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A tour through Saint Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Contra Gentiles.

October 22, 2017 | 1 Comment

Summary Against Modern Thought: Angels Learn By Induction

This may be proved in three ways. The first...
This may be proved in three ways. The first…
See the first post in this series for an explanation and guide of our tour of Summa Contra Gentiles. All posts are under the category SAMT.

Previous post.

Angels learn by induction of the highest type.

Chapter 96 That separate substances do not receive their knowledge from sensible things(alternate translation) We’re still using the alternate translation.

1 This point can be demonstrated from what has gone before.

2 For sensibles by their very nature are the appropriate objects of sense-apprehension, as are intelligibles of intellectual apprehension. Thus, every cognitive substance that derives its knowledge from sensibles possesses sensitive knowledge, and, consequently, has a body united to it naturally, since such knowledge is impossible without a bodily organ. But it has already been shown that separate substances have no bodies naturally united to them. Hence, they do not derive intellective knowledge from sensible things.

Notes Angels don’t have bodies, so their knowledge cannot begin with sense impressions, as it does with us.

3 The object of a higher power, moreover, must itself be higher. But the intellective power of a separate substance is higher than that of the human soul, since, as we have also shown, the intellect with which the human soul is endowed is the lowest in the order of intellects. And the object of that intellect, we have seen, is the phantasm, which, in the order of objects, is higher than the sensible thing existing outside the soul, as the order of cognitive powers clearly shows.

Therefore, the object of a separate substance cannot be a thing existing outside the soul, as that from which it derives its knowledge immediately; nor can it be a phantasm. It therefore remains that the object of the separate substance’s intellect is something higher than a phantasm. But in the order of knowable objects, nothing is higher than a phantasm except that which is intelligible in act. Separate substances, then, do not derive intellectual knowledge from sensibles, but they understand things which are intelligible even through themselves.

4 Then, too, the order of intelligibles is in keeping with the order of intellects. Now, in the order of intelligibles, things that are intelligible in themselves rank above things whose intelligibility is due solely to our own making. And all intelligibles derived from sensibles must be of the latter sort, because sensibles are not intelligible in themselves. But the intelligibles which our intellect understands are derived from sensibles. Therefore, the separate substance’s intellect, being superior to ours, has not as the object of its understanding intelligibles received from sensibles, but those which are in themselves intelligible in act.

Notes Intelligible in act equates to induction (of the highest form).

5 Furthermore, the mode of a thing’s proper operation corresponds proportionately to the mode of its substance and nature. Now, a separate substance is an intellect existing by itself and not in a body, so that the objects of its intellectual operation will be intelligibles having no bodily foundation. But all intelligibles derived from sensibles have some sort of basis in bodies; our intelligibles, for instance, are founded on the phantasms, which reside in bodily organs. Therefore, separate substances do not derive their knowledge from sensible things.

Notes The brain and other bits help provide the phantasms, the embodied sense impressions.

6 Again, just as prime matter ranks lowest in the order of sensible things, and is, therefore, purely potential with respect to all sensible forms, so the possible intellect, being the lowest in the order of intelligible things, is in potentiality to all intelligibles, as we have already seen.

Now, in the order of sensibles the things above prime matter are in actual possession of their form, through which they are established in sensible being. Therefore, separate substances, which, in the order of intelligibles, are above the human possible intellect, are actually in intelligible being; for, an intellect receiving knowledge from sensibles, is in intelligible being, not actually, but potentially. The separate substance, therefore, does not receive knowledge from sensibles.

7 And again, the perfection of a higher nature does not depend on a lower nature. Now, since the separate substance is intellectual, its perfection consists in understanding. Therefore, the act of understanding exercised by such substances does not depend on sensible things, in such fashion as to derive knowledge from them.

8 And from this we see that in separate substances there is no agent and possible intellect, except, perhaps, in an equivocal sense. For a possible and an agent intellect are found in the intellective soul by reason of its receiving intellective knowledge from sensible things; since it is the agent intellect which makes intelligible in act the species received from such things, while the possible intellect is that which is in potentiality to the knowledge of all forms of sensibles. Since, then, separate substances do not receive knowledge from sensibles, no agent or possible intellect exists in them. And so it is that when Aristotle, in De anima III [5], introduces the possible and agent intellects, he says that they must be located in the soul.

