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III. Whether the Soul is a Substance.

That the soul is a substance,448448    οὐσία. is proved in the following manner. In the first place, because the definition given to the term substance suits it very well. And that definition is to the effect, that substance is that which, being ever identical, and ever one in point of numeration with itself, is yet capable of taking on contraries in succession.449449    τῶν ἐναντίων παραμέρος εἰναι δεκτικόν, παραμέρος, here apparently = in turn, though usually = out of turn. And that this soul, without passing the limit of its own proper nature, takes on contraries in succession, is, I fancy, clear to everybody. For righteousness and unrighteousness, courage and cowardice, temperance and intemperance, are seen in it successively; and these are contraries. If, then, it is the property of a substance to be capable of taking on contraries in succession, and if the soul is shown to sustain the definition in these terms, it follows that the soul is a substance. And in the second place, because if the body is a substance, the soul must also be a substance. For it cannot be, that what only has life imparted should be a substance, and that what imparts the life should be no substance: unless one should assert that the non-existent is the cause of the existent; or unless, again, one were insane enough to allege that the dependent object is itself the cause of that very thing in which it has its being, and without which it could not subsist.450450    The text has an apparent inversion: τὸ ἐν ᾧ τὴν ὕπαρξιν ἔχον καὶ οὗ ἄνευ εἶναι μὴ δυνάμενον, αἴτιον ἐκείνου εἶναι τοῦ ἐν ᾧ ἐστί. There is also a variety of reading: καὶ ὁ ἄνευ τοῦ εἶναι μὴ δυνάμενον.


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