Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Whether the soul when separated from the body is capable of understanding?

by Alan S. Cajes

Note: This paper was written in 1995 as a requirement for the Course "Disputed Questions of St. Thomas Aquinas". It demonstrates how Aquinas analyzes and discusses a philosophical or theological question. Aquinas proceeds by clarifying the issue, stating the objections, and demolishing the arguments of the objections. The picture is from omengeorge.gfxartist.com/artworks/146527.

Statement of the Problem

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, man's knowledge, taking its start from the senses, proceeds in this order: first, it begins in the senses; second, it is completed in the intellect. Hence, nothing is in the intellect which is not first in the senses. Now, when the soul is separated from the body, can it understand anything?


It seems that the soul, when separated from the body, is incapable of understanding for the following reasons:

1) No activity common to the soul and body can remain in the soul after death. But understanding is an activity common to the soul and the body. As Aristotle said, to say that the soul understands is like saying that it weaves or builds.

2) Aristotle said that understanding does not take place without a phantasm. But phantasms exist in the sense organs. Therefore, phantasms cannot exist in the separated soul.

3) Aristotle further said that understanding is related to phantasm as the senses are to sensible things. But sense can have sensation only when sensible things are presented to it. Hence, the soul (as stated in the second objection) cannot understand anything unless phantasms are presented to it. But phantasms are not presented to the soul after death after death because they are presented only to a bodily organ. Hence, the soul cannot understand after death.

4) Aristotle further said that the intellect is related to phantasms as sight is to colors. But sight cannot see without colors. Therefore, the intellect does not understand without the body.

5) The object of a power is determined by the nature of the power itself. But the nature of the intellectual soul is the same before and after death. Therefore if the intellective soul has an ordination to phantasms as objects before death, it seems that it will likewise have it after death. Now, this is not tenable considering that the phantasms cannot exist in the separated soul, as shown above.

6) A form is not united to matter for the sake of the matter but for the sake of the form; for the form is the is the end and the perfection of matter. Now form is united to matter for the sake of fulfilling its own proper operation. Hence, a form requires that specific type of matter by which its own operation can be carried to completion. Now, the soul is the form of the body. Consequently, the soul is united to that specific type of body which is adapted to carrying out the soul's proper operation. Now, the soul's proper operation consists in understanding. Therefore, if the soul can understand without the body, then the soul is united to the body in vain.

7) If the separated soul is capable of understanding, then, it understands in a more excellent manner when apart from the body than when united to it. For beings which have no need of phantasms in order to understand do so in a more excellent way than we, who understand through the medium of phantasms. Now, the good of the soul lies in its act of understanding; for the perfection of every substance consists in its own proper operation. Therefore, if the soul is capable of understanding without the aid of phantasms when separated from the body, then it would be harmful to the soul to be united to a body, and hence, would not be natural to it.

8) Power is diversified by their objects. But the objects of the intellective soul are phantasms. Hence, if the intellective soul when separated from the body understands without phantasms, it must have powers other than those which it possesses when united to the body. But that is impossible, since the soul's powers are natural to it and inhere in it inseparably.

9) If the separated soul understands, it must understand by means of some power. Now there are only two powers of the soul: The agent intellect and the possible intellect. But it seems that the separated soul does not understand by means of either of these powers. For the operation of each of them bears on phantasms. The agent intellect renders phantasms actually intelligible, whereas the possible intellect receives the intelligible species abstracted from phantasms.

10) There is but one proper operation for one thing, just as there is only one perfection for one perfectible thing. Therefore, if the operation of the soul consists in understanding by receiving intelligible species from phantasms, it seems that understanding without phantasms cannot be the operation of the soul. Hence, it does not understand when separated from the body.

11) If the separated soul understands, it must understand by means of something, because understanding takes place when the likeness of the thing understood exists in the one understanding. It cannot be said, however, that the separated soul understands by its own essence. This is only true to God; for His essence being infinite, possesses in itself from eternity every perfection, and thus is the likeness of things. Nor it can be said that the separated soul understands through the essence of the thing understood, because in that case it would understand only those things which are in the soul by virtue of its essence alone. Moreover, it seems that the separated soul cannot understand through any species whether innate or concreated, for this would apparently be a reversion to Plato's theory that we are naturally endowed with all knowledge.