9 It is likewise manifest that for such substances local distance cannot be a hindrance to knowledge. For local distance is through itself related to sense, but to intellect, only by accident, so far as it receives things from sense. The reason why local distance bears such a relationship to sense is that sensibles move the senses in respect of a determinate distance; whereas things intelligible in act, inasmuch as they move the intellect, are not in place, being separate from corporeal matter. Since separate substances do not derive intellective knowledge from sensible things, it follows that their knowledge is unaffected by local distance.

Notes This, unlike many arguments made by those supporting extra-sensory perception, makes sense. It is action at a distance to us, not to intellectual substances, i.e. angels and God.

10 It is also quite clear that time does not enter into the intellectual operation of separate substances. For just as things intelligible in act are without place, so, too, are they outside of time; following upon local movement, time measures only such things as exist somehow in place.

Thus, the understanding exercised by a separate substance is above time; whereas time touches our intellectual operation, through the fact that we obtain knowledge from phantasms, which have a determinate temporal reference. Hence, in composition and division our intellect always links up with time, past or future, but not in understanding what a thing is. For it understands what a thing is by abstracting intelligibles from sensible conditions; so that in this operation it grasps the intelligible apart from time and all conditions to which sensible things are subject. On the other hand, the intellect composes or divides by applying previously abstracted intelligibles to things; and in this application time is necessarily involved.

Notes This, then, is our experience with the infinite. When we grasp an intelligible, i.e. universal, we see something that always is.

October 15, 2017 | 4 Comments

Summary Against Modern Thought: Each Angel Is A Separate Species

This may be proved in three ways. The first...
This may be proved in three ways. The first…
See the first post in this series for an explanation and guide of our tour of Summa Contra Gentiles. All posts are under the category SAMT.

Previous post.

Angels are as different from one another as are dogs to cats, as Peter Kreeft is fond of saying.

Chapter 93 On the non-existence of the plurality of separate substances of one species (alternate translation) We’re still using the alternate translation.

1 From the preceding observations concerning these substances it can be shown that there are not several of them belonging to the same species.

2 For it was shown above that separate substances are certain subsisting quiddities. But the species of a thing is what is signified by the definition, which is the sign of a thing’s quiddity. Hence, subsisting quiddities are subsisting species. Therefore, several separate substances cannot exist unless they be several species.

Notes The modern way to say it is that each angel is a separate species.

3 Moreover, things specifically the same, but numerically diverse, possess matter. For the difference that results from the form introduces specific diversity; from the matter, numerical diversity. But separate substances have no matter whatever, either as part of themselves or as that to which they are united as forms. It is therefore impossible that there be several such substances of one species.

4 [4] Then, too, the reason why there exist among corruptible things several individuals in one species is that the specific nature, which cannot be perpetuated in one individual, may be preserved in several. Hence, even in incorruptible bodies there is but one individual in one species. The nature of the separate substance, however, can be preserved in one individual, because such substances are incorruptible, as was shown above. Consequently, in those substances there is no need for several individuals of the same species.

5 Furthermore, in each individual that which belongs to the species is superior to the individuating principle, which lies outside the essence of the species. Therefore, the universe is ennobled more by the multiplication of species than by the multiplication of individuals of one species. But it is in separate substances, above all, that the perfection of the universe consists. Therefore, it is more consonant with the perfection of the universe that they constitute a plurality, each diverse in
species from the other, rather than a numerical multiplicity within one and the same species.

Notes This is the argument by beauty we met a few weeks back. It is hard to accept in a culture where ugly is called beautiful.

6 Again, separate substances are more perfect than the heavenly bodies. But in the heavenly bodies, on account of their very perfection, we find that one species contains only one individual; both because each of them exhausts the entire matter pertaining to its species, and because each heavenly body possesses perfectly the power of its species to fulfil in the universe that to which the species is ordered, as the sun and the moon exemplify conspicuously. For all the more reason, then, should we find in separate substances but one individual of the one species.

Chapter 94 That the separate substance and the soul are not of the same species (alternate translation) We’re still using the alternate translation.

1 We must now consider in what respect species is diversified in separate substances. For in material things which are of diverse species and of one genus, the concept of the genus is taken from the material principle; the difference of species from the formal principle. Thus, the sensitive nature, whence the notion of animal is derived, is in man material with respect to the intellective nature, from which man’s specific difference, rational, is obtained. Therefore, if separate substances are not composed of matter and form, as we have seen, it is not clear how genus and specific difference can apply to them.

