Quomodo sit essentia in accidentibus
How there are essences in accidents
Nunc restat videre quomodo sit essentia in accidentibus; qualiter enim sit in omnibus substantiis dictum est. Et quia, ut dictum est, essentia est id quod per diffinitionem significatur, oportet ut eo modo habeant essentiam quo habent diffinitionem. Diffinitionem autem habent incompletam, quia non possunt diffiniri nisi ponatur subiectum in eorum diffinitione; et hoc ideo est quia non habent esse per se absolutum a subiecto, sed sicut ex forma et materia relinquitur esse substantiale quando componuntur, ita ex accidente et subiecto relinquitur esse accidentale quando accidens subiecto advenit. Et ideo etiam nec forma substantialis completam essentiam habet nec materia, quia etiam in diffinitione formae substantialis oportet quod ponatur illud cuius est forma, et ita diffinitio eius est per additionem alicuius quod est extra genus eius sicut et diffinitio formae accidentalis; unde et in diffinitione animae ponitur corpus a naturali qui considerat animam solum in quantum est forma physici corporis.
Having already said how essences are found in all types of substances, we should now see in what way there are essences in accidents. Now, as was said above, the essence is that which is signified by the definition, and so accidents will have essences in the same way in which they have definitions. But accidents have incomplete definitions, because they cannot be defined unless we put a subject in their definitions, and this is because they do not have absolute existence in themselves apart from a subject. Rather, just as from the form and the matter substantial existence results when these are compounded, so too from the accident and the subject does accidental existence result when the accident comes to the subject. Thus, neither the substantial form nor the matter has a complete essence, for even in the definition of the substantial form we place something of which it is the form, and so its definition involves the addition of something that is beyond its genus, just as with the definition of an accidental form. Hence, the natural philosopher places the body in the definition of the soul because he considers the soul only insofar as it is the form of the physical body.
Sed tamen inter formas substantiales et accidentales tantum interest quia, sicut forma substantialis non habet per se esse absolutum sine eo cui advenit, ita nec illud cui advenit, scilicet materia; et ideo ex coniunctione utriusque relinquitur illud esse in quo res per se subsistit, et ex eis efficitur unum per se: propter quod ex coniunctione eorum relinquitur essentia quaedam. Unde forma, quamvis in se considerata non habeat completam rationem essentiae, tamen est pars essentiae completae. Sed illud cui advenit accidens est ens in se completum subsistens in suo esse, quod quidem esse naturaliter praecedit accidens quod supervenit.
But as between substantial and accidental forms, there is this difference. For, just as the substantial form has no absolute existence in itself without that to which the form comes, so neither does that to which the form comes (namely, matter) have such existence. Rather, from the conjunction of both there results that existence in which the thing subsists in itself, and from these two there is made one thing in itself, and for this reason, from the conjunction of these, there results a certain essence. Hence, although considered in itself the form does not have the complete character of an essence, nevertheless it is part of a complete essence. But that to which an accident comes is in itself a complete being subsisting in its own existence, and this existence naturally precedes the accident that supervenes.
Et ideo accidens superveniens ex coniunctione sui cum eo cui advenit non causat illud esse in quo res subsistit, per quod res est ens per se; sed causat quoddam esse secundum sine quo res subsistens intelligi potest esse, sicut primum potest intelligi sine secundo. Unde ex accidente et subiecto non efficitur unum per se sed unum per accidens. Et ideo ex eorum coniunctione non resultat essentia quaedam sicut ex coniunctione formae ad materiam; propter quod accidens neque rationem completae essentiae habet neque pars completae essentiae est, sed sicut est ens secundum quid, ita et essentiam secundum quid habet.
Therefore, the supervening accident, from its conjunction with the thing to which it comes, does not cause that existence in which the thing subsists, the existence through which the thing is a being in itself; it causes, rather, a certain secondary existence without which the subsisting being can be understood to exist, as what is first can be understood without what is second. Hence, from the accident and the subject there is made something that is one accidentally, not essentially; and so from the conjunction of these two there does not result an essence as there does from the conjunction of form and matter. And so an accident has neither the character of a complete essence, nor is it a part of a complete essence; rather, just as an accident is a being only in a certain sense, so too does it have an essence only in a certain sense.
Sed quia illud quod dicitur maxime et verissime in quolibet genere est causa eorum quae sunt post in illo genere, sicut ignis qui est in fine caliditatis est causa caloris in rebus calidis, ut in II Metaphysicae dicitur: ideo substantia quae est primum in genere entis, verissime et maxime essentiam habens, oportet quod sit causa accidentium quae secundario et quasi secundum quid rationem entis participant. Quod tamen diversimode contingit. Quia enim partes substantiae sunt materia et forma, ideo quaedam accidentia principaliter consequuntur formam et quaedam materiam. Forma autem invenitur aliqua cuius esse non dependet ad materiam, ut anima intellectualis; materia vero non habet esse nisi per formam. Unde in accidentibus quae consequuntur formam est aliquid quod non habet communicationem cum materia, sicut est intelligere, quod non est per organum corporale, sicut probat Philosophus in III de Anima; aliqua vero ex consequentibus formam sunt quae habent communicationem cum materia, sicut sentire. Sed nullum accidens consequitur materiam sine communicatione formae.
