form of the body, but a "form" having a separate existence from that body; consequently, intelligence might be and was entirely independent of the body.
In this metaphysical realisation of the νοϋς ποιητικός we may with some confidence trace the influence of the Arabian dualism. The Dominican school had defended against the Arabians the rational nature of the soul of man. The principle of thought, they had said, must not be so separated from the nature of the human individual that man, as man, should cease to be regarded as a thinking being. Intelligence (intellectus agens) was to them a "part" of the soul. But still they stopped short of attributing reason to man regarded as a natural being. The soul, so far as possessed of reason (qua intellectiva or secundum potentiam intellectivam), was no longer the "form of body." Now Aristotle never ceases to regard the soul as the form of body. This interpretation, therefore, of his description of intelligence as "separate," namely, that the intellectual soul is not the form of body, was contrary both to the letter and to the spirit of Aristotle. It was contrary to his spirit and intention, which was to attribute to man as naturally existing and as empirically observable the possession of rational thought. But it was also contrary to his language, for he plainly calls the soul, as intellectual (_______) the form and realisation of body. The express intention of St Thomas was to separate intelligence from the body ( "Sic ergo intellectus separatus est" ). And his conception of the separateness of intelligence was still, like that of the Arabians, although in a different form, the conception of a real metaphysical separateness of a substantial something, existing separate from the body. For the Arabians, this substantial existence had been a cosmical being or principle intellectus agens; for St Thomas, it was the individual soul, as a substance possessing intellectus agens. The "separation" was in each case a real metaphysical separation. We see, then, that he did not mean exactly what Aristotle meant, in arguing against Averroes that intelligence is the "proper nature of man."
If St Thomas's conception of a "separate" intellectual soul shewed the influence of the metaphysical dualism of the Arabians, his descriptions of the nature of the soul as a "separable form" recall another set of ideas namely those which had been traditional in the schools from Neo-Platonic times and which were focussed in the notion of "spiritual substances." The origin of this conception has already been traced, and in particular its physical associations. Its prevalence throughout the Middle Ages has been indicated, for instance, in the Theologia Aristotelis. We have also seen the attempts that were made, even after the true Aristotelian doctrine of soul and body had begun to be known, to combine with it the notion of the independent and substantial soul. The soul, it was said, while the form of body, has also a mode of being, and specific activities, apart from body; the body again, while informed by the soul, has also its own "lower form" as well, and consequent separate existence. Finally Albert had regarded the soul as a substantial being separate from the body.
This combination of the essentially Platonic doctrine of the separate soul, in the Neo-Platonic shape of a "spiritual substance," with the Aristotelian thought of the soul as form of body, is represented in St Thomas's conception of a "separable form" as applied to the intellectual soul of man.
St Thomas expressly admits that this is a metaphysical view of man's being; and this separate substantial existence is, to his mind, the postulate of man's possession of intelligence (" major est dignitas hujus formae quam capacitas materiae"). He assumes an antagonism between matter and thought. Man's soul could not possess the power of thought if it were the form of body. Therefore it must be a self-subsistent, "separate" spiritual being.
Now in all this there is a fundamental departure from Aristotle, who had made no such assumption as is here contained; and there is also an abandonment of Aristotle's empirical method of enquiry about the soul. It was Pomponazzi, taking up again in earnest Aristotle's thought of anima intellectiva as still forma corporis, who first called St Thomas's conclusions in question.
Two aspects of St Thomas's doctrine in which Pomponazzi felt a special interest may be noted. His conception of self-subsistent forms afforded a ready escape from the ambiguity and obscurity in which Aristotle had left the question of the immortality of the soul. It is true that that question was not settled, even if it were determined that soul was more than the form
of a perishable body; for after all, the soul was in this life dependent for knowledge upon its corporeal instrument, and especially upon the presentation of the data of sense in imagination; and, besides, the individual soul only came into existence with the formation of the body. The further theory was therefore devised that the soul formed a "habit" of existence, during its embodied life, which persisted after its separation from the body. It was also easy, if not satisfactory, to imagine the possibility of some entirely different mode in which the soul should acquire knowledge after separation from the body.
