QUESTION 77: OF THOSE THINGS WHICH BELONG TO THE POWERS OF THE SOUL IN GENERAL
We proceed to consider those things which belong to the powers of the
soul; first, in general, secondly, in particular. Under the first head
there are eight points of inquiry:
(1) Whether the essence of the soul is its power?
(2) Whether there is one power of the soul, or several?
(3) How the powers of the soul are distinguished from one another?
(4) Of the orders of the powers, one to another;
(5) Whether the powers of the soul are in it as in their subject?
(6) Whether the powers flow from the essence of the soul?
(7) Whether one power rises from another?
(8) Whether all the powers of the soul remain in the soul after death?
Article 1: Whether the essence of the soul is its power?
Objection 1: It would seem that the essence of the soul is its power. For Augustine says (De Trin. ix, 4), that "mind, knowledge, and love are in the soul substantially, or, which is the same thing, essentially": and (De Trin. x, 11), that "memory, understanding, and will are one life, one mind, one essence."
Objection 2: Further, the soul is nobler than primary matter. But primary
matter is its own potentiality. Much more therefore is the soul its own
Objection 3: Further, the substantial form is simpler than the accidental
form; a sign of which is that the substantial form is not intensified or
relaxed, but is indivisible. But the accidental form is its own power.
Much more therefore is that substantial form which is the soul.
Objection 4: Further, we sense by the sensitive power and we understand by the
intellectual power. But "that by which we first sense and understand" is
the soul, according to the Philosopher (De Anima ii, 2). Therefore the
soul is its own power.
Objection 5: Further, whatever does not belong to the essence is an accident.
Therefore if the power of the soul is something else besides the essence
thereof, it is an accident, which is contrary to Augustine, who says that
the foregoing (see OBJ 1) "are not in the soul as in a subject as color
or shape, or any other quality, or quantity, are in a body; for whatever
is so, does not exceed the subject in which it is: Whereas the mind can
love and know other things" (De Trin. ix, 4).
Objection 6: Further, " a simple form cannot be a subject." But the soul is a
simple form; since it is not composed of matter and form, as we have said
above (Question , Article ). Therefore the power of the soul cannot be in it as
in a subject.
Objection 7: Further, an accident is not the principle of a substantial
difference. But sensitive and rational are substantial differences; and
they are taken from sense and reason, which are powers of the soul.
Therefore the powers of the soul are not accidents; and so it would seem
that the power of the soul is its own essence.
On the contrary, Dionysius (Coel. Hier. xi) says that "heavenly spirits
are divided into essence, power, and operation." Much more, then, in the
soul is the essence distinct from the virtue or power.
I answer that, It is impossible to admit that the power of the soul is
its essence, although some have maintained it. For the present purpose
this may be proved in two ways. First, because, since power and act
divide being and every kind of being, we must refer a power and its act
to the same genus. Therefore, if the act be not in the genus of
substance, the power directed to that act cannot be in the genus of
substance. Now the operation of the soul is not in the genus of
substance; for this belongs to God alone, whose operation is His own
substance. Wherefore the Divine power which is the principle of His
operation is the Divine Essence itself. This cannot be true either of the
soul, or of any creature; as we have said above when speaking of the
angels (Question , Article ). Secondly, this may be also shown to be impossible
in the soul. For the soul by its very essence is an act. Therefore if the
very essence of the soul were the immediate principle of operation,
whatever has a soul would always have actual vital actions, as that which
has a soul is always an actually living thing. For as a form the soul is
not an act ordained to a further act, but the ultimate term of
generation. Wherefore, for it to be in potentiality to another act, does
not belong to it according to its essence, as a form, but according to
its power. So the soul itself, as the subject of its power, is called the
first act, with a further relation to the second act. Now we observe that
what has a soul is not always actual with respect to its vital
operations; whence also it is said in the definition of the soul, that it
is "the act of a body having life potentially"; which potentiality,
however, "does not exclude the soul." Therefore it follows that the
essence of the soul is not its power. For nothing is in potentiality by
reason of an act, as act.
