Peter John Olivi, Questions on Book II of the Sentences


Is the effective principle of a cognitive act (i) a species representative of an object, (ii) a habit, (iii) the [cognitive] power, or (iv) both (ii) and (iii) at once?


(Translation by Robert Pasnau, as an appendix to my 1994 doctoral dissertation at Cornell University. Slight changes made in 2013.)


     1. – [106] It seems that it is produced by a species. First, on account of the assimilation of the cognizer to what is cognized. For every cognition occurs through assimilation.

     2. – Second, on account of representation. For in order for an object to be cognized, the object must be represented to the one who is cognizing. [107]

     3. – Third, on account of bringing the power to the first actuality of knowing. For the first actuality (viz., the form) naturally and causally precedes the second (viz., the operation).

     4. – Fourth, on account of the determination of the power – in itself common and indeterminate – to opposite objects and to opposite acts. On account of this it lacks anything specifying and determining it to a particular object and a particular act.

     5. – Fifth, because acts that differ in species have immediate principles that differ in species. And infinitely many species of acts cannot be produced by a created principle that belongs to one finite species.

     6. – It also seems that it comes from a habit. First, because the act of assenting firmly cannot be produced by a power able to believe or think the opposite, or to be in doubt about both or not to assent or to dissent to either, without a habit that makes the power firm, unwavering and certain.

     7. – Second, because a power able to be deficient in acting and in its manner of acting needs a rule and needs to be regulated by a habit [guarding] against defective and haphazard ways of acting. That is why a chest is made in one way by a man who makes it through the habit of artistry and through established rules of artistry, and in another way by someone who makes it haphazardly, without artistry. Therefore at least a regulated act, carried out expeditiously, easily, and unerringly, can be produced only by a habit.

     8. – Third, because all acts of the same power agree in genus. Therefore the act of the beatific vision of God, and of justifying faith, and of prophecy foreseeing future contingents, and of reason naturally understanding [all] agree in genus. But this is impossible if they come from principles that don't agree in genus, in the way that a substantial power and its accidental habit certainly do not agree in genus. Therefore just as the first three acts come necessarily from the habit of glory, faith, or the prophetic light, so too there must be a fourth (or however many others) of the same power.

     9. – Fourth, because the species of the act follows the species of the habit, and thus habits that differ in species have acts that differ in species. But that which gives a thing its whole species is its whole cause, at least when the quiddity of the thing is simple, so that the account of its genus does not entail another essence apart from the essence of its specific differentia. Therefore etc. [108]

     10. – It also seems that it comes from the power alone. First, because the same action cannot immediately be produced by two causes. Therefore either (i) the cognitive power brings about nothing in the cognitive act, and consequently is not cognitive except only accidently; or (ii) the cognitive act is produced immediately by it alone. But the act cannot be produced by a habit or species unless it is produced by them immediately. Therefore etc.

     11. – Second, because habits are generated and enlarged through acts. Therefore habits are not the cause of those acts, since an effect does not bring about its cause. Therefore acts are produced by the power alone. If you say that to enlarge a habit is not to be the cause of the whole habit, one may still argue that that which per se brings about immediately a homogeneous part of some form cannot per se be immediately produced by that form nor by a part of it, nor further can anything else be produced which is of the same species as that which brings it about.

     12. – Third, because the two previous questions established that the soul does not directly receive any impression from bodies or from objects, insofar as they are objects. Therefore if [the soul] produces habits of cognition through habits and species, then those habits are produced either by it [the soul], by God, or by angels. If by it [the soul], then it already had a cognitive act, since it could not have produced in itself a habit or species except through some act. If, however, this happens by God or by angels then, if they don't give such habits or species to it, it will be unable, by itself, to cognize anything. Furthermore it is absurd that it could not hear a voice or see a light or know that it sees and hears, unless it receives a habit or a species from a superior cause.

     13. – It is proved that it could never be produced by a power and habit taken together. First, because the immediate impression of one of them will necessarily be distinct from the immediate impression of the other. Therefore an act proceeding from both would be composed of a dual action. In like manner, when a ray passing through a red window generates a colored ray on the other side, we see that that which there belongs to the species of light comes from the light, while that which there belongs to the species [109] of color comes from the color. But it doesn't seem that such composition can be postulated in the cognitive act. Therefore etc.

     14. – Second, because when two causes concur in bringing about the same act, one must be principal and the other instrumental, and then the instrumental cause must be moved or applied by the principal one through some previous action, and the action produced by the instrumental cause must not come from the principal cause immediately, but only mediately. Therefore the power would have to have from itself alone one action through which it would apply the habit to its action or vice versa. But both are absurd. Therefore etc.

     15. – It is proved that it is produced by none of the three that have been mentioned, neither taken together nor individually. First, because an act is frequently much better than any of these three. This is clear for the act of vision and enjoyment of God. Beatitude consists to such an extent in these [acts] that without them there are no habits or species through which we could be completely blessed. This is further clear because with every perfection of those habits but without those acts we would just as easily will not to exist eternally as to exist eternally.Do I have this right?? It is plain, however, that an effect is not nobler than its cause – especially in something so outstanding.

     16. – Second, because no species – except for that one which is God – could represent God as He is or as both three and one. Also, the beatific vision of God seems to consist in being acted upon by God rather than in acting toward God. So at least the act of seeing God will not come from these three that have been mentioned.



     17. – Concerning this question some have said that certain acts do not arise from a habit or species, as when the soul thinks about itself, but that others do arise from a species not having the force of a habit remaining after the act, but only enduring as long as the act endures, as it is always in fieri, just as the act is. However some of those said that this comes from the object, and does so either through the illumination of the cognitive power or without it, according to what was touched upon in the first question [q.72]. But they said that some things arise from a habit and a species together, as when someone from a habit of knowledge which he already has thinks about the objects of that [110] habit. But with respect to the angelic intellect there are still more views which I have explained at greater length in the question on innate species and in a particular addition adjoined there to it [qq.33-34?].

     18. – Aristotle, however, seems to have held that acts of the particular senses come immediately from an object, just as the illumination of the air is from the sun and the motion of a moveable from a mover. Hence he holds that sensing is a kind of being affected (quoddam pati), and that what is actually sensed is in reality (secundum rem) the same as what is actually the sense – that is, that the object's being sensed by the sense is in reality the same as the sense's sensing the object, just as moving and being moved are the same in reality and differ conceptually (ratione). Hence he says that the seeing of a color is the same as the passive coloring of sight, and hearing is the same as a passive sounding produced in the sense.

