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THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM
OF
ST.

T

HOMAS.

2 vols. in one vol. Edward Heneage Dering. 5s. 2 vols. Dering. 5s. Debing. 6d. The Atherstone Novels. Freville Chase. 10s. Translated by By Matteo Libeeatoke.. by E. 6d. 7s. : in one vol.. S. By Universals. H. In wrapper. cloth. 7s.J. . H. Translated by E. 6d. "Freville Chase.BY THE SAME AUTHOR. . In the Press. or. 6d. . . bevelled. The Lady of Raven's Combe. The House at the Four Ways. 7s. New Edition. S. Principles of Political Economy." etc. New To . The Ban of Maplethorpe. Bound in vellum. Sherborne Edition. On An Exposition of Thomistic Doctrine.J. 7s. Matteo Libebatore. follow. author of 8vo. 6d.

^c. S." " The Ban of Maplethorpe" "Memoirs of Georgiana Lady Chatterton" &^c. TRANSLATED BY EDWARD HENEAGE DERING . Cincinnati & Chicago: Benziger Bros. .THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. THOMAS BY FATHER GIOVANNI MARIA CORNOLDI.." Translator of " On Uitiversals. LONDON AND LEAMINGTON Brt Nkw an& Booft 1893 Compans Yokk.M.'' and "Political Economy Author of " Freville Chase. E.J.

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19. whose book-learning had till been in abeyance. short Scholastic science. 1892). entered a Jesuit school in Naples.BEFORE was the last chapter of this treatise in print. and. was in the following year a novice He was Professor of 1837 only twelve years after Philosophy from going to school till the Revolution of 1848 in the Society of Jesus. the translator also. rapidly passing his competitors. by reason of his having wonderfully been the mainstay of his widowed mother's all house from the age of ten. was the following of his friend and master in (in the Tablet. was suddenly called to his The last composition that he printed memoir Nov. in which he had done invaluable service to the Church of God. its lamented author had passed out of this world. Edward Heneage Dering. Father Matteo Liberatore : ** 3n flDemoriam. While the present through the reward. ago a " Sixty-seven years boy of then fifteen. — — . translation was passing press.

Father Giovaxni Maria Cornoldi. Civiltdb to defend the Church. who died in Eome the good fight as long as Almighty on the 18th of last October. eight months after the death of his great co-operator and confrere. Holy See. instead of doing the great work that it has done and But this necessitates a brief continues to do. We cannot speak of them here for want of space. He was taught even was the first in the his against that. and that field false philosophy within the Church. as intended for the patriot's dagger. retrospect. and continued to fight God willed That man was that his life should last. and notably the teaching of Without him that invaluable Thomas. When he began teaching philosophy as a professor. When two such men are taken away from the Church militant. the the St. would have died still-born. one can only turn to Almighty God . was evident. from which he returned imminent risk of his life.VI forced into exile. published Insiitutiones Philosophicoe in 1840. In 1850 he co-operated in founding Cattolica. and was made The risk Professor of Theology at Naples. Father Matteo Liberatore. misrepresented. he found it infected with dangerous errors. thirteen years before. discredited. but certain it is that the Angelic Doctor was periodical generally forgotten. because his name was on the list him at the of the proscribed.

. Daring's sion of his and literary labours had been devoted to the enlightenment and convercountrymen. . life .l^o\. Dominus ahstulit. . loved him. and. sit Dominus nomen Domini henedictum. last printed . the He died. . : can only echo his dedit. Dominus dedit. —Baddesley Clinton. many who words .Vll and Fiat voluntas Tua." Mr. 1892. . . . as he had desired to do. Dominus ahstulit. lamenting the greatness of his loss. benedictum. 19. To myself the Father Liberatore is a personal grief and an irreparable loss. in harness. loss of . sit nomen Domini say.

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TT A V I N G the many years openly defended St. Philosophy of Thomas. not only from the religious teaching of the Catholic Church. where Masonic influence is now no- in every department of Government. The teaching years of Metaphysics was professors made over ago to who only corrupted their pupils by the German transcendentalism Schelling of Kant. [n felt Italy. thing has been omitted by which the minds and hearts of our young men could be turned away. but also from all philoso- phical doctrines that are not against Keligion. not merely touching on one or another point.PREFACE. but dealing with those doctrines philosophically. . we think time to treat that subject. even in doctrines it what concerns the fundamental of organic and inorganic nature. WHY THIS TREATISE for WAS WRITTEN. Hegel. and others : but.

ill- the wicked purpose to intended and very apt produce weariness. But what we the of call Government schools . properly so-called. are. in obedience their the Vicar of to his Jesus declare adhesion . to make way for Positivism and Materialism. as inasmuch suited to that philosophy was abstruse. obligatory prescribed.X PREFACE. for most part. were afterwards proscribed in the schools. many who have great reverence for the wisdom of the Angelic to Doctor. If in our Catholic schools Physical Sciences were rightly and fully taught. Metaphysics. a In the second place. the evil would be less. By use this treatise we cannot hope immediately in : to be of directly and the public schools of the Government but we can hope to do something indirectly and mediately. and. and. Christ. by for reason private the method it is even schools impossible to elucidate those doctrines without which the pupils are neither instructed sufl&ciently nor prepared for resisting the temptations of the Universities.

XI know too little of the fundamental questions that belong to Physics. Many have confused ideas about them. and therefore are liable to be taken in by the sophisms and the authority of men who pass as wise and learned either give in or in such things. or should be. but also absurd and bad. by Angelic Doctor. These and other reasons have induced us to put before our readers. Thomas. vacillate. Hence they accepting as probable what is not only improbable. unnecessary to say that we are not going to rake up ex- ploded doctrines of the old physicists. whose the principles were certainly St. ascribing to the latter what belongs to pure experiment. .PEEFACE. habit of The the confusing such of opinions rational with philosophical principles Physics. are especially those who given to the stud)'' of philosophy and natural sciences. has led many to attack truth with the hatred due to error and to put the wisest in the category of quacks. doctriney. that system which we call the Physical System. professed It is.

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OBJECTIONS AGAINST THE DOC108 TRINE PROPOSED . the essence and nature of CORPOREAL substances MATERIA PRIMA SUBSTANTIAL FORM NATURE CREATION 1 4 12 21 V. WHY THE THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM SO CALLED 90 PHYSICAL TO ' SYSTEM WITH IN RESPECT PHYSICS GENERAL. VII.CONTENTS. X. 28 ATOMS SEMINAL CAUSES QUALITIES 37 46 56 69 81 IS VIII. XIII. THE NATURE OF 95 INERTIA ACTIVITY THIS SCIENCE MECHANICAL PHYSICAL BODIES AND OF 100 XIV. VI. ATTRACTION PHYSICAL LAWS XL XII. I. III. IV. Chap. II. IX.

AFFINITY BETWEEN THE ELEMENTS THE " MIXTUM. XVI. ON THE DIVISIBILITY OF THE CONTINUOUS EXTENDED ETHER CHEMISTRYELEMENTARY ATOMS THE MATTER AND FORM OF ELEMENTARY SUBSTANCES ARE REALLY DISTINCT AN ELEMENTARY SUBSTANCE IS CHEMICALLY SIMPLETHE " MIXTUM. XXIV. XXVI. XXVIII. XXI. XXIII. HAS A NATURE SPECIFICALLY DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF ITS COMPONENTS WHAT IS MEANT BY SUBSTANTIAL TRANSFORMATION 163 170 177 180 184 188 193 198 201 ." OR THE CHEMICAL COMPOUND. XVIII. "quod MOVETUR AB ALIO MOVETUE. XIX. XXVII. XXII. XVII. ET PRIMUM ilOVENS EST IMMOBILE" THE MUTABILITY OF EXTENSION WHY THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN OPPOSIACTION TION TO PHYSICS 117 125 138 150 160 XX." OR CHEMICAL COMPOUND. XXV. AT AN ABSOLUTE DISTANCE MOTION THE PRINCIPLE. XV.XIV CONTENTS.

XXXI.CONTENTS. XXX. XV XXIX. THK COMMON SENSE OF MANKIND IS IN FAVOUR OF A BELIEF IN THE TRUE SUBSTANTIAL TRANSFORMATION OP THE ELEMENTS THE SUBSTANTIAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE ELEMENTS IS PROVED BY FACTS OPPOSITION TO THE DOCTRINE OF SUBSTANTIAL TRANSFOR- 204 207 MATION 211 .

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this.THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. true in their the weak points that or false. at least in its principal parts. has nothing to do with the truth of the system. THOMAS. THERE and is nothing perhaps harder to defend to easier attack than a system not clearly defined. The Dynamic . we of all. avoid and. settle the controversy own favour. when they in have pointed which. To treat . the and out its adversaries. delay the system first of shall explain without which we are going to we must remark that it from the Mechanic and Dynamic systems as to the very essence of corporeal substances. Its defenders is waste their time in showing what either beside the question or only touches surface. I THE ESSENCE AND NATURE OF COEPOEEAL SUBSTANCES. corporeal substance means inert and resisting atoms differs aggregated in varying order. According to the Mechanic system.

God did not create matter quite without form. and called ^materia prima. and in their mutual approach and departure. a determinate development of the corporeal . On the variety of the latter the diversities of nature in every substance depend. may radically containing the whole which by degrees developed and in the course of time During this continual is continually developing.I THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. but endowed it with diverse be called order forms actuated with virtues that seminal. system recognizes subsisting forces only. The Physical system supposes that every individual corporeal substance ciples is essentially distinct. is a true change of sub- the matter of one body being that a of transmuted second there only. development we perceive changes in substances. impressed on creation. stantial The materia prima form. and the sub- being incomplete substances. as in mathematical points of space. in their qualities and in their accidents. is composed of two prin- really One is the source of extension. one body brought to- wards another by true attraction. In the change of accidental forms unless In the third. there is is some mechanical impulse. THOMAS. into is another. cannot be apart. and the substantial form. is The called other is the source of activity. and beauty of the the former case there stantial forms. From such forms and such properties. In sensible universe.

but as an effect in the created things themselves.MATERIA PRIMA. not as in the Mind or Will of the Creator. . 3 and in these forms and in these properties we must recognize the existence of physical laws. considered. But this is too rapid a sketch. universe necessarily follows . We must consider each part of the system in detail.

some causes for their accidental changes. endowed with attractive and repulsive force. they recognized no other beings than sensible bodies and those among them who acknowledged movement in such. as in rarity and density. the beginners in philosophy. For at first. like some sort of sympathy and antipathy. for . either inert.II." says " rooted out. Afterwards Plato taught the doctrine of Matter and Form. which Aristotle partly cor- and which the Catholic Doctors. by aggregation and disgregation. supposing corporeal substance to be uncreated. at the most. held that corporeal substances more than aggregations of atoms. knowledge of truth slowly and by degrees. they assigned of God the Creator. Thomas. MATERIA PEIMA. TH E very are nothing ancient philosophers. as being less cultivated. came to the . or. afterwards " The ancient philosophers. admitted that sort of movement only which takes place in some accidents. infected however with grave errors. St. Afterwards. as. the only philosophers who had a clear and firm conception rected.

his Plato in sensible Timceus remarks that in the universe every being is subject to substantial changes without a continual annihilation of previous things of in succeeding this ones. subject. that from which the generated thing gets ness (the idea or form). of brutes and even must be for in the all universe a matter that is itself is deprived of determinate nature and species disposed receiving those which it derives from the communication or impres" Three things. strife and such like. And. instance. P. ."* We shall proceed to enquire how they came to this knowledge. there become plants. that in it generated (the matter) its if a. 2. Thence they went on to distinguish substantial form and matter. i. he says. 5 friendship. * proper likethese things Now. Q. and they perceived that substantial transmutations happen in bodies. " have here to be distinguished that which which is generated (the is new nature) . . since by such transforming of matter the eternal forms or ideas are determined. —a matter which is adapted and transformed successively into various natures." : sion of the archetypal ideas. Sttmma. and continual creation Hence he inferred that substance or changing of there always remains a substratum.MATERIA PEIMA. xliv. Thus fluids and plants become the flesh of man. which they supposed to be uncreated.

because. As the matter of scented unguents is purposel}^ without scent. just as modelling clay has none. is the corporeal air. as it is potentially all these things. are this J distinguished by every womb [i. so the thing that is to be modelled according to the eternal ideas must have no form natural to itself. thereto compared could never be well disposed for the formations to be produced in it. quite void of all forms whatsoever. but rather a certain invisible something. unless it were formless. it gets its likeness resembles a father. how could it be changed into wood ? It would inconceivably be at once water and wood. it would not be capable of receiving a contrary form. But. neither earth. Therefore the mother. This that. . a formless womb.e. the nature generated resembles an offspring the thing in which it is generated resembles a mother and that from which . Thus. potentially every- . doctrine as must be understood forms sort to mean the of of things variety. if it already had in itself any of those natures for which it is in a state of potentiality. nor nor fire. or receptacle of universe.b THE PHYSIOAL SYSTEM OF ST. matter. if it were essentially water. and modelling clay has no shape till the artist has modelled it. be compared. else com- posed of them. nor that which connor something it is stitutes their nature. it cannot have the form of any. nor water. THOMAS.

Such a womb cannot be known as it is. but he spoilt by the theory ideas subsisting outside Divine Mind. but only as we have explained it. thing. all I called them but of not as being such without that form. and by his belief that the matter which receives the impression of them is eternal. St. because they were the sight . forms they were formless." he said.MATERIA PEIMA. vainly sought what Thou hast taught me about I this ! When heard of it not. passed in disorder through my mind . Augustine. thinking of as under innumerthought but horrible forms able forms. who was a great admirer of from learned men that knowledge of matter which he afterwards gained when he had considered the passing of things from one substantial form to another. " my God. and seen that all through the change between two terms there must remain in both something " identical and itself indifferent to both. I heard the it from those who understood it name without knowing what it meant." In these words Plato gives us a doctrine almost perfect essence his as to it the of bodies of . Ugly and the while. and. 7 incompreiiensibly participating in the Divine nature through the impression that it receives from the archetypal ideas. if I were to speak or write Plato. precisely for that reason not of it it is.

Here is one of them " He : * Con/ess. Then. c. THOMAS. who among my readers would be able to understand it ? But my heart will never cease to give thanks and praise for what it cannot express. yet not pure nothing. instead of continuing to imagine various changes of bodies already formed. 8 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF too ST." * That St.. I could unfold all that in this question Thou hast made clear. not formed and not nothing.. and begin to be what they were not and I suspected that such passing on from form to form must be through a . Thomas foi'med his conception of materia prima in the same way is evident in many passages. not to conjecture. away aU remains whatsoever this I . I wanted to know. xii. if I think of the formless. 1. than think of something between a thing formed of nothing. but only in comparison with more beautiful forms That of which I and right reason showed me to that. I fixed my attention on the bodies themselves. thought was not formless by privation of all form. formless and therefore near to nothing. examining more deeply their mutability. But/ was unable to do -for I could think more easily that what has no form is nothing. them was strange and hideous for human infirmity to bear. But If something without form. . I wanted must take quite of form. how they cease to be what they were. 6.

xiii. materia The thing is known by analogy. or copper is something besides the form of is a statue. i. Therefore that which to natural is to a statue and wood is to and every material and formless thing is to its form. bed.. from the form of a bench or of a bed." instance. Thus we know that wood is something really distinct subject of every form. which from the beginning substances as copper of the world. [Aristotle] declares 9 principles. while cannot 'prima itself be the known. because the wood is sometimes under the one form and sometimes under the other. Phys. lect. Yet some people believe that St. materia prima. * In I. When therefore that we see what was air becomes water. wood some- thing besides the form of a bench or the form of a bed.e. that thing we call materia prima.) "just as in artificial ones. while the various natures of things have perished and are perishing to make way for new ones. 'we must say that there is something existing beneath the forms of natural substances.e. has remained and remains always the same.MATERIA PKIMA. the aforesaid and affirms that i. . under the form of water (for and the form is of air."* Materia prima is then the subject of all THE SUBSTANTIAL TKANSFORMATIONS OF THE CORPOREAL UNIVERSE. inasmuch their as things are known through is form. according to proportion. the nature firstly subject to change.

And Q. v. the i. the Summa Theologica. illud et Quantumcumque est tamen piotest imitatio primi secundum hoc habere similitudinem in Deo. esse habeat. ad 3. According to these two theories the atoms and the forces would not be the subject of substance. but true substances. tamen. he says: materia prima sit informis. THOMAS. this in defiance of such passages. in the Qiicestiones Disputatce. iii. licet xi. following a. which with hydrogen subsisting form in the forms water. The followers of the Mechanic and Dynamic it systems have quite a different conception of materia prima. but has the doctrine of Plato. inert atoms. 10 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF understood ST. The former suppose to be as a while the latter consider it manner of mathematical points. for instance. in as P. a. is not merely an atom. in quantum vel sic esse hahet. An atom of oxygen. the potential which was there . and so many other men of noble genius who followed them. Aristotle. to Augustine. St. where we read Materia. : Q. Thomas j)ure materia prima to mean nothing or the possibility of forms and . similitudinem quamdam retinet Quamvis ea dehile entis . entity Thomas.— . divini esse. not that of hydrogen according St. xiv. De Verit. tamen inest in imitatio primce formce. the nature of oxygen. ad 1. whereas. for instance. recedat a Dei similitudine secun- dum suatn potentialitatem.

and which afterwards.MATERIA PRIMA. to is materia prima. and is also distinguish it from that which (secondary called viateria secunda matter). it by union with hydrogen. in order to constitute their substantial being. which becomes the subject of various accidental modifications. We must now speak of the form whence that primary constitution proceeds. became It is called prima as mark the first requisite for bodies. water. which substantial to being is first . 11 constituted in the nature of oxygen. .

et ait semper esse.12 III. a ratione et intelligentia contineri . nee diutius esse statu. for example. the entity whence the matter sophically speaking. whether it be in the mind of the artist or expressed materially. artem et manum dirigehat ille. easque gigni negat. insidebat contem- plabatur aliquem a quo similitudinem duceret. WHICH BEING EXPRESSED IN MATTER CONSTITUTES IT IN A DETERMINATE SUBSTANCE aS. lahi. SUBSTANTIAL FORM. cum Jovis formam aut Minervce. fiuere. philothe likeness of a Divine IDEA. of gold is constituted in its proper substantial being. . forma was used to signify and was applied to the exemplar of a work. ad illius similitudinem Has rerum formas appellahat ideas non intelligendi solum. sed ipsius in mente species. . says Cicero. sed etiam dicendi. ille Nee faceret vero. uno et eodem The substantial form of anything is. cetera nasci. oc- cidere. IN Latin the word idea. qiiam contuens in eaque dejixus. gravissimus auctor et magister Plato. artifex.

its paradigma^ exemplar. adding of his own. because every form impressed in matter was at first in the First Mover. even calling them substance receives a divine thing. the definition of the thing idea. inasmuch as it is the and end of motion. as giving form and and species. adorn- ing the sensible universe." a determinate being. thus it rendering knowable reason. as constituting it the thing in . its being. is form.. In it is said to be something cellent. " he says. an4 constitutes in being the thing formed. action as the term the artist's expressed in matter. a participation of God. something most exthe latter something desirable. And more Albert the Great approves of these. especially into consideration the where he takes names adapted to signify viz. . In the former sense divine. as having in . image. 13 From the variety of these forms results the distinction of Genera and Species. as proceeding from which is in the First Cause.SUBSTANTIAL FORM. as distinguishing formless matter sense it called . are various. These. the one from which every unity. as that which constitutes the matter in " The names of form.. present beautiful images of those exemplars which are in the Divine Mind. dicate Hence Plato and order Aristotle with their followers gave to those forms names that inand beauty. form in of its twofold relations. called by Plato the archetypal .

accordins. Phys. this form is in its likeness to the First Act. " things come and form also must therefore be a certain participation and likeness of the First Act or So that the nearer Divine Being. it the more perfect will be. Therefore the of forms that the Actus of the participate of the perfections Primus merely degree. t This Opusculum appendix to St. the First in Exemplar. or the more it participates of His perfections. called an image. matter is called paradigma the idea.. by these forms to corporeal Thomas thus article of his distinguishes second them in the Opusculum De Formis. as From one sees clearly that the degrees according are in the perfection of the to the various expressions of the Divine Being communicated substances. THOMAS. De Formis was formerly printed as an Thomas's Commentary In Libras Physicorum.14 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. St." * forms. 17." he says. to participate of the Divine Being. Form is then. it called idea as expressed .. t where the whole doctrine.. contained in various parts of his writings. the . * as to their being are like- lowest Those that are In 11. is put together. dum mente gerens. " By means of the form. . world. to the well Boetius : known words of Pidchrum pulcherrimus ipse munsimilique ah imagine formans. as being in . this imitating is and that impression.

. those that are likenesses of the Actus Primus not only in being and living and having a sort of knowledge. there begins a endowed with the perfection one and something more . Who has in Himself the is the most perfect perfection of all things created and possible. of the preceding so that it tends towards the infinite.SUBSTANTIAL FORM. we come downperfection wards to a form that in its may > So from unity be called elementary or lowest. though imperfectly and these are named animcB sensitivce. though ways and all of these are called . Almighty God. life. but moreover in knowing in in- with intellective cognition. The third are those that are likenesses of the Actus Primus not only in having being and life. tellectual substances. Primus not only by but also by living and being able to give have the second rank. nesses of the Actus 15 being. These are the first that . Lastly. which it never can reach. perfect The more substantial till form contains virtually the less perfect. Therefore Act. under the name of animce vegetativce. term of which is each series." One can easily conceive how a greater per- fection takes into itself inferior perfections. or how an act perfect in itself contains the less perfect acts. have any participation of knowledge. but also in knowing. constitute in nature the highest different and noblest grade.

Therefore it is the most perfect ex- pression made God. this according to the principles of system. a spries Thus from the with infinite begins of polygons. contains in it virtually perfection. THOMAS. through in being a form their others itself the creation. that gives us the concep- imaged the various perfections of the forms whence the beings in this visible created world. tion of the circle. as in man. a link that joins beings without sense and beings with sense to the order of purely intellectual beings.16 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF triangle ST. which therefore can communicate to matter. it is like the separated substances (the angels). the visible with the invisible. and is as a link that binds the corporeal substances with the incorporeal. so the substantial form that it makes one substance must be one. a Who is a divine inspiration. inclining more and more to a polygon sides. through being spiritual. while. but inferior tq all of them. wherein find perfection. are communicated by diverse other forms to beings less perfect. Thus visible in this system the human superior to all soul. every individual being is one substance. man. . it And where must contain apart from it is more perfect. in itself all the perfections which. from proper elements up have their to man. in It matter is by the First Act. we may Since then.

45. and the suhsistent. which are corporeal . * Opuso. says St. SUBSTANTIAL FORM. endowed with it are The forms are called of which we have in hitherto spoken substantial. "is on the confines of the substances which are incorporeal. substantial form the determining princi- the act that nature. to for. and of the material forms is for it the lowest of incorruptible forms. . and therefore is partly separated from matter and partly in matter. so do the latter bring to them. . This quality called being called separable from forms matter subsistence. from matter. P." * Hence the essential difference between materia prima and the material form and the subsisting form. theless transmute the slime of the earth into vegetative and sentient substance. 17 can never" The soul. a second and accidental being. De Pluralitate. constitutes matter in a is determinate A substantial form is either inseparable m^aterial. principle which.." though intellectual. Materia prima is is the determinable principle of corporeal substances. The ple.. i. separated Thomas. contradistinction . and from is called or separable matter. . Formar. of and is called immaterial. without changing their nature. those which as are called accidental forms the former constitute substances in their first being as such.

as a man who is fair is said to have been born fair. viz. Generation secundum quid answers to an accidental form. in actu. This twofold generation implies a twofold corruption." Some things that are. and accidental being. such as a man being white. Generation absolutely [simpliciter'] answers to a substantial form. The being of a thing called is two-fold. . which That is called Being secundum quid. THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. such as being a man. makes accidental being And. not. not simpliciter. i7i actu is called an is since generation motion towards a certain form.— 18 " St. as a man comes to be. Simple generation and corruption not generation beyond the genus of substance and corruption secundum . and that which accidental form. . So that the substantial form of a thing is said to make it be simpliciter. in contradistinction to having been born simpliciter. but is not. which is . essential or substantial. be. called which makes the substantial being in actu is the substantial form. that way. Thomas. " ' may says That and some already are. but in this or . go but quid . THOMAS. is said to be in That which already is. corruption simpliciter and corruption secundum quid. which may be. as there is a twofold form so is there a twofold generation. Being simpliciter. is said to be potentia. or is generated but the accidental form makes it come to be.

"In order that generation may . the the substance that it was. absolute corruption when a man the loses his colour. Thomas take the . St. by which privation the ples of matter it in its production. If the matter. viz. by reason of not having the form into which it will pass. matter says : is. on the death of a man or a brute substance of the man or of the brute or of the plant ceases to be or a plant. the brute its healthiness. Hence it follows that matter can pass from one form into another. as water does when decomposed into ples of its elements. place. affected. which is privation Principiis Naturce. which now is wheat had already the substantial form of its flesh. we have only two princi- and form but if we think of we must also consider the privation of that form.SUBSTANTIAL FORM. These are examwhereas. its the plant vigour. and the corruption therefore is not a corruption of the substance. which is matter (materia prima) being. but of something that is in the substance. three things are required."* Clearly. substances remain while the accidents change. . then. De want of actual * Opusc. how could transformation When we being. or the hot water its heat. for instance. so to speak. a potential being. into flesh be intelligible ? think of a substance in its actual to look at the . . are in all 19 the other genera of accidentals.

and be. * Ibid. principles of nature .20 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF that ST. a or a form dent is the copper had copper. therefore. Having now considered separately the two principles shall of every corporeal substance. THOMAS. and in another Wherefore privarespect is called unfigured."* . matter. which makes is a thing actually to for which is the form. this . on having It an accidental form have their three and so are all artificial forms. form and privation for the form being that which generation takes place. is The want of The figure that makes Not. for however. but differ in our minds for the same thing that is copper is unfigured before it receives the form of an image. because art works at those things only that are own natural being. because it coincides with the matter. but in one respect is called copper. the . There viz. tion is said to be a principle. we pass on to consider the same together. vation. instance. when an image which is made of copper. not per se hnt per accidens. as constituting the nature of such. the copper in potentia to the form of the image the matter. The other two belong to the term from which generation Hence matter and privation are the same is. is Thus. previously as being that an actual being not depenfigure. . thing in their subject. figure it is pri- an image substantial form.

the impulse extrinsic and the motion forced of mercury. it must also be for nature inclines things a principle of rest . " is the first principle of MOTION AND OF REST. moved by an forced. is as used by the Scholastic doctors. rest supervenes. a honum. we must re- member an that a substance may be moved by If it is intrinsic or an extrinsic principle. Without some obstacle or attraction the motion given to the . an end. which being attained. peQ^ SB. taken from the second book of Aristotle's Physics. But. NATUKE. placed near each is approach intrinsic principle. one billiard ball is sent at another." he says. but when two drops other. not per accidens. but because it tends to a scope. This principle is from an called nature. When . their motion and is natural. the motion is If it is is moved by an intrinsic principle." To understand this definition. besides being a principle of motion. not for the sake of moving.21 IV. extrinsic principle. " Nature. the motion is natural. to move. and meet. TH E definition of the word nature.

THOMAS. would always operate in one way. principle In this definition of nature. ' billiard would be perpetual. then. are contradistinctive put to distinguish the principle whence the motion proceeds (which is nature) from any modification or accidental affection of it. without which it would either not be set in motion towards the different with a intensity — object. of motion se. the words to pei' prima and per accidens. and there- were per a principle of operation. or inclined a very valuable distinction in Catholic theology for distinguish- ing nature from grace and the natural from this the supernatural. it substantial se forms. constitute the nature . it is in a In this there matter and form. Let us now see what constitutes corporeal substance. But Oxygen. is in one is Does the substantial of corporeal form. because matter (materia prima) remains the same under fore. . as the and of rest. because it was not directed to a term fixed drop of mercury will rest as soon whereas the as it has touched the other drop of mercury. that does not happen. Matter alone would not be all it sufficient.22 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ball ST. to which it is brought by the principle that causes its motion. and water are different in their operation. And much will suffice about the physical meaning of the word nature. for instance. though all the matter (materia jyrima) that likewise in the other.

