Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of On The Soul

Previous | Next

On The Soul   

body as such.

We must not understand by that which is 'potentially capable of

living' what has lost the soul it had, but only what still retains it;

but seeds and fruits are bodies which possess the qualification.

Consequently, while waking is actuality in a sense corresponding to

the cutting and the seeing, the soul is actuality in the sense

corresponding to the power of sight and the power in the tool; the

body corresponds to what exists in potentiality; as the pupil plus the

power of sight constitutes the eye, so the soul plus the body

constitutes the animal.

From this it indubitably follows that the soul is inseparable from

its body, or at any rate that certain parts of it are (if it has

parts) for the actuality of some of them is nothing but the

actualities of their bodily parts. Yet some may be separable because

they are not the actualities of any body at all. Further, we have no

light on the problem whether the soul may not be the actuality of

its body in the sense in which the sailor is the actuality of the


This must suffice as our sketch or outline determination of the

nature of soul.


Since what is clear or logically more evident emerges from what in

itself is confused but more observable by us, we must reconsider our

results from this point of view. For it is not enough for a definitive

formula to express as most now do the mere fact; it must include and

exhibit the ground also. At present definitions are given in a form

analogous to the conclusion of a syllogism; e.g. What is squaring? The

construction of an equilateral rectangle equal to a given oblong

rectangle. Such a definition is in form equivalent to a conclusion.

One that tells us that squaring is the discovery of a line which is

Previous | Next
Site Search