Faculties in a hierarchy: the ‘lower’ faculties presupposed for the ‘higher’ ones. As there are
living beings that possess only some of them, the faculties organize an order of realms of living
‘Vegetative soul:’ Plants have only the faculties of growth, nutrition and reproduction.
‘Animal soul:’ Animals have the faculties that regulate growth, nutrition and
reproduction, locomotion, affections, feelings, and desires, perception.
‘Human soul: Humans possess the faculties that regulate growth, nutrition and
reproduction, locomotion, affections, feelings, and desires, perception,
intellect, and practical reason.
Note: the lower beings have only . . ., and the higher beings add . . .
. The integration into the
unified soul is different at each level. The vegetative faculty functions differently in humans )
hunger, thirst) when compared to plants, but it still is vegetative, because it fulfills the same
In detail, just the barest outlines:
The nutritive and reproductive soul-function:
It is the “first and most commonly possessed potentiality of the soul, in virtue of which they all
live.” (415a25) The passage makes clear that these belong to all living things. Aristotle thinks
that there is something in the plant, a faculty, that is active, and makes it go after nutrition and