12) Species of this sort seem to be needlessly implanted in the soul because, so long as it remains in the body, the soul cannot understand through them. However, intelligible species seem to have no other purpose than this, that the soul may understand them.

13) It may be argued that, considered in itself, the soul is able to understand through innate species but that, as a matter of fact, it is hindered by the body from understanding through them. On the contrary, the more perfect a thing is in its nature, the more perfect it is in its operation. Now the soul is more perfect in its nature when united to the body than when it is separated from the body, just as every part of the whole is more perfect when it exists in that whole than when separated from it. Therefore, if the soul existing in separation from the body is able to understand through innate species, it is even more capable of understanding through them when united to the body.

14) None of the natural properties of a thing are totally impeded by anything which explains to the nature itself. Now it pertains to the very nature of the soul to be united to the body, because the soul is the form of the body. Hence, if intelligible species are naturally implanted in the soul, the soul would not be prevented from understanding through them because of its union with the body. But experience shows that the contrary is true.

15) Though it seems to be the case, it cannot be said that the separated soul understands through species acquired previously, when united to the body. For many human souls will remain separated from their bodies and will never acquire intelligible species of things, as is evident in the case of the souls of children, and especially of infants who are still-born. Therefore, if the separated soul can understand only through species previously acquired, it would follow that not all separated souls would have understanding.

16) If the separated soul understands only through species previously acquired, it seems to follow that it could understand only those things which it understood in this life while united to the body. This seems to be untrue, however, for the separated soul knows many things concerning punishments and rewards which it does not know in this life. Hence, the separated soul does not understand solely through species acquired before its separation from the body.

17) The intellect is rendered intelligent in act by the intelligible species existing in it. But the intellect existing in act is understanding in act. Therefore, the intellect in act understands all those things whose intelligible species are not retained in the intellect after it ceases to actually understand, and that those species through which it is capable of understanding do not remain in the soul after its separation from the body.

18) Acquired habits give rise to acts similar to those acts by which the habits were acquired. But the intellect acquires intelligible species by turning to phantasms. Hence, it can understand through phantasms only by turning to them. Therefore, when the soul is separated from the body it cannot understand through acquired species as seems to be the case.

19) It cannot be said that the intellect understands through species infused by some higher substance. For every receptive entity has its own proper agent by which it is naturally disposed to receive that which it receives. Now the human intellect is naturally disposed to receive its species from the senses.

20) In the case of those things which are naturally disposed to be caused by inferior agents, the action of a superior agent alone does not suffice to cause them. Now the human soul by its very nature is disposed to receive species from sensible things. The influx of higher substances, therefore, does not alone suffice to account for its reception of intelligible species.

21) An agent should be proportioned to a patient, and an inflowing power to a recipient. But the intelligence of a superior substance is not proportioned to the human intellect, since the former has knowledge which is more universal than ours and which is incomprehensible to us. Therefore, the separated soul cannot understand through species infused by superior substances as seems to be the case. Consequently, there is no way in which the separated soul can understand anything.

22) The higher aspect of the soul is that according to which it turn to the things of God. However, to understand something by reason of divine revelation depends on the body because man must understand through conversion to phantasms which are in a bodily organ. As Dionysius said, it is impossible for the divine radiance to shine on us unless it is shrouded with a variety of sacred veils. Now, veils are the bodily forms under which spiritual things are revealed. Hence, the act of understanding which belongs to the soul according to its higher aspect depends on the body.

23) In Ecclesiastes 9:5, it is stated that "for the living know that they shall die, but the dead know nothing more". The Gloss reads "For they make no more progress"., Taking more in a temporal sense, it seems that after death the soul either knows nothing or at least it can understand anything it did not understand before. Otherwise, the soul would make more progress, which is contrary to the Gloss.

24) If it be said that the soul understands through infused species, the answer is that such species were infused either by God or by an angel. This cannot be done by an angel, because, if they were, these species would have to be created in the soul by the angel. Similarly, they are not infused by God, because it is not probable that God would infuse His gifts into souls existing in hell. Hence, it would follow that the souls in hell would not understand.

On the Contrary

1) According to Damascene, no substance is deprived of its proper activity. Now, the proper activity of the soul is to understand. Therefore, the soul understands after death.

