Truth tried: or, animadversions on a treatise published by the Right Honorable Robert Lord Brook, entituled, The Nature of Truth, its vnion and vnity with the soule. Which (saith he) is one in its essence, faculties, acts; one with truth. By I. W.

About this Item

Title
Truth tried: or, animadversions on a treatise published by the Right Honorable Robert Lord Brook, entituled, The Nature of Truth, its vnion and vnity with the soule. Which (saith he) is one in its essence, faculties, acts; one with truth. By I. W.
Author
Wallis, John, 1616-1703.
Publication
London :: Printed by Richard Bishop, for Samuel Gellibrand at the Signe of the Brazen Serpent in Pauls Church-yard,
1643.
Rights/Permissions

To the extent possible under law, the Text Creation Partnership has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above, according to the terms of the CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/). This waiver does not extend to any page images or other supplementary files associated with this work, which may be protected by copyright or other license restrictions. Please go to http://www.textcreationpartnership.org/ for more information.

Subject terms
Brooke, Robert Greville, -- Baron, 1607-1643. -- Nature of truth.
Truth -- Early works to 1800.
Cite this Item
"Truth tried: or, animadversions on a treatise published by the Right Honorable Robert Lord Brook, entituled, The Nature of Truth, its vnion and vnity with the soule. Which (saith he) is one in its essence, faculties, acts; one with truth. By I. W." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. https://name.umdl.umich.edu/A97067.0001.001. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 28, 2024.

Pages

CHAP. X. Whether the Operations of the Soule be the Soules Essence.

HAving done (in the former chapters) with the first Notion of Truth, as it is the Fountain or Source of Knowing, as well Na∣turall as Habituall. In this tenth Chapter, he comes to the second Con∣sideration, or Notion of Truth; denoting the Streams proceeding from this Fountaine: The Actions, and Effects of a Reasonable Soule. Indea∣vouring to prove, The particular and various Workings of the Soule, in Conclusions, simple Apprehensions, Negations, and Affirmations &c. to be all One and the Same, both with each other, and with the Soule. The Foun∣tain and the Stream (saith he) make but One River: I adde, The Root and the Branches make but one Tree. Yet the Root is not a Branch, neither are the Branches the Root.

To prove this, he compares the Nature of the Soule or Ʋnderstanding (For, saith he, we have proved them both one) with their Irradiations and Actings. His Argument tends to this effect: The Souls Essence, saith he, is no other thing then Activity (Actus) and therefore must be either Potentia agendi, or ipsa Actio; Actus Primus, or Actus secundus. And if it be Actus, either Primus or Secundus, ▪which he conceives to differ only in Time) it must be still in work, and Is no longer then it Acts: Which Act can be no other but a Work of Reason; else how can it constiute a Ra∣tionall Soule? And if so, then how doth it differ fom Thought or Ratio∣cinaion? The Operations therefore of the Soule (Conclusions, Sayings, Actions) are the Being, the Form of the Soule.

Are they so? But, I suppose, the Soule at some times produceth no (Rationall) Act at all, (as in sleep: Doth it then cease to be a Rationall Soule, when it ceaseth to produce Rationall Operations? (For when its

Page 65

Essence ceaseth, It selfe ceaseth to Bee. Doth a Stone cease to be Hea∣vy, when it ceaseth to Fall downwards? I think not.

But I will consider the Argument distinctly. He hath proved (he saith) that the Soule and the Ʋnderstanding are both One. This, though I would not stick to grant, Yet (as I have formerly said) I see not any Argument, in his foregoing discourse, to prove That the Soule and Ʋn∣derstanding are all One; but what will be of equall force to prove, The Soule and the Body to be all One. And if he will allow between the Soule, the Understanding, and its Operations, a distinction as Reall, a Essentiall, as there is between the Body and the Soule; I am confi∣dent there is no rationall Man that will desire more.

The Nature or Being of the Soule (saith he) is nothing but Activity. That the Soule is Actus, is confessed, I grant, by all: But whether Activity may be taken in the same sense, I question. This Actus (saith he) whether Primus or Secundus (which differ but in Time, and so differ not at all, because Time is nothing) c•••• be no other but a Work of Reason: And so the Soules Operation will be its Form and Essence. That Actus primus and actus secundus, (Gravity and Descension) differ only in Time, I grant not: For this is not a Distribution of Actus into its Species; but a Distinction of an Ambiguous term. Actus in the first sense signifies Actuality (not Action) and it is opposed somtimes to Potentia ad Esse, somtimes to Potentia ad Formam; siue sit forma Substantialis, siue Acci∣dentalis, (but never to Potentia ad Operari;) And thus Actus is no other but that Essence, per quam res aut actu-Est, aut est actu-Tale. Actus in the second sense signifies, not Actuality, but Action, or Opera∣in; and is opposed to Potentia ad Operari.

