Richard Rufus of Cornwall

On the Agent Intellect

Latin Grammar: Fourth Declension Nouns

Consequenter [Aristoteles] determinat de intellectu agente quoad eius proprietates, dicens quod intellectus agens est ``separabilis et est immixtus,'' id est non est forma educta de materia per agens.  "Et est impassibilis," quia nec etiam recipit sicut facit intellectus possibilis; unde est magis impassibilis quam intellectus possibilis. 

Fourth Declension Nouns
Nouns of the fourth declension can be tricky, since several of their forms (nominative singular, nominative plural, genitive singular, accusative plural) can look the same when vowel quantities are not marked. Remember, of all the forms listed above, all but the nominative singular have a long ū:

  • intellectus agens (nom. sing.)
  • intellectūs agentis (gen. sing.)
  • intellectūs agentes (nom. pl. OR acc. pl.)

As in these examples, modifiers like adjectives and participles, as well as prepositions, can act as clues to tell you what form of the noun you are looking at.

Exercise: Identify the case and number of the fourth-declension nouns in the sentences below. If there is more than one fourth-declension noun in the sentence, answer in the order in which they appear.

1. Rufus determinat de intellectu agente.
2. Intellectus agens est magis impassibilis intellectu possibile.

3. De duobus intellectibus Aristoteles determinat per simile lucis.
4. Proprietates duorum intellectuum sunt valde variae.
5. Est substantia intellectui agenti, id est actus.

6. Forma intellectus agentis est magis in actu quam quolibet sensibile.

7. Agens, ut intellectus agens, perficit effectus in materia.

8. Aristoteles comparat intellectum agentem habitui quodam.

9. Intellectus possibilis est idem atque intellectus materialis

10. Non est intellectus possibilis recipere sicut recipit intellectus agens

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