This illustrates St Thomas's general conception of the relation of the soul to the body. We must remember that he nominally adhered to the formula "Soul the form of body." Accordingly, he conceded that "for its perfection" soul should be in union with body. But relation to a body was not essential to the intellectual soul; and St Thomas therefore expressed the relation of the soul, as intellectual, to body by the notion of aptitudo; it is capable of relation to body, and tends (so to speak) towards that relation; but it exists in its essential nature, even while that capability is not realised. It was not difficult for Pomponazzi to shew the difference between this idea and a definition of the soul by its relation to body as actus corporis.
Pomponazzi followed St Thomas in dismissing the theory of a unity of souls in the unity of intelligence, while maintaining the latter in a sense which neither of them analysed. In calling the soul the form of body he again had the great authority with him; and, once more, even to St Thomas, the soul which was forma corporis was the "intellectual soul," since the soul vegetative, sensitive, intellectual was one. But Pomponazzi made soul the form of body qua intellectiva; and in this he left St Thomas and returned to Aristotle. At the least, if a taint
of Averroism still clung to him, and the suspicion of an external union between intelligence and man, he denied the separate substantial existence of anima qua intellectiva.
There is a passage in the De imitate intellectus which exactly presents the point of departure for the discussions of Pomponazzi.
St Thomas is contending that the act of intelligence is not the act of the composite being man, but the act of the soul of the soul, that is, in its separation as intellectiva from the body; and he says: "Thought is said to be the act of the composite being, not per se but per accidens, namely, in so far as its object, which is an image, is in an organ of the body, not because the act is performed by means of an organ of the body."
Now in the first place we shall find Pomponazzi agreeing with St Thomas that intelligence, as such, is somehow independent of matter. We shall find him also saying, as we have already seen: "Intellectui qua intellectus est accidit esse in materia," etc. We shall find him asserting "intellectum non dependere a corpore tanquam de subjecto "; but "secundum essentiam ipsum intelligere esse in ipso intellectu."
On the other hand, St Thomas and Pomponazzi agree in accepting the Aristotelian doctrine that the objects of human knowledge are derived from sense through the medium of imagination. On every page of Pomponazzi we shall read "intellectum humanum dependere a corpore tanquam de objecto," "intelligere non esse sine phantasia."
Both also recognise the peculiar quality of thought as such, and its transcendence of all material limitations. Both express this in terms coloured by Averroism; and, with the whole Middle Ages, hold that the exercise of thought comes near to its perfection in proportion as it dispenses with a physical organ, and abstracts from all material contents.
But Pomponazzi and St Thomas differ in their conclusion as to the nature of the human soul. St Thomas argues that the soul must have some mode of being in which it has no essential connection with matter that, even while embodied, and de-
pendent upon sense and imagination, it must be a separate intellectual substance as well. Pomponazzi says: "The human soul must have one and only one mode of being; it is as it is determined to be." Like Aristotle, he attributes timeless intelligence to the soul which is the form of body. He might have quoted St Thomas's own words; for his is only a further application of the same positive and empirical method of analysis which St Thomas employed with effect against Averroes: "We should never investigate the nature of the intellect if we had not the power of thought; and when we investigate the nature of the intellect, what we investigate is simply the principle by which we think." We know no other soul, he says in effect, than that which we know as embodied and, while embodied, as possessed of thought. We know no other human intelligence than that which depends de objecto on the data and the avenues of sense.
While denying that the soul now has more than one mode of being, Pomponazzi saw no reason to suppose that it should or could ever have any other. St Thomas had said: "But if any one enquire further, if the intellect cannot act without an image, how then will it operate as an intelligence, after the soul has been separated from the body, the objector should understand that the solution of that question does not belong to the physicist" ; and these words contain the germ of Pomponazzi's argument against the immortality of the soul. The difficulty which really appeared formidable to him was the difficulty of conceiving the possibility that a soul, which was defined to be, and was only known as forma corporis, should exist in a disembodied state. That such a conclusion was on grounds of reason unprovable, and unthinkable, was all he ever expressly affirmed; although his reservation of other grounds on which it might be established was probably not meant in such good faith as that of St Thomas here.