     19. – But concerning our intellect he seems to have held that its act – before the acquisition of a habit of knowledge – is only a kind of affection (passio) produced by a phantasm or species of the imagination through the agent intellect's abstraction. And from frequent repetition of this act, and even sometimes from only one occurrence, he says that a habitual apprehension (notitiam) of principles is generated. He calls this habit an intellection (intellectum) or habitual apprehension of conclusions. When it concerns eternal matters he calls this apprehension a habit of wisdom. When it concerns temporal matters that we cannot act on he calls it a habit of science. When it concerns temporal and contingent matters that we can act on and that concern morality, he calls it a habit of prudence. And when it concerns things that we can act on, but that are not moral, he calls it a habit of art, as is clear in the sixth book of his Ethics [1139b14 ff.].

     20. – The way, however, in which he says that an act arises from those habits already acquired or in part innate seems to be confused and mixed up with contraries. For on one hand he says that an act of considering always comes from a phantasm as from the first object of intellect. And he says that this is the cause of why no one, however much that person has habitual knowledge, can actually [111] consider even universals of sensible things without intellect's actual turning to phantasms. Also on account of this he says that the act and use of intellect is impeded by a disturbance to phantasia, even among the most skilled. Also, his general principle is that intellective cognition is a kind of being affected, just as sensing is a kind of being affected.

     21. – But on the other hand Aristotle says that intellect, before these habits, is in a state of essential potentiality to knowing, just as wood not yet ignited is in a state of potentiality to being ignited. But, after it is informed by the aforesaid habits, then it is in merely accidental potentiality to knowing or considering. Accordingly, it needs nothing but the removal of what is preventing it, just as a stone needs nothing in order to tend downward but the removal of what is preventing it. For someone with habitual knowledge is already in first actuality, which is called the form, and as a result, as far as he himself is concerned, he would always be in second actuality – that is, in the action of considering – as long as there is nothing preventing it. Among things that are preventing, however, Aristotle sets forth three. The first is the lack of a phantasm because of forgetfulness – i.e., because of its removal from memory. Second is a disturbance to that phantasm and to its organ, as happens (for example) in sleep and to the mentally ill or to others like them. Third is intellect's turning to other things, which very often the will does by applying intellect to other things.

     22. – But Aristotle says in II De anima [417b16-17] that the first alteration and first act of the sensory [soul] is produced by what generates it. By that he seems to mean that just as through the first generation the sensory [soul] is disposed for the action of sensing and a healthy eye for the act of seeing, so a habituated intellect (i.e., one that exists in the first act of knowing) is disposed for the act of intellectively cognizing or considering. But, as was said earlier, he does not establish what the sensory [soul] gets from its first act, except only that it is in the ultimate disposition for being affected by its object – that is, for receiving a sensory affection from it – unless it were prevented by the turning of the senses to something else, or through their drowsiness or other things of that sort.

     23. – But it is not clearly distinguishable from his writings whether Aristotle held that an act of imagination or phantasia is produced by a phantasm as by the first and immediate object of imagination, or as by a species habitually informing the core (aciem) of the imaginative power. And so some confusedly mix one [112] with the other, as if in both ways the imaginary act came from the aforesaid imaginary species, which he calls phantasms. Nevertheless his followers expressly hold that these species are extended and situated. But Augustine expressly posits that they are simple and spiritual, as I have shown through many of his passages in the question on whether the will is an active power (at the twelfth subproof of the ninth principal argument, where I also add many arguments proving this).[1] Thus the view of Aristotle and his followers runs (currit), as has been said.The point here seems to be that the view has to be abandoned, or something like that. But I can't get such a sense for `currit.'

     24. – Augustine's view is that a cognitive act is the species itself of a present object. And so with respect to a present object he does not postulate any species except the act itself. But with respect to an absent object he postulates two species: first, a memory species which takes the place of the object (but does not take the place of the principle informing the thinker's mind), and then second he postulates the thought itself. It is clear that he supposes this in the last three chapters of IX De trinitate, XI De trinitate (chapters 2,3,4,5 and also throughout the whole), Book XII (the last chapter), Book IX (chapters 6,7,8,10 and 17), and Book XV (chapters 3,10,11,13,14,15 and practically throughout). With regard to these many authoritative passages I have said more in the question on whether the will is an active power, in reply to the ninth argument,[2] where I also add authoritative passages of Anselm, who was following Augustine.

     25. – Now in the case of the particular senses, Augustine says that an act of sensing is put together or constituted out of two things: namely, (i) a corporeal species generated in the senses by an object and (ii) the soul's attention turning toward the affection or species imposed by the object. Hence in his book De quantitate animae [ch.24] and in VI Musicae [ch.5] Augustine says that a sensation is an affection of the body that is not per se hidden from the soul.[3] Also in VI Musicae [ch.5] he says that


     when the soul senses in its body it is not affected by something from its body, but acts more attentively concerning its body's affections. For when its body, through a species imposed on it by an object, is altered and the soul puts forth more attentive actions concerning those [affections], then it is said to see or hear or smell or taste or sense by touching.

Further, in De trinitate Book XI (chapter two), he asks: What else is vision than [113] a sense informed by that thing that is sensed? Nevertheless, the [external] body by which the sense of the eyes is formed is not of the same substance as the form imposed on the sense by that same [body], which is called vision. For a sense (i.e., an unformed extrinsic sense) or a vision (i.e., a formed extrinsic sense) pertains to the nature of something that has a soul, which is altogether different from that body that we sense by seeing. Also, later in the same work [De trin. XI,2]:


     From the body that is seen a vision is produced – i.e., the sense itself is formed, so that now it is not only a sense, but also an informed sense, which is called vision. Therefore a vision is generated from a visible thing, but not from it alone unless the thing that is seeing is also present. For that reason a vision is generated by a visible object and by that which is seeing, so that of course the sense of the eyes and the intention of the one attending come from the one seeing. Nevertheless that informing of the sense that is called vision is imposed only by the body that is seen.

Also, below in the same work [XI,2]:


     For there are three things – namely (i) the species of the body that is seen and (ii) its image imposed on the sense, which is the vision or formed sense, and (iii) the mind's will, which joins the sense to the sensible thing. The first of these does not pertain to the nature of things with souls except when we discern our body. But the second does pertain, in this way: that it is produced in the body and through the body to the soul. For it is produced in a sense that exists neither without body nor without soul. The third belongs to the soul alone.

     26. – But concerning the act of the particular senses Augustine said some things in the manner of someone uncertain and wavering from one view to another, as I showed above in the second question [q.73]. On that account, investigating in my small way that about which he spoke more certainly, without prejudging the outcome of a better investigation and explication, I say that cognitive acts are brought about by the power, but not through its bare essence alone.[4] Rather, in every case an actual attention that actually is terminated at the object is required. Concerning this enough was dealt with in the preceding question. And so, when an exterior thing per se is not exposed to the attention, it must be that in place of that thing some memory species is exposed to the attention which is not the principle of a cognitive act, except only in the manner of a terminating and representative object, as will be touched on below [ΆΆ35-42]. And, in the case of powers that have organs, the proper disposition of the organ is required in addition to this – not only their substantial disposition, but also [114] accidental. Also, the power is required to exist in the organ in the proper manner. And perhaps in every case some accidental clarity or liveliness is required, which occurs to a greater or lesser extent not only in different persons, but also in the same person at different times. We call this clarity within intellect an ingenuity that is teachable and acute or lucid, ready to learn or investigate easily many and profound things. And this is one sort of habit within the cognitive powers. Also, with respect to certain acts or ways of acting, the interior powers (especially the superior ones) require some other habits that determine the power to an habitual assent or dissent. Sometimes these have to do with knowledge, and sometimes with belief or opinion.

