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As It Is, It Is an Ax: Some Medieval Reflections on De Anima II

As It Is, It Is an Ax: Some Medieval Reflections on De Anima II

Sirridge, Mary

Medieval Philosophy and Theology, vol. 6, no. 1 (1997)

Abstract

If an instrument, e.g., an ax, were a natural body, then its substance would be being ax,l and this would be its soul; if this were removed, it would no longer be an ax, except homonymously. But as it is, it is an ax. Aristotle, De Anima 412b11-15

Commenting upon this passage froin Aristotle’s De Anima 11.1, Aquinas duly notes that Aristotle says that, if we were to suppose that an ax has a soul which makes it what it is, and then supposed that soul to be removed, the ax would no longer be an ax.

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