But since that which is greatest and truest in a genus is the cause of the lesser things in the genus (as fire, which is the hottest of all things, is the cause of heat in other hot things, as the Philosopher says in Metaphysics 2.1), thus substance, which is first in the genus of beings and which has essence in the truest and greatest way, is the cause of accidents, which participate in the notion of being only secondarily and in a certain sense. But this happens in a variety of ways. Since the parts of substance are matter and form, certain accidents are principally a consequence of form, and certain accidents are principally a consequence of matter. Now, while we find some forms (like the intellectual soul) whose existence does not depend on matter, matter does not have existence except through form. Hence, among those accidents that are a consequence of form, there are some that have no communication with matter, such as understanding, which does not take place through a corporeal organ, as the Philosopher proves in de Anima 3.1. Other accidents that are a consequence of form do have communication with matter, and among these is sensation. But no accident that is a consequence of matter is without some communication with form.
In his tamen accidentibus quae materiam consequuntur invenitur quaedam diversitas. Quaedam enim accidentia consequuntur materiam secundum ordinem quem habet ad formam specialem, sicut masculinum et femininum in animalibus, quorum diversitas ad materiam reducitur, ut dicitur in X Metaphysicae; unde remota forma animalis dicta accidentia non remanent nisi aequivoce. Quaedam vero consequuntur materiam secundum ordinem quem habet ad formam generalem; et ideo remota forma speciali adhuc in ea remanent, sicut nigredo cutis est in aethiope ex mixtione elementorum et non ex ratione animae, et ideo post mortem in eo manet.
Among the accidents that are consequences of matter there is found a certain diversity. Some accidents follow from the order the matter has to a special form, as the masculine and the feminine in animals, the difference between which is reduced to the matter, as the Philosopher says in Metaphysics 10.9. Hence, the form of the animal having been removed, these accidents do not remain except in some equivocal sense. Other accidents follow from the order the matter has to a general form, and so with these accidents, if the special form is removed, the accidents still remain in the thing, as the blackness of the skin of an Ethiopian comes from the mixture of the elements and not from the notion of the soul, and hence the blackness remains in the man after death.
Et quia unaquaeque res individuatur ex materia et collocatur in genere vel specie per suam formam, ideo accidentia quae consequuntur materiam sunt accidentia individui, secundum quae individua etiam eiusdem speciei ad invicem differunt; accidentia vero quae consequuntur formam sunt propriae passiones vel generis vel speciei, unde inveniuntur in omnibus participantibus naturam generis vel speciei, sicut risibile consequitur in homine formam, quia risus contingit ex aliqua apprehensione animae hominis.
Since everything is individuated by matter and is placed in its genus or species through its form, the accidents that follow from the matter are accidents of the individual, and by these accidents individuals of the same species differ one from another. But the accidents that follow from the form are properly passions of the genus or species, and so they are found in all things participating in the nature of the genus or species, as risibility in man follows from the form, for laughter comes from a certain kind of understanding in the soul of man.
Sciendum etiam est quod accidentia aliquando ex principiis essentialibus causantur secundum actum perfectum, sicut calor in igne qui semper est calidus; aliquando vero secundum aptitudinem tantum, sed complementum accidit ex agente exteriori, sicut diaphaneitas in aere quae completur per corpus lucidum exterius; et in talibus aptitudo est accidens inseparabile, sed complementum quod advenit ex aliquo principio quod est extra essentiam rei, vel quod non intrat constitutionem rei, est separabile, sicut moveri et huiusmodi.
We should also note that some accidents are caused by the essential principles of a thing to be in perfect act, as heat in fire, which is always actually hot, while other accidents are the result of a mere aptitude in the substance, and in such cases the complete accident arises from an exterior agent, as transparency in air, which is completed through an exterior luminescent body. In such things, the aptitude is an inseparable accident, but the complete accident, which comes from some principle that is beyond the essence of the thing, or that does not enter into the constitution of the thing, is separable, as the ability to be moved, and so on.
Sciendum est etiam quod in accidentibus modo alio sumitur genus, differentia et species quam in substantiis. Quia enim in substantiis ex forma substantiali et materia efficitur per se unum, una quadam natura ex earum coniunctione resultante quae proprie in praedicamento substantiae collocatur, ideo in substantiis nomina concreta quae compositum significant proprie in genere esse dicuntur, sicut species vel genera, ut homo vel animal. Non autem forma vel materia est hoc modo in praedicamento nisi per reductionem, sicut principia in genere esse dicuntur. Sed ex accidente et subiecto non fit unum per se; unde non resultat ex eorum coniunctione aliqua natura cui intentio generis vel speciei possit attribui.
