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On The Soul   

mean either (a) knowledge or (b) the soul, for we can speak of knowing

by or with either, and similarly that whereby we are in health may

be either (a) health or (b) the body or some part of the body; and

since of the two terms thus contrasted knowledge or health is the name

of a form, essence, or ratio, or if we so express it an actuality of a

recipient matter-knowledge of what is capable of knowing, health of

what is capable of being made healthy (for the operation of that which

is capable of originating change terminates and has its seat in what

is changed or altered); further, since it is the soul by or with which

primarily we live, perceive, and think:-it follows that the soul

must be a ratio or formulable essence, not a matter or subject. For,

as we said, word substance has three meanings form, matter, and the

complex of both and of these three what is called matter is

potentiality, what is called form actuality. Since then the complex

here is the living thing, the body cannot be the actuality of the

soul; it is the soul which is the actuality of a certain kind of body.

Hence the rightness of the view that the soul cannot be without a

body, while it csnnot he a body; it is not a body but something

relative to a body. That is why it is in a body, and a body of a

definite kind. It was a mistake, therefore, to do as former thinkers

did, merely to fit it into a body without adding a definite

specification of the kind or character of that body. Reflection

confirms the observed fact; the actuality of any given thing can

only be realized in what is already potentially that thing, i.e. in

a matter of its own appropriate to it. From all this it follows that

soul is an actuality or formulable essence of something that possesses

a potentiality of being besouled.


Of the psychic powers above enumerated some kinds of living

things, as we have said, possess all, some less than all, others one

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