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CHAPTER LXIXSolution of the Arguments alleged to show that a Subsistent Intelligence cannot be united with a Body as the Form of that Body371371The first part of this chapter has been already translated along with Chap. LVI. What now follow are answers to the arguments of Averroes in Chap. LIX.

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,”372372χωριστὸς καὶ ἀμιγὴς καὶ ἀπαθής (De Anima, III, v.2), words generally understood of the active intellect, but by Averroes applied to the potential. However in III, iv, 2, 3, the potential intellect is called ἀπαθές and ἀμιγῆ. 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,’373373περὶ δὲ τοῦ νοῦ καὶ τῆς θεωρητικῆς δυνάμεως. De anima, II, ii, 10. 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, γόλος) of any organ, as Aristotle says that sense is.374374Somewhat obscurely in De anima, II, xii, 2, 3.

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.”375375   De anima, I, v, 29, where Aristotle seems to assume that intellect is a part, μόριον, of the soul. Averroes however might have replied that is a mere argumentum ad hominem against Plato, who did suppose so. In n. 25 however Aristotle says clearly, τὸ γινώσκειν τῆς ψυχῆς ἐστί, κ.τ.λ., which see. But Aristotle is so careless a writer, so regardless of his own injunctions and definitions, that the minute analysis of his language, far from settling a point, may be positively misleading. In reading him you have often to think, not so much of what he says, as of what on his own showing he should say.
   When St Thomas teaches that the soul is the form of the body by its substance, but not by the faculty of intelligence, he supposes a real distinction between the soul and its faculties, a distinction not admitted by the earlier scholastics, sometimes called ‘Augustinians.’ In his ruling that the intelligence has no corporeal organ, one naturally thinks of the brain. But the brain, in the Aristotelian system, had quite another function; it acted as a refrigerator to cool down the vital heat of the body. See the curious chapter, De partibus animalium, II, 7. St Thomas however assigned to the brain some share in sensory processes: see De potentiis animae, cap. iv, quoted in Dr Maher’s Psychology, pp. 568-9, ed. 4.

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