Reply to Objection 1: Augustine is speaking of the mind as it knows and loves
itself. Thus knowledge and love as referred to the soul as known and
loved, are substantially or essentially in the soul, for the very
substance or essence of the soul is known and loved. In the same way are
we to understand what he says in the other passage, that those things are
"one life, one mind, one essence." Or, as some say, this passage is true
in the sense in which the potential whole is predicated of its parts,
being midway between the universal whole, and the integral whole. For the
universal whole is in each part according to its entire essence and
power; as animal in a man and in a horse; and therefore it is properly
predicated of each part. But the integral whole is not in each part,
neither according to its whole essence, nor according to its whole power.
Therefore in no way can it be predicated of each part; yet in a way it is
predicated, though improperly, of all the parts together; as if we were
to say that the wall, roof, and foundations are a house. But the
potential whole is in each part according to its whole essence, not,
however, according to its whole power. Therefore in a way it can be
predicated of each part, but not so properly as the universal whole. In
this sense, Augustine says that the memory, understanding, and the will
are the one essence of the soul.
Reply to Objection 2: The act to which primary matter is in potentiality is the
substantial form. Therefore the potentiality of matter is nothing else
but its essence.
Reply to Objection 3: Action belongs to the composite, as does existence; for to
act belongs to what exists. Now the composite has substantial existence
through the substantial form; and it operates by the power which results
from the substantial form. Hence an active accidental form is to the
substantial form of the agent (for instance, heat compared to the form of
fire) as the power of the soul is to the soul.
Reply to Objection 4: That the accidental form is a principle of action is due
to the substantial form. Therefore the substantial form is the first
principle of action; but not the proximate principle. In this sense the
Philosopher says that "the soul is that whereby we understand and sense."
Reply to Objection 5: If we take accident as meaning what is divided against
substance, then there can be no medium between substance and accident;
because they are divided by affirmation and negation, that is, according
to existence in a subject, and non-existence in a subject. In this sense,
as the power of the soul is not its essence, it must be an accident; and
it belongs to the second species of accident, that of quality. But if we
take accident as one of the five universals, in this sense there is a
medium between substance and accident. For the substance is all that
belongs to the essence of a thing; whereas whatever is beyond the essence
of a thing cannot be called accident in this sense; but only what is not
caused by the essential principle of the species. For the 'proper' does
not belong to the essence of a thing, but is caused by the essential
principles of the species; wherefore it is a medium between the essence
and accident thus understood. In this sense the powers of the soul may be
said to be a medium between substance and accident, as being natural
properties of the soul. When Augustine says that knowledge and love are
not in the soul as accidents in a subject, this must be understood in the
sense given above, inasmuch as they are compared to the soul, not as
loving and knowing, but as loved and known. His argument proceeds in this
sense; for if love were in the soul loved as in a subject, it would
follow that an accident transcends its subject, since even other things
are loved through the soul.
Reply to Objection 6: Although the soul is not composed of matter and form, yet
it has an admixture of potentiality, as we have said above (Question , Article , ad 4); and for this reason it can be the subject of an accident. The
statement quoted is verified in God, Who is the Pure Act; in treating of
which subject Boethius employs that phrase (De Trin. i).
Reply to Objection 7: Rational and sensitive, as differences, are not taken from
the powers of sense and reason, but from the sensitive and rational soul
itself. But because substantial forms, which in themselves are unknown to
us, are known by their accidents; nothing prevents us from sometimes
substituting accidents for substantial differences.
Article 2: Whether there are several powers of the soul?
Objection 1: It would seem that there are not several powers of the soul. For
the intellectual soul approaches nearest to the likeness of God. But in
God there is one simple power: and therefore also in the intellectual
Objection 2: Further, the higher a power is, the more unified it is. But the
intellectual soul excels all other forms in power. Therefore above all
others it has one virtue or power.
Objection 3: Further, to operate belongs to what is in act. But by the one
essence of the soul, man has actual existence in the different degrees of
perfection, as we have seen above (Question , Articles ,4). Therefore by the one
power of the soul he performs operations of various degrees.
On the contrary, The Philosopher places several powers in the soul (De
Anima ii, 2,3).