2) In the same way that something becomes passive when united with a material body, something also becomes actives when separated from the same body. In this context, the soul becomes completely active by its separation from the body. It should be noted that it is due to the passivity of the powers of the soul that the soul cannot know itself without exterior objects as Aristotle said of the senses. Thus, the soul can understand itself without reception from any objects when it is separated from the body.

3) According to Augustine, just as the mind itself obtains knowledge of bodily things through the senses of the body, so it obtains knowledge of incorporeal things through itself. Hence, it will be able to understand at least of incorporeal things after death.

4) The soul knows corporeal things in so far as it fashions likenesses of these things and draws them within itself. But the soul can do this more friendly after its separation from the body, especially since Augustine said it does so by itself as quoted above. Thus, the soul can understand better after death.

5) In Spirit and Soul, it is stated that the soul takes its powers along with it when it is separated from the body. Now the soul is called cognoscitive because of its powers. Thus, it will be able to know after death.

6) Understanding is the highest and proper operation of the soul. So, if it does not belong to the separated soul, then, none of the other operations of the soul would belong to the soul. Now, if some operations do not belong to the separated soul, then, it is not possible for the soul to exist without the body. But the soul exists when separated from the body. Hence, it should understand after death.

7) Those whom the scripture records as having been brought back to life, possessed the same knowledge after this event that they had possessed before. Thus, the knowledge of those things which a man possesses in this life is not taken away from him after death. Consequently, the separated soul can understand through species acquired before death.

8) The likeness of inferior beings is found in superior ones. Now, the soul is superior in nature to all corporeal things. Thus, the soul by its very nature, is capable of understanding all corporeal things, even when it will exist in separation from the body.


What makes it difficult to solve the problem is the fact that our soul, in its condition in this life, understands through sensible things. This problem, however, would not be difficult to solve if the Platonists' theory of knowledge is tenable in every respect.

For the Platonists, the soul does not need the senses essentially (per se) but only accidentally in order to understand because the soul is stirred only by the senses to recollect, to remember things which it knew in a previous existence, i.e., before its embodiment. Plato, himself, held that the ideas of things subsist apart from them and are actually intelligible entities. The soul can know and understand these ideas by participating in them and by some kind of infusion. Prior to its union with the body, the soul was able to know these ideas, but as a result of the union, it forgets the things it has previously known. Thus, by some kind of stimulation by the senses, the soul can turn back upon itself and recollect those ideas it had previously known.

Under this theory, it is hard to explain the soul's union with the body because this union is not for the sake of the soul in the sense that an embodied soul can still exercise its proper operation, although it is impeded by its being impeded. Similarly, it cannot be argued that the union of the soul and the body is for the sake of the soul since the soul does not exist for the sake of the body but rather the body exists for the sake of the soul, the soul being nobler than the body. It would also follow from this theory that the embodiment of the soul is not natural for whatever is natural to a thing does not impede the operation proper to that thing. Hence, if union with a body impedes the soul's understanding, the union would be contrary to the nature of the soul to be embodied. It is, however, absurd to say that man, who is constituted of a soul united to a body, is not a natural being.

The Platonist's theory of knowledge seems to be contrary to experience because human knowledge is not the result of participation in separated substances, but is acquired from sensible things. In fact, those who lack one sense lack knowledge of sensible things apprehended by that sense. A person who is born blind cannot have knowledge of colors.

Another theory, one which was maintained by Avicenna, stated that the human soul needs the senses essentially not to acquire knowledge from sense-objects but because the senses dispose the soul to acquire knowledge from some other source. This theory holds that the intelligible species through which man understands flows into the intellect from a separate substance called Agent Intelligence. Through the operation of the sense organs, the intellect is prepared for orienting itself toward the Agent Intellect and for receiving the influx of intelligible species from it. In other words, all substantial forms flow from the Agent Intellect and that the natural agents only dispose the matter for receiving phantasms from the Agent Intellect.

It would follow from this view that man immediately acquires all knowledge, both of things he perceives through the senses and of other things.
On the contrary, however, we need the sentient powers in order to understand, not only to acquire knowledge but to utilize the knowledge already acquired. It is a fact that we cannot reflect upon the things we know without turning to phantasms. This is the reason why, even in reflecting upon things which it knows, the soul is impeded in its operation by injuries to the organs of the sentient powers whereby the phantasms are retained and apprehended. Moreover, Dionysius said that the divine light cannot shine upon us unless it is screened through the influence of superior substances. Hence, it is also evident that in things divinely revealed to us through the influence of superior substances, we have need of certain phantasms.