- Averroes et l'averroisme, 3rd ed. pp. 89-91: "On ne doit pas d ailleurs se faire illusion sur Fimportance qu ont eu chez les Arabes les hommes specialement appeles philosophes. La philosophic n'a ete qu'un episode dans Phistoire de l'esprit arabe. Le veritable mouvement philosophique de I islamisme doit se chercher dans les sectes theologiques. . . Or les musulmans n ont jamais donne a cet ordre de discussions le nom de philosophic (filsafet). Ce nom ne designe pas chez eux la recherche de la verite en general, mais une secte, une ecole particuliere, la philosophic grecqjte et ceux qui l'etudient. ...Ce qu on appelle philosophic arabe n est qu une section assez restreinte du mouvement philosophique dans l'islamisme, a tel point que les musulmans eux-memes en ignoraient presque l'existence. . . Disons plutot que ce n est que par une tres-decevante equivoque, que l'on applique le nom de philosophic arabe a un ensemble de travaux entrepris par reaction centre l'arabisme, dans les parties de l'empire musulman les plus eloignees de la peninsule, Samarkand, Bokhara, Cordoue, Maroc. Cette philosophic est ecrite en arabe, parceque cette idiome etait devenue la langue savante et sacree de tous les pays musulmans; voila tout. Le veritable genie arabe, caracterise par la poesie des Kasidas et l'eloquence du Coran, etait absolument antipathique a la philosophic grecque. Renfermes, comme tous les peuples semitiques, dans le cercle etroit du lyrisme et du prophetisme, les habitants de la peninsule arabique n ont jamais eu la moindre idee de ce qui pent's appeler science ou rationalisme. C'est lorsque l'esprit persan, represente par la dynastic des Abbasides, l'emporte sur l'esprit arabe, que la philosophic grecque penetre dans l'islam. . . Les origines de la philosophic arabe se rattachent ainsi a une opposition contre l'islam, et voila pourquoi la philosophic est toujours restee chez les musul mans une intrusion etrangere, un essai avorte et sans consequence pour l'education intellectuelle des peuples de l'Orient."
- Jourdain (Recherches, pp. 214-216) considers the influence of the Arabians to be at least co-ordinate in importance with the fall of Constantinople, so far as the philosophical treasures of antiquity are concerned, and their effect upon the modern world.
- "On pent dire," says Renan, in summing up the evidence on this point, "que l'origine de la philosophic arabe, aussi bien que de la scolastique, doit etre cherchee dans le mouvement qui porte la seconde generation de l'ecole d Alexandrie vers le peripatetisme....C est sur ce prolongement peripatetique de l'ecole d Alexandrie qu il faut chercher le point de jonction de la philosophic arabe avec la philosophic grecque." (Cf. cit. pp. 92, 93.) Accordingly, and since it was characteristic of the Arabian school that the main features of its doctrine remained unchanged throughout its history, Munk remarks of Averroes, its last and most truly representative master: "Comme les autres philosophies arabes, Ibn-Roschd a vu les doctrines d Aristote par le prisme des commentateurs neoplatoniciens." Melanges, p. 441.
- See Munk, op. cit. p. 312; Jourdain, op. cit. p. 81; Renan, of. cit. p. 91.
- "On traduisit d aborcl des ouvrages de mathematiques, de medecine et d astro- nomie, puis on en vint aux traites de Logique et de Metaphysique. Aristote ne put etre oublie, car depuis longtemps les nestoriens's etaient rendu ses ecrits familiers, et y puisaient des armes pour combattre les decisions des conciles d Ephese et de Chalcedoine." Jourdain, op. fit. p. 85.
- Munk, op. cit. pp. 312, 313.
- Renan, op. cit. p. 93. "Les Arabes ont accepte la culture grecque telle qu elle leur est arrivee."
- Munk, op. cit. p. 240.
- Op. cit. p. 72, note 4.
- Op. cit. pp. 1-261; and especially pp. 235 240.
- "On ne peut douter que le soufisme, qu on le tienne pour originaire de la Perse cm de I lnde, n ait eu sa part dans la formation des theories de l'union avec l'intellect actif et de l'absorption finale." Renan, op. cit. p. 94.