     27. – But so that we might pursue more distinctly and orderly all the things that must be dealt with in favor of this view and against those opposed to it, we should know that seven things must be demonstrated here.

     28. First, that in place of absent objects a memory species is necessary, and that this, in the case of the intellective act, is intellectual and in the intellectual memory – although in the case of sensible things some species of the sensory memory is necessary here beyond this.

     29. – Second, that some habitual clarity or liveliness of the power is necessary in order to act.

     30. – Third, that sometimes another habit is required there determining the power to a special object; that sometimes it is not necessarily required, but nevertheless co-operates in a readier manner of acting – sometimes a better one, sometimes a worse; and that all these habits differ from memory species and do not properly have a nature that is representative of their objects.

     31. – Fourth, that the soul does not form in the core of its power a species through which a cognitive act is produced.

     32. – Fifth, that no species that would inform the power's core is necessary to produce an act. And much less is a corporeal species necessary there.

     33. – Sixth, that every cognitive or doxastic act is carried out by that power as by an active force.

     34. – Seventh, [115] that that [power] and its attention and its habits so concur in one effective principle of that act that they don't have the nature of multiple agents, but only of one.

     35. – The first thesis – namely, that for the cognition or thought of absent objects some species for the object is necessary – is proved:

     36. – First, because every attention directed toward an object necessarily has its terminus in something. For one cannot attend to nothing nor have a terminus in nothing. Also, that in which [the attention] is terminated must be present to it, so that the attention itself attains it virtually. But when we think about something that is not actual (or if it is, is not present to our attention), then the attention cannot be attached to and terminated in that thing. Therefore in that case some image of the thing must be exposed to the attention and be its terminus.

     37. – Second, because if no object's presence is necessary for a cognitive act, then we wouldn't need to turn the power and its attention to anything. Rather, without any turning to and without any attention we would think about that thing. But constant experience establishes that we can't do this. Nor is this surprising, since in the question on "whether a power of creating can be communicated to a creature"[5] it was proved many times over that no creature can act unless through an attention that is virtually directed and has its terminus in some being actually present to it.

     38. – Third, because, as is clear from the preceding questions [qq.72-73], an object, insofar as it terminates the attention of the power and its act, truly co-operates in the production of that act, in such a way that it is impossible that it be produced without such a co-operation. Therefore the thought of an absent thing cannot be produced without the co-operation of some present object.

     39. – Fourth, because a power in itself alone is not able to express and represent its objects, since then its essence taken absolutely would be the proper and explicit likeness of all the objects capable of being cognized or thought by it. That is impossible. Therefore the object must either present itself to it [the power] or be represented to it in some imagination, with the result that an act of cognizing resting on either the object itself or its image would be configured or assimilated to it [the object]. This configuration is the specific nature (ratio) of the act itself, as was shown earlier in the first question [q.72 ΆΆ82-83]. But it is clear on this basis that in order for [a power] to think about an absent object through such a species it must [116] tend toward it. And it must do this as it is representative of the absent object rather than as it is in itself a sort of essence quite different from the absent object.

     40. – It is clear also from the arguments just given that a memory species does not inform the power's core so that through such a form it impresses and produces a cognitive act. For such a form or species is not the extrinsic terminus of its attention and act. A memory species, however, is required as the extrinsic terminus of the attention and act.

     41. – But with respect to an act of the intellective power it is proved that it [the species] must be intellectual: First, with respect to absent intellectual objects, as when someone remembers that he had possessed certain acts or habits in intellect or in his free will.[6] Second, with respect to universal objects, as when someone thinks about quiddities at the genus or species level of absent sensible things, taken universally. For these – as they are taken universally in this way – cannot be represented by some species that belongs to imagination. Third, because every memory species is generated through some actual cognition of the object, just as the shape of the seal in the wax was generated by the actual impression of the wax on the seal or the seal on the wax. This impression, to be sure, was a kind of motion and change of the wax itself. But through an impressing motion of that sort it is only in that motion's same subject that a form similar to the seal is brought out. Hence through an act of the interior sense a species is generated in its sensory memory – i.e., in the receptive and material interior of the very same power of which it was an act. And similarly, through an act of intellective cognition a memory species is generated in the matrix-like[7] womb of the intellect itself.

     42. – But that the aforesaid species are generated through such acts is clear not only from the fact that they remain after such acts and are not produced without them, but also from the fact that they first represent such acts and then through them their objects, as is clear when we remember that we have seen or have heard one thing or another. For just as an act of the common sense is included in these acts (without which, according to Augustine, these acts could not exist (Super Genesim ad litteram Book XII, toward the end [ch.25])), so also a memory of these acts includes a memory of the act of the common sense. [117] Hence through this latter act, apprehending and passing judgment on the acts already mentioned, a memory species of it and of those [earlier acts] is generated. Therefore that memory which retains the species of an intellective act retains the species of each and every object of it, to the extent that it was its object. Nor can the species of that object (insofar as that object is related to such an act) be retained through the other memorative power. However, nothing sensible – especially not quantity, figure, and position – can be understood or thought by our intellect unless it is presented to it through an act of imagination or the common sense. For that reason a memory species of intellect itself cannot sufficiently represent something sensible to intellect, unless an act of the imagination or the common sense is connected with it and assists it. For this reason intellect cannot think about even the universal species of sensible things, except by thinking about some particular left vague or made definite (vagum vel signatum), presented to it through an act of the imagination or the common sense. And this is not surprising, because intellect also cannot cognize anything universal concerning intellectual things unless at the same time it thinks about one of that universal's particulars left vague or made definite. For a universal implies or asserts something real only in its particulars; hence it is abstracted by distinguishing its nature from the individual natures adjoined to it, rather than by it itself being separated from those [natures].

     43. – The second thesis – namely, that some habitual clarity or some habitual precision is required for a cognitive act – is proved:

     44. – First, because not only do some have sight or hearing or an intellect that is sharper and readier to perceive its objects more quickly and clearly for the first time than do others, but indeed the same person has this ability at different times. And this is the case with respect not only to conclusions, but also to first principles.

     45. – Second, because through agreeable exercises of these acts the aforesaid acumen is strengthened, and through improper exercises or excessive neglect of agreeable exercises it is blunted and dulled. Nevertheless, as a result of this the substance of the powers is neither weakened nor strengthened.