The word nature does indeed principally apply to it. Cap. so may that be called nature which belongs to anything that is according to nature and natural. As that may be Thomas. " which belongs to anything that is according to art and artificial.NATURE. informs. cannot be called neither can matter (materia prima). for could And therefore. from its figure.* called art. . substance inert. it must be united with matter.. species. but not with propriety as it prescinding from the matter which of Physics. if it it were separated from the not exist at all. ? 23 If we consider the matter as per se as the only other thing in and the form principle it corporeal substances. No. to be the principle of operation and of motion. because it has not as yet the nature of (for instance) a bed. i. But would matter ? be so. ii. natural things that which is Therefore in flesh and bone in potentia has not the nature of flesh and bone * Phys." says St. is we must say operation that the form of the of or motion. be called the nature of a thing but that name should rather " be given to the form. But that which is only in potentia to be made by man's art cannot be said to have anything of art in it. Lib. Eightlv therefore did Aristotle say in the second book that as copper. if we prescind art. when considered apart from the substantial form which deter- mines it to a certain .

substance. and then they are a complete call "We says its a substance physically in his incomplete. has received the form. them the principle of motion. but has its own entity each .. nor can a material form (for of that we are it here is speaking) be without matter. express we call a by means is of negation. THOMAS. because True that neither the one nor the other can be called an accident. when conjoined substance. when disjoined they are wanting in what is required for the definition of substance. Phys.24 till THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF it ST." Suarez nature Metaphysics. and This they acquire therefore are incomplete. cally we not 2." t From this we can easily understand why the Scholastics called matter and form incomplete substances. according to which is the definite nature of the thing. There is no nature in it till it has its form and therefore the form is in a way the nature of natural things that have in . of itself without the form. of itself is and the compositum a complete For that being which naturally is a substance and matter cannot be . saying that a substance physi- complete which is ordained per se t In II. . . lect. and through which we know what flesh is and what bone is. "that by required generically entity has not in itself what is for . the of substance taken it and that which has This complete substance.

n. nor matter without form. vim esse censebant : in eo autem quod efficeretur materiam quamdam : in utroque tamen utrumque. each is an incomplete substance. hant. if the substantial form principally constitutes the nature. Hence a body can never be considered as one if it be nothing more than an aggregate atoms. composed of the two. t Acad. : ut earn dividerent in efficiens. i. to have one complete nature.. since what he calls vim cannot be without matter. if there were in him more than one * Disp. each furnished of with its own sub- stantial form. and the body alone. altera esset altera..3. 3. to perfect or to constitute with another 25 sub- stance another being. is a complete substance." * likewise in these And Cicero speaks De natura autem ita his followers) tit dicehant words (Aristotle and res duas. 3. Sect. Nihil est enim quod non alicubi esse cogatur. si nulla VI contineretur. of such forms brings plurality nature. neque vim sine aliqua materia. id jam corpus nominaprcebens. . Moreover. Sed quod ex utroque. t Here it is evident that. clear it is that plurality of natures. quasi huic se In eo quod efficeret. Even a man could not be said for with 6. . Neque enim materiam ipsam cohcerere potuisse.NATURE. substantial form 1. ea quce efficeretur aliquid.

57." » Contra Gent. each form he would have a complete nature. not only one term. iv. not on for the part of that in which the action terminates. if we suppose body formed by mere aggregation cannot call it of atoms or molecules. army made of many soldiers and secondly by order and composition. firstly accordis ing to order alone. but as it comes from the agent is it . can be one operation in things I differ in their being. because the impulses that move the boat are many. many men the dragging a boat do one work as to the one. + Contra Gent. THOMAS. Thomas argues thus " One : thing results from houses. we its one in nature. unity can be called the unity of a nature. which men who t drag on the part of the actions are many. which cannot be where many operating things have a divided One nature implies "It being. ii. But these two ways do not suffice to constitute out of many things one nature and therefore those things that have a common form in order or in composition are not natural things. say one.. " that there which is impossible." says St."* as And therefore. or an many is things. as a house is made by contact and junction of parts. whose . 35. though all parts concur in one operation as to the term. . And therefore St. Thomas. but thing done.26 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. as a city made of many . but also one principle of operation.

clear as in the days of Any one may see this. and above all. it is evident atom would really be a complete substance and nature. Word Incarnate.IsATURE. the meaning of the word nature seeing that it is not always in these times as old. the Catholic definitions concerning man. and therefore that the whole would only have a collective unity. (the complete that each We say this because it is important to make quite clear. con- how necessary If there cerning the Divine sufficient. ought to be . 27 Nor can it be said that we may suppose is each atom to be an incomplete nature which . it is to be clear about were no other reason. completed by the aggregation of many atoms for from what we have shown about the two natures and the incomplete).

that God made the water. What the that void and earth. allow. and the God in and the waters.28 CEEATION. of Genesis. For by Him. beauty and majesty of TO the Physical System. we must consider it. through Him and in Him say are all things. nor that it was before He had formed anything. otherwise without being Why then not said that God made the water to that ? Did He give the name of water same matter which He called heaven . and we greatly cannot in error. It was not yet said moved over the water. of which we read " The Spirit of God. show the unity." that divine book ? says St. as far as the nature of this treatise will . that " nor can we believe the water was not made by God. as the Apostle says. where he interprets the chapter formless abysses. and darkness. shall we here quote the For words is purpose a of most first sublime genius. Augustine. Therefore God did make is it the water. and the Spirit of moving over it. is in its principal relations and creation this certainly one of them.

because the earth of is not incongruously. Secondly. least splendid those Thirdly. and lastly water. wherefore called ' it was invisible earth. and anything was distinct it But was first called heaven and earth. to form which it was all taken out of nothing. then. belong heaven and earth. CREATION. To the first. made. was better expressed by the word water than by the word earth. To the Spirit. when neither earth ? nor water nor perhaps. if it could be called earth.' third belongs the water subject to the and receiving . thirdly the dependence on and subjection to the artificer. and of an abyss.' composed earth. by reason of being pliant. under the names of uncomposed earth. earth invisible and uncomposed.' for which precisely matter was made. to indicate. to signify under the is name of water that matter for obedient to the artificer more pliant than earth. 29 and earth. under the name of heaven and earth. and an abyss ? Why should it not be called water. then uncomposed earth. and therefore matter. or why it was water is ' ' ' . Firstly. .' This way of signifying matter shows firstly the end. the matter of the universe.' and ' ' ' or formlessness without light. invisible and undarkness over the abyss. secondly the formlessness.. the most unformed and things. to show. the nudity of forms [informitas]. and an abyss without light. To the second belong the words. .

and that water was the matter of His operation. THOMAS. nor air. here c. an immense ocean. the substantial forms are. so that could be truly neither water. understand that the Spirit operated. a sculptor in use a weak but similitude) his might express of modelling clay that leaves own image. whereby we waters of God moved over the . or it God (which means we may say. so and infuses into that in it and with it just as His own virtue. i. and there. as we showed in the third chapter. This is how the Spirit of God to Himself) applies Himself. nor in anything that is considered physics. ad . It was not divided into atoms nor determined any more than the darkness that represents it was divided into colours. it were. nor ether. the application or * by a himself. Thus the Spirit therefrom order and forms. of we know not what any called as it yet without definite nature. It only gives us that primitive matter which in certain figures God created as the indeterminate subject."* We can therefore conceive. in accordance with may the saint. in ways innumerable (to He expresses Himself in more or less perfect degrees.30 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. not by an instrument. as entity. greater less impress litt.. De Gen. 2. which. rather this primitive matter. as formless water. capable of receiving in itself the images of the divine archetypal ideas.

these creatures reflect only a very feeble ray from that Actus Ptjrissimus which God is and so does every other created being. * And in Canto xxix. e dentvo ad esso Distinse tauto occulto e manifesto. che il suo Verbo Non rimanesse in infinite eccesso. though the He generates. * * » * E quinci appar ch' ogni minor natura E corto recettacolo a quel bene Che non ha fine e sfe con sfe misura. Augustine goes on to explain the selfapplication of God in forming matter to His own image. Non potfeo suo valor si fare impresso In tutto rUniverso. canto xix. In matter. in che si spezza. poseia che tanti Speculi fatti s'ha. Uno manendo St. according to the various perfections imparted to them by their forms. cannot Himself adequately otherwise than in His Word. " And the Spirit of God." he * II Paradiso. . whether the whole or a part. being infinite.. grades of creatures in the corporeal universe are almost innumerable. 31 express God. however sublime and perfect. in sfe come davanti. Hence. he says : Vedi 1' ecoelso omai e la larghezza Deir eterno Valor. CREATION. This is expressed by Dante. Whom and Who has the same nature. in the Paradiso : Colui che volse il sesto Alio stremo del mondo. He cannot be expressed.

* the doctrine were that first God created materia De Gen. among those things that may somehow be understood as intended to make us understand by men. no quality of any sort.. and therefore is not quantum sua. not as on water but with a certain and making virtue [ vi quadavi . This.. or. is inconceivable. no accidents.. by which that over which Hfe bears Himself is made and constructed. THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF " bore ST. is poor and almost nothing effectoria et fabricatoria\ how the Spirit of God bore Himself above the mundane matter subject to His operation. in order of ibid. fore is not quale. 16.. if it will be said. though the best of corporeal similitudes. or on the limbs of his own body when he moves them to the work. 32 says. an entity which has no determinate figure. as the will of an artificer acts on the wood or other material on which he works. THOMAS. or more nearly resemble that of which we have spoken. Yet. oil floats effective Himself over the water. and there- It will be objected that." * if materia prima and then formed. we cannot find a similitude that could be more clearly understood. prima ad litt. But this. we must admit an entity which has neither the nature of earth nor of water nor of anything else an entity which has no nature at all. Now. is not quid . is at first formless . as they say in the Schools. entity which has no attributes. ..

the flower precedes election. makes the mutable things. CREATION. the precedence of eternity. no spirit ? Not however quite nothing. God as precedes things precedence in time. Lord. . its precedence to by as the fruit preferred the and precedence by origin. not absurd. no body. it is an arduous work. standing by itself. " that before formless matter was formed and distinguished by Thee. told that in creation materia the forms in when we are prima preceded order of nature only. would be inconceivable and extremely if unnatural. assuredly such quid. as the sound Of these examples the first and last are very difficult to understand For indeed but the others are very easy. there was nothing at all no colour. being incommutable. the difficulty vanishes. as . fruit is . time. Augustine explains with " Hast ness. nee quantum. . Thou not taught me. flower precedes the singing. no figure. tent to any one who can distinguish between — . . to raise one's eyes to Thine Eternity. as his usual profound- in order of time. of election and of origin —between all eternal precedence. this Lord." he says. and therefore precedes them. but a certain informity without a species of Nor will this appear inconsisany sort. of time. 33 it and afterwards determined in various natures a Tiec by impression of forms. and very rarely done. which. and not But. St.. nee quale.

Nor first by an interval of time for even in singing we do not first emit unformed sounds. . It the very sound of the singing and therefore the singing deis velopes in the sound. but rather made. The wood and the silver precede in time the form of a casket and of a vase : but in singing it is not so. a sound and also a beautiful sound. Hence. . What we hear is not firstly an unformed sound. although there can be a thing unformed. but by being the song. THOMAS. And without who is sufficiently acute to discern much labour how the sound is before is the singing. and for leaves nothing behind is art to recover. for it is comes forth it together with the . Nor prior by for is which sound is not preferable to song.34 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF then. before that which as efficient is made . is I said. . ST. seeing that the singing the sound formed is is (distinct in certain forms). the matter of the sound form of the song not prior by the sound does not make the song Neither choice is efficiency. itself . but not does first. that passes away when formed. which its its own sound. for . and that. subject to the soul that produces it prior in time song. what not cannot the receive a form is ? Thus matter of it. as whten a man makes a casket out of wood or a vase out of silver. and then give them the order and form of singing. cause for it is it not make. as prior to the own matter formed : into song.

because Thou. their perfection and defect. nor of anything anterior in time. May Thy may love that so Thy nothing. It is prior is 35 . Thou tookest the matter absolutely from nothing. * Confess. : praise Thee. by priority of origin for the form not given to to make the song a sound. xii. of and the matter " was unformed. before those who can underof how first. by Thee created together with them . 40. without interval of time. works may praise Thee—those works which have in time their beginning and end. it. partly hidden and partly manifest for by Thee they were made from . nor of anything not Thine. the matter things was earth. but of matter concreated. a song. the matter of heaven and earth being other than the form of heaven and earth. their rising and setting. that we Thee and may we love Thee. because the forms give time. They had therefore successively morning and evening. and from formless matter the form of the world. so that . 3."* The holy doctor then exclaims works . and called heaven and because heaven and earth were made of not the made but made order first in time. didst give form to the formlessness of this matter.CREATION. Let this example serve stand. form and privation. Yet both didst Thou make together. but to make the sound show. not of Thee.

"* moment But we have said enough about the outcoming of primitive matter by the power of God. * Ibid. and about its distinction in those primitive substantial forms from which the development of the universe now to see came successively. We have what happens in the actuation of this matter in the diverse forms that disit. xili. 48 tinguish . THOMAS.36 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. the form without the interposition of a followed the matter.

Cicero says size. Descartes and Gassendi. St. and cannot while This definias se preserving tion its nature be divided. and that singularity and individuality come from the matter on which it is impressed. since it individuality. prescinds per from a large body might sometimes be called an atom. ATOMS. rp HE word "atom. means rather that which implies is undivided.37 VI. to signify the smallest possible substance. let us consider what an atom is As a in the seal system that we are explaining. * Now this 3. while a smaller one could not. the notion of and. impression on * Quodlib. . Thomas lays down in these often repeated words Individuatio formcB est ex materia. This being premised. so can the divine archetypal idea multiply the divine impressions that it image in matter according to the number of God makes on it. per quam forma contrahitur ad hoc as : determinatum." used by Democritus and -L Epicurus. From this clearly appears that universality belongs to the idea. vii. . its can multiply own image by impressing any sealing-wax whatsoever.

is Therefore an individual corporeal substance continuous or ^is an atom. as they call . if the word cdom is to mean an individual corporeal substance. is For otherwise the human soul.38 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. not an aggregate of minute bodies divided and separated. matter is in the manner of a virtue derived from God and the substantial form determines an individual being in its nature. The same may be said of an individual brute. or. we may call by that name it not only a that the in little inanimate substance. follows one and the pores. THOMAS. the substantial form of itself human beings.e. and of an individual plant. . a brute or a man. Hence it . substance interstices so-called all physical placed round each atom. and of any inanimate substance that is individual. or be itself individual indifferent to that. but even a plant. the Whence same i. which would be in divided and separated and instead as of one soul there would in fact be souls as there many would be little bodies of which we should suppose ourselves to be constituted. be made in in divided and separated because that case the form would not be one. but as many as the parts of the disjointed matter. So that. The size of it will depend on the form. evidently is not and cannot matter. Thus an man is a substance in his continuous extension. which may require more — less extension in the as matter.

understood in the strict sense of the word. This does not prejudice the of matter . because experience proves that they are. must be acknowledged. that will not bear division while retaining the nature of their being. owing to which the substance called " atom" cannot be divided without ceas- ing to be what indefinite it is. because they would unity of the individual. An atom. But will two individual substances. by reason The relative of the nature in which indivisibility of matter especially observable in living things. not absolute but relative. that occupy an equal space. it. have in themselves And. can the same substance an equal quantity of matter? . requires also indivisibility.ATOMS. 39 of each corporeal substance the smallest dimensions. that cannot be therefore less without ceasing to deservedly exist. or atoms. because they have a form that requires a certain organism not to be had in Generally all every small quantity of matter. take away the But the pores that we do find in corporeal substances do not take away the unity of the subject and they . divisibility for that re- gards extension as considered by reason of the quantity. not it is inheres. without increase of the matter. corporeal substances have a minimum. and may be called an atom according to the strictest meaning of the word. cannot be admitted in the physical system.

: had no force but disapproving of the argument is in favour of a thing very different from disitself. approving of the opinion Descartes did disapprove of for Epicurus and they acknow- ledged no other density and rarity than what . The matter its intrinsic to the plant constitutes mass. there. a real less. not for. or occupy without diminishing to it ? This question belongs doctrine about the mass and volume atom the volume meaning the place occupied by the atom. the followers of the physical system said that two substances occupying an equal space can have different masses. it. is the apparent. in If it were which the substance is not. or a different mass in equal real volumes. vi. a plant seems to occupy the real volume . and the said volume being either real or apparent. for instance. more and sometimes (Serie x. p. The place. to volume sometimes We remember show- ing in the year 1878 in the " Civilta Cattolica" 73) that an argument of prove the variability of real volumes. vol. which the of the . and that the same substance may have.40 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. the volume would be not merely ap- parent. less occupy more space than before. or its extension with respect to space. This being laid down. Galileo's. THOMAS. it yet contains innumerable interstices or pores. although the plant has in all its living substance a true continuation. but real. without increase of mass.

explains the Cardinal Toledo teaching of Aristotle and of St. This suggests a natural explanation of the greater or less gravity that substances acquire by change of position. Q. while full of we affirm them a most subtle corporeal substance. .ATOMS. . C. 9. In fact. proper and improper. rarefaction or condensation or is and Improper what happens of of alteration by mere approximation segregation . from more or less distance between the and affirmed their extension to be immutable. . in these words : " That which contains little is matter in quantity ber that much quantity called i^re. . Manj^ among than the . 11. arises 41 atoms. but by an internal change of the subject. Phys. any change or this them. The matter remains the same. Proper rarefaction and condensation is not produced by expelling or introducing an extraneous body. is ." * Here we have a change of extension.. That which is contains dense. it Thomas about . ancients acknowledged no other to be this but they supposed quite vacant pores in bodies. much matter .and is [improper rarefaction or condensation] does not take place unless an external body expelled or introduced. in little We have to rememrarefaction there a twofold condensation. without . if part of a solid body be divided and subdivided ever * In IV. parts.

. and therefore the substance or dense is not made by addition or substraction of extraneous particles. the . because the body not by the matter receiving into itself any other thing. between the light. that in made room for the other part of the rarified. it much by purely mechanical means. the heaviness in consequence of their density. for the difierence He is says therefore that the light- ness of bodies in consequence of their rarity. And he is right comes from the . matter than another corporeal substance in a solid This variation of gravity St. which was not same and which has more We matter under an equal real volume. . He [Aristotle] proves his assertion by the effects of the rare and the dense heavy and the follows density. the hard and the soft. difference between rarity and . according to the doctrine : of Aristotle. THOMAS. . if properly rarified. . as follows is " The size of a extended or simplified in rarefaction. but by the matter itself rare becoming rare or dense. body. but so matter which first was in potentia to be greater or less becomes actually . for the rarity of a substance matter receiving greater . ." because we must state admit that a corporeal substance in a liquid may be more dense and contain more state.42 SO THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. say " of the same body. will not be lighter than before but so it really would rising be it so. is ex- plained by Thomas.

tradicting the indisputable actio in distans. if all round the earth. whose density is so slight that we can hardly form a conception of it. And consequently we have to admit that an ethereal and most subtle bodily substance the is everywhere diffused in as the interplanetary spaces.ATOMS.. dimensions. the dense body has the most has less dimensions. 14. According to this doctrine it follows that corporeal substances. Phys. if. Non datur we can IV. Therefore. such enormous dis- each other. and its 43 is density because the matter Hence. * III lect. will be so disposed around centres of gravity that the more dilated bodies will go further and further from them. in proportion to have from densest even to the most subtle ether. various spaces be sup- posed in the strata. the vehicle and subject of the re- ciprocal operation of the stars though these are placed tances from at and the planets." * motive power or other obstacle. own. the one is rare and the other dense. for instance. not despised. explain the diffusion of light and heat in agreement with experience. These considerations deserve to be weighed and examined. . Thus without conaxiom. its manner corporeal of concentric spherical each substance its would density. unless impeded by an extrinsic matter. of two bodies equal in extension.

so ordained that there are substances whose nature it is to dilate and rarify in the highest degree and fill the vast spaces of the heavens. but even the fact of its propagation. We have now to pass on from the .44 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OP tlie ST. however. THOMAS. On contrary. The old adage refers to an absolute vacuum. • futes the adage. and made substances to act on other substances the most various and admirable ways. We should be indulgent to the old physicists who explained by this adage such phenomena as bly small. following Epicurus and Descartes. and thus make inexplicable (according to the true system of irradiation) not alone the extreme rapidity of the propagation of light. passing between the interstices of bodies almost incrediis what is meant by the very Natura abhorret a vacuo. they who. the rising of water in curved tubes. in God. old This adage. while the vacuum obtained by art is imperfect and relative. affirm the existence of equally impenetrable atoms unalterable in their extension. are compelled thereby to admit in nature much more by of absolute void than of space occupied corporeal substances. and so on but the modern physicists have no right to maintain that the Torricellian vacuum re. They have to suppose ethereal atoms at a great distance from each other. the Who willed order and unity in corporeal universe.

consideration of 45 corporeal substances. in their individual and absolute being. . to consider in those them mutual relations that have their founda- tion and origin in the seminal causes.ATOMS.

Firstly. Augustine The (3 De Trinitate) seminales rationes. Thomas. seeds from which they are generated are their active all tire and passive principle the active and passive of and therefore virtues that and of natural changes are suitably called by St.46 VII. this term to expresses the virtue communicated by God a living substance. which enable substances to produce others like or unlike themselves. " the denominations of things are taken. substances are living substances But evidently the . From is more perfect. Augustine . creating actuated matter by substantial INforms God produced also what may be called the seminal causes of things. Furthermore expresses life the virtue that which by which even things without " are the causes of substantial change. corporeal ." says St. SEMINAL CAUSES. as St. by which the it generates another substance it of same species. Strictly speaking. and through it to its seed. Now the most perfect of all . active and passive virtues may be considered principles generation in a manifold order. however.

2. t Sttmma. i. a. in two respects from those of the artificer. the elements of the world. ad litt. In a fourth way they and virtues. but works on never could give to it the power of it. t . as universal causes. This most wise providence of the Creator " The coming is thus described by St. and that continual transformation of substances. by animals Without these seminal first given by God. as in particular causes. which is so necessary for the maintenance of such. in this plant or that animal. . and from the virtues descend . plants. Thomas forth of creatures from God is like the coming and forth of artistic works from an artist ' : . where from the beginning they were produced at once. ex v. Secondly. says. . the living things created would have disappeared from the earth. on the part of the matter artificer does not produce that. . in ideal essences. as artificial forms in matter proceed artificer. * they tlie 47 originally are principally of are and as in very Word they God. P. for the Firstly. Q. . * 6 De Gen. would have ceased. In a third way they are found in those things that out of universal causes are in course of time produced. are in the seeds produced .. therefore. so do natural forms and from the ideas in the Divine But the works of God differ Mind.SEMINAL CAUSES. . for instance.

Who is the cause of all being. should as have not but virtually. but also communicated to matter (materia prima) the power of receiving whatever He may please to operate ." * Having thus given a general sketch of the Physical System as to the generation of things. Dist.. Some have only vegetative life also. it may help to form a plant but the natural forms can produce . but God. not only gave to things their forms and natural being. and that the actually. if reduced to ashes. in virtue of which they may be called seminal. life. * III II. 2. to produce. but so that in the one sex principle. A wooden bed cannot bring forth another wooden bed. xviii. and apply it to the various living kinds things of corporeal substances. the latter animals. on the part of the forms the forms introduced by the artificer are not able to produce a being like themselves. receiving those forms which he communicates thereto . having the power 1. we must now descend to the particular. G-od gave to the primitive animals the above mentioned seminal virtue. the same things. seminal nitors substance communicated by the gelife. . in for it.48 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. and others have sensitive The former are called plants. in the other it should be an active passive. THOMAS. Secondly. though. and therefore have the property of seed. Sent.

when was says speaking of man.. the means of producing a human soul but He has given to brutes the power of so producing the anima sensitiva. and therefore. a living thing. . t Met. though simple in yet as being so tied to matter that it can neither operate nor exist separate there- material. from. " God has not given to corporeal substances. seminal principles and is prior in time to the production and existence of the vital principle or soul. 49 under requisite circumstances. it speaking of ascribes their the origin of other animals. which * Gen. saying reptile Producant aqucB * But. properly so is called . in the book of Genesis. 20. even when separated. " by means of the seminal virtues.. can exist and operate. shows that . caused by the originating seminal itself. i. which." because the says Thomas. And this. for the anima is sensitiva virtue. Of course we are prescinding from man." t And here we must remark in the conjunction of the two every living thing is called conception. There. " the Sacred Scripture seems to indicate St. SEMINAL CAUSES. his animce viventis. souls to other causes. human soul is immaterial. it &c. In such generation therefore there is no creation. soul it immediately created by God that God formed man of the earth. for slime of the and breathed into his face the breath that of life." he adds. vii.

" St. Here any art determine with certainty the elements of which the seminal substance of living beings is composed.iii. Sent." Clearly then the distinction of sex in plants is not a recent discovery of modern science. and the other the passive. in III. not living actually. Q. though is the twofold virtue. human being could by chemical that. by the way. as some people would have it to be. 1. so for in the imperfect in that plants same plant there and passive. ii. Dist. and they confer those virtues on the seminal substances. life Thomas says. but having life. THOMAS. and * Comm. and the have the in passive another. being conjoined. which. fore distinguished is as active and thereand passive. . absurd and against facts to suppose that the conception and the to animation are simultaneous. and the other the passive seminal principle. The same thing for is be said of plants God conferred on them similar virtues. It is ST. a.. so that the one plant is said to be masculine and the other feminine. " Those [animals]. active sometimes the active is found in one. When there is efficient power of no distinction of sex one part of the same plant gives the active principle. 50 is THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF called animation. if we must remark.. so that the one gives the active. give the completed seed. life But not . " that have perfect have are it also a perfect generation.

;

SEMINAL CAUSES.

51
it

combine them so as to make of

a substance

quite similar materially to the completed seed,

the substance would nevertheless have no seminal virtue, because it would not proceed from
living parents.
it

And therefore if, per impossihile, were possible for any man to produce by
the organism of a plant or of a brute, he

art

could
plant.

never produce

a live brute or

a live

The two

principles of seminal virtue for the

generation of animals and plants may,
of a

by analife.

logy, be said to be required for the production

new substance Oxygen and hydrogen
is

in

beings without

will not
ia

produce water,

although put together
unless there

the right proportions,

some

extrinsic cause to

their virtue, so that their

modify mutual action may

produce a change of one relative principle into another, thereby constituting the nature of
water.
are

Evidently these elementary substances

different

from

non-elementary

or

mixed

The elementary substances do not from the union of two other substances but by physically uniting they produce a new
substances.
result

substance
substances.

in

a

different

nature, yiz.
call

mixed

But why do we

these mixed,

when

in natural sciences

now they

are called

composite,

and the word mixed is used to signify The reason is, that since every 1 corporeal substance is composed of matter and
a mixture

;

52.

THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF
tlie

ST,

THOMAS.

form,

name

of composite belongs as

much

to the elementary as to the non-elementary
so that a

mixed substance cannot properly be
mingled by aggregation, each primary nature. The word onixed
is

called a mixture, but only two or more sub-

stances

locally
its

keeping

belongs of right to that only which

produced

by physical union,

so

that from two or

more

substances there results one substance only.

And, since anything may be resolved into of which it is constituted, any mixed substance (say water) may be resolved Aristotle, explaining into its component parts.
the elements
as a philosopher the inmost nature of elements,
tells

us* that an element
is

of bodies

is

that

substance which
others,

obtained by resolution of

and

which

cannot

be

resolved
St.

into

another of a
other bodies

diflferent

species.
:

Thomas,
other

commenting on him, says
is

"An

element of
for

that into which

those
;

bodies are decomposed or resolved

not

every cause

may

be

called

an element, but

only that which enters into the composition Again he says: "In natural of a thing." t
corporeal substances, those into which
all

mixed

bodies resolve themselves
of bodies
;

are

called

elements

and consequently they are those from which the mixed bodies result. And
the bodies called elements are not divided into * iii. De Coelo et MuMo. + Lect. viii.

SEMINAL CAUSES.
others
differing

53
in
species,

from

each

other

but

parts."* Hence he calls " " Elementaryelementary bodies simple." bodies," he says " are simple, and there is no
similar

into

composition

in

them except that

of

matter

and form."t
says
:

Following this doctrine, Toledo
conclude that

"In two ways we may
are.
;

elementary substances
dissolution of bodies
it

from the being a fact that some
Firstly,

decompose into bodies of a different nature, and others into bodies of the same nature.

The resolved
those into
infinite

parts are evidently composed of
;

process

which they do resolve and an repugnant to of resolving is

reason.

Therefore, there

must be bodies that

are not resolved into others, or, in other words,

elementary bodies.
this likewise

Secondly,

from composition.

that

many

bodies are

we may conclude For we know made by mixture (now
;

called chemical combination)

but elementary
Therefore those

bodies

cannot be so made.

really are simple bodies,

which do not result
J

from composition of others."

Such

is
;

the doctrine professed in the system

before us

but

it

does not claim to determine
the

how many and which
are.

elementary bodies
four,

These have been supposed to be and thought to be twenty or fifty, and
*

now

In V. Ma.,
t Lib.
ii.

3.

f Contra Gent.,
,

iii.

23.

De

Generat. et corrupt.