- The only exception is Gazali's curious reaction, and sceptical confounding of reason in the interests of mysticism. Averroes, who stands as the chief representative of Arab thought, really only summed up, and passed on to the Western world, with doubtless some individual modifications, the system which had been handed down by his predecessors. Cf. Renan, op. cit. p. 2, "le Boece de la philosophic arabe"; p. 88, "reste seul en vue comme representant de la philosophic arabe, Ibn-Roschd eut la fortune des derniers venus."
- For example, in Plotinus: "Dabei soil aber die Vernunft in alien Seelen als dem Wesen und der Substanz nach eine betrachtet werden, die sich nicht in den Körpern spaltet, in derselben Weise, wie trotz der Individualisirung die Allseele in den vielen doch eine Substanz bildet, ahnlich wie die Wissenschaft trotz ihrer Spaltung in eine Vielheit von Satzen doch in jedem derselben als die eine und einheitliche vorhanden sein soil." (Siebeck, Gesch. d. Psych. I. 2, p. 316.)
- Munk, Melanges, p. 345.
- Munk, op. cit. pp. 346-9.
- Munk, op. cit. pp. 364, 365; Siebeck, op. cit. I. 2, p. 437.
- Munk, op. cit. p. 387.
- For example, Avempace (Munk, in Dict, des Sc. Phil. III. p. 154) and Averroes (Renan, Averroes, p. 67: "Qualiter intellectus materialis conjungatur intelligentiae abstractae" ). Cf. Avicenna (Munk, Melanges, p. 365); Avicebron, Pans Vitae, III. (Munk, op. cit. p. 16).
- "Dans la theorie des Intelligences separees, telle qu elle est presentee par les philosophies arabes, on reconnait un melange des theories aristoteliques sur le mouve- ment des spheres celestes et de la doctrine neoplatonicienne de l'emanation et des hypostases." Munk, op. cit. p. 331.
- Renan, op. cit. p. 118.
- Nourrisson, Alex. d'Aphrod. p. 87.
- Munk, op. cit. pp. 127 (note 2), 332, 450 (note 1); Siebeck, Gesch. d. Psych. I. 2, p. 438.
- Cf. Dante, Purg. xxv., referring to Averroes, "The soul disjoined from passive intellect."
- Renan, Averroes, pp. 133 ff., followed by Nourrisson, Alex. d'Aphrod. pp. 112, 113. Renan, noticing Averroes use of the argument for a subjectum, assumed that he rejected the doctrines of Alexander. In fact, he did the very contrary. And Munk is able to quote his formal retractation of opinions, previously expressed, and final assertion that the passive intelligence is pure potentiality (op. cit. p. 442); and to supply us with translations from the (unpublished) Arabic version of the "medium" commentary on the De Anima which are at present the most authentic account of Averroes attitude towards this fundamental question of his philosophy (pp. 44-59).
- One of the passages quoted by Munk makes this clear. His further examination of the words of Aristotle, he says, has convinced him that the potential intellect cannot be anything actual cannot be a substance with attributes, a thing in actuality, one particular "form among others." Munk is surely wrong in translating "l'intellect hylique, considere comme une substance recevant une faculte, ne saurait etre une chose en acte, etc." The words _______ surely mean rather: "The potential intellect cannot possibly be the substance endowed with (lit. receiving) attributes, in which consists (lit. is) a thing in perfect actualization that is to say a form among forms." Op. cit. pp. 442, 443.
- Munk, op. cit. p. 448.
- De Imm. x. p. 80: "Ipsum intelligere quodam modo est in materia sed satis accidentaliter, quoniam intellectui qua intellectus est accidit esse in materia." ix. p. 66: "Intellectus etiam qua intellectus nullo modo est actus corpus organic! at intellectus humanus qua humanus est actus corporis organic! ut objecti, et sic non sepa- ratur, non autem ut subjecti et sic separatur." ix. p. 59: "qua intellectus est non dependet a materia neque a quantitate; quod si humanus intellectus ab ea dependet, hoc est ut sensui conjunctus est, quare accidit sibi qua intellectus est a materia et quantitate dependere." But intelligence, even in the higher sense thus distinguished, in which it does not inhere in matter but has its subjectum in itself ( "ipsum intelligere esse in ipso intellectu" ) is definitely attributed to the human soul , "Dicitur vere secundum essentiam ipsum intelligere esse in ipso intellectu, juxta illud 3 De Anima, anima est locus specierum, non tota sed intellectus." x. p. 79.
