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From the relation obtaining between the organism and its vital principle, it necessarily follows, in the second place, that metempsychosis, or the doctrine according to which any soul may inhabit any body, is impossible. Since the soul is the function of the body, or rather, the sum of its functions or the resultant of its forces, it is evident that its manifestations or acts (that is, in the last analysis, the soul itself, since it is essentially action and energy) are determined by the nature and special organization of the body which it animates. We cannot produce the tones of the flute by means of an anvil, nor the sound of an anvil by a flute. It is equally impossible to have a human soul in the body of a horse, and vice versa.

The body is potentiality or capacity, and the soul its energy or function. The latter, again, is potentiality or capacity, or rather a sum of capacities (duvápeus); it consists of the capacities of feeling, perceiving, and willing, of which sensation, perception, and volition are the actions or energies. Hence the soul is the entelechy or primary function of an organized body, and its manifestations or effects are the secondary functions or energies of this body.

In so far as the soul is sensation, imagination, memory, and will, it suffers the fate of all earthly things; it is perishable ($daptós ?). The intellect itself has a mortal part in addition to its immortal and divine element. The mortal part comprises the sum of our ideas in so far as these are determined by bodily impressions, that is, whatever the intellect receives, suffers, and does not create or bring forth. The entire passive side of the intelligence (voûs TantiKÓS) shares the fate of the body, without which it ' cannot be conceived. Only the active intellect (vous troinTLÓS), the pure reason, which conceives the universal and the divine, enjoys the privilege of immortality; for it alone cannot be explained as a function of the body; nay it is essentially different (ψυχής γένος έτερον) and separable (xwplotóv) from this, while the other faculties cannot be separated from it (τα λοιπά μόρια της ψυχής ουκ έστι xwplotá?). The active intellect is not a capacity, but an actual being (ovo la èvepyelą öv); it is not a product of nature, a result of the development of the soul, like sensibility, imagination, and memory; it is not a product, an effect, or a creature at all, but an absolute principle (delov), that existed before the soul as well before the body, and was united with it mechanically (Búpabev). This separate intellect (xwplotós) is absolutely immaterial (åperyńs), impassive (arabńs), imperishable, and eternal (åbavatos kai åtecos); without it the passive and perishable intellect cannot think (άνευ τούτου ουδέν νοεί 2).

1 De anima, II., 1: Ει δή τι κοινών επί πάσης ψυχής δεί λέγειν, είη αν εντελέχεια η πρώτη σώματος φυσικού οργανικού.

2 De anima, ΠΙ., 5: ο δε παθητικός νους φθαρτός.

This seeming immortality, with which Aristotle endows the soul, again disappears when we remember that not only does the active intellect not constitute the thinking individual, but that it does not even form a part of him, – that it comes from without (8 úpadev), and is not bound to the me. by any organic tie. It is hard to tell what Aristotle really means by this active intellect, and the majority of his many commentators have exhausted their wits in trying to explain it. The logic of the system demands that we identify it with God himself; for its definition agrees, in every respect, with that of the absolute vous,4 Moreover, Aristotle cannot assume a plurality of separate intelligences without contradicting a principle of his metaphysics: whatever is plural is material. The volls Trolntukós is declared to be

1 De anima, II., 9. 3 Id., III., 5. Cf. De gener. et corrupt., II, 3. 8 Met., XII., 3, 10.

4 Ibid. 6 Id.. XIII., 6, 21.

absolutely immaterial (atraońs, aucyńs). Hence it can only exist in the singular: it is unique, and resembles the immanent reason, the world-soul, or the universal spirit (Nóryos TOû Tavtós) of Stoic pantheism, of which the particular souls are temporary personifications. The transcendency of the God of Aristotle would not exclude such an interpretation, for the Metaphysics affirms both the transcendency of the Deity and his immanency in the universe as the phy. sical and moral order of the world; but what excludes it is the very emphatic assertion that the active intellect is substantial (ούτος ο νούς χωριστός και απαθής και αμιγής, τη ovolą cøv évepyelą). Logically, this intellect can be nothing

1). but the Supreme Being himself. When Aristotle allows himself to call the voûs àídios a part of the soul and its immortal part at that, we shall say that his logic is at fault. One thing, however, is certain: by affirming that the eternal intelligence alone is immortal, he positively denies individual immortality. On this point of the Peripatetic teaching there cannot be the slightest dispute.