2 It must, therefore, be known that the diverse species of things possess the nature of being [ens] in graded fashion. Thus, in the first division of being we at once find something perfect, namely, being through itself and being in act, and something imperfect, namely, being in another and being in potency.

And passing thus from species to species, it becomes quite apparent that one species has an additional grade of perfection over another—animals over plants, and animals that can move about over those that cannot; while in colors one species is found to be more perfect than another the nearer it approaches to whiteness. Wherefore Aristotle says in Metaphysics VIII [8] that “the definitions of things are like number, the species of which is changed by the subtraction or addition of unity”; just as in definitions the subtraction or addition of a difference gives us a new species.

Hence, the essence of a determinate species consists in this, that the common nature is placed in a determinate grade of being. Now, in things composed of matter and form, the form has the character of a term, and that which is terminated by it is the matter or something material.

The concept of the genus must, therefore, be taken from the material principle, and the specific difference from the formal principle. Accordingly, from genus and difference, as from matter and form, there results one thing. And just as it is one and the same nature that is constituted by the matter and the form, so the difference does not add to the genus a nature extraneous to it, but is a certain determination of the generic nature itself. For instance, suppose that the genus is animal with feet, and its difference, animal with two feet; this difference manifestly adds nothing extraneous to the genus.

3 Clearly, then, it is accidental to the genus and difference that the determination introduced by the difference be caused by a principle other than the nature of the genus; for the nature signified by the definition is composed of matter, as that which is determined, and form as that which determines. Therefore, if a simple nature exists, it will be terminated by itself, and will not need to have two parts, one terminating, the other terminated. Thus, the concept of the genus will be derived from the very intelligible essence of that simple nature; its specific difference, from its termination according as it is in such a grade of beings.

4 From this, also, we see that if there is a nature devoid of limits and infinite in itself, as was shown in Book I to be true of the divine nature, neither genus nor species is applicable to it; and this agrees with the things we proved concerning God in that same Book.

5 It is likewise clear from what has been said that no two separate substances are equal in rank, but that one is naturally superior to another; because there are diverse species in separate substances according to the diverse grades allotted to them, and there are not here several individuals in one species. And so it is that we read in the Book of Job (38:33): “Do you know the order of heaven?” While Dionysius says in The Celestial Hierarchy [X] that just as in the whole multitude of angels there is a highest, a middle, and a lowest hierarchy, so in each hierarchy there is a highest, a middle, and a lowest order, and in each order, highest, middle, and lowest angels.

Notes Inequality is built right into the system.

6 Now, this disposes of the theory of Origen, who said that all spiritual substances, including souls, were created equal from the beginning; and that the diversity found among these substances—this one being united to a body and that one not, this one being higher and that one lower—results from a difference of merits. The theory is false, because we have just shown that this difference of grades is natural; that the soul is not of the same species as separate substances; that the latter are themselves not of the same species with one another; and that they are not equal in the order of nature.

October 8, 2017 | 41 Comments

Summary Against Modern Thought: Angels Are Intellectual Substances

This may be proved in three ways. The first...
This may be proved in three ways. The first…
See the first post in this series for an explanation and guide of our tour of Summa Contra Gentiles. All posts are under the category SAMT.

Previous post.

We’re still with intellectual substances. Such as angels.

Chapter 92 Concerning the great number of separate substances. (alternate translation) We’re still using the alternate translation.

1 In treating this problem, let it be noted that Aristotle attempts to prove that not only some intellectual substances exist apart from a body, but also that they are of the same number, neither more nor less, as the movements observed in the heaven.

2 Now, Aristotle proves that no movements unobservable by us exist in the heaven, because every movement in the heaven exists by reason of the movement of some star—a thing perceptible to the senses; for the spheres are the conveyers of the stars, and the movement of the conveyer is for the sake of the movement of the conveyed. He proves also that there are no separate substances from which some movements do not arise in the heaven, for the heavenly movements are directed to the separate substances as their ends; so that, if there were any separate substances other than those which he enumerates, there would be some movements directed to them as their ends; otherwise, those movements would be imperfect. In view of all this, Aristotle concludes that such substances are not more numerous than the movements that are and can be observed in the heaven; especially since there are not several heavenly bodies of the same species, so as to make possible the existence of several movements unknown to us.