     46. – Third, because the reason why our intellect cannot see God or separated spirits or even its soul as clearly as the eye can see the earth's visible light is that it does not have enough light and acumen for such an act.

     47. – Fourth, because without weakening intellect's substance its acumen and clarity [118] can be greatly obscured and distorted through perverse emotions and through excessive material adherence to the imagination and the senses. And, vice versa, through pure (sanctos) emotions and tastes it can be habitually clarified and sharpened and enlarged.

     48. – Fifth, because through erroneous or doubtful acts and habits it can be greatly distorted and darkened. But the clarity and uprightness contrary to this darkening and distortion is accidental, just as the contraries of these are.

     49. – The third thesis – namely, that sometimes a habit is required that is different from the sort just discussed – is clear from the habit of faith, without which no one can believe virtuously and in a way that brings salvation those things that we must believe concerning God. But a habit of knowledge, opinion, or appraisal generated by our acts is not necessarily a prerequisite for the act of knowing or forming an opinion; indeed, the act of knowing or forming an opinion is necessarily prior to that habit as its cause. Still, acting in a complete manner has as its prerequisite a complete habit, and consequently such a habit is a necessary prerequisite for that completion of the act which draws on the habit's completeness and its complete manner of acting.

     50. – It is clear, however, that these habits and others like them differ from the first kind of habits. First, because these habits imply an habitual assent or dissent which habitually affirms or denies its objects. But the clarity or acumen discussed above implies no such thing. Second, because directly contrary to these are contrary habitual assents or dissents or habitual doubts and vacillations. But these latter habits, insofar as they are false and defective, take away some of the clarity of the first kind of habits. Third, because these habits give the power its determination toward special objects – indeed they are themselves the formal determinations. The first kind, however, does not imply such a determination of the power for special objects, unless only to the extent that it is in itself sometimes readier to investigate and scrutinize certain fields of knowledge than others – in the way, for instance, that some people are [more inclined] toward mathematics, others toward physics, others toward metaphysics or divinity, others toward politics, while still others toward mechanics, and some toward this kind of mechanics and others toward a different kind.

     51. – It is also proved that these habits differ from the memory species of their objects. First, because [119] species of this sort often are held and can be held (i) along with a contrary habit, and (ii) without either habit. For (i) Judas, believing that Jesus was not God nor born of the Virgin, had memory species of these terms just as does a Christian who believes this claim. Also, (ii) many people know the terms of certain contrary propositions while neither knowing nor believing either side.

     52. – Second, because through the same habit of knowledge we know the same principles or conclusions in connection with present and absent objects. But an object can be presented through memory species only as absent, even when presently seen through another act.

     53. – Third, because the habits under discussion do not properly represent their objects, since they are carried at the same time on top of disparate or contrary objects – for example, when someone believes or knows that God is not a body or an ass, or that white is not black or that a man is white. For both terms of these propositions cannot properly be expressed and represented by the same species.

     54. – Fourth, because memory species do not imply the mind's assent or dissent, even with respect to the proper object that they do properly represent. But the habits under discussion always imply assent or dissent. Hence also, to know the simple nature and quiddity of one term differs from the memory species through which it is represented, since knowing includes assent. For if someone by the verb ‘to know’ means to signify ‘to know without assent,’ then a memory species can be called a certain habitual knowledge or apprehension of the object.

     55. – Fifth, because habits are effective principles of their acts – that is, they are formal dispositions of the power through which it is made capable or more capable of bringing about such an act. Memory species, on the other hand, serve merely as the object terminating the power's act and attention and representing to these the absent object, as was proved earlier [ΆΆ35-42]. Nevertheless, the habits under discussion require the assistance of memory species as objectively connected to them, and for that reason these species are sometimes included under the heading of the habits being discussed.

     56. – The fourth thesis – namely, that in the core of the cognitive power the soul does not form a species through which as through an active form it brings about a cognitive act – is proved:

     57. – First, because it would be superfluous to suppose that it generates a species, since by whatever reason it could through its bare essence generate this species, it could for the same reason [120] by itself alone generate an act.

     58. – Second, because it either could or could not generate in itself the species of objects without its attention's turning toward or fixating on those objects and without the co-operation of those objects as a terminus. If it could, then one essence by itself alone, taken absolutely, will be the sufficient source of an infinite number of species, extending itself to as many genera, species, and individuals as there can be genera and individuals of objects. Not only could it generate that many successively, but indeed it naturally and necessarily will generate them all at once. But if it cannot generate them without the two things specified above, then it follows that to generate a species is no different than to generate a cognitive act that has its terminus in an object. For to generate a species with such a terminus after attending to an object is the same as to apprehend virtually an object and to be assimilated to the object through a power that brings about such an assimilation. Hence Augustine (in I Soliloquies, around the middle [ch.6 n.12]) says that three things are necessary for the soul to see, namely "that it have healthy eyes, that it be attentive, and that it see." And, after speaking of the vision by which God is seen, he says that that attention is followed by vision, which is the attention's end. That vision, however, is an intellection which is in the soul, produced by the one intellectively cognizing and by what is intellectively cognized. It is in this same way, in the eyes, that seeing arises from the sense itself as well as from the sensible object (as is said). If either of these is taken away then nothing can be seen.

     59. – Third, because that species is either a certain action completely similar to the object and expressive of it, or it will be generated through an action that is different from itself. But it can't be reasonably maintained that there is another action there through which it is generated, since that action would have an essence that was impressed by an agent and consequently similar to it as well. Nor could that action generate a species by impressing it, but only by drawing [it] out from the potentiality of the matter (or the material potentiality) of the potentiality itself. From this it would further follow that it could be preserved in the absence of the object, just as a memory species is preserved.

     60. – Fourth, because according to this an intellect united to God through a habit of glory would first generate in itself a certain species of God, so that afterwards through that it would produce the act of seeing. This is completely absurd.

     61. – Nevertheless it should be known that some maintain that a kind of concept or word is formed through an abstractive, investigative, or inventive consideration, in which real objects are intellectively cognized as in a mirror. For they call this [121] the primum intellectum and the immediate object, and it is a kind of intention and concept and defining character (ratio) of things. But that this ought not to be called a word, nor can it be anything other than the act of consideration itself or a memory species formed through that act, I proved in the beginning of the Lectures on John, where the eternal Word of God is discussed.[8]

     62. – It should also be known that because the soul through its cognitive acts forms or brings out in itself and from itself memory species, some believed on that account that the soul in its core forms species through which it would formally or effectively cognize through intellect – especially because it forms in itself not only species of things seen or experienced by itself, but also new combinations of things [experienced] in the past. For it can produce or form these new combinations only out of the things that it first extracted from objects that were experienced through an actual vision or experience of them, as Augustine says in XII De trinitate, ch.10, and in the first epistle to Nebridius [Epistle VII, ch.3, n.6]. There, inquiring into how it happens that we think about things that we haven't seen, he replies that the soul has the power of adding to and diminishing memory species that are received through the senses. But people born blind cannot properly understand or imagine anything about light or colors, since they haven't received the first species of light or color through an act of the senses.

