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The human body is an animated body Throughout St Thomas writing it has been kept in mind that there can not be any discussion of the body without an awareness that it has being only in union with the soul To speak of the human body as if it were only a material thing no different from any other corporeal being is not to speak of the body of man as it is A human essence has two constituent principles and to identify one part with the man is to say at once that he is and is not a man On the other hand while it must be insisted that man is what he is because of his rational soul the judgment cannot be made that he is his soul As a material creature man must have a body This material essential element in him has characteristics in common with everything else that is material It is extended three-dimensional occupies space is changeable and measurable by time is subject to corruption because of its composition and is finite The common sense of mankind based upon experience makes it obvious that all of these qualities are found in the human body But the determination of the nature of the body must go beyond these spontaneous judgments based upon observation According to the Angelic Doctor matter as such does not and cannot exist by itself It is only a determinable principle as yet without any determination if considered as prime matter Any existing sensible object is more than matter in this primary sense It is secondary matter ie a composition of two incomplete substances matter and form the form actuating the matter Only because of union with a form does matter come into actual existence If human bodies are they are informed and they must be informed by something that makes them human This is the human soul which at one and the same time
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