- See note 1, p. 41.
- Apol. I. 3, f. 59 b: "Non dependere a materia tanquam de subjecto; immedia- tum enim subjectum intellectionis et volitionis sunt intellectus et voluntas, quae non sunt organicae." Or the same thought was turned to Pomponazzi's purpose in another form of expression: "Etsi (intellectus) est in quantitate, tamen quantitas non est principium illius operationis." De Imm. x. p. 78.
- Jourdain, Recherches, p. 89.
- Jourdain, op. cit. p. 92.
- See Munk, Melanges, pp. 320-326.
- St Thomas, Opera, 1593, Vol. XVII.
- "Intellectum non esse animam quae est nostri corporis forma, neque partem ipsius, sed aliquid secundum substantiam separatum." St Thomas, op. fit. f. 102 c G.
- "Nunquam enim de intellectu quaereremus, nisi intelligeremus: nee cum quaerimus de intellectu, de alio principle quaerimus, quam de eo quo nos intelligimus." Op. cit. f. 101 a E.
- "Intellectus possibilis continuatur nobis per formam suam." Op. cit. f. 101 b B.
- "Manifestum est autem quod terminus considerationis naturalis est intellectus; secundum autem dictum Averrois intellectus non continuatur homini secundum suam generationem, sed secundum operationem sensus." Op. cit. f. 101 b c.
- "Sicut speculatum continuatur homini cujus species resultat in speculo."
- "Unde nee actio intellectus possibilis propter praedictam copulationem posset attribui huic homini... ut hie homo intelligeret." Op. cit. f. 101 b E.
- "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 aliquis sentit: unde paries, in quo est color, cujus species sensibilis in actu est, in visu videtur, non videt; animal autem habens potentiam visivam in qua est tails 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 intelligent, sed quod eius phantasmata intelligerentur ab intellectu possibili. Impossibile est ergo salvari quod hie homo intelligat, secundum positionem Averroys. Op. cit. f. 101 b E, c F.
- "Manifestum est enim quod hie homo singularis intelligit. Numquam enim de intellectu quaereremus, nisi intelligeremus, nee 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." Op. cit. f. 101, a E b A.
- "Detur ergo quod intellectus moveat animam Sortis (an imaginary person the John Doe or Richard Roe of scholastic discussions), vel illustrando, vel quocumque modo, hoc quod est relictum ab impressione intellectus in Sorte est primum quo Sortes intelligit." Op. cit. f. 101 d E.
- St Thomas's meaning may be illustrated by the following sentence from the Sttmiiia (quoted by Rousselot, xi. p. 252): "Intellectus noster possibilis reducitur de potentia ad actum per aliquod ens actu, id est per intellectum agentem qui est virtus quaedam animae nostrae, ut dictum est: non autem per aliquem intellectum separatum, sicut per causam proximam; sed forte sicut per causam remotam." And so he concludes in the passage under examination "Dato ergo quod sit aliquis intellectus separatus movens Sortem, tamen oportet quod ille intellectus possibilis de quo Aristoteles loquitur sit in anima Sortis, sicut et sensus qui est in potentia ad omnia sensibilis, quo Sortes sentit." Op. cit. f. 102 a A.
- "Si oculus esset principale in homine, qui uteretur omnibus potentiis animae et partibus corporis quasi instruments, multi habentes unum oculum essent unus videns." St Thomas, op. cit. f. 102 d E, G.
- "Manifestum est autem quod intellectus est id quod est principale in homine, et quod utitur omnibus potentiis animae et membris corporis tanquam organis: propter hoc Aristoteles subtiliter dixit, quod homo est intellectus maxime. Si igitur sit unus intellectus omnium, ex necessitate sequitur quod sit unus intelligens, et per consequens unus volens, etc." Op. cit. f. 102 d G.