Q.

4.

;

54

THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF
is

ST.

THOMAS.

the amount

over eighty

;

nor can any one say

By how many they may be found to be. means of reasoning we can only affirm with
Toledo that " the elements are more than one." * That much we can affirm for otherwise the
;

production of
constitute

new

natures would be impossible,

because the union of two equal things cannot

something of

a

different

species.

The atomic theory,
are all of the
reason,

therefore, cannot be true

because, according to that doctrine, thq atoms

Experiment, hot same nature. determines which and how many ele-

mentary substances cooperate in forming this or that mixed body and even experiment
;

does not, after so

many

centuries,

give

with

certainty a final settlement of that question.

In defending the old teachers from unjust
attacks,
ing,

men
as

of high ability

and great

learn-

such

the

distinguished philosopher,

Cardinal Battaglini, and the famous

Professor

Lorenzelli, have in their philosophical courses

given another meaning to the word " elements
necessary
since

;"

but we prefer to avoid troublesome and undisputation.

We

simply say

that
as

the

old
tell

teachers,

when teaching
of which

philosophers,

us that elements or elemen-

mixed bodies are composed, and which result from
bodies

tary bodies are those

the

decomposition

of

the
iii.

latter,

we have

a

* Ibid.,

SEMINAL CAUSES.

55

right to use the same correct definition in ex-

perimental physics, for the purpose of seeing

what bodies
fluid,

are

such

—whether

solid,

liquid,

or aerial.
for

that

;

Modern chemists cannot deny with them the element is the first
and the
last in

in chemical synthesis
analysis.

chemical

and all nature would appear to the mind to be full. most complete. As God is the complete and most perfect Being (esse). and have power to act. these very OF of physics or little is of modern schools philosophy and yet the said in . by .56 VIII. But it is not so with created substances. QUALITIES. most simple. doctrine about it it is so important. He is the One most pure. with which we are now more particularly concerned. not only of inexplicable puzzles. creating ception What sort of con- ' could we form of that most perfect Nature ? Either none at all. but evident contradictions. They have indeed a likeness to God. loving. especially corporeal ones. that without the physical system would be untenable. and do act but. so in Him there is not any real difference between being and the power to do and the action itself. yet deny His operation. . What knowing. this question : also of Let us begin by asking Suppose that we acknowledge the could we then say about His ? complete and highest Being of God. inasmuch as they have being. or the conception of an absurdity. most perfect Act.

substance : determines his nature. and which in its general meaning denotes a change words. 57 reason of their imperfection. in a substance by the action of some fol- This being premised as the basis of the let us consider any finite and since it is easier to descend from the more perfect to the less. there necessarily is a real distinction between their being. Therewhich adds nothing more than quality. all passion. remembering that besides human nature with its natural faculties. what remains of him ? The bare essence of the human individual. we shall begin with man.QUALITIES. man it has dispositions for action. every faculty. Whatever therefore we may conceive as happening to him when thus constituted and determined. their power to act and their action. when the more perfect is known to us. Now by mentally abstracting from man all action. Moreover. as constituted by the soul substantially informing the corporeal matter. In other He cannot receive that inner mutation which is philosophically called passio. He never can receive from His creatures anything intrinsic to Himself. nor can they take from Him anything of His own. fore. since all God is most perfect and the source of being. but an accidental form. will not be a substantial form that lowing dissertation. made being. that adorn it and make fitter .

Now the mode. 58 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. the second to action the third to passion the fourth to quantity. or in reference to action. this.) or according to quantity. . of determining principle to the substances become part of his nature ways to the body a certain extension. ." says St. And. . may be understood either according to the nature of the subject. a quality. is before. we have the The mode . or the determination of the subject. or determination of the we take the mode according to subject quantity. " quality means a certain mode of substance. is the the human soul. these true When a man acts either with his intellect any other power that he has. Thomas. as the substantial form. or with his will. . pleasing or otherwise. Here that nourish man and thus it gives in various again ' there is quality. THOMAS. which . fourth species of quality. can therefore of distinguish four species of quality. he receives in his senses and in there his soul an impression that was not too. . (these proceed arc matter If from the principles of nature which and form. quantity and figure. " Properly speaking. We . according to accidental Being. or to passion. are we must acknowledge that qualities. Lastly. . when at the sight of an object. the first belongs to Being . or with .. there certainly happens to him a modification that before was not and this is a quality.

we must consider firstly their substantial being secondly. But the mode or determination of the subject according quality. Q. constituted by the four different : species of quality before for mentioned. third quality. . but of the form. it a which previously first had : not. what is accidental in them. la.QUALITIES. t Bk. the determination by virtue of the form. This in his does not commenwhat he lays tary on the Sentences. the . "belongs it to is matter. 2ee. quality xii. whether they have life or have not. where he says that the compositum does not operate in virtue of the matter.9 determination action species of the subject according and passion of gives . receives If an into atom itself of oxygen. it species and being by attracting * in fact able to operate on another will have a of the 1. xlix. . It is the determination that in the composite being . . disposition instance. modification that contains the Summa. it will have a quality of the or altering. second and ." he and principle of action. 2."t For species not afiirmed that the said is of quality quantity is itself. Of the species inferior to man. contradict down says. the quality to Form. iv. under is this or that quantity and though the quantity belongs to matter. or to 5. which is its actus " The quantity. * to the nature of the thing belongs to the first species of . Q.

expansion and the corporeal substances. as we have Hence said. though differing from each other in perfection. if by virtue of an extrinsic cause. . This applies to qualities also. elementary find common for to all the superior subinstance. which. its proper quantity comes it to be so determined that acquires a different conformation of parts. being all must be in But as harmony and in a one order. not formally but virtually. it the perfections of the must so also possess their qualities. fect are common to Since then a more per- being has a substantial form that contains inferior forms. Lastly. If instead of that. that quality will belong to the fourth species. as we have seen by the comparison that Aristotle and St. it quire through the change undergone a quality of the third species. have something in common. the lowest qualities of the lowest substance are stances. receives will ac- into itself the operation of another. we that heat. THOMAS. subjection to rest. which. Thomas took from geometricalj figures and num- bers. As in every polygon there is the triangle. are in being by reason of form.60 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. it second species. and in every number there is unity. Thus. so in every substantial form there is an inferior or elementary form. We must observe that all the corporeal sub- stances of equal matter have substantial forms. all attraction and gravitation.

" There is nothing. " We must hold with the Thomas. " that the forms of the elements reactually. system clear to make as the whole theory of the the gradation in to the modes operating and the qualities of all beings. Ixxvi. there a certain law qualities by which. . and therefore. " says St. ad . i. main in the mixture. Q. but virtually. the inferior are there in a remitted degree. where he and unity.QUALITIES. the form that gives being to the matter it first it it must be conceived as coming to of all things. and most intimately is Now that a property of the substantial form gives being absolutely to matter IS THE SUBSTANTIAL FORM THING IS WHAT IT IS. giving us a sure foundation of rational physics. though remitted and in them appears the virtue of the elementary forms. The qualities of the elements properly remain. a. not philosopher (Aristotle). do not give • for THAT BY WHICH A The accidental forms . absolutely. matter actuated by form. " that more im- mediately and intimately belongs since to things is than Being . in one Summa. in diminished or neutralized. 61 is even in the qualities." * And now. or. 4 but 4." he says. being P. where the inferior would clash with the superior. we cannot do better than quote another grand passage from the reduces it to order Angelic Doctor. modern language.

has the an order of diverse forms in matter instance. etc. substantial. if there is a form that does not give being to matter absolutely. for the substantial others would be accidental form. according to the order of which one is of genera. the being body from another. But according to that position the first form only. it) supposing that. " Consequently. is under the other. since the forms of natural things are like numbers. but comes to matter respect. . as we have already said. ' (quce facit must therefore say that one that by which a thing is a determinate substance and by which it is hoc aliquid. the being of corporeal substance from another. for example. or coloured.: 62 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. for that matter being of actual substance from one form. it will not be Hence it is evident that between substantial form and matter there cannot be any intermediate substantial form (as some will have there as.) We and the same form determined in its is ultimate species (specialissima)." (by which. a man is a man and an animal and a living creature and a corporeal substance). by which the actual being of substance All the was given. is that which of an animated . Hence. such as being great. and so on. in which the addition traction of a and sub- unit makes a difi'erent species. would be substantial. and in all the intermediate genera. already actuated by some form. constitutes the determinate being. THOMAS.

forth. is matter with respect to the ulterior perfection Hence (logically) the of that which has life. must consequently subject to accidents. . inasmuch as simultaneously constitutes the of with the matter the perfection compositum an inferior grade. body is the genus of the living body. and its being animated or living is the differentia. as constituted in corporeal being. form gives to it not only corporeal but also sensitive being. according to which the matter constituted in different species. as actuating matter in a lower grade. and Thus materia prima. be understood as material with respect to an ulterior perfection. Matter understood as constituted in substantial being according to the perfection of an inferior grade. . 63 the diversity of we must understand is that natural forms. the differentia and thus in a manner one is as the form and the same form. a substance in corporeal Another matter and in more perfect form constitutes vital as well as in corporeal being. And then another and so vital being. be supposed as For a substance in that . is midway between the matter . stance. must so on. is because one form adds a greater perfection. and We must it see therefore that the more in perfect form. and itself as actuating it in a higher grade. . For in- one form constitutes being only.QUALITIES. For the genus is as the matter.

the rational.64 THE PHYSICAL -SYSTEM OF ST. sensitive and rational. soul. which makes him makes him a for sensitive substance also. But matter. and a living . has nothing between itself and . there no substantial form between the soul and 'materia prima: but man is perfected by his rational soul according to the different degrees of perfection. we do that not mean that he is constituted in these di- verse grades by diverse forms. substance since and a corporeal subpre- stance every superior grade supposes the inferior." St.. the ultimate the form that Thus the as gives being. lower grade of perfection must have certain accidents proper to itself. THOMAS. as constituting man is in a determinate species of substance.*' " Thus.. We mean the perfect form. that gives soul. living. presupposes itself as constituting the sensitive grade.. Thomas goes on is to say : " Since then the soul the substantial form. so as to be a body and an animated body and a perfections rational animal. or sensitive being (esse) with its accidents and qualities . and so on. is man a corporeal substance. when we say that . under- stood as receiving from the rational soul the of a lower grade —suppose it to be a body and an animated body and an animal must be understood as suitably disposed — for the rational soul perfection. the stituting human soul as con- the rational grade.

because that which operates has already an actual existence.QUALITIES. more and with greater Hence it is that is in the less perfect things diversity of accidents sufficient for diversity of operation. which have nobler difierent parts are assigned for difiierent operations. in animated bodies. Thus we as rising see that fire operates in diverse according to the diversity of accidents. by reason of its : warming by its heat. the more perfect a form in giving being. operation. operations belongs to the But forms. there is also a grade in their virtue of operating. while the more perfect require diversity of parts also. from that of the boughs or of the and the more perfect an animated body the more does it require. trunk is. the soul like every the other form must be a principle of operation. its greater a greater diversity in . and so on yet fire as each of these a whole. is Therefore. the greater is its virtue in operating and the more perfect forms operate diversity than the less perfect. by reason of perfection. lightness. . more ways such or less. Now. since the is same form that acts accord- gives being to matter also the principle of and because everything it ing to what actually is. is as in plants the operation of the root difi'erent . according to the perfection of the form. But we must consider that according tion to grades of the forms with respect to the perfecof Being. 65 materia prima.

But when it gives being to the body. Therefore. as being_thfi_form the body. the mover and the principle of operation. as by means of the heart it moves the other members to their vital operations. This is marked by the fact that. is united to the body witha out the dium. : united thereto accords through a methe of which with Aristotle. do we find the greatest distinction owing to the diversity of his operations in the of parts and the soul gives to each of them substantial being manner that is suitable to its operations. medjlim. of the operations. between the soul as its own work. the flesh or the eye remains only equivoce. and. as being Jhe mover opinion of body. of the . ST. THOMAS. in man . Now.66 its is THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF parts. And this is why many people say that the soul. and the whole body. But some people. is but. so one part body must be moved by another to do Thus then. when the soul is separated. supposing with Plato that the soul is united stantial . there is some medium for by means of some part first moved it moves the other parts to their work. since the rational soul the most perfect of natural forms. since the order of instruments must accord with the order soul. it immediately gives to every part substantial specific and of being. who aflSrms the soul to be the sub- form of the body. of the diverse operations that are from the one naturally precedes another.

t De anima. * But none of these things are necessary. one complete substance not resulting therefrom). according to the perfection of their being. . by itself is it united to materia prima. must is approach influx. or something of the sort. art. out of place. so And the powers of the soul. It went beyond the question before us by speaking of animated beings and of human beings . as we shall see further And now. as St." t Here ends our long quotation from the Angelic Doctor. while some supposed it to be light. since by itself gives being to matter. fall And they who suppose that the soul ether. is whatever ens. all These. 9. we have to see this how can happen between substances far apart. because diverse and distant substances are not united unless there is something to some of them supposed that a fluid or humour is the medium between the soul and the body. to 67 the body as one substance to another substance " (that is. * Thomas by says. or by physical into this error. and others believed it to be unite them. is one because the form an and therefore. if the soul is the form of the body. but that is not altogether on. and not by anything else. or united to the hody by means of the biotic fluid. it For a it thing. " had to suppose media through which the soul could be united to the body. having discoursed on the mutual operation of the corporeal substances.QUALITIES. may be.

" in order to operate. " Alteration.68 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. Contra Gent. iii. the alterant must be nearer than before to the altered. we had better speak of approach the former as being more * difficult. " cannot happen without a previous change of place . foi- in order that the alteration may take place.. THOMAS. . 82."* And since this may be either by internal attraction or by external impulse. he says.

e. bodies move towards is other bodies. and then the motion is physical or natural. goes to it. ? this mysterious attraction Now what How does one ? body these attract another from a distance Where Are are the means of (so to speak) pulling it ? attracting forces invented for the purignorance ? pose of hiding our own For the sake of is clearness. of light that by means makes it visible . THAT tinually of such . to unite with them. moved by In this fact we have its presence. its motion is mechanical or forced. which is in the grass secondly the means by which the attraction is communicated. a comparison. let us begin with grass. is made an object for the cow and the cow. i. But often we find it to be intrinsic. is i. But what is the principle movement 1 It certainly is often extrinsic and when it is so. a fact shown con- by experience.e. The and the exhalation that carries the scent. and suppose that a cow in a field attracted by some better grass. to distinguish firstly the principle of attraction. light : . ATTRACTION.69 IX. by true attraction.

This much : is clear in living and sensible creatures but we may inanimate things also. choose the better grass. instead of being merely in potentia to do that inasmuch as of the But we must remember. cow is the principle of is its every operation. as Aristotle proves in .:: 70 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF : ST. which is the cow's nature is and determined actually to go. speak analagously of " "We find. the said nature its principle of motion in virtue of the substantial form. such as motion and generation. For spiritual things absolutely have such a nature that they can move but cannot be moved. Thomas. For the cow would not go after the grass without having first received an impression from it nor would the impression suffice without the actual going nor would the cow actually go. if she had not an antecedent disposition to . which by acting on the sensible appetite of the cow through the senses and the imagination fourthly the principle of motion. We to must reit member also that. " a certain operation that in one way is common to the animate and the inanimate things. THOMAS. the substantial form or anima so. . must be endowed with some qualities. in order be such. though one of them can move another none can move itself for. but in another is proper to the animate. by which the cow is moved and goes. . air thirdly the manner of attracting. Bodies indeed move but." says St.

Thus we see that. as being composed . but only the action is immanent called and herein living : from those without life. . But in things purely corporeal this cannot be for their forms cannot be movers. have no action. if a substance is to move itself. a. Hence living things only... xxii.ATTEACTION. gravity is the principle is by which it is moved (quo movetur J. whenever an inanimate body goes to another. of various parts differently inclined. 3. not having in that any diversity of organism. can move themselves is called and this motion within themselves an immanent action. there would be no sufficient reason why the one should be the mover instead of the moved. in the motion of . for in that which moves itself there must be the principle and the term of the motion and if its parts were quite alike. it must have in it two different parts. it cannot do so by moving itself in Latin transient bodies differ '. VIII. It is not so : with inanimate things." * To understand this doctrine then we must remember that. but not the mover. one the mover and the other the moved. those things that 71 move themselves have two parts. Phys. their parts These. Disp. And this is evident. the earth. Q. though they can be a principle of motion by which a thing is moved (uT quo aliquid movetur). De Veritate. of which one is the mover and the other is the moved. as.

. become its object. and thus pressing the of . And here question may arise about the attracted body going whole and entire without one part moving the other. is the mover of the other parts. but only its by transporting then of inaniFirst of whole self. and. THOMAS. must receive an impression body attracted the way: (in scholastic language passio) sent by virtue of the said this. being the form of a And part. which informs the another whole hiiman body. as above mentioned. but. so that the soul. being the substantial form man. the mate things is in this body attracted will be disposed for going to one body rather than to another. making itself. thus it seems that the motive power originates from the brain and the heart.72 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. To make it clear. having re- ceived actually attracted body must tend a towards the attractor. so to Thirdly. The human soul. The attraction all. gives by their means movement to the other moveable parts. Secondly. We may consider the moving part then as a body that gives motion to the contiguous part by transporting its whole self. does not by one act move the whole body. by informing one part. moves so that the soul. which informs both. the Fourthly. speak. medium. present to it. the attracting body must act on the attracted through a medium. we had better begin with an example.

finds therein. Here we have the example therefore of a body that in its motion transports its whole self by virtue of the soul. The Angelic Doctor. the Philosopher condemns in the second book of Physics. To make we must know that some ancient causes." he says. not a fortuitous collection of many substances. whether they have knowledge or have not. philosophers supposed the effects of nature to arise from necessity of preceding for and This not because the natural causes had a proper disposition producing such effects. where he shows that. and therefore would not happen in the . its true substantial form and therepose that of tlie . " All things. moved by it for. speaking of the order and variety of the corporeal universe. even of its though inorganic.ATTRACTION. fore it is easy to conceive how a body. but true dispositions of each for tending mutually to the wondrous formation of the* sensible universe. if the relation and mutual utility of things were not in some way intended. this clear. if we sup- same part one side is tlie mover and the other the moved. we only remove the question a little. or admit an infinite process repugnant to reason. they would happen by chance. " seek a bonum. part immediately 73 . can in virtue own substantial form be transported from one place to another.

But sometimes the directed or inclined thing has from its director or mover some form by which it is adapted for that inclination and therefore such inclination will be natural. whither he means to go. way In this an inclination to others that are adapted for them. like all that proceed from fore chance. be ordered and directed to another viz. unless the director knows the end. other things greater part. is For sometimes is that which directed to an end its only impelledj without receiving from adapt it director any form to . that to which . as an arrow aimed at a mark by an archer. He Who is gave gravity to stones inclined them to fall naturally downward is . Thus .74 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. an end in two ways. either by the itself. We must thereordered say that all natural things are and disposed thing as may a But a for their proper eflFects. or by something as . And this happens in two ways. but in the less. Physics] that the light things all and therefore it Maker of heavy Mover. Now cannot be directed to an end. an arrow directed to a given a thing place by an archer. having in also their and natural things have . For that which directs must have knowledge of it directs but things that know not the end may be directed to a given end. said [VIII. THOMAS.. for this or that direction or inclination and such inclination is forced. as when man is directs himself to place else. as from a natural principle.

themselves 75 inclination. not cooperating themselves at all with the mover but in natural movement things go to their end. Che r universe a Dio fa simigliante. setting aside * Quaest. and are not merely led to their proper end (ita ut quodammodo ipsa vadant.) But in forced movement things are only led or pushed. et non solum ducantur in fines debitos. xxii. . Thomas.. so often spoken of by the a. Onde muovono a diversi porti Per lo gran mar dell' essere. Farad. Q. clearly the meaning forced of the triple appetitus. ATTRACTION. De Veritate.. 1. per diverse sorti Pih al principio loro e si men vicine . il quale h fine Al quale fe fatta la toccata norma. I. Disp. E comiucib Le cose tutte quants Hann' ordine tra loro e questo i forma : . For. What has been said shows St.. inasmuch as they cooperate with the incliner and director by a principle given to them. Qui veggion I'alte creature I'orma Dell' eterno valore. Nell' ordine ch' io dico sono accline Tutte nature."* In accordance with this doctrine Dante wrote Ond' ella (Beatrice) appresso d'un pio sospiro : Gli occhi diizzb ver me con quel sembiante Che madre fa sopra figUuol deliro. is a certain principle of by reason so of which their inclination natural. e ciascuna Con istinto a lei data che la porti. that these in a manner go of themselves.

and the more is it adapted to incline itself. we find in the first place that man petit aliquem terminum by freely moving is him that is." more the Divine dignity expressed in " Now it belongs to the Divine dignity that all things. whatever it may be. more perfect manner of seeking. not freely. " is distinguished from the natural by its Thomas. THOMAS. incline and direct He ture being to neither moved nor inclined nor by anyone. God should move. we find that a brute himself. because there in — — petit aliquem terminum. Hence the nearer a naHim. a sensitive appetite in brutes. THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. sensitive not by moving itself —because in From it there is is not a part that moves and a part that moved but by an inner principle of motion transporting itself to the term. and learns knowledge the honum that inclines by him." says St. Secondly. and considering their natural motion only. the less is it by Him inclined. we find that an inanimate body.— 76 . there is a rational appetite in man. so is the rational sensitive appetite for the is distinguishable from is the nearer a nature to God. in his intellectual knowledge the known honum that inclines him. Thirdly. motion of things. directed is . this we infer that. terminum. as principles of motion. and a natural appetite life. in substances without " As the sensitive appetite. the it. petit aliquem.

Animals. though a viz. so that it does not necessarily incline towards the appetihile apprehended. it has the inclination itself in its own power. therefore. but may either incline or not . when they a it. Over and above that. yet the inclination not in the power of the animal inclined. desirable cannot because they have no dominion over their own inclination.ATTRACTION.. John Damascene says which is because the sensible appetitive power has a corporeal organ. as being nearer to God. as is evi- dent from what has been itself tihile said. the appeitself is apprehended. as St. it as inanimate things this inclination have. rather than to draw themselves. and therefore is near to the dispositions of matter and of things corporeal. thing. But the rational nature. has not in itself anything to incline It has only the principle of inclination. not only has an : inclination to something. sensitive nature. as sensitive natures do. of its materiality. Wherefore they may be said to be drawn. but itself. 77 God. Insensible nature. nor does only move by mere extrinsic determination. has in something that inclines. by God). but is determined help from wishing without. Now. which is the nearest to God. is inclined by reason the furthest removed from indeed to some end. so as to be moved rather than move.e. being. see for (i.

xxii. but because. withdrawing from the nature of a moveable thing. which reason alone can do. . THOMAS. Disp." t From poreal this evidence we gather the noblest conceptions about the wondrous unity of corsubstances. not deter* And this belongs to not because it uses no cor- poreal organ. determine to attain own inclination to Nothing can an end without knowing the end and the aptitude of the means (habitudinem finis in ea quae sunt ad finem) . De Veritate. which is called the will. And therefore this appetite. being not determined it necessarily by . is incline so that its inclination mined for it by another. but we ourselves now our that serve present purpose. a. which in their multiplex tendencies imitate variously the Divine perfections must content with noting some deductions .78 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF : ST. is different from the sensitive appetite. Since the order and beauty of the corporeal universe depends of * corporeal on the reciprocal operations substances. 4. ture of a it approaches the na- mover and its operator. Q. follows the apprehen- sion of reason wherefore the rational appetite. And this reconciles the Divine impulse with human freedom as taught by St.. others. and these cannot Hence whilst human will is evidently determined by God to the universal bonum. but it by itself. t Qucest. Thomas. it is equally clear that the will freely determines itself to the particular objects in which the mind recognizes a participation of that universal bonum.

action of corporeal substances. attraction cient in and gravitation would not be the universe. and that Universal suffi- these be disposed for mutual attraction. to gravitation. operate 79 without approaching. though reducible to the same genus. and the inclining of certain Such affinities sub- stances to substances. therefore to all of them an inner inclination is given. From this chemical affini- arise. a principle these substances have (quo) they attract. called itniversal gravitation. and an inner disposition suited for that effect. so as to operate specially on each other. be united with other determinate and inclinations . constitute different ties species. Moreover the formation the universe.ATTRACTION. each by which they tend towards As this inclination is solicited (through some medium) by the interchanging other. so this solicitation receives the name of universal attraction. which. of new substances requires that substances other should unite and be transformed into substances of a determinate nature. and a principle they go to the attracting body. those by in mutual approach though tending form an aggregate would be wanting in that distinction and order from which the beauty of each part results. Particular attractions and particular gravitations are required. Thus by which by which But if there were no other than universal substances.

we have seen in universal but not equal. in must have a true cause the inner disposition of substances. like what -like. which are therefore gravitation — said to have affinity to each other. THOMAS. So that. Here we must be understood to mean the absolute weight for we .. because we cannot speak of species identically. the weight of the elements will remain in the com- pound that results. and the weight of the compound will remain in the elements into which it is resolved. are qualities. as we speak of a genus. real which or less is also if in proportion to the is volume. which may of the doctrines hitherto explained. by the bye. As these dispositions. Hence. it outlast their transformation. from we have to all that universal attraction what and will gravitation being generic corporeal and therefore common as substances such. should have to speak otherwise of the specific weight. the whole Lastly. the be e converso. said. We have now to speak of physical be considered as a corollary laws. . no wonder if they diminish or it fail without a another change of substance. in the specific weight greater the compound than the absolute weight the absolute greater weight or less that will was in elements. as the weight of bodies results from gravitation. substance into follows. 80 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OP also ST.

an act of " the will. presupposing. as if in despair of getting at the truth on that point. . Eeason must have from Will the power of and therefore Law. is commanded by Eeason." t *!» 2»- Q. Thomas. THIS distinct. he the : How : " intimates or threatens. oscillate between different systems.X. " is an act of reason. because properly be a rule and reason alone can But that alone is not sufficient. xvii. differ is a name commonly given it is : but the conception of not always just and because the philosophers of these days in their much doctrine about corporeal and not a few of them." * he explains thus an act orders command is expressed Commanding is essentially of reason for when he who commands the commanded to do something. which putting in motion natures. . however." says St. measure. Law is a rule and measure of operations and law must proceed from reason. t Ibid. . Will. presupposes Commanding. PHYSICAL LAWS. 1.

of intimation Now manner belongs to reason. eternal divine law which directs with supreme power the order of all created things. xci. indicative mood. . the whole Universe is ruled by Divine Reason and therefore that rule of government in God as in the supreme governor of the Universe. THOMAS. . that by tending to their different ends the}- may be the created expression of the Divine goodness. of the Universe. And since the Divine Reason conceives nothing in time. !"• '2*- Q. whicli can intimate or de- nounce in two ways. saying in If it be asked the imperative mood. unquestion- ably the answer must be that it is the Divine Reason." call the rule what Eeason it is that we may " and measure of all created things. therefore." says St. but has an eternal conception. not only in being but also in operating * Summa. Thomas. " Do this. a. we must therefore say that such law the is eternal. so must this law be " Granted that the world is ruled by divine clearl}providence. It is Eternal. 82 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ordering in the ST. ." * We have. as may when a man It : intimate in the says to another." : has the ratio of law.. You ought to do this " or it may intimate by moving him to do the thing. 1... which in union with the Divine Will is the rule and exemplar of the whole order The Divine Eeason therefore must be considered as universal Law and as eternal.

a. and measure. they participate of the eternal law." * This application varies according to things. " is imposed as a rule and measure. " may be found in two ways. the ciples very prin- of that law. participate eternal law through the light of reason. have therefore the proper If they are no more than sensitive. no purpose. which reflecting naturally as a mirror. of natural name law. viz. P- 2»- Q. xp. The law. 4.PHYSICAL LAWS. must be applied to those beings that have to operate in the . to reach at If they are without any knowledge all." says the Angelic Doctor. they participate of the Eternal Law by means of a disposition in their nature which " Law. . 83 and thus there shines forth in the Universe the image of the Divine perfections. * Ibid. either in the regulator and measurer or in the regulated or measured. being the rule and measure of merely remained it would be to the operations. for if it mind of the legislator. through the instincts impressed on their nature. " Law. the variety of of the which. which only a term amount to a knowledge of by imagination and a necessary tendency it. Thomas. if rational. being inclines them to a certain end.. or that extrinsic glory for which the Creator ordered the created universe." says a rule St. Now the rule and measure is imposed by its application to the things regulated and measured.