     63. – By ‘adding’ he means the following: that we take one sensible that was perceived without some other and we join them together – for example, when we imagine a golden mountain, or a human body with the head of a cow, and so on in other cases; or when we add to a lesser quantity another – for example, when we think about a grain of wheat as big as an apple, or a man extending from earth up to heaven, or when we think that the light of the moon is as clear and intense as the light of the sun. Diminishing, however, is carried out in the opposite manner – by separating things that are joined, or by subtracting some of the parts from a greater quantity, or by dividing one into many, or by imagining the same thing in many places (although this is closer to addition, being like the multiplication of numbers formed in thought).

     64. – But these sorts of composition and division first occur and are produced in an act of thinking, attending to, and bringing together at once various species that belong to memory. Then, as the result of such an act, a species is born through which we remember the thing. Or perhaps, just as the will moves the core of one thinking to contemplate memory's various species, [122] so at the same time as this it moves the inner parts of memory, along with its species. Then, in virtue of its bringing about different sorts of movement, new compositions or divisions of species are produced in memory. For even in dreams, species seem to be moved and brought forward naturally, before they are seen by the person dreaming.[9] But I'm not concerned about this difficulty. For, regardless of whether these sorts of composition and division are produced (a) through the varying motion of our attention as it contemplates species [in memory], (b) through the movement of memory's virtual parts along with the species by which these parts are informed, or (c) through both movements made at the same time, this has no bearing on the question at hand.

     65. – The fifth thesis – namely that no species informing the power's core (aciem) is necessary for a cognitive act – is clear to some extent from the things already said. And beyond this it is proved:

     66. – First, because in the absence of the objects and the cognitive acts the species either would or would not remain in the core, informing it as before. If it would, then it would have the nature of a memory species rather than a visual one. Also, why would it ever cease from an act, since it would be the natural and proper principle of that act, and since moreover it would not need to acquire from the object a species for itself or for its act? Also, why would it bring forth (ageret) an attention distinct from itself in order to express in actuality an object that is within a power lying under it? Why also, in the absence of objects, would a distinct memory species be required? For it is ridiculous, in order to produce the same simple act, to postulate in the soul two species of an object. On the other hand, if it cannot endure except in the presence of an object and its act, then it is in constant flux and in fieri and consequently also is a kind of action. And its action will be its likeness, which it impresses. And according to this it seems that there will be two species of the same kind, and thus one of them will be superfluous, or they will be actions of different genera, and then one will not impress the other [on anything], just as the action of light does not impress [on anything] the action of heat.

     67. – Second, because not all the species of corporeal objects are innate to the soul – indeed, no such species is. Nor can they be impressed on the soul through corporeal things, as was proved in the first question [q.72]. Therefore the soul will produce them in itself, and so we return to the fourth case, which was disproved just above [ΆΆ56-64].Huh?

     68. – Third, because a species is not needed to represent an object, even though this is what it seemed most needed for. But that it is not needed for this is proved:

¨ First, because when an object is present to an attention that is turned toward it and intent on it, then that object sufficiently presents itself [123] to that attention through its very self – and indeed presents itself even better than through any created species that is deficient in the solid being and proper truth of that object. An absent object, on the other hand, is sufficiently represented to the attention through a memory species.

¨ Second, because it is pointless to postulate a species representing the object to the attention, unless the attention tends toward the species. To tend toward it, however, is the same as to attend to it as a first object, which (with respect to a cognitive act) is characteristic of a terminus or terminative principle rather than an effective one.

¨ Third, because the attention will tend toward the species either in such a way that it would not pass beyond so as to attend to the object, or in such a way that it would pass beyond. If in the first way, then the thing will not be seen in itself but only its image will be seen as if it were the thing itself. That is the role of a memory species, not a visual one. If in the second way (i.e., so that it does pass beyond), then after the inspection of the species it will inspect in addition the object in itself. In this way it will cognize the object in two ways, first through the species and second in itself, and this second will be more the vision of the object than the first. It will indeed be like when someone sees an intervening space and then beyond that sees the fixed object.

¨ Fourth, because from the fact that this species is posited in the mind (acie) as informing it and as the fundamental source of a cognitive act, it follows that when the mind turns its attention toward the species it will bend itself back on itself and its own interior rather than extending itself toward the extrinsic object. Therefore as a result of this it will be diverted from seeing the object rather than led toward seeing the object.

     69. – It is all the more clear that a species of this sort is not a corporeal species: first, because it could not inform the power's simple and spiritual core; also, because it cannot be the intrinsic source of a cognitive act, as has been proved in the earlier questions; also, because no corporeal species existing in the senses can represent a thing as it is in itself with its proper characteristics (proprietatibus), as was proved in the second question [q.73]; also, because a spiritual power and a corporeal species cannot concur so as together (simul) to be one immediate source of one simple action.

     70. – I wonder quite a bit, however, how Augustine in VI Musicae [ch.5] and in De quantitate animae [ch.24] said that to sense [124] external things is the same as not to hide or to turn toward and perceive an affection (passionem) – that is, a corporeal species impressed by an object not in the soul, but in one's body. For this would not be to sense the object itself, but rather would be to sense only its effect, and this insofar as it exists now in the body of the one sensing. And I wonder further how, in XI De trinitate [ch.2], he said that a corporeal species is a vision itself, and that an act of vision is made up of two things – namely, this corporeal species and the soul's actual intention. But as I demonstrated in earlier questions through the words of Augustine himself, he proceeded in this difficult issue by fluctuating and investigating, just as he did in defining the extromission of visual rays.

     71. – The sixth thesis – namely that a cognitive act is brought about by the power itself as by an active force – is proved:

     72. – First, through the same arguments by which it is proved that the will is an active power. For the principal arguments by which philosophers try to prove that cognitive powers are passive and not active prove this no less in the case of the will. But from this follows the destruction of freedom and consequently also of every moral good, as has been proved enough in its proper context.[10]

     73. – Second, constant internal experience proves this. For we sense from within our powers that our acts of cognition are made and go away, and that through them in some way we actively grasp and hold the objects themselves.


     74. – And here among many wonderful things there is one wonderful thing: that although that power, as it is identical to itself, is more intimate to itself (i.e., more the same to itself) than is its cognitive or volitional action, nevertheless in two other respects those acts are more intimate to it – at least those by which it knows and loves itself and God. For just as cognizing is better and more worthy of love than merely existing without any cognition, so existing in the one cognizing as that which is cognized is a higher mode of existing in something than is any existence in itself other than that one. Hence every thing that is not in our cognition nor is hoped to be, for eternity, is related with respect to our [cognition] as if it were altogether a non-being. And hence each one of us has to be non-being to himself, to the extent that he is always uncognized. Therefore a cognitive comprehension of oneself is a kind of higher and more intimate mode of being oneself [125] in oneself and of uniting and deeply rooting oneself in oneself than simple being would be by itself. This sort of union and intimacy is fulfilled in the act of love.