Notes By “Aristotle proves”, our good saint meant “Aristotle suggested”. See the next paragraph before becoming exercised. Another good example of Thomas not slavishly following the master.

3 This proof, however, lacks necessity. For, as Aristotle himself teaches in Physics II [9], with things directed to an end, necessity derives from the end, and not conversely. So if, as he says, the heavenly movements are ordained to separate substances as their ends, the number of such substances cannot be inferred with necessity from the number of the movements. For it can be said that there are some separate substances of a higher nature than those which are the proximate ends of the celestial movements; even so, the fact that craftsmen’s tools we for those who work with them does not preclude the existence of other men who do not work with such tools themselves, but direct the workers. And, in point of fact, Aristotle himself adduces the preceding proof, not as necessary but as probable; for he says: “hence the number of the unchangeable substances and principles may probably be taken to be just so many; the assertion of necessity may be left to more powerful thinkers.”

4 It therefore remains to be shown that the intellectual substances existing apart from bodies are much more numerous than the heavenly movements.

5 Now, intellectual substances are in their genus transcendent with respect to all corporeal natures. Hence, the rank of such substances must be determined in accordance with their elevation above the corporeal nature. Now, some intellectual substances transcend the corporeal substance only in their generic nature, and yet, as we have seen, are united to bodies as form.

And since intellectual substances enjoy a kind of being that is entirely independent of the body, as was shown above, we find a higher grade of such substances, which, though not united to bodies as forms, are nevertheless the proper movers of certain determinate bodies. And the nature of an intellectual substance likewise does not depend on its producing movement, since the latter follows upon their principal operation, which is understanding. Consequently, there will exist a still higher grade of intellectual substances, which are not the proper movers of certain bodies, but are superior to the movers.

Notes These intellectual agents are so efficient, one might say they operate with wings! (Forgive me.)

6 Moreover, just as an agent that acts by nature acts by its natural form, so an agent that acts by intellect acts by its intellectual form, as we see in those who act by art. Therefore, just as the former agent is proportionate to the patient by reason of its natural form, so the latter agent is proportionate to the patient and to the thing made, through the form in its intellect; that is to say, the intellective form is then such that it can be introduced by the agent’s action into matter which receives it.

Therefore, the proper movers of the spheres, which (if we wish to side with Aristotle here) move by their intellect, must have such understandings as are explicable by the motions of the spheres and reproducible in natural things. But above intelligible conceptions of this sort there are some which are more universal. For the intellect apprehends the forms of things in a more universal mode than that in which they exist in things; and for this reason we observe that the form of the speculative intellect is more universal than that of the practical intellect, and among the practical arts, the conception of the commanding art is more universal than that of an executive art. Now, the grades of intellectual substances must be reckoned according to the grade of intellectual operation proper to them. Therefore, there are some intellectual substances above those which are the proper and proximate movers of certain determinate spheres.

Notes Although he didn’t say it, it would not be wrong to think of the angels assisting in the movement of the heavenly spheres. Before you scoff, consider that God is everywhere and everywhen the prime or first mover, and that God is pure intellectual substance. Who’s to say God does not then direct less intellectual substances to take over from the first movement. After all, where does material movement end and intellectual begin? This theory, so far unexplored, is rich in explanatory power.

7 The order of the universe, furthermore, seems to require that whatever is nobler among things should exceed in quantity or number the less noble; since the latter seem to exist for the sake of the former. That is why the more noble things, as existing for their own sake, should be as numerous as possible. Thus we see that the incorruptible, or heavenly, bodies so far exceed the corruptible, or element-composed, bodies, that the latter are in number practically negligible by comparison. However, just as the heavenly bodies are nobler than those composed of elements—the incorruptible than the corruptible—so intellectual substances are superior to all bodies, as the immovable and immaterial to the movable and material. The number of separate intellectual substances, therefore, surpasses that of the whole multitude of material things. Such substances, then, are not limited to the number of the heavenly movements.

Notes Modern observations and scientific theories do not, of course, obviate the conclusion.

8 Then, too, it is not through the matter that the species of material things are multiplied, but through the form. Now, forms outside of matter enjoy a more complete and universal being than forms in matter, because forms are received into matter in keeping with the receptive capacity of matter. Hence, those forms which exist apart from matter, and which we call separate substances, are seemingly not less numerous than the species of material things.

