The De Anima is a scientific inquiry into the nature of the soul. The inquiry, on the face of it, follows the guidelines for such investigations set down in the Posterior Analytics. There is (1) a subject matter, genos, the soul, (2) a set of items, terms and propositions, which hold good of that subject matter, and (3) that in respect of which these items hold good of the subject matter, the notorious "qua" operator. Included in (2) are both first principles (and the terms belonging in them) such as the definition of the genos and the definition of the species, and derived principles (and the terms belonging in them) about the genos and the species. These latter include the essential accidents of the species and genus. The qua operator determines which items fall within the scope of the science, for each science investigates only those items which hold good of their subject matter in a certain respect, e.g., metaphysics studies what holds good of beings qua being, the mathematician studies physical objects only not qua physical. Thus the same objects might fall under the purview of different sciences because these sciences will study different properties of those objects and what follows from them.



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