     74a. – Further, when a form that is posterior in natural order and much more fulfilled in perfection comes to a subject or material, [that subject or material] attains the form more profoundly compared to other things and achieves a profounder and higher degree of its own capacity – as is clear for the soul relative to its body's prior corporeal forms. But acts of knowing and loving are posterior in natural order to that soul's substance and power, and are of such perfection, due to their genus, that ultimate happiness consists in them chiefly. Also, God's entire being, essence, power, goodness and happiness consists in those alone, when perfectly fulfilled. Therefore those acts, due to their genus, achieve for their subject a profounder and higher degree of capacity and perfectibility.

     75. – Nor is it contrary to this that those acts do not give to their subject per se existence or substantial existence, as does the soul's substantial form. For just as substantial forms and their matter pre-exist in the fundamental constitution of their suppositum, so those acts pre-exist in its ultimate and fruitful perfection. To understand this more clearly note that the divine perfection is such that it can be communicated to a creature only partially and in parts. Hence we say that a creature participates in the divine perfections – i.e., partially and as if obtaining it through parts. In God, however, [these perfections] are themselves (id ipsum)Something looks wrong here. his fundamental per se existence and his beatific fulfillment, and so each of these perfections consists in acts of his knowing and loving. In us, however, it is impossible for each of these to exist together in one simple essence. For the foundation of our nature cannot be our beatific fulfillment nor vice versa, since from this it would follow that we would be the highest good and God. (This is clear from the arguments that in their place??? I gave to show that the acts of intellective cognition and willing cannot be the substance of some created being.) Therefore God divides the perfection of his acts in us in such a way that their active and receptive force is the foundation of our spiritual nature and substantial life, while those acts are its fulfillment. And because objects (especially divine ones) and the proper order of our powers to them necessarily have to co-operate for the completion of the [126] aforesaid acts, for that reason such an active force could not have been essentially given to our powers so that they could have produced those acts through themselves alone. From the necessity of the aforesaid division, however, the character of our image is derived in a wonderful way. For the nature of our mind, since with all its formal dispositions it is fully able to bring forth an act of apprehension and love, holds the character of the Father, while apprehension has the character of the engendered Word, and love the character of the Holy Spirit.


     76. – Third, this is proved, because if the powers of the soul are not the agents of their acts, then the soul with its powers is, as it were, a bare stump and like a lump of matter, since the mind carries out no act if not through its knowing and willing. (I include here in the act of knowing the acts of forming opinions and believing.) Then the Scriptures would say without reason that the mind is the most noble image of God.???? Also, as a result of this the formal loftiness of the mind's nature cannot be established through the loftiness of these sorts of acts. All that can be established is that it is material and receptive, except to the extent that from the loftiness of the soul's material or receptive power it is consequently proved that it must have a simple and spiritual form.

     77. – Fourth, because when someone senses that he knows and sees and loves, he senses at that point the identity and selfness (suitatem) of himself, so to speak, noticing and sensing this to himself insofar as [he is] cognized and is the active subject (suppositum) [underlying the cognition]. But if an accident is the effective source of those acts, then the opposite ought rather to be sensed – namely, that that accident senses that it is different from the mind's substance and that it senses that what is knowing per se is neither the mind itself nor intellect's very substance.

     78. – Fifth, because it is absurd to say that an accident of the mind reflects itself upon itself. For if a power is not active, then no active reflection observes it, but only some accident belonging to it.

     79. – Sixth, because the most noble and powerful acts proceed from the most noble and powerful source. But knowing and volitional acts are, in terms of their genus, the most noble and dominating of all. Therefore their active source is the most noble, powerful, and commanding. Therefore since fundamental, permanent and per se existence in creatures is not in contradiction with itself – on the contrary, the proper character of personal existence is drawn from it – it follows that the source of acts of this sort is the thing that is most substantial in the being to which it belongs.

     80. – Seventh, because [127] no habit of intellect or will implies per se the character of a principal active power, but only some disposition of that power, determining it to a specific object and to a specific manner of acting. For who will say that faith is the power that engages in believing?[11] And the same holds for other cases.

     81. – The seventh thesis – namely, that a power and its attention and habit do not have the nature of multiple agents, but only of one complete one – is proved:

     82. – First, because the action of understanding is one simple action which is not composed of multiple actions. But where there are multiple agents there are multiple natures, regardless of whether one whole is composed out of them or not. Nor in a power can any action be postulated other than its turning and moving toward various objects. This action is made neither by intellect nor by one of its habits, but rather by a different mover of the intellective power. Therefore a power and its attention and cognitive habit must be one immediate source of the act alone of intellectively cognizing and forming opinions or believing.

     83. – Second, because if they were to have the character of multiple agents, then either one of them would be principal and the other instrumental, or all would be equally principal. No one proposes nor ought to propose the second. But if the first were proposed, then either a habit is the principal agent and the power instrumental, or vice versa. And whichever of these were proposed, the principal would have to have some one action through which it would move the instrumental agent, while the instrumental, in order to be moved in this way, would have to perform another action proper to it. This is clear when a hand, brandishing a sword, harms something. It is clear, however, that this cannot be proposed in the case of the cognitive power and its habits.

     84. – But in order to see how they can come together with the aspect (rationem) of one agent and be one effective source of the same action, it should be known that although the action of knowing or of loving is not composed of multiple actions, it is nevertheless composed of multiple proper characteristics (proprietatibus). For just as no action can be only an action, but rather must further be in a certain species of action, so nothing can exist without a certain measure and mode. Therefore since (as has been shown in prior questions) cognitive and volitional acts draw their specific character from objects or from how they are related to them, and since sometimes under the same species they can be greater and more intense, or lesser and weaker, or complete [128] or incomplete, it is not surprising if a power requires various attentions and dispositions in order to carry out acts in different ways.

     85. – In order to lead simple people by the hand, however, let us put forth a concrete example. Notice that the cut made by a knife is one action. But the active power of this action is the iron's hardness or rigidness, while its sharpness or polish is related to it as ingenious acumen is related to intellect, and the shape of the knife and its good condition are related to it as another habit. The attention of its strong and forceful impulse is the effective application of the three aforesaid qualities to the act of cutting.