I answer that, Of necessity we must place several powers in the soul. To
make this evident, we observe that, as the Philosopher says (De Coelo ii,
12), the lowest order of things cannot acquire perfect goodness, but they
acquire a certain imperfect goodness, by few movements; and those which
belong to a higher order acquire perfect goodness by many movements; and
those yet higher acquire perfect goodness by few movements; and the
highest perfection is found in those things which acquire perfect
goodness without any movement whatever. Thus he is least of all disposed
of health, who can only acquire imperfect health by means of a few
remedies; better disposed is he who can acquire perfect health by means
of many remedies; and better still, he who can by few remedies; best of
all is he who has perfect health without any remedies. We conclude,
therefore, that things which are below man acquire a certain limited
goodness; and so they have a few determinate operations and powers. But
man can acquire universal and perfect goodness, because he can acquire
beatitude. Yet he is in the last degree, according to his nature, of
those to whom beatitude is possible; therefore the human soul requires
many and various operations and powers. But to angels a smaller variety
of powers is sufficient. In God there is no power or action beyond His
There is yet another reason why the human soul abounds in a variety of
powers---because it is on the confines of spiritual and corporeal
creatures; and therefore the powers of both meet together in the soul.
Reply to Objection 1: The intellectual soul approaches to the Divine likeness,
more than inferior creatures, in being able to acquire perfect goodness;
although by many and various means; and in this it falls short of more
Reply to Objection 2: A unified power is superior if it extends to equal things:
but a multiform power is superior to it, if it is over many things.
Reply to Objection 3: One thing has one substantial existence, but may have
several operations. So there is one essence of the soul, with several
Article 3: Whether the powers are distinguished by their acts and objects?
Objection 1: It would seem that the powers of the soul are not distinguished
by acts and objects. For nothing is determined to its species by what is
subsequent and extrinsic to it. But the act is subsequent to the power;
and the object is extrinsic to it. Therefore the soul's powers are not
specifically distinct by acts and objects.
Objection 2: Further, contraries are what differ most from each other.
Therefore if the powers are distinguished by their objects, it follows
that the same power could not have contrary objects. This is clearly
false in almost all the powers; for the power of vision extends to white
and black, and the power to taste to sweet and bitter.
Objection 3: Further, if the cause be removed, the effect is removed. Hence if
the difference of powers came from the difference of objects, the same
object would not come under different powers. This is clearly false; for
the same thing is known by the cognitive power, and desired by the
Objection 4: Further, that which of itself is the cause of anything, is the
cause thereof, wherever it is. But various objects which belong to
various powers, belong also to some one power; as sound and color belong
to sight and hearing, which are different powers, yet they come under the
one power of common sense. Therefore the powers are not distinguished
according to the difference of their objects.
On the contrary, Things that are subsequent are distinguished by what
precedes. But the Philosopher says (De Anima ii, 4) that "acts and
operations precede the powers according to reason; and these again are
preceded by their opposites," that is their objects. Therefore the powers
are distinguished according to their acts and objects.
I answer that, A power as such is directed to an act. Wherefore we seek to know the nature of a power from the act to which it is directed, and consequently the nature of a power is diversified, as the nature of the act is diversified. Now the nature of an act is diversified according to the various natures of the objects. For every act is either of an active power or of a passive power. Now, the object is to the act of a passive power, as the principle and moving cause: for color is the principle of vision, inasmuch as it moves the sight. On the other hand, to the act of an active power the object is a term and end; as the object of the power of growth is perfect quantity, which is the end of growth. Now, from these two things an act receives its species, namely, from its principle, or from its end or term; for the act of heating differs from the act of cooling, in this, that the former proceeds from something hot, which is the active principle, to heat; the latter from something cold, which is the active principle, to cold. Therefore the powers are of necessity distinguished by their acts and objects.
