Sunday, November 05, 2006

D. Brendan Nagle, The Household as the Foundation of Aristotle's Polis

Cambridge University Press
Prof. Nagle's faculty site

Review by Robert Mayhew

Northeastern Political Science Association Annual Meeting

Friday, November 10

panel f21: Roundtable: The Household as the Foundation of Aristotle’s Polis, by D. Brendan Nagle (Cambridge University Press)
Chair: Thornton Lockwood, Fordham University
First Commentator: Bernard Yack, Brandeis University
Second Commentator: P.L.P. Simpson, City University of New York
Authorial Response: D. Brendan Nagle, University of Southern California

Powers and seeds

An addendum to the post on Alexander Pruss and first potentiality:

From ST I, 77, 8:

I answer that, As we have said already (5,6,7), 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.

This is the distinction I was aiming for! So it seems that Aquinas would hold that the powers of the sense, and so on, are not really present in the conceptum before a certain stage, since the proper organs are not yet formed. They can be said to be there "virtually" (in so far as they are contained in their source, the soul) but not there "really."


As the powers of the soul are really distinct from the soul, and are accidents, it would seem that withotu the organs, these accidents are not yet present. It seems to be the case then that one who maintains that the soul and its powers are not really distinct, but one, or denies that the powers are accidents of the soul, but part of the soul itself, would disagree with what has been said.