     86. – You might, however, ask why, if intellect is an active power, it does not suffice for it that there be an object with the attention fixed upon it, or at least why sometimes two kinds of habits are required. One should reply as follows. As regards the elevation of the divine power, [God] makes it be every perfection and completely actual as regards infinite actions and manners of acting. In the same way it pertains to the elevation of a created power that through its various habits it can successively attain infinite species of actions and infinite modes of acting. So also it can carry out contrary actions in contrary ways and the same action more intensely or weakly, and it can also merit or demerit and receive the rewards of the divine vision and glory or the darkness and punishment of eternal blindness and damnation. Therefore the fact that it is impossible to fulfill the highest scope of the intellective and volitional power through their essences alone – since then they would be completely infinite and equal to God's intellect and will – is the cause of why they are susceptible to different attentions, habits, privations, and inconsistencies with regard to virtue and vice, knowledge, ignorance, and credulity about true and erroneous things, certitude and uncertainty, and also ingenuity subtle or gross, swift or slow, and obscure or clear. It stems from the highest and widest scope of our powers, therefore, that special actions and modes of acting require special habits and attentions.

     87. – It should be known, however, that some habits are in created intellects more as a result of the essential redundancy of the power's effectiveness and order than as a result of their being a prerequisite for completing those acts. It is in this way that a natural habit of apprehension and of love for oneself and one's family is in intellect and will, as [129] I showed in the question on whether these habits are accidents [q.77]. And there I proved that they are accidents, although in the question on whether there is free decision in a human being, in reply to the 28th argument,[12] I had written the contrary. Nor do the four reasons that were given there to prove that they are not accidents work.

     88. – The first fails because although powers by themselves are causally determined and concentrated (intimatae) toward knowing and loving themselves, nevertheless they are not formally those habitual determinations and concentrations. For one's concentration or concentrated adhesion to oneself is not the same as one's identity with oneself, as the latter does not imply the real relation and reflection that, to be sure, the aforesaid concentration does.

     89. – The second also fails: First, because it is not proved that God could not make these powers without an habitual apprehension and love of oneself and one's happiness. Second, because although God cannot make a body without position, nevertheless position is accidental to a body, since it can exist without this position or that one, and so on for other instances. Likewise the will can have various loves of itself, for it can love itself on account of itself and for the sake of a carnal life, or it can love itself on account of God and for the sake of a divine and supernatural life. Also, God could change that natural love of oneself into something numerically distinct, but of the same species and entirely similar and equal to the earlier one, while preserving the will's and mind's entire individual essence.

     90. – The third also fails, because although a cubit-long body could not be given a location less than a cubit or more, it does not on this account follow that location or local position is not accidental to it. Therefore it does not follow that if God cannot increase or diminish a mind's love for itself, then that love for itself is not accidental to it. And, moreover, this love can be said to be increased or improved – for example, when love for oneself on account of oneself and for the sake of earthly life alone is transformed into love for oneself for the sake of God and the life of God, or when from love for oneself for the sake of God it grows greater.

     91. – The fourth also fails, in two ways: First, because although the will can by itself alone reach the act of loving itself, it does not follow from this that the habitual love of itself is not accidental to it. And that this would not follow is more clear in the case of habits acquired and generated through flawed acts. Second, it fails because when it is said that this power cannot through its essence alone reach [130] some act, and therefore it is not essentially an active or free power,[13] the entailment is not valid. For it is plain that without an accidental attention actually terminated in some object our volitional or cognitive power cannot produce a cognitive or volitional act, nor can any created power produce an act without the presence of the patient and without a virtual attention extended to and terminated in that patient. But nevertheless it does rightly follow that if it cannot by itself alone reach its act, then its active force is not by itself sufficient or omnipotent, as is the power of God.


[Solution to the Objections]

     92. – A reply should be made, however, to the objections through which it was first argued above that a cognitive act is always produced by a species. To the first therefore one should say that when it is said that every cognition occurs through an assimilation to the object, this is just as if it were said that every cognition occurs through an actual cognition completely like the object and expressive of it.

     93. – To the second one should say that when an object on its own sufficiently presents itself to the cognitive attention, it is not necessary that it be represented to it through another; nevertheless it is indeed necessary that the actual cognition of it is an actual and cognitive representation of it, since without this it would not be a cognition.

     94. – To the third one should say that the first actuality through which the intellect can produce an act of knowing or assenting is the essential and specific form of the power itself. But although habitual knowledge is generally spoken of as the first actuality of knowing, nevertheless it does not always precede the operation of knowing; rather, sometimes it is engendered and expanded through that operation. Nevertheless [such a habit] precedes what is made after it and it is called the cause of that [subsequent act], since through it a power brings about its act more easily, firmly and perfectly than it would without it. However, when a habit is erroneous or uncertain, as is a false habitual credulity or habitual uncertainty, then it co-operates in order that it should be worse, and in order that the power be more easy and firm – or rather, more slippery and stubborn – with regard to its worsened state. And an uncertain habit renders [131] the power more uncertain, more fluctuating from here to there, and more dissolute and weak. But when uncertainty comes from the caution associated with prudence, then upright and firm prudence lies in its causal foundation.

     95. – The reply to the fourth is clear from things that have been said, since without doubt the power needs at least an actual attention formally directing it to this or that object. As for how it also does and does not need other determinations, this was handled above. It should further be known that there are two sorts of indeterminacy. One stems solely from a freedom that is not restricted to either of two opposites, but is in general capable of both on command – although disjunctively. The other comes from an insufficient disposition and actuality for such an act. And of this latter kind alone is it true that an indeterminate power needs something determining it.

     96. – To the fifth one should say that the first claim is obviously false in the case of God, since he can create infinite species of things when nevertheless He contains in himself no essential diversity. Also, speaking only of an effective principle, this first claim is obviously false in the case of a free will capable of acts that are contrary and belong to contrary species. But the claim is true if it is speaking of a terminative principle of attentions and acts. (An exception would be when contrary acts are produced with regard to the same object, on account of acting and being related to it in contrary ways – for example, to love God and to hate Him.)

     97. – A reply should also be made to the arguments by which it is argued that an act is always produced by a habit. One should say to the first that in many cases we can firmly or strongly assent without a previous habit associated with that credence, although a subsequent habit increases its firmness. But a firmness utterly immobilizing and necessitating the power to such an act requires an immobile and immobilizing habit.

     98. – To the second one should say that to the extent that intellect's essential light is correct and directed to what is correct, and is the correct image of God, to that extent it has the force of a correct rule. But to whatever extent it lacks the perfection of habits that can be added to it, to that extent it needs those habits to act in ways that are perfect and habitual.

     99. – To the third one should say that the first genus of acts of the same power is drawn from that power. But the distinguishing characteristics (differentiae) derived from an habitual manner of acting are drawn from the habits adjoined to it [the power] – not because the habit is a distinct agent and [occurs] through a distinct action, but because the power [132] can give one such mode to an action inasmuch as it is disposed by such a habit, while it can [give] another [inasmuch as it is disposed] by another. But if they were absolutely distinct agents then it would rightly be argued that the proper action of a habit differs generically from the proper action of a power.