9 But we do not on this account say, with the Platonists, that separate substances are the species of these sensible things.

For, not being able to arrive at the knowledge of such substances except from sensible things, the Platonists supposed the former to be of the same species as the latter, or rather to be their species.

In the same way, a person who had not seen the sun or the moon or the other stars, and had heard that they were incorruptible bodies, might call them by the names of these corruptible bodies, thinking them to be of the same species as the latter; which could not be so. And it is likewise impossible that immaterial substances should be of the same species as material ones, or that they should be the species of the latter. For the specific essence of these sensible things includes matter, though not this particular matter, which is the proper principle of the individual, just as the specific essence of man includes flesh and bones, but not this flesh and these bones which are principles of Socrates and Plato. Thus, we do not say that separate substances are the species of these sensible things, but that they are other species superior to them, inasmuch as the pure is nobler than the mixed. Those substances, then, must be more numerous than the species of these material things.

10 Moreover, a thing is multipliable in respect of its intelligible being rather than its material being. For we grasp with our intellect many things which cannot exist in matter.

This accounts for the fact that any straight finite line can be added to mathematically, but not physically; and that rarefaction of bodies, the velocity of movements, and the diversity of shapes can be increased ad infinitum in thought, though not in nature.

Now, separate substances are by their nature endowed with intelligible being. Therefore, greater multiplicity is possible in such substances than in material ones, considering the properties and the nature of both these kinds of being. But in eternal things, to be and to be possible are one and the same. The multitude of separate substances is, therefore, greater than that of material bodies.

Notes Even given the limitations of thirteenth century science, Thomas understood mathematical modeling better than many of us.

11 Now, to these things Holy Scripture bears witness. For it is said in the Book of Daniel (7:10): “Thousands of thousands ministered to Him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before Him.” And Dionysius in his work, The Celestial Hierarchy, writes that the number of those substances “exceeds all material multitude.”

12 This excludes the error of those who say that the number of separate substances corresponds to the number of heavenly movements, or of the heavenly spheres, as well as the error of Rabbi Moses, who said that the number of angels which Scripture affirms is not the number of separate substances, but of forces in this lower world; as if the concupiscible power were called the “spirit of concupiscence,” and so on.

October 1, 2017 | 9 Comments

Summary Against Modern Thought: Our Intellects Survive Beyond Our Bodies

This may be proved in three ways. The first...
This may be proved in three ways. The first…
See the first post in this series for an explanation and guide of our tour of Summa Contra Gentiles. All posts are under the category SAMT.

Previous post.

It can never be stressed enough that our intellects are not material.

Chapter 91 That there are some intellectual substances which are not united to bodies (alternate translation) We’re still using the alternate translation.

1 Now, the preceding considerations enable us to show that some intellectual substances exist in complete separation from bodies.

2 For we have already shown that when bodies perish the intellect retains its substantial character forever. And, indeed, if the substance of the intellect which remains be one in all, as some say, it follows necessarily that it is separate in its being from the body; and thus our thesis is established, namely, that some intellectual substance subsists apart from a body.

But, if a number of intellective souls remain after the bodies have perished, then it belongs to some intellectual substances to subsist apart from a body—especially in view of the demonstrated fact that souls do not pass from one body to another. But to exist apart from bodies is an accidental competence on the part of souls, since they are naturally forms of bodies. Now, that which is through itself must be prior to that which is by accident. Therefore, there are some intellectual substances, prior in nature to souls, which, through themselves, enjoy subsistence without bodies.

Notes Your intellect carries on after bodily death. Plan accordingly.

3 Furthermore, everything included in the essence of the genus must also be found in that of the species, whereas certain things belong to the latter which are not in the former; for instance, rational belongs to the essence of man, but not to the essence of animal. Now, whatever is of the essence of the species, but not of the genus, does not necessarily exist in all species of the genus; thus, there are many species of irrational animals.

But it belongs to the intellectual substance, according to its genus, to be subsisting through itself, since it is, through itself, endowed with operation, as shown above. Now, it is of the essence of a thing thus subsisting not to be united to another. Hence, it is not of the generic essence of an intellectual substance to be united to a body, although this is of the essence of that intellectual substance which is the soul. There are, then, some intellectual substances which are not united to bodies.