On the other hand, Aristotle said that phantasms are to the intellect what sensible things are to sense. Through the phantasms rendered actually intelligible by the agent intellect, the agent intellect produces knowledge in the possible intellect. This theory of knowledge can be explained further through the activities of beings.

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the rational soul receives its being in a mode midway between separated forms and material forms. On one hand, the immaterial forms or angels receive from God a being which does not depend on matter and is not in any matter; on the other hand, the material forms receive from God a being which is in matter and depends on matter since they cannot be observed without matter. 
The soul, however, receives from God a being which is in matter, for it exists in matter as the form of the body, and through this it is its being to be embodied, but it is not dependent on matter in the sense that the being of the soul can be maintained without the body.

The soul is lowest in the order of intellectual substances. As such, it participates in intellectual light or intellectual nature in the lowest and weakest nature. Hence, it has the most imperfect kind of knowledge, i.e., it knows in the "universal and distinctly". That is why the soul must acquire knowledge of truth from singular things so that its knowledge may be perfect in its kind and bear directly on the singulars. Now, the light of the agent intellect is necessary in order that things may be received in the soul and may exist there in a higher mode than that in which they exists naturally. Therefore, it was necessary that the soul be embodied for the perfection of its intellectual operation.

It should be noted, however, that under this condition of union of the soul and the body, nothing is in the intellect which is not first in the senses. And for this reason, also, God does not make any revelations to the soul except under the species of phantasms, nor is it able to understand separated substances, inasmuch as these cannot be sufficiently known through the species of sensible things.

But, when the soul is separated from the body, then it will be able to receive the influx of intellectual knowledge in the way in which the angels receive it, without any ordination to the body. Thus, it will receive species of things from God himself and will be able to see separated substances, such as angels and demons, with natural knowledge, although it will not be able to see God in this way, for without grace this is not given to any creature. In other words, when the soul is completely separated from the body, it will be able to receive infused knowledge from superior substances more fully because it will be able to understand without a phantasm.

Knowledge under this condition, however, is not as perfect and as directly related to singulars as the knowledge we acquire through the senses. Nevertheless, the separated soul will have a determinate knowledge of singular things which they had previously known here below, and whose intelligible species they retain in themselves.
From the foregoing, it may be concluded that the separated soul understands in three ways: it understands through species which it received from things while it was in the body; through species which God infuses in it at the time of its separation from the body; and by seeing separated substances and looking at the species of things which are in them. This last mode does not lie within their free choice but within that of the separated substance, which opens its intelligence when it speaks and closes it when it is silent.

Answers to Objections

1) The activity of understanding common to soul and body is an activity of the soul in its relation with the body. After death, the soul will have an activity which will not take place through a bodily organ and will have no ordination to the body.

2) Aristotle spoke of the intellectual operation of the soul as embodied, under which condition, the soul does not understand without a phantasm.

3) Aristotle is speaking here only of the understanding united to the body, not of the separated soul.

4) The answer is clear from the preceding answers.

5) Although the nature of the soul is specifically the same before and after death, its mode of being is not the same. Consequently, its mode of activity is not the same.

6) The soul is united to the body by virtue of the operations of the soul which is understanding, not because it could in no way understand without a body, but because in the natural order it could not understand perfectly without the body.

7) Thus, the answer to the seventh objection is evident.

8) Phantasms are objects of the intellect only in so far as they are rendered actually intelligible by the light of the agent intellect. Consequently, actually intelligible species which are received in the intellect, wherever they may come, will have no formal objects; and it is by their formal objects that the powers of the soul are differentiated.

9) The operations of the agent and possible intellects bear on phantasms as long as the soul is embodied. But when the soul is separated from the body, it will receive through its possible intellect the species that flow in it from superior substances, and it will have the power of understanding through its agent intellect.

10) The proper operation of the soul is to understand things that are actually intelligible. Moreover, intellectual operation is not diversified specifically because actual intelligibles are received from phantasms elsewhere.

11) The separated soul does not understand things through its own essence, nor through the essences of the things understood but through species flowing into it from superior substances nor does it understand things from the very beginning of existence.

12) The reply to the twelfth objection is evident.

