3. The higher nature in its lowest manifestation touches the next lower nature in its highest. But intelligent nature is higher than corporeal, and at the same time touches it in some part, which is the intelligent soul. As then the body perfected by the intelligent soul is highest in the genus of bodies, so the intelligent soul united to the body must be lowest in the genus of subsistent intelligences. There are then subsistent intelligences not united with bodies, superior in the order of nature to the soul.*
7. The substance of a thing must be proportionate to its activity, because activity is the actualisation and perfection of an active substance. But understanding is the proper activity of an intelligent substance. Therefore an intelligent substance must be competent for such activity. But understanding is an activity not exercised through any bodily organ, and not needing the body except in so far as objects of understanding are borrowed from objects of sense. But that is an imperfect mode of understanding: the perfect mode of understanding is the understanding of those objects which are in themselves intelligible: whereas it is an imperfect mode of understanding when those things only are understood, which are not of themselves intelligible, but are rendered intelligible by intellect.* If then before everything imperfect there must be something perfect in that kind,* there must be antecedently to human souls, which understand what they gather from phantasms, sundry subsistent intelligences which understand things in themselves intelligible, not gathering their knowledge from sensible objects, and therefore in their nature separate from anything corporeal.
2.88, 89 : Arguments against the Truth of the Conclusion last drawn, with their Solution
2.93 : That Intelligences Subsisting apart are not more than One in the same Species