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It has been said that man's animality is distinct in nature from his rationality, though they are inseparably joined, during life, in one common personality. As such, neither has any substantial existence of its own.
To be exact we should have to write: "Man's animality is rational"; for his "rationality" is certainly not something superadded to his "animality". In the Scholastic synthesis, it is a manifest illogism to hypostasize the abstract conceptions that are necessary for the intelligent apprehension of complete phenomena.
The complete argument may be found in the "Contra Gentiles " of St. Two accounts of his origin are given in the Old Testament.
On the sixth and last day of the creation " God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him" ( Genesis ); and "the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul " (Gem, ii, 7; so Ecclus., xvii, 1: " God created man of the earth, and made him after his own image").
Being capable of reasoning, he verifies the philosophical definition of a person : "the individual substance of a rational nature ". It is expressed in the "Liber de Spiritu et Anima" of Alcher of Clairvaux (? In this work "the soul rules the body; its union with the body is a friendly union, though the latter impedes the full and free exercise of its activity; it is devoted to its prison " (cf. Bonaventure (the body united to a soul consisting of "form" and "spiritual matter"— forma completiva ).
Many of the Franciscan doctors seem, by inference if not explicitly, to lean to the Platonic Augustinian view; Scotus, who, however, by the subtlety of his "formal distinction a parte rei ", saves the unity of the individual while admitting the forma corporeitatis; his opponent John Peter Olivi's "mode of union" of soul and body was condemned at the Council of Vienne (1311-12).
In common with all created nature (substance, or essence, considered as the principle of activity or passivity), that of man tends towards its natural end.
The proof of this lies in the inductively ascertained principle of finality.
Thus Lateran in 649 (against the Monothelites ), canon ii, "the Word of God with the flesh assumed by Him and animated with an intellectual principle shall come . The inevitable reaction from the Cartesian division is to be found in the Monism of Spinoza.
The origin of man by creation (as opposed to emanative and evolutionistic Pantheism ) is asserted in the Church's dogmas and definitions. brought forth out of nothing the spiritual and corporeal creation, that, is the angelic world and the universe, and afterwards man, forming as it were one composite out of spirit and body"), in the writings of the Fathers and theologians the same account is given. Clement of Alexandria and Origen defend the theory of creation against Stoics and neo-Platonists. Augustine strenuously combats the pagan schools on this point as on that of the nature and immortality of man's soul. So again the "Contra Gentiles ", II (on creatures), especially from xlvi onwards, deals with the subject from a philosophical standpoint — the distinction between the theological and the philosophical treatment having been carefully drawn in chap. Either the individual composite was created ex nihilo, or a created soul became the informing principle of matter already pre-existing in another determination. The matter that is destined to become what we call man's "body" is naturally prepared, by successive transformations, for the reception of the newly created soul as its determinant principle.
In the earliest symbols (see the Alexandrian: di ou ta panta egeneto, ta en ouranois kai epi ges, horata te kai aorata , and the Nicene), in the councils (see especially IV Lateran, 1215; "Creator of all things visible and invisible, spiritual and corporeal, who by this omnipotent power . A masterly synthetic exposition of the theological and philosophical doctrine as to man is given in the "Summa Theologica" of St. Either mode would be philosophically tenable, but the Thomistic principle of the successive and graded evolution of forms in matter is in favour of the latter view. The commonly held opinion is that this determination takes place when the organization of the brain of the foetus is sufficiently complete to allow of imaginative life; i.e. But note also the opinion that the creation of, and information by, the soul takes place at the moment of conception.
By these texts the special creation of man is established, his high dignity and his spiritual nature.
As to his material part, the Scripture declares that it is formed by God from the "slime of the earth".
The theories of the nature of man so far noticed are purely philosophical.