Domine. are regulated and measured by eternal law. seeing that from the impression of it they have their inclinations acts to their proper creatures are and ends." * And * IlDid. the question. 4). But rational in a more excellent way under Divine Providence. xci. speaking Q. brutes. is nothing else us. being subject to Divine Providence. a. Quis ostendit nobis bona ? Signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui. he .). as is evident from what has been said . For that whicli participates of tlie law and measure is ruled and measured and therefore^ since all things. (Art. THOMAS. which belongs to the natural law. after saying (Ps. through which they have a natural inclination to their proper and such participation of act and end : the eternal law in rational creatures is called natural law. I. it is evident that all participate some- how of the eternal law. answers saying. is than an impression of the Divine light in the natural ticipation Hence Eternal it is evident that law nothing else than a par- of the Law of in rational creatures. as if he had said that the natural light by which we discern what is good from what is bad. as being a participant of Providence by providing for themselves and others.84 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OP ST. Wherefore in them there is parti- cipation of the Eternal Eeason. Hence the Psalmist. Sacrificate sacrificium justitice. 2.

. of Proverbs." natural things sense) objects. in inanimate beings. contrary to what is said in the Eternal are not under Book aquis. xo. t Ibid. 4.* But it irrational creatures . viii. cannot properly be called natural " Even irrational animals. that their participation. because law as a thing that belongs to reason. but since rational participate intellectually and is rationally. and another about the * Ibid.e. not being by the way law. to whom something may be announced. artic. t Q. a..) : about the law of man. natural things he is Law. therefore participation is properly called law." t And here we must notice particularly what the holy Doctor says about the participation rationally called law. 85 remarks. 29 : Quando circumet dabat mari terminum suum. ad 3.. " that contingent corporeal things without are not under belongs the Eternal to Law was : for promulgation law. legem ponebat ne transirent fines suos.) are Therefore rational creatures only the under replies. as said above : | (but promulgation can only be for rational creatures. of reason. above partici- stated. do not pate of and therefore it is not by a similitude. And he says " We must give one answer (in corp.. ad 3. and contingent it.PHYSICAL LAWS. except of the Eternal Law he (i." But this. " par- ticipate of the Eternal Eeason in their creatures own their way ." he says. " It seems.

so that. 6 Prceceptum posmt. and God therefore God is said to command ) : all nature as is said in the Psalms (cxlviii. man does not extend beyond the rational creatures subject to man.* irrational creatures. And as man impresses by proclamation a cer- tain interior principle of action are subject to him. eternal law. . THOMAS. . 2. Wherefore irrational creatures are under the eternal law in another way " (not as rational creatures * are) i. no one gives law to own to actions. however much they are subject to him. because such things do not move themselves. but on rational creatures subject to him he can. Whatever things are done about the use of irrational things that are subject man. The reason of else this that law is directive of actions adapted to those who are under some one . as we Therefore man cannot impose a law on said. " for they are Q. et non prceteribit . which the law of God . a. for the law of is. his properly speaking. 86 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OP is ST. inasmuch as by precept or proclamation he impresses on their minds a certain rule which is a principle of action. and thus every motion and every action of all nature is under the eternal law.. but are moved. are done by the act of the man himself who moves them. so does on others who impress on all nature its principles of action (imprimit toti naturce principia propriorum actuum) .

as prescribing the order to be followed by rational creatures in their operations. . but not through understanding the Divine Precept as rational he ssijs And. 5. and through these to their ultimate end. is called Moral Law. art. Eternal rational the impress Eea. as Moral Law. For a law sidered either as in the legislator. As prescribing the order to be followed by irrational creatures." Providence. for through the promulgation of the law principle of a is certain directive impressed on men. Mind ' : and * Ibid.PHYSICAL LAWS. or in the things measured and ruled by him. the Eternal Law.) * action human From this we can see clearly what is meant by Physical Laws. the eternal law. made so by mental light on the that in them are principles of practical truth. Considered of the in the things measured and is ruled. in the answer ad primum. xciii.son creatures. as was said. in the operations by which they arrive at certain terms and certain direct ends. ani- mate or otherwise.. 87 moved by Divine creatures do. as expressions of eternal principles in the Divine a. that " the impression of the intrinsic is active principle on natural things like the promulgation of law to man." (in corp. it is called Physical Law. directing them towards their due proximate ends. Considered in the legislator. may be conwho is the measure and rule.

if we reject the above- doctrines. irrational creatures are to be denied. instincts and qualities given them by Whose power they another. by and determined to operate in this or that way rather than in This is understood to mean of operation in what Physical Laws were universally and if the said principles . THOMAS. stated Thus. since moral order cannot be without moral law. one fails to see how we can do other- wise than deny the existence of any physical we apply the name without any As the moral order consists in real meaning. that to As Physical made by God on all these may tend in their is Law irrational operations the this ends intended impress by the Eternal Law and found in the disposition. that law natural or positive.: 88 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF to ST. we necessity either to shall be led by logical deny the physical order and . disposing human actions by the rule of Moral Law existing in human reason. is called it is the impress things. unless physical order consist in disposing the operations of all irrational creatures by the to rule of physical law found in the principles of operation that God communicates them : and therefore. are inclined Grod. neither can physical order be without physical laws. so does the laws. are according whether those principles derived from the essence of the things or fromthe free will of the legislator.

.PHYSICAL LAWS. admitting or it. but also the secondary. we madly that affirm. being driven further. immediate and total cause. make an end of the general wherein much will be found wanting various to the natures of the corporeal universe. is God everything. their proportions the many and different and operations and phenomena resulting is from them. said that God the soul of the Universe unless. First assert that God Supreme and Universal Cause. and shew we call the Physical System. This last conclusion would involve the risk of falling into the error of those is ancient philosophers who . But our purpose to make evi- dent the constitution of inorganic substances. the system that We shall now say why it is called so. as in fact is many do in these days. And as here let us exposition. in the triple kingdom of nature and in each individual thing therein. so as to make the rest the unity and beauty of clearer. and everything God. ' 89 harmony manifested or. We have touched on some of their principal and universal properties. now and then speaking of animate creatures. ascribe the is same to blind not only the chance.

or the System of Matter and Form cannot call ? it Scholastic. Thomas and Aristotle. and not the Scholastic System. this WH Y We but only rather (it may be asked) is system to be called the Physical System. not only Theology but scholastic philosophy and Descartes had the set himself. although the Scholastics. its and historically it should be called Aristotelian or Peripatetic. put forth as scholastic of any the even in of experimental for the purpose . life to infuse by means new of into dead and forgotten be accused of order. especially after Luther had brought into contempt. generally speaking. of a little mechanical motion. In the first place that name would not history . with the teaching of scholastic also : St. indicate its nature. agreed about diflfered the principal points of philosophy. all system Epicurus.90 XL WHY THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM IS SO CALLED. scholastic A man may professing himself to be a the opinions sort. Secondly it is well known that. they not a little on other points.

Altogether the name would be unadviseable. as and has as many of forms. as including the Mechanic and Dynamic systems. Thirdly. degrees' In of the first degree form denied of inanimate it is substances. trying to show that the system here defended was wrongly ascribed to the scholastics. That system only which admits in all nature nothing more than matter and mechanical motion is absolute Materialism but a very great number of those who profess the Mechanic system are a long way from that.WHY THE refuting PHYSICAL SYSTEM ridiculing IS SO CALLED. and his most faithful disciples never went beyond the third degree. Shall and we call it then the system of Matter and Form. 91 and raising wearisome controversies. In the second denied is vegetating things. and to things . In the third it is it denied In the fourth denied of man. for that con- in negation of Forms. of brutes. some people would carry the dispute from philosophy into history. followers restrict their denial of form to plants. Descartes himself which they take to be machines. His recent turning brutes into machines. to each of which belongs one of those names ? Hy no means. though the passage from one degree to the other is not : difficult. The Mechanic System is not strictly a sists system of Materialism there are degrees is . or of Materialism and Formalism.

consequently Physical system cannot be the union of the Some have with what said. but requires a more appropriate name of its own. in various ways. as we have shown. whereas subwithout a collection of inert atoms. what have its forces to do with subThose forces are supposed to stantial forms ? subsist in mathematical points. when treating of the Physical system. But they said. considering the thing in the in the concrete abstract and by analogy. but Since extended matter informed. " Anyhow." it will be said. is quite diflferent from the said atoms. which they suppose to consist in Moreover materia 2)rima. " you have no of either Materialism . cannot be called a or Formalism. ST. as here explained. require this what is given by both together. THOMAS. the Divine archetypal in and are not in mathematical points. then materia prima is not a principle admitted by ideas . nor is Form admitted the by the two. are not to be satisfied with inert atoms and mere system forces. not satisfied is given to them by the one or the other of the above mentioned systems. stantial forms make corporeal substances.92 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF life. Therefore the Physical system. As to the dynamic system. that the Physical Sciences. not : and properly for the physical sciences. demand- ing a principle of extension and a principle of activity. Dynamic system. repre- senting. the Mechanic system.

it By giving it name you natural affirm to be requisite called for the sciences commonly physical.WHY THE right to PHYSICAL SYSTEM it IS SO CALLED. so called. because matter substantial form which therein united to a its first principle of operation : and therefore the name of " Physical" serves to point out that the system. called we said before. Metaph. Thomas. Moreover that name marks the essence of thing meant. a corporeal substance is is is a nature. and thus distinguishes it For the word ^voikoq clearly from every other. the system that we are defending has a right to be called the Physical system. material and which constitutes the essence of the same. as But. and you exclude all the others invented and defended by philosophers. " According to the Philosopher. requires in substances the two-fold principle. Therefore those inner principles. We have shown that Mechanic and Dynamic are names not suitable to the Physical Sciences. since all the other systems are reducible to the Mechanic and Dynamic." But we cannot help excluding them. means natural : and the word nature means the sum of corporeal substances as having an the inner principle of operation. and therefore. formal." (V. " the word nature was first . are called physical or natural laws.) says St. which the corporeal substances have. 93 that' call Physical.

because such gene- ration is from an of intrinsic principle. a. And. And both formal and material. which. distinguishing it from every other appropriately : and therefore it. .94 THE PHySICAL SYSTEM OF ST. both the matter and the form are commonly thing. THOMAS. i. given to signify the generation of living things. * P. the name inner was so is further understood to mean the principle every motion whatsoever. is completed is which signified by the form. nature of the And because the essence of everything is whatsoever essence. Q. because this principle called the And of nature defined in the second Book is Physics. the by the definition. 1 i. xxix. what is proper to the system before us. is called hirth. marks commonly called its The word Physical essentially nature. that name next is given to In the chapter we shall have to consider ad the system relatively." * then.

that science deals with sensible 1°. those that are considered as without matter. animate and but not rational us the object 4°. They life are . things that are in matter and are contemplated as in matter. in but as the by them and constitutes formal object. secondly. those that transcend matter. IN GENERAL. first of these three classes gives the object of for Physics. these : corporeal substances without 2°. The second a gives of Mathematics. the division of INtive or sciences. class animate and rational. practical. we have not this proper object of treated each. those that . those that are sensitive. 3°. THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM WITH RESPECT TO PHYSICS THE NATURE OF THIS SCIENCE. otherwise than in matter thirdly. that There are three classes of things : may be the object of speculative science Firstly. . either because they cannot be in matter. whether speculato consider the itself.95 XII. they may be separated from it. though they are in The matter. those that are in matter and are con- sidered as in matter . sensitive. or because. those are that merely vegetate. but cannot be . .

Again. &c. things belong to different sciences in accordance with their to different relations is matter. etc. and MetaCause. differ necessarily follows that sciences their according the diversity . Thus the three speculative sciences are Physics. It must therefore be understood that. Actus. Thomas he cause. nevertheless in is those sciences. either continuous. St. treat of substances separated from matter. Mathematics. The third which that which transcends matter. of natural science. science tliat treats of quantity. matter considered by tion as apart from quantity. since all is science in the intellect.) gives object of us the metaphysics. : which we purpose to expound." " Beteaches this as follows " the first book of Physics. acquired through demonstra- and the it medium to of demonstration of is definition. or of things may belong to it.. or discrete. physics. effect. matter. is is we must first book determine what the first the matter and the subject of natural science. but are also found without such as the essence of Being. Substance.96 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. as that God and spirits. Potentia. says. and algebra for although quantity cannot abstracclass naturally be without matter.e. as it is in geometry. and things become actually intelligible by being in a certain manner abstracted from matter. since every science tion. as in arithmetic . (i. THOMAS.

97 definitions.. but also in our conception of them. as God and other separated substances. Metaphysics treat of these . and of rest in that wherein science Natural that therefore treats of those things . being. either because they never are in matter. But there " that are some things. as man. : For natural philosophy treats of natural things and natural things are those whose principle is nature : and nature is the principle of motion it is. all or a stone.ITS RELATION TO PHYSICAL SCIENCE. There are others that cannot be except in sensible matter yet sensible matter does not . or because they are not always in matter. their definition. mathema- tics of those that depend on matter for their but not in the manner of conceiving Natural science. are figure.. Be it known then. are natural things. come former into sort. magnitude. actus and Being. and which without matter cannot be defined." he goes on to say. which is them." all . the consequence is that ens mobile is the subject of natural philosophy. treats of those things that depend on sensible matter both in their being and in the manner And since all that has of conceiving them. as substance. (Ens). that there are some things whose being depends on matter. called physical. matter is moveable. Of the latter he says. are independent of matter not only as to their being. Of the mathematics " — as numbers. for instance. potentia.

subordinate thereto. mechanical physics To go into all serving its our work enormously without therefore and we restrict ourselves purpose Of the others. science is According to this division. Leet. viz. The former that can neither be nor be defined without matter. modern often And scien- here tists we : distinguish between science for * and scientists disagree i. howpart give to metaphysics that which concerns living substances. This will serve to physics." * The holy Doctor the object is requires us to recognize in of Physics two it properties. as we said before. Many. general and as is called when treating of them a whole. physics. to the former) is The its latter (which belongs being endowed with an inner principle of activity or of nature. various species chief among which are chemical physics. . have iu themselves a principle of motion.. words. the domain of embracing as proper in other object every corporeal substance. show how vast its or. brutes and man. Phys. special as discussing the . Hence is the name of Physics. THOMAS. the whole visible universe. we shall show that their : and astronomic these would lengthen fundamental principles to the discoveries of are not in opposition science. among Comm. plants. which are to General Physics. ever. Lib. physical restricted to things without life..98 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. i. Aris.

99 themselves on fine themselves many important points. or consetting to exposition of facts.ITS EELATION TO PHYSICAL SCIENCE. . . aside philosophical principles facts or explain those by hypotheses that fit into their systems but are not grounded on certainty.

and. And in this sense bodies are called inert. . Postea taonen consue- tudo obtinuit. Lustremus animo inactivity or even laziness.100 XIII. and reduce all natural phenomena to shocks mutually given and received by atoms. de Fin. ut pro ignavo potius et deside Lastly it was employed to mean accipiatur. * the want of an inner principle of they are so. activity. art. The is question of whether or not. INwant primary of its signification inertia means that operates without has artes. according to the solu- tion of it. " There is nothing in Hence their principle : * III. and in that sense a thing art would be called But afterwards it was extended to mean inert. says Cicero. MECHANICAL INERTIA AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OF BODIES. men philosophize variously about corporeal things. The followers of the Mechanic system say that bodies have no principle of physical activity. quibus qui carebant inertes nominabantur. differently solved.

because they are distant from each other. as common life. when we speak we must understand it is mean that a body capable of passing. but not reciprocally. not requiring to . nature but matter and motion proceeds from motion alone. beings not an in: assigning to trinsic. mechanical inertia. by the extrinsic impulse. to all corporeal substances without as common And in the and physical activity in different to them all ways.INERTIA AND ACTIVITY. Both reason and experience will show that bodies are of themselves moveable. from rest into motion. But they all seems very strange and soften it off in a way. corporeal but an extrinsic inertness and so they say that forces per se subsisting can operate on themselves. laying down that two forces show a mutual operation because they are inly determined by God to operate." : 101 and motion Some this of the : Dynamic which at school first come near to opinion sight contradictory. Hence they fall back on pre-established harmony or occasionalism. All these hypotheses are in contradiction to the Physical system. or because God alone operates in both. Others admit action in distans and reciprocal activity of forces. The Physical system acknowledges mechanical inertness. of to first place. and incapable of changing by itself either direction or the velocity of the motion.

THOMAS. Now the Divine Good- ness not only requires perfection of being. nor increase it. inasmuch as it acts on other bodies. and no an inanimate body without ever goes by the impulse received. changing its its direction or otherwise modifying motion. from the impulse received. they not physically Why. Reason then demonstrates mechanical inertia and there : experience is continually proving that. because immanent action is not proper to it. but not on itself Not operating on itself. The creative j^a^ brought all things out of nothing. occupy this or that portion of space more than is another. so to speak. But are if bodies are mechanically inert. may we not allow substances to have a true physical and causality ? To suppose that we may not would never occur to anyone capable of contemplating God's Infinite Goodness. nor change its direction. as the all Angelic created efficiency Doctor says. If the body is an atom. when there space and a cause able to give a suitable impulse.102 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. as participating of His own Goodness. no sufficient reason why a body is should not leave the place where it was. it cannot operate on itself. and therefore that. but . and God saw that they were good. so. but only transient action. when there are no impediments nor attraction repulsion of other bodies. it cannot free itself.

inasmuch as He is their Cause. . V. " to communicate to creatures. QuKst." says St. Wherefore. 8. Dionysius and all St. in Him. enable it principal thing to something. the perfection of His goodness. God willed. it accorded with the Divine Goodness that this double perfection should be communicated to creatures. tends also to diffuse diffusivum all itself." said St. by operation. de Veritate. " For Doctor teaches that the Divine Goodness was the Cause of as things. in respect of His operating on things. He He must its own * naturally to be a cause by " That which gives the operation. since honum est God created Good which Like holy the things good. be made not only to others. but also to give being and goodness by diffusion of its rays makes bodies not only illuminated but luminous. by the Divine Goodness. much as possible. Disp. Augustine. so that every created thing should.. 103 because sui. INERTIA AND ACTIVITY. Thomas. Therefore." * remarks moreover that the faculty of operating is a natural consequence of being so that whenever God gives being to a thing.. De Pro v. as the sun to be good. Thomas. eminently containing every perfection secondly. but also that property of consists in diffusing itself St. Q. Now the Divine : Goodness has a respect of twofold perfection self as firstly. He imparts to them not only- Being.

ST. taken away unity of In fact things different in their natures be cannot upon. over bound together in the order unless some are acting and others acted It is therefore wrong to say that things t have not their proper operations. the order of universe. things that are a con- doing in actu is a consequence of being in actu.." * And the the holy Doctor shows that. . for . . and their is the end for which they are. " is away order from created to take away what is are all best in them . . with its " To take disappears. 69.. if the true efficiency of creatures be denied. things. * Contra Gent.. the individual things good in themselves for the but of them together ." beauty and perfection. which he forward prove a efficiency + Ibid. are best because of the order of the Universe whole is always better than the parts. the mutual is interchanging order of things also. so that each creature should have its proper operation. it follows that He communicated His likeness to them by enabling them to act. Who is the Actus Purus and the first it. But if power of acting be taken away. If there- He communicated His likeness to things by making them be. he says." Passing brings in all many to other reasons true iii.. THOMAS. sequence of Now Cause of the being of fore all things.104 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF same . " gives to the all . as is evident in God.

With the about without any guide at all. heat." * But why should we look for philosophical arguments. their revolutions. is mystery —not such a mystery as raises intellect * Ibid. the whole universe becomes one harmonious the glories of its chorus that sings Maker. the increase of the living transformation of elements into If you acknowledge true activity. that vary more or less by the rule of their comparative perfection. all the formation of embryos. we find it in the gravitation of the heavenly bodies and the marvellous laws of If we look on the earth. and you have to grope compounds. " that created things have their proper operations. is to derogate from the Divine Goodness. it in the fertilization of seeds. The All contrary doctrine makes the universe mute. the conclusion of an argument : therefore. 105 we need only quote what he says in another part of the same chapter at " To deny. you can find your way in the labyrinth of your researches about light. and sublimates the of the believer. corporeal substances. electricity. Deny it. ." he says. we have beings.INERTIA AND ACTIVITY. •magnetism. persuades us. when all nature speaks to us. compels us to confess the truth about this ? If we raise our eyes towards Heaven. doctrine that acknowledges the efiiciency of all secondary causes.

but also most certain according to Catholic doctrine. truly and properly. The greatest theologians have not hesitated to affirm that we cannot deny " it without incurring the taint of rashness. And I believe that this truth not only most evident to sense and reason. but a mystery that abases. . destroys. Physical system agrees completely with the teaching of the Catholic Church. effects We must connatural and proportional to themis selves. Not immaterial substances only. St. . for reason and evidence speak as strongly in favour of natural and material causes as of immaterial causes. . Thomas called the contrary opinion foolish. as for the former reason. but also material substances have a physical and true efficiency.. this its We shall only remark the that." writes the great Suarez. so for the latter reason we may call it rash and erroneous. say." * And Euvio ab omnibus non solum says plainly that : Tollere efficientiam causis. " that created agents work. Therefore. This follows from the preceding doctrine with almost equal demonstration and certainty experience. and. deservedly rejected . 1. 18. Disp. vel etiam corporeis. THOMAS.106 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. error est * Met. Sect. by all philosophers and theologians. We need not give other proofs here of such physical activity and efficiency in each of the substances. as such. depresses. in fundamental doctrine.

for that in a philosophical would not be allowable.INERTIA AND ACTIVITY. destrues illos. non Q. Tract. inteUexejus. 5 . Phys. ab sacrce iis causis particulari- nee est doctrince. 2. 107 in fide catholica. Phys. nee vercB philosophice consonum. 3. xxvii. * Cardinal Toledo speaks in like manner Auferre : efficientiam. J t In II. erunt opera Domini.. t We are not bringing a theological doctrine to bear treatise on our contradictors. * In II. hus.. % Ps. But we have a right to say that those who would not reason on created things under the guidance of true philosophy destroyed science. and substituting their own wild imaginings. he says. et manuum et 2. sed in vera philosophia. nee doctorihus Sanctis. incurred the danger of that punishment with which God Himself has threatened them : Quoniam non in opera cedificabis eos.

DIFFICULTIES put activity direct and indirect are physical difficulties forward of bodies. OBJECTIONS AGAINST THE DOCTRHSTE PROPOSED. " If. in these a vague and abstract manner. plain Nay. real qualities entities. and has not a easily distinct idea of matter." he says. and other But if we that set ourselves to consider the idea of the cause or the power of operating. against the true indirect The are put forward by the followers of the Mechanical system. " anyone supposes that there are in bodies entities distinct from these matter. to exthese effects. argue there are like substantial forms. We against the and begin by quoting from Malebranche. who. now answer the direct arguments doctrine itself. we cannot doubt it represents a something . to support their own opinion: and shall we have sufficiently refuted. he will bodies be led to imagine that are the true and chief causes of those effects which are seen to happen.108 XIV. that that is the opinion of ordinary philosophers.

one is insensibly brought agreement with the pagans. something divine in all the bodies around us. always supposing it to be the idea of a true power or a true cause. beings that have the faculty of operating on us is us. faith recalls us to our that duty : but perhaps may is . at least according to the judgment of the pagans. given that we to throw it off. by reason True it is it of respecting their philosophy. opinion which we are philosophical false true cause . effects by force their and thus. One admits then. be rightly said that in this. faculties. virtues. divine. . or real beings capable of of producing 'certain nature into . and the idea of a subject power is the idea of an inferior divinity. we ought there is not to adore them. seems to be so just. The feeling that we ought to love or fear where a of good or evil. when one admits forms. of punishing us by pain and rewarding by in pleasure.OBJECTIONS. that on no account ought and natural Therefore. but still a true divinity. if the heart Christian. . . the mind is fundamentally pagan. And it since true adoration love and fear. " Moreover that it is difficult to persuade ourselves fear nor love true we ought neither to forces. . furthermore becomes that difficult to persuade ourselves . 109 For the idea of a sovereign power is the idea of a sovereign divinity. qualities.

mean that we may have a regard for them. of the * Rech. ii. and therefore same honour to them as to the Supreme Jove. justified in rendering supreme we should not be honour to leeks and onions. of Aristotle and Plato. reason would seem to justify a religion like that of the pagans. for instance. proposed. the pagans never rendered the .110 THE PHYSICAIi SYSTEM OF viz. that the bodies around us are true causes of the good and evil experienced by us. imploring them to have pity on themselves. and somehow love them. . as the only means of escape and security. vi. happy by having them... at in proportion to which they should be honoured. the sight of so frightful cry of warning to a precipice. as the Supreme un- Divinity. and ap- prove of universal dissoluteness of manners. because we are not made completely completelj'." * Alarmed he scholastics. on whom But though all this divinity depended. Were his accusations to shed bitter tears we should have over the memory not only true. THOMAS. ST. p. endeavouring to destroy. Augustine and the other Fathers and Doctors I. we may always I give to them some particular adoration. but also of St. de la Ver. if it is true that somehow they can do us good. his Mechanical system. uttered a the ^nd. It is true that reason teaches us not to adore leeks and onions. . nor happy by not having them .

illustrious by their wisdom (con- by their holiness. taught idolatry. beauty.OBJECTIONS. . Church. Certain owing to his antipathy to matter else as . variety and magnificence of those things. and strangely too. operator. which the as Church. against the authority of so many as great men. and have. it is What that. our minds are raised up to the infinite perfection of the Cause Who produced them and made You would never dream of them operate. and form. all of them. and cooperates with the There is no danger of our falling into idolatry while. we Who gave and preserves their Being and their power of operating. sidering that he was a Catholic) against the teaching of the Catholic schools. have been deluded by pagan philosophy. creatures as long as it endowed with admire in the the goodness of God. reason. Our acknowledging a principle of physical activity in corporeal substances will not make us idolaters. he looked upon everything unimportant. by the order. make can we say about him ? has so approved as to her own. and spoke like a madman so that answering him is a sheer waste of time. all of them. and by all that strictly proceeds from their activity. the greatest theologians it testify. Strange it is that Malebranche should have against made those charges against experience of facts. Ill who would.

He. whereas God. viz. He ought to have known that love. unless we wish to maintain that loving parents. their beauty because the sun's rays not they are not bright. we cannot understand. (because His perfection does not depend on anything a cause.) has communi- cated to other beings also the dignity of being As to the only proof put forward by Malebranche that if in support of his charges. What he meant substantial by saying that. imparts a self by necessity own most free likeness of Himthat to the secondary causes. created substances operated physically. Who has no need of anything. they would do good or harm to us and be worthy of love. as the Angelic Doctor says. Of His pure goodness. our answer is that proves nothing. external. is a rational. operate according to that Will. not a sensitive affection.. and therefore is only for those who have the dignity of a person. THOMAS. in which the adoration due exclusively to it God consists. if we believe forms and therefore in physical activity. . But the sun of nature. relations and in friends is giving them divine adoration.112 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. we might love leeks and onions. are saying that the sun. as here understood. invite you to contemplate that diffuses its rays Eather would ocean of light from which they come. which irrational creatures have not. of His and bounteous Will.

is of an date. therefore must be many tion. as is scholastic well : known. Of its being destructive to science proof before us." : admitted with all its consequences. it is Destructive to reject to faith . viz." This objec- earlier one though obtruded on us now. they We . " can they this form a conception of of physical ? this form. if clear and distinct idea is false. Descartes. laid down a criterion of truth. is as destructive to faith as to science. do not distinct exist. because we cannot have a clear and distinct idea of them. " That which is contained in a clear and disFrom which we pass on tinct idea is true. as a body. these we have a They began by asking what forms and principles of activity are. " Who. 113 tion." quickly to this other " That which is not a But this. souls as there are atoms. cannot have a clear and distinct idea of them and therefore according to them. We of cannot have a clear and principle of life idea one in plants : and therefore plants are a clashing . for we should have as lies all the mysteries of faith. having been used by more than Cartesian as a valid argument against philosophy. Is it it principle activity ? a body or a soul You it will not allow a soul : to be and thus the world would be populated with souls. Modern teachers bring forward another objecby which many are deceived.OBJECTIONS." say.

And then. And how can we have a clear and of their distinct idea of the origin of things. and are our acts of reasoning movements and will. and leave the world without God. has a clear and distinct idea of spiritual . who can venture say that he God—a Beine and immense. without communicating to of the And who can form human soul it is a clear itself. and distinct idea a spirit as quite without form and figure say that that its We should have to the phosphorus of the brain. free and immutable. THOMAS. mutual action. put are mechanitogether.114 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. ? any true force. of the order and the laws to It is much more which they are subject ? convenient reducing to get to rid of the difficulty by all this human ways to of thinking. But we cannot have of a clear and distinct brutes. And what can we say about the union of the human soul with the body ? However artificially all their Therefore they are machines movements much we may forming a clear try. together of inert atoms. we cannot distinct succeed of in and idea that. must therefore say that the human soul like only present to the body. most simple and infinite ? It is easier to acknowledge no God other than the world itself. or at most directs the engine-driver of it a locomotive. We is it. idea the anima of which is neither a spirit nor a body. and cal.