13) If the soul, when united to the body, possessed innate species, it would be able to understand through them, just as it understands through acquired species. Now, although it is more perfect in its nature (as embodied), nevertheless, on account of bodily movements and sense activities, the soul is held in check, so that it cannot be united to superior substances in order to receive infused knowledge from them, as it does when it is separated from the body.

14) To understand through infused species is not natural to the soul as embodied, but only after it has left the body.

15) Separated souls will indeed be able to understand through species acquired previously while they existed in the body, but not through them alone. They will also understand through infused species.

16) The reply to objection sixteenth is evident.

17) Intelligible species sometimes exist in the possible intellect only potentially; and when that is the case man knows only potentially, and thus, needs to be made actually knowing either by teaching or by discovery. However, sometimes intelligible species exist in the possible intellect in a complete actual way, in which it knows actually. Sometimes, however, they exist in it in a mode midway between potency and act, i.e., as a habit, in which case the intellect can understand actually whenever it wishes. However, due to this mode of existing, acquired intelligible species exist in the possible intellect even when it is not performing acts of understanding.

18) An intellectual operation, whose actually understood object is received from phantasms, does nor differ specifically from an intellectual operation whose object is derived from some other source. For the operation of a power is distinguished and specified by the formal nature of the object, not by its matter. Hence, if the separated soul understands through intelligible species which are retained in the intellect, and which were previously acquired from phantasms, and not by actually turning itself to phantasms, the operation which results from the species so acquired, and the operation by which those species are acquired, will not be specifically different.

19) The possible intellect is disposed by nature to receive species from phantasms only so far as the phantasms are actually by the light of the agent intellect, which is a kind of participation of the light of superior substances. Consequently, the intellect is not prevented from being able to receive species from superior substances.

20) As embodied, the soul is disposed by nature to acquire knowledge from phantasms, and in this state its knowledge cannot be caused by superior agents alone. But this will be possible when the soul is separated from the body.

21) From the fact that the knowledge of separate substances is not proportioned to the soul, it does not follow that the soul is incapable of grasping any knowledge from the influx of those substances, but only that it cannot grasp a perfect and distinct knowledge.

22) The solution to the problem is clear from the first response.

23) The citation is speaking of progress in merit, as it is clear from another gloss which says that some assert that merit increases and decreases after death, so that it be understood that there is no further advance in knowledge, which means that they have more merit or reward, or that they may deserve clearer knowledge, but it does not mean that they will not then know anything which was previously unknown. It is clear, for example, that they will know the punishments of hell, which they do not know now.

24) The infusion of the gifts of grace does not reach those who are in hell, but these souls are deprived of the things which belong to the state of nature. As Dionysius said, nothing is completely deprived of a share in the good. But the infusion of species which is given when the soul is separated from the body, belongs to the natural state of separated substances. Thus, the souls of the damned are not deprived of this infusion.

The Problem as Discussed in Summa Theologica

Article 1: Whether the separated soul can understand anything.

Objection 1. The understanding is corrupted together with its interior principles. The human interior principles are corrupted in death. Hence, the soul understands nothing after death.

Objection 2. The human soul is hindered from understanding when the senses are bound, and by a disordered imagination. Death destroys the senses and imagination. Hence, the soul cannot understand anything after death.

Objection 3. If the separated soul can understand, this must be through some senses. This is not possible however, because it is like a tablet on which nothing is written. Nor through species abstracted from things for it won't have organs of sense and imagination. Nor through species formerly abstracted and retained, otherwise, a child's soul would not know anything after death. Nor through divinely infused intelligible species for such knowledge is not natural but an effect of grace. Hence, the soul understands nothing after death.

On the Contrary --

If the soul had no proper operation, it could not be separated from the body. But the soul is separated from the body. Hence, it has a proper operation that includes understanding. Consequently, the soul understands when apart from the body.

Reply --

Nothing acts except so far as it is actual since the mode of action of every agent follows from its mode of being. Now, the soul has one mode of existing when joined to the body, and another when separated from it, although its nature always remains the same. It is in this context that the soul's union with the body is not accidental but by reason of its nature. The reason for this is that the embodied soul has a mode of understanding by turning to corporeal phantasms, which are in corporeal organs. It is natural for the embodied soul to understand through phantasms so that it may have an existence and an operation suitable to its nature. On the other hand, when it is separated from the body, its mode of understanding is by turning to absolutely intelligible objects, as is proper to other separate substances.