- "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, in operatione intellectual! diversificetur." Op. cit. f. 102 d i.
- "Phantasmata enim preambula sunt actioni intellectus, sicut colores actioni visus: unde per eorum diversitatem non diversificatur actio intellectus Sed in duobus qui idem sciunt et intelligunt ipsa operatio intellectualis per diversitatem phantasmatum nullatenus djversificari potest." Op. cit. f. 102 d K
- "Per phantasmata nullius species intelligibiles sunt acquisitae intellects possibili, sed sunt species intelligibiles intellectus possibilis aeternae." St Thomas, op, cit. f. 103 a E.
- "Omnino disparatae, et nihil proportionale habentes." Op. cit. f. 103 b p.
- "Sic igitur per ea quae ex verbis Aristotelis accipere possumus usuque hue manifestum est quod ipse voluit intellectum esse partem animae, quae est actus corporis physici." (Op. cit. f. 98 c G, H.) "Non solum Latini...sed et Graeci et Arabes hoc senserunt quod intellectus sit pars, vel potentia sive virtus animae quae est corporis forma.. ..Intellectus est potentia animae quae est corporis forma, licet ipsa potentia quae est intellectus non sit alicujus organi actus, quia nihil ipsius operationi communicat corporalis operatic." (f. 101 a c, D.) "Oportet igitur ipsum intellectum uniri corpori ut formam, non quidem ita quod ipsa intellectiva potentia sit alicujus organi actus, sed quia est virtus animae, quae est actus corporis physici organici." (f. 102 b A.) Cf. Su/tima, Qu. 84, Art. 2.
- Rousselot, Etudes, II. p. 203: "En general, toute cette psychologic qu Albert-le-Grand emprunte a Aristote, et surtout a ses commentateurs arabes, est beaucoup plus vicieuse dans la forme que pour le fond; elle a du moins le merite d indiquer une etude complete de l'homme, de l'observer dans son physique comme dans tous les autres rapports, non seulement comme un etre doue d intelligence et d activite, mais comme un etre qui croit, qui se nourrit, qui se meut et se rattache ainsi a la serie des etres qui lui sont inferieurs; ce point de vue large et rationel, si different de la psychologic spiritualiste introduite clepuis, est remarquable dans les theologiens du moyen age, en cela bien plus fideles aux grandes traditions de la science que les hommes qui ont renverse la scolastique."
- Cf. Siebeck, Gesch. d. Psych. I. 2, pp. 441, 442.
- This did not, of course, mean the method of introspection. Introspection was not altogether neglected by the Peripatetic and mediaeval psychologists. But it was not sufficiently employed by them; nor had its nature and use been defined by analysis. It is perhaps one of the merits of their psychology that it did not make introspection the exclusive instrument of psychological enquiry.
- "Nulla pars corporis potest diffiniri sine parte aliqua animae, et recedente anima nee oculus nee caro dicitur nisi aequivoce." (St Thomas, op. cit. f. 102 a D.) And again "Forma corporis non potest esse sine corpore." Op. cit. f. 99 b D.
- It was as possessed of intelligence that soul was to St Thomas something more than the form of body. Anima was forma corporis, but not qtta intellectiva. On the contrary, intelligence was a power (virtus) of the soul (which was the form of body), but itself in no sense a power of body. This was the distinction; "Non enim dicimus animam humanam esse formam corporis secundum intellectivam potentiam" (op. cit. f. io2bD); "Oportet ipsum (intellectum) 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" (op. cit. f. 102 b A); "Ultima formarum.quae est anima humana, habet virtutem totaliter supergredientem materiam corporalem, scilicet intellectum. Sic ergo intellectus separatus est, quia non est virtus in corpore, sed est virtus in anima: anima autem est actus corporis." Op. cit. f. 99 a E.
- See Siebeck, Gesch. d. Psych. I. 2, p. 442.
- "Propria autem operatic hominis, in quantum est homo, est intelligere. Per hoc enim differt ah aliis animalibus, et immo 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." St Thomas, op. cit. f. 102 b A.