     100. – To the fourth one should say that something can be said to give [a thing] its whole species because it gives the differentia of the species, although it does not give [the thing] the other parts of its essence. Second, this can be said more strongly: because it gives to it all its essential features – both general and special. Further, ‘to give’ can be taken for ‘to co-operate in the giving’ or for ‘to operate principally and totally without something else co-operating.’ And in this way the species of an act is not given by any habit; rather, the power is always the principal agent. But a habit co-operates with it not properly in the manner of an instrumental agent, but in the manner of a formal disposition of the agent's power. A concrete example of this is an iron or bronze seal. Its active and impressive force is its hardness, to which the softness of the wax yields easily. But the seal's shape is like the habitual or firm disposition of its hardness for impressing a similar shape on the wax.

     101. – A reply should also be made to the arguments proving that acts come from the power alone. To the first one should say that although the same action cannot be produced immediately by two causes truly having the character of multiple agents, nevertheless it can be produced by multiple agents combining in the form of one perfect cause that is completely sufficient for acting. And this is how it is for a power and its attention and habit.

     102. – To the second one should say that although an act is not produced by the habit that it generates, it does not follow from this that it is not produced by another habit. Also it doesn't follow from this that no act is produced by a habit. Also, to that which is argued lower (that is, that no immediate efficient of a homogeneous part of some form can be produced by that form or by any of its parts) one should say that this is not true. For fire through the heat produced in the wood generates fire and in this way enlarges itself, which again enlarged can generate heat like the kind before. And hence an agent through an imperfect habit often enlarges that same habit. Nor is there any circularity here through which it would follow that a cause is produced by its effect, since the part of the form [133] that causes the act is different from the part caused by the act. Also, the act caused by this second part differs numerically from the first act. Further, we don't have the same manner of effecting here, since the habit is not impressed by the act, but is only brought out from the power in which it is produced – just as the form of fire is brought out from the wood through the influence of the fire's likeness impressed on it. But an act is impressed by a habit – or rather, by an habituated power.

     103. – To the third one should say that some habits or habitual dispositions are imparted to powers by their creator or by nature, either at generation or through a later transformation. But it is not absurd that one's sight or hearing, if badly or insufficiently disposed toward acting, could see or hear only if a sufficient habit were given to it in advance by some cause.

     104. – A reply should also be made to the arguments proving that cognitive acts cannot be brought about by a power and a habit taken together. To the first one should say that a power and habit do not produce absolutely distinct impressions. For both taken together have the character of just one perfect impresser; light, however, as it impresses light, is a different impresser from a color impressing a species of color. Yet even here you will find a similarity, because a color or a ray impresses its species in such a way that during this impression the two (that is, the color and the irradiation) have the character of just one agent and impresser. And if fire and other earthly bodies act through their active qualities in such a way that the same action comes from a substantial form and its quality, then it can be said that the substantial forms of bodies carry out their exterior actions – although not by themselves alone, but as they are qualified and determined to an act by their qualities. And thus, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, the entire action of the bread's or wine's substantial form would remain through the same or through a similar miracle through which the species of the bread's and wine's accidents would remain there, without the substance of the bread and wine. In keeping with this, however, it is not surprising if the action of a fire's heat or light is never distinguished from the actions of the fire's substantial forms. This is because, according to this, multiple actions do not come from an accident and substantial form, but only one action. It is also because every active quality will perhaps be analogous to a substantial form [134] corresponding to it, in just the way that a habit is analogous to its power. Hence the habits of a volitional power are called volitional, while those of a cognitive power are called cognitive. And according to this fire's accidental heat is analogously similar to a certain substantial vigor of the fire, which the heat heats. And likewise its accidental light is similar to its substantial clarity hidden from our senses but apparent to the eyes of a glorious body. Brother Bonaventure inclines to this view, as far as I can determine, when in Book II On the Sentences[14] he says that one kind of light of the sun is substantial and one kind accidental, and that this second kind is a certain shining of the first. Yet I don't know which of these??? is more true; for experience doesn't establish this, nor is there any compelling necessary argument. Nevertheless this view appears sufficiently plausible.

     105. – To the second one should say that a habit does not properly have the character of such an instrument, given the character of the intellective power. But a volitional power moves or directs its inferior habits through the act of a superior power or habit – or rather [moves] itself inasmuch as it is informed by inferior habits. It directs [these habits] to their proper acts and likewise directs other powers with its habits. It directs its first and supreme habit, however, only by directing itself, insofar as it is under that habit. But that direction is the same as its freely willing its object through itself and its habit.

     106. – To the first argument proving that it is from none of the three things under discussion [Ά15], one should say that if the object, insofar as it is terminative of the act and mental attention, were not to co-operate with the act but were altogether detached (absolute) from the mind's power, then it would be impossible for the act to prevail over its effective principle. But as a result of an act's termination in the best object it draws out the goodness itself of the object, so to speak, since a termination is not only a uniting and configuring to the object, but also a comprehending and possessing of it. But it is the other way around when the object is false and flawed. For then the act's malice is worse than the habit's malice, to the extent that it is [135] more actual and more incorporated with the object. And it should be further known that because an act presupposes and in a sense includes its causes and not vice versa, it is not surprising if an act taken with a power, habit, and attention is better than the power alone or than the power with the habit and attention.[15]

     [1] Olivi seems to refer to his reply to the twelfth supporting argument for the fourteenth principal argument of q.58, as it is numbered in Jansen's edition (II Sent. q.58 ad 14.12; II,500-512).

     [2] I.e., II Sent. q.58 ad 14.

     [3] Olivi gives an exegesis of this dark saying at q.58 ad 14 (II,484).

     [4] Olivi had been charged with holding that cognitive acts are brought about by the power's essence. See his Epistle to R. #12 (Ά2). (And compare Aquinas, Summa theologiae 1a 84.2.)

     [5] II Sent. q.1.

     [6] Here ‘absent intellectual objects’ refers to prior mental states, belonging either to intellect or to will.

     [7] Reading ‘matricali’ for ‘materiali.’ See Olivi, Tractatus de verbo (ed. Pasnau), 6.2.3: " matrice nostrae memoriae...."

     [8] For the Latin text Olivi refers to here, and discussion of the content, see my "Petri Iohannis Olivi `Tractatus de verbo'". For a translation see the Cambridge Translations of Later Medieval Philosophy, vol.III.

     [9] Olivi considers the case of dreams, here, because it seems to be an instance where we engage in the composition and division of sensory images without any prior intellectual act of thought or attention. Memory, in other words, seems to be producing these images on its own, "naturally," even before they are contemplated by intellect.

     [10] Cf. qq.57-58.

     [11] Olivi takes for granted that faith is not a power, but a habit.

     [12] II Sent q.57 ad 28 (II,375-8).

     [13] q.57 ad 28 (II,375-6).

     [14] See d.13 q.2, conclusio.

     [15] The whole of the next question (q.75) is devoted to replying to the second of these earlier arguments (Ά16 above).