We should further note that in accidents, the genus, difference, and species are taken in a way different from that in substances. For in substances, from the substantial form and the matter there is made something one in itself, a certain single nature resulting from the conjunction of these two, and this nature is properly placed in the category of substance. Hence, in substances, the concrete terms (such as the species or genera) that signify the composite are properly said to be in the genus, as, for example, man or animal. But in this way neither the form nor the matter is in a category except by means of reduction, as when we say that principles are in a genus. For from the accident and the subject there does not result something that is one in itself, and thus from the conjunction of these two there does not result a nature to which the intention of genus or species may be attributed.
Unde nomina accidentalia concretive dicta non ponuntur in praedicamento sicut species vel genera, ut album vel musicum, nisi per reductionem, sed solum secundum quod in abstracto significantur, ut albedo et musica. Et quia accidentia non componuntur ex materia et forma, ideo non potest in eis sumi genus a materia et differentia a forma sicut in substantiis compositis; sed oportet ut genus primum sumatur ex ipso modo essendi, secundum quod ens diversimode secundum prius et posterius de decem generibus praedicamentorum, sicut dicitur quantitas ex eo quod est mensura substantiae et qualitas secundum quod est dispositio substantiae, et sic de aliis, secundum Philosophum IX Metaphysicae.
Therefore, when accidental terms are used concretely like species or genera, such as white or musical, they cannot be placed in a category, except by means of reduction; rather, they can be placed in a category only when they are signified in the abstract, as, for example, whiteness and music. And because accidents are not composed of matter and form, in accidents the genus cannot be taken from the matter nor the difference from the form, as is the case with composite substances; rather, the first genus is taken from their very mode of existing, as being is said in different ways according to what is prior and what is posterior in the ten categories, and thus we call the measure of a substance quantity, the disposition of a substance quality, and so on for the others, as the Philosopher says in Metaphysics 9.1.
Differentiae vero in eis sumuntur ex diversitate principiorum, ex quibus causantur. Et quia propriae passiones ex propriis principiis subiecti causantur, ideo subiectum ponitur in diffinitione eorum loco differentiae si in abstracto diffiniuntur, secundum quod sunt proprie in genere, sicut dicitur quod simitas est curvitas nasi. Sed e converso esset si eorum diffinitio sumeretur secundum quod concretive dicuntur; sic enim subiectum in eorum diffinitione poneretur sicut genus, quia tunc diffinirentur per modum substantiarum compositarum in quibus ratio generis sumitur a materia, sicut dicimus quod simum est nasus curvus. Similiter etiam est si unum accidens alterius accidentis principium sit, sicut principium relationis est actio et passio et quantitas; et ideo secundum haec dividit Philosophus relationem in V Metaphysicae. Sed quia propria principia accidentium non semper sunt manifesta, ideo quandoque sumimus differentias accidentium ex eorum effectibus, sicut congregativum et disgregativum dicuntur differentiae coloris quae causantur ex abundantia vel paucitate lucis, ex quo diversae species coloris causantur.
The differences in accidents are taken from the diversity of principles by which they are caused. Since passions are properly caused by the proper principles of the subject, the subject is placed in the definition of the passion in place of the difference if the passion is being defined in the abstract and properly in its genus, as when we say that snubnosedness is the upward curvature of the nose. But it would be the converse if the definition of the passion were taken according to its concrete sense; in this way, the subject is placed in the definition as a genus, for then the passion is defined in the mode of composite substances in which the notion of the genus is taken from the matter, as when we say that a snub nose is an upwardly curving nose. The case is similar even when one accident is the principle of another, as the principle of relation is action and passion and quantity, and thus by reference to these the Philosopher divides relation in Metaphysics 5.15. But because the proper principles of accidents are not always manifest, we sometimes take the differences of accidents from their effects, as we do with the concentrative and the diffusive, which are called the differences of color and which are caused by the abundance or the paucity of light, which cause the different species of color.
Sic ergo patet quomodo essentia est in substantiis et accidentibus, et quomodo in substantiis compositis et simplicibus, et qualiter in his omnibus intentiones universales logicae inveniuntur; excepto primo quod est in fine simplicitatis, cui non convenit ratio generis aut speciei et per consequens nec diffinitio propter suam simplicitatem: in quo sit finis et consummatio huius sermonis. Amen.
We have thus made clear how essence is found in substances and in accidents, and how in composite substances and in simple ones, and in what way the universal intentions of logic are found in all of these, except for the first being, which is the height of simplicity and to which, because of its simplicity, the notions of genus, species, and thus definition do not apply. In him let there be an end and consummation of this discourse. Amen.