- See Siebeck, Gesch. d. Psych. I. i, p. 442.
- St Thomas distinguishes two kinds of "forms." (α) "Formae... quae nullam operationem habent sine conjunctione suae materiae, ipsae non operantur, sed compositum est, quod operatur per formam. Unde hujusmodi formae ipsae quidem proprie loquendo non sunt, sed eis aliquid est." (β) "Forma., quae habet operationem secundum aliquam sui potentiam, vel virtutem absque communicatione suae materiae, ipsa est quae habet esse; nee est per esse compositi tantum, sicut aliae formae, sed magis compositum est per esse ejus: et ideo destructo composite destruitur ilia forma quae est esse compositi; non autem oportet quod destruatur ad compositi destructionem ilia forma per cuius esse est compositum, et non ipsa per esse com positi." Op. cit. f. 99 c I K, d F.
Now the first (α) is "form" in Aristotle's sense—in the sense in which "soul is the form of body." And St Thomas rightly says that forms in that sense "are not" ( "non sunt, sed eis aliquid est" ); for "form" without matter is an abstraction, and as an abstraction does not really exist.
As to the "form" (β), "quae habet esse," and which exists "destructo composite," this is a platonising hypostasis. If there could be evidence for the existence of such a "spiritual substance," it would in any case be incorrect to call it in Aristotelian language a "form."
- "Physicus considerat formam in quantum est in materia Naturalis in tantum considerat formam, in quantum est in materia.... Forma ergo hominis est in materia, et est separata. In materia quidem secundum esse quod dat corpori;... separata autem secundum virtutem, quae est propria homini, scilicet secundum intellectum." Op. cit. f. 99 b B c.
- "Si essentia animae humanae sic esset forma materiae, quod non per esse suum esset, sed per esse compositi sicut est de aliis formis." Op, cit. f. 102 b E.
- Cf. Siebeck: "In der That ist der Aristotelismus des Thomas ihm selbst unbewusst unterdem christlichen Einflusse nicht unbetrachtlich nach dem platonischen Dualismus hin abgebogen. Thomas glaubt in seiner Grundansicht liber das Verhaltniss von Leib und Seele nichts anderes als Aristoteliker zu sein....Aber er ist ersichtlich geneigt, die aristotelische Fassung des Seelenbegriffes der Bedeutung des Geistigen im Sinne Plato's anzunahern. Sie soil als Form doch zugleich eine durch sich selbst bestehende und wirkende Substanz sein, um der hohern Stufe gemass, welche sie unter den Daseinsformen einnimmt, die Materie zu beherrschen und zu iibersteigen. Eine Abweichung von Aristoteles, fiir den es eine Vielheit von Formen ohne Materie nicht giebt, liegt namentlich in seiner Unterscheidung von subsistenten und inharenten Formen." Siebeck, Gesch. d. Psych, p. 450. Cp. p. 472.
- Levi-ben-Gerson proposed to reconcile the Aristotelian doctrine of knowledge through the senses with the immortality of the soul by the supposition that knowledge and all growth are entirely stationary after death. (Cf. Franck, Journal des Savants, March, 1869.)
- "Concedimus quod anima humana a corpore separata non habet ultimam perfectionem suae naturae." St Thomas, op. cit. f. 104 b D.
- "Non est animae humanae finis movere corpus, sed intelligere." Ibid.
- "Intelligere dicitur esse actus conjunct! non per se, sed per accidens, in quantum scilicet ejus objectum, quod est phantasma, est in organo corporali, non quod iste actus per organum corporale exerceatur." Op. cit. f. 99 d G.
- "Nunquam de intellectu quaereremus, nisi intelligeremus: nee cum quaerimus de intellect!!, de alio principio quaerimus, quam de eo quo nos intelligimus." Op. cit. f. 101 a E.
- "Si quis autem quaerat ulterius, si intellectus sine phantasmate non intelligit, quomodo ergo habebit operationem intellectualem, postquam fuerit anima corpore separata, scire debet qui haec objicit quod istam quaestionem solvere non pertinet ad naturalem." Op. cit. f. 99 d H.