I say therefore, the Essenc or Nature of the Soule or Understanding is Actus; It is Actus Primus; It is that whereby the Soule & actu Est, & est Hoc, or est Tale (viz. in genere substantiae,) Such a Being, Such a substance. Its Faculties (if distinct) are also Actus, (yet not Actions:) Which you may say to be Actus secundi (as some doe) because they are a secondary actuality, whereby the Soule becoms, not a Being, or Such a Be∣ing; but a Being So qualified, So adorned: Or rather I should say they be Actus Primi, because (though Accidentall, yet) they are not Opera∣tions (which I conceive to be the truest meaning of Actus secundus, though I confesse some attribute it to all Accidents,) but Forms; Ope∣rative indeed, but not Operations.

If you aske What is the Form of this Activity (or Actuality rather) of this Actus primus which is the Soules Essence, If it be not Rationall

Page 66

Workings? (Which is all one as if you should ask What is the Essence of an Essence? and againe, What is the Essence of That Essence? in infi∣nitum. I answer, The Form of this Actus is It selfe, Its Essence. What can be the Form of Rationality, but ipsa Rationalitas? Humanitas you may say is Forma Hominis; but will you ask again, What is that which is forma Humanitatis? If you do we must answer still, that it is Huma∣nitas, and stay there. Except you would have us invent one Abstract upon the neck of another, and say Humanitatitudo. And thus I think somebody hath been trying practises; For if you ask what is the Form of Honorificum, or Honorificabile, they can tell you It is Honorificabilitas, or Honorificabilitudo; and aske again what shall be Forma Honorifi∣cabilitudinis, they will tell you, It is Honorificabilitudinitas.) I say, we must not enquire for the Form of a Form, or the Essence of an Essence: For every thing hath its Essence (positive) and its Haeciety, not from any other thing, but from It selfe; Though it may have an Externall, a Relative, or Accidentall denomination from some Adjunct.

(And therefore to say, Materiae individuatur a Formâ, as though the Matter of a dead Corps, were not the same matter that was in the living Man, is a doctrine which I could never digest. For so all Generation, will become Creation; For if it be the Form which makes this Matter to be This, then cannot one Form succeed another in the same Matter: be∣cause if the Form precedent gave it its Individuation, and made it to be this, and not other matter; when this Form is abolished, the Matter which is joyned with the succedent Form will not be This, but Other matter: If This Form make it to be This Matter, then Another Form will make it to be Other Matter. And if so, then is both Matter and Form produced de novo; which must needs be Creation, because it is not made of any thing prae-existent, nothing remaining of what be∣fore was.)

Hee proceeds thus, If the Form of this Activity (Actus) be not thse Reasonable Workings; then must it be either of a baser allay, or of a higher stamp.

For answer, I will but demand in generall, which his Lordship judg∣eth to be most Ecellent, the End, or the Mean? That which is willed, not for its own sake, but for somwhat else, seems to be of lesse worth then That for whose sake it is desired: And yet the Mean, being the Ends Efficient, how can it be Inferiour? I say therefore that A••••us primus is the Efficient of Actus secundus; and This the (partiall) End of the other: And leave it to his Lordships consideration, Whe∣ther he will esteem thee more Noble.

Page 67

Hee tells us soon after, That if we distinguish between the Act and the Power, the Act must ever be first in Order, Dignity, and Nature.

But (under his Lordships favour) I conceive that the Act is first neither in Order, in Dignity, nor in Nature. The Cause is before the Effect, in Excellency, because Causa (aequivoca) est Nobilior Effecto; for nothing can produce an Effect more noble then it selfe. 2 In Nature, Causa est prior Effecto; For that is defined to be Naturâ prius, A qu non redit essendi consequutio; Now I demand, Whether of these two may be without the Other? The Act, or the Power? And 3 in Order: For he speaks I suppose either of the Order of Production, or the Order of Intention; If he speak of the first; The Order of Production, is Ordo naturae Generantis, and so that which is first in Nature, must be also first in Order: If he speak of the Order of Intention; then the End (if it be the Sole end) may seem to be preferred before the means; But this is a Morall Excellency, and a Morall Order; not a Naturall or Phy∣sicall Excellency, such as we are now speaking of. But I demand with∣all, Whether Action be the sole End of the Soule? that is, Whether the Soule in its Essence might not be produced either for its Own Excellency or for the Excellency of some Other end beside the Excellency of its Operation or Actus Secundus? And if so, then can it not be concluded That even its Morall Excellency, in genere Finis, is inferiour to the Ex∣cellency of its Operation.

But his Lordship admits not at all of this distinction between actus primus and actus secundus; so as that actus primus should be the Being or Substance, and actus secundus the Product. But why? They forget, saith he, that Omnis Virtus consistit in Actione.

Nay we Forget it not, but we Deny it. For if you speak of Morall Virtue, est virtus tacuisse, &c. but▪ To hold ones peace, is no Action: If he speak of Physicall Virtue or Excellency, of naturall Perfection; then doe I deny, that all Naturall Excllency consists in Action; for the Es∣sence it selfe is Bonum Physicum: But if he speak of Physicall Efficiency, then I grant, that Virtus Efficientis, or Efficientis Efficientia, consistit in Actione; The Efficacy, or Efficiency of a Thing consists in its Operation: But what then? May not an Essence Be without Action, because it cannot Act without Action? Must its Essence be Action, because its Efficacy is Action? In ordinary Philosophy, operatio Sequitur esse, Operation Proceeds from the Essence, and not Constitutes it.

But, saith he; What is this their Actus primus? What is the Form of it? (I have said, Its Own Essence; It is It selfe its Own Form, and the

Page 68

Form or Essence of the Soule: We must not enquire for the Essence of an Essence, nor for the Essence of a thing out of It selfe:) What is with them, the Form of a Reasonable Soule? Is it not Reason? (Yes it is) And this Reason i not Potentia Ratiocinandi, But Ratio: (he meaneth, I suppose Ratiocinatio, rather then Ratio; for Ratio and Potentia ratioci∣nandi are all one:) For if you distinguish between the Act and the Power the Act must ever be first, in Order, Dignity, and Nature: (But this I grant not.) So then, what is the Form of this primus Actus? is it not some Act? (Yes, but not an Action or Operation.) If it be, then must it exist, else you allow it but a bare Notionall Being; And if it exist, mut it not be that which you call actus secundus? I answer, It is Actus, (ali∣quid actu) but not an Action; It Exists also, and yet is not Actus Se∣cundus, but the Form from whence actus secundus flows.

He proceeds; If it be not an Act (or action) then is it nothing else but a Power or Faculty depending upon somewhat else (viz upon the Soule;) and if this be the nature of the First, what shall the second Being (which is its Effect, and so Lower) be but a Notion. (Yet he said even now, that the Act is before the Power in Order, Dignity, and Nature▪ and yet the Act is the Power' Effect: How then oth he now affirm, that the Effect is somewhat Lower then the First Being?) I answer, It is not an Action; neither yet is it a Distinct (dependent) Faculty, (if we make the Soule and the Faculy to be the same;) but the Souls Essence. But yet though we should admit Reason to be a distinct Faculy, (as sme doe) and so, not to be the Soules actus primus, but actus afficiens: Yet doth, it not follow that the Operation must be onely a Notion. Heavi∣nesse is not the Stones Essence, but an Accidentall Form, a Power or Fa∣culty of Gravitation; yet is not its Descension onely Imaginary but Re∣all. Heat in water is not its Essence, but a separabl Accident; yet its Calefaction, it Heating or Scalding, is not meerly Notionall, but Reall. So might it be here: there may be (notwithstanding this Ar∣gument) a Faculty or Accidentall Form in the Soule, which may be an Actus Primus in respect of its Operations, (though, no actus primo∣primu which is the Soules ssence,) from whence those Operations, or Actus Secundi may proceed, which ye might be Reall, and not Imaginary.

•••• he had (as he speaks) set that distinction of Substance and Accident▪ (which he seems to challenge as an aged Imposture) upon the Rack; I would willingly▪ have examined its forc'd confession.

•••• the mean time, I see not from what ground e can strongly con∣clude,

Page 69

That this Activity (as he speaks,) this Actus primus, consists in Action; or That It and actus secundus are the sme; and both One with Truth.

You will ask me, What distinction therefore will I allow between actus primus and secundus; between the Agent and its Action? I an∣swer, The One is Res, the Other is Modus; and so the distinction is Modall: Neither more nor lesse distinction will I admit of. And so doing, I dissent not from the Opinion of others: For (as I remember) Suarez (not to instance in others) makes Action to be a Modus; And though he make a Transient Action to be Modus Patientis, (in which I assent not to him;) yet an Immanent Act (such as are Rationall O∣perations) is with Him, Modus Agentis.

Do you have questions about this content? Need to report a problem? Please contact us.