A Few More Notes on the Soul

- The old philosophers' conception of the human soul followed from the consideration of the human intellect or reason and the proper object thereof. Without this consideration, all philosophical psychology will appear arbitrary.

- The word 'color' is the expression of an idea that is not reducible to any particular color or colors. Words are universals, the tools rational beings use to communicate intellectually. Without this ability, we could not rise above our individual sensations.

- If the human intellect is responsible for the creation of knowledge (as it is, say, in Kant's epistemology), then the intellect must be an active power, meaning that it alters the thing upon which it acts. But knowledge is the possession of the form of another qua other, and form is the perfection of being. If the intellect is an active power, then it must contain within itself all perfections, meaning that the human intellect must be infinite. No human intellect is infinite, therefore...


Living Parts

If life is essentially self-motion, then living things must contain within themselves a certain amount of heterogeneity. Remember that motion is the reduction of some potency to act, so in a being that moves itself, some parts must be in potency and other must be in act. No one part can be in both potency and act in the same way. A unified being endowed with self-motion, a living thing, then, is composed of heterogeneous parts.


For We Are Many

A machine, strictly speaking, can never be one thing. Rather, it must be a collection of things which are put together, meaning a machine can never have an existence given by nature. It has an inauthentic unity placed upon it by an artificer. Authentic unity is a oneness that is irreducible, if a thing is said to have parts but is essentially one, no knowledge of the parts without reference to the whole will yield real knowledge of the thing itself. Without the unified whole, the parts cease to be. This irreducible unity is known as life, and to confuse something whose parts exist in virtue of some unified whole with the mere aggregate is to mistake the living for the dead. That which is dead can never truly be one thing.


Notes on Necessity

There is a sense in which possibility is not opposed to necessity but is, in fact, a consequence of it. All necessity, as such, entails possibility inasmuch as something necessary cannot contain any repugnance within itself. The source of possibility is, in this case, ontologically posterior to necessity.

Possibility is also unopposed to necessity inasmuch as something possible undergoes motion, meaning the reduction of some potency to act. That which was first in potency and later in act can be necessary.

Ontologically speaking, possibility and necessity are opposed to one another when possibility is taken to mean contingent. Contingency is the possibility for non-existence, and that which is potentially non-existent cannot possibly be necessary.