Nevertheless, we must observe that things which are accidental do not
change the species. For since to be colored is accidental to an animal,
its species is not changed by a difference of color, but by a difference
in that which belongs to the nature of an animal, that is to say, by a
difference in the sensitive soul, which is sometimes rational, and
sometimes otherwise. Hence "rational" and "irrational" are differences
dividing animal, constituting its various species. In like manner
therefore, not any variety of objects diversifies the powers of the soul,
but a difference in that to which the power of its very nature is
directed. Thus the senses of their very nature are directed to the
passive quality which of itself is divided into color, sound, and the
like, and therefore there is one sensitive power with regard to color,
namely, the sight, and another with regard to sound, namely, hearing. But
it is accidental to a passive quality, for instance, to something
colored, to be a musician or a grammarian, great or small, a man or a
stone. Therefore by reason of such differences the powers of the soul are
Reply to Objection 1: Act, though subsequent in existence to power, is,
nevertheless, prior to it in intention and logically; as the end is with
regard to the agent. And the object, although extrinsic, is,
nevertheless, the principle or end of the action; and those conditions
which are intrinsic to a thing, are proportionate to its principle and
Reply to Objection 2: If any power were to have one of two contraries as such for
its object, the other contrary would belong to another power. But the
power of the soul does not regard the nature of the contrary as such, but
rather the common aspect of both contraries; as sight does not regard
white as such, but as color. This is because of two contraries one, in a
manner, includes the idea of the other, since they are to one another as
perfect and imperfect.
Reply to Objection 3: Nothing prevents things which coincide in subject, from
being considered under different aspects; therefore they can belong to
various powers of the soul.
Reply to Objection 4: The higher power of itself regards a more universal
formality of the object than the lower power; because the higher a power
is, to a greater number of things does it extend. Therefore many things
are combined in the one formality of the object, which the higher power
considers of itself; while they differ in the formalities regarded by the
lower powers of themselves. Thus it is that various objects belong to
various lower powers; which objects, however, are subject to one higher
Article 4: Whether among the powers of the soul there is order?
Objection 1: It would seem that there is no order among the powers of the
soul. For in those things which come under one division, there is no
before and after, but all are naturally simultaneous. But the powers of
the soul are contradistinguished from one another. Therefore there is no
order among them.
Objection 2: Further, the powers of the soul are referred to their objects and
to the soul itself. On the part of the soul, there is not order among
them, because the soul is one. In like manner the objects are various and
dissimilar, as color and sound. Therefore there is no order among the
powers of the soul.
Objection 3: Further, where there is order among powers, we find that the
operation of one depends on the operation of another. But the action of
one power of the soul does not depend on that of another; for sight can
act independently of hearing, and conversely. Therefore there is no order
among the powers of the soul.
On the contrary, The Philosopher (De Anima ii, 3) compares the parts or
powers of the soul to figures. But figures have an order among
themselves. Therefore the powers of the soul have order.
I answer that, Since the soul is one, and the powers are many; and since
a number of things that proceed from one must proceed in a certain order;
there must be some order among the powers of the soul. Accordingly we may
observe a triple order among them, two of which correspond to the
dependence of one power on another; while the third is taken from the
order of the objects. Now the dependence of one power on another can be
taken in two ways; according to the order of nature, forasmuch as perfect
things are by their nature prior to imperfect things; and according to
the order of generation and time; forasmuch as from being imperfect, a
thing comes to be perfect. Thus, according to the first kind of order
among the powers, the intellectual powers are prior to the sensitive
powers; wherefore they direct them and command them. Likewise the
sensitive powers are prior in this order to the powers of the nutritive
In the second kind of order, it is the other way about. For the powers
of the nutritive soul are prior by way of generation to the powers of the
sensitive soul; for which, therefore, they prepare the body. The same is
to be said of the sensitive powers with regard to the intellectual. But
in the third kind of order, certain sensitive powers are ordered among
themselves, namely, sight, hearing, and smelling. For the visible
naturally comes first; since it is common to higher and lower bodies. But
sound is audible in the air, which is naturally prior to the mingling of
elements, of which smell is the result.
Reply to Objection 1: The species of a given genus are to one another as before
and after, like numbers and figures, if considered in their nature;
although they may be said to be simultaneous, according as they receive
the predication of the common genus.
Reply to Objection 2: This order among the powers of the soul is both on the part
of the soul (which, though it be one according to its essence, has a
certain aptitude to various acts in a certain order) and on the part of
the objects, and furthermore on the part of the acts, as we have said
Reply to Objection 3: This argument is verified as regards those powers among
which order of the third kind exists. Those powers among which the two
other kinds of order exist are such that the action of one depends on
Article 5: Whether all the powers of the soul are in the soul as their subject?