And so we come to universal doubt. it is a curious thing to hear people repeat that we cannot possibly have a clear idea of physical activity. fictitious. 115 of Being essence. by reason of not ascending from tions effects to causes. or realized abstractions) when for so many centuries the brightest geniuses have attes- ted the contrary. which crowns the edifice. be expected to say anything in reply to men who stigmatize as false everything of which. as the first origin step in philosophical principle discovery. : and properties become impenetrable and yet Being cannot be altogether denied. and has the one good effect of making it no longer possible for the opponents of the old philosophy to understand each other. then thickly that its modes. (or. or rather to Hegel's that Being is Non-Being. so many noble thinkers find therein the foundation of that one philosophy which. of substantial forms. mind form a and own As to the particular difficulty alleged. they clear cannot in their distinct idea. What . abstract . and even now. can be fruitfully applied to explaining the phenomena of nature. from opera- to operators. besides being the handmaid of theology. as must be voted to be a some say. We cannot. in fairness. and therefore that all this chimera beings. of attraction.OBJECTIONS. is What so else ? The very idea veiled.

the nature. forms and physical activity of substances are the two above Of the special objections to this or that mrode of we shall treat in their proper places. when we come to speak of the various forms activity under which that activity shows itself. from whose incomprehensible whirlings come forth wholly and in its parts. the we say in particular Dynamic system. .116 shall THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. THOMAS. which are qualities without a subject Or what shall we say to Mechanic school with its inert atoms. who ? to the followers of cry up the clearthe ness of their forces. order and beauty of the Universe ? The general reducible to objections brought against the mentioned.

. act immediately To on all things belongs to the most great virtue of God. i. the immediatio virtutis " However being sufficient in finite causes. by saying is that he operates." says St. Wherefore nois thing is so distant that this God who viii. the virtue of the agent may be. Thomas. is said that the immediatio suppositi not always necessary. if the two are conjoined by virtue of a medium." And he exemplifies with regard to finite agents absent. 1 not in it.117 XV. being not the proximate cause of the thing * Sumina. patient action must be conjoined. ACTION AT AN ABSOLUTE DISTANCE. and therefore that at an absolute distance : is impossible and absurd but the agent may be substantially distant from the patient. ad 3. Q. " it cannot act on anything distant. therefore. except through a medium. The Scholastics. the holy Doctor adds that. P." * and because great the virtue of God is not really distinguishable from " His essence. a fixed principle in Thomas's IT physical system that the agent and the is St.

in spite of an absolute void between. and that there are separated by an absolute void. so . and A is to operate a change. as the sun's virtue it. and by illuminating. who talk about ethereal atoms very far apart. There is more sense in this than in the sayings of modern scientists. upsets the hjrpothesis of absolute distance. two substances. is its light. valid we arguments causes for a general induction that a distance : created never operate reasoning and philosophical makes us draw the same conclusion. as Avicenna says. but is remote cause. done. When we always at find consider the facts of nature. that virtue must either . For if we admit that a substance can operate on In another. THOMAS. A must be in true contact with V. If they are conjoined. we must admit an fact. If they are not conjoined. if efi"ect without a cause. X. a cause. productive Now this virtue and the of that change. oscillations and of light parallel to each other. on V. substance whence it proceeds are either conjoined or not conjoined. by which it acts on inferior things. whicb virtue. A and V. that the ethereal atoms never can meet while virtue the sun nevertheless communicates all its by atomic ethereal motion to things. between these there must be a virtue. first impressed on a body conjoined to and so on successively. fructifies them.118 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF its ST. a force.

Hence the Scholastic principle. D to E. like the mechanical movement communicated from the first to the last in a series of balls apart from each other. as is no mover between fire burns conjoined. but. or it must subsist of itselfIn the former case the hypothesis of action absolutely at a distance would vanish : in the second to we should be affirming what can or is contrary of nature. that the operator and the thing operated on must be conjoined. either mediate and It is remote. The illustrious Commentaries moves anything or therein. in order to arrive there. twofold. and from on. is Cardinal Toledo says in his " Substance that on Aristotle : is the cause of some change viz.ACTION AT AN ABSOLUTE DISTANCE. first must be consigned. either immediatione suppositi or immediatione virtutis. force of a substance as Therefore that virtue or itself A cannot detach and fly alone to V . Every virtue quality or accident must be inherent in in its proper subject. so to speak. is it it immediate when there it and the thing that moves. it comes to that which in immediate contact with V. so and from C to D. then from B to C. 119 depend on another substance. to which it was transmitted from A. or immediate and proximate. It is the wood to which . and through a till series of intermediate is substances.. Substance alone or force subsist itself. to B.

120 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. liquifies is. that if there is not some . though the same accident be received in the medium and in the remote object. that effect is not always distant glass. Moreover. mediate when between an the efi'ect at a distance. it and the thing that moves there is some other substance. . when any substance operates between. . ." Hence we may lay down this first conclusion.. no true change can take place. . .. same in Fire. and thereby produces it . not the glass: and the reason that one and the same accident received in various subjects produces in effects them different according to their various dispositions and thus heat makes one subject white. when a substance does not operate on another at a distance by communicating its own operation to a medium.. a change in another for the without either immediately or through the : medium where a of something else operation and the therefore being are conjoined. In fact it is inconceivable that one substance could produce it. Therefore. through the medium of wax. the effect in them is not always equal. immediate mover. . and substance is not. This is an axiom of the Peripatetics. as fire warms distant objects through the medium of air. another black. Thus. it cannot by any means be found operating in that substance. its operation will not be. the medium and in the object. THOMAS.

" * The Conimbricant commentators of the Stagirite furnish us with another argument on the question. The : authors are as follows precise words of the " If a thing can. it could also extend its virtue to any degree of remoteness. the more or less of distance gives no reason for limiting the extent of the operating power. t Coimbrian. For though the former is far off in its suppositum. is The minor proposition certain : for supposing an operation at an absolute distance. has a sphere of action. . We must not suppose him to have believed that all the movers are contemporaneous. . Phye. operating at a truly absolute distance cannot be admitted. 2. operate on another at a distance. 121 is Hence theologians present operates validly argue that precisely . its virtue is always immediate. And thus we must understand change. and immediately together. beyond which it cannot produce any sensible effect but if it could operate from an absolute distance. antico Conimbrioan.. There: fore. And now that us lay down a second conclusion. God everywhere. without a medium. they say.ACTION AT AN ABSOI-UTE DISTANCE. Q. * In VII. because He let everywhere. and one that is not to be despised. Every substance. can take place unless the mover and the moved are together. of any Aristotle to mean that no sort. . the proximate mover and the moved are always together.

a. Secondly. another. for the sufficient between A one to operate on the other. is any medium whatsoever and V. it is false that the A can operate an effect on V without communicating its whole virtue to the medium between. no cause can operate in a place where as yet it is not in any way. other reasons. i. Q. 2. because in that case there would at least. philosophers have no reason to say that every agent for has its determined sphere of its action r the agent could not diffuse action to any given distance. it is for a moment action false truly at that a distance. We badly that transmit heat or electricity or magnetic In VII.122 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. agent Firstly then. Common sense it as nothing can act before exists." * It is gradually not worth while to put tells forward us that. false. This is evidently be. THOMAS. either by itself (immediatione suppositi) or by its virtue (immediatione virtutisj : for that would imply an effect without a cause. to receive in Not every substance is adapted the same way the qualities of can see this in bodies either light or * .. Phys. but only causing some change in the substance immediate to itself. . It will not be amiss to speak of some doctrines that were afl&rmed and are affirmed even now. if its virtue did not pass it is through a medium in which spent and weakened.

thirdly. transport For if medium is necessary to the action of A into V. anyhow. an insufficient medium would mean action truly at a distance. but without communicating anything proportionate to that change. A must operate in a manner adapted for transmitting its action into V for the change in V would equally be an effect without a cause.ACTION AT AN ABSOLUTE DISTANCE. This alone would show the falseness of the Mechanic and Dynamic systems. that merely operating on V. that oppose the Physical system for they who profess them : cannot avoid admitting action at a distance. as in the phenomena of light. or whether we supposed it to be caused by A with a medium. It is puerile to say that the absolute distance between small to at the agent and the patient considering : is too be worth for action an absolute distance is essentially repugnant to reason. heat. The more and the less have no place in what concerns the essence of things. With this criterion we can also refute certain modern doctrines that find support from the science of the day. 123 and therefore are a called bad conductors. whether we supposed it to proceed from A without a medium. virtue. such as modern magnetism . others badly. Thus : we find that many substances conduct certain operations of other substances well. would not be sufficient. Hence it follows. electricity and magnetism.

: and that an absurdity to suppose action at a distance. words or other external signs. Moreover we should require some suitable medium for sending to others the signs of our thoughts and wishes for are directed. sensible signs of its own acts. enter into communication with other men. but to the operations of nature. THOMAS. but would not understand the meaning of them. True it is that we often do not know the value of those forces but we certainly do know that they never can make an absurdity. nor to evil spirits. for instance. : . it is — . lest consciences should be disturbed. because that would be repugnant to the holiness of such. fall To it physical forces back on our ignorance about the reach of is not reasonable and still less is : philosophical. and hypnotism for the very singular phenomena put forward in support of these doctrines are attributed by some people not to good spirits. and then the other people to whom the signs must have previously known the for otherwise they might feel value of them the impressions. nor to it to any external bodily thing. will Now. Secondly. its in the first the human soul with intellect itself and the cannot immediately will of other join to intellect and human beings.124 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF : ST. which we have shown to be absurd. as above shown. place. must compose as. however small. otherwise in we should have recourse to axitio distans.

" This at first sight obscure. That Being immutable." he says. MOTION. . general IN One Being is all God. " We must know. especially to may seem somewhat anyone who. whose nature and operations have to be considered by the physical philosopher. cares little or nothing for those that penetrate and explain the essence But let us see what St. Thomas of things. " that some have defined motion as the non-instantaneous coming forth of the actual from the potential but this definition put into it is erroneous. having accus- tomed himself to be satisfied with descriptive and superficial definitions. because they that which presupposes motion. says about it in his commentary on Aristotle's Physics. All created things may be said to be more or less in a state of change and motion. especially corporeal things. only is in rest. Who is change whatsoever is motion.: 125 XVI. Let us begin therefore by giving Aristotle's definition " Motion is the act of Being that of motion : is in potentia as such.

yet moved. of heat imperfectly. THOMAS. instantaneous being that which happens in an indivisible point of time. is not yet already hot. Hence it is impossible to define motion by Coming previous notions better known (per priora everything actual. as we have being said. When movement of heating is ended. but . the moved or changed. That which is being moved is midway between the potential and the actual.126 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. only. except as the Philosopher defines For. being partly in potentia and partly in actu : and this is evident For water. when hot in potentia in alteration. : and the forth is a species of motion word instantaneous regards time. as actual only. among the them first of being. notiora). But is if it participate it then moving towards being hot is for that which becoming hot participates little. and time being defined by motion. of heat gradually by little and not Therefore that is imperfect act of heat in the thing that being heated is motion. We Now that which is in potentia is not That which already is in actu perfecto is not moved. and others potential only. must consider therefore that some things are actual only. . are naturally prior to motion the Philosopher uses and in defining motion. is et it. but has been moved. and others midway between the potential and the actual. divided into the potential and the But potentia difi'erences : and actus.

of motion. inasmucli as. nor the act of that is which is in potentia. has such Motus : est actus existentis in potentia secundum quod is hujusmodi. Lect. however imperfect. therefore did Aristotle define motion to be the evreXixci-a. as a potentia. act. So Thomas. potentia. it according to which means a has not the essence of motion.e. for heating is but of a principle begin from what is may tepid. Thus therefore the imperfect act has the essence of motion. something more imperfect. the * St. in comparison with an in comparison with and as an act. as well as from what cold. genus. and the It is the act of what word potentia Most suitably referring to an ulterior act. if that were taken away. the word act referring to an anterior potentia. not the species. because. III. the act of Being existing in potentia. . ulterior act. instead of being as when anything is incompletely But the disposition for a further act belongs to what is potentially that further act. Physic. i. it for a further act. In like manner. 2. if the imperfect act be conorder it sidered merely in to the further act. ally. is Wherefore motion is neither the potentia of that which potentiactually. would terminate the motion. the motion. * Evidently this definition of motion defining general. 127 has a disposition disposition being an act.MOTION. heated.

In the former case the considered. is Hence in God all motion whatsoever creatures there impossible. precisely to possessing. viz. The other is the terminus ad quern. THOMAS. : the generic essence of motion but each of these the specific essence evidently . has no perfection potentially. thing may change. a complete and therefore that between the two terms a quo and ad quem. The and is the end of motion. perfect and immutable Act. act : an imperfect act. has the true essence of motion. Who is the most motion. or it It must be would not yet be in motion. nor can it be in the terminus a quo. But in all firstly. lastly. thing in motion cannot have reached the terminus ad quem. Every change is precisely the transit from the one term to the other. created intellect. cannot pass from not possessing changed.128 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. potentia.. or it would be at rest. motion requires a tide. and in every alteration. between the one and the other. like ebbs and flows between tbem. One term is the terminus a quo. quem. leaving the former and tending towards the latter. In the latter it : has Between them it is changing and between these two every change is Therefore God. so as to rest in a terminus ad is. Hence in the in the will^ in the sensitive and vegetative there in is faculties. rest. two terms. and. and is tlie principle of motion. secondly.

In . in its proper sense. he says. called increase or decrease. the wisdom with which Cause. . Lect. Hence. quum in ejus Quum ergo nos intendamus est noti- tradere scientiam de natura. 129 And since all creatures. With regard to the species of motion we that motion. Et sic patet quod. Hence. is firstly if it if it called alteration it is but means means the quantity. as was said elsewhere. he who has not a true knowledge of what motion nature. is can never have a true notion of cannot reason rightly est and therefore about natural things. Thomas remarlfs with Aristotle. is. ignoratur natura. Natura. ignorato motu. j)rincipium motus. the word nature applicable to created essences. Almighty God. The essence of created beings moveable. by the necessity of their contingent being. was called the Immoveable Being. as St. are in potentia — therefore are imperfect and perfectible — so in them there is essentially the principle of motion. .MOTION. may remark the quality. . varies. definitione ponatur. which. the First in that philosophy the First Mover. but to the Divine Essence in an analogical sense only. and all created beings were called The Essence of God is incompatible with motion. 1. is. is called nature. . Phys. III. necesse ficare motum. And here we cannot help by the way. * noticing. ordered for motion. of its own necessity. * Ibid.

Here it must be remarked that in physics we have to consider the motion of material beings only. the passing of a corporeal is substance from one place to another.130 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. or if growing. In such immaterial beings motion is a non-material change. which is called alteration. because presuppose as the Angelic Doctor. another according to quality. Local called movement. he proves . translocation. as the angels are. of the three species of motion one according to quantity. —the last-named must be the first And secondly. In them the motion. and human souls when separated from the bodies which they had informed. in accordance with tells Aristotle. ns in these words : by laying down what and he says that. while a plant or animal has a movement of increase altered.e. is genericaUy different from what it is in immaterial beings. first of all motions in order of time motion. which is called increase and decrease. and another according to place. whatever it may be. is said motion of physical the others The local it. or contrariwise of decrease. i. THOMAS. which (Aristotle) begins : " He he means to show — is called change of place of all. or change of place. a liquid Thus through a change is of quality an animal through illness. And now sidering the let us go a little further in conthings.

he shows that every alteration is preceded by local motion. . Now fore. happen without change of place. would not cause the heat now rather than Evidently therefore the mover of the alteration is not always at the same distance from that which is altered. But if that which the alteration were always equally near to the altered thing. It is evidently dissimilar is for that by which which similar. must be preceded by thing that alters it. Phys. Thirdly. * Ibid. making causes (for instance) actually hot that which before was potentially so. will suffice to say that 14. Without quoting the passage. When anything is altered. pass must be Increase. it is from what it nourishes but when it does nourish. because cannot take place without a previous alteration. there must be somealteration." * A little further on the holy Doctor speaks it sooner. MOTION. but sometimes This cannot nearer and sometimes further. For that by which anything is increased is in a way similar and in another : way dissimilar. of the generation of it substances. Lect. it cannot from dissimilarity to similarity without alteration. there- through which the nourishment passes from one disposition into another. this 131 by the fact of its being impossible that it increase can be the first of motions.. anything at first increased different is nourishment. In VIII.

is that matter a co-principle of operation . immaterial is and An in immaterial cause its . though may is do so as a term. causes are us consider how some others created material. THOMAS.132 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. material but not is its forma formans. its A cause that which being and operation so depends on matter. at all therein as a principle Hence an angel may it. And and now. altera- generation cannot happen without the tion and it concurrence of the generators where should take place. on corporeal and but matter does not co-operate of the operation. a cause that does not own being and so operation depend on co-operate it matter that matter does not in the operation as a principle. in substance and by is. as . to examine from a more philosophic point of important let view the doctrine explained. that an angel can be the of forma inin assistens a body. Now all this supposes local local motion : and therefore motion precedes every other motion of corporeal substances. Every angel cause that material beings (to say nothing of God) operate a can . This is philosophically expressed by the saying. operation be where a corporeal substance and operate on and operate at the same : time at which the corporeal substance operates but it cannot constitute therewith one principle of operation.

relative is Therefore these principles and their powers are called organic. the faculties of understanding As the substantial form of matter. the or the vital principle of or sensitive principle of brutes. the not the principle of activity alone. and immaterial for his spiritual soul is the substantial form of matter. form only. itself As being spiri^ and operations Such and of that are proper are and inorganic.MOTION. These principles cannot of be or operate : themselves either and therefore. then the being and operating of an immaterial cause is without matter. willing. Hence the adequate is subject of the operations of things inanimate. they require a subject with which they can operate as a co-principle. as the tual. it has powers or faculties and operations that depend on matter. admit in itself local motion. more form and the matter together. though . to sustain them. 133 the principle of activity in any elementary plants. it anima of the brute has powers or faculties to. nor the substantial but. of plants. the link that unites in himself this twofold causality. material Now man . it cannot when If operating. is. for instance. as those of a brute Hence the essential diflference between do. correctly. and the former organic. the vegetative or the sensitive lies powers and in this : those that are intellective that the latter are inorganic. atom. and of brutes.

It . faculties. and imagination from what its is in the animal appetitiva and seeing tendencies different again in the faculty of sight and the act of . &c. as philosophy shows.: 134 able THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF to effect it ST. of animal and of imagination. the acts of the spiritual or inorganic faculties presuppose or draw is with them those in of the material faculties. of at the term action whereas. therefore man the every act of the former latter it succeeded motion. must therefore be maintained. Thus. contrariwise. and the act of hearing different in the vegetativa . But then in man we must distinguish the operations. of plants. in every operation derived from material power. THOMAS. will be different in in the the imaginative power it . is things.. and the act of assimilating and so on. Hence every or operation of organic brutes. firstlj'. by of a true local motion through the operating : and evidently this wherever may is take place. a material cause always operates with local motion. are done with And since. of done with such local motion. motion. different in the faculty of hearing . will vary accord- ing to the variation of the powers and acts by which it it produced. Those that proceed from spiritual or inorganic faculties are not done with local motion : but those that proceed from organic such as the acts of vegetative appetites local life. for' instance.

not caring to penetrate to the diversity of essence and of operations im- material and material causes. when the substance. 135 that a material or corporeal substance operates will with local motion secondly. local motion. the operation its immanent. operates outside itself. that is the cause. Thirdly. me . it proper term same as it does in living things. They conclude that " in in the sense of going beyond How can one translate transiens into the anti-philosophic language of Protestant England. ' ' applied to nothing but verbs. the motion is will be immanent where i. as it is in living things and in things without life. Fourthly. which local motion will vary according to the passion or modifica- Anyone who will think a little about these things will easily see how far from the truth in are those who. because they always find it accompanied by therefore itself.— MOTION.e. confuse the operations of the latter with local motion. Fifthly. within the one that has individual. that such motion vary according to the operation. * I.e. every passion or modification in a material substance that receives done tion. and the two are marvellously jumbled in " a matter of form " ? " Transient " is supposed to mean something not permanent. will be transient ftransiens) * where the operation is so. Will any good Christian oblige with a valid translation of the word ? Trans. the action of another will be with local motion. : therefore. and " transitive " is portant. where "immaterial" is understood to mean unimformal " to mean absurdly ceremonious.

we a true local motion. operate with motion on matter. If the so-called Positivists of who acknowledge no is reality perceived by the modern times. as a condition. and would not. with the disordered reason of a rational soul. deserve to thought mad themselves as well as mad-makers. in corporeal and in material powers. this the as operations of corporeal substances in fact we find. had known St. would not have confused that which precedes madness. nature there only to local motion. they would not have identified the actions and passions of the sensitive and intelligent human modern soul with local motion. by be reducing all to mere motion. to infer we have no therefrom that in there nothing but matter and motion ing —thus exclud- every principle of physical activity that causes of motion —but only that the principles substances activity. And those physicians. nature various right is according to their variations. THOMAS. By only be reasoning our If in all conclusion can do. Thomas's sound and true principles of physics. and variously according to their various modes of operation. called Psychiatrians. This to is giving all the senses and nothing of : the intellect." illo. beyond that which senses. who follow the foolish doctrines of the Positivists.136 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF is ST. . on the principle that hoc est cum rule ergo est hoc.

This is destructive. . 137 science consists But the admitting as folly of modern in seiisible facts only and condemning an abuse the use of reason about those facts.MOTION.

whatever it may state be. con- and might not have been. Here we must remark that by the word movetur we mean. THE PEINCIPLE. not even deign to notice but set it aside as an antiquated axiom of Peripatetic philosophy and therefore they often fall into gross errors." THIS of tists principle of St. as every effect has in its act This therefore cannot have in . when anything its passes from potential actual being is being to actual being. " QUOD MOVETUR AB ALIO MOVETUR.138 XVII. not only all bodies : that are in local motion. an effect. we have said. every change is motion. but also every being whatsoever that by its motion. It therefore is a thing begun. But anything begun must have in its principle a sufficient reason of cause. : passes from a potential to an actual as for. The scienand philosophers of the modern sort do it. Thomas's school is high importance and pregnant with the most momentous consequences. ET PRIMUM MOVENS EST IMMOBILE. tingent. In fact. its being.

because which as yet is not.e. which trinsically is in- absurd. definition. Actus Purus. Therefore tence of a First we must admit the exisMover Who is immoveable. This is the Aristotelian argument rise we may Infinite. because were potential before they all these movers were actual. This therefore at one that and unless we stop moves without passing from the potential to the actual. That which moves the acting thing from being potential to being actual is could. the concrete an infinite number. i. . and secondly because the whole series would be a thing reasoned on without a sufficient reason. would be its own cause. QUOD MOVETUE. itself 139 if it the reason of its being. and then sufficient actually. this But. : hoc ipso not in potentia but in actu. the act. would hoc ipso require a reason time. But that is impossible therefore the cause of the act must be sought outside the act.THE PEINCIPLB. of its own act. and an efiiect without a cause. the immutable. given . if mover were it first potentially so. we shall have to admit an infinite series of movers and moved. or Immutable Whose most by beautiful Aristotle. to a knowledge of Necessary and therefore Immoveable Being. by which God. because it would constitute in sense can be repeated each time . prior to that act in or at least in nature. But this infinite series is nonfirstly.

the Immoveable First Mover. it may be said. Ego sum qui sum. THOMAS. thereby excluding all potentiality because that which is in . But we say does not part in reply that a living creature itself move secundum in se totum. simpliciter. But living creatures move themselves. that cannot move themselves. Inanimate things. we consider existing things. But created things. or one faculty is One moved by Hence that the there living is creature there the moved and ? the mover. is other. cannot be said to be. as you say. and therefore that all of them. we find that are mutable because they are contingent.140 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. potentia to be. depend on something else to be moved or changed by and unless we go on ad infinitum with a fantastic series of movers and moved. having in themselves : the principle of their motion. but will be what If all it will be by passing from potentially being to being actually. was indicated by God Himself to Moses in the words. evidently. we must come at last to a supreme immoveable Mover. moves the another. are animate and inanimate. But how is about which Is in the livins ? creature the mover that immoveable . need to be moved by God. who is God. and therefore do not require to be moved by another. in order to 23ass from potentially being to actually being.

because they are quite without knowledge.. deter- mines the potentia to the act. the will is not presents then determined by Him. the will determined by God. and by causing determines. It then is free. Moreover He moves. 141 Or an is it first actual a mover in potentia and then mover ? Evidently the latter primarily and therefore the motion of living creatures is caused by the Immoveable First Mover.. QUOD MOVETUR. determines the will to the universal ratio of Good. or because they have only a sensitive knowledge of particulars. Irrational things He moves by determining them to particular objects either . God moves everything according to its nature. Now since Almighty God. of the if object that ade- quately and fully contains the universal ratio Good were manifested to the intellect but when the object manifested to the intellect a limited participation of Good. and which the intellect knows in the Universal. It may either not choose the particular it is good. THE PRINCIPLE. or (inasmuch as not determined by it God to that limitation of Good which knows . the will of rational creatures to the good which is their specific object. In these therefore God. God. The will therefore cannot in its acts tend otherwise than to that which has in itself universal some reason of being good in a sense. would the in fact be quite by causing.

THOMAS. that its acts. being an evil. We will must however. it Who. every particular object. and therefore not within the sphere of its formal and specific object. moves and determines the will to its specific object —the it universal Good. 142 in THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF it ST. to clioose limitation Therefore. observe. as its Mover. and God moves him the disordered to this ratio of will good. Thus it is that God. In rejecting trary evil. itself the particular) that may of determine good. because moved it was by Him to the Universal Bonum without determination to the particular. . the will inclines to it is its con- — good. which is the Good. while freely wills the bad object that participates of it. it never can reject a particular good as a good. which more or being an apparent good. but only as limited and therefore deprived of greater good can never. specific thus by reason of this privation. —but apprehended in does not deter- mine to sin. inclines less is always to the be found in every particular object whatsoever. must always be said to have been moved by God. he wills the sin by reason of its to Good. which he apprehends therein . since the go beyond its own which is the Good to which it is determined by God. When a man sins. as the first Immoveable Mover. it when the will chooses a finite honum. whereto moved by God.. in object.

vel illud. it By sine hoc. . or nevertheless this inclination and motion is not the in fact necessitated or determined at the pre- sence of any finite good. vel apparens all honum. he points out.. of the but that necessarily will. because without that it cannot will anything. quod est bonum .THE PRINCIPLE. (as it is at presence of the Infinite Good. not that in time every act whatsoever it must precede will. in which the whole ratio of good is contained. in every act of the &c. et sine hoc universali motione homo non potest aliquid velle.. God gives to the singular 7'atio to The universal bonum is the which the will must tend in every boni particular act. Divine motion moving a. ix. &c. that with this in sensu composto. quod 1'his est vere bonum. &c. * versal motion cannot be called uniso far except that as it regards all the motions acts. the will * 1" 2« Q. Determinat means. it. although the inclination motion towards the Universal Good never can be repudiated by the will. sed homo 'per rationem determinat se ad volendum hoc. ad universale objectum voluntatis.. Therefore the Angelic firstly : Doctor writes as follows : He says Deus movet voluntatem hominis. QUOD MOVETXJR. is to be found se. sicut universalis motor. 143 From this we can see that.) but is in proportion to that limited ratio of good which the particular object presents. 6 ad 3.

and that the Divine Motion is not the determinator. De appetitu boni et voluntate. Veritafe. : same or it may us think of other things. cannot a. when the will it is in potentia to act. (to which God moves us. This means that when the intellect apprehends a particular and sees in it a ratio boni. : Thomas same conception thus Natura quce est Deo vicinissima. THOMAS. De is not acting. object of the will. St. determines therefore each particular bonum. In the QucBStiones Disputatce * expresses the rationalis. SED POSSIT INCLINARI VEL NON INCLINARI et sic ipsa inclinatio non determinatur ei ab ALIO.) then the will is inclined thereby to the participated good in the particular object . St. xxii. solum movens eis hanc inclina- tionem quasi aliunde determinatam. SED A SEIPSA. tells that. Hence.e. non solum in habet inclinationem nee aliquid sicut habent inanimata. 4.144 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF itself to ST. sed ultra hoc habet in potes- ipsam inclinationem. the ratio boni being the formal and specific . i. and experiencing in the will the Divine inclining.. Thomas * Q. but such will inclining does not determine object. ut non sit ei necessarium inclinari ad appetibile apprehensum. . sicut natura tate sensibilis . on this most important point. else that the to the said particular The intellect may think of something choose the has some ratio boni.

all 9. creatures + Ibid. determining to universal . sed in quantum participat artijiciatce aliquid de virtute principalis motum ejus.. it. not as its the immoveable Mover. potential to the actual. K . are De Pot. sicut dolahra non est causa per formam vel virtutem pro- priam. Nisi res eis si naturales aliquid virtutes agerent.e. what passes from the ab alio movetur. i. the latter does something in accordance with its own nature. i. moves beings. QUOD MOVETUR.e. the ratio honi but not determining it to those finite participations of Good. God. frustra haberet acumen. of is we can appreciate that wonderful saying all the Angelic Doctor.. sicut cultellus non in- cideret. sed per virtutem artificis a quo movetur But though et earn quoquomodo participat* the principal cause moves the instrumental. After this exposition of the great principle that quod movetur. and i. the Good. created nature Instrumentum enim est causa quodainmodo effectus principalis causce. a.e. frustra essent formcB t et naturales collatce. that the primum movens.. which are found in particulars. or of the ratio honi. God. While showing that iii.THE PRINCIPLE. that the instrument of God. formal object. He moves nature or as it rational its requires. nan per formam causceper rei vel virtutem propriam. but. be moved irrational 145 First by itself alone. est immohile.

