On Sense And The Sensible
remain separate, the analogy of the eyes will fail, [for of these some
one is really formed].
Furthermore, [on the supposition of the need of different parts of
Soul, co-operating in each sense, to discern different objects
coinstantaneously], the senses will be each at the same time one and
many, as if we should say that they were each a set of diverse
sciences; for neither will an 'activity' exist without its proper
faculty, nor without activity will there be sensation.
But if the Soul does not, in the way suggested [i.e. with
different parts of itself acting simultaneously], perceive in one
and the same individual time sensibles of the same sense, a fortiori
it is not thus that it perceives sensibles of different senses. For it
is, as already stated, more conceivable that it should perceive a
plurality of the former together in this way than a plurality of
If then, as is the fact, the Soul with one part perceives Sweet,
with another, White, either that which results from these is some
one part, or else there is no such one resultant. But there must be
such an one, inasmuch as the general faculty of sense-perception is
one. What one object, then, does that one faculty [when perceiving
an object, e.g. as both White and Sweet] perceive? [None]; for
assuredly no one object arises by composition of these
[heterogeneous objects, such as White and Sweet]. We must conclude,
therefore, that there is, as has been stated before, some one
faculty in the soul with which the latter perceives all its
percepts, though it perceives each different genus of sensibles
through a different organ.
May we not, then, conceive this faculty which perceives White and
Sweet to be one qua indivisible [sc. qua combining its different
simultaneous objects] in its actualization, but different, when it has
become divisible [sc. qua distinguishing its different simultaneous
objects] in its actualization?