Of God and His Creatures

Solution of the Arguments alleged to show that a Subsistent Intelligence cannot be united with a Body as the Form of that Body*

The arguments wherewith Averroes endeavours to establish his opinion do not prove that the subsistent intelligence is not united with the body as the form of the same.

1. The words of Aristotle about the potential intellect, that it is "impassible, unmixed, and separate,"* do not necessitate the admission that the intellectual substance is not united with the body as its form, giving it being. They are sufficiently verified by saying that the intellectual faculty, which Aristotle calls the 'speculative faculty,'* is not the actualisation of any organ, as exercising its activity through that organ.

2. Supposing the substance of the soul to be united in being with the body as the form of the body, while still the intellect is not the actualisation of any organ, it does not follow that intellect falls under the law of physical determination, as do sensible and material things: for we do not suppose intellect to be a harmony, or function (ratio, logos) of any organ, as Aristotle says that sense is.*

3. That Aristotle is saying that the intellect is 'unmingled,' or 'separate,' does not intend to exclude it from being a part, or faculty, of the soul, which soul is the form of the whole body, is evident from this passage, where he is arguing against those who said that there were different parts of the soul in different parts of the body: -- "If the whole soul keeps together the body as a whole, it is fitting that each part of the soul should keep together some part of the body: but this looks like an impossibility: for it is difficult even to imagine what part of the body the intellect shall keep together, or how."*

2.68 : How a Subsistent Intelligence may be the Form of a Body
2.73 : That the Potential Intellect is not One and the Same in all men