Review is a must. Imagine cracking open Introductory Quantum Mechanics at page 500. And then exclaiming, “Why this is nothing but nonsense!” That cry would not be convincing to a physicist. Also,
experience shows today’s subject is rather sensitive, as people cannot bear thinking about being separated permanently from their pets.
1 This truth can be clearly inferred from what has been already said.
2 For we demonstrated above that no operation of the sensitive part of the soul can be performed without the body.
In the souls of brute animals, however, there is no operation superior to those of the sensitive part, since they neither understand nor reason.
This is evident from the fact that all animals of the same species operate in the same way, as though moved by nature and not as operating by art; every swallow builds its nest and every spider spins its web, in the same manner. The souls of brutes, then, are incapable of any operation that does not involve the body. Now, since every substance is possessed of some operation, the soul of a brute animal will be unable to exist apart from its body; so that it perishes along with the body.
Notes Again no operation of the sensitive part of the soul can be performed without the body. And since we need the sensitive parts for day-to-day operations, we need our bodies.
3 Likewise, every form separate from matter is understood in act, for the agent intellect renders species intelligible in act by way of abstraction, as we see from what was said above. But if the soul of the brute animal continues to exist after its body has passed away, then that soul will be a form separate from matter, and therefore a form understood in act. And yet, as Aristotle says in De anima III , with things separate from matter, that which understands is identical with that which is understood. It follows that the soul of a brute animal, if it survives the body, will be intellectual; and this is impossible.
4 Then, too, in every thing capable of attaining a certain perfection, we find a natural desire for that perfection, since good is what all things desire, yet in such fashion that each thing desires the good proper to itself.
In brutes, however, we find no desire for perpetual existence, but only a desire for the perpetuation of their several species, since we do observe in them the desire to reproduce and thereby perpetuate the species—a desire common also to plants and to inanimate things, though not as regards desire proper to an animal as such, because animal appetite is consequent upon apprehension. For, since the apprehending power of the sensitive soul is limited to the here and now, that soul cannot possibly be cognizant of perpetual existence. Nor, then, does it desire such existence with animal appetite. Therefore, the soul of a brute animal is incapable of perpetual existence.
5 Moreover, as Aristotle remarks in Ethics X , pleasures perfect operations. Hence, a thing’s activity is directed to that object wherein it takes pleasure, as to its end. But all the pleasures of brute animals have reference to the preservation of their body; thus, they delight in sounds, odors, and sights only to the extent that they signify for them food or sex, the sole objects of all their pleasures. All the activities of such animals, then, have but a single end: the preservation of their bodily existence. Thus, there is in them no being whatever which is independent of the body…
9 Nevertheless, it would seem possible to show that the souls of such animals are immortal. For, if a thing possesses an operation through itself, distinctly its own, then it is subsisting through itself. But the sensitive soul in brutes enjoys an operation through itself, wherein the body has no part, namely, motion; for a mover is compounded of two parts, the one being mover and the other moved. Since the body is a thing moved, it remains that the soul is exclusively a mover, and, consequently, is subsisting through itself. Hence, the soul cannot be corrupted by accident, when the body is corrupted, for only those things are corrupted by accident which do not have being through themselves. Nor can the soul be corrupted through itself, since it neither has a contrary nor is composed of contraries. The result of the argument, therefore, is that the soul is altogether incorruptible…
12 Now, these Platonic dicta are patently false. For the act of sensation is not an act of movement; rather, to sense is to be moved; since, through the sensible objects altering the condition of the senses in acting upon them, the animal is made actually sentient from being only potentially so. However, it cannot be maintained that the passivity of the sense in respect of the sensible is the same as that of the intellect in relation to the intelligible, so that sensation could then be an operation of the soul without a bodily instrument, just as understanding is.
This is impossible, because the intellect grasps things in abstraction from matter and material conditions, which are individuating principles, whereas the sense does not, being manifestly limited to the perception of particulars, while the intellect attains to universals. Clearly, then, the senses are passive to things as existing in matter, but not the intellect, which is passive to things according as they are abstracted. Thus, in the intellect there is passivity in utter independence of corporeal matter, but not in the senses.
Notes Again: while the intellect attains to universals.
13…Without a bodily organ, then, no sensation takes place.
14 There is also the fact that sense is overwhelmed by an exceedingly high degree of intensity on the part of its objects; but the intellect is not, because he who understands the higher intelligibles is more and not less able to understand other things.
Hence, the state of passivity brought about in the sense by the sensible differs in kind from that which the intelligible causes in the intellect; the latter occurs without a bodily organ, the former with a bodily organ, the harmonious structure of whose parts is shattered by the pre-eminent power of some sensible objects…
16 [The argument based on movement above] is seen to be false, for two reasons. First, because it has been proved in Book I of this work that whatever is moved through itself is a body; since, then, the soul is not a body, it cannot possibly be moved except by accident…
Notes Sorry, folks, Fido is not going to make it. On the other hand, neither is he going to be judged. And what animals appear in the new heavens and earth, only God knows.