Objection 1: It would seem that all the powers of the soul are in the soul as
their subject. For as the powers of the body are to the body; so are the
powers of the soul to the soul. But the body is the subject of the
corporeal powers. Therefore the soul is the subject of the powers of the
Objection 2: Further, the operations of the powers of the soul are attributed
to the body by reason of the soul; because, as the Philosopher says (De
Anima ii, 2), "The soul is that by which we sense and understand
primarily." But the natural principles of the operations of the soul are
the powers. Therefore the powers are primarily in the soul.
Objection 3: Further, Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 7,24) that the soul
senses certain things, not through the body, in fact, without the body,
as fear and such like; and some things through the body. But if the
sensitive powers were not in the soul alone as their subject, the soul
could not sense anything without the body. Therefore the soul is the
subject of the sensitive powers; and for a similar reason, of all the
On the contrary, The Philosopher says (De Somno et Vigilia i) that
"sensation belongs neither to the soul, nor to the body, but to the
composite." Therefore the sensitive power is in "the composite" as its
subject. Therefore the soul alone is not the subject of all the powers.
I answer that, The subject of operative power is that which is able to
operate, for every accident denominates its proper subject. Now the same
is that which is able to operate, and that which does operate. Wherefore
the "subject of power" is of necessity "the subject of operation," as
again the Philosopher says in the beginning of De Somno et Vigilia. Now,
it is clear from what we have said above (Question , Articles ,3; Question , Article , ad 1), that some operations of the soul are performed without a corporeal
organ, as understanding and will. Hence the powers of these operations
are in the soul as their subject. But some operations of the soul are
performed by means of corporeal organs; as sight by the eye, and hearing
by the ear. And so it is with all the other operations of the nutritive
and sensitive parts. Therefore the powers which are the principles of
these operations have their subject in the composite, and not in the
Reply to Objection 1: All the powers are said to belong to the soul, not as their
subject, but as their principle; because it is by the soul that the
composite has the power to perform such operations.
Reply to Objection 2: All such powers are primarily in the soul, as compared to
the composite; not as in their subject, but as in their principle.
Reply to Objection 3: Plato's opinion was that sensation is an operation proper
to the soul, just as understanding is. Now in many things relating to
Philosophy Augustine makes use of the opinions of Plato, not asserting
them as true, but relating them. However, as far as the present question
is concerned, when it is said that the soul senses some things with the
body, and some without the body, this can be taken in two ways. Firstly,
the words "with the body or without the body" may determine the act of
sense in its mode of proceeding from the sentient. Thus the soul senses
nothing without the body, because the action of sensation cannot proceed
from the soul except by a corporeal organ. Secondly, they may be
understood as determining the act of sense on the part of the object
sensed. Thus the soul senses some things with the body, that is, things
existing in the body, as when it feels a wound or something of that sort;
while it senses some things without the body, that is, which do not exist
in the body, but only in the apprehension of the soul, as when it feels
sad or joyful on hearing something.
Article 6: Whether the powers of the soul flow from its essence?
Objection 1: It would seem that the powers of the soul do not flow from its
essence. For different things do not proceed from one simple thing. But
the essence of the soul is one and simple. Since, therefore, the powers
of the soul are many and various, they cannot proceed from its essence.
Objection 2: Further, that from which a thing proceeds is its cause. But the
essence of the soul cannot be said to be the cause of the powers; as is
clear if one considers the different kinds of causes. Therefore the
powers of the soul do not flow from its essence.
Objection 3: Further, emanation involves some sort of movement. But nothing is
moved by itself, as the Philosopher proves (Phys. vii, 1,2); except,
perhaps, by reason of a part of itself, as an animal is said to be moved
by itself, because one part thereof moves and another is moved. Neither
is the soul moved, as the Philosopher proves (De Anima i, 4). Therefore
the soul does not produce its powers within itself.
On the contrary, The powers of the soul are its natural properties. But
the subject is the cause of its proper accidents; whence also it is
included in the definition of accident, as is clear from Metaph. vii
(Did. vi, 4). Therefore the powers of the soul proceed from its essence
as their cause.