146

THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF

ST.

THOMAS.

instruments of God, though they operate according to their
consider
applies

own how God

virtues,

we must
all

carefully

operates in

things and
St.

them

to their operations.

Thomas,

with an angelic penetration, teaches us that God is the cause of all Being, and that
creatures
Causality.
says,
est

determine the

mode of the Divine Secundum ordinem causarum, he
effectuum.
est

ordo

Primum autem
;

in

omnibus

effectibus

esse

nam, omnia alia
Igitur
esse
est

sunt determinationes ipsius.

proprius effectus primi agentis, et omnia alia agunt ipsum in quantum agunt in virtute primi agentis ; secunda autem agentia, quae sunt
quasi particidantia
et

determinantia actionem

primi
butes

agentis, agunt sicut proprios effectus alias

perfectiones quce determinant esse* of Being are the True

The attriand the Good and because omne ens est verum, et omne esse est bonum, these are the two transcendental Hence when any intellect attributes of Being. tends to the true, that tendency is the effect of the first Mover, God, and is particularized and determined by the intellect embracing and when any appetite this or that truth
: :

intellective, sensitive, or natural

—tends

to the

first

Good, this tendency will be an eff"ect of the Agent, God, which is particularized and The first determined to this or that bonum.
* Contra Gent,
iii.

66.

THE PRINCIPLE, QUOD MOVETUR,

147

Mover
the
good.

will always

tendency

to

be the immediate cause of Being, which is true and
while the

Therefore,

secondary agent
tendency,

particularizes

and
it

determines that

God

applies

to the True

and the Good.
free

But

this particularizing

or determining will in
others.
it

be necessary in

some

cases,

When

the particularizing must be one,

will
it

be necessary.
will not

When

it

may
is

be manifold,

be necessary.
is

If the

form with which
of one particular

the object

apprehended
is

object only, there cannot be a choice of more: and
therefore there
a necessary actuation to that
particular object whereto the First
it
:

but

if
is

the form the

Mover moves by which the object is
Universale,
clearly

presented

Bonum

the agent cannot be necessitated to a particular honuTn, because that form may answer to an
indefinite

number

of things.

Now, whenever
singular

a man uses his reason, a honum is presented in sense

corporeal

or in imagination.

But

then, together

the Universal
intellect,

Bonum

with that, the reason of is apprehended by the
singular
is

because the

known
it

inis

directly

by a

sort of reflection,

and in

known

a limited participation of

Good

uni-

versally, of

which the

intellect has

the idea.

Therefore, since the will follows the intellect,

which would be determined per
tated,
if

se

and

necessi-

the total ratio honi were

presented

;

148

THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF

ST.

THOMAS.

in the

concrete boniim, the will
free,

must remain
to

not determined, but
itself

free

determine

to

sent itself as having

any object whatsoever that may presome participation of Good.
is

Therefore, as the fact that Grod

the Infinite

Being and the First Being does not exclude created beings, who participate of Being, from
existing in their singularity, neither
fact of

does the

His being the

first

and universal Cause
difirst

prevent the existence of secondary causes
versely participating of the
Causality.

and universal
the author,
the

Hence
St.

in

a recent work, Concordia

tra la UberiA e la divina mozione,

following

Thomas,

laid

down

Divine
as the

Moving towards the Universal
specific

Bonum

and universal object of the human will and he proved that the will freely particularizes and determines the Divine motion itself to particular objects or hona, so that the tendency impressed by God to the Universal ratio boni is the same tendency with which the will
freely determines itself to the participated ratio,

limited to the particular object.
as

St.

Thomas,
admits

the

above-quoted
also

author

shows,

that

God may
to

manner
Motor
*

exception.

move us in a particular a particular bonum : but this is an God does not, in that case, act as
This much,
I

Universalis. *

think,

is

sia

Giovanni Maria Cornoldi, S.J., Quale secondo San Tommaso, la Concordia della Mozione Divina colla libertd umana.

THK PRINCIPLE, QUOD MOVETUE.
sufficient

149

in
is

explanation of the principle that

whatever

moved
first

is

and that the

moved by something Mover is immoveable.
we have

else,

Roma, 1890. Against this demonstration heard any important objection.

not as yet

150

XVIII.

THE MUTABILITY OP EXTENSION.

DESCAETES
sion
of
;

asserted

that

the
is

exten-

corporeal

substances

per

se

immutable nor could he say otherwise after denying substantial forms, in which there is the
principle or sufficient reason of the changes of

that extension.
explained, which
like the

Now,
if it

if

we admit

the muta-

bility of extension,

many

facts in nature

can be

be denied, can only be cut
This has, in
fact,

Gordian knot.

been

experienced by his followers.
of reasoning

They could not

explain nature consistently with the principle
;

and therefore they must either
or else ignore

content themselves with a merely historic or
empirical description of nature,

the principles

of reasoning,

sometimes admit-

ting action truly at a distance,

and sometimes

putting forward effects of which, in that system,

no proportionate cause could be assigned which comes to the same thing as denying it. Thus
;

we

find

that,

in

the

explanation of certain

phenomena

belonging to proper expansion,

some

fall back pitiably on ridiculous hypotheses. extension. repugnant . and when treating of the mutabihty of we must have regard to the former.. in number why. viz. who insist on explaining them by improper expansion only and deny the variability of real volumes. 151 modern scientists. Thus the question before us is about continuous substances." In reply to we must we said * begin by referring back what about the real and apparent volume of corporeal substances. The first and strongest is a ques" Compenetration of corpotion of reasoning. and not about aggregates of substances. "is repugnant to reason but without that there cannot be such : a thing as proper mutability of a extension in corporeal substance. Therefore. let us come to the major of their.THE MUTABILITY OF EXTENSION. Having premised thus much. Let us here examine the arguments used against us. substance. and whUe retaining the continuity. without having pores. individual and therefore continuous. Even our adversaries admit that a porous body can expand or contract by increase or diminution of its pores. such muta- bility is repugnant to reason. not to the latter." they say. or in size : but they deny that a corporeal dilate. become more extended. that is com- penetration of corporeal substances « Chapter VI. argument. real substances. can.

" but we deny its being repugnant to reason. be taken away in a particular This is demonstrated by those philosocase. we should have the to say that. one corporeal substance The contradictory alone viz. itself only a determinate The body requires that by reason of quantity and local quantity is an accident not essential to the body but merely natural. If therefore compenetration is of corporeal substances repugnant to reason. bodies therefore can be in the same local provided that both. " that is occupying the same Granted. Two place." they say. for the essence of a body does not require for place. place actually occupied by another. do not suppose that nothing is true except what perceived by the senses. or at least one of deprived of quantity. substance to be. keeping to the true principles of reasoning. ST. THOMAS. them. because negation only — its is being and — repugnant to irreconcilable is with affirmation. essence the ceases loses its own and Now this cannot be shown. not being at the same time reason. we ? ask. in consequence of compenetration. by the omnipotence of God.. instead of being led is by fancy. do you mean by compenetration " It means. be which its has an extrinsic regard to excluding from own place any other substance that has local .152 to THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF reason. What. and therefore may. its local : phers who.

THE MUTABILITY OF EXTENSION.
quantity.

153

Hence a philosopher may say that
is

compenetration of corporeal substances
natural, but he cannot say that
It
is it is

not

absurd.

no answer to

say,

" I can't conceive

such a thing," for a personal want of power
to

understand
is

can never be

a

criterion

of

what

intrinsically

repugnant or not repug-

nant to reason.

If so,

we should have
as

to reject
.

many
reason.

indubitable

truths

repugnant

to

only copies.
the species.
are
nature,

The human mind cannot create. It This means that it cannot well
Therefore of
or
all

conceive things of which nature does not furnish
those things that
order
fixed
in

beyond and

outside

the

are called supernatural or preter-

natural, it has but

weak and
almost

ill-proportioned

conceptions,

analogy.

by mere However much we may show by
formed
always
is is

force of argument, that true compenetration

not repugnant
fore

to

reason,

it

nevertheless
:

beyond the order fixed
it
is

in nature

and
of

there-

difiicult

for

the

mind

man

to

form a clear conception of it. Let us now come to the minor, in which
the

weak part of the objection is. "There cannot be such a thing," they
This
is false.

say,

" as mutability of extension without compenetration."

Compenetration means
of which occupies

the

simultaneous occupation of one place by

more than one body, each

:

154

THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF
it.

ST.

THOMAS.

the whole of
traction,

The mutability implies con-

which merely requires that one point
left

in the mutable thing should happen to occupy

the space
it

free

by another that occupied

Thus compenetration differs from contraction as the simultaneous from the successive and therefore if contraction takes place
before.
:

where there
not.

is

mutability, compenetration does

Let us make the conclusion clearer to sense by considering two points, a and h, of one continuous individual substance, as near
to each other as
a
a
a"
a'"

you

like.
b

V
h"

V"

P

Given the gradual contraction of the suba and h will tend continually to approach each other but will they ever
stance,
:

compenetrate
that the

?

Certainly not,

unless

we say

extension of the substance is not merely diminished by condensing, but quite lost by reducing itself to a mathematical point. Therefore a and h will never compenetrate in p but the distance between them will diminish as
a'
b',

a"

b",

a'"

b'",

according to the measure of
distance

its

contraction, the

becoming continually less. This is principle that, founded on the inasmuch as we
can
conceive

a

quantity

always

increasing,

THE MUTABILITY OF EXTEKSION.
though never becoming
quite destroyed
infinite, so

155

can

we

con-

ceive a quantity always diminishing but never

by mere diminution.
6,

What we

have

said

about the substance between these
applies equally to

points,

a and

particle of a continuous substance,

any other and shows that

contraction can take place without compenetration.
It
is

easy

therefore

to

perceive

why
They

our
canlocal

opponents persist in saying that mutability of
extension implies compenetration.

not conceive contraction
transposition, but
sition.

first,

and then

only think of the transpo-

Thus, for instance, they

imagine

a

continuous spherical substance, which condenses
in such a

manner that each
as
it

of its least particles,

while

remaining

was,

approaches
it

the

centre where, with the others,

agglomerates.

According to this hypothesis there would be
no real contraction of the spherical substance, which but only a transposition of each part
;

assuredly could not take place without a true say advisedly, " real concompenetration.

We

" for though the substance would seem to be more restricted than before, then its entity would not be really condensed, but

traction

;

only transposed, as the real surface of a piece of paper is (to make use of a similitude) not
diminished by being folded up into a smaller A particle therefore of the visible size.
spherical

substance cannot,

while

preserving

;

156
its

THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF

ST.

THOMAS.

former extension, be transferred into the

centre

without occupying the place of what was there before in other words, not without

compenetration. densation

But such

is

not true con-

as taught in the Physical system. According to that each particle of the sub;

stance contracts within itself entitatively
that
its

so

whole entity

is

contracted in one

way

and the act of contraction does not require
that any particle placed on the surface should

break
will

off

as a part of one

and transfer itself elsewhere. Nay, and the same substance, it

always be conjoined thereto, continuing form with the whole a continuous substance in its decreasing extension and thus
to
:

only

it

does not keep the space

first

occupied,
if

but approaches the centre.

Therefore,

we
all

conceive in this manner, firstly contraction in
the entity itself and then translocation of

compose it, there is no danger of having to admit true compenetrathe particles
that
tion.

If

likeness

will

clear

the
that,

conception,

we can

find it in

any object

when seen

through a more or less powerful microscope, shows its mass, either more extended without
disjunction of parts, or more' restricted without

compenetration of the parts.
proposition
of our

adversary's
its

Thus the minor argument will
conclusion
falls

not stand,

and

therefore

to the ground.

THE MUTABILITY OF EXTENSION.

157

And now we come
objected against us " All in this way
:

to

another
are

difficulty

—a

question

of fact,

put

bodies

porous

;

and

therefore

the

mutability of

extension

cannot

be admitted.

innumerable experiences.
densation
of substance
all

The antecedens is proved from The consequens canall

not be denied, because in that case

con-

would be
that

effected

by

diminution of pores,

rarefaction from their

becoming enlarged
all

:

so

we must

reject

mutability of extension as useless."

This argument

is

clear.

Let us examine
:

it.

The antecedens may be conceded
it
is

for

though

not the result of an adequate deduction,
all

the proofs in favour of
are

bodies being porous
it

such and so many, that
as

may

be pru-

dently affirmed as a universal proposition.

Not

however
followers

it

seems to be understood by the
so isolated that
its

of the
is

each atom

contact with
part.

Mechanic system, in which it comes not in neighbouring atoms at any
fails to

Setting aside other reasons, one

see

how, according to that opinion, we could
substances,
especially

possibly affirm and explain the entitative unity
of individual

the

ani-

mated, which are not mere aggregates. As to the consequens viz., " All

bodies

and therefore true mutability of " it will not pass extension must be excluded muster in good logic. Granted that by mere
are porous,

quod illi p>onebant intra corpora poros. all it does not legitimately follow rarefaction pores. besides the proper condensation and rarefaction produced by true change of extension. there is the improper. the Our answer is argument may be turned against Griven the mutability of exten- the objector. cum hoc disvrimine. Antiqui non cognoscebant nisi hanc solam fsc. impropriam). THOMAS. nos vero plenos suhtiliore corpore. the whole thing can be explained. Ph. we must not multiply beings : (entiaj will without' necessity therefore since pores sufficiently explain the whole thing. This distinction was well is known among as the Scholastics : and thereby. sion." " that it will be said. c. Toledo remarks. that condensation the Physical must depend on mutation of exposition of In the system we admitted that. away with the mutability of extension.: 158 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. the followers of Aristotle were distinguished from those of Democritus and Epicurus. mutation of pores the bodies furnished with them can and be rarefied or condensed. . Alia est condensatio et rarefactio propria." this Firstly. sed mutatione ipsius subjecti* " But there is an axiom. 9. and * In IV. Q. which stices produced by a change in the intercalled pores.. et hcec non Jit corporis alterius expulsione vel receptione. xi.

many phenomena that may What right thereinsist anyone to its on one only in this Thirdly. * therefore Fourthly. the axiom excluding mutability of extension. that the objections cited are not valid. unless the objector had first proved that Almighty God could not have a suitable stances. 159 use of much better. comes to this " We can explain everything Therefore that theory all by the theory is of pores. it There are be explained in various ways. end for so endowing corporeal sub- This he would find very hard to do. xlii. the orHy true one. Lezioni xli. our opponent proceeds a posse ad It esse. what is the supposing such and so many discontinuing pores everywhere ? Secondly. * Filosofia Scolastica . have not met with others of any weight. the pores do not explain everything. Therefore. and others are false. This I We may I legitimately conclude. Parte i. I think." Nego. though serves purpose well ? quoted against the mutability of extension is not applicable. fore has case. and therefore non : valet illatio.THE MUTABILITY OF EXTENSION. . Fisica Kazionale particolare. conclusively proved in another work.

Therefore a solid is constituted by points. did touch. because the principles of geometry had been believed to show that no body is continuous. which.160 XIX. as an imaginary track leaving A . not considered as an aggregate of points. and if they . The supporters of it said. each being composed of mathematical points and therefore This opinion was refuted by quite indivisible. " What Aristotle. aut se tangunt juxta se tota. The sum of the superficies. unless they touched line In geometry a one another. And is a solid ? The sum of lines. line is conceived ut excursio puncti. what is the superficies ? And what is the line ? The sum of many points." of this reasoning is is evident. and is But the falseness not continuous. have SOME people opposed will it that the Physical system is to physics. would coincide in one point only for indivisibilia aut non se tangunt. WHY THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN OPPOSITION TO PHYSIOS. would not form it.

if there must be divisible into the extension ever decreases. is such a thing. and therefore cannot be constituted it is by indivisible points. we may not say that it can exist by itself. as such. nothing of away. and the real continuous." they say. must have a certain continuity. But though we may consider a mathematical point as a limit of a line. extended whose Therefore a small part has an infinite number . by In attacking the Physical system. and that. fictions of the imagination : but solid bodies are real. which supposes the extended and the solid to be constituted by unextended in mathematical points. "we grant that a body is extended and continuous. we cannot avoid admitting that a particle of it is infinite which cannot be maintained without an evi. sure testimony of the senses. the adversaries of St. dent contradiction. "If. that itself 161 except the point that slips geometrically Thus we may suppose a superficies is derived from excursion of lines. These are . The real extended. Hence evident that. Thomas and of the Scholastics put forth a specious but sophistical argument. and a solid from excursion of superficies. is repugnant to reason: accords the Physical system.ALLEGED OPPOSITION TO PHYSICS. since the Dynamic forces system. which admits the extended with the which we perceive things that are extended.

162 of THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF parts : ST." To make this question clear we must clearly understand the divisibility of the continuous extended. . because an extended thing that in- cludes an infinite number of extended things cannot be said to be finite. will and so that small part be infinite. THOMAS.

ON THE DIVISIBILITY OF THE CONTINUOUS EXTENDED. and not a mere distinction of reason. 163 XX. That division therefore real divisibility is a a sure sign of real distinction. there would be a real identity. But the other. continue to exist independently of each other just as a mathematical point cannot be divided into two points. it is this shows previously real distinction between the divisi- not the only sign. There cannot be for if it any question about that were only a distinction of reason. or so separated that one or both continue to exist. idem cannot really be divided into parts that a .. FIRST of all we must know the difference between an entitative or real distinction and a mere distinction of reason. We can deduce . we certainly must affirm that there is real distinction between them. When two entities can really be divided from each other. But though bles. the one would really be the Both would be the idem.

But we must bear in mind that. from the volition. tially although the divisibility of two things essensupposes a real distinction between them. the soul from virtue and grace. that the potentia distinct from its actus. of . though we can conceive it as infinitely therefore . Whence it is it follows in that the parts the continuous have reality no number absurd to speak of the continuous as having an infinite number of parts. and long as the parts are not divided. it is not a disreally crete quantity. it may be separated therefrom. for instance. the parts are so really but indeterminately distinct. and a fortiori difi'erent from the conception of the division. identify To confound them would be Certainly then. of we a firstly. infinite virtue they because really really divisible secondly. the intellect from the determinate act of understanding. The matter. because the real distinction Now what say is here indicated that are a true criterion. the parts an extended substance finite really distinct. either or in the mind. THOMAS. because are is by or . is ST. a substance from its acciwill dents.164 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF otherwise. them together and absurd. nevertheless the conception of the real distinction is essentially diff"erent from the conception of the divisibility. in the continuous. may the be separated from the form.

The continuous quantity therefore will be essentially divisible into extended parts ever divisible: so that we never can consider as impossible a further . In the physical continuous there are no parts. is In physics substance or it is. being essentially extended. state by division that at one part it should be an extended thing. not infinite. and at the other a mathematical point. but there are finite. finite or infinite. That in the mathematical continuous there are no parts in actu. continuous this or body with the quantity whose subject Have both or has either infinite parts ? To this we reply that in the mathematical continuous. finite or infinite. we must distinguish the mathematical continuity from physical continuity. is evident. in actu. parts in potentia. either finite or infinite. can never be reduced to such a. but there are infinite parts in potentia. A small quantity. just because it is not a discrete quantity. or that an extended thing should be divisible into two mathematical points.THE CONTINUOUS EXTENDED. but only finite parts in potentia. there are no parts. In mathematics the conreal tinuous is the continuous quantity mentally the abstracted from substance that or body which the is the subject of the same. in actu. To make our meaning clear. 165 and mentally imagine it as divided into numerable and numbered parts. divisible.

Others think that this a para- understand how in the continuous the division can stop. In that term each part would be unextended — = 0. tity. . Some people tell us that a division ad infinitum is impossible because a substance. If we consider the mere quan- we find the continuous divisible ad but having to consider the substance also. which cannot be derived from the ratio of quantity. : cc The physical continuous It is is not mere quantity. unless it were infinite. as the solid substance in in a subject. the physical or of the concrete nature of divisible being. actually nor potentially divisible ad infinitum. But we have of dividing to see whether this impossibility continuous ad infinitum. is The Angelic Doctor tells us that it so derived. The term that we never can reach. could not be capable of such is a division. seeing that dox . and that quantity ad infinitum. for they cannot the continuous is is per se divisible quantum. which. is division.166 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. can be derived from the ratio of substance. we must say that the physical continuous is neither infinitum potentially and not actually . THOMAS. Thus the mathematical continuous in potentia essentially divisible infinite is the goal or ad infinitum. and therefore the quantity cannot be divided without dividing the substance. the quantity is .

vil. i. mathematically. Therefore one of which form. Q. Q. hj considering It is infinite in in it the matter and the form. or mum of extension. 3. occupy a place and resist the occupation of " It must the same place by other substances. Sent. : ii. Summa. and naturally.. must follow a determinate substantial every natural body has a determinate quantity for the greater and for the less. which is complete in size. For every natural body has some determinate substantial form and there: fore. since accidents follow the substantial is form. firstly." * Hence he quotes elsewhere (Comm. . " that a body. is to be considered in two ways. We can easily conceive a mini- at which a corporeal no longer able to extend itself. Thomas. xxx." says St.THE CONTINUOUS EXTENDED. quce P. substance is according to the quantity alone. aquam et minimam * carnem. by which it stretches out to occupy a place and impede occupation of the same place by any other body. a. a. evident that a natural body cannot be actu. For every corporeal nature must sidered. 2) those words of Aristotle Ideo est invenire si minimam dividatur. be understood. Distinct.e. This latter property originates from the substance itself as a force or virtue of it. i. determinate accidents. and secondly in what we may call its extrinsication. quantity. 167 be con- in its intrinsic essence. in II.

&c. substantia omnis indivisihilis est. and occupy certain relative positions. true atoms. made with the smallest corporeal substances. marble. both in elementary and composite bodies. In other words. but are true chemical combinations.g. Surely then are far it cannot be said that we Thomists from agreeing to those laws of chemistry which lay down that chemical combinations require the elementary substances to be in a certain number. would cease to have quantity and no longer be divisible. to a limit at which it could not be divided again without ceasing to have force or virtue sufl&cient for co-extending and for resisting the occupation of its place by any other body. * According to this doctrine we have. in * Contra Gent..g. in a certain weight. it would cease to have quantity. and reonota quantitate.. whether the body be elementary. and be in a certain number. in a certain volume. e.. or a compound of elementary substances. THOMAS. we shall come. . Therefore.168 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. iv.e. e. wood. if again divided. 65. non erit ulterius aqua et caro. the smallest that can be . and we may fairly suppose that substance not mere mixtures. Now these minima. in which the nature of the is changed. and that. water. oxygen and the rest. must have volume and weight. in thought at least. i. gold. which.

. they must have a previously deter- mined relative position according to the nature But these laws must not be arbitrarily presupposed. supposed. or not be preof each.THE CONTINUOUS EXTENDED. 169 combining. They must be founded on facts or on well proved reasoning.

They say too corporeal . . lastly. WHAT are we have said about corporeal substance divisible into particles that most minute. is that in the inter- planetary spaces there a corporeal substance extremely rarified faction : secondly. reminds us of what is said and what was said about ether. is that the nature of these ethereal atoms the same and is not difi'erent from that of the atoms in this world so that the ethereal atoms may be said to be the terresextremely diminished trial atoms themselves and very far from each other.170 XXI. comconsists in the pared with these the is is length so of the that diameters of atoms. firstly. and therefore real atoms. The most common opinion among the scientists of our time is. which distance. that this rare- mutual distance of the atoms from each other. substantially indivisible. ETHEE. it great (proportions considered) as the distance of : the stars and the planets from each other in all.

an ant in the sky. * An. 1°. and heat old but for the very same reason the scientists acknowledged an ethereal substance. whence light. the necessity of " Aristotle. "rejected that error (which denied the existence of ether. if the space — This is totally impossible. xvi. ing that." says St. &c. a French periodical.ETHER. 1890. which the old scienknew. Hence it is not surprising to hear say that them the conception of ether is modern. p. The modern scientists acknowledge the existence of ether in the interplanetary spaces for the purpose of giving a subject to light . for instance. we should be able to see the smallest object at an immeasurable distance. but said that Democritus was wrong in affirm- between the eye and the object were quite void. often true tists and important. We had better point out the discrepancy between the ancient and modern scientists about the ether." This pour la premiere fois is historically a blunder. * Courbet says " La conception d'une substance transmettant la lumifere et remplissant I'espace : a 4te introduite pour la premiere fois dans la science moderne par Hugghens. 154. that this 171 is ethereal substance the subject diffused. electricity and heat are in One of the defects observable modern scientists is their ignorance of many doctrines. Thomas. . In the Cosmos. and admitted a void).

172

THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF
cannot
see, unless

ST.

THOMAS.

"We
receives

the organ of sight
:

an impression from a visible object but it has been shown that this impression is not received immediately from the visible and therefore that there must external objects between the sight and medium substance be a If there were a void, there the visible thing.
;

would be no medium capable of being imso that, if there were muted and immuting Demoan absolute void, we should not see. critus fell into the mistake, because he believed that distance impedes our sight of an object which is between just so much as that impedes the operation of the visible thing but this is false. The reason why distance impedes the sight is this All bodies are seen under a certain angle of some triangle, or rather of a pyramid, whose base is in the seen object, and the angle is in the eye of the
:

:

:

seer.

{Omne corpus videtur sub quodam angulo
trianguli, vel

cujusdam
basis est
videntis.)

magis pyramidis, cujus
angulus
est

in re visa,

et

in oculo
is,

Therefore the greater the object
size of the pupil, the

more diminished proportionately must the immutation of that visible object be when it comes
to

compared with the

the sight.

It

is

evident then that
the
triangle

the

longer the

sides

of

or

of

the

pyramid
fixed,

are,

the size of the base remaining
will

the less

the

angle be.

Therefore

ETHER.
the further the object
is,

173
the less do
so

we

see

;

and the distance may be
cannot see
it

great that

we

at all." *
it is

From
tists

this

evident that the old scien;

admitted interplanetary ethereal substance that they did not admit the system of emission
of light; that they judged light to be not a

substance

;

that

they

believed

it

to

be

a

quality derived from a luminous
ether,

body

in the

a quality that makes an impression on
is

the pupil, which

enabled thereby to see the
is

object from which that quality

derived

by

means
object

of
is

the

ether,

and that

the

ethereal

medium
said that

necessary for seeing,
far

whether the

be

or

near.

The Angelic Doctor

lux

lunce, t

said so.

omnis lux est effectiva caloris, etiam some centuries before Melloni Evidently therefore it was admitted
substance transmitted

then that the ethereal
heat and
heat.
2°.

was the subject of the medium of
scientists

The modern

commonly admit,
that

as

we pointed out

before,

the

ethereal

substance
distant

an aggregation of atoms very is from each other, if the distance be compared with their diameter but they maintain the system of undulations, according to which these atoms oscillate in lines parallel to
:

* De anima,
t

II. Leot. 15.
1. a.

In

II, Sent., Dist. xv. Q.

2 ad

5,

174

THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF

ST.

THOMAS.

each other and vertical to the luminous ray.

There

is

a difficulty in this that seems to us
:

insuperable

for if the

atoms

oscillated,

they

could never come in contact with each other

posed to be
illumination
ting

and determine in the others the motion supgiven by the luminous object. Hence we should not be able to explain the
without the absurdity of admitat
collision

a
said,

true

distance.

The

Scholastics,

as

we

acknowledged a true

and proper dilation of the corporeal substances, and not merely the improper so they never
:

fell

into the absurdity of admitting action of

They were far from having very certain indeed experiences that modern scientists have but the latter
ethereal atoms at a true distance.
:

are very far from having a perfect knowledge of the nature of things, from which facts

ought to be derived.
3°.

Many modern
substance
is

scientists

hold that the
of

ethereal

the

very substance

the

earth

by the

distance

and of the air extremely rarefied between the atoms and
:

therefore action at a distance
difficulty to

is

not the only

be objected against them.