Here, however, arises a difficulty. Since a thing is always directed at what is best, and since it is better to understand by turning to phantasms, God should have created the soul's nature in a way that the nobler way of understanding would have been natural to it so that it would not need the body for such purpose. This difficulty, however, can be answered in the following manner: Although it is nobler in itself to understand by turning to something higher than to phantasm, nevertheless, such mode of understanding would not be so perfect as regards what is possible to the soul since every intellectual substance possesses the power of understanding by the influx of the Divine light, which is one and simple in its first principle, and the farther off intellectual creatures are from the first principle, the more is the light divided and diversified, as is the case with lines radiating from the center of a circle. It is God alone by His own essence understands all things.

The superior intellectual substances, because of the efficaciousness of the intellectual power of their nature, understand by means of many forms, which are, nevertheless, fewer and more universal and bestow a deeper comprehension of things. The inferior intellectual natures, on the other hand, possess a greater number of forms which are less universal, and bestow a lower degree of comprehension in proportion of their nature. Knowledge of inferior intellectual substances would be imperfect and of general and confused nature if they received forms in the same degree of universality as the superior substances that are very strong in understanding. This is evident in the case of men since those who are of weaker intellect fail to acquire perfect knowledge through the universal conceptions than those who have a better understanding unless things are explained to them singly and in detail.

It becomes clear, then, that in the natural order, the human souls hold the lowest place among intellectual substances. This is so because the perfection of the universe required various degrees of being.
So, in order for the souls to possess perfect and proper knowledge, they have a nature which required them to be embodied so as to receive a proper knowledge of sensible things from the sensible things themselves. Hence, it was for the soul's good to be united to a body and to understand by turning to phantasms although it is possible for it to exists apart from the body and to understand in another way.

Reply to Objections

1. The statement means that understanding is a movement of body and soul as united, just as sensation is for he had not yet explained the difference between intellect and sense. It could also mean that he refers to the way of understanding by turning to phantasms. This is also the meaning of the second objection.

2. The separated soul does not understand by 1) way of innate species; 2) species abstracted in that state; and 3) retained species. This has been proven by the objection itself. But the soul, as separated, understands by means of participated species arising from the influx of the Divine Lights, shared by the soul as by other separate substances, though in a lesser degree. Hence, as soon as the souls is separated, it turns at once to the superior things and ceases to act but turning to the body. This way of knowing, however, is not unnatural for God authors both the influx of the light of grace and of the light of nature.

The Problem as Discussed in Summa Contra Gentiles

Objection: Aristotle said that after death we do not remember what we know in life. Evidently, then, no operation of the soul can remain after death.

Reply: The proposition advanced that no operation can remain in the soul is false in view of the fact that those operations which are not exercised through an organ, such as understanding and willing, do remain. What will not remain are those operations that are carried out by means of bodily organs such as nutritive and sensitive powers.

It should be noted that understanding of the soul differs in manner when separated from the body and when united to it, since a thing acts according as it is. As embodied, the soul understands through phantasms despite the fact that this operation does not depend on the body as though it is effected through the instrumentality of a bodily organ. In this mode of knowing, understanding as well as remembering perishes with the death of the body.
As separated, however, the soul exists by itself, apart form the body. Hence, its operation , which is understanding, will not be fulfilled in relation to those objects existing in bodily organs, which the phantasms are. On the contrary, the soul will understand through itself, in a manner of separated substances. From those separated substances, as from things above it, the separated soul will be able to receive a more abundant influx, productive of a more perfect understanding on its own part. For the more the soul is freed from the preoccupations with its body, the more fit does it become to understand higher things. This is so because human soul is situated on the boundary line between corporeal and incorporeal substances, as though it existed on the horizon of eternity and time, it approaches to the highest by withdrawing from the lowest.

Thus, when the soul is separated from the body, it will be perfectly likened to separate substances in its mode of understanding, and will receive their influx abundantly. Therefore, although the mode of understanding vouchsafed to us in the present life ceases upon the death of the body, nevertheless another and higher mode of understanding will take place. In the case of recollection, being an act performed through a bodily organ, it cannot remain in the soul after death, unless recollection is taken equivocally for the understanding of things one knew before. Since the intelligible species are received into the possible intellect inexpugnably, there must be present in the separated soul even the things that it knew in this life.

No comments: