Of God and His Creatures

That the aforesaid Tenet is contrary to the Mind of Aristotle

ARISTOTLE defines soul, "the first actuality of a natural, organic body, potentially alive"; and adds, "this definition applies universally to every soul." Nor does he, as the aforesaid Averroes pretends, put forth this latter remark in a tentative way, as may be seen from the Greek copies and the translation of Boethius. Afterwards in the same chapter he adds that there are "certain parts of the soul separable," and these are none other than the intellectual parts. The conclusion remains that the said parts are actualisations of the body.*

2. Nor is this explanation inconsistent with Aristotle's words subjoined: "About the intellect and the speculative faculty the case is not yet clear: but it seems to be another kind of soul."* He does not hereby mean to separate the intellect from the common definition of 'soul,' but from the peculiar natures of the other parts of soul: as one who says that fowls are a different sort of animal from land animals, does not take away from the fowl the common definition of 'animal.' Hence, to show in what respect he called it "another kind," he adds: "And of this alone is there possibility of separation, as of the everlasting from the perishable." Nor is it the intention of Aristotle, as the Commentator aforesaid pretends, to say that it is not yet clear whether intellect be soul at all, as it is clear of other and lower vital principles. For the old text has not, "Nothing has been declared," or "Nothing has been said," but "Nothing is clear," which is to be understood as referring to the peculiar properties of intellect, not to the general definition (of soul). But if, as the Commentator says, the word 'soul' is used not in the same sense of intellect and other varieties, Aristotle would have first distinguished the ambiguity and then made his definition, as his manner is: otherwise his argument would rest on an ambiguity, an intolerable procedure in demonstrative sciences.

3. Aristotle reckons 'intellect' among the 'faculties' of the soul.* Also, in the passage last quoted, he names 'the speculative faculty.' Intellect therefore is not outside the human soul, but is a faculty thereof.

4. Also, when beginning to speak of the potential intellect, he calls it a part of the soul, saying: "Concerning the part of the soul whereby the soul has knowledge and intellectual consciousness."*

5. And still more clearly by what follows, declaring the nature of the potential intellect: "I call intellect that whereby the soul thinks and under stands":* in which it is manifestly shown that the intellect is something belonging to the human soul.

The above tenet (of Averroes) therefore is contrary to the mind of Aristotle and contrary to the truth: hence it should be rejected as chimerical.*

2.60 : That a Man is not a member of the Human Species by possession of Passive Intellect, but by possession of Potential Intellect
2.62 : Against the Opinion of Alexander concerning the Potential Intellect