I answer that, The substantial and the accidental form partly agree and
partly differ. They agree in this, that each is an act; and that by each
of them something is after a manner actual. They differ, however, in two
respects. First, because the substantial form makes a thing to exist
absolutely, and its subject is something purely potential. But the
accidental form does not make a thing to exist absolutely but to be such,
or so great, or in some particular condition; for its subject is an
actual being. Hence it is clear that actuality is observed in the
substantial form prior to its being observed in the subject: and since
that which is first in a genus is the cause in that genus, the
substantial form causes existence in its subject. On the other hand,
actuality is observed in the subject of the accidental form prior to its
being observed in the accidental form; wherefore the actuality of the
accidental form is caused by the actuality of the subject. So the
subject, forasmuch as it is in potentiality, is receptive of the
accidental form: but forasmuch as it is in act, it produces it. This I
say of the proper and "per se" accident; for with regard to the
extraneous accident, the subject is receptive only, the accident being
caused by an extrinsic agent. Secondly, substantial and accidental forms
differ, because, since that which is the less principal exists for the
sake of that which is the more principal, matter therefore exists on
account of the substantial form; while on the contrary, the accidental
form exists on account of the completeness of the subject.
Now it is clear, from what has been said (Article ), that either the subject
of the soul's powers is the soul itself alone, which can be the subject
of an accident, forasmuch as it has something of potentiality, as we have
said above (Article , ad 6); or else this subject is the composite. Now the
composite is actual by the soul. Whence it is clear that all the powers
of the soul, whether their subject be the soul alone, or the composite,
flow from the essence of the soul, as from their principle; because it
has already been said that the accident is caused by the subject
according as it is actual, and is received into it according as it is in
Reply to Objection 1: From one simple thing many things may proceed naturally, in
a certain order; or again if there be diversity of recipients. Thus, from
the one essence of the soul many and various powers proceed; both because
order exists among these powers; and also by reason of the diversity of
the corporeal organs.
Reply to Objection 2: The subject is both the final cause, and in a way the
active cause, of its proper accident. It is also as it were the material
cause, inasmuch as it is receptive of the accident. From this we may
gather that the essence of the soul is the cause of all its powers, as
their end, and as their active principle; and of some as receptive
Reply to Objection 3: The emanation of proper accidents from their subject is
not by way of transmutation, but by a certain natural resultance; thus
one thing results naturally from another, as color from light.
Article 7: Whether one power of the soul arises from another?
Objection 1: It would seem that one power of the soul does not arise from
another. For if several things arise together, one of them does not arise
from another. But all the powers of the soul are created at the same time
with the soul. Therefore one of them does not arise from another.
Objection 2: Further, the power of the soul arises from the soul as an
accident from the subject. But one power of the soul cannot be the
subject of another; because nothing is the accident of an accident.
Therefore one power does not arise from another.
Objection 3: Further, one opposite does not arise from the other opposite; but
everything arises from that which is like it in species. Now the powers
of the soul are oppositely divided, as various species. Therefore one of
them does not proceed from another.
On the contrary, Powers are known by their actions. But the action of
one power is caused by the action of another power, as the action of the
imagination by the action of the senses. Therefore one power of the soul
is caused by another.
I answer that, In those things which proceed from one according to a
natural order, as the first is the cause of all, so that which is nearer
to the first is, in a way, the cause of those which are more remote. Now
it has been shown above (Article ) that among the powers of the soul there
are several kinds of order. Therefore one power of the soul proceeds from
the essence of the soul by the medium of another. But since the essence
of the soul is compared to the powers both as a principle active and
final, and as a receptive principle, either separately by itself, or
together with the body; and since the agent and the end are more perfect,
while the receptive principle, as such, is less perfect; it follows that
those powers of the soul which precede the others, in the order of
perfection and nature, are the principles of the others, after the manner
of the end and active principle. For we see that the senses are for the
sake of the intelligence, and not the other way about. The senses,
moreover, are a certain imperfect participation of the intelligence;
wherefore, according to their natural origin, they proceed from the
intelligence as the imperfect from the perfect. But considered as
receptive principles, the more perfect powers are principles with regard
to the others; thus the soul, according as it has the sensitive power, is
considered as the subject, and as something material with regard to the
intelligence. On this account, the more imperfect powers precede the
others in the order of generation, for the animal is generated before the
Reply to Objection 1: As the power of the soul flows from the essence, not by a
transmutation, but by a certain natural resultance, and is simultaneous
with the soul, so is it the case with one power as regards another.