The active intellect (TOINTIKOS) is by no means identical with the human intellect, and its immortality is of little or no use. Indeed, according to Aristotle's theory of knowledge, which is closely akin to the teachings of Democritus and sensationalism, the human understanding is not the creator or the father (TTOINTÁS), but only the recipient or the mother of ideas. It is, by nature, devoid of all content, and resembles an empty tablet or a white page (ypappatelov Q undèv υπάρχει εντελεχεία γεγραμμένον 2). Peripatetic sensualism does not, however, exclude the excipe intellectum of Leibniz, but assumes that ideas preexist in the mind, if not actually, potentially at least (duvápei); in other words, it maintains that the mind originally possesses, not ready-made ideas, but the faculty of forming them. The ex nihilo nihil is 1 De anima, III., 5.

? Id., III., 4. * See the discussions of this subject by Locke and Leibniz (S$ 56 and 57)


one of Aristotle's fundamental doctrines. Although he holds that the infant mind is an empty tablet, that expe rience is the source of our knowledge, that intelligence is developed and realized by sensation, he does not teach either an anti-philosophical dualism or a vulgar mechanism. On the contrary, dualism affirms one of the principles of knowledge to the exclusion of the other; it isolates thought and keeps it from having intercourse with nature, on the plea that any increase produced through the senses would be a pollution. Plato teaches such a dualism. As far as Aristotle is concerned, the charge of dualism may with justice be brought against his theology, on the one hand, and his theory of the active intellect, on the other.

The presence of the voüs makes the human soul an intermediate being between the animal and God. In sensibility, perception, and memory, it resembles the animal; in reason it is like God. This dual aspect constitutes its originality as a moral being. There can be no morality without the coexistence of animal and intellectual principles. The animal is not a moral being, because it is devoid of intellect. Nor can there be any question of morality in the case of God, who is pure thought. Hence morality is the distinguishing characteristic of human nature, and if the end of every be ng is the complete and perfect realization of its nature, the end of human life consists neither in the one-sided development of the animal functions nor in changing man into God (which would be foolish and impossible), but in the complete and harmonious expansion of our dual essence. For man the highest good consists in the happiness (eudalpovía) resulting from the harmonious coöperation of the intellect and the animal elements. Such a state of equilibrium constitutes virtue. The harmony between the active and passive intellect is called intellectual virtue (åperò diavonTiKÝ); this manifests itself as wisdom in theory, and as prudence or common-sense (dpornois, eúßouría) in practice.


The harmony between the intellect and the will is called ethical virtue (apety noun), that is, courage, temperance, liberality, magnificence, magnanimity, gentleness, sincerity, and sociableness. Virtue is not the extreme opposite of vice (as Plato holds); it is the mean (uboov) between two extremes (äkpa). Courage, for example, is a virtue, and as such the mean between timidity and foolhardiness; liberality is the mean between avarice and prodigality:1

Inasmuch as man is φύσει ζωον πολιτικόν, individuals cannot make and change the State at will; on the contrary, the State forms the individuals. The family, property, and slavery are natural institutions. It is no truer that the same form of government is as suitable to all nations and circumstances than that the same garment fits everybody. The monarchy is the best form of government when the power is in the hands of a good prince; for in this case it is an image of the government of the universe: a perfect monarchy under a perfect monarch. But this form is the most odious of all when it becomes tyranny. The safety of the State consists in a just apportionment of powers, and depends essentially on the strength of the middle classes.2

Aristotle's ethics and politics, like his metaphysics, are decidedly antagonistic to the Utopian ideals of Plato. He is a realist and a positivist, a common-sense thinker, so to speak, and takes into special account the facts of experience; he is exceedingly careful not to set up an ideal goal which humanity can never reach. His entire philosophy is a doctrine of the golden mean, and as far removed from a coarse sensationalism as from an idealism that is out of harmony with real life. In his love of science for science's sake, the suppleness and versatility of his genius, his predilection for measure, proportion, and the harmony of the 1 Nicomachean Ethics, II., 5 ff.

Politics, IV., 9.

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