There

are others, for such an ethereal substance ought
to

have the principal properties of the other
substances

corporeal

bodies
,

—retarding motion, coming into combinathem,
&c.
,

—that

of

resisting

other

tion

with

Hence,

the

modern

ETHER. author

175
is

whom we

quoted from The Cosmos,

much

embarrassed, and believing himself to have shown that the ethereal substance cannot

be at

all

suspected of the least resistance to
:

the planetary bodies, concludes thus

"

Nous

sommes en presence de deux
solument opposdes.
II

affirmations ab-

n'y a pas

de milieu
II est

materiel dans I'espace (Hirn, Faye).

shx

que I'espace est rempli d'un milieu capable d'etre en vibration, I'^ther (Hertz)." Hence Courbet, strangely and without sufficient reason, would introduce into science an opinion taken from
Theology, where
trable,
it

teaches

that the

glorified

bodies have the gift of being

subtle or pene-

not resisting earthly bodies nor resisted

by them.
science

He says that, if it be may without discredit get

necessary,
light

from

faith, to solve insuperable difficulties in ques-

tions of nature.

In the olden time they did not ask whether
the ethereal substance resisted the stars and
retarded their course, because the conceptions

about

that

were

not

those
it

of

the

vulgar.

They did not

believe

to have
:

the nature

of earthly bodies, solid or aerial
lieve in the possibility of its

did not

be-

combining with
Therefore
it

such and changing

its

nature.

was
the

said

to

be

unalterable.

The
It

ethereal

substance
stars,

was the
but

firmament.

was
stars

not
are

that in which

the

176

THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF

ST.

THOMAS,
:

placed, according to the first chapter of Genesis

Fecitque Deus duo luminaria magna.
Stellas,
et

.

.

.

et

posuit eas in Jirmamento
in

cceli.

St.

Thomas,

answer

to

the

question,

Utrum firmamentum sit de natura inferiorum corporum, replies that before Aristotle all the
philosophers believed the firmament or heaven
to

be a substance like in nature to the
world.

ele-

Aristotle, he mentary bodies of this says, proved that the firmament or heaven

has not a nature has
phers, persuaded
his

common
:

to other bodies, but
later

a proper essence

and the
his
this

philoso-

by

reasoning,

admitted

doctrine.

According to
the

doctrine the

which the stars are, is not heavy, does not alter nor and since it has not even a common corrupt matter with the other bodies, we cannot, he says (De natura generis), form a conception of it univocally with other bodies, but only an analagous conception. In these days, as in those, we are a long way from having a sure knowledge of the essence of the ethereal substance or firmament and though we can
substance
of

firmament,

in

:

;

afiirm in

accordance with the doctrine above
it
is

mentioned, that
subject

the

medium and
heat

the
is

whence
in

light

and
of

come

(as

hinted
hesitate,
culties

the

Book

Genesis),

we

still

incapable of solving the grave

diffi-

put forward by Courbet in The Cosmos.

ready to receive all facts that are clearly proved. owing to intrinsic difficulty it. the learned cannot really be at variance with each other. though there may be more or less exactness in explaining and more or less faithful accounts of but when. CHEMISTRY. through deficient very cautious. and the discrepancy of opinion about chemistry remains within the So limits own natural boundaries. and . to admit the principles that are absolutely connected with those facts. then discrepancies arise. in some knowledge of philosophy and a want of sound logic.177 XXII. while in others it proceeds from the modern fashion of following experience only. and confusing the We must therefore be senses with reason. collecting facts and registering phenomena. passing these limits. happens. This cases. THIS long as of its is a most important and its arduous question. it things : takes to deciding philosophically about it is the that nature and essence of things.

and. Thomas. that substances without . does not require a change in It is all the operations. then enquire whether such are the principles accepted in the philosophy of St. instead that changes nature.178 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST.. the same weight. nor of extrinsic by the but by it a change in its its inmost being. the operations or passions belonging to the genus itself must remain. so not by mere variation fleeting influence of temperature. for instance. changes in that A change means substance is which happens when a changed. corporeal substances because : they essence and since immediate intuition of substances. THOMAS. substantial Chemistry substantial is the science that treats of the bodies. but know them through their operaalone have a composite our minds have the no tions. becomes Such mutation takes place only. the It is very same solidity or liquidness. into Hence a substance may change another and yet have the same gravity. Knowing. tions enough to know that the specific operafor since the genus have changed : remains in the substantial mutations of corporeal things. agents. but we often can be sure of it. diversity will or contrariety to is of these operations guide us discern whether This or no their substantial being changed. of being another substance. in what it was. &c. difficult sometimes to be sure of a substantial change.

in those sub- changes. substances. are substantially changed. which chemical combination. But the modern doctrine in disagreement with that of many ones. This may. life 179 are different from living substances. when changed into plants or into sentient things. therefore. obtained by combination of all elements. discrepancy between the true Thomas and the science. together principles modern with the facts that chemists have shown is to be certain. called are but of a in secondary chemistry. without any sound reason. and also of some modern who put forward. our own . without fear of falling into error. principles founded on their own fancy.CHEMISTRY. The proper and of chemistry stantial is principal object. be extended beyond the living. somecannot that times at least. tial object accidentally treated Herein -there seems to be no essendoctrine of of St. We must therefore according to elementary substances doctrines distinctly. or facts discuss that do not exist. to be found. old physicists. of modern scientists call The accideiital changes alterations. we doubt inorganic minerals.

of different substances. but a substance not constituted by This meaning is aggregation of substances. nature. it because results from the union of many or not. whether their nature be the same. . By thus using the word " atom. substances. and quantitatively But they are not so in the Physical indivisible. equal essentially extended. inasmuch as and it does not result from a chemical combination elementary substance is AN The word " atom " does not in itself indicate a smallest and indivisible substance. is simple.180 XXIII. strictly of the atoms are inert. only capable of moving and being moved. Applying then to elementary substances the . fically An aggregate. though speci- one." we are in no danger of falling into what is called the atomic theory speaking. for in that system. cannot be called individually one. essentially composed of materia prima substantial form. system. an atom which. ELEMENTARY ATOMS. evidently right.

of activity In discussing the principle we have placed the elements in mutual relation but that was for the purpose of making the . observable in their mutual operations. oxygen. The substan- tial form is the principle of that virtue or activity which determines the specific nature of the wanting in that elementary substance. what places making the nature something of hydrogen be the nature of hydrogen. is Since therefore a specific activity these atoms. elementary substances. that are. and the of extension what we call materia prima. of gold or of and not the nature else. that is. substance. we must say that it is essentially composed of materia prima and substantial form. in such atoms a a substan- principle of activity. specifically different. as sulphur. evident in must be a is principle of that But to this precisely them in different species. for instance. hydrogen and carbon we now specific them to be. 181 known principles that we have pointed out. Being essentially extended.: ELEMENTARY ATOMS. We learn their diversity from the divers and constant virtues. that chemistry shows plainly by facts within our reach and : we should look for them in vain elsewhere. tial we must admit form . There being then. the said principle. there activity. which principle cannot be essentially Supbelieve pose. it must have the principle principle of extension is .

We it say in potentia. it tial would have form just extension its materia prima and substanit as has now when . the form would not be substantial and informant. We should go into excess by imagining that materia prima is a substance constituted per se in its own being. If a!fgument more easily intelligible. really to In this question we have steer between excess.) would have the principle substantial activity. them sinning by by defect. SYSTEM OF ST. inorganic. They distinct. and that every substantial form is a simple being. poteiitia. not being by its own essence united to the matter. . activity. because it would not constitute the matter in substantial being. Oxygen were the only thing in the corporeal world.182 THE PHYSICAL. THOMAS. and only operating on materia prima.e. being could not operate on itself. the form. It would only be a forma assistens. and with it i. but only by the operation. because. there would be no subject in which the poten- tial activity could be brought into action. of the elements cannot The matter and form tially be mingled in one principle. so that if no other body of a different nature existed in the world. subsistent per se. existing for with among its other elementary substances it would have the principle of its extension. (existing in at least. are essen- two principles. of. Were it so. two the extremes. one of other.

Two things are really separate when each has its complete being. it. not separate from from the wax. though from the substantial form. own being. and each is not per se a principle of Suppose. Consequently we must really distinct afl&rm in the elementary substances materia prima. between the pen that writes . for instance. diiferent from that of the hand. has a substantial and complete being. is the image : because otherwise the wax could not be fashioned into any other image.ELEMENTARY ATOMS. in the absurd guise matter per se active or a force per se that extended. for the very wax but distinct But. is The true and philosophic meaning of these two expressions is well known. though moved as an instrument by the hand. . They are really distinct when each has a being per se incomplete. Here there is not a real The pen is the separate distinction only. instrument of the hand. principles of extension To consider the of a and of activity as one being. and the hand that holds it. In short. instead one substance. would be sinning by defect. and is the principle of its own operation. there is something more than a real distinction because the pen. it is. of being. 183 there the atom its would have two complete substances in as it is. The image is not separate image of Caesar. a waxen operation.

bodies principles really distinct all existing density and a determinate figure. it. prima and the atom there truly is a is Matter active. E TH E E between is not mucli difficulty in proving the materia that substantial form of an real distinction. being constituted of Secondly. . Hence the form and the matter . and likewise an atom. Hence an atom. has two from each other. the form the active is But the is relation of to the passive contradictory. has this or that density instead of another of it. which is. Now what is the intrinsic cause by which a body. Therefore they cannot meet in one being by virtue of one same principle. the form is the cause of the determining principle.184 XXIV. of must have The theoiy crystallization is founded on that. in its essence passive while the principle of activity. matter and form. THE MATTER AND FOEM OF ELEMENTARY SUBSTANCES ARE REALLY DISTINCT. ? Matter is not the cause Therefore being of is itself undetermined.

is 185 the determined principle. order. materia prima is indiiFerent to every structure. vital principle. and from which it is really distinct. divided. he says. Whence does their structure. into an indivisible parts. we have only to observe what takes place in plants. Omne corpus Omne autem divisihile indiget aliquo continente et uniente partes ejus.e. i. divisihile est. and when deprived of the . Now the mode of the elementary atom's mode must be in proportion . good about the forms of the elements in relation to the matter which they inform. are a being. in which really the though not are distinct. St. substance. the modified principle is and therefore the principle of extension extended. . Thirdly. viz.MATTER AND FORM OF ELEMENTS. in brutes and in man. To make this clear. that the form and the matter of each element are really distinct. and density proceed ? for Not from matter without the vital principle by which it is informed. order and density. This necessarily implies a real distinction. loses the density. order and figure that it had. like activity and to force. extension and quantity. Therefore all this proceeds from the same principle that informs the body The same reasoning holds of the living being.. Thomas remarks that matter without a form could not be constituted into an atom. the principle of activity active.

we have ded being.e.e. a principle of force by which the matter presses that body. its being in an extended thing shows you the : . the matter. when treating of acts and of the derived of acts. because that which pushes is not a mathematical : hand and but the whole hence we deduce with certainty point. we have the vital afi'ection. for. Again. infer Here again a comparison will be useful. besides the extended matter. really distinct. our sensation is evidently a mode of two principles i. that in the hand there must be.186 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF there is ST. from exten- one of which. and from the other. real distinction between is extension and is Therefore there a real distinction sion. This is which form. the anima. Suppose that you are pushing some sort of body with 3^our whole hand. always the way of arguing in philosophy. : principles from which they are we whenever we perceive diversity diversity of the immediate which are their proximate principles. potenticB. when we feel heat. i. But a force. which is between the principle of extenmatter. THOMAS. In doing so you feel a force that presses and operates on an extended thing. but in an extended thing and therefore if the force demonstrates to you a principle of activity. and the principle of force. In like manner the force manifested by an elementary atom is not in a mathematical point.

which the forms are or as some people call them. we can find in the natural disposi- tion of simple bodies a proof not without its value. In fact a substance that in is pleted essence parts simple will certainl)?^ it comnot have its is. So that. as extended and divisible things. forces receive their being. . unless we deny se subsi stent the real extension of corporeal substances. being the principle of extension. is matter precisely. Fourthly. . outside it of parts.MATTER AND FORM OF ELEMENTS. we admit that the princijDles of activity. from another and a must — — different principle. the whole will be in the whole and in Now this simple substance is pei' : and therefore per se not divisible but that which is per se not divisible cannot be per se extended. which. 187 principle of extension really distinct from the principle of activity. Therefore a substance that is 256r se simple and subsistent cannot be per se extended. Wherever the whole of each part. will be or to use a well-known adage.

The proof of this is indisputably evident. mental physicists. . have corrected many errors in purely experimental science. though elementary substances are not their essence. w^ho by after centuries and little. they elementary. mentary substances of chemists agree in this : All that substances obtained differing by are union are called of substances in their nature. ? Which It them mentary as " is not a question for philosophers belongs to the experilittle such to answer. chemical compounds : They at one time they said to and though were not called so. not elementary substances. AN ELEMENTARY SUBSTANCE SIMPLE. and of study. But. and composed of two really distinct principles. of were not practical be " But the are ele- question.XXV. IS CHEMICALLY HAVE proved then is that an elementary I is substance not a simple substance. simple in simple as they are chemically ele- not being generated different by two natures.

If series chemically simple. they do. the specific diversity operations These either do or do not result from the union of others. and would be foreign to the purpose from a unit as from : of a treatise. come In at last to fact substances substances chemically simple. which is against reason. Non plainlj'' shows. and proceeds its principle. it However great a number may always consists of units. because the opposition tradictory. belongs to experimental science. unless we are prepared to suppose the Begun without a beginning. Let it suffice for us to infer by reasoning that elementary substances must be of more . Thus compound substances are such in relation to their components and therefore we must acknowledge the components. the that result from the combination of other substances are like numbers. But to declare which are simple substances and which are not.SIMPLICITY OF ELEMENTAKY SUBSTANCES. and the Eeasoned without a sufficient reason. 189 In the corporeal universe there certainly are many substances as that differ in their nature of their specifically. in which the rational principles Physical only of St. If is con- they do not result from the thej' are union of substances. we must either admit an endless of combinations and or unions. Thomas's system are explained. be. datur medium. and those that do not like units.

• Physical system. so all all colours may be had from one may corporeal substances be con- stituted is from one species of elements. each having Hence the well-known hypotheses of the Epicureans. ? But that probable Most certainly the progress of science has not shown that the elements are of one species. well -that know very have all many scientists would elementary substances to be of one specific nature. while disowning these theories. Perhaps to it tendency suppose in one and the same matter. They were at one time reduced by Physicists to a few species : but gradually. as the that subjects common various principle them to the transformations on which the unity. Why comes all they do so I from a natural substances know not. Some few there have been. THOMAS. fancying that. and . but stood out for the one species of elementary substance.190 than THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF one species. those who hardly give aglancfe at the inmost essence of things may be led to imagine it to be a set of atoms. and inclining to the the same nature. the increased. I ST. as empirical species teaching advanced. order and beauty of the universe depend. admitted the double principle of extension and activity. Cartesians and the modern followers of the Mechanic system. who. since it is But not easy to form a just conception of such matter. as light.

This cannot be said to show that the elements are of one but contrariwise would lead us infer from experiment what Cardinal Toledo said species. Therefore they differ nature and consequently in species. Anyone seeking to weaken the force of this argument by saying that these. even though of different species. because they in species.— SIMPLICITY OF ELEMENTARY SUBSTANCES. that the elements are fact. the quantity could indeed be increased by aggregation : but not the nature changed belonging thereto. viz. And in species how can they be not of more than one ? The mixtum resulting from the eledifferent if ments has a nature this from theirs : but could not be.e. There sight is another objection to which at : first i. may seem have some importance is that a specific diversity in the elements not . If hydrogen and oxygen were the same.. would greatly deceive that its The is proof is of such a sort for conclusion universal chemically simple elements. may be composed of others equal himself. as a of philosopher. are not chemically simple. the elements themselves in had the same nature. they may be we must come like to loiter in in the last unless we the region of the absurd. 191 now there are a great many. whatsoever and wheresoever elements to which resort. more than one species.

but not otherwise. sufficient. an accidental is is The answer if that the diversity of the would be mixta or compounds were accidental. sufficient.— 192 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF because ST. therefore. being free from chemical composition. we say that ele- mentary substances are of different species are atoms composed of materia prima and substantial form two principles really distinct —-and This — that these elementary substances are simple. diversity it required. Now In chemistry shows them to be substantial. THOMAS. . we have defined and proved. conclusion. From the elementary we pass on to the mixed or composite.

or chemical which are compounds. We it is words about but say something about their natures. that even those who deny it in theory have to admit it. which N . that. talk nonsense. These the particular tendencies are of known by and we name As to chemical affinities : may discuss either their existence or their nature. AFFINITY BETWEEN THE ELEMENTS. here well to And remember what was is said before about mechanical motion. besides the natural tendency or appetite natural which corporeal mutually have. TN -^ explaining the Physical system we pointed substances out that.193 XXVI. as such. we must admit certain particular tendencies whereby some adhere to others and unite with them. to constitute when united called diverse other substances mixta. THE " MIXTUM " OE THE CHEMICAL COMPOUND. at every step. and so universally admitted. in fact. about the changes of corporeal shall not waste substances. and not their existence the fact is certain. when they mean to discourse.

fact that every corporeal substance may be subjected to mechanical impulses. such as zoophytes. and therefore has no natural direction or at term fixed No one which the motion would cease." He gave to the mentary substances that active principle by which they are constituted in their specific being. and from which those particular tendencies follow that go by the name knowledge of affinities. in which. poreal nature says. we come to the lowest species. it . : and then moved ab extrinseco that but to suppose chemical affinities originate from them would be utterly unreasonable and not worth a serious argument. will deny the. He willed that in beings should be a gradual descent from the to most perfect animal down stance. as if to assure us of the fact that these even there beings without have particular tendencies. without knowledge but also sense tells us that the without spot Common movement is of a horse or of a lion to a certain : by an inner principle of nature but when. " the G-od willed that in cor- there should be a various and continual succession. Augustine morning of things always comes Therefore after ele- the evening. as St. many people find hard to see how certain motions can be accounted for on the same principle. THOMAS. inorganic sub- not only life. produced.194 THE PHYSICAL SySTEM OF because extrinsically ST. Moreover. forced. in the order of sensitive beings.

If it be . as in fact it is. instead of being carried away by the allurements if of imagination.ffinities chemical therefote cannot take place otherwise than between elementary substances diifering from each other. We must remark that chemical affinities take place between those substances only pitched at a is man attracted which. to say that a stone by the man hit. another substance. 195 Nevertheless analogy alone ought to persuade us of the fact. And since. aud yet have a mutual affinity. men and modifications : angels are subject to accidental changes while retaining their own nature. placed in the lowest grade . as some chemists do. it But this applies to zoophytes. 'i'his affinity may be subject to accidental for if plants. <xs whose nature differs from theirs. the components also must be of diverse natures. equally absurd is it to assert.THE CHEMICAL COMPOUND. that the elementary atoms are moved and directed to unite by external impulses. when afterwards combined. tain determinate end so that absurd. also applies to inorganic substances tending towards a cer- sound reasoning rejects the mere external principles of mechanical motion as quite improbable. brutes. give. how can we except elementary atoms. as the result of the combination. we have said. therefore <i. and make us listen to the suggestions of reason.

as heat and electricity are known to do. if of being : they do. Some. For in an elementary atom there is extension and the principle of activity or force and the former can undergo changes in the more or less. and under others do not. If not. . contact will suffice to set going their reciprocal action. proximity and themselves. without. to they must be disposed from Hence the necessity of an extrinsic operate on them and alter them. In fact the elements that have affinity to each other cannot combine otherwise than by mutual operation. the modifications to which the atoms are subject.196 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF 1 ST. to which they either are. though not No wonder different then if the different states. or are not disposed in If they are so. Thus we can see clearly that elements operate under some circumstances. THOMAS. if is weak. while the latter can be altered by contrary force. either impede or promote the appearance of chemical affinities : for this is quite natural. their operation specifically different. as we may proper affinities judge by the analogy between the tendencies of living beings and the of things without life. or that. Hence affinity the common very saying of chemists that varies much. answer. agent. The Physical system says that we Eeason and experience give the same cannot. according to the various dispositions in which bodies are found.

out and multiplies beings without necessity.THE CHEMICAL COMPOUND. of the question. presence of have some asserted that mere is determinate the substance : sufficient to if this is make elements operate but false. . And let this be sufficient about affinity. action. if does nothing introduce in chemical combinations is the purpose of awakening affinity. it is so as not to imply true trifling it and What To for is it present that for. Entia non sunt multiplicanda sine necessitate. against the well known axiom. ? to be understood strictly. according to for the principles of the Physical system : we have shown that system to be in conformity with science and explanatory of the facts that science undertakes to investi- gate therein. it is 197 the true.

HAS A NATURE SPECIFICALLY DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF ITS COMPONENTS. — of corporeal substances are very few in ber. or water the one resulting from sulphur and quicksilver. The mixtum or true chemical compound has . willingly . THE "MIXTUM. by diligent and repeated experiments. formation is wonderful discoveries have been made about manifold essence of the passed over mixta: but very lightly." or CHEMICAL COMPOUND. nummixta the when compared with from them. A SUB STANCE is that proceeds from the ele- coupling together or combination of called a mixtum. We means the their of acknowledge that in these days. though deserving particular study. or more commonly Such for instance is cuniaber. the other from hydrogen and oxygen. The species of the elements ments a chemical compound.198 XXVII. as those of the derived the letters of alphabet are very few in comparison with the innumerable words which they compose.

and little drops of water appear. the elements cannot chemically combined. and by the help of the metallic wire strike out the electric spark. All the specific properties of the one gen. Suppose. but may be called an aggregate or a mingled massv The specific diversity is manifested to us by the constant diversity of their operation. 19^9 nature specifically different from that of each it is element of which this is composed . and not hydronot. nor can the body resulting from the combination be a mixtum. Now let us consider the mutual relations of these elements to each other and eight samie to the water generated from them. There is an instantaneous combustion. ITS COMPONENTS. vase of glass that into metallic an empty wire in it with the you introduce oxygen and hydrogen in proportion of volume as one to two. at the hydrogen will Animals inhale oxygen. and when bfe not verified.THE MIXTUM AND a. because operari sequitur esse : only able but to certain infer means by diversity and this is the which we are of the the active principle that informs them. The less fluids disappear. for instance. The times specific weight of the oxygen the is that of hydrogen will burn. occupying a space two thousand times than what was occupied by the oxygen and hydrogen. different from those of the other and are temperature. : Oxygen .

in in the operation of water man so that we no more of recog- nize that of oxygen and hydrogen than we operation clay in recognize the that of gold or 'silver. extinguishes fire instead of Formed operation from in oxygen is : and hydrogen. or chemical compound. in relation to its comof the hydrogen from which ponents. spark Instead water. This holds good of every true mixtum. in though they have generic properties tent. the common. and different again in plants. resis- such as that of being extended. heavy. in brutes. one has positive while the other has Their diversity of nature. could not be more And is yet that disappear. . Evidently therefore the nature clay differs : of water differs from that of oxygen and of hydrogen just as the nature of from the nature of gold or of therefore different ' silver and the nature of water is specifically from the nature of the oxygen and it was generated. differs its inorganic things widely from theirs. negative electricity. THOMAS. feeding it. and their capacity of heat differs. is different and so is the capacity of Though generated from oxygen as much it as from hydrogen.— 200 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. evident. The specific weight heat. makes all these fluids differences of the there one liquid to whose properties have nothing the do with vanished elements. therefore.

and the (oxygen De Ge. water has qualities that every previous * atomic part of of water. oxygen 1".g. and the production of a new form to be the specific principle of the chemical compound's activity. If so. means annihilation of the elements. we should not have a chemical composition. and hydrogen combine.201 XXVIII.. as understood according to the Physical system.ner. undergoes molecule a change in 3°. but annihilation and creation. . the matter (materia prima) of this 2°. . * It therefore consists in this : When. there remains. est alteratorum unio. by the virtue change every atomic has so part of the compound of itself nature the the mixtum . Mixtio. WHAT IS MEANT BY SUBSTANTIAL TRANSFORMATION. says Aristotle. of both e. or at least of their substantial forms. in each the principle of activity . SOME tial people seem to think that substan- transformation. the nature of the elements i.

nor the substantial form of a peach* Gomm.. ii. else He says "Is a mixtum nothing than minute particles varying in their nature. this implies. is That... nor the substantial form of a stag to that determinate organism the substantial : is of a fish. 1." This principle accordance with the division of ele- ments into atoms and the of disposal of the mixtum sion into molecules a certain dimen- and a certain figure. could not be adapted to the organism of an eagle. Oportet ut determinatce- formce determinata Jigura debeatur* In that which has life the substantial form requires a and thus the soul. . a whole. nature. according to its a determinate figure. in Sent. they seem a homogeneous whole ? No for in the mixtum every part must have the nature of . in virtue of this. but so confused that. and hydrogen) are hidden. requires determinate form and must natuvarious states. the mixtuni of a part.. People are so afraid of this in that a few words about it our times. may not be We rally said before that every substantial matter. a substantial All transformation of the elements. THOMAS. of in as each part of water has of his the is- nature quite water. xix. amiss. which form of the human body. have also. Dist. in new and homogeneous nature is every : taught by Aristotle. 1. although retaining their former : the whole.202 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST.

nor has a molecule of a atom mixed body the same figure as that of another mixed body. Anyone may see that what we have said about the atoms of the simple is bodies and the molecules of the mixed in no way against those beautiful theories about crystals. in virtue of a substantial form. Rather analogy likeness of it lead thereto by a sort of for in the different species the between the external form or figures becomes greater as bodies the species descend from Man. in a solid state. does . which are so deservedly honoured in physics. True it is that there are bodies. this 203 Now of doctrine : must of be gold equally true the inorganic so that. the noblest of the animates. tree to that of a camellia or of a tulip. both elementary and mixed.SUBSTANTIAL TRANSFORMATION. and therefore may be called isomorphous but : that is not in contradiction with the doctrine. towards the lowest species of corporeal substances. . whose atoms or molecules. show equal figures. an atom has not under the same temperature the same figure as an of phosphorus.

Hence a universal and rooted belief. and language. A man of plain common sense would laugh if you said to him." Nature tells us the contrary. round very fast. " You must know that which you suppose to be water is nothing as of the sort. quite different. that faithfully interprets the common sentiments of mankind. . and is said by learned and ignorant. just if substances.204 XXIX. but only what two other seem to be. is in mixed or composite bodies the produces to the transformation totally different another its nature from the nature of evident senses comit is so that it has no need of further proof. confirms the same truth. that with seven colours painted on you turn it the chemical compound has a new from that of its nature. a nature different elements. THAT ponents. It has always been said. THE COMMON SENSE OF MANKIND IS IN FAVOUR OF A BELIEF IN THE TRUE SUBSTANTIAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE ELEMENTS. a circular piece of wood it seems white.

. and because the divine one army out of in many many soldiers. he says. 205 The chemists also say the same. there cannot Eutyches. since the result of the soul's union with the body is one individual. out of two natures remaining such. even those who deny it theoretically and think that in the mixtum or compound the elements remain just as they were before the combination. " will not suffice to make one nature from many and therefore those things whose form is only order and composition are not natural virtue is of order of house made : in such a way that their unity may : be called unity of nature. because each nature is a whole. the words " unity of nature " mean unity of the active principle." He goes on to say "Never is it found that one nature comes to be. that only. of parts. Christ be one and the human nature are permanent in Him. Secondly. Moreover. he says. . as one city is composed of many houses. To pealed in this common language against Thomas nature ap- when showing.SUBSTANTIAL TEANSFORMATION. firstly in virtue of order only. not a co-operation of different operators for one and the same St. end. A one results from many. But these ways. and those things out of which anything is constituted have the relation Wherefore. and composition as one parts by mutual contact and joining.

because neither the one of nor the other has a complete species. for the purpose of furthering particular opinions. Therefore. should call the compound an aggregate or a mingling together or . without one both ceasing to be it is : because said evident which is not possible. It is therefore impossible that in Christ there can be one nature only. anything they j^lease. 35. Those therefore who will is not allow that the nature of the elements changed in the mixtum or compound. . * Contra Gent. iv.206 THK PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. from what has been is that one Christ true God and true man. since human to •or nature and the Divine Nature are each it is a complete nature.. but not a new nature collision or they will not only with words that are come into used and must be at variance be used in Theology. but also with the common language of mankind. impossible for them concur in making one nature. but each a part one nature." * Here we can see incidentally what mischief be done by an easy twisting of words from the sense in which they are commonly may understood. can neither the to body nor the soul be said be a nature in the sense in which we are now using is the word. THOMAS.