Reply to Objection 2: An accident cannot of itself be the subject of an accident;
but one accident is received prior to another into substance, as quantity
prior to quality. In this sense one accident is said to be the subject of
another; as surface is of color, inasmuch as substance receives an
accident through the means of another. The same thing may be said of the
powers of the soul.
Reply to Objection 3: The powers of the soul are opposed to one another, as
perfect and imperfect; as also are the species of numbers and figures.
But this opposition does not prevent the origin of one from another,
because imperfect things naturally proceed from perfect things.
Article 8: Whether all the powers remain in the soul when separated from the body?
Objection 1: It would seem that all the powers of the soul remain in the soul
separated from the body. For we read in the book De Spiritu et Anima that
"the soul withdraws from the body, taking with itself sense and
imagination, reason and intelligence, concupiscibility and irascibility."
Objection 2: Further, the powers of the soul are its natural properties. But
properties are always in that to which they belong; and are never
separated from it. Therefore the powers of the soul are in it even after
Objection 3: Further, the powers even of the sensitive soul are not weakened
when the body becomes weak; because, as the Philosopher says (De Anima i,
4), "If an old man were given the eye of a young man, he would see even
as well as a young man." But weakness is the road to corruption.
Therefore the powers of the soul are not corrupted when the body is
corrupted, but remain in the separated soul.
Objection 4: Further, memory is a power of the sensitive soul, as the
Philosopher proves (De Memor. et Remin. 1). But memory remains in the
separated soul; for it was said to the rich glutton whose soul was in
hell: "Remember that thou didst receive good things during thy lifetime"
(Lk. 16:25). Therefore memory remains in the separated soul; and
consequently the other powers of the sensitive part.
Objection 5: Further, joy and sorrow are in the concupiscible part, which is a power of the sensitive soul. But it is clear that separate souls grieve or rejoice at the pains or rewards which they receive. Therefore the concupiscible power remains in the separate soul.
Objection 6: Further, Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 32) that, as the soul,
when the body lies senseless, yet not quite dead, sees some things by
imaginary vision; so also when by death the soul is quite separate from
the body. But the imagination is a power of the sensitive part. Therefore
the power of the sensitive part remains in the separate soul; and
consequently all the other powers.
On the contrary, It is said (De Eccl. Dogm. xix) that "of two substances
only does man consist; the soul with its reason, and the body with its
senses." Therefore the body being dead, the sensitive powers do not
I answer that, As we have said already (Articles ,6,7), all the powers of
the soul belong to the soul alone as their principle. But some powers
belong to the soul alone as their subject; as the intelligence and the
will. These powers must remain in the soul, after the destruction of the
body. But other powers are subjected in the composite; as all the powers
of the sensitive and nutritive parts. Now accidents cannot remain after
the destruction of the subject. Wherefore, the composite being destroyed,
such powers do not remain actually; but they remain virtually in the
soul, as in their principle or root.
So it is false that, as some say, these powers remain in the soul even
after the corruption of the body. It is much more false that, as they say
also, the acts of these powers remain in the separate soul; because these
powers have no act apart from the corporeal organ.
Reply to Objection 1: That book has no authority, and so what is there written
can be despised with the same facility as it was said; although we may
say that the soul takes with itself these powers, not actually but
Reply to Objection 2: These powers, which we say do not actually remain in the
separate soul, are not the properties of the soul alone, but of the
Reply to Objection 3: These powers are said not to be weakened when the body
becomes weak, because the soul remains unchangeable, and is the virtual
principle of these powers.
Reply to Objection 4: The recollection spoken of there is to be taken in the same
way as Augustine (De Trin. x, 11; xiv, 7) places memory in the mind; not
as a part of the sensitive soul.
Reply to Objection 5: In the separate soul, sorrow and joy are not in the
sensitive, but in the intellectual appetite, as in the angels.
Reply to Objection 6: Augustine in that passage is speaking as inquiring, not as
asserting. Wherefore he retracted some things which he had said there
(Retrac. ii, 24).