4 Then, too, the higher nature in its lowest part touches the lower nature in its highest part. Now, the intellectual nature is higher than the corporeal, and it makes contact with it in one of its parts, namely, the intellective soul. Consequently, just as the body perfected by the intellective soul is the highest in the genus of bodies, so the intellective soul which is united to a body is the lowest in the genus of intellectual substances. Therefore, there are some intellectual substances not united to bodies which, in the order of nature, are superior to the soul.

5 If in a genus, moreover, there exists something imperfect, then one finds a reality antecedent to it; a thing which, in the order of nature, is perfect in that genus, for the perfect is prior in nature to the imperfect. Now, forms existing in matters are imperfect acts, since they have not complete being. Hence, there are some forms that are complete acts, subsisting in themselves, and having a complete species. But every form that subsists through itself without matter is an intellectual substance, since, as we have seen, immunity from matter confers intelligible being. Therefore, there are some intellectual substances that are not united to bodies, for every body has matter.

6 Then, too, it is possible for substance to be without quantity, but not vice versa. “For substance is prior to the other genera in time, in nature, and in knowledge.” But no corporeal substance is without quantity. Hence, there can be some things in the genus of substance that are completely incorporeal.

But all possible natures are found in the order of things; otherwise, the universe would be imperfect. And indeed, “in the case of eternal things, to be and to be possible are one and the same.” Therefore, below the first substance, God, who is not in a genus (as was shown in Book I of this works), and above the soul, which is united to a body, there are some substances subsisting without bodies.

Notes This continuum-in-existence, as it were, will not be immediately convincing to some, but the argument grows on you. It’s less believable to moderns who have given up on beauty.

7 Furthermore, if in a thing composed of two entities the less perfect one be found to exist through itself, then the one which is more perfect and has less need of the other is also found to exist in the same way. Now, as we have seen, there is in fact a substance composed of an intellectual substance and a body. And a bodily thing existing through itself, is also an observed fact—of which all inanimate bodies are evident instances. All the more reason, then, for our finding intellectual substances that are not united to bodies.

8 Also, the substance of a thing must be proportionate to its operation, because operation is the act and the good of the operator’s substance. Now, understanding is the proper operation of an intellectual substance. Hence, an intellectual substance must be the kind of substance to which such operation belongs.

But, since understanding is an operation that is not exercised through a corporeal organ, it has no need of the body except so far as intelligibles are taken from sensible things.

This is an imperfect way of understanding; the perfect way consists in the understanding of things which in their very nature are intelligible; to understand only those things which are not intelligible in themselves but which are made intelligible by the intellect, is an imperfect way of understanding. Now, prior to every imperfect thing there must be something perfect in the same genus; so that above human souls, which understand by receiving from phantasms, there are some intellectual substances which understand things that are intelligible in themselves, without receiving knowledge from sensible things; and, therefore, such substances are by their nature entirely separate from bodies.

Notes Repeat that: understanding is an operation that is not exercised through a corporeal organ, it has no need of the body except so far as intelligibles are taken from sensible things.

9 Again, in Metaphysics XI [8] Aristotle reasons as follows. Movement that is continuous, regular, and in its own nature unfailing must be derived from a mover which is not moved, either through itself or by accident, as was proved in Book I of this work. Moreover, a plurality of movements must proceed from a plurality of movers. The movement of the heaven, however, is continuous, regular, and in its nature unfailing, And besides the first movement, there are many such movements in the heaven, as the studies of the astronomers show. Hence, there must be several movers which are not moved, either through themselves or by accident.

But, as we proved in that same Book, no body moves unless it is itself moved; and an incorporeal mover united to a body is moved accidentally in keeping with the movement of the body, as we see in the case of the soul. Hence, there must be a number of movers which neither are bodies nor are united to bodies. Now, the heavenly movements proceed from an intellect, as we have also shown. We therefore conclude to the existence of a plurality of intellectual substances that are not united to bodies.

10 With this conclusion Dionysius is in agreement, when, speaking of the angels, he says that “they are understood to be immaterial and incorporeal” [De div. nom. IV].

11 Excluded hereby are the error of the Sadducees, who said that “no spirit exists” (Acts 23:8); the doctrine of the natural philosophers of old, who maintained that every substance is corporeal; as well as the position of Origen, who held that no substance, save the divine Trinity, can subsist apart from a body; and, indeed, of all the other thinkers who hold that all the angels, both good and bad, have bodies naturally united to them.