THE SUBSTANTIAL TRANSFORMATION OF ELEMENTS IS PROVED BY FACTS. from and the so. is the source of the properties and of the operations.207 XXX. Now and thus operate in specifically different ways. substantial in from their matter. is form of the passing from the that of being elements to the state of being ^ chemical compound. retaining their own proper principles as before ? The operations resulting from This cannot be. 'Therefore the substantial form of the elements. there change. THP] TN '^ fact is the mixtum or chemical compound and a substance that has properties operations invariably different it is the elements of which from those of composed but the : principle of activity. which is really distinct •different mixtum state . co-operation of separate principles must reveal . stantial was a true subwhat is there to be Can the elements said against this argument ? co-operate to the same term of operations. or substantial form.

the attraction and repulsion will be according to the of their ele- contrary forces.: 208 the THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF disposition ST. a true individual in therefore says own Thomas different I "It in is impossible that of things being there should be ' oug operation. for instance. not only co-operate to give besides a term of operation. but of proceeding from the operator. 57. * Contra Gent. inexplicable. theses factorj' is all that under the opposite hypohas. principle sole of it ? This would suppose the impossibility. at least." men one action as to the is thing operated on. ii. attract elements disjoined attract will it stance.' not speaking of the term. together : they more strongly and if one of them attracts while difference the other repels. ments themselves but a. . which one : part of the pullers there are many because there are diverse impulses moving * Moreover. that each remains in its the mixtum nature. or as an equal if degree. a satis- explanation in the thesis that : we are defending and therefore for that reason alone.tom Can by one it be said that the of virtue their union. either in of these principles. THOMAS. pulling a ship do For many but on the operations. it. the two Thus. as St. shewing what more a sub- belongs to the stronger. say its one..

TRANSFORMATION OF THE ELEMENTS. it ought to be preIn fact. if anyone asks why in chemical combination there is often a species there ferred. but also have their nature changed. other with principle the elements that operate on each their a force activity.. suffices to break them apart and spoU their symmetry whereas in a mixtum or compound the ments are not only disposed in a certain manner. to which accurate disposition of parts the impetus and violence often noticed in chemical combination would be hurtful. in evident in the fact that a the atoms but or molecules transformed. the reason is this In chemical combination. : everything in perfect crystallization. substances. therefore. are suitably disposed. of agitation or conflict or confusion between the goes combining peacefully. ever changes to of In crystallization the atoms or molecules have only dispose themselves conformably with their angles and facets in a determinate. To tial re-establish these in their former substan- being requires a cause contrary in effecSo tiveness to that which transformed them. And if it be asked why a crystal may have its forms totally ruined by mechanical means. symmetrical order . not A ele- merely mechanical cause. whilst a mixtum or compound never can be decomposed the answer crystal is in that way. . if 209 were no other. so to while speak.

THOMAS. with the concurrence of heat. is inexplicable and against experience. give a suitable reason for the facts : but to say that electricity. and combine with an element that was with another In this way or with others in the mixtum. heat and other which extrinsically concur in chemical combinations. giving place to some and resisting others. when it has force enough to take away in the happened can another So at the element do. can heat decompose a mixtum or compound.210 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. we can causes. principles of activity the change that moment of combination. . can only shove atoms and make them group themselves by twos and threes.

CONCERNING THE OPPOSITION TO THE DOCTRINE OF SUBSTANTIAL TRANSFORMATION. requires the components to be of different natures.e. with affinity to each other. According to our opponents the philosophy of St. in a chemical compound. the components in a mixtum. modern disciples are supposed either to ignore or deny facts that are certain But will they be so in modern chemistry. So it is in the present controversy. Thomas and is against the progress of physical science. good as to tell us what these facts are ? his We say that a substantial transformation of i. which would contradict their theories. . endeavouring to make the friends of truth contemptible and odious by attributing to them strange and absurd doctrines which they never dreamt of advoca- their ting. The supporters of error do utmost to hide away by means of silence the demonstrations of truth. science INthe as in politics innovation is now rule.211 XXXI.

are substances. fact. chemists forget to affirm this. which have a determinate volume and weight and are placed in a tain cer- position relatively to each other. and if themselves. we in are told that. therefore could not operate as such. the elementary nature. If the distance between them. as before stated. however small. absolute. smallest. In the sides reply chemists. and at a distance remind them. an assured and generally accepted as such by the chemists We say moreover that the elementary substances which compose the mixtum must be in truly physical contact. for instance. they could not operate at all. THOMAS. they could not possibly form one compound substance. as is when. to damp gradually changed into hydrate of according to sesqui-oxide of iron. were on each other because.212 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OP But this is ST. obctio in distans repugnat. dimensions must the Corpora non Hence the well known axiom agunt nisi soluta. i. But . then that chemical combination is on the surface .e. if the elements remained from each other. as we have clearly shewn. Since their then they must come be of : into contact. be- differing reduced to the condition of atoms. a thick bar of iron by exposure rust. reason will For. For if there sometimes is a chemical combination between bodies that are not so small.

will be indivisible. true atom is indivisible. when principles of St. * when treating of the divisi- bility of bodies. so considered.TRANSFORMATION OF THE ELEMENTS. It cannot. remaining what it is. all bodies must be conceived as divisible ad infinitum. having * Chapter XX. and. no longer having We. or of grass. whatever its size may be. be divided any more. Why agrees quite well with the ? Thomas But the elements. quantity. to say against it that. being the minimum in its own nature. The modern men cannot give any reason for this but St. and therefore among the Greeks we find the word used of chemically. Moreover in the division of bodies modern. but we have a clear and precise conception of an atom. 213 we have nothing should we. a beard. . What do they mean by an atom ? According to its etymology it means that which. that if you divide a body till the substance can no longer produce A : this accident. that. and the modern writers on chemistry have not. Thomas has taught us that quantity is an accident of bodies. to signify being uncut. you wiU find that in modern use the smallness is arbitrary and indeterminate. writers consider the quantity alone and we But if : clearly shewed. the substance. must be atoms in order to combine Very well. they say. you take it to mean a very small substance. is not divided.

they tell us that variation of numerical proportions the substances will vary. we have nothing with the to object. minate but in determinate proportional volumes. we can admit without any difficulty that the number of these atoms or elementary minima is by nature determined for making this or that combination. that every of elementary substance has its atoms.e. . by reason of their being truly extended they must unite not only in deteratomic weight. are true bodies. THOMAS. chemical compounds. i. so be fied it. already explaiaed this doctrine of the Angelic Doctor. If they say that it requires two atoms of X and one of y to make the comabout admitting elementary pound substance If a. Clearly elements. reduced to the smallest possible quantity. though they are atoms or minima. are extended. can say. are subject to universal attraction. from which one or another compound substance is generated. have a deter- minate weight. i. Also. provided that the assertion be justithese by fact. bodies. Consequently. theory respecting Therefore we can admit the of the atomic weight the aforesaid elements. each of which must be a minimum: so that we have no difficulty atoms in the generation of mixta.214 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. in accordance species with his principles.e.

progress of But the adversaries of his Thomas and which of followers put forward a most important point of disagreement. we do not say absurd. Thomas.TRANSFORMATION OF THE ELEMENTS. If 215 these elementary minima occupy space. generated from elements. to indicate the place where. gifted somehow with extension and capable of knocking against other atoms. That the which amounts to this innumerable quantity of atoms. the elementary atoms have that such figures are in to be. or of being : world is an . I allude the substantial transformation of the mixtum or chemical com- pound. each of them will be in a certain position with respect to the others. we must think philosophically but the empirical mind is offended at being required to do that. as they certainly do. and all seeing that we accept these theories facts.accused of being in opposition to chemistry and the St. the chemical laws founded On by what science 1 right can we be. on to modern chemistry quite condemns the physics of the Angelic Doctor. tain when certain chemists propose cer- symbolical figures. Therefore. themselves though proved by experiments. and follows the easy teaching of : Epicurus. To penetrate the meaning of St. in order that the chemical combination may take place. they cannot be Now.

.) physica. In quod efficeret. quum causas tions. Tarn JEpicurum et Democritum probarem. including men. The only difference between these atoms is that some are smooth. ut earn dividerent in res : duas. ea quce efficeretur aliquid. ut the form the eo altera esset efficiens (in other words. enim appellant atomos. but certainly not reasonable the principles it of and Cicero. materiam quamdam in utroque tamen utrumque. yet their agglomeration in a some pointed certain number gives us all the diiFerent sub: stances that are. ii.) In these last words the Physical system of matter and form is clearly meant. et loqui ? tinentur quce con- ex ej^ectione ex materia ea quam format et Jingit effectio. si fanius. possem scribere ita plane ut Amafanius (in company with the modern Epicureans.e. :) altera quasi huic se prcebens (i.. come out of atomic aggregaQuid est enim magnum. vim esse censebant . ridicules in the person of a certain vero Ama- he says. 216 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. ita rerum efficientes sustuleris. Neque enim . concussione fortuita Nostra tu physica nosti. THOMAS. following Plato and of Aristotle. de corpusculorum. [Acad. who make all inorganic things and all living things. in eo autem quod efficeretur. matter). Moreover he says further on De natura rerum ita dicehant (Plato and Aristotle). knocked against by them. This : is quite clear.

Anyone who can read Latin and understand The the meaning of words must see that. matter and form. si nulla vi contineretur." they natures are say.. do we not say what is said expressis terminis by every modern chemist. viz. Sed quod EX XJTROQUE id jam corpus nominabant. Nihil est enim quod alicuhi esse cogatur. vi. When we affirm the fact that a true chemical compound is a body generated by the chemical combination of elements differing from each other in their nature and that the body generated therefrom differs from its elements.TRANSFORMATION OF THE EI-EMENTS. This . its " True. we must reckon this Epicurean chemistry among the chatterings of quacks. as also the Darwinian system. like Cicero. 217 materia ipsa coalescere potuisset. inasmuch as the nature of a body mines is the principle of operation that deterspecies. seeing that all of them find therein precisely the difference be- tween chemical compounds and mere mingling of things ? Moreover we express an incontrovertible fact. conclusion is that.. " elements of different required for the generation : of a chemical compound but chemical compounds decompose into their own elements. neque vis sine aliqua materia.) Here he clearly acknowledges the fact that all bodies are constituted of two principles really distinct. {Acad. which is founded on it.

exists another exists thing formally its (formaliter). that water when decomposed Yes. and nothing .in in it potentia. But then. Thomas. when it is there neither formally nor merely in potentia.. The likeness of St. 218 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST.g. tured. the chicken would remain in potentia. but not as such. that of marble has is not yet into been the sculptured. when there in own form. Thomas or of any one else and if the egg were not fertilized." we do say that the elements are of different natures.. but has in itself an inner virtue by which it.. how do they exist exist ? becomes oxygen There are three ways in which a thing in may another thing: virtualiter. exists formally in it the block of marble out of which was sculp- and a block the chicken exists formally within the shell of a fertilized egg after incubation. Therefore we have to say that in the water the oxygen and hydrogen exist. It viz. for instance. and that the mixtum or chemical compound decomposes into its elements e. likeness only in potentia. it because the artist likeness may sculpture of St. THOMAS. formaliter. If. — and hydrogen. that in the water there is no trace of the elements oxygen and hydrogen. upsets your formula that compounds differ in nature from their elementary compounds. A thing exists in another in virtute.

219 . given the requisite conditions. of a chemical body are so.TRANSFQEMATION OF THE ELEMENTS. Therefore they who accuse us of believing that a mixtum cannot be generated without its. It follows then that virtute. a chicken is formed of the same. because the re-appearance of the ments by resolution of the mixtum clearly shews that somehow they had remained. that the elements it. into those elements. speak ele- ignorautly. first of all. can or should in proceed therefrom as. et Corr. else. we say that they are not there merely in potentia. because disposition decom- under certain circumstances. is resolved into them. because the said chernical body cannot decompose into any other ele- ments. 11. quod . a fertilized egg there is an inward virtue by which. De Gen. the annihilation of elements. fact. not formally in the because if they were chemical body would be nothing more than an aggregate of different substances which is contradicted by . The illustrious Cardinal Toledo (Lib. Secondly. and not into any others. or that nothing but materia prima remains in it. We say then.) deduces the existence of the elements precisely from the fact that the mixtum. the elements the to are in the mixtum in mixtum has an inward pose. species as that whence the seminal virtue was for derived. Patet. instance. he says.

P. . ut ut sit in re quae Tertia. quod debet esse elementum simplex. autem. for at Chap. I. and equally certain that things as we have said. ut literce elementa sunt dictionum. illis quae resolvuntur resolvunttir.* m/xnent in mixto non actu. . i. PrIMA insit fiat. DEBEEE INESSE ELEMENTO. Tres conditiones Ut eX 60 olifit. . componuntur ex in quae Quumque in resolutionibus non sit ^processus injinitus. he says. primum ex ultimum in quod dividitur. Q. quid . Formce elementorum. est virtus in quibus forTnarum for it pound which * Summa. Talia igitur erunt elementa. Ixxvi. then that the elements do exist in the mixtum. licet remissce. but the elements must be found in the mixtum. THOMAS. nor merely in potentia. Not only must the compound be capable of resolving into its elements. and not into any others. id est non resolubile in partes differentes specie : non enim repugnat elemento dividi in partes res. says St. neither formaliter. exist in it. 4 ad 4. Secunda. . oportet fateri esse corpora non resolubilia in alia corpora. That they are virtually there is proved by the fact that something within disposes the com- decomposing into the elements from was generated. sed virtute : manent enim qualitates proprice elementorum.220 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. et quo fit Adverte quantitatis. a. but in viriute. Thomas. et partes habent Uteres Certain it is ipsce.

Thus does the Angelic Doctor shew that the nature of the component elements is changed into the nature of the mixtum but let us go a little further into his meaning. speci- ficating the being [ens]. is not immutable. but has can be changed agent. into the nature of that These substantial forms are not subsistent forces. changed must the elements be mixtum. and it difi"ers in the different beings \e. con- Each ens of qualities) (as we have shewn when speaking generic or has certain qualities. . vel animati cujuscumque. elementarium.ntid\ that have corporis : different natures. est 221 Et hujusmodi qualitas mixtionis propria dispositio ad formam substantialem mixti . neither are they made identical with but each of the matter which they inform : them. What is meant by the substantial form of the elements and of the mixtum ? The substantial form is the active principle that specificates a material being [esse]. it informs. puta formam lapidis. with the matter which stitutes one ens. the being [ens] cannot remain un- and therefore when the substantial changed form of the elements is specifically changed.TRANSFORMATION OF THE ELEMENTS. This substantial form. so as to become the form of a mixtum. by a proportionate specificating external When : the principle changed.

so do the qualities of an ens continue to exist in a succession of diflferent substantial forms and the fact is clearly shown in the generation and corruption of inorganic bodies. even a moment. THOMAS. and never without a fulcrum. though the spokes are moving in succession. the nature of its its substantial qualities and every mixtum has its according to form. ^9er moduTn external recipientis recipitur and hence an its agent operating on an ens will. as to its form. fore every element has its to according form. substantial form. qualities. Quidquid adage. is reducible to the genus of quality. because for it is not conceivable that. begins. of plants. As waggon presses continually on is — should be neither the wheels. the isolated stantial change are 7iot and without a foundation in any subform. . the internal disposition of a subject to be actuated through extrinsic action by one rather than by another. says an old and wise . The new form beginning bethat preceded the comes the foundation of those qualities that were in the preceding form and the preceding form ceases to be when the new form .: 222 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF rooted in its ST. there old form nor the the weight of a its new no form at all. produce a change in proportion to qualities. There- specific. But when one ens changes qualities into another. Now form. recipitur.

we say this : 1°. by reason of this change of the principle of activity. between a chemical commere mingling of different Let us accept these facts then as reasonable. mixtum and that such qualities : after the generation of the mixtum remain and there- fore that they are the inner cause by which. . relaxed or neutralized. and endeavour to explain reasonably the phenomenon of substantial change in the elements. Synthetically then. of a chemical is compound it is undeniable. Eightly tlien was it said that the qualities of the elements are the disposition to the form of the or compound. who therein precisely the difference bination things. and 223 even of man. The concurrence of various elements in the generation 2°. however difficult it may be. under the action of a cause that destroys the substantial form of the mixtum. the elements of which it was constituted reappear. and are said to be so find by the and a chemists.TRANSFORMATION OF THE ELEMENTS. It is a fact that. the nature and substance of the mixtum are different from the nature and substance of the elements. of animals. but qualities . Undeniable exists that in of the compound different there a principle activity from that which was in each element. 3°. But these qualities cannot reappear with their primal energy for they are no longer the elements in their own natures.

Certain men. He might indeed tell us . " that we can obtain safe and sound from the new body. of so-called admit cannot it the facts. indeed. change. yet with a strange incoherence deny the substantial it. But. that it is not easy to how and why the intimate union of the fact that the " they would have two substances gives to the total thereby produced qualities so very diiFerent from those of the component substances but that does not confer on us the right to suppose a change of nature and essence in those substances. It is disgraceful to profess error in especially when and it opens the door to pernicious." says a modern writer. errors universal errs most essence He about who about the must err . explain did know it). Some stiffly say that we is are insisting too on the importance of substantial changes." This is nonsense. the two or more substances in whose combination {here ' it originated. THOMAS. however. explain though. but it is irrational to contradict oneself fact by affirming a and then denying will it in other words. by chemical analysis. we say now." he as cooly ignores Scholastics said. the question of the greatest moment.224 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST. we have is essentially connected with those facts. as because they seen. variable opinion wishing to follow the scientists. science. that the fact is difl&cult to explain. it " Had been known.

they so low as to agree. after accepting the famous principle of " stored motion " fall in organic and inorganic things. war-trumpet announces the dawn a new day that ages. shake and fall and The like proud of the of the hierarchy and the rock Infallibility-dogma houses of cards. " the theory of evolution Before the artillery (i. because the powers and operations their essence. takes the part of heavy artillery. in which they are already admitting that all is matter and motion." says Hseckel. to the brain as the bile is that thoughts are " In to the liver. All the libraries of ecclesi- science and retrograde philosophy . a considerable number among the cultivators of the physical sciences rushed into atomism and evolutionism and that monistic theory is which downright materialism. 225 the powers and operations. with the physicist Voght. astical . undertaken in the name of truth " (which is extinguished now in almost all the universities). heavy body. of things are derived from By reason of having denied that the essence is of bodies composed of matter and form.TRAKSfORMATION OF THE ELEMENTS. will end the conflicts of the middle In the war. is that struggle of the spirit which now going "the of on. from which. blows of this monistic the' tents of the dualistic sophisms soul form and matter) edifice tumble down. in his autobiography.e.

at the same instant. body and soul. who does not call nowij: grieving over the deaths of his wife and daughter. Its memory would be fuU of the same images. hydrogen. Suppose that. doctrine. inherited and acquired.e..* : all the atoms which constituted Csesar were by mechanical art put in their proper places (this. THOMAS. think about the importance of the Verbvm. the same mechanical work were done in several places by the same atoms of carbon. It would have the same faculties. the same desires. in at could so many Caesars be distinguished from each other except by reason of the place in which they were made and equalized? "t how The is professor and senator Moleschott. et hoc genus omne. according to atomists would be that a substantial composition) and that on them were impressed their velocity and their direction. what t Les Bornes de la Philosophie Naturelle.— IVawa. sapienti. The artificial Csesar would once have the same sensations.. t I. &c. when Father Cornoldi was writing this chapter. this hypothesis absurd. the same thoughts that its model had when he stood by the Eubicon.226 THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF before ST. We say that Csesar would then reappear body and soul. denying the composition of matter and form. theory of vanish the enlightening Bois-Raymond. . nor does he object to the theory of * This inflated abuse of matter and form will serve to shew he. " Suppose discourses in the following fashion evolution.

on which we had enlarged before. against religion. fill way to find the illustrious means of doing Such are the universally men who now there our professorial chairs. Such are the weapons used by these teachers against the Holy See. We might have touched upon a fundamental point respecting the disbut tinction between essence and existence inasmuch as this requires to be discussed well has difiiculties in it more than a few. course be no religion for there would of would be no and without reason religion is impossible. If such principles were reason. and has been : sufl&ciently explained xii. in p. most important and that closely concern biology and anthropology. but he cannot see his so. by us vi. Who can fail to see that these ques- tions are of the greatest moment ? On them depends. chiefly owing to the cavils of objectors. . the Civiltd CattoUca (Serie Vol. we refer the reader thereto. against the Church. . And so we stop here. 227 thus making up an animated Csesar. They put nonsense in the place of truth.— TEANSFOKMATION OF THE ELEMENTS. and then say that religion and faith are irreconcilable with science. doctrines In this treatise on the Physical system of Thomas we have explained those of only the Angelic Doctor that were less known. admitted. not merely the progress of science. its but even St. against God. very existence. 305).

THOMAS. Art and Book Company. THE END. but scientists pause on the edge of reconsider their teaching.. London and IjGaminoton. .which and the abyss indeed is so bad that the errors taught in make former times are comparatively unimportant. Printers. not only to remove also to many inveterate prejudices against the ill-known Scholastic doctrine. hoping that what we have written will serve.228' THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM OF ST.

Bering. 10s.J. October. Bering. has done a very praise. which he has made accessible to English readers by the translation of the On Universals. 6d. when one takes into account the difficulties which must always attend the translation of an Italian metaphysical work into readable English. with care and interest.. have not kept it up.worthy work by this translation." ART AND BOOK COMPANY.— "Fathei Liberatore's work seems to us to deserve the encomium pronounced on it by Mr. will find in these seven opuscula an extraordinary amount of inrormation on most important doctrines. S. clear. LEAMINGTON & LONDON. AN EXPOSITION OS' THOMISTIC BY DOCTRINE. Bering's book will enable our readers to get an idea of the rich store of doctrine. owing to the pressure of other occupations. Thomas on most important matters have been made very Office. TRANSLATED BY EDWARD HENEAGE DERING..—This is an elegant translation of the seven opuscula. Thomas and with that of Rosmini. and indeed they may be said to serve as a commentary on the condemnation of the Forty Rosminian Propositions by the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Mr. "Mr. bevelled boards. Bering has done his work singularly well." The TABLET. o OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. December. who in various writings has shown himself to be fully acquainted with the doctrine of St. CIVIZTA CATTOLICA.. 1889. 6d. October 19th. 1889. in [them] we find a complete refutation of Kosminianism . as representing an amount of trained intellectual power such as one rarely meets with in writers of these days . and upon the relation of the proscribed propositions of Rosmini to the system of Catholic doctrine. The MONTH.. FATHER MATTEO LIBERATORE. Many difficult points of the teaching of St.. " The impression of the whole book upon our mind is in full agreement with the hope expressed by Mr.. Mr. and deserves well of his countrymen for thus helping them to see how irreconcilably opposed the one is to the other. In printed wrapper.OTHER WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR. Bering in the Preface. Bound in Vellum. 1889—" We have perused the whole of the 336 octavo pages his book contains. that "those who have not gone through a course of Thomistic philosophy or. and we are of opinion that they throw a flood of light both upon the relation of St. . 7s. Thomas to Rosmini. . ON UNIVERSALS.

He cannot anywhere find a better epitome of the subject than in this work. S COMBE. from which he may view and criticise the views of recent economists. by the way. We trust the undertaking will meet adequate support at the hands of Catholic professors and students of this science. A most valuable book.— — — — OTHER WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR. Freeman's Journal. The work. ART AND BOOK COMPANY. EDWARD HENEAGE DERING.J. 7s. . and useful as a commentary on the encyclical On the Condition of Labour. We THE ATHERSTONE NOVELS.. DERING. which. Dering's venture in translating Father Liberatore's splendid manual of Political Economy. is very ably translated. cloth. Demy 8vo. BY FATHER MATTEO LIBERATORE. and we are glad to have an opportunity of recommending the work. BY E. Mr. . Catholic News. most welcome to English-speaking We may Mr. CrowB 8vo. 6d. TRANSLATED BY S. Tablet. to our English Catholic literature accordingly congratulate a useful have great pleasure in according a most sincere welcome to Mr. The romantic interest of the story is very great apart from the religious interest. . students as a whole. LEAMINGTON & LONDON. We can cordially recommend [it] to any student anxious to get a foundation of knowledge of political economy. Dering is a graceful story-teller with a good eye for character and an eflfective style. with which it is — in complete accordance. PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY. a treatise valuable in itself. will prove of Political Economy. H. . Dering on having added volume. 6d. THE LADY OF RAVEN 2 vols. Caxton Review. 7s. bevelled boards.

Convent of Mercy. and very pregnant with pointed instruction. Freville Chase is remarkable. "You have done untold good by writing. as a persuasive appeal to the reader's heart. . Having said this. No. . LEAMINGTON & LONDON. . but a very powerful novel nevertheless. . I pronounce it be strong and beautiful. The pathos of the concluding chapters is exquisite. and. the conviction of the mind of the reader. mind. The following Extracts. A. — to . and printed by his permission. soul and conscience. It is no book.. have had it in our lending library for many years.. . My Dear I Mr. . He has written a very powerful novel. 2 Vols. mind. . and under which it succumbs. . speaks what his soul most clearly sees." Liverpool Weekly Albion. 6d. 4. say. But profoundly interesting as a work of fiction. then Bishop of Birmingham. Freville Chase. W. they will leave an exquisite and long-enduring impression. I will go on to say that. Dering.— — — THE ATHERSTONE Second Edition. perhaps a little too melo-dramatic for these prosaic times. SERIES. in testimony of the truth and imperishable beauty of religion.." Literary We W World. Sept. 7s. Bering. 'and I at once. . The shallow weakness of half Catholicity is brought out by the contrast with the utter worldliness with which it is linked. ULLATHORNE. I pray God to bless you. that they are sound and prudent.£. are here inserted by the Publishers. which bespeak a close observation of human It is strong from its sharp incisiveness. The two volumes should be read consecutively from the first page to the last. " The writer of Freville Chase is evidently an able man. from two letters written to the author by the late venerated Archbishop of Cabasa. and remain my dear Mi. " Considered merely as an intellectual achievement. for sentimentalists . nor for those who like something soft to weep over and then forget. B. and read thus. Let me thank you for your book Freville Chase. in the least degree. have carefully read most of the theological parts of it." tVeekly Register. iSgo. what I like in your way of putting points as well to the Catholic as to the non-Catholic is the clear. always your faithful and affectionate friend. The narrator is very masterful indeed in his capacity 'o enthral our attention. FREVILLE CHASE. that the man who thus speaks. There . . its charm. sharp ring of the spirit of Faith— . is not a single quaver of human respect to enfeeble.t imo pectore. ART AND BOOK COMPANY. 8. consequently. as a novel is as nothing compared with its enchanting effect throughout. . In another letter the Archbishop writes : Having now read the whole of your book. life and ways. "It is not easy to give a fair idea of this remarkable novel. There are many tones and tints through the book of character and manners. II." Sister M. however.

It takes. excellent common sense. THE ATHERSTONE SERIES. lively interest. while setting forth this amount of religious truth. and the broad certainty of where it is to be found. . not in a polemical book. — ^\\\. The tale is in itself clever. 6d. . Mr. — . Bering confines his battle to the heart of the citadel . Written by a Catholic purely from the . to begin with. A Catholic point of view. not to multiply which we hope many readers will find out for themselves. . carefully considered. People w'll gladly study this subject. it is at the same time a real study in mental and moral science. that it is impossible not to read it with . not only on account of its literary merit. T/ie Morning Foil. and yet being of sufficient interest as a novel. Bering. and chiefly.. We cannot in justice do less than speak in terms of very high praise of this new work by Mr. 7s. worldly interest and the voice of conscience between light and darkness in fact been analysed and depicted with greater characteristics . In no other work that we are acquainted with have the workings of the human mind in its struggles between prejudice and conviction. which overweights the ordinary religious novel. such quaint reflectibns upon men and things.—The Tablet. bering uses his honest weapons as honestly against the follies of Catholics as against Protestant errors. SHERBORNE. not in a jiere trashy little goody story all full of sentiment and twaddle. and written with so much power of analysis. I. because we think it singularly adapted to the present state of things in the religious world of England. and urged in the most fearless and pungent manner. . ART AND BOOK COMPANY. January.^Z>ai5/j« Review. and a very good one. but also.. The House at the Four Ways. Uniform with The Lady of Raven's Combe. Lastly. Or. And again. having a good and well-managed plot and plenty of excellent delineation of character. and while being really a story. somewhat of a fresh line in our fictional literature. LEAMINGTON & LONDON. but' In a thoughtful. which is considerable. Mr. and such. and boldly holds up the lookingglass all round for all who are wise enough to profit by the glance at their own identity.— BY THE SAME AUTHOR. 2 Vols. .. . . it is full of religious truths put in a strong light.. and eminently realistic tale. . there is little of what is usually called "controversy. In preparation. We venture to say that while as a tale it is most interesting and entertaining. Second Edition. the fact of the foundation of some church." or of the dwelling upon doctrinal points. . noteworthy book exceedingly well written and replete with interest. This is a remarkable book in more ways than one. . No. and apparently in order to show cause for recent conversions. 1876.

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